Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Gardein Holiday Roast!

Is the Canuck product the best faux-turkey veggie dinner on the market?

A few years ago, I reviewed the Tofurky roast kit. For those of you unfamiliar with the product, it’s basically a giant, frozen, vegan-friendly pseudo-turkey meal, complete with a congealed bucket of no-meat gravy mix on the side. From what I recollect, it was a fairly enjoyable meal -- probably not something hardcore carnivores would enjoy, but for those with greener palates, it was certainly a serviceable replacement dinner for the Thanksgiving season.

So, I was strolling down the frozen food section aisle of a certain big box store lately, when I saw this:

It’s called the “Gardein Holiday Roast,” and apparently, it’s a north-of-the-border riposte to the Tofurky kit. As it turns out, Gardein actually has quite a few no-meat frozen alternatives on store shelves -- I guess they’re the Canadian version of Morningstar, I take it.

Of course, the big draw here is the stuffing and the breading. As cool as the Tofurky kit was, it didn’t come in a breaded shell, which Gardein’s product proudly boasts. Nor did Tofurky’s stuffing include cranberry flakes and nuggets of wild rice, which is another huge positive for the Tofurky competitor.

As far as what the product itself is made out of, it's a real hodgepodge of organic (and not-so-organic) materials. I really like the fact that the box tells you upfront it has GMOs in it ... just because it's vegan doesn't mean it's 100 percent douchey, y'know. And nutrition-wise, it's pretty light stuff; you can eat the entire goddamn roast in one sitting, and that still leaves you with about 400 extra calories to spare for the evening.

Right out of the box, the Gardein Holiday Roast  already looks like a completely cooked meal. And yes, you're not alone in thinking "man, that thing looks like a giant hash brown," either. In terms of weight, it's probably the total overall poundage as a modest squeeze-tube of pork sausage. The box says the overall product is 40 ounces, but from my eyes, I doubt the actually roast is more than half of that  -- this thing couldn't be more than 20, 24 oz. at the absolute most.

Also included in the kit are two vaccuum-sealed pouches of frozen gravy. Combined, I reckon these two packets weight about the same as the roast itself. And feasibly, you could pummel a man unconscious with both, if you really had to, which has to be considered a bonus for the product.

You have two options in terms of preparation. You can either do things the hard way and roast this veggie sumbitch in a traditional oven for an hour or you can slightly microwave the dish first and then bake it for roughly the same amount of time it takes to watch an episode of "The Golden Girls." You also have two paths for cooking the gravy -- thawing the sauce in a bowl of boiling hot water for 15 minutes or microwaving the mixture for three minutes. Just to be contrary, me and Mrs. Internet Is In America decided to take the "easy" path with the roast and the "hard" path with the gravy ... which means in one of the "Sliders" multiverses, there's an alternate reality where we microwaved the gravy and slow cooked the fake turkey meat, I take it.

In case you were wondering, microwaving the roast for a few minutes really doesn't change the tint or hue of the dish whatsoever. To be sure, it certainly smells a little bit different, but to the untrained cornea, yeah, it still resembles the world's largest uncooked cheese stick.

Nor can I say there's too much excitement watching frozen gravy slowly transform into a more liquid state, either. I mean, yeah, it gets mushier and stuff, but like any non-molecular physicist could tell you there's a key difference between this and the stuff that came straight out of the box. Probably.

And the completely cooked roast looks like ... well, a completely uncooked roast! Although to be fair, the spices embedded in the breading definitely become a lot more pronounced after a half hour at 400 F.

And another good thing? It's really an all over golden roast, too, so you get a nice, flaky exterior all the way around the product and not just on top. And it smells really nice, too, like a giant French fried turkey

Sure enough, the finished gravy looks just like ... the moon. Or a three-day-old McDonalds milkshake. Or half a human butt cheek. But, uh, it certainly smells like the kind of flour paste we all know and love, though!

Of course, man cannot live off Canadian faux meat alone, so I strongly suggest complementing your dinner with a fine seasonal beverage -- preferably, the Thanksgiving-time-only Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash, which beats the ever-loving dog shit out of Sprite's competing ThanksBeverage, and hard.

And here's the FULL MONTY, dear readers! Indeed, the interior of the Gardein Roast looks very, very turkey-like, while the stuffing itself looks, uh, mushy. But don't let the goopy insides fool you, because this shit is really, really tasty -- in fact, I think it might be even yummier than the Tofurky original!

The cranberry flavoring is very pronounced, but I was much more impressed by the flavor of the wild rice. It's hard to keep the taste of something embedded two layers deep in chemically engineered beef and breading fresh and distinct, but I'll be several shades of darned if the Gardein Roast stuffing didn't taste like a just-boiled pot of spicy rice. Coupled with the juicy not-meat and extra chewy breading (not to mention the suprisingly authentic tasting gravy), this was actually a damned delicious offering in every sense of the word.

Obviously, the Gardein Holiday Roast is a treat for vegetarian/vegan folks who miss what good food used to taste like, but I reckon this here roast is just yummy enough to perhaps even impress a few omnivores, too. And the best part? Sans all of those pesky tryptophans, this is one turkey dinner that won't make you pass out in a bowl of macaroni noodles five minutes after ingesting it.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Five Fighting Games Way Too Awesome to Ever Exist

The brawlers we’d all love to get our grubby little mitts on … but sadly, never will. 

Ever since the genre was more or less invented by “Street Fighter II,” fighting games have remained one of the most popular subgroups in all of gaming. Even as the general industrial trend moves away from consoles and handhelds to “Smart” platforms, fighting games remain one of the last of the old breed, the type of game that can only be experienced the way the elders experienced it -- with an arcade control-stick in hand and lots and lots of profanity spouted at others.

It’s probably not too surprising that so many “dream” fighting games continue to linger on in the fantasies of genre purists the world over. I mean, what gamer in his or her right mind wouldn’t love to get his or her swollen palms around “Marvel vs. DC,” or “Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat,” or “Capcom vs. Nintendo?”

With that in mind, there’s a couple of outside-the-box “dream” fighters I think would be mighty damn peachy, too. Alas, copyrights the stubborn things they are, we’ll probably never see the hypothetical brawlers below on store shelves: although, holy hell, how cool would it be if  any of these ever came to the Wii U, PS4 or XB-One?

Sega Smash Bros.
Developer: Sega AM2 

Years before “Super Smash Bros.,” Sega had already toyed around with the mascot/crossover fighting game concept with the arcade-only “Sonic the Fighters” and “Fighters Megamix” on the Sega Saturn. Seeing as how Sega has already aped the Big N with a series of “All-Star” racing games, you kind of have to wonder why the company hasn’t likewise tried its hand at a true “Super Smash Bros.” style brawler.

Whereas the Big N’s bread and butter is four-player plus anarchy, I’d prefer Sega’s riposte to be a traditional one-on-one fighter … albeit, perhaps “borrowing” the “Marvel vs. Capcom” and “The King of Fighters” teams-of-three-on-teams-of-three hook.

