Why is it so hard to make men’s clothes?
I mean, I never think of myself as a Big & Tall kind of guy… until I need to buy a dress shirt. All the sudden I find myself mired in these tiny shirts, meant for boys who haven’t hit puberty and probably never will. I’m not a big guy, 5’7″, and I’ve never been over 230 pounds in my life. I know I have a gut, I have to buy 38″ waist pants (down from 42 thankyouverymuch) because of it. And if ONLY that were the problem.
No, I have troubles because the fucking shirts won’t fit my shoulders, pinch at my neck, constrain my chest… and even my arms have troubles sometimes. I haven’t been able to close a dress shirt all the way to the collar for 20 years, and I wasn’t always as fat as I am now. This leads me to suspect that it’s a systemic problem.
I eventually bought the largest shirt they had, in the understanding that the shirt just one size smaller barely fit. It’s one of those where there are more pins and brackets than cloth in the packaging, and I didn’t have an hour to undo the whole damn thing a third time.
I get that women’s clothes can be a problem. Women have way more parts that come in way more sizes and those sizes can fluctuate wildly from one day to the next.
What the hell is the deal for men’s clothes? Why such a pain in the ass? Is the rest of mankind just a bunch of willowy nancy-boys and I’ve never noticed?
What, if I may posit the question, the ever lovin’ fuck?
How many of my rants could start this way?
Anyway, I was watching Dare to Be Stupid and I noticed that there is a square in the video. By square I mean a guy who is square. If you don’t know what square means in this context… I can’t help you right now. Maybe later.
What I found interesting was that the square is an early 1960s square. From the furniture and accoutrements of his room, he is in the late 50s and early 60s. But why should that be? When this video was made, 1963 was only 20 years back. It would be like us trying to use someone from 1992 as a square.
But we wouldn’t.
If we wanted to show someone who was a square, we’d still use someone from 1963. And for that I have an idea. 1963 was the last time that being a square was mainstream. After that, if you wanted to be cool, you had to rebel. The 20th century is interesting in that it seems to have given us the idea that the only way to be really cool, was to be an outsider. Maybe it just gave enough of us the opportunity to stop worry about starving to death to start worrying about whether or not we were cool.
Either way, the idea changed and being a hip person meant you had to be on the edges. The best way to be an insider was to be an outsider. As much as we talk about conformity, our society celebrates the individual to the point of worship. We’ve gone so far that all ideas of normal have been nominally cool in some fashion. There is no baggage free baseline… except for our 1960s square over there. Yes, even he has some baggage, but you can ignore it and just look at the fact that he’s sitting there in his barcalounger and watching TV. His version of domesticity is the enemy for all of us. He is the ultimate insider, the conformer, and even the conformtyiest of us doesn’t conform like he does.
The problem is, being the separate outsider is hard. Everyone says “Hey, he’s cool!” And tries to emulate that cool person, and then they become the insider. Being the insider is no good, so they move on to the next idea of cool. And so on and so on, until the only outsider is the geek, and in 2004 everyone decided that being a geek was cool. Now, nothing is cool, except actual coolness. But you have to be annoyingly aloof to pull that off and there is the danger that no one will notice you being so damn aloof, or even care.
Anyway, here’s the video…
Did you notice the interocitor?
Twins in Death
A Tale of The Weirdo
By Brett N. Lashuay
Chapter Three: The End of Captain Scourge
December 5th, 1934
Tommy and The Weirdo were standing near the newly erected Christmas tree and looking out the window. The house had a full compliment of staff in those days and the maids were walking from the storage rooms with boxes of decorations. The Weirdo had asked them to begin decorating, which Tommy had noticed was a full week earlier than he had done last year. The Weirdo had simply explained that he wanted the decorations up to cheer him up more. The last year had been successful but that had meant that they had killed a lot of people. It is hard to gather up Christmas spirit when your clothes are soaked in blood. Hence he thought that if the decorations went up, then he might be more cheerful.
Tommy was becoming less and less sure about that, every day he noticed. This radical war against the crime syndicates of New York was coming to an end as far as he saw it. The other costumed heroes were all coming up to a point where if the group left off, things would keep for a good long while. Things were coming to a close for them, and Tommy thought that this would be the last Christmas they’d spend together this century.
