Maxim Is Bullshit

*The Bullshit Series started on an older blog but I wanted to bring these articles back here, as I have new installments for the series that I want to release over time. The series focuses on things that I think are bullshit… like filet mignon, Zubaz pants, the Pro Bowl and diets.

*Written in 2014.

Let me start by saying that I really like looking at Mila Kunis and pretty much every other girl that Maxim throws on its cover to perk up dude’s peens and get them to buy a copy at the newsstand. Hot celebrity chicks wearing next to nothing will always turn the head of men in heat. For the record, men are always in heat; it’s the nature of the beast that is us but at least some of us aren’t pathetic dick-driven saps.

This is why I have never actually bought an issue of Maxim. Well, that and the absurdity of their headlines, which completely make me shake my head in disbelief. That is actually what this whole damn article is about.

Do the editors of Maxim think that men are women? I only ask this because at its core, on a content level, Maxim is essentially Cosmopolitan for people with dicks. I’m sorry but I have a dick and I’m not buying into this charade. To be blunt, I wouldn’t be surprised if Maxim was some attempt to further emasculate men by pretending that they’re trying to give the illusion of building them up.

To make my point clearer, let’s looks at some of the headlines from their covers:

“Is Your Girl Cheating?”
“Share The Love Bro!: How To Steal Your Best-Friend’s Girl”
“Can We Get That To Go (Waitress Sex)”
“I Do The Bridesmaid: Get Great Wedding Sex”
“She Wants To Cheat: Sex Secrets Of The Hotel Bar”
“Eat. Lay. Love. The Good Sex Diet”
“How To Scam Hot Chicks Even If You’re Too Timid To Even Buy Actual Pornography”
“Tongue Twist Her: How To Kiss Her Where It Counts”
“Love Lessons: Sex Tips You Can’t Live Without”
“5,000 Women Want You.. To Know What They Want In Bed”
“Become A God: In Bed, At Work, Behind The Wheel”
“Cheat And Don’t Get Caught: Women Tell You How”
“Touch Her Right Here: 10 Hot Spots For One-Stroke Seduction”
“Unleash Her Inner Nympho”
“Sex Unlimited!: Make Any Girl Seduce You!”

That’s just 15 headlines from random covers. They’ve been putting this shit out monthly for over 15 years. Not to mention that it has 16 editions in 75 countries. Maxim sells over two million magazines per month!

While reading those headlines, many of which I’ve seen on newsstands, I felt like my masculinity was shriveling up and dying just from glancing at those words. I mean, who writes that shit? More importantly, who reads it? Certainly not men. Well, possibly human beings with penises but not actual men.

Have we been reduced to insecure little bitches that cower in the face of sex? Are we gossipy woman-like creatures who need to thumb through the latest sex article because we’re fearful that our significant other is a loose trollop? Are we really all pigs that want to fuck our best friend’s girl? What does Maxim think a man is, exactly? And if they are this far gone on the understanding of masculinity, is it possible that they also don’t understand femininity?

Here’s reality though. You see, if Maxim’s tips and tricks were working, wouldn’t there be an extra two million dudes per month turning their game up – becoming superstar pimps leaving their mark on the hearts and uteruses of females everywhere?

Maxim is in the business of selling magazines. Sex sells. Maxim sells sex. People buy it. The formula is simple.

But as far as taking any of it seriously, get your shit together. Maxim isn’t here to help you and they really don’t care if they do. They sell a tried and true formula that works while desperate males continue to buy into it in an effort to quell their insecurities.

With the rise of feminism, women have become much more secure and have taken charge of their own destinies. That’s great. On the flipside however, men are seemingly reduced to the housewives of yesteryear, sitting in a bookstore café, nibbling on biscotti, reading Maxim – trying to get love tips to please their women, just as women used to do forty or fifty years ago. The roles have reversed and these men are just lost.

Well fellas, I’d hate to be the one to break it to you, but you aren’t going to find yourself in the pages of Maxim.

Getting back to the hot ladies in the magazine, yes.. I like to look at them. However, in this day and age, porn is free and at least people are naked and fucking.

Talking Pulp Update (1/1/2019): It’s a New Year

It’s a new year and I’ve been on a holiday hiatus.

I needed to take a big break from the real job, as well as creating content for this site and all the work that goes with that like watching a dozen movies per week and blowing through a mountain of comics.

This week will continue my light schedule, as I still have a lot of comic reviews stored up in my drafts. So expect a comic review pretty much everyday.

I’ll start posting film reviews again but not until next week. The last day or so, I’ve started watching a lot of stuff that’s been in my queue.

