Category Archives: Movies

Slow Day at the Mental Office

And it’s not even noon yet…



This Just In: Bad Parents Off the Hook with New Marijuana Study

Good news for shitty parents everywhere. A new study has shown that marijuana users have abnormalities in their brains in the areas that control motivation and emotions. What does this mean for you as a less-than-perfect parent? Well, if your kid is a spoiled, entitled, unmotivated sociopath then good news is he’s probably a pot head.

There was really nothing you did wrong, horrible parents. Were you emotionally distant? Didn’t show your kid enough affection when they were growing up? Or maybe you pushed TOO hard, molding your kid to conform to your ideals until they resented you for it and began to crack? Did your kid grow up to be a cold, emotionless sociopath? There’s nothing wrong with that. Blame it on the drugs. And not just any drugs. Oh no, no. Forget about the effects that antidepressants have on the developing brain. Don’t pay any attention to the fact that nearly all of the mass shooters in the past twenty years were on prescription meds. Those drugs are perfectly safe and acceptable because they have billion dollar lobbyists influencing the incorruptible politicians that run our country. What’s really to blame here is pot. Yup. Pot.

We were warned about this decades ago with the release of the documentary film “Reefer Madness” which cataloged the ill effects that marijuana use has on the adolescent psyche. But we didn’t listen. Those damned hippies and blues musicians popularized it in the mainstream and our country has been suffering a steady decline ever since. Gone are the days of the self-motivated go getter. The times of the over-emotional pussy who bawls at the beauty of a sunset are long past. And left in their wake is the era of the unmotivated, entitled sociopaths. And it’s all because of marijuana. This news comes as a relief to awful parents everywhere.

“I’m so relieved,” sighed Terry T. 35, a mother of a 15 year old boy. “We’ve always given [Brian] everything he wanted. We fawned over him, inflated his ego and self-esteem and tried to show him that the world owed him everything simply because he was born.” But despite their aggressive parenting, Brian was acting strangely. “We noticed some attitude changes in Brian recently. Most notably a lack of motivation to do anything but play video games all day and scathing disrespect to anyone who upset him. My husband and I thought it could be us, but then we found the copy of “Dazed and Confused” in his Blu-Ray player and it all became clear. Our little angel was a pot head.”

But it’s not just adolescents being devastated by marijuana. Reginald Lee, a 65 year old construction worker, recalls his account with his 35 year old son.

“My boy has always been kinda kooky. You know, into reading and writing and all sorts of artsy shit. Anyway, he graduated college and got a job delivering pizzas. Telling me he refused to waste his life feeding a system that’s sole purpose was the subjugation of the human spirit or something like that. Of course I kicked his ass and made him go to work with me. Well, about two weeks into it, I caught him smoking a joint on his lunch break. At first I thought I was to blame somehow, but that didn’t stick well with me. I mean, I was only trying to raise the boy right. Then I heard about this study and it all made perfect sense. I did raise my boy right. It was the damn pot that turned him into a lazy good-for-nothing.”

In an era of rampant self-entitlement, emotional dullness bordering on the sociopathic and a near-catatonic lack of motivation, this study acts as a breath of fresh air for concerned parents everywhere. It’s not you.

It’s not the emotionally dulling drugs you put your kids on from the time they were toddlers. It’s not the lack of attention or even paying them too much attention. It’s not about buying into the lie that “everyone is a winner, hooray for participation trophies!” Nor does it have anything to do with society’s complete lack of accountability. Nay, good reader. Here in the modern world, it’s always someone or something else’s fault. And this time, thank God, it’s marijuana’s fault. So go back to what you were doing. Live your lives in blissful ignorance taking comfort in the fact that whenever scapegoats are needed, science is there to provide them for us.

Epically Awesome Award

Thanks Eric Keys for thinking I’m Epically Awesome enough for an award. I suppose I better make up…er, I mean LIST 1o awesome facts about myself.

1. Once, in the days before cellphones, I got a flat tire in the middle of the night. I had to walk to the nearest house and use the only phone they had: in the master bedroom which mom, dad and a whole gaggle of kids were sleeping in. No one even got out of bed.

2. My favorite baseball team is no longer a team. R.I.P. Montreal Expos. When I was a kid, I’d scour stores for Expos gear and hardly ever found any. Now, it’s apparently the choice gear of young thugs and I see it on every little miscreant with his pants sagging to his knees. Go figure.

