And hello Everyone!!!

It's good to have you. get comfy. Imagine we're in the same room, imagine I'm handing you a cup of coffee, or a beer, or cigarette.
Or soft, fuzzy slippers.
Peruse. enjoy yourselves.
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good to have you. Stay awhile.
love, world wide dirt

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dirt's Poetry Corner


Zooming from the cave,
The saviors of god’s drunken work,
Descendents of the Gregorians and the amoeba,
Hearts are checker pieces,
Minds as precarious as any burning blueprint,
They meet yearly and put themselves in each other’s minds,
The universe has put them here as it put milk in the tit,
For life.
Some can fly and it is for you that they fly.
Some can dance and it is for you that they dance.
Some can mop and it is for you that they mop.
Some can look at you and keep a straight face,
And it is for you that they do as such.
So they say, business is bad, glory is bad,
But honeycombs and matching pajamas are good.
So, they help when they can and they look in the sun when they can’t.
So, they sew mittens in August.
So, they rebuild V8’s and keep up with the top 40.
So, they forget everything which is wasteful,
They are still hung over from one night sixty years ago,
They will never be satisfied and will never seek to be so,
They will live next to you and keep their lawn in better shape than you,
They will outlive you and your children,
They are silhouettes and when you say you can’t see their face,
They’ll say, “Lucky you.”
They are more than god and less than you;
They are leaving the cave and tonight it will be empty,
And you will never know it.


trip wire

in slipping now dipping, it’s excellent
A perfect pageant softness quell,
I’ll be forgiven on judgment day
or so
Or so was said
or so was faked
…legion its perfect sort of coughing, running wild.
i eat nothing that helps, no sleep helps,
No dreams ending as beginnings will truly hold the shelf.
butcher, beaten, coldly tracing the lovely pattern bruises of domestic,
how do you say, how do you stay domestic, with pencils and pens, with
Post it reminders, empty senseless binders


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A few Things...

It wasnt reinventing the wheel but season one of Showtime's Californication was entertaining as fuck. They almost lost me at the ejaculate gyser scene, but rounded out the season with an episode that makes me wonder how they will continue. Thats a good thing you know, to keep them guessing. To watch David Duchovny lean on stuff and smoke cigarettes and Natascha McElhone be too hot to handle check out Californication.

The Junior Varsity is calling it quits. Check them out, show some love. Cool band, amazing dudes.

Russian Circles signed with Suicide Squeeze. Look at those locks.

According to Cops 2.0 stores lose 10 billion a dollars a year to shoplifting. So...fuck yeah lets keep it up.

Monday, October 29, 2007

5 Things I Learned This Week

1. Once you think you are exceptional your are immediately not.
2. If riding in a cab didnt cost money i would do it all the time, with no destination.

3. Severe sadness is relative to the amount of people making fun of you for crying.

4. Riddng a bike in LA traffic while talking on your cell phone is dangerous and makes you a douche bag.

5. life isnt as cool as drugs would have you believe.


1. Being in FAO Schwartz while they remodel is like watching a pornstar give birth.
2. No battle is ever won. They are never even fought.
3. It's unpleasant to have to puke and poo at the same time.

4. The lyrics to "All Along the Watchtower."

5. In Blue Rock, Montana every day is a holiday except for Christmas and you
butter your toast on the bottom side.
Bonus thing I learned this week: Black holes are real and they are around every corner.


Happy B-Day to Us & Muchos Mas!

What the fuck?

Survived another week on this planet and we're celebrating with the first annual two-headed, one square inch tortoise race. Sean, for some reason, has decided that it was fair for him to enter his hare as a contestant, but I still think Sunshine Superman (pictured above) will pull through with his superior pacing.
What an amazing day it is for me and Sean and our half-dozen friends that have been reading our blog out of politeness.

Things I listened to this week:
J.J. Cale- 5 (like a chainsaw made of blues is cutting into your skull)
Viktor Vaughn- The Vaudeville Villain (Who don't give a flying fuck who ain't not feelin' him.)
RJD2- Deadringer (good for times when you feel too sober)
Lifehouse- I went to their concert and I still don't know who they are
The sound of my own heart breaking inside my chest.

