Inhuman Swill : Page 207
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.


Full entry

Knives out

| No Comments

So last night was a momentous occasion for me. I saw my first knife pulled on the subway. (My friend Don used to pull his knife sometimes when we'd been drinking heavily, but that was rather a quality of experience.)

I got on the N at 8th Street, Queens-bound. Across from me were three obnoxious louts in their mid-twenties or so. They were being very loud and rude, and a dirty-blonde 40ish women nearby got fed up and plowed into a shouting match with them. There was a lot of "Bitch" and "Fuck you" and "Suck my dick" and "You don't have one" and "Fucking dyke" and "Is that the worst thing you can say?" thrown back and forth, and then it started to get ugly, like the combatants were going to jump to their feet and grapple.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, this stocky, bullish, dark-haired women racing over from the far end of the car, and she tells the louts, "You're getting off this train at the next stop." So the head lout gets up in her face and says, "Oh, yeah?" and the women repeats herself, and the guy says, "You gonna make me?" and she says, "Yeah, I am. You're getting off the fucking train," and then the two of them are pushing at each other and that's when I realize that the woman has a knife out and that's how she's proposing to eject these losers from the train.

And, well, that's about all I know. The train pulled into 23rd Street then, and the tussle spilled partway onto the platform, and someone went running to tell the conductor to call the police, but I didn't see much else because I have an extreme allergy to cutlery. I waited down at the far end of the train for things to get moving again, while other people hung out the doors trying to see what was going on.

Full entry

Quiz kids

| No Comments

I'm so hooked on these damn quizzes lately, I think our friend [info]missionaryman is going to have to write a Mormon Missionary Personality Test sometime soon . . .

Full entry

That's REALLY more like it!

| No Comments

Sadly, though, the JavaScript that runs the test is poorly written. It only works in Internet Exploiter, not in Nutscape!

Full entry

Okay, now that's more like it

| No Comments

If I was a work of art, I would be Piet Mondrian's Composition A.

I am rigidly organised and regimented, although my cold and unapproachable exterior hides a clever way of thinking and a rebellious and innovative nature. A lot of people don't understand me, but I can still affect them on an emotional level.

Which work of art would you be? The Art Test

A little close to home, but unarguable for all that.

Full entry

God, I've got to get out more

| No Comments

Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore

If I was a James Bond villain, I would be Pussy Galore.

I enjoy flying, a good roll in the hay, and nerve gassing army bases.

I am played by Honor Blackman in Goldfinger.

Who would you be? James Bond Villain Personality Test.

I suppose I must embrace my inner Pussy. (Are you trying to kill me, Goldschlager?)

Full entry

How British am I?

| No Comments

More bloody British than a Yank has a right to be, I'll wager . . .

I am 25% British.

Take the Brit Quiz at

Quiz written by Daz [info]daz71

Full entry

Say hello to Missionary Man

| No Comments

As part of a perhaps doomed master plan to generate alternative avenues of interest in my book, I've started a separate journal for detailing the process of marketing and selling Missionary Man.

So say hello to [info]missionaryman. If you're a friend of mine, I hope you'll become a friend of his too.

Full entry

What evil criminal would you be?

| No Comments

Lara Croft v. Indiana Jones

| No Comments

Eating dinner whilst preparing to meet my wife at Irving Plaza for the Living Colour reunion show (woo-hoo!), I caught a bit of Charlie's Angels (the movie) on HBO. Laura and I watched Lara Croft: Tomb Raider early last week, and these two movies have caused me to reflect on the state-of-the-art in the action-movie genre. (Sounding pretentious, am I?)

Anyway, these Matrix-like special effects where people leap and swoop and somersault and hover in the air in clear defiance of the laws of physics are really starting to wear on me. I'm just not thrilled by stunts that look impossible. Now, I'm not talking about stunts that make the improbable look possible, which are fine in my book. I'm talking about stunts where the action is obviously accomplished by hanging the actors from wires. There's nothing realistic-looking about someone jumping into the air, hanging there for two seconds longer than physically possible, kicking two assailants in opposite directions, then drifting lightly to the ground. It's an annoying shortcut to thrills, and it doesn't work for this boy.

What I like is seeing a stunt that, while clearly difficult, looks possible and looks hard. There's a reason why it's thrilling when Indiana Jones makes a desperate leap from the top of a moving truck. It's because he looks like he's doing something difficult, and he looks desperate. There's genuine peril—broken bones, blood and guts, death—waiting below if he doesn't make that leap successfully. On the other hand, when Lara Croft makes a leap, she's clearly so assured and relaxed that she has time to execute an unnecessary somersault in the middle of her crucial leap to safety. Indy Jones would barely make that leap, and we would feel thrilled and relieved when he barely made it. If Lara Croft is so unconcerned about the peril around her that she takes the time to do a somersault in the air, then why should we bother to worry about her safety?

Now, if there's one actor who looks like he's having fun while doing difficult and dangerous stunts, it's Jackie Chan. But the thing is, he looks like he's working hard. He takes obvious joy in the physical exertion, and that joy is infectious. Contrast this with the young ladies flying around on wires in Charlie's Angels, who certainly look like they're having fun, but who make it look like it's fun to fly around on wires, nothing more.

Full entry
The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn