Dirty Harold

I sometimes forget the impact that Dirty Harry had on me as a kid. I was expecting it to be some stupid exploitation flick from the 70s, but it turned out to be much more.

Unlike other gritty crime films from the 70s, like The French Connection or The Taking of Pelham 123, director Don Siegel and DP Bruce Surtees shot the movie like it was a western. Clint Eastwood looms large in mythic form over the screen, but he never completely dominates it. Like how the rough and tumble deserts and mountains are a major character in westerns, the streets of San Francisco play a similar role.

But Dirty Harry was slightly ahead of its time. While westerns were fading away, and with it the gunslingers delivering justice on the prairie, Clint Eastwood was offering the a audience a new hero: the pissed off cop that’s tired of rules and regulations and the constant whining from bureaucrats over the rights of individuals. Dirty Harry fit the mood of white conservatives during the age of Nixon and those that wished to return to a simpler ethos of good guys vs bad guys. In short, Dirty Harry was the predecessor to the Cannon Film craze of the 70s through the 80s.

But in my view, the unsung genius of the film is Andrew Robinson as the crazed villain. Even now, it’s an unnerving character…one that no one could get away with today. The closest comparison that I can think of is Heath Ledger’s Joker, but no sensible writer would permit Batman’s arch nemesis to kill, rape, and abduct children. THAT would be crossing the line. But Robinson’s Scorpio does it numerous times throughout the film.

Which is why the ending was so effective. Sure, it’s a cliche to hear Eastwood utter “do you feel lucky?” before blasting his last round into the bad guy. But you actually feel his rage as he asks Scorpio “well do ya? PUNK!!”. In my view, that was Eastwood’s finest moment as an actor.

While Dirty Harry might be synonymous with Clint Eastwood, I think it would be interesting to see the character return to the screen given its political undertones. Obviously Clint Eastwood is too old, and casting someone like Karl Urban to replace him would seem like parody. But now that the nature of masculinity on film has come under scrutiny, and the zeitgeist has turned skeptical towards law enforcement, it would be fascinating to see Harry Callahan return…especially to such a divisive city as San Francisco.

Ranking the 50 States (the average/underrated states)

Like I said, there’s something that I hate about every US State. Really, they need to be done away with altogether. But the states on this list are alright, for the most part.

29. South Carolina

There’s a religious-like devotion to this state that I don’t understand. But, to be fair, if you can ignore the outright bigotry and hatred, you might find a pretty decent vacation spot that features a little bit of everything.

28. Wisconsin

If you are a full functioning alcoholic, I hear that Milwaukee is the town for you. And all Wisconsin residents swear up and down that something called “the dells” is pretty nice. Unfortunately, this state contains what we call “Green Bay Packers” fans, and that knocks it down a few pegs.

27. Oklahoma

People talk shit about Tulsa, but I’ve always had a good time there. Oklahoma City is nice. There’s a number of casinos (half of which I’ve been kicked out of). Outside of that, it is kind of a boring state. Except during tornado season. Gotta watch out for those.

26. Washington

“How fucking dare you not put us in the top 10!” Washington residents are thinking. But no! How fucking dare YOU, Washington residents! You guys lie to everyone about how beautiful and how many things there are to do in your state! But outside of the Seattle region…which is admittedly pretty cool…your state is BORING! And it’s about time someone said something!

25. Nebraska

“You’re ranking Nebraska above Washington?” you might be thinking. Yes. Nebraska is also a notoriously boring state, but at least the residents can admit that. Plus Lincoln is a pretty good college town.

24. Iowa

To be honest, I’m my mind, I think of Iowa as only a slightly better version of Nebraska. Sorry.

23. Montana

There’s some national parks, mountains, whatnot and whathaveyou. All of it beautiful. That’s enough to put it in the upper echelon. But outside of the land and some of its history, it’s actually kinda boring.