Things I watched this week:
if.... (baddest ass movie ever. an epic about absurd power struggles and fantasies at a boy's school with Malcolm McDowell before Clockwork Orange)
Battlestar Galactica Season One (God has a plan for all of us)
Planet Terror (some of the best jokes are about cripples)
A forty-year old woman in a Britney Spears costume put her thonged ass on the window of a bar while holding a plastic baby in one hand and a beer in the other (that really happened at Freak Fest in Madison and I wish I had a picture of the expressions on the people waiting outside of the bar when it happened)

Peace to all my brothers and sisters on the other end of this blog. Remember: we're all in this together.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy One Week Birthday!!!

What if this guy got you pregnant?

So we've been at this a week now and things have changed greatly since we began. They put the Berlin Wall back up for christs sake. Right now im deciding if i want to watch Defending Your Life or Tell Me You Love Me.

(While were on the subject, if you have a desire to see a mans ass just flip to HBO right now and check out the latter.)

Heres what i listened to this week...
Fionn Reagan (whimsical little sprite)
PJ Harvey- white Chalk (get ready for the gloom)
As Tall As Lions (keeps me rollin during the work day)

Converge- You Fail Me (halloween tunes)

I watched...
The Heartbreak Kid (laughed 15 times at least)

Californication (What would Hank Moody Do?)
The Office (world's most creative boss)

Dan In Real Life (This corn is an angel.)
Lost In Translation (Bill Murray baby)

Brad Childress has no fucking idea what to challenge. That fucking guy, Vikings blow another one.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Halloween Double Feature

I got Robert Rodriguez’s half of the Grindhouse double feature, Planet Terror on Netflix. I saw it in the theatre and seeing it again on DVD has confirmed my suspicion that this is Rodriguez’s best film to date. It works as a pinnacle of his career, displaying everything he’s learned in the fifteen years of his career since his first feature, El Mariachi.

Planet Terror has his best characters of all time. It achieves what I think Once Upon a Time in Mexico failed at, which is to pack the movie full of an equally distinct, interesting, and compelling cast of characters. Freddy Rodriguez and Rose McGowan are hilarious and awesome as the two lead badasses in a cast full of badasses. Countless other memorable actors from an amazing cast including Naveen Andrews, James Brolin, and Michael Parks. The gore is original and exciting, and also with a lot of humor and style.

Best of all, Planet Terror has a rocking and reeling story that functions more like a light-hearted adventure in the vain of Jurassic Park than a traditional horror movie. Every second of each of the many intertwined subplots is blowing you away with emotion, gore, action, sex, suspense, comedy until the geniusly absurd ending. It goes from go-go bar to a military base and then eventually to the ruins of an ancient civilization. It goes in every wild direction it can and it is beautiful.

Of course, Death Proof makes an awesome second half to the double-feature, with its severe change in tone that still maintains the sense of fun from Rodriguez’s movie.

The other day I didn’t have Death Proof, nor did I have a life to live, so I watched His Girl Friday to complete the double feature instead. It was an awesome companion to Planet Terror, its polar opposite in some ways. Made by Howard Hawks in 1940, it has a tiny cast, about three different sets, and it’s completely colorless. It’s also just as entertaining as Death Proof. Cary Grant is as bad as any motherfucker breathing today and never badder than in His Girl Friday. Just like Planet Terror, this movie never lets the audience rest for a second. The jokes are fired off like out of a machine gun and the characters are as beautifully drawn as in any novel.

It’s not a horror movie, but fuck whoever says you can only watch horror movies on Halloween. These are two cool movies that will actually, in my estimation, make you a more interesting person after having watched them back to back.

Street Mutants

I went and saw Interpol last night on Jimmy Kimmel. Apparently some woman lost her mind and was dragged out of the audience. The 93 year old fitness guy made me feel bad about myself and Ray Liotta was awesome.

I think interpol was having technical difficulties. they cut their set short and i got some Butter Finger ice cream. It was delicious (take that Parker!).

Coming up is the big one week anniversary of World Wide Dirt, to commemorate said anniversary Madison Wisconsin will be holding a party on state street this weekend. People are encouraged to come in costume.

As always, watch out for tear gas and greased poles....thats what she said.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Heroes, "The Kindness of Strangers"

How did the last Heroes kick so much ass without even seeing the two most off the wall season-two plot lines (Peter Petrelli’s amnesiac adventures in crime in Ireland and Hiro’s samurai adventures in 17th century Japan)?

It’s only four episodes in and Heroes’ second season (or “Volume 2: Generations”) has already established itself boldly as a separate chapter of the same story started in the first season. The writers have made an effort to put all of their characters in compelling situations that are both very distinct from their season one plot lines and yet expand on what made them interesting characters during the first year.

