Friday, April 20, 2007

From the man himself

In my post about VT, I wrote about those who are in school right now who may write about twisted and evil stuff, but may be just fine, unlike Cho. Thinking about the guys and gals who want to be the next Clive Barker or Stephen King.

I just found this over at Entertainment, from Stephen King himself, talking about the exact same thing. I thought I share it.

I've thought about it, of course. Certainly in this sensitized day and age, my own college writing — including a short story called ''Cain Rose Up'' and the novel RAGE — would have raised red flags, and I'm certain someone would have tabbed me as mentally ill because of them, even though I interacted in class, never took pictures of girls' legs with my cell phone (in 1970, WHAT cell phones?), and never signed my work with a ?.

As a teacher, I had one student — I will call him George — who raised red flags galore in my own mind: stories about flaying women alive, dismemberment, and, the capper, ''getting back at THEM.'' George was very quiet, and verbally inarticulate. It was only in his written work that he spewed these relentless scenes of gore and torture. His job was in the University Bookstore, and when I inquired about him once, I was told he was a good worker, but ''quiet.'' I thought, ''Whoa, if some kid is ever gonna blow, it'll be this one.'' He never did. But that was in the days before a gun-totin' serial killer could get top billing on the Nightly News and possibly the covers of national magazines.

For most creative people, the imagination serves as an excretory channel for violence: We visualize what we will never actually do (James Patterson, for instance, a nice man who has all too often worked the street that my old friend George used to work). Cho doesn't strike me as in the least creative, however. Dude was crazy. Dude was, in the memorable phrasing of Nikki Giovanni, ''just mean.'' Essentially there's no story here, except for a paranoid a--hole who went DEFCON-1. He may have been inspired by Columbine, but only because he was too dim to think up such a scenario on his own.

On the whole, I don't think you can pick these guys out based on their work, unless you look for violence unenlivened by any real talent.

The "Look" or, "You want to see WHAT???"

Today I picked up my ticket to see Social Distortion in KC next month. Easily one of my favorite bands, this will be I think the sixth time seeing them. I'm so excited it feels like seeing them for the first time again. Any of you guys going to the show gimme a shout, we'll have a beer or something post-show, and shoot the shit and complain that they didn't play a song we wanted to hear live. Can never be too happy. Just kidding. Every time seeing them has been awesome and worth the price of admission.

But this isn't a "Rusty loves Social D so much it's pathetic, he needs to get a life" post. This about the ticket buying experience.

Usually when I want to get tickets, I'll hit the local Macy's to get hooked up. I've done this since I was about 16 seeing as how it was one of the closest places to do it. And most of my close friends will tell you that my musical tastes are all over the map. I'm the kind of guy who can go from listening to Sinatra to N.W.A at the drop of a hat. Putting my iPod on shuffle is an experiment in fear when it will jump from Louie Prima to Motorhead to Marvin Gaye, but I would have it any other way. Hence, the ticket buying can be just as diverse.

When you get to the service desk at the local Macy's to get tickets, it's usually manned by some sweet older lady that you could swear does quilting with your grandmother. Here's where it gets funny. When you roll up to the counter, and polite as you can be, ask for a ticket for a show for a band with and odd or aggressive name. The facial contortions that the sweet old lady makes.......Hard to describe, but I'll try my best.

The first look is them trying to wrap their head around the name when you say someone like Reverend Horton Heat, a little confused and maybe a little amused. The next look is one of anger or disgust if the name is something that is aggressive cause it's immediately assumed you're one of "those people" who is "evil". The next look is that of surrender. The "fine, whatever" look. You all know that face cause we all make it when we pay bills. Cash exchanges hands, tickets are sold, and the sweet old lady waits for the next person to walk up with a jacked up band name to confuse her and make her wish she could just live off her Social Security check and not have to work this job.

Now do this like I usually do, and do it when you're on a break from work and you're dressed pretty nice and unassuming, the look of a former Student Council member. She's smiling all big for you as you walk up to the counter, a gentle demeanor, a warm smile on your face. "Excuse ma'am, I'd like a ticket for Social Distortion." Cue the look aaaaaannnnnnd......NOW!!!

The only reason that this still trips me out is cause I see so many teenagers still hanging out in malls, with the whole Insane Clown Posse shirt, uber baggy pants, and face full of metal studs going on, and I know they buy tickets to all sorts of jacked up stuff. I figure by now that these youngsters have calloused the older women to the crazy band name thing by now, but I guess that's not the case.

At any rate I look at it this way, for the price of a ticket you get two shows, the one you're paying for, and the one you get to just get there. Both are different levels of entertaining. At any rate, see you at the show and good luck buying your ticket.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Thoughts on Virginia

I watched some of the coverage tonight about the killer at VT, his sending the pics and video to NBC before he killed the others. I watched some of the video that CNN showed of his angry ramblings. Pretty chilling to know that after he dropped that package in the mail he killed so many with no remorse.

Here's some thoughts I've had about this so far...........

