Sweet and Slow Down: A TV Writer Moves It Along

06/08/2015 12:29 pm ET | Updated Jun 07, 2016

Okay here's the thing: I'm already in a hurry to finish this piece and I just started it. Wait. Am I done yet?

Let me slow things down, which is what this little exercise in gymnastic style ineffectuality is all about.

Observation/thought: One man's feeling is another man's flaw.

I come to that phrase thinking about Paul Simon who when he was like 5 months old probably already had the soul of a 200 year old Mah Jung playing Florida retiree named Saul---especially if Saul was a once upon a time poet/warrior who still writes.

I bring up Paul for a reason. Some singers (think The Beatles for example) by the age of 19 or 20 already have the kind of insight into the human soul condition that usually doesn't arrive to the shores of the average average person until they are well past the age of dead. And what's even more incredible is the way we change and mature---over and over again but their songs of insight stays exactly the same, while it magically continues to morph and fit our ever expanding consciousness like a well tailored Saville Row suit.

Being a creative guy (I'm hard driven, TV, feature, play writing and film directing kind of compulsive person) and at the age that I am as of yesterday, I have finally realized that a huge part of my condition which is amply represented by a museum exhibit's worth of neuroses and fears---all comes to one thing:

I am moving WAY too fast.

Even now. Right now. I'm thinking ahead, my thoughts racing like American Pharoh on Red Bull. I want to cry out: (Warning: baby boomer reference coming) "Jane! How do you stop this crazy thing??"

Having been trained to write and produce on TV writing staffs and staying on them way past my own personal expiration date, I was trained to do one thing and one thing alone; WRITEFINISHSHOOTNEXT!

In TV you have to move so fast on a level of excellence only, that your productivity is like dropping people off on a superhighway, way past the speed limit, by throwing them out of the car while moving at their designated exits.

A favorite girlfriend of mine once nicknamed me "Hurry, Worry, Son of Murray" and that has stuck in my brain like Marilyn Monroe's cement impression at the old Sid Graumann theater.

I read somewhere that there were 128 shows premiering on all platforms between April and August. And there lies staggering problem #1: There are just way too many fucking choices. You go to a movie today and the marquee looks more like the Metro North schedule. I swear to God, twice I went to see a film and wound up in New Caanan and I live in Dobbs Ferry.

And then there is the bitch that I'm massaging right now, as I write: the internet. To me the internet is like a tribe of insatiable cannibals that eat everything in its past like Mr and Mrs Pacman.

It has devoured and spit out movies, music, books, tv shows, even the way we shop for goods---devaluing everything to the point that we all feel like they should all be handed over to us in copious amounts like gifts at a Trump birthday party.

All we seem to care about is how much can we get for as little as possible. And we are in a hurry like never before to fill up our metaphorical refrigerators like we are stocking them up for the next biblical flood.

And how does that apply to my,we are moving way too fucking fast thesis?" All of the above are time sucking the life out of us until we crawl to the end of the day having accomplished nothing more than a severe case of soul depletion.

Part of it I blame on Apple who insists on referring to me as an "i." They can't even capitalize it? Nope: that's how little they think about "u."

The rest is the absence of things like faith (not the religious kind but that too), passion, love, romance, sex and on and on.
Another problem: I feel competitive ALL the type A time. I even RACE towards my morning coffee shop if I see people walking in a head of me. The ironic part: they take the artful baristas take their TIME in there and you wait sometime between forever and "Hey, have I aged a year? to get your coffee fix.

Here's the bottom line---which thank God took me a really LONG time to get to: We care more about information than we do about wisdom because wisdom has to come to you when it damn well pleases. It has to be worked on. Thought about. Challenged. Manipulated. Rejected. Accepted. And that's just how Kubler-Ross did it.

So, Paul Simon: "Slow down, you move to fast, you got to make the morning last, just kicking down the cobblestones, look at the fun of feeling groovy." Yeah, I would just say look at the fun of feeling something. Anything.

Even comedy is in a hurry to the point where jokes have been replaced by go to dick and vagina jokes, adolescent irony or that lay: vulgar absurdity.

Again the internet: which has OMG'd language, has single handedly devalued all that pesky syntax like Brave New World Nazis doing their finest work.

A friend of mine the minute she starts to date someone almost immediately refers to said person as "my boyfriend." Wow. Even relationships are in a hurry...and yet: they take forever to fall apart and get out of.

Slow. The fuck. Down. Stop trying to beat yourself in the race of your own creation.

Read instead skim.

Wade instead of swim.

Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.

You just may find you arrive at the very same place---it's just a whole lot deeper, sweeter and far more meaningful.