Category Archives: The Traveling Roadshow Of The Countess Maritsa-Book Proposal

The is a little bit of the book proposal and sum up of what it’s about…

Daddy And The Birthday Cake (rough draft) Film Class Fall 2021


It’s good to write shitty rough drafts to get the story on paper and then expand from there. This story can branch out several ways from here.

I think I might do this as a short film and then it can branch out backward or forward from 1992.

I was a waitress at Red Lobster Valencia at this time & had my own apartment & would go visit my Dad sometimes on Cima Mesa.

Cima Mesa road twists and turns on a high mountain road at the back of the Angeles Forest, overlooking the entire expanse of the Mojave desert for about 200 miles in every direction

I still don’t know how my mom met them or how they came to live with us except remember picking them up at the grocery store/farm store where we used to get date shakes ( they have date tree orchards in the desert) in Littlerock California. It was around 1976 or 1978 when they came to live on our farm as ranch hands and some of their sisters came by to the ranch then too. 

It was when my father was filming the bionic woman around that time. I think they were hippies living in the Devil’s Punchbowl which is a state park area about a half a mile away from our ranch in the mountains. Our ranch was on Cima Mesa road. 
We had two ranches on that road. 
The first on was the million dollar one that my parents owned when my Dad was in the Bionic Woman and doing theatre tours, and then they sold it when they were getting divorced in 1978 & we moved back to LA to the suburbs in Northridge to Balcom Ave. 
The other ranch was at 9848 Cima Mesa road, which my dad moved into when they got divorced & he also had an apartment in the Valley.   His girlfriend Pat Garrett (who was married to a guy named Jim Garrett) owned the 9848 Cima Mesa road ranch.

Pat was cheating on her husband with my Dad, who was cheating on my mom with her. This ranch was about a half mile from our ranch on the same road. Pat got the ranch in the divorce, and then she signed it over to my dad for $1 and then Dad kicked her out and then lived there for the next 20 years. 
Then Henry Hill (the guy from Goodfellas) lived down the street at another ranch further on down the road on Cima Mesa road.

He and my dad became friends ( I’m not sure how they became friends, but they found each other. My dad was in the mob in the 1960’s) And then in 1992 Dad invited me to Henry Hill’s birthday party at Henry’s ranch and my dad had a birthday cake with a saw baked into it. 

They thought it was hilarious. There were two secret service guys at the party, Henry’s girlfriend who had a little boy about 3 or 4 years old, my father and myself. 


Anyway, back to the other story, 

Disability Theory In Film; Winter’s Bone – Mental Illness & Addiction In Film


Morgain McGovern 

Identity in Film 

Spring 2021 

Mental Illness and Addiction in Film 

(Disability) 

May 18th, 2021 

Critical Race and Disability Theories Applied to Winter’s Bone 

A mentally ill mother and a criminal father is the death knell to your childhood, and may even cost you your own life, as we see in the film Winter’s Bone. This film dredged up old ghosts and reminded me of the wounds I have that I don’t think will ever heal. 

I grew up with a disabled mentally ill mother, like Ree. Like Ree, I had a criminal father who was a ghost. Because of my parent’s criminal activities, I was forced to interact with my parent’s various sleazy accomplices. Because of my parent’s choice to let criminals around their children, I had violence inflicted on me. 

My mother’s criminal record in Texas from 2005. She was also in and out of jails all my life. She also went to Federal Prison from 1992 to about 1996. I am still collecting her criminal records from various states and other countries where she was arrested and jailed and/or imprisoned.   

Drug and alcohol addiction are a component of disability and usually are accompanied by untreated mental illness. Most people who use substances are using them to feel better, to cope, to face the world, to cope with past assaults or trauma, to treat their mental health issues. It’s called self-medicating. 

 Mental Illness and addiction are disabilities, and your class and wealth are a huge factor in the quality of care you receive to recover and heal. In Winter’s Bone, the characters are trapped in poverty and have barriers to receiving treatment and support from medical professionals. They’re also involved in criminal activities, which place an unfair stigma on their children, especially Ree, who is fighting to save herself and her family from the wolves at the door.  

A component of disability is health insurance, wealth, transportation and access to medical care. Sometimes addiction disability and criminal behavior are generational, crime and substance abuse are normalized in disabled families. Poverty and ignorance and lack of access to medical care and education keep families in this cycle.  

Watching the opening scenes of Winter’s Bone set the tone of the type of yoke around Ree’s neck. The family lives in a rundown old log house in the middle of the woods. It’s country. It’s cold. Smoke rising from the log fireplace that warms the house. The logs are chopped by Ree. A neglected underfed dog chained to the ground outside, he’s a prisoner too. Kittens born, puppies found in the woods, more mouths to feed. She’s making a meal for her little brother and sister, the mother is somewhere in the back room sleeping, silent, unavailable, unable to function. Disabled. Not there. A ghost. 