People are asking if there was any way to prevent this from happening. Honestly I don't think so. True, he had a history of stalking, freaked out a teacher, went to a mental hospital, etc, etc......He was a bad apple, true. But I think from what you can see of him now and what we know, he was smart enough to not do anything else that would draw him to the attention of anyone else after his past problems. He opted to not try and get anymore help, kept to himself, and let everything build up inside until it was too late. I think he hit a point that he was beyond help.

What has me really thinking about this is the aftermath that is going to hit this country like a shitstorm. It's already happening.

The gun advocates are trying to say that if the other students were allowed to carry guns than this wouldn't have happened. Now I just have to say, WHAT THE FUCK?!?!? That's the worse excuse for anything that I've heard since, "The dog ate my homework.". When I heard that, I had a mental image of a horrible situation being even worse, with kids having some sort of gunfight on the campus, and the fatalities being much worse. Imagine some scared shitless kid squeezing off shots at anything that moves with Cho blasting away. Why do the gun lovers think that if a gunfight happens in real life, it's gonna look like an action movie? Not to mention who is gonna use this shooting for their own purposes in the next election?

My other thought is about the mass paranoia that I'm afraid is gonna happen on college campuses nationwide. Because of this, people looking at that oddball kid who sits in the back of the room with an unfounded sense of fear. Imagine the kid in English classes who aspires to be a horror writer, but is a decent kid. Now, because of the stories of Cho writing the disturbing stories for his classes, twitchy teachers are gonna start having a bias about someone who may write something that is deemed a little "off" or "dark and disturbing". Because of this sad person, creativity will take a back seat to fear and suspicion.

I hope that things like this don't happen, but I have a bad feeling that they will.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Post Easter thoughts

Over the time coming up to this past Easter, I had to some work/shopping in the local malls. While there, I saw something that has irked me little by little each spring.

That's the guy in the damn Easter Bunny outfit for the kids.

Yeah, I know it's sounds like I'm a massive dick, fuck the Easter Bunny and all that, but here's my thinking.

When Christmas time rolls around and they have the Santa at the mall, that's a cool thing. Especially when it's some old cat who has the big white beard, big grin, and all smiles and handing out candy canes for the kids as he asks the little kids if they've been good this year and what they want for Christmas. It's a pretty hip thing for little kids while they still believe in Santa cause they're interacting with a guy who looks and acts the part. And for most families it's a time honored tradition to take the kids to meet him and creates memories that last a lifetime.

Now we get to the Easter Bunny suit guy.

It's like the line from "Mallrats", "That's just some guy in a suit!" It's like the guys who dress up at Disneyland who dress up like Mickey and Goofy and shit. Like whoever is in that Slugger outfit at the Royals games. Put on the fuzzy suit and the headgear with the dippy grin.

Little kids can talk to the cat, sure. But talking back? It's just a muffled voice. The Easter Bunny isn't gonna ask if you've been good since last Easter to make sure you get some damn candy eggs. For that matter the whole bad/good thing NEVER comes up for Easter! You could have been a complete rat bastard all ear and you'd still get the candy! You never hear little kids saying to be good around March for fear of denial of candy!

Man, I don't know what to think of Easter anymore.

Just had to get that off my chest.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The "Grindhouse" review!!!!

Just got back from the theatre from the matinee showing of "Grindhouse".

Yeah baby, you need to go see this flick!!! It chews you up, and spits you out, but you jump back in it's mouth to do it all over again.

Before I get into this, lemme just say how weird it is to go to a matinee movie. Here I am in line to get my ticket, and I'm surrounded by parents and little kids all getting tickets for whatever kiddie flicks are showing right now. I assume the firefighting dog movie or the ninja turtles, and here I am getting a mid-day ticket for the least family friendly movie in decades! Makes you wonder who is next to you in lines, huh? Think about that next time you're at the theatre or in line at Burger King.

But I digress..........Back to talking about MOTHERFUCKING GRINDHOUSE!!!!!!!

First off the general look of the flick draws you in. Intentionally made to look old , it's grainy, goofed focus sometimes, missing scenes, washed out colors. It reminded me of watching an old print of a flick at a midnight movie with the Chucky Lou A/V Club like "Destroy All Monsters". The look helps pull you into the flick.


The movie kicks in with a fake trailer for a flick called "Machete" with Danny "uber badass" Trejo that looks like a 70's exploitation flick. There's a rumor about a Machete flick that'll be made if the reaction is good. I pray it is, a full length Machete would be too fucking sweet. Then it's onto the Rodriguez flick "Planet Terror", about a gas weapon that's released creating zombies (really fucked up looking ones). So Rose McGowan gets a machine gun grenade launching leg to replace the one ripped off by zombies, and whoops up on some zombie asses. This was great!!! It was gruesome, intense, and funny! Keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time.

Next some more fake trailers. Gotta love the one that Rob Zombie made "Werewolf Women Of The SS", and the one made by Eli Roth (guy behind "Cabin Fever" and "Hostel"), "Thanksgiving". A goofy gory rip off of "Halloween". Now it's time for "Death Proof" by Tarantino.

