Monday, June 29, 2015

Mr. Redlegs Speaks


Greetings, mortals. It looks like 2015 is a sunk season for your Cincinnati Reds. Were the front office competent, they'd sell at the trading deadline, but you can never be sure what ol' Bob and Walt are planning, their brains having been removed by yours truly in a botched scheme for immortality. I was relatively inexperienced back then, and I did not know what I was doing, but they knew the risks. Every time Walt Jocketty dips a green bean in a glass of coke, you have me to thank. Due to their lack of mental ability, I shall properly evaluate the worth of the Red's pieces in baseball terms as well as according to Nyarlathotep's scale of judgement. You have been informed.

Johnny Cueto

Cueto is the Red's ace and one of the best pitchers in baseball. He is also secretly a mutant. His injury problems over the years are a cover for molting season, during which Johnny sheds his skin and becomes reborn. The Red's should be able to get one A prospect or a couple B prospects for half a season of Cueto. Nyarlathotep believes Cueto is worth half a ham sandwich and a bucket of bleach. He doesn't understand baseball.

Aroldis Chapman

Chapman can throw a baseball over 104 mph! He is the Red's closer and obviously the most dominant relief pitcher in the game. It's hard to say what the Red's could get for a reliever, even one as dominant as Chapman. He might be included along with Cueto in a blockbuster deal. I can't see a team surrendering a top one-hundred prospect for Chapman, but you never know, there are a lot of teams that could use him. Nyarlathotep says that his soul is made of butter, and that he will never be able to escape the demons that haunt him. I guess that means he's worth half a goat or whatever.

Mike Leake

Leake is a decent back of the rotation starter, a proven innings eater. A couple fringe prospects seems like a good trade for Leake. Nyarlathotep says that he is worth his weight in gold, and that his hands burn with the eternal fire, longing for pockets to plunder. The Crawling Chaos also says that if given the choice, he would rather devour Leake than drain his being of its energy, so take that as you will, GMs.

Todd Frazier

The Todd Father is the Red's all-star third baseman, continuing his breakout performance from last season. Now, some of you will object to trading Frazier, considering that he's still in his prime and probably the Red's best player. The Reds, however, will have to contend with the Cubs, Cardinals, and Pirates the next couple of years, all teams that are better positioned to succeed than our Redlegs. Why not trade Frazier now? Frazier would surely net you two top one-hundred prospects, maybe even more. He may be the best third baseman in the National League. Even the Stalker Among the Stars Agrees. "Frazier is darkness at the edges of chaos, the mover in shadows, the devouring deity that crawls and gnaws on the fringes of our being." Nyarlathotep says he would trade one whole ham sandwich covered in mayonnaise for Todd Frazier. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

How to Tell if You Are a Terrible Person


Have you ever made a snap judgement on a person based on a single weekend? Then you are a terrible person.

Have you ever invented a new racial slur? You are a terrible person.

Can you point out all the scientific inaccuracies in Jurassic Park within three minutes? Terrible person, you.

Do you automatically dislike a female entertainer because her physical appearance does not match your inflexible ideal of female beauty? You might be a terrible person.

Have you ever berated someone for losing at euchre? You are the worst person in the world.

Do you categorize your sexual partners based on their age and mental stability? You are a terrible, terrible person.

Have you ever voted Republican or Democrat? You are the scum of the earth.

Have you ever launched into a twenty-minute diatribe on ontology? Furthermore, have you ever advanced an argument for determinism? Have you ever spent thirty minutes telling someone that there is no god? You are kin to Stalin and Hitler, you terrible person.

Have you ever referred to a group of people as "the gays?" Terrible person.

Have you ever pooped on a public toilet seat and just left it there? You are less than human.

Do you forget your wife's anniversary but still remember the original team members of the X-Men? How did you ever get laid, you bad, bad person.

Do you own a television? Do you not own a television? Either way, you're going to hell.

Do you frequently quote Arnold Schwarzenegger movies? Terrible. Just terrible.

Do you have a blog? Insects are better than you, you vile being.

Is Harry Potter the only book you've ever read? What are you doing with your life?

Do you have hairy nipples? Good luck with that, buddy.

Have you ever been to the Creation Museum? Further, do you live in Kentucky? You are a terrible excuse for a man or woman.

You see, we are all terrible people. The question is, can we do anything about it? You are terrible just for asking.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Conans Answer the Most Important Questions on the Internet


Those crazy bodybuilders the Conan Brothers are back to answer the internet's most important questions, like who would win in a fight between Batman and Darth Vader. Let's get down to business!

 ...

Dinogeek asks "Spinosaurus versus T. Rex versus Giganotosaurus? Who ends up in a pile of blood?"

Arnold: Dude, a dinosaur question? We ain't paleontologists.

Dave: I can barely read.

Arnold: Good thing we have the internet. According to wikipedia, Spinosaurus was about 49 feet long, with T. Rex and Giganotosaurus measuring around 41 to 43 feet. Based on size, I guess Spinosaurus.

Dave: Recent work suggests that Spinosaurus was aquatic, piscivorous, and possibly a quadruped. T. Rex had bone crushing adaptations in its skull, giving it a big force greater than any living animal. Giganotosaurus, despite possibly being longer than T. Rex, was considerably lighter built. I'm going with the bone-crushing dinosaur over the fish-eater and the lightweight. Therefore, T. Rex wins.

Arnold: Fuck, Dave. You put more work into this than you should.

Dave: Answering stupid questions is not a job, it's an artform.

...

TrekkieGod asks "Who would win in a fight? Worf or Chewbacca?"

Arnold: What?

Dave: Don't pretend you don't watch Star Trek.

Arnold: I'm surprised this is a question. The answer is obvious.


Dave: Yeah, does Chewbacca ever get his ass kicked? Even if he does, it doesn't happen every episode like with Worf.

Arnold: Worf was such a ridiculous motherfucker. He was always leaping around, shoving his phaser in people's faces. He's lucky no one beat him to death with their bare hands. I'm pretty sure that ridged head would've popped like a balloon.

...

ComicBuffaloBill asks "Okay so in a fight, does Captain America, the Hulk, Iron Man, or Black Widow come out on top? Please answer cuz I got a lot of money invested in this."

Arnold: No one wins. Everybody loses. Especially us.

Dave: The Avengers was a big nasty hot tub full of man splooge.

Arnold: I wonder if people will ever get tired of invulnerable muscle men beating each other senseless.

Dave: That might be the gayest thing you've ever said.

Arnold: Seriously, though, I'm done with it. The whole comic book thing. Yeah, I love comics as a kid. I also ate paint chips and played with my poop.

Dave: But who wins, Arnold?

Arnold: Black Widow.

Dave: Why?

Arnold: Because there's no rational argument here.

Dave: I thought you were going to say "boobies."

