You die! You die! The Lost ColuMn™ Articles

Five years ago (well, actually 2/29/08, but close enough) I decided to start a blog.  I’ve talked about the origins of ColuMn™ here and here.  I won’t go into it again.

Given that I haven’t posted anything since last Halloween, I decided that this anniversary wasn’t really one to celebrate.  But I wanted to acknowledge it and maybe use it as a relauching point of sorts for the site.  So what I’ve decided to do is dig deep into the archives and showcase some of the posts that didn’t make it for one reason or another.

If you have a device with Android 4.0 or above, you probably have something called “Currents”, where you can subscribe to various sites, kind of like an RSS reader.  Well, I have one of those for ColuMn™ and discovered, much to my dismay/amusement, that several “articles” that were never meant to see the light of day were featured on Currents in their incomplete form.  Most of the following come from there, but I’ve also thrown in a couple that have just sat in the queue, waiting to either be deleted or finished.  The wait is over, my children.

ADRIANNA’S G1 (7/28/11)

For some unknown reason, I used to watch the new 90210 on the CW (okay, it’s not unknown — I’m a sucker for anything that appeals to tween girls).  When the show debuted, it was around 2008 and Google had just released their first Android phone, the G1. I had one.  So I was surprised to see one of the show’s main characters, the bitchy/hot pop star, Adrianna, using a G1.

image

This was cool at first, I guess.  A hip, young, attractive TV starlet using the same phone I had.  Okay.  It wasn’t cool.  But it was something.  But as the show continued on season after season, that something turned into unbelievable.  At the time this post was written (7/28/11) she was STILL using the G1! Nobody that rich and hip is going to use a three-year-old phone.  With technology, three years is an eternity.  I got a new phone way before Adrianna did, and I didn’t even have a job.

Why this post was never, uh, posted:  First, aside from the fact that she used the same phone for a little too long, there’s nothing really noteworthy about a character from a show nobody watches using  a G1.  I could never get an angle on the funny side of this, so it just sat there, forgotten, until a picture popped up on Google Currents.

NIGHTMARE SHACK (2008)

This was back when Sparks was still on the writing staff, doing his “Sparks’ Sandbox” bit.  He started a post for our Halloween spectacular that year that just wasn’t very good, so it wasn’t published.  Here it is, in it’s entirety:

I call to you from another dimension.  The dimension of the dead . . . uh, robot dogs . . . with a warning.  October is here which means that Halloween is right around the corner, stalking you, waiting for you to make one wrong move.  Much like I did when I chased that robot mouse into traffic.  BlackJack Voorhees says that he can reanimate my dead robot body, but that I might not be the same when I come back.  I might be . . . sinister.

Why this post was never, uh, posted:  You read that crap, right?  And no, I don’t know why it’s titled “Nightmare Shack”.

ColuMn™ ELECTION PREDICTIONS (11/4/08)

The concept behind this one was to predict fictional characters as winners in the then-current election.  I got one written before I realized it was a stupid idea.

ColuMn has no political bias, but we do have an interest in who wins.  Will it be the old white guy or the black guy?  The old bore or the sorta hot moron?  Is anything, including alien domination, worse than Bush?  ColuMn sent ace reporter Sparks to the future.  January 20, 2009 to be precise.  His assignment:  report back who won what.

Sparks here, reporting live from the exact center of the country, or somewhere in the middle of nowhere.  Seriously.  There’s nothing here.  I’m not even sure I can get the internet here.  Hopefully you’re reading this.

Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, the winners of Election 2008.

President
President

President David Palmer and First Lady Kasidy Yates.  I have no idea what Palmer’s positions on any of the issues are.  Probably not gun control, anti-torture, or pro-terrorist.  I’m just guessing.  But, as you’ll recall from the 2008 Presidential Campaign, Yates, stranded in Earth from the mid-24th century, is quick with a phaser, disintegrating opponent Thomas Whitmore in an apparent blackmail attempt gone wrong. Still, they’re both better than Bush.

Vice-President

Why this post was never, uh, posted:  Pretty obvious.  It was fucking stupid.

