Have You Seen the Hot Beggar Woman?

Just got back from King Sooper’s. As I was taking my $98 worth of groceries back to my car, in one hand, I was approached by a small woman of about 35 years old.

If you are in the Springs, and, I’m guessing, if you are a male over age 40, she will eventually approach you. She’s pretty, looks a little like Sissy Spacek the actress, except without the same nose. Short, slight, strawberry blonde, –with freckles, I think. Dressed a little bit stylish, like a semi-hippie. She approaches you very meekly, with, “Excuse me, sir, could you…” and then goes into a story that amounts to how much money can you give her.

Well, I know this woman is a con. I have talked with her at length several times. I told her that we have all kinds of food banks and churches and social services, etc….

But I know from experience that these kinds of people do not want any kind of conditions or rules of food banks or shelters, just free money pressed into their hands.

How is she still “on the street,” looking healthy and well-dressed after four or five years?

I have interviewed several of these people and many of them ~want~ to live on the street. Years ago, I did research and made a documentary film on the “homeless.”

The average “homeless” person takes in $60,000 a year for full-time begging.

Tax free.

Many of them have cars and houses.

I watched one woman walk back to her late model car.

I watched another woman drive up to the street to the duplex she lived in.

One man in Phoenix, Arizona tried to recruit me into the homeless lifestyle, as he pointed to a row of shacks in field next to a Carl’s Jr.

Several of them, and I have talked to quite a few, have told me that they think people are stupid to work and be under rules and regulations and stress, when they could just beg.

Another guy told me, as did others, that they had girlfriends down at the shelter and that they knew how to get everything from food, shelter, medical, and dental for free.

They were out begging for ~extra~ money.

Many, if not most, of these people are not needy or mentally ill, they are just conmen.

Some of them are college kids traveling cross-country by begging, saying their car broke down or is out of gas.

This woman told me another time that she doesn’t work, gets her rent paid, gets food stamps, and then goes out to beg.

If she approaches you, it is amazing after you are done talking with her how fast she disappears. She is like a fly buzzing away. If you turn around, she is gone and you cannot even spot her.

I am all for helping people who are needy, but no one wants to be taken by a con.

Have you seen her?

She has approached me four or five times in the last three or four years. The last time was just a few weeks ago. She has hit me up at different King Soopers locations, and Walmart, too, I think.

She has approached me so many times that I am starting to see patterns: she only does this at times when the parking lot is jammed to the gills.

Like all the other times, she did not remember me from the last time we talked.

That’s how many people she must talk to.



Arrogant Young Kids

I saw a photo the other day of four or five young boys from rich families standing, in suits and ties, at their schools. Maybe it was a graduation or a prom or something.

These kids could not have been more than 15 or 16 years old.

But the facial expressions of relaxed, self-satisfied arrogance and condescension were overwhelming.

Their parents were well-educated, financially successful people.

But at fifteen years old, what authority and status and societal position had they themselves attained? Near zero.

Yet, their entire souls screamed of their age, their accomplishment and their social status.

Curtis Smale

What Do You Do When People Brush Off Your Pain?

Have you ever told someone of a very painful experience or time in your life, a time that lasted months or years, or maybe decades, which included outrageous amounts of deep suffering that scarred your soul for life? You told your story to someone you imagined was your friend, in an effort of disclosure in order to be vulnerable and to deepen the bond of friendship, only to be answered, after this telling, with something like, I’m not kidding, “Bummer.”

“Bummer”? Is this full grown person next to you really somehow still in the sixth grade?

Or, have you ever told a close friend at seemingly the right time, of one of the greatest joys of your life, perhaps by text, only to be answered with a big blue Thumbs Up…

My only question is, where, praytell, did you bury the body?

Curtis Smale

Is There Objective Quality in Movies?

There’s a good friend of mine who likes movies a lot. Sometimes, we will go down a list of movies and compare our reactions to them.

He will often say something like, “You either like a movie or you don’t. It’s just opinion.” And it seems he often wants the discussion to end there.