Arnold: Email us at gganate@gmail.com if you have any other pressing questions.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Summary of True Detective, Season 2: Episode One


COLIN FARREL is a bad cop stuck with a guilty conscience and a mustache out of the seventies. He gets out of his cop car and rings the doorbell of a suburban home. He asks to speak to a child unbelievably named "Aspen." When Aspen comes to the door, COLIN FARREL grabs his dad and beats the living hell out of him. "I'm gonna buttfuck your dad with the corpse of your mom's butt!" he screams. The kid looks terrified but confused. Apparently Aspen shit in COLIN FARREL's kid's Lebron basketball shoes, or something. He is a bad cop and a bad man.

...

TAYLOR KITSCH is a highway patrol man with a lot of scars. He has to take a pill in order to achieve an erection to have sex with his smoking-hot girlfriend. This implies that he is emotionally-damaged. He has the most boring blow-job face imaginable. Later, he tries to kill himself but is distracted by the corpse of STEVE BUSCEMI. So far, he is my least favorite character.

...

RACHEL MCADAMS is a sexy lady cop with a chip on her shoulder and some strange sexual preferences. Her sister is a porn star and that really bothers her. She goes to some hippy camp to tell her hippy father about her sister's porn career. He doesn't see the problem, probably because he's too stoned or something. Before taking on the role of sexy lady cop, RACHEL MCADAMS had her ability to smile surgically removed. This was a wise decision. Nobody smiles in TRUE DECTECTIVE SEASON TWO.

...

VINCE VAUGHN is a bad gangster man who wants to be a good non-gangster man. I keep waiting for him to do that thing where he talks really fast but he never does it. He mostly stands around and talks to other gangster-businessmen. Later, he meets COLIN FARREL in a bar and pays him for beating up some guy with dreadlocks. We learn that he's trying to have kids but his ovaries are messed up. While this occurs, a singer plays the most depressing song in the world.

...

At the end, all the cop people gather around the corpse of STEVE BUSCEMI. They all give each other glowering cop stares. Who will solve the murder? Will it be COLIN FARREL, bad cop with a bad mustache? Will it be TAYLOR KITSCH, possible homosexual? Or perhaps it will be RACHEL MCADAMS, the lady cop who cannot smile. Tune in for TRUE DETECTIVE EPISODE 2 to find out. I guess.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Wolf Chapter Nine


I'm about to abandon this project; I think the characters are underdeveloped, and the story's length will be under fifty-thousand words, essentially making this novella unsellable, since novellas generally are. I should be writing short stories so that I have some publishing credits to list on my query letters for Apophenia. Whatever Wolf's fate, here is chapter nine, the last chapter I've completed. Also, here's a link to Chapter Eight as well as previous chapters, if you care to read the whole thing.


