Friday, February 27, 2015

Quotes from True Detective's Rustin Cohle

"People out here, it's like they don't even know the real world exists. It's like they're living on the moon. That would be pretty gnarly, though, living on the moon. All that cheese. All that delicious cheese."
"You ever look up at the night's sky and count the stars? Like, dude, there are so many of them. Billions. Maybe there's a dude standing on some far away planet, looking up at the sky just like me and you. Wouldn't that be trippy? Dude. Dooode."
"Alright, alright alright."

"I contemplate the moment in the garden. The idea of allowing your own crucifixion. You think Jesus was on dope? Do you think he got ripped before they put him up there? 'Cause that shit would hurt."
"With power comes great responsibility. Being Spider-Man is a great responsibility."
"I was driving a Lincoln before they paid me to drive a Lincoln. Of course, they pay me now. A lot of dough. Cash, baby, cash."
"I think deodorant masks my natural musk."
"The world needs bad men. We keep the other bad men away from the door. Like the UPS man. Fuck that guy."
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Well, that and ennui. And BPA. And of course, the Zionist conspiracy."
"What do you mean I don't get to take my shirt off? People come to see a Matthew McConaughey production because they want to see abs. You gonna take that away from them? Well then, you deal with the riots."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Not so Short Story: Wolf, Chapter 3

Originally, Wolf was going to be a short story, but I'm currently over 15,000 words with no end in sight. Hopefully, I can make it novel length. I'm currently trying to publish a novella (In the Depths of the Valley) but there aren't too many small publishers looking to publish anything 40,000 words in length. Read Chapters One and Two here and here.

