5 Reasons You Should Let Me Come to Your Kid’s Birthday Party

Here in Rochester we only have so much time to enjoy ourselves during the day. Between work, drinking, and nodding off in the passing lane of 390, we don’t have a lot of time to really enjoy ourselves. But our kids? Those little shits are smiling 24-7.

Take your son, Brendan. I’ve seen that kid run up and down the block with his little gaggle of barely double digit friends without a care in the world. Water gun fights, playing pretend, lego battles, this kid’s got entertainment flying out of every part of him.

Plus, I know his birthday is coming up, so maybe consider throwing little ol’ me a bone and let me hang out at your kids birthday party.

Whoa! Hey whoa c’mon, here are 5 reasons why you really don’t have to call the police right now.

1: I am super lonely– I get why you thought it was a sexual thing, creepy guy next door, watches your kids a lot, but I’m not trying to plow any kids here. House arrest gets lonely and after a couple weeks of guilt racked thought you just need to get out. Plus the range on my ankle bracelet ends at the back of your yard, so-

2: Sara is still in a coma– Look, when I nodded off after smashing half a needle of the good stuff blasting down 390 how was I supposed to know that we would crash and my sweet Sara would fall into a coma? C’mon, I need a little pick me up.

3: I promise I won’t touch your kids– Please, please i just want to be near some fun. I wont look at them, I wont talk to them, hell, I can just hang out with all of the adults there! Just to talk and meet some of the neighbors and maybe make some friends.

4: Before you ask, Ill probably bring some heroin to your kids party– Absolutely, without a question of a doubt. It’s not a party until we break out the Brown Sugar amirite?

5: I could also bring your kid like, a gift or something– Look, I can’t physically leave my house to an extent. I have some ash trays and a Gideon Bible I stole from a hotel I could part with, but other than that I’m just bare bonesing it right now.

So? What do you say? I know your kids birthday was like a month ago, but wouldn’t he be stoked for another party? You ready to have a failing 38 year old give your kids, and the neighbor kids, hard lessons on life while dipping in and out of consciousness?

Please don’t. No put the phone down…ugh. Well its not a violation of parole to just ask  now is it?!

Americas Nightmare in Detroit: A Comparison of It Follows and Don’t Breathe-PART 3

So as we’ve been dissecting, its probably become pretty clear which movie I liked more. Don’t Breathe, in my opinion, offers a more engaging story, has a better and well crafted atmosphere, a more relatable set of main characters, and a “monster” who has clearly defined motivations which all add to making it a thrilling watch. IT FOLLOWS had the grace of a interesting premise and a lot of fanfare leading up to its release, but ultimately fell short in terms of actually being scary.

PART 3: ESCAPE! and cliffhangers

But the lasting effect of a horror movie isn’t what it does to you in the theater, it’s what happens after you leave. A good horror movie stays with you, and ultimately keeps scaring you long after its over.

A movie like John Carpenters The Thing makes you wonder if you can really trust anyone who is close to you, and thats scary. A Nightmare on Elm Street makes you wonder what might happen to you while you are helpless and asleep, and thats scary. Texas Chainsaw Massacre makes you wonder if people are capable of that level of destruction and cruelty, and that is scary.

Don’t Breathe and IT FOLLOWS use their endings to leave the audience with a “what if” scenario. The main characters have gotten away and the events of the movie have passed, but something on screen tells us its not quite over yet.

Continuing the trend and starting with Don’t Breathe, it gives you a couple of “what if” scenarios. Could a home become a prison? What can cause a man to go insane? What would you do to escape the life you have? Those three “what if’s” alone set a pretty powerful mood for the audience to leave with after the credits roll. But I have to say that the cliffhanger ending was mostly just boring.

We end with our main character Rocky in the airport with her little sister. They got the money from the house, Rocky took her sister from their terrible mom and her boyfriend with swastika tattoos, and they are escaping to California. Yay! Happiness! Which they then turn over by having her look at a news report on TV saying that The Blind Man survived his injuries sustained while Rocky was escaping his house.