22. Kansas

“You’re putting Kansas above Washington and Montana?”…yes. Yes I am. Kansas is America’s bread basket. Plus, Kansas City, although mostly in Missouri, is a great fucking town and I’ll gladly give Kansas some of the credit. And a lot of you have been sleeping on Wichita. Shame…shame on all of you for not recognizing this sooner.

21. Indiana

Oh shit, I forgot about Indiana. Sorry Hoosiers, I overrated you guys.

20. West Virginia

Sure, you can’t throw a rock in West Virginia without hitting a meth lab. But make no mistake, this is a REAL ASS place. It ain’t for the weak. And I can respect that.

‘The Internet Ruined Everything’s’ Interview with Beau Montana

Here at The Internet Ruined Everything (TIRE) we are always searching for new and interesting people to profile. While this isn’t the first time we’ve interviewed TIRE’s Founder/President/CEO/Creative Director/Lone Employee Beau Montana, this is the first time we’ve spoken to him since being the inaugural recipient of TIRE’s Big Bad Motherfucker Award for being all around mean son-of-a-bitch.

TIRE: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down with us, Beau. Congratulations on your award.

Beau: Of course! I was just telling my therapist that it’s about time someone gave me an award for being an asshole at AutoZone. But you gotta put people in their place these days, ya know? I ain’t paying $200 for a catalytic converter when I can just steal one off another vehicle!

TIRE: SO true. Now you’re a big advocate for mental health awareness. Why champion this cause?

Beau: Well, I grew up in a rough household. The only way to survive was to join the roaming street gangs of Manhattan (Kansas). And after performing the ‘Jet Song’ for the 900th time, I finally had enough of that shit. I knew there had to be a better life. So I enrolled in college and took courses in “psychology” where the professor taught some liberal propaganda about “mental disorders”. I told him there ain’t nothing wrong with my brain, then I dropped the textbook on the floor and took a shit on it in front of the entire class. So I’ve been railing against this nonsense ever since.

TIRE: Nevertheless, you’re a big proponent for therapy.

Beau: Correct. But I’m a man. So I don’t “talk” about my feelings. I once had a therapist tell me that I had undiagnosed “PTSD” and tried to prescribe me medication. But I grabbed that prescription pad and told him “this is where you can stick this,” then I dropped my pants and shoved it up my asshole. No man can tell me what I feel. Because I feel nothing; nothing but contempt for the human race. If I wanted to “feel better” about myself, I wouldn’t take pills. If god wanted us to take medication, he wouldn’t have given us Jim Beam. And no, I don’t have a drinking problem.

TIRE: So in lieu of traditional therapy, what do you recommend?

I’m a man of action. The only thing that calms me is taking apart and cleaning my Glock while blindfolded. I also make my own ammunition and scratch of serial numbers for my growing gun collection. “Paranoid Schizophrenia,” is another big word THEY like to throw at me. But God speaks to me daily. He tells me that the world will soon be made whole again and that I must be ready for when He calls my name.

TIRE: Thank you for an enlightening interview.

Beau: Thank you. And remember: God’s watching. And so are THEY.

Ranking the 50 States (the ‘meh’ states)

These states are only slightly better than the ones on the prior list. Which isn’t saying much.

39. Massachusetts

No one wants to say it, but Massachusetts is the Florida of New England. And it’s a toss up as to which state is more racist.

38. Connecticut

Speaking of New England, Connecticut seems like it’s the only state in that region that has a meth lab problem. Plus there’s no real reason to live there unless you can’t afford NYC or Massachusetts.

37. Alabama

Alabama is what Mississippi would look like if the Magnolia State had any self-respect. Still though, Alabama doesn’t have much going for it other than college football.

36. Ohio

Like I’ve said before, I’ve only spent maybe 20 minutes in this state. But for whatever reasons, I just love to shit all over Ohio. Probably because, like Mississippi, people get so butt fuckin hurt when I do so.

