Archive for the ‘Outright Lies’ Category


Less Social Trailblazing, More Points Per Game

April 29, 2013

So there’s that story that just came about NBA player Jason Collins being the first athlete to come out of the closet in one of the four major sports leagues in America, and I went to find Tina the Lesbian to see how she felt about it.

“Well, Martina Navratilova’s been out of the closet for years, and college basketball standout/future WNBA Number One draft pick Brittney Griner came out recently too,” says Tina the Lesbian.  “But yes, I’ll concede the obvious point that few people pay attention to tennis or women’s basketball in this country.”

“So how big is this for your people?” I say.

“To be honest, I’m not feeling all that jazzed about it,”  says Tina the Lesbian.  “This Jason Collins guy… he’s not that good at basketball.”

“You were wishing for a better player to come out of the closet,” I say.

“Look, I wasn’t expecting LeBron James or Kobe Bryant or some other all-star to say they’re gay,” says Tina the Lesbian.  “But couldn’t we in the gay community get someone better than an underperforming journeyman center?  Maybe someone who’s a good 6th man off the bench, or a really good role player.”

“Is this to combat the stereotype that gay men are bad at basketball?”  I say.

“Is that a real stereotype?” says Tina the Lesbian.

“I don’t know, I might have invented that one,” I say.

“Maybe now that he doesn’t have to worry about being gay he can be a better player,” says Tina the Lesbian.  “But he’s already 34, so he’s well into the downswing of his less than notable career.  Maybe if someone coming out of the NBA draft, like a high-rated prospect, came out just before draft day I’d be more excited about it.”

“Perhaps it opens the doors for other athletes in the other major sports to come out of the closet,” I say.

“Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t,” Tina the Lesbian says with a shrug.  “If it does, I’ll give this Collins guy his props for being the first to do it. But it takes a little more than a below-average center whose less-than-notable career is almost done coming out of the closet to get me excited.  There’s a reason they picked Jackie Robinson to be the first black player in the Major Leagues of baseball: because he was fucking awesome.”

“You’ve become jaded in your older years,” I say.  “When this blog began you probably would have been doing backflips in the street from news like this.”

“Back then I didn’t need a nap on the weekends, and I could finish off a box of Franzia by myself and still have the wherewithal to hit the after hours bars,” says Tina the Lesbian.  “I’ll leave the excitement of progress to the under-25 crowd. They have the energy to ride those drama waves.”

Strangely it seems like a significant step forward in society that gay people can be this unimpressed about such events.  Not giving a shit is usually the domain of us straight white males.  Welcome to the club!  The “meh” club, but the club nonetheless.



Jane Austen couldn’t write a fight scene to save her life

February 22, 2013

It seems like I’ve had a constant cold for the past month or so, where just as one cold was ending the next one was beginning.  And as I’m in the downswing of my current bout with the cold virus, I’ve noticed I’ve let a few things get past me during this time.  One was the prediction my friend made after the Presidential election (briefly mentioned in this post) when she got mad at all her Obama-aligned Facebook colleagues who were celebrating:

By the end of December, the stock market will suffer a major crash as people pull their money out to beat the new taxes taking effect in 2013. Businesses who cannot afford to cover their employees with health insurance will immediately begin either cutting jobs entirely or dropping most of their employees down to part-time to avoid the heavy fines that will levied against them otherwise. Gas prices will spike back up above $4 a gallon, heading up to $5. Be prepared for this to happen – and I don’t expect to hear any complaints from those who are celebrating this evening.

Even spotting her an extra month, none of this happened. The Dow Jones, NASDAQ and S&P500 are all up over 6 percent since the election. Job numbers for December and January are up.  Gas still isn’t 4 bucks but the idea that oil companies would raise prices just because they have a sad that Obama got reelected is a golden idea, in that it pisses over the image of capitalists as rugged captains of industry and makes them look more like the awful human beings featured on MTV’s My Super Sweet Sixteen.  So let’s all remember this lesson: don’t make predictions when you’re angry.

We’re also behind on doing the blog award stuff for our friend Kate, who awarded us the Liebster Award that had been passed on to her.  Hopefully we’ll get to that this weekend, considering we’ve blown off pretty much every other one of these blog award things over the years.

What else got past us… oh, it was Valentine’s Day, which I spent coming down with flu-like symptoms and I tried fighting them with a steady stream of rum and cokes to unsatisfactory effects.  Usually we have something bitter for Valentine’s Day, so let’s make up for it with something dumb we saw over at regarding love: “Four Things Jane Austen Teaches Us About Love:”

1. Play hard to get. Don’t be so aggressive. When women make themselves so available to men, the thrill of the chase is gone. The harder you are to “catch,” the more interesting you become.

