“should vampires sparkle?” obviously the answer is “no,” but expressing that alone does not make you a decent person, Anne Rice

one of the things that i do around here to come up with updates is to re-tread ground we’ve walked on quite a few times before. this is why there is a constantly stream of bear-related updates coming out of this website. and in that vein, i’d like to make today’s update about something i have hinted at my disdain for before: Anne Rice.

Stephenie Meyer
Stephenie Meyer: creating books featuring vampires Anne Rice does not approve of since 2005

Anne Rice makes fun of Stephenie Meyer’s vampires, generally continues to be insane

okay, so let’s get this right out in the open: i hate Anne Rice and i hate Stephenie Meyer, and also, i hate their books as well. it’s important that we address this before i begin, because i don’t want any of what i am about to say being mistaken for hidden hatred of them and/or their work. this might not avoid the inevitable argument of “you’re just JEALOUS,” but whatever, let’s get into the mockery.

unnecessary back story: Anne Rice wrote some terrible vampire books that sold tons of copies and had a couple of movies made based on them that had varying degrees of success; she has since slipped from those heights of success, although she has many remaining fans for some reason. Stephenie Meyer has then come along to write some other terrible vampire books that have sold tons of copies and are in the process of “inspiring” some terrible movies. then Anne Rice decided to be catty about this on her Facebook page’s wall:

“Lestat and Louie feel sorry for vampires that sparkle in the sun. They would never hurt immortals who choose to spend eternity going to high school over and over again in a small town — anymore than they would hurt the physically disabled or the mentally challenged. My vampires possess gravitas. They can afford to be merciful.”

and as you can probably predict, this has caused a lot of drama on the INTERNET, and as a denizen of that lovely place, i feel compelled to comment on this, despite that above part where i mentioned how i hate both of these writers. did i mention that i hate them? okay, the comments:

01. first off, is this the way authors feud now? on Facebook pages? i understand that this is a modern world in which we live, but it’s a little depressing; i like to imagine an era where writers got drunk and insulted each other to their faces like men. or women, whatever, this is not supposed to be a sexist thing. it’s just hard for me to imagine Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker burning on people over the internet, i guess. this is one of those perils of higher education.

02. fundamentally, this is a pointless commentary by Anne Rice, because it’s not constructive, as she’s clearly not saying anything beyond “be more like me,” and as a result, and it smacks of being about Rice’s bitterness at Meyer’s current success. look, i might be bitter at BOTH women’s success, but at least i exhibit some self-awareness. the fact that Rice makes Meyer’s shortcomings about paling in comparison to her work, as opposed to being about their general terribleness, is the difference: criticism shouldn’t be so self-promoting. unless you’re a critic, i guess.

03. why are we talking about these vampires like they’re actual people? they’re fictional characters from a fictional book. they don’t feel sorry or any other kind of way toward other fictional characters who exist in completely separate books.

04. but since we’re talking about vampires, here’s the thing: BOTH Rice and Meyer are working to make books about incredibly lame vampires acceptable. yes, fine, Rice’s vampires are more masculine and evil than Meyer’s, but i’m pretty sure that they’re all still infinitely more pathetic than, say, Stoker’s Dracula. if there’s anything we can learn from all this mess, it’s that people should just skip both of these authors and read goddamn Dracula.

however, since we’re talking about Anne Rice, perhaps i can get into a major reason why i don’t care for this woman…

Anne Rice
Anne Rice: being fucking insane since … well, 1941, i guess

you see, back in 2003, Rice released this book Blood Canticle (a book that apparently starts with one of her precious vampires bitching at the reader for complaining about books by Rice) which apparently disappointed a batch of her fans, who proceeded to post negative reviews of it on Amazon.com. now, okay, these fans are probably not the world’s finest literary critics, and perhaps some of their criticisms are misguided. i don’t know; i’m not reading Blood Canticle to find out.

still… they’re her FANS. they add remarks like “I have been waiting for it for so long” and “I have read almost every one of Anne Rice’s novels” to their complaints! so you know their complaints are well-intentional. every time i’ve bashed a work by an author i generally like (let’s say Stephen King), it’s always with the best of intentions. and i can’t help but imagine that a popular author like Rice has heard negative reviews of her books before. she’s not writing Moby-Dick or anything here.

so what did she do?

“Ms. Rice decided to do something about it. She posted a blistering 1,200-word defense of her book on the site, laying in to those critics who, she said, were “interrogating this text from the wrong perspective.” … “Your stupid, arrogant assumptions about me and what I am doing are slander,” she wrote. “You have used the site as if it were a public urinal to publish falsehood and lies.””

so right off the bat, you’re attacking YOUR FANS and implying that ‘slander’ and ‘lies’ are the correct words to describe someone’s opinion. look, let’s say a guy says her book is “seriously lacking in creative writing, sense of continuity and character development.” these are OPINIONS. he’s entitled to have them. he might even be able to support them. and while i’m sure everyone gets defensive when their work is attacked, i would think i writer could do so without using the word “slander” to describe it.

and then we come to this point:

“”Anne, you really should have an editor, or at least someone that would read your book before you send it off to print,” one reviewer wrote. No way, Ms. Rice replied. “I have no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut or otherwise mutilate sentences that I have edited and re-edited, and organized and polished myself,” she wrote. “I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me.””

