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.

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: 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.

Just For Men 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 2013.

*Taken from my personal journal.

“Just For Men”? More like “Just Be Whatever Corporations Tell You Women Want So They Can Sell Your Insecure Ass On Some Bullshit”!

The whole name “Just For Men” is oxymoronic. Their commercials usually depict some sort of manly dude being awesomely manly and then being shut down by some cunty supermodel slut because homeboy looks too old with a bit of salt and pepper in his hair and/or beard. Jesus Christ sliding down a rainbow, where do I even start ripping at the seams here?

Just For Men wants you to believe that women are that superficial and mindless. They also hope that you, the man, are also that superficial and mindless. Now if a woman is that superficial and mindless, she is a useless asshole bottom-feeding slag that you should buy a drink for – only to pour it in her gonorrhea afflicted lap. If you are a man that is also that superficial and mindless, you need to see a surgeon and have your testicles replaced because they’re not working properly.

The point is, if you are a bad ass grizzly bear motherfucker surfing the flaming solar flares of a supernova over a black hole while whittling your own 1972 Ferrari Dino out of granite, women will love you regardless of a few grey hairs on your chin. Hell, you could be full on grey or bald and women universally would be speed-flicking their beans – competing for the world record every time you just so happened to glance in their direction.

Shit, how many women still jack off to old ass Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Sean Connery and Patrick Stewart? Quite a bit. Hell, Johnny Depp after 50 years on this planet is showing some age but ladies still want to be finger-blasted by Capt. Jack Sparrow.

What men need is not some little dainty cardboard box full of dyes and womanly instructions. No, they need real fucking confidence! How bad ass would you feel combing your bitch dye into your meticulously shaped and effeminate bitch goatee (*cough! cough!.. Jay Glazer)? And no matter how much bitch dye you use, you will always be a bitch. And considering that real women don’t give a fuck, you’re just proving that.. 1.) You’re an idiot. 2.) You’re gullible. 3.) You’re a fear turtle that spends too much time in his bitch shell. 4.) You believe and trust any bullshit thrown at you. 5.) You’re about as masculine as a giant Hefty bag full of vaginas.

If the fact that Just For Men also sells “Just A Bit of Grey” kits doesn’t tip you off to their bullshit, that just means that you are a class A buffoon. These assholes will sell you anything, especially if you’re the kind of weakling sap suffering from the male guilt manufactured by the militant feminist movement that hates your penis anyway. Fuck those chicks wanting dicks of their own. Besides, they already own yours if you buy into this whole “Just For Men” conspiracy. Yes, conspiracy! A conspiracy to emasculate America!

Now don’t even get me started on those bullshit Gillette commercials with supermodels who would never fuck any of us – calling for men to completely shave their entire bodies. Fuck you, Kate Upton. Take off your make up and step away from the Photoshop. Minus your tits of magnificence, you’re just a day shift stripper at the Brass Ass outside of Cincinnati. If you can live a lie and hide your imperfections with MAC makeup and a team of graphic artists, I can hide mine with bodacious body hair and a beard epic enough to have Peter Jackson personally begging me to let him direct a trilogy about it.

At the end of the day, men just need to fucking embrace what they are. Stop being lap dogs because Milkbones taste like shit and being neutered means that you can’t properly fuck stuff.

Talking Pulp: How WWE Finally Broke Me as a Lifelong Fan

I have been a fan of professional wrestling my entire life. I grew up with a lot of my family members watching it and I got to go to a ton of shows throughout Florida, as a kid in the ’80s and ’90s. In fact, I would often times get to go backstage at events, as some people in my family had old relationships with certain people within that industry. I grew up with this thing in my life at a very early age and I even aspired to be a wrestler after seeing the matches of Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat, Randy Savage, the more technical guys in ECW and all the great Japanese and Mexican classics that I acquired on VHS in the ’90s.

To say that I was a hardcore fan in my teen years and early twenties is an understatement. I grew up with the ’80s cheese, the early ’90s weirdness and the Attitude Era began as I was in my late teens. I remember vividly the first time I saw Scott Hall on Nitro, an ECW show on the Sunshine Network and the Montreal Screwjob. All of it instilled a passion in me that I never thought would die.

However, I’ve now gotten to the point where I can’t stomach WWE. It’s been something that has actually been slowly growing in me for decades since the start of the PG Era and the loss of real competition for Vince McMahon’s monster company. But despite holding on, because I love great matches and great in-ring psychology, I have finally broke down and can’t support WWE anymore.

