Retro Relapse: The Weirdness of the Term “Man Cave”

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

*Written in 2014.

I had a friend say to me a few years ago, “Hey, do you want to come over tomorrow night? I’ve got a few guys down to party in my man cave. Oh, and the wife said it was cool.”

Now imagine that you had never heard the term “man cave”. At that time, I hadn’t. So imagine how that friend’s invitation translated in my brain.

Sure the term “man cave” has now become a big trendy thing. The NFL is giving away ultimate man caves to contest winners. Hell, even the company I work for is looking for the best man cave out there that is featuring our products prominently (I didn’t come up with this marketing idea, by the way). And every dude out there who is celebrating the fact that their wife lets them have one room in their house solely for their man shit to be displayed, is happy to be a part of this big man cave craze.

It kind of feels like people who are excited about their tax refund but don’t even realize how much they are actually being taxed because hey, this is all just a part of life.

I bet a woman, probably an overbearing wife, came up with this term “man cave”. Sounds like a way for control freak women to rule the household by gifting their weak men one room for their stuff. Besides that, the woman is still probably in control of what he can display on his man cave walls. For instance, no porn posters and some stuff that reminds the man that the wife is always watching. You know, stuff like a cute sports sign that says, “We Have a Red Sox Marriage.” These fascist women, I call them Big Mother, are the same sort that like to trick their men into eating quinoa burgers. It should be noted that quinoa isn’t a real food, as spell check doesn’t consider it a real word.

I see many guys that I know and I am glad that I am not married. Truthfully, I’m that asshole that sees it as an outdated concept but that’s a blog for another day.

I get that people get married, they have families and the amount of space a man has will decline. Honestly, fuck that, buy a bigger house. If you can’t afford a bigger house, why are you having so many children moving in on your territory? I kid, I kid – take it easy.

I’m not trying to promote an alpha male Neanderthal mentality here but for fuck’s sake, the term “man cave” is just awful. The men in my family never had a fucking man cave. You know what they called their space? The den. Or they called it the living room because they weren’t duped into moving all their man shit into the basement, a garage or a shed. They had those things too but they were really just additions to the shit they had all over the house.

The point is, why can’t we just call it a den? It has always been called a fucking den. I’m tired of these cute words with “man” thrown into them to make them seem okay. Terms like this are part of the reason why the American male is an emasculated pussy and both sexes are dissatisfied as a result. Plus, how long until “man cave” is considered offensive and “genderizing”?

Now getting back to my initial idea of what the term “man cave” meant, I thought I was being propositioned for some sort of Eyes Wide Shut sex party for dudes. I thought “party in my man cave” was code for “many dudes filling my butthole” or “we’re going spelunking in my poop chute.” Being that I am neither gay nor find any of those guys attractive, I did not attend. Had I known that they were just going to watch hockey, drink shitty beer and eat wings, I probably would have gone. Granted, I would’ve given my friend shit for calling it a “man cave” and drinking shitty beer but I still would’ve been there.

But this is what happens when manly things are re-branded as female-approved cutesy bullshit. It loses its masculine luster and becomes a bored housewife’s bi-sexual gangbang fantasy.

The End.

Documentary Review: Jack Kirby: Story Teller (2007)

Release Date: June 5th, 2007
Cast: Neal Adams, Jim Lee, Stan Lee, Jeph Loeb, John Romita Sr., Alex Ross, Tim Sale, Walter Simonson, Bruce Timm, Len Wein, Barry Windsor-Smith, Marv Wolfman

Marvel Studios, Sparkhill Production, 20th Century Fox, 64 Minutes

Review:

I’ve been watching through a lot of comic book documentaries on YouTube, lately. I came across this one that discusses the work and legacy of Jack Kirby.

I’m not sure if this was made as a special feature on a DVD, as it was produced by Marvel and 20th Century Fox. Maybe it was included on one of the Fantastic Four DVD releases a decade ago.

