Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Why I Love Football So Much (But Possibly Not Enough)

There are few things that hurt a Patriots fan as much as actually losing.  You become so immune to the concept that it can actually happen, that when it does it's devastating.  It's really not fair of them to their fans to win all the time.  But they do.  So when (for the second time) that little rat shit Eli beats us in the Super Bowl, it's not uncommon to see Pats fans literally suicidal.  But there's something even worse than that, I'm finding:
Actually feeling like you'd be better off as a Cardinals fan. 
A quick digression:
I remember the first time Satan (Eli) beat us in the Super Bowl (on a fucking fluke.  Both times.  In fact, I'm no longer going to say Eli beat us, because he is not, and will never be, Tom Brady).  I sat in stunned silence, staring at the television, unable to understand what the "Super Bowl Champions" T-shirts were doing on the wrong team.  Then, once it had begun to sink in, I became enraged.  This had to be a mistake.  There was no way.  I searched for that one thing that ruined it: my son had been allowed to stay up and watch the whole game - for the first time.  That wretched little bastard had jinxed us!  Then, just before my hands closed around his neck, I remembered how fond I am of him, and stopped.  Finally was the call to my dad, to ask if anything this traumatic had ever happened to him.  He explained to me that it was just a game.  I told him it wasn't just a game.  It was eighteen games, and couldn't he understand that?  Or was he just stupid?
If I hadn't been heavily intoxicated, I think what I would have said was: "How could they do this to me?"
Because that's what is so wonderful about sports, and so terrible about me: it's really all about me.
Fast forward to a few years later, much of that time spent on the west coast.  They rarely ever play Patriots games on the west coast.  Sure, I could invest the Mustang in a football package so I could see every game, jack myself into the stream like it was using me as a battery, and let it flow.  I could smoke Red Zone and sit on my couch, eyes bleeding from the constant snap back and forth between games, trying to give a quarter of a shit about any BUT the Pats game.  I could do those things, but I just never have.  Instead I tuned most of it out, because I didn't get to follow my team.
And it's all about me.  (I think I mentioned that, but I put it in there anyway because I never get tired of talking about me.)
In fact, it's so bad that I went to the Chargers' game on Saturday, and I didn't even watch that game (thank God.  It was a bad joke).  I just kind of hung out with thirty thousand other people, drinking beer.  I don't know who they played.  I think I screamed in joy twice - both times the cheerleaders were on the field, not the players.
But, check it: My step brother wrangled me into Fantasy Football this year.  Because he needed the teams and I thought: "Hey, I can make football about me again!" (This would partially explain the Chargers' game.  See, throughout the amazing spectacle around me, I spent most of my time refreshing the scoreboard on my phone, watching my fantasy team.)
And so, I created my team (Whiskey Joe's Pigskin Pros) and got to work.  But something was off, because these guys really love football.  They know everything about the players, the teams, everything.  And not just their teams, but every team.  We were doing the draft and they're going "Why would you get him?  He's injured" or "Shit man, never pick a wide receiver in the first round!"
Stuff like that.  So now I'm losing my shirt, and I'm all pissed off.  And I'm talking to my cousin at the Chargers' game (refresh) and I look over at the scoreboard and they're listing all of the scores and I see the fucking Cardinals have dominated again.  After beating the Patriots in week two.  (If you must know: AZ 3 - 0 NE 1 - 2)  And I'm like "Mother fucker!"
God damn.
Am I going to have to become a Cardinals fan?  I mean, I live in Arizona.  But I grew up in New England.  Can I?  Should I switch allegiance?
I don't think I can.  But I can do two things: One, I'm going to draft Kolb onto my fantasy team.  Whiskey Joe's Pigskin Pros are getting that fantastic fucker if it's the last thing we do.  And two: I'm going to get back in to football.  I'm going to immerse myself in all of it.  Everything.
I'm going to love it again.
Maybe, just a little less than I love me.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Conversation With A Character