3. I fix computers for a paycheck; but secretly, I hate computers.

4. On a road trip to Reno my buddies and I were running low on gas money. So when we stopped in Vegas on the way back, we elected the best gambler in the group to take the remainder of our funds and win us more at blackjack. He lost.

5.  On another trip to Vegas I was harassed by hookers when my friend mistook a business card for a “Private Exotic Dancer” to actually be a Private Exotic Dancer. When he figured out what was going on and sent the…uh…Private Dancer away, the agency kept sending more to the room on a sliding scale of looks. The final one looked something like a Norfin Troll.

6. Sometimes I cry at movies.

7.  I believe in magic and miracles. Or the magic of miracles. Or the miracle of magic.

8.  While at a bar in Chicago, I was approached by a Bachelorette Party on a scavenger hunt. They asked for my boxers. Thinking I was clever; I went into the bathroom, took them off and dipped them in the toilet. They took them anyway and bought me a drink.

9.  I enjoy ghost hunting/ paranormal investigating.

10. I believe in the power of the human imagination to either create the future or destroy it.

I hope those were epically awesome enough for ya’ll. Thanks again to Eric for nominating me. Here’s three to send on down the line:

Moments With Millie: Great poetry and insight. Good blog to read with morning coffee. 😀

Mere Inkling: Cool stuff and well written.

Words of Birds: Great poetry blog.


Spirited away
beyond the boundaries
of secret folklore.

Do you know of what I speak?

Whispers of soft velvet dreams
blanketing you with naked grace.

Three hundred and eleven eternities
inside the black liquid glass
that paves the road
into the heart of nightmares and waking visions.

Awake, you sleeping giants.

Jason DeGray 2012

This Just In! Pink Slime Attacks

Like a scene from The Blob, Manhattan, Kansas was attacked today by what has been dubbed “The Pink Slime Monster” after it broke out of a secret government laboratory.

It all started when McDonald’s quit using pink slime in their meat. What is pink slime? It’s less than healthy meat that is treated with ammonia and other things in order to make it “edible”.

You may be wondering the fate of all that extra pink slime meat. Well, the USDA purchased some 7 million pounds of it for school lunches. As disgusting as the thought is, TJI uncovered the truth behind the purchase and it’s even more horrific.

“It was all a ruse,” says ex-government official Randy Burke. “They weren’t using it for lunches at all. They were using it for experiments.”

When asked to elaborate, Burke explained, “Well the government plans to move the Plum Island facility to Kansas. Actually, they already did. Just failed to notify people about it.”

“What’s the Plum Island facility, for our readers who may be unaware.”

“It’s this place off the coast of N.Y. where they’ve been studying deadly animal and livestock diseases. Well they moved it inland, to Kanas.”

Burke claims that he, along with a team of scientists, engineers, and military personnel, were stationed at the currently top secret laboratory in Manhattan, Kansas where they were studying the effects and applications of various deadly bovine diseases.

“We figured, with the laboratory in Kansas, we’d have plenty of test subjects close at hand. You know how many cows we lose a year having them shipped to Plum Island?”

“No. How many?”

“17. And that’s a steady number. Anyway, after we heard about McDonald’s, we asked the USDA to purchase us a shit-ton of pink sludge.”

“What for?”

“That’s classified.”

Unfortunately, what happened when the pink slime arrived at the facility was impossible to classify. Combine chemically tainted pink meat-product with several strains of deadly cow diseases and you have a lot of bad beef karma in one place. That bad beef karma manifested as the Pink Slime Monster.

“What happened was Eugene, he’s a good guy, but a bit slow sometimes…Well anyway, Eugene put a bunch of pink slime crates right next to a tray of samples of Nipah Virus and Foot and Mouth Disease we were sending back to Plum Island. Then, Eric, his idiot brother-in-law, went to light up a cigarette and knocked the samples into the pink slime.”

The result was a B-movie nightmare come to life. Unknown chemical reactions animated the pink slime and gave it a voracious appetite.

“It ate Eugene and Eric first,” Burke informed TJI, “Then it went from room to room eating everything in sight. It just kept getting bigger and bigger! I barely made it out alive. You were the first people I called.”

“Thank you. TJI appreciates your loyalty to journalistic integrity and reporting the truth.”

“That isn’t the worst of it though.”

“Oh? What’s the worst of it?”

Note: Unfortunately, the interview was cut short when Burke died of what officials are calling a “spontaneous gunshot wound to the head”. After that things got a little pink and slimey. I barely made it out alive.