…which indicates to me that Anne Rice is too stupid to understand what an editor does. how can that be? well…

“People who find fault and problems with my books tend to say, ‘She needs an editor,’ ” Ms. Rice said. “When a person writes with such care and goes over and over a manuscript and wants every word to be perfect, it’s very frustrating.” She added: “When you take home a CD of Pavarotti or Marilyn Horne, you don’t want to hear another voice blended in. I feel the same way about Hemingway. If I read it, I don’t want to read a new edited version.”

let me first dismiss the music comparison, because it’s not the same thing, especially when Pavarotti is performing work he didn’t write. you’re appreciating his voice on that front. but Hemingway? he had guys like Maxwell Perkins working as his editor. now, i don’t know the specifics of what Perkins did or did not do to Hemingway’s manuscripts, but it’s not as if the man lacked an editor.

and “new edited version?” this is all a discussion about an editor being involved BEFORE THE BOOK’S PUBLICATION. no one is demanding Interview With A Vampire be re-edited now. they’re asking that you have editors look at your newer books before you release them.

look, i can appreciate that an author like Rice takes pride in being so successful that they’re not subject to the same editorial demands of the average author. and i can appreciate that they think they’re personally ‘editing and re-editing’ their own work… but they’re not. the editor’s giving you an outside perspective. he’s pointing out things about your work that, as enamored with it as you are, you may be too blind to see. frankly, if you’re that awesome of a writer, i would think an editor wouldn’t have much to say about your finished product.

anyway, i’m still mad about this something like eight years later, so, in summation, to hell with Anne Rice. and Stephenie Meyer too, why not; while it’s not like she was a voice in this debacle, i’m still pretty confident that she’ll say something stupid before it’s resolved. so it goes.

here’s that janklow-approved ranking of NFL teams you demanded, internet

so as we’re always speaking of completely unnecessary topics and the like, i figured i would make this week’s “overdue and totally required to fill some space” update about ranking all the teams in the NFL from 1 to 32 in order of my preference. this isn’t just done on the fly; some time back i ranked them in order to quickly solve debates about who i should root for in any given situation. the Cardinals are playing the Texans? consult the list! so now you, gentle reader, are going to have to pretend that this makes for a worthy update. sucks to be you! i mean, i’m going to try and makes some jokes, but it is what it is.

also, i figured it would be better to rank these teams “most favorite” to “least favorite,” since it’s pretty much common knowledge who i root for, sadly. this preserves the element of surprise! or something like that.

janklow’s beyond unnecessary ranking of NFL franchises from 1 to 32

Oakland Raiders
01. Oakland Raiders
so my devotion to the formerly-great Oakland Raiders is pretty much common knowledge; it’s been sort of a rough patch for us since 2002 or so (and i hope Bill Callahan burns in hell for all eternity). still, there’s no likelihood of said devotion ending, and i can at least say i’ve been alive for two-thirds of their Super Bowl wins, even if one of them is practically a technicality. they may currently fit the definition of a “once-proud franchise,” but i refuse to believe there’s any better team to support than the one Al Davis built from misfits, cast-offs and other assorted characters.

Washington Redskins
02. Washington Redskins
this one basically boils down to familial connections (essentially everyone in the family but myself and my grandfather are Redskins fans) and location, location, location; as a child in Maryland, you rooted for the Redskins or the Colts… and the Colts left when i was five, at which point most locals had to throw in their lot with the Redskins or become some kind of bastard Steelers fans, which is just a sad position to find yourself in. i suppose it’s fitting that, much like the Raiders, another top selection of mine is a “once-proud franchise.” so it goes.

Baltimore Ravens
03. Baltimore Ravens
and thus we come to the local team that actually seems competent and successful, even if that’s only by comparison to, well, the Redskins. while i hate when your local area loses their franchise name and colors and history (damn Colts), i think it’s fair to say that Baltimore did a competent job of getting a good replacement on those fronts … and, of course, winning the eternal hatred of Browns fans everywhere by seeming to immediately win the Super Bowl that the Browns never could. hey, such is life. and i’d think Cleveland would be used to disappointment.

Jacksonville Jaguars
04. Jacksonville Jaguars
so it seems odd to rank the Jaguars #4 when no one seems able to actually find any of their fans out in the wild, but here’s the rub: at the time of their founding, i had family in Jacksonville, leading my grandmother, a die-hard Redskins fan, to facilitate their purchasing of Jaguars season tickets, which is also the story of “why my die-hard Redskins fan grandmother has a bunch of Jaguars paraphernalia.” sure, she then abandoned them when she got her Redskins tickets, but to this day, i have a major soft spot for these guys.

Carolina Panthers
05. Carolina Panthers
for such a recent (and often unsuccessful) franchise, this might seem like an excessively high ranking, but it’s mainly based on two things: the coolness of black jerseys and the Redskins under Steve “Supposedly A Football Genius” Spurrier discarding running back Stephen Davis, then my favorite Redskin. Carolina picked him up, after which he then outran not just worthless Spurrier free agent pickup Trung Canidate … but the rushing yards of ALL Redskins for that year. and that’s how you tell the team that cast you off “fuck you” in style.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
06. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
some might surmise i have a think for pirate-themed football teams, and that might be correct, especially once the Bucs update their uniforms and achieved, alongside the Raiders, the dream of bringing football fans a “Pirate Bowl” … but to be honest, i always had a soft spot for their ridiculous Creamsicle color scheme, their ridiculous “swashbuckler” logo, and their intense terribleness for many, many years of their existence. you just have to remember that the Raiders used to be good, allowing me to enjoy such a thing when it was happening to other people. also, pirates!

