Category Archives: RR Contributing Writer

Sarah Palin Humps Alaskan Independence Party

Sarah Palin Humps Alaskan Independence Party

Allow me to introduce myself: I am Reserve Result’s new Staff Writer, Jason Stürmer. Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was a secessionist. And probably still is. The South—and Alaska—shall rise again!

Why do I think she’s still a member? Because there’s video of their vice chairman Dexter Carter advising members to “infiltrate” other parties.

He goes on to talk about how Alaskan school children give the thumbs up when Alaska is mentioned, and the thumbs down when America is mentioned. Someone’s patriotism is in question, and it ain’t Obama’s. Too bad he’s railed so hard against politicians questioning that sort of thing.

To really nail it home, here’s a quote from the late founder of AIP:
“I’m an Alaskan, not an American. I’ve got no use for America or her damned institutions.”

For more information see Marc Ambinder and Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic fame, not to mention ABC News

By the way, this story isn’t on CNN.com or MSNBC.com yet. You heard it hear first!

Jason Stürmer is currently producing Mailroom – a play based in Los Angeles.

RR Presents Ring Around the Rosie

“This is a fictional take on exploring different perspectives and points of view and should not be taken as any more than that. Seriously. Don’t sell Drugs.”

A side question before I begin. Everybody familiar with a writer named Dante? You know…the guy who wrote “Inferno” and at least at the time, provided a conclusive definitive analysis of the disparate regions of Hell.

More specifically however, the fact that it consists of 9 circles. Now I hate to straight up diss a guy like that..but what can I say…he was wrong. And wrong is wrong. And I really don’t give a shit if he just so happens to be a one of the charter members of the elitist club known as “classics”.

But I’m a reasonable muthafucka. I don’t look to talk shit just for the sake of talking shit. On the real though, I respect the guy. Seriously. But as good of a writer as he was, face it..he couldn’t see into the future. So that’s his cop-out: context. This guy was analyzing shit back in the 1300s or some shit. There’s no way (in hell) (I’m sorry I couldn’t resist the obvious turn of phrase) he could have known that he missed two circles. Probably because they didn’t occur until Satan decided that even Hell, like any other present-day major metropolitan area, required gentrification. I mean, I’m sure even Hell is not immune from having to deal with the process known as “white flight”.

So yeah, I’m sure anyone who’s been in these situations would agree with this hypothesis in a heartbeat. Pretty much as quickly as a lonely extra line would get hit by the leeches that seem to be the bottom 75% of any given Hollywood afterparty. But as usual, I digress. I’d get to the point but I like to think that getting there eventually is half the fun. That…and what can I say? Damn I’m a wordy muthafucka. But as far as addictions go, at least my addiction isn’t product. It’s pontificating. And then pontificating some more. And not stopping unless I get the slightly light-headed feeling telling me that oxygen/tobacco intake is required at that particular point.

But without further ado, the 10th circle of hell: LA rush hour. Straight gridlock…any given street any given freeway…surprisingly enough, the true definition of equality. It don’t matter what race or what social class you are…unless you’re one of those Malibu muthafuckas that helicoper into Hollywood…because, heaven forbid such august individuals have to be stuck behind us normal people on PCH.

That exception aside, face it, you’re as stuck as anyone else. And naturally, such a situation has endless potential for extreme aggravation. It’s a simple equation: Car (sitting in a fixed position without moving for extended periods of time) x Exponential Growth of Anger (because LA traffic is an epitome of individual selfishness and an exercise in sudden navigation by initial gut instinct) x Any Time Constraint Currently Faced = Aggravation. And as a writer, even though I barely passed algebra and shit, I still remember the Transitive Property.
And with that in mind, since LA traffic = Aggravation and Aggravation = Hell, therefore LA traffic = Hell. And here I thought I was incapable of this mathematician bullshit…What can I say, even someone as eminently undeserving as myself, has his moments. Truly it would seem that every dog really does have his day. Or at least a randomly assigned minute.