Its just lazy. I mean, news stories are a convenient way to display information, but they could have done it with much more grace. Show her paranoia by seeing shadowy figures lying just out of sight. Have her actively being wanted by the police for breaking and entering. Have her little sister ask her where she got the money just so we can see her fear flash back to her nightmarish time in The Blind Man’s house, something other than a lazy, wrap up, cookie cutter cliffhanger.

Moving on from that, IT FOLLOWS‘ ending is a bit different. And I know ive been hating on IT FOLLOWS a lot through these articles, and it’s ending is definitely a changing point in how I talk about it.

The ending of IT FOLLOWS  made me absolutely loathe this movie with all of my soul. It was the worst part in a stream of not so great horror.

So the kids in IT FOLLOWS trap the monster in a pool and shoot it in the head. Big whoop, nobody cares. Then, after all of that, the nerdy boy and the main girl (Jay? who cares anymore) bone down something fierce. Why? Why are neither of them scarred by the very notion of intimate contact? Who knows, and you can bet the writer sure didn’t. Then, THEN, they have the audacity to show them wearing all white and holding hands while walking down the street, like some Virgin Mary purity horse shit. This symbolism would have worked if they had A) done anything in the movie, and B) Had ANY OTHER SYMBOLISM LIKE THAT throughout the movie. In a show of what I can only assume was a massive misunderstanding of how movies work, they just through this fucking “lost sheep from the flock” imagery right at the fucking last shot of the movie, then smash cut to black when you see someone walking behind them.

ooooooh, somebody was walking behind them, they might be being followed! No, nobody cares at this point. If you had kept with the paranoia, shame, and trauma of contracting a deadly STD, then this ending might have had a more lasting effect. Now, the only reason I remember it is the white hot hatred I feel whenever I think of IT FOLLOWS.

Don’t Breathe had the lasting effect of being a well crafted horror experience, and there was a lot that it gave you that you could think about after the fact. Hell, after I saw it I felt like going home and talking about it, and thats a cool effect for a movie to have. It was well thought out, well executed, and despite some minor opinions i have about it, I think it was a grade A horror movie!

IT FOLLOWS was sci-fi channel plot wrapped around a tragically interesting premise and marketed as the next huge thing in indie horror. Spoilers: it was the blair witch, it was trying oh so hard to be 80’s John Carpenter, and it never had a pace established to actually keep me interested.

I openly and unashamedly hate the movie IT FOLLOWS.

And that pretty much brings to a close this comparison! Obviously I have some pretty strong opinions towards one of the movies over the other, but if nothing else I hope you got to enjoy a dissection of some recent horror films, learned something new, and maybe even agreed with some of my vitriol.

America’s Nightmare in Detroit: A Comparison of It Follows and Don’t Breathe-PART 2

So to recap a bit, we’re looking at two horror movies, Don’t Breathe and IT FOLLOWS, comparing them. All of the claims, are of course, my own opinion. If you have followup points to each part defending or attacking one or the other please PLEASE do it in the comment section.

Also be warned, SPOILERS ARE AHEAD

Now in this part, we aren’t so much looking at the separate film’s stories and setting as we are the genre scares and the monsters in each movie. How do they try to scare us?

PART 2-What Makes Good Horror and Better Monsters

In looking at horror movies today, it’s pretty easy to spot which beats exist to make you jump out of your seat (at least try to make you jump out of your seat). Leads up to jump scares, musical crescendos, eerie low frequencies, all designed to surprise you or make you feel uneasy. But there is an area that a lot of horror movies neglect, which is making sure that the situation is one that makes everyone feel fear.

It Follows and Don’t Breathe one similar horror theme within both of their respective stories. That theme is-

The monster knows where you are, but you don’t know where it is.

