Noir: My Thoughts

Christopher Moore is one of my all time favorite authors.  I started with A Dirty Job, then read all three of the Bloodsucking Fiends trilogy, and pretty much set out to read as many of his books as I could possibly get my hands on.

Admittedly, Moore is…  Not for everybody.  Especially in recent years, with stories like Sacre Blue, and Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff.  These are pretty avant gard, considering the guy had made a living telling humorous stories about either a fictional town out in the middle of nowhere, or in a fictional San Fransisco that reminds me of Kevin Smith’s Jerseyverse.  Or Askewniverse.  Or whatever we’re calling the Jay and Silent Bob movies nowadays.  The Jay-And-Silent-Bobiverse?

Also, if nothing came from the 2010s, my fascination with film noir happened in this very decade.  All you bitches feeling nostalgic for the neon-colored nightmare of shoulder pads, toy commercial cartoons, and Reaganomics don’t know nothing about nostalgia.  I was going back to the days when movies weren’t even in color!  I was going back to the days communism actually seemed like a legit threat to anybody!  I was going back to the day when a high budget movie was around six figures at absolute most!  You want to talk nostalgic?  You don’t know.

I forgot where I was going with this.

Oh right, Christopher Moore wrote a noir book!  My favorite author?  Writing one of my recent favorite genres?  I literally commented on his blog: “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”.  No really.  Look for the sample chapter for Noir on his blog (if it’s still there).  You’ll find my comment right there!

ANYWAY…

I really had high hopes for this book.  And…  Not going to lie…  It’s not one of his better books.  Yeah, I’m starting to think I might have jumped the gun on that one.  It’s fucking No Man’s Sky all over again.

It’s not a bad story by any means.  Comedy wise, “the kid” was probably the funniest thing about the entire story.  I mean yeah, the fact the main female character is named after a variety of British cheese is KINDA funny I guess, but a lot of the humor…  I don’t really want to say it fell flat, but considering I read Christopher Moore books frequently, I’m kind of familiar with his pacing, and his style of joke telling.  It’s like watching a new episode of a long-running sitcom that hasn’t managed to hit seasonal rot yet: the jokes are there, and you know they’re funny, but they aren’t really gut-busting hilarious.

The very beginning of the book is basically a fucking trigger warning to all the delicate little snowflakes out there that this book takes place in the 1940s, and therefore may use some slurs that were acceptable then, but aren’t now.  Although I got to say, I was expecting a lot worse than what I got.  Sure, he used the word “colored” a few times, and a few slurs for Chinese people.  I don’t know, maybe having friends who masterbate to Trump and praise “the glory of Kekistan” have desensitised me to the point I feel nothing anymore when I hear racist remarks.  Or maybe I don’t offend nearly as easily as this current generation of weak-willed pussies.  I’ll honestly believe either one.

Get past the trigger warning, and you get a story that is…  Okay.

Really, my only real gripe with the book is that there’s two narrators, and the second narrator waits till way into the book to introduce himself.  The epic reveal…  Honestly, I can’t decide if it’s funny, or dumb.  Possibly both, but maybe leaning more towards dumb.  It’s one of those choices that, on paper, probably sounded funnier.  And at the moment of the reveal, it DID kinda give me a chuckle.  But prior to the reveal, I found myself constantly wondering why it went from first person to third person every other chapter.

The audiobook is read by Johnny Heller.  Heller is a man of about two or three voices at absolute best, and they all have a bit of a Marlon Brando quality to them.  However, it’s a reader that fits the theme of the book just fine, so I give it a pass.

Overall, it’s not the worst book I’ve ever read.  It’s not even the worst Christopher Moore book I’ve ever read.  Really, though, I’d recommend some of his other titles before recommending this one.

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The Philosopher’s Flight: My Thoughts

The Philosopher’s Flight is a book I really wasn’t expecting to like.  Or even read, honestly.  It got recommended at the book club I’m a member of, in rather hilarious fashion.

Basically, we discussed the book of the month (The City and the City by the HIGHLY over-rated China Mieville).  Then, talk of what to read next came up.  A woman who comes to the group off and on picked two books out of her purse, slapped them down on the table, and said: “Here’s your choices.  Pick one.  I’m not running out and buying a third book.  Pick one.”  I laughed, and went with the side that picked Philosopher’s Flight on the grounds option B was a clichéd young adult dystopia novel that lost me at the blurb describing the overused, overdone premise every young adult novel throughout the 2010s has used.

