iPhone Evolution

Evolution of the iPhone, as shown on Gizmodo:



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Our Allegiance to Our Sports Teams is Becoming Dangerous

by Justin Crockett




In the spiral of shit that this week has become regarding the NFL, Ray Rice, domestic violence discussions, and cover-up after cover-up, one thing is becoming very clear:

Our blind allegiance to our sports teams and players is becoming a dangerous thing.

In light of today’s story that the NFL indeed had the full video of Ray Rice face-fucking his fiancee with his fist with cartoonish power and speed, there are tons of questions that need to be addressed in order to restore some kind of faith in humanity.

If you haven’t been on Earth recently, here’s a recap of how the news broke, and how the news quickly shit its own pants: Ray Rice and his wife-to-be were leaving a casino, got into an elevator where something happened during the ride that made her be unconscious at its destination. That’s how the story began. The footage that accompanied the story just showed her crumpled body and Ray Rice standing there like “ehhhh what the heck?”.



The aftermath has been viewed countless times. Ray and the missus played nice at a press conference, he apologized, got a little baby suspension that didn’t even come close to what another player got for smoking weed. So, people hated Rice a little bit, got it out of their systems, and went on with their lives. Ravens fans were torn, but accepting. What they had an issue with is that no one really knew what happened in the elevator, we just saw the end result.

Then this week, the full video came out.


Yes that is an honest to goodness haymaker. Most people had a general idea that’s what occurred, but to actually see it was raw and unsettling. Even more unsettling was the general public not readily willing to admit what most likely happened before we saw it. This isn’t near the first instance of violence towards women by anyone, forget a sports star. So why is everyone leaping onto this story like it’s not an unfortunately-common thing that women have to deal with? And why has the NFL taken clearly-calculated steps to hide the fact that, yes, they DID have this footage seven months ago, and just crossed their fingers that it would never become public?

It seems to me, a fairly enthusiastic sports fan, that the league of course wants to protect its image. That’s not shocking. But seeing the sides that were drawn during this ordeal on social media and articles around the internet, the fans themselves clearly believe that sports teams and players belong to them in some way. The blind devotion even in the face of contradictory facts, and even the hatred that mostly prevailed(and rightly so) afterwards are the extremes that are becoming more and more common in the face of sports scandals and fiascos. Everything is so much bigger and more extravagant in these stories, that it’s making us a little meat-headed when it comes to real-life things in our real-life lives.

Do you think for one second that your neighbor would receive anywhere near the same emotions that Rice had spewed at him? Do you honestly believe that you would petition your neighborhood alliance, and take to Facebook and Twitter, and email the footage to all of your friends, and call for people’s jobs to be permanently revoked from them, if your friend Jerry had slapped his wife around a little? Why does the assailant being famous mean that we get to, or have to, care more? Why do athletes who get hit on their bodies every day for a living get put to a higher standard? And why the fuck do they keep hitting people on their days off?? Why do their wives post messages days after worldwide release of the videos, defending their husbands?

And why does the league continue to sweep these issues under the rug? If you continue to breed or allow a criminal culture, you can’t be shocked when it starts to bite you in the dick.

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So….Tony Soprano is Alive?

by Justin Crockett


So, news is coming out today that the creator of the beloved Sopranos series has basically admitted that, no, Tony Soprano didn’t die in that diner all those years ago.

In an interview with Vox, show creator David Chase was asked if Tony was dead. To which he replied, “No. No, he isn’t.” Why Chase would reveal that information after years of being asked the same question is purely speculative. If somehow you’re just being born, or have been disassembled a decade ago and just recently reassembled, here is that final scene from the show:


Lots of things going on in that final few minutes. You’ve got onion rings, the most historic parallel-parking abortion ever captured on film, and a diner full of people who got dressed in 1984 and just woke up. A suspicious man walks by Tony on the way to the potty, and then it cuts to black. Viewers were outraged, you know the whole story by now.

