Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I am terrified and excited about this.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I'm a Creative Writer. I'm not joking, this is the label I have, because I'm doing a course at university entitled "Creative Writing", therefore making me a "Creative Writer". What does this entail, I hear you ask? Well, here's the thing... I'm not entirely sure. Because I know how to write. Writing is all about creativity. So isn't it a bit weird to declare a course on writing is "Creative Writing"? Isn't it just as sane, albeit weirder looking, to call this course "Writing Writing"?
I am creative! I have to be. This isn't me being arrogant, we're all creative, here at Psychotronik, else pursuing this comic book publishing venture would be ridiculous. We are ideas men. We are the future of the medium, or story-writing. We are the future because we are here now and we will be after. The futures of the medium right now will be dead eventually. The writers we are fans with won't live forever (unless Grant Morrison is granted his dying wish and becomes part of the field of creativity that seeps out of the atmosphere... or something) and then we will have to step in place to fill that void. We are our own fans. We are our own favourite writers. There is a cycle there, and no one will ever break it.
But here's the thing. I'm surrounded by my peers. We have to be, duh, we're all doing the same course, but when we're given feedback... it's hollow. And it's obvious. A man is hurting inside so... obviously he should have the smell of alcohol on his breath to really push forward that idea! People obviously can't be conveyed an emotion of loss without a marker! Without a cliché! Need a tortured character? Kill his parents. Need to show how evil someone is without subtlety? Have them murder their parents! Obvious, obvious, obvious... how am I supposed to engage the reader when the reader apparently wants stories spoon fed to them step by step, instead of thinking for themselves?
Let's mess with peoples' heads. Let's buck expectation. Let's go where no-one thought we would. Let's be bloody creative, not freaking obvious. Else doing this course, doing "Creative Writing" is nothing of the sort, it's conforming, you know? And I don't want to conform to the tastes of a majority that shouldn't be in the position it is.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
A large number of students are unbelievably cruel to these people. They call them names and make fun of them right to their faces. Sometimes they don't do it in front of the person, but I also think it is very rude to talk about people behind their backs.
When I see or hear it happen, I would like to be able to say something to help them understand that what they are doing is not acceptable. What should I do when I am caught in these situations? -- TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OHIO
DEAR TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE: People who ridicule others because they are physically or developmentally disabled sometimes do it for attention because it makes them feel superior or because they don't realize the damage they are doing.
One way to correct the perpetrators would be to speak up and say you don't think what they are doing is funny because you have a brother who struggles every day with the challenges of . You should also talk to a counselor or the principal of your school, describe what has been happening and suggest that the student body could benefit from sensitivity training regarding discrimination, which is offered at many schools.
DEAR TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE: Don't fucking say a thing! Have you ever heard the expression, "It's always safer in the eye of the storm?" That means fit in with the rest of the group or suffer. Let me run through the scenario for you if I may,
"Hey guys, you shouldn't make fun of people with handicaps, they are people too and they have feelings! It's wrong!"
"Shut up, bitch. That's retarded."
"Don't say that! My brother is mentally handicapped, he has autism!"
"You hear that guys? The bitch has a retarded brother, that makes her retarded." And then you spend a couple years of your life being ridiculed. Just let it be.
If you feel strongly about it, and it eats at your soul, and it consumes your every waking second, and there is no other option, dress up like a creature of the night and take your vengeance and lash out against those that have wronged you.
Either of these two options are the best way to go.
DEAR ABBY: My sister-in-law was unhappy in her relationship, so my husband and I offered to let her stay with us. We moved her and all her stuff into our home. We even kicked our 3-year-old out of his room so she could have privacy.
She stayed with us for two nights, then went to her mother's. She was gone a week, then came back and spent one night. Then she returned to her mom's for two weeks. Most of her things are still here, but she hasn't said she's living with her mother permanently.
Do I still have a houseguest? I'd like to give my son his room back, but I don't want to be rude to my possible guest. -- POSSIBLE HOSTESS
DEAR POSSIBLE HOSTESS: Your little boy needs his room back! Unless you are ready to establish some boundaries, your sister-in-law could bounce back and forth indefinitely. It's time for you and your husband to talk to his sister and his mother and determine where his sister plans to nest, because it is unfair to use your son's bedroom as a storage locker.
DEAR POSSIBLE HOSTESS: Two things. If the chick has good taste: have a yard sale. If she has bad taste: have a bonfire. Don't tolerate her indecisiveness.
DEAR ABBY: Several months ago, my husband -- whose eyesight is fading rapidly -- was forced to depend on a cane indicating that he is blind. Since then, we have encountered many individuals who have no idea what a red-tipped white cane means.
We have heard people say things like, "Isn't that fancy!" or, "I love the way you decorated your cane for the Christmas season."
Abby, please inform your readers that a white cane with a red tip is not a fashion accessory or a personal whim. Its purpose is to allow a vision-impaired person to move around independently. Vision impairment also affects a person's balance. People have brushed past my husband, bumped into him and expressed annoyance because his slowness held them up.