To start, Raw has had some record low ratings this year and Smackdown is pulling in worse numbers. You can’t really look at pay-per-view buyrates anymore because WWE found a way to skirt around that statistic by putting their marquee shows on their own streaming service. Being that the WWE Network is $9.99 per month, paying that is a no brainer when compared to the $50+ per event that they were charging on the standard cable pay-per-view format. But this also gives WWE an inflated number when compared to pay-per-views of old, as more people can pay $9.99 over $50+. Regardless, you can’t compare pre-WWE Network buyrates to WWE Network subscriptions. It’s apples and oranges but WWE doesn’t want you to see the ruse. But they have seen their audience as dumb for many years, despite their insistence that they care about what the fans want and that WWE fans are “smart”.

You still get a damn good match in WWE quite often but usually they are watered down by the shit show around them. And in cases where you should definitely have awesome matches, you don’t. Look at this year’s AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura feud. Those matches could have been classics and we could have had an incredible feud but WWE stands in the way of its performers and don’t tend to trust outsiders that come into the company that made a big name for themselves outside of WWE. Instead, we got lackluster matches written around low blows and non-finishes.

And that brings me to the writing. It doesn’t take a genius to see that WWE can’t produce a good story anymore and for the most part, every single episode of Raw is made up of the same matches over and over again, week in, week out, where the winner loses the next week and the loser wins the next week. This prevents characters from growth, momentum or any sort of real development.

WWE is absolutely predictable. Even when it isn’t, it’s only because they didn’t see the actual writing on the wall and had their hands over their eyes and ears. It’s very rare that you are surprised by it anymore. Going back to last week’s Raw, everyone was “shocked” by the heel turn of Dean Ambrose but it’s been teased for a year and they only sped up the storyline, as he was probably going to turn heel at Survivor Series in three weeks.

Whenever WWE finds a hot young talent, they tend to build them up strongly, at first, or they become superstars in NXT and then get called up. But once they get even a sliver of the spotlight, Vince McMahon loses confidence and the company doesn’t let a star become a supernova. Most recently, we’ve seen it with Finn Bálor, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, Asuka and even Samoa Joe, who just came off of a high profile feud looking irrelevant. Point being, you invest your own time and emotion in these great performers that could carry this company into a bright future but ultimately, Vince McMahon doesn’t understand his audience and books his shows to promote his own biases to his own detriment.

Fans really want Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks to come to WWE. I don’t because I know what will happen, they’ll come in strong and within a year or two, they’ll flounder on the mid-card wondering what went wrong and wishing they’d stayed in New Japan and Ring of Honor. And based off of WWE’s track record, why would anyone think differently? I mean, what did they do with Cody last time? He was Stardust, a comedy act and a rehash of his older brother’s gimmick.

But the thing is, I have put up with all this bullshit for years and I have still tuned in. But that’s really shifted, specifically in the last few weeks during the build up towards two pay-per-views: Evolution and Crown Jewel.

Evolution, for those who don’t know, is, as they promote it, “…the first ever all-women’s pay-per-view event!” I was pretty excited about this when it was announced but it has become abundantly clear that WWE doesn’t give a shit about this show. In fact, it has actually come out that it was put on as more of a way to get Stephanie McMahon good PR, as she has been taking over as WWE’s public face.

The WWE doesn’t really give a shit about the “women’s revolution” and it’s pretty clear, at this point. All of it is PR and an attempt at virtue signaling and getting imaginary social justice brownie points, which absolutely sucks because the female half of the roster has never been stronger than it is right now. This could be a tremendously stacked pay-per-view with loads of talent, high quality matches and a place to showcase some of the female legends with the superstars of today.

Instead, we get one good match up with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, a Ronda Rousey match, a tag match where the premiere star has to sit out injured and then a few NXT level matches and a battle royal. So yes, 80 percent of the women’s roster is wedged into a battle royal. The last time this happened was at Wrestlemania, which no one remembers or cares about, and the trophy looked like a golden uterus… that’s not an exaggeration – Google it.

WWE Evolution has been promoted and booked like an afterthought because that’s exactly what it is. But hey, Stephanie McMahon… what a gal? Am I right? Out there putting women first and making things happen for the sisters? Maybe she spent a little extra and got a platinum uterus trophy this time.

But even with Evolution being a blight on WWE, nothing is as embarrassing and as heinous as what has gone down in regards to Crown Jewel, WWE’s second event in Saudi Arabia this year.

