Friday, August 26, 2011

holy shit

Dearest Readers,

Most of you are aware of my unusual obsession with all things macabre. You know my affinity for horror films, serial killers, monsters, taxidermy, martyred religious saints, etc. I think it's safe to say I've seen it all. That's not a brag, just facts. Whatever you lay on me, I can handle. Just the other night I saw a film with a dog eating a man's penis, in 3D no less! However, today I may have possibly stumbled upon the scariest thing I've ever laid my eyes on.

I dare you to watch for yourself and better yet, I beg you to find something more frightening. Prepare to have your mind blown!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

West Memphis Free

Upon starting this blog, I always wanted to keep it light and fun. I never intended it to be a soapbox because I know others don't like being inundated with someone's political agenda. However, in lieu of recent developments, I just want to say a few things about capital punishment.
I woke up this morning wondering if the events of yesterday really took place or if it was all a dream. Thankfully, it was not a dream. All three defendants in the West Memphis 3 case were released from prison after serving nearly 18 yrs. (one of which was on Death Row). For once, I'm at a loss for words to express what an accomplishment this is.

I took this case very personally and I have followed it closely for the last decade. When I first moved to Austin and attended The University of Texas, I became involved in various activist organizations one of which was The Campaign to End the Death Penalty. Living in Texas, it is quit well known that we have the highest execution rate in the country. I strongly believe in a moratorium to end the death penalty and I could talk all day about why. Since 1973, over 130 people have been release from death row with evidence (predominantly DNA evidence) of their innocence. That is incredibly startling! In Texas, a capital punishment trial costs the state $2.5 million dollars which is enough to house 40 prisoners for a lifetime. Also, there is no actual proof that capital punishment reduces crime.
Anyway, back to WM3. I first heard of The West Memphis 3 after someone gave me a music compilation to benefit the case. I grew up in a small town ( not nearly as small as West Memphis, AR) so I'm well aware of what it feels like to be an outcast. I too have been accused of being a witch, a goth, Satanic, Devil worshiping, Commie, etc. So when I read this case, I took it to heart. I was just completely blown away by this modern day witch hunt. Realistically, this could have been me, or it could have been you accused of murder for being a misfit.

Yesterday was such a huge triumph for the justice system and the anti-death penalty movement. It was a triumph for you and me, but mostly it was a triumph for three innocent men who have spent half their lives in prison for something they didn't do. Yes, legally they are considered "guilty" but that is just a technical plea so the three men do not sue the state of AR for wrongful imprisonment (which they have every right to do).

My faith in the justice system has been restored. I really do believe in the justice system which is why I want to be apart of it. I hope to someday improve upon it and fix the flaws that could cause a tragedy like this to come about in the first place. After being involved with the Yogurt Shop Murder Case and seeing those wrongfully convicted defendants released, I'm ready to see ALL innocent political prisoners freed! Before, as an activist, my role was very limited. Now after pursuing a legal career, I intend to work from the inside to help others like Robert Springsteen, Damien Echols, Michael Scott, Jessie Misskelley, Jason Baldwin, and Mumia Abu Jamal.

It really is amazing to see so many people get behind a cause and make a difference. People like Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins, and Natalie Maines used their celebrity status to bring attention to the WM3 case. I recently discovered that even famed director Peter Jackson had been quietly funding the WM3 investigation all the way from New Zealand. Although, there were countless others like attorneys, forensic experts, writers, journalists, filmmakers, etc. who worked tirelessly on this case. There were also many people like you and me holding benefits, rallies, and vigils to keep this case relevant. There are so many amazing organizations that anyone can be apart of.

We just need to remember fight the good fight.
Peace and solidarity

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Many apologies to my faithful readers for the lack of consistency in recent months. My daily routine has become all too consuming. I’d like to also add that Jeremy G and I have been hitting the gym like Rocky & Apollo. However, my absence is no excuse! Today I’d like to discuss a very serious topic that is affecting the world: remakes

Now I won’t condemn all remakes (just most) because there may be a few out there that are worthwhile. I want to talk about the lack of originality in current American cinema. I target American cinema because this occurrence is so profound in the US. You don’t necessarily see the Japanese remaking LEGALLY BLONDE or a French version of THE HANGOVER. I won’t say I hate all remakes; I think CAPE FEAR (Scorsese version) & THE DEPARTED are wonderful films.

I’ve tolerated it enough (as I’m sure you have too) and now I have reached my breaking point. I have endured countless films of classic films that were once sacred to me like NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, PSYCHO, and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. The horror genre is not the only victim, how about TRON, BONNIE & CLYDE, CONAN THE BARBARIAN, or FOOTLOOSE (they’ve even tapped the shitty film market).

I have come to accept the fact that Hollywood intends to stomp all over my childhood with no apologies. However, the minute I heard of an EVIL DEAD remake, I was crushed. Then I hear that not only is Sam Raimi producing this garbage, but Bruce Campbell is behind it too! My despair turned to rage. How can any self respecting horror fan support this atrocity?

I’m not saying EVIL DEAD is my favorite film ever, but it’s definitely something I hold near and dear. I like to refer to it as the other holy trinity. Ash has become an unsung hero throughout the years. His character is a champion of underdogs. With a legendary chin that supersedes the owner, can you see anyone else as Ash? While I have read the message boards like a frightened child with his hands over his face peeking through fingers, the casting rumors are far more gut wrenching. How dare the words EVIL DEAD and Ryan Reynolds be uttered in the same sentence! Why not do a remake of THE SHINING staring Keanu Reeves while you’re at it?

I think we need to look at the bigger picture here and analyze what American culture has become. I won't go into my whole tirade of globalization, but keep that in mind. I think as Americans, our society has hit a wall. We no longer progress but remain stagnant and continue to regurgitate the same boring ideas. Just look at our economy; we continue to make the same mistakes. That's all for another post. Remakes, reboots, re-installments, re-imaginations, even sequels, whatever you want to call it, 90% of these films are bad! Americans should be outraged that Hollywood has completely given up on creativity. I refuse to pay $10 to see a water downed duplication of some shit movie I had no intention of seeing ten years ago. Most of all, I refuse to see some paltry "re-imagination" of a flawless film I hold to high regards (OLDBOY, LET THE RIGHT ON IN). When will this end? When will originality come back into style? When will we put our foots down?

If something doesn't change soon, I really am moving to France to work at the Silencio bar. Here's a thought: Why not tap into the superhero/comic book realm? That market hasn't been touched at all.

Special thanks to long time reader and friend Vince C. for the vintage EVIL DEAD tee; I shall wear it with pride! Also, a big "fuck you" to Sam Raimi for your betrayal is of George Lucas proportions.