Tuesday, January 17, 2012

David Wesley Review Review: DW at OWS

David Wesley Review Review: DW at OWS: Occupy Wall St. got a much needed boost today when international enigma and self-styled “extroverted recluse” David Wesley burst onto the...

Monday, July 04, 2011

In Memory of My Father: Jerome "Jerry" Bernstein 1943-2011

How do we measure the greatness of a man? We measure it by the values, morals, and ethics he holds dear to him. We measure it by his successes, his failures, his kin. My father struggled his entire life chasing after his dreams. He taught me that you can do whatever you want in life just live it with family, dignity, honesty, and hard work. Family always came first for my dad. He believed that families should stick together through good times and bad.

He valued higher education, and set the bar really high for himself, almost tragically so. He wanted to be both a doctor and a lawyer. He studied medicine for five years in Belgium at the height of the Vietnam War. He was loyal to my mother in marriage. He enjoyed making super 8 home movies. He worked in jobs for years he didn’t like so he could support his family. He always stressed that you should be your own Boss. “Be your own Boss, and always call in sick!” He suffered from Diabetes and Clinical Depression and sometimes he had trouble controlling his anger, could turn on you during a bad mood swing, but he never forgot to apologize. I encouraged him to learn how to meditate to find inner peace. A few weeks ago, he cried to me and said, “ I want to see you get married and meet your future wife.” And I said, “I want to meet her also, but I thought you were crying because I don’t have a few million in my bank account yet.”

The poet John Donne said “Every death diminishes me.” My father was sensitive to other people’s misfortunate and would tear up while watching a sad news story on television, especially when children were involved.

His outlook on life was realistic, pessimistic, empathetic, joyful, hilarious, delusional, cynical, and brutally honest. He loved food. Chinese, Kosher, Zabars you name it. He loved Montreal, reading judaica books and comedy films. He would quote his favorite films constantly. He loved Mel Brooks films, especially Robin Hood: Men in Tights. He loved Home Alone, Midnight Run, and even though he had a low tolerance for stupidity with people, he loved the movie Dumb and Dumber. And although he never confirmed it to me, I think his favorite film was My Cousin Vinny. My dad also introduced me to obscure westerns like My Name is Nobody with Henry Fonda. He was an avid collector of LPs with western film soundtracks, Broadway musicals, and French artists in the mix.

My dad was a dedicated, conservative Jew and it was hard to argue with a guy that probably read the Codified Book of Jewish Law cover to cover. One time in high school, I smoked pot after synagogue on Rosh Hashanah with my girlfriend at the time and this overwhelming guilt washed over me. I asked him, “Is it a sin to smoke weed on Rosh Hashanah? And my dad looked down, sighed, and said “It is probably ranked high up on G-d’s list. “ And I said, “But it’s a HIGH Holiday, I thought that’s what you were supposed to do.” And he said, “Doesn’t matter. You started a fire. It’s a sin.”

He also had a childlike wonder and was intrigued by people. He would ask a lot of questions. He could also be very kind and generous and wasn’t a stranger to tzedakah (jewish charity). I remember one time after performing in a choral recital in grammer school, we stopped off to eat at the wonderful grease pit Dennys. There was a homeless man there. Dad paid for his meal and gave him ten dollars before he left.

He had eccentric business ideas, some of which were absurdly arbitrary. He asked me once to drive down with him to Arkansas to dig for gold. In 1999, when his pharmaceutical business Langer-Scott was up and running, I helped him find clientele and tried to sell Vitamin C to a Cranberry company in Wisconsin Rapids. Things didn’t go quite as planned and the sale never went through, but the experience became the inspiration for my first screenplay. He was a genius at creating character names and aliases and could have been the go-to-guy for any Hollywood screenwriter looking for a character name. Robert Manis, Jeffrey Bell, Ziffer Pike, Bill Searchman, and Sherman Birdsley were a few gems he created. My favorite, David Elgin Wesley, is my nom de plume, and I still use it today as a freelance writer.

