Promises broken to myself.


So last year at this time, I decided to promise myself something. Since New Years Resolutions always go bust, I just made a simple statement about how I was going to do something big the following year (2014).

Well I had all these great writing/photography gigs set up and thought this was my breakthrough year. I had a comic script I was working on, a novel and a host of other projects that would fulfill my definition of big. Well EDS and other mysterious illnesses foiled me along with my ineptitude. .

As my main talent these days is writing, I thought it was gonna be a cakewalk. Well enter unknown, bone eating whatever the fuck. Suddenly my hand, well pinkie but hand sounds better, was having its bones chomped on, and it hurt. I went to my ortho doc and he thought it was some arthritis shit. He goes in, fuses finger joints and tests to see what it was. He couldn’t find out, it was some anomaly. So I am laid up for months with some Wolverine, metal rod stuck in my finger. Typing is hard one handed people.

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Then concert gigs! Yay! I got to see the last Motley Crue tour, go backstage and meet the guys, but no press. The freaking venue didn’t allow it. Fuckers. After bragging that I would have a huge scoop, band after band PR people started… not calling me.

So this past year sucked. I have some personal plans for next  year, but I am at the fuck it stage right now. Money is tight, gotta pay for medical shit and get the hell out of debt. That is why I am selling my most prized possessions, stuff Nikki Sixx and Crue signed. I am even including the signed copy of The Heroin Diaries that has kept me clean all these years. Here is the link to the eBay auction.

As for next year? I have no clue.

The BRAT Perspective: ‘We Are not Spoiled Brats’


army-brats-570x200So I wrote this thing for military.com check it out here, or here
December 18, 2014, in KidsSpouse & Family News by 

In recent weeks, there has been a war of two cultures across social media.

There is a group, a non-profit, called Operation C.H.A.M.P.S (Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel) that is run by a mother/daughter duo out of Maryland. A former slogan, that has since been removed from the internet, was “BRATs are now CHAMPs.”

To those familiar with military children, you know we have a special affection for the “BRAT” name. It symbolizes more emotions, history and pride than can really be put into words. The very thought that we, mere children at the time, could be called “heroes” is offensive. It not only falsely labels us, but diminishes who the real heroes were — our parents.

This act means to steal honor from our true heroes, our mothers and fathers, who have heroically served our country. We were not heroes, we tagged along. We thrived. We see this attempt to change the term of endearment known as “BRAT” as an attempt to steal the subcultural identity of millions of people around the world. Our greatest fear was a coffin draped with the American Flag. That was daily life – the root of our culture;, the source of our heritage, the very thing that makes us family. Being a BRAT is all of that to us. We do not feel at all deprived or disconnected.

Now we are in the middle of a PR war and painted as “spoiled brats.”

The BRAT flower is a dandelion. Pick a dandelion, blow the petals off and wherever they land, they will flourish. Many consider it a weed, but to us it symbolizes the strength and resourcefulness a BRAT has. We moved at least every 3 years, changed schools countless times and made and lost hundreds of friends. As military children we endured saying goodbye through eyes that held back tears, tears that were sometimes stronger than we were. We shed them in group hugs as we left, silently on a plane that was flying us to a new home and at times into new pillows that muffled our sadness. With each new assignment there was the sadness of loss yet the promise of a new adventure.

We became adept, acquired skills. These skills recently manifested in the alleged attack on Operation CHAMPS. Articles site that our actions closed essential help to military families, specifically the babysitting program. That was not our intention. That is one of the few parts of their program we applauded.

The book published by the group that wanted to change the name, The Little C.H.A.M.P.S, was a gross misrepresentation of military life filled with alcoholism, bed-wetting and shame for being a child of a service member. While researching the company, we discovered inconsistencies and strange business not commonly used by non-profits. Sponsors were unaware of the content of the materials and only saw the fact they were helping the military. Lavish trips to Europe and SE Asia were flaunted online, while the owners, the Finks, touted “bridging the gap between civilian and military children.”