This one was great, but not as great as "Planet Terror". This one's about Stuntman Mike, played by Kurt Russell, who uses his hot rod cars to kill women he is has an obsession with, until some of the girls decide to get even. Big reason that this one wasn't as good as "Planet Terror" was the pacing. You have a couple of scenes of dialogue that pull away from the main story. Think of Bill's rambling speech in "Kill Bill II", and that's what you have. There was some plot points that were addressed in them, but they were scenes that could have been chopped down a little bit. I think if they were chopped down slightly, the pace of it would have been better, cause at times it felt like you were in a car that would zoom up to 60, then slam on the brakes and go about 15, then ZOOM, right back to 60. A little jarring. And the character development was a little much. It was like Jackson's "King Kong" in that respect where some characters who were not pivotal to the plot got assloads of character background and development on the screen, only to be killed off without hesitation like a red shirt from "Star Trek". Had a little of that going on.

Be prepared to sit folks, and make sure you take a whizz before going in cause the damn thing is about 3 hours long. BUT you're seeing two flicks for the price of one, and yes a couple of the characters appear in both films. There are plot holes yes, but fuck it, that's the fun of this damn movie! It's supposed to be over the top action and gore and intense thrills! You know what you're getting as soon as the lights go down in the house, and this film makes no apologies for the intensity.

Am I going back to see it? Hell yes!!! Am I gonna buy the DVD? You bet your life? I heard that there was stuff that they had to cut out of it so it could BARELY get the R rating it has! What's waiting on the DVD is gonna be pure gold!

(that and I can pause to pee and fast forward through some of that Tarantino dialogue.)

Couple other things of note:

-Check out the Bruce Willis cameo in "PT", and Sayid from "Lost" being a complete dick who like to cut off people's balls. Funny!

-An implied lesbian affair between Marley Shelton and Fergie from the Black Eyes Peas? Hmmmmmm........

-The cameos from Tarantino and Eli Roth all through the flick.

-How many Dodge Chargers do they have to fuck up for movies or TV shows? I want one and I by the time I get the cash to get one they'll all be gone cause they were smashed up in Hollywood!! DAMN IT!!!!!

Go have some fun and check it out sometime this weekend.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Counting down the hours

Ok folks, if this image (cover of the newest Rolling Stone) doesn't want to make you seen "Grindhouse"................

You need to have your head examined!!!!

(Or you're gay. That's not an insult, you're just not into chicks, that's all.)

I'm just glad I gots tomorrow off. "Grindhouse" matinee? HELL YEA!!!!

Next post...........A review and then I stop beating this dead horse.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Anyone excited???

So right now, I am so FUCKING PUMPED to see "Grindhouse" that anytime the ad comes on TV, I get a hard-on. Not just cause I'm seeing shots of Rose McGowan and Rosario Dawson who are so stinking hot that just the thought of one of them makes me melt. Then I think of the two of them, me, a Barry White CD, a case of Pabst, and a hot tub........But I digress.

You're getting two of my favorite directors together, Tarantino and Rodriguez, with their own stories for two hours of complete awesome. Tell me that don't put a little spring in your step!

To pump myself up a little more, gonna try and watch one of their movies every night this week. Tonight it's Reservoir Dogs on the TV right now. Haven't watched it in a little while so it's a little bit of a treat.

Tomorrow night? From Dusk Till Dawn.

Anatomy of a breakdown

End of last week I was trucking down I-35 to do some work in Lenexa. I casually look in the rearview mirror and see that the car behind me has their wipers on. Odd, I thought seeing as how it was a nice day, blue sky, no rain to speak of. Just then I see a plume of smoke in the mirror. It occurs to me why this person has the wipers on, I'm losing a vital fluid and something is burning. Lucky for me work was very close. I decided to at least get the truck to work and not risk stopping on the highway.

I hit the exit for work, and as soon as I press on the gas it's my worst fear, the transmission. Keep onto work, only a couple blocks away. I pull into the parking lot at work and look under the truck and watch it bleed out. Not a pretty sight watching the fluid hit the concrete. I call my brother-in-law who is also my mechanic. I tell him what's up and he tells me to try and get it to my place after work, putting as much tranny fluid in it as it can hold and if I have to stop along the way to add more.

The end of the work day comes and a buddy of mine shows up at my work to take me to the auto shop to pick up fluid and follow me back in case the truck won't make it. We add the fluid and watch as it starts pouring out under the truck. Time to haul ass back home, from Lenexa to Gladstone. One hell of a ride. We opt to take a route that will have less stops and traffic congestion. I watch in the rearview as my friend follows me and it's a replay of the drive to work as I see his wipers removing the fluid from his windshield.

One stop to add more fluid on a slowgoing drive home that only got me up to 55 if I was lucky. The truck managed to get home, once again the last bit of the fluid leaking out.

I did manage to get a loaner car from the family, a blazer that I dig driving, but sucks up gas something fierce. I miss my truck.