He felt that the news of his decision would only go to further prove this theory. There was nothing inherently wrong with change, but change in one area probably meant change in another later. There were going to be a lot of changes, he could tell that. He didn’t know what all of them would be, but he could feel them coming. They were little things like the tree going up so early, and the news he was about to share.
“I’m going to get married.” Tommy said as he poured himself a drink.
“Are you?” The Weirdo asked looking into his glass.
“Well I’m thinking about it.” Tommy shrugged as he put a few ice cubes into the glass of whiskey.
“Amy.” Tommy agreed.
“After I ask her of course.” Tommy said. “I would guess sometime in the New Year.”
“You think she’d consent to be your bride?” The Weirdo asked pulling open the small refrigerator and taking out a bottle of coca cola.
“Well why wouldn’t she?”
“Because you keep strange hours with strange company.” The Weirdo said popping the cap off and pouring the drink into his glass.
“Just you and Jack.” He said smiling. “James is alright most the time.”
“Possibly.” The Weirdo said, looking at the tree again.
“I think she’ll be my wife, yes I do.” Tommy said. “We’ll have two kids and grow old together.”
“That sounds nice.” The Weirdo said, knowing there was no place for him after the wedding. There would be no place for him for a long time.
March 29th, 2002
Captain Scourge was feeling pretty good about himself; he was about to return triumphantly. The first foray had been too extreme, just too much going on all at once, that had been the problem. He was going to go for style this time. Besides, he nearly beat The Weirdo the last time they met. It was only by the merest chance that the gray-coated one had beat him. This time there would be no sudden and quick victory for those who stood in his way.
This time, well this time things would be different. He was going to make people see that he was really a good person, it was just that he’d been bullied. They had just pushed him too far, that was all. He just wanted to have a few friends like everyone else. He wanted to be liked, and have attention like most people. He didn’t have any real plans for world domination. Just a few people would do for him. The only reason for this explanation is to show that he had more than just the naked ambition of the James Bond villain.
He had changed his outfit a little, even though it was still mostly the same premise. It was a new shirt he was wearing, the gold lightning bolt had been replaced with a large silver one, with more sequins and baubles to catch the light. He wore a large cape now and had large steel cuffs around his wrists to help direct his lightning. What exactly he thought the hip high leather boots lent to the occasion is anyone’s guess. He also had a band of men, because every villain needs a band of men. They weren’t terribly bright, but he would trade up later. That’s what he told himself, that he could get better men later. This time they were just to back him up, to help hold hostages, to get in the way of bullets.
He sat with his maps and blueprints and looked at his men. He had a phrase all ready in his head. He had actually given one of the boys too much semtex so that when they exploded the vault he could scream that he was only supposed to blow the doors off. He didn’t know where it was from, but he liked the sound of the quote.
March 29th, 2002
It was a large corporate bank, the sort that had a vault even though most the money was actually upstairs floating between computers. Captain Scourge hadn’t really picked the bank for the money, even though he wanted the bank to wire money to an account he had set up. He was going to hold the place hostage and then blow it up, which would cause a lot of stress. He was proud of his plan because he had been experimenting the last two days with his electromagnetic shield and had come to the conclusion that he could be in the bank when he blew it up and still live.
It was a pretty good plan and promised to make him rich enough to afford a scheme, which is what he really wanted. While he had been planning this he was thinking of schemes, the problem was a simple one though. Schemes all seemed to cost money to get started, you had to have a plan, then you could have a scheme. He would pull this off and then retreat somewhere and think about the scheme he had in mind and really work it out. The only thing he had to do was to keep this job together until they had the money, and then blow everyone up.
Questions like wouldn’t the other banks freeze his accounts, and wouldn’t his attempts to get his money revel his position hadn’t actually occurred to him. Many problems with his plan didn’t really occur to him. The biggest problem didn’t actually occur to anyone, since very few people knew about the random elements that would soon be added.
They entered the bank, like the sort of bandits he’d seen in the movies, guns drawn and shouting. He floated seven inches above the ground, moving slowly and watching everyone. One of the thugs he had hired shot a guard, and that more or less changed everything. The blood from the security guard was such a vivid color of red as it sprayed onto the floor. The man fell dead, allowing for the spray to spread at a more leisurely pace.