As for Manhattan, Kansas, officials at the Census Bureau are claiming no such place ever existed. They are also warning residents in nearby towns that in 1-3 days they too will never have existed. The rest of America is being asked to act as true patriots and reinforce the nonexistence of Kansas. Uncle Sam appreciates your denial.

Anyone for a cheeseburger?

What I Learned From the Sopranos

It’s true. I finally watched The Sopranos years after the series actually aired. And I have to say. It was genius. Here’s a few things I took away from the whole experience.

1. Barring a violent and untimely death, Gangsters will die of some horrible cancer or disease. This theme was all over the show. It ties into the deeper psychological themes underlying the characters’ motives. During one counseling session with Dr. Melfi Tony asks her something to the effect of, “What could be going on psychologically that would make someone’s back hurt?” Dr. Melfi lists the reasons, all dealing with repressed emotions. The repression of the emotions is what inevitably manifests later in the mobsters’ lives as a debilitating illness that reduces once-great figures to soulless husks before killing them off. Even Junior (Tony’s Uncle) battled cancer. After that didn’t kill him he fell into dementia and wasted away.

2. Real men don’t share their feelings. With the exception of Tony’s therapy, the Soprano crew was notoriously tight-lipped when it came to anything emotional. Again, this stems from the repression of these emotions in light of all the horrible things they do. They can’t dwell on it. Can’t cry about it. Only forget about it and move on. This makes mobsters naturally good parents and role models (Kindly note the sarcasm).

3. Mob wives will inevitably turn into mob widows. Seriously. Either they lost their husbands to death or prison. This hard fact was made abundantly clear.

4. Continuing from the previous point: Mob widows always get a severance package. Almost like a “thanks for playing” consolation prize. “We murdered your husband and destroyed your life. Forget about it. Here’s fifty grand.”

5. Children of organized criminals always end up riddled with psychological and emotional problems. Well duh. It’s a repeating cycle from one generation to the next. For reasons why see points 1, 2 and 3.

6. Therapy doesn’t work on criminals. Dr. Melfi spent most of the series in denial of Tony’s true nature. Every time doubt would tempt her to break off her relationship with Tony, she ultimately caved and accepted him back. She wanted desperately to help him even though in the back of her mind she always knew he was beyond reprieve.

7. Mobsters and nature don’t mix. From their Italian suits right down to their superfluous jewelry, every time any of the Soprano crew had to venture into the wilderness it was an unpleasant ordeal.

8. If you ever kill someone, they will haunt your dreams for the rest of your life. And while they’re haunting they’ll pop up in weird places, talk profound nonsense and/or ride in cars with Steve Buscemi.

9. Everybody has a price. If they don’t, destroy and/or kill them and take their stuff anyway. I can think of plenty of other organizations that run on this principle that don’t bear the dubious title of “Italian Mafia”. How many can you think of? I’ll give you a hint to get you started: My crow is soft.

10. Nobody ever “Forgets about it.” Oh, they’ll make you think they’ve forgotten about it. They’ll even smile and buy you a coffee when they see you out. But one day, out of the blue, you’ll be eating onion rings and everything goes black.

The Sopranos was rife with symbolism and metaphor all mixed together will healthy doses of psychobabble. I could write volumes on the depth of the show. But until that day comes, I’ll probably just forget about it.

Horror Movies and Chick Flicks

B: Call us…cowboys. But not in the genre sense of the word. We don’t wear cowboy hats…well, C does but that’s his thing. Call us…gunslingers. Not that we carry guns around righting wrongs, but there are many different types of bullets. Symbolically speaking. Call us…Worldly Savants. We’ve seen behind the Veil, in front of it and all around it. We’ve seen what’ll happen when that Veil is ripped to shreds and it’s not pretty. In case you haven’t noticed, it has started storming outside.

A: (enters) If this were a horror movie you’d die first.

B: You’re sorely mistaken. I’d be the Alpha Male hero.

A. Bullshit! You don’t even look Alpha Male!

C: (enters) What are you arguing about?

A. Who’d die first in a horror movie.

C: What kind of horror movie? Zombies? Vampires? Psycho killer?

A: Any and all. I’d come out on top.

B: Whatever. I’d outlive you in a zombie apocalypse on my worst day. And a psycho killer would come after you first because you talk the most shit. And the shit talker ALWAYS dies. And as for vampires, you don’t believe in them. You’d die out of rational ignorance. Looks like you suck after all.

