Modern film-goers are often found to be of the opinion that black and white movies are “boring” for reasons that I cannot fathom. Perhaps they require color and bright flashing lights and cgi effects to keep their attention. Maybe they accidentally caught a drama from the 1940s when they were young children, at an age when ANY drama will seem dull and agonizingly slow. The people who feel this way, and there are a dismayingly large amount of them, can’t begin to imagine how boring and terrible silent films must be. No color AND no sound?? Actually, these people probably dismiss the idea of ever watching a silent movie so quickly that they don’t even form an actual opinion on the matter. If you are one of these people, then please read on. I hope to open your rapidly moving eyes and special little minds to a few gems.

eek

Truthfully, the silent era created great masterpieces in comedy, action/adventure, drama, mystery, tragedy, and so on. Many of these movies are so entertaining based on the incredible stunt work alone that you forget that movie-making was in its infancy and there would not be a dependable computer involved in the process for almost a hundred years in some instances. Yes, the make up was thick. Yes, they did over-act in a strange manner, but these people were used to stage acting in front of live audiences and Vaudeville, and old acting habits were probably difficult to overcome. If you give them a chance, you can see past the old-timey fashions and unusual activities and casual instances of appalling racism to see that these people are still people, and just like movie stars should be — most of them are quite easy on the eye. They might be older than your great-grandparents on the timeline, but if you can suspend your beliefs on matters of actual age vs movie age, or if you can even imagine yourself to be alive in those 1920s and seeing these films as they were released in the cinema — you might find it a more welcoming experience than you would have otherwise.

But I am not here to explain to you the entire history of the silent screen. No. It is Halloween time, friends. And you all love scary movies. Lucky for you, the silent films did their part in creating some of the creepiest imagery of all time. There is a lack of bared bosoms and painfully realistic gore, but they did quite fine with what they DID show, and also with what they only implied. Also PS the film quality makes everything kind of spooky and horrifying on top of everything else. So stand by, Sneer Friends, while I watch a few select films one by one — most for the first time ever — and become increasingly scared because I am a wimp.

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We have a lot of fears. Some make sense; others, not so much. This latter type will be featured once monthly until we run out of material, at which point, we might begin accepting the fears of our readers. 

hold it

At first this just seems like a harmless fact about me, doesn’t it? “Amandoll doesn’t like to smell gross people and anyone could turn out to be gross. Not too irrational.” But no. I mean, obviously I don’t like that. And I don’t like the idea of my pristine nasal cavity being invaded by sickening green wavy odor lines. How can it ever become clean? Hint: only by smelling some antibacterial soap (but don’t get any in there because that hurts).

We can salute my mom and a basic knowledge of medical things to know that ailments can be transmitted by air. Keep your plagues to yourself! I don’t want them in me via nose! And because I don’t want to look like a nut who wears a surgical mask in public, I have just learned to breathe so shallowly that it is probably far worse for my health than any germ would be.  And maybe in my idle moments it has crossed my mind that other ills, societal ills, could be passed around in the air, too. What if someone’s gross prejudices floated on the wind and infected those around them?? Does this explain the ways of the world? What if along with smells that tell me of their habits and diet, I can also somehow smell what they are thinking! Are these thoughts brought on by a long-term lack of oxygen?? Maybe!

I’m gonna be right up front about this:

I can’t dance.

There is no certain reason for this I suppose, maybe it’s because my body has about as much rhythm as a sun dried catfish, or maybe it’s the fact that the last time I even attempted to dance I was nearly dragged from the dance floor by my nostrils. But I’m going to guess the number one reason is that I am a 38 year old white guy who spends the majority of his time as far away from the club and dance scene as possible. It all comes down to wanting to fit in and feel comfortable where ever you go, and when I’m in a club with a bunch of sweating “young people” gyrating to enough bass to level a small third-world country, I do not fit in.

no dont

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We have a lot of fears. Some make sense; others, not so much. This latter type will be featured once monthly until we run out of material, at which point, we might begin accepting the fears of our readers. 

cchris

I love describing my dynamic with cchris to anyone who has a moment to listen, because I never have been able to understand it. I even mention it on here as much as I can, partly because it’s part of my character makeup, and partly because I really am that bewildered by it. Over the years, things have shifted and changed. When I realized that he is very mysterious, my imagination occasionally will step in and try to figure out WHY. Who is so good at not giving out personal facts? For this many years? Is it villainy? Is it because there’s nothing there? Is it to appear more interesting? What is there to hide, and if there is nothing to hide — WHY.

The irrational fear depicted in the comic has OMGJeremy to blame. Apparently he thinks that cchris and I write similarly, and maybe it is HIS irrational fear that I am pretending to be this whole other person. When he first told me of this, I did have a little while where I might have been horrified and fearful at the possibility. That would be world-shattering to realize. But I guess I don’t fear it, exactly. If it turns out it’s all been in my head, that’s almost impressive. I could live with it. I could live with having made a little Canadian Tulpa. That’s fine. Whatever. I would just like to know for sure before I die of old age.

