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David Poland

By David Poland

My Right Eye

I have been avoiding mentioning this for over a month now, but I am still not writing as much as I’d like because of it, so I thought I’d explain.

My 3-year-old son clocked me in the right eye unintentionally while wrestling around about 5 weeks ago. Didn’t think much of it. But I noticed over the next few days that my eyesight was a little off.

I can see movies. I can see in 3D. I can read in rooms that are well lit. But the basic thing of looking at my desktop computer, about 18 inches away, and typing… blurry and frustrating. I can see, but the focus is soft. I’d say that I am at about 85% of my normal vision, which I took for-granted as 100% (with contacts) just weeks ago.

I have seen an optometrist. There is a new anomaly in my eye jelly. He expects it to clear up in time, between 2 weeks and 3 months. I am going to a specialist tomorrow.

So… I am anxious to write more. (I’m writing this on a mini iPad.) But the physicality of the work has become a frustration… hard to flow when you are working to see.

I’ve also been traveling for most of the last 5 weeks, so now that I am in one place for a while, even if it doesn’t improve In a hurry, I will find ways to more effectively adjust.

So now that my enthusiasm has increased, there is a different issue in the way. My apologies. I will do better/more.

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24 Responses to “My Right Eye”

  1. David, I sincerely hope you’ll get better. Thanks for explainig everything. I really missed your thoughts on Nikki Finke. Right now your priority is your health.

  2. leahnz says:

    bummer DP, a problem with your eye jelly and vision doesn’t sound good but wishing you a full recovery.

  3. Eric says:

    Good luck with this. Vision problems are a scary thing. My wife had something similar to this during her first pregnancy– blurred vision arising from pressure changes in the fluid in her eye– and there was nothing the doctors could do to help. But it got better on its own after a couple of months. Hoping you find the same happy ending.

  4. scooterzz says:

    you might want to focus your left eye on the ‘curated headline’ column because harry lewis died NOT harry hamlin…jus’ sayin’….

  5. LexG says:

    Hope everything resolves itself for the best and sorry to hear that. And, yes, as said above, anything vision-related is terrifying. (Spoken by someone with horrible astigmatism all my life, and floaters ahoy and other issues for ages.) Sounds like it will be corrected in the (near) future, but wishing the best.

  6. The Pope says:


    Sorry for your troubles. I hope everything resolves itself soon. Be well.

  7. Sam says:

    I’ll throw in my own best wishes for a quick and full recovery. At the same time, I’m heartened to hear you have some of your enthusiasm back and look forward to seeing it expressed here on this blog again once the medical issues are out of the way. In the meantime, don’t feel you need to apologize for anything.

  8. palmtree says:

    Speedy recovery!

  9. Fitzgerald says:

    Best of luck with this, David.

  10. LYT says:

    Get well soon, David.

    You could do video reviews like you used to. Turn the eye into a joke about heat vision or something.

  11. anghus says:

    Poland reviews while wearing an eye patch.

    That would be awesome.


  12. LYT says:

    Nick Fury Poland!

    “It is not about me, motherfucker! You are trying to make it about me…and it is NOT!”

  13. cadavra says:

    Heal quickly. We need your level-headed guidance out here in the wilderness.

  14. anghus says:

    So what’s the story with Finke at deadline? The Wrap reports her firing. The story gets a half hearted denial…. And then the whole story vanishes.

    Everything went dark.

  15. Spacesheik says:

    Get well soon, David, hope it clears up soon. All the best.

  16. NickF says:

    David, I hope it clears up. We take our sight for granted until we realize how important it really is. Take it easy.

  17. anghus says:

    Holy shit does that Spielberg and Lucas quote read like the two old guys in the balcony of the Muppet show. Red Tails almost didn’t make it into theaters? Lincoln was almost an HBO movie? Movie tickets at fifty dollars a pop. Man, these guys are off their fucking senior citizen rockers. Its always the old guys who seem to cry foul over where the industry is going even though they seem to have no earthly idea where its headed.

    the Red Tails bit kills me, because Lucas was waving that flag when it came out. Claiming racism and that Hollywood studios didn’t want to invest in an all black action movie.

    but the movie sucked. That’s why no one wanted to distribute it. And it was only produced by Lucas. So why even act like it was Lucas getting shunned?

    If you want to know where the industry is headed, don’t talk to the 70 year olds who peaked twenty and thirty yeas ago, respectively.

    I laughed at the notion of fifty dollar tickets. The majority of America pays around ten bucks.for a ticket. Raise the price five times and make a ticket twice the cost of a blu ray? That’s where you think its heading?

    Didn’t Spielberg claim he had solved the theatrical experience with some kind of 180 degree curved screen, or something?

    Lucas could have told you volumes about where the industry was headed in 1980 when he was pioneering the technology that would shape the next three decades. Now, in 2013, his notions seem almost laughable.

  18. LYT says:

    anghus, he’s talking about stuff like Gold Circle Theaters that already do have prices that high, but they serve fancier food, give you a blanket, etc.

  19. waterbucket says:

    Get well soon D-Po. But next time, go see an ophthalmologist right away. Why would you entrust your eyesight to an optometrist?

  20. Ryan says:

    I don’t care what you say-I’ll be seeing this. Snyder is such a letdown though. He has nothing but visual style-you would think he can get a story right sometime.

  21. Sam says:

    I don’t think Snyder is very much interested in story. Hearing him talk, all it cares about is that individual moments look “cool,” not that they fit together in a cohesive narrative arc.

  22. brack says:

    Get well soon David. Glad it’s not too serious. Losing Ebert this year has been tough enough.

  23. gw says:

    Hey DP just saw this. I’ve gone through something similar and feel your frustration, which can be overwhelming given the medium we work in. Take care, eat lots of carrots and read those large font books you’ve always wanted to read but had no time. You’ll be back to 100% in no time. Sending you amazing thoughts.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
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“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon