do they have many farms in detroit?

Jon | Rory | Anthony

From the home office in Palo Alto, California, the top 2002 things I learned in 2002:

20. My body is a wonderland.
19. Even the Angels have no use for Tony Danza anymore.
18. There is still hope.
17. First, you say "whoa-oh." THEN, you say "yeah-ah." Not the other way around.
16. Always make extra copies of strange videotapes. Unless you're R. Kelly.
15. The Big Tymers are, evidently, still fly.*
14. By "new breed of secret agent," they mean "snowboarders."
13. Good Charlotte does not approve of Winona Ryder's recent behavior.
12. Christina Aguilera is not a girl, not yet a slut. No, she's beautiful, in the same way that Spider-Man "Hero" video is. Words can't bring her down. $100 could, though.
11. There is still hope.
10. "Stealing Harvard is the funniest movie of the year!"
09. It is no longer possible to hear anyone say "it's hot in here" without immediately thinking about getting buck naked.
08. Who da man? Yo da man!
07. If at first you don't succeed, attack Iraq.
06. White America, Eminem could be one of your kids. So could Halle Berry, but she's currently black.
05. Nothing good can happen when America votes.
04. There is still hope.
03. Everybody runs. Well, except for Anna Nicole Smith and Ozzy's kids.
02. You mess with one New Yorker, you mess with all of them.
01. He's a cyborg with BOMB in its RIBCAGE!!!

* they used to have a lot, now they have a little… haha

oh. my. slanted-eyed surprise.

guest poster: ty camp of fame

Adolescence — half my waking life spent locked behind the bathroom door. Through a world of matted handkerchiefs and crumpled Kleenex and stained pajamas, I move my raw and swollen penis, perpetually in dread that my loathsomeness will be discovered by someone stealing upon me just as I am in the frenzy of dropping my load. Nevertheless, I am wholly incapable of keeping my paws from my dong once it starts the climb up my belly. In the middle of a class I will raise a hand to be excused, rush down the corridor to the lavatory, and with ten or fifteen savage strokes, beat off standing up in a urinal. At the movies I will leave my friends to go off to the candy counter — and wind up in a distant seat, squirting my seed into the empty wrapper of a Mounds bar. On an outing of our family association, I once cored an apple, saw to my astonishment (and with the aid of my obsession) what it looked like, and ran off into the woods to fall upon the orifice of the fruit, pretending that the cool and mealy hole was actually between the legs of the mythical being who always called me Big Boy when she pleaded for what no girl in all recorded history had ever had. "Oh shove it in me, Big Boy," cried the cored apple that I banged silly on that picnic. "Big Boy, Big Boy, oh give me all you've got," begged the empty milk bottle that I kept hidden in our storage bin in the basement, to drive wild after school with my vaselined upright. "Come, Big Boy, come," screamed the maddened piece of liver that, in my own insanity, I bought one afternoon at a butcher shop and, believe it or not, violated behind a billboard on the way to a bar mitzvah.

It was the end of seventh grade that I discovered on the underside of my penis, just where the shaft meets the head, a little discolored dot that has since been diagnosed as a freckle. Cancer. I had given myself cancer. All that pulling and tugging at my own flesh, all that friction, had given me an incurable disease. And not yet fourteen! In bed at night the tears rolled from my eyes. "No!" I sobbed. "I don't want to die! Please — no!" But then, because I would very shortly be a corpse anyway, I went ahead as usual and jerked off into a sock. I had taken to carrying dirty socks into bed with me at night so as to be able to use one as a receptacle upon retiring, and the other upon awakening.

I remember how my mother taught me to piss standing up! Listen, this may well be the piece of information we've been waiting for, the key to what determined my character, what causes me to be living in this predicament, torn by desires that are repugnant to my conscience, and a conscience repugnant to my desires. Here is how I learned to pee into the bowl like a big man. Just listen to this!

I stand over the circle of water, my baby's weeny jutting cutely forth, while my momma sits beside the toilet on the rim of the bathtub, one hand controlling the tap of the tub (from which a trickle runs that I am supposed to imitate) and her other hand tickling the underside of my prick. I repeat: tickling my prickling! I guess she thinks that's how to get stuff to come out of the front of that thing, and let me tell you, the lady is right. "Make a nice sis, Tyler, make a nice little sissy for Mommy," sings Mommy to me, while in actuality what I am standing there making with her hand on my prong is in all probability my future! Imagine! The ludicrousness! A man's character is being forged, a destiny being shaped…oh, maybe not…

Did I mention that when I was fifteen I took it out of my pants and whacked off on the 107 bus from New York?

The bus, the bus, what intervened on the bus to prevent me from coming all over the sleeping girl's arm — I don't know. Common sense, you think? Common decency? My right mind, as they say, coming to the fore? Well, where is this right mind on that afternoon I came home from school to find my mother out of the house, and our refrigerator stocked with a big purplish piece of raw liver? I believe that I have already confessed to the piece of liver that I bought in a butcher shop and banged behind a billboard on the way to a bar mitzvah. Well, I wish to make a clean breast of it, Your Holiness. That — she — it — wasn't my first piece. My first piece I had in the privacy of my own home, rolled round my cock in the bathroom at three-thirty — and then had again on the end of a fork, at five-thirty, along with the other members of that poor innocent family of mine.

So. Now you know the worst thing I have ever done. I fucked my own family's dinner.

Merry Christmas.


all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others

Jram Royal: you fucking californians think you're the god damn kings of the fucking world

Our Lady Peace is one of my favorite bands. I fell in love with them in 1997 when KOME started playing "Superman's Dead" and we've been together ever since. Lucky for me, OLP has so far only cracked northeast America, so I can still see them in small venues on the west coast packed with transplanted Canadians.

andrew lentz in the 08.09-15 issue of la weekly
"An Our Lady Peace show presents a perplexing scenario: an altogether worthy yet unspectacular melodic rock act who somehow massage their audience into a quasi-religious euphoria of Jimmy Jones proportions. A classic case of the crowd being as entertaining as the band, OLP's House of Blues audience produced prolonged, pitch-perfect sing-alongs, not only to the hits but to tracks from the new album Gravity, released only a month earlier: 'Innocent' and 'Bring Back the Sun' conjured a forest of arms aloft and heads thrown back in eyes-closed, lip-synching ecstasy normally reserved for rock's most hallowed names. Our Lady Peace have tapped into something greater than the sum of their parts and are clearly offering the elements essential to both music and meaningful life: inspiration and escape."



Farmboy Mike and his buddy Chris from Washington visited Telcobox Nick and I in Los Angeles and sober hi-larity ensued. Mike captured the events of the day pretty well in his two posts: Dry Ice Part 1 and Dry Ice Part 2.

Some notes on Mike's posts:
Nick told me to tell the dry ice vendor that I wanted a block of dry ice, so I asked him for a block of dry ice…because…I was going on a road trip…and I needed to chill the cooler…and…uh…yeah. Despite my bad lying, the vendor agreed to sell me a block of dry ice for $30. "THIRTY FUCKING DOLLARS?" I thought. [sigh] "Aight… I'm a team player. I can afford this." Turns out Nick meant to say "half a block of dry ice." We ended up using less than a quarter of this giant block of dry ice, leaving me with lots of pricey carbon dioxide, which I proceeded to waste by dumping in the clogged urinals and unflushed toilets of my frat house.

Also, Nick's dad seemed more interested in blowing shit up than anyone else. In the Part 2 post, there's a photograph of him filming a Mountain Dew bottle, waiting for it to explode. The bottle, however, didn't seem to want to burst, so he got his BB gun and shot the mother, destroying his patio furniture in the process and loving every minute of it. Afterward, psycho dad suggested that we go inside because "the police are definitely gonna do a drive-by inspection over this," only to remark minutes later: "The police have probably come and gone by now. Let's go blow up some more stuff!"

"I smell it! I SMELL IT, ROCK!"

» 05 Apr 02

I should add that Academy Award® nominee Michael Clarke Duncan was standing right next to The Rock and no one paid any attention to him.

What started out as an unhealthy internet obsession resulted in a guy I had just met pooping off my balcony…and a lifetime of memories! I mean, how many people get to have their fucking HERO drive out to their house and sleep with them? I consider myself a very lucky man.

Check out the WankerCounty File. It's the closest thing you're gonna get to an archive on this site. It'd be a little better though if WC still existed.

And yes, Tony Fader is still my hero going into 2003.