First came the tentacle rape.

It was the beginning in a long line of horrors that OMGJeremy has subjected me to in his articles since the very beginning in 2002. (OMGJeremy.com was the site that most of us used to write for.) But you know what they say: what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger. Well, I must be invincible by now. And not only have I seen a lot, but I’ve written about a lot too, articles that have been lost to time mostly, including a review of a site that teaches women how to rape their husbands. But in 2003, I found something that managed to combine all of those and more. It’s as if all my nightmares Go-Go-Power-Morphed into some unholy Megazord and returned to feed me my own ass.

“What is it?” you’re probably asking as you close the door and open a new browser window. Why It’s none other than Furcadia — an online game that let you take on the role of an animal and interact with others in a series of dream worlds. And not surprisingly in the least, it contains the three big staples of the internet diet: furries, cybersex, and MMORPGs.

furcadia

 

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We have a lot of fears. Some make sense; others, not so much. This latter type will be featured once monthly until we run out of material, at which point, we might begin accepting the fears of our readers. 

pranks

I’m not sure if I actually have “social anxiety,” or if I just have anxious times while out and about, or if maybe I had it once, and am doing better now. But very definitely for a while this was a very serious concern of mine. Ever since I was a child and saw TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes, starring that dream team of Dick Clark and Ed McMahon, I became horrified by the idea that people would film pranks and then air them on television for the viewing public to see. Later, there have been plenty of other such shows, some meaner than others, and of course now there is YouTube and I’m even going to include improv groups who like to make “magic” in the form of awkward public scenes. Shudder.

I’m aware that I think legally, for the most part, they have people sign release forms to be displayed on television. But I am not sure what YouTube does to protect the average kid from being the target of such. Probably nothing. Look! I’m talking myself right back into having this as a strong irrational fear again! I know that this is statistically remote, but oh god, the horror. It is enough to make me never want to leave the house again. I can trust no one.

Before actually working at a party supply store, I was unaware that there are party supplies for EVERYTHING. I had previously been under the notion that people weren’t so stupid that they would need to run out and buy a giant bull skull to complete the look of their “Tex-Mex party,” which would just end up looking like a regular party except with a giant shitty foam bull skull hanging on the wall.

herein is torture and pain

While perusing the mind-numbing amount of overpriced shit for parties, I wandered upon a section, nay, an entire AISLE, just for celebrating old people’s birthdays and such. Well, let me rephrase that since it’s not entirely the truth: An entire aisle just for mocking old people’s further decline into a miserable old age and eventually to a depressing death that will most likely be filled with memories of the time their children bought them a fake jar of Viagra for their 60th birthday.

Some would call them “gag” gifts, and I suppose they are. Only I have never seen so many, and some so completely brutal, in one area before — all for simply being old. It’s as if to say “Congratulations on living for 3/4 of a century and accomplishing more than most of us ever will, now put this chicken suit on and DANCE YOU OLD SHIT.”

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We have a lot of fears. Some make sense; others, not so much. This latter type will be featured once monthly until we run out of material, at which point, we might begin accepting the fears of our readers. 

no

In this instance, I once again firmly believe that I am experiencing a rational fear, and always have behaved this way. Is it so improbable that while cooking, a little burst of oil would alter the course of my life? Maybe a face wouldn’t melt into an unmanageable tangle of scar tissue, but imagine what that would do to an eye. I have felt it on my arm! It hurts!

If I have to fry an egg or goetta or something, I am nothing but a mess of flinching and I actually stand several feet away until I have to draw near again. I just can’t get over my certainty that the moment I let my guard down or am caught by surprise because somehow water got into the pan, the oil will go straight for my face. Asking me to fry up a food is met with the same sort of reluctance as if you had asked me to volunteer to risk getting repeatedly snapped by mouse traps. If I offer to fry food for you for any reason, it means I like you enough to be brave, even though this comic shows that I am a big ol’ coward.

 

You find yourself in a maze filled with edible orbs, and you are not alone. Monsters lurk in this place, is it a dungeon? Is it a castle? Is it a level of HELL? You must run from these evil things — oh! You catch a glimpse! They’re g-g-ghosts! Vengeful, doomed spirits chase you, wishing to devour your soul. So you run. You dodge them by darting into unused corridors! Oh god but there are more! Mindlessly being forced to eat orbs as you run in terror, you stumble upon one that causes the ghosts to flee from YOU. Ha ha! Who’s chasing whom NOW, you fiends?! You gobble them up for a few seconds, not nearly enough seconds. Then their fear is over. You didn’t kill any of them. You do not kill ghosts. The chase is on again, and again, and again until you somehow eat all of the orbs. Then it all starts over.

No, I didn’t write out an entry from my Terrible Dreams journal. I just described the basic plot of Pac Man, an early video game from the otherwise glorious 1980s. It was released on this date in 1980, and I was never the same again.

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