It Follows takes a pretty direct approach by having a monster that is following you to exactly where you are. Don’t Breathe places the characters in the house of a deranged blind man who can hear and feel where you are on his home turf.

I think Don’t Breathe’s situation gives it a much more tense feel. We are finding out about this house the same as the characters, and the deranged blind man knows it by heart, feel, sound, and smell. This helps the audience relate to the characters as they explore and act surprised when the deranged blind man catches them off guard. He knows the house better, and is able to use that to his advantage. All of this, coupled with a varied and chaotic soundtrack and jump scares that felt right

Which, just for a moment, there is a good way to do jump scares. Are they usually cheap? Yes absolutely, which is why they rely on a buildup of tension to act as a release. There is a reason people usually go “aw here comes the jump scare” right before the jump scare, it’s a predictable end. What’s the good way to do jump scares? There is a scene where Alex, one of the robbers, is coming back into the house after getting freaked out. He is walking down a hallway slowly when the blind deranged guy comes wheeling from behind the corner and passes Alex, having not seen him.

There is no lead up to the scare itself, but we as the audience knew that the blind guy was walking around. We knew that Alex was entering the house. This wasn’t a fabricated buildup using non-diegetic (outside of the film’s world) music. There was very little music in fact. It was all made tense by context clues from scenes and shots before and cut together in a way that made the eventual crossing paths inevitable but we weren’t sure when or how. Thats how you can make a jump scare feel right. Present the information in a way that builds the tension for the audience as they engage in your movie trying to anticipate for something, but they aren’t quite sure why.

-But coupled with its chaotic soundtrack and its varied jumps and frights that felt just so good, brought a huge amount of natural tension to the film which carried all the way until its end. There was no break from the unease and anxiety, which helps make it an amazingly good experience, let alone a good horror film.

It Follows‘ monster basically just has the supernatural ability to find you. Which, when I first saw the trailers for it, I was super excited! It sounds like the groundwork for immediate tension: You are being hunted and it is going to find you. What do you do?

Unfortunately and even shockingly, nothing. The film was paced in such a way as the slow to a crawl at some points then bounce to kill-fuck levels of intensity at random points. It never really kept the threat of the monster going until it was right there. There is definitely an argument that for having a shock factor the random bouts of intensity could work, but not when you show the main protagonist the fucking monster and tell them to watch out for it in the beginning of the movie. This means that the character should be a paranoid wreck throughout the film. SHE SAW THE FUCKING THING COMING FOR HER, SHE KNOWS (dun dun dun) THAT IT’S FOLLOWING HER. And she does nothing but be moody at her friends, moody at the fact that there is a monster, and then scared when it eventually shows up.

Now as a counter to my own argument, It Follows could be much scarier when viewed as the traumatic experience of getting a disease like HIV or AIDS. That parallel of something lurking around waiting to kill you is a reality for a lot of people, and could have been generally terrifying, as well as a poignant look at the emotional effects of getting a deadly STD.

Except that doesn’t happen. It could have, and you could argue it, but that isn’t what happens. Instead we get 2 hours of nothing punctuated by predictable beats of shoot to thrill with an ending that see’s our characters shoot the monster in the head with a gun.

The film’s mood is barely ever there. It says it is supposed to be scary, and there is one really well done jump scare that got me to physically lift from my seat:

In almost exactly the same vein as the one from Don’t Breathe. The Antagonist just appears unexpectedly, which creates an amazing jump scare and rise in tension. But to keep the tension going, you need an antagonist that presents a constant and ever-present threat to the main characters.