“I don’t want to chase your dumb ass,”  says Anonymous Doug.  “I ain’t got time for that shit. You know who’s interesting? A bitch that doesn’t play bullshit games like this.  Thrill of the chase is lie. Ever see a high-speed police chase? Yeah, that shit is thrilling until ends, then that shirtless meth-head gets dragged out of his overturned pick-up truck and beaten retarded by six pissed-off cops.  Fuck the chase – give it up early or don’t give it up at all. Save all of us some time and misery.”

“Seeing the picture of the woman who wrote this article, her definition of interesting probably consists of what popped up on her Dilbert calendar that day,” says Tina the Lesbian.  “And considering her previous article written for was titled “To Be Happy, We Must Admit That Women and Men Aren’t ‘Equal,” I’m pretty sure she doesn’t mind making less money than her male counterparts for writing dreck just as long as every now and then one of her male bosses pats her on the head and tells her she’s a good patriarchal tool.”

2. Wait for sex. I know it’s chic to think of yourself as a sex goddess. And maybe you are. But the truth is, if you present yourself this way to a man—in the way you dress and behave—he’ll respond in kind. If you want to be the one he brings home to mom, make him earn your love. And your body.

“If you’re truly a sex goddess, he will respond by worshiping your sensual form,” says Avonia the Wiccan Pimp.  “She makes the phrase ‘earn your love’ sound like it’s something you do on a game show rather than through getting to know your partner in whatever ways you consent.”

“Why wouldn’t mom want you to bring home a sex goddess?” says Bernie the Half-Cyborg Cat.  “Maybe mom wants to see her son happy with a decent looking woman rather than some dour frump who will suck the life out of him until he inevitably cheats on her with his secretary or puts a bullet in his brain to end the misery.”

3. Make your guy feel important. Sure, you’re self-sufficient. And he is, too. But everybody wants to feel valued. Men in particular. What’s wrong with letting him take care of things every once and a while? After all, why would he keep coming around if you give him the impression he has nothing to offer?

“Yeah, the male psyche can be fragile, but it can be easily repaired,” says Mikka.  “But you’re already trying to take sex out of the game, which is like playing hockey constantly shorthanded.  Yeah, you can do it, but you’d do so much better with a full complement of players on the ice.  Fuck him, feed him, let him watch the game, dress up like She-Ra ever now and again… it’s not hard to make a guy feel important.”

4. Put down your sword. Despite what you’ve heard, men don’t love b*tches. They like nice women. Strong and confident women, yes. But nice. They can go hand in hand. Really.

“Fuck you, my sword is awesome!”  says Ninja Vicki.  “Men love women with swords.  If you’re a woman and you can’t think of an accessory to pull your outfit together, pick up a sword and be a bad-ass.  Don’t see that in any dusty-vag Jane Austen novel, do ya?”

“I’m very nice, and my sword makes sure everything stays nice,” says Samurai Cathy.  “And though it pains me to echo the sentiments of my blood enemy – fuck you, my sword is awesome too!”

I believe one time I tried an online dating site and it asked me what kind of woman I was looking for, so I typed in “BITCHES WITH SWORDS!”  Surprisingly they wouldn’t let me keep that, but I fully stand by the sentiment: bitches with swords – those are the ladies I’m giving my attention to.  Oh, you studied Romantic Literature and crochet things on Etsy?  How nice.  See that woman over there?  She’s ready to fight the Kurgan from Highlander.  Enjoy your mojito. Swords are like boots, in that they can up a girl on the 10-point hotness meter by at least two points.  It’s worked for years on the covers of fantasy novels – I’m just bringing it out of Narnia and into the singles bar.

Jane Austen novels would have been a lot more readable if they had more bitches with swords in them.  I know I got halfway through Pride, Prejudice and Zombies before getting bored with it, which is a lot more than I was able to stomach of the original Pride & Prejudice in high school.

BITCHES WITH SWORDS!  That’s what 2013 should be the year of.

cathy smallnote


Y’all can’t kill me!

January 28, 2013

Today is my first day of my mid-30’s, which doesn’t feel that much different than my early 30’s but are still slightly better than my late 20’s and way better than my mid-20’s.  Not as good as my early 20’s though.  I got laid a lot more back then. That was awesome.