I'm sure a "word to the wise" from you would make a decided difference. -- NANCY IN LACONIA, N.H.
DEAR NANCY: I'm pleased to help you spread the word, and you have described the situation very well. Allow me to add this: It's rude -- and can be dangerous -- to touch a stranger without permission. Not only could it cause the person to react in a hostile fashion, if he or she is blind, it could cause a nasty fall.
DEAR NANCY: To be fair to those people who don't give a shit about your husbands dissability, there are more of us than you. You don't surround us, we surround you! And we'll knock over as many blind people as it takes to live in a blissful state of ignorance. THIS IS OUR STAND! IT IS YOUR HUSBANDS FALL!
DEAR ABBY: I was the only person working out in the gym at my apartment complex the other evening when a man, presumably another resident, came to the front door. To enter, you must swipe your access card on the keypad.
He apparently did not have his access card with him and sat outside the door waiting for me to let him in. Because I was working on a cardio machine and trying to maintain my heart rate, I didn't want to interrupt my workout to open the door. He eventually tired of waiting and left.
Should I have stopped and let the person in the door? Or should he have gone back to get his access card? -- CARDIO CARRIE IN GEORGIA
DEAR CARRIE: While it would have been nice of you to let the man in, it could also have been dangerous because you were alone and the person was a stranger. The security door was put there for a reason, and I find it interesting that the man did not go after his entry card and return. The fact that he didn't suggests that he may not have been a resident as you assumed, and you may have dodged a bullet.
DEAR CARRIE: Yeah, you probably should have let him in. Nothing works wonders for your cardio like a little sexual assault. Where do you think Tae Bo came from?
DEAR ABBY: I have been dating/engaged to a for almost a year. He was recently deployed for a 14-month tour of duty in Iraq with the Marine Corps.
We planned to be married in August while he is home on R&R, but a few days ago he asked that we postpone the wedding until next February when he is stateside for good.
DEAR MARINE'S GIRL: Having never met or spoken to your fiance, I can't explain what is going on in his head. However, active duty in a war zone is extremely stressful, and his change of attitude may be related to that.
It takes a strong woman to be married to a man in the military, so be patient, stay positive and let him know that you'll be there when he comes home. Do not pressure him for answers right now. Continue to be as supportive as you can. When he returns in August, you two can have a heart-to-heart talk about why he wanted to slow things down.
DEAR MARINE'S GIRL: He's cheating on you. Of that I am most definitely sure. Nothing fucks up a dude's infidelity like a wedding because he has to spend more time with the person he's cheating on than the person he's cheating with. Here's what you do, go out to the gas station and buy one of those plastic gas cans and fill it up with a bunch of gas, douse the interior of his car with the liquid next time he's home, then light that motherfucker ablaze. Don't ask him for sure if he's cheating on you because he'll only lie.
DEAR ABBY: We recently celebrated my stepdaughter's 40th birthday. After dinner I placed the birthday cake, along with the knife, cake server, plates and forks, in front of her. We sang "Happy Birthday," and she blew out the candles.
Shortly afterward, I realized she was not cutting and serving the cake, so I asked if she wanted her father or me to do it.
I was raised with the idea that the person whose birthday it is should serve the cake to those celebrating with her (or him). Now I have begun to wonder, what is the proper custom regarding who should cut and serve the birthday cake? -- CURIOUS IN SAN FRANCISCO
DEAR CURIOUS: I'm not sure there is a rule of etiquette regarding who should serve the birthday cake. It's really up to the individuals involved, and the custom can vary from family to family. In your case, when you saw that your stepdaughter wasn't cutting the birthday cake, you did the right thing in asking her if she would like you to. That's what I would have done.
DEAR CURIOUS: Your stepdaughter is 40 years old and you are just barely getting to the point where you notice she doesn't cut her birthday cake at parties? Shit, how old are you? By this point, she's a grown adult and I'm sure you could have just let her do whatever the fuck she wanted to. That's what I would have done.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 30-year-old woman with a baby due in June. This will be my parents' first grandchild, and they are over the moon.
I have a full-time job, but I live with them because I go to school part-time. After paying tuition and other bills, I can't afford to live on my own. Moving out is not an option right now.
The problem is my father's drinking. He starts early in the afternoon and continues until bedtime. He is retired and doesn't think he has a problem.
I mentioned to my mother tonight that if he thinks I will let him hold my child after he's been drinking, he has another think coming. informed me that it is none of my business! When I said it is my child and that makes it my business, she just nodded. She doesn't know what to do about it, and I don't either.
I love my dad, but I have to be a , and that means putting my child's welfare first. I want Dad to be a part of my child's life, but not when he is in a stupor every night. How do I tell him that his drinking will affect his role as a grandparent? -- EXPECTANT MOM IN WISCONSIN
DEAR EXPECTANT MOM: You tell him in plain English, preferably in the morning while he's still sober, and do not allow yourself to be dissuaded. If necessary, make outside arrangements for if you cannot be present to supervise because it appears your mother has no influence over your father's actions. I'm sure you are a good daughter, but in your new role as a parent you MUST protect your child because he or she will be completely dependent on you.
