Monday, May 26, 2014

Harlan Ellison At 80 Is...

…still the guy I turn to in a pinch, still the finest writer many of you have never read because of the evanescent nature of popular culture (so hop to it!), and still the finest writer *I* have ever read after a half century of plodding about on this planet reading everything.

…the man who said, "The chief commodity a writer has to sell is his courage. And if he has none, he is more than a coward. He is a sell-out and a fink and a heretic, because writing is a holy chore."

...a singular force of nature, the consummate bar raiser, Kryptonite to the forces of Bullshit, and my friend.

All love and respect on your 80th birthday, sensei.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dillashaw Beats Barao Like a Rented Mule

T.J. Dillashaw plants Renan Barao
T.J. Dillashaw delivered the single most impressive win I've ever seen last nighty as he overcame ridiculous Vegas odds against him and knocked out Renan Barao to win the title.

But this was no ordinary win.

All fight fans understand that when you're up four rounds to nothing in a five-round outing, you really don't have to do much more than survive the 5th. But Dillashaw's the real deal. He continued to take chances. This was a fight to the finish, and that's what we saw.

Barao (who was 32-1 in his MMA career, and 7-0 in his UFC career) has been called the current, best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. So what does that make T.J., who beat him like a rented mule?
Standing or on the ground, Dillashaw dominated Barao

Ready for a change of pace? See my recent post on the amazing Oneta Bobbett who is helping abuse victims.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Oneta Bobbett: Rebuilding the Abused

Oneta Bobbett: Committed to helping others.

I’m delighted to know Oneta Bobbett, a courageous and dedicated advocate for survivors of domestic violence. Ten years ago, Onetta helped found Jaden’s Ladder to assist victims with life-enhancing programs and the kind of support that builds confidence in former victims while fostering self-reliance.

A former beauty pageant winner, Oneta says was thrilled to represent the State of New Hampshire, where she was raised, in the Mrs. United States pageant. But today, it's all about her family and helping others.

“I named Jaden’s Ladder after my son Jaden,” Oneta told me. “The name Jaden means ‘God has heard.’ He hears when we cry out and we have to hear those crying out. It’s important to maintain a commitment to mankind—especially those in trouble—and to help people in the times of their greatest needs.”

Oneta’s commitment to others comes from personal experiences. On her website, she explains that she had once found herself in an abusive relationship. The experience left her with filled with doubt and confusion, asking herself what she had done wrong to land her in such a situation.

Eventually her boyfriend and long-time friend became her worst enemy. Her abuser, the man she thought she loved, beat and choked her. It was then that she believed she'd lose her life to his hands. Luckily, on that day, Oneta's sister was anxiously trying to contact her and sent police to her house when she felt "something was wrong". From that day on, Oneta vowed to get stronger and make better choices in life.

Oneta Bobbett’s commitment 10 years ago has made a difference in people’s lives ever since. And that’s what it’s all about.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Seth's Son Wants Daddy to Live Forever. Let's Help.

Please take the 10 minutes to register as a bone marrow donor. I did. It was painless, effortless and one day I might get the call allowing me to save someone's parent... or child.

I know Seth. He's a good guy. We have to save him. And by registering you're increasing the chances for all Lukemia victims.

Share this message please. People from the same background as Seth will have the greatest likelihood of being a match.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What’s Stan Lee Really Worth? Neal Adams?

The artist Dick Ayers passed away on Sunday and another very fine artist and friend Neal Adams called me this morning out of concern. I hope he won't mind my mentioning this.

“Do you know Dick’s widow’s situation?” Neal asked. I told him I didn’t. And when we hung up I thought about how genuine and special Neal is. He has a busy studio to run and deadlines to meet and his own family concerns, and he avoids funerals and memorial services like they're the Third Pandemic. But he’s always the first to inquire regarding the welfare of the widow and the family—and the first to organize help if needed.

I didn’t know Dick Ayers. I was a fan, of course, and I had purchased several drawings from him over the years, which I treasure. He was a nice man, a happy man, and a fine artist. Dick and I would sit and chat at conventions, but we weren’t pals. But Neal’s example has been kicking me into action for most of my adult life. So I made some inquiries.

Stan Lee was the first to reply. I received a return email within moments of my query to him (at 7:30 California time).

What’s the big deal? Lots of folks are up early and return email and phone messages. Nearly 23% do it within a reasonable amount of time, according to a study never conducted at the University of Michigan.

Stan will be 92 in December. And he has more going on than most three people you know. And he’s wealthier than the 20 richest people you've ever known all together. But he always responds immediately, and he's always been available to help with matters big and small when asked. And I've asked plenty.

Call it solid time management. Call it three-quarters of a century of professionalism. Or maybe Stan's parents just raised him right.

Neal Adams and Stan Lee.
Websites and magazine writers often speculate regarding celebrity bank accounts. There are people who like to count other people’s money. Go figure.

As for Dick Ayer’s widow, Stan didn't know her situation either. But if she’s in trouble, there’s people who will help.

So what’s Stan Lee worth? Neal Adams?

It has nothing to do with money.