35. Virginia

Unlike Maryland and Delaware, I acknowledge that Virginia is an actual state. But the northern half can go fuck itself, while the southern half should become a part of North Carolina.

34. North Carolina

I’m sure people love living here. Unfortunately this state hosts four ACC schools and all four of them suck.

33. Alaska

Beautiful state. But I don’t think Alaska catches the shit I think it deserves. People are weird, and not in a good way (unlike the next state on the list). It’s also cold and has a shit ton of grizzly bears. Fuck that.

32. Louisiana

I hate putting Louisiana this low. People are weird, but in a good way. And New Orleans might be the best shitty city in the US, which counts for A LOT in my book (and I like the food too). Unfortunately it might be the ugliest state geographically.

31. Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh is probably a cool place. And again, I’m sure people love living there. But the only knock against PA is Philadelphia. That is the most unfortunate city in the US

30. New Jersey

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Why is New Jersey ranked this high?”. And that’s a valid question. There are more assholes living in NJ than there are people. But I can appreciate that. If I found out tomorrow that I had to spend the rest of my life there, I wouldn’t be disappointed. I’d probably fit right in.

Ranking the 50 States (Bottom 10)

Personally, I think the idea of “states” is dumb and antiquated and they should be done away with altogether. But I’m gonna rank em anyway.

Here are the bottom 10:

50. Delaware

Besides being the first state and being suspiciously corporate friendly, there is nothing noteworthy going on with Delaware. The state could disappear tomorrow and no one would miss it.

49. Maryland

I was gonna rank Maryland higher, but fuck it. Fuck their flag too. AND their crabs. Along with Delaware, Maryland should become a real state by just joining Virginia.

48. Rhode Island

Oh, you’re the smallest state? That’s cool.

47. Mississippi

Congratulations on not being at the very bottom. I know a lot of Mississippi residents get pissed when you call their state a “shithole”. But it is by every conceivable metric. And I don’t understand the point in being very active in denying that.

46. Idaho

“Woah woah woah! What did we do to rank this low?” people from Idaho are wondering. Because other than potatoes, a blue football field, and Napoleon Dynamite, your state is boring AF.

45. Florida

Florida’s got nice beaches. But that’s where it ends. The cost of living is rising, half the state is about to be underwater, and drunk driving is the leading cause of death (based on stats I will not provide). Sure, all the new housing and buildings look nice, but it only masks the lingering anger and drug abuse issues everyone is experiencing.

44. Arkansas

Hot Springs, Conway, and Fayetteville are nice. Eureka Springs might be the coolest small town in America. Those are the only nice things I have to say.

43. Michigan

There’s something about this state that makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. Seriously, I can’t think about Michigan without getting a splitting headache.

42. Wyoming

If Wyoming is so nice, why does no one live there? 🤔

41. Illinois

I hate putting Illinois down this low. People hate Chicago, but that city’s never done anything to me. Everyone I’ve met from the Land of Lincoln have been lovely. It’s the least offensive state I can think of, and that might be what’s wrong with it.

40. North Dakota

Speaking of inoffensive, there’s also North Dakota.

The 90s Reevaluated

Sorry, still sick so here’s another phoned in post.

Pierce Brosnan has been blowing up my news feed for whatever reason. I guess he’s playing some superhero or whatever, but I don’t watch that stuff. Unfortunately this has created a lot of (likely clickbait) opinion pieces that reevaluate his James Bond tenure.

I’ve always placed Goldeneye in the top 5 Bond films, which is where most 007 fans have historically placed it. But there’s a massive drop off with Brosnan’s other three films. The consensus is that while Brosnan could have been a great James Bond, his movies were either mediocre or terrible.

Or, I should say, this WAS the consensus during the Daniel Craig era.

Now that Craig’s moody and brooding Bond is dead and gone, perceptions on Brosnan’s portrayal have shifted. Craig’s 007 matched the times while Brosnan’s seemed clownish by comparison.

