What is Wrong with Twister?

(Disclaimer: This is something I did as a way of examining a story, finding something I didn’t feel fit, and trying to explain it. If you haven’t seen Twister, then it won’t make a ton of sense. If it has been awhile since you seen it, may be a little confusing too)

Behind all the great special effects and the big budget there is a major script problem with the movie Twister. The actors are all respected and have done good work. Helen Hunt is a fine actress, as well as Bill Paxton is a fine actor. Yet the emotional impact the writers were trying to convey is flawed because of a single character. The actor did a fine job, the dialogue was fine, and the character’s role in the story was fine. Simply who that character is in relation to the lead, Jo played by Helen Hunt.

Aunt Meg should not be Aunt Meg, but Jo’s mom, Meg. Why? Because there is an emotional void in how the film was written specifically with the emotional motivation of Jo. Billy played by Bill Paxton, says “killing yourself won’t bring your dad back…” which was an effort to provide insight into Jo’s motives. Let’s look back to the beginning. The film opens with Jo’s father needlessly dying by making a stupid decision that only resulted in his death and would have had no consequence otherwise. Holding the door closed proved to be a decision that ended his life, but also did nothing to save his family as they clearly lived through the ordeal without the door. Which you could argue is a major problem off the bat. This was clearly an attempt to quickly give Jo a reason to be a storm chaser. So throughout her life she has pursued tornados. Chasing storms in an effort to learn more about them and offer more warning so that no little girl sees her father carried away by a major twister. Despite the fact that even if they had plenty of warning, which really seems like they did as it was, he still would have likely died because he attempted to hold a door closed that was being sucked in by the storm. Anyway, so Jo works to help learn more about tornados; which if successful would still help many people. So that is the motivation and the reason behind it. Jo’s father’s death is the inciting incident in her life, and learning more about tornados is the desired outcome. That is all fine and works for the most part. This is a path anyone could see forming.

We then find ourselves many years in the future. Billy is trying to get Jo to sign the divorce papers so he can marry his new love. In doing so he finds himself mixed in with the storm chasing crew again. Billy clearly knows what drives her. However, we have zero knowledge of her mother, nor do we know how she has functioned in life. Since she’s the “boss lady” as one crew member describes her, it is clear she is in charge, at least to some degree. So one has to assume she’s been able to emotionally hold up to get into this position. Clearly she was in a relationship so she was at least at one point capable of a normal social relationship. With all of that established and with knowing that her father’s death haunts her still we are able to conclude that her father’s death is not debilitating.

However, there is a void in her relationship to her mother. Now you could easily say, oh well her mother just doesn’t live in the area so she’s not concerned with her safety. It is made abundantly clear that she and Meg are close, as the crew knows her well enough to suggest they visit her, and Meg and Jo have a deeply personal conversation where Meg clearly knows what is in Jo’s mind. So they do have a strong bond. That does not mean her mom doesn’t exist, or that she doesn’t have a strong bond with her. But why is “Aunt Meg” the emotional connection with Jo used to demonstrate her love of Billy and later to give her a sense of fear turned into inspiration. Why not mom? It is well understood that young girls are deeply impacted by their relationship or lack thereof with their father. But this is true of their relationship with their mother. All children are deeply impacted by their relationship with their parents. But Jo’s character is portrayed in two forms of light, a soon to be divorced woman who is having difficulty dealing with that fact as well as a daughter still motivated by her father’s death. Later in the film we see signs of instability that are called out by Billy. But it is just because of her father. It may be small, but if Aunt Meg were Momma Meg, then Jo’s mental state would have lined up better. See because we have no idea of the state of Jo’s mom, we are left to wonder. It is sort of like a missing piece of the puzzle. They worked really hard to maintain and expand upon the image they created of Jo, yet there’s a huge piece missing and needlessly.

Scenario 1: Jo’s mom died after her father:

Would this not haunt Jo? Is there any death, even those that are expected are difficult. This would imply the only death that haunts her is her father’s death, because her mother’s was more acceptable as a normal outcome of living. What if it was immediately after her father? The storm sucked her mom out of the storm shelter and killed her as well. Why would Billy just say dad then, not parents? Say her mom died years later in a horrific manner. Would this not haunt her as well? Or is she someone capable of picking and choosing when something impacts them. She’s dealing with storms, so her dad’s death causes her issues, but when she goes back to researching how to prevent car crashes someone can accuse her of irrational behavior while desperately trying to stop car crashes?

Scenario 2: Jo’s mom is alive.

How is the relationship? Is it stronger than the one with Meg? Is it a strained relationship? If her relationship is similar to that of the one with Meg, why have Meg and not just have mom? If it is strained, then why was that not used to point out the emotional motivations of Jo? Her mom feels she should quit chasing storms and start realizing she lost Billy because of her emotional obsession with her father’s death. There are many ways this could go, yet we don’t get to explore that because Meg exists and mom doesn’t.

