The horror! The unspeakable horror!

Freddie, without. you I just don’t know what I would do on Saturday nights.

My girlfriend and I have taken to watching terrible horror movies, most of them from that terrible decade, the 1980s, as an excuse to avoid going outside.

So far we’ve watched two “A Nightmare on Elm Street” flicks and to lend legitimacy to this horror excursion, we checked out the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” a classic from the 1970s.

I had largely given up on horror movies following an unfortunate viewing of the remake of “Last House on the Left,” with my friend and his wife, during which we were treated to an absolutely horrifying, three- or four-minute long rape scene. Once the movie ended, I stood up, nodded at my friends and left in silence. Our relationship was never the same.

I’m not sure what demographic finds rape scenes entertaining, and to be quite honest, I’d avoid those people if I knew who they were. Not as bad as rape scenes, but equally bizarre as an entertainment option is the ubiquitous use of torture in the horror movies of this century. Movies like “Saw” and “Hostile” that seem to be about innocent people suffering. Who finds that fun?

I want my horror movies chock full of annoying teenagers played by 25-year-old actors who you won’t mind watching die in a myriad of gruesome yet unintentionally funny ways. I want buckets of blood thrown at walls. I want gratuitous breasts. I’m totally fine with sexual congress leading to inevitable death, but I want the sex giggly and 100 percent consensual.

It could be argued that the death that accompanies sex in horror movies is a comment on the puritanical way Americans view sex, but that is an argument for someone scholary. I just want to avoid the sun.

Anyway, watch these terrible, awful movies, please.

twice dead
This is possibly the worst movie ever made.

“Twice Dead”

This glistening terd can’t decide if it wants to be a haunted house movie or a slasher flick. A family inherits a haunted house and is immediately terrorized by a cheesy band of punk rockers. The ghost of the dead actor comes to the family’s aid. The inept cops, inadvertent sexual tension between the brother and sister leads and sex electrocution make this a bad movie for the ages.

On second thought, it’s this movie.

“Slaughter High”

There is grainy surveillance video of gas station robberies with better production values. A nerd named Marty is humiliated and eventually burned for no apparent reason by a group of sadistic popular kids. He lures them all back to the high school for a reunion and picks them off one by one. Did I mention sex electrocution. This movie has it, too.

motel hell
Yes, my grandmother liked a movie where a deranged farmer wore a pig head and wielded a chainsaw.

“Motel Hell”

Farmer Vincent Smith (Rory Calhoun) who abducts people, removes their vocal chords and plants them into his garden for later harvesting and inclusion in his famous “smoked meats.” This movie is awesome. It’s cheeky fun and the scariest thing about it was learning my grandmother was a fan. Thanks, mom.


Now That’s What I Call 1984!

Big Brother has taken to making off the cuff remarks on Twitter which has concerned some Inner Party members.

Without turning it into a partisan argument, The United States of America is headed at breakneck speed into its fascist, totalitarian phase. “Brave New World” author Aldous Huxley, upon reading George Orwell’s “1984,” wrote the sourpuss English journalist to inform him that his bleak near-future novel was better.

Whether the USA does the hot pants, drugs and promiscuous sex regime of “Brave New World” (fervent prayer) or the dingy, broken-down hellscape of “1984” (meh) is an argument for another day. For the purposes of this column, we will assume that the United States, with it’s proud history of Puritanical sex hating, will go the “1984” route.

No caption
“They didn’t even take me to Room 101 for my torture.”

It won’t work. Americans are too entitled. And not the “I want health insurance and coal-free water” kind of entitled. The bad kind of entitled. Our foray into an authoritarian police state will be disastrous, and quite honestly, just not as memorable as “1984.” It will be more like “Now That’s What I Call 1984” or “I Can’t Believe It’s Not 1984.”

Here are testimonials from the disgruntled, oppressed masses.

“I didn’t even get taken to Room 101 for my torture. They just did it in the lobby at the Ministry of Love. It just seemed like they were kind of phoning it in. And I’m not even really that afraid of rats. It’s spiders that get me.”

— Winston S.

“The television in my apartment that blares nonstop propaganda broke, and I was told by the repair company that I had to be home between 9 a.m. and 13 o’clock. That’s just not acceptable. I work at the Ministry of Truth, and my boss is a real jerk. He said if I’m late again, he will erase my existence. So not happy.”

