Tuesday, December 5, 2017

BFR College Football National Champions: UCF Knights!

This week's BFR – final edition: Broadcast Football Rankings – December 5, 2017

1. UCF Knights
2. Clemson Tigers
3. Oklahoma Sooners
4. Georgia Bulldogs
5. Ohio State Buckeyes
6. Wisconsin Badgers
7. Auburn Tigers
8. Alabama Crimson Tide
9. Southern California Trojans
10. TCU Horned Frogs
11. Miami Hurricanes
12. Penn State Nittany Lions
13. Washington Huskies
14. Stanford Cardinal
15. Memphis Tigers
16. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
17. Oklahoma State Cowboys
18. Boise State Broncos
19. Michigan State Spartans
20. Virginia Tech Hokies
21. LSU Tigers
22. Northwestern Wildcats
23. South Florida Bulls
24. Washington State Cougars
25. Michigan Wolverines

The bogus college football playoff selection committee was able to come up with the final rankings, playoff selections, and bowl selections mere hours after the last game was played, which doesn't allow much time for deliberation – but was necessary so they could have their Sunday extravaganza on ESPN. Our guess is that the most important considerations involved some briefcases full of cash and a lot of influence by ESPN and their advertisers, as all but about 5 minor bowl games are on ESPN. Eventually they will figure out how to reduce the whole thing to a gigantic Las Vegas video game, so there will be no human element or actual chance involved at all. You have to ask yourself why human beings want to become robots with no free will; a lot of handwringing has been done about artificial intelligence lately—computers taking on the qualities of humans, but no once seems to be worried that humans are losing any ability to deal with or willingness to accept any scenario that is not according to script.

As sad as the college football playoff system has turned out to be, this year had some pretty clear-cut top teams, but the real baffling inclusion was that of Alabama. Since schedules are determined years in advance (something else that would do well to change) it is not entirely Alabama's fault that their schedule was so weak this year; who would have guessed that teams like Florida State, LSU, Tennessee, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Arkansas, and Texas A&M would have become so weak? Of course, scheduling teams like Mercer, that could be something they improve in the future. Regardless, they were able to dominate weak teams all year, but other than that, just why is it that there is a consensus that Alabama is just better than everyone else on every level, even plagued with injuries this year (again, unfortunate and not their fault). I have always loved Alabama football tradition, but I loved them more when they were fun to watch, and not a product of the tight-ass, crybaby conservatism of Nick Saban. My theory on why Alabama was slipped into the fourth playoff spot was that whoever is in charge didn't want to hear him whine, and it's likely he even threatened to retire, and no one wants that, not even me. Anyway, the point is, if you happen to be someone shelling out a lot of money for cable TV, where is that money going?—and as you watch the endless commercials during these games, where is that money going?—and when you see the well-dressed football teams, wearing gloves—essentially advertisements for sports apparel companies—that actually hinder their performance—where is all that money going? Corruption is a word that does not begin to suffice.

On a happier note, congratulations to The University of Central Florida Knights—the BFR 2017 National Champions. Their last two games (against South Florida and Memphis) were the two most exciting games of the entire season. Two years ago the Knights went 0-12, and this year, undefeated. It is really unfortunate that the biased, greedhead collage football ranking know-it-alls are unable to even consider that a team not from one of the big money conferences could actually be competitive, much less on the top of the college football world—they act like the divide between the SEC and the AAC is similar to the divide between college and the NFL. This makes no sense, and it's not like there are not always some really poorly performing teams in the “power conferences.” One of the more disappointing things about this mentality is how coaches will jump from these “lesser” programs to an “elite” program, which constantly puts the schools that don't have deep pockets at a disadvantage. I could go on and on, of course, but a rule of mine is I cannot stay on my soapbox longer than I am able to stand on one leg—and I'm about to collapse. So another heartfelt cheer for the UCF Knights, who, to those who were paying attention, showed the college football world how it's done, and how this sport can be filled with excitement, passion, and joy. --H. Houndstooth.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Broadcast Football Rankings 11.28.17

This week's BFR – Broadcast Football Rankings – November 28, 2017

1. Wisconsin Badgers
2. UCF Knights
3. Clemson Tigers
4. Oklahoma Sooners
5. Auburn Tigers
6. Georgia Bulldogs
7. Alabama Crimson Tide
8. Miami Hurricanes
9. Ohio State Buckeyes
10. TCU Horned Frogs
11. Memphis Tigers
12. Penn State Nittany Lions
13. Stanford Cardinal
14. Southern California Trojans
15. Washington Huskies
16. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
17. Oklahoma State Cowboys
18. Michigan State Spartans
19. Virginia Tech Hokies
20. LSU Tigers
21. Northwestern Wildcats
22. South Florida Bulls
23. Michigan Wolverines
24. Washington State Cougars
25. Boise State Broncos


Only a handful of games left this weekend before the BFR determines the BFR National Champion and Top 25, but it's still totally up in the air, so that's kind of exciting! The Collage Football Playoffs has become a fiasco and has to change. It is our opinion that were better off with smaller conferences and no conference championship games, and the traditional bowl games (broadcast on TV) at the end of the season, after which different entities crowned their national champion. Of course, there is always a lot of disagreement. I hate to break the news here, but there's always going to be a lot of disagreement anyway. But for some reason it's important for sports-fan morons to have an “undisputed” champion, so how about this system? Go back to the traditional bowl games (I mean, bowl games that don't double as playoff games) after which a/“The” committee can pick the top 32 teams to enter in a football tournament starting in January. Each of these match-ups will be best of seven, in order to have a more fair determination of the “better team.” We should, if spaced properly, be able to determine the national champion by the end of the school year. Players can then enter the NFL draft or take a much needed summer off to recuperate. --H. Houndstooth.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

DRINKING THE KOOL-AID by Cleophus Beasley

Jim Jones Party
Current mood: chipper
Category: Religion and Philosophy

Several friends of mine and I actually did this in the early Summer 1991...

Items needed fer a Jim Jones Party:

1. Several packets of grape Kool-Aid
2. Water soluble benzodiazapine tranquilizers (We used Ativan), crushed
3. Sugar
4. Punchbowl
5. Dixie Cups
6. Ladle (Optional)
7. One copy of "Guyana Tragedy" (Ours was a VHS tape)
8. Space on the floor to lay down on
9. TV
10. VCR (To play the video)

On a kitchen counter, in a punchbowl, combine all of the grape Kool-Aid mix with sugar (To taste), crushed up Ativans, and the appropriate amount of water. Stir. Arrange the Dixie Cups on the kitchen counter in neat rows. Pour the Kool-Aid into the Dixie Cups, using the ladle, until gone. Fast forward the movie towards the end, to the mass suicide part, then hit "play". Have guests drink the Kool-Aid while watching the movie. Once the Kool-Aid kicks in, enthusiastically urge party patrons to lay down on the floor. Fer added shock effect, arrange fer other people to come over to the party later, after everyone is passed out on the floor, to make the "discovery"!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Broadcast Football Rankings 11.21.17

This week's BFR – Broadcast Football Rankings – November 21, 2017

1. Miami Hurricanes
2. Wisconsin Badgers
3. Alabama Crimson Tide
4. UCF Knights
5. Clemson Tigers
6. Oklahoma Sooners
7. Auburn Tigers
8. Georgia Bulldogs
9. Ohio State Buckeyes
10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
11. TCU Horned Frogs
12. Southern California Trojans
13. Memphis Tigers
14. Penn State Nittany Lions
15. South Florida Bulls
16. Mississippi State Bulldogs
17. Stanford Cardinal
18. Washington Huskies
19. Washington State Cougars
20. Michigan State Spartans
21. Oklahoma State Cowboys
22. Boise State Broncos
23. Michigan Wolverines
24. LSU Tigers
25. Virginia Tech Hokies


Only two weeks left in the college football season and until the crowning of the National Champion by the BFR. For most teams, who will not be playing in their conference championship games, this coming weekend is the last, so everyone make the most of it! Sad but true, it's almost over. At least college football is still alive, but just barely. With the mainstream media's constant obsession with the bogus college football playoffs and the ESPN Bowl Series, you would think the season hasn't even started. With the media's connection to and focus on sports gambling, you'd think the most important outcome is how much money you will win or lose with your bookie. Vegas, pay-cable broadcasting, and the obsession with “playoffs,” trophies, and awards, have already killed pro football and basketball (I'd say baseball, too, but at least the World Series is still on TV), as well as the NCAA basketball tournament (or at least nearly ruined it), and even tennis (now ESPN only) and NASCAR (about half on cable). That leaves us golf, and the collage football regular season, but what will the future hold, in the hands of these greedy bastards? Enough of my hot air, now, and hopefully the last two weeks will be exciting! --H. Houndstooth 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

MEMO FROM BIFFY

I could never be a modern gal. The only useful context I have is pre-modern or mythical. My inundated notion of the Modernists, though always charming in the conception of their novelty, is one of a linear self-narrative which begins at their end. A novel in which the end is known and the events are divulged incrementally, not lavishly, in contrived retrospect--leading of course to the conclusion of the subject.

I am a lover of science--as it organizes the gathered information of our context. As an etiology of life it leaves me cold and shivering in the darkness. The three year old can see and feel Helios' Steed running across the sky, while any modern explanation--of measurements, of time, of endings--seems absurd. The theme of my life is ancient, the stuff of whims and accidents and misunderstandings where everything changes in a moment--joy or agony beyond understanding, yet so known, familiar, and eternal. Modernity is a Sergeant who has not earned his stripes, but exercises his authority with contrived authenticity. (I think you have earned your stripes.)

Pointless--of course! Purposeful and impossible--not sure. Fun/Horrifying--are these the same thing?

Flash/Endless!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Broadcast Football Rankings 11.14.17

This week's BFR – Broadcast Football Rankings – November 14, 2017

1. Miami Hurricanes
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Wisconsin Badgers
4. Clemson Tigers
5. Oklahoma Sooners
6. Auburn Tigers
7. UCF Knights
8. Georgia Bulldogs
9. Ohio State Buckeyes
10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
11. Southern California Trojans
12. TCU Horned Frogs
13. Oklahoma State Cowboys
14. Penn State Nittany Lions
15. Mississippi State Bulldogs
16. Memphis Tigers
17. Washington State Cougars
18. Michigan Wolverines
19. South Florida Bulls
20. Washington Huskies
21. North Carolina State Wolfpack
22. Virginia Tech Hokies
23. West Virginia Mountaineers
24. Michigan State Spartans
25. Stanford Cardinal


The college football season started off with hurricanes postponing and cancelling games and it has ended with the Hurricanes on top. But wait, there are still three weeks left before we crown a National Champion, and anything can happen. Many teams have only two games left, so it's time to make the most of it. Then a few will play in conference championships and have the opportunity to either pull themselves up or fail miserably. Predictions for this week: Mercer pulls off the upset of the year at Alabama. Miami and Wisconsin finally lose a game, and Georgia, Notre Dame, and Washington all continue their late season collapses. UCF moves to the top of the rankings. Nick Saban continues to whine. --H. Houndstooth.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

THE DESTRUCTION OF ARMY GROUP CENTER by Robin Plan

I'm more social nowadays. I go out for drinks or lunch w/a group of people and usually come home feeling vaguely dissatisfied w/my presentation of self. I think I still play so many games, cryptic and enigmatic, then didactic and proclaiming, dismissing other people's opinions, acting like I have the last word on things...but in the moment I am at ease, I don't become self-conscious til I analyze the evening retrospectively. I think that's ok in a way; if you're going to be brusque and provocative and center-staging it seems better to do it w/bravado and save the self-recriminations for later. I guess the bottom line is I'm not only still not letting people "see" me, I'm getting to enjoy it and going out of my way to dramatize my mystique. I've got like 10 wigs in various styles and colors, my wardrobe is more indescribable than ever...I'm not sure what all the fuss is about regarding the public image, but I know it is more polished and deliberate than ever. Which befits a woman of my age, but still there's something lost along the way.

I still have times where I am the only one in a crowd who acts, as you once so aptly put it, "as if a bomb just went off."

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Broadcast Football Rankings 11.7.17

This week's BFR – Broadcast Football Rankings – November 7, 2017

1. Georgia Bulldogs
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
4. Wisconsin Badgers
5. Miami Hurricanes
6. Clemson Tigers
7. Oklahoma Sooners
8. TCU Horned Frogs
9. UCF Knights
10. Washington Huskies
11. Memphis Tigers
12. Southern California Trojans
13. Auburn Tigers
14. Washington State Cougars
15. Ohio State Buckeyes
16. Penn State Nittany Lions
17. Virginia Tech Hokies
18. Oklahoma State Cowboys
19. Michigan State Spartans
20. South Florida Bulls
21. Michigan Wolverines
22. Mississippi State Bulldogs
23. North Carolina State Wolfpack
24. Iowa Hawkeyes
25. West Virginia Mountaineers

With only three weeks left in the regular season, the college football Broadcast Football Rankings are pretty much locked—time to name a National Champion (Alabama—so we won't have to listen to Nick Saban whine) and a Heisman Trophy winner (Baker Mayfield—because he is a duel sports guy (NASCAR)). Time to say goodbye to college football for the year and move on to ice hockey. You know I'm kidding, right? --H. Houndstooth

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

AN ORDINARY SPRINGTIME NIGHT IN A WORTHLESS OHIO TOWN

John was alone these past seven weeks, his wife Betty gone to El Salvador with game-show host Bob Barker, he now had the heart of a killer, but thankfully the manners of a civilized man.

In a seedy bar in a supposedly dangerous district on an early Friday night, John studies the jukebox while cops battle winos out front and inside opiates and cash are exchanged and everywhere a noise---his songs having played John exits into the park, pretty pointless park, and eyes the bright lights of downtown. High on noise, John walks like a zombie toward the pretty lights

The sight of a bank of payphones wakes him to the fact that he could use allies. After a number of calls he convinces comrade Paul to show up at some stupid disco-overdrive club in an hour. Receiver back in its cradle, stripped of his zombiehood, John stares at a blank wall while he searches his pockets. Finding some pills, he gratefully pops them and drifts toward the river, waiting for the buzz or whatever.

Later at the disco, John drinks cocktails and stares around at the girls and their dresses until Paul is at his side, muttering who-knows-what, but John is glad for his company.

Now it is late on a random Friday night and John is intent on finding a face, a voice, a dress like Betty's and this is hopeless he muddily reasons, she's in El Salvador and Ohio can't compete with that, so let's find a fresh-faced girl we can lead astray in a couple hours or--- or--- John is standing by the DJ's booth while a robotic sex song plays so loud---John takes the live microphone and all of a sudden he's a 2002 Beatnik---
In a combat zone/Called "I'm-So-At-Home"/Line up for cheap rates on your very own grave!/ Pretty faces, pouty faces, worthless farces/Yet you pay and you pay/For the right to fall into this bed!/No, that bed!/This nightmare won't stop/So I guess I'll walk away
Then, shockingly, the frail-looking DJ throws an effective punch at John's jaw and the wasted young man collapses into Paul's arms. Later, driving north on the Interstate, Paul asks tentative questions about Betty which John answers. Paul announces that they are going to drive all night to Cleveland and John falls asleep happy and calm.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Broadcast Football Rankings 10.31.17

This week's BFR – Broadcast Football Rankings – October 31, 2017

1. Georgia Bulldogs
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
4. Wisconsin Badgers
5. Miami Hurricanes
6. Clemson Tigers
7. Ohio State Buckeyes
8. Oklahoma Sooners
9. Penn State Nittany Lions
10. TCU Horned Frogs
11. UCF Knights
12. Virginia Tech Hokies
13. Washington Huskies
14. Oklahoma State Cowboys
15. Iowa State Cyclones
16. Southern California Trojans
17. LSU Tigers
18. Auburn Tigers
19. Memphis Tigers
20. North Carolina State Wolfpack
21. Stanford Cardinal
22. South Florida Bulls
23. Mississippi State Bulldogs
24. Washington State Cougars
25. Michigan Wolverines

I don't know about you, reader, but these days I'm happier to see Halloween over than even the Christmas holiday. Since when did adults take it over from the kids? In light of all the goofy special uniforms they're wearing in college football these days, we're just lucky we didn't have a team sporting pumpkin head helmets! But seeing how this week's ranking falls on the 31st, I'm going to do a roundup of mascots in our top 25. FOUR Tigers, one Cougar, one Dr. Seuss Lion. Two Bulldogs now, one Husky, and a whole pack of Wolves. Also, Wolverines, Badgers, and a mutant reptile. Two teams named after the color red, though I'm not sure one of them isn't a discontinued laundry product that always made the whites pink. Cowboys, Knights, Bulls, and tree nuts. Two teams named after weather, and one named for an exclamation (Hokies, as far as I can tell). And let's not forget the eternal rivalry between the embattled Catholics and the product almost synonymous with contraception. Last and certainly least, the team named for early agents of genocide (Sooners). Bon appetit! --H. Houndstooth