All of this is a result of her mother being shown in the opening scene of the film. They established Jo’s mother, then never went back.

Maybe this is all just nit picking a movie that came out many years ago and was clearly more about the visual effects versus the story line. But why not have a simple change. Watch Twister, and when they say “Aunt Meg” imagine they said “Momma Meg” and just see if the emotional impact is different. When Jo sits next to her bruised and battered mother and Dusty reveals that they are somehow able to predict an F5 tornado that won’t happen for nearly a day later and she looks at her mother, and mom tells her to go get it. Then wouldn’t that feel much different? Would the emotional connection make more sense, due to the fact that Jo’s character is more aligned? Would it matter? Ask yourself this then, how do you feel about the characters in Twister?

The whole point is that when the story was written, it was completely overlooked and could have easily been adjusted. Same actress, same story line, just with a slightly different title. This whole thing came about when I started to write down what I felt was wrong with Twister, and this piece stuck out. We all know the magical windshield, the fact they somehow predict an F5, and other things that were done poorly. But to me, as a writer, this piece stands out because it was something that could have easily been done slightly different and made the story better.

It is still a good movie, despite the errors and negative critics, I enjoy the film. The point of this isn’t to trash it, but to simply point out how one minor change could make a story much better or at least a little less confusing.

Posted in Life As I See It | Leave a comment

Update/What this is about

I haven’t posted in awhile, this blog is slowly getting off the ground. If you read it, thank you a ton, but in time I will actually start producing content, and solicit content from others over time as well. I want this to be a place of expression for not only me, but others.


Look for more content in time, and thanks for reading.

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South Park just keeps punching society in the gut, but nobody seems to notice. Forget what you think you know about the show. On the surface, yes, plenty have found many things to complain about. But under the surface, where the true meaning resides, South Park has quietly championed and argued for all the right things. South Park repeatedly calls out those amongst us who are doing nothing but harming society. Whether its the Cash For Gold scam, attacking some of the less than righteous sides of all religions, the hypocritical world of the NFL in general especially regarding the Washington team name, and various other social wrongs.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone produce 21 minutes of TV every week. They do not preach, well maybe a little, but they do not pretend to have all the answers. Listen with your mind, not your ears, to what they are saying. They make observations and present a point of view that should make everyone think twice about how the world works. I can’t begin to dissect exactly what they do as it would take an entire book. Which, sorry for the cheap plug, look for that in the future, a book examining South Park and the impact it has. For example, the now infamous Crack Baby Basketball Association episode. Nobody wants to hear a college program like the University of Colorado at Boulder compared to a slave plantation. Keep in mind Trey and Matt are alums of CU. They used Colorado as an example, but they could have put any school in there. Their point was that any institution who profits off another person’s work is frankly comparable to slavery. Sure it is easy to get angry about that, and talk about the extremes. But really, just break it down on a meaning of the word sense. How else would you describe someone profiting off work done by another? Imagine if your boss told you that your pay checks would stop. They would simply pay your rent, give you a credit card that you can use for food that they would load with money as they see fit, and that you were not allowed to work somewhere else. But in return your boss would train you on various tasks. Does that still seem equal? Ultimately, both sides benefit, but one side is massively restricted. While the other is free to make as much as possible. Capitalism allows for everyone to make as much as they can. Hardly seems like the scenario is fair to both sides. Just because someone gets something in return, does not mean they get everything they deserve or are owed.

Now this is what I mean by what I’m saying about South Park. They are sparking very similar inner debates and outwardly debates amongst many viewers. Stimulating the act of thinking. The episode has caused many who have seen it to think about what is happening in college football from many angles. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that what society should strive for, expect more of, and push for more of out of everyone?

Every night talking heads get on TV and tell America it is time for a “real discussion about *insert topic here*.” Typically that phrase is used regarding the issue of race in America. But when does that conversation happen? South Park is helping to at least encourage that discussion with their viewers. I for one am someone who has had many inner debates. I’ve thought long and hard about several topics facing our world as a result of the show. Isn’t that what a show should do? Make you laugh but still make you think? Not all need to, sometimes just laughing is enough. But when the vast majority of TV is just empty, having a show with a ton of depth is one heck of a bonus for us.

This is something that deserves a more structured and thought out write up, but just getting the idea that maybe more people should really take what South Park says more seriously is enough for now. They are actively having the discussion so many claim we need so badly. Time for others to join in.

Posted in Life As I See It | Leave a comment

What About The Staff?

