Loaded Gun and a Cocktail

Gotta love Ewik's work.  He does sexy women like few others.  If I had the bills, I'd buy several of his paintings on put them up for inspiration. And honestly, about the only thing sexier than a woman with a gun is a woman with a guitar.  Both images show that the woman means business.

There's this movie that goes by about seven hundred different titles, but is typically known now as Thriller -- A Cruel Picture.  It is a bit of a rough film, but the iconic image of the eye patch wearing female armed with a shot gun and in a long black coat is one that sticks with me.   Then there's Poison Ivy from The Cramps and any of the various ladies from Nashville Pussy.

Sexy.  Pure sex, actually.  Women drummers, while fine, don't really conjure up the same feelings.

And let's not forget women in uniform.

A few years ago Sybil Danning autographed this photo of her and Sheri Moon Zombie dressed as the Nazis from the film Werewolf Women of the SS.  I've got that hanging on my wall.  Lovely. 

I think it's the idea of the woman not being a victim, not being subservient, not taking any lip, that makes it sexy.  I have some female friends who think they aren't sexy for any number of reasons, never realizing that sexy is not a weight issue or a hair issue, it's an attitude issue.

At least for guys who care for things beyond the superficial.

Guns and guitars ... and the occasional questionable uniform.  Yeah, it doesn't get much better than that.

Well it does, but it usually involves a double-barreled shotgun being leveled at your face.


The Face of Healthcare Opponents

I am a registered Republican.  Not because I believe in what the party has to offer.  No.  I'm a registered Republican because I get to vote in the party's primaries, take part in its polls and get all their mailings.  I'm not a huge fan of Democrats, either, but looking at what has gone on the past few days, I have to say that the Republicans not only look like uneducated backwoods morons, but they actually seem proud of it.  Granted, not all of them, but it's the ones who aren't who are even more disturbing than the ones who are.

Why aren't they speaking out against what is going on?  Palin using war talk.  McCain endorsing that and saying there will be no more cooperation the rest of the year.  (Was there any in the first place?  What an empty threat.)  The ones who aren't ignorant aren't calling those who are out on the carpet.   Why is that?

The Republicans lost the healthcare debate.  They had a chance to participate.  Blew it.  The Democrats sent it home, for better or for worse (I believe a little of both), without the aid of the Republicans.  They took a page out of the Bush administration playbook and said, "Fuck you, we're doing it anyway."  And now the GOP doesn't like it.  Doesn't like it one bit.  Palin is so angry she may actually read a book or something and get herself edjimacated.

Do Americans really tolerate sore losers?

People who know me or read a lot of my "stuff" know I have problems with both parties.  I'd much rather see this "kick ass and take names" approach used for good (like healthcare reform -- real reform -- not what we got) than as a prelude to war.  Which leads to another question: Where were these tea baggers when they realized their tax dollars were going to mercenary groups in the desert?

Did the tea baggers not know their tax dollars supported war and Haliburton?  Or did they not care?  Hey, tea baggers, here's a thought:  When all those Iraqi war vets come home and develop oddly colored semen and facial tics twenty years down the road and the government refuses to help them because there's no proof it is tied to some crazy chemical cocktail they were exposed to fighting for some oil overseas, this healthcare reform may end up helping them.  That's a good thing, right?  Or would you rather they just suffer silently?

I don't disagree with everything the Republicans stand for, just like I don't agree with everything Democrats preach.  I do, however, calls them likes I sees them, and in this case the Republicans are proving just what sore loser, whiny, unpatriotic pricks they really are.

Thanks for having me in the party, though.  I'll be sure to have fun with it in the upcoming elections.    


The Lioness and Her Cub ...

I'm reclined on my couch.  Back is on fire, as is my stomach.  Kill Bill Vol. 2 just finished up on IFC.  The news is now assaulting me with Tea Party morons yelling about socialism in reaction to the passage of the tepid healthcare reform.

