A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Sixty-Nine
"The Sardine cares nothing about the petty inconsequential thoughts of the members of the cyber-social network. Friends should be seldom seen, heard from a little more than seen, and shouldn't recommend anything, whether it's a good book, movie, or restaurant."
Can't Wait to Not Finish It
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Sixty-Eight
"That's the beauty of being a writer. Yes, you want to—have to—finish the column or story, but when the process really ends is unknowable. Then, you look into the past and wonder how the book or column ever formed."
On the Offensive
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Sixty-Seven
"The Sardine can't respect anyone who believes he or she has been offended. Like feeling jealousy, your being offended is a self-created condition. You are responding to an imaginary assault on to your equally imaginary moral universe."
Process of Elimination
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Sixty-Six
"The Sardine's disdain for Stand-Up comedy actually marks a cleansing from his life of all kinds of banal and empty matter endemic to contemporary American society and culture."
a poem-series by Francis Raven, January 2011
'Everything has become public:
"I'm not an autonomy gal
because everything is art
(if there's a restriction
you must contest it)'
State of the Union
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Sixty-Five
'"Maybe there's nothing he can do," says McNulty. "How can you complain, Frank, when the insurance industry, your bread and butter, put the country in a financial hole?"
'"Joe's mortgage company did much more than the insurance companies," retorts Frank. "Joe was handing out mortgages like they were candy."'
Stand-Up and Be Listed
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Sixty-Four
"The Sardine's funny bone joints have no tendons left. Comedic arthritis has set in. Listening to comedic monologue has become intensely painful."
The Slacker Paradox
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Sixty-Three
"It is impossible, though, to deny W.'s slacker credentials. A classic non-achiever, Junior could have become Jeffrey "the Dude" Lebowski incarnate had he not been born into obscene amounts of money. W. and the Dude share several qualities..."
The Slacker Mentality
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Sixty-Two
'"The Sardine lived with his parents until he was thirty-five," McNulty chimed in.
"Forty," says Melinda. "Then he moved over to my place."
"That's not right," says Frank. "A guy should want to get out on his own."
Throw Out Your Sunscreen, You Pale People, and Get a Life!
Opposites Day by Tantra Bensko, March 2010
"While many of us have been careful not to use sunscreen for years because the information was out there all along, now, people en masse are starting to throw their chemical tubes in the trash, where they belong. Well, it's about time, and now, the effects of vitamin D are all the rage as effective against the flu, and more. The main message is—the sun is good for you."
The League of Non-Voters, Part Three
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Sixty-One
"The last thing Democrats and Republicans want to confront is their intellectual if not political rigor mortis. They outlasted Perot. They outlasted Nader. Jesse Ventura has packed it in, although I give him credit for understanding the future of politics: a form of the W.W.F. Election campaigns have become steel-caged matches."
The Clapping's the Thing, Part Two
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Sixty
'But the people saying "God bless you" aren't rationalizing this when they say it. It is said because it has been said. It's compulsively said. Irresistibly so. Strangers will say it to you. Who knows, in World War I a British soldier sneezes in a trench and on the other side of no-man's-land you can hear "Gesundheit".'
The League of Non-Voters, Part Two
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Fifty-Nine
"The League of Non-Voters does not spend its time or money trying to convince people not to vote. If you belong to the Republican and Democratic Party organizations, we expect you to get as many people as possible to the polls to vote mechanically for your candidate. And to all of the members of small parties, like the Green and Libertarian advocates, we would not tell you that your vote is wasted."
I Drink My Urine at You, Herr Doktore!
Opposites Day by Tantra Bensko, December 2009
"What's the last thing most people would automatically assume we'd want to do with our urine in order to be healthy? Drink it? Well, yes, maybe so. But is that the worst you can think of? Really? How about let it stay out for a week and get smelly, and rub it on our skin?"
Anatomy of American Ignorance
Part Two by Bill Noxid, November 2009
"These are the people Obama continuously tries to "reach out" to. If Obama himself was being honest about the origin of this country and it's true history ( instead of the self-serving propaganda offered by the American educational system ), he would understand what motivates this unalterable hatred, and would recognize why these people will never accept him as President."
The Viewing of the Facts Now Passed Away Is at Six O'Clock
Opposites Day by Tantra Bensko, November 2009
"He wants a professional disillusionist
With long black lashes
To take his flowing, red red velvet clothes
And prance about with them,"
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Fifty-Eight
'I retain the copyright. I could publish them again since they magazines are now defunct.