TOP 7 BOOKS I READ IN 2012 (12/31/12)

cmsof’s articles tend to be a bit more cerebral than BlackJack’s.  BlackJack is all about the comedy.  cmsof is all about the journalism (or something like that).  I started drafting this back in October last year and I think it would have been a good throwback to the early ColuMn™ posts where I did hilarious stuff like book reviews.

Ranked in the order I read them:

1.  Supergods by Grant Morrison

I’ve enjoyed Morrison’s comics work immensely. The Invisibles is one of the best series committed to paper.

2.  The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

3.  Reamde by Neal Stephenson

4.  Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

5.  It’s So Easy (And Other Lies) by Duff McKagan

6.  Memory by Donald Westlake

7.  John Dies At The End by David Wong

Why this post was never, uh, posted:  Just didn’t get around to it.  Which, in reality, is probably why most of these things never made it onto the site.  I’m lazy.

THE CANNONBALL RUN (7/28/11)

Let’s get this out of the way right off: I love The Cannonball Run.  But I also recognize that it’s profoundly stupid.  So I thought it would make a great “Watch With ColuMn™” post.  So I started writing it.  Then I ran some of the jokes by a friend and he hated them.  So I scrapped the post.  Judge for yourself:

Hey, gang!  It’s time for another installment of Watch With ColuMn™.  In previous episodes, we’ve watched The Mysterious Monsters and Free To Be You And Me.  This time out, it’s something a little less obscure:  1981’s immortal crowd-pleaser, The Cannonball Run.

The Cannonball Run, as you may or may not know, occupies space in a healthy, much-loved genre: the coast-to-coast race movie with a huge all-star cast. Picture It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, if you replaced all the actors with jabbering idiots.

Burt Reynolds movies usually follow a very specific formula:  a) they co-star Dom DeLuise, and b) they suck.  The best compliment you can pay The Cannonball Run is that it’s not The Cannonball Run 2.  The best compliment you can pay The Cannonball Run 2 is cursing whatever God you believe in.

Beepers were invented solely because Burt Reynolds performance in this movie didn’t meet the standards of “phoning it in”.  The only analogy for something as stupid as The Cannonball Run is The Cannonball Run.  The Cannonball Run is to 1981 movies starring Burt Reynolds as The Cannonball Run is to human misery.  That said, it’s still one of the best things Terry Bradshaw has ever been associated with.

Without further ado, let’s begin our race by meeting the colorful cast of imbeciles who we’ll be forced to share the next 95 impossibly long minutes with.


J.J. McClure (Burt Reynolds)
Dom DeLuise (Victor Prinzim/Captain Chaos)


Roger Moore (Seymour Goldfarb, Jr.)


Farrah Fawcett (Pamela Glover)

On the bright side, starring in The Cannonball Run made cancer the second worst thing that happened to her.


Dean Martin (Jamie Blake)
Sammy Davis, Jr. (Morris Fenderbaum)


Jack Elam (Dr. Nikolas Van Helsing)


Adrienne Barbeau (Marcie Thatcher aka Lamourghini Babe #1 –
seriously, that’s how it’s listed on IMDB)


Terry Bradshaw (Terry)
Mel Tillis (Mel)

Both apparently students of the Tony Danza School of Acting.


Jackie Chan (Jackie Chan – Subaru Driver)


Jamie Farr (The Shiek)

00:26:  The first of way too many times we’ll hear Burt Reynolds’ signature fake laugh.

They keep threatening to remake The Cannonball Run, and I just wonder why?  Does the world really need another celebrity-driven ensemble piece where the various actors smirk their way through a ludicrous feature-length movie that seems more like an excuse to get paid to hang out with other smirking douchebags?  I mean, other than the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy, of course.

The fact that there’s a novelization of The Cannonball Run proves that literacy isn’t necessarily a sign of intelligence.  On one hand, dogs can’t read.  On the other hand, dogs can’t read The Cannonball Run novelization. Edge: dogs.

Why this post was never, uh, posted:  I don’t know.  I think it’s funny and it’s inclusion here is one of the primary reasons I wanted to do this “Lost Articles” post.

