The past three days were, for lack of a better term, bonkers. To put a fine point on it - it was exhausting and fun and exciting and scary. You know ... it was the Modern Rogue. The Modern Rogue, for those of you who don't know, is a show I co-host with Brian Brushwood. It's been compared to Mythbusters, but we certainly don't have the resources or the intelligence of that esteemed show. It's just us on a journey to become the most interesting person in the room. We learn about martial arts, crime, hacking, science, and all sorts of stuff in order to just ... be cool. I don't know if it's working, but we're having a blast. Oh, and we had Macaulay Culkin on the show. Sorry for burying that lede. That's what you're asking, right? How did these two clowns rope Mack into their ill-advised idiocy?
Let's go back several months to what happened over at Cracked.com. Sadly, that site had to let go of some of their best and brightest. A lot of talented writers were left without a venue to push their monstrous agendas onto the unsuspecting internet. So Brian called up one such writer, the inimitable John Cheese. He and John cooked up a plan to give those writers a home, crafting a new written portion for the Modern Rogue. John's wife, Emily, lends a hand by running some of our social media stuff. These two put us in touch with Shawn DePasquale, the Editor-In-Chief of Mack's new comedy site, Bunny Ears. We started talking about collaborations and Mack had but one request - he wanted to blow something up. Of course, we were more than happy to accommodate.
Over the weekend, we shot two episodes with Mack and I have to say, both he and Shawn were personable, funny, and game for whatever antics we proposed. It was a lot of work, but a fantastic time. You'll see the first episode up on the Modern Rogue this Friday.
But more about Bunny Ears. It's hysterical. I know what you're thinking - "But Jason, you're obligated to say that!"
Sure. Fine. You don't trust me. I get it. I understand, but Bunny Ears is legitimately funny. It's the subversive kind of humor that I enjoy and if you've spent any amount of time around me and didn't walk away thinking I was some smarmy degenerate, then you'll get a kick out of their flavor of aberrant behavior, as well.
listening: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross -the Heretics
watching: Lost Highway - David Lynch
Does that ever happen to you? 'Cause it certainly happens to me. Every day, lately! Nothing quite gets the blood pumping like mortal terror. No, it's not because we seem to have found ourselves living in the dystopian, burning-trash-can future we've always heard about. It's because I'm a professional creative-type. Yes, as of recently, I took the plunge and moved on from my 9-to-5.
And it's terrifying.
I'm guessing that most of you know me from Modern Rogue. "Hey, that's the old guy who does moronic stuff with the guy who used to have spiky hair!"
And that's great! But I also write books and movies, as you'll hear me mention ad nauseam. See that thing over there to your right? That picture of the biker gang? That's my book. (Don't be scared. It's only kind of about bikers.)
At lunch the other day, I actually had a friend say, "Now that you've got lots of free time..."
Wait. What? Free time? I have that?
I actually work harder now. I'm constantly thinking about writing, piecing story elements together, or planning the next Modern Rogue. I sleep less. I take fewer breaks. I make considerably less money. But yay! Free time!!
I know - 'you poor thing', right? What I'm saying is, while I'm digging this new lifestyle, I also feel like I'm constantly being chased. And what do I do when I'm chased? I run. And I run until I feel safe. Maybe that's never. If you're going to make this leap (or maybe you already have!), you have to impose some structure on this new free-wheeling lifestyle. No more 6-hour mimosa brunches. No more street-racing on a Tuesday morning. No more impulsive jaunts to Palm Springs with the girls.
You gotta write, my friend.
I'm still trying to figure it out. What's my schedule? Is it three hours of trying to hit screenwriting deadlines? Then an hour of social media? Two hours? Then four more hours of working on the new novel?
Whatever works for you, do it and do it ALL THE TIME. Protect that time. If anything gets in the way of that, bare your teeth and hiss before going back to your laptop. Murder those distractions. Take that distraction and put its head on a spike to serve as a warning to others:
Do not f&*# with me right now. I'm writing.
Every day. No excuses.
Your mileage may vary.
Check back here in the next few days for some more Modern Rogue deliciousness!
listening: Darrow Fletcher - Those Hanging Heartaches
reading: The Amazing Spider-Man: Worldwide Vol. 5 - Dan Slott/Christos Gage/Giuseppe Camuncoli
Last Friday we at the Modern Rogue posted a video on crafting a bow out of PVC. There was a lot of ... helpful criticism. That's the internet for you. I'd actually put off making this episode for a very long time - like more than a year, maybe. It had been sitting in a folder of 'pushed episodes', episodes that maybe I didn't think we were ready for, that required more research, or were just going to be a pain in the ass. Originally, I'd expected it to be a day-long build where we carefully shaped the PVC, a day where we methodically reproduced some other far-more experienced garage bowyer's efforts. I thought this might be the episode where we actually follow the instructions. But as usual, we got too excited and the instructions started to sound very much like BLAH BLAH BLAH. So we just winged it. And I'm fine with that. The bow? Well ... it sucked. I'm fine with that, too. The prime directive of the Modern Rogue is not to be the experts. It's to have fun and for you to have fun along with us. (Shhh. Don't tell anyone that we're not really on our way to being master spies/assassins/bad-asses.)
You may have also heard that we now have a MODERN ROGUE WORLD HEADQUARTERS. Brian's been making a lot of noise about it because we're very excited. The possibilities for this place are endless. My aspirations for it are along the lines of the Cobra Terror Drome.
(Right now some of you are Googling 'Cobra Terror Drome'. You'll soon be hit with the realization - if you haven't already - that I'm a huge nerd. What can I say? I know way too much about GI Joe. Get at me Hasbro. I'm ready to write a Joe comic. ;) )
Brian signed the paperwork for the lair on Monday. We get the keys on Friday. We shoot one of our biggest episodes yet on Saturday. That's no hyperbole, by the way. The episodes we shoot this weekend are going to blow some minds. Probably.
Paintball, cooking, DIY fireworks, outdoor survival skills . . . the list of ideas for this place is virtually endless. You can follow the journey, of course, at https://www.youtube.com/modernrogue. If you want some of that sweet, insider content, consider becoming a Patron here. We took a big risk in securing this property and we were only able to do it because some of you seem to dig our antics. We are eternally grateful.