As we see in Winter’s Bone, the burden of a parent’s disability (mental illness & addiction) and their crimes (Ree’s father Jessup cooks Meth and the mother enabled it) fell on the shoulders of their children. The children of the mentally ill & criminals are left to clean up the mess the mentally ill/criminal parent creates. If a child’s parents are criminals or mentally ill, the child is left defenseless against the parent’s criminal associates and left to forage for themselves when the parent falls ill and incapable of providing care for them.  

The disability component of critical race theory is evident in Winter’s Bone, as a mother’s mental illness renders her helpless and paralyzed and unable to function or care for her children. Ree’s mother doesn’t 

Have a lot of backstory in the film, they don’t delve into why she allowed her these burdens fall on her daughter’s shoulders. They don’t elaborate if the mentally ill mother was complicit in her husband’s meth making business, but I think she did know, and her mental illness may have started as a denial or rationalization without realizing how her choices as a mother would create so much trauma and danger for her children.  Ree’s mother’s choices and mental illness was why Ree was forced to carry the burden of her mother’s choices to allow criminality as a lifestyle for her family.  

Ree’s mother who was catatonic who stayed with her meth cooking husband until she was left speechless and incapacitated. The disabled in this film are seen as a problem, a stone tied to the leg of a drowning daughter, she’s a disabled mentally ill mother not worthy of a name. 

While seeking safety for myself and to get answers and closure, I had to interact with corrupt law enforcement to report the crimes I witnessed and was a victim of. 

My mother was frequently arrested for various crimes, before and after I was born. So was my father. 

Sometimes, they were arrested together because of the crimes they committed. My father would mock her later because she kept getting arrested, couldn’t clean up her act, and he had gone straight. 

My father had gotten a union job as a head carpenter for a major studio in Los Angeles. He lived in a ranch he had swindled from one of his girlfriends. We would live in motels or a house rented on a bad check and we’d move every three to four months. He paid $600 a month in child support for his ex-wife and four kids and didn’t have much contact with us. 

Later on, when I was seventeen, the police arrested my mother (again) and she was taken and put into Holloway Women’s Prison in London, I was left homeless in winter in a foreign country. They had arrested me a few days after they had arrested her and left me in a cell overnight, and then let me go when it was proven I was in school when she was committing her crimes.  

When Ree was being questioned by Sheriff Baskin about her father, it reminded me of when I was seventeen and had seasoned detectives question me without a lawyer about my mother’s criminal history, asking me where my mother was on certain dates, and was blamed as a teenager for the crimes she committed. My mother’s mental illness disability left a stamp on me. Her crimes were now my crimes, because people thought I was like her. Her yoke was around my neck, permanently. 

Like Ree, I was forced to carry the weight of my parent’s crimes. 

My mother’s drug of choice was pills. Is being a drug addict or an alcoholic a disability? My mother would become catatonic when she had her Samsonite pill case next to her bed, taking pills that she needed to knock herself out so she could live with herself. When she was dragged away by the police from me starting in toddlerhood, it became a constant threat whenever there was a knock on the door. 

In Ree’s story, a knock on the door or an unexpected visitor is a contact threat for her as well. 

Having an absent, ex-con, alcoholic, womanizing father who knowingly abandoned his children to a mentally ill unfit mother was also a parallel to my life in this film. Ree’s father Jessup was a meth cooker, a good one apparently, but a ghost. Nobody knew where he was. Did he jump bail? Was he coming home tonight? Was he out at the bar? My father would be gone months at a time, sometimes on a theatre tour, sometimes off shooting a film, sometimes living at one of his girlfriend’s apartments when fatherhood and being a husband got to be too difficult for him. 

As a woman who struggles with mental health issues myself, I understand having a nervous breakdown and at the same time, I understand that I make choices to improve my mental health and to make the choice to seek treatment to care for myself. I’m fortunate though, I have free mental healthcare now and at the time this film was made, or in the setting of this film, I don’t think they had any free mental health care in the Ozarks of Missouri.  

They probably still have limited mental health care resources for the people living in poverty in the Ozarks, and a significant factor in this film was the luxury of having a car. They had no car. If you have no car and live in the wilderness far from a town with a psychiatrist (if you can afford one) and a drugstore for medicine (if you can afford mental health medicine) is almost impossible. These are the logistics of living in a poor rural area, and the stigma of Ree’s mother’s mental health is used as a weapon against Ree in this film. 