Monday, October 30, 2017

THE AMERICAN IN ME

***Jello Mitchell Chat Conversation Start February 17*** xxx xoxox sweet premium sweet premium you know what THIS IS xerox i have an industrial sized one of them no they call 'em photocopiers now. who knew omg how you do that that is INSANE Wha. Wait nevermind That was so weird dude Pynchon. I got one friend req. and it was like.. uh.. V. I dunno, it popped up as showing I had 238 but I only had received one. and I thought you did a magic trick. LOL first novel 1963 v for Very Big Dick no female wait huh i dunno wht we're tlaking about now! i don't think your message sent. I just saw V. FB chat is very, very buggy on my end I'm not a man. i dont even know if my msgs send. it's weird. prolly why anytime one notification comes up it'll show a bunch msgs,! Ahh, I gotcha. I honestly don't know what anyone is online. My SN is a cat. mgmt.! My cat's name I mean OK mgmt haha i saw them live i think. OK You live in Cleveland? I was supposed to be bussing down there yesterday or today or one of the past 3 days. heh Cincinnati OK ahhh, gotcha. I just saw under yr activity an event in CLE took a wild guess Lived there for 5 yrs. Wow Scott Pickering is mutual friends with my 2 friends from CLE Small world haha. Yeah. You may very well know one or both of 'em too for all i know! I was gonna see his band play. Missed the show. Too sick to take an amtrak this weekend. Not Scott but my friend I mean Yes. Since the 80s. Meg and Justin?! Or Scott? If you know Meg and Justin that is insane! Very small world. Some are frenz of frenz. Darius, is that Charlotte Pressler.. the late Peter Laughner's ex-wife?... I am quite fond of poetry by a person from CLE named Charlotte Pressler.. i think that was her name- but i can't remember... and she is among my FB ads. adds* Yes. Dead at 25. Friend requests. whatevs, I forget what to call 'em, I'm a bad Facebooker. That's his ex wife, the page I'm looking at now? OK i know of Laughner.. he is a huge idol of mine She's a Fla. Prof. now. still single. i was just a little awestruck to see Charlotte Pressler in my friend req. thing, because i was just istening to her and peter's amicable divorce reading a day or two ago.. wow. I loved her work,, the little i have been able to find insane.. i think she might even be under my influences list on this thing with 3 or 4 others OK that's so crazy, i had no idea she'd be a Facebook user or on here. it was so neat to meet eBay on eBay Lisa on eBay* gosh, sorry. My typing is off. I work clerical ...I type a lot and fast. So I make errors when I'm multi-tasking and stuff- not trying to be rude or anything! wow... I cannot believe that is Charlotte Pressler How did you link our friend lists up like that? If you don't mind me asking. Believe it, Kool Thing. I find it so fascinating that you (sort of) know Meghan Guder and Justin ...even though Cleveland and stuff.. yeah. Suggest Friends feature. Haha!* My message didn't send.. Chuck D Yes. I have that on CD and it is one of the few CD albums I have actually listened to recently. Nice. I had been sorting old CDs. I had a huge collection growing up. 700 still, trying to give away or sell most all of them now. BUT... while looking through these Deans milk crates stacked w/ CDs I found some albums I wanted to rip to my laptop. That one was one of 'em. It's near-by somewhere because I had been playing it through the big speakers. "The Suburbs" by The Arcade Fire over and over again for years! Try it! I found a buncha old gems and even some tapes.... CD just got really expensive- at least here. 15$+ tax was too much when a vinyl cost the same or less usually cuz I bought a lot at shows. You know whats weird? I never much got into the Arcade Fire. I knew a lot of people who LOVED them. And some people who hated them. I was indifferent. My ex had no opinion and she did help get me into a lot of music I had kind of shunned before.... more just because I didn't give the entire body of work a thorough listen. But at the same time, The Arcade Fire is one of those polarizing bands for me in the sense that what I have heard I just don't know if I like or not. I haven't heard enough... They're like Wilco in the polarizing way... I like a lot of Wilco, but some of it I don't like. I don't know what to make of them. Only I've heard a TON of Wilco stuff compared to TAF just ..probably because of Tweedy/Chicago/etc. I dont own a single Wilco album even, but it's so easy to recognize their tunes now... Chicago loves 'em Vinyl Listi %8.98 vs CD List $15.98. But yeah. I'd take some Arcade Fire recommendations for sure. I'm on tghe hunt for some new tunes. I know! Right?! I buy vinyl for 4$ and sometimes they're limited pressings even. If I can find a limited to 56 on green wax of something for approx 7$US (it was GBP, around 2-3 GBP... so I guess 6-8 bucks maybe, I'm bad at conversion rates).... I'd take that ANY day of the week! I keep a discogs account and am still trying to update it with everything I own on vinyl and the important releases on tape and CD that I still enjoy. I admit I am a pretty crazy weirdo collector with that stuff! Neat-O. Do you collect anything? Vinyl or CD or Tapes I mean? Comic Books Rad! FavoriteS? Yeah! And I'm looking into buying back some Meatcake... I let my ex keep a ton. I hear there's a comp. now? 1960s Teen Titans in mint condition! Slutburger Is it best to buy straight from Dame Darcy's etsy? I don't have an etsy account of my own, so I haven't bought anything yet! It's been silly. I have put it off forever even though DD has so many things I'd like to buy and I have a decent chunk of disposable income right now just because I moved and am saving money at the moment as a result. I wanted t obuy some meatcake. If you like Meatcake, that is. I just dunno where to buy them now save for eBay and I don't like buying from re-sale. Red Meat is awesome ever read those? Neat Stuff, Yummyy Fur I liked Doonesbury for awhile... had a huge compilation book that was autographed. I gave it to my father as a gift, if I remember right. I'll have to look into all of this! Yes, direct from artist is best. please remind me if I forget, haha. I agree completely. I pissed someone off on eBay once. But totally did not mean to! yeh They were selling Rollerderby for about $20 for some editions I have 2-3 copies of just because Lisa has sent me doubles once or twice here or there.. and I have someee old ones my ex doesn't have and some that just survived or I'll find in a stack of old stuff. Hell I have old cosmos even from ages ago, and a Latoya Jackson Playboy somewhere... even a Vanna White one! I keep weird mags. But anywho, I have some of these RD copies, and the guy is selling 'em for liek $20 a piece. I just kind of asked him if he was affiliated w/ Suckdog or Lisa in some way or another (he had Suckdog stuff up, I think thats how I found his page.. and Dame Darcy Meatcake, and maybe Maximum RNR or Forced Exposure zines too...) ..and I asked whhy his were so much more than her sales. I wasn't trying to be rude at all but I don't want to buy bootlegs and one time I bought a 'zine that someone just xeroxed a copy of and re-sold. I've bought manuals to 4tracks that people made on their own. It's annoying but I was naive w/ the manual, my own fault.... though whenever I buy a zine, I make sure that it isn't someone selling bootlegs. That's all I really wanna make sure. I don't wanna buy a xeroxed copy and I've done that once for marked up value. The guy got all pissed and took it personally, and started talking about how I wasn't there when they had no money and he was and yada yada. I apologized and explained I just didn't wanna shill money out for bootlegs... he was coool then. lol But I noticed Dame Darcy sells a lot of stuff on etsy and I shared an account w/ someone. Don't have my own. I really wanna buy from her store, though. I bought a new copy of Dancing Queen today.... only 5 and signed. That's why I like buying from the artists or writers straight-up. Plus it has been so cool meeting some of the people on Lisa's facebook. Lots of fun discussion and good folks. Mint condition copies of your local free weekly HIGHLY collectible! hahaha LISA CARVER IS THE BEST. You know what I loved as a kid? I dunno how you feel about them as comics or what, but I loved Calvin & Hobbes. I think it was more because it reminded/reminds me of some family members from downstate IL and stuff. But I loved those so much as a kiddo. I read every single one and then bought any archive or double-copy I could find and read those too, even if it only had a few things I hadn't read before. Lisa Carver is amazing. Finding her on eBay was the best. And then we shared a story about Bloody Mess and his crimping iron. I was born 1965. It was so fucking funny, cuz I bought from Bloody Mess on eBay once or twice and while he was nice, I totally laugh everry time I think of that RD article on tough guy rockers Peanuts was my strip. So when she brought it up I about DIED laughing cuz i had almost forgotten about it. I love Peanuts!!! I kno Bloody Wounds not Bloody Mess, Mess. For a minute I would save two from the Funnies.. and sometimes I will still.. but it got to the point where I just saved the funnies each week, and got too lazy to clip them out... but I would take scissors and clip Peanuts and Garfield. Each week as recent as maybe..2010? 2009? I dunno... 3-5 years ago I did it a lot. I had so many and then my cat pissed on a pile and I kind of stopped hehe Bloody Mess was a GG Allin acolyte. He kind of sucks. Nice dude to me personally, but he is a cornball. And he lit his hair on fire. It was part of his act... so the idea of him crimping it has ALWAYS made me laugh so so hard. When Lisa mentioned it out of the blue in a message on eBay we started chatting more and then I finally wound up on here adding here haha. adding her* I was out of touch w/The Scene for a couple years in the 90s. Bloody Mess was from Peoria, IL too and I have been there a lot so hes kinda an IL dude I guess? Yeah he was 80s Well in Il then with GG. Chicago. I'm Cinti. He's Oregon-based now or something. Yeah I dig it. You have been to Bogarts ever? errr. Have you ever been to Bogart's? og course sux That first question was so grammatically incorrect.. haha YES of it looks sooo bad It's likee the vic I bet The vic reminds me of what bogart's looks like and what friends have told me. Jockey club Top Hit Sudsy's Seems like a steaming pile of shit, how is it still standing?! Bogart's that is Sudsy Malone's Plaza What's that?? The notable Cinti. clubs since early 80s I have never been to CLE... I lived with someone who had JUST moved here from Ohio, but she was only there for a little bit I think. So she didn't have much to tell. Justin and Meghan I have known for 2 or 3 yrs maybe... and I plan on going to Ohio to visit them this summer or sooner... was supposed to see Justin's new band one of these past 3 days. Does he know who you are or does Meghan? Bogart's is horrible. The worst. Ahh cool. Chicago's best? IMO? What would you consider good.. bigger clubs or smaller ones? Small okay, same. I booked for mpshows.com for a minute, a chicago robbery aka booking company And they stopped booking at the cool venues but Bottom Lounge, Empty Bottle, Beat Kitchen (even tho the shows there now kind of aren't the stuff I dig), Deagan music before it closed down... pk those were some favorites. ok the vic is a dump, the metro sucks the exit is cool i guess. forgot about that place. kinda tame now. i left my sesame stret umbrella there 2 halloweens ago. depressing. steet street Gah. It's really nice to know some people in the area at least, so I accepted most of the requests who sent me one. I may be moving to CLE or somewhere in Ohio anyway sometime later this year. CLE, Boston, and for a second CAL but that's off the list. CLE BOS and maybe, possibly FLa but doubt it. I wanna move somewhere for a year, one of those places. real bad. How affordable is apartments and stuff? $500/mo. nice mo. Damn! that rules! What size? 2 bedroom I'm looking for 1-bedroom but I stayed in a studio in Chicago and I don't even wanna name the price now. Holy fuck. Wow. I hate our costly city. ok I could spend $200+ on fun stuff, and have 2 BEDROOMS. Next thing you're gonna tell me is the apartments usually have 2 bathrooms to. too* No. My ex and I just needed a small studio for a year, but wow, do i ever realize how much we were getting rammed. Yeah. Nice place and ice area but it was such a rip in retrospect.... Chicago is like that though I guess. My friend in ohio told me it was cheap, but 500 for a 2/br is amazing. Chicago is the gual for avd. modi-class Cincinnatians. goal haha! avg. You know what I read not too long ago? Michigan or rather Detroit is like Cleveland on steroids. Someone said that. And man I couldn't agree more. I love Detroit. it sounds so true. And I have never been to CLE But it just seems like a nice description. Cleveland is great. I have been thru DET once I think. Never stopped. I'd love to visit. Yeah I wanna move there for a bit before it's too late and I have to near my youngest brother, or in Chicago for awhile anyway. Ann Arbor! Yes!! Destroy All Monsters! AWESOME band. Yes. So so awesome I them so much one of the best... CLE and Ann Arbor... they have produced some of my favorite musicians ever... Kick Out The Jams Motherfuckers! Dead Boys.. Laughner.... DAM...Wayne fucking Kramer, YES ever listen to Wayne and Johnny Thunders' bootleg gig? Gang War it's so good Dead Boys Laughner Cramps etc. cLE If you're a Johnny fan at all you cannot go wrong.. Wayne is great. Sings on one or two. Some good covers, some Johnny classics, maybe a dolls song or two... Dead Boys Dead Boys are one of my favorites. Stiv is/was amazing. I am in the process of making a video w. stiv and johnny. Just being so lazy.... I have to splice it. Johnny is NYC I know, but The video has a point beside the areas I always associate the two dudes too admittedly they were good friends. I wish the two of them + Dee Dee really did get to put out that Whores of Babylon album, but it was mostly Stiv and session musicians. I love Stiv's memorial gig... but it is so depressing... Cinti. is Charles Manson's birthplace. Cheetah is crying it's weird to see Cheetah cry I guess. yeh Johnny's eyes are the size of dinner plates- as usual- but he is on... Point of my video New York Dolls decimated! someone asks Johnny... the video starts and Johnny just tells the guy "I hope this isnt another boring interview about drugs" and it totally winds up being one. the guy asks johnny what if you die? and johnny goes, "What if you die?" ... "but I don't do drugs." "So what? What if you get hit by a car?" ... or something to that effect; circa 1982 or 83.... Our horrible best known band is prob. the fucking AFGHAN WHIGS. flash forward to stiv and paris...sigh. Johnny knew a thing or two. Even if I am currently rehabbing my own drug problems. Hit by a car like Nico in Paris. Yep. Just like Johnny says in this interview. CIA I want to compile the clip with some Stiv footage... And memorial footage. OK I don''t condone drugs or use but I also think Johnny was killed. ONLY rockstar myth death thing I buy into a lot. Well Brian Jones too lol I think he was just shoved in a pool and too high to swim. If that's murdeer then yeah... Cobain? Eh.... I buy one thing possibly Maaaybe dylan carlson shot him up and he didn't wake up He was NOT suicidal! And dylan + courtney set it up I also find the Allen wrench theory odd you ever hear that one? I found a geocities type of page that explains it in entirety and it is interesting I'm not a courtney hater though to be fair I love Courtney Love no matter what. I wonder if possibly dylan shot him up and they didnt want him to look like another dead junkie and they covered it up. Accidental overdose coverup. But I dunno. I grew up and loved Nirvana and I try not to think about it. It made me sad at one point... but so many rockstars have come and gone and shit. Me too The one death I truly am bummed about to this day is Johnny's because of how versatile his music was and he had seemed to be cleaning up when he died. Dee Dee said it was a meth deal gone bad. He was on meth maitenence. His fuckin' body was shaped like a U when rigor mortis set in and the hotel room ramshackled. I used to own everything incl. every bootkleg and cassette release by her. Endlrss;y endlessly entertraining. I could lsten to "Live Through This" for 5 years non-ay.stop anyd I find the whole Manic Preachers thing interesting too the dude disappearing- Richey but he killed himself. Jumper, me thinks. I saw him. He was great. 1985 or 6. He would have been ID'd if he was alive! That big scar on his arm from the 4 REAL photoshoot thing alone is ID-able. I have never gotten a tat or anything because I have this weird feeling one day I may need to vanish. I have scars that could be id'd on me though and that is so easy to recognize, he would have been noticed by someone for it if he was out there. Theres' a better chance 2pac is alive than Richey Edwards... but that fascinated me until he was declared officially dead. if you ever want some Hole CDs I nave no scar piercing or tat I could mail you some for free. Legit. yes I have some old sngles singles* ok The only one I really like is the slit-wrist one because I love that covder. hah. cover* i'll send you comix I gotta find 'em but I totally would send em rad! I could even part w/ the slit wrist one probabyl haha love that scar cover I gotta find them before I move. I'm trying to unload a lot of these CDs. ok I have similar tunes, i.e. Babes in Toyland and L7. yes! if you like anything like that. I generally am not tied to any of my CD collection at this point save stuff I've bought in the past 2-3 yrs she auditioned with babes in toyland You know I'll try to add some of my CD collection to discogs.com my account and stuff, and you can let me know what sutff you dig and I'll put it aside ) yeah! ok Kat rules too Babes in toyland is good or are? I think they brokeup i love the USPS! i remember Betty Blowtorch too.. reminded me of BIY..rip goog/gone me too haha I lived right next to a post office in andersonville my old apt. kat bjelland! now it's a bit further yes! I cant spell her last name so i didn't try hehe I saw the Slits live before one of their main mebers passed away right before, or a year before maybe.. not too long before They were reunited I think maybe? john rotten's step-daughter born in Germany. yes I still cant believe how many people have gone in recent yrs even. Poly Styrene... shit.. i always forget.. it's sad. middle age is tuff Thats why I cant get hung up on one said death i.e. a Cobain even if I loved Nirvana middle age Johnny T. though depresses me. His music was so versatile, even the cabaret album he did I love luvved Nirvana i wish he was still alive and peter Laughner he was unbelievable and did so much in his timespan Ain't It Fun.. the intro dedicated to Jane Scott yes that gives me CHILLS she died in 2011 96!!! it was prophetic Laughner > Dylan as far as I'm concerned and I hate making statements like that but he was an unreal talent. i think i own his complete recording on a fucking computer dvd disc just an amazing songwriter and I even like his version of Alll Along... more than Jimi's... I have so many bootlegs I can't even keep track i have take a guitar player for a ride take the* dylan almost died in 1966 CIA again on CD somewhere but I dunno where... i have it all in mp3 now You ever read the book about Mary Pinot? I think that was her name... I might be off now I Hate MP3s Heaed of it. it's a JFK book about the CIA assassination about his last mistress Yes. i didn't mean to put that 2nd about I wanna read that book if it's any good. looked intriguing. i like kennedy stuff... err I am the son og JFK. Not kidding. jfk mainly JFK hahaha You went down in that plan?!~ plane?! Miss January 1962 mother I remember that happening, too. so much crazy stuff w/ that fam. A lot of people I know are fascinated by 'em Merle Pertile 1941-97 USA my mother No way! I gotta look this up! I believe you JFK illegitimate father Not Kidding. Wow... holy cow... I believe you. That's insane. The coincidences within our convo. Just the CLE connection even. Too cool! I live close to the Gacy plot? hah. I feel like I have no more cool stuff to top that. I look like a fucking sort of like a Kennedy. That is insane. I knew someone who was obsessed w/ Kennedy stuff... I am an ancestor of uhh the Sinclaires somehow I gotta trace it Sin Claires maybe I forget the spelling. I could find it easy enough, i think Not obs how it is.essed/Kust Not obsessed/\. Just how it is. did your mother really grow up in Indiana/IL? Or was it CAL? I read two different things Adopted in the 60s February 18 The internet is pretty conflicting Ahhh Today Are you Joni's brother?? What is your profession, Jello? Publicist? Clerical worker right now I write a lot. I'm doing clerical work to get by ...temp. job, then I'm going to look for something else when I move. perhaps freelance writing, I'm going to hope I can get lucky and land a gig somewhere or with something. I also have considered moving. and I play the stock market, as sad and embarrassing to admit that can be....