Nine
I'm sitting on a deck chair, my respirator mask lying on the floor, the cloudy sky protecting me from the penetrating rays of the sun. Debra fixes dinner inside for Brittany,  who keeps her mother company by relating various text messages sent by her friends. It's nice that she asks her mother's opinion; she hasn't quite reached that hideous age, Chastity's age, when no adult can convey basic reason to their progeny. She and I have not been doing so well, ever since “the incident” occurred, as Debra and I call it. My wife had her concerns, believe you me, but we have sorted them out. It's funny how sex can solve problems, since that hasn't been my experience in the past. But things are different now. Things have a way of taking care of themselves.
            Mr. Karwoski (an alias, according to investigators) is the chief suspect in the killing of ten individuals, including the recent bar massacre. The knife found at the scene of my assault is the prime piece of evidence. Covered in ritualistic runes and dating to the sixteenth century, this weapon is emblematic of an occult piece; Mr. Karwoski may be only one of many, a harbinger of things to come. Predictably, a panic has seized our small town, with curfews being issued and police checkpoints becoming a regularity. The FBI has become involved; G-Men roam about, investigating our playgrounds, our seedy motels, our woods. So far, information regarding Mr. Karwoski is scarce; his vehicle had stolen plates, and all of his personal belongings hint toward a most disturbed individual, one possibly suffering from alcoholism and insomnia. Ronald and I cooperated with investigators to compile a sketch of his appearance. We are great heroes, Ronald and I, or at least Ronald is, truly. Somehow, being a victim turns you into a hero in the eyes of the public. During my brief hospital stay, I received many bouquets, enough that Debra started throwing them away. My reputation, damaged by my late night philandering, has seemingly recovered. My injuries suffered during Mr. Karwoski's assault, which include a concussion, a broken nose, a bruised jaw, and several cracked teeth, have quickly healed, much to the amazement of medical professionals. I've received two weeks of paid vacation from work, which I've spent outside, drunk or on massive amounts of uppers, in order to blunt my perception, to beat it down and subjugate it. I am horny, incredibly horny; I have no conscience, no feelings of remorse. Part of me believes that Mr. Karwoski was responsible for all those murders; the other half screams gibberish in my ear, the same three-word answer. I don't want to listen to anything. I am inconsolable, I suppose. Is this how an animal feels? No pity, only contempt for the prey, the walking dead, the sad-sack meatsuits rambling down the alleyway of their misbegotten world. Of course, it cannot last, but I find that I do not care. Who knows if they'll catch Karwosk; such an event is the future, a hypothetical place, a state of being that I am not capable of imagining any more. I live for the present; I am the present. I am the unquenchable thirst. I am a starving man in the desert. I am the wolf at the doorstep, who will be let in.
            My father still lets himself in at night. I see him creeping through the window, his eyes mad, the look of drink about him, his clothes tattered as though he passed through knives and swords to get here. He never speaks, but that is normal. My father spoke through looks, through the sheer terror of his eyes. He communicated histories through those haunted, reptile eyes. I think I now know what my father did. We are both become nihilists.
            In the woods, I hear something moving about, the brush crashing and cracking with its steps. I ignore it, as I do everything now. I will go out tonight; it is a night for roaming, for fighting, for blood to be shed. A pressure against my teeth; a tightness of the jaw; an expanse of sinews; the ever-present taste of iron. I am so fixated on my coming revelry that I don't hear Rob enter.
            "Howdy stranger," he says, sitting himself next to me, his respirator dangling from his neck. "What a great day, huh?"
            "A perfect day," I tell him. He puts a six-pack down in between us, and we grab ourselves a beer.
            "You seem to be recovering nicely," he says.
            "The psychological scars still linger," I respond. "Just kidding. I feel great. I feel like I could lift a mountain right now."
            "Did you ever figure out ol' Hutch's journals?" he asks.
            "Nonsense, rambling gibberish. They're not even written in English," I tell him.
            "Yeah, I know." He takes a long drink of his beer. Somewhere in the woods, a bird lands on a branch and it snaps.
            "Warm out here for nearly Christmas," says Rob. "Goddamn weather is just unfathomable. It's like a crap shoot. God's just pulling numbers out of a hat."
            "Yeah," I say. I can smell Rob's nervousness, the sharp reek of fear exuding from his person. He looks back through the doors and then at me. "You seen any more of Jody?"
            "Nope," I say, my mouth shutting tight.
            "None of my business, of course. I'm not one to preach monogamy, though I think Debra is a fine woman. Just being nosey. Trying to look out for you."
            "I think I'll be okay, buddy," I say, the words falling out of my mouth like stone.
            "Those murders. They're real troubling. You think they'll catch him?" asks Rob.
            "I don't know," I reply tersely.
            "Can I ask you a question? Now I hope I don't offend."
            "I can't promise to be not offended, but ask away." Hairs rise all over my person. I know what is coming; someone has pieced together the pieces.
            "Why did he come after you, is what I want to know. Everyone else was killed during the night, and most of them female, except for that bar massacre. Seems strange that he would break into your house and attack you. What did Chastity say to the police? She was there, right?"
            "She had nothing significant to add," I explain. Chastity hasn't been spending much time around the house after the incident, which of course bothers her mother. I'm not sure what she told Debra, other than we got into an argument.
            "I see," says Rob. I look over at his sunburned face, his sandy hair poking out from beneath his sweat-stained ball cap. "What's the matter?" I ask.
            "I feel like this is my fault," says Rob, getting up from his seat. "I took you out to the farm, took you hunting, told you about Hutch, let you fall into that cave. I didn't think any of it was true, the stories my father told. That cave is ancient. It was ancient before white men settled this area. The Indians used to sacrifice men in that cave, or so the stories go. They'd kill men with animal fangs while wearing the heads of wolves. You act like him now. Hutch. The philandering. The fighting. They way you healed. Just the way you move. I can see your goddamn ears twitching right now, Harry. There's hair growing out of them. Big, ugly tufts."
            "I don't know what you're trying to tell me," I say.
                “You're going to make me say it? Fine. I'll say it. You're a werewolf.” Rob gives me a look of utter seriousness. I give him a Jack Nicholson grin and shake my head.
            “What am I supposed to say to such allegations?” I ask.
            “Just admit it to me. Tell me I'm right.”
            “You caught me. I'm the big, bad wolf. I huff and puff and blow your house down. Christ, Rob. Are you fucking insane? Werewolf? Werewolves aren't real. They don't exist. They're fiction. You don't need a silver bullet to kill me, buddy. Some crazy asshole nearly did me in, and you're telling me that I'm the murderer, that I'm to blame for all this madness. Goddamn it, Rob. I thought you were my friend. I guess I need to trim my ear hairs. Jesus.” I get up from my chair and go to the railing. It looks out at me, the beast, a shaggy fuck-knows-what. Eyes like the moon. Claws like the teeth of a dinosaur. Ooze dripping from its gigantic jaws. The outline of the woods shades it, giving the thing a tremulous outline. It is not substantial. I don't know what is any more.
            “I'm sorry, Harry,” says Rob. “I saw things as a kid that I've never forgotten. You want to think that these memories aren't true. You want to deny it. They'd have you deny it, these people out here in this enclave. Something in you tells you that what you are perceiving isn't true. Perception is all we have, however. I can't see the world with the eyes of another man. I saw Hutch turn into a wolf one night. I woke up and something pulled me towards my window, and there he was, standing in the front yard, a naked man beneath the light of the full moon. I watched as the hair grew on his chest, as his jaws elongated, as the claws sprouted from his fingernails. I don't know what he wanted that night. Maybe it was my mother. Maybe it was me. I know my dad did something to him, something that either drove him away or killed him. He could be buried out there for all I know. Maybe he's in that cave.”
            “Are you threatening me?” I ask, turning toward Rob.
            “I know, Harry. It's not your fault. But we got to do something about it, or more people will die.” Rob gets up from his chair, walks toward me, his big hands hanging at his sides like meat hooks.
            “You going to take me to the farm, put me down like Ole Yeller?” I ask. Rob doesn't reply. He just looks at me with his plain expression, his hillbilly face stoic, implacable, a stone wall.
            “Can I get you anything?” asks Debra, opening the screen door. “You boys should come inside. The sun is lifting. You don't want to get cancer.”
            Rob shakes his head. “Just leaving,” he says. “Only had to say a few words to Harry here.” He stares at Debra for a moment and then glances at me. I know what he's saying: She could be next. It's not as though I haven't considered the possibility, the horror of it. Something sits on my emotions like a smothering pillow.
            “Talking about man stuff?” asks Debra.
            “Rob was just telling me bedtime stories. He's got a good imagination. Very creative,” I say. I watch his pickup pull out of the driveway. “I need to go out tonight.”
            “I thought maybe you'd stay in, watch a movie,” she says. Already the moon peeks out from behind the clouds, a cratered white eye.
            “I need to go on a drive. Put my mind at ease,” I say.
            “We were doing so good, Harry. Ever since your accident.” We watch as Chastity's boyfriend drops her off in front of the house, music throbbing from his vehicle. We get a good look at him as he leans out the window. A twisted baseball cap. A leering sneer. Arms covered in tattoos. Here is an object worthy of destruction, a focal point for energies that must be released. Can't even see his eyes, for they are covered by sunglasses, large rectangular shades. Compound eyes; the eyes of an insect, something that views the world through incomprehensible lenses. I find myself moving forward but the car pulls away, leaving tire tracks in the drive. Chastity flees for the house, ignoring me. Debra goes back inside and tries to catch her before she locks herself in her room. I can hear them arguing through the impenetrable walls of our home. It doesn't matter. My nostrils twitch, picking up his scent. The problem won't fix itself, and I've always dealt with my own problems. I hop in the car, turn the ignition, back out of my drive. Through the sunroof I see it peering through the clouds, my father's eye, a great lidless orb watching me weave through the roundabouts and cul-de-sacs, shining pale light on my trembling frame, no mercy, no feeling in its gaze except for rage, blind, idiot anger. My erection strains against my pants; I have to pull over and attempt to control my breathing, the heat boiling over, leaking down my face and exaggerating my veins. I'm not far enough away—this was the great fear, the one I ignored—but now there is nothing to do but exit the vehicle and run, run, run, shedding my clothes as I sprint over the walls of the  enclave, just making it before my consciousness slides into the back of my skull, its mask finally removed, all illusions of control surrendered, my fate determined like all of theirs, all of them, walking meat, soft flesh sauntering down the aisles of despair, puppets, automatons, cattle, food. My last thought is to snatch an antacid from my pocket. The things we eat.    

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Select Farmers Only Profiles

Name: Farmer Bob Bischoff

Age: 35

Looking For: A strong shouldered woman to help with the harvest. Must know how to cook beets. Won't tolerate excessive conversation. Would like her to be at least six feet tall.

Hobbies: Farming, moonshining, tossing rocks at the pond, beating animals to death for their meat.

Bio: I am a third generation farmer specializing in onions and beets. I own over twenty acres and fourteen hogs. Willing to pay a decent dowry for a good-sized woman who appreciates hard work. Must be of German descent. Don't want no Irish or Italians; they just don't work hard enough. Must have Protestant work ethic and a healthy fear of male authority. Email me at BeetsThePurpleTreat@gmail.com.
...