The meth cooking criminal father and mentally ill mother made the choice to place the consequences of their actions on the shoulders of their seventeen-year-old daughter, Ree. Ree’s mother didn’t make the choice to have a mental illness, but she chose to live with her husband who was cooking meth, and she knew she placed her children in danger by doing so. She made the choice to not seek mental health treatment before she collapsed. 

I say choice because at some point in the backstory, the mother knew the father was cooking meth and made the decision to stay with him and not seek mental health treatment and knew she was placing her children in a dangerous situation. The father made the choice to cook meth as his source of income. The father placed his children in a dangerous situation and later his choices brutalized his daughter and almost cost Ree her life. 

Because the mother decided to not seek mental help before she spiraled into a catatonic state, she became so sick that by the time she collapsed, and her husband’s illness & bad choices caught up to her, Ree’s mother was unable to function and left her children defenseless and destitute and open to exploitation and violence. 

Throughout the film, people constantly remind Ree that her mother is a nutcase and use it as a weapon to dehumanize Ree. They don’t offer any solutions to help the disabled mother nor report the two younger children, Sonny aged twelve and Ashlee aged six to social services. 

 Everyone looks the other way, because most of the people in Ree’s family or circle are criminals or relatives of criminals or distrust law enforcement, or they don’t want to get involved.  

Mentally ill people are portrayed and treated in film as either a villainess or a disposable character or the one who causes the problems. Mental illness itself is group of disabled people who are systematically exploited and vilified in film, I have not seen a lot of films where mentally ill women are portrayed as the hero who ends up winning at the end. 

  • “ As Martin Norden has shown, disabled characters on film seemingly must reveal a ‘spiritual’ attribute that makes their disability tragic because of their ‘suffering’ (e.g the “Tragic Victim’’ or the “Saintly Sage”), or somehow heightens their dignity and goodness (e.g. the “Sweet Innocent” or “Noble Warrior”).*8 In discussing how one is defined who is –or is not- disabled, Mary Johnson writes, “ The real clue as to whether someone is truly disabled is if we feel sorry for them for being that way; if we are secretly horrified at the prospect of being like that ourselves.” 

Does labeling a person mentally ill absolve the police of their duty, does it make the crimes inflicted on the mentally ill less of a threat because disabled people are considered disposable to society?  

When a woman comes forward and publicly names her abuser (who may be in a position of power) or reports a crime she’s witnessed, or she publicly criticizes law enforcement or politicians who might be harmed personally or financially by her accusations, the first line of action from those in power is to discredit her or label her as mentally ill. If she’s mentally ill, she’s not to be believed or trusted or even acknowledged. She’s not credible. Labeling a woman mentally ill is the fastest & most powerful way to silence, discredit and destroy a person who might be seen as a problem to law enforcement. 

As we see in Winter’s Bone, the corrupt Sheriff Baskin warns Ree that he didn’t back down, in the end. 

He wanted to silence her before she told anyone of his weakness when her uncle Teardrop confronted him when he was pulled over. 

Law enforcement or the accused predators will say the victim is mentally ill and therefore law enforcement or people in positions of power have a way to not be legally or financially responsible for their actions or negligence or coverup. 

In this story, law enforcement is seen as corrupt and negligent. Sheriff Baskin knew that defenseless children were living in squalor with a mother who was unable to care for them. He didn’t call social services. He knew the father was a meth cooker who was missing and believed he had skipped town.  

We find out later in the film the Sheriff is the one who leaked information that Jessup turned informant on his Meth making relatives, which caused his murder.  The Sheriff knew that a seventeen-year-old girl was the only caregiver for the children and that they were in a dangerous situation where they didn’t have enough food and were being neglected. The children were seen sleeping on a sofa as their beds, they didn’t seem to have a bedroom of their own. They had no food. They slept in the living room. 

Ree had to give away her horse to the neighbor because they couldn’t afford hay for her. The neighbor brought over a small supply of food for Ree and her family, but nobody called social services. Nobody offered to take her to get food stamps, nobody offered to take the catatonic mother to see a doctor. They were trapped in poverty and destitution, with no way out. 

Then, the bail bondsman shows up to tell Ree that her father Jessup had used the home as collateral for his bond and that if he skips his court date, they would be out on the street in a week. He stated that a stranger came in and paid cash for the rest of the bond. 

Ree sets off in pursuit of her father, to make sure he makes it to court, so they don’t lose their home. 

On her journey, she’s in danger and forced to deal with her father’s violent criminal associates & relatives. Her Uncle Teardrop assaults her, for asking where he is and tells her to stop searching further, and takes her to an old meth lab explosion where weeds are growing and tells her he died in the explosion. Ree sees the weeds growing and realizes the site was an explosion from months ago, not recently. 