'"If I didn't plagiarize in school," say Joe T., "I wouldn't have gotten my degree."
'The Sardine's advice to you, before you reached the point where you had to plagiarize, would have been DON'T GO TO COLLEGE.'
The Clapping's the Thing
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Fifty-Seven
"I returned a column ago!
"'Why didn't you tell us?' asks McNulty.
"'He's a modest fish,' Wal-terr says snidely.
"'You never really said you were leaving,' says Frank.
Opposites Day Gets Down and Dirty with the Swine
by Tantra Bensko, October 2009
"In 2004, Archives of Disease in Childhood recorded a study testing 800 asthmatic children getting a flu vaccine. They had to go much more often to the doctor and hospital. FluMist is even worse, as asthmatic children taking that had to go to the hospital three times as often, as presented at the 2009 American Thoracic Society International Conference."
Anatomy of American Ignorance
Part One by Bill Noxid, September 2009
"It's generally not hard to find examples of the totality of mind control in this country, but last week produced a couple of rare examples. Arlen Specter's Town Hall meeting was evidently an important "test case" for the organizers of disingenuous dissent, and we got to see a variety of the false arguments. Just look at the two most obvious incidents:"
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Fifty-Six
"She was a self-proclaimed Marxist. Her larger view saw Jennings as a pawn of a corporate media conglomerate which oppresses and suppresses the noble proletariat through the control and manipulation of information. Yet, this same Marxist could not help saying that Jennings had given a truer, better picture of the world on his ABC News Report. Similarly, this same female Marxist would speak glowingly of Oprah Winfrey."
Chapters Twenty-Six through Twenty-Eight: the Conclusion by Bill Berry
'"Cum for daddy," Skin whispered into his ear, "Show daddy how you can cum." Six shot another wad of jizz. He howled deeply as the tremor of grief welled up inside him and burned through him in a gush. "Cum for daddy," Skin whispered, "Cum for daddy." Six sobbed as the last load of jizz released itself from his body.'
Chapters Twenty-Three through Twenty-Five by Bill Berry
'The PCP made everything difficult to comprehend. For a moment, Skin thought he could will his friend back together by simply remembering Six as he was before the knife went inside him. After what seemed to be too long of a time, Skin realized it wasn't working. "I don't know what to do," Skin said out loud.'
Chapters Twenty through Twenty-Two by Bill Berry
"Six paused. He waited. He looked deeper into the mirror. The PCP had caused his eyes to grow large. He looked deeper. Another pound at the door followed by another shout, "Dood! Yo! What's up?" Six grabbed the knife from the sink and placed the end of the switchblade next to his stomach. Six pushed the button of the switchblade and heard the pop. He felt the blade sear his flesh. Behind him the door opened. Six screamed."
Chapters Seventeen through Nineteen by Bill Berry
'"It's talking to me, the smokey-smoke," Daisy said, "It wants me to smoke more and not ever stop smoking, it said—the smokey-smoke." Daisy shook some more crystal from the bag on the table and wiped the back of her hand across her face. Her hands were shaking. "The smokey-smoke said so," she mumbled to herself, "Yes. Yes, the smokey-smoke."'
Chapters Fourteen through Sixteen by Bill Berry
"Rusty had a really cool Motorhead pin on his leather jacket and Skin really liked it. Motorhead was an all right band, not Skin's favorite, but not sucky either. Besides, Rusty was kinda funny. It was the way he was a nerd but not, like a wolf in sheep's clothing, only Rusty seemed more like a sheep in wolf's clothing—a geek in leather. This made Skin feel better about himself because Rusty wanted his approval so badly."
Chapters Ten through Thirteen by Bill Berry
'"She'll be okay. I promise. She'll be alright." Rusty curled up tighter and howled into himself. Skin let his head fall into Rusty's shoulder. He continued crooning and rocking away his friend's grief. From inside the club, the distant thumping of music could be heard as Six sat on his knees, mouth still open and slobbering.'
Chapters Seven through Nine by Bill Berry
"He walked up to his sister with a dollar in his hand. Peggy smiled and bent down in front of him, letting her breasts fall into his face. She jiggled wildly for a moment and then bent down in front of Six spreading her legs wide. For balance, she threw her arms around Six's shoulders. Six placed the dollar into her crotch and let his finger brush against her clit. Peggy leaned into Six's ear and nibbled slightly."