Both you and your mother could benefit by joining Al-Anon, an offshoot of Alcoholics Anonymous that supports friends and families who are affected by a loved one with a drinking problem. It is listed in most telephone directories or can be contacted through www.al-anon.alateen.org for the location of the nearest chapter. Please don't wait. Because your is in denial, you are going to need all of the support you can get.DEAR EXPECTANT MOM: Don't be such a hater. It's clear your dad likes getting drunk, I recommend not putting a harsh on his buzz or I will give him the advice RIGHT NOW to hit you over the head with one of his empty bottles. If he drinks cans I will then recommend switching to bottles because hitting a can across someones head isn't effective unless its full. But then you can potentially waste the beer... that's no good for an alcoholic.
Also, you should have wrote sooner, I could have gave you a link to an abortion clinic.
DEAR ABBY: My father has always been a caring parent. Even after he and Mom divorced, he was there for my sister and me.
A few months ago, I found out that we may have a half-brother from an affair Dad had with a married woman. Rumor has it that the guy is a dead ringer for my father.
Would it be wrong to approach Dad and ask about this potential half-brother, or should I just let sleeping dogs lie? -- OLDER SISTER IN MAINE
DEAR OLDER SISTER: I see no reason why you shouldn't tell your father what you heard and ask if it's true. Not all rumors are true -- and he may be as surprised as you to hear the news if his married girlfriend didn't tell him she had conceived his child.
DEAR OLDER SISTER: Your name is pretty damn presumptuous. What is it with you women today and prodding around in their daddy's business? Definitely let sleeping dogs lie because if they wake up they could bite you in the neck or have rabies or be one of those little fuzzy dogs that hump the shit out of your leg. You want neither your father nor your potentially half brother to have any of these traits so just isolate yourself from these people. Go into seclusion and just stock up on canned vegetables and beans and stuff.... you know.... like that villain in the 1990's Dennis the Menace movie.
DEAR ABBY: How do you refer to someone who is in your family through marriage, but is not your in-law? If I'm talking about "my son's wife's mother," is there a quicker way to say it? -- MAGGIE IN NEW YORK CITY
DEAR MAGGIE: Definitely! Refer to her as "my daughter-in-law's mother."
DEAR MAGGIE: Call her a bitch and punch her in the face. One of these scenarios.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
DEAR ABBY: The way my mother dresses has me so embarrassed I don't want to be seen in public with her. Her hair looks as if she's stuck her finger in a light socket, her clothes are three sizes too big, she wears no makeup. It looks as if she just rolled out of bed, no matter where she is going.
Mom held a dinner party for my birthday, and even my boyfriend did a double take when he walked in and saw her wearing a giant T-shirt that came to her mid-thigh. Abby, she wasn't even wearing a bra! When I mentioned it to her the next day, she just laughed it off.
I take pride in my appearance. I realize that not everyone is as concerned as I am about their appearance. But shouldn't she respect others enough to at least look decent? Am I being conceited, or should she be given a makeover? -- MORTIFIED IN EUGENE
DEAR MORTIFIED: Has your mother always been unkempt and careless about her appearance, or is this something new? If it's something new, then she does not need a makeover; she needs a checkup from her doctor. If she has always presented herself this way, then I doubt she is open to change. Makeovers can work wonders, but they are successful only if the person is willing to admit that one is needed.
DEAR MORTIFIED: Don't be jealous of your mother's natural beauty. From the sound of it, she's probably just into the whole punk scene and far too hip for you and maybe you need to stop being such a goddamn stuck up fashion nazi. Your mother brought you into this world and she could murder you in your sleep. Never forget that.
DEAR ABBY: My grandmother died while I was out of the country on a two-week vacation. My dad left when I was in second grade, and she raised me along with my mother. We were very close. I always took care of her and made time to spend with her.
Although she had been in poor health for two years, Grandma was not in critical condition when I left. She passed away three days before I was to return, and my family held her funeral the day before I arrived.
I had expressed my wishes that they wait if at all possible. They did not, and I feel betrayed. We have always been close, and now I am so hurt and angry that I don't even want to see them. Can you offer any advice? -- CRUSHED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR CRUSHED: Please accept my sympathy for your loss. It is regrettable that the funeral could not be postponed, but there may have been extenuating circumstances.
Your feelings of anger are a part of your grieving process, and it is important that you work them through. It would be helpful for you to discuss this with your clergyperson so he or she can guide you to a grief support group. Please don't wait. The sooner you resolve this, the better it will be for you and your family, who I am sure are also grieving.
DEAR CRUSHED: Dude, she was dead. That's gross. They couldn't have kept her forever, she would have started smelling and all kinds of gross shit would have started getting awkward having a dead lady hanging around. I think they did the right thing. Get with the program.
