First of all, is that fucked up or what over there in New York, letting off the four bastard cops that shot an unarmed innocent man 41 times. I mean good jesus what is wrong with this country that shit like this keeps happening. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but even if you really thought the guy was gonna shoot you (and I mean gimme a fuckin break, I’m gonna have to call bullshit on that action) you STILL don’t shoot him 41 times unless you think he’s a vampire. And EVEN if you buy that they thought he was gonna shoot him AND he was a vampire, this is still not the kind of mistake you let slide. If you’re the kind of guy that freaks out and unloads 16 bullets every time you see a “suspicious” black guy, that is exactly the reason why you shouldn’t be given a job where you are allowed to carry a gun! I mean even in the bank robbery industry, which isn’t subject to any official rule book or internal review, they don’t let that shit slide!
Let’s look at another industry, let’s say you are a trucker, and you accidentally ran over a guy on a crosswalk. You can’t say, “Well, I thought he was on the sidewalk, but turned out he was on the street.” I mean you can say it, but that won’t be good enough. This is basically what they are saying. “Well, we jumped out of our unmarked car and randomly executed a man in front of his own house, we were nervous though what can you do. Sorry about that bud but we feel guilty as it is.”
Seriously, this sounds like some stupid shit some dude I knew in the pen might’ve done, and that’s nothin to brag about. This wasn’t even like Rodney King, where they had a reason to pull him over and THEN turned into rampaging cavemen. This was just a guy who they thought looked “suspicious”. It could’ve been anyone. And before you say, “No, I don’t have to worry, I’m white,” think about it – even a white guy or an older asian guy, if he’s wearing a hood, they might assume he’s black from behind and shoot him just in case.
And I don’t know what’s sadder, the fact that this shit goes down all the time, the fact that many people deny that it goes down all the time, or the fact that even after it goes down, many people try to convince themselves that it was an honest mistake. I mean to this day there are fucking nitwits out there who think those LAPD stormtroopers were honestly afraid of the unconscious Rodney King and were stepping on his neck in self defense. And there are people who say, “Well, it says in the police handbook that’s okay,” and never stop to think, “Holy shit, it says in the police handbook that’s okay!?!?”
There is no excuse for this. It is not a mistake. These are fucking monsters. These are the guys that job attracts. And you think us knucklehead career criminals are bad. Watch closely what’s going on down there in LA, and don’t tell me it’s a surprise.
Anyway, sorry for that rant. Now that I got that off my chest, let me unload passionately about something that makes me angry.
One thing that’s really important to me these days is making sure that there are people out there reading what I’m writing. And I’ve tried submitting my sight to all the search engines and what not but I don’t know man, I’m not sure it’s a good sign when I search on Dogpile and this is what I get:
Displaying first 10 documents.
Boar Semen for Winning
Show Pigs from Prairie
State Semen Supply
Prairie State Semen
Supply America’s Premier
Hog Semen Supplier
Prairie State Semen
Supply – Champaign IL
I swear to christ I am not making that up.
But I can’t complain, cause there are definitely some of you out there who are reading my work and NOT because you are looking for hog semen. I mean, I assume. And I would like to thank every one of you who wrote after my last column. You are the greatest at cheering a man up. So as I promised last week I would like to share some of the letters I received to give an idea of how my readers feel about the Online Film Critics But Not Vern He’s Not Allowed Society.
This is the biggest response I have gotten to a column. I had long time readers, people I never heard from before, online critics whose web sights I know, even one guy who if I’m not mistaken is a writer for the entertainment of the week magazine. And I don’t know if anyone is keeping score but it turned out the consensus was pretty much OFCS = pussies, Vern = not full of shit enough to join. Here are some highlights:
The Online Film Critics Society is a bunch of pussies. Don’t demean yourself by associating with these sad motherfuckers. They invited me to join a while back and I told them to stick their offer where UV radiation is particularly scarce (i.e. up their ass, which unless you’re a nude sunbather or that dude with the singing anus in PINK FLAMINGOS that area doesn’t see a lot of sunlight as a rule, that reminds me you should definitely review some John Waters movies soon you will not believe your eyes man). Actually I just ignored the bastards, but presumably they got the gist in any case.
That said, good luck with your battle if you decide to persist. To me it’s kinda like fighting to join NAMBLA which is a group of guys who get off on little boys, gross in my opinion, but whatever dude.
To be frankly honest I have no proof that these guys are molesters so I’m not gonna go pointing any fingers, but there are times when a man gets a hunch… I mean, who knows, Mike could be right I’m not gonna say one way or the other.
