West Week Ever – 6/20/14



So, I took a week off. No one seemed to notice, so I guess you either had an awesome Friday OR nobody reads these things. Anyway, I was on vacation, and when I’m not at work, I don’t really know what’s going on in the world,. So, I took a breather. I hope you’ll forgive me :-p



First up, the United States Patent Office canceled the Redskins trademark, seemingly in an attempt to get the team to change its name. Of course, there are folks excited about this, while there are others who don’t understand what the big deal is about the name. The way I see it, there are really only 2 opinions to have on the matter: you can admit that it’s racist OR you can just not care at all. I fall into the latter camp, as I’m not a sports guy, but I can also admit that it’s pretty racist. I know that folks don’t like change, and there’s the whole matter of “tradition”, but it’s a pretty negative name. I feel like everyone has their own limits of decency, and this just doesn’t set off any alarms for some people. I’m sure, however, there are names out there that would get people upset. I mean, what if the team were called the Washington Holocausts or the Washington Pontius Pilates? Oh, suddenly some folks are starting to get uncomfortable. Good. And don’t try to say “Those are different”, ’cause they really aren’t. I’m not really sure what the big deal is about changing the name, as it’s not like the Redskins have this record that would be tarnished by a name change. For the most part, they’re an expensive, yet shitty team. Hell, a name change might help them out. Take a page from comics, and reboot the whole damn franchise.


In other controversial news, American Apparel ousted Dov Charney as its CEO and president due to sexual misconduct. If you’re not familiar with American Apparel, they make uber comfortable t-shirts, but charge, like, $30 each for them because they’re made with sweatshop-free labor. Oh, and most of their print ads look like scenes from snuff films. Most of the employees look like aspiring Suicide Girls, so Charney was like a kid in a candy store. He’s admitted to having sexual relations with employees in the past, but says that it was always consensual. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink, Dov!


In tech news, Amazon unveiled the wholly unnecessary Fire Phone. Seriously, was anyone waiting for this thing? Sure, it’s got “3-D” capability and whatnot, but what bothers me is that it’s running a modified version of Android, with a curated list of apps. As someone who owns a Kindle Fire, the native apps kinda suck on that thing. Sure, it was essentially an Android tablet, but the apps were treated like a gated community and you couldn’t get a lot of the things that were popular on the Google Play Store.


On the music front, I’m surprised I’m saying this, but I find I’m a big fan of country rapper Big Smo. I was first introduced to Smo on an episode of Bar Rescue, as he was helping Jon Taffer to fix up the local watering hole that had given him his start. I had never heard of him, and kinda thought he was a joke. Next, I heard he was getting his own reality show on A&E, showcasing his life as he’s just about to break out as a mainstream artist. I watched the premiere, and I actually enjoyed it. Still, I wasn’t exactly sure I was down with his music. I grew up listening to country, and though I like a lot of today’s music, it ain’t “country”. This is especially true of the latest craze in the genre: country rap. However, I ran out of podcasts to listen to this week, so I fired up Spotify and decided to listen to all the Big Smo they had. I’m now a fan. As I said on Twitter, his music sounds like the soundtrack to a Louisiana prison break. I just wonder where he’s gonna get airplay, as he’s too country for hip hop, but too hip hop for country. Here’s his single “Workin'”:

While we’re talking about country stuff, have any of you seen this new Auto Trader commercial with the Dukes of Hazzard? I refuse to believe that the Dukes own a smartphone or tablet. I refuse!


I’ve mentioned it before, but one of my favorite shows is Catfish, especially due to the live-tweeting experience that comes along with it. It seems to bring out the detective in everyone, and some enterprising sleuth has started this site which compiles the social media links of the various guests featured. Wondering what was so intriguing about Solana’s Instagram? Well, here ya go.  Remember Instagram fame whore Antoinette? Here she is. It’s that simple. It’s probably best to check the site after the episode, as it can spoil whether or not the Catfish is real, but it’s still a fun way to kill some time.



