BIG fucking site update

The film section of this mess is now DONE. Mostly. The information is all up, but I’m not happy with main pages, yet. I would prefer the Genres page to have a custom sidebar, but my WordPress theme is kind of a bitch about that. It’s possible, though. I’m working on it. And I don’t know what I’m doing, so it may take some time.

The main page could also stand to be a little more smooth and look less like a Geocities site circa 1996. Working on that, too.

But the writing is all here. We at The Constant Bleeder are now grilling hamburgers. We’re like a restaurant that’s open, but our sign isn’t finished, yet.

Also, Find My Typos, Win a Vinyl Record.

Coming up next: a MUSIC column called Music Makes You Dumber. (EDIT: Scratch that. I’ve decided to just put the music stuff on the blog.)

Internet Explorer is FAKE NEWS (also, a word on Jack Clark’s novel NOBODY’S ANGEL)


Things are coming together. I’m feeling good. How about you? Did that spot ever clear up?

For about three hours each day, I do what’s essentially a data entry job on this site, linking pages, uploading images, copying, pasting and editing. I fire up a Blu-Ray commentary track or some music (the TURBO KID soundtrack is doing me good lately) for background entertainment and I chug along. The film portion of the site should be done in about a week, likely sooner.

The ONLY problem I’ve noticed is that in Internet Explorer, random images here show up as very tiny. An image that’s normal-sized in every other browser shrinks down to something less than a thumbnail on IE. I don’t get it. Research hasn’t helped. I’ll look into it more, but I have a half a mind to just decide that Internet Explorer sucks and forget about it.

I’m a Google Chrome man. Chrome is the browser of cool people, I say!

Only dorks use Internet Explorer! Let’s spread this around.

And speaking of life and death problems…

Jack Clark

Nobody’s Angel

Hard Case Crime reprint, 2010

I’ve never driven a taxi in my life, but this novel makes me feel like I’ve been doing it for ten years. And I mean that in a good way. This story of one sad cab driver who stumbles into TWO different murder mysteries while he makes a living on the streets of Chicago is a travelogue of the city, as well as of the job and of the narrator’s frayed nerves. Jack Clark writes prose full of coffee and misery and moonlight. He was a taxi driver for thirty years and as in all of the coolest fiction, this is a writer writing about his own life, just under the thin guise of the crime genre. Meanwhile, you don’t care much about the murder mysteries. One involves a standard prostitute-snuffer who prowls the streets in a van at which our narrator only got a quick glance (barely remembers a thing); the other is someone who’s out killing cab drivers. Jack Clark builds no house of cards, nor does he intend to do so. There are no compelling clues. And our narrator is no detective. His idea of sleuthing is driving past a murder scene a few times and most of his ideas turn out be wrong. It’s no matter, though. Here, the dead bodies are less important than how our narrator feels about them. The investigation, like a taxi, is a vehicle for traveling the byways of his soul and it’s not the nicest neighborhood. To his great credit, Jack Clark also brings in one more brave and important dose of reality here: Sometimes some mysteries go unexplained.



Ann Sterzinger’s THE TALKATIVE CORPSE (and a brief website progress update)

I thought that I would have this website completed by now, but NOPE. I bought the domain name and the web space last November and I’m still learning on the job.

I’m still having bad ideas, working on them for several days and then trashing it all when I figure out that it stinks.

I started out with NO vision for this site, but one is slowly cohering by trial and error. When it’s finished, I’m hoping that this Constant Bleeder bullshit is something decent. We’ll see.

In the meantime, here’s a piece about a good book that I just read:

Ann Sterzinger

The Talkative Corpse

Hopeless Books, 2013

In this novel, a 40 year old educated man toils in minimum wage helljobs in Chicago circa 2011-12. Also, his girlfriend dumped him and he’s late on the rent for his shitty apartment.

Life has been kicking this guy in the balls ever since the internet killed his old newspaper job. Anne Sterzinger’s John Jaggo is a man under EVERYONE’S boot heel. Is he The World’s Biggest Loser or is he a kind of tarnished saint who suffers for the sins of modern living? Sterzinger argues the latter. This book is his journal, written to be sealed up, buried and discovered by people in the future. If Jaggo’s given up on happiness now, he’ll take immortality in a hundred years or so. He writes like it’s the only thing that keeps him sane.

It’s an essential perspective on the follies of the early 21st century. Sterzinger knows the sting of fluorescent lights, the horror of customer service and the terror of shitbag bosses at low-level office computer drone jobs like John Steinbeck knows Salinas Valley. Her narrator is articulate (and funny) in a well-read way. He neatly disembowels the Occupy movement (Jaggo attends a demonstration and finds it less than inspiring, to put it mildly), while also having little fondness for the fruits of capitalism.