Why is this heinous? Well, there’s that whole thing about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, less than a month ago. For those that don’t know, he was a Saudi born journalist that was outspoken against his home country and was murdered for it in the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. This is a terrible event that has put a microscope on Saudi Arabia and everything coming out about it is very, very bad.

Since this happened, there was been strong speculation that WWE would cancel the show our move it to another country but WWE is in bed with the Saudis and getting paid a ridiculous sum. This is actually the first year of a ten year contract that Vince McMahon made with the country. WWE wrestlers have expressed their fear in going there, fans have made their anger over it well-known and Vince hasn’t said a damn thing, other than WWE officially revealing that they are still going.

WWE has spent the last year promoting Saudi Arabia as a “progressive” country, even though women aren’t allowed on the show. So much for that “women’s revolution” business, right? In fact, Evolution was probably given to the women to keep them complacent while WWE continues to do business with one of the most non-socially progressive countries in the world.

WWE’s biggest star, John Cena, announced that he will not go to Saudi Arabia. Daniel Bryan expressed the same sentiment but we’ll have to wait and see if he’s forced to do the show against his will. And while other stars also don’t want to go there, it’s pretty clear that Vince McMahon prefers money to morals or if I’m being completely honest, fattening his own pockets while his employees are forced into performing like circus animals for a country that literally murders its own, simply for expressing other viewpoints. Saudi Arabia sounds so “progressive”.

In regards to Crown Jewel, social media has shown that most fans are upset with the event. In fact, polls on just about every wrestling news site have shown that fans oppose this in a landslide. But again, Vince is getting rich and the show must go on. Because some people can’t be satisfied by already being rich and heck, who cares who they murder over there, it’s none of our business and the show must go on! Glad to see that WWE truly cares what their fans think.

I just can’t give this company my money anymore and there are much better alternatives out there like New Japan and Ring of Honor. I just can’t stomach what WWE has become, as they can’t see the line between reality and the circus they’ve created. The McMahons live on another planet, high on their own rich gases where the fantasy is their reality. I don’t think their brains have broke kayfabe in quite some time and they don’t realize that most fans know the difference between the show and the real world.

Vince McMahon, we’re not stupid. And frankly, I have financially supported your product since the ’80s when my mum was yelling at me about the phone bill after calling your hotline too much. I have watched every “big four” pay-per-view since Wrestlemania I but I’m not doing it anymore. So enjoy the Saudi blood money and placating to the virtue signalers. I know I’m not alone in this, so I hope you can right the ship before it’s too late… but it’s probably too late.

But hey, “It’s all about the monaaay!”… am I right?

Talking Pulp: The Death of Optimus Prime and Why It Was Great

August 8th, 1986. That was the day where everything changed.

Transformers: The Movie hit theaters and little boys and little girls had their hearts broken when they witnessed, on the big screen, the death of the franchise’s biggest hero, Optimus Prime.

I was seven years-old when I saw the movie and it had a profound effect on me. I was crushed when the film got to that moment but unlike most of the kids in the theater, I got over it as the film rolled on. Because even though I was shocked, I knew that everything changed and nothing was safe. I mean, that was kind of cool. No one had any idea where the movie could even go after that moment, which was very early on in the story.

In that moment, I knew that even though all seemed lost, the stakes had never been higher and that the Autobots faced their greatest challenge. I knew that fresh, exciting and different days were still ahead. And I may have not actually understood this with great detail but I remember vividly what I felt: shock, awe, surprise and an overwhelming desire to see the Autobots overcome adversity, hardship and evil. It also made the villains darker, which I loved.

I guess that this had a huge cultural impact because parents were so upset that they made their feelings widely known. Hasbro responded by having G.I. Joe: The Movie altered so that Duke’s death, the G.I. Joe’s beloved field commander, was rewritten so that he just fell into a coma for the rest of the film. It doesn’t matter that you saw a venomous snake bite him through the heart with actual blood splatter, he lived to be okay.

Hasbro certainly didn’t want more backlash from angry parents with kids that had their hearts crushed like Duke’s in the snake’s mouth. But really, Duke’s “death” was more violent and shocking to see than Optimus Prime’s. I mean, Duke was human, there was blood and his human facial expression really sold the moment. But I’ll probably save this whole topic for an article at a later date. I just wanted to shed some light and add some context on the Optimus Prime death situation from a cultural perspective.