But back to the present. Because it will, without any shade of doubt, define the 11th circle of Hell…by corollary and shit. Like the 10th circle, it is also rooted in aggravation..but of a particularly virulent subtle-like-an-anvil-dropping-on-your-head strain akin to being straight-up annoyed to death. But not like being annoyed by a younger sibling whom you can simply smack upside the head and call it even. It’s to the degree where you’d risk a car accident or being pulled over by a cop in exchange for a merciful end of the presently occuring form of maddening torment.
I can see what you all are thinking though. And it’s ok. It’s perfectly natural to have that line of thought at this point: “Oh he’s just going on and on as usual..I’m sure it can’t be THAT bad. He’s just exaggerating as always but at the very least he’s doing it in undeniably grandiose yet breathtaking prose.” Well, I hope no one placed any bets. Not to mention that in that eventuality, I want my percentage of the profits. Because there’s no other possible definition of torture, even by Bush Administration standards, that’s worse than being confined in the same vehicle as a drugged up Mel especially knowing that you can’t escape for at least another 10 minutes.

And believe me, they WILL feel like the longest 10 minutes of your life. It also goes without saying that you will also hit every red light possible. That’s Murphy’s Law for you. I can’t hate on Murphy though. Like gravity, it is what it is. Plus he’s like me but fictional. Think of it this way, hypothetically put me and him together in the same spot and just watch as we’ll combine up like demented giant Japanese robots and exude enough negative energy to qualify instant perscriptions to Zoloft for everyone within AT LEAST a six block radius. I love it. It’s like a WMD of depressing thought and relentless cynicism. I shall name it “Negatron”. For no relevant reason whatsoever to plot continuity except to indulge in a brief moment of gratuitous stupidity.

But even though it’s usually reason enough, it’s not just Mel being in in the same confined space as me for any longer than two minutes. It’s Mel incoherently babbling all sorts of nonsensical bullshit (At least I get to a point eventually after the usual convoluted epic journey). While being in the same confined space as me for any longer than two minutes. And the annoying fact that my car doesn’t come equipped with an eject button..whether for his seat or mine..I can’t say I really give a fuck at the moment.

Seriously though. Tell me. I dare you. Tell me that dealing with that sort of shit in the early morning while watching out for cops at the same time isn’t a clear winner (no recount) for the title of the 11th circle of Hell. Tell me I’m not playing when I riff off of Denzel Washington’s most famous line in “Training Day”, improvise a little, and say, “Fuck anything you say…Guantanamo Bay ain’t got shit on me”.

So while I think happy thoughts about water-boarding, we begin our final approach to our destination: The Roosevelt Hotel. AKA “The Rosie”. Historic tourist trap by day. Den of debauchery for the Hollywood afterparty-set by night. It’s kind of funny though. Sometimes I wonder what tourists chilling in the plush lounge area near the lobby would think…if only they knew that the antique-looking ornamental tables they’re propping their Birkenstocks on during the afternoon will, as invariably as the tide coming in at night, be lightly dusted by white residue on a near-constant basis within a couple hours after sunset. I kid you not as I’ve been asked to put shit down on those tables before. The first time that happened, I sat there completely dumbfounded. “Are you fucking serious? We’re in fucking public!!” To which ,the guy replied, “It’s all good bro, I’m cool with security.” It was such a stupid move to begin with, and obviously nowhere near a safe and inconspicuous move either. But how can I argue with that kind of logic. It’s so blatantly DUMB yet it made perfect sense. Especially since Hollywood doesn’t seem to operate on the same rules as normal society.

I mean, when it comes down to it, none of the party people give a shit. Because they’re too stupid or drugged out to give a shit, Security doesn’t give a shit. They get their under-the-table shit so they’re paid to not give a shit. Hotel staff don’t give a shit..they’re probably getting paid selling their stories about the shit they see to the paparazzi. And I don’t give a shit either when it comes down to it. As long as I get paid and I bounce out clean. Everything goes as long as you got money, product, or a combination of both. It’s anarchy except everyone’s too fucked up to even bother realizing it, not to mention, having the requisite functioning brain cells to be able to label it as such. Like Murphy’s law remixed with a dazed out sort of apathy. It is what it is. And natural laws like that and gravity and shit..you really don’t want to go heads up against them..simply because all that’s going to happen is you’re going to end up ass down once you try.

