Category Archives: Writing

The Search Continues

I hope all these search engine roads lead to Gnostic Bent! (Phil Bradley/Creative Commons)

After facing a one-day WordPress suspension and claiming I may stop blogging daily as a result—in yesterday’s post entitled Suspension Rescindedit now looks as if one more day will be added to my streak of twenty consecutive months. This happened because I started tooling around my blog statistics and for once focused on something I normally ignore: the search terms that lead readers to my site.

And let me tell you, some of them are pretty hilarious.

Since spreading joy and laughter is one of my blogging goals—as well as a good way of justifying my sarcastic, jackass-like tendencies—I thought it might be nice to share some of these terms with my readers… especially since you’re the ones actually entering these words and phrases into search engines.

Of course, I hope none of you take offense since I have no way of tracking who conducted these searches. If anything, it’s likely me who should be concerned since it’s my blog content that led people here.

Is it possible that I’m more demented than I originally thought?

Personally, I would answer in the affirmative, but take a look at what follows and see if you agree. I’m sure it will only reinforce what I already know… as if there were ever any doubt.

Despite being mentioned only a few times here, the top search term bringing readers to GB remains “Kim Kardashian.” Thanks, sister! (Getty Images)

The Fame Game

As you might imagine, celebrities and other newsworthy individuals top the list—Kim Kardashian holds the top spot among all search terms, but Jodi Arias is a close second. Other famous names include Selena Gomez—who I find terribly attractive even though I’m probably older than her parents—Casey Anthony and Amanda Knox, who dropped off for a time but jumped back into the fray after being convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher by an Italian court recently.

Great Britain’s royal family also appeared numerous times, but the most prevalent search terms related to them were royal nudity and Kate Middleton topless. I guess we can see where people’s priorities lie, huh?

dont think about it

Curiosity is nice, but enough weird questions already! (Jacob Botter)

Inquiring Minds

Also included among the search terms for Gnostic Bent were questions posed by some very inquisitive readers. Unfortunately, most of the answers they seek cannot be found on my blog—aside from can sperm help a sore throat?, which was answered in a previous post (and yes it can, even though I plan to stick with lozenges)—so I’ll do my best to address the others now:

  • Do men sympathize with girls not being able to pee standing up? I can’t speak for all men, of course, but I certainly sympathize. It’s not the mobility issue that concerns me, though (i.e. the need to find adequate facilities rather than just whipping out your wiener and spraying anywhere you see fit). It’s the fact that most toilet seats are disgusting and sitting on them frequently opens the door for rampant butt rash… not to mention all sorts of other germs and infections. Sorry about that, ladies, but at least women are less likely to coat the entire seat in urine, which is how most guys seem to roll.
  • What are the disadvantages of being a boy in Canada? Since I am unaware of any such disadvantages, I feel this question is better suited for a Canadian blogger. I would make a referral if I knew of any. My bad.
  • Can technology make a woman feel the pain of being hit in the balls? I certainly hope not since this is a pain I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Plus, creating a machine like this would undoubtedly lead to a childbirth machine for men… and I have absolutely no interest in that!
  • What are the disadvantages of sucking a man’s testicles? Fortunately, I have never experienced this—and have no plans to—but the most obvious disadvantage to me would be the need to floss pubic hair out of your teeth later. A shaved scrotum would obviously prevent this—provided there are men brave enough to run razor blades across it!

WTF?

Among the search terms I investigated were a handful that either made little or no sense to me, struck me as odd or scared the crap out of me. Here’s a quick rundown, which I hope you can figure out since I had very little luck in doing so: sparkly devil, pissed off, rectal exam, happiness bald—I am glad to know there are happy bald people in the world—kids handcuffed, poo cake/poo poo—for any scat fans in the bunch—urge to lick things, acid cow camel and snake eating human.

This last phrase was a little confusing since I couldn’t figure out who was eating who!

I hate to say it, but this pretty much represents the breadth of my childbirth knowledge (Getty Images)

Good Clean Fun

Sadly, I found only two search terms that classify as wholesome or even normal: freedom and childbirth. Most focused on my next major category, which should come as no surprise.

Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

Yes, the overwhelming subject of most Gnostic Bent searches is everyone’s favorite: SEX. And I’m not just talking about typical search terms, either, even though they were clearly represented (sex, sex videos, upskirt and couples making love naked all made the list). Of course, I am a little confused how people could make love without being naked—at least partially—but to each, his own.

In general, sex-related search terms fell into a number of different categories. Here’s how I have them grouped up—and again, some of these terms made me laugh so hard that I almost crapped my pants:

  • Where’s the Beef? Man parts were well represented by terms like penis size does matter, lick dick and how to suck a penis. Sorry that I could offer no advice on these last two, but they seem rather self-explanatory. And most women I know learned through trial-and-error. It’s probably best to ask one of them for assistance.
  • From Behind. As a self-professed “ass man”—as well as a blogger known for posting images of women’s back sides on a regular basis—I wasn’t surprised by how many terms focused on this anatomical feature. However, the specificity of some of these terms caught me a little off guard: butt crack, booty line up, ghetto booty, bent ass, curvy ass—those two were kind of weird—her ass, her shitter—one of my friends substitutes the word dumper, which to me seems rather gross—and the most mind-boggling of all, ass found and found in her ass. It matters little, though, since I have never lost an ass and still consider them all to be “exit only.”
  • Topside. Coming in right behind… women’s behinds… were boobs in all their glory, even though the most popular search terms were limited primarily to the following : huge breasts, huge implants, huge bust and sexy nipples. I apologize to melon farmers and jug makers everywhere since their favorite words never appeared in my stats.
  • Down Under. Vaginas made the cut, but most of the related terms focused on camel toes—the public appearance of these private parts through tight clothing. Of course, some searched for early camel toes (those appearing throughout history, I suppose), camel’s toe (which may actually be the real thing–a dromedary’s digit) and my personal favorite, camo toe (those difficult to find because they blend into their surroundings). One person even added some Jerry McGuire-like flair and entered show me the toe into their search. I can only assume they meant camel toe since their search brought them here.
  • Water Sports. Anyone familiar with this phrase—in its sexual context, that is—knows it refers to urination as a means of arousal. Like it or not, but some people actually enjoy getting peed on. Fortunately, the water sports search terms on my blog fell under the category of skinny dipping: nude in pool and swimming in the buff. I did find the term penie wee wee, but that was the only true water sports reference… I think.
  • Getting Freaky. Whenever sex is involved—especially on the Internet—you can count on some freaky people searching for even freakier things. And I found no shortage of them among my search terms. Here’s a small sampling: barnyard porn, Siamese sex (which I can’t imagine is much different from sex in any other country), volleyball vagina (those covered in sand or willing to “spike” something, I guess), young jailbait (as opposed to the older variety), dog sex/women dog sex/sex with dogs (all disturbing in their own right) and another mind-boggler, sausage room gay. I can understand the connection, of course. I just didn’t know there was a special room for it.

Honestly, though, I could care less what search terms bring readers to Gnostic Bent—I’m just glad they’re here—but they sure keep things interesting, don’t you think?

Suspension Rescinded!

Gnostic Bent is back, baby! (Rohnert Park)

Anyone who has visited Gnostic Bent in the last few days likely knows my blog was temporarily suspended for violating WordPress’ terms of service. Fortunately—and quite obviously, since you’re here now—this suspension has been rescinded and for now, it looks as if GB is back in full force. Please allow me to explain.

Two days ago, I decided to get a jump on my daily blogging and wrote an article entitled Time to Quitwhich prior to this post was the lead article on my site. I never actually published the article—allowing it to sit in my draft folder for publication yesterday—but apparently I included a link that WP’s automated system flagged as troublesome. The good news is that the fine people from WP alerted me to this error, allowed me to correct it and published the post for me. Removing the link was all it took to bring Gnostic Bent back to life.

They even published my article to keep my streak of posting at least one article a day going, even though I’m now thinking about cutting myself some slack and downgrading my efforts a bit. Those of you who blog surely understand how difficult daily posting can be. And I’m sure any non-bloggers understand this, too. Hopefully, people will  continue reading despite having articles arrive every few days because honestly, I could use the break to focus on some other writing projects (like screenplays and such).