Using a modified “Virtua Fighter 5” engine, you would have your pick of literally hundreds of iconic Sega characters, from Sonic to Ryo Hazkui to Toe Jam and Earl (whom, I imagined, would be “chained” together a’la the Ice Climbers in “Super Smash Bros. Melee.”) Imagine stacking Akira, Kid Chameleon and Ristar up against Vector Man, Tails and that kangaroo from “Streets of Rage 3,” and duking it out against the wacky backdrops of "Samba De Amigo," "Space Channel 5" or even inside an old Pico unit! Power-ups could include Chaos Emeralds, firearms from “Gunstar Heroes” and perhaps even a Dreamcast console itself, which can lend the player an assist attack in the form of a “Seaman” tsunami or something. The possibilities, quite literally, are endless, and considering the gloom and doom Sega fan boys have had to slurp upon the last few years, don’t you think we more than deserve a love-in of such caliber?

Spokescharacter Shodown
Developer: Eighting Co. 

You know, “Marvel vs. Capcom” and “Mortal Kombat vs. DC” are some really interesting ideas, but why stop there? Partially inspired by the straight-to-DVD CGI disaster “Foodfight!,” I propose unto thee “Spokescharacter Shodown,” the all-star fighting game featuring all of your favorite brand mascots battling each other to the death in super gory, excessively violent contests for supermarket supremacy.

We’ve all wondered who would win in a Satanic kung-fu battle between Mr. Clean and Smacks the Frog, and “Spokescharacter Shodown” seeks to fulfill all of our most sadistic consumerist fantasies. Just imagine it: Aunt Jemima ripping the larynx out of the Bounty paper towel lumberjack, or the Golly Green Giant uppercutting the Trix Rabbit into a pool of flesh-eating lobsters!

With frantic fighters like “Tatsunoko vs. Capcom” and “Bloody Roar” already under their belt, I reckon Eighting would be the perfect developer for a cartoony, albeit gratuitously violent, crossover brawler. And the best part? The inherent product placement would more or less pay for the game’s entire programming, release and, of course, marketing!

History Fighter
Developer: Arc System Works

Fighting games, even the good ones, tend to revolve around gimmicks. “Darkstalkers,” for example, is basically “Street Fighter” with Universal Monsters, while “Guilty Gear” is basically just “Street Fighter” with unauthorized heavy metal iconography. With that in mind, I’ve always wondered why there’s never been a fighting game wholly anchored around the concept of real-life historical figures fist fighting each other.

Now, I’m not talking that boring “Time Killers” / “Eternal Champions” generic shit, I mean REAL LIFE PEOPLE duking it out in supernatural karate matches.  With a cast that could feasibly extend into the millions, it would certainly be a long time before we ran out of downloadable characters, that’s for sure.

Imagine Abraham Lincoln launching fireballs out of his beard at Joey Stalin, or Adolf Hitler getting hurricane kicked in the face by Martin Luther King, Jr. You could commandeer Gandhi and slap around Sir Isaac Newton, or have the prophet Muhammad go mano y mano against Jonas Salk. And think about all of the historical backdrops we could include, too! The sheer irony of pitting Henry Ford up against Oskar Schindler, while Hebrew slaves build pyramids in the background, would be worth the development costs alone. And with “Guilty Gear” and “BlazBlu” developers Arc System programming this sucker, expect things to get trippy as all hell when you pit Anne Frank against Genghis Khan at the Second Battle of Bull Run.

Horror Jam
Developer: NetherRealm Studios

Now here’s a game that, believe it or not, actually DOES exist, as an unlicensed freeware offering titled “Terrordrome.” Sure, it’s a bit crude, but I don’t think anyone alive can really argue against how awesome the concept is. 1980s and 1990s slasher stars, carving one another up in a poor man’s “Mortal Kombat?” How about yeah!

Designed, naturally, by NetherRealm Studios, "Horror Jam" would use a modified "Mortal Kombat 9" engine. I mean, shit, they already have Freddy Krueger in that game's actual roster, so it's not like there is that much tweaking to be done. Well, outside of replacing that shitty 2010 Freddy with the real Robert Englund Freddy we all know and love, of course.

Obviously, the game would need to have at least 36 characters, ranging from the gimmes (Jason, Michael Myers, Chucky, Pinhead, etc.) to the slightly obscure nominees (Maniac Cop, the Leprechaun and that dude from "Dark Night of the Scarecrow," among others) to the absolute degenerate cinema necessities -- I can't tell you how long I've dreamed of watching Billy from "Silent Night Deadly Night" battle Angela from "Sleepaway Camp" to the death in a virtual arena, or witnessing Angela from "Night of the Demons" break out her French kiss of death fatality on Frank Zito from "Maniac."And the big boss in this one? Why, it could only be the most horrifying figure of the slasher film golden era -- none other than former MPAA Head Jack Valenti!

C-Fighter All-Stars
Developer: Rare Ltd.

There have been a LOT of fighting game franchises over the years, and not all of them have gone on to have “Street Fighter” and “Mortal Kombat”-like longevity. As the ultimate meta fighting game, how come someone hasn’t made a brawler featuring the heavy hitters from the fighting games that time forgot?

That’s right, it’s “C-Fighter All-Stars,” the fighting game that combines all of your favorite characters from long, long abandoned series like “Primal Rage, “ “Pit Fighter,” and “Time Killers.” Oh you know you want to see this one -- imagine Goldrock from "Fighting Masters" taking on Bullet from "Super Fighter," or even Orville from "The Rumble Fish" going mano y mano against Loader from "Rise of the Robots!"

All your favorites will be in this one. Taffy from "Clay Fighter," Limehouse Willie from "Pray for Death," Tempest from "BloodStorm," and even Kung Fu Bunny from "Brutal: Paws of Fury" will, at long last, tango with Lettuce from "Astra Super Stars," Titi from "Martial Champion," Bites Macintosh from "Battle Tryst" and, oh yes, Gulan Jaman from "Way of the Warrior." And seeing as how Rare has already made both the best "Street Fighter II' and "Mortal Kombat" ripoff of the 1990s, why not let 'em have the opportunity to crank this one out, too?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ten Homicidal Homosexuals!

It’s 'a raining men…who have killed a whole shit load of people.

We here at the Internet Is In America sure do like to do a lot of things, and perhaps one of our favorite pastimes is deconstructing popular misconceptions. You know, like the erroneous assumptions that The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Kurt Cobain made good music, or that “Breaking Bad” is a decent television series, and even that old chestnut about “Faces of Death” being 100 percent authentic.

In American culture, there tends to be an overarching belief that homosexual males are, for lack of a better word, wussies. Oh, we know the stereotypes: the scrawny flamboyant weakling, who would probably pass out trying to open up a mayonnaise jar. The garish, emaciated “queen,” who looks like he/she/ze/they/them/zem would simply flutter away in a strong updraft. Even the iconic leather bear seems to scream “John Goodman” more than Big Van Vader.

Yes, pro athletes like Michael Sam and the painfully closet bound Georges St-Pierre are doing their part to clear up that pervasive cultural image, but as a whole, U.S. society tends to view the gay man as an indelibly harmless, effeminate caricature.

Well, the internet-stationed truth factory it is, IIIA has decided to put that little notion out to pasture, with an analysis of ten homosexual males who aren’t/weren’t  just likely to kick your ass, but indeed KILL YOU DEAD had you ever crossed their paths and aroused their respective furies.

And the best part? There’s a good chance you didn’t know at least half the guys on those list were even gay to begin with! Now, who’s ready to get HOMOCIDAL up in this mudder?

Arthur Gary Bishop
Confirmed Body Count: 5

Growing up, Bishop had what most would consider a fairly decent upbringing. He was an Eagle Scout, an outstanding student and even a missionary. He was also a Mormon, all the way up until he was busted for embezzlement in the late 1970s. Changing his name, he soon moved to Salt Lake City and became a mentor as part of the “Big Brother” program.

