The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, March 04, 2010

"Planet Hulk" (2009)

I spoke with an old, old friend yesterday. She married disastrously. Her husband beat her and went to jail for it. He is now homeless, semi-stalking her, and she was suspended from her job for being intoxicated at work. The last time I saw this woman, she was a stick. As if her bones were made of glass. I remember her wedding day, and (call her Sadie) came to us in her resplendent gown and said: "am I finally beautiful?" I didn't know what to say.

But I knew what to say yesterday. When my mother was dying of cancer, I told her that the doctor had said she was dying, and she expressed surprise, and swore to fight. As if she didn't know how much trouble she was in. Oh, well...maybe she didn't. But I promised myself that I wouldn't allow people killing themselves to remain within a fiction. To be able to say: "I didn't know! Why didn't anyone tell me..?"

So I told her. If you don't stop drinking, you will die. If you continue associating with people who drink, if you don't find an AA group, you will die. Sadie tried a small amount of denial, but she knew. She knew.

Another thing: if she doesn't find something to replace alcohol with, she will relapse, and die. Frankly, I suggested religion. She grew up within a religion-based social organization (being purposely vague here) and commitment to that organization, with a goal to rebuild its membership might be consuming enough to cocoon her. But she will need to be totally honest, and find allies who support the new person she is becoming.

Sadie is a nice lady. I wish her luck.


I don't know which kind of clients I like working with the most: the super high performers (like Scott Sonnon, who I'm coaching for a martial arts competition later this year) or "Mike," who is dealing with the death of his parents, and the way it devastated his self-esteem and ability to cope with life. In an odd way, it's all the same to me. For a client to take time for himself or herself, love themselves, form a clear picture of where they want to be in five years and then create the resources necessary to bring it into existence. The magnitude of the goals change, and the resources can be vastly different, but at base level, we're the same. The only people I can't work with are the ones who don't take responsibility for their lives. Or men or women who pull the "the other gender has all the advantages" routine, or people consumed with bigotry. But anyone who can see the challenges before them, and is willing to take responsibility...those people I can help. And I guess there are different levels of satisfaction depending on where they begin. If any of you would like a free coaching session, please email me at:


My newest student is in Egypt. Wow. Oh, Wow. Do you have any idea how it feels to have a global impact, no matter how small? I have students and clients in about twenty different countries, on four continents. If I can be honest enough, and strong enough, and clear enough, I can do real good in the world. That is so damned important to me. Not sure why. But it is.


Watched "Planet Hulk" a direct to DVD video with Jason. Actually probably the best "Hulk" story I've ever seen. But BOY is it violent. I mean...the blood is all green or blue, but this story about the Jolly Green one on a gladiator planet, and becoming a savior...was oddly affecting. I suppose we all feel alienated at times, and filled with anger. I really enjoyed watching him find a place where his flaws became strengths. Who was your favorite superhero? Mine was Spiderman. And I remember a sequence in Spiderman where Peter Parker took out three drug dealers without his Costume, thinking "I'll have to move fast, and hope they think it's karate!" Man, I just about had an orgasm. "Planet Hulk" gets a B+ for fans. And who else would watch the thing?

Any special superhero moments in your childhoods?

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