“To be frankly honest”, I think of you as a WRITER, not a critic. Most of these film critics, even if they know about their subject, cannot write any kind of engaging prose. You have an entirely new style altogether — and next to them, would show how truly boring they are indeed. You would just make them look bad, so don’t take it too hard if they are resistant to letting you in.
Nevertheless, I would like to see your exposure broaden — so keep the pressure on. They just might relent.
There’s no need to worry about not getting allowed into the OFCS. The organization cares more about sucking up to publicists and stroking Harvey Karten’s ego than about quality writing, and if you take a look at the entire membership list you’ll notice a lot of 15-year-olds writing plot summaries. It looks like you’ve found an audience on your own without them, anyway.
As a film critic myself, and avid fan of your site, I was very disappointed by the critic organization you were checking out. These people are all the same. They don’t have anything original to say.
I respect your views, even when I don’t agree with them, and that is the test of a true critic. I can not respect the reviews of many of the members of that site. They just regurgitate everything that any ol’ Roger Ebert or lame local newspaper critic says.
I highly encourage you to start your own critic circle, of which I would gladly be a part. Your reviews are too original to post alongside the tripe that is published there.
Keep up the good work.
In my opinion, you should continue what you’re doing…forget these cock-knockers and do your thing, the best way you know how. You’re building up a following…I just discovered your site from someone forwarding it to me, because they know I’m what they call ‘an abrasive film critic.’ (I used to do shitty movie reviews for a local college paper) My name was among an assload of others who I’m sure enjoyed the Bejesus out of your site. I’m forwarding it to other and the cycle will continue.
This is my long-winded advice Vern, don’t be in too much of a rush to “bend over and take it dry.” I’ve never like film critics…most of ’em are Jesus-lovers who look at the family values and don’t honestly come right out and say what merits their opinions. The thing that kills me, is people ACTUALLY follow their fucked up advice.
Your time is coming Vern…just be patient and you’ll be just fine. Even 6 months from now your following will be even larger. Didja ever consider writing a book about some of these movies? Kind of like a guide to the best and worst movies around? Hey, Roger Ebert’s makin’ a killing with his shitty movie guides…I’d actually read yours.
Keep yer chin up, Vern. We’re with ya…
Hey, my name is Abe. I’m a huge fan of you and your page. It’s been the first page I’ve checked out every day since I discovered it back in October. I think that you provide a lot of insight onto the movies you review, as well as having a lot of cool stories to tell, which is something you don’t see in a lot of critics.
Blah blah blah, yackity shmackity, you probably get that shit all the time.
Anyway, what I wrote to say is that you don’t NEED the OFCS. You’re far superior to them. In fact, if you’d start a Film Critics society, I’m sure that you’d get hundreds of recruits, eager to join a bullshit-free coalition of Film Critics. Vern, hang in there. I always get a lot of enjoyment out of your page, and I’m with you one hundred percent. I get a lot of inspiration out of your sight, and sympathize with your plights. Your page has actually given me a much needed boost of spirits during some bad times. I recently found out that my Mom has smoked pot for years, and that I’ve been inhaling it all this time. I did not want to breathe pot in EVER, as I believe in
staying clean, much like you. And the day that I found this out, I went to your page, and it made me feel a lot better. You always entertain me, probably more consistently than anyone else out there in any medium.
Anyway, I’m rambling … you could care less. Anyway, screw the OFCS, because you can make an impact on people with or without any little movie buff’s club.
It must get pretty boring for you to have me email you my feelings of support all the time, but here I go doing that very thing.
Don’t let them film critic types get you down. They obviously can’t take your radical approach to the art of the cinema. I think your reviews have gotten really good and I can’t wait to hear what you thought of The Whole Nine Yards (which stars Bruce as a bad-ass killer). Those critics seem more interested in kissing the asses of the publicists and that is just wrong because any critic worth their moxie in the real world gets their ass kissed by the publicist.
Do you think Ebert worries about what the publicist will think? Fuck no. Does Harry Knowles care if he pisses off a publicist? Shit no.
Take care Vern. Keep your fans updated about what happens with these pussies.
Tell you what Jeff, you may be on to something about the publicists. When he said he needed to use my last name, it was because of the publicists. And as Soren is about to reveal below, the reason Harvey wouldn’t let me in – the publicists.
Now correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t a publicist some fucking advertising goon for the studio? And if I’m not wrong on that, may I be so forward as to ask WHAT THE FUCK DOES ADVERTISING HAVE TO DO WITH REAL FILM WRITING? I mean jesus man is this Harvey guy a candidated for a an Access Hollywood tattoo or what?