The Finks do not understand the perceived disconnect that BRATs face when they “age out” or “PCS.” They call the program they offer Edu-tainment. BRATs do not need a song and dance filled with a fantastical misrepresentation of military life. Speaking from personal, lifelong experience, they need help with reintegration.

I, along with a newly formed group of like minded BRATs, are in the process of redressing the void, small as it may have been. There are over 3,000 of us actively working (millions in the background), without pay but with passion, to make the life of the military child better than ever. Teachers, writers, medical professionals, and activists from around the world are answering the call.

We have welcomed everyone with open arms, offered a chance to dialog with the Finks, but we had been shut out. We feel recent columns published about what happened reflect the gross misunderstanding. I am here to show you our side.

We are not “spoiled brats.” We are proud children of real heroes, fighting for our legacy, our heritage, and our birthright and the chance to help our younger brethren of today.

Michael Hyatt spent the years 1975-1993 moving from base to base in the European theater. Upon moving to the States, he went through years of reintegration troubles, joined the USAF and finally settled down as a novelist. 

Photo courtesy U.S. Army.

BRATS: Stolen Valor – Stolen Identity


I have joined a new campaign that is dear to me. A mother and daughter team, with no relationships to the military,  are trying to re-brand the term Military BRAT with CHAMPS and Little Heroes. It is some crazy stuff. We BRATS embrace the name, but these women are stealing our legacy. The USO and many other organizations are endorsing them, supporting them and flying them all over the world to teach BRATS. The lessons are not what the problem is, it is the name change. Please go to the Facebook page and join if you are a BRAT. Tweet under the hash-tag #MilitaryBratNotChamp. Below is the Facebook page description, I will have more to say as soon as I do more fact checking. Thanks BRATS rule!

Why “STOLEN VALOR”? Because an attempt to refer to BRATs as heroes is an attempt to steal valor from our true heroes, our fathers & mothers, sisters & brothers, friends & neighbors who have heroically served our country!

Why “STOLEN IDENTITY”? Because an attempt to change the term of endearment known as “BRAT” & replace it with CHAMP is an attempt to steal the sub-cultural identity of millions of people around the world!
WE ARE BRATS! – Pastor Brian Cook

This Facebook page is intended to bring awareness to ‘The Little C.H.A.M.P.S’ organization run by the mother-daughter team of Debbie and Jennifer Fink. It is an ‘non-profit’ organization that claims to support military kids.

Bob Holliker noted that, “The Finks originally named the book “The Little Brats,” based on the age-old term “military brats” for children who grew up in military families. However, the title did not go over well with some military organizations with which the authors hoped to collaborate.”

Today’s term, brat has been passed down through the generations of military communities. Many researchers think that it may come from an acronym that dates back hundreds of years into the British Empire. B.R.A.T stood for British Regiment Attached Traveler.

Here you’ll find a wide variety of members from multiple generations and walks of life. Our stories often contain sights and scenes no longer in existence where our communities lived. We try to remain open minded with the memories shared. However, we ask that you refrain from posting inappropriate pictures, using abusive language, or attempting to sell products not related to the purpose of this page. For the benefit of all, please post only about this topic.

Amerika


While I am trying my best to be a bit more positive after a fit of depression, I am also still trying to stay informed. Especially on subjects that affect my country. This is not the country I know anymore.  This trouble/murder in FERGUSON, Mo is showing us the tip of something more sinister in law enforcement. Yes, stupid assholes looted, yes there was violence. There was also a murder.

A yet unnamed LEO, shot and killed a black child. Repeatedly. Now, they cordon off the town, enact martial law and no fly zones. Things I thought only a President could do, guess not. Reporters are harassed and blocked, even arrested!

Police used to look like this

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Now they look like this.

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Welcome to The Police States of Amerika.

Video

BOOnana Tail Halloween Special!


BOOnana Tail Halloween Special!

My buddy Mark McKenna is doing a great book for your kids! He already does the Banana Tail comic series, and now he is trying to raise the money to ship it to all your rugrats. He already has it done basically, he is just looking for the money to ship it all. Click the link above, and if I did it right the video on Kickstarter would be below. Only 6 days left and you get some AWESOME art as rewards, among other things. So do it! Aw crap! I didn’t do it right so click HERE!