Name: Lindia "I ain't that easy" Perry

Age: I'll let you guess

Looking For: My Prince Charming! I want the good-old fashioned kind of man that they just don't make anymore! Someone who can hang a light fixture and rustle up the cows and still pleasure a woman when they come home!

Hobbies: Posing in underwear with my three favorite cows, drinking to excess, being blonde and stupid (and proud of it!)

Bio: I always knew I wanted to marry a farmer, ever since my Uncle Cletus came home that one evening and showed a girl a good time. Farmers have strong hands which are good for grasping and crushing things. I swear I can give you many strong sons to help with the labor and to expand your genetic pool. Unfortunately I talk a little too much but you'll get used to it. Email me at UncleIssues@gmail.com.

...

Name: Richard "the Pigman" Prior

Age: 28

Looking For: A girl who doesn't mind a little pig blood on my hands. City girls just don't understand!

Hobbies: Not sleeping at night, naming the pigs

Bio: Hi my name is Richard and I want a nice girl that'll do the laundry and pick the bones out of my hair. I work hard for my money and I'm going to work hard for you; that's a promise, and I never break my promises, although sometimes I do when I make promises to the pigs, which I sometimes do. It's hard looking in their eyes before bringing down the hammer. Sometimes I wake up at night and there are pigs looking at me, giant, disembodied pigs with saliva dripping from their jaws. I need someone that can help me make it through the night. Please help. PigMon@gmail.com.

...

Name: Snuggles

Age: Under

Looking For: Someone to get me out of grandma's house

Hobbies: Millennial shit  

Bio: Hey someone get me out of this trailer park cuz I just cant stand it anymore. I need a new iphone but grandma don't understand cuz she's old and smells like canned fish and won't somebody come and help me, I have no clothes and am forced to run around in my underwear, these things burn down like nothing, come on, i like music and texting and bed farts and making a mockery of the english language. will be your valentine. Snuggles@hotmail.com

...

Name: Goon, The

Age: 29

Looking For: A perty Lady who will lemme stick it in ya

Hobbies: Covering up me ciphalus, pissin in da woods, listening to 2Pac

Bio: Howdy dis heres da Goon an Im horny and lookin fur love. Wont somebody reach out an touch me? I is an apple farmer an I work seasonally but thats okay cuz I'll be yur boy toy if yoou put it in yere but every once in a blue mooon. Will lvoe you long timie, I promise! Hope you likee apple cuz that's all i eat besides beer and hotdogs. Come on out an show da Goon a good time! Whats an email address?
 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Esteemed Critic Reviews Jurassic World

Wait, this isn't how they feed Shamu, right?

Ah, dinosaurs. The juvenile Critic was obsessed with the "Terrible-Lizards." In fact, before he discovered French Surrealism, the Critic was considering a career in paleontology. How the wheels of time turn! It seems only yesterday that I was pouring over field manuals and illustrations of theropods and hadrosaurs. But no matter: to the task at hand. Jurassic Park occupies an important place in the Critic's atrophied heart. Spielberg's classic did much to change the public's notion of dinosaurs as slow and dim-witted. It imbedded the name "velociraptor" firmly in pop culture, though the animal depicted more closely resembled the larger deinonychus. Though it committed numerous errors regarding its dinos, the blockbuster did more good than harm, and spawned a franchise that now extends to four films, with this summer's Jurassic World.

The first hour of Jurassic World is fine entertainment. Bryce Dallas Howard's Claire Dearing, depicted as a career woman cliche, fails to keep track of her nephews and a new genetically-engineered dinosaur named "Indominus Rex." Only Chris Pratt's Owen Grady can handle the mess; it should be said now that most characters in this movie are, in the horror tradition, complete morons. We have a cartoonish villain in Vincent D'Onofrio, who spews nonsense about using trained velociraptors as military weapons (I guess he didn't see the first three movies), and who kind of looks like a bloated Micheal Keaton. Claire, despite being the operator of a billion-dollar theme park, knows and feels little for her dinos, preferring to call them "assets." When the big, bad Indominus Rex breaks out, Claire and the park's owner, played by Irrfan Khan as a Richard Branson-type, decide that there's too much money invested in the dino, and that it should be brought down by non-lethal means, despite the presence of twenty-thousand people on the island. Great decision, guys. I hope all the lawsuits for maiming and death by pterosaur put your grandchildren in debt. Of course, everything goes to hell and the Indominus Rex (who looks pretty cool) starts eating people and killing other dinos for sport. It also stumbles upon Claire's lost nephews, continuing the Jurassic Park tradition of children nearly being eaten by carnosaurs.

Past the hour mark, the film takes a big turn toward B-movie territory. Grady's trained velociraptors are recruited to fight the Indominus, which backfires, because I guess everyone forgot how dangerous raptors are in these movies. The final battle, which involves a T. Rex, a velociraptor, the Indominus Rex, and an impossibly large mosasaurus, is beyond ridicule, but it will put a smile upon your face. Jurassic World knows that it's a forced sequel filled with product placements and outdated gender stereotypes. It even acknowledges that its dinosaurs are inaccurate. "We built these creatures to be entertaining. Many would look quite different in real life," says chief scientist Henry Wu, the only character returning from the original film. This is a monster movie, not a sci-fi classic. Though it is damn entertaining.

What do you want to bet that Pratt picked his nose with that thing?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

What Has It Gots in Its Pocketses?


What a nasty, tricksey, vile hobbitses. "What has its gots in its pocketses?" That's not a riddle. That's just a stupid question.

Fine. I'll play along with your game. You gotta give me a lot of guesses, though. Otherwise, I'm gonna bash your brains out with this rock here, and eat your fat ass, which has to be tastier than orc dick and fish guts. Okay. So lets play.

Does it has a Cliff Bar in its pocketses? No? That seems like the sort of disgusting thing a hobbit would eat. What about a handful of bacon? Wait, wait, lemme guess--a whole egg? Honestly, I just view hobbits as walking breakfasts. Maybe a glass of orange juice? Okay, that was a dumb one. I dunno.

Lint? A bunch of trash? A condom wrapper? Hah, that last one was a joke. I know hobbitses get laid about as much as Sheldon Cooper. Oh, so you think that I have that problem? Hah, no siree. This is a dark cave, holmes. Things wander in and they never come out. A hole is a hole, brotha. You better hope I eat you, hah.

A calculator? Some scribblings? A bunch of tree bark? A squirrel pelt?

A couple bucks? Tissue paper? Chewing gum? A paperback novel? Maybe Crime and Punishment or Infinite Jest? Neither of those two doorstoppers would fit, however, although hobbitses have pretty deep pocketses. You look like you're more of a James Patterson or Janet Evanovich fan. Maybe you like science fiction. You're a nerdy looking hobbit, after all. No, you're not a reader. I can see the lack of imagination on your fat face.

