Wednesday, October 18, 2006


So, I wake up this morning and see from my email alert that a "User has commented on your YouTube movie". And I know right then that this can't possibly be good news.

Sure enough, the "comment", such as it is, is a misspelled mess telling me that my little teaser for Severe Injuries "reli reli reli sux". Their spelling, of course. They also spell the word "that" as "tht", which seems to be an epidemic on YouTube. The word "That", one of our favorite impersonal Pronouns, obviously has too many letters for our on-the-go, have-to-make-my-opinion-known InterneTeen crowd.

So I thanked Mr. Constructive Criticism for his time and told him that the minute I translated his message into English, I'm sure that I'd take his comment to heart. Which was a pointless exercise on my part. I doubt the comment-eer will come back to check and see if his "thoughts" upset me or not.

And if he did check and see my response, no doubt he'll get all up in arms, which seems to be another epidemic. If you call them on being the little illiterate punks that they are, they come back with, "This is what makes us different. This is our generation, dude." At least, that's what I think they're saying. Who can tell with the abbreviations standing in for words?

This isn't an American disease either. The wordsmith who posted this latest is from the UK, where English was invented.

So what makes the "kids" on the net different today is the inability to communicate? Are they, as a generation, aspiring towards autism, then?

Personally, I'm not sure what annoys me more about the email-culture that swarms the internet: the smugly illiterate compositions or the compulsive need to make your opinion known, particularly if all you have to say is "tht sux".

Now, bear in mind, please: I was not hurt or offended by the criticism. Criticism rarely bothers me, and when it is delivered in such eloquent terms, even less so. "Tht sux" is not criticism; it's barely more than striking random keys with your elbows. My bitch is the pride these lower primates take in their non-sentences and their negative opinions.

WHY does it suck, Your Honor? Or don't you have enough random consonants to formulate support for your opinion?

As an editor, I used to get irritated with the misuse of "your" versus "you're", "its" vs. "it's", "their", "they're" and "there"--I suppose now I should just be grateful that any of the letters make it into a word at all. And that a thought is being conveyed.

My brother-in-law, Darren Little, and some friends made a highly entertaining video parodying street magicians like David Blaine and Chris Angel, "That's Street Magic". Anyone with half a brain will figure out in the first four seconds that this is a parody--not of the magician's tricks, but of their supercilious attitudes. There are currently 845 comments on the video, most of them the equivalent of "tht sux".

Here's one classic piece of Illiterature: "lmao. from an adults point of view i would thing ur weird and should get a life. from a magicians point of view i would say dont bother doing shit like that, from a kids point of view your weird and that was some SHIT."

What the hell does that even mean?

More entertaining are the people that didn't get it at all! That the tricks presented in "That's Street Magic" are SUPPOSED TO BE FAKE! There is a scene where a man "swallows" three pens. He's not hiding the fact that he's just dropping them past his head. The fact that he's doing this with a straight face and "street" attitude IS THE JOKE.

Ahem: "BULLSHIT!! that wasn't even my card... thos pens were clearly being droppd on the floor... there was a cut the size of Australia when he was coming out of the box... and why do you think they didn't show the top of him when he was floating...?? could it be because he has a harness lifting him upp... *duh*.. =| DON'T BE FOOLED... GO TO CHRIS ANGEL TO SEE REAL TRICKS!"

By the way (or BTW in netspeak), in the last instance this scholar is referring to, Darren announces that he will now levitate. The camera pans to his feet. They lift from the ground, hover, and then lower. Our genius critic was quick to spot a "harness lifting him upp". In reality, Darren did a chin-up on a set of monkey bars. No harness required.

So does this indicate that the lower primate's mind was at least thinking? The gears were grinding, at any rate.

I am particularly fond of the reams of negativity to be found on Netflix. Go over there and look up Citizen Kane, arguably one of the finest films ever made. Look at the illiterature that piles up in the comments section for Orson Welles' first feature. "Tht sux" pops up more than once. "My friend said it was borning [sic] and he wuz right!"

Page after page of mental diarrea just like this. It's positively astounding.