Anyway, if you appreciate and admire the great work of Jack Kirby, this is a really engaging documentary.

It is rather short, considering the long career of the man but it does cover a lot of ground. It also interviews a lot of other comic book greats that worked with Kirby or were inspired by him.

This feels like a quickly thrown together low budget fluff piece and if I’m being honest, Jack Kirby deserves a proper documentary or a real biopic. As much as this does talk about how much Jack did, I still don’t feel like it captures the real importance and scale of it all.

But this is still a worthwhile watch because there really isn’t anything better… yet.

Rating: 7/10
Pairs well with: other comic book industry biographical documentaries.

Modern Porn 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.

I like porn. I always have. No, I am not an addict or one of those guys who actually goes out and buys porn tapes; do those even exist anymore? But when I’m in a sex drought and need to take care of some business, I like to pop on a decent porn and do what I’ve got to do. Luckily for you, this post isn’t about my masturbatory habits; don’t shy away and act like you don’t do it too because you do: everyone does. What this post is about, is the problem with modern porn. It just isn’t the same as it was when I was twelve.

Yes, I watched porn when I was a kid. Most American males from my generation did because we always had that friend who’d bring one of his dad’s tapes to school. In fact, I don’t think a week went by on the school bus where someone wasn’t showing off their dad’s Playboy or nudie trading cards they acquired from their older brother or drunk uncle. At least a few times a year, someone had a tape. By high school, I had probably half a dozen in my own collection from tapes copied from friends or stuff I “found”.

Porn is different today. Long gone is the bad acting, bad plots, bad hair, monstrous pubic pies and a lot of other staples that I came to know as a youngster. Today we have plastic supermodels, no plots, bald vaginas, better hair and the only bad acting is the sex moans. At first glance, one might consider this an improvement and I did too for a little while. Then I realized that something just wasn’t right about modern porn. I couldn’t connect to it and although it wasn’t ineffective, it wasn’t as effective as the material generations prior.

To start, how much fucking felatio are they going to cram into a 25 minute scene? No one in the world gives head for that long and between every single position change! Well, except paid porn stars apparently. But really, why so damn much of it? I’m glad I don’t pay for this porn shit anymore because it’d be a waste of damn money. At the risk of sounding too lewd, I want to see a dude bone a chick, not just make his cock disappear into her head for the whole damn scene! Besides that, felatio is boring after about 30 seconds. If I wanted to watch a non-stop blowjob, I’d just beat off to a GIF file.

Another issue is that chicks in porn used to look normal. These porn stars now are like plastic CGI creatures. Yes, some of them are excruciatingly beautiful with or without their “enhancements” but the whole thing just doesn’t feel real to me anymore. Not that old school porn felt real, as it was fantasy scenarios and situations that would most likely never happen, but the girls at least looked slightly better than average and felt like they were accessible. Maybe I’ve always liked the “girl next door” over the supermodel but porn was much more believable and enjoyable when it had even just a small level of believability to it.

The style of porn has also changed drastically and what I mean by that is that there are no longer plot-driven porn movies. I mean, they’re still made sparingly by some of the larger megaporn manufacturers but they’ve almost become nonexistent, unless you count the hundreds of parodies that are being cranked out. Sure, I enjoyed the porn parody of the 1960s Batman show but this seems to be the only type of porn movies with plots anymore. Now we just have “reality porn”, which is just some dude throwing a random chick a bunch of cash and banging her in a cramped bus or the supermodel type giving 75 minutes of felatio in some hotel room that looks like it’s in an MTV Real World house. Porn has become like crash television in its delivery. While it serves a purpose, it has become extremely redundant and bland. Maybe I’m just bored with it because I’m a creative guy and I don’t think it’s weird that I’d like a little more creativity in my smut.