Around that time, Bishop decided to pick up a pair of peculiar hobbies: good old fashioned molestation and murder. His first victim was a four-year-old child he wound up drowning in his bathtub, the second an 11-year-old he picked up at a skating rink and later beat to death.

Bishop would go on to claim the lives of three more youths -- a four year old, a six year old and a 13-year-old -- before police finally said “hey, didn’t this Bishop guy kinda’ live in the same area where all of these children were heinously butchered?” and bring him in for questioning. Interrogating him, they figured out his real name, and he ultimately confessed, gleefully telling authorities that, if given the opportunity, he’d keep on a killin’ minors.

In a letter to the public, he blamed the murders on his addiction to skin flicks, and later demanded to die by lethal injection. He soon got his wish, as the Utah State Prison was more than happy to give him the old hot dose treatment in 1988.

Joshua Brown and Davis Don Carpenter
Confirmed Body Count: 1

When Matthew Shepherd was killed in Wyoming in 1998, it became a national sensation and a major turning point in the gay rights movement. A year later, the script got reversed in Arkansas, with two homosexuals claiming the life of a heterosexual, who, at the time of his death, was just 13-years-old.

For those unfamiliar with the Rogers, Ark. slaying, it involved two gay lovers -- Carpenter, 38, and his live-in boyfriend Brown, 22 -- who bound, drugged, tortured and violated 7th grader Dirkhising for two days straight before the youngster appeared to asphyxiate on a wad of underwear his captors had jammed into his mouth.

Brown would go on to tell police the boy had been repeatedly violated over the last two months, writing off the assaults as "horseplay." Unsurprisingly, both Carpenter (a beauty salon owner ... way to break those stereotypes, fellas) and Brown were tried and convicted for Dirkhising's murder, with each receiving life sentences.

Of course, the 1999 slaying of Jesse Dirkhising didn’t quite turn into the same media brouhaha as the Shepherd case, no? As to why the mainstream media all but ignored such a horrific crime, Time's Jonathan Gregg explains it away: "The reason the Dirkhising story received so little play is it offered no lessons."

Take it from one of the nation's foremost journalistic institutions, America: unless it somehow reinforces your sociopolitical worldview, homicides just aren't worth talking about, I reckon.

Jeffrey Dahmer
Confirmed Body Count: 17

Thanks in no small part to upbeat pop ditties like this one, even the most na├»ve Millennial has at least heard the name Jeffrey Dahmer before. At this juncture, his exploits really don't need much expounding upon --  he's practically the Lebron James of psychosexual, chi-mo necrophiliac mass murders.

He registered his very first kill just weeks after graduating from high school, having bludgeoned a hitchhiker to death with a dumbbell. To commemorate the occasion, he proceeded to whack off on the poor chap's corpse. In between his next homicides, he would join the military (and allegedly sodomize one of his fellow soldiers for months), get arrested for indecent exposure, have sex with mannequins, drug other men at bathhouses and mull digging up corpses for romantic endeavoring.

The rest, as they say, is history. He then embarked upon a 16-victim drug-rape-murder-and-cannibalize spree, with his youngest victim just 13-years-old. Eventually, Dahmer would get sentenced to five years in prison for sexual assault, but amazingly, he was paroled after just two months, allowing him to once again take to the streets of Milwaukee and pour acid into people's skulls and make alters out of their flayed remains.

Of course, all streaks most come to an end, and Dahmer's came when he tried to handcuff a would-be victim to his bed while "The Exorcist III" played on TV. The po-po arrived, found some particularly nasty Polaroids, and next thing you know, the 57-gallon drums of acid-burned torsos, mummified schlongs and enough polished skulls to practically qualify Jeff as a Yautja started rolling their way out of his apartment complex.

After netting 15 life sentences at trial, Dahmer was sent to the Columbia Correctional Institute, where he was promptly beaten to death with a nearly two foot long metal rod by a schizophrenic prisoner ... a hilarious twist ending that not only proved God exists, but demonstrated his wry sense of humor.

John Wayne Gacy
Confirmed Body Count: 33

Part-time clown and long-time GG Allin admirer John Wayne Gacy, for a time at least, held the U.S. legal system record for most simultaneous murder charges, falling just a few corpses shy of hitting the three dozen kill mark. All of his victims were young men who ranged from their early teens to their late 20s, and there's a very, very strong likelihood he put in a couple of extra murders that never made the official tally.

Gacy's upbringing was unsurprising. His pa-pa used to beat him unconscious with brooms and call him a patsy for running as a Democrat, so he grew up to become a young man who fondled corpses at mortuaries, married a girl whose dad owned a whole bunch of KFC restaurants and ran an underground sex crime ring. He would then get busted for sodomy and went to to prison, where he spent most of his time designing miniature golf courses.

After that, he become a fine, upstanding pillar of the Chicago community, where he offered free maintenance services to the poor, supervised the city's Polish Constitution Day Parade and offered charitable services to youth as "Pogo the Clown." Oh, and he also started drugging and strangling runaway kids by the double digits, eventually stuffing so many corpses into his crawlspace that he didn't even have room to quicklime the bodies.

By his own description a bisexual, there's really no telling just how many young men Gacy actually killed -- and that's not even counting the ones he sexually assaulted, which is almost certainly even higher. After his "autoerotic asphyxiation" defense faltered in the courtroom, Gacy was given the death sentence. His final words before being given the lethal injection in 1994? The rather charming epithet of "kiss my ass" to the families of his victims.

Jim Jones
Confirmed Body Count: 909

Good old Jimmy Jones, founder of the People’s Temple, managed to do what aspiring, 4-Chan-surfing school shooters can only dream about; he was able to chalk up a damn near a four-digit body count in one afternoon, and without firing a single bullet, either.

The son of a Ku Klux Klan member, Jones became a civil rights proponent early in his youth. Claiming to be the reincarnation of Jesus, Buddha and Lenin, he merged Unitarian and Marxist philosophies to form his People’s Temple Church in the late 1960s. He would become a door-to-door monkey salesman (yes, believe it or not, you did read that correctly) to help fund his ministries, which had the goal of establishing a post-racial “rainbow family” utopia somewhere in Africa. His social activism was praised by, among others, Jerry Brown, Harvey Milk and Jimmy Carter’s wife.

Behind closed doors, though, Jones was kind of a freak. He was busted for shaking his wing-wong at an undercover cop in 1973, which apparently gave him some kind of weird denialist complex. He started proclaiming himself the world’s only “true heterosexual,” and forced his male worshippers to sign documents stating that they were the real homos. Jones would then cajole his underlings into a bit of the old buggery, telling them that it was “good practice” for prison. According to several testimonies, he even engaged in the butt sehks with another man in front of his own congregation to really drive the point home -- he was so straight, he could even have rectal intercourse with another man and maintain his heteronormalcy.

In the ‘70s, Jones and a flock of followers a thousand or so people strong all made the trek to Guyana to fulfill Buddha-Jesus-Lenin’s vision of a pan-ethnic wonderland. After subjecting followers to vicious beatings and isolation torture, he managed to convince his peoples to partake of a cyanide-laced Flavor-Aid party. The end result was 909 corpses -- up until 9/11, the largest single-event U.S. civilian death toll in history.