Renal Failure started in my mid-20’s at a real low point, and because it helped me get out from that depressive pit it makes a lot of sense why the frequency of posts have lessened from the original post-a-day pace to one every week or two.  You stop taking the medicine after it’s driven out the illness.  At least the writing in these more intermittent posts is superior to the earlier posts, though those early posts are what created the deep Renal Failure mythology that long-time readers enjoy.

But I certainly do more in my life now than when Renal Failure started.  I’ve been performing improv for the past two years, practicing Israeli Krav Maga for almost five.  I actually have a job now where I write for my paycheck rather than participate in dull office tedium. I drink way better beer, often times out of an actual glass or goblet or chalice.  Me at 34 is kicking the shit out of me at 26.

I ran into an old high school friend at a bar around Christmas and he said he was surprised to see me still alive.  And I replied “Y’all can’t kill me!  I’ll outlive you all!”  Yes I was drunk but I’m pretty sure I would have said the same thing sober, because I’m right.  And I stole that line from Tag Larkin.

I probably said this before but I’m too lazy to look for it: I was asked as an alumnus of my college to pass on some advice to the future students, and my advice was this: Don’t let these be the best years of your life.  And if I can remember to take this advice myself as I grow older I should have a pleasantly awesome time getting to 35, maybe even 40.


Oh, do I have a large, menacing weapon on my back? I didn’t notice…

January 14, 2013

The world is driven by the deep insecurities of its people, regardless of whether those insecurities have any factual basis to them.  I find this belief becoming more and more plausible as the post-Sandy Hook shooting discussion over guns in America has devolved to “THEYS COMIN’ TO TAKE ALL OUR GUNS!”  and “MAH ARSENAL IS THE ONLY THING KEEPING THE KING OF ENGLAND OUT OF MY REC ROOM!”

Front and center regarding my “insecurities as catalyst” theory is this story about two guys in Portland walking around the streets with assault rifles on their back for the purpose of, according to one of these geniuses, “exercising my rights with a rifle to try to decrease the demonizing of peacefully exercising your rights in public.”  Apparently it’s legal to walk around in Oregon with a firearm in the open, but like with all things just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.  People kept calling 911 to report seeing men with guns walking down the street, prompting the cops to keep coming out to make sure nothing was going on.

My first thought when I read about this story was “I bet these two are white.”  And sure enough they were.  That’s the joy of being white: honkeys can get away with doing crazy shit like this.  When it comes to white people and ridiculous notions, there’s no limit to level of absoludicriousness we can reach. But the flipside is that as nutball as white people can get, we also get freaked out just as easily.  A member of the Black Panthers stands outside a voting precinct with a billy club and a scowl and the FOXNews crowd shits its pants like the Race War has started, but two crackers walk down a street with rifles on their backs and it registers nothing.  We had people pissing themselves over Muslims having a cultural center a few blocks from where the World Trade Center used to be, so imagine the cardiac shit-fit that would have been cast if they had guns too.  This is the shit you don’t have to worry about when your complexion is lighter than a cup of coffee with four creamers in it.

Again, just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s a good idea, as seen here:

Officers said carrying firearms openly is legal in Oregon and carrying a concealed gun is legal with a valid license. However, doing one or both may generate 911 calls and possibly tie up resources that are needed for a true emergency.

Warren said he hoped people would approach them and talk to them, instead of calling police.

“Hey, that man has a large gun, let’s go up and talk to him,” said no one ever.  An exposed weapon is not a conversation starter with a stranger, it’s a warning.  And while you and your friend know that you’re not going to start shooting people, the rest of us don’t and we’re not going to take your word for it.  At least with concealed carry we don’t have trust that you’re not going to shoot up the place because we don’t know that you have a weapon, and therefore have no basis to conceive you could do such a thing.  You’re actually taking other people’s feelings into account when you don’t peacock around with your semi-auto self-worth validator.

You don’t trust your fellow man enough to leave your house without a rifle on your back, but you expect me to trust you?

And we get dumber with every passing day…

“What they really should do is observe the person to determine if the person is aggressive,” (Warren) said of seeing someone with a gun in public. “We’re not doing anything threatening to anyone.”

Again, only you know that.  We can’t read your mind, we can only observe what we see and what we see is two guys armed with rifles that can easily be swung around into a firing position in less time than it takes to say the word Onomatopoeia.  Are we to deny our instinct that someone with an exposed weapon is inherently dangerous, or are we to trick ourselves into thinking the counter-intuitive notion of  “No, they can’t be potentially dangerous, that’s just what they’d be expecting.”