Then there is the porn that is too goddamned creative. I’m referring to that “art porn” crap. Sorry, but I don’t want to see a tiger-striped body-painted chick in a cyborg outfit with tubes coming out of her orifices, as she shines and gleams under hot lights in front of a camera lens that some idiot art school dropout smeared Vaseline over. It’s fucking bizarre and stupid and serves no purpose other than stroking the overblown ego of some moron who thinks he is a genius even though he couldn’t get a job as a key grip on a SyFy movie about UFOs fighting giant radioactive koalas. But don’t get it twisted, straight up science fiction porn is cool; I’ll take that any day over this “artistic” crap.

Moving on, don’t even get me started on the overabundance of disgusting porn that I come across online. Octopus tentacles hanging out of a Japanese chick is unacceptable. If this makes me intolerable of other cultures, I’m okay with that. Actually, I could keep listing more stuff but I’m already feeling vomit-y.

Looking at the overall big picture, modern porn fucking sucks. No, I don’t want 1970s looking chicks with Wookiee bush on my screen but something a little more fun and entertaining than some crooked-dicked douchebag grunting like a retarded rhinoceros as he face fucks a shiny polyurethane looking chick that moans like a duck choking on a brisket would be nice.

While you may disagree with me, you’re wrong. Not much else needs to be said on the topic.

TV Review: The Comic Book Greats: Episode 7 – Spotlight on Chris Claremont (1992)

Released: 1992
Created by: Stan Lee
Directed by: Rick Stawinski
Music by: Rick Stawinski, Rob Stawinski
Cast: Stan Lee (host), Chris Claremont

Excelsior Productions, Stabur Home Video, 50 Minutes

Review:

I’ve really been enjoying going back and watching this series. Most of the episodes I haven’t actually seen as I only owned five of the 13 videos. This is one of the ones that I missed back in 1992 because I was much more into the artists than the writers back then.

Unfortunately, out of all the ones I’ve seen, this being the seventh, this one was definitely the slowest and least interesting. I think that part of that is because it was just a straight up interview for 50 minutes and there wasn’t a large portion of it devoted to art and comic book creation.

I was pretty surprised by how detached I was, as I do love Chris Claremont and I thought that his documentary from a year or so ago was damn good. He is, hands down, one of the best writers I was reading on a regular basis when I was first getting into comics.

Now this isn’t a bad episode of the series but it’s probably not going to excite kids that are interested in comic book creation.

Chris Claremont is a class act and you certainly shouldn’t miss this episode if you want to watch through all of these but I wouldn’t call this a good starting point.

Rating: 6.25/10
Pairs well with: other episodes in The Comic Book Greats video series.

Retro Relapse: The Soon-To-Be Forgotten History of Star Wars

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

*Written in 2015. And looking at this now, I think I was right.

Tonight is the night where Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters. With the release of this film, everything we know changes for this franchise going forward. There is a lot of hype, a lot of hope and a lot of apprehension from those of us that never recovered from the awfulness of the Prequel Trilogy.

Fact is, there isn’t a single Star Wars fan that doesn’t want this to be as amazing as the original films. But we all thought The Phantom Menace, without question, was going to be an amazing film before we saw it. There really is no way to know if The Force Awakens will be as great as the Original Trilogy until we experience it.

Films with this much hype usually fail to live up to it. In my opinion, J.J. Abrams, the director, has a pretty crappy track record. He did destroy Star Trek for those of us who liked it when it was boring and mostly a bunch of talking to avoid conflict. But I get it, we can’t all be smart and Abrams catered to the broader, dumbed down audience. And well, he admitted that he wasn’t a fan of Star Trek and was really just a fan of Star Wars. Good for him.

But this isn’t about J.J. or my “lack of faith” in him. It is about what this film and Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm has done to the vast wonderland that is the universe Star Wars exists in.

I was a huge Star Wars fan and I still am, even though I feel a bit of betrayal. Reason being, everything I have invested in the universe is mostly moot now, at least in regards to what the new owners of the intellectual property say.