Publicists aren’t the internal affairs board for critics. They are publicizers. It is their job to make someone think a movie is good even when it’s a pile of shit. They are exactly the people who it is unethical for critics to give a rat’s ass about and who you lose all credibility by consorting with. They are also part of the same disease that causes affronts to good taste such as the recent newspaper ad for My Dog Skip, which quotes Jeffrey Craig as saying, “You will sit up and beg for more!”
I’m not gonna dump on Harvey’s work. I skimmed it over and he looked decent. He even liked 1999 Outlaw Award Winner for Best Picture Since I Got Out of Prison Fight Club. But when his concern is about whether the FUCKING PUBLICIST thinks his work is professional or not, you gotta pretty much lose all respect for him and assume that any review he writes is not his honest opinion but instead a love letter to one of his publicist buddies and never take anything he writes seriously ever again. Not to be harsh.
I’m sure he’s a nice guy in person though.
Anyway here’s some gossip about him.
I read your Tell It Like It Is column on the Online Pussy Society, and it rocked. I know exactly what you mean about that Harvey dude asking you to resend stuff over and over. There was a time about a year ago where the guy would take a web page, copy the entire thing
(it was fucking huge) and then send it in an e-mail to like two hundred people. Now I don’t know about you but to me that’s a big waste of space. So I wrote the guy and said, hey, instead of sending the whole damn page, why don’t you just send the URL so we can go
visit the page ourselves. I mean, common sense, right? So what does he do? He sends the web page address … and then re-sends the whole web page all over again in his reply! Jesus!
Anyway, I thought your column really showed how badly you’ve been treated by Harvey and the governing committee. I hope a lot of people get a chance to read your column and see what kind of people you’re dealing with.
Maybe the most dedicated to my cause was long time reader Soren Ragsdale from over there at the Phil Tippett Studios. These are the motherfuckers that did the giant bugs in the starship troopers and that’s nothing to laugh about. I would like to see the OFCS make ONE giant bug, they couldn’t do it. What the fuck do they know.
Anyway, Soren was kind enough to write Harvey S. Karten a letter on my behalf, about why I am a good Writer and an asset to their organization. Harvey, in my opinion, did not agree. But what Soren was able to do was crack the mystery as to why Harvey gave ol’ Vern the shaft. You see Soren forwarded me some of his letters to Harvey, and I couldn’t help but notice that some of them quoted from Harvey’s responses. I guess it never occurred to him that maybe I might like to know why he refused to review my work and why his committee wouldn’t even acknowledge my correspondence. You know, I mean, how is he supposed to know that I’m curious. But anyway, I finally found out:
> He was turned down outright because
> of the interminable and absolutely gratuitous vulgarisms–which begin on
> his cover page and are splashed in his reviews. “Fuck this, fuck that,
> fuck the other thing” more or less.
> The studios read our members’ web sites to keep apprised of OFCS’s
> professionalism. Is know that, as Vern might say, “This is the way I
> write.” He’s free to write like an adolescent but we are free to reject
> that sort of thing.
There it is folks, the publicists. Then he went on to explain why “vulgarity” is allowed in the works of Lenny Bruce, but a Writer such as him or myself is only allowed to say motherfucker if you’re QUOTING Lenny Bruce.
And to that I say, fiddlesticks. Flip you and the mamma jamma you rode in on. I oughta kick you in the knees for that hogwash.
Oh, fuck this. If Harvey and I were on e-mailing terms, it would be fun to see him explain why it is NOT classist to look down your nose at a motherfucker who writes in the vernacular. Sorry bud but over here on the other side of the tracks we don’t try to dehumanize people who say “why I never” or “good gracious” or “look at this fellow over here.” So if you’d kindly lay off us motherfuckers who say “motherfucker” instead that would be just crackers. If the lower classes make you sick with their strange ways, I don’t know what to tell you man, maybe start a moon colony or somethin. Thanks bud.
But you see you are not only debasing the artform of film Writing by saying that it is lower than standup comedy (standup comedy for crying out loud!) and subject to asinine rules. You are also pissing on my god damn vernacular. And you don’t piss on a man’s vernacular, you just don’t. That is something I take VERY seriously I’m afraid.
I would like to handle this professionally, but I don’t want any publicists thinking they can buddy up with me. So anyway there is going to be a party at Harvey’s house this Friday, Harvey will be providing free beer so please do not bring your own beer. I repeat, please inform Harvey that he is responsible for the beer as he promised. This is an all weekend party by the way please bring a change of clothes and a swimming suit. Thank you.
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.