The Chick Tracts App is God’s App

chick tract baphomet

I love Chick Tracts. The amusing, often times racist, sexist, and homophobic cartoon creations by Jack Chick are one of this country’s greatest national treasures. For over 50 years, Jack T. Chick has created pocket-sized evangelical cartoon tracts depicting people in everyday situations being told they’re going to hell by some christian do-gooder and either repenting and receiving a Heaven mansion, or scoffing at the Lord Almighty and being sentenced to a lake of fire by a vengeful God who talks like an angry pirate.  chick tracts

Having been to the Chick Publications store in Ontario, California at least a half dozen times, I can attest to the fact that they’ve touched on nearly every cultural archetype of the last four decades. Know a 70s king pimp? There’s a tract for that. Know a 90s Hispanic cholo? There’s a tract for that guy too. Bikers, feminists, geeks, musicians, evolutionists, commies, bankers, skanks, and Scieontologists have all been saved by the good word. And often times in a very sudden, implausible manner:


The problem I’ve always had with Chick Tracts is that I can only fit so many in my pocket. Luckily, the folks at Chick Publications have developed an app, available for Android and iPhone devices. Each version features a handful of Chick classics “This Was Your Life!” “Big Daddy?”, and “Is Allah Like You?”. I was really hoping for “Gomez is Coming“. I guess I’ll just have to wait.

Check out the artwork in “The Last Generation“. It’s like looking at storyboards for what could be the greatest child acting gig since Damien.


Has the geek bubble burst?

nerd bubble

When I began high school, nerds were anybody who used a computer, had intense interests, or were enthusiastic about being intelligent. Being a nerd meant being pummeled by a jock or bully. When I left high school the paradigm was beginning to shift. Computers were gaining mainstream acceptance and there were a few decent movies made from comic books that attracted the interest of audiences beyond people who were into graphic novels.

Over the next decade, this change intensified. Geeks became rock stars. They built companies in their teens which they sold for millions in their twenties. Programming was cool. Internet anything was all the rage. Summers belonged to superhero movies. Standing in line at the Apple store was as chic as waiting for concert tickets. Hipster culture took over. Geek is now everything.

Steve Jobs, who I think of as an iconic visage of a “crossover” geek, will have passed two years this October. Apple no longer commands an army of loyal hip yuppie Jobs clones. Young people are souring on social media. Even Spielberg and Lucas are talking about a bubble burst.

This weekend brings Comic-Con, which comes amid a summer of lackluster box office performances and general disappointment with the slate of summer movies that were supposed to be “Dark Knight” level exciting. Comic-Con may be the single greatest contributor to the end of the geek bubble, a well of geek brand loyalty which has been tapped by everyone from studio hacks to Jimmy Fallon’s embarrassingly stupid appearance four years ago.

Will this year bring any new excitement to geekdom? Or can we expect to see jocks resume their place as nerd-pummelers?

I’m including a link back to this article: “Is the Geek Bubble Ready to Burst“, which I discovered when researching the term “geek bubble”. It seems to have predicted this geek demise, as did this article from Cracked.

Tragic: The Gathering

Listening to underground music, you occasionally discover bands that go on to have wide mainstream success and you either say “Hey, good for them”, or if you’re a total dick you gripe because they belong to you and nobody else and why didn’t you just tie them to your bed and break their ankles like Annie Wilkes?

However, sometimes you find a band in the underground scene that you absolutely hate, and they go on to become an obnoxious popular act that just gets bigger and more unavoidable. You don’t need to make an effort to know to their songs, their music just sort of exists places and you know the words even though you never wanted to *cough*home*cough*philip phillips*cough*. You wish you had done something when you had the chance. You become that intelligence officer who knew the Vietcong were planning something big on Tet, but figured everybody had to know because Jesus Christ, how could an attack so big fall off the radar, and why won’t this song go away? *cough*philip phillips*cough*home*cough*.

We knew the Insane Clown Posse was terrible back in 1996. They were already branding themselves with goofy monikers and building a fan base from local methadone clinics and clods who were too drunk to stumble from the parking lot into the Korn concert. But we did nothing to stop it. 17 years later, the Gathering of the Juggalos has become an annual spectacle, where people from all over the internet gather to watch the folks from peopleofwalmart pack their Honda Civic with cheese doodles and meth and head out into the Illinois woods for a weekend of yellow sweat.

As they do every year, “Shaggy 2 Dope” and “Violent J” have released the official “Gathering of the Juggalos” infomercial, highlighting the music festival’s various cultural offerings and amenities…

In the words of the Chez Quis maitre-d:


Why is Hollywood Broken?


Pic unrelated

If there’s anything that Hollywood loves more than itself, it’s explaining how bad of shape Hollywood is in these days. This usually begets discussions about why Hollywood is in such a rut, which includes lengthy diatribes about lack of new ideas, the loss of DVD sales, piracy, international markets, etc. All good points, even though I don’t remember that many great ideas in the 80s, VHS tapes back then cost $100 dollars (you could still make copies of them), and people in Turkey were just as interested in Star Wars as we were.

Salon, which is like a living & breathing example of the big city liberal jackass caricature that the Right likes to trot out every election, thinks they have the answer. The article, “Lynda Obst: Hollywood’s Completely Broken”, contains this insightful subheading:

When you stopped buying DVDs and started streaming on Netflix, Hollywood’s economics changed. So did the movies

Fascinating. The article continues to blow the lid off the issue with new revelations:

“The movie business,” Peter said, “the historical studio business, if you put all the studios together, runs at about a ten percent profit margin. For every billion dollars in revenue, they make a hundred million dollars in profits. That’s the business, right?”

