12/23.

For the rest of us.by Bob Canada.

HAPPY FESTIVUS!

Tis the season.

from here.

Virgin Snow.

As a last word on Alfred Hitchcock, I just wanted to share two quotes I saw just recently, the first being from Hitchcock himself…

“Blondes make the best victims. They’re like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.”

…which is from an interview he did on TV in 1977.

And then I saw a quote from Ingrid Bergman…

“I’d like to know more about his relationships with women. No, on second thought, I wouldn’t.”

Fitting.

And then I saw this, which I love, and is wonderfully seasonal:

Good Evening!

by Grant Snider, from here.

The batmobile lost a wheel and the Joker got away…

I’m sure I said something similar to this as a kid:

You know?

In fact, as a kid, Christmas left me with more questions than anything else. Looking back on it now, I adore it’s innocent, silly magic, the inherent wonder that comes with the whole season, and the basic premise of Santa Claus, the North Pole, elves building toys for probably slave-like wages, and reindeer and shit, but I remember as a kid… not so much thinking that it was bullshit, but being confused by the holes in the story, the things that just blatantly didn’t make sense or jive with, you know, reality and what have you.

from here.

Sometimes it was just semantics and logistical things that perplexed me, but sometimes it tended more towards the philosophical…

But I guess somewhere in there the ideals and notions I have about the season now – be them naive, hopeful, confused, tattered, reaching, labored, dreamy, and all ultimately cynical – were born:

from here.

Oh well. Hope you had a great one!

Samhain.

Another year, another Halloween.

The inevitable is upon us: the year is almost over.

You find yourself out somewhere, you’ve got a drink in one hand and your cell phone in the other. In your stomach is chocolate and booze. On one side of you is a girl in a leotard with cat ears on and she’s telling you what an asshole her ex is. On your other side is a girl dressed up as sexy Mother Teresa and she’s sleeping with the other girl’s asshole ex. Trick on one side of you, Treat on the other, and your drink is almost empty. It’s getting colder now outside and darker earlier and earlier. It’s time to start self reviewing and battening down the hatches.

via Google today.

Last night I got into a conversation with someone who told me that they hated Halloween. They didn’t see the point of it anymore, they said. I have to say that I wasn’t exactly super enthused about this year’s festivities but in a way, I still feel like Halloween is one of the last pure holidays available to us.

The various Halloween decorations sold to you  leading up to tonight feel more welcome in your home, I feel, than the Christmas ones. And the fact that the Christmas decorations start rolling out in store aisles as early as October now doesn’t make the sentiment that comes with them feel any more genuine or less hollow. But there’s still a kind of joy in those who put up something around their house with the intent of scaring a person or reveling in a bit of annual darkness.

Then there’s the candy. That one’s self evident, I think.

The movies. Halloween movies, or the movies that they play on TV around Halloween or the ones you specifically seek out because of this holiday, they aren’t just seasonal. They’re timeless, in their own special, twisted, beautiful way.

from here.

There’s always a mood that can strike a horror fan for movies about witches or demons or zombies or psycho killers or what have you and that mood isn’t solely isolated to Samhain. It’s just amplified there, maybe.

Besides, there’s just a handful of true, genuine Christmas cinema classics and the rest is bullshit. A movie can feature Rob Lowe in a pullover standing in front of a Christmas tree or feature an orphan meeting an angel who cures his syphilis or whatever, but that doesn’t mean I want to watch it. And as far as “holiday cinema” goes, Christmas is Halloween’s only real competition, and just like the holiday itself, it’s an empty category.

Never mind the fact that Halloween is the last real holiday where you can be yourself. You can be independent. Maybe you need to put on a costume and go out and get drunk and pretend to be someone else for a few hours after the sun sets, but it’s worth it. Maybe that’s how you need to express yourself. Either way, it’s your time. Enjoy it. After this it’s Thanksgiving and your circa Christmas fare, and you’re surrounded by family and you have to pretend to be someone else. No, you’re not a disappointment to your parents or extended relatives who know nothing of the real you but have some concerns based on your facebook status updates. No, this year hasn’t been a disappointment despite all the big plans and hopes you’ve had for it. And no, you’re not a disappointment to yourself, you hope.

Just to reiterate, Halloween is nothing but: Candy, booze, spooks, thrills, sexy costumes, ghosts, goblins, ghouls, an excuse to break free and have a little fun while leaving a little bit of your dignity behind. That sounds amazing. It also sounds like your average day on the internet just IRL.