Gabriel Gray has me most excited right now. It seemed to me that Sylar should have died at the end of last season. He and Linderman were the season villains and it felt right for the story that they should both die and leave season two open to new conflicts. I loved the serial killer story line last year and I thought it got even cooler when Sylar came into his own as a character. Going into the second season, I didn’t want to see that story get worn thin and I also didn’t think a big twist on the character would be credible.

Whoever had the idea to take away his powers is awesome. Sylar was a scary villain last year because he always knew that he was in control. He knew he was smart and powerful and that he had the advantage in any situation. It was his calm during some of his murders that seemed most dangerous. In season two, he knows he’s not that person anymore so clearly that he’s changed his name.

Gabriel Gray is not calm. He’s not calculating or sure of himself. He is disoriented and lost in Mexico with no powers and no explanation. He is still a psychopath, but he’s now impotent to satisfy his lust for power and blood. He is drawn to get back to Mohinder and the rest of the heroes, but what will he do when he gets there and what will happen to him and the twins on the way? I don’t think he even knows. The mystery of how he lost his powers and what was being planned for him in remote Mexico should also prove to be an interesting part of the upcoming season. Like many other story lines in the second season, Gabriel’s seems very unpredictable at the end of the fourth episode.

The Matt Parkman of the first series is now gone from Heroes. Parkman is not struggling with his marriage anymore. He got divorced. Parkman is not struggling with climbing the police ranks anymore. He made detective. Kring and the other writers have made a very conscious choice to eliminate all the tensions from last year before they got worn out.

Parkman is the same character we loved from last year, but now he’s got a better story. He made a great Uncle Jessie to Mohinder’s Danny in the odd domestic arrangement they’ve settled into and now they’ve added a very cool and unexpected development not only to the present story, but also to the back story of the Heroes universe: Parkman’s deadbeat dad is scary looking and has several chins and was buddies with all the other old superheroes who have been dying lately and is also the “Nightmare Man” that has been sadistically tormenting Molly in her dreams. This ought to be a great story for Parkman and an unusual one with the complex relationship he has with his dad. How the hell is he supposed to rescue Molly from his dad’s mind? It should be a central story for volume two.

Micah’s cousin Monica is hot and her power is corny, but neither of those things really matter because she had a good story. Heroes has always taken advantage of the fact that they can set their stories anywhere they want and they made a great choice in featuring a specifically post-Katrina New Orleans this week. Part of what makes the show great is that no matter who you are, what you’re about, there’s a story that you can relate to. They have rich characters, poor characters, drug addicts, cheerleaders, characters from all countries of all races.

Besides that, her and Micah’s scenes made for a very tight short story. It was entertaining and it gracefully combined the two stories of Micah, who is getting used to his new life, and his cousin, a brand new character with an interesting and compelling origin story. It displays the amazing and poetic way that the show is able to compliment TV as both an episodic and a serialized medium.

We get exactly what we should from a great show’s second season: story expansion. Micah’s story works well because we know him from last year and it is interesting to see him doing something different, something we can all relate to, getting used to a new home. His cousin’s works because it gives us the excitement that we felt last year in seeing characters discover their new powers. The two stories play off of each other well, particularly in the scene with the pay-per-view wrestling match and the hug between the two characters.

Gabriel, Parkman, and Micah are only three of the show’s plethora of characters who are getting dynamic and fresh stories in volume two. It’s still early in the season, but so far the Heroes team has met, exceeded, or shattered any expectations I’ve had about following up the first season. We’re definitely on the same track and we’re definitely farther along that track then we were last year.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Man Man

I saw Man Man last night. Crazy fucking pirate, baby, savage , rockstar, crazy, whacked out mother fuckers.

Awesome. Buy their album. SEE THEM LIVE.

Man Man Myspace

Heat is all there is. Heat is all around me, in the trees, in the birds in the air, in the mud on my shoes, in Hinckley and Sour-Dick. These things exist only as heat for me. After running for this long in this heat, it’s like everything turns to just one color. Our destination is so far off that it barely occurs to us that we’re going in this direction for a reason. We just keep running. One foot keeps going and then the other keeps going. Sometimes I think about stopping, but my feet just keep going like that. I don’t even feel the impact in my steps anymore. They’re just things working underneath me while I see only heat and hear only my hard breath; it goes away in a wave and then crashes back to me.