Think back, how many times has someone said “I just want to see who his staff is..” as if they are Kid Football Business. How many people have made that statement but can name maybe 5 assistant coaches excluding Nebraska’s soon to be former staff? I pay attention to football, both pro and college, I listen to radio, I read blogs, and I talk about it with various people. I could not name more than 10 assistant coaches who are A. Not Former/Current Husker staff members, B. Not national guys (Nardozzi, Orgeron, Kiffin, etc). I couldn’t tell you who is coaching the offensive line at almost any school, nor the defensive lines, linebackers, and more. I know a few, but assistant coaches are not the head coach. Plus, its really difficult to measure an assistants impact as it is.

Coordinators, specifically offensive, can be easier to figure out. Offensive coordinators are easier to figure out due to the fact a play they call either works or doesn’t. However, slow down, all head coaches whether it be a little or a lot overrule their coordinator, on both sides of the ball. Bo Pelini so famously took credit for the 2nd and 1 call against Minnesota that many feel really hurt the chances of the Huskers getting a victory. I say credit because as he stated, it didn’t lose the game for the Huskers, and really, if you read between the lines, wasn’t a bad call. It was definitely a bad call, but I digress.

Regardless of what you, or your coworker, or your neighbor, or any other person you talk to thinks they know about assistant coaches, chances are none of us know as much as we’d like. All I have seen is people chirping about “he’s making us Oregon State”, and “who is that” followed by “they aren’t any good” despite not knowing who the heck they are, and its ridiculous. If you offer me a piece of food I’ve never heard of, and immediately dismiss it as not terrible, how would you look at me? Like I’m an idiot right?

It needs to stop. Recruits read tweets. Recruits see public reaction. Besides that, its just stupid. If you didn’t know who they were before today how on earth can you make judgements about their ability? But yet didn’t throw a fit when Bo hired his last two coordinators? Sorry, one really good season at Kansas in which he was only a part of doesn’t make Beck a great OC, nor does JP being a really great graduate assistant just before coming to Nebraska make him a great DC. Many Husker fans are demonstrating horrible short term memory. Bo hired his brother as DC, and left Shawn Watson as OC. Fine. Then, when they both left for their own reasons, nobody wigged out like they are now about JP and Beck getting the top spots on their respected side of the ball.

Bo hired unproven, very inexperienced friends. Outside of Brown and Cotton, there was very little experience. He was inexperienced. He coached one game as head coach. Bo gets the job 4 years later, and instead of hiring guys with a lot of experience since he had very little, he hired graduate assistants. Eventually he paid a guy more than Mike Riley’s entire staff made who did to meet expectations three years in a row. *UPDATE: the statement that Beck makes more than the entire OSU staff is incorrect* If you lack in an area, you do not surround yourself with those lacking more than you, as if to make sure you cannot be challenged. It always felt like Bo is the ultimate alpha male. He hated anyone who even questioned him, and would retaliate in aggression. See his tiff with Dirk Chatelain. Bo is notorious for being so confident he can’t even fathom being wrong.

What is the lesson, point, reason for this, etc? Experienced head coaches know to hire smart guys who fit within their system. Riley should not hire Frost if Frost doesn’t have the same outlook and same approach to running the team as Riley himself. Frost has had little to do with the creation, and even furthering of the offense. He has certainly gained a lot of knowledge in running what Oregon ran before he got there, but that does not make him a great candidate for a guy who doesn’t plan to run that at Nebraska. He’s also been fortunate to have the best college QB since Frazier in my opinion. Plus, the last thing Lincoln needs is a head coach with an OC who is expected to replace him “when he’s ready”. What kind of statement is that to Riley? “Mike, look, you are our guy, until Scotty is ‘ready’, then you need to retire.” Who decides Scott is ready? The athletic director willing to hire a guy with zero head coaching experience at any level to run his program. That will not be Eichorst, nor should he. Hiring assistants for their first head job seems to be a bit of a bad idea. Not sure why? Maybe we should see what Bo thinks?

Mike Riley has to hire the right guys. This goes back to the same thought with the head coach hiring, hire the right guy, not a name.

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Site launching

So, this site will just be a mix of sports thoughts, funny posts, life in Nebraska blogging, and more. It will just be a good place to get a laugh.


Things will keep changing, eventually it will move to 2ndand20.com.



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Packers Will Win Super Bowl XLIX


I’m making my prediction now. With only a couple weeks left, the courage I’m displaying is definitely up there. Up there with those who Predict the World Series winners in Game 6. But hey, at least I’m willing to document my prediction right here, right now. It has nothing to do with the fact that while in middle school I wrote Brett Favre, Reggie White, and other all star Packer players from their Super Bowl all over my binder, with the final score in bold letters. No, that’s not why I’m making this prediction.