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Broadcast Football Rankings 10.24.17

This week's BFR – Broadcast Football Rankings – October 24, 2017

1. Penn State Nittany Lions
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Georgia Bulldogs
4. TCU Horned Frogs
5. Wisconsin Badgers
6. South Florida Bulls
7. Miami Hurricanes
8. UCF Knights
9. Clemson Tigers
10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
11. Ohio State Buckeyes
12. Washington State Cougars
13. Virginia Tech Hokies
14. Oklahoma Sooners
15. Washington Huskies
16. LSU Tigers
17. Auburn Tigers
18. Oklahoma State Cowboys
19. Michigan State Spartans
20. North Carolina State Wolfpack
21. Stanford Cardinal
22. Southern California Trojans
23. Memphis Tigers
24. Louisville Cardinals
25. Michigan Wolverines

Around six teams in the top 25 had the week off—which is what happens in the middle of the season, I guess. No really huge upsets, but some good football. There are a lot of undefeated teams left, which is pretty impressive at this point. Even if you're not playing great teams, it's not easy to go undefeated for seven or eight games. Even if you're playing no one, it's still tough, because you will eventually beat yourself. I am guessing there might be some big surprises in store before the end of the real football season, and the beginning of the holiday exhibition season that I'll be happy to ignore. --H. Houndstooth

Friday, October 20, 2017

WINTER CARNIVAL

by Randy Russell

EVERYTHING HAD GONE WRONG. I couldn't find a job. And when I did, it was a bad job. My fishing pole broke. The creek filled with sand. My woman run away with another man.

It was a mild winter, though you wouldn't know it by my gas bill, and I didn't freeze to death. I was looking forward to taking the plastic off the windows. The only bad thing, besides everything, was that here it was April already,and there had been no snow. No snow all winter! Snow is what makes winter bearable, and even though this was Columbus, Ohio, and for all nintendo porpoises "The South," still, this was very unusual. And depressing. So when it started snowing that day I stopped what I was doing and jumped up and down at the window like the little kid I hope to be someday.

The next thing I knew I had my full winter gear on, even though it was too warm for it--in the mid-forties (too warm for snow I had thought,) and I was out in it, coming down harder and harder, looking like a damn blizzard even. Where would I go?

To the river, I decided, because water is the important thing, and if there's no ocean or lake, then the river is the thing. I stopped at Andy's Carryout on the way, even though it wasn't on the way, OK, I went out of my way to buy wine. A pint of MD 20/20, even though it was totally unnecessary because I already felt drunk and I already felt high, and what would wine do but make me tired and depressed? But it's habit, maybe, or ritual, better, and maybe important to keep me grounded, at least that person who was me, that year.

Being so warm, the snow was wet as rain, and I was soon soaked, but warm and even sweating, as I was so overdressed. And it was so heavy it stuck to everything and covered everything with ice and slush and actual thick white snow! Including me. I was trudging through snow by the time I got to the river and opened my wine and took a big swig. The wine tasted good even (it was the circumstances) and there was actually steam rising from the river, and it looked unreal, like the river to hell, or in a fairy tale. I started along the trail along the river, exploring, uncovering new territory, land never before seen by the drunken white man.

No one else was out--the world was empty. I would stop now and then and pull out my bottle and take a pull. It would warm me up. I was hot and sweating, and soaked from the snow. At one point I looked across the river, through the heavy mist, and I was lost. There was nothing, no one, no city, and I was rooted in no time period. I screamed across the river. It was silent. I screamed again, as loud as I could. Still no sound except for the snow hitting the trees and the silent power of the river flowing, which I knew.

I started running then, along the trail, going deeper and deeper into the wilderness-- treacherous, dangerous terrain. I slipped andfell--I slid down a snow hill--my foot went in the river. All of that.

Finally it was over. The trail came to an end. The wine ran out. I ran out of gas. The snow lessened, but was still coming down, gently and saner now. I worked my way back to a road. Then through unknown neighborhoods in the direction of home and a hot shower and dry clothes. Back to whatever it was that I was doing. back to where the evening had left off, and all my problems and hardships. But also the project on my desk. The project was the only thing that kept me from suddenly changing into another person day after day.