Another guard came around a corner, his gun in hand, and was cut down by two of the thugs at once. Captain Scourge extended his hand and let electricity dance from his fingers. There was a loud crack and a woman fell dead, her singed hair smoking, small flames dancing from her suit.
“Bring out the manager.” Captain Scourge said. “We’ve got some things to discuss.”
March 29th, 2002
“Breaker, Breaker, this is Pig Pen.” Tommy’s voice came from the small pen like device on the table. “You got a copy on me Rubber Duck, c’mon?”
The Weirdo looked at the communicator and thought about just ignoring it. He was thinking about better times, and this was an interruption. He picked it up, considered it for a moment and decided that he would at least see what was going on.
“Ten four Pig Pen.”
“Rubber Duck, what’s your twenty?”
“I’m still at the cabin.” The Weirdo said.
“Would you mind high tailing it back home? We’ve got a bit of a situation here.”
“What sort of situation.”
“Captain Scourge came back.”
“I’m sure The Spook Patrol would be more than capable, Pig Pen. Or the Glams, get the Glams to do it.”
“Come again Rubber Duck?” Tommy asked.
“I’m tired of fighting, Tommy.” The Weirdo said. “We should just stop fighting, it’s not our problem anymore.”
This if nothing else should show The Weirdo’s mood. No matter how bad or desperate things had gotten, The Weirdo always used the handles over the communicator, it was part of the rules. He had never once before slipped up in the least.
© 2012 Autumn Knight Productions
Twins in Death
A Tale of The Weirdo
By Brett N. Lashuay
Chapter Two: Love Lost
March 29th, 2002
The Weirdo looked out at the lake, the place where he dared not go. He hadn’t swum in that lake. In fact, he couldn’t remember an instance in which anyone had ever swam or even dipped a foot in that lake. It was an ultimately cold and forbidding place. It was deep and cold, like the resting place of an ancient thing. No one would ever go in that water again if he could help it. There was now something sacred and unbroken about it. It was in fact a place where mortals dared not tread or swim, or some such nonsense.
He was imagining the wedding he was never going to have now, the child he would never hold in his arms, never teach to walk, never tuck into bed at night. The child he would have told stories to, the child he would have taught how to ride a bike and how to swear properly. The tiny child he would have taught to hold a gun and to stay out of trouble, the child that was never going to come now. The nights where his wife and daughter would have been curled up with him on the bed watching cartoons and movies were gone like smoke on the wind.
He was thinking about the years of joy he would now not have, would never have. His path was now clear; the other sunnier path was closed to him. He had been ready to give up fighting, to quit with the killing. He was resentful that someone in the universe had made the decision for him. He didn’t like his choices being dictated to him, he wanted to choose. He had fully had enough of his choices being dictated to him.
March 29th, 2002
“For God sake, let us sit on the carpet and tell sad stories.” He whispered lightly to himself. He was quoting Elizabeth the First, but doing it badly.
He turned away from the lake and into the room, where a woman sat. He hadn’t heard her enter, or even sit down but there she was. She was sitting as if she had been waiting for him to turn, but too polite to make a noise. She was clothed in gauze and her golden hair was so entwined with spring flowers one might think they were sprouting from her head. She smiled warmly, although slightly uncomfortably.
He was six feet away from a cabinet where a small handgun rested in a drawer, and eighteen feet from his coat, where the black gun rested. She was between him and the coat at any rate, and he wouldn’t make it if he had to. He worked his way towards the kitchen where the knives were on display. He didn’t exactly have a plan, but he wanted to be close to a weapon if he had to use one.
“Hello.” She said.
“Hi.” He said flatly. “You are?”
“I am Eoster.” She said, “The Goddess of spring and re-birth.”
His back stiffened at the word re-birth. Re-birth was a bit of a thorn at the moment, if some one was going to talk about dead coming back to life he had a perfect and deserving candidate in mind. It was a fine time to come when she was below the waters and unreachable forever. It would be a bad time for people to talk about resurrection and the kingdom of heaven to him.
“And you want what?”
“I have come to offer you comfort in this time of need.”
“Why didn’t you offer comfort while she was dying?” He asked. “Instead of letting her gasp out her last with a piece of glass in her throat?”