New York Jets
07. New York Jets
for many years, i was never a major Jets fan (even if they DID have a player who was seriously named “Al Toon,” which you can’t make up), but the Irishman is a massive Jets fan for some reason (probably having something to do with being raised improperly), and since he roots for my Raiders as a back-up team, i felt morally compelled to raise and raise my esteem for the Jets until they wound up at #7. also, they generally put a good (if never GREAT) product on the field, so that helps.

Minnesota Vikings
08. Minnesota Vikings
aside from the fact that a sizable portion of my family hails from northern Minnesota, i think much of my football fandom was decided before my birth in the 1970s, when Minnesota was really good, was always losing Super Bowls. it was acceptable to call your defensive line the “Purple People Eaters” and your quarterback “Fran Tarkenton” at the time, names so ridiculous that you had to respect them. this does make it seem like i am fond of teams draped in purple, but this is merely an unfortunate side-effect of the way football works.

Arizona Cardinals
09. Arizona Cardinals
now, this is the part of the list where we enter into the batch of teams it’s hard to have very strong opinions about. the Cardinals at #9? well, you never seem to meet a Cardinals fan. they’ve never been that good, so they probably haven’t beaten your favorite team much. i don’t even care that they took their matching-the-baseball-team-Cardinals look to Arizona. so what the hell, i root for them to beat superior teams. that said, i’m not a huge fan of their newer “mean cardinal” logo. i miss the old, nonchalant, friendly one. he didn’t seem too emotional about poor football, you see.

New Orleans Saints
10. New Orleans Saints
the Saints are poised to drop from this spot due to the fact that they’ve been doing exceptionally well of late, and that brings out massive numbers of bandwagon fans who have “always been Saints fans” … and there are few things i want to do less than side with those douchebags. still, a long-suffering team decked out in black with a saucy logo? this is clearly a concept that i can support. and that Drew Brees seems like a nice man.

Houston Texans
11. Houston Texans
people from my former place of employment may know that i was prone to assigning people who claimed “not to be a fan of any team” as Texans fans; they seem like they could use the help. it’s ironic that i rank them this high when you consider that a) i HATE the name “Texans” and b) the original form of a team i despise was, in fact, the “Dallas Texans.” that said… their little bull logo is adorable and no one seems to like this team. so what the hell, i rank them 11th.

Buffalo Bills
12. Buffalo Bills
a friend of mine and i have a long-standing, contentious debate regarding the Buffalo Bills’ four consecutive Super Bowl losses: i think that this was an amazing feat (seriously), whereas he just says “meh, but they didn’t win.” he’s a Giants fan, so obviously he has poor taste and all, whereas i have much sympathy for the Bills, especially considering their stupid name. shouldn’t it be “Buffalo Buffalo,” which would be incredibly more awesome?

Green Bay Packers
13. Green Bay Packers
i never used to rank Green Bay this high, even despite the comedy of my grandfather, a fairly-conservative gent, rooting for Green Bay when you could make the argument that they’re the most socialist team in the league. but the thing is, it’s all about Aaron Rodgers. i’ve been guided to fantasy football success by his flowing beard and golden arm for years now, and it would be wrong of me not to show my appreciation by ranking his team a little higher. even if they DID steal away our Charles Woodson.

Atlanta Falcons
14. Atlanta Falcons
i still kind of miss their incredibly-red uniforms from my youth, but they’re still another black-clad team without much success over the years, which leads me to rank them higher than most of the rest. i don’t really care for their affiliation with and/or unexplained devotion to Deion Sanders, who i only respect for his musical talents, but they’re fun to watch (mostly) and there’s hardly any reasons to actively HATE them (mostly).

Pittsburgh Steelers
15. Pittsburgh Steelers
i feel awful about ranking the Steelers this high, i really do, but the thing is, the Steelers are really the long-time rival i begrudgingly respect. even if they DID keep my precious Raiders out of many well-deserved Super Bowls in the 1970s. even if they DID call us a “criminal organization” and i could really, really stand to watch George Atkinson clothesline Lynn Swann over and over and over. it’s an organization you hate to hate too much if you like football. unless maybe you’re a Ravens fan.

New England Patriots
16. New England Patriots
i used to rank them higher when they had their ridiculous “patriot shitting out a football” logo and uniforms and were terrible all the time, but they they got this Belicheck character and started winning all kinds of football games and Super Bowls and totally cheating us out of our rightful Super Bowl trips with goddamn Tuck Rule games. luckily, i have hope that they’ll returning to sucking furiously for years and years before i have to drop them down the list too much further.

Chicago Bears
17. Chicago Bears
as much as i like Walter Payton and/or Mike Singletary, and as much as i can appreciate the incredible pop-culture value of that “Super Bowl Shuffle” fiasco, there’s just nothing about the Bears that captures my heart in any way. and i always hated those asinine “Da Bears” sketches on SNL; the joke is that they’re big fans of the Bears? really? that’s it? but since i’m unlikely to be able to get my revenge on George Wendt, i instead take it out on the damn Bears.

St. Louis Rams
18. St. Louis Rams
some people i know really, really hate Kurt Warner, and by extension the Rams. i don’t. but i DID grow up for a long period of time when the Raiders were in Los Angeles, and so i somehow developed a distaste for “that other Los Angeles team,” which really doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense. maybe i should just say that i hate the Rams because i hate Nelly, which at least seems like an incredibly solid reason for hating something. that goddamn Nelly!