Anyway, Transformers: The Movie moved forward past that tragic scene. Optimus Prime’s Matrix of Leadership was first passed to Ultra Magnus but by the end of the movie, it found the one Autobot truly worthy of carrying it into the future: Hot Rod. Hot Rod unlocked the power of the Matrix and evolved into Rodimus Prime, a sort of hybrid between himself and Optimus, as he grew taller, broader and went from being a cool hot rod to a hot rod mixed with a semi truck.

Rodimus (with the Matrix) defeated the Decepticons and their new leader Galvatron (a suped up version of the former leader Megatron). Rodimus also helped destroy Unicron, who was basically the Transformers version of Marvel’s Galactus but actually cooler. By the end of the movie, Rodimus Prime rose to the occasion and the Autobots that survived this nearly apocalyptic event would go on to protect Earth from Galvatron and his minions in the future.

When the later seasons of the Transformers cartoon hit the airwaves, it took place after the movie and things were very different. Many episodes were dark and bleak and while this probably didn’t appeal to parents looking out for their kids’ best interest, as a kid, I really liked these episodes.

It was the first time that I experienced something I love in entertainment, going darker and getting grittier. As a kid, I thought it was cool as hell and it made this show about cartoon robots seem more real and more mature. In a way, the show was growing up and evolving with me. People look down on this era of the show but if I’m being completely honest, I preferred this era. Plus, the feeling that no one was truly safe, carried over from the movie.

I also preferred the characters and the toys that came out that tied into this post-Movie era. The toys got more elaborate and creative. You had Headmasters, Triggermasters, more creative and futuristic vehicles and Hot Rod was always f’n cool to me, even as Rodimus.

On the Decepticon side, as much as I loved Starscream and his Seekers, I really loved Cyclonus and the Swoops. Megatron is my favorite Transformer of all-time but Galvatron was less bumbling and seemed like he was a more capable madman. Also, Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe even shows up in an episode with the name “Snake”. It’s obvious that it’s Cobra Commander and he is there to assist the villainous Decepticons, years after Cobra has ceased to exist.

You also got really cool Combiners like Predaking and awesome battle stations that transformed into massive robots. I owned Fortress Maximus and it was probably my most beloved toy in the ’80s. It was also a sign of pride for me, as I saved up over $100 to buy it with my own money. I also bought Skorponok and Trypticon because they were two of the coolest f’n toys ever made.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love so many of the original Transformers, as well as the earliest episodes, but there was just something more grown up about the show after the death of Optimus Prime.

If Optimus Prime didn’t die and the show didn’t take a darker turn and get more mature, I probably would have lost interest in it. There were already 65 episodes before The Movie. The formula had run it’s course and change was needed to make things fresh and interesting again. Plus, Hasbro had all these new toys to sell and the old robots were just in the way of the new ones. This is the same reason why the G.I. Joe and Cobra teams changed so frequently on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.

But then, like a beacon of light and hope at the end of the dark tunnel, Transformers did something really amazing. The show found a way to resurrect Optimus Prime.

I remember seeing the ad for the Return of Optimus Prime and it’s like the world stopped. After truly enjoying the post-Optimus era, absence made the heart grow fonder and it’s as if I didn’t realize how much I wanted him and needed him during his absence. Optimus Prime going away for awhile made the character stronger. Everyone I knew, back when I was in second grade, was glued to their television sets on February 24th and 25th, 1987 for that two-part story that closed out Season 3.

And what a story that was! Optimus Prime took the Matrix back, Rodimus stepped aside and everything was restored. Plus, the Autobots now had the edge over the more sinister Decepticons.

The point here, is that Optimus Prime dying created backlash and made children cry but it was necessary in making Transformers survive. It enriched the mythos, it paved the way for new characters, new toys and it opened the door for riskier and more interesting storytelling. It changed the tone of the franchise, which I feel was needed after the 65 episodes before The Movie.

I think Hasbro was smart in doing what they did. Without the death of Optimus Prime, we might not have Transformers today. The sacrifice of the franchise’s most popular hero gave that franchise meaning beyond just being some cartoon made to sell toys.

Also, no matter how much money they dump into these modern Transformers movies, they have yet to come up with a story that can even exist in the same orbit as the original animated film. Without the death of Optimus Prime, what was that film? It probably would’ve just felt like a normal multi-part episode like G.I. Joe: The Movie did because they didn’t commit to the bit and kill off Duke.

With Transformers: The Movie, Hasbro did everything right.

