Every year has its collection of well-known people that die, but that doesn’t make the loss any less significant. Recently we heard news of the passing of Gene Wilder, an actor that manages to remain in the spotlight even though he has stayed out of the public eye. I had to look on IMDB to see what his latest project had been.
In 2015, he did some voice work for a movie based off a children’s show, and then before that he had a role in two episodes of Will and Grace back in 2003.
So what is it about Gene Wilder that keeps him in our heart and minds after such a long absence?
He taught us to dream
Most people remember Gene from his iconic role as Willy Wonka, but Gene had a wide variety of roles that allowed him to explore his craft and expand upon the dream he had of being an actor. As a writer, each of us should dream big and pursue those dreams no matter how unlikely they may be.
Maybe you want to write a 20-book series or just the longest novel ever written. Perhaps you just want to focus on a collection of poetry or a graphic novel, no matter what that goal is, figure it out and then work out how to move in the direction of making it happen.
Many of you have participated in NaNoWriMo. Perhaps it is time for you to look into what the next stop for your projects might be.
He showed us you can have a career and have fun too
When I watch Gene Wilder playig characters in his movies, I don’t see a person trudging through the role. Instead, I see an actor that is having fun. Go back and watch Young Frankenstein and watch the scene where he “accidentally” stabs himself in the leg with a fork and tell me he isn’t enjoying that moment. (Better yet, check out this GIF from See no Evil, Hear no Evil with Richard Pryor. Gene is a deaf man trying to direct Pryor’s character who is blind as they drive.
He demonstrated how to make the world a better place.
Blazing Saddles may not be as well known as his performance as Willy Wonka, but this was the first movie where he teamed up with Mel Brooks on one of his projects. Wilder plays a gunfighter who has lost his nerve and is sitting in jail when the main character, a black sheriff that has been sent to a small Western town. The sheriff isn’t accepted by the people in the town, but Wilder’s character isn’t afraid to accept this stranger.
Together these characters saved that small town, and helped the townspeople to accept others.
He explored his characters.
I’m sure you recognize this scene. It’s an important and defining moment for the character of Willy Wonka. We see Wonka limping his way to the gates of the chocolate factory. Perhaps this is why he sent everyone away. Is there something wrong with him? Suddenly he turns a somersault and he’s perfectly fine.
This was not in the script, but when Wilder was approached about the role, he said he would only take the role if they would let him perform the scene this way. Wilder had explored his character and knew this would be the kind of performance the candy maker would choose to present his audience.
He showed others the way.
After his role as Dr. Frankenstein, Gene Wilder was asked by Mel Brooks to take a role in a third movie, but Wilder had other projects he was committed to, so he suggested that Brooks do the role himself. Because of that moment, we have many classic roles from Brooks that would not exist with out that encouragement.
You should also look for opportunities to help other writers as you work on your own projects. Who knows what might come from those simple moments.
I know that I could glean many more lessons from the life of Gene Wilder, but I’m hoping that you will take some time to explore those on your own. Take some time to celebrate the life of an actor that brought so much happiness and joy into the lives of others.
Things more mischievous, deviously murky — wild, nameless, and raw. As scraggly and bedraggled as archaic undergrowth. Deceptively and damningly cunning, charming, evocative. Simultaneously seductive and disconcerting. Gnashing teeth betwixt gnarly brambles and winding tendrils. A haunting, eerie faery song. An air that suggests you step carefully in these woods, that you ought to carry silver and would be foolish not to take care. The lands are stirring, breathing, humming.
There is something stirring in your bones, a spirit song half remembered. You’re reminded of stone, of soil, of blood, of bone, of soul, of root. You’re taken back; back to old ritual, old voice. Your blood runs hot with eyes flashing, belly churning and skin pulled taught in response to the call. This is an activation of ancient memory. • • • Presenting the beginning of an ongoing, collaborative, artistic project headed by @niiv and myself. This is a project roused by the deeply earthy and primordial aspect of the Fae, the feral ones of their race, and our magnetism towards them. Our project aims to draw upon the darker, less humanized, less glamorous, less prim and tamed aspects of Faery. The facets with more teeth in hiding, suspicious lore, and dubious presence. This is a project to artistically capture and visually represent the old forest gods and bring them to the foreground. This is for the creatures more suited to darkened meadows and unending caves — the horned, the winged, the hooved and potentially nasty.
Our project is done in respect to chaos. This is a gesture to honor and make wholesome the faery creature community — to acknowledge the dark aspects of Faery often sidestepped in favor of the lighter, more modernized and glimmering concepts. With this project we nod towards the woodland ones residing in the shadows.
The sigil above is representative of the call for those who heed the voice of the primitive wilderness.
This project is titled #TheFeralForest and is an open project. What that means is that, if you feel provoked by this project, please share your visions of the energies or creatures that were called forth. There are no timed restrictions for this project and it will be added to overtime. Whether aspects of the dark woods or a specific creature of old lore itself, it’s welcome here.