Something changes and my vision is so fuzzy I can barely tell, but my feet slow to a stop and Hinckley is down, face-first in the mud. “That fucking leg,” Sour-Dick says. He grabs Hinckley’s arm and rolls him onto his back. Hinckley’s face is colorless. His eyes are open, but they look yellowed like an old photograph. I hear a stream near us, splashing down the hill. Sour-Dick is petting Hinckley’s muddy leg like a dog. He takes his hand off and rubs it in his gray hair. “I fucking new it,” he says. “The infection’s getting worse.” He looks in my eyes. “There’s no medicine in the boat.”

“We have antibiotics.” I shrug off my pack and open it. I squeeze my hand between a bag of crackers and one of chocolate. Beneath that, I just feel the box. I just barely skim its wooden surface with my fingertip. I can see it, black, behind my eyes. I can feel it in my teeth. I lift my finger off and push deeper down in the sack and grab the plastic bottle. I pull it out and start counting pills in the palm of my hand.

“Those won’t do him right.” Sour-Dick is kneeling beside Hinckley, staring down and trying not to cry. “He’s been taking them and he only gets worse.”

“Can he keep going?” I say.

“Not for much longer, not without medicine.”

I rub Hinckley’s cheek. When he doesn’t respond, I pat him on the cheek. “We need to move while we still can,” I tell Sour-Dick. His eyes flutter away from some thought up the hill. “Help me wake him up.” Sour-Dick touches Hinckley on the forehead and he wakes up.

“Hey, buddy,” Sour-Dick says to Hinckley, smiling. Hinckley looks up at me and I see that he understands that for God’s sake, we had to keep going. If we weren’t going to keep going, we might as well just pull the pins out of our grenades and eat them. Me and Sour-Dick both get under one arm and hoist Hinckley until he’s upright. Hinckley wipes some mud off the front of his shirt and starts running, but Sour-Dick grabs his arm. “Wait,” he says.

“Are you fucking nuts? We can’t wait.”

“No. We can’t keep going like this.”

“We have to or we die and there’s no point.”

Hinckley will die even if we keep going. We don’t have any medicine.”

I look at Hinckley, who is looking at the mud. “But there’s nothing else to do but keep going. There’s only one direction to go and that’s away from Duckwood.”

“But that’s the only place we can get Hinckley’s medicine.”

“Am I fucking dreaming this? We’re going to die if we stay here much longer and you’re thinking about going back?”

“We have to go back. I’m not leaving this island without the three of us. If you want to keep going to the shore, then you’ll do it alone.”

“I can’t do it. We’re so lucky that we made it out alive. I can’t go back. I can’t go back there.”

“But we have to. Don’t you see? It’s the only thing to do. We have to go back to Duckwood Castle.”

The hill above us is steep and I think that they’re already up there, in the trees, coming down on us and thinking of us as ghosts who haven’t realized they’re dead yet.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Three Days Of Hellish Bliss: Cougar Den American Tour -Summer 07

Someone shot the map at the bus station, with a gun. The glass spider-webbed and is distorting the whole fucking thing. I can’t tell where Main is and where Wilshire starts. I don’t think the LA metro goes further than a few blocks. Its massive and beautiful, you are delivered down a silent escalator. You buy tickets but there is nobody to check you, the ultimate honor system, an illusion in economics too, doesn’t look like anybody rides, how it says running is amazing.

I end up in China town and call Ross. I’m meeting up with the kids in Cougar Den, who have had a handful of bad luck in the week prior. They spent a week in Utah with a busted fuel pump, a case of pneumonia, and nothing to eat but Denny’s. They left with a couple thousand dollars in debt and indigestion. All that aside they have persevered through all and have a gig in Los Angeles, admirable for a few punk rock kids from Wisconsin. Another thing is Justin, the lead guitar player and one of the few people to outdo me in the long legged, stork looking game, (honestly, think the rooster minstrel in Disney’s Robin Hood) is back in Wisconsin on account of being sick and is flying into San Diego the next day.

After I look closely through the broken glass I can effectively give directions. I stand on the corner and peer into the darkness as a blue short bus drives towards me, I knew they had a short bus but still can’t help laughing. Curving towards the side of the street with its sweet “custom” paint job the bus finally comes to a halt in front of me, the doors swing open. Bobby sits in the drivers seat, Bobby is a great name, great guy too, he has an endless supply of sarcasm, which he uses without mercy while behind the wheel. He plays bass and does vocals and razzes the audience when they deserve it. We drive downtown and find a place to park. The venue is some did up space in an ally, real cozy all age’s spot, but outside it reeks of cat food. The club is called “The Smell”. I don’t know if the two have any correlation.