» 17 May 02

everything sucks

A lot of people will accuse me of bias, but the evidence is overwhelming. Four consecutive issues of Spin each had a feature article referencing Detroit. October: cover story on The White Stripes. November: feature on bouncers at St. Andrew's Hall. December: cover story on Eminem. January 2003: The White Stripes' White Blood Cells named "album of the year" and Eminem named "artist of the year." At the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, Eminem got angry at a puppet and later walked away with "video of the year" for "Without Me," an honor that, in an ideal world, would have gone to The White Stripes' animated lego piece for "Fell in Love with a Girl." Anointed a star before he'd sold more than a few thousand records, Andrew W.K. inspired reams of press and a gargantuan backlash almost simultaneously. Meanwhile, The Insane Clown Posse released the sixth joker's card. While the apocalypse did not happen, Eminem dropped two number one albums in one year and became only the second person in history to have the number one album and number one movie in America at the same time (Jennifer Lopez did it last year). In addition, radio embraced a whopping seven Eminem tracks ("White America," "Business," "Cleaning Out My Closet," "Without Me," "Hailie's Song," "Lose Yourself," "8 Mile") with the single and video for "Superman" on the way. 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter became ABC's highest-rated family sitcom set in suburban Detroit since Home Improvement. Of the four movies released this year filmed on location in Detroit, all four are strong award contenders: Bowling For Columbine, Standing in the Shadows of Motown, 8 Mile, and the upcoming cop thriller Narc. The HBO special City on Fire: The Story of the '68 Detroit Tigers revisited happier days when the Tigers didn't suck and Marty Mornhinweg didn't have to deal with coin tosses. Luckily, Detroit still has the Red Wings, who basically swept the Hurricanes in the Stanley Cup Finals. A few weeks later at the sold-out WWE Vengeance pay-per-view, The Rock returned to wrestling to show that Red Wings weren't the only ones who could win a title inside the Joe Louis Arena and Hulk Hogan wrestled his last PPV match. Oh and some washed up filmmaker and his buddies from metro Detroit made a little movie called Spider-Man. Supposed to be really good.

Funny how the only person who didn't put Detroit city back on the map this year was Kid Rock.

oliver spencer

Apparently, the Matrix Reloaded script leaked. From what I know about the movie and the photos I've seen, it seems like the real thing. If it's not, then someone needs to get a job.

I was at my computer today doing nothing when I heard somebody yelling in the hallway. Moments later, there was knocking on my door. I opened the door and standing in front of me was a twenty-something hippie type.



"I'm looking for my friend Chris. He lives in 209 or something. Is it that way?"

"I don't know anyone named Chris."

"Yeah, he might not be here. He graduated three years ago. Haha. Aight thanks."

This person then ran around the floor knocking on every door in sight.

[knocking. door opens.]



"I'm looking for my friend Chris…"

[knocking. door opens.]


Eventually, his routine stopped. I suspect he found Chris and went to get high. Then, I heard this:

[knocking. door opens.]

"Yo could I borrow a pipe?"

And then, soon after…

[knocking. door opens.]

"Could I borrow a lighter too?"

Brain cells. Gotta love 'em.

the smell of hospitals in winter

My boss gave me a $30 Best Buy gift card for Christmas and now I don't know what to do. Do I get him a gift a return? How does reciprocity work in this case? If he was my co-worker, I'd get him a gift, but he's my boss! Bosses aren't supposed to give you Christmas gifts! A bonus, maybe. But 30 dollars for barely two months of part-time lackey work? Jesus ranch… Maybe I should use his gift card to get him a gift. Yeah, I'll recycle gifts! But I don't know what he likes. He likes…um…coming in to work early…and……shit. I can't get that at Best Buy! The fuck do I do? Ahhhhhh!

I'd like to meet the man who made the first ruler, and trust me, ladies, it was a man. How did he do it? To make a perfectly straight edge, you need a perfectly straight line, and perfectly straight things don't occur in nature. String? A taut piece of string isn't necessarily perfectly straight. How did he do it?

I received an e-mail entitled "Its okay not to be an engineer":

You're right, a woman definatley would not have figured out how to make a striaght line. But back in the bad old days, vertical lines were made with plumbs. Ancient egyptians had the merkhet. Basically, tie a rock to a string, hang from a wall. It helps if the sting is tied about the axis of the center of motion of the rock.


Well, thank you, John. I guess it's okay not to be good at spelling as long as you know how cavemen made straight lines. I kid. I kid. I should ask pressing questions more often and wait for people to e-mail me the answers.

I think people who use earpiece cell phones are an affront to people like me who legitimately talk to themselves.

I caught De Niro on Saturday Night Live and his eyes were proof that one of the biggest problems with SNL today is the almost total reliance on cue cards. Have you ever had a teacher who reads his or her lectures? Not very captivating, is it? The original "Not Ready For Prime Time Players" refused to use cue cards. Watch an episode of SNL from 1975 on E! and then watch a recent episode on Comedy Central and you can see the difference in sketch quality. Cue cards are supposed to give cues, not serve as teleprompters. While I understand that sketches are often being rewritten right up to show time, I find it hard to believe that the cast can't learn at least the gist of their lines in one week. Letterman does it every weeknight without stumbling. When I did speech and debate in high school, I was able to memorize a 10-minute sketch in a couple hours. I don't see why someone like Tracy Morgan can't commit to memory the three lines he has on every show.

