The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, October 05, 2009

"Zombieland" (2009) and 45 Lessons

"Zombieland", Woody Hareelson's new action-horror-comedy, is just about as good as "Shaun of the Dead." Not quite, maybe. And the style of comedy is definitely American, not British. But under its glossy, bloody surface as a Zombipocolypse fright-fest with nasty guffaws is a meditation on the nature of friendship, family, love, and society. Basically we have what one critic referred to as a Woody Allen/John Wayne buddy movie, with a dweeb and a veteran zombie-killer joining forces on a road trip across the devastated remnants of America. They run into a pair of girls whom they attempt to aid...and then, as they say, the fun begins. Oh, there are splattered guts galore, a touch of romance, and some genuine emotion mixed in there with the nonsense. I loved it, and gave it an "A-". I think all things considered it is a hair under "Shaun" but still huge fun.


I got another email "chain letter" today that actually made sense to me:
Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written."

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry, God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words...'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. TIME heals almost everything. Give TIME time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.


steve-vh said...

"It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else."

Oh hot damn, I've been playing it right. Thanks Steve!

Shady_Grady said...

Steve, sorry I didn't know where to put this, but Chris Chambers gives you a shout out in an interesting essay.

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