Brian Lerner


40 Thoughts About 40

Today I turned 40 years old. January 22nd, 2014. This is the year and these are 40 things going through my mind in no particular order and pretty uncensored so please don’t judge or hate me. Cool? Cool.

1. I don’t feel the way I thought I would when I was a teenager or in my twenties or even in my thirties. I mean this physically and mentally. I am in better physical shape than I was at all those ages and mentally in some ways better and in others worse. I’m still searching and still struggling and when I was younger I thought it would all have fallen into place by now. 

2. What are girls going to think? I’m still single. Are my options dwindling away? Will girls approach me with suspicion and caution always wondering why I’m still single at 40?

3. Why am I still single? 

4. I have to get my first prostate exam this year. Fuck. 

5. I gave up on my dreams of playing music in my mid twenties. Why did I do that? Is it too late to turn back and try again? 

6. If my father was still alive would he be proud of the man I’ve become? Or would he be as frustrated as I am that I haven’t accomplished the big goals I set out to when I left NY for LA?

7. I care so much less what other people think than I did even just one year ago. That’s a good feeling. There is a freedom to it. 

8. Will I get to travel more? I have this ticking clock fear that the opportunities to see more of the world are dying. Will my job, a relationship, some financial catastrophe or some other obstacle get in the way of me traveling more? Maybe even some kind of physical problem will show up. 

9. We are all slowly deteriorating. Eating right and exercising only slows this or masks it. It’s happening at every moment of everyday and there’s nothing to prevent or reverse it.

10. How much more will I have to workout in order to stay in shape? It’s starting to take up too much of my life as it is. Will this just get worse? 

11. Will I ever not stress about eating right? Can’t I just be one of those people who seem to not give a fuck and eat what they want everyday? 

12. I’ll never be able to eat what I want everyday. 

13. If I get fat and unhealthy will I ever find a girl that will love me? Maybe I’ve been wasting all my time trying to look good and be healthy. Maybe the girl of my dreams wants a lazy sloppy fat guy. I was that guy once. I still wasn’t having any luck. 

14. Will I ever sell a god damn fucking screenplay? 

15. Leaving NY was a great decision and I haven’t regretted it at all. I miss New York and wish I accomplished more before 40, but I also accomplished a lot of the things I dreamt of while sitting in my tiny room in Astoria, Queens. 

16. Am I ever going to own a home? Do I want to own a home? 

17. Music before 2005 is still 1000 times better than anything since. 

18. How can I stop myself from getting more jaded about work and life? I don’t want to lose the excitement for it all that I had in my early thirties. 

19. Will I run out of good ideas? 

20. I really hope I’ll do at least one thing that will be remembered. Preferably something that makes people laugh really hard. 

21. How many more years are left? 

22. High school and college literally feel like another life sometimes. I think back to those days and who I was and it feels like a different person. I was a different person. I used to be more fun in college. I think. Less inhibited. That probably lasted into my mid thirties. Somewhere along the way I lost that spirit. Is it gone forever? What’s clouding me now? 

23. When I think about being a kid, a teenager, in college and all the major periods of life I get this little moment of dread and disbelief that I won’t be back there. Never back in my childhood bedroom. Never back in high school. Never back to relive all those long lost parts of my life. A part of me still feels like I’ll get another shot at it all. Accepting that I won’t is hard and scary. 

24. I am really glad I wasn’t able to play sports in high school and started playing guitar instead. The guitar became a part of my identity as much as being a writer has later in life. I never feel as comfortable as I do when I’m alone at home playing guitar like I did for hours and hours a day in high school. The closest I can get to turning back time. 

25. Will my back and knee pains just get worse and will I have to stop running one day? 

26. Will I die alone? 

27. Which of my friends will I know when I’m sixty and seventy and until the day I die? 

28. Death. Holy fuck. Why? 

29. I need to save more money.

30. Will I ever have a kid? I still do not even feel at all prepared to raise a child. I guess there’s never really a perfect time for it though. 

31. Do I want kids? 

32. How many more girls will I sleep with in my lifetime. Sometimes I’m not sure I’m ready to settle down, but then I realize I’m not exactly a casanova. 

33. I need to start reading more. 

34. I should get the hell off Facebook. It’s a distraction and evil and I’m getting too old to share the bullshit in my life. 

35. I still like Instagram though. 

36. Discovering the Marc Maron and Pete Holmes podcasts in the past year has been a real joy and almost therapeutic. 

37. Maybe I should try therapy again. For real this time. 

38. What would I do if I lost my job? How hard will it be to find something new at 40? 

39. Why did I write this list? Is it helping me? Will someone else get anything positive from it? 

40. I hope I can get a good night sleep tonight. I’m sure my brain will just race and I’ll have another 40 thoughts to write down. 

A little something I helped put together at Disney.

In April 2013, more than 15 future animators participated in a one-day event held at Disney in California. Each animator was given two things before beginning to draw: a word and a picture of a character from Phineas and Ferb. Over the course of the day, animators moved from table to table, combining drawings and mashing their ideas together into one longer piece.

46 Senators and the threat to Democracy

I’d like to put aside for a moment the second amendment debate and the delusion some have that this right for all people is in someway being threatened. Something bigger is happening and did happen yesterday when 46 Senators voted against the majority sentiment in this country. The corporate control of our democratic system has arguably never been so openly and obviously displayed.