— Julia (last initial withheld)

“To put it simply, John Bear is an asshole. He’s taken my work and made a complete mockery of it.”

“In school, they teach us to turn our parents over to the Thought Police if we think they are subversive. I don’t know what subversive means, but I turned my mom in after she took away my iPhone because I failed my vocabulary test.”

— Todd J.

“I went down to the Whole Foods for some of those Eurasian pears I love so much. The guy in the produce section told me that they don’t sell Eurasian pears because Eurasia is and has always been our enemy. On a lighter note, I got a great deal on some Eastasian plums, which apparently they have always carried. I just never saw them before.”

— Jane D.

“Who does this Big Brother guy think he is anyway. Show yourself in public, coward!!!! #NotMyDictator”

— @Emmanuel_Goldstein

“I’m hearing a lot of enemies of the state were at today’s Two Minute Hate. Losers!!! #MakeOceaniaGreatAgain”

— @TheRealBigBrother


Bear with me: Thoughts on Malcolm X

brand_bio_bio-shorts_malcolm-x-mini-biography_0_172236_sf_hd_768x432-16x9When I was in the seventh grade, I bought a Malcolm X baseball cap.

I had it no idea what it was or what it meant. (I wear a Baltimore Orioles cap now. I couldn’t tell you one player. I just like the big black and orange bird.) This wasn’t the black hat with a white X on it like Spike Lee wore, either. It had what I would later learn were Pan-African colors — red, yellow and green. If I remember correctly, the X was black. Full regalia.

A kid in class asked me why I was wearing a Malcolm X hat, and this was my extremely white, middle class reply:

“Who is Malcolm X?”

I let the question about why I was wearing a Malcolm X hat slide to the murky depths of my mind. Here I was, a white kid sporting a hat paying homage to a civil rights icon whose existence I was gleefully unaware of. In public school, at least mine, they taught you about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but I had never heard of Malcolm X.

It was about a month later when I was strolling through Target with my family and, behold, there it was, sitting on a rack at the end of an aisle — “The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley.” I had about 10 bucks to my name and pulled a copy off the shelf and took it home.

It was a fascinating read. Malcolm Little, born in Omaha, Neb., wound up in Harlem where he sold drugs and straightened his hair with a mixture of lye and potatoes so it would look more like a white man’s hair, a “conk.” Malcolm found himself in prison, where he converted to Islam and fell in with the Nation of Islam, which regarded white people as devils. He became involved in Civil Rights. Eventually, he made the pilgrimage to Mecca, the Haj, and saw blue-eyed, blond-haired Muslims. This softened his views on race somewhat.

It was and still is the longest book I ever read. And I didn’t finish it. As I approached the end, I learned from another source, possibly the movie, that this man I had come to admire so much was shot dead by his own people. I just couldn’t bring myself to read that part.

Tuesday marked the 52nd anniversary of his assassination. I’ve been thinking about him lately, for two reasons. One, this country is currently brimming with hatred of Muslims. They are the other. They are foreign. But here was one from Omaha. (Not to mention a lot of those rappers who have enriched your lives throughout the years.)

Two, Americans love a good humble origin story, and a lot of people lie about theirs. This one is real. This man came from nothing and made something of himself.

The book was the richest reading experience of my life so far. I have no idea what happened to the hat.

The Tiny Hand: A Tirade about the Girl Scouts of America

An insidious organized crime family has taken over street corners across the country. Its members strike fear into the heart of this columnist. They are a scourge. They are ruthless. They are 5 feet tall.

I’m talking, of course, about the Girl Scouts of America and their nefarious cookie racket. The Tiny Hand (mafia joke).

The following are excerpts from actual tirades. In order to stay in line with my take on reality, they are mostly fictional. The resigned bemusement of my girlfriend is real. Yes, I have a problem with cute 8-year-olds.



“There they are, the little bastards,” I grumbled as I drove north on Colorado Boulevard toward brunch.

“Who?” my girlfriend asked.

“Who do you think? Girl Scouts. They set up in front of stores, and you can’t get inside.”

“Oh my god, you are so grumpy!”

“You know, I got threatened by one once.”

“Uh-huh,” she said, retreating into her Snapchat.