May #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover: BLM and Partners Maintain Montana Trails and Wilderness
The BLM Dillon Field Office in Montana rebuilt a section of the Continental Divide Trail with the help of participants from the Montana Wilderness Association and the Montana Conservation Corps. The trail had been heavily damaged from a large landslide in a steep and narrow canyon within the Centennial Mountains Wilderness Study Area. The project involved removing tons of loose rock and then felling and stripping trees to build a wall to support the trail. The 12 MWA volunteers, eight-member MCC crew and BLM employees completed the heavy, difficult task within a week.
The majority of the Continental Divide Trail managed by the BLM is located within the Centennial Mountains Wilderness Study Area. The 27,691 Centennial Mountains WSA contains some of the most wild and biologically important lands in southwest Montana. The area provides refuge for grizzly bears and other rare and endangered species that require wild, undeveloped landscapes for survival. Visitors to the area enjoy backcountry hiking, horseback riding, fishing and more.
Note: The #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover is a 2015 monthly celebration of the 15th anniversary of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands.
Today on “This was suposed to be a simple crossover fanart, what the heck happened??”
Welp, as you can see, I couldn’t keep it simple so here have an animated crossover fanart for Kagerou Project (Mekakucity Actors?) and Tales of Symphonia.
Since I’ve been getting into Kagepro, I couldn’t help but find a lot of similarities between Zelos and Kano. I like both characters a lot, so I decided to give a try on a crossover art. Sheena as Kido was actually an extra, because they are my favorite ladies in each~ And I’m amused how Kido and Kano’s relationship work very alike to Sheena and Zelos’ one. I liked it a lot, so I decided to make it a thing since I hadn’t seen this crossover before.
Mistakes? It probably has a lot, but I’m actually really pleased with the result! And even though the process proved my level of patience (with how drawing, coloring, editing and animating went), I admit I enjoyed doing this a lot. I hope you enjoy the result as much!
Wash U Students Launch Sit-In to Demand University Cut Ties with Peabody Energy
Students vow to sit-in until the University comes to the negotiating table
On Tuesday afternoon, students from Washington University in St. Louis launched a sit-in under the iconic Brookings Arch in an effort to pressure their administration to cut ties with Peabody Energy. The students intend to continue the sit-in until the administration responds to their concerns and takes action to address them.
The students come from a wide range of academic disciplines, grade levels, and students groups (including The Wilderness Project, Green Action, and The Muslim Students Association, among others). They cite numerous reasons why the University should end its relationship with Peabody, including Peabody’s contribution to global carbon emissions, participation in ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council), marginalization of indigenous and rural communities in places including Black Mesa, Arizona and Rocky Branch, Illinois, and interference in democratic processes via their lawsuit against the local Take Back St. Louis ballot initiative.
“It is time for Washington University to cut ties with Peabody, a coal corporation with a proven record of social injustice, including displacing indigenous Navajo and Hopi people on Black Mesa in Arizona” said Ayah Abo-Basha, a student sit-in participant and member of the Muslim Students Association.
Wash U’s relationship with Peabody is relatively new. Peabody CEO Greg Boyce joined the Wash U Board of Trustees in 2009. Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and Ameren also donated $5,000,000 to start the Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization, a research entity housed in the engineering school under the International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability (I-CARES).
This sit-in is the latest in a long-term effort to shed light on and critique Washington University’s relationship with the coal industry. It comes at the same time as the passage of a Student Union resolution to divest the endowment from fossil fuels with an overwhelming majority vote of 14-2. The resolution was presented by Wash U student group, Green Action, as a part of their fossil fuel divestment campaign, Fossil Free WashU. This set the precedent for a meeting between Chancellor Wrighton and members of Green Action. In the meeting, however, Chancellor Wrighton said he does not think fossil fuel divestment is feasible, despite the fact that several large institutional investors, including the Seattle City Employees’ pension fund, have recently committed to fossil fuel divestment.
“The relationship between Peabody and Wash U is impeding progress on this campus,” said Rachel Goldstein, who works on the Fossil Free WashU campaign. “As long as the University holds these close ties with Peabody Energy, our university cannot be truly sustainable.”
Across the country, campus activism targeting fossil fuel companies is at an all-time high. There are currently over 300 active fossil fuel divestment campaigns on college campuses. “We hope that this sit-in will inspire more students across the country to pressure their institutions to cut ties with fossil fuel corporations that are endangering communities and contributing to climate change around the world,” said Julia Ho, one of the student participants and a member of the organization Sharing With A Purpose.
On the first night of the sit-in, students held a rally and teach-in about Peabody Energy. They plan to pitch tents this evening and stay in front of Brookings Hall until the University cuts ties with Peabody.
Follow us at StudentsAgainstPeabody.tumblr.com, on twitter @StudentsAgainstPeabody Sign the Petition to Support WU Students Here: http://studentsagainstpeabody.org/petition