So we read The Philosopher’s Flight, and I got to say, I liked it a lot.

Robert is a young man, living in a world where “philosophy” actually refers to magic.  Also, magic seems to come more naturally for women than it does for men, although a few men can perform magic as well.  Like Robert, for example.  Magic, or “philosophy”, consists of being able to draw sigils with certain ingredients, and through the power of magic (I guess), stuff happens according to what sigil you drew, and what you drew it with.  IE, aluminum results in teleportation, silver results in stasis, corn powder (I think) results in flight…  They allude to a combination of sulphur and bonemeal that makes a really nasty death spell, but it never gets used.

Robert wants to join the rescue squad, and serve his country in World War I.  However, because most men can’t perform magic as effortlessly, or at all, it’s an uphill battle just getting through the academy.  The person recommending this book for the club suggested that it was an inverse to the whole “strong independent woman who’s strong and independent and a woman proving to the men how strong and independent this woman is.  Did we mention this is a woman who’s strong and independent?  Because it’s super important you note that this is a strong independent woman.” fad we’ve been stuck in for the last three or four years now by basically giving the WOMEN the power, and making the MAN prove himself.  Admittedly, I assumed the women were going to have more influence in this world than they had.  IE, I thought they’d hold the majority of political power, cultural influence, and men were treated like objects who cooked and cleaned and all that.  While women in this universe are more adept at “philosophy”, they still don’t have a whole lot of influence outside “philosophy” circles.

Also, did you know that in the old days, a woman could run for office, but couldn’t vote?  According to the resident SJW of the club, yeah, that was actually a thing.  They brought it up in this book, but I thought it was just part of their universe, but it’s actually a thing!  Weird, right?

Getting back on track…

This book is definitely a departure from the kind of things I read.  IE, not a whole lot of fight scenes, and not a whole lot of magic and mysticism outside “philosophy”.  And I’m okay with that.

A common criticism the story seems to get is that it tries to tackle several themes, and only really resolves one or two.  A lot of this gets attributed to the fact that this is Tom Miller’s first book, and perhaps he’s still trying to figure things out.  I personally attribute it to the fact that Robert is really your classic case of a country boy in the city.  A lot of these themes get brought up as environmental factors, but the primary focus of the story is definitely that Robert is just trying to get through the academy, and live out his life long dream of working in rescue and evac for the U.S. military.

The audiobook is read by Gibson Frazier.  He does a really good job with the material he’s given, although it’s kind of hilarious to hear a guy give the cliché dum jock voice to female characters on occasion.  I guess in this universe, women have to take up roles like captain of the sportsball team, so I guess they can be dumb jocks just as much as…  You know, I’m thinking too hard about this.

I’ve heard through the grapevine that this is book 1 of a series.  A series that, as of this writing, is still in the works.  Honestly, as much as I enjoyed this book, I’m hesitant to read any further in this series .  The book ended pretty conclusively in my opinion.  I mean yeah, they could probably elaborate on the very specific details of what went on during the montage that was the last three or four paragraphs…  Also, the prologue.

I forgot entirely about the prologue until the book club got together.  And understandably so.  The prologue contributes literally NOTHING to the plot of this book.  I GUESS it provides a little context on how “philosophy” works, but it’s nothing you couldn’t pick up for yourself actually reading through the story proper.  Nothing that’s ever brought up in the prologue EVER shows up in the story.  So much so, I wonder why the hell the author even bothered.  Outside the possibility of page count, but I figured that’s why he included a glossary of terms that you’ve probably long since figured out by ACTUALLY READING THE BOOK.

Some writing advice I’ve gotten over the years is this: never start with a prologue.  Don’t start the story in the middle, and flash back to three weeks earlier.  Don’t use a prologue as a foreshadowing tool for something that happens in book 2 or book 3.  In fact, just don’t do the prologue.  Ever.  Start the story at chapter 1, and go from there.

The Philosopher’s Flight could’ve probably benefitted from this advice.  Lord knows I don’t do prologues anymore for this very reason.

One thing Miller and I are BOTH guilty of, though, is beginning chapters with quotes that foreshadow future events in the chapter.  This is one of those things where in it works if it’s done properly.  Unfortunately, I don’t feel like it was done properly in Miller’s book.  For example, he shares a passage from Danielle’s campaign speech from all the way into the 1930s: at least fifteen or twenty years after the story takes place.  Then we have an epic final battle between Robert, Danielle, and the villain of the book (a dude who totally gives me Fred Phelps vibes), and I felt virtually NO ergency.  Bitch, I already know Danielle survives!  And as a result, it kind of kills the suspense.

These are some nitpicks I had with the book, but despite those nitpicks, I actually really liked the story quite a bit.  Will I check out future books in the series?  Well…  We’ll see.  For what it’s worth, book 1 was definitely not a bad read.

 

Aggretsuko: My Thoughts

Not going to lie, my relationship with anime over the last few years has been…  Rocky.  In my high school years, anime was this amazing beautiful thing that captivated me and mesmerized me.  here and now, it’s a thing that comes around on Saturday nights, and serves primarily as background noise while I do literally anything but watch it.  Because lately, I can predict what the plot is going to be with a grand total of one, maybe two episodes.

Dumdum McRetard wants to become the very best like no one ever was.  Maybe it’s the king of the pirates, maybe it’s the wizard king, maybe it’s the great hokage.  Whatever you want to call the very best, that’s Dumdum’s goal.  Unfortunately, Dumdum has no grace, no tact, no intelligence, no social skills, no table manners…  In fact, why are we even focusing on this guy?  Badass Van Asskicker, Dumdum’s long time rival and significantly more competent counterpart, is often times the more fascinating characters in these shows.  But wait, there’s a twist!  You see, despite the fact Dumdum McRetard is a hopeless fucking idiot with no chance in hell of making it up so much as one rung of the ladder, it turns out he’s the most powerful fucking person in the entire universe!  And thus, he accomplishes his goals based entirely around dumb luck.

The end.

A Carl Rove production.

Lather, rinse, repeat, dub it into English, and hand it off to Cartoon Network for their dead horse of an anime block.

Call it whatever you want: Naruto, Bleach, Black Clover, Fairy Tail, Seven Deadly Sins, My Hero Academia…  Really, at this point, the list goes on.  I’m so fucking tired of this concept!

Netflix does have a significantly more varied selection of anime…  It was through Netflix I watched shows like Welcome to the NHK, and most of Moribito.  Unfortunately, with Netflix, the one fatal drawback is the show doesn’t always come with an English dub.  Yeah, I’m one of THOSE people: the guy who’d rather not spend a binge session reading subtitles and actually hear English come from my anime.  Call me a weirdo if you must, but if I wanted to READ for a few hours, I’d get a book.

So yeah, I haven’t really been keeping up with anime in the last few years.  I’ve heard some titles, found one or two of those titles on Toonami, saw exactly what I was getting, and went back to bingewatching Baskets or something.

Then, earlier this weekend, a friend of mine introduced me, and another friend to Aggretsuko.

I got to say, this show is actually pretty entertaining.  A lot more entertaining than a furry anime based on cubical drone life deserves to be, that’s for sure.

Meet Retsuko.  She’s a “red panda” (which I just recently discovered is a legit thing), working the cubical life, putting up with horrible bosses, and a life that honestly doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere.  But when she isn’t working, she’s going to the local karaoke bar, and screaming her lungs out to death metal!  It’s very Phineas and Ferb in the sense there’s a song of the day, but it’s more akin to Metalocalypse in the sense it’s metal.  I’m fairly certain they rehash the same two or three instrumentals and just put new lyrics to it, ala Nurima Daikon Brothers, but I’m not all the way through the series just yet.

Trust me, this is definitely looking like one of those shows you don’t have to watch all at once if you don’t want to.  if you’re like me, and bingewatching four different things at the moment, that’s a good thing.  Of course if you have nothing going on, and just want to binge the shit out of this show, that’s good too.

The acting, at least on the English dub, is solid.  Although I’m about 85% positive the person performing the death metal is not only a different voice actor from the one providing Retsuko’s voice, but I’m also about 85% positive the death metal singer is a guy.  I could be wrong about that, but as a bit of a connoisseur of the genre, I’m pretty good at picking out female shriekers from male shriekers.  I think I was only wrong once in my entire life, and that was with the band Crisis.

