The Avengers: A Celebration – 50 Years of a Television Classic

With “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Thor” looming on the Hollywood horizon, “The Incredible Hulk” and the two “Iron Man” films still visible in the rear view mirror, and the utterly tantalizing thought of seeing all of these superheroes (and more) brought together for a single motion picture written and directed by Joss Whedon keeping us warm ’til 2012, it’s no wonder that most present-day pop culture enthusiasts who hear the words “The Avengers” do not immediately think of a dapper Englishman with a bowler and an umbrella and a gorgeous, leather-clad lady with formidable judo skills…even if they really should.

Fortunately, this is a problem which can now be easily remedied, thanks to a new coffee-table book from Titan Books entitled “The Avengers: A Celebration – 50 Years of a Television Classic.”

Written by Marcus Hearn and kicking off with an introduction by John Steed himself, Patrick Macnee, it’s a fantastic collection which delves into the original “Avengers” series (alas, “The New Avengers” doesn’t rate) and offers a tremendous number of photographs, many of which you’ve likely never seen before. Mainstream America never really felt the same kind of love for the series as the Brits did, and God knows the 1998 film didn’t help the situation any, but if you find yourself feeling giddy as you flip through the below photo gallery (Emma Peel does tend to have that effect), you’ll want to pick up a copy of this book for yourself…or, if your wallet’s feeling a bit light as the holidays approach, you could always add it to your Christmas list.

Then again, I’ve heard reports that Santa is actually an agent for The Ministry, so he probably already knows you want it, anyway.


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Dirty Sanchez Nation: The Ultimate Illustrated DICKtionary of Obscene Sex Terms

“Dirty Sanchez Nation” author Evan Marz acknowledges in the very beginning of his book that its sole reason for existing is for educational and offensive purposes only. He’s not suggesting that anyone do the things described here – he’s just compiling a a one-stop list of various acts of sexual depravity so that you’ll know what they mean when someone mentions them in conversation. And for that, we suppose that he should be thanked. God knows we learned a lot reading “Dirty Sanchez Nation”; as for the offensive part, well, that’s true, but not in the way that Marz might think.

Let’s put aside for a moment the commentary that comes with a book like this, that it is a symptom of just far pornography has crossed into mainstream pop culture, and whether that is a good thing. The real problem with “Dirty Sanchez Nation” is not the subject matter (though that is a problem) – it’s how the subject matter is handled. Simply put, Marz is an atrocious writer, both technically and creatively. When he’s not writing such grammatically plagued lines as these:

“Typically your so drunk you just keep eating.”
“Just as you’re about to burst, pull out and shot your load into her…”
“For all the girl’s who want to…”

He’s spinning poetry like this:

“When you hit her in the shitter with the one-eyed critter…”
“Smacking someone in the face with your purple headed yogurt slinger.”

Lame, lame, lame, lame, lame. It reads as if he wrote the entire book in an hour, and didn’t ask anyone to copy edit it. (There’s hardly a comma in sight.) The organization of the chapters is also laughably bad, with several call backs coming before the setup, a cardinal sin of comedy. For example, why list a variation on Butterface before listing Butterface, or create a section called “Cumshot Surprises” and list Facial, the most basic move, last? Lists like this should go from the simplest moves to more complex (or in this case, sicker) stunts, yes? And really, he couldn’t look up the proper spelling of Sasquatch? (It’s spelled ‘Sausquash’ here, ugh.) We’re also convinced that there is no such thing as a Flaming Amazon, because no woman would ever let a guy set her pubes on fire.

And yet, these many things still aren’t the book’s biggest problem.

No, the biggest problem is the book’s tone, which is of the ultra-misogynist, ‘Bitches ain’t shit’ variety. Take, for example, his description of a Strawberry Shortcake, missing punctuation and all: “Smacking some dirty whore in the face after you just blew your man goo on it creating a red and white pastry treat look.” Some dirty whore? Is Marz that unaware of the deep-seated self-loathing in his words? Another move begins, “While getting head from some skank…” Yes, the 17 girls you bragged of fellating you freshman year in your bio must be very proud to know that you think they’re skanks. The big question, though is: if you had sexual relations with 17 different women in a year, guess what that makes you?