I promise not to neglect my readers, though, so please come back to visit again soon. And with any luck, having additional time to work on articles will make them more interesting. I can’t make any promises, though!

Closed for the Day

The Bent should be back on track again soon! (Cypruslk)

The Bent should be back on track again soon! (Cypruslk)

Between caring for a sick child, dealing with a sore back and a mild case of the flu, and waiting for a terrible thunderstorm to move into the area, I’m afraid blogging will have to fall by the wayside. With any luck, though—and provided a twister doesn’t carry me away to the Land of Oz in the next few hours—Gnostic Bent should return tomorrow with another demented post.

See you peeps then… I hope!

Looking Back: The Gnostic Bent 2013 Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 180,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 8 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Rain Check

Rain CheckIn lieu of a new blog post today, I instead offer a RAIN CHECK good for one new blog post tomorrow.

I don’t know how the weather is where you are, but here it is pretty nasty. It’s cold, windy and—obviously—rainy. A television weather person might describe it as “partly crappy with a 90% chance of shitty as the day progresses.” And I would certainly agree.

The highlight of my day was winter graduation at the small, private college where I work. I was fortunate enough to watch six of my students walk across the stage. And believe me, when you run a program for freshmen labeled as “at-risk” and try to help guide them through four to six years of college, seeing them reach this milestone is pretty special. I couldn’t be more proud than if my own children had completed this arduous journey.

Of course, it’s all been downhill since then. I returned to a cold, dark house, ate some lunch and sat down to write, only to doze off a few minutes later. The two-hour nap did me some good, mind you, but it also wiped out what little energy I had—or should I say what little energy hadn’t already been drained by the damp, depressing weather.

A trip to the sunny lands of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag might cheer me up (Ubisoft)

There is fresh coffee in the kitchen now—which I should probably splash in my face instead of drinking so it can work its magic faster—but even it can’t provide the motivation I need to be truly productive. Honestly, though, why should I be productive today? I worked hard all week and deserve to be lazy, lie around in my “apartment pants” (don’t ask) and do nothing.

Actually, this plan has already been implemented and, as much as I hate to say it, it doesn’t leave much room for blogging. This represents the extent of it today, but I assure you that Gnostic Bent will return tomorrow come rain or shine. Until then, I hope you all enjoy what’s left of your Saturday… and manage to stay dry, which is obviously a challenge for me.

Peace out and be good to each other, peeps!

An Appeal to Readers

Readers are the greatest people in the world (Blogging Tips Today)

Readers are the greatest people in the world (Blogging Tips Today)

In June of 2012, I decided to start a personal blog primarily to force myself to start writing again, but also to see if what I wrote would appeal to anyone besides me. Actually, that may not be accurate since no one is as critical of my work as I am. Nevertheless, I found a great platform—WordPress is awesome—and got the proverbial ball rolling. And I can say without apprehension that blogging has been a positive—and eye-opening—experience in more ways than one.

The WordPress features I enjoy the most are the statistics, especially since I place a lot of importance on measuring and evaluating my own progress. If the statistics collected by WP are to be believed—and I have no reason to think they shouldn’t be—then things have been going pretty well. Here are some highlights:

  • Total views in the last 17 months total more than 204,000 and my average monthly yield is roughly 12,000 views. Of course, some people view multiple posts—or multiple pictures of sexy women, who I frequently include on my blog—so this stat should be accompanied by a grain of salt.
  • I somehow managed to attract nearly 1,300 followers, but a large segment of them come through my Facebook account. However, there are more than 350 people out there who subscribe via email, as well as a few dozen who connect with me through Twitter. I don’t care where they come from because collectively, they’re the best!
  • More than 4,500 comments have been posted by readers and since I reply to all of them—sometimes repeatedly—you can probably double that number to measure my total responses. And I can say this: the weekend that my work appeared on Freshly Pressed was grueling in terms of replying to comments. Granted, they were largely positive, but my hands (and mind) took a beating!
  • There is no clear measurement for the number of unique visitors to my blog, but my daily average jumped from only a handful when I first began to approximately 250-300 visitors today. Some of these are my so-called “frequent flyers,” and I can’t express how much I appreciate their interest and loyalty… love ‘em!
  • Thanks to the pressure I place on myself to post at least one article each day, my net gross of articles is nearly 900 since last year—on average, this amounts to roughly 53 articles each month, although I sometimes post multiple articles within the same day. This doesn’t happen much any more since life tends to be a lot busier these days.
  • Since last June, people in 192 different countries and provinces have viewed my work. In fact, about the only areas on the world map not infected by my “freakiness” are in central Africa and the former Soviet Union bloc—mostly in the nations that end in –stan. Honestly, this is the statistic that impresses me the most, although most of these international folks may be deployed American military personnel. You never know.
You gotta love WordPress! (Eightfold)