May all your dreams be wonderful, indeed.

I'm thinking that tomorrow night when I get home from work I'll make coffee (something I rarely drink at night), get some writing done (essential), and, if the back is still trying to kill me, pop a pill and call it even.  Top Gear will be playing in the background, and the siren song of codeine will lull me into a false sense of security. 

I'm watching some incredible footage of a volcano eruption in Iceland.  Simply beautiful.  I love watching nature's rage.  Reminds us of how little control we really have over things. 

On a humorous note, I noticed that the page views for my video game blog, 8 Bit Disasters, jumped by over 1,000%.  Why?  Two things, really.  I wrote about Final Fantasy-inspired porn and Farmville.  Because of this, my revenue went up, and my numbers went apeshit across the board.  Sad and funny.  I can write about politics until my ears bleed and nobody gives a fuck.  Write about porno with fictional video game characters and a Facebook game based upon agriculture of all things, and suddenly people start paying attention.  (On a related note, a lot of people come to this blog because they entered the term "how to pick up prostitutes" into a search engine.  Why someone has to look that up is beyond me, however.  Hookers don't exactly make it difficult to find them or engage in their services.  If you have to do an Internet search in how to pick them up, it should give you a hint that maybe you don't want to be doing that because you're the exact type of guy who would get caught.  What you should be looking for is "the legality of prostitution" in your area.)

All of this leads me to believe that animals are reliable and people are insane.

One of my co-workers is bringing in brownies tomorrow, which makes the burden of Monday far more tolerable.  Looking forward to that.  She's a nice co-worker with a great sense of humor that plays well off mine, and she's also a good baker.  I'm hoping the brownies are kind of gooey, as that's how I tend to like them, but I'll be fine either way.  Brownies equal smiles.  As do shotguns and Social Darwinism.

A friend e-mailed me and told me those new Pacific Shrimp tacos from Taco Bell were disgusting and he was kind of surprised by that.  My response?  "Really?  Isn't that like being shocked that masturbating with sandpaper could be painful?"  Shrimp tacos.  Taco Bell.  At what point does any of that seem like a good idea?  Am I missing something here?

Time to read ...


Hung With Glib Delight

I sent my first article off to the new site I'm writing for.  Once the site is up and running I'll be posting a link, but I don't know what good that will do a lot of you, as the site itself will be in Romanian (and will include Romanian translations of my writing).  English versions of my articles will appear on the site's Facebook page.

I don't think I've ever had any of my writing translated into Romanian, so that's kind of nifty, and you got to love any country known for someone like Vlad the Impaler.  Apparently, he's still considered a hero in some parts of the country.  (Don't shake your head in disbelief.  America still has a necrophiliac love affair with Ronald Reagan.  The only thing that stopped him from impaling people was that he forgot where he put the stakes.)

I have been battling a headache all day.  Got a lot of writing done, though, which kept my mind off not having my daughter here to enjoy the day with me.  I'm trying to place a horror short story I wrote a few years back, but the word count is making it difficult to find a publisher.  Such is life.

Listened to some Henry Rollins this morning.  Listened to ol' Hank talk about killing mice and rats as part of his job.  Putting them in bags, squeezing the air out and then pumping in carbon dioxide.  Then he would haul them off to the NIH incinerator.  Day after day of this rodent extermination.  I wonder if that job relieved stress or caused it?  I'm not sure how I would handle it.  I'll probably never have to find out.

I've been itching to get a new tattoo, but have to save some dough for some other things.  Still want my homage to Black Flag's version of "Louie Louie."

Scored a copy of Man on the Moon today for $3.99 at Walgreens of all places.  I love this movie because I'm a fan of Andy Kaufman.  Anyone who is familiar with his brand of humor can see where I get much of my inspiration from.  I really respect anyone who can really fuck with the fabric of reality the way he did.  Not only did he do that, but he also did it strictly for himself ... a form of self-amusement, if you will.  Hell, that's why I do most of the shit I do.  I figure if I can entertain myself I'll A)Never be bored, and B) Probably amuse someone else, too.  I don't know why I never had this on DVD before, but I obviously couldn't pass up a bargain price like that.  The original Friday the 13th was there, too, but I really don't like that film franchise.  