My Crüe life.


Motley+Crue+-+Shout+At+The+Devil+-+SHM+CD-433488

I was an American kid, growing up in Germany as a part of an army family. One day I was enjoying my second favorite pastime, skipping school. Skipping as an American kid  in Germany is much different from here in the USA. I never had to worry about truant officers, police and I could go into any pizzeria to get a beer. This was freshmen year, so I was 13 or 14 years old, grabbing a beer and eating pizza. It was Heaven.

 

After a day of drinking and roaming around 800 year old castles, we would always hit the record shop in the main train station. That is where we got our fix of rock. AFN, The Armed Forces Network, was a variety radio station. It was also the only one in English, so we listened for even the tiniest bit of rock. Whenever we heard a band’s name that we liked, it would go on my list. The tiny train station shop didn’t have much, but the ROCK bin was mine, I claimed it every  visit.

Flipping through the albums, looking at the cool artwork and guessing our way through these bands we had never heard of was a gamble. It was always hit or miss. I remember picking up this one album, black with hints of vivid color coming from the inside it’s suspect double album cover. Red letters emblazoned on black, and a barely visible pentagram done with some reflective material. “Mötley Crüe” the bands name, “Shout at the Devil” was the album. I snatched the last copy and took the train home to see what I got.

 

I got home, told mom school was fine (lie) and headed to my room. Holding SATD in my hands, I rip the plastic off, slide out the LP in the liner-notes sleeve. I lift the plastic cover off of my Hi-Fi stereo, put the record on, grab the lyrics and with headphones on (Mom hated loud music), and I heard these words…

 

 

In the beginning

Good always overpowered the evils

Of all man’s sins…

But in time

The nations grew weak

And our cities fell to slums

While evil stood strong…

In the dusts of hell

Lurked the blackest of hates

For he whom they feared

Awaited them…

Now, many many lifetimes later

Lay destroyed, beaten, beaten down

Only the corpses of rebels

Ashes of dreams

And blood-stained streets…….

And it has been written

“Those who have the youth

Have the future”

So come now, children of the beast

Be strong, And Shout at the Devil!

 

My world changed that day. I had the liner notes memorized, band members ranked in order of bad-asses. Hit Parade magazine got shredded every time Mötley Crüewere in it and the pages adorned my wall. A football jock that rode my bus stole me that black shit they put under their eyes and I would alternate between Tommy and Nikki stripes. Eyeliner, ripped jeans and even fishnet stockings from a chick I knew for gloves. Then it happened, Monsters of Rock 1984! I was going to go anyway, but the moment I saw Mötley Crüewere going  there, I was first in line at the local ticket seller.

 

I loved all the bands, but was there for Crüe! It was hard to get much news about them over there, and since the invention of the internet not even a dream yet. So Hit Parade and all the other Teen Mags were my only sources. Whenever I heard they were on tour, I was on the ticket hunt.

 

I remember seeing them three maybe four times, Tommy’s drum kit growing more and more elaborate. One show, I think it was Theater of Pain, I met Tommy without even realizing it. Pumped full of beer and wine hours before the show. I had my girlfriend with me and she had run off to get some more booze I think. The concert hall was not the biggest, but all our area had to offer that was indoors.

 

The adjoining buildings were the business offices or what not for the hall. I was sitting on the steps, away from the crowd chilling out when this van came screeching up. Out jumped this tall, skinny dude with a mess of black hair. The doors locked, and no one was around, so the guy just muttered “Fuck!”.

 

I lit a smoke, and he asked to bum one. I said, “Sure dude, no prob..” and waited in silence like all cool rock dudes did. A few minutes later, the security opens the door for this guy. I was jealous, who was he?

 

At the very moment the doors closed, my girl came back, looked through the glass doors and screamed “THAT WAS TOMMY LEE!”. I palmed my face, thinking how fucking stupid I was. Well I was about to get stupider.