Patrick Kearney
Confirmed Body Count: 21

Not to be confused with former Atlanta Falcon Pat Kerney -- who, to the best of my knowledge, never committed homicide out of psychosexual rage -- the so-called "Trashbag Killer" may have murdered as many as 43 people ... if not more.

An aircraft engineer from a fairly well-to-do family, he had a knack for picking up dudes at San Diego and Tijuana bars. It wasn't long before he started using his silver tongue to lure in hitchhikers and begin killing transients for practice.

His M.O. was pretty straightforward. He'd cruise clubs for victims, shoot them behind the ear, toss their corpses into his truck and proceed to have his filthy way with their lifeless bodies. Many of his victims skewed beneath the age of consent -- his youngest confirmed victim was just 5-years-old.

Eventually, Kearney was captured, put on trial and given 21 consecutive life sentences. At the ripe old age of 75, old Patty boy is still kicking. Today, he resides at the Mule Creek State Prison in California, where he's a lifer with ... if you can goddamn believe this ... that dude who used to wear a rainbow wig and hold up "John 3:16" signs at pro baseball games.

Adam Lanza
Confirmed Body Count: 27

When confirmed autistic psychopath Adam Lanza decided to gun down two first grade classrooms  -- this after, mowing down several administrators and his own mother -- superficially concerned citizens across America asked the same question: what drove this disturbed young man (or, as I have persistently referenced him, “that worthless piece of shit who doesn’t even deserve to be named”) to embark upon such an odious, unfathomably horrific crime?

Well, it took a year, but eventually, we figured out what was inside Mr. Lanza’s hard drive, which presumably, was indicative of what also resided in his head. And as soon as the material was released -- and after all of the hubbub about the significance of his computer’s contents from the ever vigilant and caring mainstream media -- for some reason, we didn’t hear as much as a peep from the press. Just call it a hunch, but that’s probably because the hard drive was glutted with some hardcore homosexual material, clearly positing Adam Lanza as a closeted gay man.

Alongside a wealth of material on the Columbine shooters (themselves, purported to be homosexuals in denial), hamster videos and quite a few Bill Cosby routines, Connecticut State Police found all of the cheery material below on Adam’s desktop:

- a screenplay penned by Lanza concerning the love affair between a 30-year-old man and a 10-year-old boy

- a copy of the Dutch film “Voor Een Vorloren Soldaat,” also about man-boy love

- miscellaneous pro-paedo propganda

- three full months of Instant Message transcripts between Lanza and an online pal discussing their “homosexual fantasies

Of course, that’s not to say that Lanza’s apparent homosexuality had anything to do with his homicidal proclivities. I mean, come on, that’s just a demeaning, prejudicial thing to say, with hardly any backing evidence to support it. You homophobe.

Aaron McKinney
Confirmed Body Count: 1

Ohhh, goodness, you might want to have a seat for this one. Everybody and their mama who isn’t even on Facebook knows who Matthew Shepherd is, and why he’s famous. While the world as a collective seemingly knows that the gay Wyoming man was brutally murdered by two men, not a whole lot of people are aware of precisely who killed him.

Time to have your mind blown and your shit fucked up real good, planet Earth, because there’s more than enough evidence to support the hypothesis that Aaron McKinney, one of the two fellas’ charged with Matt’s death, was at least half-gay himself.

Even zanier, some have argued that not only was Mr. McKinney AC/DC in the sack, he may have even had sexual relations with Mr. Shepherd prior to his slaying. The sordid alternative narrative -- which more or less postulates Shepherd's murder as a meth trade-spawned homicide instead of a hate crime -- was the subject of 2013's "The Book of Matt."

Of course, it sounds like the musings of some unscrupulous, anti-homosexual crackpot, but as it turns out, the author of the book -- Stephen Jimenez -- is a gay man himself. And among the gay-hating publications that have backed up the book's claims and praised its findings? None other than that festering, super homophobic rag known as the Advocate -- aka, the world's most respected LGBT magazine.

Luka Magnotta
Confirmed Body Count: 1

In 2012, Magnotta -- born Eric Clinton Kirk Newman -- took the Internet by storm with his viral video, colloquially known as "1 Lunatic, 1 Ice Pick." The video, in case you never saw it, consisted of Mr. Magnotta stabbing the corpse of an Asian exchange student over and over again while New Order played in the background.

Allegedly, Magnotta -- an Ontario-born schizophrenic and underground adult movie star -- also cannibalized Lin Jun's body, before mailing remaining chunks to federal buildings and elementary schools. Prior to that, he garnered a modicum of Internet fame by posting videos of himself killing kittens with a vaccuum cleaner.

A hardcore homo narcissist AND a rancorous white supremacist, Magnotta was really the worst of liberal and conservative extremism packed into one pimply package. The former male prostitute was ultimately apprehended by INTERPOL agents, who found the cannibal Canuck browsing articles about himself in a Berlin Web cafe. His murder trial is ongoing; knowing Canada, they'll probably just blame it all on "cultural homophobia" and make him do a few hours of community service or something.

Ottis Toole
Confirmed Body Count: 6

Ottis Toole is pretty much a real life Joe Chill; he had no idea at the time, but his murderous behavior would ultimately birth the closest thing to Batman in actual existence -- John motherfucking Walsh, of “America’s Most Wanted” fame.

Toole is probably more famous for being buddies with fellow serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, but that's not to say that Toole didn't amassed a pretty sizable body count of his own. Raised in Jacksonville, his daddy was an alcoholic who beat him and his mama made him dress up like a girl and called him "Susan." He was repeatedly violated by his neighbors and family members, including his grandmother, who was allegedly a grave-robbing Satanist. He also said he used to set houses on fire and beat off to it.

Ol' Ottis claims to have made his first kill at 14, when he was turning tricks down by the gay bars. He hooked up with Lucas in his late 20s, claiming to have assisted his lover in more than 100 murders. Alas, police could only finger him for two, which netted him a life sentence; in 1991, he confessed to four more slayings, and on his deathbed, he confessed to slaying 6-year old Adam Walsh.

Tragically, Toole succumbed to AIDS-expedited cirrhosis in 1996. And by "tragically," I mean his sorry ass didn't die a more painful death, many, many years sooner ... preferably, the end result of a death dual with Daddy Walsh, atop a huge tower underneath rainy, sepia-tone skies.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WCW Clash of the Champions XIV: Dixie Dynamite!

It’s a random TV special from arguably the nadir of World Championship Wrestling’s dozen-or-so-year-history. Excited? Yeah … you probably shouldn’t be. 

1991 was considered by most wrestling historians (read: virgins) to be the company’s absolute worst year. What makes the 14th Clash of the Champions TV special interesting, in a way, is that it’s a portrait of WCW right before the wheels really came off -- Ric Flair was still on the roster, the goofy gimmicks were kept at a minimum and Jim Herd hadn’t gone completely off his rocker in his quest to remodel the entire company into a live-action cartoon quite yet.

As a shameless two hour long commercial for the upcoming “Wrestle War ‘91” PPV, the program was basically a regular episode of “WCW Saturday Night,” only with way, way more shilling. And since it originally aired right around the same time the first Gulf War kicked off,  you best believe there is some brazen jingoism going on here (which, compared to contemporary WWF levels, was an almost unpatriotic tone.)

The special begins with Jim Ross giving us an overview of the co-main event, which segues into a really, really 1980s looking montage featuring all of the stars of the day looming large over a bunch of CGI buildings.