Detroit Lions
19. Detroit Lions
i’ve never been a massive fan of Barry Sanders, and there’s pretty much no reason to be a fan of Detroit if you’re not a) a fan of Barry Sanders or b) from the Detroit area. much like the Detroit area, the Lions have been declined for years and bringing only frustration to those who spend any time worrying about them at all. i feel pleased for their long-suffering fans when i see them creeping towards respectability (and i’ve never seen a fanbase as depressed after a loss as i have Lions fans the year they started well and then came out to DC and lost to the Redskins)… but that’s it. i’m not much for rooting for the Lions.

Cincinnati Bengals
20. Cincinnati Bengals
i know that Cincinnati seems to fit my criteria for a team that i tend to approve of (black jersey, history of non-results when it comes to football), but there’s something about the Bungles that never rubbed me the right way. i might have been traumatized as a child by all that “Ickey Woods” nonsense; that’s one of those horrible events that it’s hard to erase from your memory. it’s at least the most likely explanation i’ve got. oh, and let me also add “why is their logo not a tiger?”

Indianapolis Colts
21. Indianapolis Colts
i like Peyton “Cut That Meat” Manning and everything, but i still have the requisite Marylander grudge against the Colts for the shoddy way they picked up stakes and snuck out of town in the dead of night. it’s hard for me to get over that in terms of how i feel about this organization, which mainly presents a problem for me when they’re playing an asshole circus like New England and i am torn between respect for Manning and hatred for Patriots fans. still, the list must reign supreme.

Cleveland Browns
22. Cleveland Browns
for one thing, if Cleveland was to make the “brownie elf” their actual logo, it would shoot them something like ten places up this list, easily. that logo is too insanely adorable for any football team, and i would be forced to root for them accordingly. also, it’s not their logo and thus the best things they have going for them are “Jim Brown once played here” and “Drew Carey seems very fond of them.” and that’s not much.

Philadelphia Eagles
23. Philadelphia Eagles
the Eagles have generally been the NFC East team i had the most respect for, probably because they never managed to win any Super Bowls, especially when playing against the Raiders, and because i think Brian Dawkins is a swell guy. and i DO seem to have some appreciation for Philadelphia teams in other sports. but all that gets you is a boost up the ladder to spot #23, and then you’re on your own. signing Michael Vick doesn’t help matters.

Tennessee Titans
24. Tennessee Titans
i respect the fact that they developed an utterly insane color scheme, but the fact is, i always hated their former incarnation Houston Oilers. HATED THEM. and it’s completely irrational, since the Raiders used to always hand off our elderly players to the Oilers (Stabler and Tatum spring to mind). the only thing the Oilers had going for them in my mind was their solid oil-derrick logo, but once you get past that to the powder-blue jerseys, it goes rapidly downhill.

Seattle Seahawks
25. Seattle Seahawks
for one thing, the Seahawks remain our secret former division enemy, and so i will always hold that against them. for another, there was that Brian Bosworth fiasco, which might have given my childhood hero Bo Jackson a great moment in history, but which also created a point of hatred for me. has anyone out there seen Stone Cold? i have .. and i will never forget it. damn you, Bosworth, damn you to hell.

Miami Dolphins
26. Miami Dolphins
this may seem hard to believe, but there was a time when the Raiders were the second-winningest franchise in professional football … and they were second to the Miami Dolphins, which i resent to this day. then you also have to consider the fact that the single most insufferable group of people on the planet are the surviving members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins team. long story short: they’re beyond overrated, they should shut the hell up about “popping champagne” once there are no more undefeated teams in a season, and the 1976 Oakland Raiders are the ACTUAL greatest team of all time. there you have it.

New York Giants
27. New York Giants
the major thing i like about the Giants is using the name “New York Football Giants.” and i have to admit that they run a classy organization. but beyond that… to hell with the damn Giants. i can’t muster up the blinding rage that i can for teams lower on the list, but i CAN laugh to picture my grandmother accidentally hitting a Giants fan who had recently had head surgery in his surgical wounds. i mean, it wasn’t on purpose, so that’s why it’s funny.

San Francisco 49ers
28. San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco is the snobby, upper-class liberal enclave on the opposite side of the bay from Oakland, and thus my sworn enemy. and remember when they had the embarrassment of riches in the Joe Montana/Steve Young area that saw them win all those titles and had Montana AND Young hailed as the greatest quarterbacks of all time? well, Johnny Unitas is the greatest quarterback of all time (especially considering that the man had a haircut you could set your watch to) and i don’t respect winning a lot of Super Bowls unless the Raiders are doing it.

Kansas City Chiefs
29. Kansas City Chiefs
they may be the AFC West rival that i find myself forced to respect (oldest rival and all, and home to the absolutely most difficult stadium for any visiting team to play in) … but they’re still an AFC West rival, and thus they must lose, and lose constantly. and to be honest, i kind of, sort of despise that Todd Haley character they have running things over there, which definitely doesn’t help matters as far as this ranking is concerned.

San Diego Chargers
30. San Diego Chargers
the Chargers used to be bad enough that you could hate them in an abstract way, but then they went and got Tomlinson and started beating the Raiders all the damn time, and that just cemented their place in my ranking: i totally wish they would all die in a fire, and only slightly less than the two teams ranked below them. and you know i mean a proverbial fire, of course… except maybe for Tomlinson. and Philip Rivers. and… well, i guess i better stop here before it gets any worse.