Lifetime has announced that  it will be airing the TV movie The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story on September 1st. Here’s your first look at the cast. Though not based on Dustin Diamond’s Behind the Bell tell-all, it does promise to give us a behind-the-scenes look at the salacious activities of the castmates. I don’t watch Shameless or Degrassi, so I don’t know who any of these kids are, but they were cast by Saved By The Bell‘s original casting director, so there must be something to them.


Marvel Comics released their solicitations for August, which included 15 books with $4.99 price tags. This, folks, is the beginning of the end. I don’t think the industry can survive $5 books, especially if they’re simple monthlies. Event books can do it, as they only occur for about 6 months out of the year, but $5 for the foreseeable future is just too much. If you’re doing $5 and above, you’ve got to sweeten the deal. I’ve grown to like the European model, where they sell compilations of recent issues for about $7-9, which is fine because you’re getting over 100 pages of story. 40 pages at $4.99, however, just ain’t worth it ($3.99 comics are usually 22 pages). Few people realize it, but there was a $9.99 issue of Deadpool just two months ago. It was a special issue, as Deadpool got married, but I still don’t think it needed to be $10. $7, maybe, but not $10.


In local news, there’s a war brewing at my apartment complex between Comcast and Verizon. Up til recently, Comcast was our only option, but FIOS was installed over the past few weeks. Now, they’re both vying for our love. Yesterday morning, Comcast gave breakfast bags to everyone leaving the parking lot. Don’t get too excited – it was juice and a breakfast bar, but it was something. Tomorrow, they’re mounting an assault at the pool. Comcast is going to be giving out delicious, hate-filled Chick Fil A, while Verizon is going to be giving out Rita’s. I’m not quite sure how you can mobilize Rita’s, but I’m curious to find out. I plan to suckle at both of their teats, enjoying delicious chicken and custard. I can’t wait!


cold slither

This was a sad week for me, as it marked the end of the Cold Slither Podcast. Not too long ago, I hated the idea of podcasts. Thought they made no sense. Who knew I’d end up guesting on some?! Anyway, I think I hated podcasts because I thought they were some kind of NPR-ish attempt to talk about boring stuff. Then, I found UnderScoopFire! and Cold Slither about the same time, as we traveled in the same Twitter circles. I had a long commute to work, and since I was taking the Metro, radio wasn’t going to be an option. So, I decided to take the podcast plunge and downloaded their most recent eps on my phone. And I was HOOKED! Podcasts didn’t have to be about obscure indie records or sociopolitical climates of third-world nations. Here were some guys just like me, who happened to like the same stuff I liked. Over the course of the next few years, I had the pleasure of guesting on the show a few times, and I was always welcomed with open arms by Classick, Tim, and Eclectik. They really helped me out by allowing Will’s World of Wonder to sponsor their Slither Madness Tournament, and they were always gracious about providing plugs for my store and blog. All seemed right in the world of the slither and then they just disappeared. Classick went back to school, while Tim and Eclectik focused on their solo projects. It was like when your favorite band breaks up and the members go their separate ways. You have to respect the decision, but you always secretly hope that they’ll one day reunite. Well, the Cold Slither Reunion happened last Tuesday night, as they had a live Google Hangout to record what would be the final episode of the Cold Slither Podcast EVER. Once again, I was honored to take part, as we discussed 1989’s Batman. Mainly, I was just glad I got a chance to say goodbye. The Cold Slither Podcast will live on through its website, and more podcasts are expected to be brought under  the CSP umbrella, so I look forward to seeing what they have in store. Anyway, for giving me years of enjoyment, for giving my ventures tons of exposure, and for going out while still on top, the Cold Slither Podcast had the West Week Ever.


12 thoughts on “West Week Ever – 6/20/14

  1. $5 comics? If that is the way things are heading people will be dropping some serious dough month to month. I think I was out once they hit $3 a pop anyway.

  2. Yeah, it’s really bad. At my worst, I had a $40/week comic habit. Nowawadays, I probably spend about $16/week. If $5 comics become the norm, I’ll be seriously cutting my list down.

