Waiting for a punchline

Nope, still can’t find it.

If I could synthesize my essence into a single phrase, I think it would be “well, this is awkward.”

Irony and authenticity are always tugging my brain in different directions. I’m an excitable, loud-mouthed nerd, who is compelled to temper everything they say with cynicism and just a teaspoon of morbidity.

Just think of me as the dullest Miyazaki film you’ve ever seen.

I’m 26, never lived anywhere but New York City, and have an innate revulsion toward doing things. I’m not very interesting, in other words. …

Thoughts on Bo Burnham’s Special, “Inside”

Bo Burnham singing “Content” in the Netflix special, Inside

The experience of watching Inside a second time was rougher than the first. I saw it for the first time with my cool younger brother, the person who introduced me to Burnham’s work in the first place. So I had to be at least somewhat cool about my reaction to it.

By the second time, I had begun a spiral of gender dysphoria, a job that causes me existential dread, and some of the worst depression of my life. And its effect on me has been mildly ruinous.

It’s one of those pieces of art that destroys you a little…

Review of Episode 4, Season 8: “Testimony”

Photo by Spencer Backman on Unsplash

I have a lot of complicated feelings about season four of this show, and this episode has only made that apprehension worse. When I turned on season four episode eight of The Handmaid’s Tale, entitled “Testimony,” I did so with anticipation for exactly one thing. I was hoping that this one thing would be addressed within the first ten minutes of the episode.

It went on to not be referenced at all.

The last scene of the previous episode, entitled “Home,” was of June raping her husband Luke.

Lest you disagree with my use of the term ‘rape’ here, let’s…

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Photo by Avi Richards on Unsplash

I’m a writer, so naturally I hate writing.

This is a common joke I make when I tell people what I do. And I usually get at least a smirk of understanding from whomever I am speaking to.

For many, the strongest association people draw with writers is our chronic “writer’s block.” If we aren’t making six-figures directly out of college, we are often seen as miserable, isolated, depressive wannabe auteurs.

There is some truth to this belief. Many writers struggle with the fear, pain and anxiety that comes with the job of being expressive in the most direct and…

And I’m not sorry

Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

Months and months ago, I wrote an article about Elliot Page coming out as trans called “Losing Lesbians”. I got a decent reception to this article, with one person even reaching out to me through my website to ask if they could translate and publish the article in Turkish.

The article was about the many lesbians (and plenty of people who aren’t lesbians) online who made gross comments about Page being confused about his identity. They thought Page was just a lesbiphobic lesbian with no ability to judge his internal sense of gender identity and sexuality. …

I'm non-binary: this was already personal

Why I wrote a book about screenwriting

As some of you have kindly noticed, I recently published my first eBook, Reframing The Screenwriting Process on Kindle!

It’s exciting to feel like I have accomplished such a concrete thing — even if its a short, simple read.

There I go, ready to diminish the accomplishment. My, how quick writers are to do this. No matter what we accomplish, some standard of worth always butts in to tell us how small we are in comparison to some nebulous idea of our potential.

Well, I don’t want any more potential, dammit! …

Yup, it really gets me me down when people pose a threat to my safety. The political correctness of me being able to be who I am without fear of violence or discrimination is not something you can reasonably expect someone to be cool-headed about. You can't logic yourself out of bigotry, you can only fight it.

How Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette affected me

“It took me ten years to understand I was allowed to take up space in the world. But, by then, I’d sealed it off into jokes like it was no big deal.” Image via Netflix.com

I was going through some drafts of stories I had begun writing earlier in the year. Some are several ‘minutes’ long, others are merely a title and subtitle.

One of these stories was four words long:

I’m Back

For Now

Needless to say, I was not “back” from that writing hiatus for long. Certainly not long enough to write the story itself.

I have no idea what the intention of the story was when I wrote those words. And I probably never will, because I never wrote it. …

Gender and Solidarity

**Part two of my series on The Handmaid’s Tale.**

Photo by alesia on Unsplash

At their core, the Sons of Jacob are not a religiously motivated group. They talk a big game, but their religiosity is ultimately a mask. Everyone in their society does what they want with the power that they have.

For every sentiment you see in a religious text, you can find a contradictory one to match it, so let’s investigate the society and see what they really care about.

The first thing that you see is that they are very interested in what women do with their lives, except they are…

Shain Slepian

Shain is a screenwriter and screenplay editor. For more content, follow their blog and check out their YouTube channel, TimeCapsule.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store