You gotta love WordPress! (Eightfold)

I know these statistics may not mean much—and definitely mean more to me than anyone else—but they can work wonders on a person’s ego. Things like total views and comments don’t strike me nearly as much as views from other countries, though. The very thought that people all over the world have viewed my blog—even if they stumbled across it accidentally or visited simply to view those sexy pictures I referenced before—is extremely exciting to me, especially since I come from an international family. Again, these may simply come from U.S. soldiers living abroad, but I have received some comments written in Arabic, Japanese and a host of other languages.

Incidentally, I apologize if one of those comments came from you and I failed to reply. I don’t speak—or read—many languages, but there are tons of translation programs online that could help. The problem is that most of these comments end up in the spam folder and are accidentally deleted in my haste to maintain order within my blog. My unique combination of obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention-deficit disorder demand it, I’m sorry to say.

None of this is being shared to “toot my own horn” or to try to impress any single ladies in the crowd—unless it’s working, in which case this WAS my real intention! Ha ha ha ha!

Seriously, though, here’s why I chose to share these statistics today, especially those related to blog visitors, followers and the countries they represent: I want to give something back to you, dear reader. For this reason, I have a request that some may even consider as a charge to anyone reading this. Thanks in advance to anyone who considers helping me out.

Since readers are the people who inspire me, motivate me and give meaning to my life as a fledgling writer, I would LOVE to get a sense of who they are, where they’re located and what stories they have to share. Of course, I understand how sketchy it can be to share personal information online, so here’s what I’m proposing:

If you are willing to share this information—or even to submit a guest post, which I am totally open to—then please do so by leaving a comment on my blog or sending an email to gnosticbent@outlook.com.

The world of Gnostic Bent  (WordPress & I)

The world of Gnostic Bent (WordPress & I)

However, I do ask that you remove any personal information you feel uncomfortable sharing with me or others first. This includes anyone who sends an email—I promise not to use your address for evil, but feel free to send emails from a dummy account if it makes you feel better. I am all about safety and identity protection. Believe me.

You should also know that getting no response won’t devastate me or propel me into a deep, spiraling depression. The same holds for criticism, all of which I find constructive in some way. Trust me. I’m a big boy, so I can handle it.

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen: a plea for my wonderful readers to share their stories so I can return the favor and share them with “the world according to Gnostic Bent.” And I’m serious about submitting guest posts, too. I truly believe that writers, artists and anyone who dwells in the land of the imagination should stick together and do whatever possible to support one another. So by all means, send me your work and I will do my best to get some eyes on it. You have my word.

Thanks for an amazing 17 months and a life-changing experience, peeps! You ALL kick ass and I hope to see you here again soon!

Fear of Phobias

Phobias come in all shapes and sizes (Doug Savage)

The Free Online Dictionary defines a phobia as a “persistent, abnormal and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.” Of course, most of us recognize the word when it serves as the suffix to a specific fear—like arachnophobia, the fear of spiders.

Personally, though, I seem to suffer from the strangest fear of them all: phobophobia, the fear of phobias themselves. Why, you might ask? See for yourself. Here are some common phobias—and some obscure ones—that you may find very illuminating. Thanks to the folks at phobialist.com for providing this information, albeit without their knowledge:

Ablutophobia: Fear of washing or bathing.

This may lead to stinkyphobia, the fear of smelly people.

Alektorophobia: Fear of chickens.

Stay the hell away from Kentucky Fried Chicken then!

Allodoxaphobia: Fear of opinions.

This can be especially troublesome since opinions are like assholes; everyone has one.

Anuptaphobia: Fear of staying single.

