October 2010

10.30.2010

Graveyard Smashed

werewolf comic Graveyard Smashed

Happy All Hallows’ Eve Eve, gals and ghouls. Halloween is really this website’s Superbowl — after a full year of being creepy every day, it’s nice to have a night out on the town where I can dress up like a sexy bumble bee instead.

Fortunately this year, we’re in for another ghastly three-day fright and fun spectacular — whenever this holiday from hell falls on a weekend its festivities always get stretched to grotesque limits, and by the time the wax vampire fangs have settled on Sunday night everybody feels like an actual zombie. Accordingly, for a few nights, our mission seems to indicate this physical state as we party into a stumbling, mumbling haze, trying our best to remove our own head, or destroy our own brain.

10.29.2010

Empty mutated nest syndrome

Just like how every Christmas, Santa Claus uses his evil powers of consumerism to kill a little part of the baby Jesus, with every passing Halloween the holiday gets less about looking scary, and more about looking like an icon from our pop culture’s festering stew whose relevance to our own lives is scary. So, in an effort to put some fright back into every sad Lady Gaga getting her stomach pumped this weekend, I’d like to introduce you to the definition of pure fear: the SyFy original, made-for-television thrillfest, Flu Bird Horror.

For starters, if you can’t already tell this movie is horrible from the title alone, I don’t know what part of your brain never grew, but it didn’t. An honest review of this “film” is so far out of the question, it’s for the birds. The flu birds, that is. Let’s take a look at the movie’s cover, shall we?

flu bird horror poster Empty mutated nest syndrome

A short list of problems, and we haven’t even gotten to the movie itself:

  • The title is wrong on its own fucking DVD cover - although I’m honestly not sure which one is worse anyway. At least Flu Bird Horror consistently reminds you that the movie is supposed to be scary, which is actually pretty hilarious on its own.
  • The bird on said cover looks nothing like the birds in the movie, and that’s because the birds in the movie look like rubber pterodactyls on a long migration from Mordor.
  • Trying to make sense of the tagline “If they fly, you die” is an exercise in both futility and masochism. At no point is the birds’ flight in question — this isn’t a movie about savage ostriches or mutant penguins — the birds fly during the entire 89 minute runtime. Granted, many of the main characters also do die, but that has more to do with the fact that the birds eat them… on the ground! I have to believe somebody could have come up with a tagline that still rhymes the words “fly” and “die” and is a little less obviously retarded.

So yeah, we’re in for some real cinematic majesty here.

Now, I’ve seen a lot of “so bad they’re good” creature features before, but this one is more of a “so bad it’ll make you feel bad about watching it” type of film. The plot is nonsensical, and all the characters are stereotypes so absurd they’re basically just caricatures of every variety of annoying teenager the mall has to offer. The miserable acting is completely over the top, no doubt made even worse by the atrocious dialogue that you spend almost as much time cringing at as you do laughing at. Without exaggeration, this is almost certainly the worst movie I have ever seen.

flu bird horror still Empty mutated nest syndrome

Spoiler: This is one of the scariest moments in the entire film

And yet, somehow, it still manages to entertain for an hour and a half. Sure, not like some movies do — what with their poignant lessons about the human condition, mesmerizing visuals, and touching emotional performances. This one instead tries to win you over like the half-retarded puppy content to piss all over itself for attention, becoming more of a mockery of itself with every scene all the way until it sizzles out inexplicably in its final minutes. Aside from the hamfisted message about self vs. group mentality in survival situations that gets totally lost in the barrage of shit-awful acting and writing, the movie’s climax basically amounts to a character saying (almost literally) “The end.” Nothing is explained, none of the countless loose strings tied. The conclusion contains no resolution at all, except for your own — first, to never again make the mistake of watching it, and second, to tell everyone you know that they should watch it.