The line between sex and violence here is stretched to the limit, and while Marz didn’t invent this stuff, he’s selling several of them like they might be fun to do, despite how humiliating, irresponsible or harmful they might be to the other party. There is a way to mine comedy from this subject; unfortunately, Marz couldn’t be bothered to take the extra effort to find it, and chose the easier, ‘ha ha girls are all dumb sluts’ path instead. We’re not sure which is worse: his demeaning view of women, or his lazy, lowest-common-denominator approach to comedy. Look at those chapter titles: “Gay Shit”? “Ugly Bitches”? This book is aimed squarely at the douchebag crowd.

“Dirty Sanchez Nation” is informative but needlessly hostile, not to mention occasionally ridiculous (is there really a phrase for blowing snot in a girl’s vagina, as if anyone would ever do such a thing?). It’s a book for people who think that any woman willing to get naked in front of them should be punished for doing so. Case in point: Mudslide, where Marz actually suggests that guys laugh after they blast diarrhea in a woman’s face. To quote the Avalanches song “Frontier Psychiatrist,” that boy needs therapy.

We’ll leave you with this, a line from Marz’s (obnoxious) bio: “…he began his career in acting, playing minor roles in both soft and hardcore pornography before finding his true calling in writing.” True calling in writing? That might be the funniest thing here. (Flying Armbar Enterprises 2010)


Amateur MMA tonight in Northeast Ohio

Rocktagon MMA recently acquired CageStars, and tonight they have another terrific night of amateur MMA scheduled in Elyria, Ohio. We caught their last event this past summer and it’s must-see for fans of mixed-martial arts. The quality of the competition is excellent, as they put together an excellent roster of amateur fighters.

Doors open at 5 P.M. and fights start at 7 P.M. Click here for tickets and join for an up-close view of this amazing sport.


Friday Video – The Hours, “See the Light”

Any time we get a chance to bang the drum for this English duo/sextet (two official members, six touring members), we take it. Following their releases on this side of the pond can be a bit of a challenge; their (fab) 2009 album See the Light was available as a download on Amazon for about five minutes, and to the best of our knowledge, never saw an official US release on CD. The band’s “new” album, It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Finish, is a Franken-album, compiling the best songs from See the Light and 2006’s Narcissus Road plus two new songs. And even that album has gone through release date hell, getting bumped from early October to late November. Oh well, better late than never, as far as we’re concerned.

To promote the long-overdue US release of their music – you’ve heard these guys already, though; that’s them playing in the background of that Nike “human chain” ad – the band wisely decided to recut the video for “See the Light,” where director Tony Kate (“American History X”) shoots Sienna Miller in a hospital gown losing her mind. The problem with the original clip is that it included audio of Sienna’s ramblings, sending the song to the background. And you don’t put this song in the background. One of those slow-burning, two-chord monsters, “See the Light” grows and grows until it explodes. In a world where all people focus on is negativity and mistakes – we are officially sick to death of reading the word ‘fail’ on the internet – it’s nice to see a band look at the positive. We see the light, fellas.

The Hours – “See The Light” 2010 Edit from Adeline Records on Vimeo.


Review: L’Oréal Professionnel Homme Mat and Homme Clay

With more and more men using grooming products these days why not go for the good stuff and look your best? Most of us don’t want to spend alot of time getting the look we want to achieve and that really holds true when it comes to hairstyling. We leave the long preperation to our opposite sex honeys! tested L’Oréal Professionnel Homme Mat which is a sculpting pomade (a fancy word for a greasy or waxy substance) and L’Oréal Professionnel Homme Clay which is a really strong hold clay! Keep in mind that our goal was to get an effortlessly cool look with lasting results. We tried Mat on wet and dry hair and all it took was rubbing a small amount bewteen your hands then working it through your hair for the desired look you want to obtain. I went with a more groomed look and I must say mat kept my hair in check and lasted all day and evening long. I changed things up with Clay and went for a messy look working it into dry hair. I ended up with a very strong hold and an intense matte finish and the look I was aiming for.

Bottom line here is with both L’Oréal Professionnel Homme Mat and Clay my hair did exactly what I wanted it to do and they both held up on some very windy days in the midwest by lake erie! Both products sell for approximately $18.00.