“I wasn’t allowed.” She said looking slightly uncomfortable like a secret was sticking in her throat. “There are greater forces than you know at work here.”
This didn’t seem to her like the sort of thing a person should argue. She would have thought that some one who thought things out as much as he did should know this. However The Weirdo had stopped thinking, and was simply acting, he might think again later, but not now. He stalked forward and snatched a chair from the table and sat it down in front of her so that he would have to straddle it. It made a loud bang as he slammed it into the floor. The shock waves of energy seemed to move through the air with about half the speed of sound and appeared to move her dress every so slightly.
“Is that a fact?” He asked sitting down across from her. His voice wasn’t actually taking on a sarcastic tone, but an accusational one. “Oh do tell. Please! I want to know what force stops a God from doing what they like. Isn’t that the point of being a deity? What could possibly prevent you from saving the single most deserving person in the universe?”
He crossed his arms and looked to her like he was the single most aggressive late night talk show host on earth. His rage was boiling up and he thought he might pop, but he suppressed it down. After all, this rage wasn’t for her. He had to fold it down and compress it into a small nugget. He might be annoyed at her but that was no reason to be overly rude. There was a certain amount of acceptable rudeness and he was too well bred to cross that line.
“It was not for me to choose.” She said again.
“Then who chose?” He growled the words.
“I’m not sure, but I was prevented from helping.”
“Were you? Well isn’t that horrible, I must remember to go to Hallmark and get you a sympathy card.”
“I know how much of a loss this is for you.” She said, extending a thin and pale hand to him.
“No you don’t.” He said, unwilling to accept that or her hand. “My life’s mooring is lost. I am a wheel without an axle. My direction is gone.”
“It doesn’t have to be that way.” She set her hand on his.
There was warmth, and some feeling of joy, which crept up his arm from where she touched him. He pulled away from her and the feeling of warmth. His instincts might have been wrong, but he felt this would do him no good. He was also resentful that anyone would talk about healing his pain when he was just getting to grips with the fact that pain was in fact what he was feeling. It seemed rude to try and take something away from him when he was just beginning to understand it. Besides he wanted to have the pain right now. The pain of loss meant that he loved her and the more pain he felt the more he loved her.
“Why her?” He asked quietly. “Why not me?”
“You ask questions I cannot answer.” Eoster said, standing, coming closer to him “I was not sent to give answers, only comfort.”
She reached for his face, with the thought of laying his head against her ample breasts, but he pulled away from her. He didn’t want comfort at that moment he wanted answers. He would take comfort from answers. He would also take comfort from using the answers to make whoever had taken Shannon away from him give her back or pay. His face drew from her touch.
“I am in mourning.” The Weirdo said gently pushing her away from him.
“I have been sent.”
“Well I’m sending you back.” He said. “I wish to be alone if you please.”
“I will go then.” She said. “I can tell you one thing before I go though.”
“You were saved from being destroyed whether you believe it or not.”
“What do you mean?”
“You were built for something greater than this. If you had been there, you would have been destroyed and unable to help what is to come.”
“I would rather have her.” He said.
“I thought you would say that.” She said.
“I love her.”
“I know.” She said, “Just don’t forget what’s important.”
There was a golden glow that filled the room, and the Goddess was gone. All she left behind was the faint smell of roses in the air. The Weirdo looked at the space where the Goddess had stood and then his stare continued out into infinity.
Don’t forget what’s important. That was an absurd statement to make in his opinion. People always act like there is some greater good; that the sufferings of one person are to nothing in the grand scheme of things. As if by letting one person die you can save the lives of hundreds. People like this pissed him off fiercely. They were just lazy and unwilling to do what was necessary to save everyone. Any person who knew that someone could have been saved and chose not to for the greater good was either a coward or a liar. He had known what was important in life. There was only one thing important in the world.
He spoke softly, but loud enough for those who could hear to hear.
“She was important.”
© 2012 Autumn Knight Productions
You know how I know I’m not like the rest of you?
This right here…
When I watched that for the first time, I was just a kid, maybe 4 or 5 or 6 or 7.
