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.

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?

Filet Mignon 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.

So filet mignon.. lord, this is long overdue but I mentioned about how I was going to discuss this cut of meat several weeks ago but still haven’t yet apart from a mouse maze I drew (see below) and a meatku (a.k.a. a “meat haiku”) where I lambasted it (also see below). Well, here goes.

Filet mignon is regarded by many, if not most, to be the supreme cut of beef that one can get. It is expensive, small and despite how much there actually is in a cow, it is perceived as rare.

Fuck all that! A beef tenderloin is pretty damn big and filet mignon is just cut up beef tenderloin. It is readily available in decent sized portions. People need to stop looking at it like it’s a magical unicorn ovary. But speaking of portions, a beef tenderloin is like the size of a young elephant’s trunk, so why just cut it into small filet mignon meat discs? Fuck you cowboys! Give me the whole goddamned tenderloin with a barrel of Peter Luger sex sauce and I’m good! 6 oz. cut? Are you out of your everliving fucking mind?

Now filet mignon gets its appeal because out of all cuts of beef, it has the least amount of fat. It is also tiny, which just means that it is the perfect red meat meal for wannabe high class white bitches to chew vehemently as they pound some piss colored swill they call sauvignon blanc, puffing on Capris, waiting for the fondue cart to roll by. This is a Weight Watchers steak and should be avoided if other cuts are available to you such as ribeyes, porterhouses, New York strips, t-bones, etc.

So while these white bitches gnaw on this cut, as they slice through it surgically – making tiny white girl morsels, I am reminded – by witnessing this – just how overrated and lame filet mignon really is. Anyone with any sort of knowledge about food should be aware of two very common sense things in regards to life. 1.) Fat = Flavor. 2.) Small portions are for tiny birds with fruity looking feather arrays. With that being said, filet mignon violates both of these crucial laws.

It severely lacks the flavor of the most superior cut: ribeye. Also, it is tinier than a squirrel’s penis. And on top of that, it is more expensive than any other cut. If you gravitate towards filet mignon, you need to understand that you are gullible and susceptible to other grand deceptions like religion, politics and NBC’s The Voice.

Filet mignon is bullshit. It’s a waste of your time, your money and a cow’s resources. Funny thing is, I recently read a blog on Thrillist where it asked what popular meat is most overrated and almost unanimously, the world’s best chefs stated “filet mignon”. Why? Because once again, filet mignon – as a concept, as an ideal, as a belief is complete and utter bullshit.

If some of you who read this still love filet, let me pose this question: if you have a pork tenderloin and cut a one inch thick circular bit out of the middle of it, do you call that pork mignon? No! Because it is pork fucking tenderloin! That’s why filet mignon is the worst lie ever sold!

P.S.: The word “mignon” is French, which should already raise masculinity’s eyebrow a bit. Also, “mignon” translates in English to “cute” and “dainty”. Man the fuck up, America! And yes women, you need to man the fuck up too!

A meatku I wrote about filet mignon:
Overrated bitch!
Slightly flavorless and dry.
No fat, white girl steak.

Quotes by world renown chefs on filet mignon (taken from Thrillist):

It’s one-dimensional. Give me a shoulder or a piece of chuck, and I’ll give you something that’s really rich in flavor.” – John Besh: James Beard Award winner behind August, The American Sector, LÜKE (NOLA) and so many more

It’s boring and has very little flavor.” – Tom Colicchio: Top Chef Judge, the man behind Craft, Craftsteak, Colicchio & Sons and more

There’s not much flavor and not a lot of fat. It was classic back in the day, and obviously it’s expensive, but it’s not a flavorful piece of meat to me. There’s a time and a place for it, but there are much better cuts.” – Josh Capon: NYCWFF Burger Bash Winner, Exec. Chef at Lure Fishbar, B&B Winepub and El Toro Blanco (NYC)

It’s trash. It is a non-working muscle, which makes it super-tender (because the cow doesn’t use it), but has no flavor and is only palatable when forced on a long airplane ride.” – Michael White: Exec. Chef of Marea, Ai Fiori, Osteria Morini, Nicoletta (NYC)

There is very little marbling and not a lot of fat, which means less flavor.” – Bill Telepan: Exec. Chef, Telepan (NYC)

Retro Relapse: The Great American Pussification

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015 but resurrected because people are still fake-offended snowflakes.