On my way back I walked past a house where someone was out amazed by the snow like me (and not merely complaining about its unseasonableness like hundreds of thousands more.) This guy had taken advantage of the incredible packing quality of the wet snow and had built an actual six foot high ice arch over the sidewalk leading to his house. I stopped and looked at the arch. It was something--something you walk under, walk through. I knew I could walk under the arch. I could walk through. I knew I could either walk through the arch or I could walk by--continue on and pass it by. I stopped and looked at the arch. I liked it. It made me happy. Then I turned and walked past, kept going in the direction I was going.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Broadcast Football Rankings 10.17.17

This week's BFR – Broadcast Football Rankings – October 17, 2017

1. Alabama Crimson Tide
2. Georgia Bulldogs
3. Penn State Nittany Lions
4. Wisconsin Badgers
5. TCU Horned Frogs
6. Clemson Tigers
7. Washington Huskies
8. South Florida Bulls
9. Ohio State Buckeyes
10. Oklahoma Sooners
11. Miami Hurricanes
12. Virginia Tech Hokies
13. North Carolina State Wolfpack
14. Washington State Cougars
15. UCF Knights
16. San Diego State Aztecs
17. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
18. Oklahoma State Cowboys
19. LSU Tigers
20. Southern California Trojans
21. Stanford Cardinal
22. Michigan State Spartans
23. Auburn Tigers
24. Michigan Wolverines
25. Memphis Tigers

Week whatever this is (I guess it's about halfway through the season) finds a couple of teams called the Tigers moving into the top 25, which means there are now FOUR Tigers there. Last I checked, except for in zoos, none of those cities have tigers roaming around. Maybe one of those teams should consider a name change? But then, the name doesn't make the team, as evidenced by the new number one, Alabama Crimson Tide; maybe the coolest name of all teams, they are the most boring to watch (unless maybe you're an Alabama fan, and like watching them crush the victims of their weak schedule). On a brighter note: it's college football—still a lot of upsets, inexplicable outcomes, and craziness to come! --H. Houndstooth

Monday, October 16, 2017

CONVERSATION WITH "BOY ABOUT TOWN" NOAH BERLATSKY

September 29, 2011 3:44 pm
Have you read John Hersey yet?

No! Sorry...hopefully I'll get to it!
Start w/THE WALL
March 30, 2012 10:54 pm
THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES is a slog to read.
March 31, 2012 8:39 am

Wait...he wrote the Algiers Motel Incident, right? I was just looking through that, actually....
yes
Ray Bradbury?
Fahrenheit 451
TV version of THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES starring Rock Hudson 1970s
Noah, do you like short stories?
March 31, 2012 8:18 pm

Depends on the short story! I don't have anything against the form per se.
April 1, 2012 10:11 am
THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES sux.
April 1, 2012 12:04 pm
Fukk "There Will Come Soft Rains"
December 15, 2012 9:17 am
I luv Hemingway.
December 16, 2012 11:54 am
Keats? Byron? Percy or Mary?
Wordsworth or Coleridge?

Keats is awesome; Byron is often very funny. Frankenstein is uneven, but has wonderful moments. A lot of P. Shelley is wonderful. Wordsworth can be great, but is often kind of dull. Coleridge is the man.
The Plagiarist and last to die!
No Wordsworth died last?
Keats 25, Shelley 29
Have you read The Last Man in Europe unsure of title By Mary Shelley?
December 16, 2012 1:36 pm

I haven't read any Mary Shelley other than Frankenstein. Is the Last Man any good?
Yes.
Wuthering Heights is FAR better than Jane Eyre.

Ummm...I don't know if I agree with that. I love them both.
Persuasion by Austen may be the worst "great book" of all-time.

I love Persuasion! Damn it.
ok
gimme DEATH ON THE INSTALLMENT PLAN !!
ULYSSES vs THE ODYSSEY? Gimme the ILIAD any day. Just kidding. I really like THE BERLIN STORIES by Isherwood. "I am a camera."
And yr. blog still roxxx!
December 16, 2012 7:30 pm

Aw...thank you!
Stay Kool, Noah.
Best Collection of American Short Stories 20th c.: IN OUR TIME. Also see the amazing "in our time" from the year before (1924-25.)
December 17, 2012 5:24 pm
"Foul Play" vs "Spider-Man No More"
December 18, 2012 9:39 am
Hey. Noah!
December 18, 2012 10:57 am
ALL THE SAD YOUNG MEN 1926
Fitzgerald never in paperback! Why?
December 28, 2012 4:36 pm
You Still Hate Short Stories!
January 2, 2013 10:38 am
ALL THE SAD YOUNG MEN 1926
January 10, 2013 8:35 am
Cash-In on THE GREAT GATSBY 1925 Short Stories, maan!
January 12, 2013 9:27 am
Q.: Bret Easton Ellis or James Ellroy? A.: Ellis and Ellroy!
January 31, 2013 3:12 am
Amazing Spider-Man 50?
January 31, 2013 8:09 am
Re-Regard FRANKENSTEIN, Noah!
February 15, 2013 11:20 pm
James Baldwin! The New Now!
Richard Wright! Langston Hughes!
Harlem Renaissance! Harlem Globetrotters!
LeRoi Jones!
February 16, 2013 9:26 am
Iceberg Slim!
S.E. Hinton!
I'd love to see a Bret Easton Ellis article on HU.
Noah, do you like The Stooges (1969-73)?
Ezra Pound?
Imagism:" Faces in the subway/Petals on a wet, black bough" or whatever. William Carlos Williams. H.D. I say they rival the Symbolists!
February 16, 2013 5:09 pm

Yeah, I love the Stooges. T.V. Eye is awesome. WCW is cool too.

February 22, 2013 12:50 pm
CITY OF NIGHT by John Rechy?
Ree-Shee
February 24, 2013 7:24 pm
LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN ??
February 25, 2013 8:35 am
Welcome to the Working Week
February 26, 2013 9:47 am
Read TOO FAR TO WALK by John Hersey [1966?]
March 4, 2013 6:56 pm
Have you looked at TULSA by Larry Clark or THE AMERICANS by Robert Frank (w/Jack Kerouac)?
March 7, 2013 6:56 pm
Noah, would you rather read Dickens or Hemingway OUT LOUD?

Not sure; I don't think I've read either of them out loud!
I would discover new things in Hemingway and be super-re-assured by Dickens. Hemingway's actual dialogue would be fun to say. His hidden poetic works between quotes!
March 23, 2013 9:06 am
Noah, have you read Selby or Rechy yet?
Faulkner is forbidding.
March 23, 2013 2:06 pm
Check out BETWEEN THE BUTTONS by The Rolling Stones!

Between the Buttons is great! I like a lot of their early stuff.
Nice!
March 24, 2013 10:42 pm
"Citadel" from SATANIC MAJESTIES!
March 26, 2013 6:04 pm
A Special Request for HU: Pllease Write an Article on "Gutter Punks"
And more about "Ke$ha!
March 28, 2013 6:35 am
Sri Lanka? Tamir Tigers? M.I.A.?
Uh, Tamil?
April 6, 2013 9:13 am
Is "Lola" by The Kinks the first gay rock hit? Probably. 1970.
April 6, 2013 10:21 am
"Sally Go Round the Roses" by a girl group in '63 is rumored Lesbian-themed. Honorable mention to Sweet Loretta Modern from "Get Back" 1969.

I love Sally Go Round the Roses! By the Jaynetts? Am I remembering that right? Wikipedia says I am....
And the fact that Mitch Ryder (Detroit Wheels) was gay throws a new light on his ultra-macho rock!
April 6, 2013 5:54 pm
What's So Funny About Peace, Love, Understanding, War, Hate, Confusion, and Rape?
Lord Byron 35? Hitler 56. Hemingway published his first novel at 26. Greatest poet of all-time maybe Charles Baudelaire?
We Love PSYCHEDELIC FURS and ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN, Noah Berlatsky!
Suggestion for HU: a round-table discussion on HIROSHIMA by John Hersey 1946?
April 7, 2013 8:45 am
Suggestion for HU: a round-table discussion on A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway 1929 USA?
SMOKE SOME KILL by Schooly D?
The Decline of Western Civilization directed by Penelope Spheeris 1980?
Suburbia by Spheeris?
TALK RADIO and SUBURBIA New York Stage Plays 1980s Eric Bogosian USA??!?
Super Kool 120s
Marlboro Black 100s
Newport Non-Menthol 100s
Hello Goodbye
"The Walrus Was Paul"
Dear Prudence
Cry Baby Cry
"YESTERDAY"...AND TODAY [1966 USA] The Butcher Foto!
Neat! Neat! Neat!
Seriously, Hello Goodbye, Noah!
April 7, 2013 11:04 am
Have you appeared in the print-version ATLANTIC MONTHLY yet, Noah?
Whatevs.

No...and not likely to, I don't think. Print and web are pretty separate, as far as I can tell...I pitched them something and never heard back, so...not holding my breath.
Who do they want? Naomi Klein and Bret Easton Ellis??!?
What about articles for THE NATION weekly? You're at least good enough for that!
A poem in THE NEW YORKER?
Again, whatevs.

Heh. The Nation doesn't encourage freelancers. And there's no way the New Yorker would print my poems.

I got a review in the print edition of Reason a month or so back. That was nice.
Start your own print mag! I'll contribute anything you want for a flat rate $40/article! I swear!
April 7, 2013 1:22 pm
Submit an article to THE NEW CRITERION! I'm not kidding!
POETRY MAGAZINE CHICAGO
HARPER'S!
ESQUIRE!
MAXIM, dammit!
ART NEWS!
THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS! Again, dammit! You are a fine writer and it is wrong to be restricted to some kind of fukt internet ghetto!
Hooded Utilitarian Print-Version! I would happily pay $6 for a copy on the news-stand!
SPIN could use a great writer again!
VILLAGE VOICE?
Column in Sun-Times or Tribune?
Chicago Reader might be the best USA free weekly! Ours in Cinti. is called CityBeat and it's ok. Justin Green lives here for some reason!
Cincinnati Enquirer is a stain on the city!
Whatevs.
The greatest novel of all-time? THE LONG GOODBYE by Raymond Chandler 1952? USA
Or at least it's re-readable!
Charles Willeford is fantastic!
April 7, 2013 4:54 pm
Which is better: RUBBER SOUL or THE KINKS ARE THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY?
I choose the Kinks record!
I've got it! Revive the weekly LIFE MAGAZINE w/YOU as Editor-in-Chief!
April 7, 2013 8:10 pm
Or create a monster PEOPLE/US/OK! DAILY (Print and Website!) $3B invested by UN/World Bank!!?!
HU Worldwide Word Efforts!
Neat!
April 7, 2013 9:17 pm
Or revive Joe Simon's SICK MAGAZINE just think, Noah Berlatsky, a Mort Todd of the Twenty Teens!
Or takeover HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHILDREN!
Stop, Darius! Jusr stop!
OK
"I use the N.M.E./I use/Anarchy!"
New Musical Express
"I use the best/I use the press!"
"I wanna destroy passersby!"
OK
Do you care about 70s Punk Rock any, Noah?