A doughnut? A piece of cheese? Some old babyteeth? A couple quarters? Am I hot, warm? Come on. I'm humoring you, here. You gotta give me a hint or something. A photo of Nicholas Cage? A pair of underpants? A notebook? Your keys?

All right, this game sucks. I don't care anymore, okay? I don't give a shit what you have in your pocketses. Just get the fuck outta here. I can't bear to see your stupid hobbit face.

Wait a minute. Goddamn it. Where is my ring? I found that in a box of Cracker Jacks! You know how hard it is to get Cracker Jacks beneath the Misty-fucking-Mountains? You stole it, didn't you? You piece of shit! Get your ass back here, fat boy. Hey, don't put that on. You asshole. You're fucking up my whole way of life here. How do you think a one-hundred-pound heroin addict manages to throttle three-hundred pound orcs? I use a goddamn magic ring, that's how. Oh my god, you are so dead. Well fuck it. I need a hit anyway. Next asshole that wanders down here, I'm not talking to. I'm just going to bludgeon him to death.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Consummate Politician Apologizes


Boy, there's a lot to apologize for this time. Seems that I've royally screwed the pooch, America. I've let you down, though I would contend that that's debatable. Let's get this over with so I can go back to saving America from the Chinese and the homosexuals. Shit. I think I've done it again.

First I'd like everyone to know that the hush money I paid to multiple families in order to cover up my alleged sexual abuse of their children was put to good use by said families. One of them bought a vacation home, and these people struggle to put food on the table daily. The other family bought a new car instead of paying off their mortgage. Don't sound like very financially responsible people, do they? Kind of casts doubt on their sexual allegations, doesn't it? If said allegations truly occurred, then you would figure that these folks would've spent that hush money on some consoling and a chastity belt. Proves you can't trust poor people. We should put them all in camps.

By the way, that's another thing I have to apologize for. It has been inferred from my comments that if I had my way, internment camps would be established for the degenerates of society, namely the homosexuals, black people, poor people, illegal immigrants, etc...anybody who is not rich, white, and Protestant. Well that's a bunch of baloney fabricated by the liberal media. It's work camps, not internment camps, that I'm big on. Can you imagine how much money we'd save the economy if all these degenerates got off their Welfare-abusing asses and started rebuilding our infrastructure? I'd be elected king of America. It's an idea worth exploring, but nobody has the courage to say it. That's political correctness in twenty-first century America, folks. See how it's ruining everything?

Lastly, I'd like to apologize for saying anything about all those scientists who contend that dinosaurs had feathers. Now, science certainly has its place, and I'm not above using it when it suits my needs. But everyone needs to keep in mind that evolution is just a theory, like the Loch Ness monster or racial equality, and firm proof needs to be established before we all go jumping to conclusions. You telling me that a Tyrannosaurus evolved into a chicken? That just doesn't make any sense. Dinosaur bones were put here by Satan to test the resolve of humanity. You think something that big could've walked on earth? Why aren't there any dinosaurs today? You think God would let one of his creations go extinct?

In closing, I'd like to recommend everyone get off their high horse and stop criticizing me, a mover and shaker, and start examining the activities of the poor and black people. Haven't we given these folks enough opportunities? Send them to the camps, I say. These would be nice camps, by the way. You'd want to work there, if you were a degenerate. Anyway, just remember all the good I've accomplished instead of my so-called "misdeeds." I'm going to get back to running this country. Somebody has to do it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Writer's Block: Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere


I'm currently editing my fourth novel, Apophenia, in preparation to have another run at literary success, so I thought I'd share the first chapter of my first novel, Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere, which remains unpublished. Looking back, it's obviously a first work: there is too much florid language, the plot's a mess, and the premise is bizarre. It's about a family of deadbeat brothers who find their derelict house under attack from a race of sentient gophers. Try selling that to a literary agent. Maybe some day I'll rewrite it. It's connected to Black Box, sharing some of the same characters such as Art Howard, Mitch Singer, and Maria the succubus. Here's the first chapter.