It took me about as long as it takes Bambi to work out what just happened in that scene. I’d actually had to read what his father says to him, because for some reason I could never understand the voice. He speaks so soft and so low, that I’d never actually understood what he said when I was a kid. I got a copy of the script, or someone transcribed it in a book or something. I got the point of what he was saying though, Bambi’s momma had been got by those hunters. Hunters, incidentally, that would have been fucking HATED even by other hunters. You don’t shoot at a doe with a fawn… you just don’t.
When I worked out that the Corleone Family had taken a contract out on Bambi’s Mom and got Joe Pecsi to do her it, I wasn’t sad like everyone else. I’m serious, I’ve got the only dry eyes in house while an entire theater is crying like one big collective bitch.
I wasn’t sad though, I was impressed. I was seriously sitting there going “They killed his mom, they actually killed his mom. She’s not going to show up later with a limp and the remains of a plaid shirt in her teeth to show she got him in the end. She is just dead.”
I would like, for a moment, to remind you about GI Joe. In GI Joe, when a plane was blown up, they showed a guy parachuting away. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.* I noticed it during the first mini-series and once unseen I couldn’t unsee it. No one ever died in cartoons, not ever**. Then Bambi’s mom got it and I was aware by that time that no one ever died in a cartoon and it sort of blew my world. Later, Optimus Prime died and I realized that there was no such thing as invulnerable. It was an amazing thing, to know someone died. We didn’t see it, it’s not immediately apparent, but it was a thing and she died.
Only later did I discover that this is considered one of the most traumatic things that ever happened to anyone in the history of ever. I’d never thought ot it as a particularly sad or traumatic moment, but I know that there are people reading this, snotting into tear soaked hankies, demanding I just shut up because they can’t it anymore. This still sort of mystifies me, while I understand, I don’t fully get the emotional weight people give this moment.
I’m more interested in the fire, or in the discovery of Flower, or the amazingly fantastic art used in the movie.
*Don’t even get me started on the movie.
**The evil queen in Snow White not withstanding, but she was old and ugly when they whacked her, so it was okay.
I just saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand, I thought we were doing zombies today.
No, I mean it as a serious question. We’re not supposed to kill the children, because they’re just children. Yes, four of them got together and took down that lawyer from Pontiac, but we mustn’t hurt the little darlings. I mean, they only stalked, tumbled and killed a two hundred and eighty pound man and they’re just ripping his still steaming guts from his carcass and eating them raw as we speak. I’m sure if we give them a stern talking to they’ll cut all this Lord of the Flies bullshit and behave.
I’m thinking, and I might be crazy here, that those kids are unreachable and that perhaps whatever is motivating them is beyond our ken. Just a thought, one I had when the nine year old yanked his eye out of the socket ad popped it in her mouth. I can out run them, which is why we got away far enough to discuss the issue while still being close enough to hear the slippery sound of intestines being yanked from a body and scoffed into a mouth and swallowed whole. A sound, by the way, which it’s going to take a lot of booze to ever even come close to forgetting for even a few moments.
Yes, I am advocating putting the little monsters down. I don’t like the idea of them coming for us during the night, their little fingers working through whatever barricade we make and slowly pulling at the cracks until the larger ones can get in and help.
We are talking about the end of the world here. This isn’t a situation where we can skip off into the sunset, if for no other reason than because we are heading east.
You know, I really resent the phrase “What the hell is wrong with you?” particularly coming form someone who’s life I saved twice in two minutes. First, I save them from that second walker who came along while they were watching the lunatic. Then, after the lunatic had smashed the skull open, and started talking about how awesome the brains looked on the ground and wondered aloud about how fresh meat might look before swinging his rifle butt. When you decide to go all Platoon and try and see if you can get brains to splatter “more pretty” than you already have achieved, and you decide to kill a person to do it, then you’ve crossed the line.
Yes, I cut his legs off at the knees. Yes, I then cut his arms off at the elbows when he started picking himself up. I didn’t want him changing and being able to chase anyone. And I let him bleed out because he needed to understand that there are rules and there are limits. Also, I’m not going to directly kill anyone today. At least, not anyone who still is a person. Even that lunatic was a person. If he bled out from his wounds, that’s his problem. I didn’t try to kill him, I was just trying to defend people.
And what thanks do I get?
“What the hell is wrong with you?”
What’s wrong with me? I’m alive and intend to remain so? That seems to put me in a distinct minority, and one that everyone seems to be dead set against.