DAMN YOU, CANADA (4/29/10)

Sometimes it takes me a couple of stabs to get a post right.  That’s what happened here.  A friend sent me the photo from a playground and I thought it was hilarious and wanted to create a post around it.  This was my first try:

Okay, Canada.  We let you beat us at hockey because, well, it’s all you’ve got.  We may be cowboy dicks down here, but we don’t like to see grown men cry.  We may have only won the Silver in hockey, but we got the Gold in being awesome.  So no sooner do I get back from your country, than I see this alarming sign at the local children’s playground.  (note: there are reasons for a middle-aged man to be alone in a children’s park that aren’t technically “illegal”).

What does that mean?  There are really only two possibilities, and they’re equally disturbing.  The first is that children born and/or living in the United States are developmentally retarded by 6 months at the age of 18 months.  I’m not sure if I believe that, but having not been around a child since I was seven years old, I have no idea if that’s an accurate representation or not.  No big deal, I guess.  By the time we hit five, we’re caught up.  I can only assume that accelerated growth continues in all areas for the remainder of the average American’s life.  So by the time we’re 50, the poor Canadians are only 45.  Damn.  Canada wins again.

The other possibility is that the United States government has a vendetta against Canadian children between the ages of 18 months and two years of age.  Who knows how many accidents pre-two year old Canadians have had to endure as the government sits in silence, probably from across the street in an unmarked van, gathering intelligence.  We know your weakness, Canada.  Do you dare us to exploit it?  DO YOU?

So, in closing, I think either Canadian children between the ages of 18 months and two years or American children in the same age bracket should launch a class action lawsuit against the US government to right this agregious case of isolationist ageism.

Not bad, I thought, but I can do better.  And I did.

Why this post wasn’t, uh, posted: Fairly obvious.

 

THE BOX OF TACOS (12/2/10)

The plan was to eat a box of Taco Bell tacos (12 in a box) and write about my experience, with (hopefully) hilarious results.  This image is as far as I got:

image

I can’t say I regret not completing this one.

Why this post wasn’t, uh, posted: I wanted to live and I wanted that life to be without shit-filled pants.

Happy 5th Anniversary, ColuMn™!  Looking forward the the next post in, say, 2018.

Advertisements

Sparks’ Sandbox

It’s been a while since the last edition of Sparks’ Sandbox. Remember back in the day when cmsof actually gave me my own page? You’d think my punishment for shitting on his carpet would be over by now, but he refuses to restore my dignity.

Anyway, he has agreed to let me do one last Sandbox because, you see, I’m leaving ColuMn. I’ll show up in 2010 once or twice, but my daily invvolvement will come to an end.

Both cmsof and BlackJack have both embarrassed themselves and begged me to stay, but there are other projects that I’m itching to tackle.

Beginning early in 2010 I’m going on a world tour with fellow ColuMn icons Baggyman, O’Connor, and Dirty Baby Santa. Our show will be in a variety format, with jokes, songs, dancing, and soul-teabagging.

Baggyman is unreachable until February and O’Connor is busy overseeing The O’Connor Chronicles Season Two DVD Cut, but Dirty Baby Santa and I are busy rehearsing a new routine.

I’ll always think back fondly on my two years writing for ColuMn and look forward to contributing more reviews and articles in the future. The site will no doubt go under once I’m gone.

See you in a community theater near you in 2010!

Yours,

Sparks

Smut Sale

Your internet buddy BlackJack hasn’t always lived in embarrassingly over the top luxury. No, before doing important literary work like writing about such intriguing topics as strip clubs and, uh, smut sales, I was a sad sack like you, going from shitty job to shitty job. That was when I resided in the San Juan Apartments.

It was a quirky little neighborhood, a block away from a busy Emergency Room that kept those lovable scoundrels the drunks roaming incoherently around day and night. The filthy little Korean grocery store helped matters by only carrying torpedos of cheap beer. They knew their customers and we felt a certain hominess as we purchased our torps, rubbers, and Spaghettios.

I’d routinely witness the most hilarious crimes. Drug dealing at the corner was commonplace. Buy a rock, get a free torp. While I saw guns drawn, I never saw one go off (chickens). That’s the kind of caring community we had: you do your murders/rapes behind closed doors like a civilized murderer/raper.

