Archive for the ‘Meta’ Category

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Turn Back the Renal Clock: July 2008 Part Three

November 26, 2010

Hey, remember back in 2008 when people tried telling us that there wasn’t a recession going on?  Yeah, well one of those assholes worked for the McCain campaign.  Mental recession my ass.

Then there was the time we told everyone how to be funny.  But no one listened because no one has been funny since.

Irony is lost on a lot of people.  Too many people.

One day you won’t be able to get your ceramic penises from Portugal.

Tag Larkin brings the ruckus.

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Turn Back the Renal Clock – July 2008 Part Two

November 25, 2010

Mikka was worried about losing his job back in 2008… just about two years before he did lose his job.

John McCain would like you to know that he was a POW in Vietnam.

Which songs would you torture someone with?  The Renal Failure Players discuss the matter.

George W. Bush’s legacy will be that he ruined much of the English language.

Sometimes no one is around on a Friday night.

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Turn Back the Renal Clock – July 2008 Part One

November 24, 2010

Well, actually it’s our June 30th post and some July posts…

Avonia the Wiccan Pimp explores the fetish many American men have with their guns.

We tried to give Ninja Vicki a new friend, Sniper Cindy.  She didn’t really catch on.

Doctor Fireman says my molesterol levels are well below the levels that would put me on the Megan’s Law list.

Nachos can give you cancer. Yummy, gooey cancer.

Anonymous Doug is the king of the non-sequitur.

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Turn Back the Renal Clock – June 2008 Part Two

November 23, 2010

The last week in June saw the epic five-part tale called “Treachery at the Japanese Steakhouse” where Samurai Cathy and Mikka ended up on the most awkward double date of the young millennium with Ninja Vicki and Tag Larkin.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

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Turn Back the Renal Clock – June 2008 Part One

November 22, 2010

It’s the week of Thanksgiving here in America and we don’t feel like working, so here’s some stuff to remind you of when we had a better work ethic.

Ah, remember when Obama was running for President and FoxNews said that he shared a terrorist fist-jab with his wife?  Tina the Lesbian does.

Tag Larkin vetoes your beer.

Mass transit is really a feline plot to enslave humanity.

One time we tried to trigger a suicidal episode in an Iraqi War vet, but it’s okay because he’s a fucking asshole and no one likes him.

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Mercury Falls: A Renal Review

November 15, 2010

Back in the day we used to be listed on a directory called Humor-Blogs.com which was run by Rob Kroese (aka Diesel), who also runs the blog Mattress Police.   If you have a keen eye, you’ll see Diesel’s visage in our sidebar saying that we won one of his caption contests once.

Anyway, Diesel wrote a novel, self-published it, and did so well marketing the thing that it got picked up by Amazon Encore and given a wider release, which gives us hope here at Renal Failure for the success of our various literary projects that we’ve been hacking away at for undetermined periods of time, such as our short-lived “Political Pundits Who Look Like Child Molesters” series, Bernie the Half-Cyborg Cat’s “Manifesto of Feline Dominance,”  and Tag Larkin’s “Cockslap Your Way to a Firmer Stomach.”   So what this means is that it doesn’t matter what we say about the book, it’s already a success for Rob Kroese.

Now after responding to his open request for bloggers to review his book we received a free signed copy of Mercury Falls from the author himself.  Well, not necessarily signed because he printed his name, but then again no one is using cursive much anymore.  Or maybe because it’s we’ve never done a book review here at Renal Failure before and so he’s saving the trouble of making looping connected letters for the genuinely literary-minded.

Anyway, Mercury Falls.  The book in question.  It is not the sequel to the movie Mercury Rising, where Bruce Willis protects an autistic kid from being killed by Alec Baldwin.  This a point in Rob’s favor because that movie sucked, conversely meaning that Alec Baldwin succeeding in killing autistic kids would be a really good movie.