Denver Broncos
31. Denver Broncos
let me use this slot (as the ranking is probably pretty self-explanatory) to point out the following: the Denver Broncos, and by extension Mike Shanahan, have NEVER won a Super Bowl in which their team wasn’t actively cheating by violating the salary cap. NEVER. so one should keep that in mind when you hear talk of the franchise’s proudest moments, or of Shanahan’s supposed brilliance, spoken in the holier-than-thou manner that Broncos players and personnel were prone to speaking in.

Dallas Cowboys
32. Dallas Cowboys
i once watched a documentary on the Redskins wherein some long-ago Redskins player, whose name escapes me, stated something along the lines of “any team with the audacity to call themselves ‘America’s Team’ deserves to be beaten.” and that’s precisely how i feel. even if i DO appreciate the fact that their owner loved Al Davis and seems to be doing his best to make sure the Cowboys always underachieve.

and that’s the list! actual comedy returns next week.

house of hate apologizes in advance for our use of the phrase “that is a perfect pussy. i’m not used to such a perfect pussy”

at this point, i’m struggling to make some headway against some INCREDIBLY overdue updates and planning out some kind of horrifying running diary update; i think i’ve mostly gotten the house of hate back up to date for its loyal reader(s), but it’s bound to only be a matter of time before i fail us all again, right? so let’s make with the update!

intense Amish beard
i’m guessing this is the Amish beard-thief equivalent of a trophy buck

group cutting beards off Amish in Ohio

i don’t want it to seem like we’re going too hard on the Amish around here –this is something like the third time this year we’ve noted a story that was not flattering to them– but i think we all know how i feel about dramatic beard cutting around here. i think it DEMANDS our internet attention!

“Numerous members of the Amish community near Bergholz are under investigation by at least four sheriff’s departments involving incidents in which homes were broken into and Amish victims had their hair and beards cut off.”

now, to be honest, when i first heard “group cutting beards off Amish,” i assumed it was some random assholes assaulting Amish dudes and stealing their beards: completely dickish behavior that, sadly, i could totally see happening in the heartland of America, even if Ohio also contains the nicest city in America. i did NOT expect this to be some kind of internal Amish feud … but in retrospect, does it seem like that kind of thing would manifest itself in beard-cutting? yes, yes it does.

“The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department received two reports on Tuesday from individuals in Holmes and Carroll counties involving hair-cutting incidents. In Carroll County, a group of men knocked on a door of another man’s home, pulled him out by his beard and tried to cut off his beard, reports state. In Holmes County, a group of Amish men allegedly burst into a home and cut the hair off men and women inside and cut the beards off the men.”

now, okay, i understand that this is a serious crime. it’s assault! it’s also theft of some awkward sort! so we shouldn’t be too flip about the whole situation. that said… a man was pulled out of his home by his beard before said beard was cut off? or, i guess, partially cut off? this… this is too ridiculous for me not to be laughing about it.

“Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said there was an incident in Trumbull County about three weeks ago in which a group of Amish men and women from Bergholz went to a home in that county and cut the hair off men and women inside. Abdalla said hair from the victims was brought back to Jefferson County to prove to Sam Mullet, the bishop of the Bergholz group, that Mullet’s orders concerning the hair cutting was followed.”

i guess the plus side is that this isn’t one of those crazy religious cult things where the leader sends his minions out to kill people; instead, he demands you bring to him their beards! and, also, some hair from some women, which is incredibly less funny than beard-theft. but still better than murder!

“A truck and horse trailer used to transport the Bergholz men was traced back to a man living outside Dillonvale. The driver said he went to a horse auction in Mount Hope in Holmes County on Tuesday with 27 Amish persons, who rode in the truck and horse trailer, according to a report from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.”

wait… 27 persons? i understand that Amish persons may have to catch a ride from one of those god-hating, car-loving English from time to time, but to back 27 people into a truck and horse trailer? this seems excessive. and actually, it also seems like a bit of a cheat for Amish guys to be allowed to ride in a horse trailer when SUPPOSEDLY they’re prohibited from using horse trailers themselves for religious reasons? what’s the major difference?

“The men asked the driver to stop at a home in Holmes County. A group of the men got out of the truck, walked up to the house and then came back, telling the driver to “go,” according to the driver’s statement given to Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies. The driver said the same thing happened at the home in Carroll County, according to the sheriff’s department. The driver told a deputy he thought the situation seemed suspicious, but the men were speaking “Dutch.””

look, i don’t care what kind of “Dutch” your passengers are talking: if they keep having you stop at homes briefly and every time they return, they tell you to floor it (or whatever the Amish version of that expression is), then you should know something abnormal is going on. just take them back to their farms.

also, what’s with the quotations around “go” there? is that some kind of foreign, Amish-derived expression the average reader of the Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register is not going to be able to understand? terrible.

“Zimmerly said Holmes County will be seeking felonious assault and burglary charges against the men involved. Abdalla said Carroll County also will be pursuing criminal charges.”

Abdalla clearly does NOT want to be left out from his chance to file charges against beard thieves. that kind of nonsense will NOT be allowed to stand in Carroll County! oh, and they also throw this information in at the end for some reason:

“A group of 35 Amish residents in the Bergholz area filed a $35 million federal lawsuit against the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department concerning a Sept. 17, 2007, raid on their property that was part of a child custody case. … A member of the Bergholz Amish community, Crist Mullet was sentenced to six months in the Eastern Ohio Correction Center in October 2008 by Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge David Henderson for his guilty plea to three counts of of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.”

so it seems the beard thieves are also somehow tied up with a child molester. and according to some reputable journalists, it’s about a religious feud involving this outcast group of Amish (possibly outcast because their members keep fucking children). but you know, i THOUGHT the idea behind all this Amish ridiculousness was to avoid the sinful world of the English and keep everyone pure and holy or something, right? i guess the allure of those fancy horse trailers was just too much for some people.

and now, for something COMPLETELY necessary:

Anthony Weiner
i admit i had totally forgotten that Anthony Weiner gives Sean Penn a serious run for his “most punchable face in America” title

heartbreak for Huma as new messages reveal how Anthony Weiner blah blah blah

alright, so to be clear: the title’s misleading because it goes right into some revelations about the whole ‘Weinergate’ affair that makes Republicans too happy and Democrats too mad. was it a big deal? not really? was it absolutely inappropriate for a member of Congress to do? yes, and he deserved to resign as much as every other Congressman who’s done something non-criminal and intensely fucking stupid. and the Democrats don’t want him seated during an election. everyone ready to move on? good.

now, concealed in all the gossip is the reason for these “revelations”:

“Anthony Weiner accused his Muslim parents-in-law of being ‘backwards thinking’ and never accepting him because of his Jewish background, it was revealed today. Newly released messages from the disgraced former congressman’s text conversations, obtained exclusively by MailOnline, show how Weiner had explicit exchanges with women comparing them to his wife. … The messages are contained in a new book written by one of the women at the centre of the ‘sexting’ scandal, which saw the politician resign from his seat in Congress in June.

so someone decided to give a book contract to a woman whose sole achievement in life is having received photos of a Congressman’s dick on her cell phone? seriously? actually, i suppose i should be less surprised about this, because it’s not the first time some nonsense of this type has occurred in the world of publishing, but i’m still outraged, because it’s still fucking pathetic. because, hey, this is not a book about the overall scandal where a reporter is trying to take a neutral perspective and look at all the parties involved – it’s a tabloid story in book form “written” by one of the women involved.

note: if you believe this woman did a shred of of writing, i have many other ridiculous falsehoods to sell you. i don’t expect every person to write their own books; i just wish they could say “a new book ABOUT one of the women” or something like that so the ghost writers could get their due.

“Former cheerleading coach Traci Nobles, 35, said that she has written ‘I Friended You’ to set the record straight.”

jokes included in this brief sentence:
01. the description “former cheerleading coach” being the summation of this woman’s existence. look, i don’t mean to crack on cheerleading, but somehow i suspect this was not an official, paid job that she held;
02. the fucking “I Friended You” title itself;
03. the claim that she wrote it “to set the record straight.” ma’am, you wrote this book for money. period. and would i do the same if i was a random person of no consequence (please continue to pretend that i am not) if i had a chance? of course! and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. so why the fucking self-righteous claim of setting the record straight? well, don’t worry, she’ll probably attempt to clarify this for us…

“There were numerous reasons that motivated me to write this book.”

again, ma’am, you did not write this book. you either collaborated on writing this book with someone, or you signed off on a book that was written without your help (but possibly with information you provided). if you DID write this book somehow, it will prove to be so poorly written that you should not want credit for it. also, please stop fucking pretending to be a writer.

“One of which included timing. It has been almost a year to the day that I became involved in what would later be termed, ‘Weinergate’.”

…what? i don’t even understand this. one of your “numerous” reasons is the fact that it is almost a year after this happened? why the fuck is that supposedly a reason to have written a book? plus, the book will be coming OUT almost a year later. you didn’t just start writing it. so shouldn’t your “reasons that motivated [you] to write this book” actually be reasons that motivated you to write this book, and not just some shit you make up AFTER it’s written?

also, apparently “numerous reasons” means “two, i guess, provided you pretend money is not one of them.” we couldn’t say “there are two main reasons” instead? of course not.

“But mainly, I was motivated by my need for clarity. I wanted to provide clarification for the lies and untruths, both known and unknown. For me personally, it is important to address how I was portrayed, as well as how my involvement has affected various aspects of my life, as well as those who are close to me.”

one, i refuse to believe there’s that much to clarify. nothing i have read regarding the revelations has clarified anything; it’s just been additional graphic and comedic details. two, you’re portrayed as a married woman who was “sexting” a married Congressman. again, nothing i have read regarding the revelations has changed how i see you, except that now i see you as a liar who claims to be a writer and/or not motivated by money.

“The memoir is not specifically about Weiner or his family, it is me explaining my involvement, what has transpired since it all began, and the truth that has yet to be told. It is not about being bitter, it is however to emphasize that only one side of the story has been told, only partially, and in a very controlled way for that matter.”

ma’am, no one gives a shit about you or “the truth” if it has nothing to do with Weinergate. and frankly, i don’t think anyone gives a shit about you at all beyond your ability to provide them with juicy details, which i guess you do in this article, but i cannot imagine how much MORE this book brings to the table. can’t anyone just say something like “i figured if i was going to be tabloid fodder, i might as well get paid for it?”

“The picture portrayed was painted with a broad brush, a broad one-sided brush. It was different, and much more complex than what ‘appeared’ to be going on and I needed to get my truth out, in my own way.”

YOU NEEDED TO GET PAID. THIS SAGA OF WOE IS TIRESOME.

