Please tell me you have seen the videos of Conan O’ Brien reviewing the recent crop of A-list games that have come out? For me to say it is spectacular is for me to sell it short. I have been a gamer my whole life, and been a huge Conan fan (I can do the string dance!) for a decade now, so the fact that someone, somewhere, was smart enough to figure out they were mining gold by video taping Conan playing through the demos of these games, and just sorta “being Conan”, is like a dream come true for me. The irony has dawned on me, over time, just how accurate and spot on he is with his assessments, though. Also, when you throw out the massive nerd egos of most game journalists, you actually get some solid insight into these games, as viewed by an every man. While initially this was going to be a list featuring my fave favorite reviews he has done, I am genuinely convinced TBS will sue me if I post all his vids in one spot, so instead, I will talk about how awesome these reviews are, while showing a couple of my favorites.
I tend to be a little bit behind the curve when it comes to mainstream films that garner hype. For whatever reason, I just tend to avoid them. For me, it has a great deal to do with the constant stream of buzz you hear regarding these films. When enough people tell you a movie is amazing, you tend to go into that movie with expectations so high, nothing can meet them. For this very reason, I hadn’t seen Silver Linings Playbook, but I sat down with the film last night and think I may have seen it in different light than most. At the heart of the story were two troubled, wounded souls trying to make sense of love, which had destroyed them both just prior to them meeting. This wasn’t a romantic comedy in the vein we were most used to. This was no whimsical love that was easy, or sexy, or fun. No, this was work, like REAL relationships. Honestly, how often do you see a romantic comedy that you can actually relate to? This is the shift I noticed while watching Silver Linings Playbook. depression, bipolar disorder, and cheating spouses were just a few of the issues they tackle head on, and they do so with respect, while still representing those things honestly. It also awed me that none of their mental conditions in the film (see, Bipolar) were played for laughs, they were well represented, and that NEVER happens in film, let alone a romance. So think of this as a romance movie for the rest of us who can’t f*cking relate to Nicolas Sparks and the force-fed idealism of easy love. We are wounded creatures, and this is our film.
LSD consumption and artistic creation seem to go hand in hand, and with good reason. They are a sort of magical loop, where one feeds the other, feeds the other, feeds the other, and so on. It is a never-ending cycle that has existed, and will continue to, as long as music and art exists. And being an ardent supporter and lover of both music AND hallucinogens, I can’t help but notice a few songs where it seems hallucinogens may have been consumed before the song was created. I realize this is all purely speculation on my part, but that is half the fun of being a writer, taking drugs and speculating on when other people took drugs. In the field of psychology, they would call what I am doing “projecting”, and I am fine with that. Also note, you will find a sort of mad dash between happy songs and dark songs here, and that polarity on this list is intentional, because that is what drugs are like. Amazing one minute, and world destroying the next. That comment will make more sense when you see the recent Syd Barret pic that is posted further down in this article. Buckle up, kids, because we are going deep down the rabbit hole.
Flashback to 2006. For whatever reason, The Rock Of Love is a huge hit for VH1, and most of the world was aware of the disgusting roster of loose females all desperately bidding for Bret Michael’s
diseases attention. For those blissfully unaware, allow me a moment to explain. The Rock of Love was a “dating” show that followed Bret Michaels, lead singer of eighties glam metal band, Poison, as he tried to find women who hated themselves enough that he could add them to his slut-roster. That may sound harsh, but you should hear what was written in the first draft. Anyway, the show was pretty much the most disgusting thing you have ever seen, filled to the brim with disgusting people, all doing disgusting things for attention. That really does sum it up best, I think. Being someone who DESPISES reality TV and all the starfuckers who try to get known because of said style of TV is what makes the following true story that much more ironic. I think reality TV stars to be maggots, not even worthy of burrowing in my shit. So imagine my joy when life gave me the opportunity to be a complete asshole to the very worst women on that, or any reality show, ever. Moments like that make me believe God exists, and that he has a sense of humor that is as cruel and as fucked up as mine. Amen to that.
Alright, first things first. I stand by this list. I really do. But I would be lying to you if I were to say that I expected it to be as popular as it was (200,000 hits and counting) because I didn’t. I am shocked that, for months, it has been my most viewed article. And in the wake of that, I have received some comments which got me thinking. I do believe I may have been too quick to judge a few, and perhaps was a bit too kind to some of my “best of” entries. While normally, people take to comment sections on sites and can ridicule a writer behind a shield of anonymity (which still happens from time to time here), mostly, my readers are intelligent people with some really good feedback, and in this case, some of them were right. Here is an update to that list, with reasons why some things were tweaked and changed. I also intend to do one of these for Unreality soon, too, which means there will be THREE best of 2012 horror lists, cementing that I am far more fucked up than any “monster” on this list.
We live in an ugly world, that is sometimes full of ugly things, depending on where you look. So it tends to blow my mind when I see friends of mine who have managed to raise great children, regardless of this ugly time we live in and all that is associated with it. Like there are still corners of the world that are pure and caring. While I do not shill for too many causes on this site for various reasons, this cause is too awesome for me not to share. Read on, and open your wallets for a damn good cause. I know last week I asked you to donate because I have no food and am sick of being poor, but take whatever you were going to give to me, and give it to this cause, okay? The cause is much better, and the after effects can change the world.
We all are quick to condemn Valentine’s day as something spewed out by Hallmark in an attempt to make more money and force emotionally distant men into a day of honesty and intimacy. But truth be told, once you get past the stupid norms that pop culture thrusts on your regarding Valentine’s day and the expectations therein, you realize, it’s a perfect excuse to drink some wine with someone you love, listen to some sassy jams, and potentially do the horizontal hula until both of you are laying there in a shiny layer of sweat-glaze, hair tussled just so, wrapped in a post coital embrace. Wow, that last sentence might be the best thing I have ever written. A good writer would make a mental note of that. I, on the other hand, am masturbating myself about it, out loud, so that should let you know where I stand for tonight. Having said all that in one breath, allow me to now present to you a playlist, perfect for you and your lover to get sideways and shiny to. Thank me later in nine months by naming your baby Remy. Spoiler warning, these are some sexy jams.
For those not familiar with Pollyanna McIntosh’s body of work, it seems clear to me that the woman (see what I did there?) prides herself on choosing roles that are extremely challenging to both herself, as well as societal norms. Sex, death, and even the domestication of women are just a few concepts she has breached in the roles she has chosen. Just to have your first paying gig as a stoner in Irvine Welsh’s Acid House garners a massive amount of points from me. And she does it all, and remarkably well. Not many can balance beautiful and horrifying, but Pollyanna does it with flair. Just see Exam, 9 Lives Of Mara, and The Woman to get an honest idea of what I ma talking about here. All that aside, I would be lying if I were to deny that it was her titular role in Lucky McKee’s disturbingly brilliant The Woman, that caused me to sit up and take notice of her. Playing a feral woman who is captured by a very George Bush Jr style republican, and then brought home, chained up, and slowly “housebroken”, for a lack of a better term. While I refuse to ruin the nuances and twists of the film for those who have yet to see this epic 2011 movie, it is safe to say this woman rises up and does what needed to be done, leaving us with one of the most memorable final shots in any film I have ever seen. And with an incredible body of work behind her, and much more to come, in the form of both acting and directing, I just wanted to sit down with Pollyanna and pick her intriguing brain. I was quite persistent, and she relented, to my absolute joy. Also, this is the last time Pollyanna will be talking about The Woman, so I feel honored that she chose to have that final discussion about that amazing film, and her amazing role,with me.
If you listened to music in the nineties, it seemed like everyone was angry. Or secretly gay. Yet, if you turned on the TV, it seemed like everyone had a really annoying neighbor who was just allowed to walk into their home and make a scene anytime they chose. Or cough out words of advice when the family needed it most. Life wasn’t really like that, though. So, in other words, if someone only listened to music and watched sitcoms in the 90′s, it seemed like the world was full of angry people with retarded neighbors. Man, we all thought the nineties were so cool, but now I am starting to wonder. Anyway, here are the five annoying neighbors from 90′s sitcoms who most likely were hiding far more salacious intentions by being in your home and around your family than would appear in the surface. I gotta warn you, you may never look at Wilson from Home improvement the same way again.
We can all stand on the highest perches, over the most undulating oceans, and we can scream at the top of our lungs. We can scream so long and hard it feels like our lungs are ripping out of our chests. We can scream so intensely, it feels like our eyes are going to bleed. We can scream our vocal chords raw, begging all the world to hear us. We can beg ten people to hear us, or we can scream so loud we demand hundreds of people to hear us. But the truth, beating, deep inside of those screams, carrying themselves through the air like ghosts, is that most of us would be truly happy if just one person would hear us. The one who just never does. The same one who is so oft the one we love most. Which begs the question: Why are our voices the most quiet, solely to those we wish could hear us? I am not asking seeking an answer. I am simply screaming this from my mountaintop, my perch, and everyone will hear it. Well, almost everyone. That is the irony that lies at the heart of all this, but fret not. For we are all unheard. Every single one of us. Love like deaf ears and wide eyes. Or….