A: Well I’d live through an alien invasion. I do believe in aliens.

B: Fine. Whatever. You can have the alien invasion. Take it. It’s yours.

C: Are you two done? I’ve got something important to tell you.

A: By all means, tell us.

C: I’ve met someone.

A: So? You’ve been internet dating for months now.

C: Yeah. Each and every encounter has ended in disaster. But this one was different.

B: How so?

C: Well it all started when I woke up this morning. I told myself, “Self, today you are going to meet someone.” And then I did.

B: Where?

C: The supermarket. We were both reaching for the same carton of organic milk.

A: Wow. We’ve moved from horror movies to chick flicks.

C: I hate you sometimes.

B: So tell us. How was your first date with Ms. Organic Milk?

C: Her name is Samantha. And it was great. If you take all the good traits of my bad girlfriends and put them together, you’d have Samantha.

A: Man, your life really is a chick flick.

C: Like yours isnt?

A: What’s that supposed to mean?

C: When did you take Dani out on your first date?

A: I really don’t see what that has to do with anything…

C: It has everything to do with everything. Now spit it out.

A: You already know this!

C: Yeah, but it means more when you say it.

A: February 14…

C: You asked your girlfriend out on Valentine’s Day and somehow you think your life isn’t a chick flick? C’mon! Christian Slater would play you in the movie!

A: It was a man move! And a smart one. You should always schedule major relationship events around special days. Makes them easier to remember.

C: (turns to B) What do you think? Is that a smart man move?

B: For sure. When I gave Jess’s cat to the pound and told her it got ran over, I did it on St. Patty’s Day. We cried about it for a while then went to the bar and celebrated Kitty’s memory. It was a bonding experience.

C: How could you do somehting like that?

B: Easily. I got tired of being attacked in my sleep by that black fuzzball of pure evil. And Jess’s excuse of, “Oh she just gets like that sometimes,” wasn’t cutting it anymore.

A: Ha! Brilliant!

C: Kinda cold, actually.

B: Cold would’ve been running it over myself, telling her some teenager in a Mustang did it and then showing her the corpse. At least the cat can spend it’s remaining lives in a house with a loving family.

C: Unless it doesn’t get adopted and they have to gas it.

B: I see the PETA sticker on your window wasn’t left there by the previous owners.

Movies I Liked: Drive

I thought I’d never forgive Ryan Gosling after “Blue Valentine”. I thought I’d never be able to sit through one of his crappy movies again. Then along came “Drive” and now I don’t want to punch the guy in the face (as much) anymore.


Drive” follows the Driver (Gosling) as he tries to make right with some gangsters so he can protect his girl. It’s the usuaI duffle bag full of money, car chases and flying bullets moviegoers have come to expect from the genre. I know, you’ve seen this movie a hundred times. But you haven’t seen it like this.

There’s a slew of awesome actors in this movie: Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman and Christina Hendricks (whose death will haunt your dreams later). Oh, and I guess there’s Ryan Gosling, too.

Gosling doesn’t have much dialogue and that’s alright by me. He talked plenty in that other unmentionable movie. To make up for his lack of dialogue, he walks or drives around beating the shit out of a whole colorful cast of gangsters including (Ron Perlman). In case you were wondering, not once during the entire movie did Ron turn into Hellboy. Which is kind of sad because I was really hoping for a Hellboy cameo in a Ryan Gosling movie. I was disappointed when it wasn’t in BV because that movie needed Hellboy to save it from itself. While I wasn’t happy with this sans-Hellboy situation, I was too distracted by “Drives” intense violence to let it seriously irk me.

Which brings me to the intense violence. This movie is chock full of blood, fists and bullets. And all of that can be a bit jarring. It’s not like watching a horror movie. You’re expecting blood and gore to be flying all over the place. But in Drive, the violence acts as a character itself. It is necessary. Gosling’s character doesn’t start out as a gangster killing badass. He drives cars for the movies, steals a few on the side and is pretty much your typical black hat with a white heart. But once things start going wrong and Gosling gets caught up trying to protect his neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her young son, he starts sliding head first into a dark pit.

The violence acts as a wedge between Gosling and any hope of a normal life with Irene and Benicio. Irene is horrified by what the Driver is doing (despite the fact he’s doing it to protect her and her son) and any affection she has toward him quickly dissipates.