It’s not the kind of show that reinvents the wheel.  In fact, I remember thinking to myself that this was a show that joined the “kids show for adults” fad of the early to mid 2000s about a decade late.  Then again, I don’t expect Japan to be keeping tabs on what’s popular here in The States, so I give this one a pass on that front.

I’m noticing a lot of metal coming from Japan lately.  Between this show, and Baby metal (a Japanese metal band who’s avant gard even by Japanese standards), it’s hard not to notice a trend.  Or maybe metal was always big in Japan, and I’m just now noticing.  I don’t know.  All I can really say is the stuff I’ve seen from Japan lately is a pretty decent change of pace.  The American metal scene right now consists primarily of the djent fad, a few hand-me-downs from Denmark, and Five Finger Death Punch.  If this is the best we can do, maybe it’s time I look into Japan’s metal scene more thoroughly.  And my gateway was a red panda with a cubical job.  Hey, I’ve had dumber origin stories for how I got into scenes and fandoms.  I should tell you my story of how I got into the New Jersey Devils fandom some day.

I’m getting off track.

All and all, Aggretsuko is pretty good.  If nothing else, it’s a very refreshing change of pace for me.

 

Ballmastr: My Thoughts

I have no fucking clue what I’ve just watched.  It seems like I’ve been saying that about Adult Swimming since they had the audacity to give Tim Heidecker and Eric Wereheim their own show, except where as I wished Tim and Eric would hurry up and die already…  I’m more confused than anything else.

Ballmastrz is…  I guess a parody of anime.  Yeah, there’s an original topic for parody.  Sure you didn’t have any Star Wars gags you wanted to throw in for good measure?  Or maybe Family Guy bought the rights to those.

In any case, the show is built around “The Game”: a pseudo bloodsport that seems like a breeding ground for ADHD with all its quick cuts, flashing colors, and announcer who’s more than happy to tell you how you SHOULD be feeling so you don’t have to actually think.  There’s only two rules in “The Game”: use balls to score, and use balls to kill.  From there, the sky is the limit.

I saw the commercials for this back in March, and…  I won’t lie, it looked fucking horrendous if you went by the commercial.  The show…  Well…  It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be.  For sure, the commercial doesn’t do it justice.

It’s probably not the most original idea on the planet, even by parody standards.  Gaz Digzy is your stereotypical case of being a master at the sword, and an absolute fuck up at life.  I guess the fact it’s a GIRL character is progressive, if that sort of thing matters to you, but frankly, I get the feeling I’ve seen this before.

I really can’t make up my mind on this show.  Again, it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be…  But I definitely hesitate to say this show is GOOD.  Dana Snyder as Baby Ball is probably the high point, but that’s probably because Dana Snyder is a man of one voice, and every time Baby Ball is on screen, I immediately think Master Shake.

I think this show has potential.  At the same time, though, I’m keeping my expectations for the remainder of it VERY low.  Even by Adult Swim standards, I am so fucking confused right now.

R.I.P. The Skellyman

By now, I’ve mentioned here that I stream on occasion.  I use the YouTube handle Steaksaw McGraw, and for a few hours, I stream myself royally sucking at video games.  Apparently it has a market.  I’m nowhere near the level of Markiplier or Pewdie Pie or whatever, but these things seem to get views.

Recently, though, I tried my hand at a different sort of video project.  A project I simply called The Skellyman.

Not going to lie, this project was highly experimental.  I went in with little hopes, not expecting to be loved, to make mad money, or anything of the sort.  I’d figured a couple things out with Windows Movie Maker, as well as my cell phone camera, and I wanted to play with these discoveries.  As a result, I made some vlogs that were…  Okay.

There were a lot of jumpcuts in between lines.  If you’ve ever listened to my podcast, you know how bad I trip over my own speech.  I wish I could say that’s a stream of consciousness sort of thing, but really, that’s just how I am.  I had to butcher the shit out of those videos to make them coherent.  I basically took ten minutes of footage that was basically me in a La Parka mask I bought at a wrestling show back in, like, 2013 or so, and waving my arms like an idiot while I complained about how Greta Van Fleet is a glorified Led Zeppolin tribute band.

SEMI-RELATED NOTE: that was probably my least popular video on the entire channel.  But it wasn’t the thing that convinced me this channel is a fruitless endeavor.

Bottom line: this channel was an experiment.

