There’s just too much shit going on and I’ve never wanted to be a productive person. I like the idea of being lazy. But that, ironically, takes work. Between a family, starting a new career, having a book coming out, and managing my crippling gambling addiction, I’m just not feeling it anymore.
In times like these, I like to think back to the time when I was leaving a Halloween party somewhere in San Francisco…dressed as Captain Kirk…and a dude was tripping balls on a street corner. His arms were extended. “I just want to grow here, like a tree,” he proclaimed, “but they won’t let me.”
Didst I fly too close to the flame? Did I sear off my wings and tumble to this providence of flesh and sin?
“Hear me now o Heaven!” I cried out, “must I die with the blood of my veins?”
But reprieve was delivered from upon high; “be a good servant, but not for thy sake.”
Yet a servant is nothing more than a slave; and I’m a slave by the Grace of heaven.
I was no more free than Mr. Shitz was free from impending death. “What happens when I die?” he asked.
“I am no more an expert on death than you are on life.”
“Is that the meaning of your visit Jim Grey? To give me one more shot at life?”
But how could I deliver something that I don’t possess?
Now enough about me….
The helicopter landed on the estate lawn. Archibald extended his hand to help Ms. Shitz deboard the craft. “How delightful it is to see you again!” he told her as they strolled across the grass and into the foreroom.
“Tell me, Archie,” Darla said, “how bad is it?”
“Your father is fine right now,” he replied, “but in time, his health will deteriorate. He will lose all control of his faculties. Piss and shit will flow out of him continuously before his bowels fall out of his asshole at the moment of death. I can’t think of a worse way to go. He would be better off ending it now rather than remain cognizant as his dignity melts away.”
“How horrible!” Darla bawled as she buried her head into Archibald’s chest.
“Yes,” he said as he wrapped his arms around her, “but you mustn’t say anything about it when you see him. He’s still processing his ass cancer diagnosis.”
“I understand,” she said while wiping away tears. “He’s always been a stubborn man. This will take time.”
“Of course,” Archibald replied as he offered her a brandy. “How was your stay in France?”
“Absolute dogshit!” Darla exclaimed. “They’re a bunch of chain-smoking, wino bastards! And the world thinks the US is racist?! Try spending 15 minutes at a Parisian bus stop! Jesus fucking Christ!”
I wandered in through the kitchen door bearing a gift. “A rose for you,” I offered Ms. Darla Shitz, “I’m Jim Grey. Welcome home.”
Nothing across all heavens, from the seas of Aquila to the moons of Indus, prepared me for the sight I saw; a woman, whose beauty rivaled that of Artemis.
“This is our new gardener, Ms. Shitz,” Archibald said. “He’s an acquaintance of your father.”
“Thank you, Mr. Grey,” Ms. Shitz spoke as she placed her hand into mine, “it’s a pleasure to meet you. Now, please excuse me. I must be meeting with my father.”
“Of course,” I said. I watched her gracefully gather herself as though there wasn’t a storm raging inside of her.
There too was a quiet storm gathering within me. What was it about Darla Shitz that promoted such passion?
Yeah, like everyone else in the early 2010s, I was addicted to Breaking Bad. It came at a turning point when we started evaluating the male ego in art and storytelling. Many bitch about this paradigm shift, but honestly it’s given me a fuckton of creative fuel to write my dumbass stories.
Without it, I wouldn’t have a writing career at all! So thanks Breaking Bad for all the digital trees I’ve wasted on the internet.
But as time has passed, it’s obvious that there were problems with the show. Now I try to evaluate art by the intentions of the artist. So what were the showrunners trying to do here?
Apparently, creator Vince Gilligan didn’t know either. While I think everyone involved did their jobs in the most competent and effective way possible, in my opinion, there was a fundamental difference between Gilligan’s vision and Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of Walter White/Heisenberg.
I base this opinion on zero research, but hear me out…
I’m assuming, when the show was pitched, that the thrust behind the story was to watch the protagonist turn into the villain. At least this is what drew me into the show. But if that’s the case, we run into an age old Clark Kent/Superman problem.
Philosopher and film theorist Slavoj Zizek, while discussing The Joker, claimed that the real identity of a superhero IS the mask and the person beneath it is the alter ego. Or, in other words, the MASK is what permits us to be our true selves.