Before I move on to monsters, here is a mini section called

SOUNDTRACKS and HORROR

Hey, you know what had a great horror soundtrack of minimalist ambient noises punctuated by a truly chilling orchestral score? Well it certainly wasn’t the movie with this John Carpenter wannabe noise music trash playing in it:

Okay to be fair I actually listen to a couple of songs from this soundtrack pretty regularly. It’s really good synth/electro music at points. But at certain points the score is so overbearing with its presence that it drowns out the actions of the movie and the only thing you can focus on is the music. That’s not good horror, that’s a music video. Never have your music take center stage unless you are doing it to make a point. During no part of IT FOLLOWS did i feel like they need more than just some ambient tension music. Something the audience can hear but not immediately respond to as “Hey, music!” because the movie should be holding their attention. Don’t Breathe not only had a better score, but the way they used it made it more in compliment to the visuals and story than just standalone noise that overtook the film itself.

BACK TO MONSTERS

Ohhhh goody-goody.

Many horror movies have monsters, or characters that have monstrous intentions. Don’t Breathe and IT FOLLOWS are no exceptions. I would argue that the best movie monsters are twisted versions of ourselves. The Thing had the aliens that could mimic you just about right and turn you into a monstrosity. Texas Chainsaw Massacre had Leatherface. Pontypool has a virus that spreads through language turning people into killers. And, well, all zombies.

Don’t Breathe has The Blind Man. Thats his character name, and I’m going to tell you why I’m glad. Every good movie monster has something human about them. Whether its the shape of a hand or a face that looks kind of like a person, we are able to put a little bit of humanity onto every monster, which makes it scarier in my opinion. The rest is this detached inhumanity that we can’t connect with. This detachment is what makes us, instinctually, feel fear. How did they do it in Don’t Breathe? The Blind Man’s eyes.

Now it should be said that blind people aren’t creepy, they are people with the misfortune of losing their sight by accident or by birth complications.

BUT HOLY FUCK LOOK AT THIS DUDE’S EYES

His story is that he is a veteran of the gulf war and had his eyesight taken by grenade splinters. y’know, shrapnel. After a series of events, his daughter was killed by a rich woman who was driving recklessly, and was denied justice but received a large settlement out of court to keep hush hush. He now lives alone, broken both by a war and by an unjust death.

So now I bet your like “Why the fuck are they robbing this poor dude? his life ain’t exactly been on the up and up!”

Now here is why I brought up the eyes and his name. We as people have an instinctual ability to spot changes on other people. Sometimes for the worst, but it developed to see deformities that could be harmful when we were hunter gatherers. More importantly, eyes help us connect with other people. Looking people in the eyes allows us to have a stronger connection with them. What happens when you look into The Blind Man’s Eyes? You cant connect. It removes you from being able to really connect with him because there is a physical blockage making him seem inhuman, but he is a person. His motivations make him a monster however, and his blindness prevents us from seeing him as a person, and adding severity to every act of violence and sadism he makes. Hence, he has no name. He is purely The Blind Man, less human, and more monster.

So to combat this injustice he kidnapped the woman who killed his daughter and has chained her in the basement and impregnated her. This, coupled with the trauma of his time in the war, has made him a paranoid shut in intent on getting a new child and releasing the woman once she has given him one. Yup, 180 degree change on this home boy.

Actually one of the most fucked parts of the movie is when he makes a point to explain that he didn’t rape her to impregnate her, and that he isn’t one of those filthy rapists. He then takes out a vial of frozen semen, heats it up, and sucks it into a fucking turkey baster. This took him from bad guy to immediate fucking psychopath.

The only argument I would have against The Blind Man was that he talked. It was like it was trying to make it so that we could see his reasoning for his actions, but it would have been much scarier if he just performed his actions in the same way without words. Just carrying out his awful, terrible deed like a machine, never once needing to justify himself.

IT FOLLOWS has a much more supernatural entity who, as I’ve described before, is a sexually transmitted demon thing that follows you and eventually kills you. It can disguise itself as anyone just to get closer to you, and not matter how far you run it will find you.

That is a super scary concept! You know what is the opposite of scary? This:

Walking at you at the speed of a molasses covered turd. In the movie, the monster transforms into a bunch of different forms. Here is a list of some of  them, and go ahead and let me know if any of them sound like “can disguise as anyone to get close to you”:

An old lady in a high-school

The same old lady on a street corner

A beat up girl peeing herself in the main character’s kitchen

A really tall guy

A small child with holes for eyes

A dad I think?

