Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Single Zombie Female On Transvaginal Ultrasounds

Texas has just passed a bill and the Virginia, Pennsylvania, and other states' legislatures are considering bills that would require women who are opting for an abortion to first go through a procedure called Transvaginal Ultrasound. No problem, right, just apply some jelly and use a microphone thingy to listen in. Wrong? A transvaginal ultrasound requires a woman to be penetrated by a ten inch wand.

Medical professionals do not consider this a necessary or useful diagnostic test, it's merely another way of punishing women who elect to exercise their Constitutional right to decide what goes on in their own bodies. Many women are calling this procedure a state mandated rape. Imagine a scenario where your wife, daughter, or sister had been raped, then was forced to go through this additional torture. It's unacceptable. It's insane. And it's a painful, lengthy procedure no woman should be forced to go through by orders of a few whackadoodles who want to tell the rest of us what we can and can't do with our bodies. 

See Single Zombie Female artist Jenny Mathew's art here Tiny Drawings

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why Doesn't Anybody Want To Vote For a Republican Candidate?

Nobody seems to want to vote for any Republican candidate these days. And I'm not going to be political in this blog, I just want to do a history of the Republican party's search for a Presidential candidate to challenge Barack Obama in 2012, because as the Grateful Dead once sang, "What a long strange trip it's been." One thing is assured: SOMEONE will run as a Republican against Barack Obama in 2012, but given the amount of bizarre, almost surreal twists and turns the nominating process has taken, it could be anyone, including a candidate we haven't even considered yet. Here's a recap...

The first power couple we were told were going to blow Obama away were these two...

Before Obama's State of the Union address in 2009 it was already apparently decided. This was the new Republican power couple. Obama didn't have a chance. Jindal/Palin, Palin/Jindahl, didn't matter who was on top and who was on bottom, and Republicans couldn't wait for 2012. 

Then this happened...

Palin was reported to have snorted cocaine and banged NBA player Glen Rice. I have known women like that. They're called strippers. This probably isn't a real picture of Palin, but I like to think it is. Then this happened...

Jindahl's response to Obama's 2009 State of the Union address was a disaster. Jindahl Bombs. And Republicans started to realize what the rest of America already knew: you can't have two airheads on the same ticket. Who's going to run? Maybe this guy...

Maybe this guy. Ron Paul, despite being elected to to Congress 78 times was successful in convincing some people he was a political outsider. With seemingly minor gripes like auditing the Federal reserve, Paul became the rage amongst young hipsters and older whackadoos, who used their avalanche of comments on sites such as Yahoo to prove that Paul was the most popular candidate and was being systematically ignored by the media. But there was only one problem: once real votes started to be counted nobody in real life seemed to be voting for Ron Paul. Perhaps if we elected candidates by the volume of comments they recieve on social networking sites Paul would have had a chance. Hold on for a...

Bimbo change. Bring on the next tone deaf, marginalized, home schoolin', farm subsidy takin' harpy. Next. Will anyone ever emerge to take this nomination?

No, not the Mormon Fonz, Mitt Romney. Mittens announced his candidacy early on, was super well funded, and could afford to let others be tagged as the front runner for many months before his Romulan ship of big corporate money and pundit support uncloaked. Only one problem: nobody really seems very hot about voting for him, even in a primary. But they don't seem to have been given much of a choice. Even other major candidates couldn't raise the type of money required to campaign or even get on the ballot in all fifty states. Think about that. Even major candidates now can't afford to run in all fifty states. That leaves a very big opening for anyone who can raise that type of money to run pretty much unopposed in many cases. But it wasn't over at that point. Not by a longshot. Because...

Speaking of zombies, this guy seemed to return from the dead. And much like this entire farcical process, was taken as a joke at first. After ethics violations that led to him resigning as Speaker of the House Gingrich Busted most decent people probably would have scurried off and left the American public alone. Which Gingrich, by and large, did for over a decade, accepting exhorbatant sums of money from corporations for speaking engagements and book deals, all the time building up the base of money and support that would allow him to make one more run at major public office. There's no shame in his game, and his strident and fiery nature appealed to many Republicans. He surged back into the American political consciousness and won the South Carolina primary. Onlt one problem: even he couldn't raise enough money to get on the ballot in states like Virginia. How much money does one need to buy an election exactly? probably we don't want to know, but if Gingrich can't even get on the ballot, who can?