DEAR ABBY: When dining out and someone asks for the salt (or any other item at the table) should you (a) use it first and then pass it, or (b) pass it first and then ask for it back? -- BETH IN WOODSTOCK, ILL.
DEAR BETH: When someone asks you to pass the salt, you should hand both the salt and pepper shakers at the same time, without helping yourself first. The same goes for any other item.
DEAR BETH: Depends on how much salt there is, Beth. If there is only a little bit and you can see this other person may like their food really salty you use it first that way they can't hog it all for themselves. Also, the tone of their voice. If they are grovelling for a mere grain of salt like a dog and there is a bountiful ammount of salt, then you hand it over. If, however, there is only a few shakes left in the shaker and they ask it and give you a face that reads, "Let me have that salt you fat son of a bitch, its the last thing you need." Say no and eat all of it so they can't have any. Then hit a batusi to rub it in.
DEAR ABBY: I am 8 years old, and I love science. I am writing you because when I go to the doughnut shop, they always give me paper bags when I order my doughnut to eat there. I also notice other people getting bags they don't need because they are eating their doughnuts there, too.
How many trees have to die for no reason?
I care about recycling and how long it takes for things to break down in the earth. What can I do so the doughnut shop will stop wasting bags? -- MANDI IN SCARSDALE, N.Y.
DEAR MANDI: I respect the fact that you are conscientious about how your actions -- and the actions of the people around you -- affect the environment. You are a sharp young lady.
What you should do is speak to the manager of the doughnut shop. Tell him or her that these days a strong selling point in many businesses is that they are "going green." In the case of the doughnut shop, it would cost them less and even gain them more customers if they would stop handing out bags to customers who are eating their doughnuts on the premises and tell them why. (A piece of waxed paper would suffice and create less waste.)DEAR MANDI: Grow up. One paper bag does absolutely nothing to save the environment. Maybe your bigger concern should be the fact that there is no such thing as free will and your actions are merely random chaotic clashing of atoms. You'll never amount to anything and you'll never make a difference on this earth so you should just shove your face with another donut sit back and relax as everything around you crumbles magnificently in the only way it ever could.
Before you know it you'll be old and dying and you won't think about how many trees you'd have saved by bitching about a donut store, you'll wonder a lot of things sure, like how many times in your life you actually watched a sunset and how much you took for granted the early years of your life when everyone around you wasn't visually withering around you and perhaps you'll even have a lingering taste of donuts on your breath... but you won't think of the fucking trees.
Now, go outside and play or something. Stop wasting my time.
DEAR ABBY: I'm having a problem with my next door neighbors. We just purchased a wonderful historical home located in an awesome neighborhood. My problem is, after we moved in, we realized that these people are exhibitionists. They have no window coverings in their home, which has large windows on all sides. At night you can see all the way through to the other side.
Our home has no back door, so when we need to let our dog out, we must walk along the driveway. We refer to it as "walking the gauntlet." This couple eats their breakfast at a table next to the side window dressed only in their night clothes. At 7 a.m., I am in my robe. Should I wave or hang my head in shame?
I know I should have checked the neighbors out before we bought. I come from a rural area, but still, I had blinds. Flaunting my nightwear or my husband's is kind of personal. Please advise. -- PUT OFF IN TEXAS
DEAR PUT OFF: There is nothing shameful or exhibitionistic about wearing one's pajamas to the breakfast table. If the sight of your neighbors' nightwear embarrasses you, plant a lovely, lush, fast-growing hedge between your driveway and their kitchen.
DEAR PUT OFF: Well uh... are they hot? I guess if they are ugly it makes all the difference in the world but if they are hot you should probably just get used to living a sinful city life and enjoy the view. You are lucky they are wearing nightwear, you could walk into the kitchen to the sight of him bending her over the kitchen counter for a bit of ass to go with his coffee.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
DEAR ABBY: Five years ago, my brother-in-law sent my sister "Rita" and me on an all-expense-paid weekend trip to Canada. He asked me to tell Rita that I had "won" it for outstanding performance at my job and wanted her to accompany me.
To make a long story short, it turned out he did it in order to cheat on my sister. Because we had problems with the arrangements he had made, Rita and I had to return a day early. When she opened her front door and walked in, she caught her husband red-handed.
Ever since that unfortunate incident, Rita has cut off our entire family. She acts as though WE cheated on her, and remains married to this despicable man even though he lives with the other woman.
I don't understand why my sister has pushed away all of the people who love her while maintaining a relationship with a man who cheats on her. I don't know what to do. Any advice? -- MISSING MY SISTER
DEAR MISSING: Your sister may feel that she deserves the treatment she's getting from her husband, or is still hoping that her wandering spouse will return. Because you were part of the deception, she has displaced the anger she should be aiming at her husband and has directed it at you because it is "safer."
Until she finds the strength and courage to accept that her marriage is over, her behavior will probably continue. I'm advising you to go on with your life until she is ready to change hers.