“Yeah, I was walking into a Wal-Mart in Alamogordo and a Girl Scout asked me if I wanted to buy a box.”


“So I said, ‘No, I’m here to buy groceries.’ She said, ‘Gee, it seems like it would be hard to shop with a broke arm.'”

“That didn’t happen, John.”

“I swear to god.”


“Hand to Jesus?”


“Fine. Don’t believe me.”


We parked on a side street and walked to our trendy brunch location on Colfax Avenue. There was quite a wait, so we took our seats on a bench in front of the restaurant. Within minutes, two more smock-clad foot soldiers set up a card table and started slinging boxes of cookies. We briefly discussed the ethics of a Girl Scout troop setting up shop in front of a marijuana dispensary.

I resumed.

“It’s just, like, why can’t they go door to door like when I was a kid?” I asked no one in particular.

“Because you were a kid in the 1940s, haha,” my girlfriend replied. She is 13 years my junior, so old jokes please her immensely.

“Haha. You still didn’t answer me.”

“Because there are serial killers, and kids can’t go door to door anymore.”

“Ugh, the world is going to hell. Still. They bug me.”

“You are such a grouch.”

I muttered something unintelligible. I crossed my arms across my chest. I glanced over at the card table. My eyes narrowed.

“I’ll be right back,” I said, walking to the table.

“Yes, sir,” a sandy-haired girl of about 9 said.

“Yeah, give me a box of Samoas, please.”

“That will be $4.”

I produced my wallet and handed her a 10-dollar bill. She put the bill into a shoebox and started to make change. She paused, looked up at me.

“You sure you don’t want two boxes,” she asked.

I smiled.

“No, just the one box will be fine.”

She handed me my $6 in change. I smiled. That’s how they get you.

A polar bear walks into a press conference …


POINT BARROW, Alaska — A polar bear lashed out at the media during a news conference Tuesday that was called to address the tape recording that surfaced last week of the animal bragging about his prowess as a seal eater to an Arctic fox ahead of a broadcast of Arctic Fox and Friends.

No one was at all surprised to discover that a polar bear eats seals, and interest in the story grew solely because the bear has so vehemently denied that he eats seals.

“Really, it’s just kind of weird that a bear would lie about something this obvious,” said a walrus who asked not to be identified.

The news conference featured a contentious exchange between the bear and a snowy owl who is a reporter with the Daily Arctic Observer. The bear accused the owl of being a member of a “cabal of elite liberal media owls obsessed with making me look bad.”

A partial transcript of the exchange has been reprinted here.

“Mr. Bear, can you address why you are denying that you eat seals, even though everyone knows bears eat seals, and no one has a problem with bears eating seals?”

“I don’t eat seals.”

“Mr. Bear, you are clearly heard in the tape recording saying that you do in fact eat seals. You at one point say, quote, ‘I am the greatest seal eater in the history of the Arctic Circle. No one eats more seals than I do.’ End quote. Is it not usual for a polar bear to eat seals? Why the steadfast denial?”

“This is obviously more liberal Arctic media fake news. I have never eaten seals. And if I did, I would always get permission. I wouldn’t just go gobbling up seals without their consent. And I don’t eat seals.”

“Sir, I …”

“I’m done talking to you. You aren’t a real reporter. In fact, you look like a snowy owl to me.”

“Uh, I am a snowy owl. I think maybe you are taking this the wrong way, Mr. Bear, but isn’t it normal for polar bears to eat seals? We still aren’t sure why you are denying you eat seals.”

“I don’t eat seals. And I’m not a polar bear.”

“Uh, sir, clearly you are a polar bear.”

“No, I’m not. You’re a polar bear.”

“No, I’m a snowy owl. You are a polar bear.”

“That’s just like a liberal media owl. You insinuate that just because I weigh 1,500 pounds, am covered in white fur and eat seals that …”

“So you admit that you eat seals.”

“Damn it. That’s not what I meant. You tricked me into saying that. You dirty polar bear.”

“Again, sir. I’m a snowy owl. You are a polar bear.”


The polar bear produces a seal from behind the podium and begins eating it.

“Mr. Bear, you are eating a seal right now.”

“I’m not a polar bear. I’m a seal.”


“This press conference is over.”