Chapter Three 
I'm at the bottom of the abyss, walking on nothing, seeing nothing, feeling the empty space in my hands, breathing it into my unprotected lungs in calm, collected breaths. The vastness around me narrows as I walk, my steps soundless in the vacuum, and I begin to see lined ribs forming a tunneled path lit with a red light. It is ominous; I can feel a preternatural energy, one soaked in crimson colors, undulating across the gulf. But there is nowhere else to go, and I do not fear it. The tunnel is filled with stalactites and stalagmites which jut from its surfaces like ragged teeth, so I step carefully, my fingers groping, my eyes burning with the red light, sweat pouring from my face. It has become unbearably hot; I see water boiling in a puddle, steam rising from it in scalding clouds. Cloven hooves, I remember, and the prints appear, their awkward trail continuing down the tunnel. Blood drips from a stalagmite, evidence of the beast's wound; my nostrils twitch, smelling an animal odor. The gun has disappeared, lost in the abyss. All I have are my hands.
            I emerge from the tunnel into a spacious chamber. Suggestive formations rise from the floor, shapes with wide hips and protruding phalli that seem to shudder in the pulsating red light. There is a throbbing heartbeat echoing through the cave, the life rhythm of some gigantic thing. I try to peer into the dark corners and see what lies there, waiting, its breath coming in ragged gasps. But the light calls; it steers me toward its source, the center of the chamber, where a crude altar sits, stony and ancient. As I walk toward it, the light brightens, illuminating the ceiling of the chamber and revealing an enormous painting. Bison, camels, wooly rhinos, and mammoths shimmer above me; sabertooth tigers and maneless lions pursue them in vivid detail, their pelts golden, shining through the red light. Men with the heads of wolves move among them, their eyes empty with large black orbs. I reach the altar, this thing of stone, and find a tooth resting on it, a huge incisor, and I take it into my hand, unthinkingly. There is the deer, limping on broken legs–it bleeds hot blood from its fractured shoulder–and it calls out in a plaintive wail, its antlers chipped, its crown sullied, its kingship in ruin. I approach it slowly, the tooth grasped tightly, my jaws aching, a strange elation bubbling up in my heart. Here it is, the object of your desire, the hurt, the wounded, the sufferer begging for release. I growl at it, my upper lip pulling back. It is blind with terror, it snorts and huffs and waves its great broken head. In one quick motion, I grab its neck, bend it back, and slit its throat.
            I lie with it for some time, stealing its warmth, my hand resting on its tawny chest. The heartbeat of the cavern reaches a thundering volume, shaking the ceiling, rattling the floor. The shapes move, dancing, their rocky hips and breasts crumbling as I place the tooth back on the altar. Suddenly I feel a stabbing pain in my right hand; I have cut myself somehow with the incisor, and my blood mingles with that of the deer, dripping onto the altar and running down its side, traveling a well-worn gully carved into the floor,   running like a river past the carcass of the deer and into the hidden depths of the cave. The heartbeat turns into a roar. My vision flickers; I grasp the altar, trying to steady myself as it comes from the darkness, a huge beast, a lumbering mass of teeth, claw, and fur. I can do nothing as it takes me into its jaws but listen in terror as it crunches my bones and devours my flesh. I watch my own hand twitch on the ground, the fingers clutching nothing but smooth limestone. My death happens somewhere else, to someone else. I fall into a deep sleep.
            “Harry, Harry!” shouts a voice. Someone slaps my cheek; my eyes flutter, seeing the bright light of day. There is a sycamore tree above, its great arms stretching toward the sun, the fog having dissipated. Rob stares down at me, his expression wild. He is pushing a bottle of water toward me. I take it and sit up. I drink the whole bottle in one long gulp.
            “Jesus, buddy, you okay? You must've been out for an hour. I looked for you at least that long. You got a little cut on your head.” I touch my head and feel a wet scab. “Why the hell did you go in that cave?”
            “There deer went in there,” I reply.
            “No it didn't. I finished it off in the gully. It's right there,” says Rob. And there it is, the deer, lying dead from a gunshot wound on the ground close to us.
            “Christ, I must've hallucinated,” I say, looking behind us at the cave.
            “You had to have fallen and hit your head,” says Rob. “We oughta take you to the hospital.”
            “So where was I when you found me?” I ask.
            “Right there at the mouth of the cave,” says Rob. We get up; I feel achy, but nothing is broken. I help Rob field dress the deer and then haul it back to the cabin, despite his protests. I'm embarrassed; I feel like a jackass for having ruined his shot and then disappearing and passing out in a cave like a crazy person. The red light, the incisor, and the sexual shapes are pushed back into the deeper recesses of my mind. It was a dream, a bizarre fantasy brought on by a head injury or natural gases. I tell myself these things and take comfort in their conventional logic. The thought of reentering the cave never crosses my mind. I ignore the wound on my hand, attributing it to a stalactite or sharp rock.
            I go to sleep early, complaining of fatigue, leaving Rob to sit next to the fire by himself. The howling starts as soon as my eyes shut. In the dream, I'm running on all fours; I have the body of a wolf, but the head of a man. Men sit in great white trees, bows in hands; their comrades patrol the woods, searching with spears and crude clubs made of oak. I stick close to the earth, moving at a rapid pace, tasting the air with my nose, snarling at invisible enemies. They will find me someday–they always do–but I will run and rape and tear at their throats for as long as I can, for as long as my lungs have breath and my mouth teeth. There is an implacable urge to rend flesh from bones, to grind fresh meat between carnassial molars, to steal life and heat from those that would steal it from myself. That is the only truth, I think as I crawl beneath a fallen log and wait for the sun to set. There is only the will to overpower. They cease their patrols by night, having retreated to the shelter of the cave, bonfires protecting their vanity, their hearth, their barbarian home. The moon has risen high in the sky; it is a primordial eye, a great searching beacon, a friend, a father, a god of crawlers and weavers and roamers. My face changes, my jaws becoming long and narrow and full of terrible teeth. In the firelight, they see my horror, my grotesque bestial form, and though they throw their weapons at me, nothing can pierce my hide. They run from my shadow, retreating into darker darkness, away from the light of the moon and their fires, and I follow, the terror, the monster craving human flesh. I wake up in the morning with the taste of blood in my mouth.
