Artwork by Vince Labolito.We are creeping towards the 100th Steady Leak article and I need your help in making it a special one. CLICK HERE to read up on what I have cooking and see if you have any ideas on how to make it better. Additionally, I’ve announced that we’ll be starting a daily comic strip (mon-fri with raunchier stuff on the weekends) on the site two Mondays from now. Details about that are HERE.

What does it mean for fine folks like yourself? It means that we’re doing whatever we can to keep things fun and loaded with content here at CHUD.com. It also means we’re idiots.


It’s the holiday weekend for many of you. Unless you’re a Native American. Then, you look around, just waiting for disease ridden blankets to show up. Anyhow…

Now, on with the Leak

Dwindler’s List.

.Music journalists make movie guys look like the coolest, most sane people on the block in comparison. Of course, I’m generalizing, but I just somehow equate the sorts of guys who populate lists like Rolling Stone‘s recent atrocity (500 Greatest Songs) with all that is the worst in humanity. The choices they’ve made for their list (of course there’s seemingly a Beatles entry on every page and of course Bob Dylan has the number #1 tune and of course they had to make sure as to not offend people who like rap or metal). It just seems so typical, as if they can’t veer off the path lest they be judged by the ghost of Lester Bangs. Granted, these lists are meant to create water cooler discussion and debate… but I never fail to get up in arms about this stuff. Would it have killed them to include Dire Straits’ Sultans of Swing? Often, they choose a tune based on what political trend it was attacking or what war it was about rather than the song. Also, the Beach Boys were great… but come on…

Music is such a delicate matter. Much more so than film. You can bash a Kurosawa film to a fan and they’ll disagree or call you a nutcase, but if you upset someone who is a diehard follower of a band? Forget it. I wouldn’t be surprised if bloodshed couldn’t be averted.

And where are all the big band songs? The stuff from the 40’s? Jazz? Blues? There are some biggies in there but for the most part it’s comprised of Beatles, Zeppelin, Dylan, Floyd, Stones, and many others you’d expect. Nirvana. Radiohead. U2.

The B-52’s. TWICE. Holy Kevin Heffernan’s ribcage. The B-52’s. Only slightly less annoying that living inside the moving parts of a lawmower.

Of course, we have some interesting lists on the way but I want to hear from people out there. What are our best? If you’re a member on our message boards, post you choices here.

As an aside, the new Pearl Jam greatest hits CD is absolutely incredible. It reminds me that their career is equal to or greater than critic and fan favorites like REM, U2, Nirvana, and all the others mentioned from the past 15 years or so. That is a very diverse and stout collection of songs.

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Christian Coffees.

.Oblivion can be bliss.

I’ve found my new personal coffee shop hangout. It’s about ten minutes from the house, has very long hours, incredible coffee, serves food, has free wireless, a nice atmosphere, and isn’t a chain that just wants to move people out the door with haste.

That’s all I wanted to see and it’s all I saw.

Then my wife casually said: "You know it’s a Christian coffee place, right?".

I couldn’t even act like I wasn’t surprised. Then I went again and the stuff that I’d glossed over hit me in the face like a bag of nickels. There’s the name, but there’s a bunch of places called Higher Grounds on the web, coffee places that are just coffee places. But then, each time I went it became more and more obvious. Like when I was writing the Matrix review (did you read it?) and a woman was being "Saved" two tables away. Or the religious literature all over the counter (and to think I almost offered them a small allotment of Seed of Chucky passes). Or the adundance of people in collars. Or Linda Blair hammering the crucifix home in the foyer.

You know what? I think it’s pretty cool.

Well, if they were overt I would probably be upset. I don’t like when a place has to have the Fish symbol over their door to announce that they are a Christian dry cleaner because I don’t see how/why it should make a difference. Do they remove the sins from your leather pants? Obviously, Christian bookstores are best off advertising such or Glenn Danzig could saunter in for his stocking stuffer Necronomicon paperbacks and be at a loss.