Think I need a horror movie night soon.  Invite a friend or two over and get some creepy going on the television.  Could be fun or total misery.

Enough rambling.  I've got some other writing to do.


Overwhelming amount of stupidity in the outside world today. Happy to not relate. *Sol Invictus*


Here There Be Hawks

The quote is from just a few years ago.  Not even two years ago, really.  In terms of American's attention spans, however, that's, like, a really long time ago, dude.

"Russia is a state that is unfortunately using the one tool that it has always used whenever it wishes to deliver a message and that's its military power.  That's not the way to deal in the 21st century." 

That's Condoleeza Rice commenting on Russia's "attack" on Georgia. (To keep the issue clear, Russia did not make the initial move on Georgia, and Georgia actually started the incident with a ground attack on Tskhinvali.  Georgia also engaged in a bombardment that was civilian oriented.)  I'm sure the irony was lost on her.  After all, the Gulf War Part Deuce started five years earlier, eons in Americaspeak.  She can be forgiven for forgetting about that ongoing scuffle in the sands of the land that time forgot.

"Our policies toward Iraq simply are to protect the region and to protect Iraq's people and neighbors."  That's Condie again, on our purpose in Iraq.  I guess we offer protection the same way the Mafia offers protection.   

She can't be fucking serious.

Edward Herman once wrote a great piece comparing Russia and Georgia and the US with Iraq.  It was nothing short of brilliant and really pointed out the Orwellian nature of the government and news media surrounding both issues.  Rice was mentioned in the essay quite a bit.

Rice was a hawk through and through.  The media ate up her words and rarely (if ever) questioned her.  She proved that, like Thatcher, women could be just a bloodthirsty as the men.  She perpetuated the Bush administration's myths, half-truths and outright lies, and she got away with it.  

Aren't you glad she's on our side?  Her words and actions, coupled with that of the administration she served, have resulted in the needless deaths of Iraqis and US soldiers.  The media, with its lack of questioning, has blood on its hands, too.

The disrespect runs deep ...


A Good Way to Open a Monday

The first song I heard on the radio today was off The Devil's Rejects soundtrack.  That movie is one of my favorites, so I was pretty excited to start my Monday this way.  Some people didn't get it or care, but others, like Knife Fetish Girl (you know who you are), totally understood the meaning of that.

I struggle with weekdays for the usual reasons, but to start the week off with this gives me hope that maybe all I need to get through the day is a little Otis.  I think I'll just drown out the pointless meanderings of the clueless minds and just go to that happy place where justice and responsibility aren't things to be scared of, but to be embraced.

It's amazing how one song can bring back memories and make you feel invigorated, ready to destroy all that gets in your way.  I am almost looking forward to it getting underway (almost, just almost).

Smoke 'em if you got 'em, folks.  


Henry Ford Sued (aka The Day the World Changed)

The January 2007 issue of Z Magazine has another great interview with Noam Chomsky.  The piece, by Dennis Ott, is titled "On Capitalism, Europe, and the World Bank," and it runs four pages for just two questions.  What I found interesting about it was where it went after Ott quoted Hans-Martin Buhlmann at a shareholder's meeting of Allianz AG, for which Buhlmann is a "major shareholder." Buhlmann stated, "The inferiors must not be bled so much that they can no longer consume.  They must survive as consumers."

Chomsky takes this opportunity to go into some of the history of our current state of capitalism and corporate rule, and he gives credence to Buhlmann's idea about what our current state of capitalism is like.  "It's been dealt with over and over again in one or another way during the history of capitalism," Chomsky states before using the example of Henry Ford (pictured above).