Chapter One: (Subsisting) for the Weekend
The gophers were trying to kill us. 
            Every day the earth beneath our home became more and more unstable due to the never-ending efforts of the rodents below us. Tireless and determined, these furry monsters wove a complex subterranean labyrinth with the sole purpose of undermining the structural foundation of our home. We didn't know why they hated us. Perhaps our easy living and petty ambitions offended these industrious creatures. Maybe they decided that our bungalow deserved to be swallowed up by the earth. They probably could've put its materials to good use. 
            Our house was falling apart and we didn't know how to care for it. Ever since Dad left for Alaska, German concubine in tow, we'd been stuck in an existential funk, caught in the netherworld between adolescence and adulthood, generally unsure of what to do or where to go or how exactly one goes about making a decision. We surfed, we hovered, we floated. We let time take care of progression. We washed our hands of it.
When and how we became aware of the gophers and their deplorable endeavors, I can’t recall, but I do remember the start of one particular weekend. It was around one or two in the afternoon, and I was lying on my belly peering down into a deep depression, the great field that lies behind our house, prepping my twenty-two caliber rifle. The gopher mounds before me looked like the vertebra of some subterranean horror, the backbone of something huge and vicious and lurking. At any moment one of the evil offenders would likely pop his ugly mug out of the ground, and I'd say hello with a twitch of the finger and a slight pop and then go collect the splattered remnants of his being, another figure added to the tally.
            Our house rested on a hillside behind a vast graveyard that stretched into the distance for at least a mile, creating an ever-gloomy horizon of headstones and sepulchral monuments, blackened angels worn by wind and rain. Maybe the constant addition of corpses had softened the ground, making it easier for the gophers to move in. I could imagine them digging right through a decomposing coffin, effortlessly displacing dirt enriched by ancient flesh and bone-matter. Grisly animals, these gophers. 
            I reached into the cooler next to me, popped open a High-Life, and took a swig. Maybe today will be the day. I'd been looking for a particular gopher, a real regal-looking animal, well, as far as any rodent can really appear kingly. I'd never personally seen him, but both Art and Gary swore he existed. He was about as big as a medium-sized dog, they claimed, with fur all black and matted like melted coal. He surfaced like a whale, crashing through the top soil and displacing earth everywhere. Art said he was the head-honcho, chief of all terrestrial operations. If I bagged him, it was over, this escalating conflict, and humanity triumphed over gopher-kind. 
            My brothers were potheads and drunks, although to dwell too much on their perpetual inebriation would be risking hypocrisy, for I was no straight-edger, that’s for sure. Art was a pretty-boy security guard at a local business, a thin little man with perpetually greased hair like some tough from a fifties’ flick. Gary was one of those guys you’d see hanging out in front of the shittiest dive in town, looking like he might have hepatitis or something worse. He was lightly built as well, and covered in tattoos and piercings. He rarely showered, and as a result usually smelled like the unwashed underside of a rotting pig.  He was almost never employed.
            Something surfaced in my sights and I snapped to attention, steadying my rifle and taking aim at the dark diminutive dot before me. I fired and the shape jerked violently, a little spray of blood emitting in an arc from it as it collapsed. Already I could tell that it wasn’t the King, for it was too small, too average a gopher, likely a tunneler or some menial servant, the rodent equivalent of your Blue-Collar Joe.  
            Oh well. I trotted down to where the body lay. I slipped on a leather working glove and gently picked up the gopher corpse by its ragged vestigial tail. Would it be appropriate to say a few words? What sort of religion could this troglodyte have? I had never said anything before to mark the passage of a gopher from one world to the next, so why start now? Perhaps the King would get a word of reverence from me. This beast, however, had no soul. 
            I tossed its mortal remains into the fire pit. Its bones accompanied the charred skeletons of beer cans of various brands, whatever was on sale, as well as taco wrappings and cigarette packaging. Bits of the weekly trash were often sentenced to die in the fire pit, that which didn’t accumulate in the corners of our house. This was where we had our heathen dances, our drunken scrapes, where we held services for gods unknown. 
There was a flimsy structure next to the fire pit that Gary affectionately called “the rape shack.” As far as I knew, nothing that grotesque had taken place in its innards, although I was sure he’d fornicated with under-age girls or burned-out milfs many times inside the building. Gary either went premature or way past it; only clueless teenagers or desperate trailer-trash was interested in a guy with four lip rings.
            I entered the skuzzy shack. An old cat hair-covered futon in the right corner, stained and stinking; a mini-fridge in the left, still sputtering on like myself, past its college expiration date. My shoes stuck to the floor, which had a molasses-like covering of gum, soda, spilt beer, and bodily fluids. On the wall opposite the door was a great piece of poster-board covered in tallies, to which I added my latest kill. Up to fifty already, eh? That meant it was time for a celebration. 
            I sat down on the futon and lit my congratulatory cigarette. Light spewed in from the cracks between the walls and illuminated my cloudy fumes. It had been awhile since I’d had one; we were all trying to quit, even Gary. Pot was better for you, he argued, and plus you got more bang for your buck. I didn't disagree. Whenever I smoked, the next day my lungs felt crippled and heavy, like poor wheezing black bags of filth. I flicked the ash into a large plastic bucket and wondered how long it would be before the whole shack went up in flames.
            It was my day off, and I resolved to get something constructive done besides killing gophers. I was an amateur musician and songwriter with a degree in musical composition, but I couldn’t figure out what to do with my education. I lacked the credentials to teach (I didn’t have the patience either) and gigging opportunities were limited in my hometown. The Cincinnati scene was small and cliquish, although I hadn’t tried particularly hard to break into it. Ever since graduation I'd been trying to get a band together with little success, meeting with flunkies who could barely play a guitar as well as savants too idiotic to realize that nobody wanted to hear twelve minutes of modal noodling. So I sat around recording demo after demo, building up a stack of unpublished work that so far only a handful had heard. Every time I wrote a song I felt productive, like things might eventually go my way if only I kept on trucking through the slow, worn mechanized grind of daily life. Writing was the source of what optimism I had.
            I didn't feel like writing or playing, however. I felt like blowing the day on stupid pursuits, such as watching a House marathon on USA or playing video games. Our X-Box got a lot of work, although not always by us; Art had a friend named Trent who came over about every day even when he wasn't around just to play our console. I decided to enter the house to see if he was around. If he wasn't, I'd get into the Game. If he was, well, then I'd get out the guitar and the notebook and try to add another song to my dusty catalogue. 
            A stranger coming into our living room was transported back to the 70's; our carpet was an ugly turquoise color that hasn’t existed since then, and our d├ęcor was made up of pieces our grandmother picked out back when Archie Bunker was a cultural figure. A picture of old Grandma rested on the mantle, all strict eyes unwavering and wiry white hair. She lived to be ninety, a taut, bony dictator who demanded absolute adherence to her rules. She held the house together and without her presence, Dad couldn’t stick around any longer.
            Our house was dark and had a general subsurface feel, like we were living in a mine shaft or something. The ceilings were low and there weren’t many windows and the blinds were always drawn, like we were vampires who’d turn to ash if we encountered the light during sleep. It was cramped and confined, like the gopher tunnels below us. As I walked through the living room with its faux-wood plating and rustic country sofa, I could almost feel Grandma sitting there watching her soap operas. This was her command post where she issued orders with a bellow or a shriek. 
            Right through the kitchen was our room. I could hear Trent playing and my heart sank. My creative juices just weren’t flowing, and I was really in the mood for some post-apocalyptic role-playing or whatever else the Game wished me to see.
The Game was a massively multiplayer role-playing first-person shooter strategy game, or MMRPFPSSG for, um, short. It was the first of its kind, an amalgamation of different virtual entertainment trends designed to replace and surpass all other titles by virtue of its sprawling scope. It offered you whatever you wanted. You could delve into a Tolkien-inspired world of elves and orcs, siding with various factions, creating your own character, steering them toward the good or bad path. You could log into the competitive multiplayer component and frag others as a marine or a terrorist. You could become a general of an ancient alien civilization, building your fortress, amassing your troops, and eventually decimating your enemies. If you desired, you could build your own worlds and combine them with the work of others, although this component was restricted to the PC version. There was nothing you couldn’t do in the Game, and it was always being added to, the experience never ended, since there was no way to complete something that seemingly resisted the effects of entropy. It sucked up time and energy and funds, although the monthly subscription was pretty cheap, considering the infinite amount of gameplay offered.   
            I knocked on the door and entered. A nasty decrepit sofa rested against the far wall next to a nasty decrepit chair. Relics of my college days, now stained and stinking. Their mottled appearance, combined with their bright orange color, discouraged lengthy periods of sitting. There was a bunk bed in the corner; Gary usually slept on the couch. His many articles of black clothing were scattered about in filthy piles. A bookshelf of games and fantasy novels in the corner opposite the bed; dragon figurines and action figures also. Facing the sofa was the centerpiece of the room, the television. It rested on a little podium with the X-Box beneath it. Games were everywhere. Cracked and shattered casings lay mixed with black clothing and garbage. Other than the X-Box, there wasn't a single respected item in the room.
            Trent was sitting fish-eyed on the couch. He was a pale kid with elongated limbs and a perpetually curved spine who always wore a tiny white t-shirt riddled with holes and a baggy pair of high-water jeans. His red Chuck Taylors were gummy with dirt, yet somehow they never left any tracks on the carpet. It was like they were a magnet for filth. Once they got a hold of something dirty, they didn't let go.
I stared at the white-faced amphibious cave dweller. His eyes stayed on the TV screen, gaming controller gripped loosely in his hands. 
            “Hey,” I muttered. 
            “Hey,” he croaked back. 
            “Did you come over to hang out with Art?” 
            “I guess.” 
            “Well, he's not getting home till around eight.” 
            “All right.” 
            “It's three o'clock.” 
            “Yeah.” 
            I stared at him for a good minute, hoping he'd get the point. His large aquatic orbs never left the screen. 
            I sighed and sat down next to him. I didn't feel comfortable forcing this interloper from the room. He was an odd little man, an unpredictable creature quite possibly capable of violence. I imagined waking up to him standing over me with a knife, white-faced and wearing a stony expression of doom. Better to just be friendly to him. 
            “So what are you playing?” 
            “The Game.” 
            I watched his avatar move about. The game world was in the first person perspective; all you could see of his character was a pair of camouflaged arms holding an M4 carbine. Trent was playing the competitive multiplayer mode, which meant he was looking for other Internet players to shoot. I loved shooting things as much as the next delinquent, but I could never get into the more plausible arenas of the Game. Stomping around as a marine in Afghanistan wasn't exotic enough. Too close to reality. 
            “I was hoping to play.” 
            “Give me a sec. I need a couple more kills for the achievement.” 
            The Game  awarded achievements for specific actions. I think Trent craved this kind of thing. The rewards system kept him coming back. Well, that and the graphic brilliance that accompanied every violent action. Red pixels showering a concrete wall, fresh from the head of a disposed villain. The swiftness of a knife kill, the sound of a body hitting the floor. The perfect rat-a-tat-tat of a machine gun. It was a well-made piece of entertainment. 
            “You know this is my X-Box. And my house.” 
            “I'm almost done.” 
            “You're making me wait for my own X-Box?” 
            “I've been working on this for days. I almost got it.” What was “it”? Probably a little box that popped up on screen that said           “Achievement earned! Made ten headshots while in the air!” 
            “Where do you work? You seem to be over here a lot.” 
            “I'm waiting for my position to open up again.” 
            “What did you do?” 
            “I was a stocker for Black Box.” 
            “When's the last time you worked?” 
            “Three months ago.”
            So what was Trent living on?  It was unlikely that he had any savings. Lately I'd noticed we went through cereal a little faster than normal. This little free loader was doubtlessly nibbling away on our snacks while playing my console, using up our electricity. I needed to talk to Art about this. It wasn't right that on my day off I couldn't play video games. 
            I noticed the headstock of my guitar sticking out of a pile of black clothing, dust caked around the golden pegs. I grabbed the twelve-string and saw that a string was broken. How long was it since I'd written a song? Judging by the dust, longer than I'd realized. 
            Why did I crave the Game? Often times, I'd find myself having little fun, yet I’d keep playing, perhaps just to get to the next experience level or to complete a new quest. Looking at Trent, sitting there with his long white hands growing sweaty, his face frozen with vacancy, I reached a conclusion. My behavior was pathological; I had an illness, some modern, new-age plague. We were the infected. Hit us ten times in the head and you'll earn an achievement. 
            “I need you to get off that X-Box. Now.” 
            “I need to play one more match.” 
            To hell with this. I decided to risk the possibility that Trent would react drastically to my taking control. I got up and turned off the X-Box.
            “What the fuck.” 
            “Get out of here. Go do something.” 
            He stared at me like Gollum; huge-eyed, waxen, fanatic. He seemed to hiss as his gaunt, ghastly frame rose from the couch. 
            “You're an asshole.” 
            With that final declaration, he tossed the controller to the ground. This was the greatest display of emotion I'd ever witnessed from Trent. I always joked with Art that he was barely a person. “He's never taken the time to develop his character,” I'd chuckle. “He's still stuck around level 10, with basic attributes.”
            I picked up the controller. It vibrated like a relic, some bewitched item uncovered from an ancient tomb. Still working, no cracks. I sighed and flipped the X-Box back on. 
I knew I was addicted and that the path to sobriety might be rough. I spied an unopened beer on the floor. It was warm but not skunked, and that was all a connoisseur like myself required.
            I got up and switched on the television. The loading screen for the Game popped up and I watched the electric blue whirls spell out “Huerto”, the studio’s logo. I watched them spiral and weave and come together perfectly with a nice sound effect, something similar to a spacecraft entering the atmosphere, a great whoosh that ended with a thunderous crack, sharp and snappy.
            It would start tomorrow. Everything would start tomorrow. 
            I'd done this a million times. Made plans and then put them off. Things might get done, but only in pieces and then only after countless starts and restarts. Despite my sour attitude, I had a fundamental optimism innate to my being. I could take a million failures because there was always tomorrow, bright and beckoning with false colors on the plastic horizon. I had never coped with this illogical element of my personality. It was a defense mechanism, I was sure. Probably evolved to prevent abject depression. So it kept me going at the price of attaining actual salvation and palpable change. 
            I faced an interesting dilemma, in real-life and in the Game. My character had started out a good guy, always helping people in side-quests while shunning the promise of greater rewards. The Game had a karma meter that judged the player's actions. At the moment my cowboy hat-wearing, duster donning lawman was on the positive side. However, it was fun to experiment. You could always sell out a tiny village to a clan of mutant vampires. 
            But how could I rationalize my actions? If a role-playing game was truly about role-playing a character, how could my honest gunslinger suddenly undergo a change of heart? Perhaps if one lived in the wasteland long enough, it seized control of your psyche. Maybe it stopped you and opened up your head and gave you a moral lobotomy; maybe it dug out your brains with a crude spoon, the kind of thing a caveman might carve out of old wood and leave jagged at the edges, fibers sticking out to splinter and become imbedded.
            I continued to play. Just a half-hour longer. Then I'd quit this and start on a song.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Diary of Mitch R. Singer