            I go home to Debra on Sunday evening. Rob drops me off, and I go inside, Rufus welcoming me with his usual overeager display. The girls are all sitting in front of the television, content in their amusements. I sit down like a decoration next to my wife, who glances over at me with a slight smile, her soft hands resting on her lap. How was your trip? she asks. I tell her it was a bucolic paradise: wine, nymphs, gullies. She snorts like a camel, and says little else. On the television two men argue over the placement of a table. They shout and cough in a heathen language, but I cannot understand them, no matter how hard I try. Chastity gets up and announces that she is going on a date. I look at her mother and her mother looks at me. Expectations have risen out of the dismal depths of weekend bliss. What am I supposed to do? I ask who she's going out with. “Kyle,” she says, getting up from the couch and retreating to her room. I look at her mother and her sister. Nobody knows who Kyle is. For all we know, he could be a heroin addict, a gas station attendant, or a roaming vigilante. Should we let her go? asks Debra, as though we possess actual power. I shrug; what Chastity does is her business. I roamed when I was her age. I courted girls; I took them to bars, to dance clubs, to place of ill-repute. Never once did I think of what their mothers wanted. My own needs were paramount – flashing lights, alcohol, sex. What advice can we give a sixteen-year-old girl? What bits of wisdom will she listen to, coming from the mouth of her surrogate father, the interloper, the confused, the silently befuddled? I don't know my place in this tragedy. I only know my seat on the couch.
            Debra makes dinner, stir-fried Chinese food. We gobble it down like wolves, the television moving on the wall, Brittany playing a game on her phone in between bites. I stare at the screen with a sullen dead-eyed menace. Things are not how they should be. Chastity comes down the stairs and sprints past the kitchen, slipping a mask on her face before darting out the door. Her mother calls out her name in vain while I spear another mouthful of soy-sauced meat with my fork. “Harry, go after her!” says my wife. I stare at Debra, chewing my cud, slowly comprehending her exasperation and panic. Of course. This is one of those situations that requires me to act like a father rather than a fellow denizen. Comply, you fool says a voice. I push the chair back and head to the door. Outside it is a rainy night, the acid pooling in puddles, oozing down the drains. Chastity is at the end of the walkway, an umbrella in her hand, toxic sludge sloughing off of its thick protective surface. A black car wheezes up; a door opens and a scruffy head pokes out, its facial details obscured by a billowing cloud of smoke. I raise a hand and shout out a warning. My step-daughter disappears into the dismal interior, the umbrella left carelessly on the sidewalk, and before I can move, the vehicle tears out of the drive, its tires squealing.
            I go back inside and reclaim my seat. A fuzzy feeling of incapacitation has blanketed my body, as though I just smoked marijuana.
            “What the hell, Harry?” yells Debra.
            “What could I do? She jumped in the car.”
            Debra looks at me for a minute. I return her look. Her eyes have settled far back in her skull; her skin is pulled taut, like she just received a facelift from hell. To my right, Brittany plays with her phone, her hands fleshless, slender sticks of bone.
            “Jesus,” I whisper. A piece of fried beef sits on my fork like the dead hunk of meat that it is.
            “Just eat it, Harry,” says my ghoul of a wife. The meat quivers, and a drop of blood congeals on my fork, sliding slowly down its tines.
            “Just eat it, Harry,” says Brittany, not looking up from her phone. A lock of her hair falls from her skull and lands on her plate, revealing a decayed scalp.
            “I need to take a walk,” I say, pushing my chair back, an uneasiness churning in my stomach.
            “It's seven-thirty at night,” says Debra. “It's raining outside.”
            “No one gave Rufus his walk today,” I explain. “I'll put him in his suit. I got to get out of the house.”
            “Fine. Go,” says Debra.     
            “Bye, Harry,” says Brittany.
            Rufus steps eagerly into his biohazard onesie, a spiffy orange number that matches my own. The girls relocate on the couch and sit in silence as we go out the door. What the hell is wrong with me? I think. The cave hovers in my thoughts, unwilling to be repressed much longer. Everything looks normal outside. My neighbor Ronald sits on his front porch steps, smoking a cigarette, Charles the pug at his side, his round face surprisingly serene.
            “Had to get out of the house?” asks Ronald. “Shitty time for a walk.”
            “I'm not going to have any kids. Neither is Rufus,” I reply.
            “How much would you pay for that dome they're talking about?” asks Ronald. “I think I'd pay a little more in community fees.”
            “I wouldn't pay a cent,” I say.
            “They say you lose a minute off your life for every minute you spend outside breathing unfiltered air. Don't know if I believe that, myself. Don't know if it's a bad thing either, really. There's too many old people clinging on to feeble lives. We all gotta die, right? So I'll sit outside and smoke these cigarettes, which aren't doing me any favors. I like it, though. You should be able to do what you like.”
            “I'm going to go for a walk in the park,” I say, tugging Rufus along.
            “All right, neighbor. You have a nice night.”