In that sense, Heisenberg-the “MASK”- is really what Walter White is. If Heisenberg was ever wearing a mask for a disguise, that mask was the man Walter White. Therefore, Walter White…or, more accurately, Heisenberg…was ALWAYS evil.
I’m glad all of that makes sense.
But the problem is Walter White doesn’t always ACT like the bad guy. In fact, he’s usually shown being a loving father and Jesse’s guardian. Sure, he poisons a child, watches a woman choke to death, etc etc. but Walter White…probably due to Cranston’s acting choices…seems to signal horror at some of his decisions. In fact, if memory serves, he shows a sigh of relief when he learns that the child WON’T die from the poisoning attempt.
He even begs for Hank’s life for fuck’s sake!
Would Gus Fring, Walter White’s arch nemesis, have done that?
And therein lies the fundamental problem with Breaking Bad: the audience never severs its sympathy with Walter White. Nor, I would argue, were they ever encouraged to do so.
Was this a deliberate choice by the showrunners? Was Cranston too damn competent at his job? Did anyone think any of this through?
I don’t suppose that this undermines the quality of the show. It’s just annoying to consider while re-watching it. The show seems to fail at meeting its own objective.
In fact, this concept…displaying a totally deplorable character in the most engaging way possible…has been successfully done before. Perhaps you remember it: The Wolf of Wall Street.
To be fair though, Martin Scorsese has a knack for this kind of thing. In fact, the movie that put him on the map, Taxi Driver, does something similar. The audience is exposed to a deranged world of a protagonist, we even empathize with him to a certain degree, but we can’t ever imagine coming to his defense (as fans of Breaking Bad have done many times before with Walter White).
With the Wolf of Wall Street, Scorsese “let’s you in on the joke.” Jordan Belfort is an over-the-top nutcase, and Scorsese allows you to indulge in his depravity, but you know that the end will come crashing down at any moment.
Scorsese isn’t afraid to “pull the trigger”…or show you the moment when a protagonist looses his grip on reality.
While Walter White certainly had his over-the-top moments, the audience is never encouraged to lose sympathy for him. This is reinforced through the writing. White should have never of begged for Hank’s life, his relationship with Jesse should have been established as being purely manipulative and nothing more, his role as a father should have deteriorated, etc etc.
Perhaps that’s the limits of television. When you spend five or more seasons with a character, it’s hard NOT to have sympathy for them.
But it always felt as though Walter White never quite broke bad.
So what if you came across some information about an alleged “horror” movie which featured unsimulated sex between two adult actors who were, by the way, playing siblings…AND this film happens to be on Tubi?
Would you go “nah I’m good?”
Would you say “yup, that sounds right up my ally”?
Be honest now, God’s watching.
Unfortunately this movie hit me at the right time. Not because of the sibling fucking and rock hard penises (and some vagina) throughout, but because the film’s subject matter appears to be “truth” itself.
What’s We Are The Flesh about? I honestly don’t know. Click the link above if want to find out more. It’s a Mexican film. I didn’t watch it with subtitles on. And I don’t speak Spanish. 🤷♂️ Plus I’ve got a terrible memory.
Nevertheless, I think it got its point across, which makes it a success in my book.
As the review above stated, it will draw comparisons to other movies in the “shock film” genre, but it lacks a little less punch. That might come as a disappointment to horror film buffs, but I think this was done deliberately.
In fact, the movie concludes (if my memory is correct) with someone getting up from a completed orgy, leaving the set, and walking out onto a normal busy street.
I’m assuming that person was meant to be “us”…the audience…just getting up and leaving the theater then going about our normal day after watching an hour and 15 minutes worth of people fucking and occasionally killing/raping on a very claustrophobic set.
I don’t recall the violence being particularly brutal, at least compared to other films in this genre, but the sex, of course, was. At one point, we’re just staring at a bare vagina and anus and then a penis and ballsack.
But as the review pointed out, we’re being forced to ask ourselves if there’s any artistic merit to any of this.
“Sounds pretentious,” you might say. And I agree. But the film is slapping you across the face with this question…because you’re staring at a penis and vagina for a GOOD 30 seconds each…almost as if it’s a commentary on filmmaking itself!
When it comes to the finer philosophical points to the film, I’ll defer to the review, as it explains them in far better detail than I ever could. But this movie really did break my mind.