But after two years of a pandemic, record high inflation, and superhero movies flooding the theaters, audiences seem primed for a more tongue in cheek James Bond. So the Daniel Craig era is looking more passé by the second.

People are looking to return to a simpler time. And the most (relatively) simpler times in recent memory is the 1990s. At least this is my best explanation for why Pierce Brosnan is undergoing a micro-renaissance.

As a side note, the Star Trek: Next Generation films (which were also released in 90s) are being reevaluated. This is probably due to the cast returning for the final season of Picard. So Generations, released in 1994 and which infamously killed the original Captain Kirk, is being discussed again.

Why I bring this up is because a fourth “Kelvin era” Trek film, starring Chris Pine as nu-Captain Kirk, has stalled for probably the 10,000th time (thank god). While that (hopefully) means we won’t ever see Zachary Quinto as Spock and Karl Urban as McCoy again, that does NOT mean we won’t see Pine as Kirk again.

Why?

Because as any Trek fan can tell you, while Shatner’s Kirk was killed in Generations, technically his existence is preserved in some “ribbon” that floats around in space where time doesn’t mean anything blah blah blah. And this “ribbon” hasn’t been mentioned in Star Trek since.

So you can see where I’m going with this: when another Trek film makes it to the streaming services sometime this decade, the original Captain Kirk will be pulled out of this ribbon to be played not by William Shatner but by, you guessed it, Chris Pine.

Anyways, enjoy the 2020s, aka the 90s Reloaded.

Skeetin

I’m a little under the weather so I’m just gonna phone this one in.

But I was doing my annual Paul Schrader marathon when I got to Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist. A few thoughts: 1.) it’s a shitty movie but 2.) Vittorio Stararo was the DP?!!! How did that get past me?

And it’s such a shame that this film didn’t work because it is very much in line with the themes that occur throughout Schrader’s work. I haven’t bothered with the retooled Exorcist: The Beginning, but I’m glad Schrader stuck to his guns and at least attempted to make a cerebral film rather than make a run-of-the-mill horror. That’s what made the original Exorcist so interesting: director William Friedkin stated that it never occurred to him that he was making a “horror film” (he could be bullshitting though).

Schrader probably should have had a bigger say in the screenplay. Much of the introspective philosophical back-and-forth that, in my opinion, slightly bogged down The Last Temptation of Christ (which clashed with Martin Scorsese’s rather “extroverted” direction) would have been quite effective for Dominion. Additionally, the event that caused Father Merrin’s lack of faith should have been revealed later in the movie. And while there was some good stuff with the British colonial troops, I felt that there was no payoff for any of it.

(Plus the special effects REALLY sucked ass)

I also saw Touch for the first time. I don’t remember a damn thing about it other than Skeet Ulrich was in it.

Whatever happened to that guy? That dude was like, super fucking hot. Shouldn’t he have had a bigger career?

Were people disappointed to find out that he wasn’t Danish?

Jack Hardcock: The Legend Continues (Part V)

“Don’t you have a whole FBI field office to run?” I asked Peter Tucker. Donavan McNabb, the guitarist I threatened to shoot on the streets of Oakland and Layla’s ex-boyfriend, was packing his van before the two of us departed for LA.

“You know,” Peter explained, “the funny thing about San Francisco is that absolutely NO crimes are committed there. What are the odds? So I’ve got nothing better to do.”

“Well if you’re tagging along with us, you’re paying for gas,” I said.

“Don’t worry,” Donovan interrupted, “this is a 1994 GMC Vandura. It’s a marvel of modern engineering. So this thing DEFINITELY doesn’t suck up a lot of gas.”

“It’s all good,” Peter replied, “I’ll just use my credit card issued by the federal government to pay for the $15 per gallon gas here in the State of California for an investigation that has absolutely nothing to do with the government.”

“Good thinking,” I said. “Well hop on in! Let’s get this show on the road!”