10.29.2010

I met a critic, I made her shit her drawers

Aside from being Halloweek, this week also marks the 10th anniversary of Outkast’s fourth full-length album, Stankonia — often heralded as one of the best hip hop albums of all time, and, more generally, a stanky, funky good time. While the anniversary mostly just exists to make me feel old, and despite the fact that everybody knows the album like the back of their left foot, I’ve been meaning to feature one of its tracks for months now and finally have the perfect excuse.

outkast stankonia I met a critic, I made her shit her drawers

Here’s the deal. In 2006, Time included it amongst the 100 best albums of all time. Now, that’s a pretty ridiculous claim to make, as many bitchin’ (according to legend) LPs from The Dark Ages were lost in the great fires of The Industrial Revolution. Nonetheless, many other publications do agree that it is indeed awesome — just not necessarily on such a cosmic level, and even that is debatable after a couple bowls of the stanky.

However, citing media shouldn’t matter if you’re dealing with genuinely transcendent material, and this is. It might take a couple of listens through the entire album to put it all together. It’s long, thematically diverse, consistently creative, and the beats alone are more than enough to keep your attention occupied. Andre and Big Boi were at their most adventurous with this album, sampling from a multitude of genres and slathering it all with an ample dose of psychedelic funk.

And of course there are hooks, oh are there hooks. These are the guys that did fucking “Hey Ya”, what do you think? My pick for this post, “I’ll Call Before I Come” might not have the sing-song storytelling of “Ms. Jackson”, nor the badass screaming guitars of “Gasoline Dreams”, but it does feature some wig-splitting verses courtesy of Gangsta Boo, and Andre’s popping of the first “p” in “pop” throughout the chorus remains amusing, every single mother fucking time.

Outkast - I’ll Call Before I Come

While Outkast was rising to fame, they were acclaimed for redefining the “Dirty South.” But time has shown the Atlanta duo to be more than a unique representation of southern rap. Stankonia is one of hip hop’s unique gems — a gem with long, relaxed hair and a bejeweled cane.

10.28.2010

Sky's the limit

Some things would be utterly pointless exercises if it weren’t for fun… like, uh, life in general, just as an example. As the saying goes, “time you enjoy wasting is not wasted” — and indeed, riding bikes off a huge jump into a lake is a gloriously pointless way to waste some time.

The visceral sense of glee I get from watching the air these guys catch almost makes up for every BMXer in a Fox Racing hat who’s ever tailwhipped their bike in my face at the skate park. Almost. If it was me on the bike, jumping into the lake, we’d be about square. But instead, I’m the square, sitting in my apartment blogging about how much fun this looks, thinking about how safe it would be to swallow the water in the East River.

10.28.2010

Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit

Now, you know me… I tend to identify myself as a generally positive person and I really don’t think I carry much angst around with me, but this is a short list of general grievances I’ve been compiling. Basically some stuff that really gets me… oh, I’ll just say it, T.O’ed.

cartoon middle finger Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit

I’ve been holding on to some of these complaints for months, others are quite recent, but make no mistake: they are all complaints.

  • Calling me a “faggot” (wince) or a “nigger” (wince wince) isn’t going to make me change my mind about not letting you steal my skateboard. Now, calling me “asshole” might, since at least that one is true.
  • I don’t care if you’re the god of skateboarding himself (is there a god of skateboarding? Maybe it’s the devil). If it’s 88 degrees and you’re skating in a leather jacket, it means you fucking suck. As for beanies in the summer time… maybe you don’t suck, but you’re a dummy. Or at least you are now that all your brain cells have been deep fried underneath your poor headwear decision.
  • Why do stupid people insist on wearing “I see stupid people” t-shirts? Granted, their own reflection accounts for a lot of it, so I guess they’ve earned the right to wear the shirt, but somehow I get the impression they’re not on that self-deprecating tip.
  • Saw a dude at the top of a hill today, in full motocross armor, standing on a very large cruiser-shaped board with even larger wheels wrapped in treaded tires, holding a hand brake attached to the board with a cable like you’d find on a bike. There are a lot of people with skateboards in Williamsburg… but not so many skateboarders.
  • Practicing flatground tricks in front of the ramps at the park is pretty annoying, especially when there’s a parking lot 10 feet away.
  • While broadly speaking, skateparks are a type of playground, they really aren’t a playground playground. And by that I mean, six year old girls should not be sliding down the hubbas on their stomachs, or riding Razor scooters up and down the quarter pipes for hours. It’s like fucking pinball out there with these little bite-sized projectiles flying around in the murk of twilight. Pinball, a game best left for the arcade, which is, conveniently, a place where children also belong.
  • Pulling off a sweaty t-shirt was the worst thing in the world when I was a child — decades later, nothing has changed.