Hold on for a surprise contender who's about as surprising as the end of Titanic

Million dollar haircut, ten cent brain. Enough said. Except that he also was declared the front runner the first week of his candidacy.

Okay, that's a little bit of a low blow, so to speak, but I've got to use these 3am Photoshop creations somewhere. So, who have we got so far? Perry was now the front runner, even before he officially announced his candidacy. A new frontrunner. Can we at least vote on something before the press tells uis who's already won? Here comes the first vote, here comes Iowa...

What do you mean the candidates the press has been telling us are the front runners got almost no votes? What do you mean those millions and millions of Paul supporters didn't seem to show up at the polls (maybe they were abducted by aliens on their way to the ballot box), what do you mean some guy the media never even talked about before won? What is a Santorum? And what the hell is that black guy doing on the stage? I feel like I've been duped. The media told me this wasn't what was supposed to happen. When will this crazy ride stop? Goodbye...

Herman Cain. You remember Herman Cain, right? He made some pizzas, diddled some waitresses, and for about ten days was annointed by the media as the Republican front runner. Which group of voters were the pollsters continually able to contact to get these results that didn't seem to match reality when actual human beings voted? Kind of scary, isn't it? That the media is perfectly fine with the concept of electing a President the same way an American Idol is selected. So, wait a minute. I thought I knew who was going to win because the media told me. But none of those people got any votes. That doesn't seem right. And Newt Gingrich isn't dead, and somebody named Santorum is now in the lead, and Ron Paul has been debunked and who else is there?....

Hello, ladies. Remember me? I've been in second place the whole time. With more corporate money than, well, than those poor schlubs chasing me. Nobody really wants to vote for me, but, haha, they really don't have a choice, now do they? New Hampshire, South Carolina, Ohio, Super Tuesday? Whatever, guys, you'll run out of money sooner or later. Bring on...

Barack Obama For President 2012

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Top Five Zombie Movie Posters of All Time

I've been a fan of zombie movies since before most of the shamblers in a zombie walk were even born, and I also love the art of movie posters. One would justifiably assume that since zombie movies contain some of the most vivid, colorful, emotion provoking images in all of cinema that the posters for these movies would be some of the most interesting amongst all movie posters.


I don't know why, but the zombie genre has spawned some of the most boring, unoriginal, uninteresting movie posters in movie history. George Romero, while making the defining movies of the genre, has spun off what I think are the most boring movie posters (except for one. but more on that later), and Day of the Dead may be the most bland, generic movie poster of all time. 

No, the darkest day of horror the world has ever known was the day someone was either so tired or so distracted that they green lighted this boring piece of shit poster. I actually owned an original rolled copy of this poster at one point in my life. You'd vomit if I told you how little I paid for it in 1993. I vomit that someone had the brainpower to throw it in the garbage.

Why in the world they didn't use this poster designed for the video release, I'll never know. 

So, that's the bad, and trust me, there's no shortage of bad to go around, but let's get right to the good. I've selected five zombie movie posters I've always had a strong reaction to. One I hate, but I acknowledge it's quality and enduring ability to elicit a strong reaction, which is part of what a good movie poster, or work or art, should do. 

                                                 5) Revenge of the Dead 

This is a magnificent poster, and if you're a collector, one you can get an original in great condition for a very reasonable price (think 25-50 dollars). There's just one problem: nothing you see in this poster even remotely comes close to happening in this movie. In fact, the movie has almost nothing to do with zombies. It's more of a mystery adventure in France involving something about something like the Priory of Scion but none of that matters because if you insist on seeing zombies in a zombie movie you won't here. That said, if you do like the horror genre, this is a reasonably good movie if you have the patience. 

4) The Gates of Hell

Okay, so this movie poster is similar to every poster for every Italian zombie movie made in the zombie mania in Italy that followed Dawn of the Dead. I don't care. I like it. Here I must confess a bit of heresy which may get me banned from the zombie community altogether... I don't care for Lucio Fulci's movies. I don't like the misogyny, the cruelty or the stylistic choices. I don't like maggots and creepy crawlers. I don't like ooze and objects slowly inserted into peoples' eye sockets. However, there are two Fulci posters in my top five. 

3) Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

You're right, this poster isn't any great shakes, but it has one property that make it one of my favorites... I own it! Not only do I own it, I own one of the few anyone has anywhere, and I spent a good deal of money to have it professionally framed and oneday I will mount it on the wall of my study when I finally get to the last place I will ever be. This is my favorite zombie movie, as you must know by now because I include it some way or another in any zombie list I make, and another poster where you're nor going to get much idea about what the movie is about by looking at it. 

2) Zombie
Yuck. I simultaneously hate and acknowledge the enduring power of this iconic image. The text is great. Direct, blunt, and accurate. We're going to eat your ass. The color is bold and well-chosen. It has a stark, grotesque power that is perfect for the movie it heralds. Well done. I still dislike Fulci.

1) Dawn of the Dead

It is entirely fitting that the best zombie movie of all time should also have the best poster. A raving success of design. A combination of great design and the most quoted line of dialogue from any zombie movie ever. A movie poster I also purchased for $25 dollars original and rolled in mint condition in 1993, but no longer possess due to move after move after move. It's heartbreaking what you lose in life, but it's all part of getting to the place you are meant to be. Maybe I'll be re-united with this poster eventually. 

Few things in life will be remembered more fondly by me than Zombie Night at Castaways. After twelve years schlepping drinks in other peoples' bars I finally got a chance to run my own, and the first thing I insisted on was screening zombie movies. The first night we had I think eight people, but by the summer of 2006 we had over 200 people showing up to watch Slither, Shawn of the Dead, then we started slipping in Hard Rock Zombies, Wild Zero, Troll 2, and movies like The Stuff. Andrew Davis designed this poster and to me it will always be one of the great things no one can take away. 

I'm curious to know what zombie movie posters strike other peoples' fancy. Aesthetics are such a personal matter I realize everyone has their own tastes. These are just mine, and like I said, one of these I wouldn't even allow in my study. While you're here you might as well take a look at a couple other zombie events I created The 2012 Zombie Academy Awards and My Top Ten Zombie Movies You Might Not Have Seen. As always, thank you for stopping by, zombie fans, and feel free to link, share, or otherwise just take whatever you want, but please give me a credit. 

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

The 2012 Zombie Academy Awards

The Academy Awards will be handed out tonight. A pet peeve of mine probably not worth mentioning is when people call them The Oscars. That's the name of the trophy, not the award. I haven't seen any of the movie nominated tonight, and I won't be paying attention, but I will be handing out some awards of my own. Welcome to the First Annual Brainies, the award show for zombie movies. I'm going to cheat because I don't watch new zombies and make the Brainies a lifetime achievement award spanning the entire spectrum of every zombie movie ever made. Much like the actual Academy Awards, none of this will have much to do with the actual quality of the movies or performances, rather my whims and temporal predilections. Feel free to correct my imprecisions, omissions and (forgive me here) Brainy snubs. Let's get at it. Here's tonight's host... Bub the Zombie.

"Hey, how you all doing out there tonight? (silence). What a dead audience. (groan). I would have been here earlier but I got trapped in a flash mob of zombies on the El Dorado. Zombies, am I right, am I right? They were all the over the place munching on brains it was like old people at the Golden Coral Buffet. Hey-o. let's get right into it. Tonight's first award is for best lighting in a zombie feature. And the Brainy goes to...

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

No budget, no crew, inexperienced actors, no problem. Director Bob Clark's set and the lighting all take place at night. The movie used to be dismissed as just a campy, low budget schlockfest that attained a cult following, but it's amazing how things that have substance and are well done prevail in the end. This movie is a text book on how to work with a limited budget and make a movie that will be remembered a hundred years later. Pay attention to the violet and green hues that are obtained here, plus the ambiance that is created on what is essentially an outside sound stage. Make fun of the wardrobe all you want, but this movie is a study in color and lighting choices. With a really good electronic score by Carl Zittrer.

Let's Get right into our first of the five major categories, best supporting actress in a Zombie feature. Pretending to be scared out of your mind by a zombie extra you saw five minutes before eating a jelly donut and playing with a Slinky is no easy task, but throughout the history of zombie cinema lots of actresses have pretended to be deathly afraid of schlubs that probably would never allow within ten feet of them in real life. It requires more than just a willingness to scream at the top of your lungs and show your boobs to be a supporting actress in a zombie movie. Not a whole helluva lot more, as our winner has shown over and over (ba-bump), but without any further do whacka do , the Brainy for supporting actress in a zombie feature goes to...