In the rural wastes of Kentucky
We sit around the fire, the embers smoldering, the talk simmering and dying like the coals at our feet. There are five of us including myself: an ascetic, a leprechaun, a deviant, and a bear-like creature born of booze and hate. The bear-thing speaks of apes and sexual-misdeeds while the deviant laps up his stories like a hound drinking blood. We pass around the liquor and smoke cigars made from castrati. The moon is no friend; she shines like a demon's eye, the stars her rotating companions. Everyone spits and pisses into the fire. I think that we may die.

The next afternoon, at the summit of a mountain
We climb and climb, our sweat falling from our brows as an offering to gods unknown. We shed our clothes and tear at the rock, throwing curses at each other, the weight of the alcohol taking its toll. The leprechaun is agile; he floats and weaves among the rocks, his grin taunting, his limericks pagan nonsense lined with truth. When we reach the top, we are severed, for each man must make his own descent. I empty the contents of my stomach on the way down. There are fingers swimming in the bile.

At a cabin ringed with bones
Beside the cabin is a pit filled with slime, and it is here that we bathe ourselves, pouring the ooze on our sun-burned flesh. The smell is horrific, a pungent odor that stings the nostrils and burns the eyes. I watch the bear-thing as he makes himself a hat from the filth. He knows naught what he does; his innocence is as evil as a child's. While he bathes, he speaks again of apes. His contempt for their race is beyond measure. Eventually, he farts and passes out, his head sinking below the slime. I do nothing to help him. God will take his pound of flesh.