He had a somewhat dark and quirky sense of humor. He once said, “people die at such inconvenient times.” He told me once, “If you ever get into trouble, check your self into a Holiday Inn.” I still don’t know what the hell that means, but it was funny and interesting the way he said it.

I’d like to thank all of the doctors and nurses at Mt. Sinai hospital that cared for him the last three months but since Dad was on every floor of the hospital with the exception of the maternity ward, I’d offer up some constructive criticism and say that communication skills between departments need improvement in regards to patient care. Dad must have said over 500 times that all he wanted to do was get the hell out of there and come home. I believe that if Moses were to chill out with some friends in New York City, have a few too many beers, and get sick, that he would not go to the top floor of Mt. Sinai hospital. He would hop in a cab and go to Lenox Hill.

I’m proud to have inherited my father’s relentless ambition. I had the chance to spend a lot of time with him this year, and we talked about family, careers, movies, politics. I expressed my political beliefs to him and he turned to my mother and said, “When did my son become such a commie liberal?” My dad and I shared a somewhat dangerous passion for gambling and we could talk for hours about gaming systems and the casino industry. He was also supportive of my artistic aspirations and I was happy he had the chance to see me up on stage performing a few folk songs I wrote.

It is widely known that the sins of the father pass onto the sons. Before he got really sick, he told me, he said “Son, your time is gonna come. You will fly by all of ‘em.” I’ll make you proud Dad by accomplishing my realistic dreams and as your great spirit traverses throughout the cosmos, no longer bound by time and space, I’d welcome you aboard the coming gravy train.

Memorial contributions can be made in Jerry’s memory to the American Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.org) or the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (www.Narsad.org)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

NYC Circa 2006 listed on Neil Young's website "Living with War Today"

You can check out the protest song I wrote and created entirely on my own in Garage Band, or don't check it out. Its also for sale through my Snocap account on My Space for $0.99. To get there, go back to my website, click on Music, then click on the link which will take you to Ben Burn's website. Why the explanation? Because I'm too lazy to create a link as I'm writing this sentence.

10 percent of all proceeds will go to the Homes for Our Troops, a non-profit organization that builds specially built houses for disabled veterans. Please spread the word. Its for a good cause.

In other news,
I'm the laziest blogger in the blogosphere. Its hard work being lazy. Lets see, this summer, I have surfed, slept, played poker, have continued writing a spec screenplay adaptation of Dean Koontz novel "Lightning", worked one day as a background extra on Lipstick Jungle, spent a colossal waste of time online, went tubing, played more poker, lost money, then won the money back that I lost. Total waste of time. Spent time with my family, have hit on several women that lead to phone numbers but no dates, and just trying to stay happy in these troubled times.

I think Barack Obama's speech tonight at the DNC was a near masterpiece. This guy pulled out the punching bag on McCain and the incumbent criminal in the Oval Office right now. I never mention our current president's name because it makes me sick.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Top 10 Best Films of 2007

1. No Country for Old Men
2. There Will Be Blood
3. Zodiac
4. Into the Wild
5. I'm Not There
6. Juno
7. Sicko
8. Once
9. Syndromes and a Century

Friday, March 23, 2007

30th Birthday Party Explosion

I'll be showing some short films and a portion of the epic work in progress "Auteurvision" at the Pioneer Theater, Sat. Mar 24th at 6 PM.

Come one, come all. This muthafucka is trying to get on Filmmaker Magazines top 25 list.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Meltdown of Stan Hurwitz--short story

"The Meltdown of Stan Hurwitz"

Synopsis: Several weeks after his son's death, a world famous poker player flips out at the
final table of the World Series.

(The characters created are completely fictional. the story is not autobiographical.)

Stan Hurwitz looked down at the felt, his thoughts racing and that inner voice mumbling incoherently.