 

I am not a braggart, but I was a bit of a leader with my group of rocker friends. It was getting close to showtime and all of a sudden we heard guitars. Drums. Bass. Vocals. Crüe was doing sound-check! I grabbed my crew and headed for the side of the hall. They had those double doors with the push bar on the inside and security at them all. One guard must have been a fan because he had the door cracked, checking things out.

 

I led my rocking mob in an all out assault and wedged myself in the door before it could close. Hands grabbed, I squirmed then escaped the guards grip. I burst into the empty hall, guards hot on my ass and ran in circles all the while trying to get Crüe’s attention. I don’t know if Crüe even did their own sound-checks, but I swear it was them. They stopped playing and watched me play Keystone Cops with security. I didn’t want to get caught and miss the show, so I booked. I ran through another set of those doors, through the guards and blended in with all my fellow Crüeheads.

 

The show was amazing, we were up front of the general admission crowd, crushed against the bar with my girlfriend. I was in Heaven.

 

That was my life when I lived in Germany. Part of a military family, BRATS as friends. Some I still am in touch with, but most have faded away. One special dude, Butch has passed on. I get sad thinking about him.

 

 

Flash forward to the Mötley Crüe/Poison tour. I begged and pleaded on social media for a chance to see them again. I am now a disabled vet, that means I don’t have any money, and my condition was getting worse. I feared that this would be my last chance to see them. Seth Green heard my cry.

 

After verifying that I’m a disabled veteran, Seth’s people talked to Nikki’s people, and I had VIP access! I got to meet Nikki, he signed his books, my ticket, laminate and everything I had on me. Was front row, in a safe place (disabled remember?) and rocking to my heroes again. Hadn’t felt so good in years. My condition did not exist during the show! I was so inspired.

 

I wanted to be a rock journalist/photographer, and low and behold I did it! I overcame my anxiety problems for short periods, wore my leg braces to shows and got a freelance position on a small print magazine.  My biggest moment was getting to photograph Halestorm and write an article, I got the cover.

 

Things are not getting better though. I now know that this is my last chance to not only see Mötley Crüe, but my last chance to be a journalist/photographer covering them. Nikki Sixx is the reason I am still alive. See, not only did I imitate the style, I followed my path to addiction and back.

 

Before I got to meet Nikki on that tour, my painwas tormenting me more that ever. Iwas so close to using again when I picked up my copy of The Heroin Diaries. I read it all night, remembering the hell addiction was. I didn’t want to go back to hell, I wanted to Shout at the Devil!.


So I met Nikki, got bit by the photography bug and worked as many local shows I could handle. Its stupid, but I had this Cameron Crowe/Almost Famous dream. I want to be the kid in that movie, to be Cameron Crowe. I want to write a story, firsthand, from a fans eyes of the Death of Mötley Crüe. I know I could do it, I need a publication or some other entity to take a chance and believe in me. Hire me to go on tour, write the epitaph of my lifelong heroes.

 

To be continued….

Sooooo. The Flash Easter Egg.


I happened upon an élite screening of the upcoming CW series, The Flash. All in all it was a pretty solid show, this coming from a guy who usually says “Make mine Marvel.”. If you watched the extended trailer for the show, well you saw just about ALL the action in the premier. That being said, the show does have great character development. A certain police officers daughter could use some more acting chops, but who cares?

Here is the ending easter egg for you….

Here at S.T.A.R. labs, we have “Wheels“. (I am calling him that.)

wheels

Wheels has a secret room!

wheels1I can make fun of this guy by calling him Wheels because this happens.

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It is a MIRACLE! He also has a button.

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What does this button do? Well it brings up a holographic image of a newspaper. Look at the date, Headline and sidebar column.

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Flashpoint anyone?

What the hell is DC doing? Marvel has a plan, DC seems like they are throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. With the Batman V Superman movie containing Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Bats and Supes (And God knows who else), their TV side has Arrow, who made a cameo in The Flash, Gotham babies and a prospect of a Batman in this series, WTF? Bless them, oh this is gonna get messy.