She goes to her father’s criminal accomplices, who are her relatives, and asks them where Jessup is and asks to speak to the local crime lord, Thump Milton, and he refuses to see her. His women relatives are cold and harsh towards her and warn her to stop looking for her father. 

Ree goes to her friend and asks to borrow her husband’s truck so she can go to the Arkansas line and look for her father. The husband refuses. 

Ree is in deeper and deeper layers of danger as she searches for her criminal father and throughout the story goes through twists and turns until we discover finally, at the end, that the Sheriff had leaked that Ree’s father Jessup became an informant to law enforcement, his meth making relatives found out, and killed him. They buried his body under a log in a lake.  

Ree’s meth making relatives showed up at her house towards the end of the film, because they knew the bail bondsman was going to take Ree’s family’s house and farm and leave them homeless, so they put a bag over her head and drove her to the lake where her father’s body was tucked under a log. 

Ree’s meth making female cousins row Ree out in a rowboat under cover of a dark cold night, and make her grab his cold bloated hands under the log and try to make her chainsaw her father’s hands off in order to have proof to show the Sheriff and bail bondsman that he was truly dead.  

Ree is so traumatized by this she is unable to use the chainsaw to cut off her father’s hands, so her relatives, who were his murderers, cut off his hands with a chainsaw, so she would have proof to give to law enforcement of his death.  

Ree shows up to the Sheriff Baskin’s office the next day with her dead father’s hands and told him that someone threw her father’s hands on the porch in the middle of the night.  

Jessup is declared dead and then the bail bondsman shows up at her house to tell her that the stranger who put down cash as part of Jessup’s bail was not going to come back for his money and it rightfully belongs to Ree. The Horatio Alger myth comes alive again in Winter’s Bone.  

Winter’s Bone (2010) Director: Debra Granik / Screenplay: Anne Rosellini, Based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell  

Sources: Nicole Markotić  

Page 8  

Revue Canadienne d’Études cinématographiques / Canadian Journal of Film Studies 

Vol. 17, No. 1, SPECIAL ISSUE ON FILM AND DISABILITY (spring · printemps 2008), pp. 2-10 

PUNCHING UP THE STORY: Disability And Film  

My mother’s prison photos & criminal history records are from the Texas Department of Public Safety.  

Bell Hooks Talking Back


Morgain McGovern  

May 5th, 2021  

Talking Back  

Discourse, Vol. 8 

SHE THE INAPPRPORIATE/D OTHER  

PG. 123-128  

Wayne State University Press  

Talking Back  

Bell Hooks told me that you can own your story if you talk back. But she warned me, it comes with a price.  

I wish I had read Bell Hooks 35 years ago. I don’t know if I would’ve believed her then. I was raised on media after school specials that spewed false truths that it was okay to trust the cops now, they were listening, they were there for the victims. But I learned the truth about the patriarchy that controls the world when I reported my child sex crimes to the LAPD and reported my criminal mother to law enforcement eleven years ago. Bell Hooks warned me, but I read her 35 years too late.  

 But I knew something was amiss, growing up. One of the men who tried to sexually assault me when I was in the 7th grade was in movies, commercials and a pundit on serious news channels. He was celebrated, yet there was a small article in a magazine about his sick behavior towards children in 1988, a whisper of who he was at his core. But then a few years later he had his own game show for a decade after that, so the whisper of this pervert was swept under the rug, the applause lights came on, and he was a star again.  

I had told my school when it was happening, when he was calling my house trying to get me to meet him in the city to have sex with him when I was in the 7th grade and he was in his forties, but we moved three days later. Speaking truth comes with a price, Bell Hooks told me in her writings, but I didn’t know about her 35 years ago, I turned to heavy metal instead. They spoke of the anger I felt, conveyed in heavy guitar riffs and power chords that thumped to the angry pounding in my chest when I saw the pervert on TV.  

They will do anything to annihilate the woman who speaks her truth to power, who threatens their system, Bell Hooks warns me, but I read her too late. I intuitively knew this at the police station, the cop’s smirks and eye rolling was the clue, but the after-school specials had told me they were the good guys.  Shut up and take it, the cops said with their refusal to press charges against the powerful pervert on TV.  Shut up and don’t disrupt our narrative. We’re the good guys.  

They’ll annihilate you if you rip their masks off. They’ll discredit you, gaslight you and call you crazy. They know your only power is your truth, your voice, and speaking the truth, so they’ll try to silence you too.  