I use the word “pussification” because there is no better term. If you are offended, you are a victim of pussification. And frankly, you’re not really offended, you just think that you’re supposed to be.

But no, I am not calling pussies weak. I’ve encountered many that are very strong. Female pussies, I mean. Male pussies, are very weak. And it isn’t to say that I am calling women lesser than men, this is to say.. oh, you know what? Fuck it, I’m not explaining myself to a bunch of easily offended pussies. Just hit the back button now if you are already uncomfortable or take it to Twitter where you can bitch and moan behind the safety of blocking and only converse with other pussies that agree with you in an effort to get fantasy brownie points for a scoreboard that doesn’t exist.

Additionally, I don’t use the word “wussies” because that is how pussies say “pussies”.

The Great Pussification of America began a long time ago. It is a movement that has succeeded, as every generation since World War II has fallen victim to this bullshit epidemic. It keeps getting worse as the years go on. No, I am not talking about gay people or transgenders or any of that, if you want to be gay or change your sex, I don’t give a shit. In fact, those who deal with the assholes who come against them because they fear people different than themselves, you are a thousand times stronger and more courageous than the douchebags you have to constantly deal with. In fact, you are pillars of non-pussification. How about that, bible thumpers a.k.a. Jesus pussies?

This morning I read about an elementary school that banned a Wonder Woman lunchbox. This is the note they sent home to the parents:

Okay, this is the lunchbox that they found so offensive:

This is a prime example of the Pussification of America.

That actually seems like a pretty awesome lunchbox featuring a powerful hero for girls to look up to. Of course, the note says, “We have defined ‘violent characters’ as those who solve problems using violence. Super heroes certainly fall into that category.”

Uh, okay. Obviously, the school doesn’t know jack shit about most superheroes and they also have bad fucking grammar, as “superheroes” doesn’t have a space in it. This sounds like the worst group of educators ever and they also look like giant fucking pussies.

This is how the public school system, many parents and other adult groups of “evolved socially conscious” dickwads are. They’re pussies coddling children to the point that kids can’t develop the necessary skills and life experience needed to face adversity and challenges head on. A generation, actually, several generations of these kids are growing and entering the world as adults – adults who cannot function like adults.

Another huge example of pussification is participation trophies.

Kudos to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ James Harrison who threw his kid’s participation trophies in the garbage. Why? Because his kid didn’t earn them. They were given to him just for participating.

What kind of liberal bullshit helicopter parent coddling parade is this? What is the point of striving to be the best if you get a prize regardless? But these fuckwits don’t want anyone to be the best, they want everyone to be in the bottom of the soft, cuddly, safe septic tank, knee deep in their bullshit.

When I grew up, I didn’t get trophies for participating. I got them for winning (or coming in second or third). I didn’t cry that I didn’t get a trophy if I wasn’t the best. In fact, I never expected to be the best at everything. I knew that I had to win to get the prize and if I wanted the prize, I had to work for it. Sometimes, even then, there was someone who was better at a challenge than I was. This is how life works.

You wake up, you attack the day, you do your best. Often times, someone does better. People have different strengths and weaknesses. Giving a trophy to everyone rewards weakness. The world, the real world that we all live in regardless of rose colored glasses and over sensitivity, does not reward weakness. If you teach small children the opposite, the world will smack them in the face hard and they won’t be prepared for it. We all see this happen every single fucking day but some chose to play the victim and blame those who succeed.

If you want that trophy, work for it. If you can’t get it, you know that what you are trying to achieve might be out of reach and then move on to find something you’re better at. Childhood is a trial period before adulthood. It isn’t a continuation of infancy. Kids have to fail, they have to sometimes have bad experiences, this is how they learn and adapt to a world that isn’t always their friend. To ignore this fact is asinine.

Everyone wants their kid to win. But shouldn’t people want their kid to win at the big picture that is life? So what, they are batting 8th on their Little League team. One day, they may change the world with a Fortune 500 company if you don’t coddle them into being a huge pussy afraid of risk versus reward.

In regards to all this anti-bullying stuff that’s popular now, I hate bullies. I fucking loathe them, actually. But are adults wasting too much time on teaching kids to tattle on bullies instead of focusing on helping them develop confidence, brass balls and the skills to handle their own problems?