I found it interesting that he doesn’t seem to like giving reasons why he liked a movie. And, after asking him, he told me that he doesn’t like reading movie reviews–which are essentially the opinions and evaluations of other people regarding essentially the same objective experience (the movie.)

That certainly is okay, but I wanted to know what goes on underneath, in our love or hate of movies. Why do we love one, and hate another?

I find it fascinating how radically different that different people’s reactions can be to a film.

Also, I heard a famous online interviewer the other day say that, as a kid, he loved the movie, ALTERED STATES, but when he saw it again recently, he thought it was “cheesy crap.” Was this a matter of personal development and age and experiences that caused the new negative evaluation? (I am guessing I would still think ALTERED STATES is awesome, but I will let you know the next time I watch it.)

I found these two little experiences interesting, so I wrote this article.

While we can have an opinion about whether we liked a movie, is it also true that there is no truth or validity to the statement that some movies are great and other movies are trash?

Can a person call a movie, “a deep, meaningful, beautiful, and profound work of art and truth, that accurately portrays important elements of actual human experience”–and have that statement be valid?

I personally believe that some movies are great and others are trash. I believe in objective quality. I don’t believe that movies, or anything else, are only a matter of personal opinion. It seems to me that to think that would be the same as saying that there is no reality.

Until I thought this out and wrote this out, I didn’t understand the reasons for this very deeply.

Certainly, a movie is made up of many elements that we can have an opinion on: story, cinematography, music, editing, directing, acting, and many other elements. It seems we can often easily agree on the relative quality of these elements, but not of the overall movie.

Why is that?

I think it is because to say we like a movie is to say, often, that we resonate with, or approve of, the underlying message of the movie.

Every movie has an underlying belief system, or a lack of one. Every movie has its own outlook. Though the movie itself is not conscious and self-aware, the writer and director were, when they created it.

The film has its own emotions, its own thoughts, its own personality, its own experiences, its own reality, in the subjective sense of inner realities.

Just as with a person, the elements that we pay attention to, combined with our subjective life experiences, or our subjective life experiences at the time, will create our reaction to a film. When I say subjective, I do not mean that these experiences were not based on objective experiences and interally valid reactions, as if they were arbitrary. They are not.

At heart, we all want to be understood. Being understood is a great part of what we experience as love, because it is a part of love. Again, that is not just a subjective experience, but also it is based on realities that are not easily changed, if at all.

Is it true that if someone doesn’t understand our favorite film, that they don’t understand us, or that they don’t value or love us?

I don’t think so, but it certainly can feel that way.

This is also why a certain person’s writing or painting or music can deeply affect us, and cause us to have a profound reaction, whereas another’s art seems to us to be of very low quality–it “does nothing for us.”

So, here’s what I have come to understand. I think that a person should be able to identify which elements of a film, the archetypal framework or attitude of a film, spoke to him. What was it about the film that opened the door to deep beliefs or emotions or points of view?

Opinions about movies, songs, books or art can sometimes, unpleasantly, get very heated because it may be basic values, or experiences, or attitudes or beliefs that we are really talking about.

Movies are a way to evaluate what we most deeply believe and value, the outlooks we hold most dearly.

When we look at movies this way, a whole new experience at the movies, and fruitful interactions with our friends and other people, can begin.

Curtis Smale





EYE IN THE SKY Movie Comment


Click here for the Movie Trailer.

Saw this movie several weeks ago called EYE IN THE SKY. Kind of interesting, kind of entertaining.

Mostly it was cool because I saw it with my good friend, Don. It was snowing that night and consequently, no one showed up for the show at the Hollywood Theater (off Voyager) but Don and me, and so we had the theater all to ourselves. It’s rare when that happens, but I love it when it does. We had an absolute blast talking loud, critiquing the film like Siskel and Ebert.