"Henry Ford famously tried to pay his workers a higher wage than the going wage on the grounds that if he didn't pay his workers enough and other people didn't pay their workers enough, there would be nobody around to buy his model-T Fords," Chomsky states.  Interesting concept, and a fairly well-known fact.  What is not as well known is what happened next.

According to Chomsky, the issue of Henry Ford's wages was actually taken to court in the US around 1916 "and led to a fundamental principle of Anglo-American corporate law."  The case was called Dodge v. Ford.  "Some of the stockholders of the Ford motor company, the Dodge brothers, brought Henry Ford to court, claiming that by paying the workers a higher wage and by making cars better than they had to be made, he was depriving them, as stockholders, of their profits because dividends would be lower."

The Dodge brothers won.

Continues Chomsky, "The courts decided that the management of a corporation has the legal responsibility to maximize the yield of profit to its stockholders; that's its job."  He also points out that the reason the Dodge brothers wanted to win is because they wanted to start their own card company, which they did.

The interview continues with Chomsky talking about corporations carrying out benevolent acts.  "There's an important decision by a U.S. court that urges corporations to carry out benevolent activities.  It says -- and I'm quoting it now -- or else 'an aroused public' may figure out what corporations are up to and take away their privileges because, after all, they're just granted by the government, there's nothing in the Constitution, there's no legal basis for them, it's a violation of classical liberal and 'free market' principles."

Corporations "should be concerned only with the maximization of gain for their stockholders instead of what's sometimes called 'stakeholders' (the community, the work force, everything else)."  This, he says, is the corporation's only mandate.

Chomsky's answer to Ott's first question then turns to the Bush administration and its attempted attacks on Social Security.  "[Social Security] is of no use at all to the wealthy.  But a very large part of the population, maybe 60 percent or something like that, actually survive on it.  So it's a system that contributes nothing to profit.  It has other bad features, like it's based on the principle that you should care about somebody else.  And that's hopelessly immoral by the moral principles of power and privilege, so you've got to knock that idea out of people's heads and get ride of the Social Security system.  A lot of what's called -- ridiculously -- 'conservatism' is just pathological fanaticism based on maximization of power and wealth in accord with principles that do now have a legal basis."

Greed is not only good, but mandatory and legal. 

We spend our lives caught up in this system of capitalism and greed, of corporate tyrannies and attacks on any kind of government aid.  We have seen where this system eventually leads to, and we have really done nothing about it.  The same bankers are still sitting in the same seats, investors are still toying with toxic assets, and the people who are supposed to be regulating all of this are some of the same people who let the current meltdown happen in the first place.

Let's not even talk about the recent ruling from the courts that let corporations have even more access to the political system (not that they didn't have it in the first place, it's just less regulated now).

Is there a lesson to be learned?  Yes, but I don't know if we've quite grasped it yet.


Strange and Dangerous: Humboldt

You answer your door.  You're a good guy.  If you weren't, you wouldn't be calling the police.  You'd be dragging her inside because she's obviously out of her mind.

She's in her early twenties, and even though she's all scratched up she's still easy on the eyes.  She's on your doorstep, incoherent and naked.

That's what happened outside Arcata on November 12, 2008.  The woman was Christine Lindsey Walters, who came to Humboldt from Wisconsin, going from your average young woman to a person interested in spirituality and living an anti-materialistic lifestyle.  Yoga, organic farms and enlightenment were now the norm.

And then she showed up naked at some guy's door.

She was taken to the hospital.  She talked of someone being after her and of smoke being blown in her face during a ceremony.  Her mother had her put up in a hotel and went to work on getting her home.  She faxed the girl some paperwork, since all her ID was gone, and the employees at the copy center where the fax came in at watched as Walters tried to hide the papers and then wandered out onto the sidewalk, looked around as if lost, and then disappeared.

She hasn't been seen since.