This snuck up on me, and it hasn’t affected my love of the place one bit. They’re good people (well, the owner’s cool. The staff could care less, and usually I make quick friendships with places I frequent that often), they make incredible coffee, and the place has a nice woodsy feel.

It’s just funny how it snuck up on me, that’s all. I figured it’d be nice to share a positive story on such a topic for a change.

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Bull. Shit.

.I waited a week before sounding off. I knew that shit was going to hit fans, and by shit I do not mean the pummeling fists of Ron Artest.

So, a brawl broke out at a basketball match. Big whoop. People are up in arms about the violence that happens at sporting events. The same people that paid to watch Mike Tyson to enjoy Ear Tartare, Tommy Morrison’s face reduced to Stay-Puft, and ones who forward email links to MPG’s of people accidentally getting smeared by a Chrysler PT Cruiser, most likely. Has anyone watched British people play soccer/football and the fans that surround them?

We’ve got it easy. Plus, as far as televised mayhem goes it’s not even a blip.

The chronology of mass media bullshit doesn’t begin with Janet’s tit, the Monday Night Football crap from two weeks ago, the fistfight in Michigan, Rosanne’s crotch grab or the thousands of people who got hit very hard by planes.

I don’t even think the Zapruder film was the starter.

We like to watch. Plain and simple. We’ve watched gladiators sever each other apart like Christmas roast, we‘ve watched the crucifed hang under the dying sunlight, we‘ve watched "witches" doing their impersonation of that chestnuts song, and we’ve seen NASCAR drivers die surprised when they get killed by hitting an object at 200 mph and catching fire as they hurl around a giant left turn three feet from a tank filled with highly flammable gases.

Televison is all about seeing those people who are both much more lucky than ourselves prosper and those much less likely than ourselves suffer. It’s part of why I don’t like reality TV. There is no normal life to be seen, just very pretty people or very ugly people. We like to see surprise heroes win gold medals and we like to see when someone ELSE gets pinned between two semi trucks on their way to the Bulldogs game.

I mean, we don’t LIKE to see those things. No one was popping Orville Redenbacher’s finest during the World Trade Center’s demise. But, we are a spectator culture. Very much so.

That’s part of why the fight during the NBA game didn’t hurt the sport. The sport is in doldrums right now. It’s not a finesse game and the public doesn’t have a Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson to cling to. Even the great players are either too showy, too thug, or too bland to register. As a result, the fight can only help the sport. Awareness. No such thing as bad press. All that.

Still, people are using it as a platform. Sports Illustrated has made it their cover for the latest issue, a fact that surprised no one. I think if Arnold Palmer ATE Tiger Woods last week, it’d still be on page two. Even if he shat out Tiger Warsaw afterwards. On beta.

It’s a crock. We see people get pissed off every day and every where. Little league games. In traffic. At bars. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if fights have broken out during Sunday service at some local church. It’s a part of being a person. We have have our breaking point or our moments where common sense takes a back seat. It’s kind of cool that there is that unpredictablility to life. So, a player got drenched. Some fans got punched. Big whoop.

We’re still way behind in the sporting violence meter. They used to use severed human heads in some games back in the day. Who cares if some poorly educated baller decks a loud, fat fan? They’re a perfect fit, and they’ll get theirs. To make it a hot button issue and a scapegoat to make things just a little more moral and censored is just plain offensive.

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News Attack #5

Note: I will not run the story about the lady who cut her 11 month old child’s arms off here in the jog. The night I heard about that, I could not go to sleep. At all. No matter what I tried to occupy my mind with, the thoughts kept going back to that. This white trash cretin cutting the arms off a baby. While it looked up at the person it looks to for everything, undoubtedly wondering what was happening. Why it hurt. If this was what life was. Then I thought of it being my kid. Insane. There is no punishment vile or cruel enough for that women. A good start would be for all the mothers who have miscarried or lost their children to disease or accident as well as the infertile women to all get in line and have their ten minutes with this person who willingly killed her child and in a way so random and vicious that there’s no excuse. Smothering them, it’s horrible but quick. Drowning? Same. Slicing the arms off while it bled out? Yeah, we live in a Utopia all right.