            We trudge along, moving quickly down the drive to the park, a small wooded space that serves as a hiking trail on better days. There used to be playground equipment here, but then that study came out a few years back that said children were especially vulnerable to contamination from IAP (“Inexplicable Atmospheric Phenomena,” a term that deniers cling to even as their very world melts before their eyes), and the public responded by keeping kids indoors. The rusted bones of a set of monkey bars still remain, the last remnants of a vanished time. Rufus commemorates the past by urinating on the rotting artifact. We continue at a brisk pace, avoiding large puddles of waste and sticking to the trail. The book I stole from Hutch's trailer weighs in my mind, full of chicken scratches and scribbled secrets. Something happened to me in that cave, and I haven't felt right or seen things correctly ever since. We wind through a grove of skinny trees, their arms scratching toward the light of the moon. Maybe there's something out there in those trees, hugging the earth, making its den in the rotting logs, eating the carcasses of our mutated fauna. The raccoons around here have four legs; they said that on the brochure, citing it as proof that this was fertile ground and a clean place to live, yet I don't know anymore. Everything seems to move awkwardly, as though it is sick and dying. The birds flutter from trees like paper airplanes; they flap their wings and sag toward the earth, headfirst. Rufus and I watch as a squirrel hobbles past us, dragging a tumor the size of a baseball on its rump. Even the dog is rendered immobile by the scene; he shows no desire to chase the diseased animal. His ears perk up suddenly as we hear the footfall of a jogger. A slim form comes toward us, dressed in neon yellow, every surface covered but the mouth. A running suit of this caliber is a pricy investment–they usually cost at least a grand–and is seen by some as a status symbol, the kind of luxury item normal people can't afford. Back when I was a runner in my college days, I used to pay close attention to the forecast, resigning myself to the treadmill if the weather was poor, having not the funds for fancy gear. Of course, the rain and ash fall weren't as bad in those days. As he gets close to us, I begin to raise my hand in a neighborly greeting. Smoke clouds of breath billow out from his mouth, his eyes invisible behind dark-tinted low-light goggles.  His arms pump, his legs hit the pavement like a metronome, keeping perfect rhythm. He veers close to me, spitting a word in my direction like a bullet. “Nigger,” he says, his lips revealing his large capped teeth. I see something behind the goggles, a glowing red light like the dying embers of a fire. Rufus barks at him as he sprints past, his legs flying, the distance between us growing to star-like proportions. We stand there awhile in the rain, two figures marooned, scuttled in the seething, foaming wake.
            “Are you sure that's what he said?” asks Debra. She lies in the bed, thumbing through a magazine, while I stand in the bedroom, brushing my teeth.
            “I heard it clear as day,” I say, spitting into the sink. In the mirror, my body is gaunt and tight, wiry cords of muscle striating my shoulders.
            “This is a good, enlightened community, Harrison. They've been nothing but welcoming to us since we moved. You were wearing your suit when you were out there, anyway. How could he have seen your face?” ask Debra.
            “Probably seen me around, knew the dog.”
            “Honey, my girlfriends are jealous that I have you, you know that? Where do these feelings come from? The suspicion?”
            “I'm not imagining it. It's okay, though, all right? It wasn't the first time I've been called a nigger.” Debra recoils, as though I've just been unimaginably vulgar. She always acts this way when she hears that word.
             My father always called my brother and me nigger; Get this, nigger, go do that, nigger. It was not a term of endearment. The word was emphasized, spat with venom. It was a declaration. You are nothing. I say you are nothing, and that's all you're gonna be. I look toward the window and see him suddenly, in the flesh for the first time in twenty years, my old man, one foot in the house, the other outside, his gnarled hands grasping the window sill, his eyes mean and cruel, alligator lens, his face wearing that ugly smirk we knew to fear and to run from. Harry, he says, dirt falling from his lips. You're a...
            I run at him, screaming, my arms drawn back, wanting to strike him with all the violence in my heart. My fists go right through him, hitting the closed window, shattering the glass and drawing blood, but he disappears as suddenly as he came, tendrils of smoke dissipating into thin air. Standing there panting, clutching my bleeding hand, I still smell his heavy cigar odor, damning evidence of his manifestation and my decreasing grasp of what is real and what is imagined. My wife remains in bed, the covers drawn up to her neck, her eyes bewildered and scared. We exchange a long look of silence before I go to the bathroom and bandage my hand, wrapping it with gauze.
            “Harry?” she asks, knocking on the door.
            “I had a hallucination. I'm not feeling well. I'm going to go to the doctor this week.”
            “Okay, honey,” she says. I can feel her lingering as I stare into the mirror. I look like him, my old man. We have the same high cheekbones, the same thin but muscular build. My brother says I laugh like him, but I dispute that. There was a strange intensity behind his laugh, a mirthless energy that I'll never have, that I never want to have. I look at my hand suddenly, where the tooth pierced my flesh. There is a line splitting my palm, a thin, jagged mark of raised skin. No scab, no pain.
            “You coming out?” asks Debra.
            I get in bed with my wife and turn the lights out. The silence is heavy, a palpable static roar. Usually I fall asleep quickly in absolute quiet, but not tonight, not with the image of my father's ghost climbing through my window. It's a ridiculous fantasy; those windows do not open. Even on a clear, sunny day there are invisible particles that would wreak havoc on your respiratory system if given the chance, and no breeze is worth the damage, or so the thinking goes. But still I lie here, waiting for a knock, a signal, a sign of his coming. Eventually, I get up and pull the blinds back, and oh, the moon, it is huge and cream-colored and shining through the glass with a pale, hungry light that raises all the hair on my body, that gives my skin gooseflesh. What is this? I whisper, as though it can hear me. Something is happening, something that I don't understand, and I am moving from my bedroom and gliding across the floor, shedding my clothes, opening the door and bounding across the yard, a rippling change coming across my body, a tremor that grows into a quake that sends me hurdling into the woods, the light of the moon upon me, bathing me, protecting me, giving me the light of a god.