Ok, that’s only half true. Yes, I do think Green Bay will win the Bowl because I love the team and want them to win. But it really looks favorable for that outcome. Eddie Lacy and James Starks are running wild. Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson are catching bombs, and Aaron Rodgers keeps making the couple dozen teams who had a shot at him look like morons. Is there a better QB in the NFL than Mr. Rodgers? Welcome to his neighborhood, where either he’s going to burn ya for a down the field pass, hand it to either Lacy, Starks, or the bruiser Kuhn for a big gain, or take off himself and burn ya for 15 yards. Oh don’t forget the secondary that is playing solid, Clay Matthews looks reborn, and Julius Peppers is proving Chicago picked the wrong big name pass rusher.

Green Bay is winning football games on the ground, in the air, and through aggressive defense. It baffles the mind to see how so many teams build themselves through the air, but leave nothing for the ground. Thompson drafted Eddie Lacy and instantly made Aaron Rodgers one of the happiest people in all of Wisconsin. it is not hard to see that point or get why I say it, but yet teams don’t do it! You know who else is a threat to win the Super Bowl? Dallas. Why? Run game. Having a run game that is built for December. The difference is Dallas has rode DeMarco Murray all year, Eddie Lacy is just getting started. As a fantasy owner of Eddie Lacy, I can confirm he’s less wear on him than Murray.

Plus 16 turnover margin at this point in the season, Aaron dancing around as the Atlanta pass rush waits a minute or two to even pressure him. Lacy dancing for more and more yardage.

This is not fan wishful thinking, this is watching a team do everything right, at the right time.

GO PACK GO! Sorry. I mean, should be interesting.

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Ferrari In Omaha

Omaha, NE – Monday afternoon seemed like a normal Friday, Mike Nelson, 32, was sitting at a red light. In his 2003 Honda Accord, he looked around and saw a late 90’s Ford Explorer, missing a hub cap, and an early 2000’s Chevy Malibu. Another normal afternoon in Omaha he thought to himself. Then, he saw it, a bright orange Ferrari. Mike had no idea what year it was, but chances are it was only a year or two old. It rolled up beside him, roaring with horsepower and European awesomeness. He couldn’t believe it, a Ferrari, in his own city! Mike quickly pulled out his IPhone 4 and snagged a picture as he sat at the light. “I felt like I was on Sunset Boulevard. I thought I was seeing Tom Cruise, surely Burt Reynolds wouldn’t be far off in his neon green Lamborghini.” Mike recalled. Other reports quickly made the radio. Andrew Grey, a local radio show producer, said his phone wouldn’t stop ringing with callers, asking if there was some event going on. “I got four callers asking if there was a car show going on today. Then I got five more asking if a celebrity was filming five minutes of a movie here. Then 2 asking about my long distance choice. It was a busy afternoon, not one person wanted to talk about the previous night’s sports happenings, they only wanted to know, who is in the Ferrari, and why the hell is he or she here.” Andrew says. “Of course, I didn’t know. Nobody had told us anything.”

Most in town heard about it through a friend or family member. Facebook started having various pictures popping up. Some risking their safety and others to get the pick while both cars were rushing down the road, ignoring the fact a large pothole could cause everyone around some serious problems. Rick Sutton heard about it from his daughter, she was taking her kid to day care and spotted the orange machine rolling around. “She kept saying she felt like she was in Manhattan, I told her most people don’t drive in Manhattan.” Rick stated. Most had no idea who was in the car. “I do know a guy who drives a Mercedes, but it’s a few years old.” Says Tim Russell, 40, of Omaha.

After a few hours of records searching, the owner was tracked down. Tom Serno, 55, from Omaha, is the owner of this mysterious orange ride. “When I go for a ride in it, I get pictures taken, people coming up to me asking what movie I starred in, or other crazy questions. I mean, I’m not an actor, don’t own a sports franchise, nor do I really know anyone in music. I simply worked really hard all my life, and put a lot of money away for many years and bought myself a present, as a reward. Now I’m practically a celebrity” Tom happily shares. “I did have to travel to get it, not many Ferrari dealers in this part of the country.” Tom also notes. Frank Jones, 56, from Omaha, is Tom’s neighbor. He doesn’t understand all the hype. “It’s a rolling orange, oh big deal, he bought a Ferrari, I bought a Louis Vuitton bag for my wife, and nobody says a word. If being a flashy jerk gets you attention, count me out.” Says a very angry Frank. Betty Johns, 68, from Omaha, “Tom is such a nice guy, he once gave me a ride to the grocery in his beautiful Ferrari. I felt like I was Bette Davis, going to a premier. All my lady friends at bingo were so jealous, then I won six games that night, clearly it was good luck.” Betty recalls. Ethel Thurman, 78, recalls the six game win streak: “First she wouldn’t shut up about the Ferrari, then she won six games. I should have stayed home and watched Matlock.”

Tom has not entered it into any car shows, last report, but many say he should. Clearly, when Tom goes for a ride, in his orange machine, heads turn, and a buzz is created.

Posted in Around Town | Leave a comment