Toby
Keith makes me feel like a communist. I wonder if I’m a real man when I see a Chevy or Ford commercial or whatever and hear him bleat about the pulse of America or the heartbeat of the patriot or the secret handshake at his Klan rally. I wonder if his welcome mat reads "The House That Jingoism Built". Or perhaps "Red + White + Blue = GREEN". Either way, he’s a real man. Me, I’m a decent American. I spent dollars in malls and put expensive gas in my car. That is apparently the cure for terrorism. Today I went over to CNN.com to see what was happening in my fine
country. Here’s a quick rundown…

1. Want to get laid? BECOME A RELIGIOUS ICON! A pastor (as in "passed her the bone") in San Diego coerced women in his parish to have sexual relations with him by claiming that the only way to escape the Devil’s wrath was to take his tough load. Gullible people spoil all the fun for us guys who use food, movies, and walks through the park to score ass. I can just imagine when these women go to a different church after all of this. "That’s not the Host I’m used to taking!". I find it really hard to want this guy imprisoned. He probably did it on a goof. "Hey, Father Lopez… twenty says I can stab the meat curtains tonight if I drop the "devil" routine.". Anyone who would fall for that… well, there’s plenty of single guys in our Religion Forum who are waiting to save you from Satan’s barbed halberd.

2. Apparently a giant praying mantis got into a car accident and then decided to fall to his untimely mantis death. I think. The report said that the victim’s death was "caused by blunt force trauma to the head, neck and thorax", which doesn’t sound like man injuries. The report leaves out this part of the news: The victim is survived by his mate, who immediately went into mourning about not being able to eat his head after sex. In Pittsburgh, men have chests. They have breastplates. They are card carrying members of the Sternum Club. Fuck the thorax. That’s for the bugs.

3. A guy in Omaha has been arrested for allegedly abusing a blind woman. Why allegedly? The eyewitness was a German Shepherd.

4. A gentleman in SoCal made a deal with prosecutors to end the mystery about the rape, burgle, death, and burning of his family’s housekeeper. The deal keeps him off of death row, but no word on whether it will unrape, unburn, disemburgle, and unslaughter the woman he admitted to sending to Valhalla without a hall pass. I love the law. I love that you can fine print your way out of such trivialities as rape, arson, and theft. Here’s hoping his cellmade is Scissordick McManpower.

5. In the Boston area, a large dosage of toxic chemicals was applied to housing projects instead of the ant killer that was supposed to be sprayed. No one was reduced to screaming ash, and no person has thusly been transformed into a Troma spokesperson. Damn. Why is this news? Unless Night of the Lepus happens, what’s the point in wasting precious bandwidth? I liked the part where they said this about the dangerous material; "If ingested in large quantities, it can cause nausea other side effects". Other things that will cause nausea if ingested in large quantities: Soup. Chocolate. Mints. Gravy. Potatoes. Meat. Gum. Wine. Beer. Robert Kennedy. Cake. Mittens. Potions. Gummy bears. Looseleaf paper. Food…

6. A bus driver has been arrested for pulling a switchblade on a student and threatening to cut his nose off. Possibly to spite his face. The school administrators are thrilled that the dangerous person who had taken kids to school safely for several years, has been apprehended. The victim’s father, Gepetto, could not be reached for comment.

If you
like this kind of a little "News Jog", I’ll continue. If you’re offended, I
apologize. If you’re one of the people I mentioned, AWESOME!


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.

The Fact This Exists is Hilarious!


If only sunglasses were also affected by man destroying event that is Maximum Overdrive….

Mailbagsukidoji:

Your letters. My smartass replies.This
is the letters portion of our show. This is where you send in your warm
and loving regards, your scatching and accusatory venom, your puzzled
wonderings, your bullet point issues, or whatever the heck else floats
your barely seaworthy boat.

