“I have never lost my faith to what seems to me is a materialism that leads nowhere—nowhere of value, anyway. I have never met a super-wealthy person for whom money obviated any of the basic challenges of finding happiness in the material world.”
Guess who wrote that in his 2020 memoir, now a New York Times bestseller? Perhaps surprising to you, it is none other than Val Kilmer.
His book is entitled I’m Your Huckleberry, a riff on the most notable quote in a movie chock-full of notable quotes: the 1993 cinematic wonder, Tombstone. Kilmer and Kurt Russell rewrote Kevin Jarre’s screenplay fairly significantly, he claims, to help it pass muster with George P. Cosmatos, the demanding director of the film.
Since he was a boy, Val Kilmer lived twice as fast as anyone else, so what you have with this book is an honest and revealing memoir by a 120-year-old Hollywood titan. He probably tried harder in some of his films than anyone else who could be considered his equal. He loved and admired directors such as Tony Scott and Oliver Stone who were as intense and perfectionistic as he is/was. Indeed, like the ambitious and visionary Greek mytical figure Icarus, Kilmer’s meteoric rise as an actor of astounding ability and his subsequent plummeting back down to the hard Earth are equally remarkable.
In Tinseltown, perhaps more than any other since Rome, only the strong survive, and no one—not an acting legend and not an Emperor—can outpace Time forever.
This blog will highlight twenty of the most remarkable quotes in the book. Read More
I was watching the fabulous sequel to the enthralling series “Breaking Bad”, the movie El Camino today. A wonderful script, unparalleled performances. It, plus a few other factors, have me thinking that perhaps my best bet is simply to play defense; keep the status quo; satisfice instead of constantly striving to win; put simply: “Don’t Be a Loser”. Read More
It’s very easy for me, as a skeptical kind of person, to find fault in religion and to criticize it as more about the placebo effect than some kind of benefit bestowed by a powerful ally in the sky. However, religious and faithful persons have demonstrably improved and advantageous lives either due to or at least associated with their belief in a higher power. That much has been shown by social science. They can even find evidence of various beliefs and states in the brain when a person undergoes an fMRI and such. There is a huge functional brain effect from mediation, for example. Here are a few thoughts on the benefits of religion in a person’s life. Read More
I recently spent a weekend at San Quentin prison learning mindfulness, sharing meditation, and holding space, I came to a deep understanding that when one travels across a long personal Spectrum, their experience and wisdom is so bright and so full of light. GRIP (Guiding Rage into Power) is a year-long training program for inmates Read More
When I was 18, I took my English 101 class at Cypress College, the local junior college. It was actually a pretty good experience; I have fond memories of my math teacher, Jack Gill, and my psychology instructor, Jorge Ampudia. As well, my English teacher was named Ambika Talwar. Ambika recently put out a travelogue about her time visiting Greece. In it, she shares thoughts and feelings that are present-oriented, literal, and even pedantic. At other times, she waxes philosophical. I wanted to share a passage that is interesting from her book, My Greece: Mirrors & Metamorphoses. She is an interesting person, to say the least. You can read more about her here. Read More
The following piece about an ethical and fulfilling life is chapter 12 in the book Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom (itself based on an Internet-based talk radio show of the same name I did in times past). My insightful and experienced partner in dialogue is Jan Phillips. Jan’s words are indicated by the initials JP, and mine are JM. For paragraphs with no initials, assume they are a continuation of the speaker who was speaking in the previous paragraph. I highlight words having to do with values and virtues by placing them in boldface type. Enjoy this look at an ethical and fulfilling life based on wisdom, enlightenment, self-growth, vision, and fulfillment with author and thought leader, Jan Phillips. Read More
There is a fairly recent development in economics and socially responsible business – the “triple bottom line.” It refers to ethics and values, as well as the goals or the considerations of business, especially the corporation. The first “P” is the conventional goal of business – Profit. But what would the world be like if cutting-edge businesses Read More
Albert Einstein said: “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” That is a wonderful quote about wisdom – well, magnanimity to be exact. Magnanimity is from the Latin magnus and animus, meaning “great spirit.” It’s a wonderful value that gets at high-mindedness, points to real class, and denotes a generosity of the heart. Compassion, empathy, and love undergird this phenomenon. Other similar and related virtues similar are grace, nobility, honor, chivalry, greatness, and magnificence. There are few values that reach as high and deserve as much respect as magnanimity, altruism, and kindness. Read More
I was speaking with my wife yesterday about our dog, as it was the 1-year anniversary of his death. I noted that I was having trouble feeling acceptance, finding meaning, and being “okay” with his passing. It feels to me to be a loss — and very little consolation comes with that. It hurts. I feel like I used to have a great dog, but no more. She feels quite differently… Read More