We are coming to you LIVE from the Georgia Mountains Center in Gainesville, Ga., where the fans are positively RABID -- probably because they’re hopped up on moonshine and trucker speed. The announcer tells everybody to stand for the singing of the National Anthem, which, uh, is actually bugled and not sung.

Are announcers are Jim Ross and Dusty Rhodes, who promises tonight’s affair will be “funky like a monkey.” And oh shit, we’re starting things off with a bang, as out come fan favorites Lex Luger and Sting! Their adversaries tonight are World Tag Team Champions DOOM, consisting of Ron Simmons and Butch Reed. Interestingly enough, their manager Teddy Long (who STILL has an ongoing pro wrestling career, if you can believe it) isn’t in their corner for the bout. Hmm…intriguing.

Sting and “Hacksaw” Reed tie-up to begin, and yeah, this crowd is really, really into it, probably for nefarious racial reasons. Meanwhile, Dusty Rhodes, who is officially the blackest white person of all time, pimps the Wrestling Hotline (1-900-909-9900!), which allows you to PERSONALLY chat with Ric Flair until 8:35 p.m. Eastern.

Luger and Simmons enter the fray, while Ross makes a hard sell for “Wrestle War '91,” featuring DAN motherfucking SPIVEY! We return from commercial break, and Ron Simmons is whooping that ass on Luger. I’ve you never witnessed a tag team wrestling match before, the plot line here is simple; Luger’s trying to get to his man Sting, but Doom, the evil souls they are, keep breaking the rules and double teaming him behind the ref’s back to prevent him from getting what the wrestling nerds refer to as “the hot tag.”

Eventually, Sting gets tagged in, and the locals scream and shout like poll taxes have been reinstated. Sting manhandles both Simmons and Reed, while DAN SPIVEY jumps over the guardrail and beats the shit out of Luger. Good thing the ref can’t see anything beyond five feet in front of him, or else that would probably be a disqualification and shit. A Doom miscue sends the ref tumbling to the outside, but he remains conscious long enough to witness Simmons flip Sting over the top rope, which is a big no-no in WCW world, circa 1991. Our winners, by disqualification: Sting and “The Total Package,” Lex Luger!

Even as a defunct periodical pertaining to a made-for-television industry, it's still a more reliable journalistic source than The National Review.

Of course, belts can’t change hands on a DQ, so Doom retain the straps. Post-match, Doom, Sting and Luger keep a brawlin’, because good sportsmanship is for democrats and the gays.

Oh shit, how about a commercial for “The Wrestling Wrap-Up,” WCW’s proprietary magazine that can be yours for just $24.95 a year! That’s more than half off the cover price! Surely, all five literate WCW fans from the era hopped on such a bargain, pending their probation officer gave them approval  to go to the phone first.

Up next, we’ve got a World Television Championship title between “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and “The Z-Man,” Tom Zenk, who wouldn’t you know it, was just named the promotion’s sexiest wrestler. I guess a rivalry there was just natural, no?

In his powder blue trunks, Tom Zenk looks like Tony Danza on steroids, while Eaton looks like your spooky, mullet-headed uncle on steroids. There’s really not much to talk about with this one, outside of a really funny moment when Dusty Rhodes recounts a story of how his mama used to hit him over the head with miscellaneous objects as a child. Eventually, Zenk locks up Eaton with the old backslide maneuver, and scores the pinfall … although a replay shows that Eaton had escaped well before the three count, but what the hell ever.

Hold onto your hats folks, later tonight, the York Foundation will announce its latest member! But first, we get to watch “Wildfire” Tommy Rich and Allen “Iron” Eagle take on  the Fabulous Freebirds, Jimmy “Jam” Garvin and Michal “P.S.” Hayes -- who, by his own admission, is “more of a nigger” than most black professional wrestlers.

All you really need to know here? The Freebirds have what is unquestionably the best theme music this side of “Real American.” I swear to god, I actually heard “Bad Street USA” at a Thrashers game once. Swear. To. God.

You know why Southern children have such a hard time counting past eleven? Because traditionally, wrestlers stop punching each other in the corner after the tenth knuckle sammich, for reasons that have never been fully explained to me or anybody else. Also, the fuck is up with WCW protocol? Throwing a dude through the second and third rope is OK, but tossing a dude over the third one is verboten?

With the rookie ref distracted, the Freebirds hit a double DDT on Allen, which facilitates an easy three count. And then, Ross says something offensive about the lights in a teepee being turned off.

You know, it’s no wonder why I preferred WWF to this. Back then, they had wrestling voodoo doctors, a man who was half dragon and a time displaced Viking who tried to stab other wrestlers with swords. In WCW? Everybody looks like muscular carnival people who dabble in the meth trade on weekends.

Following another hard sell for Wrestle War ‘91, Ross and Rhodes throw it to TONY SCHIAVONE and PAUL HEYMAN! “The American Dream” than insinuates Heyman is gay, who responds with an appeal to the Men’s Rights movement that was really twenty years ahead of its time.

Up next, it’s SQUASH CITY as Sid Vicious, who hails from “anywhere he darn well pleases,” beats the ever-loving crap out of jobber Joey Maggs. Because he’s a no good sonofabitch, Vicious keeps pummeling Maggs, even while medical personnel try to wheel him out on a gurney. And Vicious’s crazy motherfucker shtick was anything but an act -- the dude almost killed another wrestler for real a few years later by stabbing him with a pair of scissors.

Up next, it’s Ricky Morton vs. Terry Taylor … who used to wrestle as “The Red Rooster,” but that’s really a story for a different day. Rhodes’ commentary on why these two are fighting, which is basically a tautology of “I ain’t got a problem with you, you got a problem with me?” is just the most high-larious thing. Also, I think Rhodes’ entire commentary career was just a sly means of addressing his intense child abuse to the world at large.

USA! USA! Wait a minute, he's a what? Well, I'm rooting for Saddam Damn Hussein, then. 

…and we’re back from a commercial break. If you did a shot every time Rhodes erroneously called him “Ricky Martin,” you’d probably be in a coma by now. Alexandra York strolls to the ring, and a picture-in-picture video lets us know that Terry Taylor is the latest member of her pro wrestling stable. I guess I have to explain this one a bit. You see, Ms. York is this nerdling valet who walks around with calculator and tells everybody it’s a state of the art computer, that she uses to help wrestlers mathematically outdo their competitors. So uh, yeah, pro wrestling was doing the whole “Moneyball” thing way before the Oakland Athletics were, it appears.

Morton gets tangled up in the ropes on a botched dropkick, which allows Taylor to easily wrap up his foe for the “W.” I wonder who had more per capita vanilla on their rosters -- WCW then, or the UFC today?

Oh shit, there’s going to be unnamed FEMALE Japanese wrestlers at the next PPV! Well, I guess that explains why so many overweight conservatives ordered it, I suppose.

Cue a video package, featuring Pro Wrestling Illustrated editor Bill Apter giving Sting a trophy for best wrestler of 1990. Rhodes follows suit by giving a speech in support of the troops, who were just shipped out to the Persian Gulf for what was surely the only military adventuring the U.S. would ever embark upon in Iraq.

Following that, out comes Acworth Georgia’s very own RANGER ROSS, a short-lived military-themed character that we’re told was one of the first soldiers to arrive at … Grenada. Yeah, pre 9/11 jingoism was a whole lot harder to market, for sure.