The
only things you can be assured of is that I read every feedback letter
and try my damndest to balance the ones that make it to this column.

Your grammar and usage of punctuation may be commented on, but that’s
part of the fun isn’t it?

Come around here often?

For the Love of God!

Mitch to the left!Patrick writes:

I recently read your response to Bill in Leak #93 and I have
to say – what a bunch of horseshit.
Excusing the intolerance of the people on your message
boards because you cater to a ‘creative and intelligent crowd’ is total crap. In
essence, you are saying that anyone with an ounce of religious believe is not
creative, intelligent or free-thinking. You hear that Einstein – you’re not
intelligent, creative or free-thinking!
And sorry, but trotting out the old ‘my wife is
religious’ canard sounds a lot like ‘I’m not a racist – I have a black friend.’
I agree with Bill that your site and the boards come across as virulently
anti-Christian and anti-religious, as well as being tired of hearing the
sore-loser bitching that the Democrats got their asses kicked in your election.
Christ (oops, sorry!), no one is saying you’ve gotta put a ‘Praise Allah’ at the
end of every sentence, but a little less condescension and a little more
tolerance might be in order.
It’s
funny, but the most intolerant people I’ve ever met have been from the so-called
tolerant left. Even with the anti-religious ranting on the site and on the
boards, I still like the site. It’s funny, even the religious cracks. But I
think the cracks could be issued with a little less vitriol. I mean how many
people have to bitch and moan about it before you stop making excuses for it and
try and do something about it?

Nick’s Reply: I think you might have the right argument, but with the wrong people. Right now is a really weird time in our (America’s) history. I’m stating a fact that the people that tend to question things and be aggressively creative in what they do are skeptical. Not always, for sure… but when you look at the artistic community in general it’s full of people who generally don’t fall in line. As for my site being Anti-Christian… I have to just offer forth a hearty "BULLSHIT". You may take umbrage with some stuff that one or two of us may say, but because someone isn’t religious doesn’t mean they’re anti. As for the message boards, there are well over 10,000 members. How many are vocally religious or against religion? MAYBE 100 of them. Let’s not overdo it.

Come around here often?

Effort.

Mitch to the right.Jack writes:

You’re kid of a dork. Especially with the Sims thing. that is so obvious
and gay.

Nick’s Reply: Man, I’m going to have to rethink my whole life now. A dork, you say? It was funny, I was at the coffee shop the other day and heard two 15 year olds discussing their homework. They labeled it as "gay". It’s such a lazy thing to say. Like "whatever". Try harder, Jack… and when I say "try harder, Jack" I mean "come up with a real argument or keep your pithy little comments to yourself". Dork.

Come around here often?

Someone Likes the Commie.

Mitch to the left!Lyndon writes:

Great steady leak, man.

I just wanted to throw my weight behind Devin and those who appreciate him. The main reason I prefer CHUD to any other movie site on the web is the editorial content. Any time you have a forum for generally intelligent people with strong opinions, heads are going to bump.

Every once in a while, something shows up that I disagree with, but at least I’m reacting. Having a site where the writing is reflective of the personalities behind the content creates a much greater sense of involvement on the behalf of the readers.

Also, count me among the numbers of law students whom CHUD has gotten in hot water. I was in a Free Expression in Cyberspace class the other day, and reading some of Slater’s posts on The Fifth Element. I started cracking up, very loudly, during a presentation on jurisdictional issues on the internet. Professor = not so happy.

Nick’s Reply: Your Professor probably reads CHUD too. He was just pissed someone else was enjoying his little secret favorite site. Thanks for writing.

Come around here often?

Religious Fiction.

Mitch to the right.Daniel writes:

Hey Nick, good column. I read it while bored at work. Good pic of the "Religious Fiction" section of Barnes and Noble. The word you’re looking for in the caption, though, is "redundant." Just lending you a helping hand.