Also in Mercury Falls’ favor is the fact that it is not this book…

I actually got mad at Spook Country for how bad it was.  And it’s not because William Gibson has shifted from cyberpunk or 20-minutes from now sci-fi stories to more recent settings because I liked the previous book Pattern Recognition, at least up until it fizzled out at the end.  Spook Country fizzled out at the beginning and just got worse from there with overly passive characters and a plot where pretty much nothing was at stake.  I think I screamed at this book “DO SOMETHING!  SOMEONE DO SOMETHING!”  a few times but my wishes went ungranted.  Every so often I look at my bookcase, see it sitting on my shelf, extend my middle finger and yell “Fuck you, Spook Country!”*

Within the first sixty pages of Mercury Falls, however, a fight breaks out amongst members of an apocalyptic cult disappointed that they miscalculated when the End Times would arrive, a demon sets fire to an apartment, and a missile blows up a house.  Perhaps Rob also read Spook Country and did not want his readers to yell “DO SOMETHING!” at his book.  If that is the case then Rob made a very wise move.  We believe in one of the interviews he did on someone else’s blog he said he tried to end each chapter with an explosion, which we find to be a good way to guarantee something fucking happens in your story, which automatically makes it better than Spook Country.

Another wise move on Rob’s part is that he does an excellent job at tying everything together in the book, so that few things are just there to be there.  The emphasis on linoleum floors in the beginning of the book has a payoff later.  The references to the Harry Potter-esque Charlie Nyx and his series of books has a payoff later.  That’s what makes people like your book: paying shit off.  A few things don’t necessarily pay off, like Mercury’s fascination with ping-pong, but that’s reminiscent of God being a Skee-Ball fanatic in the movie Dogma, though the Skee-ball fanaticism was actually important to the story.  But luckily the things that don’t pay off don’t take anything away from everything else that does so it’s a concern of trifling importance.

You may have noticed we haven’t mentioned the plot of Mercury Falls yet, and that’s because you can get it pretty much anywhere else.  Like the back of the book or its page on Amazon.com or someone else on Rob’s MFing Blog Tour who has reviewed the book.  But if you must know we’ll give you the short, short version: it’s about a lazy angel and a journalist trying to stop Armageddon, so again it has Spook Country soundly beat, this time regarding the topic of what is at stake for the protagonists and antagonists.

Fuck you Spook Country.

Mercury Falls isn’t without a few issues.  After its impressive start it does start to stumble and grind past the mid-point, bogged down in a lot of overexplanations in the dialogue.  Heaven and Hell as a bureaucracy is nice idea but after a while it starts feeling like a crutch to justify things in the story.  The resolution to Armageddon seems a bit flat too, not a deus ex machina but still overly convenient to be truly satisfying** though the final chapter provides a proper denouement that many books fail to provide so it ends strong.  But its biggest issue for us might be that we had the distinct feeling we had heard of a book much like Mercury Falls years before… authored by Neil Gaiman… perhaps published in 1990…

We find the blurb about Good Omens being a direct descendant of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy interesting considering in his interview with Amazon Rob says that Hitchhiker’s Guide was the book that had the “most significant impact” on his life, regarding fiction that is.  We just happened to have a copy of Good Omens in the Renal Library that we only got a third of the way through before posting this review because of time constraints, and from that read third we can say that though the subject matter is the same (e.g. the coming Apocalypse), they are indeed separate tales.  The tones of both books are similar with its dry humor and its footnotes (though Mercury has less of them), but we’re going to consider Mercury Falls the American Hitchhiker’s Guide to Apocalypse while Good Omens is the British Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Apocalypse.  Whichever one you prefer may possibly stem from either your penchant for American-style writing and cultural references compared to British ones, or from your personal fandom for either the guy who ran Humor-Blogs.com or two of the more popular and beloved authors from Britain. I mean, dude, it’s Gaiman and Pratchett.  Ain’t nothing to be ashamed of if they beat you.  It’s fucking Gaiman and Pratchett.

Note: We may have had the same problem with the ending of Mercury Falls that we did with Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.  When you allude to some huge battle to end all battles and it gets averted, the reader cannot help but feel disappointed. ***

If you’re not sure if you’re like your Douglas Adams-spiced religious-themed Apocalyptic fiction in American sweet tea or British Earl Grey flavors, just buy both books and cover both bases.  Now we may not have paid money for Mercury Falls, but if we had we wouldn’t be disappointed that we did.  Unlike Spook Country.  Fuck Spook Country.