“ That was crazy talk, crazy speech, the kind that would lead you to end up in a mental institution. ‘Little girl,’ I would be told, ‘ if you don’t stop all this crazy talk and crazy acting you are going to end up right out there at Western State.’  Madness too, not just physical abuse, was the punishment for too much talk if you were female.”

Hooks writes about the threat of being silenced and suppressed speech as more of a terror then of being considered mad and locked up.  

All of these valid threats, because women dared to speak the truth, to talk back, to question the machine.  

The People Of The Lie


“Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant ”

~Elie Weisel

They robbed me of my dignity & human rights when I reported my child sex assaults to the LAPD & when the ex FBI agent & Erika Hutchcraft exploited me, but I held up a mirror to them in return, so I won.

It’s holding up a mirror to Medusa and she shrieks and turns to stone when she sees herself. . . The beauty of truth is that its core is a mirror. My story is a mirror of them.

Talent as an artist & the truth are the same thing. It’s a mirror, a reflection of the truth.
Talent isn’t something you can steal, talent requires reflecting the purest form of truth.
That’s what separates great artists & writers & actors from the cheap imitations.
The people of the lie are incapable of reflecting the truth. The truth doesn’t exist in them, so they churn out cheap material, they steal ideas they don’t fully grasp & call it art & hope nobody notices.

Like when the book is so much better than the film version. It’s because the book writer was the truth teller and then someone in Hollywood tried to duplicate the truth into film but was unable to grasp the concept of truth. So they churn out a cheap imitation.

Can’t loot talent. It doesn’t work that way.

I’ve been doing a lot of recovery meetings & hanging out with sober friends who do a hybrid of AA, Smart Recovery, Recovery Dharma, Church, meditation, etc… The common denominator is that these people are willing to look at their mistakes & the way they’ve harmed others &/or fucked over people & are trying not to live their life like that ever again.
I realized that there are some people who have done such vile things that they will never be able to get sober because with a sober mind they’d have to clearly look at their behavior & actions & how the damage they caused permanently destroyed lives & robbed people of justice & happiness.
And there are some people who are stone cold sober & have a clear mind where they can rationalize all of the evil they’ve done & trauma they’ve caused others and be okay with it.
They’re human vacuums. They’re so broken inside that all they can do is consume. They don’t feel. They look at other humans as objects to be used for their own gain. There’s a lot of people like this in my story. Like my parents. They lived day to day on a steady supply of pills or alcohol in order to live with themselves.
They were unable to live sober lives because they’d have to truly look at the lives they led & harm they caused others.
There’s a lot of narcissists & parasites in my story, for sure, but with some of the people in my story, it’s something deeper than ego & parasitic narcissism.
They’re fundamentally evil.
They can rationalize anything they’ve done with a clear sober mind.
They’re the people of the lie.

I think my parents were fundamentally evil & human vacuums, which is why they did the things they did for so long. Their daily use of pills and alcohol was a way for them to feel good & made living with themselves easier, but I think even with a clear sober mind they were able to rationalize their evil behavior because they looked at other humans as devices for them to use for their own pleasure or gain. My mother & father enjoyed using people, they felt like they won when they exploited someone. But they’re not the only people like this in my story.

When the other people in my story were exploiting me, I didn’t see it when it was happening because it was normal behavior to me. Abuse & scapegoating & exploitation & gaslighting & degradation & lies were normal to me. I grew up with human vacuums so evil behavior was normal to me & I didn’t see any red flags.

Crocodile God (Thailand)


Folklore Project

I asked the people at my favorite Thai restaurant in LA if they had any folklore they’d be willing to share with me and they told me about the crocodile 🐊 god who lives in the rivers of Thailand and the two sisters who outsmarted him.

Folklore

Immigrant Poem


(Things I’ve heard while waitressing & working in the corporate world)

Dagos have big noses

Irish girls are fat

Polacks you can’t say ’em

Germans like their Brat

Jews bring you theatre

Japs make great cars

If I could chose either,

I’d name them after stars

Blacks give the rhythm

and also The Blues

but we’re all stealing

the Indians shoes.

Strength United Letter about Terry Rasmussen LAPD police report & Joe DeAngelo


This is a letter from Strength United confirming that they sent a victims advocate with me to LAPD Topanga in May 2019 to report my child sex assault when Terry Rasmussen lived with us in Woodland Hills & also the victims rep came with me to the van Nuys courthouse for the Joe DeAngelo RO hearing.

I also sought therapy services with them, and they refused to connect me with a therapist. I was also going to therapy visits at LA County Mental health & saw a psychaitrist named NancyWolf that my relatives were paying for in March 2019 and was taking medication, Seroquel.