Traci Nobles
one of America’s classiest prostitutes just wants to provide clarification for the lies and untruths, both known and unknown

anyway, it’s not like she’s going to come off as some classy consort to a powerful man with deep insight as to why he did the things he did.

“Excerpts from the book, which are being published exclusively by MailOnline, show how Weiner, 47, sent explicit messages from his congressional office and boasted about masturbating in the House toilets. In the exchanges he complained that spending time with his wife’s parents is ‘exhausting’ as ‘they are a bit backwards thinking’.”

fascinating! you mean the guy who resigned for being a weird scumbag was a weird scumbag?

“‘Omg. I didn’t think I could get any harder. That is a perfect pussy. I’m not used to such a perfect pussy. Baby you’re beautiful.'”

ah, “reason that motivated you to write this book” number four: the text messages describe you as beautiful and “having a perfect pussy,” and why not get those claims into print, right?

“He boasted about his performance in a debate with Mr Turner that Ms Nobles had watched. … ‘Just another rich businessman trying to buy himself an election… like Bloomberg.'”

him cracking on Bloomberg is the only thing that’s interesting to me, but then i generally assume that no one likes Bloomberg, as he seems like a reprehensible human being. i certainly don’t care for the man.

so then we get some excerpt from this book to get us foaming at the mouth for the thing, which doesn’t seem like an effective strategy to me, but hey, what do i know?

“If anyone would have told me a year ago what would have been in store for me just one year later, I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams.”

moving past the horrible writing behind “told me a year ago what would have been in store a year later” (making it possible she DID write some of this), your “wildest dreams” were to send photos of your vagina to a Congressman? and to be vaguely involved in the resulting scandal? these are very mediocre dreams.

“It all started when I posted a few comments to a Congressman’s public fan page. After I made a few provocative comments on the posts and pictures on Anthony Weiner’s public page, I logged into Facebook one day and found a ‘Friend Request’ from Anthony Weiner.”

so in an effort to “get your truth out,” you’ve proven to me that you’re the kind of classy lady who’s just randomly posting provocative comments on a Congressman’s fan page. this does not seem like a significant improvement in how you’re portrayed.

“At the time, I did begin to think about the possibility of him hiding from someone, another female perhaps, nevertheless, we continued. In retrospect, I realize many of the questions that arose or suspicions that grew, were actually plausible, as the aftermath provided many answers and affirmed my suspicions.”

more shitty writing. but also, was it really a mystery that a married Congressman was hiding from his wife? you’ve talked at length about remarks referring to her, and to things that make it clear you were actually talking to Weiner. yet we’re pretending it was all just suspicions?

“I had been venting to Weiner about my situation with my husband – not all of our conversations were dirty talk. We got emotional and serious about our personal situations on certain occasions when one or both of us had to vent.”

ah, sexting the congressman while married yourself. again, another vast improvement in her public image.

here’s the bottom line: Nobles is a whore and whores trade on their sexuality to make money. that’s the way the job works, and we shouldn’t pretend otherwise. having done her part of the sexting scandal, Nobles can either a) attempt to improve her image and atone for what she’s done by acting in a mature and classy fashion, possibly expressing some remorse or b) attempt to cash in. she’s gone with option b; it is what it is.

maybe i’m just jealous because i wish someone would give ME a book contract to write poorly? it’s possible.

“i understand your pain. we’ve all lost someone we love … but we do it my way!”

some time back, ages before all my recent illness and other website-delay-related troubles, i mentioned something about a “Road Warrior-related update” that i supposedly even went so far as to discuss with my Irish associate, who is known to occasionally function as a sounding board for my internet comedy (and possibly my devastating karate kicks as well). so without further ado, i think we should get to that update. it’s been enough with the delays already.

janklow’s completely uncalled for ranking of his favorite 13 supporting characters from the Mad Max/Road Warrior series of films

so as an introduction, let’s address the two most pertinent questions: a) “why is this list necessary?” and b) “why supporting characters?” both answers are pretty obvious, if you ask me:
–why is this list necessary? well… it’s clearly not. not many things seem THAT necessary on the internet (and especially not on this website), but it seemed like a reasonable idea at the time;
–why supporting characters? well, the Mad Max/Road Warrior series really only has ONE main character. you can call various characters main in their respective films, but once you leave that film behind… who cares, right? but i guess it could be called “favorite 13 characters who are not Mad Max.”

and now… on with the unnecessary list-making.

the Nightrider
“i am the Nightrider. i’m a fuel injected suicide machine. i am the rocker, i am the roller, i am the out-of-controller!”

13. Crawford “Nightrider” Montizano (Mad Max)
so let’s start this list off with a measure of defending myself: i am placing Nightrider on here, but not Toecutter or Johnny the Boy, who CLEARLY get a lot more villainous screen time? correct. Toecutter is a solid menacing figure, and he’s the major villain of the first film, and so he’s maybe #14; Johnny is less excellent and thus i don’t feel about leaving him out. on the other hand, the Nightrider is the source of the excellent opening montage, and i love his ridiculous over-the-CB diatribe. IT IS EXCELLENT. so he makes the cut.

12. Aunty Entity (Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome)
so the thing about Aunty Entity is that i’m basically putting her on here out of a sense of obligation: she’s the third movie’s big villain, right? and shouldn’t that count for something? however, aside from her solid “this nobody had a chance to be somebody” sentiment, i don’t know that she’s that interesting of a character. still, there’s something to be said for the pure ridiculousness of casting a 1980s-era Tina Turner as your post-apocalyptic action film’s big villain. and i can respect ridiculousness of that caliber.