I've set a few fiction pieces here in Humboldt County, California mainly because I think it's a strange place.  If you live here any amount of time you start to figure that out.  It doesn't seem right.  It's not like other places.  It seems nice on the outside, and generally is, but there is a really dark undercurrent that a lot of people don't know about, and those who do try to pretend it doesn't exist.  The history of the county is painted in blood, and its heart rate is accelerated by meth.  Incest, beastiality, strange rituals, psychopathic doctors, serial killers and Manson's son are not just ideas for tall tales -- they are parts of Humboldt.

The Walters case is just part of the sinister insanity that swirls around this county.  When she showed up at that man's house, he could have just as easily been some sadistic tweeker (and the odds are pretty good of that in Humboldt) who was putting puppies in the freezer and jabbing them with screwdrivers.  (Yeah, that happened, too.)

The Walters case reminds me of another missing person case famous in this county: Karen Mitchell.  She disappeared in 1997 after leaving the Bayshore Mall.  One of the suspects was a man 60-70 years old.  There was word of her working a traveling circus.  Others said she was being held as a sex  slave by a few meth addicts.  I always thought she was buried out in the dunes of Samoa.  Regardless, she's never been found.  I worked at a porn store when she first disappeared, and one of the detectives involved in her case used to come in and rent S&M porn.  I sometimes wondered if she was in his basement, strapped to a chair and scared for her life.

Yeah, Humboldt is a strange and dangerous place.  A lot of its residents ignore it, but they do so at their own peril.  Remember, Melvin Just was from here, too.  To paraphrase Samhain, "And those who ignore/And those who pretend/That it does not exist/End up in its hall."  The "it" in the lyric is a human slaughterhouse.  Is Humboldt that bad?  No, but those who ignore and those who pretend ... 


Go Ask Alice

I took my daughter to see Alice in Wonderland.  She wanted to see it in 3D, though after reading that it was shot in 2D it made me wonder if that was such a good idea.  It didn't matter, though.  It was sold out.  All the shows were sold out.

So we made our way back to my car with me promising I'd take her next weekend.  I had suspected this could possibly happen, and seeing the packed lot at the Broadway Theater hammered that home. 

As I situated myself I caught the image of a woman in my sideview mirror.  She was walking toward my car, but she didn't have keys in her hands.  The look on her face was odd, to say the least.

I'm good at reading people.  She may have thought she could be a threat to me, but I knew differently.  The expression on her face said that she was going to make me a mark.  When she got next to the car, she saw my daughter in the back seat and her expression changed.  She was now smiling.  She stood by my driver's side door.  I glanced at her.  She smiled and started to say something.  I started the car.  Fuck this.  I don't a point of talking to people who come up to my car. 

Of course, she didn't get the hint.  She moved closer so that I couldn't back out without running her over.  I had my daughter in the car and there were people in the lot, so I couldn't do that.

I cracked my window.  "What?"  I did not sound pleasant.

"Do you smoke cigarettes?" she asked.

No.  I smoke people like you.  Annoying people.  Two-bit thieves looking for whatever you can grab.

"No.  Why would I do that?"

She nodded and walked off.

I backed up and watched her.  She started going to random cars and trying the doors. 

"What is she doing?" my daughter asked.

"Looking to break into cars."

I forgot my cell phone.  I had to move because cars were trying to get into my spot, so we drove through the lot.

I looked for her.  I was going to say something to her, but she disappeared.  She had seen me watching her.  It was smart.

I've had my car broken into.  It's frustrating to say the least.  I wanted to run her out of there before anyone had to feel that frustration.  It wasn't to be, though.  She spotted me and left.

"Was she trying to steal cigarettes?" my daughter asked.

"I doubt it.  Most people will give you one if they have one.  I think she was just looking for stuff to steal."

At least I read that one right.   


Headache Musings

Massive headache.  Making my eyes water.  Laid down.  Made it worse.  Got back up.  Got a film review to edit and a book to finish so I can write a review of that one.  Gotta make this headache disappear before tomorrow, or the movie I'm going to see with my daughter is going to do a number on me.