***

We all got high driving down the SR 1. It didn’t help much. I couldn’t shake the half naked images of Layla from my mind; something was compelling me towards her. And it wasn’t just my erection either.

“I know I’m a federal agent and all,” Peter said to Donovan, who was driving the van, “but goddamn this is some good weed.”

“For Christ sake,” I said to Peter, “stop using the Lord’s name in vain!”

“Come off your high horse, Jack,” he replied.

“No, he’s right,” Donovan interrupted, “God is all around us. God is love. We should treat him with respect.”

“That’s an interesting perspective,” I replied.

“Shut the fuck up Donovan,” Peter said. “You’re just a dumbass California stoner. I shouldn’t even be letting you drive! It would have been much faster taking the interstate!”

“What’s the rush, man?” Donovan asked.

“A girl’s gone missing,” I said, “and her mother is paying $3500 per day to find her.”

“All Layla did was move to LA for work,” Donovan said as tears began to stream down his face. “I just wish she hadn’t had dumped me.”

“There there,” I said as I patted him on the back, “I completely understand why she left you.”

Donovan pulled off to a lone gas station overlooking the California coast. Peter went inside to ask for directions and take a shit while Donovan stood around with his thumb up his ass. Meanwhile, I continued to study Layla’s dossier.

Then some jackoff in a red Porsche convertible pulled up behind the van. “Hey, are you gonna pump any gas?!” the man yelled. “You’re holding up the line!”

“There are other pumps, sir,” Donovan replied. But the gentleman wasn’t having it.

I grew annoyed as he continued to lay on the horn. Finally, I walked up to the Porsche and pulled out the .38.

“Listen here, shitheel!” I said to the man, “we’re on a mission from God, GODDAMNIT! That means we don’t have to obey the laws of man. So I hope you’re right with the Lord, because if you keep laying on the horn, you might be meeting Him sooner than you think!”

The man began to piss himself as he wept and raised his hands in the air. “I’m so sorry mister,” he cried, “I just need some gas.”

I lifted the .38 and pulled back the hammer. “Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior?” I asked.

The man bawled as he accepted Jesus into his life. Then I shot him in the kneecap for the inconvenience

Peter ran out of the gas station after he heard the gunshot and patted me on the back. “I’m really proud of you Jack,” he said, “you’ve shown a lot of restraint these last few days.”

I nodded as put the .38 in my holster. “You know, it’s just never occurred to me to NOT kill everyone I come across. I don’t what it is. I guess California has really gotten to me.”

We both laughed then continued on our journey to LA.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Jack Hardcock: The Legend Continues (Part IV)

“Please take the barrel of your .38 out of my nose!” the manager of the porn theater cried. “I don’t recognize the girl!”

“I know you know something!” I replied. “If you like having a nose, you better spit it out!”

“I know nothing! I swear!”

“You’re a liar. And you know what the Lord does to liars and pornographers? There’s no forgiveness! The Book of Isaiah says so,” I said. “But you will live to die another day. So get right with the Lord, for hell is in your not too distant future!”

I pulled the trigger and his nose splattered against the wall. The manager screamed on the floor as blood streamed through his fingers as he held his hands over his face.

Meanwhile, Peter Tucker was waiting outside of the manager’s office. “I’m proud of you, Jack,” he said. “You didn’t put a bullet in the suspect’s brain this time. You’re really maturing as a person.”

“Thanks Peter,” I replied as I put the .38 back in its holster. “Gosh though, this Layla Huffington girl is really hard to find. I mean, millions of men beat off to her picture everyday! You’d think SOMEONE would recognize her.”

“People go missing all of the time. I think you’ve done enough work for the day. C’mon, let’s get drunk and forget about it.”

I nodded then Peter and me left the theater and began walking past skid row. I couldn’t shake the image of Layla from my mind. There was something about her face that was haunting me.

As we were about to enter the bar, a street performer was playing a familiar tune on his guitar. “Do you hear that song?” I asked Peter.