I’ve never seen any film…or any piece of art PERIOD (except for a piece of long fiction that I recently completed, which I might go into detail about at a later time)….say SO much while simultaneously saying absolutely NOTHING.
This was one of my first stories that I published here.
For the life of me, I can’t understand why it wasn’t more popular 🤷♂️
Nice balls,” she said.
I just got a new pair of truck nuts for my 2004 Dodge Ram 2500. Luciana Ortega De Navarro was impressed.
Luciana was the heiress to the largest cigarette manufacturer in Southern Cal. It recently went out of business. She asked me out on a date while I was sleeping in the doorway of her storefront in Venice.
She had a thing for hard luck cases.
So I finally brushed my teeth and ran a comb through my hair. I put on my best Def Leppard shirt and met her at Il Porcellino, the finest Italian place near Marina Del Ray.
Luciana wore a floral red dress. Her dark hair flowed down to her shoulders and her skin was as radiant as the Mediterranean sunset. She was stunning.
We shared a bottle of Molinara from Veneto over candlelight. She asked, “do you go to church?”
“I’ve been there before.”
“How do you feel about 3rd Baptist Church of Culver City?”
“I’ll give it a shot,” I said.
That Sunday, I wore a clip-on tie and went to church. Elderly people abound. They all asked “Welcome Brother James, isn’t Luciana great?!”
“I guess,” I said.
Services began. The choir sang “Are You Washed in the Blood”. The pastor waddled out from behind the stage.
The preacher was a heavyset man, obscenely flabby. He wore a flannel suit and lightly tinted bifocals. He asked us to take out our Bibles.
“Open to Romans 3:48.”
The parishioners complied.
“Now, my congregation, I wish to speak on god’s grace, his mercy, and his message to all the people of earth.”
Silence fell over the church.
“Yesterday, while I was praying, a voice said to me ‘I will bring forth your people as testimony to this cursed world.’ I replied ‘God! What does this mean?’ The voice said ‘do not worry, just listen to my commands,’”preacher continued.
All eyes were now glued to him.
“The voice said ‘Get up!’ So I got up. Then it said ‘take off your shirt!’ So I took off my shirt. Then it told me ‘take off your pants’. So I took off my pants. ‘Now drink your own piss!’ So I drank my own piss.”
The preacher began to move around the stage.
“It was at this time when I felt the grace of Jesus Christ inside of me. I leapt for joy! And I knew right then what I had to do.”
He then walked over to the assistant pastor.
“Brother Ted, please stand up.”
He stood up.
“Ladies and gentleman of this congregation. This is the future I want to bring forth.”
The preacher then pulled down Brother Ted pants, exposing his fully erect penis.
Gasps filled the audience.
As the parishioners started getting riled up, the preacher continued.
“Do not be afraid,” he said as he held Brother Ted’s member. “Change is always scary. But this is the beginning of a new era!”
The preacher then shoved Brother Ted’s penis into his ass. The sound of clapping ass cheeks echoed throughout the church.
Women in the aisles were passing out. The men shouted “Amen!”
“Come here Brother Al,” the preacher said to another assistant.
And the preacher sucked and fucked his way through the sermon, igniting his congregation into a titillated frenzy.
As we were driving home, Luciana asked, “what did you think about the service?”
“I don’t know,” I replied. “It was a little tame. Think I’ll just stay a Catholic.”
I don’t know if I’m just bored sitting in class for the last two weeks, but something’s crawled up my ass and I just feel like arguing with people. On Instagram no less!
This time I’m arguing with stuck up Christians trying to present their arguments as some sort of academic debate because they think atheists are too dumb to understand their beliefs. Now don’t get your panties in a wad, these are just the people who are pissing me off RIGHT NOW. There’s no telling who I’ll argue with next week.
I’m a sophist at heart.
But if there’s one type of person I can’t stand, it’s the stuck up “I’m smarter than you cuz I read academic shit” guy. Fuck those people.
In fact, I say it’s your DUTY to pointlessly argue with these folks. They expect everything to be a structured debate and demand strangers online follow the rules.
But I will not. If I want to “straw man” you, use “non-sequiturs”, create false dichotomies, etc. I am well within my right to do so and there’s nothing you can do about it.
So Who the fuck are you? The “logical fallacies” police?
Back in the 80s, people thought that sexual assault and tormenting families was hilarious. But that was life in Reagan’s America. It was a disgusting time and I’m glad it’s over.