And finally, I’m there. Well…not quite. No trip to ANYWHERE in LA, whether you going to the club, a friend’s spot, or the fucking grocery store is without the dubious pleasure of the notorious process known as “finding parking”. A time-consuming process fraught with peril, much circling of the block, and plenty of cursing directed at the stupid fuckers who can OBVIOUSLY PULL UP A LITTLE FURTHER SO I CAN FIT IN BEHIND THEIR CAR, and, as always, much aggravation in general. I think I have to take back what I said earlier about how getting there is half the fun. Because in all actuality, it’s like getting there is when the misery really starts.

But as you all can probably tell, I deal with enough aggravation as is. I mean, shit, that’s all I seem to talk about. And people wonder why I’m so cynical. So I opt for the easy way out and head towards the valet. Making my grand entrance and shit with my drab and dirty Japanese import jostling for pole position with gleaming Benzes and rimmed out Range Rovers. Naturally I’m ignored by the valets until I’m the last car left. But that’s just they way things work around here. So I exercise judicious patience knowing that sitting in the car and waiting for the valet is the closest thing to a final moment of peace and tranquility I will have for the next couple of hours.

Naturally, five minutes prior, Mel couldn’t sit still long enough and promptly bolted out of the car to congregate with his fellow crackheads. Whatevers. I don’t really care, he’ll call me as soon as he needs some shit or needs a driver. Cry havoc and let the craziness commence. Time to make my ring around the Rosie, go door-to-door floor-to-floor and finish off the workout with a couple laps around the cabanas. It’s the graveyard shift and finally the end is sort of in sight. Like you can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel but whether you’ll make it through the endless darkness is still a toss-up. But I get out of the car and head towards the lobby, dreading every single step, muttering “goddammit” every two steps or so. Dragging my heels to Judgement Day and shit with my jeans sagging lower than Haman.

Well what do you know..it’s like I’m like Christopher Columbus and shit. I think I’ve just wandered through the wilderness and discovered the mythical/theoretical 12th circle of Hell. Yeah. I know. That was weak. And definitely not funny at all. But shit. What can I say…that’s about as humerous, intelligent and sophisticated as this part of the night is going to get. I’m at the lobby of the Rosie. I may be going up the elevator, but it’s more than likely that things will only go downhill from here.

The Enemy is RR’s contributing writer, and he’s currently living in Los Angeles.

RR Presents Business as Usual

“This is a fictional take on exploring different perspectives and points of view and should not be taken as any more than that. Seriously. Don’t sell Drugs.”

Another night, another party. Same scene, same people. Like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day”, I feel like I lived this scene yesterday. And I know tomorrow night will invariably be more of the same.

It’s ironic in a twisted sort of way. Like I’m caught up and at the same time – I’m not caught up. I’m caught up in the sense that it’s profitable. It’s money. It’s survival with all pretenses and rationalizations roughly stripped away. Yet at the same time, I retain enough self-discipline, enough self-control and enough cold business-like detachment to feel a sense of loathing…for the scene, for the people, about how everything is so fake, about the blatant sexual as well as non-sexual prostitution, and even for myself…for nothing more than just being there. Call it baptism by fire but more in a total immersion sort of way. But that’s life. It’s business as usual. I’m pulling my 9-5 just like every other cog in the corporate machine. The only difference is that my shift is from 9pm until 5am.

Welcome to reality. This is the real Hollywood. The very personification of a true drug economy. This is where the real work is done. The networking, the birth and death of careers, dreams, and projects…all done in the social euphoric haze between lines. And oddly enough, for that small aspect, it actually gives me a strange sense of pride. Like what I do actually has some meaning in some odd fashion. Like I have a small role in facilitating everything else that happens as a result of what I do. Almost makes me want to be mentioned in the producer’s credits. Almost.