And while everyone today has something to say about technology, Sterzinger is among the very few to talk frankly about how it’s taking away our jobs. Whatever the hell it is that you do for a living, there’s someone somewhere working on a machine, a website or a program to make your job, or even your entire industry, obsolete.

Capitalism considers the working class to be cattle, at best (and a burden, at worst), and Socialism has slid into laughable irrelevance. Most people into Socialism in 2017 are privileged bumblers. Socialism needs a strong and galvanized working class to make any sense at all. Today’s working class ain’t buying it. They’re not on board. They don’t care. They’re too busy bracing themselves for their jobs to become worthless while the rest of the world enjoys the technological innovation that made it happen. For Socialism to be relevant, the working class needs to feel relevant. And that’s the exact opposite of what’s happening.

Some in Generation X got hit extra hard with this. They went to college in the very last moments that a degree in the Humanities was still considered worthwhile. They graduated into a precarious job market and so heavy in debt that a suspicious mind might think that said debt was the sole reason why they were lured into college in the first place.

On the upside, Ann Sterzinger is doing HER job as a novelist to document all of this shit. THE TALKATIVE CORPSE is a book about one sad man in 2011 and 2012, but it feels like the end of the world.

But it’s NOT the end of the world.

The brilliant stroke of this book is that it’s presented as an ancient artifact discovered by the people of an unimaginable future (their presence felt faintly in an introduction and a few scattered “translator’s notes”). Every tragedy is undercut by how its main character, and all of us, are now dust. You and I are far-gone fertilizer here, no matter what our problems or status. It’s poignant and in a way it makes us all laughable.

It’s a book that gives us exactly what we deserve.

SITE PROGRESS UPDATE: All Movie Reviews Now Uploaded

Yep, all 1,060 of them. They’re not linked from anywhere yet (so you can’t find them), but they’re here like bats nesting in a cave. Now, I will organize them in their own neat and tidy section, which shouldn’t take too long (I hope). I aim to have this site in spiffy shape by mid-February so that my nightmare can end and your nightmare can begin, dear reader.

In the meantime, here are links to five recent movie pieces of mine:

Hard Boiled (the John Woo shoot-’em-up landmark, which I saw this week at the Alamo Drafthouse)

The Sadist (the 1963 Arch Hall Jr. classic!)

Traffic in Souls (exploitation 1913-style)

Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man (70s Italian cop sleaze-o-rama)

My Man Godfrey (because we here at The Constant Bleeder like old screwball comedies, too)



Hi, everyone. This is my website. It’s got all of the state-of-the-art modern conveniences. It’s in color. It’s open 24 hours a day and most major holidays (we’re closed on Arbor Day). You can scroll both up AND down. It’s not finished yet, but when it’s all ready, it’s gonna have a fuck-ton of writing about movies, music and books, and life and death. At the very least, I can promise you that it will have many, many, many commas.

And I didn’t just start writing this stuff last Wednesday. When this Constant Bleeder bitch is fully operational, it will offer roughly ten years worth of nonsense that I’ve written for other even more seedy online venues. I’ve done pretty well for myself from that ten years of writing. It bought me the 14,000-acre Colorado ranch from which I’m currently typing these words. It’s made me a huge celebrity in Southeastern Liechtenstein. It paid for my divorce from my first wife and bought me my second wife. It’s gotten me many creatively spelled compliments and criticisms from many drug addicts across the globe.

It’s time that I struck out on my own, I think. Bought my own property. Erected my own tower. Put up my own gates! Hired armed guards! Killed and looted freely! (Or at least tried to finally break Northwestern Liechtenstein.)

Actually, I don’t have much of a vision for it, yet. I’m not into web design. I don’t know how to “code”. Imagine the 78-year-old man who was in line in front of you at Walgreen’s last week starting his own website. That’s me. My idea for the best way to present writing is a BOOK. Neat black printing against a stark white surface. That’s my scene. I like the simple stuff.

But the internet gives you so many possibilities that you start to question your aesthetic. Maybe I should go wild with pictures and animations and videos and things that blink and flutter across the screen like wasps. Internet coding invites you to go right up your ass, out of your mouth and up to Jupiter’s furthest moon. But is there any room in that mess for a person to just pull up a chair and TALK (which is all that I want to do)? Does that come through via fancy coding? Maybe. I don’t know. I’ll try to figure it out by 2027.

In the meantime, here I am, pratfalling all over the place, breaking virtual China plates, cracking digital crystal and tripping through imaginary glass windows.

This is not the prettiest website on the Whirled Wide Web, but maybe it doesn’t need to be that. Maybe we here at The Constant Bleeder are comfortable being ugly. Maybe we don’t care who looks in on us. Maybe we’re happy if just one person likes us. Maybe we just want to like ourselves. Maybe YOU, dear reader, are a fucking intruder (which is what readers are).

Fine with me. We’re all sinners here.