Holy shit, the legitimate mountain men fans in attendance today looks JUST like your neo-gentrification hipster 20-somethings today. Hoo-ray for cultural appropriation!

Anyhoo, Ross’s opponent tonight is EL CUBANO, a generic luchador type wearing a Bane mask. The commentary crew keeps reminding us that Ross ain’t just fighting for himself, he’s fighting for the TROOPS, god damn it. Rhodes lets us know that it’s really hard to read an adversary’s expressions when he’s wearing a mask, and Ross one ups him by saying that the Ranger is a fine role model “for children of every color.”

Not saying the southland has any racial problems or anything, but Ranger Ross sure did get a lukewarm reaction after pinning El Cubano.

Well, if you thought Ranger Ross was an obscure name, here come Mark and Chris Youngblood, THE RENEGADE WARRIORS, a bunch of grapplers allegedly hailing from a New Mexico reservation.
Ross says they better “prepare to circle the wagons,” ‘cause their opponents tonight, as cued by the god awful ZZ Top rip-off music, are ARN ANDERSON and BARRY WINDHAM.

The expert storytellers they are, Anderson and Windham carried the Youngbloods to a surprisingly entertaining bout. It’s clear that the Renegade Warriors (imagine, the Rockers, only with two Tito Santanas instead of Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) were green, but the Horsemen definitely made them look good here.

Jim Ross with the line of the millennium as the Warriors team up on Anderson: “Now the Horsemen know how Custer feels.”

Windham picks up the “W” with a superplex off the top rope. We jump to Tony S., who shows us footage from a Stan Hansen and Big Van Vader match-up at the Tokyo Dome. Cue a goddamn AWESOME promo from Hansen afterwards, where he chews Redman and talks about how American ‘rasslin is only about “pretty boys who paint their face up,” while Japan is the domain of REAL MEN.

Goddamn at the obscure gimmick characters this evening -- up next, we’ve got Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker, a Big Bossman rip-off hailing from “The State Patrol,” taking on  Flyin’ Brian Pillman, who gets a HUGE pop as he shakes his Cincinnati Bengals-patterned ass into the ring. Using his aerial assault, Pillman easily dispatches the Big Bubba wannabe with a cross body, all while Ross and Rhodes give him one backhanded compliment after another about his size.

Oh, shit, are ya’ll ready for a mind fuck of biblical proportions? In the run-up to the big Paul Heyman/Missy Hyatt arm-wrestling “match,” they trot our country music DJ Rhubarb Jones, who as fate would have it, was one of my professors in college. Like, for real. And I also had a philosophy class with The Big Bossman’s daughter, also for real, complete with an asshole instructor who proceeded to make fun of him with generic wrestling grunting noises, totally oblivious to the fact that her father had been dead for eight years. Oh god, I’ve been waiting years to tell that story to the general public.

So, Heyman comes out in a purple shirt and starts doing Hulk Hogan poses. Hyatt proceeds to stun Heyman with her cleavage, which allows her to win the arm wrestling contest in like, five nanoseconds. Chuckles a plenty when Ross compares Hyatt’s breasts to an episode of “Twin Peaks.”

After that, we cut to Ric Flair hanging out with Lawrence Taylor, who is smoking a cigar more than likely laced with crack cocaine.

A bunch of cheerleaders wearing University of Michigan sweaters trot down to the ring, heralding the arrival of Scott Steiner, who is accompanied by his real-life brother Rick. Interestingly enough, their actual surnames are “Rechsteiner,” which to me, sounds even more pro-wrestling-like.

Ric Flair, not accompanied by the strings of the theme from “2001,” marches ringside with a bunch of skanks -- white, black, brown, Old Nature Boy likes ‘em all, just as long as they’re trashy.

By the way, this match has a TV time limit of 30 minutes. You know what that means, then.

Hey, and guess who is ringside? Why, it’s none other than New Japan Pro Wrestling executive Hiro Matsuda, who believe it or not, gets a pretty nice pop from the Georgian crowd. Also getting a warm reception? El Gigante, who would later be immortalized as WWF atrocity Giant Gonzalez.

Anyhoo, I don’t have much bad to say about this one. It’s a perfectly fine little TV match, complete with all the lingering shots of Flair in shitty looking submission holds and screaming and looking way too much like Leslie Nielsen with that stupid ass bobbed hair-do he has. Of course, Scott Steiner puts in a decent showing, but he can’t outfox Space Mountain, who spends the match working his foe’s knee and constantly rolling in and out of the ring to avoid getting pummeled.

Since the bout ends in a draw, Flair retains the title. And because this show went long, J.R. and Dusty Rhodes are forced to eke out a tandem “Buy Wrestle War ‘91!”  before the transmission truck signs off.

...and you still owe me some extra points on the final, professor country music asshole

All in all, I reckon this one was a forgettable show. Most of the matches were uncompetitive squashes, and outside of the main event (and maybe the Renegade Warriors/Four Horsemen tilt), nothing really seemed all that worthy of a primetime special.

Still, it’s 1990s WCW, and next to sipping on Pepsi Crystal while playing my Sega Genesis, hardly anything feels as much like a product of the times. Yeah, it’s goofy and its outmoded and it’s mostly just a bunch of hicks hee-hawing while muscular fat people pretend to hit each other, but you know what?

Few things out there feel so much like home to pure-D, Atlanta-grown white trash such as myself.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


It's unquestionably one of the zaniest fast food offerings to come along in quite some time ... and is it also one of the best?

I love pizza. In fact, it's arguably my all-time favorite food. Similarly, Mexican food might just be my all-time favorite food genre ... as if you couldn't deduce that from all of the Taco Bell-related shit I post on this blog.

Interestingly enough, however, I've never really been a big fan of Mexican-style pizzas. I'm not quite sure what it is, but to me, the typical Tex-Mex ingredients just seem a better fit for tortilla wrappings instead of being encircled by dough and cheeses.

Which brings us to Papa John's latest publicity stunt ... the Fritos Chili Pizza.

For those of you unfamiliar with Sunbelt white trash cuisine, a Fritos chili pie is basically a bunch of salty corn chips smothered in Van Camp's sauce. Outside of fried brownies, it's quite possibly the fattest thing anyone could ever dare dream up, and of course, it's delicious as all hell.

So yes, this is indeed a pizza that's half legitimate and half Taco Bell dollar menu item. On the surface, it sounds gross and desperate as hell, but as it turns out ... this thing is actually pretty damned yummy.

Before we get into the pizza, I reckon we probably need to say a thing or two about Papa John's as an establishment. To me, they've always kinda' been a C-level chain, slightly better than Little Caesar's but lagging way behind Pizza Hut and about 400 miles behind legitimate deep dish pizza chains like Aurelio's. Also, as a long-suffering Raiders fan, I automatically hate them for putting Peyton Manning's Frankenstein-looking head on their box -- although true to the Broncos QB's on-field performance, I did manage to land this box on a season-ending interception, though.

The pie itself is pretty much what you would expect. It's a standard, circular pizza, only with a chili base instead of marinara sauce, and of course, an entire damn bag of Fritos dumped atop it.

As far as ingredients go, you get an expected clumping of onions, tomato chunks and cheddar cheese. The chili is a lot more meaty than beany, and it appears that the Fritos themselves are dumped on the pizza post-bake instead of being shoved into the oven along with the rest of the dish.