A bunch of my co-workers did a charity bowling event today, which gives them good karma and makes them better humans than myself, as I worked on my writing most of the day.  I've been very selfish about my time lately, and I'm not sure why. 

The taco I had for dinner (courtesy of Amiga's, which has great salsa and Death Paste, too) makes me wish I could make one that good.  I cannot, though, so I don't even try anymore.

To all my co-workers who bowled today:  Cool thing you did.  You are all a good bunch of people, and I consider myself lucky to work with all of you.  I would be hard pressed to find a more caring or giving group. 

Okay, the eyes have stopped watering.  Time to lay down again.  Night all. 


Time Destroys Everything

First, forgive me.  I'm writing this while my fingers still can move.  I've got King Kahn beaming out the speakers because Nashville Pussy will put me over the edge.  I started out the day reading an article that I knew I had to comment on (and has given me an idea for a book), and I ended it with the woman at Big Pete's giving me a hug and saying, "It looks like you need this."  I didn't tell her what I needed was a shotgun, a gas mask, and a local Wal-Mart because that would just seem ... well ... anti-social.  No.  Instead, I've decided to comment on Mirror's blog and get the irritation out there.  Here I'm going to revisit that topic that seems to cause me problems every time I write about it (and if you recognize the title of this post and the opening picture, I know you know what's coming -- well-cultured, that you are). 

Art versus entertainment.

Some of you are groaning.  Some may have stopped reading.  If you feel like you may be offended, go Google something else now.  This will come with the usual assertions that I'm pretentious, pompous or an asshole, but really I'm just passionate about things and use this forum for that passion.

The 11/28 (my birthday) - 12/4 issue of The Economist features a pensive looking Obama on the cover.  This isn't about him, though.  This is about page 79 and the "Briefing Media" section.  The article is "A world of hits."  The picture is some blue things from Avatar.

In the past I've written (and have spoken about) my theory that a diet of pure entertainment in books, movies and music is not exactly good for you.  I've also stated that sometimes, when I ask people why they like films like that Cameron juggernaut they can only say things like "the special effects are cool" or "it had good explosions."  They can't really talk about what they liked or didn't like.  I may have even said, though I don't remember this, something to the effect that you can't always blame people for their tastes because they haven't always been told what to like (or something like that).

This has caused me some trouble.

The Economist has redeemed me, as has a 1963 study it cites that I had not known of before this morning.

"There has never been so much choice in entertainment," the second paragraph opens, and boy is that true.  In 1999 471 films were released in the USA.  2008 saw 610.  There are more cable channels and bands that can be easily found, too.  YouTube, the article states, has 20 hours of content added every minute.  That's a lot of footage of guys getting hit in the nuts.

"Yet the ever-increasing supply of content tailored to every taste seems not to have dented the appeal of the blockbuster.  Quite the opposite."  Interesting.  Not surprising, but interesting.  As the magazine states, one of the "most influential business books" in the past couple years, The Long Tail, put forth the notion that the "demand for media was moving inexorably from the head of the distribution curve to the tail."  This book, written by Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired of all things, argued that the few products that sell a lot (blockbusters) were losing their market share to a great many items that sell modestly.  Anderson, like every other person who cites a change in business climate, gives credit to the Internet for creating this situation.  Amazon, in particular, was cited as "encouraging people to wallow in esoterica."

Business schools debated the wisdom of all this.  People in the media business, however, who can't afford to debate while millions are on the line, say that Anderson and those who think that businesses would be foolish to shy away from the mass market are both right, but both are "missing the real story."

The real story, it seems, is that both the head and tail-end items are doing well.  The in-between stuff, noted in the article as "the stuff that people used to watch or listen to largely because there was little else on," is dying.

Thank God.