The building itself was somewhat better, yet fit in well with the neighborhood vibe. I was propositioned more than once by one of the building’s bevy of crackwhores. Unfortunately, I never did find the time to slow down and take one of the ladies up on their generous offer, but I’m sure it would have given me something I’d carry with me for the rest of my life. Ahhh. If you try real hard, you can almost smell it.

Perhaps the biggest event at the San Juan Apartments (at least in the brief five years I lived there) quietly started with the humblest of signs.

 

Yep. Ye Olde Traditional Smut Sale.

The words played in my brain like Lincoln Logs and muffins. “Courtyard Sale”, the sign proclaimed in big, bold letters. “Smut”, the largest word of all in, uh, kind of disgusting piss yellow. Tagged on, as if by afterthought, a handwritten cardboard sign, promising even greater treasures in an “Apartment Sale”. What wonders would the possessions of my hot-tempered neighbor yield?

I saw no evidence of this illustrious Courtyard Sale. Nary a maiden nor mage frolicked in the shoddy arboretum. I ran up to my apartment and quickly assembled a box of crap I’d been meaning to throw out, some dirty laundry, and a handful of well worn pornographic periodicals. Where was I to take my meager contribution to the Event?

The sign said Apartment 305. Glancing across the way, I saw the menacing form of the sole occupant having a smoke and muttering profanities to himself. The knife on his belt hinted that perhaps I should just go home, close the door, lock it, and turn off the lights. His use of the word “shitfucker” made me think that perhaps this wasn’t a book that could be judged by his cover. He was opening his doors to the neighborhood, allowing them to sink neck deep into his private smut collection. What could be learned by a peek inside this hostile mid-40’s thug’s deviant sexual fetishes? I shuddered at the thought, but my feet had already lead me to his side.

“What the FUCK do you want, Slick?” he spat. Not metaphorical spitting. Actual saliva launching from his mouth. He was already quite drunk.

“I’m here to participate in the community event!” I said enthusiastically, flashing my most-winning smile.

“You fuckin’ with me, boy?” he snarled, moving his hand to his knife.

I preferred the badass camaraderie of “Slick” to “boy”, but decided to let it go . . . for now. “No, no, no,” I stuttered, genuinely fearing for my safety. “I’m here for the Smut Sale. I, I brought some things I thought I could sell, too.”

He dropped his hand, relaxing his urge to murder me. “The Smut Sale? Shitfuck. That thing ended two hours ago. Sold out.”

“No Smut Sale?” I tried to say bravely, though my lower lip betrayed me with the slightest quiver.

“No, Slick. No Smut Sale. The manager bought it all sight unseen. I cleared almost twenty-five bucks,”

Damn this guy undervalued his smut, too. I’d really blown this one. I turned to trudge back to my hovel, but his words stopped me in my tracks.

“Stop. I’ll give you five bucks for the smut.”

I turned around, the brilliant smile hiding the single tear that gently rolled down my cheek. “Thanks, mister. You won’t regret it.” I held the box out to him?

“What the fuck is this fucking shit? Some dolls, a Star Track card, and half a bottle of root beer? Take this shit with you. I just want the smut.”

Greedily grabbing the dirty magazines from the box, I couldn’t believe my good luck. My Breathless Mahoney action figure wasn’t supposed to be in that box. Whew. I’d really dodged a bullet.

That was the last Smut Sale they ever had at the San Juan Apartments (at least until I moved out two months later). I never saw the Smut Sale guy again, or even learned his name, but I know I made a friend that day, and that friendship will forever be cherished. I hope you enjoyed the smut, my friend. I hope you enjoyed the smut.