Monday, February 23, 2015

I Would Like to Thank...

First off, I would like to thank the Academy for going with my movie. It was obviously better than everyone else's. The special effects were better. The performances were better. The script was marvelous. Everyone had a grand time. I've had quite a few people tell me that viewing my movie changed their lives. So I'd like to pat myself on the back for making such an excellent film. I'll take your pats as well. The more pats, the better.

Next, I'm going to have to thank Beelzebub. I just met him in a club about two weeks prior to the start of filming, and although he didn't have a defined role in the production, he was the real heart and soul behind this picture. He gets a bad rap, this guy, and I can't imagine why. He's awesome to party with. He always pays everybody's tab. When Christopher was acting like a diva, Beelzebub went to his trailer and sat down with him and listened to his complaints, even though they were fucking stupid, and somehow he gets Chris to come out and start working again. The guy's a magician, I tell you. I'm naming my first child after him.

I'd also like to thank Starbucks for making such delicious coffee. With out your coffee, none of this would've been possible. I'd like to thank PornHub as well for giving me something to do during the lengthy editing process. And who can forget milk? Without milk, there's no cereal, and without cereal, I'm not eating breakfast. Thanks, milk. Keep doing what you do best.

The music is starting, which is supposed to be my cue. Well, fuck that. The music didn't just win best picture. I did. I'm going to talk as goddamn long as I please. This is Hollywood, damnit. I can barely fit my ego in this giant fucking building. You all know I think I'm better than you. So suck it, J-Law. Keep doing those Hunger Games movies and see if you're ever up here holding this trophy. Also, Neil Patrick Harris can go to hell because he was on that terrible show How I Met Your Mother which is like the worst fucking thing I've ever seen. You can take your smugness, Neil, and stick it up your ass.

Lastly, I'd like to thank God, since he made me better than all of you. I hope Beelzebub doesn't take offense to this. I personally adhere to a broad definition of the creator as opposed to an intelligent deity. God is like the sky, all right? Or space. God is like space. He's just there. But he loves me. He gave me this Oscar. So think about that, fuckers. Think about how much God loves me more than you. I'm outta this joint. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Diary of Mitch R. Singer

Marooned in an icy wasteland
The Arctic is a cruel mistress. We have lost another man to the wilderness. William took the dogs out at 1300 hours, and only a few of them have come limping back. The men argue and swear at each other, the stress of close-living draining their morale. But it is the pit we came for, and the pit will be our salvation. I see it in my sleep, the gleaming metal disc. Sunlight reflects off of it like a million suns. What is inside? How did it become trapped five kilometers below the ice? The expedition chief has his theories, each as inexplicable as the other. I don't care about theory anymore. The ice sings a song that I am beginning to understand.

Day Twenty
All attempts to breach the metal exterior have failed. It is composed of some unknown material, something similar in appearance to aluminum, but seemly impervious to damage. When I tried to melt through it with the plasma torch, I saw myself in its shiny mirror, distorted, my features huge and ugly, my eyes melting black pools of darkness. I think the others see different things, past, present, futures that never will be. Artemus says that it is a test from the gods. I tell him that I don't believe in god, but I don't know anymore. The words in the wind are growing stronger.

Day Thirty-three
It came in a dream, this thing of twisting tentacles and disconnected eyes. Its words are impossible to understand, yet I know them, in my sicked heart. It tells me how to open the disc. When I wake up, I am standing in front of it, casting no reflection. Later, they apprehend me and put me to question. "You went inside!" says the expedition leader, spittle flying from his mouth. I shrug my shoulders and say nothing. What is there to say? I can't remember anything but the dream.

Day Forty
I find myself outside my prison, walking down the ghostly halls, my former comrades asleep in their bunks. What will I had is subdued, shrunk down to the size of an atom. I sit down next to the expedition leader and watch him breath. His chest rises and falls like a gentle sea. I touch his face and his eyes open, alarmed, but he does not move, he cannot move, he is like me now, subdued, a passenger along for a ride. What he does is not my concern. None of it is my concern.

Day Fifty
The halls are empty now. I sit in a corner, my body wasting away. The disc has moved, vanished, risen to the skies. The absence of will has not left, unfortunately. I don't want to eat. There is nothing to eat. What am I to it? A plaything? A piece on the chessboard? I am discarded rubbish. The cold will come, oozing through the thin walls, and I will be no different. Why must this happen every time?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Black Box Free Promotion

It's that time again! My novel Black Box is free from the nineteenth to the twenty-third! Click here to get your copy.

The Duggars Will Inherit the Earth

It's too late. We've done what we could, but all of our efforts proved in vain. The Duggars have been fruitful and multiplied beyond our comprehension. Eighty-percent of the population of Arkansas is composed of Duggar-kind. Not since Genghis Khan has one man spread his genetic material to this degree. Jim Bob has a mission, and it is total domination of the world.

Resistance is futile, I'm afraid. With their tucked-in shirts, cherubic faces, and giant-sized teeth, the male progeny of Jim Bob and Michelle will be successful. You can't shake their hands and not feel compelled to perform whatever task they ask of you. They will own all the car dealerships. They will become Wal-Mart store managers. They will probably open their own tenement shacks. Normal women will be helpless at their podunk wisdom and Christian Fundamentalism. After a lengthy courtship with no handholding or eye contact, the male Duggars will reproduce. It is a horrible experience, I've heard. The female undergoes changes that science does not understand, but she will become extremely fruitful. Her womb will swell to gigantic proportions. She will probably have triplets. But her transformation is nothing compared to that of an actual Duggar female.

When a Duggar female undergoes the courtship ritual, bizarre changes occur in her body. At this point, Jim Bob supplies his minion drones which labor night and day to create a support structure suitable for the growing egg sac. An immense chamber must be found in order to house the hive. There, the female becomes rather helpless, a prisoner of her egg sac, cocooned to the ceiling. The average Duggar female can produce one-hundred eggs in an hour. Suitable hosts must then be found. That's where we enter the picture.