The premise, given in the trailer, is that a remote-strike committee with control over a drone and secret cameras mounted in a fake bird and a fake insect, is debating whether to drop a “Hellfire” bomb on a building with Islamic terrorists inside, Islamic terrorists that they could visually monitor, Islamic terrorists who are suiting up with suicide vets and bombs for mass destruction–but wait, there is a little girl who is setting up a table to sell bread, and they are concerned with collateral harm, including others around the building–and the little girl.

And no mention that the terrorists were Islamic.

This is the lengthiest cinematic milking of a concept that I have ever seen–the entire movie was based on this premise. (That is probably why that descriptive paragraph was one long sentence.) But still, the movie was very entertaining, even if it was pushing an emotionalized agenda.

In the end, Don and I came to the same decision from the very beginning that we came to at the end.

I won’t tell you what happens, but if you see this film, I would like to hear your thoughts, in the comments below. We’ll do it this way: if you haven’t seen the movie, don’t read the comments, because we will talk openly about the plot. Thanks.

One thing I will say. At every level and in every combat situation, there are women in the very top ranks. This seems to me to be propaganda of the crassest sort. Military veterans, I would like to hear your comments about the accuracy of the placement of the women in this movie.

Curtis Smale




Why is it Dangerous to Have No Paper Money?


If the US ever goes to a completely cashless society, that will be the end of financial freedom and privacy.

Every transaction monitored, and analysed to enslave people further.

One new law, and backdoor computer access, would shut down your account and render all of the money in your account completely inaccessible.

Maybe the government doesn’t like your politics, or your religion, or the politically incorrect things you’ve been saying or typing online.

They have ways to make you cooperate.

They’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse.

Notice that if you have cash or coins in a wooden box, no one can monitor that or remotely confiscate it.

No one can shut off the power of the cash and coins to buy things like… food.

My apartment rental office now will not accept cash. I cannot pay my rent with a money order (which is still tracked) without getting a $25 extra fee.

If you have a paper notebook, no one can remotely access your notes via the Internet.

If you have a good old fashioned paper book, not on Kindle, no one can alter the pages remotely online to change facts or statements.

The problem is not with technology, but with people’s evil motivations to access information and to control your life and your privacy and your freedom.

From now forward, expect that absolutely everything on your computer, phone, or iPad is completely public and totally accessible.

Use the four digit code and your iPad and set it up to erase your iPad after four wrong passcode attempts. (This is the only security passcode I know of, on the iPad Air and most recent iPads only, that is virtually uncrackable.)

If you want privacy, you’d better get a paper notebook, a titanium box, and some cash, and don’t tell anyone you have it.

Science fiction and conspiracy theories and paranoia aren’t even keeping up with what is now actually possible.

If you agree, or if you think this is ridiculous and not realistic, please share your knowledge and wisdom in the comments below.

Curtis Smale





Who Really is Writing Your Favorite Books?


Have you ever wondered who it is, really, that is the real person writing your favorite books?

People talk about a writer having a “writing style.” But that is a bloodless way to talk about writing.

It’s a general statement, like saying a person has a certain type of face or a certain kind of voice.

A voice ~similar~ to the person you want to hear is not the voice of the person you love.

So, no writer writes with a “style.”

No good writer writes wearing a mask.


Writers write with their consciences, with their own beliefs and knowledge and experiences, their own thinking, their own emotions, their own personality, their own memories, their own moment-by-moment linguistic choices, their own voice, their own evolving level of development, unique to themselves.

Writing is a living art, like acting, painting, singing, filmmaking, playing a musical instrument, or any other art.

Writing is alive.

Can you feel that these things you are looking at right now are not dead lifeless marks on the screen, but that they pour forth directly from a living soul, electrically alive in the moment my fingertips hit the letter keys, alive in the moment your eyes see them and your mind understands them?

It is only when art is done in an insincere, derivative and lifeless style that we say it is done in a “style.”

Would a person, unless he was doing a comedic voice impression, talk to you in a “style”?


He would use his own voice, of course.

What are your thoughts about your own writing voice?

Curtis Smale