Sure! Love the Stooges, love VU. Sex Pistols are okay, first Clash record is okay. Love the New York Dolls....
"Lucky Man" by ELP is weirdly good and also effective anti-war effect, up there with "The Unknown Soldier" by The Doors.
"Lucky Man"
April 8, 2013 9:18 am
Roll On, Hooded Utilitarian
April 8, 2013 10:27 am
OR revive MARVEL COLLECTOR ITEM CLASSICS title from 1965 and YOU can print ANYTHING w/Disney allowing $500,000 each monthly issue to print THE FINEST COMICS OF ALL-TIME! Cover price? FIFTY CENTS! It's true, man, LOSS LEADERS RULE! jeffreydarrensmith@yahoo.com
MARVEL COLLECTOR'S ITEM CLASSICS Jan. 2014 Vol. 2 No. 1 !!
April 8, 2013 11:53 am
Yesss!
WAR is PEACE, LOVE is HATE, and CONFUSION is SEX.
April 8, 2013 5:19 pm
Noah! What Do You Know?
April 8, 2013 7:59 pm
Hey, man!
OK
Hey! Pachuco!
Noah Berlatsky is Pavlov Picasso!
Ha!
OK
August 19, 2013 12:26 am
Magoval
August 20, 2013 1:15 pm
Fake Word
September 21, 2013 3:37 pm
There is No Love in This World Anymore!
September 24, 2013 12:39 am
What's the New, Mary Jane?
October 5, 2013 10:26 am
Noah's Ark: HU, Splice, and Atlantic Monthly, saving the world again despite the New Deluge!
January 3rd, 2:05am
Marvel Collector's Item Classics Now or Never , Noah!!?!
January 14th, 2:03pm
As Ever, Darius!
Monday 5:01pm
What's the New, Mary Jane?
Thursday 6:45pm
Noah Berlatsky: Current President of the American Intelligentsia!

See Noah's wide-ranging Hooded Utilitarian!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Broadcast Football Rankings 10.10.17

Hot off the press: BFR – Broadcast Football Rankings – October 10, 2017

1. Clemson Tigers
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Washington Huskies
4. Georgia Bulldogs
5. Penn State Nittany Lions
6. Wisconsin Badgers
7. Washington State Cougars
8. TCU Horned Frogs
9. South Florida Bulls
10. San Diego State Aztecs
11. Oklahoma Sooners
12. Ohio State Buckeyes
13. Virginia Tech Hokies
14. Miami Hurricanes
15. Auburn Tigers
16. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
17. Southern California Trojans
18. North Carolina State Wolfpack
19. UCF Knights
20. Navy Midshipmen
21. Oklahoma State Cowboys
22. Louisville Cardinals
23. Michigan Wolverines
24. Michigan State Spartans
25. Stanford Cardinal

CBS sports continues to push the gambling angle on college football and sees nothing wrong with that. ESPN might do that, too, but I have boycotted ESPN for ruining college sports. Boycott ESPN again, for not allowing their commentators to have opinions. Boycott all advertisers whose ads are louder than the sports broadcast. I can't see into the heart of a man, but if he ACTS like a racist, he IS a racist. Boycott the Troll Presidency. --H. Houndstooth

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

SS IS YOUR ONLY FRIEND!


I know it's not wrong that she only feels comfortable when everything--everything--is wrecked, but see, you see, Our Sporty Spice is pretty hacking vulnerable tonight. Yes, she's even asking God why He has to be this way, and yes, she knows the answer already, the only answer even possible: The Usual Nothing.

She asks anyway
, maybe pretends that she has at last got the attention of Someone who never paid attention to Us before ("God in Three Persons, trapped!" she might exclaim, only if.)

Now, in a backwater, from the furthest reaches, out of East of Nowhere, way outside, here comes the Umpteenth Anti-Christ, and now here's Sporty the whole time saying, "Look! Look! Wake up!" or whatever, and most fux pay no attention, so in the New Now, it's left to Our Sporty Spice, she saves Western Civilization (which she worse than despises) again, and Now, most likely, she's horribly damaged in the effort, and sadly, Post-War, these specific symptoms, her Fuckin' War Injuries soon become The World-Wide New Emblems of Occidental Female Sexuality.

Sporty sells Stupid Sad Sex to YOU for decades and--for then, for now, for always ever--Look Around--SS has without killing one worthless Alpha Primate-Image-of-Highfather-King-Christ-Holy-Ghost AKA the Anti-Devils Kill Squad, she has from yesterday, until today, and going forward from here toward what? The Stupid Sick High-Hilarity Fact of all of this is that, you might as well face it, chum, Our Sporty Spice has without any effort at all taken over almost all of this in every way Wrong and Worse-than-Worthless So-Called "Spaceship Earth." [Please Kill Me!]

And for then, for now, and always and ever...witness the True Last Collapse of the West...certainly this is...finally...at last [!]...most truly...Sporty 
Spice World!

Get bent, ya Flowerpots!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Broadcast Football Rankings 10.3.17

Your weekly hookup with the BFR – Broadcast Football Rankings – October 3, 2017

1. Clemson Tigers
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Penn State Nittany Lions
4. Washington Huskies
5. Georgia Bulldogs
6. Oklahoma Sooners
7. South Florida Bulls
8. Wisconsin Badgers
9. Ohio State Buckeyes
10. Washington State Cougars
11. TCU Horned Frogs
12. Virginia Tech Hokies
13. San Diego State Aztecs
14. Louisville Cardinals
15. Miami Hurricanes
16. Auburn Tigers
17. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
18. Southern California Trojans
19. Michigan Wolverines
20. Oklahoma State Cowboys
21. Florida Gators
22. Utah Utes
23. West Virginia Mountaineers
24. Oregon Ducks
25. North Carolina State Wolfpack

A pretty boring week in college football. Maybe it's time to take up cricket. —H. Houndstooth

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Broadcast Football Rankings 9.26.17

Weekly installment of the BFR – Broadcast Football Rankings – September 26, 2017

1. Clemson Tigers
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Penn State Nittany Lions
4. Washington Huskies
5. Oklahoma Sooners
6. Georgia Bulldogs
7. Wisconsin Badgers
8. Virginia Tech Hokies
9. South Florida Bulls
10. Ohio State Buckeyes
11. Washington State Cougars
12. TCU Horned Frogs
13. San Diego State Aztecs
14. Southern California Trojans
15. Louisville Cardinals
16. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
17. Florida Gators
18. Oklahoma State Cowboys
19. Michigan Wolverines
20. Miami Hurricanes
21. Auburn Tigers
22. Utah Utes
23. LSU Tigers
24. Duke Blue Devils
25. Iowa Hawkeyes

Things are finally starting to heat up! Next week expect TEN upsets! --yours, H. Houndstooth

Thursday, September 21, 2017

ROCKET TO NOWHERE

Who is this corporate Anti-Ray Speen? He is Roy Spoon (formerly Roy Spain)

To escape the stigma of Our Nameless Decades, Pantheon Books, on Jan. 1, 2020, will publish 40 books at once by Mystery Man Spoon ("'It' Boy of the Twenties," "Voice of Our Time," ) including novels, poetry, science fiction, Westerns, sex mysteries, essays, memoir, and prophecy. The publisher can expect to dominate all best sellers lists for a year at least and Spoon will soon be accepted as an immortal. He's a 27 year-old trans-man, from Kansas USA, no less! Expect a Nobel Prize for Spoon by age 50.

According to anonymous sources, "Roy Spoon" is not one man but instead an army of 100 English Majors creating Immortal Masterworks for a half-cent a word and no royalties or credit! My world and welcome to it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Broadcast Football Rankings 9.19.17

Welcome to the third installment of the BFR – Broadcast Football Rankings – September 19, 2017

1. Clemson Tigers
2. Penn State Nittany Lions
3. Oklahoma Sooners
4. Alabama Crimson Tide
5. Washington Huskies
6. Wisconsin Badgers
7. Oklahoma State Cowboys
8. Virginia Tech Hokies
9. Georgia Bulldogs
10. South Florida Bulls
11. Florida Gators
12. Washington State Cougars
13. Ohio State Buckeyes
14. TCU Horned Frogs
15. San Diego State Aztecs
16. Michigan Wolverines
17. Louisville Cardinals
18. Oregon Ducks
19. Southern California Trojans
20. Texas Longhorns
21. Mississippi State Bulldogs
22. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
23. Vanderbilt Commodores
24. Miami Hurricanes
25. Florida State Seminoles

It was an exciting week in college football (aren't they all) with a little more definition—though, really, at this point, you can tell just about nothing. Here in the BFR rankings, very little change on the top and the bottom (Miami and Florida State still not playing, drag! And another hurricane on its way). A lot of changes in the middle, though, teams in and out. Next week, sure to be more upheavals. We predict some huge upsets (you'd be a fool to not predict upsets—but who, exactly?) —best, H. Houndstooth

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Broadcast Football Rankings 9.12.17

Welcome to the second installment of the BFR – Broadcast Football Rankings – September 12, 2017

1. Clemson Tigers
2. Penn State Nittany Lions
3. Oklahoma Sooners
4. Alabama Crimson Tide
5. Washington Huskies
6. Georgia Bulldogs
7. Southern California Trojans
8. Wisconsin Badgers
9. Virginia Tech Hokies
10. LSU Tigers
11. Oklahoma State Cowboys
12. South Florida Bulls
13. Michigan Wolverines
14. Louisville Cardinals
15. Washington State Cougars
16. Kansas State Wildcats
17. TCU Horned Frogs
18. Utah Utes
19. Ohio State Buckeyes
20. Oregon Ducks
21. Auburn Tigers
22. Stanford Cardinal
23. Florida Gators
24. Miami Hurricanes
25. Florida State Seminoles

Notes: After two weeks of college football you can tell so much more about how much you can't tell yet, which is ultimately nothing. For all the journalists who are already predicting which teams will be in the “playoffs”—give it a rest. Why don't you just turn college football into the next March Madness in your pathetic fantasy sports world? For everyone who is blaming individual players (anytime, but especially already), there is a special place in Hell for you. For everyone involved in sports gambling (I mean as a business, where you profit on this), there is another special place in Hell for you. There are a lot of special places in Hell; it's not clear if they visit each other. I hope so. I made a point not to change the rankings of the teams that had to cancel due to the hurricane, that's a drag. Hopefully next week will be without natural disasters, but I wouldn't count on it. What I do count on is the upsets and surprises will continue to surprise us, and if they upset you, maybe you should switch to a boring, predictable sport like the NFL. 
--Yours from a special place in Hell, H. Houndstooth

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Broadcast Football Rankings 9.5.17

Welcome to the first installment of the BFR (Broadcast Football Rankings) – September 5, 2017.

