Now, on a serious note-

I don’t ordinarily engage with detractors – oh, I’ll respond occasionally when I feel they’ve gotten something factually wrong (that being my bailiwick), or if I think of something adequately dismissive to write (the secret is eight words or less – that way it doesn’t look like you put too much effort into it).

A recent comment on my much-maligned open letter to the filmmakers responsible for the film Inside deserves some response, I believe – not because it’s an especially controversial or interesting, but because I think the commenter let us know more than they’d intended. What I learned left me worried… but we’ll get to that after I’ve shared the comment with you.

Here’s the notification, as I received it:

DIEfatangryblogger has left a new comment on your post "An Open Letter to the Makers of Inside":

Hey just wanted to stop by and say you're a douchebag. Oh, and i hope you choke on your dad's cock.

As you can see, the main thrust of the message isn’t particularly unfair or fresh – I am, in fact, a douchebag, a fact to which anyone who’s ever listened to an episode of theAvod can freely attest.

It’s all of the surrounding information that I find so disconcerting. Let’s start with the name that our commenter has chosen for themselves. ‘DIEfatangryblogger’ – if we separate that out into the sentence that it’s obviously meant to be, we get DIE Fat Angry Blogger. Which, naturally, lets us know that this commenter is a woman of German descent, or possibly a native German-speaker herself.

So look at how this woman chooses to identify herself – not only is she a ‘fat angry blogger’, she’s ‘THE fat angry blogger’ – as if those two negative characteristics are the primary ways in which she self-identifies. Now, it’s possible that she’s merely being hyperbolic, and isn’t either as obese or hateful as her name would suggest, but I don’t think so – and there’s evidence in her second sentence that I feel proves the case.

Oh, and i hope you choke on your dad's cock.

Please note that Blogger’s comment feature does not autocorrect typography. So when DFAB was typing out her comment, she knew enough about proper formatting to capitalize the first letter in each sentence. Yet she doesn’t capitalize the word ‘I’, as is the convention. This lower-case ‘i’ suggests serious issues with self-esteem, perhaps going so far as to imply the desire to extinguish the self.

Between the name and this unintentional(?) revelation, it’s clear that DFAB doesn’t like herself very much – so where does this self-loathing come from? I could go on to theorize here about the kind of background that must exist for a person to so cavalierly bring up imagery of child molestation, but I'm going to refrain from doing that. Instead, I want to offer a suggestion to DFAB - whatever it is in your background that's driving you to such depths of self-loathing and obesity, deal with it. Quickly.

You've made your cry for help, and it's been heard. Now take that next step and get the treatment you so obviously need.


Criminal Minds 309: Penelope

Oh, so Garcia’s not dead. Sorry for the confusion, I guess that since the hot guy wanted to kill her I just assumed he’s shoot her more than once through the upper left chest. He didn’t, though, and the ambulance called by her neighbour arrives in time to take her to the hospital! Will she pull through? I can’t hazard a guess. Well, okay, I’ll hazard, since you insist. Yes, she will pull through.

The team gets the news at base – apparently they flew back from Florida really, really fast. Everyone gathers at the hospital except for Derek, who was in church when we last saw him, and therefore has his phone turned off.

Meanwhile, the hot guy tosses evidence into a river while looking awfully proud of himself. So who is the hot guy, and why did he shoot Garcia after being seen with her in public on multiple occasions? I’m guessing we’ll find out after the opening credits!


The Twenty-Third-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

It occurs to me that I haven't featured enough amazing sound effects in these panels.

Hopefully this will the first step to remedying that situation.


Criminal Minds 308: Lucky

It’s flashback time! Back in 1988 a doctor is warning the rest of the staff of the Hazelwood home for the criminally insane that they can’t risk releasing a disturbed 17-year-old back into the world. Sadly, because of the backwards legal statutes in Florida, a criminal committed before the age of 18 must be released when they legally become an adult.

The doctor warns, Loomis-style, that the killer will no doubt try to live out his journal full of sick sexual fantasies, and I don’t doubt that he’s right. When you’re so dedicated to craziness and evil that you actually fill your room at the insane asylum with books about Satan, maybe this should be a sign to the world that you don’t need to go on living.

Seriously, doctor, if you’re that worried, just take the guy off the board already. History will thank you. And you’re so old that you’ll only have to spend a couple of years in prison.

The episode then jumps to Garcia, who’s getting coffee on her way to work in the present day. While at the shop she flirts with this handsome man who’s having computer troubles:

Could he be ‘Lucky’, the satanist would-be serial killer some 20 years later? All we know about the killer is that his medication pushed his weight past three bills, and he wore glasses. This guy doesn’t fit either of those criteria, but between going off meds and getting contacts, he could well be our killer. Especially considering that he’s got a speaking part in a Criminal Minds episode.

The handsome guy asks Garcia out on a date, then she heads off to work in a good mood, which Derek picks up on immediately. Garcia is suspicious of the handsome man’s interest, which Derek encourages.

Meanwhile JJ has arrived with this week’s case, which is taking place in Florida, so it can’t be the handsome man who’s doing it, sadly. It seems that Lucky kills young women, cuts off their fingers, carves pentagrams into their chests, then tosses them into the river for gators to eat. Oh, and he’s also still wearing the glasses, and has grown into a Beardo – but we don’t get a good look at his face. Maybe we will after the opening credits.