And that’s the difference between me and these Persian kids blatantly running their own small-scale operation in the open. Short-term versus long-term. High-profile versus low-profile. Doing this shit for the right reasons or doing it because you want the glamour, the reputation, the illusion of power. Rappers usually get it all wrong but sometimes they do get it right. To paraphrase Rick Ross, “I don’t traffic for fun, I traffic for funds”. And to paraphrase Lil Wayne, “I’m not trying to prove something, I’m trying to move something”.

With that in mind we have reached the crux of my point. That last quote neatly sums up exactly what they’re doing wrong. From the very start they had the wrong motivations. They’re not doing it because they HAVE to but because they WANT to. They aren’t slanging for dinner, they’re slanging to get in the pants of the next ditzy Hollywood blond who’s willing to let them feel them up in exchange for an eightball.

In essence, that’s the ultimate mistake to make. Especially in the Hollywood market. Here, seduction is a two-way street. If you’re not careful, you can get just as caught up in the scene as your target demographic gets on your product. That’s all it is really. These kids have watched “Scarface” one too many times.

I leave them be though. It’s not my play, it’s not my people, and if shit goes south, these flashy high-profile motherfuckers will most likely be the first ones to be caught with their heads above water leaving me to make my hypothetical discreet exit in a safe and orderly fashion. Believe it or not, the reality about this business is that despite what the media-perpetuated stereotypes may say, making waves just isn’t worth it unless you’re in the major leagues where this sort of thing might actually make a difference on your bottom line – even if only to make a point punctuated by a gunshot. But for mid-level higher-tier junior executives such as myself, it’s never worth getting greedy by being territorial and chasing that extra dollar. The military has an acronym for it. KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid.

And that’s what I do. A controlled and careful operation. Minimizing risk as much as possible. Moving large enough volume where it’s profitable and I’m not running around all night moving eightballs to friends of friends and/or getting awakened by phone calls at seven in the morning from the fiends needing their last $30 fix for the night. Moving large enough volume where I am considered an asset not easily sacrificed or burned by my suppliers. Yet not moving so large where neither they, nor the exclusive customer base I deal with feel the urge to jack or burn me for a quick profit. Play it small, play it careful, don’t get greedy or ambitious, never front, never owe, always demand cash on hand, take care of those who take care of you, and always have a contingency plan. Those are my golden rules. If everybody’s happy, if all the pertinent people are getting their taste of the action and if discipline is maintained, there’s no reason things can at least reach some semblance of stability.

But I’m not perfect. I’ll bullshit for days about my business philosophy and about how I’m careful and minimize risk. But at the end of the day, there’s still the realization that without some risks there’s no gain. So here I am. Doing my best to camouflage into the wallpaper. Yet knowing that even without doing anything or saying anything I stand out like a fucking redwood tree in a field of petunias. Simply put: I’m not white or black. So I’m not exactly inconspicuous. As self-involved as most of these spoiled trust fund kids or aspiring starlets are, if they even took one second to think it out, I’m still fairly certain they could connect the dots. Especially if I made it open book, open notes, and while they’re at it, feel free to ask your neighbor for his or her esteemed opinion. It’s fucking obvious I don’t belong. I might as well be walking around holding a giant sign: OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

It’s kind of funny though. Even though I clearly don’t belong, nobody will make an issue of it. Motherfuckers come up and pretend I’m a homie, “Sup man, long time no see…didn’t I party with you that one time…” Then the inevitable pause to clumsily signal that yes, that’s my cue to chime in, “For sure man, that night was fucking crazy, I was hella fucked up”. Clearly it’s all for show. Let the world think that they’re people in the know and that they know everybody and shit. But that’s just their opening move because that’s the only way they know how to play it. They can’t hold a conversation beyond how fucked up they are at this party or how fucked up they were at a previous party, and how this upcoming party is going to be the shit and how everybody’s going to be so fucked up.