I nodded, the good student, excited that someone was finally going to explain this to me.

“The DVD business represented fifty percent of their profits,” he went on. “Fifty percent. The decline of that business means their entire profit could come down between forty and fifty percent for new movies.”

For those of you like me who are not good at math, let me make Peter’s statement even simpler. If a studio’s margin of profit was only 10 percent in the Old Abnormal, now with the collapsing DVD market that profit margin was hovering around 6 percent. The loss of profit on those little silver discs had nearly halved our profit margin.

Catch that? The movie business had ten dollars, and then somebody took five dollars, now it only has five dollars instead of ten, which is less money. In the industry, this is known as “half”. Those little silver discs that we assumed were either Frisbees or the leavings of some advanced alien civilization? Those had movies on them. Movies that people who used to have ten dollars worked hard to create. But since we stopped buying, and/or worshiping those discs, less were sold.

Typically, a business suffering a sharp loss in revenue examines its costs to find and cut wasteful spending, but this is Hollywood, where glamor lives and dreams are made, and other nonsense. If something consistently doesn’t work, the best way to fix it is to throw more money at it. In Hollywood, this is known as the “Shyamalan Effect”. Business Insider explains:

shyamalan effect

BTW– anybody want to go see The Lone Ranger this weekend?

“NATIONAL TALK LIKE BANE DAY” To Poison Your Soul With Hope


“NATIONAL TALK LIKE BANE DAY” To Poison Your Soul With Hope

Web blog Sydney Briar is Alive has declared that Saturday July 20th, 2013 is to be observed as “National Talk like Bane Day”, commemorating the one-year anniversary of the theatrical release of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, which gave the nation, and the world, Tom Hardy’s “Bane Voice”.

Has there ever been a voice more penetrating, evil, and fun to talk in? Go ahead and say a few things to yourself in the Bane voice. There—now you can’t stop.

The holiday is to be celebrated like “International Talk like a Pirate Day”, except participants are encouraged to be less pathetic.  Take control… take control of your weekend. Throw a party. Have a few beers. Grill food. Dress up like you favorite superheroes. Talk like Bane with family and friends. Play Hans Zimmer’s TDKR score loud enough for your neighbor to complain, then break his spirit and his body.

A Facebook event has been created, courts will be convened, spoils will be enjoyed. Those who do not talk like Bane will be subject to listening to those who do, and will also act as designated drivers.

This is the holiday we deserve, and the one we need.


Email is the laziest (and thus, greatest) way to reach me.


Twitter:                                                                                                                                @kgmadman


You Don’t Have to Mourn Every Celebrity Who Dies

We Remember Someone

There are a lot of things that annoy me about social media these days. The fact that a single story can find itself on Gawker, Buzzfeed, Boing Boing, The Huffington Post, and then on to the thousands of similar blogs and news aggregate sites makes the internet like surfing a copy machine that keeps spitting out thousands of sheets of something I already saw this morning. Inject this into Facebook and Twitter and you have… well… I picture something like thousands of baby birds chirping endlessly as they’re being fed regurgitated food, which they’ll then regurgitate and feed to millions of tinier baby birds, and so on.

One of the worst habits of this phenomenon is that whenever someone famous dies, the internet takes a moment to line up and then, like falling dominoes, post and repost items mourning their passing. This sentiment in itself is a great thing—showing respect for the loss of life. But let’s just take a moment to reflect on some of those we’ve lost over the years that the internet cluttered your Facebook feed to remember:

  • Bea Arthur
  • Ronnie James Dio
  • Gary “what you talkin’ bout” Coleman
  • Davey Jones
  • Everyone who died after appearing on “Celebrity Rehab”
  • Corey Haim

Each of these folks was somebody’s loved one. But here’s the thing: they weren’t your loved one. In fact, most of these people wouldn’t have even made your top 50 in whatever category they used to create their fame. They were just people whose names you knew. That’s all.

This is not to say that a celebrity passing isn’t worth recognition. Some rose to the top of their profession and changed industries, changed lives, and made an impact on the casual observer in ways as real as a loved one– Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson, Betty Ford, Roger Ebert. But not the guy you know because he sold fucking OxiClean on a commercial you can remember watching.

And here’s another thing—not every tragic event is 9/11 scale. Yes, it’s terrible when there’s a silo explosion in the Midwest. But it doesn’t necessitate a photoshop of praying hands over a corn field with the date and the words “We Remember”.  Because I won’t remember. You won’t remember either. You probably already forgot you posted it. Why? Because some things are just some fucked up shit that happened to some people. Your posting it doesn’t “bring us together” as anything other than assholes.

I intend no disrespect when I say that “Mack Daddy” from Kriss Kross shouldn’t have received a 12 hour Facebook procession. Chris Kelly led an interesting life, achieved much, and was a loss to those he was surrounded by. But maybe memorializing him because he was a curiosity from the 90s who wore his pants backwards isn’t honoring his memory as much as it’s making a spectacle of his death.

Author’s Note: When searching the term “Candlelight Vigil”, the second most popular answer in Google’s predictive text was “Candlelight Vigil ideas”, which provided a number of how-to guides. Detailed instructions on holding a candlelight vigil included 1) gathering people and 2) giving them candles.