And what is the precedence for this? What other country has random citizens walking around with rifles in the open?  Somalia?  Uganda? Mexico?  They don’t even do this bullshit in Israel, and they’re surrounded by people who hate them.  If someone’s walking around in public with a rifle in Israel, they likely have a military rank high enough to warrant their doing so.  In Oregon, it’s just some insecure yahoo.  And no one gets rockets shot at them in fucking Oregon.

It’s probably another evolution of the “Fuck You” default setting that Americans come pre-loaded with upon birth, like so much useless software on your new computer.  When you have so many people yelling “Fuck You” at each other, you need to find bigger ways to assert your “Fuck You” as the dominant one.  And what better way than by strutting around with a big gun.  Are you going to say “Fuck You” to the guy with semi-auto in plain view?  “I’m gonna do what I want and you ain’t gonna say shit to me because I got a gun and I want you to know it.  Look how big my balls are!  LOOK AT THEM!  Don’t call me insecure!  I’VE GOT A GUN!  I’M SECURE AS A MOTHERFUCKER!”

Bill Hicks told us that we have a simple choice to make if we want to change our lives – a choice between fear and love.  I take that as a prompt to examine why we do the things we do.  Are we doing something out of fear, or out of love?  Adding to that notion is are you acting in ways that make people want to act out of fear or love toward you?  Something tells me carrying a rifle on your back through town isn’t something you’re doing out of love, and it’s not encouraging any love toward you either.



You can kick Downton Abbey all you want, but leave the Muppets out of this

October 6, 2012

It used to be if you missed something on television, you had to depend on your friends who watched it to tell you all about the next day.  Now we have the Internet where there’s thousands of outlets to let you know what you missed and also provide further insight that may have been missed whilst seeing it live.  This is our long-winded way of saying we missed the Presidential debate this past week because we were doing more constructive things – like not watching Jim Lehrer be useless.

Anyway, so in the debate Romney actually stated something specific for once by declaring he would stop the government subsidy for PBS public television, which airs Jim Lehrer’s news show, saying: “I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too. But I’m not gonna keep on spending money on things to borrow from China to pay for.”

“When did ‘fuck you Big Bird’ become a viable campaign strategy?”  says Tina the Lesbian.

“Ever see what Sesame Street looks like?”  I say.  “The 1% don’t live there.  It’s not the nicest looking neighborhood.  No one’s even bothered trying to gentrify it yet.”

“But it’s Big Bird,” says Tina the Lesbian. “Big Bird never hurt anyone.  Big Bird has taught valuable lessons to young children for decades.  Big Bird brings joy and happiness wherever he goes.  Who has beef with Big Bird?”

“The nation’s poultry industry, maybe,” I say.  “Big Bird also doesn’t have a job or pay taxes.  He might not even be a citizen of the United States, though he probably hasn’t been grabbed by the INS because no one can figure out where exactly to deport him to.  He’s obviously that 47% of the population that Romney says will never vote for him.”

“This just seemly more assholish than usual to curb stomp public television – and in particular, educational children’s programming,” says Tina the Lesbian.  “Have we reached Peak Asshole yet – where we’ve finally reached the highest point of assholishness that cannot be exceeded?”

Peak Asshole is a myth, a fable told to spare people of the cold, harsh reality of how society and the universe at large works.  And to prove it, here’s professional horrible person Rick Santorum with some words of defense for the idea of taking down Big Bird.

“I’ve voted to kill Big Bird in the past,” Romney’s ex-primary rival said. “I have a record there that I have to disclose. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Big Bird. You can kill things and still like them, maybe to eat them, I don’t know. That’s probably that. Can we — can we go back on that one?”

“Every day I get up and try to find reasons not to write off the human race as a mass of irredeemable psychopaths,” says Tina the Lesbian.  “This is not helping!”

“I was going to say maybe Rick Santorum was talking about easing the suffering of your terminally-ill loved ones with a painless death, but he’s against euthanasia,” I say.  “So maybe he just saw the movie Commando where Schwarzenegger says ‘You’re a funny guy Sully, I like you. That’s why I’m going to kill you last.’  But he doesn’t kill that guy last though so I don’t think that’s applicable.”

“Or maybe he’s talking about when you have to put your dog or cat down when they’re too sick and old,” says Tina the Lesbian.  “Like when I was nine and my cat Whiskers the Calico got feline leukemia.”

“Is Rick Santorum saying Big Bird is dying of leukemia?”  I say.  “That is messed up.  Can Big Bird get treatment under ObamaCare?”