Beware of door-to-door Fundamentalist Baptists. They carry Duggar eggs, and once you've been infected, it's game over, man, game over. You'll find yourself shunning the sinfulness of modern life. No more will you venture out to strip clubs. Television has no meaning for you anymore. God becomes the most important thing in your life. You become less tolerant of homosexuals and fun.

At this point, it's best if you take the only reasonable course of action. Purchase a pistol and do the deed. We cannot let them spread anymore, unless we want to live in Duggar nation. There will be internment camps, my friend, for those precious few who are immune to the Duggar virus. There will be an apocalypse. A second coming.

Steel yourself. Keep guard. Don't watch TLC. They're coming for you.

They are coming...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Music: Wolf Like Me

A cover of the TV on the Radio song. Had fun recording this, it's a great song by one of my favorite bands.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Esteemed Critic Reviews Fifty Shades of Grey

 Look at him standing all sexy and stuff.

This is easy fare for the critic, he must admit. We have a movie adaptation of a poorly-written erotic novel based off of Twilight fan fiction. It's not going to be good. But the critic has certain social obligations, and he was forced against his will to attend a showing, so now everybody gets to hear what he thinks, and the world, my dear readers, is better for it.

The premise is laughable; a twenty-seven-year-old billionaire (There are no such things) is inexplicably taken with a pretty but otherwise unremarkable English student. Anastasia Steele (Jesus, what a ridiculous name) is special, and easily intimidated by Christian Grey, a skinny, well-dressed homosexual with the general demeanor of a serial killer. That's not a joke--Grey does serial killer things in this movie, and I'm not talking about light bondage or handcuffs. He immediately becomes obsessed with Anna and won't leave her alone, using his apparently infinite wealth to follow her to Georgia from Seattle when she tries to get away from him. There's also a scene where Anna has too much to drink and calls Christian, who acts like she's about to die, driving to her aid and aggressively throwing her seemly-nice friend out of the way like he was about to rape her. Christian then takes her to his hotel where she passes out and they sleep together, (at this point of the movie they have basically just met) and when when Anna awakes in the morning, she predictably thinks oh God, what happened? but Mr. Serial Killer assures her that he didn't rape her, scout's honor. You see, Anna trusts Christian because he's good-looking and rich as fuck. It doesn't matter that he's possessive, insanely jealous, emotionally stunted, and possibly a serial killer. He gives her helicopter rides and plane rides and new cars. What kind of goddamn message are you trying to tell us, Fifty Shades of Grey? The worst part is that Anna believe that Christian can change because he tells her so. "You're changing me," he says, after telling her that she belongs to him. But he doesn't do love stuff, just so she knows, like sleeping in the same bed as his partner or letting her touch him. Christ, if he weren't so goddamn rich, Anna would be running from this psycho like he was Ted Bundy. The problem with Christian isn't that he wants to sexually demean Anna. From what we are shown, that doesn't happen. The problem is he doesn't want to treat her like a person and she's okay with that. She finally leave his ass in the last scene of the movie because he spanks her kinda hard with a leather whip (with her consent, I might add) and not because he's stalking her, or telling her what to do and eat, or not letting her wipe her ass without his permission. Jesus, does any woman really want this? Is this a fantasy for someone? Hell, there are piece of shit abusive boyfriends a dime a dozen in this country. Sometimes they are even rich! God, the writer of this tripe must be a dumb fucking cow. Moo, E.L. James. Moo.

The supposed risque sexual content is about as wild as an obese forty-year-old Midwestern housewife. The critic does worse in his bedroom, he can assure you, and he is not exactly the Marquis de Sade. The average sex scene is as steamy as a softcore Cinemax skin-flick. Since most of the content of the film is composed of such stuff, we end up with a boring movie about an abusive boyfriend whose wealth is his only redeeming feature. Sounds very titillating, right? The critic wishes he could retrieve those two hours of his life he spent in the theater with preteen girls and obese mothers.

The critic does want to say something good about this movie, just because. The soundtrack is remarkable and much sexier than the film. Give it a listen instead.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Doom 3 Retrospective in List Format


1. First thought: The graphics aren't as good as I remember. The textures are ugly and the game's dark as hell. I remember when Rage came out, I thought it didn't look much better than Doom 3. I was mistaken. Still, this game is ten years old. The lighting system is good; the monster animations are decent, and the overall art direction is excellent. Graphics have gotten better, but not that much. The jump from Quake 3 to Doom 3 was a hell of a lot larger than the jump from Doom 3 to Crysis.

2. The weapons are lame. Who nerfed the shotgun? In Doom, the shotgun was unstoppable. Here, it takes 3 or 4 shots to kill lesser enemies like imps and soldier zombies unless you're right next to them. There's not enough ammo for the good weapons. Also, the immediate disappearance of bodies really takes away from the satisfaction of killing enemies. I think this was done because of the limitations of the engine (computers at the time could barely handle the game).

