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Mark Olmsted Headshot

How to Make a Bomb in 7 Easy Steps

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How to Make a Bomb:

1. Write a script. Make it long and lumbering, unfocused and self-indulgent.
2. Include some parts in it that actors can't resist because they basically get to chew the scenery.
3. Find a old-school producer or agent who can convince studios to spend too much money on "a sure thing."
4. Make the movie. Let it be plagued by alcoholic divas and or male leads being unfaithful to their spouses. not to mention terrible weather, unexpected illness, and cost overruns. Changing directors halfway through is also a good idea.
5. Mount a confused marketing campaign so people aren't sure what type of movie they are seeing.
6. Generate bad buzz before it even opens.
7. Start the blame game on the red carpet.

You will have made a bomb.

Now, I admit, I put "easy" in there to fool you. It is, in fact, it's murder to get an agent in this town. However, it's not murder. I hope you understand the difference, and why it matters. See, if you can't get an agent, no one actually dies. You'll just be disappointed. But trust me, you'll live.

Disappointment is hard, I know. And if you came upon this article hoping to make that other kind of bomb, I bet you've experienced some. You've felt rejection, anger, a sense of purposelessness. And somewhere along the line you've convinced yourself blowing things up and hurting random innocents is part of the solution as you imagine it or you've been convinced to imagine it.

The truth is, the track record of those who engage in violence of this kind is terrible. They get caught almost every time, and die bad deaths. If they survive, their life turns awful. There isn't a mother in the world who isn't devastated by her son being put to death or spending the rest of his life in a supermax-security prison. (Which, from all accounts, is also a pretty grim place to spend a day, much less 30 or 40 years.)

Your mother's won't be the only heart you break. The people you kill have families and friends just like you do. Their pain is going to do nothing to alleviate the pain of those grieving the innocents killed in drone attacks, or at Waco. (Your ideology makes no difference -- terrorism always makes things worse.) Non-violence is a far more powerful response to injustice. (See: American Civil Rights Movement, Gandhi.)

Or remember the words of the Qu'ran:

"O mankind! Allah created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)." Nobel Qur'an (49:13)

Or the Bible if you prefer:

1 John 4:16 - And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Romans 13:10 - Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.

Mark 12:31 - And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Or my favorite, Martin Luther King, Jr:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

You want to do something with your feelings of alienation? Go out and practice random acts of kindness. Raise money for refugees. Rescue dogs. Write letters to your Congressman. Treat your children with affection and tenderness. Denounce wrong. Fight for justice.

And in the end, the only reason you need to not build a bomb is what is does to you. It is soul-killing to be a murderer. If you have a conscience, it will be tormented. And if you've read this far, you have a conscience.

So be a good man. Don't make a bomb. (A bad movie, sure. )

MCO 2103