In some ways, the experiment succeeded.  The videos, while not the best, were passable by my standards.  I still need to work on centering myself in front of the camera, but the phone didn’t make it a vertical video (one of my pieves with some vloggers), and editing on the last version of Windows Movie Maker is actually pretty painless once you figure out how everything is laid out.

In other ways, the experiment was a failure.  It didn’t perform as well as I would’ve liked.  I’m no stranger to being a contrarian when it comes to popular opinion, but honestly, my most popular review consisted entirely of me talking about a fucking hockey jersey I bought myself.  Not exactly what I was intending.

If I decide to do another vlog series, it won’t be as The Skellyman.  That character is basically done with.  I may try my hand at another video project down the line, but for now, I’m content with being an author who occasionally podcasts.

And to the one person who subscribed to my channel…  Yeah, sorry I didn’t give you warning.

 

Book 1 Title Confirmed: Realm of the War Pigs

Earlier in the week, I announced my latest writing project.  However, at the time, I was still debating on what the title should be.  I opened the floor for commenters…  But in mostly typical fashion around here, nobody had two cents to give.  Which is fine, because I’m proud to announce that as of today, book1 of The Highway Men has a title.

I decided to go with Realm of the War Pigs.  It fits the best, considering the plot of the novel.  I almost called it Chalk Doorways, but decided that wasn’t good enough.  That was also pretty close to being the series title, but I decided that not every novel is going to deal with the horrors that spawn forth from the interdimensional gateways Grandfather Klein created.

All of this sounds like mumbo-jumbo right now, but I guarantee you that it’ll all make sense when the book is out.

NEW PROJECT: The Highway Men

Technically, I began this project yesterday, but one chapter later, I decided to announce I was working on it here, and I’ll eventually announce it on my Facebook when I’m done here.

The Highway Men is a project I’ve been sitting on since I was working on Lifers Wear Orange: Book 2 of The Gael Saga.  If I weren’t so dedicated to getting that project finished, I probably would’ve left Gael at one book, and started this as a series.

The Highway Men is more familiar territory for me personally.  A blend of action, adventure, Lovecraftian horror, and a few good old fashion references to/digs at rural Kansas culture that I have beheld, or heard tale of years later.  Because sometimes, it’s just too hard to resist.  Relax: there won’t be any politics this time.  I got a lot of that out of my system with The Majin Among Us, and maybe the last Novella of Highfill, Kansas.

I currently have the series name for sure: The Highway Men.  I don’t have a title for book 1 just yet, although I’m leaning towards several possibilities:

 

A. Dismal Dan the Highway Man

B. The Realms of Attrocity.

C. Grandfather’s Interdimensional Nexus of Unimaginable Horrors.

D. Realm/Domain/Dimension/City of The War Pigs

E. The War Pig Experiment.

F. The Horrors of Nevel, Kansas

G. The Chalk Doorways

 

If you see a slash, it’s because I figured words like REALM and DIMENSION are pretty interchangeable at this stage.

It’s hard to talk about titles without getting into spoilers.  Still, I’ll give you this much info about my latest novel here.

Dan Helwig, AKA: Dismal Dan, is the leader of a troop of demon hunters affiliated with a multinational network known as The Highway Men.  They travel around the highways, the enterstates, and other places most wouldn’t think to find demonic activity, because this is precisely where demonic activity ends up taking place.

Nevel, Kansas is YET ANOTHER fictional town in Rural Kansas I made up that, while not technically a real town, is based heavily on real places I know of, and have lived in.

The “war pigs” are, if nothing else, the primary antagonists of this novel.  They might appear in future novels, based on my blueprint, but right now, nothing is concrete.

If I say anything else, I’ll probably give away the plot.  And right now, things are subject to change.

Right now, I haven’t decided on a title.  Though seeing all my choices laid out before me right here, I’m thinking for sure that A and C are definitely out.  However, I’m always up for a second opinion.

If you see a title here you like, be sure to say something in the comments, and I’ll take your opinion into consideration.  Otherwise, I’ll probably choose one I like the most.  Or even pick one that has nothing to do with any of the titles I’ve listed.

I don’t have a speculative release date for this project just yet, but I’ll gladly let you all know when I actually have a time table in place.  Till then, stay tuned for more news regarding this new and exciting project.

The Grand Finale is Canceled

I announced it earlier in the week on my Facebook page, but I’ve officially canceled Grand Finale.  Honestly, though, if you read my attempts at describing how that project was going to work, you probably shouldn’t be shocked.

