3 Things Sleep Sunshine is Geeked Out About…

The Prodigal Son

By: Sleep Sunshine


If you even have the desire to go human, Jessica...CALL ME!!!

Okay, so my first one is a throw-back, I’ll admit it.  An oldie-but-a-greatie.  Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (based on the series of novels by Gary K. Wolf) is the great-grandfather who braved the choppy waters of the Atlantic and arrived at Ellis Island with only shekels in his pocket, and an insane vision of animation and live-action co-existing on the Silver Screen.

The technology is not great.  Youtube has the whole movie available for free, so I checked it out, and found the film grainy and gray (which did add to the noire-feeling) and scenes combining live and animated characters appear off, live-action characters in one depth, live-action on another–like a novice painter who hasn’t mastered the technique of creating depth through placement and color.

But all in all the movie still kills me…

WFRR fans!  Good news!  The sequel (or prequel, depending on which script they use) is set for release in January 2012.  And though I worry, with the modern prevalence of edgy, smart animated features, WFRR will not mesmerize my kids the way the movie did for me, I look forward to seeing the sequel with the kiddies, if nothing else it’ll give them another reason, in the face of my WFRR exuberance (Pppppppllleeeeeasssssseeeeee Jakob!!!!!), to roll their eyes and say, “Daaaaaaaaad!!!!”


The Tome of Literary Jesus, or Genius, whichever you prefer

Okay.  This one might be obvious, due to my Superman(dare I say, Aeroman)-sized, literary, man-crush on Jonathan Lethem. For those Lethem-lovers in the audience, you might be saying: “Um dude, heello; FOS was released in ’03, where have you been?”

My only response to that would be that “The Fortress of Solitude” was the only Lethem book I hadn’t read, to date.  And WOWZER, did I finish digesting the Lethem collection with a wonderful, rich dessert!

Michael Chabon, in his blurb on the back-cover, describes the greatness of this book better than I could.

“Lethem has done a number of things here, any one of which is impossible for any but the very finest of novelists.  He has vividly and lovingly and truthfully [adjective tsunami, Jim?], through thrilling evocation of its music, its popular culture, its street games, argot, pharmacology (LOL), social mores and racial politics, re-created a world, a moment of history that I would have thought lost and irrecoverable.”  Chabon goes on to say, “He captures precisely–as only a great novelist can–how it feels to love the world that is, on a daily basis, kicking your ass.”

For me, Fortress of Solitude has introduced me to language; more precisely, has made me, to a depth I’ve never felt before, fall madly in love with language; and even more precisely, has taught me how to use language and the importance of the power of language in my own work–to a point where now after reading this book, I (as a writer, reader and an intellectual) will never quite be the same.


Red Shirt Protesters at Work, in Thailand

Listen, I’m not taking a tough stance one way or another.  I am not cast under the spell of Bush-ology (really ironic to label anything philosophical with that prefix), and believe capitalism and democracy are the purest and best-est (there you go, W) forms of government.  In fact, I’d lunge against the chains of my brainwashed bias and go as far as to say democracy and capitalism, in their American-forms, are poisonous to the spirit and soul of Man.

That being said, I am “Geeked-Out” about the Red Shirt Protests in Thailand, due to the example set by the UDD of a sociological tenet in which I believe in whole-heartedly: The Social Contract Theories [developed by Thomas Hobbes (1651), John Locke (1689), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1762)], in which “Free men establish political community (civil society) through the social contract in which each gain civil rights in return for subjecting himself to civil law or political authority.  When failures are found in the contract, we renegotiate to change the terms.”

Locke expostulated further, explaining when civil measures have been exhausted, the people have the “right of rebellion” in case of the contract having led to “tyranny.”

Governments forget.  It is our job to remind them.  We are the power; they are allowed to maintain the illusion of power only through our will.

The Red Shirt protesters in Thailand are reminding the world of this contract.  My hope is that Americans are paying attention.  We, as a people, have become house cats.  Fat on provided amenities (water, power, food…), We have forgotten that We–not the government, not our Senators, Representatives, Judges, President–are the true power.  Similar to the illusion (or delusion) allowed to the power of money–dollars being nothing more than printed paper–the government is inanimate.

The Invisible Stick

Government is the paper.

We are Fort Knox.

As were workers at the Republic and Doors Factory in Chicago (also an example of juxtaposition in governmental response), the Red Shirts in Thailand are an EXAMPLE.

An example of our power.

An example of our will.

An example of our sacrifice.

An example of accountability.

An example of our Contract.

And that’s why I’m “Geeking-Out.”


1) Writers Read Showcase at 42 N. Latitude in Chicago on Thursday, May 20th (self-serving?  Yessiree-Bob)

2) Chicago Summer of Michael.

Sorry, George, you had your summer.  Summer of ’10 is mine, all mine.  For self-improvement, professional-progress, and spiritual and mental growth.  For the imminent, delicious onslaught of Love.  For family.  For healing.  For the Next Step Forward, in the life of Me.

3) Ripped from the headlines: Law and Order Cancelled!

4) SEX.

5) Speaking of SEX, Re-acquainting myself with Woody Guthrie’s Spawn

Sadie, keeping watch; Roger, ready for his close-up

6) Sister Sadie and My “Little” Man

Niemi says NOOOOO!!!!!!!


(Now…we’ve done the heavy-lifting–the Amys, Stephen, and I–so we’d like to hear about 3 THINGS YOU’RE GEEKING OUT ABOUT!  Post them as comments or shoot us and email and we’ll pick out our favorite ones and post them in a future segment!!!)

Thanks for reading.

And as always, wishing you good words this week!

For those of you in the Chicago-land area, Sleep Sunshine (Michael James Greenwald) will be reading his poem “I Am Lane” at 42 Degrees North Latitude on Thursday, May 20th, at 7PM.

Click here for more details.

Thanks for supporting your local Chicago artists!

Born a Jew, though through his fellow confession-ees, now firmly committed to this cathartic concept of confessional (at least in the agnostic literary sense), Michael James Greenwald (Sleep Sunshine) is a student at Story Studio Chicago, applying for a Ragdale Residency in the fall, and waffling daily (sometimes hourly) on To-MFA or To-Not-To-MFA, that is the question.

He is excited about the potential in the near future of starting a family (“A big one, like six, eleven kids…right baby?”)

His debut novel The Rainbow Child and short story collection Celebratory Gunfire are due to be published in the next several years.

His personal blog site is sleepsunshine. Feel free to venture to his Facebook page or feel free to email him with any comments or suggestions for further topics, or if you had any interest in being a guest blogger on either one of his sites.

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