Nick’s Reply: I guess I’m kind of a whiny bitch when it comes to bookstores. I am at one of the local Barnes & Noble locations at least three times a week. It’s like crack, except instead of high you get more learned. I’ll need a new bookshelf before December is finished. It bothers me to see all these new sections cropping up. The ones that irk me the most are the African American section and the Religious Fiction section. Not that these things aren’t important or don’t deserve the attention… but I think it is overcompensation to give them their own section. As if African American fiction is different or better or worse than fiction by everyone else (including a ton of other black authors). As if African American history is some kind of ‘Elseworlds’ branch of every other history section. The respectful thing would be to have these included in with the rest of it. What it does is nudge African Americans to avoid the rest of it and showcase a business that is tiptoeing through a potentially controversial situation. It’s a divisive thing, and I really find it humiliating. If I were a black guy, I’d feel like someone was playing a joke on me. of course, if I were a black guy… I’d probably look out of place in my family photo album. The religious fiction thing… well, I cracked up the first time I saw it. I really did. I used to be harshly critical of religion after stints in both Baptist AND Catholic schools. When subjected and forced to the stuff on a daily basis, you get a really interesting perspective and I would spout off about how The Bible should have a permanent spot atop the fiction bestseller lists for all time. I’ve cooled my jets in the past decade or so. Still, it takes a lot of self control sometimes to see the way in which stores and individuals treat the religious stuff. You know, it’s not like the material bothers me (though the ‘Left Behind’ stuff can go screw)… but it’s how it’s treated on a different plane that does. As if some apocalyptic fiction that’s shitty pulp is of a higher cut because it’s religious. No, it’s still hack writing. Here’s a tip to you writiers… want to make a killing? Write religious fiction. It will be bought, quality be damned!

Come around here often?

Comic Book Flicks.

Mitch to the left!Anthony writes:

Whomever gets this -
This is bad. Why can’t anyone at Marvel get the greed out of their teeth?
This is yet another instance of "What the hell were they thinking?" Please
Pixar, save the comic-book hero films before Avi Arad and the rest of the
greed-mongers ruin them for good. Too much of something is never a good
thing.
By the way, you want to make a great comic movie? Do something with The
Ultimates. I just read for the first time, the first thirteen issues. Oh my
freakin’ God it was great and definitely film worthy.
What do I know?

Nick’s Reply: The Ultimates is a great comic, no doubt. It would cost 300 million bucks to do, though. If it were done right. I’d rather see a lower budget Marvel title focusing on the lower tiered characters dealing with obscurity, failure, and generally boring superpowers. Not a spoof, but a more low key and drama centric super-film. The Falcon. Cloak and Dagger. Mockingbird. These are some rather shafty heroes. Have them square off against Batroc the Leaper and The Owl and we’re cooking with heat!

Come around here often?

Silent Hill.

Mitch to the right.David writes:

Nick, I was reading The Steady Leak (#93) and saw your idea for a Silent
Hill anthology series. I’m not sure if you knew or not, but the movie is in
pre-production right now with Roger Avary Christopher Ganes (Brotherhood of
The Wolf
) currently penning the script. Avary keeps a blog/journal where he
writes about it here: http://www.avary.com/rogeravary/journal/journal.php
I’m sure you already knew this, but thought I’d mail anyway. I really like
your idea for the whole thing.


Nick’s Reply:
I was aware, but it was my own little "What If?" column and I wanted free reign. Plus, there’s a precious few comics and games that aren’t already in someone’s grubby paws. Also, a few readers asked why I didn’t include Half-Life. Here’s the reason, a tip I wish some studios would take as well as some of the fans who think they’re filled with answers:

I don’t know enough about the game to feel like I’m in a position to dictate how a movie should be. You know, I’m the wrong guy for the job so why should I try to be something I’m not?

Come around here often?

The Irish Perspective.