With that said, they eye me hungrily. It’s almost like they can taste the drip already. They drop the necessary line to pretend that yeah, we’re homies, and I’m supposed to buy into their bullshit hook line and sinker and hook them up fat. They think I’m supposed to be like, “Oh Hollywood big-shot, me front you eightball real cheap”. They’re waiting with bated breath for my IPO, waiting for me to pull out the invariable baggy and line them a samp. But they’re rolling snake-eyes trying to play dice with me. They put out their hands and I pass by in a stately fashion leaving them running on empty. I could but I don’t. I’m here to chase bigger fish.

I see Mel in one corner of the living room. He’s dazed as all hell. As usual. If there was ever an entry in the dictionary under “caught up on the product and the Hollywood scene”, there’d be a picture of Mel. With the same goddamn zoned out expression he always has on his face once he a good couple miles away from that figurative line in the sand known as Done Did It.

You ever love somebody so much that sometimes you just feel like you have to strangle him on general principles? That, in a nutshell, is the kind of relationship I have with this guy. He picks up on the regular from me. To the point where I’m actually cool with him on a personal level since we’ve interacted often enough. And that, in essence, is my greatest weakness. Where I ignore all the shit I say about cold professional business-like detachment and blur the line between customer and friend. Like I said earlier, I’m not perfect. And I’m only human. And in this world filled with fake Hollywood motherfuckers, sometimes things can get pretty fucking lonely running around solo, not trusting anyone, and even without meaning to, you end up getting dangerously close to people that are more liabilities than assets, just based on the belief that in a lifestyle where you burn a lot of bridges and lose a lot of friends, if people in that world don’t stick together, they’re only going to fall separately, unnoticed and unloved.

And that’s why I can’t burn the guy. Even though he’s too high-profile, can’t keep his mouth shut if his life depended on it, and is prone to fucking up six ways from Sunday in various inventive ways that even I, with all my chess-playing skills in planning at least five moves ahead, can’t anticipate and properly manage damage control. Out of necessity I still got to keep him close and well-fed. If only so he won’t be tempted to burn me. But this is where I fuck up. Since I don’t even necessarily view him as just a customer, I give him too much leeway. I give him shit on credit. I cut him a break if he a little short on cash. I basically break every fucking golden rule I just painstakingly explained.

But it’s almost like I can’t help myself. I rationalize cutting the guy a break just because, like me, he’s not from LA. He’s just another transplant, an aspiring writer who got caught up on the product and the scene. And part of me just likes to think that since he’s a transplant, he’s at least a little more REAL than most of these soulless vessels filled with greed and ambition. But at the same time, every time I deal with him I essentially fight a war within myself. My business-sense draws his strap, fully loaded with hollow pointed business platitudes. And straight out of nowhere, the ghost of what’s left of my conscience and sense of honor rears up with his own piece cocked, locked, and ready to blast generosity, friendship, and general good intentions. It’s a deadlock. Crossed-guns John Woo style. All that’s missing is doves flying across the landscape. Which I usually refuse to imagine unless I’m enjoying some truly altered state of reality courtesy of black market pharmaceuticals.

So here I am. Mel convinced me to roll through, claiming he’s going to link me up with some big customers while I’m playing my role in the game and reassuring him that for anything he sets up I’ll cut him a percentage. But deep down I know that’s just his favorite play. String me along enough where I show up and feed him product at cut-rate if not just straight up free-ninety-nine. And he’ll continue to tease me with visions of big fish in Malibu dropping 900 for a zone. This is a long-established game. It’s happened before, it’s happening now, and it’s more than likely that it’ll happen again. Just because I’m weak and I want to give this guy his proverbial last chance on any given day. And also because I can’t resist exploring every possible angle to see if it’ll play out with a lucrative payout.