3. Monster sound design is pretty good, but the weapons sound like pea-shooters, especially the assault rifle. The shotgun sucks, too.

4. This whole game is a goddamn labyrinth of corridors. I guess that's a throwback to the original Doom. But Doom opened up occasionally and gave you some room to blow away monsters. This never happens because, once again, the engine was too demanding. Hell was cool, I think, though I gave up on my replay before getting there.

5. This whole game is just monotonous. There's not a lot of break in mindlessly shooting enemies, which wouldn't be a problem if the shooting was any fun. Kinda weird that these guys designed Quake 3, the penultimate arena shooter, and one of the funnest multiplayer games of all time (FACT). The audio logs are an interesting touch (stolen from System Shock 2), but there's never anything interesting in them but codes to weapons lockers.

6. The flashlight switching mechanic isn't as bad as I remember. I understand why they did it from a gameplay prospective. It does provide some tension.

7. First-person-shooters need gore. They need blood. They need bodies flying across the room. GIVE ME MY GODDAMN MURDER SIMULATOR! I hope whoever is making Doom 4 keeps this in mind.

8. Who put that damn crane section in? You have to pick up toxic barrels with a cumbersome crane and put them in a disposal pit. I guess it shows off the state-of-the-art physics. The criticism that ID games are just glorified tech demos has some truth to it.

9. I started the game on hard, which is too frustrating, and I can't change the difficulty level. Poo.

10. Did you know that Trent Reznor was originally going to do the sound design? I guess they didn't give him enough money. Head like a hole, black as your soul. That's poetry, man. Replay Quake and tell me Doom 3 wouldn't have been a better game.

11. Is Half-Life 2 this bad? I might have to change my whole perspective on shit.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Squatting Every Day Part 2: 100 Days of Squatting

I posted about squatting every day back in the summer, with the intention of actually performing an every day squat workout and reporting back on the results. Unfortunately, my squat form sucked; I developed hip pain and my knees felt like shit, and like a puss, I abandoned my plan after less than two weeks. Since then, my squat form has improved drastically, and after hitting 380 at a weight of 195, I've decided to give every day squatting another run. My biggest mistake last time was tackling this type of training without perfect form; my second mistake was starting out too heavy while pushing volume too fast. Squatting to a max is actually squatting to an everyday max--that is, a weight you can perform with perfect form and no grinding. I've been squatting every day for fifteen days, and I have to say, it is already working. The key is to push on good days and back off on bad days. Mixing squats is a good idea, too. I alternate high bar squats with front squats, with an occasional low bar day in there as well. I've also been alternating pulling work with pushing work every day. Below is an example of what I've been doing weekly:

Sunday: High bar squat to a max, back off set of three. Bench Press using a pyramid scheme.

Monday: Front squat to a max, back off set if feeling good. Deadlift using a pyramid scheme to a heavy double or triple.

Tuesday: High bar squat to a max. Bench press or overhead press using whatever rep/set pattern I prefer.

Wednesday: Front squat to a max, back off sets. Do barbell rows for sets of 10, followed by dumbbell curls.

Thursday: Low bar squat to a heavy max. Bench press. Triceps extensions for sets of ten.

Friday: Front squat. Do more or less depending on feel. Power clean to a heavy single.

Saturday: High bar squat. Heavy triple with back off sets. Bench or press.

So that's a lot of volume, so suffice it to say this isn't something somebody with limited time could hope to do. I have the privilege to be getting eight hours of sleep a night as well. I have my own weights and equipment. Dragging your ass to the gym every day would suck. But I feel great right now. I deadlifted 415 for a triple the other day and it was easy as hell. 315 feels like a light weight. I'm going to cram two years worth of training into 100 days. I'll report back with my progress.

Addendum: So why would anyone want to do this? Obviously, you have to care a great deal out your strength. For me, it has something to do with being the best possible version of myself. It's about pushing the limits, something that I haven't always done. So it's a personal quest, of sorts. I don't expect it to make sense to many people.

One more thing: I've been doing an extensive warm up with 135 lbs or less for 6 sets of 10 or 8. This helps warm up the soft tissues and prepare the joints for heavy weights. It's key to not getting injured.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Consummate Politician Apologizes

Hello, constituents. It's that time again. Seems like this is happening more and more now. I guess I just can't keep my mouth shut. But that's why you love me, right? If you don't love me, you at least don't hate me enough to show up in significant numbers on election day to throw my ass out of office. So thanks, America, for your ambivalence. Thank you for not exercising your voting rights. So let's get this over with. Again.

My advisers tell me that my comments regarding vaccination have offended some people in the scientific community. Of course, there are many issues me and the scientists disagree about. The age of the planet, for one. You're telling me the planet is six-billion years old? How exactly do you know that? The science of geology is more like the science of guesswork, if you ask me. Plate tectonics, my ass. You know and I know that Jesus was riding around atop a Triceratops back in the day, and when the Rapture occurs, he will mount that beast again to initiate the chosen people into the kingdom of Heaven. The Bible says the world is only five-thousand years old. Who am I going to trust? The Word of God, or a bunch of pansy nerd scientists that have never seen what's beneath a woman's skirt?