DEAR MISSING: Did you ever see that movie where the chick gets cheated on by her husband then gets really depressed and goes running to her family for comfort and security? I'm sure it was like every Tyler Perry movie ever made. Well, that shit is not a reality. I'm sorry to say this, Missing, but your sister is a bitch.
Think about it. Why did your brother-in-law who was nice enough to send you on a trip in the first place cheat on her? I'm sure she had it coming if she's been acting rude and shit to you. But that's not really advice, is it? My advice would be to cut your sister out of your life for the time being. She'll begin to miss you when you are not constantly reaching out to her and when she does try to reach back and turn around to visiting you and sending you cards over the holidays... you call her a bitch and remind her why her husband cheated on her!
DEAR ABBY: Most of my extended family are pleasant and enjoy each other's company when we meet at family gatherings several times a year. But three of them (all from the same side of the family) are just plain rude. Every event becomes an uncomfortable exercise in bracing oneself for the verbal attacks that come from these critical, judgmental people.
We have tried talking about it, but hear the same refrains -- "I'm not changing," "Accept me as I am," and, "You have no choice but to put up with me because we are family!"
I am a younger member of this family who occasionally spends holidays with friends or traveling. When I do, I am severely chastised by these three relatives, who say I have "no right" to skip family gatherings. If they were nicer people, I would want to spend more time with them.
I want to do the right thing, but what do people who have the same ancestry "owe" each other when there is no connection of friendship or goodwill? -- RELATED IN NAME ONLY IN SAN JOSE, CALIF.
DEAR RELATED: I know of no rule of etiquette that states you are compelled to attend every family event. Good manners dictate that you treat those around you courteously. But that does not mean that you must engage in anything more than casual, superficial chit-chat with those who are critical, judgmental and rude.
Because these get-togethers involve extended family, spend the majority of your time with the relatives who make you feel welcome, supported and loved.
P.S. One thing you do NOT owe these folks is an explanation regarding your absence when you choose to avoid them.
DEAR RELATED: Really? You're a pussy. My family is the exact same way and instead of avoiding them, I just talk shit right back. It's called having dignity. If you want to go on the rest of your life running away from these people who you will always feel obligated to see on holidays and crap, that's your prerogative. If you want to be awesome about it, you'll just make them feel like shit every time they open their mouth by telling them how they are poorer than you, fatter than you, dumber than you, shorter than you, uglier than you, etc. Perhaps, if one of them is being a bitch, you can tell her that its the reason her husband cheated on her and sent her away on a farcical vacation! It would be a huge burn.
But don't run. That's such a bitch move, everyone will see it, and you'll only get exponentially more made fun of for doing it.
In this day and age, nobody wants Abby's advice. It's dated. It's stale. It doesn't ring true. I'm sick of it. That's why from here on out, I plan on giving solid advice to people who write in to abby asking for solutions to their problems. In the interest of fairness, I will also write Abby's advice for comparison but you know... nobody is going to give a shit about that.
DEAR ABBY: I am trying hard to rebuild my marriage. My husband and I have three young children. Four months ago, I met a man (I'll call him "") who made me feel like I haven't felt in a long time. We have not slept together. We tried several times to stop seeing each other, but unfortunately, my attraction to him was too strong.
This week my husband and I separated. I saw Jack this morning. Before things went too far I told him that I had herpes. Abby, he practically had a heart attack -- and ended it on the spot!
The thing is, what I said wasn't true. I just could not think of another way to make him stop being available so I could concentrate on my marriage. I feel like such a coward, and I am heartbroken. Not only do I miss Jack terribly, I also can't bear the thought that someone who made me feel so happy would just turn his back on me.
Would there be any point in telling him that I lied, or did I do the right -- albeit cowardly -- thing? -- WAVERING IN THE SOUTH
A thought provoking question, here is Abby's response.
DEAR WAVERING: I can see absolutely nothing positive to be gained by approaching Jack again. While I would never recommend lying, yours exposed the man's truth. If he truly cared about you, he would have stuck by you instead of heading for the exit. Consider yourself lucky to have learned the truth while there was still time to save your marriage.
Wow, she couldn't be more wrong. Here is where I step in.
DEAR WAVERING: You are going to hell. Adultery is a sin, you dirty whore of a woman. You should be ashamed of yourself for being so dirty. And to top it off, you are going to like to "Jack" about having herpes? What the fuck kind of psychological games are you playing on this guy!? It's not his fault you were desperately craving him to the point where you LEFT YOUR HUSBAND! I think you are totally in the wrong here. In fact, I think you should contemplate living the rest of your life alone after the way you've tried to break one man with the threat of a venereal disease and tried to turn your husband into a cuckold. For shame.
DEAR ABBY: I am concerned about my younger brother. I'll call him "Freddy." Freddy is 18 and very lazy. His girlfriend lives with him at my mother's house.
Our mom is always cleaning their room. She does all the cooking and sometimes even launders their clothes. Mom tells me everything, and she's bothered by this. I live with her, too, but I do my share. I pay half the rent.