My question is, why does David Chase feel he needs to explain himself? Even with the death of James Gandolfini, why do these questions have to be answered? There is a trust that exists between us, the audience, and the people that work to put the work of art into the population. If that trust exists, why can’t the final scene of a great show just exist on its own? The creator of the art has no obligation to appease the masses. Why does it matter if Tony Soprano lives or dies at the end? It’s ok for something to be a mystery sometimes. It builds buzz. It gives the art a life of its own and assures its timelessness and future relevance.

The only thing I can imagine, is that with the unexpected death of Gandolfini, David Chase was kind of giving him an homage, saying that while the man isn’t here with us anymore, he does live on.


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The Year in Badass Music: 1986

by Justin Crockett



1986 was a strange year for music. While pop and rock music were still doing as well as they always do, and the synth-happy sheen of New Wave music was still gracing every John Hughes movie, an unlikely genre was beginning to sell out stadiums worldwide: thrash metal. No less than three monumental classics in the history of heavy metal came out in ’86: Metallica with “Master of Puppets”, Megadeth with “Peace Sells….But Who’s Buying”, and Slayer with “Reign in Blood”. Slayer sucks, but that’s not the point of this. Some people like them. 


This fury of heavy music boiling over that year is important to note. For better or for worse, by 1986, heavy music was in a weird stage in its evolution. Black Sabbath was in the wilderness after a decade of crushing music, Led Zeppelin was gone for good, even the hurricane of punk music had largely passed. When the super-pop of Madonna and Michael Jackson took over the early 80’s, most hard rock was relegated to small clubs and low album sales. When people got exhausted of all the cheese-pop that was going on, and thrash arrived, making it ok to for people to bang their heads, that then paved the way for pop and heavy metal to bump uglies and give birth to an even bigger musical genre…..hair metal.

So, yes, what I’m saying is if this never happened:



We would have(for better of for worse) never gotten this:




That’s not to say the only good albums that were dropped in 1986 were of the heavy variety. Here are a few more releases that only cemented this year’s status as a strange and vital one.


Peter Gabriel, “So”




When Peter Gabriel left Genesis in 1975 because he stopped loving us and wanted to be a jerkhead, prog rock fans were downtrodden. That is, until he proceeded to unleash 4 self-titled solo albums that promised that he hadn’t lost his flair for the batshit. Then the age of the music video arrived, and we were able to show him off to the mainstream, though he did end up dropping some of his more bizarre antics to do so. And the album “So” was built for that. Besides the two absolute smashes of “Big Time” and “Sledgehammer”, you also had an all-time chick flick anthem that made every guy think he could pull off a Cusack(they couldn’t). And the cinematic “Red Rain” that starts off the album never loses its goosebumpy beauty.

One thing that isn’t mentioned much about this album is the quality of the playing. It’s slightly overproduced nature almost takes away from the musicianship that is on display. Tony Levin is completely killing it on bass as usual. Police drummer Stewart Copeland shows up a few times. Did you know that fucking Chic guitarsmith Nile Rodgers plays on a song? Now you do.


Miles Davis, “Tutu”




It didn’t do well, commercially or critically. It’s not even in the top ten of his albums. But it’s important. It’s important because in this decade of glossy, artificially created rhythms and beats and melodies, Miles was able to take some of those well-intended ideas and meld them into his own style of improvised and melodic jazz-funk. Plus, it has this motherfucker on it, Marcus Miller:




R.E.M., “Lifes Rich Pageant”/Sonic Youth, “EVOL”




I never loved R.E.M. Sonic Youth, same with them. I can find songs in both groups’ discographies that I like, but I won’t seek either out. So why would I include these albums as some of the best of that year?

Simple, because they are albums on small labels, that are consistent throughout, and that were promoted and sold the true way: by going out and playing an obscene amount of shows, spreading through word-of-mouth, and not being some manufactured article that a record company slapped together and built up an obscene amount of hype for, without the band proving themselves first. These two bands, like them or not, are the classic examples of a few guys(or gals) forming a band, creating a following through hard work, and getting lucky enough to be signed and make music, and be allowed to make the music they want by the label.