I’m not saying that adults shouldn’t step in if things get out of hand but to some degree, a child needs to learn how to stand up against an asshole because they will face many more in life. Also, this teaches the kids to always rely on authority and not themselves. Relying on authority usually comes with a pretty shitty outcome.

And nowadays, the things that are considered “bullying” are fucking laughable. Expressing a different opinion is “bullying” in 2018. This article, by many, even though I single no one out, is probably considered “bullying”.

So, do you want your child equipped to properly handle adulthood? Or do you want them to be a crybaby bitch scared of jerks, living at home at twenty-seven with a bedroom full of participation ribbons?

I hate helicopter parents. If you don’t know what they are, Google it. The problem is that there are so many nowadays. I deal with the ramifications of it on a daily basis, working with younger people. And I’m only thirty-six, I’m not that old.

However, this millennial generation has been coddled to death. They are leaving college, entering the workforce and many of them can’t handle a normal amount of daily adversity and challenges. They shutdown, call their parents and panic. They also don’t have good problem solving or time management skills. They need that parental figure to constantly push them and they need constant validation and acceptance. They don’t understand work relationships versus friendship. They also don’t understand why not everyone gets raises and aren’t asked to participate in certain projects. They’re a lost generation that expect the world to be easy and for their hand to be held at all times.

Granted, I have met many younger people who are the antithesis of this. I am not saying that it effects every millennial-aged person but it is still large enough to be an epidemic. There just don’t seem to be enough of the good ones.

So, is the future bright when we are going to have adult-sized toddlers running the show?

But who am I? I’m just some insensitive asshole that hates kids according to helicopter parents and overly-invested, overly-sensitive teachers. But I don’t give a shit what they think about me, I just give a shit about what they’re doing to the future.

Talking Pulp: Why I’ve Grown to Hate Deadpool

If the title of this article is fightin’ words, then prepare for 1485 more.

I’ve come to the realization that I just don’t like Deadpool. I mean, I used to love him back when Rob Liefeld created him and he was a thorn in the New Mutants and X-Force’s side from time to time. Plus, I was twelve years-old.

But what’s not to like?

He’s pretty much a ninja or at least, he looks like the bastard lovechild of a ninja and Spider-Man. He was also snarky and a pain in the ass. He even wore a badass red outfit with badass swords and badass guns. He had lots of pouches… so many pouches.

However, as much as I enjoyed seeing him pop up in stuff, I never really liked it when he had his own solo comics.

Okay, I did like those first few miniseries that he had because he still wasn’t quite the Deadpool that we would eventually get and I actually loved the bromance between villains Black Tom Cassidy and Juggernaut. But Deadpool would go on to change and he would also go on to have a villain problem.

Let me get to how he changed first.

In 1997, Joe Kelly came along and wrote an ongoing series for Deadpool. It was here where the character’s real super power debuted: the ability to break the fourth wall. This would continue to be a trait that Deadpool would have going into the future. Without Joe Kelly, Deadpool wouldn’t be talking to you and me, the audience, during his movies. Kelly, essentially turned the “Merc with a Mouth” into Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell. It was unique and fun at first but as time rolled on, I personally found it more distracting than amusing. But I also prefer tough looking characters that kick a whole lot of ass to spend less time chatting and more time kicking a whole lot of ass.

But really, breaking the fourth wall is not a super power. And neither is talking and being a snarky jackass.

Deadpool’s actual power is pretty much just a super healing ability, which makes him Wolverine without the claws, cool skeleton and good looks. And since Wolverine speaks softly and carries a big can of whoop ass into every situation, I will always prefer Wolverine.

Wolverine is a man’s man where Deadpool is that awkward thirty-something juvenile guy that shows up at parties, makes a fuck ton of jokes and people just leave the room. And then he follows them around making more jokes, oblivious to the fact that his routine is stale and he can’t converse like a normal, well adjusted adult.

I’m not saying that he’s completely unfunny but there comes a time when you need to nut the fuck up and shut the fuck up. This is why Deadpool is amusing from time to time when he cameos in someone else’s comic but to read 30 pages of his shtick, every single month, doesn’t interest me in the slightest. Point being, he’s a character that is much better and more welcomed in smaller doses.

Now circling back to the villain problem, Deadpool just doesn’t have any that are worthwhile. This is really apparent in his movies. Sure, Juggernaut and Black Tom show up in Deadpool 2 but they aren’t a main focus and are really just afterthoughts in the film.