And exactly NONE of these things were previously shown to indicate any kind of similarity to someone the main character knew. The ONLY TIME it was someone one of the characters knew, the monster disguised itself as the mom of one of the girl’s friends that she passed it on to. Thats also the only time we actually see it do anything.

If you are going to have a monster with those powers, fuck with our heads a little bit. Create an atmosphere of distrust leaving the audience just as confused as the main character. And for god sakes, who the fuck thought it was a good idea to have those as the forms of the monster?! The most immediately noticeable people are the monster, which not only kills any tension but is just fucking lazy. Put a little love into your story and make it harder to spot the fucking thing, that way the scares can be genuinely shocking as trust breaks down for the main character as she tries to piece together who is her friend, and who the monster is mimicking just to get closer to her.

IT FOLLOWS suffers from a very common problem with a lot of lazy horror movies, in that it never has any established constraints. The Entity from it follows starts out with a loose couple of monster rules: It going to follow you, it is going to take the shape of anyone, and it isn’t going to stop until you are dead. It then proceeds to take only a handful of forms during the movie (all of which stick out like a sore fucking thumb), walk at the pace of a molasses covered snail, and it isn’t very good at killing people. The rules they do have are scary in a base way, but without putting care into how your monster uses these rules means you have to keep creating reasons for it to be scary and for the heroes to be threatened.

The Blind Man on the other hand is pretty well rounded. He never does any cliche teleporting that you often see movie murderers do, or at least it doesn’t feel like he does because It’s his goddamn house, he knows it better than the heroes. He feels like a threat because he is continuously threatening, being an army veteran and also crazy, and also he is really good at killing people. But he’s still a person, so they can’t just add or subtract abilities that he can do. He’s blind, so his advantages are his hearing, olfactory senses, military training, and home field familiarity. He becomes threatening because his advantages outweigh our heroes advantage of sight.

IT FOLLOWS’s monster suffered from the same laziness as it’s setting. With all the teasing promises of a thrill ride being replaced with wooden mood, acting, setting, and even atmosphere. The monster in It follows could have been scary, and there were even one or two parts of the movie where it was and could have continued to be, but instead it just fell straight flat without even being interesting.

Don’t Breathe had a dynamic villain who was equal parts terrifying but human, a dark mirror of what a sane person is. His slip into the darkness, although insane, seems all to possible for anyone now after getting details on his life. IT FOLLOWS  has a lackluster demon who is only there because the plot said so and the music needed a monster to go to.

So a fun tidbit, one actor is in both of these films and dies in both of them. He is Daniel Zovatto, he plays Greg in IT FOLLOWS (who dies) and Money in Don’t Breathe (who dies). The characters themselves are polar opposites, which like, kudos to him, kid’s got range. I just thought it was kinda kooky how he’s played different characters in two horror movies set in Detroit.

Next, I’ll be talking about crafting an ending to a horror film in PART 3-Escape and Cliffhangers

Guy Who Never Pays For Netflix Feels Like A God Among Men

Rochester,NY- David Chester has always enjoyed television. He remembers the days of cable TV and the endless possibility that it presented. Yet nothing could prepare David for the days of streaming television. David has conquered more than fifty seasons of popular TV shows within only  a year span. He accomplished all of this without having to pay even one cent towards anything. That’s right, David Chester has not paid for his Netflix subscription. EVER. How did David do this exactly you ask? We spoke with him to get the full scoop.

” It all started when I moved in with my college roommate, he gave me his Netflix account information one time so I could watch some Futurama while I was baked. Ever since then he just forgot that he loaned me that information, now I can watch whatever I want, whenever I want and with whoever I want! I am not some poor soul who is trapped into $8.99 payments a month! No I am a king, I can afford the finest wines and the best food! All while another peasant of mine pays for my pleasure!”