“It won’t matter because Romney wants to repeal ObamaCare, which was originally RomneyCare,” says Tina the Lesbian.  “Big Bird won’t get the medical care he needs without it.”

So if you’re keeping score at home, we’ve figured out that Mitt Romney wants to fire Big Bird and have him die in the gutter of untreated leukemia.  And for a surprisingly significant portion of the voting population, this is seen as a plus.


You’re interrupting Pokemon for this?

August 12, 2012

We’ve been taking it easy here at the Failure.  Haven’t watched most of the Olympics, but we will say that we are fascinated by the sport of Handball.  It’s our favorite obscure sport of the summer (our winter one is curling).  It’s certainly more interesting and exciting than soccer.  No fucking nil-nil ties, and no wankers diving to the ground when a stiff breeze hits them either.

But during these games, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney decided not to wait for the Republican convention in September and name his Vice-Presidential nominee this past Saturday morning.  I may not be the savviest media analyst in the game, but I’m pretty sure the strategy of making a major announcement on a Saturday morning only works if you’re debuting a new kids’ cartoon, line of toys, or sugary cereal.  We wonder if any of the networks cut into their Saturday morning cartoons to run this announcement, which would lead us to believe Mitt Romney chose to announce his VP just to fuck with children – which makes a lot more sense than it really should.

Anyway, Romney chose Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin, who as regular Renal readers may recall came up with the worst budget idea ever but pundits like it because it fucks poor people in the ass with a plugged-in curling iron.  The linked article by New York Times paint-drinker-in-residence Matt Bai has this money paragraph:

Republicans admire the boldness of Mr. Ryan’s vision, even if his proposals are a little too bleak for the campaign trail. “He’s not saying the world’s going to be full of butterscotch sundaes,” is how Jeb Bush described the plan to me recently. “He’s saying: ‘Eat your broccoli. And then maybe you don’t get to eat at all for a few days. You don’t get steak — ever.’”

Of course, it’s only the poor people who get stuck eating broccoli once every couple days. The rich people actually get to eat more steak than usual.  But apparently two years after this bold vision of food deprivation, it’s been decided that this plan is no longer too bleak for the campaign trail – now it gets to be the headlining act.  It’s like when you hear a bad idea being pitched for a movie and you think ” That sounds fucking awful” and then you forget about it until it actually hits theaters a year or so later and you’re like “Oh fuck, they really went through with it.”  Yeah, that system isn’t just relegated to Hollywood.

On a glibber, more personal note we like this choice because we know a local stand-up comic who looks like Paul Ryan and now he’s going to be set for material at least the next three months (and he’s a cool guy too).

Ryan’s an improvement over 2008’s VP-nominee Sarah Palin in that Paul Ryan can form coherent sentences that have punctuation and can be properly diagrammed.  And should he lose in November, we’re pretty sure he won’t quit his Congressman job and go into reality TV.

Best of all, at least to us, we’re going to a prominent look at  a specimen the newest American philosophy that merges Ayn Rand’s Objectivism and Prosperity Christianity together so that you get all the assholish, selfish sociopathy but with none of the atheism and twice the daily recommended dosage of Capitalist He-Man/Morally Judgmental Jesus (he’s the version of Jesus who says it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, so we’re going to use child labor in our factories in Southeast Asia to make really big fucking needles and impale poor people with them, oh and gays are icky).  Sure, Ryan’s had to distance himself from his previous praise and devotion for Ayn Rand because her atheism doesn’t jibe too well with Capitalist He-Man/Morally Judgmental Jesus, but it’s a small concession to make in the larger scheme of stomping poor people in the face in service to the wealthiest among us.

So… Romney/Ryan 2012 – Because rich people have a sad.


Retroactively my teenage years weren’t filled with humiliation and isolation

July 18, 2012

It’s been a busy week for us here at the Failure, ever since Mitt Romney taught us the secrets of time travel when one of his aides went on TV to say that Mitt had “retroactively retired” from Bain Capital in 1999 even though he still working there through 2002.  Retroactive is new bullshit flavor of the month, so get it while it’s still popular.

“I retroactively invented Instagram,” I say.  “And also I retroactively recorded the song The Humpty Dance.”

“Retroactive to 2005, I dated Sarah Michelle Gellar,” says Tina the Lesbian.  “It was such a hot relationship, no one remembers it even happening.

“Retroactively I got accepted to Princeton,” says Avonia the Wiccan Pimp.  “And while we’re at it… I also got in with a 4.0 GPA, majored in Political Science, and eventually became a state senator.”

“I retroactively wore a rubber when I banged that twitchy freak room chick in that crack house,” says Anonymous Doug.  “So retroactively I did not need those penicillin shots and thus should get a refund from my general practitioner for services that were retroactively not rendered for the insane burning on my crotch that never happened.”

“Retroactively I wasn’t the last girl in my class to get her period,” says Ninja Vicki.   “Dorothy Radon fucking lied, and if she hadn’t been murdered by her ex-husband, I’d torture the shit out of her to make her confess.  Wait, I retroactively made Dorothy Radon confess to actually being the last in my class to get her period.  Fuck yeah bullshit time travel!”

“If I watch a bootleg copy of The Dark Knight Rises before it comes out in theaters, does that mean I retroactively saw it?”  says Bernie the Half-Cyborg Cat.  “Because that’s what I did with the other two Batman movies.”

“My boss got on my case for being late to work, so I showed up early the next day and told him that meant I was retroactively on-time,” says Mikka.  “He wasn’t sure how that worked, so he couldn’t argue.”

“I retroactively went to my senior prom,” says Samurai Cathy.  “The country club that they held the prom at 16 years ago held a sword auction last month that I attended.  That counts.”

“Tag Larkin does nothing retroactively!”  says Tag Larkin.  “The world reacts retroactively to everything Tag Larkin does!”

We wrote this post on a Wednesday, but with WordPress publishing we could have retroactively posted to last Monday, but then you’d never know that we had written this post.  So then when you tell us we only wrote one post last week, we’d go “Nah uh, because we wrote two, one was just written retroactively from this week!”  And then who would look foolish?  Not us, because we’re the one bending space and time.


Minor reasons to not like me: Part One – Does not enjoy Firefly

July 7, 2012

As someone who has written a blog of lies for the past five and half years featuring a half-cyborg cat, a Wiccan pimp, a crippled superhero, and a ninja with personal issues, it is safe to say that I am a peculiar person.  And as a peculiar person, I run in a few peculiar social circles, smaller than most, but that gravitate toward certain topics of interest, one of them being “sci-fi.”

However, even in these smaller circles, I can still find myself on the outside because of stances I have regarding certain dogmatic issues that if broached may cause disagreements that could call into question my membership to the circle. Not that these opinions are anything significant like introducing a “hunt the homeless for sport” plan to my social worker friends, but I still feel these minor stances would be held against me in a petty way. But my personal standards, low as they are, compel me to properly defend the positions I take, and the best venue for such inconsequential venting is – as always – the Internet.

So here’s the first in an intermittent (and likely to be abandoned) series of meaningless things that keep me on the social fringe (other than my social anxiety, streaks of depression, inability to connect with humanity, general misanthropy, and malnourished social skill set).

1) Firefly wasn’t that good and Joss Whedon’s writing irritates me

Your opening theme is supposed to hook me in, not keep me company in a dentist’s waiting room. Buck Rogers knew how to get shit pumping…

For 90% of the sci-fi fans I know, the fact that Firefly only lasted one season is their 9/11, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. I missed its original airing on FOX in 2002, likely because I was watching the superior sci-fi show Farscape which did everything Firefly did but better, but I caught Firefly later and really didn’t see why this show got its dick sucked so hard by sci-fi fans.  In fact, it got its dick sucked so hard 20th Century Fox made a Firefly movie (Serenity), which ended up being outgrossed by 99 other movies that year (like Sharkboy and Lavagirl and one of Tyler Perry’s Madea films) and didn’t make back it’s 40 million dollar budget (at least not domestically during its theater run, it probably did better on DVD).

Fuck, Snakes on a Plane grossed more domestically than Serenity and all that movie had going for it was Samuel L. Jackson saying “I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!”  I know, I saw it in the theater, and I got my nine bucks worth (or however much it cost to see movies six years ago).

One of the great movie lines of the 21st century… aliens will find this in humanity’s rubble and say “That’s bad-ass.”

I’ve had people tell me it was about Firefly’s concept, a western in space, but it’s hardly a novel premise.  I already knew that combo from a direct-to-video movie in the 90’s called Oblivion that had George Takei in it before everyone remembered how cool he was (but I always knew, you fuckers!).  And our parents knew all about the sci-fi western from seeing Yul Brenner in Westworld. So no, space-westerns are not as fresh as you were led to believe, and all it really lends itself to is doing a sci-fi show with a lower costume, prop, and set budget.