Am I wasting my time being annoyed by things like this? Are comments pages merely the electronic equivalent of a graffiti-covered wall? Or is our culture in some serious trouble here?

I'll admit to being guilty of IM-contractions. I'll use a "brb" and a "k" (because OK just takes way too long to type!). I'm guilty of the and even the ;) and :) -- I admit it!

But I also have a habit of spell-checking my outgoing email. Particularly to parties I want to impress-- or at least trick into believing that I'm a somewhat intelligent human being.

The English language has difficult rules, I agree. We have consonants that pretend to be vowels (sometimes 'Y'??). We have other letters that pretend they're not present at all. (silent 'H'?? Are you on crack?)

"Did you know the 'sugar' is the only word where the letters 'su' make an 'sh' sound?"



So I'll cut the little grammar monsters a bit of slack in this area. But I can't seem to excuse sloppy execution when it comes to conveying ideas. Are our schools in this much trouble? Are we not even bothering to teach children (teens, adults) methodology behind communication? Or is this the by-product of our electronic culture? Did the Information Age devolve into the Dis-Information Age? Is it more important to have your voice heard than to have anything to say?

If it is... well, tht sux, dunnit?

* * *

While I'm sure so many of you are pondering the above futilities, I'd like to point you to the Very First Trailer for Abattoir. It's dark and grainy and has a really crappy compression. But it exists and is available for perusal.

A cleaner version can be found HERE. It's big, though. Be warned.

If you post "tht sux", even as a joke, and I know who you are... I will hurt you. Just be warned.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Another quick update

I've been putting off writing one of these for a while now. When life wasn't getting in the way of updating, I just wasn't in the mood to share my intimate thoughts with the entire world (or the six people who actually read this). Just been moving in and out of stages of "too busy" or manic depression.

By now, Genghis Con has come and gone. If you read Amy's blog, you got the gist of what happened. I'm planning on doing something up for Film Threat very soon, as well as my end-of-the-year recap of other shows. Ultimately: it was a good show. Everyone had fun. Some people even made some money. In the end, the people who whine the loudest about there being nothing to do in Pittsburgh abandoned us for college and high school football games.

I've said it before: Pittsburgh is an unsupportive town. If it doesn't have a ball attached to it, the residents don't want to hear about it. This isn't a lame excuse; we did everything right as far as publicity goes, improving over weaknesses from last year. I'm not going to beat myself up about anything. We did the work. But like Yogi Berra said, "If they don't want to come, you can't stop 'em."

The Blood Wrestling went over like a charm, though. And we'll have a cool DVD available by the end of the year. I watched a couple of professional wrestling shows to give me an idea of how to edit the footage, but discovered lots of loud posturing briefly interrupted by a few moments of actual wrestling. Leading me to believe that we should go out and shoot more loud posturing from the ladies...

Abattoir, if my exhausted eyes don't deceive me, is in picture lock as we speak. I have received 99% of the music from Scooter McCrae and am in the process of fixing up the sound design now. We're right on track for a finished product by Halloween. We've already been approached by a major distributor and a film festival, so maybe we did do something right.

We just got back from Cinema Wasteland, which has become our favorite show of all. This time was less fun for me because I spent the entire weekend with a nasty cold that just refuses to go away. Even as I write this, various things are dripping out of me, my eyes refuse to focus. It's annoying. Still, I got to hang out with James (Frankenhooker) Lorinz and saw his cool little "test short", Swirlee. Swirlee is about a gangster whose head is made of ice cream. Yes, it is, too! David Caruso is in it and he didn't annoy me once. I liked it so much, I did a little dance. Then popped more Day-Quil.

Sirens of Cinema #5 hits the stands next week. It's gorgeous. Gatefold cover by Mike Lilly (Vampirella). See if the vampires inside look familiar to you. They should.

We're officially in pre-production on a new movie. I don't want to give anything away, since it's still in the planning stages and the script needs a polish, but it's going to be cool. Bloody. Evil. Fun. Think Hellraiser with a sense of humor.

More later. Must die now...