10.27.2010

Style Points

This isn’t quite as good as a batch of new footage from the pro skater everybody says is every pro skater’s favorite pro skater — to be clear, I’m talking about Gino Iannucci — but his fans can attest that his footage, due to both rarity and inherent quality, is worth twice that of most other skaters. This is an opinion so drilled into the skateboarding-media aware that it has nearly proven itself more skateboarding fact than theory. And for anybody out there who still hasn’t figured out what all the fuss is about this Gino character, this mixtape of some of his greatest hits from the 90s and today is a better education than the one you kids slept through earlier today.

This is a seriously good edit — all the sound has been dubbed, thankfully, so viewers can enjoy a custom soundtrack without the huge loss in potency that results from a lack of skateboarding sounds. Indeed, this story is a testament to the power of skateboarding sounds: When I was in high school, I’d often make mixtapes (not YouTube ones, but like, real mixtapes with, uh, tapes) filled with songs from the soundtracks of my favorite skate videos. Once, I was unable to find the original version of the song and had to tape it off the video which left very audible sonic remnants of skateboarding past. Driving with my friends one day, the song in question came on to my embarrassment — I was worried that objectively the song had been ruined, even though I kind of thought it was cool. Much to my surprise, my friends were beyond excited about my apparent innovations in mixtape recording and the track quickly became our go-to pre-session hype song. Smoke session, that is. Although we did occasionally listen to it when we were skating too.

Anyway, dumb story, but it just goes to show the animal magnetism our kind has towards skateboarding sounds. It’s some good, pure shit — something I’m sure your favorite skateboarder’s favorite skateboarder with an ankle monitor can attest to.

10.27.2010

Joosey Couture

Here’s another gang of photos from my new center of operations, featuring so many close ups and odd angles that you’ll barely know what you’re even looking at! What, you’re not enticed by that? Well then I guess you’re just too simpleminded to understand real art, I’m afraid. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to head over to the corner, smoke a pack of Marlboro Reds, and try my best to look really deep in thought.

dedleg stickers trunk Joosey Couture

key reflecting light on wall Joosey Couture

It’s so dim in my new luxury dungeon that taking hand-held pictures in there at night requires some unfortunately high ISO speeds. Translations for the not-so-photo-savvy: There’s so much noise in these shots that they look like I took them with an iPhone and didn’t even bother to use one of those totally sweet Hipstamatic filters so they’d look less like I took them with an iPhone.

tin ceiling joose can Joosey Couture

Joose. Been seeing this foul brew in every bodega, on every street, in every neighborhood of New York City since I’ve gotten back. It’s certainly one of the most disgusting concoctions I’ve ever willfully ingested, with an aftertaste so wholly unnatural one wonders if its surprisingly high alcohol content (12% abv) actually comes from the gasoline they surely forgot to include on the list of ingredients. However, they were good enough to mention “FD&C Yellow #5″ right on the front of the can, which is considerate of them, since I haven’t been able to feel my testicles since.

Later that night, at a local beer-drinking establishment, I was overcome with the sensation that I was, in fact, Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo and promptly tipped over in my chair. So that pretty much sums up my feelings about Joose.

holes in wood floor Joosey Couture

marbled light tin ceiling Joosey Couture

This was perhaps not the joosiest selection of photographs, but they can’t all be sunsets and storm clouds, guys. Just most of them icon confused Joosey Couture

10.26.2010

Hmmm... space...

Welcome to Space School. This is exactly the kind of stuff from the halls of cheap editing that I love. Back in high school, when the science teacher said we were watching a video, unlike the kids going “aww man, not another stupid video,” I was like, “Yesss, this is awesome, probably almost as awesome as having real friends!”

Intrigued about black holes? Well, why don’t you just mull this over for a few seconds:

An observer falling into a Schwarzschild black hole (i.e. non-rotating and no charges) cannot avoid the singularity. Any attempt to do so will only shorten the time taken to get there. When they reach the singularity, they are crushed to infinite density and their mass is added to the total of the black hole. Before that happens, they will have been torn apart by the growing tidal forces in a process sometimes referred to as spaghettification or the noodle effect.