To be fair, Firefly and Serenity aren’t bad, but they’re  hardly the special snowflakes of pure joy they’ve been made out to be by others, and this overwrought devotion sucks the oxygen from more deserving fare like Farscape and Babylon 5.  Shit, the same Firefly knob-gobblers will look at you askance if you bring up Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I liken my feelings toward Firefly and Farscape to that of soccer and hockey.  In Firefly, just like in soccer, I’m being asked to like less as more. Whereas in hockey, I get to enjoy more as more.

Reason #10 why hockey is better than soccer: goalie fights…

My cool reception to Firefly is also due to my annoyance with Joss Whedon as a writer.  When every character talks in the same smart-ass way, it grates on me because it seems like he’s having a contest with himself to see how cheeky-cute and clever he can be with the audience (which is one problem I had with The Avengers movie – not everyone needs to have a plethora of smart-ass lines for every occasion).  It’s like every character’s winking at me while they deliver their dialogue.  “Nudge nudge wink wink – we’re being clever and we’re aware of it, do you see it? Say no more, say no more.”

Worse is when Whedon decides it’s time to bring in the drama and pathos – usually in the form of someone dying – and then all of a sudden everyone puts on their concerned face and gets grim, which after all the smart-assness comes across to me as overwrought and gimmicky.  “Uh oh, this is the part where everyone has a sad. Everyone look forlorn and turn on the gentle piano and move in slow motion so the audience knows we’re being totally serious now.” Eventually this lull passes and everyone’s back to being a smart-ass again, and people try to sell me on how moving the lull was when it was really trying way too hard to invoke sorrow, like a bully holding you down, punching you in the stomach, and yelling “FEEL SAD NOW!”

funny pictures

This picture makes me feel sadder than Wash’s death in Serenity…

Whedon also sucks at writing antagonists.  Loki was sub-par in The Avengers and no one during the run of Firefly or Serenity hooked me as a decent villain either (The Alliance and most of the other bad guys came across as inept, weak, and ineffective, even with those guys in the blue gloves who made people bleed out of their eyes – how do you fuck up guys who make people bleed from their eyes?).  As a fucking bastard myself, I want to see a fucking bastard going against the protagonist, someone who will make you question whether or not anyone can take this motherfucker down. Farscape, Babylon 5, Deep Space Nine… rife with magnificent bastards.  With Whedon, they’re in short supply and I can’t get behind that.

On top of all that there’s Whedon’s pattern of having women with no muscle-tone being unstoppable karate machines.  Look, I could buy Kristi Swanson in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie as a legitimate killer of vampires because she had an athletic build to her, but Sarah Michelle Gellar’s twig form in the TV version couldn’t breach my suspension of disbelief (and that’s not a hard thing to do considering the sizable section of Takashi Miike films in my DVD collection).  Lucy Lawless as Xena: Warrior Princess worked great because Lucy looked like she could whoop people’s asses.  Summer Glau clearing out entire rooms like she’s Chuck Norris – not so much.

Leg muscles make all the difference…

And the fix to this is an easy one – 1) have a kick-ass female with some damn muscle tone like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 or Gina Carano in Haywire, or 2) if your fighter is smaller, they have to fight like the smaller fighter.  Watch a lightweight Ultimate Fighter match compared to a heavyweight one.  Lightweights move around more, land more combos, and don’t take solid hits so well.  Heavyweights can land one-hit KO’s, absorb general punishment better, and aren’t as agile.  The rail-thin waif is not going to take people out like she’s Mike Tyson, so adjust the way she metes out damage accordingly and I can buy her as a legitimate ass-kicker, not just another manifestation of Whedon’s fetish for skinny women beating the shit out of him.  At least Tarantino’s foot fetish is only a secondary component of his films – easily recognizable but ultimately subordinate to the other parts of the movie.

This explanation is easy to convey in a blog post, but not so much when you’re in conversation with people, especially when the starting point for my explanation has to springboard from the incredulous outburst “What?  You don’t like Firefly?” spoken to me as if I claimed chocolate should be made illegal and its possession punishable by crucifixion. It puts me on the defensive and I have to justify why I’m deviating from the norms of the circle.

Then again, I’ve written a blog about drinking with a half-cyborg cat for half a decade. I’ve been deviating from reality for quite some time now.

But a good cock joke, that brings everyone together.


You don’t want to know how this guy made 20K

June 4, 2012

Mikka and I are having some beers together.  We don’t get to do that often anymore.  It’s a fact of life we’ve come to accept.  But Mikka seems troubled.

“So minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, right?” says Mikka, who makes slightly higher than that an hour at the General Tso’s Chicken Sauce factory. He’d make more but the temp agency takes their cut and they pass the screwing onto the temp.