Waltzing down the alley I see the far off outline of Ross and Kelsey. Kelsey is the drummer and shoulders the thankless burden of booking shows. Ross is along for the ride but on this particular evening will be stepping in to play guitar. The four of us stand around and shoot the breeze before the show starts and it’s nice to see familiar faces. The show goes well and LA treats them smashingly. Ross ends up holding it together and rocking the house. The next morning we leave my apartment where I have been staying for the past two months and I leave my roommate a note. I don’t like goodbyes, and don’t find them necessary when I think I’ll see the person again.

The afternoon sun flickers in through dirty windows as bobby flies down the carpool lane. We don’t have any way to play music so we play cards instead and have a few laughs. Bobby discovers a new trick to the bus where you have to continually pull the turn signal for it to work, one of many tender nuances that make the bus more of a kid’s fort than a tour vehicle. Rolling into San Diego we head to Old Town, the name of which makes me think endlessly of Sin City. We pull into a parking lot and Justin jumps on to the side of the bus, we tell the Waldo look alike to get off the bus and park. Everyone is happy to see Justin because of his goofy nature and the fact that he shreds. Another friend named Brittany is with Justin, so our four becomes six. We buy a twenty-dollar guitar and play songs like old timey hobos.

The show that night is garbage. Lame ass club, lame assholes at the bar, just lame but the Den does what they can. It doesn’t take long for Bobby to make fun of the people at the bar, which is enough entertainment for me. Justin’s guitar breaks and the Cougar Den banner falls. Cursing the rock and roll gods we get on the bus.

In fact we end up sleeping on the bus. You’d think there would be a good amount of sleeping room in a bus, short or not, but that myth is quickly dispelled, or slowly dispelled over a night of useless sporadic slumber. Kelsey gets on the bus and is wasted and hilarious. I wake up in the morning with my head hanging out of the window, I keep having dreams about a passing truck taking my head clean off and keep waking up to the realization that I am not the amazing headless man.

I feel old, mainly because during the day I want to do nothing but sleep, just the thought of future naps are the only things that get me up in the morning, that and my bladder. By the time I wake up everyone has already gotten breakfast and Kelsey and Bobby have somehow snaked a couple copies of the new Harry Potter book. I sit around smoking too many cigarettes, flipping through One Hundred Years Of Solitude, which I have been reading for a couple of months but can’t seem to finish. We hit up a really affordable Mexican place in San Diego and take back to the bus.

The whole time I’ve been feeling sort of paranoid, like I have to look out extra hard for the groups interest, because their my friends but also because the success of tour is a cumulative thing, you can only take so much before you crack, and when you do crack your stuck thirty hours from home with only a few dollars in your pocket. That’s a bad crack. That is a perilous road home.

We end up sleeping in the bus again but Kelsey and Brittany sleep outside. Me and Justin and Bobby end up polishing off a few bottles of wine. This evening getting drunk is pure necessity; there is no other way to sleep. Justin and I end up drinking some beers in the woods; there are a bunch of rodents in the trees. They freak us out at first but then we come to the conclusion that we are a lot louder to the rodents, than they are to us. Must be a terrifying life for little not human things. The sprinklers turn on in the park and soak Kelsey who, lucky night she’s having, has food poisoning. So I climb on the bus and instantly fall asleep.

“Someone is on top of the bus.” is the first thing I think waking up at five that morning. I sit up and realize with much confusion that I am awake and people are on top of the bus. I yell something that passes for “Hey!” and a bunch of guys scatter down the street. We climb out, half asleep, half drunk and discover that these hoodlums have stolen the car carrier on top of the bus. The carrier is filled with Cougar Den t-shirts. Now, we were not in a bad neighborhood, so the whole thing stinks to me. Just at the moment that I realize this is probably an instance of bored asshole kids, a truck comes speeding back down the street and two of said asshole kids throw the carrier out of the truck. Everything was still inside the carrier, minus hopefully a few shirts the robbers kept for themselves.

Cougar Den decides that’s enough San Diego for them and kick town at six that morning. I can’t check into my hostel until noon so I lie down on the sidewalk. As the short bus turns the corner and I feel the concrete beneath me, I instantly think,

"Man, I wish I was sleeping in there."