And now I leave you with Stan Bush’s “The Touch”. Drink it in, bathe in its glory.

Talking Pulp: WarGames 2018 – The Comic Book Industry Expansion Pack

Somewhere along the way, people went fucking nuts.

I mean, this shit has been simmering for awhile now but Donald Trump winning the presidency (a guy I didn’t vote for, by the way) has turned the lefties into a fucking maelstrom of hate and madness.

I used to write about politics and economics and dealt with my fair share of craziness from people on both sides of the political spectrum because I don’t wholeheartedly agree with either side.

During that time, primarily from 2010 through 2013, I wrote a lot about Donald Trump because no one took him seriously but I saw the writing on the wall. I knew that Barack Obama would defeat Mitt Romney in 2012 and that Donald Trump would win in 2016, as a response to eight years under strong Democratic Party rule. This is how it goes, power shifts back and forth from party to party in a two-party system. Especially, when third party candidates have the deck stacked against them to where they can’t get their foot in the establishment door.

Point being, the Democrats will have their day in the sun again, whether that makes you happy or that upsets you. The pendulum continues to swing: sometimes quickly, sometimes a bit slower.

The writing is always on the wall but, as of late, it seems that the average person is either ignorant of history, often times by choice, or they have the emotional control of a two year-old on Mountain Dew and Smarties. Nothing is ever settled in politics. Neither side is ever going to win and be done with it. It’s always going to be a battle and there will always be the other side of the coin, chipping away at whatever you feel your side of the coin has built up.

Writing about that stuff for a long time and engaging with hostile people all over the damn place was why I had to walk away from it. You are either preaching to the choir or your wasting time and energy on vile people that refuse to listen to logic, reason or just a difference of opinion. Sometimes you reach someone and alter their worldview but open mindedness, acceptance and challenging oneself are things that seem to scare the crap out of people in 2018.

The reason I’m even talking about this is because I now find myself in a similar situation and I’ve stayed away from the political world. But I guess with the madness that has a strong hold on society, this has become unavoidable.

How is it effecting me? How has this bullshit found a way back into my life on a nauseatingly large scale?

Through comic books. Yes, fucking comic books.

Are we this fucking petty now? Is America so far gone that I have to bare witness and be forced to participate in some sort of wackadoo culture war that is happening in one of my favorite forms of escapism?

One side points to the SJW (social justice warrior) takeover of mainstream and indie comics. The other side calls its critics racist, misogynist, homophobic Nazis. One side seems fairly rational, even if some within their ranks are shit stirrers, there will always be shit stirrers. The other side attacks like rabid animals, parroting the same tired and vicious talking points, again and again.

I’ve been aware of the Comicsgate versus SJW war for awhile now but I didn’t really want to involve myself because I hate Twitter and social media in general. Also, I don’t have the time to give a shit or waste time trying to convince other people that their worldview might be wrong.

The thing is, I hate groups and movements and I’ve always been a lone wolf because groups and movements come and go. More people join, movements get co-opted by outsiders, they lose their original intended purpose and then they splinter into other groups or just cease to exist. Just in recent years, I’ve seen this happen with the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement: two groups on opposite ends of the spectrum but both ruined by the same sort of bullshit. History is full of examples like this and nothing truly lasts.

But that doesn’t mean that the ideals and tenets don’t remain in the hearts of a movement’s originators. People with Tea Party or Occupy principles continue to exist and to maintain those original ideals. I tend to stand alongside individuals who share the ideas and worldview that I have, as opposed to joining groups that will run their course and most likely won’t fulfill their intended purpose and often times grow into the antithesis of themselves.

My personal ideals and tenets are more in line with Comicsgate. I agree with their core principles. In saying that, the other side of the coin will just label me a whole bunch of nasty shit that isn’t true because they can’t have an intelligent or even rational discussion about it because either they can’t formulate an intelligent thought, won’t even consider evidence contrary to their beliefs or they are too scared to disagree for fear of also being labeled horrible things. Plus, for these sociopaths, competing for the most likes from other sociopaths on Twitter is more important than being a human fucking being.

These people have become the Westboro Baptist Church of the comic book industry and by denouncing you with hate and venom, they believe that this somehow deplatforms you. Strangely though, words like “Nazi” and “bigot” have lost their impact. And frankly, it goes to show how stupid and bigoted these people are when they want to compare someone critical of a character in a comic book to a fascist empire that murdered millions of people simply because they were Jewish. It’s the SJWs that obsess over race, sexual preference and gender all the time. Most normal people don’t give a shit. But these angry creatures have never experienced real racism or hatred. But everything is offensive to them and context isn’t something that their brains can even seem to calculate. Nor can they detect humor in any of its many forms.