Criminal Minds 307: Identity

The episode opens with an explosion, as a scarred man speeding along the road in a stolen car gets pulled over by the cops. Unable to escape he decides to take the honorable way out.

Yeah, it was a grenade. Also, he seems to have been moving a load of flour in the back of his car. Who might have guessed? Why did this man kill himself? We won’t find out immediately – first it’s time for the team to check out Joe’s office and try to profile him a little. He interrupts the session, which, sadly, does not result in hilarity ensuing. Then it’s time for the briefing: Three women have been abducted in the past year and a half, never to be seen again. The car that exploded belonged to a fourth woman who was abducted that morning. A woman who wasn’t in the car! So where could she be:

Oh, there she is. Sorry lady, but you’re not going to make it. Scarface died in the teaser, which means you’re the one who gets killed halfway through the proceedings before they rescue victim number three.

A prediction that I’m sure will come true after the opening credits!


The Twenty-Second-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

It's a special double-panel this time around. Why?

Because it's not enough to just see Captain Marvel punching out redskins.

That's right. Although the past half-century has been pretty rough on Custer, apparently the first seventy years of his death were very kind to his memory.


Tales from the Darkside 110: Djinn, no Chaser

Letting us know that we’re probably in for another comedy (two in a row?) this episode opens with a man humming happily in a mental institution, while the credits let us know that Kareem-Abdul Jabarr is this week’s special guest star. Somehow I don’t see him doing intense horror.

The crazy man, one Daniel, begins his story, speaking directly to the camera as if it’s the psychiatrist in the hospital. He flashes back to he and his wife’s first days as newlyweds, as they were looking for furnishings for their new apartment. While out walking they stumble across a magical tent that appears form nowhere-

In the middle of a vacant Los Angeles lot. Continuing with their humourous self-aware banter, they head into the tent and, naturally, come across a magic lamp that Connie, the wife, wants to purchase. Daniel bargains the man down to ten dollars, and they leave, only to have the tent mysteriously, and predictably, disappear.


Criminal Minds 306: About Face

This week’s episode opens with a compelling image – the beauty of nature, serene and idyllic as birds take wing. Then their reverie is interrupted by the sound of a gunshot! One of the birds is killed, delivering a profound message – there is no situation so beautiful that it can’t be ruined by the evils of man.

Oh, wait, maybe that’s not what they meant, since the duck hunter is played by Joe Mantegna, who’s replacing Mandy as the team’s lead profiler this week. Did they mean for Joe to be introduced representing evil? I’m guessing no.

It seems Joe is a famous former profiler who’d long ago quit to use his gifts to sell books and get high-paid speaking engagements. If this sounds familiar, it’s because he’s playing a fake version of John Douglas, who would help found the BSU and then go on to write a series of books about it, while providing the inspiration for basically every profiler character in fiction. What’s interesting is that the show already has a ‘fake John Douglas’ character, played by Geoff Pierson in the Keystone Killer episode from the first season. Sadly, I guess Geoff wasn’t a big enough name to build a show around after Mandy had left.

Also interesting? The fact that Joe’s old badge has a photo on it that barely resembles him.

Anyhoo, Joe heads in to meet with the evil AD and demand his old job back. She has no no choice but to agree to Joe’s terms (he wants a job, and nothing else), because he’s so damn famous and skilled that she’d look foolish trying to hold him back when the team needs help.

Personally, I suspect that he’s just joining the team so that he can use its resources to solve his pet case:

Before heading into the office he pockets that charm bracelet. What little girl could it belong to? I’m guessing that his daughter disappeared some years earlier, and he’s been haunted by his failure to catch the culprit all this time.

With any luck, we’ll see if I was right by the end of the episode!

Speaking of episode, isn’t it about time for a murder?

So this woman in Texas is heading home, and she discovers a missing persons flyer of herself on her front door:

Alarmed, she calls a detective, who she knows personally, but he assures her that it’s probably just a pre-Halloween prank. But that night when he swings by the house to check up on her the woman has disappeared - and the inside of her house has been papered with the fliers!

Also the killer left an incredibly creepy mask which suggests that, for a first-time killer he’s got an incredibly elaborate MO.

Time for the opening credits, which I’m actually really interested to see this week.

For the past three episodes since Mandy’s departure Greg has been headlining the show – now that Joe’s going to be in first position, will Greg be fine with going back to second?

Also, did anyone take this opportunity, like JJ back in season 2, to update their picture in the group shot? We’ll find out after the opening credits!


Programme 11 (7-May-77)

Cover: Wow – so not only is Monday going to sacrifice himself this week, they’re basing the entire marketing of the issue around that fact. Impressive!


Tales from the Darkside Episode 109: A Case of the Stubborns.

This episode opens with the tragedy already having occurred – a mother and son (Christian Slater!)-

Are dressed in their Sunday best, ready for the funeral of their father-in-law and grandfather, respectively. It seems that Grandpa isn’t quite ready for the funeral, though – he heads down the stairs, eager for breakfast. Obviously he hasn’t checked a mirror yet, or he’d have noticed the over-the-top pancake makeup that’s coating his face so as to better prepare his sallow, colourless visage for the viewing.

Mother and Son don’t know exactly how to deal with the situation – trying to figure out if Grandpa is a ‘haint’, since the previous night he was declared dead by the local doctor. Grandpa just won’t hear of it, however, and stalks out of the house. Mother goes to fetch the doctor, hoping that her father-in-law will listen to someone with a little more sense.