We asked David if he was able to watch other streaming services such as Hulu, amazon prime or HBOGO for free as well. His response was this.

“There are other things to watch television on besides Netflix? Fuck!”

At this point David flew off into the air on his jet pack from clearly saving boatloads of money every month unlike us everyday assholes, who, you know. Pay for Netflix.

America’s Nightmare in Detroit: A Comparison of It Follows and Don’t Breathe-PART 1

Over the past few years, we have seen two separate horror films burst onto the scene set against the backdrop of the city of Detroit. These films, IT FOLLOWS and Don’t Breathe are both unique horror tales that use this city and its broken setting as places to cultivate desperation and try to add to either film’s sense of tension by using the broken city as their setting.

But here is where the similarities hit a point, and be warned THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD FOR BOTH FILMS.

Before I get into anything too heavy, here is a brief summary of both films:

IT FOLLOWS: A monster that is sexually transmitted haunts a young woman who has contracted it. It can be anyone or anything, and it is always following her.

Cool concept right?

DON’T BREATHE: Several small time criminals find the ultimate score to get them out of their poverty, in a large sum of money held by a blind military veteran.

Whoa there, little heavy.

What follows is going to be a dissection of both films, a look into the genre of horror, and an argument against IT FOLLOWS  as both a poor horror film, and a poor representation of the setting it’s in.

PART 1: Setting and Stories

With any good horror movie, setting and atmosphere is everything. Detroit is, unfortunately, a really good place to put an immediate mood of desperation. Don’t Breathe  hits this mark right on the head with its three main characters. All of them are doing this because it’s a quick way to make a lot of money to get the fuck out of Detroit. Remember that sentiment.

Within that broad motivation we get to see why all three main characters fit into it. Rocky, the female lead, lives in a trailer park with her emotionally abusive mother trying to provide for her little sister. Money, Rocky’s boyfriend, just wants to see her happy, and has found a quick way for them to escape by robbing houses. Alex is their friend, and lives a somewhat more comfortable middle class life, but see’s this as an oppurtunity to leave as well. Alex’s father works for a security company, so Alex steals the keys to properties so that they can break in and rob the place.

This is all due to how and where they live. There is nothing left for them in Detroit. It’s a dilapidated city and if they don’t leave they may be stuck within it. This is brought to a painful reminder when they hear about a score of $300,000 dollars sitting in the house of a blind veteran. The veteran is the last person living in a ghost block of houses, making it a seemingly easy score. Why an abandoned block of houses? Because after the start of the domestic economic collapse in the mid 2000’s and the 2008 housing market crash, Detroit never really recovered, leaving blocks of houses foreclosed, abandoned, and literal ghost towns within the city.

Why is that important? It’s important because good horror contains elements that are a reflection of the real world. You know whats scary? Robbing a dangerous guy to leave Detroit. You know whats scarier? Having a bank foreclose on your family’s house.

All of this adds to create a wonderful depth to the characters. these aren’t movie criminals, they are people living in the aftermath of one of the worst economic collapses in a city that is only very slowly getting better. Motivation that drives the story leading to a very simple narrative driving force.

Environment (E) + Motivation (M)= Narrative Event (E prime, or Eø for our purposes)

E+M=Eø, or even more simply, cause and effect. It helps make a film’s story good and relatable.

Don’t Breathe presents a contained story in an environment that already makes you feel strained and suffocated. Throughout the movies run time, there was never a moment where I felt like I wasn’t itching to leave the area, itching to get out of where the characters were. All of the character decisions had a clear cause and effect, which me as a viewer could both understand and immediately relate to. All of this led to a great and immersive experience where I felt just as tense as the main characters.

Now lets look at IT FOLLOWS:

Set in a suburb of Detroit, IT FOLLOWS follows a group of teens battling a sexually transmitted monster that has attached itself to the female protagonist.