A nice little relic from this era is Luther the Geek. The best part about it is it’s short run time: 80 minutes 👍
The plot is simple: some lunatic is inexplicably granted parole and he instantly begins a reign of terror. He grabs ahold of some poor woman and proceeds to terrorize her and her daughter, who is somehow older than than her mother. The movie doesn’t know if it takes place in Iowa or Illinois, but really, who cares? They’re basically the same state.
The film epically concludes with the hero and villain clucking at each other like chickens.
The gore? It’s pretty good.
I wouldn’t say I’d “recommend” it. But hell, it’s only 80 minutes of your life.
I’m honestly embarrassed to admit that I bought this book.
I haven’t finished reading it. So maybe there’s some useful information in there somewhere. But I find self-help books to a pimple on the ass of the literary world.
I’m sure the author thinks that this is some philosophical commentary and not self-help. But really it’s just some bourgeois armchair philosophizing, which is how stoicism often comes across to me.
While I don’t consider myself a leftist (all political and religious ideologies require a healthy dose of skepticism) I do agree that there is a large portion of our lives that we have no control over. Even our preferences are largely predetermined by external circumstances. Free will is often recognizing this which then leads to angst, anxiety, and even suffering.
Following this line of reasoning, one might conclude that stoicism would help alleviate that pain. And it actually might to a certain degree. My primary beef with stoicism, and it’s current usage in the zeitgeist and world of self-help, is that it could actually contribute to one’s own delusion by masking real and justified emotional responses to very REAL problems.
It’s kinda akin to Jordan Peterson’s advice to “clean your room.” That’s basically “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”…and that idiom is the thrust behind self-help books.
I dunno, this is probably just a pedantic problem that I’ve created in my head. But if you’re in need of Axial-Age sage advice, I’ve personally found Buddhism…stripped of its spiritual and religious elements…to be far more useful as it teaches abstract thinking and encourages you to accept that the only constant in the universe is change.
My go-to site for nerdish bickering is Trekmovie.com. One of the writers for Star Trek 09 and Star Trek Into Darkness, Roberto Orci, infamously jumped onto fans there a few years ago. For internet anthropologist/historians like me, it’s a goldmine.
Trekkies just aren’t used to having nice things. And Strange New Worlds is a nice thing. Sure it’s not perfect, but overall it’s pretty good Star Trek.
But the latest episode involved a species called “the Gorn” who were first introduced in TOS way back in the sixties. If you’re not a Trek fan, you probably know who they are because a member of that species was involved in one of the most parodied scenes in all of science fiction:
In SNW, the Gorn were updated to look more terrifying and were introduced to Starfleet earlier than what canon allowed (SNW takes place before the adventures of Captain Kirk). This predictably caused a shitstorm with the fans.
Look, I can roll with the best of Star Trek nerds. But to most sane people, this is a big nothing-burger.
This is also why the James Bond series is the most underrated of all the long-running franchises. The producers simply don’t give two shits about canon. Each film can theoretically take place in its own timeline. They just don’t get bogged down in the details because their purpose is to entertain.
Arguably, Star Trek serves a different purpose. Still though, fans are missing the forest for the trees. The larger question should be: was it a GOOD episode?
Personally I thought they killed off Hemmer, a very solid character, too soon. But his death did provide a good character arc for Uhura (and laid the foundation for Spock’s most infamous decision in Star Trek II). Obviously they were going for an Alien feel in this episode (which is okay, science fiction series often steal from one another) but overall it was pretty good.
Some fans are angry because the writers aren’t inventing new species to explore. But this “alien of the week” method that Trek fans have become accustomed to makes the series feel paper thin. I like it when writers take the time to explore an existing world. It adds depth.
But this latest Star Trek struggle session only highlights what is perhaps my biggest annoyance. Just because something is old and established, that doesn’t make it holy. The people behind TOS, to include Gene Roddenberry, were making shit up as they went. Besides, no television writer will want to pour through 9 million hours of Star Trek just to make it all add up. Hell, except for myself and Mike Stoklasa, NO ONE would want to do that. And this not only goes for Star Trek, but also for the Bible, Plato, Aristotle, Karl Marx, etc etc. They are all products of man and they can be changed by man.
As fans, we should have only one question: is it good storytelling?