Linnea Quigley as Trash in Return of the Living Dead. For her willingness to be groped  and crawled over by a legion of old bums in the mud and pretty much not even bother to come to the set dressed, Linnea Quigley is the best zombie supporting actress of all times.

Hoe. Is everyone as stiff as me right now? Oh, ya, I'm always this stiff. But if there were an extra measure of stiff I could be I assure you this would be the case. Linnea Quigley, ladies and gentlemen. Great scream, great scream. Just ask her accountant. Our next Brainy goes out to the best supporting performance by a male in a zombie feature. And the Brainy goes to...

Joe Pilato as Captain Rhodes in Day of the Dead. One of the most comically manic dickhead performances of all time. if Pilato wasn't on coke for this entire shoot he's even a better actor than I think. Captain Rhodes wants you to know he's in charge of this monkey farm now, and he wants to know just the what the fuck you're doing with his time. This performance is actually rather good because in my estimation the movie is about entropy in civility and communication and Rhodes is just a screaming, blathering, oblivious example of rudeness, anger, and complete lack of concern for others. Well played, sir.

Playing the male lead in a zombie feature requires a great range of skills. One has to lead, to be able to fly a helicopter, be proficient with a wide array of weapons options, kick some serious hand to hand ass and never look flustered. Tonight's winner of best male performance in a zombie feature did all of this while delivering one of the most quoted lines in zombie movie history. The award for best performance by a male in a zombie feature goes to...

Ken Foree as Peter in George Romero's Dawn of the Dead. When there's no more room in Hell, virtually everyone on Earth will return to write and direct a very bad zombie movie. Peter saw the future of zombiedom coming. he shot Wooly, and he delivered a line I will now quote to you. "We're thieves and we're bad guys, that's exactly what we are." In response to Fly Boy rationalizing that they are justified in stealing the helicopter and commandeering whatever they see fit. I think it's another example of Romero really getting it right and foreshadowing a societal change where everyone feels absolutely justified in doing whatever they have to do to get what they want. Just win, baby. Dawn of the Dead is mostly a commentary about blind consumerism in most peoples' estimations, but Romero is adept at addressing multiple cultural issues simultaneously. Dawn of the Dead is considered by most critics to be the best zombie movie of all time and following Roger Ebert's lead is considered a masterpiece of biting social commentary. Rightly so.

Tonight's penultimate award is for female lead actress in a zombie feature. Nothing is more scarce than well-written lead roles for women in zombie movies. In any movie, really. One of the many reasons George Romero is the master of this genre is that he writes real characters. The primary reason the first three Romero zombie movies are film classics is that the viewer can easily believe this is happening, and a large part of that believability is that the actors seem real. Almost none of the actors Romero used in his movies were experienced actors or went on to long acting careers. Many never appeared in another movie at all. Tonight's recipient of the best female lead in a zombie feature goes to an actress who's performance embodies strength in the face of chaos....

Lori Cardille in Day of the Dead. I chose this photo because it's from a nightmare sequence. It demonstrates how her character feels about her surroundings. Terrified, like everyone else, she  never cracks under the pressure. In the midst of a bellowing maniac commanding officer who threatens her and her fellow scientists, hordes of zombies that want to use her head for an ashtray, and a civilian support team that doesn't seem to be concerned about anything but themselves, Cardille steps up and becomes the voice of reason, the last real hope for humanity. It's a great performance and a shame she didn't work more after this. 

I'd eat Lori Cardille's brains any time. Ha cha cha. But seriously, folks, before we get to the award for best zombie movie of all time, we have one special award. An award for greatest zombie of all time. The nominees are Thomas L. Vaultonburg for Kept and some guy named Bub is a little known movie nobody has ever heard of. And the winner is...

Not Thomas L. Vaultonburg. Are you fucking nuts? Despite maybe the second greatest performance in zombie history, all of which with a can of beer in his overall pocket the whole time, there can be only one. The greatest zombie of all time is...

Me, bitches. Duh. For being the only zombie of all time you'd actually like to have a beer and shoot pool with, the Brainy for best zombie of all time goes to... Bub. And now, the reason you're all here. The award for greatest zombie movie of all time. The nominees are: Cemetery Man, Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead, Shaun of the Dead, and Dawn of the Dead. And the Brainy for best zombie movie of all time goes to...