If dinosaurs are extinct, where did they get a triceratops for Jurassic Park? Answer me that one, scientists.

So I'm sorry if my comments offended anybody's delicate sensibilities. I just want everyone to know that I am for the rights of the individual. If parents don't want to vaccinate their kids, who are we to tell them to? I don't believe in societal obligation. Nobody in the Republican party does. That's no secret. So what's the big deal? If Joe the Plumber wants his kid to get polio, then so what? Commie in disguise FDR had polio, and the Democrats consider him to be one of their greatest presidents. What's the big deal about the Measles and the Mumps? I mean, I vaccinated my kids. But don't do as I do. Do whatever you feel is right.

The important thing is that everybody has the right to do whatever the hell they want. That's what America is about. It's about CEOs spending millions of dollars on jets and palaces while building factories in Mexico and China. It's about burning tires and buying Iphones and shitting wherever you like. It's about watching horrible people on television. I like my grass green, America, so don't tell me what I can and can't put on it. I like my guns, too. Guns don't kill people. People do. That's why we should have armed patrolmen in every school, bank, restaurant, and public building. To protect our civil liberties. Praise Jesus.

Just remember, vote for America. Vote for me. Don't vote for the scientists. They don't know what the hell they're talking about. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Greetings, Random Internet Person, I Have Great Faith in Your Soul

Hello, random internet stranger. I have great faith in the purity of your soul. I can tell this about you just by looking at some of the pictures you have posted. You are meant to do great things. Providence has provided a special plan for you, and it is up to you to discover it. People tell me I have a gift. Those people are correct.

I see that you are fond of posting humorous pictures of yourself with other people who I assume are your friends. That's great, you know. The gift of friendship. It has been eons since I had a friend. I used to be able to walk like you, but now I am forced to flail about, my limbs having become vestigial. You see, I have taken on a superior form, one akin to the sandworm of Arrakis. One day I will writhe through the sands, burrowing deep, utilizing the power of my enormous body. The Fremen will worship me with fear. Only the brave will be able to ride upon my vast enormity. All others will perish.

Please, don't let my ramblings scare you. I don't think they will, for as I mentioned, you have a pure and immortal soul. Your eyes are like windows to it. Your flaxen hair shines like a million suns. Balthazar, my cat, agrees. He is a fine judge of character, you know.

I have one request, beautiful internet person. I would like to exchange addresses. If you come to my home and take me to the desert seas where I can start the spice cycle, I will repay you by explaining your golden path. You are the chosen one, you see. You will save mankind from extinction, Maud'Dib. The choice is yours.

Please take Balthazar with you to serve as your confidant and adviser. He is wise beyond human understanding, and has lived many cat lifetimes. I have left extensive documentation detailing his supplement regimen as well as fifty-two cans of Fancy Feast. It is unfortunate that he cannot join me in the sands. But it is the path I have chosen.

Also, could you mail all of my Brony porn to 622 Horse Lover's Lane? There is a stallion there that will care for it. I have left sufficient funds.

And maybe bring us something to eat, too. A burger or three would be fine. My last meal as a human should be one to savor.

I will be eagerly awaiting your answer, beautiful internet person. Remember the beauty of your pure soul. Great things... great things... great things...

Monday, February 2, 2015

Scenes Guaranteed to Be in the New Star Wars Movie

1. Han Solo has an opportunity to shoot first and he takes it.

2. Mark Hamill pops out of a closet dressed as the Joker. "Why so serious?" he pantomimes, and then spends fifteen minutes cackling in his Joker laugh.

3. Carrie Fisher kills the rumors that she's a hermaphrodite by appearing naked and showing full bush. The scene is done classy and tastefully, but is included only on the director's cut in order to keep a PG-13 rating.

4. An ewok bearing an uncanny resemblance to George Lucas is sodomized and cannibalized by a race of diminutive, child-like beings called Trekkies.

5. Chewbacca is revealed to be a girl. Second twist! He's pregnant. But with whose baby?

6. Newcomer John Boyega spends twenty minutes needlessly explaining why it is possible to have black stormtroopers.

7. There will be lens flair. Lots of it.

8. The movie will end in controversy as the main villain is revealed to be a gigantic Mickey Mouse. He will devour stars and will be immune to the effects of endless franchising.

9. Someone will cut their dick off with a lightsaber. This scene is shocking and is not played for laughs.

10. James Earl Jones will reveal himself as Luke's real father.

11. There will be a crossover scene with Iron Man, Rocket Racoon, and R2D2. They will be playing space chess, and Rocket will lose and throw a fit. Robert Downey Jr. will smirk at the camera and talk real fast. There will be a lot of unintelligible beeping.