So its back in Detroit, but now we’re in middle class suburbs. There are no parents to speak of, at least none that are very active in the kids lives during the duration of the film, and one that exists purely as a plot device.

What drives the teens? Fucking. Havin’ a good fuck. There is no trying to escape from where they live, there is no questions brought up about how sexually transmitted diseases are a huge problem in Detroit’s Black communitiesor even how domestic violence of women and STD’s often go hand in hand. Nope, just a bunch of white teens who get into some fuck trouble in the suburbs.

It breaks down like this. Jay, the female lead, has sex with a dude who then tells her he gave her a monster disease. The monster terrorizes Jay and her friends, until she decides to pass it on to Greg, another dude, who fully realizes that there is a monster. In about half the time it took for the monster to even find Jay, Greg gets full on murdered by the monster who disguised itself as his mom (who we hadn’t really even seen at all until that point). Then the teens band together and kill the monster.

In the story there are three main events: 1. The teens have some monster-get sex 2. The monster comes and kills some teens for having sex 3. They beat the monster and continue to have sex (because sure, why not?).

There is no real world basis to lay the groundwork for fear in IT FOLLOWS, and because of that it never really gets me as a viewer into any space to truly appreciate and connect to what the characters are going through on-screen.

It follows the same base equation of cause and effect, but instead of environment giving light to a character motivation, we have a previous action giving way to an existing motivation:

Action (A) + Pre-existing motivation (PM)= Narrative Event. Still cause and effect, but not a very informed or tense version.

This is a HUGE area where I feel IT FOLLOWS dropped the ball in a big way. Instead of any real character growth, or tension from an informed situation, the story kind of just happens because yup there’s the thing and you gotta beat it. Theres no use of atmosphere to tighten the mood, there is no use of a previous action to create a secondary cause an effect scenario in following scenes, there is just this feeling of “well we fucked, i guess we better deal with this monster thing”

I have a lot more to say next in PART 2: What Makes Good Horror and Better Monsters, so if you aren’t bored out of your skull from this break in the normal content, then like, don’t read it I guess.

Burning Gallery Room Real Fire, Not First Friday Showcase

Village Gate, Rochester – First Friday is a wonderful tradition, a chance to showcase local artists’ work and allow people to pretend they understand art while drinking white wine out of tiny paper cups. What is normally a festive, fun evening turned treacherous this past Friday.

AXOM Gallery sustained severe property damage after a fire erupted in one of the showcase rooms. Luckily no one was injured and the fire was able to be contained, which is surprising since the flames were left undoused for several hours.

City Fire Chief, John Schreiber, says he doesn’t understand how it was able to burn for that long. “I just can’t wrap my mind around why nobody called us sooner. I mean, a room was completely on fire.”

“To be honest, my first instinct was to find the artist that created such a powerful, moving statement, “ Richard Darby, self acclaimed local art connoisseur, said about the on-fire room. Darby, and many other First Friday attendees, initially thought the very real fire to be an artistic showcase, on display for the monthly gallery night. “It rather didn’t occur to me that it could be an actual fire,” Darby said, wiping his monocle on his ripped ‘The Smiths’ shirt.

When asked if he thought it concerning that the building’s alarm system had been triggered, Darby said, “I do not underestimate any artists’ scope or ability.”

Eventually, a patron of Good Luck, who had just ordered their signature $27 Mystic Teardrop, a drink consisted of half an ounce of gin, water and lemon zest, called the fire department after seeing smoke pouring out of the room’s third story window.

Fire investigators believe the fire was caused when Dahl Jacobsen, a resident artist, knocked a candle over while painting a self-portrait blindfolded, part of a series he calls “Blind Reflections of My Inner Eye.” Jacobsen could not be contacted.