While I want to keep Talking Pulp going into 2019, the amount of content I produce on a regular basis will decline. I can’t work on other projects that I need to complete if I’m posting 18 to 30 reviews per week (my typical output up to this point).

I’m not sure what my new output amount will be and I’ll have to play it by ear as I try to figure out a new routine and schedule.

However, on the flip side of that, I am planning to devote some time to establishing the YouTube channel that’s just been sitting there for awhile now. It seems as if blogging is dying and streaming video content is becoming king. Now what that means for the Talking Pulp channel and the content I will create for it is still a mystery and it might take some experimentation to figure that out.

I do plan on doing regular livestreams with a panel of people that want to discuss the things I talk about on this site: film, comics, TV, etc. As far as film goes, I want to devote time to talking about classic film, indie film, old school horror and sci-fi, film-noir, spaghetti westerns, kaiju and tokusatsu, swashbuckling movies and modern motion pictures worth discussing.

I hope that those of you that have been around for the long haul continue to stick around. This is a hobby but it’s one I enjoy, especially when I can share it with others.

And if you have any interest in talking about any of the above topics in a livestream, let me know.

Talking Pulp Update (12/25/2018): Comic Week for Christmas

While I am off for this week (and possibly longer), I figured I’d give you all a small Christmas present.

do have a lot of comic book reviews stored in my drafts. So  figured that I could release a comic book review everyday over this holiday week in order to give Talking Pulp readers some content and to clear out some stuff that’s been sitting in the queue.

Talking Pulp Update (12/22/2018): Taking Off From Christmas Eve to New Year’s

It’s holiday time and I have family knocking on my door.

I’m also really behind on watching movies and thus, can’t create enough content for next week.

So, I will be taking off from Christmas till New Year’s Day (and maybe a day or two longer).

Plus, the real job has been nuts, lately.

However, if I do see any new movies in the theater, I will try to get up reviews for those. As I am off of work during the week, I’m planning on catching up with some of the films I’ve missed.

That’s it, I’ll keep this short and sweet.

Happy holidays and all that f’n jazz, y’all.

Phonebooks Are Bullshit

*The Bullshit Series started on an older blog but I wanted to bring these articles back here, as I have new installments for the series that I want to release over time. The series focuses on things that I think are bullshit… like filet mignon, Zubaz pants, the Pro Bowl and diets.

*Written in 2015.

Look at that pile of crap in the photo; I just want to shit on it and burn it.

Why the hatred for phonebooks? Let me elaborate.

Phonebooks, in this day and age are fucking stupid. Their continued existence is evidence that there is something fundamentally wrong with humankind. Seriously, what exactly makes these things necessary in the modern world?

This little diatribe by yours truly, has been inspired by repeated events out of my control that annoy the piss out of me.

I’m sick of coming home from a long day of work and finding a big ass brick of yellow paper in a cardboard cover wrapped in a plastic bag blocking my path into my house once every few months. Yes, every few months, because one phonebook isn’t enough. No, these asshole have to either print updates all the time or there are multiple companies forcing these goddamned things on me like a pushy drug dealer trying to force angeldust on school kids.

How do I respond to this? Usually I punt the goddamned thing into the bushes like I’m Morten Fucking Anderson in an NFC Championship game! Why? Because I don’t want it, it is forced on me and I don’t want to be responsible for disposing of it or worse yet, having to keep a library of these asshole things! I didn’t sign up for these, I didn’t agree to anything and I don’t want them. Phonebooks are like the mailman hoarding all your junk mail for months and then dumping it all on your doorstep at once.

The thing is, who the fuck still uses a phonebook? In the modern era of smartphones and motherfucking Google, finding phone numbers and info on local businesses is much easier, much quicker and it all fits within something smaller than the size of your hand. A phonebook isn’t this convenient, as it’s like a stack of bibles had a big doofus baby that weighs more than Andre the Giant’s left thigh.

Can a phonebook give you more than a phone number? Not really. With my phone, my tablet or my computer, I can search any local business, get the phone number, get a map with solid directions, get a street view shot of what the building looks like and read reviews of the business. Also on my phone, I can just tap on the phone number in my search and it will magically call the business. If you tap the phone number in a phonebook, nothing will happen other than you looking like an idiot. Another plus with your phone, tablet or computer, is that searches for businesses often time pull up lists of services, prices and in the case of restaurants, menus.

Now phonebooks also offer lists of services, prices and menus but that is because they are ads bought by local businesses. You see, they don’t offer all the information, just the info of those willing to pay and have it included in the phonebook. Why would you want some info and not all info? And this is really why phonebooks still exist: advertising dollars. But I get it, it is a business and that’s fine. I just don’t understand how some businesses still pump money into such an archaic and dead form of advertising.