I may have suffered from this in the past, but those days are long gone now.

Thank goodness Sir Isaac Newton never feared gravity (USGS)

Barophobia: Fear of gravity.

You shouldn’t this fear get you down.

Bathophobia: Fear of depth.

Focus on shallow people instead… there are plenty of them out there.

Bibliophobia: Fear of books.

I know a bunch of college students who apparently suffer from this fear since they rarely crack a book!

Cacophobia: Fear of ugliness.

Is it possible that we all suffer from this? It seems to be pretty common in the U.S.

Carnophobia: Fear of meat.

I can’t imagine that many gay men suffer from this fear. It would put a serious damper on their love lives.

Chrometophobia (or Chrematophobia): Fear of money.

No need to worry about this fear since I never have enough money to be afraid of!

Coprastasophobia: Fear of constipation.

Combine this with a fear of laxatives and you could have some serious problems.

Lady Justice is a little scary, I guess. Must be the blindfold (How Stuff Works)

Dikephobia: Fear of justice.

Not much danger of this happening within the American judicial system, I’m afraid.

Ephebiphobia: Fear of teenagers.

This occurs primarily among the parents of teenagers.

Gamophobia: Fear of marriage.

I can only assume that more males suffer from this irrational fear, which may not be irrational at all.

Gnosiophobia: Fear of knowledge.

Fortunately, those who experience it are unlikely to ever hear or understand this word.

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia: Fear of long words.

This one sort of speaks for itself.

Ithyphallophobia: Fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis.

Sometimes referred to as “bonerphobia.”

Some wood should be feared (Reddit)

Kolpophobia: Fear of genitals, particularly female.

They sometimes scare me, too.

Leukophobia: Fear of the color white.

And yes, Caucasians have been known to suffer from this, as well.

Logophobia: Fear of words.

Sufferers instead communicate through long, soulful looks.

Maieusiophobia: Fear of childbirth.

If it’s possible for males to suffer from this, then I certainly qualify!

Megalophobia: Fear of large things.

This can be fatal when combined with a fear of erect penises.

Menophobia: Fear of menstruation.

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I think most guys in heterosexual relationships fear this!

Optophobia: Fear of opening one’s eyes.

The first step on the road to recovery? Squinting!

Philemaphobia (or Philematophobia): Fear of kissing.

This can put a serious damper on foreplay—to some extent—but has a greater effect on expletive phrases. After all, telling someone “not” to kiss your ass just isn’t the same.

Siderophobia: Fear of stars.

Those in the heavens, not in the tabloids.

Urophobia: Fear of urine or urinating.

If pee is what you fear, then stay the hell out of any public men’s rooms. Most resemble lavatories at schools for the blind, although I’m sure they are much cleaner.

The fear of clothing is second only to the fear of nudist colonies, which sound nice but normally look more like this (Sprocket Ink)

Vestiphobia: Fear of clothing.

Finally there’s a phobia I can get behind, but only with regard to women!

And last, but not least, is a phobia that I created and impose on myself every day: noblogophobia, the fear of having nothing left to blog about. Thankfully, there’s no fear of that happening anytime soon!

Mental Health Day

If I had this hat, I would wear it ALL DAY LONG (Zazzle)

If I had this hat, I would wear it ALL DAY LONG (Zazzle)

Sometimes you need a day off just to get your mind right, recharge your battery and prepare for the busy week to come.

For me, today is that day.

It’s a gorgeous afternoon, NFL football will be kicking off soon and despite having some work to do, I plan to spend the majority of my time “rolling like the Founding Fathers” (i.e. in the pursuit of happiness).

Call it a mental health day, if you will.

My brain doesn’t function as well as it should, but it works hard and deserves a break, too. Poor little guy.

So enjoy your Sunday, everybody. I certainly plan to…

Celebrating Pulp Fiction

Title screen from "Pulp Fiction" (A Band Apart/Miramax)

Title screen from “Pulp Fiction” (A Band Apart/Miramax)

As a glorified cinephile—basically a hardcore movie buff—I enjoy, appreciate and, in many ways, love more films than I care to count. My favorite movie of all time, though, is Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 masterpiece Pulp Fiction.

It’s not even close, actually. And given how many great movies are out there, that’s saying something.