You see, I didn’t want to be Comicsgate and I certainly didn’t want to be an SJW. However, just by being critical of SJWs and their influence on a creative medium I enjoy, makes them categorize me as Comicsgate. Just because I follow a few people on Twitter, as I’m open to hear their opinion, doesn’t mean that I am 100 percent on their side and playing for their team. But that doesn’t matter in an era of extremes where you are guilty by association, even though that doesn’t make sense when I follow liberals and conservatives.

But I see other people like me out there. People that don’t want to be in the fight but they keep getting pulled in. The thing is, Comicsgate isn’t forcing people to ride or die, it’s the SJWs that do that. You’re either with them or you’re fucking Hitler.

This isn’t to say that Comicsgate doesn’t have its fair share of shitheads and problems, it does, and that’s why I haven’t picked a side. Or I haven’t until now.

The shit really hit the fan for me when I saw three things this past week.

The first incident was how Peter Simeti of Alterna Comics was treated by the SJW zealots who wanted to make an example of him because all he did was mind his business and interact with all of his customers, regardless of politics or where they stood in this stupid fucking war. Peter was slandered in the media, slandered all over Twitter and attacked vehemently just because he didn’t want to play the SJW game. It broke my heart to read his words, watch his stream about the situation and to see what he went through in real time, just as an observer on Twitter. I’ve dealt with mental health issues my whole life and I know, first hand, the dark places a mind can go. The fact that Peter was made to feel like this over comic books is fucking disgusting and inexcusable.

The next thing was seeing Mitch Breitweiser’s tweet about how hard this has been on his wife Bettie and how everyday is an emotional whirlwind. Both of them have worked in the comic book industry for awhile now but they have been attacked, constantly, for two years, just because of a political drawing. While I don’t know them personally, I, like many others, have gotten to know them through their live streams and through their involvement in the Comicsgate community. There aren’t two nicer and sweeter people than the Breitweisers but SJWs just see targets to dehumanize and to make an example out of because their own lives are miserable. I supported the Breitweisers’ project Red Rooster and it’s something that I am incredibly excited for because it looks fantastic. But every single day, these people are attacked online and even had to cancel a convention appearance over threats of violence.

The third thing came from Richard C. Meyer a.k.a. Zack a.k.a. Diversity & Comics a.k.a. SJW Public Enemy #1. After a year and a half of combating these people, he looked like he was going to leave Twitter. I don’t blame him, as I want to leave Twitter about six times per day. But the thing is, Richard is a guy that can take it and has taken it for a very long time. Yes, he said some things in the past that were infuriating to SJWs but it doesn’t matter that he has over a thousand other videos, he will always be attacked because of one video from over a year ago. These SJWs just don’t have the ability to understand forgiveness. They don’t have empathy, compassion, a sense of humor and always need an enemy. There’s just something to be said about seeing one of the champions against them get to the point where he’s just over it.

And these are just three recent examples. This has been going on for far too long and again, this is over fucking comic books!

That being said…

I didn’t chose the Comicsgate life, the Comicsgate life chose me.

Or the SJWs did by their actions, their rhetoric and their inability to see beyond their uncontrollable hatred.

don’t want to play the game. And those that don’t want to play shouldn’t be forced to. But that’s what’s happening.

The SJWs are the group that have a “white male problem”. They’re the group that promotes hatred and negativity. They’re the ones who are always on the attack. They are the harassers, the hardcore shit stirrers and they use mob rule to intimidate and dehumanize people with nothing more than a difference of opinion.

Yes, some Comicsgate associated people suck too but I would rather spend my time with those who have fun, enjoy life and try to bring something new and positive to the table. Plus, Comicsgate is a much more diverse group of people despite what those SJW white boys wants you to think.

I think Comicsgaters should stop engaging these sociopaths. Stop sharing their tweets and making them five minute famous. You can mute or block people on social media; I do. It works better than a massive fucking block chain. Hell, I mute Comicsgate people if they’re shit stirrers or do nothing but get into Twitter wars 24/7.

I am an individual, I don’t like labels, I detest groupthink but I do stand with Comicsgate.

I don’t know, I like peace and solutions to problems, as opposed to always holding a magnifying glass up to them.

If you disagree, you’re a fucking racist.