So, like these two groups or not, the same truth is truth, be it 1986, or today.



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All the Best Stephen King Movies Don’t Follow the Books

by Carolyn Burke


It’s true. For all the shouting about book accuracy in these films, all the best offerings hack away at the source material like a gleeful little butcher.


Take for example ‘It’, obviously certain parts of this are a gimme, underage orgies should never be seen as acceptable movie material. But this movie changed around the entire ending too.

Remember the scene where Mother Nature in the form of a giant space vomiting turtle taught the kids how to defeat everyone’s ultimate worst nightmare? Oh, you don’t remember the turtle? That’s because they cut that shit. It was silly.


Then of course there is ‘The Mist’, which also cut out a sex scene wherein the hero of the film cheats on his wife (who may or may not have been dead at the time). This movie also tinkered with the ending quite controversially by obliterating every reasonably intelligent character in the entire film. And it was brilliant. So brilliant in fact, Stephen King himself freaking loved it. The next time you hear someone complain about the book accuracy on this one you are welcome to use this for your argument.


King doesn’t always love the re-imaginings of his films, of course. There is always the infamous ‘The Shining’ grudge that prompted the awful remake inexplicably starring a ‘Wings’ headliner.


That film once again cuts down some of the sex (between Jack and Wendy) and strays so far away from the source material’s ending it may as well be on another planet. In book form Jack and the hotel blow up, and everyone else survives. How scary is a scary movie that only kills off the villain? Zero. Zero scary. The liberties taken in the film gave an ambiguously confusing ending that hinted at the idea these events are constantly happening to the caretakers of the Overlook Hotel and they always will be. Plus, the movie was damn scary.


If you disagree with all of this you can look to ‘Bag of Bones’, which may have destroyed an adorable little toddler character by making her a socially awkward 9 year old, but they tried to stay as close as they possibly could to everything else. They didn’t cut much, even when good sense would tell you something desperately needed to be cut, for example:



James Bond just got bitch slapped by a tree.


That…should have been cut. If you take anything from this it should be that Stephen King needs to rethink his sex scenes and endings. And also…spoilers.


Carolyn is a Twitterest. Follow her or die alone.


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Holland Island Book Chapter 3

Now up! Chapter 3 of “The Last House on Holland Island”! Keep reading, sharing and voting for it. Votes keep me climbing in the rankings, and makes me all sorts of egotistical.





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Outtakes From Cracked.com Article

by Justin Crockett


You may have read my recent article on Cracked.com, “Absurd Movie and TV Premises That Actually Happened” here: http://www.cracked.com/article_20959_5-absurd-movie-tv-premises-that-actually-happened.html

Here are a few entries that didn’t make the cut.


Chinese Man Steals Vehicle One Part at a Time, Just Like Johnny Cash Song


The Johnny Cash song “One Piece at a Time” spins the fictional tale of a man who moves to Detroit and takes a job at the General Motors factory. He installs wheels on brand new Cadillacs, knowing full well that he will never be able to muster up enough money to purchase one himself. So, he and a co-worker hatch a scheme to steal every single part they would need to construct one themselves, yanking every component off the assembly line. Small parts he spirits out of the factory in his lunchbox; larger parts, they hide in his buddy’s motor home and drive away. It sounds like a master thief kind of plan, until you realize there are 30,000 parts in the average car.


“Mmmkay, where do I put the key?”

The song details their efforts that take 24 years to complete. Many models of Cadillacs have come and gone, so predictably, the completed Franken-car looks a little unusual. Uneven headlights, mismatched colors, a steak sandwich for an engine, it’s just bananas. The song ends with the driver being asked what year the car is. He responds with “well, it’s a ’49, ’50, ’51, ’52, ’53….” He gets away scot-free, the factory never noticing that it’s never missing more than a few parts at a time. Clever way to get some wheels, sure, but entirely implausible, right?