Now, this is not anything I've really debated before, and quite honestly, there isn't much there to debate.  It seems that the best of both worlds are represented.  Blockbusters, which can be fun to watch or read, and the more intellectual/artistic, which enrich people both on a personal and cultural level, are both doing okay.  That isn't what sparked my attention, but it does serve as a framework for what is coming.

After a few charts and examination of various media and their demographics (and how those demographics have changed), the article hits the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned, and it vindicates what I've been saying for years now.

Tom Tan and Serguei Netessine from Wharton Business School have analyzed reviews from Netflix.  "They find that blockbusters get better ratings from the people who have watched them than more obscure ones do.  Even the critically loathed Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is awarded four stars out of five."  Netflix isn't alone in this.  Quickflix, which is the Australian equivalent of Netflix, produced the same type of data on the movie ratings.  The Economist explains this.

It magazine cites a paper from 1963 by William McPhee titled "Formal Theories of Mass Behaviour."  (I will be reading this ASAP.)  McPhee "noted that a disproportionate share of the audience for a hit was made up of people who consumed few products of that type."  The article continues by asserting "many other studies have since reached the same conclusion."

For example, the magazine states that a lot of people who read bestsellers do not read much other fiction.  "By contrast, the audience for an obscure novel is largely composed of people who read a lot."  (I'll add my own example here.  Years ago I had a friend who read a lot of science-fiction and fantasy.  In fact, that's all he read.  He was a very smart guy, and though we differed on some stuff politically, he still wanted to know more about what exactly my politics were.  He asked for some book and author recommendations.  I gave him my usual suspects of Chomsky, Cockburn, Berkman, Herman and so on.  He borrowed some from the library and tried to read them.  The thing was, he couldn't understand them.  He wasn't dumb, but he couldn't follow the writing or the ideas.  "They aren't like the books I read," he said.)

The Economist hits its stride from here.  "That means," the article continues, "that the least popular books [the obscure ones] are judged by people who have the highest standards, while the most popular are judged by people who literally do not know any better.  An American who read just one book this year was disproportionately likely to have read The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.  He almost certainly liked it."  Interesting, indeed.  "As a media product moves from the pool of frequent consumers into the ocean of occasional consumers, the prevailing attitude to it -- what Hollywood folk call word of mouth -- can become less critical.  The hit is carried along by a wave of ill-informed goodwill."

The special effects were cool.

I like the explosions.

It's rad.

It's a fun read.

I guess the only question now, and I'm stating this semi-sarcastically, is: Did the audience start out slow, or has it been dumbed down by the steady stream of nonsense?

Granted, that was written to get a response, but it is a serious question.   Is it a nature or nurture issue?  This is fascinating.

The problem for the business of art and entertainment is: What business model should be used?  Business leaders see that the "tail" and "head" both do well, but if the "head" isn't the hit it is expected to be, it quickly becomes a middle-of-the-road dud, and an expensive one at that. 

One thing Hollywood knows is that films based on known properties are better bets than stars.  "That is why, in August, Disney agreed to pay $4 billion for Marvel Entertainment."  Yep. 

The rest of the article goes on to explain how businesses are tackling all of this, which I won't get into.  (Go read it if you want to know all that.  It is interesting, but of little importance to this posting.)  The fact that a magazine with a circulation of over 1.3 million copies a week stated so perfectly what I had been saying for years filled my heart with joy.

Believe me, with all the shit I've taken over saying these things, I'll take victories wherever I can get them.

I wanted to stay home today to write this and start doing some research (and with the day I had, I should have).  I suspect I may get some angry e-mails or comments (most likely e-mails), but before you do that, think about maybe telling me why I'm wrong.  Don't do the usual personal attacks.  Explain where I may be off base here.  I want to know.  Don't make it personal about yourself (the article wasn't geared toward any one individual, but instead dealt with the masses, so you should do the same).  Feel free to use yourself in an example, but don't defend your love of Twilight.   Tell me where all of this is wrong.

Until next time ...  
Upcoming post should serve me well.