Thirty-plus years of reading all the books I could get my hands on, playing all the video games I bought at hefty price tags and collecting all the toys and other random memorabilia and now, none of that fits into Disney’s vision of the franchise.

When they announced that they would be making Star Wars films yearly from now until the end of time, I knew that the Expanded Universe was dead. They didn’t come out and say it immediately, but knowing that an Episode VII just wouldn’t fit in anywhere with what was established in the books and video games of the Expanded Universe, I knew that Disney would take extreme liberties, ignore all that established mythos and just do what they want.

I understand why they have to do it but with as much as I love many of the stories and what the EU has become, there is that part of me that feels a stronger allegiance to it than to Disney, who really doesn’t give a crap about it. And this is the same Disney that keeps making mediocre Marvel films after buying them a few years earlier. They are on a mission to own and reshape my childhood. Once they acquire Hasbro and Nintendo, they will own the souls of every young boy who experienced childhood in the awesome ’80s.

If The Force Awakens is a stellar movie, I will accept it as the new canon. If it sucks, I will completely dismiss it and always consider the Expanded Universe to be my canon. I don’t have to turn my back on the EU just because Disney says so. It isn’t just Star Wars history, although soon-to-be forgotten, it is history for the millions of people who invested their time, heart and money into the Star Wars brand for several decades. And whether it is fair to Disney or not, people with knowledge of the EU will always compare Disney’s work to the tales they’ve held dear for years.

The EU fan base is certainly a small percentage of Earth’s population and Disney has to look at the bigger picture. And I guess all of us hoping for more movies one day, knew that something like this would have to happen, it just kind of sucks.

And it doesn’t suck in that the EU will be ignored and washed away, it won’t be for those of us who love those stories and characters, it sucks because there will be no new stories in the EU. It isn’t dying because Disney has to ignore it, it is dying because it can’t continue to live and grow going forward. What exists within the EU is all that it will ever be now. That world is cemented. That’s the hardest pill to swallow.

I know that a lot of the stuff in the EU was pretty awful. Many books were just bad or too bizarre or didn’t fit within the established mythos. Some of the earlier attempts at expanded fiction tales went in strange directions. Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, one of the first Star Wars books ever written, doesn’t make much sense. But it is the great stories and great characters that people cherish and there was a lot more good than bad in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

So even if I dismiss the new movies, as I have dismissed the rebooted universe of Star Trek since J.J. Abrams took over that franchise, I still have nothing new to look forward to in the EU. Even if I were to treat the EU as my personal Star Wars canon till the end of time, it is dead. No more books to read, no more games to play and the fate of many characters will be unresolved.

Despite my reservations, I am going into The Force Awakens with an open mind. I am trying to keep my expectations at bay. I just want to sit there and experience it. And yes, it will certainly drum up some nostalgia, because that’s the point of carrying this franchise on, but I’m going to be as objective as possible.

I want this new movie to be good. I want everything Star Wars to be good going forward. But I remember how I felt waiting for The Phantom Menace to start and how I felt after it and the next two films ended. Again, films with this much hype typically can’t live up to it but we shall see.

And maybe I will be pleasantly surprised to the point where the blow of losing the EU won’t sting as bad. I guess I’ll know in about twelve hours.

Documentary Review: Crumb (1994)

Release Date: September 10th, 1994 (Toronto International Film Festival)
Directed by: Terry Zwigoff
Music by: David Boeddinghaus
Cast: Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Charles Crumb, Jack Harrington

Sony Pictures Classics, 120 Minutes

Review:

Robert Crumb is a pretty intriguing guy. He’s one of the greatest cartoonists of his generation and he made several iconic comic strips that will go on to outlive him. The man is such a unique character that he can carry this documentary on his own.

And I guess that’s a pretty good thing as this film just sort of follows him around on average days. It doesn’t really go too much into his work and his impact, it kind of just assumes that you already know who he is. Some important career things are mentioned and discussed a bit but this really is more or less “a day in the life of…” than a retrospective or biographical work.