11. Jedediah Junior (Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome)
i don’t really care for the kids in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome as a whole; it’s a neat plot idea, but there’s something about the execution that doesn’t enamor them to me. maybe this is because i am now old and angry at the world? the only amusing kid to me is Jedediah Junior, and mainly for the way he’s about to freely ditch his lazy father during the massive escape sequence at the end of the film. and he always seems incredibly angry, which i like; to borrow an Eminem metaphor, Jedediah Junior’s as hard as that kid Kenard… which, in turn, makes for an endearing youth character.

10. the Feral Kid (Mad Max 2: the Road Warrior)
more pure ridiculousness. i don’t generally like when you stick an “adorable” youth into a film as the hero’s sidekick, but at least here he’s a) almost totally insane, b) toting a hand-chopping boomerang for some reason (i find it hard to believe these things were floating around in large numbers in pre-apocalypse Australia) and c) filthy and described as “feral.” oh, and d) he does some kind of berserker flip into a hole at some point. once again, i am won over by the pure ridiculousness.

Wez
“no! no more talk! we go in! we kill! kill! we kill ’em!”

09. Bubba Zanetti (Mad Max)
yes, Bubba Zanetti is kind of a blank, unremarkable henchman to the film’s big villain, the Toecutter, and leaving the latter off this list and the former on seems weird. however… consider the insanity of the name “Bubba Zanetti”: is he some kind of overweight redneck Italian goon? no, he appears to be the opposite of all that, making his name entirely confusing, and something that is never adequately explained. pure ridiculousness! i admit this is sort of a trend with me.

08. Wez (Mad Max 2: the Road Warrior)
the major downside here is Wez’s somewhat uncomfortable choice of clothing; his implied back story of being some kind of homosexual romantic is weird, considering he’s portrayed as a savage madman in most respects, but i guess some of that is grief talking. plus, while some of the macho he-man in the audience may not love all that man-on-man love, if your dogs of war are going to keep killing all the ladies they drag from cars and sexually assault, you have to figure homosexuality is going to blossom at SOME point (and i think one subset of the raiders are called “gayboy berserkers,” so it is what it is). anyway, is it hilarious that he’s chained to his superior’s vehicle at one point and has to be literally unleashed? yes, yes it is.

07. “Fifi” Macaffee (Mad Max)
included mainly for his scene where he’s half-dressed except for some insane neckwear, screaming down the steps at Max that they’re going to give people “back their heroes!” i believe he’s also watering some random hanging plants; for some reason i believe there are also caged birds in that scene, although i am willing to bet that when i re-watch the scene, there will be no birds in it, and i’ll be left wondering why i presumed they were. anyway, anyway, Fifi’s a good character.

06. the Gyro Captain (Mad Max 2: the Road Warrior)/Jedediah the Pilot (Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome)
i have decided to include these two as one entry because i insist on believing that the Gyro Captain flew off after the events of the second film to become the weird Jedediah of the third. now, okay, i know they’re NOT the same character, since supposed the Gyro Captain, criminal bandit that he was, ends up leading the gas-loving settlers … but really, Bruce Spence plays a character in both movies AND has crazy aircraft in both movies AND kind of fucks with Mad Max in both movies AND i’m supposed to accept that they’re different dudes? no damn way.

the Lord Humungus
“be still, my dog of war. i understand your pain. we’ve all lost someone we love. but we do it my way! … we do it my way. fear is our ally. the gasoline will be ours. then you shall have your revenge.”

05. Ironbar Bassey (Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome)
for some reason, i find Ironbar, the henchman equally as undeveloped as Aunty Entity (or most any character in the films, i guess), to be a lot more endearing than his boss. is it his tiny stature? probably. is it his weird fixation with the doll’s head standard he wears all the time? probably as well. Angry Anderson himself may not be that endearing (i think he said some awkward stuff about immigration in Australia at one point), but tiny Ironbar totally is.

03-04. Master/Blaster (Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome)
…and in complete opposition to what i did with Bruce Spence’s characters above, i am putting Master and Blaster on here as some kind of unified entry that eats up two spaces. this is mainly because they’re most notable and/or awesome as the half-genius-midget, half-powerful-mentally-handicapped-boy team they are when they are first introduced, what with all the roughing-up of Mad Max and fighting in the Underdome … and yet, they’re clearly distinct characters, especially when Blaster gets killed and Master is forced to don a suit and act respectably, a great step up in the world for a guy who once appeared in Freaks.

02. the Lord Humungus (Mad Max 2: the Road Warrior)
do i need to say anything more than the fact that he’s introduced as “the warrior of the wasteland, the Lord Humungus, [and] the ayatollah of rock-and-rollah,” the latter being a title i have long attempted to claim for myself? i do? well, he also wears a hockey mask for some reason (severe facial burns, maybe), he drives a ridiculous truck made from the remains of a Ford F-100 Ute, and he’s ruthless but thinking: witness his awesome “just walk away” and “dog of war” speeches. and honestly, you don’t get identified as “the Lord Humungus” unless you can do something pretty awesome to back it up, right?

Dog

01. Dog (Mad Max 2: the Road Warrior)
oh, come on. who else was i going to rank here?

next week, i’ll try for less “pure ridiculousness” and more “comedy,” but ultimately, i’m not making any promises, okay?