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Office, Season 4, Episode 4: “Money”

I heard last summer that the new season of The Office would feature more episodes than any previous season and also several hour-long episodes. The Office is a rare thing in television: it is actually worth the amount of hype and praise it gets and it has never had a bad episode. Every episode delivers the same mix of popular culture references, physical comedy, and behavioral humor at the level of quality we have come to expect.

The reasons I love The Office are the same reasons that make me worry about it. Every episode hangs on three story elements that were introduced in the pilot: Jim and Pam’s relationship, Jim and Dwight’s relationship, and Michael Scott blowing some minor problem way out of proportion. The characters are all so rich, so well-defined that it seems unlikely that they can surprise us. In an episode, we can expect Angela to be an unreasonable bitch, Creed to pull something out of his bottomless pit of depravity, Jim to bug out his eyes at something uncomprehendingly ignorant that Michael or Dwight says. Just when it was occurring to me that the concept was wearing a little thin, I heard that executive producer Greg Daniels and the show’s other writers would have to produce more content this year than any other and I became afraid of seeing a bad episode of The Office. It terrified me that what could be one of the funniest, most inspired, freshest series in the history of television would become less than fresh.

I’ve watched all four hours of the new season of The Office. If I had held my breath waiting for a lame or tired joke I’d be dead by now. It would seem like the best idea for the show would be to add a lot of new elements and change the style of the show to keep it from repeating itself. There is a little of that in the season, but the changes are minor (Jan and Ryan both get expanded and transformed as characters) and they do not alter the humor or tone of the show. Instead of trying to change the show to keep it fresh, Daniels and his crew have decided to ignore the problem of freshness and just write really fucking funny episodes.

“Money” is the fourth hour-long episode of the season and, like the other three before it, it is a prime example of great television. The humor all comes from pain; Michael is especially desperate this week and Dwight has sunk farther into his forlornness since Angela left him, but the pain and the comedy is never separated. It’s genuinely touching and also genuinely funny. Michael trying to run away in a boxcar is one of the stupidest/funniest ideas the writers of the show have ever come up with. I was disappointed when it ended, knowing I’d have to wait another week for the next one and that it would only be a half hour long. I felt ashamed and asked God forgiveness for questioning the reliability The Office when it had never given me reason to doubt.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

!!!Five things I learned This Week!!!

Heres a feature for your reading enjoyment. Me and World Wide Dirt C0-owner (what we own, im not sure.) Parker Dubs lend our discoveries from the weekly grind. Without further ceremony...

Five things i learned this week


1-Sympathize is spelled with a “z.”

2-my penis has an eight inch range of lengths.

3-The lack of humility before nature being displayed here staggers me.

4-Sometimes the most comfortable looking shoes aren’t that comfortable.

5-Women don't like to be called "fuckface"

1- you always have the most confusing dreams while you should be at work.

2-never trust the Minnesota Vikings with a young man's heart.

3-if someone doesnt like you, theres something wrong with them.
4- being an asshole isnt as bad as being dishonest. (sometimes the same thing)
5-Woman don't like being called "fuckface"

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most splendidly unpleasant and transcendently terrifying horror movies ever made. Even before Leatherface shows up and the gruesome deaths start coming in rapid succession, Hooper infuses the film with an air of unpleasant tension. Franklin is really the genius touch. Some of the hardest scenes to watch in the movie are just about the dysfunctional relationship that Franklin has with the other characters. The scene where he is alone in the abandoned house, mocking the other kids’ laughter and sticking out his tongue, talking to himself all by himself is painful. You pity Franklin and yet he is so obnoxious that you can’t actually like him. It’s a scene about embarrassing emotional pain, something that is generally ignored in movies besides comedies about social behavior by directors like Mike Nichols or Judd Apatow.

The scene of him and Sally alone at the van screaming out their dead friend’s name into the darkness is even worse, meaning better. They are both desperate and going crazy and then they have that fight over the flashlight. Franklin is scared of being left alone without Sally and Sally is scared of being left alone with Franklin, her “invalid” brother. It makes me think they almost have it coming when Leatherface cuts into Franklin and chases Sally with his roaring chainsaw.

The film reminds us of the fucked up, painful things that are just under the surface of our society through the relationship between Franklin and Sally. The dysfunction of their family perfectly foreshadows the family of sociopathic monsters that become the focus of the film later on. The rest of the film pays off its creepy set-up beautifully and horribly. It maintains a mood, scientifically calculated to be as nightmarish as possible right up to the chaotic last shot of Leatherface dancing and waving his chainsaw in the air.