"What is he holding? Jack of Diamonds, Queen of Hearts, Ace of Spades, maybe he's got junk, 7-2 offsuit. "

Besides the occasional bullshit at the table about a hand, loneliness consumed him, even when contemplating his next decision. He felt green. An idiot. Like he had never played before, and that sinking sadness crept all over him. When the tournament was over, he would head back to Annie as a millionaire husband, hoping the luxury of their newfound wealth could possibly ease the pain from Kyle's death. Maybe just a little bit. A few weeks ago, Annie mentioned wanting another baby, and Stan realized it was time to be monogamous. But Stan found his addictions more pleasurable, and enjoyed the company of whores after tournaments. Fatherhood was hard, harder than any problem he had tackled in life.


Smiling, he remembered when Kyle first met Sandra, his babysitter.

"I'm Hurwitz kid." He said to her like a mini-professor. Kyle was highly developed for a 5 year old, with an immense vocabulary. The family doctor diagnosed him with Asperger's Syndrome, and he would drift in and out of his own inner world. He loved video games, Dungeons and Dragons, Trivial Pursuit, performing magic tricks, and reading books.


Several weeks earlier, upon returning from a tournament in Australia, Stan was stunned to see an ambulance, a fire truck, and several news vans parked down the street from his modest colonial home in northern Las Vegas, several miles from the strip.

The flashing red lights from the fire trucks started to make Stan nauseous, he felt faint and noticed part of Kyle's foot was uncovered devoid of life and movement, and he was wearing blue pants. "In his pajamas?" Stan wondered.

Sergeant McKinley, a 6'4" African American, with tightly groomed hair and a hard ironed uniform scribbles some notes on a small white pad.
"Mr. Hurwitz, I'm sorry."
"Did your son ever talk about hurting himself"?
"My only son…What…No."
"I know this is a rough time, but I need you to identify his body."
"My wife and I would like some privacy."
"C'mon, get these news vans out of here."

McKinley uncovered the white sheet.

"Is this him?"

Sobbing, Stan covered his eyes. Kyle was wearing his Superman outfit. He jumped off the roof, probably thinking he could fly.

"Did your son talk much?"

"He'd spend a lot of time alone."

"Why do you ask?"

"Was he ever diagnosed with autism?"

"Our doctor believed he had a mild case..please finish what you need to do, and leave us alone."

"I understand, sir."

At the end of the driveway, Jill Johnson was covering the news story of Kyle's death. She was the anchorwoman from Las Vegas local channel 5 WBTV.

"A terrible tragedy tonight for world famous poker player Stan Hurwitz. Apparently, earlier today, the Hurwitz's only child Kyle jumped from their roof in an apparent suicide. The child was only five years old."

Stan secretly masturbated while watching her on her 11:30 news shift while his wife was sleeping, and every day, his growing lust for her became irresistible. One drunken night, after losing $30,000, he spontaneously drove to the television station, and wanted to ask her to grab a drink.. He lit a cigarette and took a hard drag. The purring engine of his Porsche 911 seemed to soothe his troubled mind.

"An affair is what she would want," He thought outloud.

Things were bad at home. He hadn't had sex with Annie in several weeks. She was moody, cold and distant, but he didn't mind it very much. It freed him up. He even remarked to his friends that for some odd reason, his golf game was better when he and his wife spoke less often.

He arrived at the station and parked. Jill was outside smoking a cigarette, laughing with her co-anchor. Stan remained in his car, staring at her, immovable. He could give her shopping money. She was probably wild in bed, he thought, and he imagined grabbing her breasts when she rode on top of him. She put out her cigarette and walked back into the station. Several minutes later, he drove home and crept into bed, spooning up to Annie.


Mike Smith, a long-time ESPN employee, stands confidently near the table.

"Ladies, bring out the money."