Later that night
We burn it down, all of it, dousing its bones with oil. Even the ascetic joins in, his howls coming from dark depths, his curses unintelligible, names of nameless things. The deviant mashes his genitals and dances with the leprechaun about the bones of the bear-thing, the flames of the cabin illuminating their steps. I step back and observe, my face haggard, the skin sloughing from my bones. Man can make nothing; he is but a destroyer. I turn and head for the hills, leaving them to their revelry. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What Is a Real Man?


A real man has never tweeted anything.

A real man is not afraid of leprechauns and has killed several in hand to hand combat.

You shook a real man's hand and he nearly broke yours.

A real man does not vote Democrat or Republican. He writes in "Teddy Roosevelt" for every office.

A real man is to you what the pope is to a chronic masturbator.

A real man thinks that erectile dysfunction is a myth, like the yeti or his North American cousin, the sasquatch.

A real man isn't afraid to punch Chuck Norris in the face.

A real man reads Hemingway and biographies about former American Presidents.

A real man doesn't need a gun for self-defense because his body is a living weapon.

A real man can quote every single line of Predator.

A real man doesn't eat vegetables and thinks that tofu is a racial slur.

A real man is not a lumbersexual or a hipster. They are sworn enemies of a real man.

A real man smells like the outdoors and your girlfriend.

A real man has never ridden in the back seat of any vehicle.

A real man doesn't believe in sexually-transmitted diseases.

A real man has seen every Steven Seagal movie but would never admit it to anyone.

Real men are as endangered as the Siberian Tiger.

A real man has never met a rock that he couldn't lift.

Your great-grandfather was a real man. Your grandpa probably was. Your father might be. You...not so much.

A real man is not afraid to dance.

The only color that looks good on a real man is the blood of his enemies.

A real man has a facial scar that looks like America.

A real man has hair in strange places.

Someday scientists will dig up the bones of real men and wonder how they lived. They will conclude that such beings are impossible, and must be throw-backs misplaced in the geologic record by natural forces. They will say that real men never existed. Stupid scientists. They will not be real men.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Least Interesting Man in the World


Howdy, strangers. Mighty overcast today. Looks like it's going to rain, but so far, it hasn't. Don't you just abhor days like this? The uncertainty. The constant glances skyward, up toward ol' Father Zeus. Can't decide whether or not to mow my lawn. Lord knows you don't want to mow your lawn too early. I always try to synchronize my mowing with my neighbors. Gotta keep up with the Jones. I don't know what that means.

So the neighborhood scamps are still playing tricks on poor ol' me. Last night, they left a dead cat on my doorstep. Those incorrigible little tramps! Don't they know how much cleaning up that dead animal inconvenienced me? I had to throw away a whole ensemble because the stench just wouldn't come out. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I decapitated the whole lot of them! But that's just the voices in my head speaking. Learned long ago to silence them! Everything is just fine and dandy. The important thing is to be positive.

I watched a little bit of television today. Some fine program called "Love It or List It." I can't tell you what happened on the program because I kind of spaced out for several hours. Sometimes I wonder if I retain anything. Oh well. Such is life.

Been thinking about getting a dog so that I'll have something to take care of. I'll name it Lassie or Rover. I haven't decided on a breed yet. Maybe I'll just get a mutt. Imagine taking ol' Scruffy out for a walk! What fun. I get excited just thinking about it. Having my very own dog. Christ.

Have you ever wondered how ants reproduce? Do they have monogamous relationships? Isn't there a queen? Is everyone married to the queen? Jeez, that would get confusing. I think a lot about how life forms reproduce. I guess it's just magic.

Thinking about vacuuming the place. This place could use a thorough scrubbing. I really don't dust enough. Sometimes I think that every man lives in his own personal hell. I have some old furniture that needs to be Febrezed.

Chicken or pork chops tonight? What do ya'll think? It's all just tasteless flesh. Maybe I'll grill out. Fix some corn on the cob. Wave at passersby and hope that someone talks to me. I'm a friendly chap. I know things. There's absolutely no reason not to be positive. It's easy to lie to oneself. Might go get me a pizza.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Witcher 3 First Impressions

The game does not look this good on my old computer.

The Witcher 3 is my most anticipated game of 2015. I don't even know what else is coming out this year; this was the only game on my list. The first two games in the series were excellent, though not without their problems (those collectable sex cards in the first; the harsh difficulty curve in the second). Inspired by the fantasy books of Polish writer Andrezej Sapkowski (no clue how to pronounce that), the Witcher series follows monster hunter Geralt as he recovers from amnesia and tries to find his lover and adopted daughter. The third title features an open world, similar to Skyrim, as well as an intricate, multi-pathed storyline. Here are my first impressions, after about twenty-hours of play.

1. This game is a beast. The Witcher 3 is the second coming of Crysis. Admittedly, my system is about three years old now, and my Radeon HD 6950 is positively ancient, but on low settings, I struggle to hit thirty frame per second. After lowering the resolution to 900p, I was able to tweak a few settings and make the Witcher look pretty decent. Apparently the consoles have problems hitting a constant frame rate. Maxed out, this game looks phenomenal. Unfortunately, I cannot afford a three-hundred dollar graphics card.

2. This is a huge world. Skyrim is a natural comparison, since both games are RPGs set in fantasy worlds. But the Witcher's world is more detailed and more fun to explore. I think this comes down to two things. In Skyrim, you couldn't walk a foot without being molested by a bear or something else that wanted to kill you. You really couldn't interact with the world other than by violent means. That's not necessarily untrue with the Witcher; there are still low-level monsters that harass you from time to time. But it's not as bad as Skyrim. The quests are the other big difference. Skyrim was filled with fetch quests, dungeon clearing quests, and not much else. Every single quest I've taken in the Witcher so far has been unique and entertaining. I've uncovered a tragedy on an island involving social strife, forbidden love, and revengeful ghost. I've discovered a love triangle focusing on a simple hunter who happens to be a werewolf, and tracked him to his lair. I just helped an alcoholic baron atone for his wife's miscarriage by giving the vengeful spirit a proper burial. It's like the developers actually took the time to write decent stories in their huge open world game.

3. Combat is fun, but fairly deep. This is no Dark Souls, but the Witcher is fairly challenging. Along with two attacks, you have signs, which are simple magic spells, potions which give you a variety of buffs, and ranged weapons like crossbows and bombs. Everything is useful, though this game certainly plays best with a gamepad rather than a keyboard.

4. This is probably the best RPG/Open world game ever. The Witcher 3 is the whole package. It's not without its faults, namely the steep system requirements. But I think we'll be playing this game all year. I don't think there's ever been an open world game with this much attention to detail. I think the main problem is that I don't know if I'll have enough time to finish it.

Still looks pretty good, but obviously nothing compared to the first screenshot.