There is no movie you can watch right after The Texas Chainsaw Massacre except for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. The experience of watching the first movie is so intense that the idea of watching more seems repellent, obscene, even sadomasochistic. However, the sequel is as different in tone from the original as possible. It was made thirteen years later by the same director, Tobe Hooper, and with a script by L.M. Kit Carson, the writer of such films as the bizarre 1983 remake of Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless. Like the 1983 Breathless, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 takes a premise from an already established movie and explodes it in every way.

The sequel has all the elements that made the original great. Just like the first movie, it is a descent into the nightmarish realm that this family of murderers lives in. The first movie takes place in an aging farm house, eerie because of its familiarity. The sequel’s second half is set in the bowels of an underground series of tunnels, reminiscent of other 80’s fantasy movies like The Goonies or the Indiana Jones series in its elaborate expressionistic design.

Jim Siedow was hilarious in the original Chainsaw Massacre as the father of Leatherface and the Hitchhiker. He had a smaller role then either of them, and it was much more understated than either role as well. He said he “can’t take no pleasure in killing,” but he has no problem throwing a sack over Sally’s head and poking her repeatedly with a broom stick. When he reluctantly joins in with the hitchhiker’s laughter, mocking the cries of Sally while she is tied to the chair at the dinner table, it adds such a creepy and complex reality to the character’s insanity.

Siedow returns for the sequel in a much expanded, almost cartoonish version of the same character, whom we now learn is named Drayton Sawyer. In a turn of his character out of a screwball comedy, he now spends his time making a celebrated brew of chili (his secret is “an eye for good meat) and thinks of nothing else. He is so self-diluted and obsessed with his chili that when Denis Hopper finally confronts him at the end of his revenge quest, Drayton thinks he’s a rival chili company come to sabotage his chili operation.

Everything from the first movie is magnified under some twisted lens. They’re chainsaw attacks in the first movie; there is a chainsaw duel in the sequel. Franklin is key to the structure of the first movie and then, in maybe the best moment in either movie, he is revealed to be the motivation for Denis Hopper’s insane campaign of vengeance against the murderous family.

The sequel works as a remake, a sequel, and a parody of the first movie. Watching them back to back makes for a phantasmagoric night of unrelenting images, both bone-chilling and funny bone tickling. After the first movie, you have so many disturbing images rattling around your head and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 beautifully compliments those images by twisting and even mocking them. But at the end of the double feature, you will have to admit that you are a loser.

Wes Anderson = Heaven sent

Wes Anderson can do no wrong. I saw Rushmore for the first time when I was sixteen or so and at that time Max Fischer was the only thing I wanted to be. From the moment I saw that movie I refused to accept I couldn’t do every single thing I wanted to do. That movie taught me that passion wasn’t passion unless it was obsessive and all encompassing. Not to mention the fact that Bill Murray is the funniest man alive.

“What has she ever done with her life?”- Bottle Rocket. Classic moment.

If you haven’t seen Royal Tennenbaums your life is not complete. Once again Bill Murray.

Of his movies, The Life Aquatic is the one I tune into the least. That said I could still watch it about once a week for the rest of my life.

If I may be bold, and I may, Anderson’s newest film, The Darjeeling Limited is decidedly his best. Not to say that nostalgia doesn’t place Rushmore and Royal Tennenbaums in the favorites chamber in my heart, but damn, this film is just so good.

Limited follows the journey of three brothers meeting on a train, (Owen Wilson, Adrian Brody, Jason Schwartzman) ultimately in search of spiritual awakening. Underlying the current plot is the death of the men’s father one-year prior. An intriguing incident involving an auto garage is mentioned at the outset of the film but not addressed until you’ve forgotten about it. (Don’t worry, Wes wouldn’t show the gun without firing it.) Appearances by Anderson mainstay Murray and Angelica Houston put the final strokes of perfection on this masterpiece.

What happened to Wes Anderson when he was born? Did he have a very rare birth defect that forced him into a life of movie making genius? Was it a cataclysmic event that morphed his brain to one hundred times the power of other directors?

For my sake and anyone my age, I’m glad this fellow has been making movies for our life span. He’s already one of the greats, and we grew up with him.

See Darjeeling Limited. It’s for your own good.