Two beautiful brunettes, in short skirts, and cut off tops, their breasts bulging out from their "Binion Casino" emblazoned cocktail uniforms, casually drop twelve million onto the table. Stan had a commanding chip lead, beating out 8000 other hopeful wannabes over four days to get this far, but it wasn't enough. Second place was second place. He needed to win and lusted after that World Series bracelet, as if he was caught in some long-winded fever dream. It would prove why he'd been away from home for weeks at a time. Perhaps if he had been home that dreadful day, playing online, far away from a brick and mortar casino, Kyle would still be alive, playing with his Tonka trucks in the backyard. That hurt him more than his death, more than the pulsing pain from his sprained ankle when he stumbled over with grief and guilt at Kyle's funeral.

Stan felt disoriented with the camera close to him. He had to block everything out, back in "Reality Ville", concentrating, staring at Jack "Bulldog" Jacobivitz through his Aviator sunglasses, he was at war, contemplating his next action. He widened his eyes, perhaps it would help him see into The Bulldog's soul, who was a mysterious player, impossible to read. Stan couldn't put him on a hand. Ace King, maybe. Preflop, he raised three times the big blind. Stan looked at his cards again--Ace-3 of diamonds.

The board comes out Ace of clubs, King of Diamonds, Jack of Hearts.

The Bulldog aggressively bets out $15,000. Stan gazes over his chips.

" Raise to $40." The audience claps. Some young girls scream, and for a brief moment, Stan wondered if some of them were die-hard fans. Jack quickly calls.

The turn comes Nine of Diamonds.

Only one more diamond and he would make his flush, and he would ride this glorious wave toward a new beginning. He kept dreaming. They would buy a beach house in Hawaii. Annie always wanted a small business, her own clothing line, and Stan could start collecting expensive Spanish wines, and finally build a mahogany bar in their new den room, uninterrupted, at peace, with the crashing waves at Kehena beach soothing their painful loss. Summer arrived, and they would throw a July 4th party and Stan easily pictured it in his mind. He imagined the Rolling Stones blasting out of Annie's 80GB Video Ipod, and how the music seemed to inject a relaxed mood into everybody.

Excitedly, "The Bulldog" jumped up and down, and obnoxiously entered Stan's personal space, confirming the widely held accounts in the poker world that he was a gifted but eccentric player.

"Play, ya loser. Come on, I take you on. I beat you. You'll see, on the river."

He slapped Stan's cheek lightly, but it was enough to give him a slight sting since he shaved that morning. He was trying to get Stan to talk.

"I know how to play the game baby. I will take you down." Jack said.

"You can't have a hand every time."

Jack sat back down. A minute passed. Jack calls "ALL-IN" on the turn. Stan calls.

Would this river be a dream or a nightmare? Stan's heart fluttered. His emotions sometimes got the best of him. They would swirl and tap dance beside him.

At the river, King of Hearts reveals its ugly head to Stan.

Jack flips over Ace-King unsuited. It was over. That obnoxious Russian ogre won, he thought. Even though he was $7 million dollars richer, Stan's blood boiled. He slammed his right fist on the felt, grabbed his end of the table and overturned it. He screamed. The ladies looked on in horror as Stan charged Jack, punching him in the nose.

"You broke my fuckin' nose."

"I needed to win....for him."

"You crazy fuck. Ya need Prozac. You're still a millionaire. See you in court."

The audience, sitting in darkness, stunningly rise to their feet. Security rushes him, pinning him to the ground. As the flash photography temporarily blinded him, he swore he saw Jill preparing to report this story, with Annie right beside her.

Copyright 2007

**any filmmaker, feel free to contact me if you'd like to adapt this into a short film. option is $5000 (just kidding) and you'll get to show the world that you directed a short film that was written by Wyatt Ben Bernstein.****

Friday, December 01, 2006

Who will be the 3rd racist celebrity????

In the news....

I'm a numbers man. I believe things happen in threes. That being said, who's next?? We now know that Mel Gibson hates Jews, Michael Richards may or may not hate Blacks, well who's next?

Call the newspapers---Donald Trump has just announced that he hates himself. No, please, say it aint so.