DEAR TOUCHY SUBJECT: I, too, am concerned about your brother. It is time your mother realized that by allowing this arrangement, she has done her son no favors.
The girlfriend should not be living in his room rent-free. (Where the heck are her parents?) If she is a student, she should have a part-time job and contribute something -- and so should Freddy. If he is old enough to have a live-in companion, he should be mature enough to clean up and do a load of laundry.
Your mother should convene a "family council" meeting and start assigning chores. Until and unless she becomes assertive enough to draw the line, she will continue to be taken advantage of. It's not about being mean or nasty. It's about encouraging Freddy to grow up and lessen his dependence upon her.
DEAR TOUCHY SUBJECT: Stop being a pussy! I mean, if he's your younger brother and he's being a little bitch, beat the living shit out of him untill he stops. Problem solved. If you don't, well then he's gonna just keep doing it to you FOREVER because you'll show him that you play that shit... and you don't play that shit, Touchy Subject!
Just say it with me, "I don't play that shit!"
See? Doesn't that feel awesome? Didn't you feel a confidence deep within your gut that you've not felt in long, long time? I knew such was the case.
Now, go into the other room where your lazy brother is and roll up a newspaper or a magazine or soemthing and hit him upside the head with it. He'll be caught off gaurd which will leave him vulnerable to any number of strikes to his throat (I suggest some sort of heel strike if he's sitting on his ass.) If his girlfriend is in the room, reach back like a pimp and slap that filthy good for nothing whore. Do it, Touchy Subject! And when you do, they'll look at you in awe and say, "Wow, I used to think this guy standing before me was a pussy, but clearly I had it wrong." And
Guess what Touchy Subject, they will be right. They will be right.
DEAR ABBY: I am asking this question in all seriousness. While I am using a restroom in a public place, I'm not sure how to respond when someone knocks on the door to see if anyone is there. What's the appropriate answer? -- GOTTA GO IN WALDORF, MD.
DEAR GOTTA: The correct response is, "Occupied!"
DEAR GOTTA: Kick open the door with your foot and scream violently, "WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE SHIT HEAD!?!" They will be mortified and their thirst for knowledge will be quenched.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I love horror films, I think we've established that from the rant I posted last December, but really... I just want them to work. I want us to stop cannibalising old plots and films, I want us to move forward, and do something brilliant.
I want horror to be special again.
But I might stand corrected with a few of my points from the previous blog (Help Me. I Am In Hell) due to the fact that I've seen parts of the new Friday the 13th. And the thing is... it doesn't look bad. It looks... awful... but that's because in this day and age we can't take masked serial killers seriously.
I mean honestly, in Saw, Jigsaw, our villain/anti-hero, wears a pig mask and has a clown puppet called Billy. Those aren't scary (well they were in the first film, the scene with Cary Ewes in the parking garage and Jigsaw crawling out of the back seat... guh, and when the director does that irritating quick IN-YOUR-FACE cut/cut/cut shoot style...), they're funny. If you turn off the sound (ignoring the sultry tones of Tobin Bell) you've got this clown puppet yapping away. Horrifying-- Not.But we don't have masked serial killers walking the streets. No urban myths and legends really have those kind of terrifying figures (Obviously ignoring the Hook Man legend, but even then, he doesn't wear a mask, he wears a hook. Go figure) that instill fear.
Anonymity should be scary.
Films like When A Stranger Calls are scary because we don't know who the hell is doing what, and by the end of the film, we still don't. He's, like Michael Myers before him in Halloween, a "Shape", ethereal, ghostly, but when he strikes... he strikes hard and vicious. To be honest, the sequences without actually seeing the "Prank Caller" in When A Stranger Calls are the scariest. When we actually see him, he's a human being, and he's just there. Real. It looses something. Faceless serial killers are the best, in that we don't know who they are, or why they're doing what they're doing. Why is Jason killing? Because he nearly drowned and, oh, because of one the funniest quotes of the film: "Kill for mother!" Thank you Pamela Voorhees. And thank you, shades of Psycho (another film that brilliant in it's anonymity, and not diluted by the eventual reveal of "Mother" Bates)!
I don't like knowing why the killer is killing. Certain films work like that, "discovery horror", as I've just decided to call it, where-in the story is moved forward by a mystery, but others, not so much. I'm going out on a limb and declaring the remake of House Of Wax as "discovery horror", as we eventually discover the history of the Wax Town, the twins, etc, but what really matters is how fucking horrifying a lot of the murders are. How happy was I when Paris Hilton got skewered by a phallic symbol? Tres. One of the weaker murders, sure, but some of the events in that film were really bloody scary. The guy at the piano, his mate finding him, prodding his cheek and then-- oh, if you've seen the film, you know what I'm talking about. God. And Elisha Cuthbert's fingers!! Shit. That was a scary-ish film!