Roger Ebert's review of Dawn of the Dead rightfully places the movie is its place as one of the great horror movies of all time, and a brilliant piece of biting social commentary. It's the best of all the zombie movies because it combines adventure, horror, social commentary, and even dark humor into a portrait of a world gone mad that is truly frightening. 

There you have it, boys and ghouls, the first annual Zombie Academy Awards. Feel free to move to the lobby and make your own suggestions and nominate your own favorites. 

March 4, 2013 update: I knew I forgot something. The 
2013 Zombie Academy Awards. Maybe next year. 

And while you're still here why not read a Zombie Haiku

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Russell Edson: One Of My Poetic Influences

     Even if you are an avid reader of poetry you probably haven't heard of one of my absolute favorite poets, Russell Edson. Not because he isn't highly respected or anthologized, but because he's a self-described hermit who's poetry is at times bizarre, surreal, and solipsistic to the point of bewilderment. But in that bewilderment there is a beauty and strangeness no one else I know of has ever attained in this way. This is a world where not too much is unique anymore, so those things that can be classified as truly one of a kind are treasured by me. Better writers and literary critics have also been dumbfounded in their attempts to describe his work or classify it, but there's no real need to do that. Instead I've just chosen three Russell Edson poems that will demonstrate what he does with words far better than I ever could. 

A Stone Is Nobody's

A man ambushed a stone. Caught it. Made it a prisoner. 
Put it in a dark room and stood guard over it for the 
rest of his life.

His mother asked why.

He said, because it's held captive, because it is 

Look, the stone is asleep, she said, it does not know 
whether it's in a garden or not. Eternity and the stone 
are mother and daughter; it is you who are getting old. 
The stone is only sleeping.

But I caught it, mother, it is mine by conquest, he said.

A stone is nobody's, not even its own. It is you who are 
conquered; you are minding the prisoner, which is yourself, 
because you are afraid to go out, she said.

Yes yes, I am afraid, because you have never loved me, 
he said.

Which is true, because you have always been to me as 
the stone is to you, she said. 

The Large Thing

A large thing comes in.
      Go out, Large Thing, says someone.
      The Large Thing goes out, and comes in again.
      Go out, Large Thing, and stay out, says someone.
      The Large Thing goes out, and stays out.
      Then that same someone who has been ordering the Large Thing out begins to be lonely, and says, come in, Large Thing.
      But when the Large Thing is in, that same someone decides it would be better if the Large Thing would go out.
      Go out, Large Thing, says this same someone.
      The Large Thing goes out.
      Oh, why did I say that? says the someone, who begins to be lonely again.
      But meanwhile the Large Thing has come back in anyway.
      Good, I was just about to call you back, says the same someone to the Large Thing.

   "The Large Thing" is one of my favorite poems ever written, and I've read many of them. I love this poem because it could be one of the deepest poems ever written, or he might have just written it at the kitchen table watching a shaggy dog come in and out. I don't know. And neither do you and you never will. 

The Reason Why The Closet Man Is Never Sad

This is the house of the closet-man. There are no rooms,
just hallways and closets.
Things happen in rooms. He does not like things to
happen . . . Closets, you take things out of closets,
you put things into closets, and nothing happens . . .

Why do you have such a strange house?

I am the closet-man, I am either going or coming, and I
am never sad.

But why do you have such a strange house?

I am never sad . . . 

     That's it. Russell Edson. One of the most important poets of the last century. These three poems are all included in his book of selected poems The Tunnel 

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Ryan Braun Cheated. Then He Lied About Cheating.

Recently I was trying to explain to an eight year old what Hamlet meant when he said "The Lady doth protest too much." Listening to Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun go on and on about how he was erroneously accused of using performance enhancing drugs by Major League Baseball and how he is a paragon of truth, virtue and steadfastness victimized by a process that was out to get him is the absolute embodiment of what I was trying to explain to the child. He goes on and on and on about how he didn't do it. 