But that’s kind of a problem for me.

You see, I know who Robert Crumb is, I am familiar with his more famous work but this film should have had a lot more about why this guy is important, as I feel like the layperson might not pick up on it. They may just see this and go, “Oh, that guy is good at making art caricatures and stuff” and then not really appreciate the context of what’s happening on screen and why Crumb is a pretty important cultural figure.

This is enjoyable but for something lacking context and narrative depth, it’s too long. There just isn’t enough meat, even though director Terry Zwigoff is feeding you a pretty large meal.

I need more protein and less filler, thank you.

Rating: 6.75/10
Pairs well with: Comic Book ConfidentialIn Search of Steve Ditko and other older comic book documentaries.

Flair Hair Hats 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. And I wish this was a dated article but I still see these things in 2019.

A friend of mine the other night was like, “Dude, I used to love those articles you used to write about stuff being bullshit. That bullshit series was great.” And then I was like, “Fuck yeah it was. I guess I haven’t had an idea for one in a while.” Of course that changed this morning when I saw a poor soul wearing a “flair hair” hat in front of my office.

I’ve hated these fucking hats since the first time I saw one a few years ago. The fact that they exist, let alone that someone would not just buy one but wear one, is beyond fucking baffling to me.

The first time I saw one was in a fast food restaurant and some old dude eating fries was wearing it proudly. He just looked like a total douche, a man beyond a mid-life crisis and trying way too hard to look like some sort of golfer slash Guy Fieri hybrid. I fucking hate Guy Fieri and every other decent human being on this planet does too. He is the epitome of douche and the main reason is because of his stupid ass hair.

What flair hair hats do, is make you take the douchiest part of the douchiest person alive and then wrap it in a traditional golf visor. An important yet functional fashion accessory of the classiest of all sports is crossbred with some uber douche pelt making it an imbecilic, bizarre and cringe worthy abomination. It is a fashion and comedy disaster.

The guys who wear these ass ugly fucktard hats are trying to convey a few things.

First, they want the world to know, “Hey, look at me! I’m the fun guy!” No, motherfucker. You’re not the fun guy and the joke is dumb. Plus, these have been out now for a few years. So if you bought one recently or still wear it, you’re behind the times. What you are really telling the world is, “Look at me! I’m not funny at all and I’m really late to the crappy party full of other crappy assholes!”

In addition to that, they think they’re embracing their baldness and introducing a little humor to the mix. Again, it isn’t funny. Plus, you aren’t embracing your baldness or your age by covering it up and trying to look like a younger, more obnoxious version of yourself. You have gone to a counterproductive extreme and you are wearing a big red flag that tells people you’re an unfunny aging weirdo that can’t just roll through the years with style and grace.

You can’t hide the sad away with a poor attempt at showing how fun and cool you are. Your ideal persona sucks. Embrace who you are and just rock it out.

We’re all getting older everyday and we’re all losing our hair or falling apart in some other way. Captain Picard was bald, chicks also wanted to throw their pussies at him. Besides, wearing these hats to express how cool you are about your baldness is like an obese person wearing a cow print t-shirt to express how cool they are about their fatness.

I’m a complete prick on some days, I can admit that. I’m a complete prick now. However, I’m not as big of a prick as Guy Fieri or anywhere near his level of douchebaggery. You shouldn’t be either. I mean, why would you want to be? Unless you like Guy Fieri? But if that’s the case, you’re a special kind of moron and you probably give people T.G.I. Friday’s coupon books for their birthday.

This is the worst fashion statement and attempt at humor ever devised. If these things continue to exist, modern civilization will be destroyed. We will all fall into ruin – haunted by Guy Fieri demons chuckling loudly, as they force us to eat bottomless portions of bad diner food.

Don’t contribute to the destruction of life as we know it.