Mitch to the left!Joe writes:

Greetings from the Emerald Isle again
The site has been excellent lately.
The amount of updating is phenomenal and you and the guys deserve a lot of credit.
The Ads arent a problem for me. Dont listen to the moaners.
That little break you had a while back seemed to do you some good because your news jog and snarky letter responses on your return were inspired.
i.e. “If it said Man Scoffs at Drive-By, Eats Bullets As They Arrive” and I’ll never forget the classic “I have never had my penis severed, but I’m under the impression that you never REALLY recover. Rene Armando is in a world of shit”
Keep that up. Big Thumbs Up and I pray that I am never one of the people you mention.
Also that guy who implied you CHUD guys were basement dwelling virgin geeks really annoyed me because being a certified movie nut doesn’t mean you are a short, fat, pale, loser who never gets laid.
Although Devin Faraci may be.
Just kidding that guy rules. Anyone who can stir people up like that is worth having onboard.
Anyway wanted to tell you about a cool movie you may not have heard of.
Its called “the Football Factory”. Yes it is about soccer but not exclusively. It follows a group of the notoriously violent Millwall football hooligans. Its extremely graphic and brutal in places but makes some great observations about the mindset of disaffected youth (and middle age) in the UK. Its not perfect but is very well made and acted (by Danny Dyer in particular). Another recommendation is that it was produced by Rockstar Games (the twisted minds behind the GTA series).
You should check it out.
The political coverage on the site was interesting although Im glad its over. We take great interest in the US presidential elections and while imho the wrong guy won, I really think Kerry paid the price for being too bland and uninteresting. It felt like he expected Michael Moore or Bruce Springsteen to win the election for him, while he just stood aside looking like a nice ordinary decent guy who might live down the street from you. He needed to go for it a bit more. Give his running mate the top job the next time. He looks like someone who would come out fighting.
Although there are some conspiracy theories floating around that Kerry may actually have won the election but that sounds like the plot to a bad movie.
Anyway got to go.
Keep up the Good Work My Man

Nick’s Reply: Thanks, you crazy Mick!

Come around here often?

Comedy: Hacked to Bits.

Mitch to the right.Doug writes:

Hey, Nick – I got hold of the Happy
Gilmore/Billy Madison 2-disc widescreen set a few days early thanks to a local
K-mart who put them on shelves several days before the due
date.

I sampled both discs tonight on my
16×9 and noticed that the transfers are both ‘zoomed in’ and crop off
significant parts of the screen. I compared the new remastered Billy Madison to
the original Universal disc and sure enough, it’s badly
cropped.

I was curious if you or any of the
other Sewer Chewers have seen this yet and if you’ve heard from Universal on why
such a piss-poor transfer was made. I know they screwed up the framing during
transfer of Back to the Future 2 and 3 not long ago and made replacements
available.

It’s sad that they’re slopping
crappy DVDs of fun movies like these Sandler flicks, Fast Times at Ridgemont
High and Dazed & Confused.

Nick’s Reply: Jeremy will have a review of the Ridgemont/Dazed set soon and Adam will have the Sandler two-pack reviewed soon, so I guess we’ll see what the tally was. Is there a chance that you had your player is one of the zoon settings? I hope the discs aren’t an eyesore, but then again… we don’t watch them for their visual acumen.

Come around here often?

SPAM OF THE DAY!

Mitch to the left!Brain Ford writes:

My girlfriend
told me about this party

where
the guys had huge
massive cocks.
She bet me I couldn’t handle it.
I BLEW the competition away.

See What I Did, Click Here


Nick’s Reply: You touched me deep, Brain Ford. I’m not gonna lie. I knew it was a special time when I saw the email with the subject "I HOPE I can swallow ALL Of You", and I hoped it was from you, Brain Ford. I hope you can swallow all of me too. I hear it reduces breast cancer, Please, please, please handle what I’ve got, Mr. Ford. I’d hate to see you go home sticky chinned and empty handed. As an aside, do you find it ironic that you drive a Brain Chevy?

Today’s CHUD Fact:

Wouldn’t it be nifty if Tom Cullen was revealed to be the father of M-o-o-n Unit Zappa?

Random Shit:


If CHUD Ran the Movies, by Nick Nunziata.