“Yeah, it’s a shitty acoustic version to that Eric Clapton song. What of it?”

“Layla,” I said.

I walked up to the street performer and handed him a $20 bill. “You better take the money,” I told him, “cuz if you don’t give the answers I want, you’ll get a bullet instead.”

“Fuck off copper!”

I slapped him across the face with the butt of my .38. As he laid on the ground, I pointed the gun at his skull. “I ain’t no cop,” I said. “I’m Jack Hardcock and I don’t play by the rules. So tell me about Layla or else you’ll be my next victim of the day.”

“It’s just a song, man!”

I cocked the .38.

“Alright alright!” the performer cried. “She’s my ex-girlfriend! She dumped my ass and fucked off to Los Angeles!”

“Layla WHO?!!”

“Layla HUFFINGTON!”

TO BE CONTINUED….

Jack Hardcock: The Legend Continues (Part III)

“Don’t forget your Winchester ammo, Uncle Jack,”Klyde reminded me before I boarded the Greyhound bus.

I chuckled a bit. “You must mistake me for some stupid moron, Klyde,” I replied, “I never forget that!”

Thankfully he did remind me because I forgot.

“Well Brother Jack,” Pete said as he slapped me on the back, “don’t you be enjoying California too much. If you come back as a Democrat, I’ll strangle you with my bare hands and hang your corpse in the front yard.”

“Heh, good luck getting passed my .38,” I said as I pulled out my gun.

We laughed and exchanged hugs before I took my seat on the bus bound for Oakland, CA. When I arrived 12 days later, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was being watched. So I grabbed my bags and checked in at the La Quinta Inn in Alameda.

“Name please?” the clerk asked.

“Hardcock. Jack Hardcock.”

“ID?”

I laid the .38 out on the desk.

“Ah yes, Mr. Hardcock. Welcome to Alameda,” the clerk said. “Room 213 is ready for you.”

I threw my bags on the bed and began checking the room for bugs and wiretaps. Nothing. Then there was a knock on the door.

“Room service,” the voice said.

I drew my weapon and cracked open the door. “What do you want?” I asked.

“I’m here to bring you more toiletries, Mr. Hardcock,” the housekeeper replied.

I opened the door and invited her in. She pushed her cart in front of her and started dispensing soaps and shampoos on the nightstand and skink. When she was finished, she parked her cart in front of me.

“Is there anything else I can get you?” she asked.

“Yes, just one more thing…”

I punched her in the face and wrestled her to the bed. As I had my knee to her back, I ripped off the wig.

“Nice try, Peter Tucker: FBI agent!” I said.

I released my knee and Peter started laughing as he rolled over. “Nothing gets passed you,” he said, “you’re as sharp as a tack!”

“What the fuck do you want? Why are you watching me?”

Peter sat up in bed and began wiping away the makeup. “Now now, settle down Jack,” he explained, “I know you’re after the missing Huffington girl. I promise to not interfere with with your investigation, the only service my office will provide is protection.”

“Protection from what? There’s nothing on the streets that I can’t handle myself. Remember, I spent six months in Cleveland?!”

“I know that! But things operate a little differently here.”

“How so?”

“Well, for one thing, I’m in charge.”

I let out a huge guffaw. “Don’t tell me the FBI put you in charge of the San Francisco field offices!”

“You better believe it, bucko,” Peter replied. “Furthermore, I don’t you running around here with that puny ass peashooter fuckin everything up! So you play by the rules or I’ll have you locked up in San Quentin! Do we have an understanding?”

“Peashooter? You mean this LETHAL weapon?”

I then pulled out the .38 and shot Peter’s makeup sponge right out of his hand.

“That’s exactly what I’m talking about, Jack!”

“Alright Peter,” I said as I placed the .38 back in its holster, “I’ll play it your way. But what’s with the disguise?”

“Disguise?” Peter asked. “This is how I dress.”

TO BE CONTINUED…