Ostensibly, Crime Scene, The Vanishing At the Cecil Hotel, a Netflix docuseries from powerhouse producers, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard and directed by Joe Berlinger, explores the strange disappearance of 21-year-old Canadian student, Elisa Lam, at the Cecil Hotel, in 2013. In reality Berlinger accomplishes little more than an awkward, somewhat misleading, often tedious and sensational experience that leaves one feeling empty, frustrated and confused.

Lam, traveling alone, came to Los Angeles for a four day stay in January of 2013. When she failed to check in with her family on the 31st, something she did faithfully, they notified the…


Hello Artist, welcome to the second week of finding your mojo, your inspiration, your passion for your thing again. Last week’s insight was about changing what media you’re consuming to replace it with the kind of thing you want to do more of. How’d it go? Mine was rocky. Mid-week turned into a horror show. I didn’t fair well after that.

Let’s pick up the pieces.

When I talk about inspiration, I’m not talking an inspiring sunset or movie or book. Those are great and helpful, but if you haven’t created the space within for inspiration to take root…


Last week, New York Times bestselling author, and one half of YouTube’s beloved Vlog Brothers, Hank Green, uploaded a video called, “How To Change What You Want.” In it he talks about how the media we consume shapes what we want and what we value. As a writer and artist I consume a lot of media, but have never thought about what it might be doing to my output. 2020 brought so much confusion, I found myself completely stymied for most of it and ended up watching a lot of political YouTube. It shaped the direction of my content…


President-elect Joe Biden announced, last week that he would not pursue criminal charges against Trump or any in his administration. Instead, he favors moving on in the interest of uniting the country. His statement read: “America faces great challenges, and they bring diverse perspectives and a shared commitment to tackling these challenges and emerging on the other side a stronger, more united nation.”

Moving on, which carries an implicit suggestion of forgiveness, derived from the Latin word “perdonare,” which means “to give completely, without reservation.” …


Dear Patriot,

Yes, I’m talking to you, the one who voted for decency, kindness and progress when you cast your vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The one who values the Constitution and hopes one day to see its promises fulfilled for every person regardless of color or economic status. Republicans have, for far too long, claimed “Real American” status and all the rights that come with it. Which is to say, that unless you vote like they do, look like them and believe what they believe, you’re not only not an American, your voice, your vote is fraudulent.


I dare you to make this bed right now.

At the writing of this, 140,000 new cases of COVID-19 occur each day in the U.S. This is my story.

I’m tired. I don’t want to. Do it anyway. Who’s with me? Let’s make the bed. There, it’s done. Now what? Iron a shirt? Take a shower? Make some tea? God, anything but sit down to write. Every morning it’s a tug-of-war and by nightfall, well, depends on the day, or the week. Sometimes I’ve strung together many words, some of which might even be useful. However, these days, it pains me to admit, I’m simply not doing enough of…


The spectre of the whiteness looms large over the characters in ‘Lovecraft Country.’

“Ignorance of each other is what has made unity impossible in the past. Therefore, we need enlightenment. We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity. Once we have more knowledge (light) about each other, we will stop condemning each other and a United front will be brought about.”

— -Malcom X

When I first decided to write about HBO’s Lovecraft Country, I made a choice not to analyze the black characters’s motivations or experiences. Show writer Shannon Houston and Ashley C. Ford do this exceptionally well in their…


There must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of our people produced by the existence of slavery among us. The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal.

—Thomas Jefferson Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781,Query XVIII

Thomas Jefferson understood that slavery turned both master and slave into beasts, yet boisterously participated in it himself. There’s something insidiously more dangerous in…


Dear reader, I must apologize. In my initial posting of this piece I hadn’t read enough of Lovecraft Country the book to speak, well, intelligently. I was so sure I was right that I didn’t want to take the time. Isn’t that something? It made me realize just how easy a trap that sense of “rightness” is and how it insidiously winds itself around otherwise good intentions. What follows is a more thorough reading of both the source material and its adaptation.

Lovecraft Country, episode seven I Am, aired Sunday night and it was…disappointing. We learned that Christina is, as…


Spoilers ahead! At the writing of this, five episodes have aired and the fifth one, Strange Case, ended with Christina cracking out of William’s skin to reveal, to Ruby, that she is William, begging the question, who is or was William? Is Christina keeping the bodies of real William and Dell, the dead white woman Ruby’s been wearing, in the basement to maintain her and Ruby’s connection to them?

I CANNOT wait until Sunday, so in the meantime let’s look more closely at Ruby and Christina/William, because the ways in which the show explores human sexuality, power and race is…

amy punt

CEO of Punt On Point Media, Masters in Communication & Directing for Film & TV. I write about trauma, mental health and culture.

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