1. Clemson Tigers
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Michigan Wolverines
4. Penn State Nittany Lions
5. Oklahoma Sooners
6. Ohio State Buckeyes
7. Stanford Cardinal
8. LSU Tigers
9. Wisconsin Badgers
10. Washington Huskies
11. Auburn Tigers
12. South Florida Bulls
13. Virginia Tech Hokies
14. Georgia Bulldogs
15. Oklahoma State Cowboys
16. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
17. Southern California Trojans
18. Louisville Cardinals
19. Washington State Cougars
20. Utah Utes
21. Iowa Hawkeyes
22. Kansas State Wildcats
23. Florida Gators
24. Miami Hurricanes
25. Florida State Seminoles

Notes: It's hard to tell much after only one week of football, since some teams started out playing closely matched opponents, while other teams played schools who merely cobbled together a team for the occasion. But a lot more was evident than BEFORE the first week, and that didn't stop the Ass. Press from coming up with rankings—based on what? That you won a national championship four years ago? Anyway, here is the first Moss Problem BFR college football ranking. If you don't agree, here is whose butt you can kiss: H. Houndstooth

Monday, September 4, 2017

THE GREATEST COMIC BOOK OF ALL TIME by Matt Seneca


DC Showcase featuring Manhunter 2070 #91. By Mike Sekowsky with Vince Colletta. DC.I show this comic's cover in a board and bag above because that's how it first appeared to me: in a fifty cent bin like all the rest, sandwiched between shrapnelled issues of Secret Society of Supervillains and Spider-Man/Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure. I love what boards and bags do to comics, how new and special they make them look. They remind an overanalyzer like myself that for a lot of people these things are fetish objects, bought and preserved and read hurriedly, furtively even, powerful secret totems that are not to be questioned. I used to read comics like that. I miss it, but there's no going back. The board and bag did something especially wonderful to this particular comic. Sitting there in its preservative coffin it looked for a second not like a Silver Age relic by the first dude to ever draw the Justice League, not like one of the old beater books that you always find in the discount bins. It looked almost of a part with the rest of the comics, the superhero detritus of 1999-2007 or so. 
And yet. If I saw a modern superhero comic with that cover I would fucking flip my shit, you know? That completely assured, completely unselfconscious mixture of cartoon and realist drawing, that strangely looping title script, that giant corporate logo in the upper left, the expressionist masks of those alien faces. The way the light passed through the plastic of the board and bag onto that gloriously non-unified color scheme, lime green and blood red and desert yellow mixed together into a way of pictures that we haven't seen in years. It's all here, and so casually. Code-approved. I bought it, looked inside.
Maybe it's just because living in the times you live in makes them feel more urgent and self-important than they actually are, but I can't remember much casual experimentation within the mainstream over the past half decade. Brendan McCarthy's outta-nowhere shorts aside, it's like Jemas-era Marvel was the capstone for a tradition that pulsed long and heavy for the years that ended there and started, well, about here. This comic was released in mid-1970: Marvel had definitively stolen DC's biggest-publisher crown, the undergrounds were waning, pretty much every superhero franchise that's still around today had been created. It was the beginning of lean times for mainstream comics, the comedown off what will all but certainly forever remain the hero industry's greatest moment biting in hard. Things had changed in comics, and things would change more still. The quasi-underground publication Witzend was reintroducing the theory of artist over character to a mainstream that'd abandoned it since compiler Wally Wood's salad days at EC Comics, testing creator-owned genre strips like Steve Ditko's Mr. A on an audience that, like the material, gravitated toward an area somewhere in between the scruffy total-freedom undergrounds and the suffocating banality that the heroes were already falling victim to.
In time, independent publishing would gain its foothold in comics by exploiting this very territory, offering the more talented, further-out Marvel and DC hacks an arena to go a little wilder, throw down a little harder, get paid a little more. Books by companies like First and Eclipse, by creators like Jim Starlin and Mike Grell and Howard Chaykin, may not look all too different from the rest of the genre crop in the brilliant light of today's fusion-comics world, but the simple opportunity to drop house style from the stories and cape'n'cowl inflection from the art kicked off a movement that hero comics are still feeling the benefits of today. The Frazer Irvings, the JH Williamses, the McCarthys can only find a place in today's Big Two because the genre books that stretched a little past the boundaries proved it's really okay not to look like Kirby or sound like Lee. In one of the most creatively repressive areas of comics, they proved that you could do your own thing and still make some money at it.
But before that it was a lot dicier. There's a reason the early-mid '70s are littered with so many far-out gems of bizarro expression that seem like they should never have been a part of mainstream comics: they shouldn't have. The Howard the Ducks and Fourth World sagas weren't Marvel or DC's province, but given that those two were the only game in town and, like I said, it was a failing market, some of the business leaked through anyway -- usually in places like Showcase, the venerable DC new-title-tryout book that round about a decade earlier had given birth or rebirth to the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, the Atom, the Justice League, ad nauseam. If Mike Sekowsky, the career DC workhorse whose oeuvre stretches back to the high Golden Age and spans a million competently-drawn comics, many of them starring famous characters, had wanted to do his Manhunter 2070 book ten or fifteen years later, he would have done it as a slick, ongoing creator-owned at Eclipse or somewhere similar. It fits right in with the orbiting space-junk that the early independents traded in, excellently drawn by a craftsman who put a bit more time and thought into it than usual, production value a little higher than average, eschewing the flying men for another, equally hackneyed genre -- just as long as no one's wearing a cape, for godsake -- and covering up the strange sense of absence inherent in superheroless comics drawn by a superhero artist with a breeze of extra inspiration.
The difference between MH2070 and the raft of similar books that followed in its wake after a decade's interval is in the style of the thing. Where the best books of the '80s creator-owned boom (Chaykin's American Flagg, Rogers' Captain Quick) pointed their visions far into the future -- such that they've only begun to feel "modern" in the past few years -- Sekowsky's book is stridently of the past, incorporating none of the emblematic '70s grit and scramble for higher ground or even any real influence from the Marvel Age cats. No, stylistically, Manhunter is a classic-era DC book through and through, a science-laced permabulation through the stars drawn in the rarefied, technically superb Infantino/Toth house style. The calendars will tell you this book's less than 15 years removed from American Flagg, but where it counts the temporal distance is more like half a century.