So Friday the 13th. I was a bit fanboy-ish outraged at the idea of Jason running. But now, thinking about it, so what? So what if he runs? That doesn't matter, does it? I mean, I may prefer my slow moving serial killers, Michael Myers, aka The Shape, the classic Voorhees... but fast moving can be scary too, in different ways. Freddy Kruger of Nightmare on Elm Street fame jumps around like a freaking ADD afflicted twelve year old, and he's terrifying, the "ugly clown", that glove, the close ups on his massacred face... scary as. The zombies in the remake of Dawn of the Dead and in 28 Days Later (one of the greatest British films ever made) too, are scary in a different way. They will get you. And there's no fun in that. I like zombies that loiter about and then won't stop till they eventually find you, moving in herds, never stopping, slowly but surely catching up with you. In Dawn of the Dead, they just... ran... and it was disappointing. Where was the suspense? Where was the horror?
But Jason Voorhees runs in Friday the 13th. And I don't know, really, I don't mind. I've not seen the entire film, I want to, sure, but I've not got round to it. As long as he doesn't, I don't know, dance about, I think I can be ok with it. So whilst I'm not a big fan of nu-horror, shallow and dilute as it is, I think I can abide it.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Where was I? Oh yes. The blog. I'm writing a blog right now.
So I should introduce myself in this thing in some fashion for all of those that read this blog and aren't already subscribing to my other blog, all one of you? I am Ramon Villalobos. I am the rabble-rouser of our dysfunctional little clan of comic book creators. There is no subject too insignificant for me to make a fuss over and then drag on until we all have forgotten what we argued about in the first place. That's my role.
At this point, I would usually ask you who you are, but given the format of this exchange, I'm going to leave that to my imagination. To me, you are a cockroach who is so fed up with life you have turned to a life of drinking spilt bear off the ground and have found some way to pound on the keys of the keyboard before you enough to surf the Internet and have stumbled upon this very blog with the hope that it will provide you some semblance of a reason to go on... some life force that will fill the void in your life so you can get your act together and go procreate cockroach style so that you will father the generation of cockroaches that survives nuclear annihilation and will inherit the earth after we humans have completely drove it to ruins. You will be the ancestor of all existence and your kind will evolve beyond my comprehension so that you will rocket away from this planet before the sun burns out and nothing is left of this very blog but the faint dissonant note of information that ring on in subconscious of your great great great great grandchildren and be encoded in their dna. And in that eventuality, I will live on too. That's who you are to me.
Now that we've gotten the formalities out of the way, I want to address a very important topic of discussion: Saving the Whales.
We've done too much of it. I know what you are thinking if you are on the liberal end of the spectrum, "but Ramon Villalobos, co-writer and artist of Frank and Elenore In... and artist of To Earth with Love, what are you saying? Whales are majestic creatures and we should preserve their species so that they can live noble peaceful lives undisturbed by human interruption!" Well you are wrong. Dead wrong. Why? Because we have to destroy the whales to further promote the evolution of OUR species. Let's be honest here, we are no radioactivevolved future cockroach, we are never going to figure out the key to realistic space travel so that we can leave this planet and inhabit another one. That's just not going to happen when people are mindlessly devoting their lives to religion and rejecting scientific advancement and the slaughtering of fetuses (fetusi?). We'll just never go that far.
So what will we do when we run out of space on earth and need to find new places to build McMansions and Super Wal-Marts? Well after we completely level those worthless rain forests that take up too much space and allow deadly viruses to spread and waste us off, we'll need to venture into the true final frontier. The ocean! It's so obvious of an idea, I'm surprised we are wasting time with NASA's failures and overspending and not putting valuably fleeting resources into underwater breathing technology! We could build whole colonies underwater that would theoretically function the exact same way as society does on land but with Atlantis motifs! Think about it, isn't that the future you want for your children and grandchildren!? (Not you roach, you come into play a little later)
Of course it is.
Why wouldn't you?
Are you some kind of inhumane aquaphobic monster?
I didn't think you were.
So anyways, that brings us back to those fucking whales.
When we eventually do go all Sealab 2020 we are going to have to face all sorts of oceanic wildlife that may not like us lighting up the blackness of the ocean depths and polluting the living shit out of their turf, or tide as the case may be. Among these, the creature I see presenting the most problems to us would be the whales. The sharks would be a threat sure, I think Jaws is overrated, but the threat they presented in the movie was legitimate, sharks are big and have lots of pointy teeth. But at the end of the day, they can be blown to smithereens by missiles and probably eaten as sea-burgers. Whales? They are the raging Goliaths that we will need far more than torpedoes and spears to kill. Once they realize what our intentions are, they will try to resist our hostile take over and use their sonic communication to communicate with one another and lead a revolution against us mammalian outsiders. We will fight bitter wars with them and they will eat our ships whole just like in Pinocchio, except we are not immortal wooden avatars of the child a lonely carpenter was never able to father, no-no, we are people and when people get consumed whole, the stomach acid of larger beast will kill us. Probably.