  3. I looked for your weekly update and noticed you were gone I feel you on that pricing themselves out of the market that’s magazine territory more ads in mags but still their territory

  4. @Darrell – well, thanks for reading! I’m glad someone missed me. It’s definitely magazine territory and they’re pricing themselves out of being accessible to kids. Sure, the content isn’t really made for kids anymore, but it’d still be nice if kids could afford them. This is the time when digital needs to figure out a competitive pricepoint instead of charging the same thing as the print version.

    @Vincent – you should’ve hopped on! It was an open hangout, and I even RT’d the link several times. In fact, I was on another pod just last night about Batman ’89. Since the anniversary is coming up on June 23rd, it seems like that’s everyone’s favorite podcast topic this week.

  5. I haven’t listened to any Big Smo, but country rap can’t do much better than Bubba Sparxxx’s sophomore album, Deliverance. Lyrically potent Southern rap does exist, and the Timberland/ Organized Noize production made that album a personal classic.

    As for the Washington Redskins, I completely co-sign your assessment. Either stay indifferent or admit the prejudice: anything else illustrates rhetorical gymnastics to prove that redfaced fans chanting ethnic slurs to support a losing football team provides a useful marketing topic in modern America. That dog don’t hunt.

    And does anyone really need a Saved By The Bell TV movie? How much ratings share can 90’s nostalgia generate? Really, who’s going to watch that? I don’t really want to know the behind the scenes sexual tension between teen actors twenty years ago. Seems kinda smarmy, imo.

  6. I switched to only buying TPBs years ago. I am never looking back. Still waiting for digital to make sense.

    I understand a lot of work goes in to that $5 comic and those guys need to be paid, but the value isn’t there. For the price of 2 comica I read in 30 minutes I could see a 2 hour first run movie. I could probably buy a discount pc or console game and get 10 hours or more of enjoyment. Comics are awesome but to a nerd on a budget they havent made sense in years.

  7. I also stopped reading almost everything at $3/issue. I got back into comics through Comixology, then Amazon borked the system when they bought it. I haven’t read any monthly stuff for about 3 months now.

  8. “delicious chicken and custard” sounds like the most solid business marketing model I’ve ever heard. Funny we both wrote about American Apparel this week but took vastly different approaches. I hadn’t even heard about the CEO thing. This is why I come here weekly – TO LEARN.

  9. @J.Lamb – I completely forgot about Bubba Sparxxx! I feel like Smo could give him a run for his money. If you listen to Smo’s debut album, he’s trying too hard to be street. Got too many guest stars saying “nigga”. I feel like he’s finally embraced his country lifestyle to be the “king of hick hop”. And a lot of people seem excited for the Saved by the Bell movie, so we’ll just have to see how many actually watch it.

    @Lamar – I should’ve dropped at $3, but I was addicted. I dropped a lot at $4, and I’ll be dropping a LOT more at $5. This could spell the end for me.

    @Zac – I, too, am waiting for digital to make sense. They need to find that magic pricepoint, and that ain’t what’s listed on the cover of the print version. I’ve become a trade waiter on a lot of things, but there are still books where I need my monthly fix, like Ultimate Spider-Man.

    @Chris – I tried Comixology, but I just don’t like digital. I guess I don’t have the right platform for it. My tablet is 7′, so it’s not big enough, and I don’t like reading stuff on the computer.

    @Howie – yeah, I used to be fascinated by Dov Charney. He was like a modern-day Larry Dallas, bedding anything that would let him. I’ve been following his creepiness for years.

  10. Waiting for digital is waiting for Godot. It won’t make sense for anyone who can acquire comics from the Big Two on the release date for free. There’s an obvious moral problem, because creators and publishers deserve compensation for their work. But when that work appeals only to the basest impulses, when sex and violence replace characterization and innovation, when diversity is a dirty word, many see no reason to refrain from enjoying Free Comic Book Day every Wednesday.

    I pay for quality comics – I’ve every issue of Nowhere Men. But Geoff Johns doesn’t write that comic.

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