Believe it or not, the pizza itself ain't bad. Unlike most Mexican-flavored pizzas, this thing isn't preoccupied with being spicy, and thankfully, they kept it pretty sane with the onions -- I've noticed that, for whatever reason, most Mexi-Pies are just regular pizzas inundated with spices that make your breath smell extra bad.

Somehow, this thing STILL tasted like a pizza, despite the absence of tomato sauce or mozzarella. It really is the perfect merger of Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, and the chili used as a base is probably good enough to be canned and mass marketed, Steak 'N Shake style. Oh, and that complimentary banana pepper? An absolute necessity, if you want to eat the Fritos Chili Pizza like a real hombre.

As we can all agree upon, the absolute best thing about Papa Johns isn't its pizza, but rather, its sauces. Particularly, I dare you to find a better garlic dipping sauce offered in the States today -- why this stuff isn't sold in grocery stores, I will never understand.

It might sound a little gross, but dipping this thing in garlic butter turned the pie from a suprisingly enjoyable novelty to an absolute must-nom. You can just taste how unhealthy the mixture is for you, and obviously, that excess is gosh-darn delicious. If the Italians offered this shit to the Mexicans back in 1940, they probably would've joined the Axis Powers.

So ... is the Fritos Chili Pizza from Papa John's just a flash in the pan, half-sincere cashgrab, aimed directly at today's spiritually vacant Gen Y consumer? Why, of course it is, but it's one of the more enjoyable hipster-themed fast food offerings to make its way to the masses in quite awhile. It's really stupid sounding, but shockingly palatable, and there is no way in a thousand hells this thing will remain on the official restaurant roster for more than a few more weeks. 

If you haven't given this thing a try, you might want to hurry to your local Papa John's and pick up a box while you still have time. Clearly, this is a one-and-done deal earmarked for extinction ... heck, by the time this thing even gets posted, it'll probably be a discontinued item

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

PROPAGANDA REVIEW: "Deception of a Generation" (1985)

According to two guys from the 1980s, “Scooby Doo” and “He-Man” toys are actually tools of the devil. And by absolute blind luck, most of their assertions about the import of pop culture on children’s lives, astonishingly, was right on the money. 

For the first time ever, I’ve actually been won over by the arguments presented in a “PROPAGANDA REVIEW” offering. Sure, sure, the reasoning that Mr. Gary Greenwald and Phil Phillips put forth in the video may be wrong as wrong can get, but there’s no denying the accuracy of their central thesis: the pop cultural constructs of the day (this being, the toys, comics, cartoons and especially advertising of the 1980s) have led to Generation Y abandoning the core principles of Christianity for a new, consumerist religion as grown-ups.

Where Greenwald and Phillips go astray in “Deception of a Generation.” obviously, is their assertion that this abject immersion into unabashed consumer interests isn’t the result of deft marketing, but indeed the ungodly work of the Antichrist himself, who personally put occult messages in Care Bears to turn kids into homosexual heathens. Yes, taking the Billy Graham approach, these two evangelical crusaders were convinced that Satan himself had a hand in the pop culture offerings of the Reagan years, and “Deception of a Generation” is basically their one and a half hour expose on how occultism had co-opted youth consumer culture.

Ya’ll have heard of Gary Greenwald and Phil Phillips before, right? Greenwald is the founder of Eagle’s Nest Ministries, an evangelical media empire probably best known for a series of sermons in the early ‘80s railing against rock and roll backmasking. Phillips, conversely, is the penman behind a series of anti-pop culture Christian agitprop in the 80s, including such illustrious tomes as “Turmoil in the Toybox” and “Saturday Morning Mind Control.” Indeed, lofty things are to be expected when minds so great come a’ crashing together.

Ironically enough, the video begins with an ominous, occultish tone, with the silhouette of an eagle bathed in a spooky blue glow in pitch blackness, while mini-videos of Gary Greenwald revolve around the false idol like lunar satellites.

Greenwald, who looks just like Gabe Kaplan, tells us that in the past, he’s exposed marijuana, the New Age movement, Dungeons and Dragons and rock and roll music as insidious tools of Satan. Naturally, this segues into a clip from the “13 Ghosts of Scooby Doo,” featuring Vincent Price talking about “demon clouds” and “evil zones.”

And that’s our cue to trot out Phil Phillips, a fairly young looking dude with a blonde pompadour and teeth so big, it puts Gary Busey’s chompers to shame. He tells us that 80 percent of cartoons and 40 percent of toys (circa 1985, of course) deal with the occult. Greenwald hypothesizes that there’s a dark, demonic force behind this movement -- and no, it’s not the Satanic hand of shameless, big media mass marketers.

Cue another “Scooby Doo” clip, featuring a bunch of bumbling witches brewing a cauldron at Stonehenge. Phillips then said God told him to go on a 14-day fast and visit Toys 'R Us, which kick started his jihad against Mattel and Nelvana.

Continuing, he said the toys were just lifeless chunks of plastic, until the kid projects his or her imagination into said toy. Greenwald piggybacks on the statement, saying the increased amount of occult themes and imagery in cartoons has greatly influenced how children view themselves and externalize their actions through playthings.

“He-Man,” Phillips said, was the pioneer in occult-toons. He also tell us it was the first major cartoon to make waves through syndication instead of first-run networks. He then tells an amusing anecdote about a kid who rebuffs a radio preacher, telling the intangible evangelical that He-Man, not Jesus, is the true “Master of the Universe.”

The greatest trick Satan ever pulled was convincing the world he wasn't responsible for "Masters of the Universe" playsets. 

Naturally, this leads to Greenwald breaking out the Snake Mountain playset, complete with the little snake microphone thingy that he claims gives youngsters “occultic hero voices.” Of course, Greenwald has to give us an example of how the product works, so he starts muttering “I am Skeletor, I am a Master of the Universe” into it in what may very well be the funniest thing that’s ever happened in humanity.

Moving forward, Greenwald said “He-Man” is anti-Creationism and Phillips shows off some female action figures, telling us how “voluptuous” they are. Per Phillips, Man-E-Faces lets children know you can be a good guy while simultaneously being possessed by demonic spirits, which as we all know, is all kinds of unbiblical. And oh year -- He-Man comic books also let us know Skeletor is probably a Zen Buddhist or something, too.

Around the 24 minute mark of the video, Greenwald arrives at his central thesis: that kid-centered pop culture of the timeframe had the unmistakable agenda of turning children away from the Judeo-Christian god and the basic tenets of Christianity.

“The toys that they are buying in the toy stores, the comic books they read … [Phillips] has seen that [children] vicariously live their lives through these cartoon characters and toys … if we miss the generation of youth that’s coming up, if we do not minister to them the Lord Jesus Christ, then we’ve lost the generation of tomorrow and the Antichrist will have them.”

The average mid-80s child, Phillips said, viewed about 22,000 hours of TV before becoming an adult. Continuing, he said preschoolers made up about a quarter of the daytime TV viewing audience and that children couldn’t distinguish reality from fantasy until they were seven (a disputable claim, to be sure.)

Interestingly, Phillips also brings up commercialism, and how children tend to view TV advertisements as public service announcements as opposed to cash grabs.

“When a child watches this about 30 times on a Saturday,” Phillips says after a Cookie Crisp ad, “he is  programmed by the companies to be an advocate for their product … if they can do that with a 30 second commercial, imagine what they can do with 30 minute cartoons.”

This leads to Greenwald breaking out the Rainbow Brite and G.I. Joe cereals, and a He-Man action figure that he says gives kids a “taste” for the occult. Then, they critique the occult overtones of “She-Ra,” without once mentioning the show’s even blunter gay overtones.