So what are we waiting for? We all know the day will come when we will have to fight these bastards, why allow the opportunity to grow larger armies and become more a advanced species as time creeps forward? It's arrogant to think the people we look down on and help out today won't try to compete against us in the future, look at Japan. Those kooky little fuckers have already built better cars and created legions of anime obsessed little demonic capitalists the likes of which our good wholesome, pot smoking American mallrats can never compete with in any capacity. Didn't you watch our version of Hole in the Wall? We suck at it and they are probably pretty decent! If that's not a test of superiority, I honestly don't know what is.
At any rate, lets not make the same mistake twice. Let's take any and all opportunities to kill off this fast growing race of water-mammoths while we still can do so with very little effort.
That is all.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Let me just start by saying that if you are a Bruce Campbell fan it will be almost impossible for you to not like this film. And if you aren't a Bruce Campbell you'll probably think it's one of the worst movies you've ever seen.
And that is what My Name Is Bruce basically is - a movie just for the fans. It's like Bruce Campbell's greatest hits. If you were a big enough Bruce fan to sit through McHale's Navy, this is like pure candy. He plays a parody of himself as filtered through his lovable jerk Ash persona. His movies are referenced heavily (with even a made-up one). He does all his best bits and his more famous quotes are littered throughout. And the cast is populated with past players in his less-than-impressive b-movie oeuvre (which of course includes Ted Raimi, the not quite as talented younger brother of Sam and Ivan).
So how do you get to be a Bruce fan? Where did they all come from? I have no idea. For me personally it was a quiet summer night sometime back in the late 1980s when myself and a small group of friends would raid the video rental section of a local grocery store that just so happened to be heavy stocked on scary movies. There must have been a kindred spirit behind the counter somewhere that would order pretty much every single blood and guts flick that came up for purchase and it did not go unnoticed by us. It didn't hurt that the girl that worked the customer service desk at night was a friend of mine so we almost never caught late fees when we found one good enough that it required an extra viewing night. So on that night one friend made note of a particular movie called Evil Dead 2 that reportedly co-starred a local hometown girl who had made it big, Kassie Wesley (later DePaiva, the girl who swallowed the eyeball). We rented it with little idea that it would fast become our favorite movie and would go on to be a heavily repeated rental in the months to come. It was brilliant madness. Frantic camerawork, slapstick horror, and our first taste of the man we would come to worship, Bruce Campbell. And in the years since our admiration hasn't lost steam one iota. A few years back I visited said friend on a trip to his city only to find a copy of "If Chins Could Kill" on his coffee table and him dutifully asking his 4-year-old son to identify the man on the cover. "Bwuce Cammell," his son quickly responded. "That's my boy!" my friend proudly proclaimed. Such is the dedication of a true Bruce fan.
And new generations of Bruce fans just keep on coming. How do they come to learn of 'the groovy' that is Bruce? The happy accident of a late night showing of Army of Darkness? An older brother who was already hip to the coolness of Brisco County Jr.? A curiosity to who this guy is that keeps showing up in the Spider-man movies? They just so happened to glimpse a charismatic yet goofy chap on an Old Spice commercial? It's hard to pinpoint.
Right, My Name is Bruce. A small town is being terrorized by an ancient evil spirit (of which whom they have a catchy song about) so the town's biggest Bruce Campbell fan elects to recruit his hero to help them out. In a plot not unlike Three Amigos the townsfolk have no idea that movie heroes aren't the same as real heroes so they welcome him as their savior. Bruce, playing the usual self-important yet self-loathing shemp is given little choice but to go along with it but soon decides to live it up and soak in a hero worship... until the time comes to confront the menace. In this case his own personal El Guapo is an evil Chinese god named Guan-di. That's where the crazy fun goes up a notch and Bruce reveals his true colors.
It's a fun idea that allows Bruce to be Bruce. But when you get down to it it's not that great of a story. It's not that well acted. The dialogue is extra-cheesy. And the monster isn't really in the least bit scary. But somehow, once again, Bruce makes you not care. He's smarmy and smug. He's a down on his luck drunk and a divorcee. He dances like he wants to hurt someone. He runs readily from the bad guy. He steals cars from old ladies. And he tries to womanize the only single mother in town. But it's still awesome. And when the chips are down and push comes to shove he steps up and makes good on saving the day. Or at least I think he does. The ending gets a little confusing. I will say however that I am supremely disappointed the custom built chainsaw foreshadowed halfway through the movies wasn't brought in for the final act. It was the only major failing of this film which made good on giving the fans what they want on every other level.
So it comes down to this. Bruce Campbell knows his fans. Not quite in the way that William Shatner understands how to poke fun of himself (for being full of himself) and make money on his own name, but it's pretty damn close. He knows his fans well enough that he tours with the film on a limited release and does Q and As along with it. He also knows enough about his fanbase to load down the DVD with extras and charge a little more for it when it is finally released early next month because we will happily pay for it to get the purest dose of Bruceness available since maybe Army of Darkness dropped over 15 years ago. Bruce is cashing in on us and we couldn't be happier.
Hail to the King baby.
(now I'm off to Hulu to catch up on Burn Notice!)