*My copy of William Gibson’s Neuromancer, however, gets nothing but supportive comments and soft caresses.

** The calling off of the Apocalypse on Heaven’s end at the end of Mercury Falls reminded me of the 2008 remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still, specifically where alien Keanu Reeves decides not to let the Earth be destroyed.  Oh no…. only now after 90 minutes of movie where you hang out with John Cleese at his house and watch disinterestedly as Jaden Smith and Jennifer Connolly share a cry in a graveyard that you decide that the human race is worth saving?  How fucking convenient, as if there were no other examples of humanity’s humanity to witness beforehand.  Fuck I’m glad I didn’t pay to see that movie, otherwise I’d be really pissed.

*** Has anyone really had the balls to end their novel or movie with a cataclysmic catastrophe possibly resulting in the extinction of all life on Earth?  The last one I can remember was when CBS aired a show on Halloween night called Without Warning, a sort of modern day War of the Worlds fictional newscast except the aliens were slamming meteors into the Earth in an attempt to make first contact and the Americans blow up the meteors, thus declaring war on the aliens.  The show ends with the aliens raining down thousands of meteors on us.  Pretty ballsy for 1994.

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Hanging With This Guy Who Does Caption Contests on His Blog

September 14, 2010

We interrupt your usual lies and fabrications for this announcement…

Nonamedufus over at his place holds a weekly caption contest, and this past week was his 50th such contest.  We bring this up because Renal Failure was crowned the winner. Winning the 50th of something is better than winning the 47th or 48th or 49th of something because humans like nice round numbers.  Something about numbers like 10 or 25 or 50 tend to stick out as desirable, perhaps for their simplicity.

We love it when we can post trophies like this here.  We like pretty pictures and shiny objects and women who don’t just lie there when we bang ’em, even if we’ve tied them to the bed.  Come on, move a little.  If we wanted to bang an inanimate object we’d have spent this evening violating the couch instead of paying for your drinks and listening to you complain about how you hate your one friend but you keep inviting her to everything anyway.

And now back to your irregularly scheduled lies and fabrications…

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Precious Encouragements – May 2008

September 11, 2010

“I don’t think there’s any artist of any value who doesn’t doubt what they’re doing.” -Francis Ford Coppola

“Like my old grand daddy used to say, ‘The less a man makes declarative statements, the less apt he is to look foolish in retrospect.’” -Quentin Tarantino’s character in the movie “Four Rooms”

“…you ain’t her first choice.” Chris Rock from his comedy special “Never Scared.”

“Every man has inside himself a parasitic being who is acting not at all to his advantage. ” -William S. Burroughs.

These were your Precious Encouragements of May 2008

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Turn Back the Renal Clock – May 2008 Part Five

September 10, 2010

Did you remember reading these when they were first posted?  No?  Well, ready them now and then no one will know your secret shame.

I think this was the last in our Political Pundits Who Look Like Child Molesters series.  I don’t know it never took off like Stuff White People Like.

Never spend a Memorial Day barbecue at the home of a crazed Ultimate Fighter.  Not unless you’ve got a good ground game.

Finland fails to win the Eurovision contest and Mikka cries shenanigans.

At a certain age, you should just skip rehab and go right to dying.

One time the government put a mole in Avonia the Wiccan Pimp’s coven to see if they were doing anything terrorism-related.

Ninjas are pretty good at softball.

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Turn Back the Renal Clock – May 2008 Part Four

September 9, 2010

See what you were missing a year and a half ago when you weren’t reading Renal Failure…

Sacrifices were made for the Iraq War, but luckily not by us because we were busy with other shit.

Devious dealings are afoot at our local softball league involving teams sponsored by the Bisquotech and the Adultatorium.

Tag Larkin drinks your milkshake.

Product placement is ruining movies in ways we had never imagined.

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