10 Books On My Bookshelf That You Should Read

1) The Big Book Of Conspiracies
by Doug Moench Published by Paradox Press
ISBN #1563891867

The Big Book of Conspiracies

Conspiracy theories are fun and comics are fun,  so when you combine the two, you get, uh, twice the fun.  DC used to publish these “Big Book” oversize paperbacks that would explore a particular subject through a series of black and white comics.  I never read any of the other volumes, but I’ve read this one a few times and really enjoy it.  Lots of fascinating conspiracies and interesting tidbits.  Sections:  Classic Conspiracies (lots of JFK stuff), Big Brother’s Greatest Hits (CIA, etc.), Trouble In Weirdland (UFOs, etc.), Paranoia Potpourri (weed and miscellanea), Odd Passings And Other Assassinations (famous figures die under mysterious circumstances), Historical Hysteria (historical conspiracies), and The Conspiracy Conspiracy (the really weird stuff).

__________________________________________

2) Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th
by Peter M. Bracke Published by Titan Books
ISBN #1-84576-343-2

Crystal Lake Memories

I know it’s impossible to tell from reading this site, but I’m a fan of the Friday the 13th films.  As a kid growing up in the 80s there was literally nothing scarier than the thought of running into Jason Voorhees while out playing in the nearby woods.  Jason’s lost some of his fright with the endless sequels, terrible acting, and barely-there plots, but he’s still a vital part of American pop culture and this beautiful, big hardcover coffee table book shows why.  Great pictures and terrific anecdotes illustrate that even during the worst Friday the 13th movie, there were still people involved that cared and did their best, even though their best was woefully short of good.  Unbelievably worth it for not only the Friday the 13th fan, but anyone interested in what goes into making movies.

__________________________________________

3) The Anarchist Cookbook
by William Powell Published by Barricade Books, Inc.
ISBN # 0-9623032-0-8

The Anarchist Cookbook

I’m, uh, borrowing this from a friend (thanks, Sparks) because I don’t want to be on any (more) government watch lists.  This is the infamous book first published in 1971 by controversial published Barricade Books, Inc.  It’s a fascinating read, if only as a product of its time.  I don’t recommend following any of the recipes in the book.  In all honesty, they’ll probably get you killed or incarcerated.  Sections:  Drugs (presented more as an educational summary than a how-to), Electronics, Sabotage, and Surveillance (somewhat outdated, but I guess some of this might still work), Natural, Nonlethal, and Lethal Weapons (pretty much anything to do with violence towards others, including “How to build a silencer for a submachine gun”!), and Explosives and Booby Traps (or “How to make TNT”).  Once again, don’t try this at home.  As the author himself says on the back cover, “This book is not for children or morons.”  Or anybody, really.

__________________________________________

4) Weaveworld
by Clive Barker
ISBN #0743417356

Weaveworld

I’m a big Clive Barker fan, and for me it all started here.  I just love the story, the characters, and the imagination behind it all.  It’s not what you’d typically expect when you hear “Clive Barker” (at least not back then).  Barker would go on to write a ton of my favorite books, such as The Great And Secret Show, Everville, and Imajica, but Weaveworld still remains a favorite.  That’s all I’m going to say about it.  Just read it.

__________________________________________

5) The Girl With The Long Green Heart
by Lawrence Block Published by Hard Case Crime
ISBN # 0-8439-5585-6

The Girl With The Long Green Heart

I reviewed this one waaay back in April of 2008 and it’s still one of my all-time favorite crime thrillers.  If you’re looking for a quick, dirty story well-told with great characters and a complex plot, you can’t go wrong with Block.

__________________________________________

6) Songs Of Innocence
By Richard Aleas Published by Hard Case Crime
ISBN # 0-8439-5773-5

Songs of Innocence

This is another Hard Case Crime entry that I reviewed (on September 3, 2008).  You might want to also pick up Aleas’ first book, Little Girl Lost, because this story, while stand-alone, features the same lead character.  One of the grimmest books I’ve read.  It will blow you away.

__________________________________________

7) The Invisibles
by Grant Morrison Published by DC Comics
1994 – 2000

The Invisibles

I’m thinking about a writing a post dealing exclusively with The Invisibles. It’s easily one of my top ten favorite comic series of all time and still blows me away when I re-read it all these years later.  It has a lot of BIG IDEAS crammed into 59 issues.  Subversive, exhilarating, thought-provoking, and jaw-droppingly awesome, I can only strongly urge you to pick up the seven trade paperbacks of this series immediately.  And while you’re at it, might as well pick up the companion book.