Wrong, says one Chinese man in China. This man worked at a motorcycle factory, but still watched the pieces go by on the assembly line all day long, just like the man in the song. Wanting. Longing. Eating(only on lunch breaks). And, just like the man did, he began over the next five years to rob himself a bike. From 2003 until 2008, the employee painstakingly lifted every single part he would need to construct a motorcycle back at his home. He grabbed a handlebar here, a kickstand there, a tailpipe, probably some screws? To hold it all together?


Just needs some bitchin’ handlebar tassels.


When the slowest robbery in human history was completed, he built the bike of his dreams meticulously, piece by piece, gazing upon his ever-growing creation. When he installed the last fixture, presumably he put his hands upon his hips, sprouted an erection, and cracked open a box of Triscuits. It was time to take this bitch out on the road…

….where he was almost immediately pulled over by the police. The man had not a whiff of a driver’s license on him, nor did he have any proof of ownership of the bike. The authorities began to smell his bullshit, and eventually the motorcycle thief owned up, admitting that he stole everything. He ended up receiving probation and a slew of fines, and was ordered to take that weird looking fucking bike back to the factory.

We assume he is no longer employed with the company. Maybe he’s now working at a Big Wheel factory. Uh oh! Hang on to your Barbie cars, Mattel!


“Huang! We’re missing a shitload of giant pink wheels this month!”

“RoboCop” and Detroit

robocop-1987-ford-taurus-police-car (1)


The “RoboCop” movie series shows, among other things, a city of Detroit that is in the throes of financial ruin, infrastructural disrepair, rampant unemployment, and sweeping waves of crime. Adding to the despair is the outsourcing of jobs, and the emergence of a ruthless company known as OCP, a corporate conglomerate that takes over most basic city duties. The mayor even signs over control of municipal services, such as the police force, to OCP. Which was just ill-advised, as OCP quickly slashes police salaries and benefits to create more crime, a part of their overall-shady vision. On a positive note, we are shown what Nancy Allen was put on this earth to do.


“Keep chewing gum, and do nothing after these movies? Gotcha.”


OCP, better known as Omni Consumer Products, besides running the police department, also has controlling interests in the hospital system and numerous other facets of metropolitan Detroit, with the eventual goal of completely privatizing the city. Using dubious methods and even putting criminals to work, OCP plans to push Detroit to the brink with the endgame of total foreclosure and bankruptcy for the city. This way, they can assume control over every single facet of the government. Clearly, a satirical work of fiction, as an entire U.S. city would never be taken over in such a way.


Oh…..well, shit.

If you haven’t heard recently, Detroit is having a rough go of it. Many of the events depicted in the “RoboCop” universe are coming to bear. Of course, we know of the rampant crime and flight to the suburbs that have been happening in the city for years. Also known is the transformation to an urban wasteland that the once-mighty Detroit has undergone. But hiding under the surface is the slow, piecemeal takeover that is occurring in the city.

It began with the emergence of the Japanese auto industry and the auto bailouts, then grew in strength when the housing market went tits up. Unemployment levels reached almost 25 percent, factory and manufacturing jobs were outsourced, and city leaders were caught up in criminal activities, culminating with the mayor being indicted on embezzling, fraud and corruption charges. The US government and private businesses began funneling a metric fuckload of money into Detroit just to keep basic services operating, essentially handcuffing the city’s ability to run itself.


“I wonder if they’re still holding the abandoned warehouse potluck dinner?”


Then, just like the OCP takeover of Detroit, the city’s authority was usurped by the state of Michigan. All mayoral and council powers were removed, privatization of water services and selling of public parks was discussed, and police salaries and benefits were drastically reduced.

In July of 2013, the cartoon anvil finally fell, and Detroit declared bankruptcy, just as in “RoboCop 2″. Owing $18 billion dollars, Detroit threw its hands up and bent over, surrendering to the largest municipal debt in American history.


“Let’s see….one…..no, two. I need two $9 billion dollar bills.”


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