The Grand Finale was a lot like how Trey Parker once described The Human Centipede.  Specifically, that it was an idea that, at any point in its production, someone would stand up and say “This is dumb”, everyone would agree, and we’d never speak of this project ever again.  Unlike Tom Six, however, I actually reached that point around the halfway point of chapter seven, and called it a day.

Also, as I admitted in the entry detailing how that project was going to work, I had literally no plan going in.  I would just write, and see where it took me.  And unfortunately, it took me to a roadblock.  A roadblock that decided to make fun of me for sticking with it as long as I did, but a roadblock all the same.

And lastly, my desire to write another project I’ve been sitting on since 2017 finally overwhelmed everything else in that particular headspace.  Considering Grand Finale had no real planning, no direction, and just wasn’t working out, I figured now would be a good time to scrap the project altogether, and start this new one.

Details on this new project are coming soon.  For now, though, I regret to inform the two or three of you who were looking forward to Grand Finale that there will be no Grand Finale.

 

UPDATE: Okay, either people are really excited about the new project, or a lot of people actually weren’t looking forward to Grand Finale, because a cancelation post should NOT be getting this many likes.  Just saying.

End of an Era

Earlier this month, Scourged: the last of The Iron Druid Chronicles, was put out.  I bought it, I blazed through it in a week, and now I sit here realizing that the epic fantasy I’ve been reading since 2015 is over.  And boy, I have no idea how to feel about that.

All good things have to come to an end.  Frankly, the fact there hasn’t been a single bad book in the entire nine book series says a lot about how good at this writing thing Kevin Hearne actually is.  When the series started, it came out in a time where the whole “vampires, werewolves, and mythical creatures live among us and I keep them all in check” concept Anita Blake brought to the table was starting to become tiresome.  And really, one could argue that Anita Blake wasn’t even all that original in the first place.  So the fact Atticus O’Sullivan was ON THE RUN as opposed to being god’s chosen champion, or a member of an elite hunter squad, or whatever, was actually kind of a refreshing change of pace.  Also, who could say no to Oberon?  I don’t think myself as a dog person or as a cat person exclusively (I will punch you in the fucking face if you call me bipetual), but having had a dog of my own, I can tell you Hearne’s portrayal is definitely very accurate.  True, my dog wasn’t an Irish wolf hound, but really, dogs are dogs in the longrun: happy, slobbery, manic idiots who absolutely love you.

I’ll admit to not reading the novellas, though.  I basically stuck to the canonical books in the series.  Largely because, for the most part, the side novellas don’t really add anything TOO substancial to the overall plot.  At least, not until the book I refer to as “book 8.5.1 and 8.5.2”, but even then, the only thing those books explain is how Atticus ended up with a Boston terrier named Starbuck.

In the span of three years, I practically devoured all nine of The iron Druid Chronicles novels, and I enjoyed the journey from start to finish.

As per usual, I went with the audiobooks, because blind guy.  All of the books are read by the man, the myth, the legend himself, Luke Motherfucking Daniels.  In fact, I dare say, The iron Druid Chronicles were my first real exposure to him as a reader.  And ever since, Daniels has joined the likes of Simon Vance, Robertson Dean, and Mark Vitor: readers who make me loudly declare “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!” the moment I see their name on the Audible.com page.  I was even subscribed to his Soundcloud page at one point, before I ended up deleting that soundcloud account in exchange for the one currently hosting Red Flannel Radio.  I should really do another one of those.  Seems like that’s been reduced to a monthly show now.

But I digress.

The series has ended.  I feel complete in a way, but at the same time, I feel kind of bummed out.  Well, maybe BUMMED is a bit of an exaggeration, but I definitely have that “end of an era, and I have no idea where to go from here” kind of feeling.  This feeling will pass in a couple days (it always does), but I really can’t remember the last time I’ve been bummed out about there being no new stories in the series.  Usually, by the time a series gets to book 4, I’m starting to notice problems, tedium, and even continuity errors in one case.

I highly recommend reading the series for yourself if you haven’t.  In the meantime, maybe I’ll be able to find the next great ongoing series to invest all my psychotic fan devotion to.

No AFD Prank This Year

got to say, the internet has been pretty tame this year as far as AFD goes.  At absolute most, I have it on good authority PornHub apparently filled their entire front page with videos of people playing the trumpet, and that’s pretty much been it.