Bayshore Mall -- Monday Morning (Hordes of Undead)

What brought me to the Bayshore Mall first thing Monday morning?  Taxes.  Had to get them done before doctor stuff.  I arrived in time to have a pleasant breakfast before a not-so-pleasant time at the accountant.

Or so the plan was supposed to play out. 

I stood in line at Burger King.  Ordered a medium Coke, a three piece French Toast Sticks; and a ham, egg and cheese croissant.  I had to order this three times until the woman behind the counter got it right.

This was not going well.

As I waited for me meal I engaged in my favorite mall activity: people watching.  First was the vastly overweight security guard with the bad tattoo, which may have been a woman's name before the sun turned it into a blob of black.  Mr. Guard looked like he'd be useful only if you needed a human shield.

Then, amongst the various transient types, was an older woman in an ill-fitting wig.  She wore, of course, brown slacks that looked about as comfortable as sand paper, and she tried to avoid the eyes of a dumpy looking mother of a toddler.  Both mother and child were in pajamas.  I'd like to say it was cute.  It was not.

After fifteen minutes of waiting, I observed that only two people seemed to be on duty at "the BK," as one of the people waiting for their coffee called it.

I finally got my order, which was screwed up beyond belief.  If I didn't fear waiting another half hour, I would have complained.  As it was, I was behind schedule, so I had to scarf down the meal.  As I threw out my tray, I thought I saw wig lady (who was probably 77 years old) masturbating, which was disturbing on about three levels and not nearly as erotic as one would think.  It turns out she was not masturbating, but was instead wiping away the remnants of her croissant, which had fallen into her lap.  I breathed a sigh of relief over that one.

You may be laughing over this, but there was a moment of odd panic when I thought she was doing that.  What do you do that situation?  Do you tell her to stop?  (After all you don't want senior citizens masturbating in mall food courts for the obvious reasons.)  Do you ignore it and never tell anyone what you saw because you can't admit to doing nothing?  Do you watch because you may never see something like that again?  Luckily, I quickly realized what was really going on and didn't have to make any such decisions.

I buzzed into the accountant's office thinking I would be first to be served because it was early.  I was too late for that, though.  There was a man ahead of me ... and he had receipts.  Lots of them.  For things like van repairs, advertising, fuel, registrations and so on.

Oh.  My.  God.

Receipts.  Stacks of them.  I was glad I brought a paper.

As I sat doing the crossword puzzle (something I do to keep my mind fresh so I don't end up being eighty and masturbating in public like some people), I saw the pj clad mom and son (dad probably split when he realized mom couldn't be bothered to get all gussied up for mall shopping) waltz past.  Her pajama bottoms had some kind of Orange County Choppers pattern going on.  I seriously doubted she ever rode a cycle, and was pretty damn sure she never rode one in pajamas.  And she was wearing slippers.  I wondered if she took the bus like that.  For some reason I couldn't imagine her driving.

No matter, as another mother with a baby passed by and she was also in pajamas. 

At this point I wondered if I were dreaming.  Strange Burger King orders.  Masturbating seniors in wigs.  People wandering the mall as if they just rolled out of bed.  Anywhere else and I would have been dreaming.  The Bayshore Mall is in Humboldt County, though, and this is normal.  I can't prove it, but I'm willing to be a lot of money that more than one mall store has had someone come in to apply for a job dressed in pajamas.  I'm almost 100% sure of it.  I'm also sure the masturbating seniors usually keep it confined to Hometown Buffet, but it wouldn't surprise me to see it in the food court.

My turn with the Tax Man came up, and I was given the news I expected (I owe).  For all you people who have yet to do your taxes, you can't write off hookers (unless it's for research), and you should not make any jokes about flying planes into buildings.  These are just observations, though, so you feel free to do what you want.

I got out of the mall as quickly as possible, and as I was driving out I saw another woman in pajamas walking toward Border's.  She did not have a child in tow, oddly enough.

And people think I'm strange.