“Yup, on a federal level and in this state, the minimum wage is $7.25 an hour,”  I say, confirming his suspicions.

“So 7.25 times 40 hours a week, times 52 weeks a year is…”  Mikka says, trying to do math in his head and failing.

“15,080,” I say, doing math how it’s supposed to be done: hastily scribbled on a cocktail napkin.  “And that is assuming you never get sick or take a day off, and it also assumes you get paid for holidays like Christmas and Fourth of July.”

“Now I just read a story about how the ass-clown in New York Cardinal Nolan back when he was running the archdiocese in Milwaukee was paying off molester priests $20,000 to leave the priesthood,” says Mikka.

“Yeah, because they wanted to forgo the lengthy, expensive process of removing the priests from the priesting profession,” I say.  “And also so the Church could conveniently cover up the fact that these priests were buggering underage kids. They said ‘hey, do a solid, take the cash, and leave quietly, kthxbai!’ ”

“This means that a person working their ass off at a dead-end minimum wage job made less money than a priest who touched kids,” says Mikka.  “No, worse, a priest who the archdiocese KNEW touched kids, and didn’t turn over to the authorities.”

“So technically being a pedophile is more lucrative than working at McDonald’s,”  I say, doing some more math.   “Actually, it’s more lucrative than a lot of jobs out there.  If your job pays you $10 an hour and you work 40 hours a week for 52 weeks, you will have made only slightly more than a kid-touching priest in Milwaukee.”

“Actually that person probably still made less money than the priest because that settlement was probably tax-free because it came from a church,” says Mikka.  “Congratulations for hitting the pedophile payoff, padre!”

“It’s a golden parachute for priests, like when CEO’s fuck up the companies they run and then they get an assload of money to go away,” I say.  “Except in this Catholic parachute, there’s an emotionally-broken weeping child entangled within.”

“Now I know I have no trace of  faith, sentimental feeling, or sense of respect in or regarding the Catholic Church,” says Mikka, “but considering the free market decided that a pedophile priest should make more money in a year than most other working Americans, I also have lost all faith in the capitalist system.”

“In all actuality, you probably shouldn’t have had any faith in capitalism to begin with,” I say.  “But all those video games… they do make a pretty mirage.”

The world runs on lies, which I guess is one reason this blog exists.


Say something once, why say it again?

May 12, 2012

So yeah, we haven’t been around in a while.  We could give you some sort of big reason but really we just got busy with stuff and had nothing interesting or insightful to say about anything.  We’ve been doing this blog for six years, we’ve covered a lot of stuff and we’d like to refrain from repeating ourselves or adding nothing new to a subject. That and we’ve been playing a lot of Skullgirls lately on the Playstation because they have a character who’s a cross between Ninja Vicki and Nursemyra.

Every profession can be improved by adding “ninja” to it…

And really, that above quote has been the most interesting thing we’ve come up with in a while. But these lulls in creativity are to be expected and weathered with the optimistic notion that the pendulum will swing back to the productive side sooner than never.  The internal editor stops being so picky and lets the creativity flow outward again instead of circulating in solitude to be filtered and improved for consumption.

Actually we’re better friends with our internal editor than we’ve been in the past, because we’ve come across too many instances lately where something could have been better conveyed if any editor, internal or external, could have had a couple passes at it before it took the stage or the “publish” button had been pressed (don’t worry, it’s not you).  Those type of things remind you that while writing may only be real on the first draft, that doesn’t necessarily means it will be good.

Also… we’ve taken this time to see The Room, and not just on DVD either -we’re talking in a theater full of people.  It’s not only a horrible movie, it’s a cautionary tale for anyone who expresses themselves creatively: your magnum opus has the capacity to reach levels of ineptitude never before conceived by mortal men.

You probably think this vanity project’s about you…

We’ve had these uninspired lulls before and have handled them with a combination of theatrical despair and panic attacks, but this time around we’re rather at ease with being creatively unproductive. Must be our old age.  Feels good to not perceive a creative drought as an existential threat. We’re taking the notion of “Oh no, we’re not as awesome as we think we should be” more in stride, responding with “Okay, well let’s just chill out and figure out a plan on how to remedy this” rather than our old “What the fuck is wrong with us, faily fail fail failure-head! Why do we continue drawing breath?”

So Renal Failure isn’t dead.  It’s just handling shit in a more reasonable way.  And eventually we’ll get back to our special brand of absurdist social commentary peppered with genital jokes.

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