I think he did do it. And I think Lance Armstrong did it, and I also believe a vast majority of all professional athletes are still using performance enhancing drugs. What needs to be stated about the testing in all sports is that you can't test for what the athletes are now taking with a urinalysis. Even the dimmest athlete is now using Test or HGH and those can only be tested by drawing blood. In the case of Major League Baseball and all other major sports, there is no way blood testing is coming soon, so there is no way to know how many athletes in major sports are cheating. On occasion a player will test positive for steroids, which most bodybuilders and athletes quit using over a decade ago. The biochemistry and the cheaters are so far ahead of the testing ability that it's a joke to even say any athlete is even being tested for Performance Enhancing Drugs.

Ryan Braun tested positive for a PED. What you need to know is no one is denying that. He did it. He got caught. And now children have to listen to a cheater lecture children about being honest, fair, and forthright. This is a problem in America. Lies becoming truth. The evasion of responsibilty for wrong-doing by sophistry, appealing to technicalities and legal loopholes. 

You are not a victim, Ryan Braun. You are a cheater, and now you are a liar. A scary form of liar who is willing to go the extra mile to convince others that nothing you ever did or will do is wrong. You don't fool me, though. You took Performance Enhancing Drugs and you were so stupid that you were one of the few who got caught with the primitive methods employed to test for them. Rather than exonerating you, any reasonable person should be left wondering if you got caught by a urine test, what would a blood test discover? 

Many to most Americans will sadly buy your fake show of outrage, but not this reporter. I know a liar when I hear one, and a cheater when I see one. You sirrah , are both. 

In a press conference moments ago  Ryan Braun proclaimed that "Truth had prevailed." sadly, exactly the opposite was true. Lies, scumbaggery and evasion of responsibilty for bad behavior prevailed. This is becoming the trend in America. Cheat all you want. Lie all you want. Use technicalities and red tape to evade responsiblity. We have to change. Because I'm afraid people are losing the ability to know what is true and what is not. You can't live in a society without truth. It's going to get ugly if we don't change.

My opinion. 

Buster Posey named N.L. MVP over Ryan Braun.

Update December 11, 2012. It did my heart good to see Ryan Braun finish second in the MVP voting to Buster Posey. There's too much sentiment that the steroid era is behind us going around. With the advent of HGH and Testosterone creams that disappear from the bloodstream in eight hours I doubt hardly anyone will be caught until the testing procedures become more advanced. I'm not saying there won't be a few idiots who still do get caught, but it's hard to get caught with the new chemistry. Don't misunderstand the lack of those getting caught for those who are still cheating.

Update June 6, 2013: Let's see how he worms his way out of this one.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Single Zombie Female (Speed Dating)

Single Zombie Female is the world's first and only feminist zombie webcomic. Written by Thomas L. Vaultonburg and illustrated by Jenny Mathews, Single Zombie Female follows the adventures of SZF as she searches for brains, love, and the perfect pair of skinny jeans in a post-Apocalyptic world full of zombies and construction workers. This episode is titled Speed Dating. 

webcomic Single Zombie Female
Single Zombie Female by Jenny Mathews

Zombie Logic Press gratefully acknowledges that this episode of Single Zombie Female was featured on the Coast to Coast website

February 10, 2013 update: I'm anxiously anticipating some more episodes of SZF, but life has been busy. Maybe an idea for a new episode will overtake me while I'm doing something mundane like separating the recycling. I think she still has a lot of work to do in the ongoing struggle for equality among the undead.

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The Beer Can House In Houston

I like beer. I was commanded by Tom T Hall from an early age to do so

Turns out to be one order I have no problem following. But there was one guy in Houston, Texas, who REALLY liked beer. He liked it so much he decided to side his house with beer cans

     Now, when I heard a man spent twenty years building a house out of empty beer cans I thought they were taking about my dad, but this cat was serious. So, when I got to Houston, I knew I had to investigate. 

The poet Thomas L. Vaultonburg points at beer
Me pointing at beer cans in Houston

     This is me confirming that this man did indeed drink this can of Schlitz sometime between 1968 and his death. He apparently also drank a Coors, some Pabst Blue Ribbon, Pearl, and many Falstaffs. Then decided to side his house with the cans. Being a poet, I both understand and approve of that type of time wasting. 

     I pointed at other signs inside the house, and other places in Texas, but I feel this is my best pointing work. 

At my bar, Castaways, we used to have Old School Beer Night. I'd try to find as many cheap, old beers, like Schlitz, Blatz, Lowenbrau, Pearl etc., throw them in a bucket, and you had to reach in and whatever you grabbed you had to drink. For a buck. Ideas like that are probably why we went out of business. 