I myself have been pretty reserved this year, compared to the announcement of Eugene Wafleshire’s epic debut self-help novel, How to Fuck Your Couch Like a MAN!, a year ago to the day.  I’ve honestly given ol’ Eugene Wafleshire an extended, indefinite hiatus after the blog I tried to create for him didn’t work out…

Oh right, I don’t think I ever mentioned that here, have I?

Around the fall of 2017, I had finished The Gael Saga, was in search of a new exciting project, and was hyped up on Hunter S. Thompson and the majesty of gonzo journalism.  Attempting to absorb everything that constituted gonzo journalism (minus the peyote, obviously), while maintaining my own opinions on life, the universe, and everything, I eventually used the Eugene Wafleshire pen name for this project.

Eugene Wafleshire quickly ceased to be a gag name I used as the author name in fake book covers, and I had made him a real life character.  Eugene Wafleshire was an opinionated jerk, a loud and proud libertarian, and the defining feature, the town drunk.

I wrote a series of OP EDs, submitted them to the local papers, and the ones that didn’t get picked up (IE, all but one), I posted to the BlogSpot.com account I’d set up for him.  I’d made the flur de lis Eugene’s insignia, even though whiskey is an IRISH drink, and the FRENCH seem to prefer wine according to stereotypes 101.  I grew my beard out longer than I’d ever let it grow, found an old cowboy hat I’d bought years ago, and used a selfie containing that beard and that hat as my profile pic for said OP ED submissions.

I used Eugene Wafleshire to share stories of working alongside meth heads (which is kind of a true story, actually), political opinions that consisted of clever ways of saying “Everybody’s a fucking idiot”, and occasionally sharing Eugene’s favorite drinking songs.  Spoiler: he really loved Right Said Fred.

I branched out, and used alternative social networking methods to promote myself.  Only to find that “alternative social networks” was a fancy term for “conservative social networks”.  Basically, Twitter’s and Facebook’s attempts at fighting racism negativity, extremism, and what not,  resulted in a massive purging of conservatives from their platform, thus resulting in the creations of Gab.ai, and Minds.com.  Well, Minds.com is a little more neutral in concept, but fucking Kekistan was all fucking over the place when I was trying to promote Eugene there.

Eugene Wafleshire: gonzo journalist, didn’t pan out.  The viewership was minimal, and the only real feedback I’d gotten was that I rambled too much.  Fair enough: even BEFORE I was studying up on gonzo journalism, and the writing style of Hunter S. Thompson, I’ve been prone to letting stream of consciousness grab hold of me.  Before I know it, I have ten paragraphs of crap that may or may not even be on topic anymore.  It’s weird, but that’s how it is.

Seeing as how the blog was going nowhere, I decided to delete my accounts: on BlogSpot, on Minds (which at the time was, and probably still is a bit on the glitch side), my Gab.ai account (I think)…  As many as I could think of.

I’d thought about using Eugene as a narrator in a writing project I called Misanthropy in Retail.  It was sort of an autobiography, but it kind of WASN’T an autobiography.  It was about a chapter of MY life, but as told by Eugene Wafleshire: roommate, good friend, and possible figment of my imagination.  Eugene would tell the tale of how he and I worked retail for two years (give or take), and how toxic an experience it was.  All the while, Eugene would pad out the book with political commentary that was both biographical, opinionated, and libertarian.  Also, he insisted that I had a foot fetish.  Guess he read The Gael Saga too. 🙂

That project, like a lot of writing projects in the time between The Gael Saga and The Majin Among Us, didn’t get finished, and I’m hesitant to even bother trying anymore.  I think this was all just a passing fancy that I don’t dare revisit without a healthy dose of Hunter S. Thompson injected into my brain.

I haven’t used his name for anything sense.  I was thinking of making another April Fools Day prank about a fictional book he wrote, but I figured this was an alias that’d run its course.

And so, I chose not to do an AFD prank this year.  As did a lot of the places I normally visit on the net.  Weird, right?  I guess the fact Easter and AFD are on the same day means everybody’s too busy collecting the seven magical wishing eggs to summon all mighty Shinran the wishing bunny to bring Jesus back to life.  Or something.

Whatever.  Happy Christ on a Stick day.  I’ll see you next time.