And that's what makes Sekowsky's book so interesting. He's playing the same song he always did, probably the only one he knew how to play; but the exhilaration and verve he puts into his moment in the spotlight -- with good colors, with no heroes, with no writers -- nonetheless belongs to a tomorrow he would never be a part of. Standing on the teetering platform between the two eras, an artist rooted in the past, pointing to the future, he draws...Let's take a look.
 Right off the bat, this comic hits a little different than its contemporaries, discarding the obligatory opening splash in favor of a simultaneous-image montage full of white space that sets the pictures in an infinite background. No panel borders: it all just floats there, not tied together but somehow still cohesive. I know I just said that Sekowsky doesn't display much Marvel influence in this book, but this page is the first of a few notable exceptions, all of which point to the study of one Marvel artist: Jim Steranko. This comics page-as-mural approach looks to my eyes like a definite attempt at a Steranko-style presentation switch-up, though done in a rickety, asymmetrical way that lacks the graphic design verve of the master. It's still interesting, though, the planets sprinkling out into the text and the cartooning styles switching up fast and furious on the alien-thug portraiture. 
If more proof's needed as to the Steranko derivation, check out that bit of destroyed rocket ship at bottom left. The chiaroscuro and detailed machinery go back to Wally Wood, but the tight, technical Cubist pen detailing on the rockets is pure Steranko, as is the bold use of color against massively spotted blacks. 
It's important to note the Steranko influence on this book, especially given how Sekowsky leads with it: in 1970 Steranko was the furthest-out artist the mainstream had ever seen, and it would be a few years before the next generation really emerged to walk in his footsteps. (That next generation, of course, would provide the mainstream-moonlighter backbone of the early independents with not a few significant vertebrae: Starlin, Rogers, Chaykin, Steve Rude, et al.) Until then it was all stuff like this, somewhat uncertain bats at the bold new style Steranko had crammed his pages with. Still, in '70 even the most rudimentary Steranko alignment was some kind of a statement, as Neal Adams and his subsequent followers had emerged to steer mainstream comics art back into a more traditionally illustrative, exaggerated-realism mode. Look at a comic nowadays: that's the stuff that won out, boring lines and figurework not pop art and colors. Sekowsky puts himself on the losing team from page one, but man does that space-fragment look gorgeous to me.
Page 2 panel 1:
The Style of Mike Sekowsky. This stuff is mad derivative, mixing more-or-less-equal parts Toth subtractvism, Infantino designy staging, Caniff black-spotting with a workmanlike slapdash quality and liberal bits of whoever-was-inking-him (Vince Coletta in this case, the trademark thin pen line very much in evidence). Somehow it's a beguiling mixture, putting spiky angles where Caniff and Toth favored soft shapes (the mountains) and going all cartoon-minimalist on the figures and equipment. Stuff like the almost-sketched faces, the lack of holding lines on the spaceman in orange's left arm and his silhouetted hands, the naturalistic-yet-stiff body language of the alien -- it's obvious Sekowsky can really draw. That he chooses to forgo detail in favor of the rich environment and strange atmospherics of panels like this one only testifies to it.
Page 3 panel 1:
The cat at lower left is Starker, our hero, the titular Manhunter. A grizzled, driven battle vet of few words and impeccable taste, he recalls Steranko's Nick Fury and brings along a very Steranko-esque panel. Tilted camera, hot girls used as scenery, flashy space background, and the big intruding op-art device of the monochrome die: it's all part and parcel of the Jaunty Jim playbook, and making the protagonist the kind of motherfucker who puts all his cash on black 13 the first time we see him goes right along. Starker, though, whether through total naivete or immensely well-calculated subversion on Sekowsky's part, ends up as a crazier character than even Steranko ever managed, as we shall see.
Page 3 panel 5, page 4 panel 1:
Ahem, as I was saying. This cad is bringing back not one but two intergalactic space-skanks to his private, luxe orbiting satellite! Then you turn the page and get an explanation for it which I imagine the editors thought was there to lend a modicum of decorum to the whole bit, but which, um, are you kidding me? This smooth silver fox has been hired by a rich daddy to chaperone his two spoiled party-girl daughters across the galaxy? Okay whatever, maybe forty years ago it actually didn't occur to some readers that there was sex going on in the background of this comic, but nowadays, please, and that backstory makes it so much worse! Look at how tall they are in comparison to him, look how unsteady on those high heels, look at what the girl in the black is wearing! These are two teenagers spending their vacation being tutored in the ancient arts of love by a violent, sexy old bachelor. Comics do not get much more inappropriate than Manhunter 2070.
Also, dig the colors on Starker's spaceship in the top panel -- nobody's credited for the job, this book being a product of the dark ages, but those visible brushstrokings and that violent contrast between the orange and blue were not at all common for the period. This is only one of many panels where it's obvious that the colorist was really going for it in a way that just didn't happen on the mainline Marvel/DC stuff at the time.
Page 6:
All right, I'm about to get all Freudian, but this is just mind-boggling. Read it, man: these two nymphs in inexpertly applied, Colletta-girl makeup are trying to get Starker to stick around for, well, we can guess, but y'know, duty calls since this isn't that kind of comic. So they settle for a peck on the cheek and admiringly watch him speed off to adventure because he's just that rock hard all man. It's a scene that plenty of other comics from Caniff on down have used.
But I'm sorry, there is just some crazy fucking sexual subtext on this page. Sekowsky can't help but let a "big boob" flop out into the dialogue as this girl in a costume right out of Georges Pichard plants a big wet one on Starker, which is enough of a brush with pure masculinity
to get her apparently basking in a warm, orgasmic afterglow in the next panel. As a giant penis shape protrudes from her face. And then look right and read some of the most hilariously loaded narration is comics history. I'll repeat it, it goes: "And the two girls watch STARKER ZOOM OFF into the VELVETY BLACKNESS." Emphasis mine. Dude, a guy named Starker who makes a habit of zooming off into velvety blacknesses? Coupled with that picture? What more could I add?
Page 10 panel 6:
Okay, so he goes to collect the bounty on some bad guys, who are holed up on a planet where everything is viciously carnivorous. This is a picture of flying piranhas trying to eat through Starker's air bubble to get to his face's flesh. Which is cool n shit, but just look at the real meat in this panel, the intense punk/abstract art design of the composition. The staging of the previous panels makes it easy to tell what's going on here, but the near-total lack of any figurative elements, the exploding fury of the black shapes radiating outward from what we can just identify as a human head, the jagged overlapping, the fierce green background and the red raygun! This is way past pop art, we're approaching Gary Panter territory. Colletta's scratchy inks help out quite well here, too: when what's required is the opposite of slickness that guy is your man!
Page 11 panel 1:
Another exploration of a similar theme, with the flying piranhas now being devoured by flying barracudas before they could get through Starker's spacesuit. This is a really incredible panel, Sekowsky's depth indicators flashing across the frame intermittently rather than resorting to the usual solid backdrop. Or at least here the solid backdrop is the figure itself, the ostensible focus of the panel, with the hero's face popped out in pink against an unforgiving blue field. The shadows of Starker's spacesuit, especially at the bottom, also deserve a mention, their shapes echoing the black shapes on the fish themselves, filling up the panel with what isn't actually there and adding greatly to the disorienting whirl. That half-a-face sliver of humanity right in the middle of the cyclone is phenomenal: he's really hiding, curled up in his armor, and Sekowsky brings the facial detail in a way he hasn't in previous panels to really nail down the acting, the unmoored feeling.
Page 13 panel 1:
This is just a really interesting composition. Drawing's pretty good, I love the spotted blacks on those mountains, but what really impresses me is how much depth comes across when it's not actually there in the picture. For Starker in the background to be that big in comparison to the bad guys in the foreground he's gotta be crashing what, like less than fifty feet away. But Sekowsky makes it seem like a significant distance with everything he puts between the shot-down hero and the human villain closest to us: color masks over the two villains behind him, pushing them way back into the frame even though they're standing right next to him, and then a big wash of black that cuts the hero's figure off even further.
In comics, two depth fields behind the foreground is usually like trees, mountains, or building, city skyline -- miles and miles -- but here Sekowsky uses that convention to trick our eye into adding distance that isn't drawn in. He does it for the most utilitarian of reasons: he doesn't want to sacrifice the detail of Starker's fall to earth by drawing him as a tiny little dot against the sky, and beside that he's got a killer scene with some carnivorous rocks (yes) to squeeze in before the evildoers can catch up to the leading man. It's just fascinating how adroitly he achieves that, without even trying.
Page 15 panels 3-5, page 16 panels 1-2:
This is such a great action sequence. It's very well-drawn, of course, with a wonderfully harmonious mix of claustrophobic linework, rich spotted blacks, and open colored space; but it's the staging, the blocking-out of the action and the body language that really makes it for me. It's totally relentless. First we get the slow, unusual slithering snake-like motion in the first panel, all tension and build, and then everything explodes out of the barrel of a raygun in one single static instant, a giant pop that's followed by another as the camera swings into a totally wild angle, the background falls to heavy-benday brown, the only motion in this frozen snapshot of a panel coming from the weirdness of the composition and the crunchy scuffle of marks around the villain's space-sled. After these two stamped-down quick hits we veer wildly into the extreme physicality and gesture of the next panel, with its contortionist body language, and the figure animation of the next, with the still camera recording an immediate reaction to the previous panel's action.
It's a disorienting flurry of techniques chopped up and employed with a masterful craft and attention to detail, about as far from the blazing impacts of Kirby or Adams as you can get, but the kinesis in the scene's staging, the roving, digging camera and the dead-on, solidified figurework sells it nonetheless. Excellent stuff.
Page 16 panels 6-8, page 17 panel 1:
A super-creepy death scene that gets over almost entirely on suggestion. I'd imagine any modern artist would've been unable to resist the intensity of a full-on closeup of the cannibal ants swarming over Lester here's agonized face behind the plastic air bubble, slowly picking away the flesh as they went, but Sekowsky had to deal with the Comics Code and there was no way in hell he could have gotten away with that in 1970. What he improvises, though, with some key help from the colorist, is even nastier -- more suggestion than depiction, in the classic horror mode. The nauseatingly fleshlike color and texture of the grubs as they swarm into the spacesuit is unsettling enough, but the desperate, theatrical plight of the villain's figure as he runs away, dripping death-bugs and flanked by screams is truly horrible, and the camera's full 180-degree swing around him as his motion's cut off by death is a deftly considered bit of composition, as is the shrunken, skeletal form that can no longer fill up the spacesuit. Then, the money shot -- not a gory blood-mask but the white glint of a shadowed skull, picked as clean as the plastic shield surrounding it -- really pounds in how bad a number the ants did on this poor sap. (I'm actually kind of surprised this panel got through the censors... thank god it did!) The sudden blue sterility of that last panel after the hot pink and purple of the previous ones is another nice touch.
Page 17 panels 2-5:
Another sweet bit of action, with Sekowsky again favoring a separated action/reaction approach instead of the more typical, robust figure interactions of Kirby or Ditko. The clean-ass right angle of the opposing forces in that top panel make its pop just terrific, and then Starker's graceful body language and the sudden starbursts of energy going off around him as he blasts back really sell the aerial, gravity-free setting of the battle. That third panel is pretty great, too, a nice chunk of totally comic book-abstract picture making.
Page 21 panels 2-4, page 22 panels 1-2:
And here's another example of Sekowsky producing an interesting effect despite being forced away from the most logical path by the kids'-comics mores of his times. The panel we all want to see is Starker just burying that sword in the dragon-thing's eyeball, blood and vitreous humor spurting, beast howling, knuckles white. But again, in a DC comic of the time there's just no way. Instead of that indelible point-of-impact panel, which is what belongs in 22.1, we get something else: a near-repeat of the previous panel, layering more exposition, more wait, more tension onto the space between that massive, baleful eye and the sharpened sword-point. Look at those two panels -- it's the exact same moment drawn twice, the angle widened and ramped up in the second panel to really grip you before it...
Before it lets you go with a rather disappointing after-action panel to wind things up. It's anticlimactic because the times demanded it be, but Sekowsky's innovative cross-page panel-doubling really works the moment over nonetheless.
Page 23 panel 2:
Really great, legitimately intriguing cliffhanger, an incredible rarity for its time. Even these days most genre books hook you for the next installment by foreshadowing some action face-off in the works, rather than a character revelation. Let alone the fact that -- even still! -- such character motivations are almost never revealed. Why does Hal Jordan fight crime as the Green Lantern? We, uh, haven't gotten to that issue yet, but Sekowsky's bound and determined to make his Manhunter a more interesting character than the average masked dope by his second book. This is another place where MH2070 really bears a resemblance to the early creator-owned action books: interest in who the heroes were as people was a big hallmark of '80s genre comics, but it was very sparse indeed before then, and this is a pretty special treat, considering.
Page 24 panel 5:
Hang on, we're not done quite yet! Three additional pages follow the end of Starker's feature adventure, the first two of them constituting a quick-hit enslaved-by-aliens story. It's pretty nothing, most resembling those page-long Hostess cupcake ads, but it works as a way to introduce a formula to the Manhunter's adventures: here, as in the feature, Starker battles some alien creepazoids before hauling them in to the law for a nice bounty. It's also got this panel, which is a further display of Sekowsky's unusual flair for action. Concentrated entirely on the receiving end, with no figure interaction at all, it stands up thanks to Sekowsky's note-perfect posing, not to mention the almost photorealist shaping of the shadow on the floor. It's not much in terms of actual motion, more a thick block of solid weight positioned so precariously that we can't help but feel its instability.
Page 25 panel 4:
Power Plus Purple is the street name for a particularly potent strain of marijuana grown in Oakland, and judging from this comic book I wouldn't be too surprised if Mike Sekowsky himself was in on that little tidbit too.
Page 26:
The last page of the book is a full-page ad for the next issue, constructed in much the same white-backgrounded, borderless manner as the first. It's a great exercise in one-page storytelling all by itself -- Showcase got canceled with #93 and I wouldn't have been too surprised if Sekowsky wasn't sure his next comic would ever see the light of day, because he packs a whole issue worth of story into here. It's worth noting also that this isn't a house ad that ran in all the DC books -- this is Sekowsky consciously choosing to draw an ad on the last story page of his comic, which is pretty fascinating if you ask me. It's reminiscent of Brendan McCarthy's one-page ad "Pop!" (still the best comic that guy's done this century): aestheticaly unified with the rest of the issue, but using the form itself to point aggressively at the new, at what comes next. Like this whole thing, it's tied down into a present that didn't have much place for it, but it didn't shrink for a second from the future in which it would finally find a place.