Oh well, right? October is over, and another holiday has passed. Here on Counterforce the past month has been about the words of dead writers and witches and vampires and comic books (and comics on the web) and television shows (and television shows based on comic books like The Walking Dead) and actresses and wondering where they’ve been and who they’ve been fucking and all sorts of ridiculous shit on the internet in it’s silly labyrinthine ways. So, business as usual, I guess.

And tomorrow is another day. And probably more of the same.

(500)(+2) Days Of Blogging.

500  posts. Plus 2. That’s exciting. Shocking, too. Exciting and shocking. Reminds me of my last marriage.

Random notes:

1) Last night I had a dream I was watching a movie featuring Nic Cage as Benjamin Franklin and Jeff Goldblum as Albert Einstein and they were teaming up to fight vampires. It was called Science Dawn and I loved every moment of it.

When I woke up from said dream, I uttered one word: “Gangsta.”

2) Just caught up with the two latest episodes of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse via Hulu. The already canceled show will come back in January to air it’s last three remaining episodes and I’m now at the point where I can actually call it a tragedy.

I’d say that 83% of the first season was not all that great. The last two aired episodes last year were decent and the DVD only finale, “Epitaph One” was amazing, but almost like a whole other show.  The first two episodes of this season? Not that great. But then somewhere around their third episode this year, the writers must’ve realized that they were dying and they finally just started making really good TV.

The most recent episode, “The Attic” was brilliant and fun. Directed by comic book artist John Cassady (who did a gorgeous and amazing run on the X-Men with Whedon) and aping Neal Stephenson in places, it was like a whole other perfect show compared to where it was last year. I’m really looking forward to the last three episodes but there’s something heartbreaking in the idea that this show will continue to get better and better right up to the moment it dies.

3) There’s a Nick Tosches book called In The Hand Of Dante that I’ve always wanted to read and was reminded of it by glancing through the last issue of Entertainment Weekly, where it’s listed as one of “the essentials” of Johnny Depp. The fact that anyone needs to know what Johnny Depp’s essential anything is, well, it’s hilarious to me. But I’m thankful for the reminder and decided to pop online to get a copy for myself and possibly one for someone else since apparently Christmas is coming up. We still have a few weeks, right?

Anyway, they’re out of stock now on the book, and this is other suggested selections listed, the books that customers who bought that Nick Tosches book also bought:

I got a small chuckle out of that list, since those are the other “essentials” listed by Capt. Jack Sparrow in the EW article.

4) The other day this woman I work with was telling me a story about an elderly lady who was almost the victim of a home invasion. I don’t remember all the details, forgive me, but the gist of the story was that a guy kept knocking on her door, she lived out in the middle of nowhere, and the 911 operator told her to “do whatever you have to do” to protect herself, so she shot the guy with a shotgun.

Regardless of the details of whatever happened, the story terrified me. And it make ponder: If they remade Home Alone now – and that’s, what, probably just a year or two away anyway, right? – I feel like in our current crazy political climate, with all those arma ferre nutjobs out there, little Kevin McCalister would probably not use his brains or ingenuity to stop those stupid robbers but rather just go and get his parents’ gun out of the shoebox in the upstairs closet and would or kill himself and the two of them and maybe the family dog as well. And that’s just awesome.

5) Speaking of death and decay and literary aspirations and creative miasma: Counterforce actually had 500 posts. Well, 502 now. Shocking. How have the Elder Gods of the Internet not kneecapped us yet? Maybe it’s because we run so fast.

Again, sorry about disappearing on you for a few weeks there. We took a mini-vaca, I guess. There was a podcast recorded somewhere in there that probably sounded horrible, sound quality-wise, and wasn’t that thrilling, I’d imagine, content-wise. As I remember, it was a lot of talk about Dawson’s Creek, hate sex, sex with redheads, music, facebook, and… well, the rest is a blur. Rightfully so, I imagine.

Anyway, 500 posts. Here’s to 500 more! Or, at least, a few more. I feel like our posting schedule will be sporadic throughout the rest of December but there’s been some talk about a movie list from the past decade and several other interesting things. We shall see. Until then…

TOMORROW (I believe) on COUNTERFORCE: I’ll probably talk about my favorite albums from the past year, which I’m discovering was possibly even more forgetable than I realized.

And MONDAY or TUESDAY (I believe) on COUNTERFORCE: a book review.

Until then, just ask yourself this:

X-Mas is right around the corner…

We’re back. Sorry we were gone so long. More soon, but let’s get this out of the way: Did you miss us?