Deadpool typically goes after one-off scumbags. I guess that’s fine if you only read Deadpool for Deadpool but for the rest of us, we want to see him actually face off with credible threats. Comic stories of Deadpool cracking jokes, leading up to killing a random mob boss have been done to death at this point. Lack of good villains is why I’ve never been a huge fan of the Punisher in his own titles either. I prefer the Punisher when he actually goes against Jigsaw or the Kingpin, as opposed to a random Russian sex trafficker.

The times where I do love Deadpool is when he is a real fish out of water and playing against his typical situation. For instance, whenever he’s trying to court Death and drawing the ire of Thanos. Or in Venomverse when he’s one of a few dozen characters but he finds a way to be more than his one-dimensional self and stands out while adding something worthwhile to the story beyond just comedic relief. I just don’t want Wade Wilson to be to Marvel what Santino Marella was to the WWE for several years. But he’s basically Marvel’s Jerry Lewis. A lot of people liked Jerry Lewis but a lot of people also post Onion stories like they’re real news… still.

Getting back to his humor, what is it mostly comprised of? Sex jokes and chimichangas.

A good sex joke can go a long way but when you’re writing a character that’s in comics for teens, there is only so far that you can go. And really, while this does work for a juvenile audience, the humor is still juvenile and who hasn’t heard these tired ass jokes for years already? Well, assuming you’re older than high school age.

Chimichangas are just delicious deep fried burritos. I guess it’s a funny sounding word but how many jokes can you make centered around chimichangas? Apparently, at this point, over twenty years worth strung over multiple creative mediums. You know that meme of the cartoon taco that says, “I don’t wanna taco ’bout it?” Now imagine someone holding that in your face for twenty-plus years.

Another aspect of Deadpool’s humor is pop culture references. He runs off at the mouth referencing movies, video games, bands and everything else like it’s the final battle in Ready Player One. He’s like Marvel’s equivalent to Family Guy, which I guess a lot of people like but I don’t see the humor in just mentioning some past nerdy thing. Actually, doesn’t that make Deadpool The Big Bang Theory of the Marvel universe then?

When it comes to the comics themselves, looking beyond his humor style, the stories are typically a jumbled up clusterfuck. Everything beyond his dialogue is wacky for wacky’s sake. It’s like reading a Sunday paper comic strip that is stretched from a few panels to 30 pages worth of panels. And nothing in his stories ever seem to hold much bearing over the bigger picture. It’s like every story could just be his own delusional power fantasy where he’s the only one laughing at his jokes.

Additionally, what’s the fucking point of it all? Where is he going as a character? Is he even a character that has the elements that a character should have? What’s his life arc? It’s just a long running aimless joke. Thankfully, the films fleshed him out into something actually tangible with real human emotion but I think that Ryan Reynolds and the writers were smart enough to know that the film wouldn’t succeed as a two hour dick joke. People need to connect to something and Deadpool, in comic book form, doesn’t have anything to connect to. He probably doesn’t connect to you either unless you’re just a basic bitch that thinks Semi-Pro is a better film than The Shawshank Redemption.

Looking back to the beginning at what Deadpool was, as a character, he’s just Rob Liefeld’s attempt at parodying Deathstroke. He was also purposely given a look that is reminiscent of Spider-Man. Deadpool has never been anywhere near as interesting as either of those characters though. Seriously, read Deathstroke by Christopher Priest (the current run of the character) or go back and read Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. Deadpool has never had a story arc anywhere near the quality of Deathstroke. And I don’t even need to compare him to the incredible history of the Peter Parker version of Spider-Man.

Other things to nitpick about is that the character has a terrible origin story, the art in his books is usually mediocre, he’s an amalgamation of ’90s cliches that people have made fun of for years, all he cares about is amusing himself at anyone else’s expense, he’s a prick most of the time, he’s barely heroic, he fucks up constantly and we’re supposed to laugh about it because he’s a Mary Sue that can survive anything, he’s usually in the way when other heroes are present and he relies on his healing ability over honing his actual skills.

I used to love Deadpool. But again, I was twelve years-old. I never cared about his own solo books because I guess I never thought he had much to offer outside of quick appearances. But as time moved on, the gimmick ran tired and Deadpool became the Dane Cook of comic books.

Plus, when someone says that he’s their favorite superhero, chances are they didn’t know who the hell he was until three years ago… and they probably don’t read comic books either.