Monthly Archives: September 2015

My Early Years of Apathetic Something Part 5: More Mob Stories and a Clown Suit

(Continuing my Confessions.) The Chess Club had slowed down and JJ just sat in the mostly empty room, telling more stories about the gym. “Did I ever tell you about Lydia Plowman?” “No.” “She’s this girl who worked out at the gym. She had a boyfriend who was the grandson of some really big mob […]

My Early Years of Apathetic Something Part 4: I Ate a Lot of Cheese and Got Home at 6am

(Excerpted from my unfinished opus From the Belly of the Other Thing: Letters From Places That Aren’t Prison. Pt. 1. Pt. 2. Pt. 3) I met two women who lived down the hall. They’d both come to college from the same small town in Indiana and had worked at a coin-op laundromat in a strip […]

Things Too Horribly Depressing to Contemplate for Too Long

When the screens of old, discarded CRT televisions are smashed by other garbage, obvious as the other garbage is lying inside the screen. It just seems like giving a dead man a Glasgow smile. A bachelor in the process of purchasing icing that you know will be used for direct consumption, not out of some […]

My Early Years of Apathetic Something Part 3: Bad Blind Dates and the Poker Table

(This part 3 of an excerpt from My Life and Harder Times. Pt. 1. Pt. 2) I tried to date again. I met a woman in one of my journalism classes. Her name sounded vaguely like an item on the Taco Bell menu but I couldn’t remember which item. I seemed able to gauge my […]

My Early Years of Apathetic Something Part 2: Chess, Fried Chicken, and the NJ Mafia

(Part 2 of Further Beneath the Underdog: A Fictional Autobiography. Pt. 1 here.) After this life ends, there’s a special circle of hell reserved for writers. In this circle they spend eternity living the lives of all their fictional characters, and the ones that appeared in the non-fiction pieces twice. I sometimes have dreams I’ve […]

My Early Years of Apathetic Something Part 1: Getting to College

FROM MY LIFE AS A MARXIST VOL. 1: WHEREIN I WATCHED MUCH TELEVISION: I’ve always had an incredible talent for alienating people. I feel I’ve deployed it wisely. When I was very young I found myself able to roll my eyes rapidly. The effect on people around me was one of feigned horror. We used […]

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

This is a deeply flawed film, but unlike many deeply flawed films it has some merits. These merits stem entirely from the rightfully acclaimed performances of the two leads, Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue-both are outstanding, and Cage is in the best form I’ve seen him in in any role. His mannerisms and speech are […]

River’s Edge (1986)

Tim Hunter’s film has the supreme misfortune of containing multiple elements which David Lynch did close to the same time and much better. The theme of suburban malfeasance and the Dennis Hopper crazy person performance both were executed far better in the same year’s Blue Velvet. The teenage melodrama and female corpse near a body […]

Fido (2006)

Zombies pose significant problems in making a work of art; unlike vampires they don’t readily become especially compelling metaphors for any part of human nature(though Shaun of the Dead tried to play that angle with some success). When a filmmaker tries to bring out some relevant human concern in a zombie film, it usually turns […]

Tempest (1982)

Extremely good natured. Much of the photography consists of aesthetically pleasing extreme long shots of landscapes. Susan Sarandon and Molly Ringwald are both quite attractive in it and the acting, while sometimes corny, isn’t so one-dimensional or poorly conceived as to disprove the notion of “human progress”. What’s most interesting is the superficial similarities to […]