What we saw was 46 people acting out of self preservation and completely ignoring the core of what their job actually is and what Democracy is largely based on; Majority rule. Despite something making you uncomfortable, or going against your individual beliefs and views of how the country should be run, if you are part of the minority of this country on a topic you do not get to hold the rest of us hostage until you get what you want. Or at least that is the theory and ideal. Yesterday, 46 senators went against the majority and pandered to a very small, very rich group of people; Gun manufacturers and those lobbying for them.

And now for the gun reform debate.

The majority used to win in this country. The majority wanted this law to pass. For those cheering at yesterday’s outcome, sorry if it bothers you and your friends, but you’re in the minority. A democratic system always disappoints some of us. If buying your next gun is a little more time consuming or requires you to fill out some extra paper work, but we have a chance of preventing a few more potential threats I think that’s a pretty fair compromise. Your inconvenience does not trump a step towards kids in a school not getting shot the next time.

In the Old West people were allowed to walk around with guns and a fight ended with someone shot dead. An argument for arming more people to keep us safe didn’t work then and all they had were six shooters. Why on earth would we go back to that world? Arming teachers in schools was an attempt at rolling back the clock to this Old West world. It was an attempt by gun companies through their lobbying groups to sell more guns to a new market and a stepping stone to having government subsidize the manufacturing of guns. Teachers need guns now. It’s the law. Well, we need help manufacturing all of those weapons to appease your new law. Government, give us money. Same as the oil industry, but that’s another debate. The NRA is in the business of helping gun manufacturers sell more guns. Simple. If you follow the N.R.A. and believe that your best interests and freedom are what motivates them you have fallen victim to a powerful and proven successful propaganda tactic. Distract people with fear so that we can secretly pursue our true agenda.

We used to be a country of debate and compromise. There used to be smart people on either side coming to a fair compromise. Now its a small group and ridiculous somewhat new government rules that prevent democracy from actually functioning. NOTHING about this law was changing the 2nd amendment. The argument has been made that this will not protect us all or prevent criminals from getting guns. Well, that wasn’t the point of it at all! This was not trying to protect everyone in every scenario. Trying to make everyone safe is a fool’s errand. It was a starting point to stop the guy next door with mental issues or a criminal history from amassing an army’s worth of weapons in his basement. If you are mentally stable with a clean record guess what? You get to keep living and buying guns almost exactly the same way you’re used to. Isn’t the minor inconvenience you might feel at your next gun purchase a reasonable compromise if we have even a 1% chance of stopping another mass shooting? What exactly is the downside?

Is the opposition’s stance based on the ability to defend ones self takes unlimited and unquestioned access to any and all weapons at any time without question? If that’s the case, I won’t even bother debating you because that’s insanity and just coming from some weird mental desire of bigger, better, more destructive. See a therapist.

This law was rolling us back to a time where we had more rational guidelines and rules for owning a gun and a time when we saw far, far less mass shootings in this country. Coincidence? Hmm. This whole “From my cold dead hands” attitude is a disease on this country. It’s based on such irrational thinking and it’s leaving us where? Doing nothing. Government is not about I don’t like that so I’m not going to vote for it. Neither side in government gets everything they want. This world of zero compromise just leads us down a road where even if something passes it is diluted to the extent of being ineffective. The majority used to win in this country. The majority wanted this law to pass. And I’m talking about this one specific thing. The intention was not to completely alter the face of guns in this country. This was a minor change with the hope of adding some stability to how guns are acquired and handled by citizens. Can we focus on this one specific thing first and compromise and deal with other conflicting views another time? We do not have to bring in the BIG picture of every issue every time some change is on the table. Nothing gets done that way. An all or nothing government fails.

It took having a family member come out as gay to change many conservatives stance on gay marriage. Will it take them losing a loved one to a gunshot before they realize how wrong they really are?

When unemployed and loving it friends Mitch and Keith hear the news that Steve, the third member of this trio, has decided to rejoin the workforce they do all they can to convince him not to.

Writer/Director/Producer/Editor - Brian Lerner
Producer - Eliza Bayne
Producer - Ryan Maples
Cinematographer/DP - Dan Schmeltzer

Mitch - Nick Mundy
Keith - Craig Frank
Steve - Mitch Magee

Original Music by Brian Lerner

Republican Attendees Threw Nuts At Black CNN Camerawoman, Called Her An 'Animal'

Not saying that the GOP embodies this kind of hate and racism necessarily, but their policies and candidates sure do attract some of the worst people imaginable.

Jun 9

The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar


Thank Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats


Eduardo Saverin renounces his citizenship for $67 Million in tax savings and people can’t wait to heave vitriol at him.

Mitt Romney moves several hundred million dollars overseas for the exact same reason and people can’t wait to vote him President.

How some people in this country can be so blinded by ideology that it affects their ability to do even the most basic math, I will never know.

As an atheist, I see nothing “wrong” in believing in a God. I don’t think there is a God, but belief in him does no harm. If it helps you in any way, then that’s fine with me. It’s when belief starts infringing on other people’s rights when it worries me. I would never deny your right to believe in a God. I would just rather you didn’t kill people who believe in a different God, say. Or stone someone to death because your rulebook says their sexuality is immoral. It’s strange that anyone who believes that an all-powerful all-knowing, omniscient power responsible for everything that happens, would also want to judge and punish people for what they are.


Ricky Gervais: “Why I’m an Atheist”

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(Source: zero-aperture)