Chapters Four through Six by Bill Berry
"It was only the first time she'd ever smoked pot, and it was only the first time she'd run away from home. She didn't stay in her room this week and not go anywhere because her parents caught her stealing five dollars from her sister's piggy bank. She told them to fuck off because that's what punks do. All of these people told their parents to fuck off a hundred times, at least. This was only her first."
by Bill Berry, Chapters One through Three, June 2008
"Jackson planted himself firmly. He grabbed Laney by the shoulders and shoved her—hard. Her body hurled towards the edge of the ring of boys that surrounded them and broke through. She fell a few feet away, her body slapping hard on the concrete. A small trickle of blood ran down her leg. Her black tights had been torn. She curled up into a ball and held tight, waiting to see what would happen again."
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Dan Schnieder reviews the movie, April 2008
"There's so much wrong with this film, yet I wanted so much for it to be good because I was predisposed to emotionally 'like' it. After all, it's ostensibly a tale about growing up in a tough working class neighborhood of Queens, New York, and dealing with all the varied temptations that such a life and environment offer- i.e.- a slice of my own youth. Why would I NOT be inclined to like the film?"
The Quiet Earth
Dan Schneider reviews the movie, March 2008
"Like most films in this sub-subgenre, it falls prey to tropes that undermine it- the first being the predictability of sexual or racial conflict (two for two), and the second being following the Dumbest Possible Action, wherein characters do really dumb things no one would do in real life, just so the film can move along."
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Fifty-Five
"Logged-In Public: We are the future. Soon, everything will be done online. The Sardine buys his books and movies off the Internet. Soon he will have a custom made car assembled on a web page and never have to see the smarmy face of an automobile salesman again. Even the Newspaper-Reading Public checks out the Associated Press and other news reports from Yahoo or Comcast or AOL before they get a paper delivered to their house."
The Power Behind the Paper
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Fifty-Four
"Kingdoms flourished with coins. Nations had paper money. We are now in the era of post-modern nation-states that started with checks, credit cards, and ATMs. Individual currencies will soon be worthless. Dollars, euros, yen, and the rest continue to exist as anachronisms. The same way we still use paper currency. The reality of the money card will mean that the global state will expand and absorb the old nation states."
Dan Schneider reviews the movie, February 2008
"Thus, the question of the film is whether or not a person is an individual, or the presentation of a series of facts— appearances, quirks memories, that invokes seeming individuation. One might argue that Kagemusha made a better Shingen than Shingen did; thus opening up the query of whether or not superficial gestures can sometimes be the essence of a person."
Dan Schneider reviews the movie, January 2008
"Yet, not that far behind has to be Louis Malle's decision to cast the lead character for his 1974 film, Lacombe, Lucien with an amateur named Pierre Blaise. No actor would likely be able to capture the natural ferality that Blaise brings to the role of a none-too-bright French farm boy who unwittingly, at first, becomes an accomplice and collaborator with the Gestapo in the final months of Vichy France, in late 1944."
The Universe Like the Internet
A Sardine on Vacation, Episode Fifty-Three
"Logged-In Public: Maybe through the Internet God will finally breakdown and communicate with us. It's been awhile. Ever since the Jews pissed him off when Moses brought down the ten commandments, he's been sort of scarce."
A Sardine on Vacation, the Movie
'"Sard's the new Rocky," said Joe T.
"Sure. You're the underdog who broke into print and against all odds the column became popular. You fought your way to get recognition. You were the David who slew the Media Goliath."
I thought I was Rocky. But, that aside, my book is not cinematic. Has no continuity. Completely plotless.'
The White Diamond
Dan Schneider reviews the movie, December 2007
"This film starts with an overview of the history of flight, especially the non-mechanical sort, and, of course, ends with scenes of the Hindenburg disaster in Lakehurst, New Jersey, in 1937, which kyboshed the dream of lighter than air vehicles as practical instruments of travel. Then, the film follows the obsessive modern flotative folly of aeronautical engineer, Dr. Graham Dorrington, of St. Mary's College in London, England, and his attempt to use a miniature blimp (which is diamond shaped and white) to circumnavigate the forest canopy in Guyana..."
Zombie Park #2
the put ME! down---er
THE DROWNER OF SPIRIT"