To celebrate the closing of Outpost Season One with the release of Part Two of the Finale, I sat down with one of the breakout characters in the franchise, Phillip Craig:
DW: Hey, Phil, how's it going?
PC: Good, Damien, how's it?
DW: Pretty good.  I can't remember the last time the excitement around Finnean Nilsen Projects was this high.  Everyone's really pumped to have the first season out there, working hard on putting the box set together, and preparing to dive in to the prequel, Camp 417.  I wanted to ask you some questions and try to give the readers a bit more insight into you and the part you play in Season One and maybe what's in store for you in Season Two.
PC: You can ask and I'll do my best to answer, but believe me, man, these white devils don't tell me shit.
DW: You're white.
PC: Yeah.
DW: So... Why would you call them "white devils"?
PC: I've always wanted to use that line.  Besides, just because I'm white doesn't make them any less pasty pale or demonic.
DW: Gotcha.  Alright, let's get started.  You're introduced in Episode Two.  When were you first signed to be a part of this series?
PC: They recruited me as cannon fodder about a week before the production of the Pilot started.  They called me in and said, "We'd be interested in working with you on a zombie project we're producing."  I held up my hand and said I was in.  Man, I didn't give a shit what else they had to say, I had heard all I needed to hear: zombie.  Done.  I was sold.
DW: But you say you were "cannon fodder," how did it happen that you're still around, now going into Season Two?
PC: The beauty and the fun of working with these guys is that you never know what's going to happen next.  They recruited me as a throwaway character, just the guy to be standing next to Chris when he was delivering a line.  Somewhere, as we went through, they decided to keep me around.  Honestly, man, every week I would go into it expecting to get my intestines shown to me.  It just never happened.  And there's still a few guys that did get the long goodbye and are still walking around here, so I'm not sure they ever let us out of our series-long contract.
DW: You say there's still guys walking around that got killed?  Are they zombies?
PC: I probably already said too much.  The last thing I want to do is piss these fuckers off.
DW:  Okay.  How has your life changed since becoming such an integral part of a major series release?
PC: I'm getting a lot more ass, for starters.  But, still, for me it's all about the zombies.  Zombie killing is my first love, man, and you never really lose your first love.  If by some quirk of fate I end up settling down and my little lady pops out a little Romero or Mikami...
DW: Romero?  Mikami?
PC: First born Romero.  Second Mikami...
DW: Again, Mikami?
PC: He made Resident Evil.  Third Tallahassee.  Fourth... Probably Phil Jr.
DW: You plan on having four boys?
PC: Who the fuck said anything about them all being boys?  Anyway, even if that happened, I'd just call us the Craig Kill Clan and we'd travel the world killing zombies.  It's what I do.  It's who I am.  And you can't hide from who you are, Joey.
DW: My name's Damien.
PC: Noted.
DW: Alright, that reminds me: Do you think video games, movies and television have desensitized you to the violence you've seen in Season One?
PC: I think it prepared me for the violence.  Honestly, man, do you think I'd be here today if I didn't have a copy of Max Brooks' book stuffed down my pants?  I don't go anywhere without it, and it's saved my life more time than you can count.
DW: But some critics have said that you go beyond surviving.  Some have even called you sadistic.
PC: Some critics have called for your book, the Contagion to be burned, man, and pointed out that the kindle's search function maxed out at a hundred uses of the word "fuck" two thirds in.
DW: On a different subject...
PC: I'm not complaining, man, I'm just saying.  I thought it was fucking awesome.
DW: PETA has released a statement...
PC: Man, fuck PETA.  It was one cat.  I swear to God.  You save an entire prison, and kill one cat, they call for your head.  I've got enough to worry about without you bringing up PETA.  In fact, fuck this interview.
DW: Just one last question, and then I'll let you go: can you give us anything, any hint at all as to what the prequel, Camp 417, will be?
PC: Again, man, they don't tell me shit.  But, I can tell you two things I picked up around the office: 1. It's gonna be fucking epic.  Ryan said, and I quote: "We're going to mind fuck this entire genre."  And 2. I've been seeing a lot of Nazis walking around...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Let Stupid People Die

How have you been?
Sorry it's been so long since I checked in, but I've been busy.  We've got this new episodic ebook series out called Outpost.  The first season is almost in the bag, with the Season Finale this Thursday.  But soon after we'll have the entire first season out in a box set with some damn cool special features.  Thanks, we worked pretty hard on it.  Trying to get a new Damien Wright book out, but the bastard's been dragging his feet.  So, yeah, how about you?
I'm sorry?
No, I get it, it's been a long time.  I wasn't looking for a fucking guilt trip.  Jesus.  I just checked in to say Hi and talk about something I'm passionate about:
It's called Let Stupid People Die.
Every summer here starts the same.  The Parker Float.  This is where tens of thousands of people get together, get in the water, get drunk and float for a few hours.  And every year (basically) some asshole gets himself drowned.  And every year (basically) it's the same story: John Q. Dumbass went on the float.  Got trashed.  Decided to swim across the river - the Colorado Fucking River - to see some of his friends over there.  Yeah.  Smart.  Did he where a life jacket?  Of course not.  Only sailors where life jackets, baby.  His flotation device of choice is a premixed bag of margaritas.
I have nothing against premixed margaritas, please understand, but when I'm in the middle of the Colorado Fucking River and I'm drowning more fluid would seem to me to be a bit redundant.
And then we get the news stories.  Everyone ringing their hands: "Oh, poor, poor thing.  You know he had kids?  A wife and four kids.  Poor, poor family, now without a father.  Why do we do this every year when people keep dying?"
My response is always the same: "Shit!  He had four fucking kids?  Couldn't he have done the world a solid and died before having kids?  Now we're going to have to deal with their stupid asses and then their kids and so on.  One day, I'm going to driving down the road, and I'm going to see some fucking retard driving the wrong way on the highway and say 'What a fucking idiot!' and it's going to be his little carpet munchers, all grown up."
It's like a fucking plague of stupidity, and it's spreading like wild fire.  And we encourage this.  We legislate for it.  We spend millions of dollars every year on warnings and ad campaigns: "Make sure little Joey wears his helmet.  That's a choking hazard.  Oh, that toy has lead paint!"
There was a time when people believed in Natural Selection.  If the parent was dumb enough to give the kid - who sticks everything in his mouth - a marble the size of a jaw breaker, when the little shit choked to death we all sighed a collective sigh of relief: "That fucker shouldn't have had kids anyway.  We just got saved from seventy years of dealing with that little moron."
Now the parents sue, and the company goes out of business.  And then no other idiot's children die, and then twenty years later one of them makes a left from the right lane and takes out a family of brain surgeons.  And then everyone says "Oh, what a terrible, tragic accident..."
It wasn't an accident, it was an act of God.  It was God or Allah or Mother fucking Nature or whoever reminding us that we really never needed that vapid waste of fucking space anyway.  That's why I don't see why abortions cost money.  If the person has enough money to pay for an abortion, they're doing something right.  Rich people do something to get that way.  In fact, the way it should be is: if you can afford an abortion, you can't have one.  Only poor people get to kill their kids.  Poor people do something to get that way, too.  The world doesn't need less rich people.  They should be passing out birth control to poor people like fucking skittles.  I'm not arguing against upward mobility, I'm saying: once they make it out of the ghetto, take the birth control away.  They're keepers.  Every pregnancy test should be accompanied by an IQ Test.
If you fail either, we have a problem.
Clear out the stragglers.
Trim the fat.
And, for fuck's sake, if we mess up and let one be born: Please, Let Stupid People Die...