__________________________________________

8) God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
by Christopher Hitchens
ISBN # 0446579807

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

Everyone has their opinion about religion and, odds are, everyone is wrong.  Hitchens, a writer for Vanity Fair, delivers a compelling, easy-to-read argument for atheism without resorting to name-calling or straw man attacks.  Anyone interested in religion or the state of the world should make this mandatory reading.  You don’t have to agree with it, but it might make you question some of your own long-standing beliefs, or at least look at them in a new way.

__________________________________________

9) The Count Of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas
ISBN # 0140449264

The Count Of Monte Cristo

Here we go.  My favorite book of all time, hands down.  It took me forever to pick this up and read it.  The size is intimidating.  But once you get started, it really is tough to put down.  Dantes is a great, great character – maybe the best in fiction.  And Dumas is just a revelatory writer.   He takes what’s basically a revenge story and peppers it with interesting characters and unbelievable situations.  His set-up is fantastic, and the pay-off is one of the best things ever committed to paper.  Don’t let the fact that it’s old and long stop you from reading this.  I guarantee you’ll love it and curse yourself for not reading it sooner, just so you could read it again.

__________________________________________

10) The Secret History
by Donna Tartt Published by Alfred A. Knopf
ISBN # 0-679-41032-5

The Secret History

I’ve lent this book out to several people.  I’d estimate 80% of them loved it.  The other 20%, not so much.  I think the characters put people off.  They’re NOT likable people.  But they’re not exactly loathsome either.  Anyone who has ever attending a university will recognize these characters.  They’re arrogant, annoying, and pretentious.  But you understand them, too.  And root for them to escape their fate, though the sense of dread and doom build throughout the book until the devastating ending that just makes you want to turn back to page one and start it all over again.

__________________________________________

ColuMn does not recieve any kickback from sales generated by this post. We suggest that you borrow a copy from your local library or a friend. We’re also not above subtly implying shoplifting, but take no responsibilty for any charges filed.

But really, shell out the cash, cheapskate.

The Marvelous Wonders Of The Great Indoors

The door to the Great Indoors

If you’re like me, and if you’re not you’re probably an illiterate racist pedophile, then you love the summer. Hot weather, longer days, and lack of clothing all make for the best time of the year. It’s great to go out at night without piling on nine layers of clothes. And yet, there’s one aspect of summer that all warm weather enthusiasts hate: the sun.

Fortunately for you, dear ColuMn reader, I, BlackJack, am considered one of the world’s foremost Great Indoorsman. I’ve spent most of my life exploring the majestic wonders of inside. And now I can finally share some of my most thrilling adventures with you.

Before you sit on it, let me put some plastic down.

Our journey starts, happens, and ends on one of the greatest inventions of whatever century it was invented: the sofa. Some of you might know it by the term “couch”, and our dead and almost dead readers know it as the “davenport”, but no matter what you call it, everybody universally acknowledges that it is the shit. Whether you’re exploring such far off exotic locales as Liberty City or Bayside High, the sofa is always there to ensure a safe and comfortable trip.

Liberty City

You, of course will have to discover your own Furniture Guide. For some it may be the barcalounger. Others might prefer the annoying texture and sound of a beanbag chair. For others, perhaps a piss-stained futon. Your Furniture Guide is unique to you.  Odds are you have already bonded with it.

From there, the entire square footage of whatever disgusting hovel you non-ironically calm “home” is wide open.

Come on over.

I’d wager you’re probably reading this inside. Take a look around. Look at all the awesome floor, walls, and ceilingness. Lay your gaze across the vastness of your well-earned bounty. And need I even mention the awe-inspiring artistry of internet porn? Truly, my friend, you are indeed a god.

Outside = death.  Just ask this guy.  Oh wait.  You can't.  He died.  Outside.

So join me in shunning the so-called Great Outdoors. I don’t see what’s so great. Did you know that a lot of violent deaths happen OUTSIDE THE HOME? No, they don’t want you to know that. So to hell with the “fresh” air and the sun and *ugh* NATURE. Let’s get back to basics and do some roughin’ it BlackJack style, in the ludicrously opulent environs of the marvelous wonders of the Great Indoors.