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Every Night Is Comedy Night In Rockford, Illinois (Poem Photo)

When you live in Forbes' ninth most dangerous city you either learn to adapt to the limitations of the place you live in, or you become bitter and cynical about everything. Fortunately, the Chamber of Commerce here in Rockford, Illinois, while not very good at attracting business to the Downtown area, turns out to be quite good at comedy. My favorite kind of comedy: the kind derived from others' absolute obliviousness to the context of language and the fact that words have meanings. This banner, on the East State Bridge, is still hanging. It is number two of the four Poem Photo series. Every night is comedy night in Rockford, Illinois.

Recently, the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors's Bureau unleashed their latest brainchild.... the Misery Loves Company Campaign. If it were just an instance of a private company spending a lot of money to create a tone-deaf public relations campaign, that would be none of my business, but when this bureau over and over creates moronic campaign, not realizing words have meanings, and wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax payer money, someone should step in an stop them. It's not funny. 

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Mayans Were Chumps Compared To Clee When It Comes To Prophecy (A Poem Photo)

     I rarely take photographs. I'm not good at it and I tend to to see the world in terms of language. The written word is my logos. However, a couple of summers ago I had a brief spell where I was incredibly in tune with the way images and language were used together, and I began to notice several examples of ways in which images and language were combined in ways that produced unintended reactions. At least in my mind. So, I did what I always do when I need a good picture taken: I contacted my friend Ryan Davis to see if he was in the area and could snap some photos of the discordant image/language I witnessed. But he was in Guatemala or Mozambique or somesuch, so being a nice day I resolved to take the photograph myself. And that's where the trouble started. One wouldn't think one would encounter any resistance in the course of shooting a simple photograph of (well, you'll see), but in this instance, one did. I got the Fuji Film old schoola digital camera off the shelf and set out to walk the two blocks to where I had seen a sign that amused me. It amused me a lot. Probably for reasons too idiosyncratic to entertain anyone else substantially, which I find is often a great failing of my work, but I've come to be amused even by the fact that other's aren't seeing the world as the incredibly goofy and inscrutable place it is. I persevere in making small productions out of what others might consider insanity. Nonetheless, I walk the two blocks to where I saw the sign that had created an incongruous message. In fact, in this case I can safely assume the sign created EXACTLY the opposite image in the beholder's eye as was intended. But in this case it wasn't necessarily the words on the sign that created the discordance, it was where the sign was located.

     Ok, but before I show you what I saw, let me tell you what happened. I had my camera out and I started taking a few different photos from different angles. I need to get a photo of a sign inside a shop, and the shop was closed, so I shot from outside. Even if the shop had been open I would have waited for them to be closed and done it this way. The sun was terrible but I fought on man against nature and all that and managed to get a few shots. Then, this lady rolls up on me and asks me what I'm doing. But I'm in don't fuck with me, bitch, because I'm working and I really want to get this shot mode, so I think my reply may have been rather terse and probably consisted of only two, three words maximum designed to inform her that unless she was about to get a bazooka out of her pocket she needed to get out of my fucking face. So, Ms. Self-Appointed Rona Barret of all local activity pretends like she's calling someone. Hey, I probably could have easily explained I was taking a picture of the ironically placed sign I saw thought the window and diffused the situation pronto with some social KY jelly, but that's not my nature. If i wanted you up my ass I probably would have asked for a date, but since I'm not absolutely positive what the legality of photographing someone else's private property is, and i didn't have time to consult my attorney, AND since I already had a dozen or so photos I thought I could use, I just walked away. It was a nice summer day and I had my photos and people like me who have already been declared insane by the State tend to lose arguments once the police show up.

     Without any more do-whacka-do, this is what I saw and what I titled it. The sign has since been moved.

Clee's Beauty Shop in Rockford, Illinois

     So, there you have it. No need for the Mayan prediction of Apocalypse in 2012. Nostradamus? A chump. You want the lowdown on the end of the world you talk to Clee, because apparently she's up to more than just cutting hair. 

August 13, 2013: No Mayan Apocalypse. I wonder what happened. I also wonder how many times a Nostra-Dumbass quatrain is allowed to be used to supposedly predict various events retroactively.

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