I hope they at least make all of these out of recycled paper now. These things are like 100,000 pages thick and waste a shit ton of paper for something that no one even looks at. In my neighborhood alone, there are about 200 condo units. With these things popping up on my doorstep and everyone else’s, there are probably around 1,000 big ass phonebooks per year! That’s just in my neighborhood, not the whole town, the whole county, the whole state, the whole country or the whole world.

This brings me to the disposal of these things. They are forced on me and everyone else and then we are expected to take them to special phonebook recycling dumpsters when they are outdated. So I am expected to be inconvenienced in that regard too – rounding these heavy bastards up and wasting gas going to wherever the magic phonebook dumpster is. The truth is, the whole concept is outdated and should be trashed.

Times have changed. There is no good that can come out of producing phonebooks these days. They don’t even make good rolling papers.

Talking Pulp: The Loss of FilmStruck Is Depressing

I have been a subscriber to FilmStruck pretty much since it’s inception. So the news that it is closing up shop this week is very depressing and also unsettling. But I’m here to explain why this terrible reality is an absolute tragedy for those of us who love the art of filmmaking and the incredibly diverse history of motion pictures.

FilmStruck was a collaboration between Turner Classic Movies and the people behind The Criterion Collection. It’s a great streaming service for true film lovers. It has featured true cinematic classics, foreign gems and lots of great indie films going back as far as the earliest motion pictures.

The service was broken into two subscription tiers. The lowest priced one gave you FilmStruck’s selections of films while the higher priced tier gave you The Criterion Collection add-on. I always paid for the higher tier, as $10.99 a month is much cheaper than what it would cost to buy a single Criterion Blu-ray. In fact, three months of The Criterion Channel was about equal to one Blu-ray.

What also made the Criterion add-on great, is that it didn’t just give you Criterion versions of the movies but you got a lot of the extras, documentaries and interviews along with it. You also got a lot of videos where movie experts and historians talk about some of these great films and their impact.

FilmStruck also did a stupendous job in curating their offerings and always bringing in new stuff while featuring specific directors, actors, cinematographers, etc. It truly celebrated the great art of filmmaking and film history. If you absolutely love motion pictures, there just isn’t a better streaming service than this.

In fact, a large bulk of what I review on Talking Pulp (and formerly Cinespiria) are movies that I have watched with FilmStruck. I’m a pretty big film aficionado and FilmStruck has been a spectacular educational resource for me, as I always try to delve deeper into history, varying genres and geographical regions. Without FilmStruck, I probably wouldn’t have come to discover many films that I have grown to love.

I know I’m not alone, as I meet new film aficionados almost daily and FilmStruck has helped to educate many of us, as we all love to explore the dark recesses of film history.

Unfortunately, FilmStruck is going away due to corporate mergers, new owners analyzing the books and them deciding that FilmStruck just isn’t profitable enough. If that’s the case, it’s something I would gladly pay more money to keep. But in the corporate world, decisions are rash and the cultural importance of something is often times overlooked for profit. I’m very much a capitalist and I get that it’s all about the bottom line but some things are bigger than the value of the dollar.

Film history is history. It is also art and art is pretty damn important.

Thousands of people seem to agree with me, as a petition was created to save FilmStruck. 50,000 signatures were needed and the petition exceeded that and then upped the number to 75,000, which it is still building towards. However, the new owners of FilmStruck don’t seem to care about that, as the service is still going down on November 29th, 2018.

It’s depressing and it’s tragic. I wish that this was something that could be saved and that the people at the top of the food chain saw this as something with real value in a world where movies are getting worse and art itself is being watered down and washed away in just about every medium.

Film is powerful but maybe it’s not powerful enough anymore.

That being said, The Criterion Collection has announced that they are creating their own service in the wake of all this. It won’t quite be FilmStruck but as long as it has access to the same Criterion content we’ve gotten with this great service, then it should also be worth every penny.

Sadly, we will have to wait until the first quarter of next year and in the meantime, there really isn’t a streaming service for true film aficionados.

This is a dark time, as watching Netflix original movies isn’t how I want to spend my free time, but I guess there is a silver lining on the horizon.

And who knows, maybe once that ball is rolling, The Criterion Channel can start working with TCM again.

Only time will tell how this plays out but for now, this is a great loss to the film world.

I will truly miss FilmStruck and I can’t thank the people behind it enough for giving film fans something marvelous, invaluable and treasured.

Talking Pulp: Stan Lee is Gone but His Legacy is Immortal – How He Impacted Me

It’s been a few days since Stan Lee passed away. The Internet is full of tributes to the man but I really needed some time to process it and to reflect on his life before writing about what Stan meant to me.