I saw some guys with their sweatpants sagged. Look, if your pants are slightly large, fine. But when there's a FUCKING band of elastic around the waist, you have no excuse!

The latest issue of Mad features a parody of The Onion. Is this ironic?

What happened to Mad? It used to be so good.

I flipped through a copy of the latest issue. Glossy paper. Color. Ads. A WWE merchandise catalog insert. A three-page spread shilling Magic: The Gathering. I felt like I was reading Cosmo for teenage boys. I counted 18 pages of ads in all — one-third of the issue — including the inside cover and the back cover, which, if you remember, used to have content on it.

Duck Edwing once drew alliterative-titled Don-Martin-esque anecdotal comic strips for Mad. He now contributes a series of strips on deleted scenes from popular movies. The latest issue features a "deleted scene" from Spider-Man EMBEDDED in the middle of a two-page ad for the Fellowship of the Ring special edition DVD box set.

While the magazine does have a storied history of goofing on pop culture, I think nowadays, it depends too much on doing so for content. Does anyone actually think Betting Odds of Death or 50 Stupidest Things of the Year are worth printing as running features? The best aspects of Mad (Spy Vs. Spy, John Caldwell, The Lighter Side Of, Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions, Mad Fold-In) don't or didn't necessarily need to reference current events and trends in order to be amusing. Moreover, I can watch late night television or browse the internet for funny photoshopped images of stuff in the news. The new generation of Mad staffers seems to have forgotten that Mad's claim to fame is its comic book sensibility. The big draw is the Luddite art.


Contemporary Mad is no better than Cracked — sans the talent of John Severin.

Seriously, I can't believe it takes three people to produce this Monroe shit.

no sensitivity

I saw a commercial for another lame VH1 awards show and it had some rapper voice-over rapping about things that were "big in 2002," things like…Greta Van Susteren's makeover. One line in the rap that caught my attention states: "Star Wars flopped so f*ck Darth Vader." Excuse me? Attack of the Clones has grossed more than $300 million to date in the U.S. alone. It's the second-highest grossing movie of the year. Even with an estimated budget of $200 million, Lucas has more than recouped the costs of production. I don't think you can call it a legitimate flop. Plus, Darth Vader isn't even in the movie! Why is this mysterious rapper "f*ck"-ing him? F*CK YOU, stupid black guy! Get your f*cking facts straight!

pyxis 042: …you're a dork

i can dance if i want to, i can shoot the president

At the end of high school, I attended the Senior Awards ceremony and was surprised to see in the program that I would be receiving the Yale Book Award.

I believe three Ivy League Book Awards exist: the Harvard Book Award, the Yale Book Award, and the Brown Book Award. Basically, what happens is that teachers nominate junior-year students from their school for these Book Awards and the respective local alumni associations decide on who gets the award at each school.

Apparently, the Yale Club of Silicon Valley thought I had "outstanding personal character and intellectual promise." The actual award was a giant Yale Shakespeare: The Complete Works book with a nameplate inside.

I don't know what compelled them to give the award to me. Earlier that year, I had an interview for Yale with two local (and married) Yale alumni:

Yale Alumni: So what do you think about a liberal arts education?
Me: I think a well-rounded knowledge of the liberal arts is useless. Why waste time and money on classes that you didn't choose, classes that are shoved down your throat as a stupid ass "core curriculum"? Molecular cellular biologists read de Beauvoir, art history buffs memorize arpeggios, future French lit professors struggle through two years of calculus — it's ridiculous and impractical! The primary advantage of college is supposed to be that you learn how to look for what you want to learn.
Yale Alumni: Well, Yale is a liberal arts school, you know…
Me: Oh.

Needless to say, I was rejected from Yale.

Moreover, ten days after I received my Yale Book Award, I would witness Mr. Neely, another local Yale alumni, say to Mr. Farrell, who was sitting right next to me at the time, "Ugh. Jon Yu disgusts me. Everything about him. I can't even look at him while I'm saying this."

Good times.

Anyway, I've had this giant Shakespeare book now for three years and it looks like I'm finally gonna…open it.

