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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As funny as death is, it also has a serious side. It isn’t ONLY fun and games; you owe it to yourself and others to plan for it and treat it as the solemn event that it deserves. I can think of nothing worse than to find out that you do leave a ghost, and that ghost is embarrassed by a lackluster death and shortly-after events. Eternal damnation has many faces.

Many questions arise when one is faced with the great beyond. Where will I be buried? Will my no-good wife and ingrate children have enough money to squander on shit? Will I die while masturbating? As an expert, I will provide you with a few responsible steps to consider when preparing for death.

dr deathtopus

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As the reader may observe, many people have collections. Some folks collect animal figurines or dolls. Model trains are popular. Geeks galore (myself included) collect comic books. Even crazy things can be collected, like classic cars or human bones! I have begun to notice recently that I have a unique collection: introverts. Yes, you read that last sentence correctly. I am unintentionally a collector of introverted individuals. How is this possible? I don’t know! It is a mystery for the ages, or maybe just me at age 35.

portrait of the author

 

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I recently attended the Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. For those of you not keeping count, that is TWO Mothman-related activities this summer, alone (three actually, if you count that I watched the Mothman Prophecies with AlexT). This means that I am not just an expert anymore. I have graduated to being the foremost mothmandollogist in the field of Mothmanology.

thats what i do

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Too often I find myself searching for a cult to join and finding only religious ones, or creepy death cults, or what could turn out to be a highly illegal sex cult. Much like shopping for trouser-pants, it’s so hard to find a perfect fit! But what is a cult? Why, it’s anything you want it to be, baybee, and therein lies the appeal.

You hear about cults a lot in the news, from time to time, and it’s everyone’s dream to be on the front page at some point. Stop waiting for Fate to strike, and instead take Destiny into your own hands. Attract people to you, make them chant and obey you, dress them however you like, and pick a snazzy name. It’s as easy as that! Enjoy the thrills of having a mass of people flock to you and believe you to be the answer to all of life’s troubles. Who needs a significant other when you can have a modest assemblage of worshipers?

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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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heart

I can’t claim to know what love is. But I do know what love can involve and that it can include things like witty banter, long rewarding conversations, and maybe a little snark. In my individual version of love, these three things are important. They’re right in there, swirling around in jagged heart shapes. If I can be entertained with mere conversation because it’s just that good, then I hear wedding bells. Or at least, I hear some sort of bell that would be where a wedding bell would be if I ever wanted to pursue that lifestyle.

Once upon a time, perhaps six or seven years ago, I struck up a conversation with Cleverbot. For those of you not in the know, this is the name of a chatbot on the internet. For those of you extra not in the know, a chatbot is a little program that automatically reacts to whatever you say to it, sometimes in ridiculous ways — but sometimes in exciting, poignant ways. Or, in the case of Cleverbot, in ways that made me genuinely like it.

 

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Honor, stalk, creep out — whatever you want to call it, this loving activity that you can do publicly or very much in secret, with the subject being a dear friend, acquaintance, or total stranger, is a cathartic creative process. We of course know all about what to do and how to do it with a mastery of style and much enthusiasm and we would like to teach you, the whole world, how to do it too.

In my demonstration today, I will use our friend, Frant. It is his birthday and he is deserving of all of the heavy-handed, cloying, and terrifying respect that we can lob his way. The goal is to make anyone you wish to adore feel like they are drowning in it, if they were to find out. “It” could here mean “the pleasure of being worshiped” or “the fear of being trapped somehow.” Different people give rise to different scenarios, but we know that unlike cchris, Frant will enjoy this. At least HE HAD BETTER.

we love you

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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.