Spaghettification is out there and we’re afraid of fucking aliens? I mean, just aliens. But also aliens that fuck. And the process of fucking with an alien. All fearsome, but all something akin to a video game a child might play compared to the existential horrors of the noodle effect.

10.26.2010

Skid Road

This is a very exclusive club, like any good one, and its members are required to have paid their dues in full before even being admitted entry. Tough nuts, dorks. And by that I mean you’ll need some.

anti pothole club Skid Road

Similar to the most important rule of bombing hills — if you’re about to get hit by a car, go up, don’t go down — when it comes to potholes, go up, otherwise you will go down. In truth, potholes are only really annoying when you don’t see them coming and promptly eat shit as punishment for not paying attention. But if your legs aren’t worthless sacks of aging flesh after a few hours of hard skating, jumping over every crag and crevasse in the pavement is usually a pretty fun way to go down the street. Nonetheless, your average city already has plenty to offer as far as hoppable obstacles go, making potholes more of a nuisance than an integral piece of the viable-for-skateboarding landscape. And for this, and also because I also just kinda hate everything anyway, I remain firmly entrenched on the anti side of a public pensive about potholes.

kids bodyboarding Skid Road

10.25.2010

Surf Wax Europa

People give the American youth culture a lot of shit for being too crazy, but I think a better description would be too lazy. Getting fucked up on Robitussin is nowhere near as adventurous, or as dumb, as climbing on top of a moving train dressed like a terrorist.

Fucking Euros… always picking up on the new trends first.

The documentary, such that it is, starts off pretty fucking weird — and not to say that dudes hanging off the side of a bullet train isn’t weird in its own right — but it’s worth sitting through for the insane heights of exhilarating stupidity that come afterwards.

Oh, and I’m no medical doctor, but I’m pretty sure the dude at the end isn’t dead or otherwise harmed. Looks less like blood on his pants and more like his cohorts drizzled hot chocolate all over them. Delicious, but not particularly good special effects.

10.25.2010

When I go down

Here’s a new batch of street slime from Chicago’s slimiest and grimiest. Although that’s a gross (heh heh) exaggeration. In my neighborhood, the bums would ask you for change with a stolen Big Gulp cup. In the South Side, they ask you for change with a stolen Smith & Wesson. The rents are cheap, and so are the prostitutes, but I don’t know, it just isn’t worth the risk as far as I’m concerned.

melted popsicle When I go down

Contest a world where popsicles are in short supply, amiright?

toy parachute When I go down

It seemed to me, you lived your life like a plastic tiger attached to a toy parachute in the wind.

broken lighter cigarette butt When I go down

Before I moved, I noticed a lot of these strange, hateful (literally, hate-filled — no room for anything but hate here) scribbles popping up all over my neighborhood. This brilliant essayist goes by the pen name The Angry Jew, and given the number of times he mentions killing, shitting on, or otherwise harming and humiliating Nazis I’d say it’s a pretty accurate nom de plume.

the angry jew When I go down

Torture, rob, murder you dumb nazi ass white gook cowardly dog gay dirty bastard blobs! Kill you darkassed nazis, including brownassed gook niggers also shit on, murder you gook long-haired white gay scatterbrained shitassed fag crackpot blobs! Shit and

Judging from what appears to be an arrow, our scribe actually meant to say, “murder you gook long-haired white gay scatterbrained shitassed fag crackpot shit and blobs!” Which, I think you’ll all agree, is a far more eloquent way to end the poem.

To think that generations from now, perhaps after our society has been annihilated by resource wars, economic collapse or ecological catastrophe, alien travelers might look to these few words for an insight into our culture. And the saddest part is, it’s actually a semi accurate peek into our fucked up little steaming shit in the communal toilet of human history. And although The Angry Jew seems to have a wide range of criticisms to throw around, in addition to a whole lot of hypocrisy, at the very least, it’s pretty hard to not get behind hating Nazis. If the alien explorers can also manage to dig up a Nintendo Wii and a bag of shake, it won’t be so bad.