Explaining what I love most about Pulp Fiction is tough because this film has it all: violence, dark humor, a great cast—including John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Ving Rhames, Harvey Keitel and Christopher Walken, to name a few—snappy dialogue, a nonlinear storyline, sex, drugs, rock & roll and my personal favorite, pop culture references “out the yin yang.”

"Pulp" as pulp (A Band Apart/Miramax)

“Pulp” as pulp (A Band Apart/Miramax)

Tarantino won an Oscar for the film (Best Original Screenplay) and even took home the Palme d’Or award at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival—the highest honor bestowed upon the director of the competition’s best cinematic feature. And I will never forget the first—and second—time I saw the movie that would soon take its place atop my favorites list—a position it will undoubtedly hold forever.

Pulp Fiction was due to be released in October of 1994—I was between my undergraduate and graduate degrees at that time, and loving every minute of it—but I stumbled across what I thought was a pirated version of the film a few months earlier. I was at the state fairgrounds for some kind of show—most likely guns, comic books, sporting equipment… who the hell knows. It was a big crowded place with horrible traffic and smelly people, to be sure.

In one of the main buildings were all the vendors—rows of booths loaded with any product imaginable, several of which were devoted to movies. And I’m not talking about DVDs, which themselves are being phased out today. I’m talking about VHS videotapes—“old school” flicks, you might call them.

As I was sifting through a stack of tapes at one of the booths—whose owner seemed trustworthy enough (as if I could judge from such a chance encounter)—I discovered one with a plain, white cover and only two words written on it in black magic marker: PULP FICTION.

“What the hell is this?” I immediately asked the vendor, expecting to hear some kind of bullshit story about how a “friend of a friend” knew the producer and managed to sneak out an advanced cut of the soon-to-be hit. Instead, something unexpected happened.

“That isn’t supposed to be in there,” he mumbled to his son, a lanky and presumably mute character lurking in the shadows—I swear the kid never said a word. “I’m sorry, sir. That tape isn’t for sale,” he said as he reached for it.

Amanda and Tim - Miramax - A Band Apart

Amanda Plummer and Tim Roth (A Band Apart/Miramax)

I know, I know. This was all part of the scam, and I fell for it “hook, line and sinker.” That much is clear to me now, but back then I was blinded by the excitement of Pulp Fiction. And I had waited long enough.

“If this really is a copy of Pulp Fiction, then how much would you take for it if it were for sale?” I asked, all the while leaning back and staying just out of range of the vendor’s extended hand. He supposedly wanted it back, after all. And his act was very believable, trust me.

I won’t recount the whole conversation—mostly because I don’t remember it all—but the final result was that I purchased the film for roughly $50 and rushed home to check it out a short time later.

What the vendor told me was true—it was Pulp Fiction and seemed to be filmed in a small cinema or screening room. Unfortunately, it’s what he didn’t tell me that completed the scam… and made me a sucker.

John and Bruce on set - Miramax - A Band Apart

Travolta and Willis joke around on set (A Band Apart/Miramax)

The movie was apparently filmed by someone with a video camera seated in the back of the room. And since HD and high-quality digital images didn’t exist back then—at least not for commoners like me—the picture quality was horrible. At times I could make out facial features or set details, but most of the movie was grainy and dark. Amorphous blobs replaced the actors in most of the scenes. And although I could make out most of the dialogue and music, the truth is that I didn’t really see Pulp Fiction; I just got a sense of it.

To use a rather disgusting analogy, the experience was like smelling a fart and recognizing exactly what the gassy perpetrator had for dinner. Instead of enjoying a delicious meal, I only caught a whiff. And man, was I disappointed.

Fortunately, October finally arrived and Pulp Fiction hit theaters, so I immediately made plans to see it. My real first time seeing the film was in a small, artsy theater that still served beer in paper cups. I went with a few friends, entered a room filled almost exclusively with other movie buffs and actually got to hear every word of dialogue that was spoken on the screen.

One of the reasons I avoid the theater now is that people never shut their mouths—or shut off their cell phones—and I end up missing half the movie. I just wait for films to appear on iTunes or Netflix—or pick up the DVD if it’s something I want to keep. Sorry, movie theaters, but your days are definitely numbered.