Discussing “Thundercats,” Phillips says the characters are based on heathen man-beast gods, while Greenwald condemns their “gymnastics” and “thrusting” as signs of eastern paganism. Greenwald goes further in his criticism, saying the show encourages necromancy -- and as we all know, dark spirits sure do love imitating our dead relatives.

At the 40 minute mark, Phillips lets us know that kids don’t have to sacrifice chickens in their backyards to moon gods to be ensnared in Lucifer’s grips. Greenwald responds by urging parents to get this demonic shit out of their homes and praying through the VCR to cast out any Satanic spells that may be a pox on their home.

Switching gears, the two discuss how Barbie gives little girls unrealistic standards of beauty and makes them develop anorexia. Instead, Phillips said they should be playing with “mothering” dolls, not being all wrapped up in fashion and whatnot.

And then, we get into the really good stuff with “Dungeons and Dragons,” as Greenwald says 12-sided die literally scream when tossed into fires. Not to be outdone, Phillips rails against glow in the dark toys, and Greenwald ups the ante by breaking out some mint-in-box INFACEABLES figurines before gleefully playing with a Sectaurs hand puppet, which he described as something that looked like it could be spawned straight out of the Book of Revelations.

Today, it's hand puppets, tomorrow, it's virgin sacrifices. That's how occultism works, you know.

The two then exchange biblical passages on why they’re right about all this shit, with Greenwald stating that if you bring something accursed into your house, you too, deserve to be accursed. Phillips, whom Greenwald constantly refers to as “Phil Phillips, from Texas,” said that watching “Thundercats” was a direct affront to god, who forbade His follower from seeking “ungodly counsel.”

You know, I should really bring up the absolute best thing about this video, which is the backdrop. It’s this really homey, comfy living room -- complete with a huge honking cathode ray tube  set-- situated in a nice, suburban neighborhood, as evident by the junky blue station wagon and random passersby that crop up on the window seal. In a way, it kinda’ looks like Phillips and Greenwald filmed this thing inside one of those Playskool make-believe homes … which, of course, we can all pray isn’t an instrument of the Dark Lord.

In addition to killing the American motion picture as an art form, Phillips also has a vendetta against George Lucas and Stevie Spielberg for introducing the little ones to the Satanic arts. “Star Wars,” he said, has allusions to Zen Buddhism and Norse mythology, while E.T. was a “camouflage”  occult film ripe with levitation, mind control and plenty of homosexual subtext.

The superhero genre gets a fine berating next, with Phillips accusing Superman of “necromancy” and criticizing the Son of Satan for … well, you can figure this one out.

Switching gears, Phillips said he was concerned about the ever-increasing amount of violence on children’s programming; “Transformers” and “G.I. Joe” averaged 80 violent acts per half hour, he said, while the most violent adult programs of the day averaged just four to six. Piggybacking, Greenwald said he was shocked by the hyper-militaristic toys being hawked to children.

Perhaps we ought to pay attention to Phillips’ thoughts on the “barbarization” of our children:

“Through these violent movies and violent cartoons, they’re teaching our children that the way to handle problems is through violence … we see things such as flat gum that look like shrapnel … one commentator was talking about the feelings in Russia, and he said the Russians were more upset about this new trend in America, the children wearing the fatigues and becoming more militaristically-minded, than they were nuclear arms.”
Ah, the 1980s -- back when Toys 'R Us had its own "Junior Soldier of Fortune" section.

This leads to Greenwald breaking out a Rambo-branded, M-16 squirt gun and ominously chirping “the children get the feeling that guns are in now, that shooting people is in.”

And Phillips’ riposte to accusations that the Bible is as equally violent as “Transformers?” Well, it’s different, you see, because the Bible is a historical document chronicling thousands of years of humanity, as opposed to a 90-minute film, comprised of pure-grade compressed violence.

Even the more innocuous franchises of the era, Phillips said, were anti-Christian. The Smurfs, he said, were homosexual corpses, while the Care Bears were occult objects designed by marketers to be used by children as unlicensed guidance counselors. And per Greenwald, the pagan overtones of “My Little Pony” is destroying America -- oh, if only he would’ve made this video 25 years later.

After deconstructing “Voltron,” Greenwald throws it to a disembodied announcer, offering viewers audio cassette recordings of said video presentation, along with the official Eagle’s Nest newsletter, for the rock-bottom price of just $15 USD.

The presentation concludes with a look at the violent content in “Transformers,” which thanks to the ceaseless capitalistic ambitions of one Michael Bay, remains surprisingly relevant in this, the year of our lord 2014. Phillips caps the video with a message to parents, stating that the scripture should take “preeminence” in their households. He brings up how, back in the day, dads used to literally bound their children’s foreheads with the word of God … of course, he doesn’t expect today’s namby-pamby parents to go that far, but hey, it is an option on the table, at least.

On the surface, it’s pretty easy to write off “Deception of a Generation” as Satanic Panic propaganda of the most absurd caliber, but really, there’s nothing these two guys say about the impact of pop culture on the perspective of youths that hasn’t also been championed by more reliable, non-biased sources.

Ultimately, if you were to replace “Satan worshipping Illuminati” with “shameless advertising executives,” the whole argument presented in “Deception” would be all but inarguable.

I am reminded of “The Cereal Box Conspiracy Against the Developing Mind,” an absolutely fantastic essay penned by Michelle Handelman and Monte Cazazza in the late 1980s. In that little tirade, the authors explore how marketers have manipulated children into hyper-consumerist mindsets via commercials, television programs and a litany of branded goods.

Nor is the argument, save the whole demonic aspect, really any different from the same marketing manipulation angle posited by Douglas Rushkoff, who observed countless political and social agendas belying children’s programming in his 1994 book “Media Virus.”

And regarding the militarization themes of 1980s cartoons, author David Sirota more or less said the exact goddamn same things that Phillips and Greenwald talked about in his 2011 book, “Back to Our Future.” The infantilization phenomenon in U.S. popular culture was also explored in two fantastic treatises; "Consumed" by Benjamin Barber and "The Dumbest Generation" by Mark Bauerlein.

As anyone who has read the criminally underappreciated little gem “NESterday!! The Philosophy of our 8-bit Youth” can tell you, there’s a direct, more than intentional link between childhood pop culture intake and adult consumption behaviors. You can see the marketing philosophy in action, observing youths obsessing over “Pokemon” cards in the late 1990s to today’s twenty-somethings, who are utterly enrapt in acquiring the latest technological goods. No doubt, ours is a culture of feverish brand-loyalty, accompanied by a downright irrational thirst for whatever we’ve been told is the alleged “latest and greatest.”

That, I’d reckon, is the central argument Phillips and Greenwald indirectly brought up with “Deception of a Generation.” Just as they predicted, that juvenile pop culture has indeed led to the least religious generation in U.S. history; alas, we weren’t transformed into devil worshiping occultist, but rather, atheistic nihilists whose only concern in the world is buying stuff.

As wrong as Phillips and Greenwald were with the whole Satanism hullabaloo, they were unintentionally accurate when it came to the subterfuge social-engineering elements of then-contemporary pop culture. The only difference? Instead of becoming pawns of the Antichrist and Lucifer, we ended up becoming pawns of Apple and Mark Zuckerberg … as if those scenarios weren’t mechanically one-and-the-same, anyway.