Meanwhile, there’s no turning back for the Driver. Once Gosling kills a couple of gangsters he’s in it for the long haul, despite his best attempts to make things right and step away. There is no escaping the violence. Thus, while the violence acts as a wedge between him and a normal life, it also acts as a driving force that pushes him through his struggles and ends up saving his life.

All in all, this movie grabbed me. Unexpectedly, even. I actually set aside the blog I was writing because I was too engrossed by what was going on. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an excellent dark, disturbing story come from Hollywood. Watching the Driver stroll around in his blood splattered scorpion jacket administering vigilante justice to the evil was just what I needed to get the machismo pumping.

Good on you, Ryan Gosling. Good on you.

Movies That Should Have Been Awesome: In Time

I gave this movie a try because the concept was cool. Let me be more specific, the concept was cool in the preview. Time is currency. Everybody stops aging at 25 and gets one more year to live. That’s neato. But in the movie the concept is never clearly explained and actually becomes more confusing. For instance, how exactly is time taken off of people’s lives? How is it transferred into currency and a person’s life span added or subtracted to? The mysteries of their universe remain unsolved and make it harder to suspend the necessary belief.


The story unfolds through a bold display of alpha maleness that scores Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) a century’s worth of time from a rich guy who had grown tired of living. Said rich guy also informs JT of the whole conspiracy of the Rich to subjugate the poor and suck the life out of them so they could live forever. He then rushes to meet his mother whose clock is quickly running out.

By the way, JT’s relationship with his “mother” is just plain weird. Like, Stephen King’s ‘Sleepwalkers’ creepy. For one, she’s hot and they look exactly the same age. It’s skeevy. They are both “25”, though his mother is supposed to be fifty. I was literally uncomfortable in my own living room watching the interaction between the two. All I could think was, he probably banged her in his trailer between takes and then had to call her “mom”. I may have thrown up in my mouth a little.

But when JT’s Oedipal fantasy is cut short (he was seriously crying in the rain when momma ran out of time) I saw a glimmer of hope. He wins some money…er time, meets a girl and kills some people in a burst of machismo all while dodging the time cops. And throughout it all was cardboard dialogue that would’ve made Bruce Campbell proud.

The underlying themes were worthy of a dystopian sci-fi adventure. Time=Money=Life. Rich vs. Poor class war. But the good times didn’t last. The story morphed into a Robin Hood meets Bonnie and Clyde catastrophe that left nothing to the imagination. It was as predictable as an N’Sync video and twice as annoying.

This troubles me. I thought action sci-fi was ironclad. I thought nothing could ruin it no matter how cheesy it got. I thought that if this titan of genres could survive the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ashton Kutcher, Wynona Ryder and Vin Diesel that it would endure Justin Timberlake. I have been proven wrong. And I feel horrible that I was once again duped by tricky editing and clips of way-too-skinny hot chicks into wasting Microsoft Points.

This just in! Giant UFO spotted over Dallas. Mini ships stop at Starbucks for lattes

The scene in Dallas today was one of awe mixed with fear as a giant alien mothership appeared over the metro area, casting the entire DFW area in a large shadow. Residents turned from curious to desperate when the mothership began dispersing smaller ships.

At first, the smaller ships zipped around as if they were scouting the area. Then one pulled into a Starbucks drivethru and ordered a mocha latte.

“It was gross!” states Mandy who served the alien customers. “They were all slimy and skinny looking. And they didn’t even tip!”

Shortly after that incident, things with the mothership turned hostile. The smaller ships began opening fire on the city.

“It looked like something out of a Will Smith movie. Them ships started sucking people up like vacuums!” said eyewitness Jenny Schmidt seconds before she was vacuumed into a ship.

Oddly, the only places to escape the total destruction of the metro area were Starbucks. Every last one was spared from being blasted into pieces. A statement released by our new alien overlords clarifies this:

“Slaves of Earth, hear our decree. We didn’t intend to conquer your planet. In truth, we were on our way through your galaxy to conquer another when we picked up a radio signal that advertised your ‘coffee’. Intrigued, we decided to see what was so special about these ‘lattes’ you slaves are obsessed with. Let it be known: They are delicious. After tasting several varieties of latte, we have decided to absorb your planet into the Scizzian Empire. Your planet will be mined for its delicious coffee resources and turned into a giant Starbucks where you slaves will serve your masters with friendly smiles! That is all.”

Indeed it is. Welcome to hell, earthlings.

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