Stan Lee had an immense impact on me and to be honest, that’s an understatement. Alongside George Lucas, Lee was responsible for creating a vast mythos that was instrumental in shaping my life. I would say that Lee had an even larger impact than Lucas’ Star Wars, which was the biggest thing in the world to a kid of the ’80s.

Lee eclipsed Lucas because by the time I discovered his creations, Marvel had already expanded into a universe much larger than what Star Wars was or would ever be.

Stan the Man created more characters and things that I grew to care about than any other great creator throughout the history of time. Maybe that’s because of the time I grew up in or because I was just drawn to comics, being that I’ve been an artist and a writer since I could hold a pencil.

My very first Marvel experience came in the form of television, as I became a huge fan of the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cartoon, which ran from 1981 to 1983. I was four years-old in ’83 and I probably discovered the show right at it’s end but it would go on to be replayed beyond its cancellation.

I remember vividly, the day that I saw the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode that featured the X-Men. I immediately fell in love with those characters and it wasn’t long before I had issues of The Uncanny X-Men in my hands. Then there was The Amazing Spider-Man and my first mega event, Secret Wars. Everything branched out from that but it was the foundation of Stan’s creations that brought me to a fantasy world where I could escape and spend my time.

Marvel was the first comic book company I discovered and even though I loved DC Comics’ Batman more than any other comic book character, I spent 90 percent of my time reading Marvel over DC. I was fascinated by the X-Men, I loved Spider-Man and his large rogues gallery. I really got into Captain America, dug the hell out of Iron Man and followed all versions of the Avengers teams from the mid-’80s and onward.

I was very aware of who Stan Lee was, as he was always a prominent figure in comics and his name was in the credits of nearly every Marvel book, if not all of them back then. When I would see Stan do interviews or pop up in other places, it was always a treat. He had charisma and an infectious personality. He was wise, creative and fatherly but in a way that was way cooler than any dad on Planet Earth.

When the Marvel Comics trading cards came out my first year of middle school, all the boys I knew were trying their damnedest to collect the full set. This was my first experience in trading cards with friends and a lot of the sixth grade boys at my school started becoming a bit of a club or community. Collecting these cards educated us on Marvel history and led us down new avenues with new characters and major stories to check out. We started trading and lending out comics. It was a really cool time to be a kid, especially for one that loved superhero comics.

By the way, my favorite Marvel trading card was always the Stan Lee one from the first series.

When you think about all the things that Stan Lee created and then take into account the scale of what those creations have become in pop culture, he may be the most prolific, successful and inspiring writer of his generation. Most of his creations are beloved and many of them have become big business in film, television and video games. Not to mention toys, trinkets and just about anything you can throw the Hulk or Thor’s mug on.

Stan Lee’s work has generated billions of dollars in revenue. It’s damn near impossible to find anyone who doesn’t know at least one of Lee’s creations.

I’ve seen Stan Lee in person but I never got to speak with him. But regardless of that, I always felt close to the man, as did many fans. He seemed accessible and he always seemed to love the people as much as they loved him. He always had his best face on, publicly, and I’ve never met a fan that had a bad experience in meeting him.

Stan Lee’s passing wasn’t unexpected. I think that everyone knew it was coming in the near future based off of the loss of his wife and the terrible things he went through since then but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t hit me like a dagger to the gut.

I don’t usually get down or upset about celebrity deaths. Sure, there are people that I know I’ll miss and dwelling on their deaths is a downer but Stan’s death was different. Stan was a major part of my life.

Without Stan, I might not have discovered comics in quite the same way and I probably wouldn’t have such a passionate love for them that didn’t just end in childhood but has carried over into adulthood.

Without Stan, I probably wouldn’t have ever drawn my own comics as a kid. By the time I was in 7th and 8th grade, I had formed my own company with some friends and we were putting out comics regularly, first selling them to other school kids and then kids from other schools we didn’t even know. I loved that time in my life and it was Stan that guided me to that great place. Plus, his book, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way was my bible during this period of creative exploration.

Without Stan, I may have walked away from comics. However, he was always a presence in the industry and every time I saw him trucking along, putting out new projects and popping up in movies, it always brought me back to that place where I always felt most comfortable. Stan Lee was like a piece of home for me, a dear relative that lives far away but pops back up into my life every so often.

A world without Stan Lee just doesn’t seem like a world I want to live in. I don’t mean that to sound depressing but he was always a beacon of light and enthusiasm, exuding positivity and imagination. The world is truly missing something great without Stan Lee in it.

But we all have to do what Stan Lee would want us to do. Move forward, live life and try to be the best version of ourself, everyday.