I finalized my schedule for winter quarter 2003. I'm taking English 118 (Literature and Film: Beyond Adaptation) and the two required Shakespeare classes for my major: English 142B (Shakespeare: Later Plays) from 2:00 – 3:50 PM followed immediately by 142A (Shakespeare: Poems and Early Plays) from 4:00 – 5:50 PM. Four hours of straight lecturing on the complete works of Shakespeare, two days a week, for ten weeks, with the added bonus of having the three-hour finals for both Shakespeare classes on the same day. I look forward to cramping my hand and breaking my back.

March 21 = schweetness.

I saw this in a full-page ad for the movie Solaris:

Fox must be desperate for good reviews when it prints the SAME EXACT BLURBS right next to each other. And they're not even in order! Ebert's comment is clearly in response to Roeper's comment! Roeper's blurb should be on the left! Cheese and crackers…

drunks against mothers driving

Why is it that the day before Thanksgiving, the top story on every local news broadcast, regardless of what's going on in the world, is always that lots of people are leaving town? Why is this news? Thanksgiving is the next day! Of course the airports are gonna be packed! Of course there's gonna be traffic! Don't waste my time reporting on this!

New Year's Eve — same thing. The top story on every local news broadcast is always that people are partying. NO SHIT! Moreover, every April 14, the top news story is always that post offices are packed with people who want to submit their taxes. Hmmm… Maybe it's because April 15 is FUCKING TAX DAY!

Top stories should not be common sense. Save it for the weather segment. "We've got some rainshowers ahead. Looks like you might get wet." [bangs head on wall]

The Tower Records on Sunset has three "8 Mile Rd. Mobile Court" signs — actual lighted reproductions — adorning its exterior. I want to steal one of them and together with a lighted "live nude girls" sign and plastic baby Jesus and Virgin Mary I stole, the Hornblowers will finally beat the Alvarados this year in the neighborhood Christmas decoration competition. Ar ar ar!

there is no spoon

from "how to tell a true war story" by tim o'brien

You can tell a true war story by the questions you ask. Somebody tells a story, let's say, and afterward you ask, "Is it true?" and if the answer matters, you've got your answer.

For example, we've all heard this one. Four guys go down a trail. A grenade sails out. One guy jumps on it and takes the blast and saves his three buddies.

Is it true?

The answer matters.

You'd feel cheated if it never happened. Without the grounding reality, it's just a trite bit of puffery, pure Hollywood, untrue in the way all such stories are untrue. Yet even if it did happen — and maybe it did, anything's possible — even then you know it can't be true, because a true war story does not depend upon that kind of truth. Absolute occurrence is irrelevant. A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth. For example: Four guys go down a trail. A grenade sails out. One guy jumps on it and takes the blast, but it's a killer grenade and everybody dies anyway. Before they die, though, one of the dead guys says, "The fuck you do that for?" and the jumper says, "Story of my life, man," and the other guy starts to smile but he's dead.

That's a true story that never happened.

Charlie Kaufman wrote Being John Malkovich. He then agreed to adapt Susan Orlean's book The Orchid Thief about orchid enthusiast John Laroche for the big screen. When he couldn't figure out how to adapt a book about flowers into a good movie, Kaufman wrote a screenplay about his struggles trying to adapt said book instead.

This is all true. Charlie Kaufman is an actual screenwriter who actually struggled to adapt The Orchid Thief, an actual book about actual orchid enthusiast John Laroche written by actual New Yorker writer Susan Orlean.

So now then.

Adaptation is the true story of a writer trying to write the movie you're watching, but the movie doesn't end with him finishing a screenplay, it ends at the end of the screenplay you're watching him write, so at some unspecified point in the movie, reality merges with fiction — that is, real people suddenly become characters in a fictitious story.

To further complicate things, Kaufman includes in his real screenplay 1) his experience (real or fake — we don't know) attending a real screenwriting seminar taught by real screenwriting teacher Robert McKee in which he learns that the key to good screenwriting is just to wow the audience at the end of a movie so they leave the theatre happy and 2) the presence of a fake twin brother of his, a typical Hollywood screenwriter who, in his real screenplay, helps him finish his real screenplay.

Are you still with me?

Adaptation completely falls apart during its third and final act. It's really bad. Total Hollywood nonsense, starring real people, no less. Thing is, did Kaufman (the real one) deliberately sensationalize the ending to wow the audience? Or is it supposed to be the part of the screenplay that his fake brother helped write? Or did it actually happen? Is it genius? Or mere incompetence? Does it matter? WHY IS SUSAN ORLEAN SNORTING POWDERED DRUGS AND HAVING SEX WITH A HICK?

Mindfuck of the year, I tell you. A true story that never happened.