Since its release, I have seen Pulp Fiction hundreds of times and could probably come close to reproducing the screenplay from memory. I even developed an interest in that for which the movie is named: pulp magazines.

For those of you unfamiliar with the genre, pulp magazines were popular during the early to mid-20th century and often involved sharp dialogue, graphic violence and adult situations. The name was derived from the cheap wood pulp paper on which they were printed. And since they were cheaper than magazines printed on high-quality paper—the so-called glossies and slicks—pulp magazines quickly grew in popularity.

Jack Rabbit Slims - Miramax - A Band Apart

Uma Thurman and John Travolta (A Band Apart/Miramax)

With titles like Weird Tales, Adventure and Amazing Stories, “pulp fiction” magazines stretched the imagination of their readers and introduced them to different—often darker—worlds. They also hired writers who would eventually become famous and respected in the literary world—and their names are very recognizable: Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Rudyard Kipling, Louis L’Amour, Elmore Leonard, H.P. Lovecraft, Jack London, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Agatha Christie, Arthur C. Clarke, Joseph Conrad, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zane Grey, Upton Sinclair, H.G. Wells and even Mark Twain!

In other words, pulp magazines were cool, man. And their covers were pretty kick ass, too. Here’s a little visual tribute to the genre—the perfect end to today’s post. Enjoy!

Jackass of the Day Award, Vol. I

There can be only one Human Torch! (Marvel Comics)

I have never been one to poke fun at the misfortune of others or to relish in the stupidity of our fellow humans.

Oh, who am I kidding? We all enjoy doing this in one form or another, usually under our breath or inside our own heads, but it does happen.

I couldn’t even keep a straight face while I was writing that first sentence, for goodness sake.

Believe me. I know what you’re thinking. Is it fair for me to classify anyone as stupid? I mean, our mommies taught us that “stupid” is a bad word and that we should never call someone that—advice we quickly forget the next time we encounter idiocy, I’m sorry to say.

But don’t we all show intelligence in some way? Granted, not everyone is what they call book smart, but oftentimes these same academically challenged individuals possess something equally important: street smarts. So my answer to this question is a resounding “yes.” I do believe all people are smart in their own way.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m right, though. And there are always examples in the news of someone doing something completely dumb—something devoid of all forethought and rationality that never considers the possible consequences.

I hate to say it, folks, but people who act like this are indeed “out there.” They walk among us every single day—sometimes holding up a line because they weren’t prepared when they reached the front, or perhaps swerving all over the road because driving and talking on their cell phone at the same time is far too complicated a task. Whatever the case may be, they are here and as scary as it is to think, they seem to be growing in numbers.

Hell, just look at our federal government and the truth of this claim should be easy to see.

In honor of dimwits everywhere—for lack of a better word—I dedicate this new blog series, the Jackass of the Day Awards. No, this doesn’t mean I will identify someone daily, but I will “call out” anyone who strikes me as overwhelmingly worthy of this honor… and already it seems as if the candidates are lining up.

Let’s see who our first big winner will be, shall we?

It looks like our first Jackass of the Day is none other than Jamar Allen of Toledo, Ohio. I would include an exclamation point on that last sentence but, sadly, Jamar’s stupid behavior claimed his life. Please know that what follows is not intended to make light of this tragedy.

Words to live by (OSHA)

That being said, you should know that Jamar was seen last Saturday carrying a gas-powered push lawnmower into his basement… with a lit cigarette between his lips, no less!

Needless to say, the next time neighbors saw Jamar, he was doing his best impression of the Human Torch… maybe Richard Pryor… engulfed in flames and running into the street. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, but it was too late. Jamar was pronounced dead a short time later.

It was never my intention to deliver the first Jackass of the Day Award posthumously, but I’m afraid that’s how things worked out for poor Jamar. As a smoker, it saddens me to see any of us die from something other than emphysema or lung cancer… maybe throat cancer.

I’m kidding!

Seriously, though, Jamar’s death was a tragedy. At only 41 years of age, he still had plenty of good years ahead of him. If nothing else, though, I hope we all learned a valuable lesson from his untimely death.

DO NOT SMOKE AROUND GASOLINE!

Enough said…

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