5 Great Lies to Start Off the School Year

Its that time again! September has come and that brings an official end to the festive Summer Vacation. You’ve seen some sights, learned something about yourself, and probably had an adequate time doing it. Theres just one problem:

You are hands down one of the most boring people on the face of the earth. There is no way you’re gonna make new friends, impress socialites, or even score with that hot hot football-cheerleader-chessteam-childhood-crush-freshman-year-we’re-both-virgins-piece of objectified fuck-meat that you have been hounding after since you discovered you didn’t have to tell people what your fetish is (heads up, it’s lights off missionary before and after crying).

So here are some sweet sweet lies to tell folks so they think you are interesting, or even just a little bit attractive:

1: ONE OR MORE OF YOUR PARENTS ARE DEAD– No better way to get a sympathy hand job then telling people your have a dead parent! Make sure that it was recent enough of a death so that it seems like its okay that you aren’t quite over it, but distant enough so that only specific social situations will necessitate bringing it up. Bonus if you act like you can work through the tears, this will make sure people tell other people, essentially lying for you.

2: PRETEND TO PLAY AN INSTRUMENT– Don’t have any musical talent? Just say you do! The beauty of this lie is that people probably wont question it, or want to hear you play, giving you ample time to actually practice at it and become good! It’s a self fulfilling prophecy.

3: DEAD EX– Alright, this is a little harder to pull off and requires a subtle touch. Immediately, you’re probably thinking “this is a great way to lure some unsuspecting idiot to go make coitus with me in a dorm room twin bed”and you are 100% right. But, you need to have a very poetic way of referring to your fake-deceased ex in only situations of high sexual tension, and of a natural poetic nature. Not only does this bump the sexual tension up to Roman Bath-house levels of gonna-gonna, but you seem like you have a greater depth and a burdened soul. This lets you seem like you give a shit about how people feel, instead of the manipulative sack of shit who needs to lie to get laid.

4: USE AN ALIAS– This one is only for if you are going away to college for the first time. You can’t waltz back to college and start lying about who you are, thats silly. Nobody will believe you, especially not the people who heard your lies the first year and know you’re full of shit. But if it’s your first time in a new place, rest assured that you can call yourself whoever you want, and pretend to be whoever you want! Just remember thats who you are now. The facade can never fade lest you wish your true self be known, besides, do you even know who you are anymore?

5: PREVIOUS FAILED MARRIAGE– This is another one that has a bit of an age minimum on it. If you play the previous marriage card, you’re gonna seem a lot older than you are. Most people assume anyone who got married is now a haggard husk, because if it didn’t work coming out of high school, then this person must have needed a couple years before coming back to society (or so the assumptions go). On the plus side, this has a similar effect to Dead-Ex but with the added value of a playful cynicism and a reluctance for people to correct you on being a sexist piece of shit! Especially if your fake ex-wife fake-cheated on you with your actual-real-life-friend named Joey (you were on the spot and couldn’t make up a name, which is awkward because Joey wants to visit before thanksgiving break).

There are plenty of ways to seem like an interesting person: cultivating a rich personality based on the shared interests of your peers, life experiences, knowledge and curiosity, but who the fuck has time for all of that? You’ve spent 18 years learning to jerk off and nothing else, you’re gonna cut corners wherever possible. Thats what you did to get into college in the first place, and thank god that lie panned out for you, because it was

BONUS! SPENDING TIME IN A JUVENILE DETENTION CENTER– Nothing says “life experience” or “Salt of the Earth” like someone going to college after being in Juvy for whatever crime you felt like making up! Watch as people flock to see the reformed troublemaker, the bad boy who wants a better life! Sure it plays into the fetishization of both the criminals trapped in the problematic justice system and the blue collar “provide by any means” mentality that upper class rebellious kids go fucking ape shit over, but it’ll make you a friend or two! just hope that you don’t meet anyone who has actually been through the system, because then you’ll actually know what terrible effects it has on a human being. Who needs that kind of emotional stress? Not you, thats who.

So go out there you sociopathic mess of a human! Go out and lie your way into a palace supported by pillars of salt! Just be ready for when everything comes crashing down.

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