I’m not entirely blind and stupid though. At this point of the night, all it takes is one look at Mel to know that nothing productive is going to happen tonight. Unfortunately, he still has enough working brain cells among all the frying synapses to register my presence, lurch towards my general direction while maintaining a thirty degree leftward lean, paste on a Cheshire grin like he just saw Santa Claus and that it’s definitely going to be a white Christmas, and all the while, maintaining just enough decorum and diplomacy to manage not to get jumped as he bumps into people and jostles drinks in his clumsy attempt to make his way towards me with, at the very least, a certain degree of graceless style.

Seeking to distract his limited attention span from the inevitable question I know is coming, I launch a preemptive strike, “So what’s the word on your homeboy?”

Like always, he plays it off with the same tired routine. Especially for a guy who claims to be an aspiring writer, you would think that at the very least, he’d at least throw a couple different lines at me to give me the impression that he has the creative chops. But knowing him, I’m more inclined to believe he already pawned his creativity a long time ago to fund his minimum $100 a night habit. That or from too much usage, he’s just too cracked out or apathetic to truly give a fuck anymore.

So he drops his line and neatly transitions to his next same tired line without even pausing to emphasize punctuation – not to mention a complete change of subject. Clearly, mentally he is somewhere else altogether. And also, not to mention, he’s at least 40% distracted by another blond Paris Hilton clone passing by, sashaying like she thinks she has rhythm;

“DUDE! My bad about the other day. I’ll have something for you tomorrow. FOR SURE. I just had bills to pay. You know how it is. Oh yeah…that guy. I texted him and he never hit me back. Once he hits me up I’ll MOST DEFINITELY be on point and hook you up. Don’t even trip. Hey you got any on you? Let me get one real quick”.

I resist the spiteful urge to grab something cold and liquid and douse him suddenly, conveniently killing whatever high he currently has. But I close my eyes, count backwards from ten, and remind myself like I do all too often while dealing with his scatterbrained ADD bullshit to keep it calm, stay steady, and shift to a contingency plan. I’ll even ignore the fact that instead of asking, it was almost like he was lounging at his $50 a plate restaurant-du-jour brusquely asking a passing waiter for a breath mint. As tempting as giving in to the dark side sounds, it’s just bad for business, not to mention bad customer service.

So I coldly reply, “I’ll hook it up, but you got to make something happen for me first. You’re a homie but you know I can’t justify this sort of shit without you scratching my back first”.

He pauses. In his addled state, it must have felt like a moment that lasted a lifetime. On some level, even though he’s so far under the influence he isn’t even in the same zip code, he realizes he’s rapidly approaching a line that even he knows he shouldn’t push. Sensing the imminent danger like a zebra who just realized that maybe, just maybe, it’s time to stop eating grass and start running, he seamlessly shifts gears into diplomacy mode;

“FOR SURE BRO. You know we’re homies. You know I got your back. You got an eighter? One of my homies just texted me. He’s at the Rosie. You able to drive man? I’m FUCKED UP. Come on. LET’S ROLL THE FUCK OUT. This shit was weak anyways. Yo…let me hit one for the road though. Come on dude why you gotta be like that?”

I look at my watch. It reads 2:20 AM. I grimace, mentally calculating potential risk versus potential profit. It’s more or less smack dab in the middle of the specific time-slot of any given night where cops are out in full force looking to pull over any unfortunate motherfucker over just for being one mile over the speed limit. It’s a trip that would only take ten to fifteen minutes but it’s more than likely that these fuckers won’t even have COD and I’ll have to resort to pressing Mel into pressing his homies for cash and maintain a vain hope that I can at least squeeze out some sort of token payment. A long and unnecessary process consuming vast quantities of time and patience. A large and unnecessary risk brought up by an inconsistent semi-shady motherfucker trying to link me up to other inconsistent semi-shady motherfuckers. Everything I say, everything I believe, points me in the general direction of saying “Fuck it, I’m tired, I’m going home”. That’s what any smart person with any amount of sense would do.

But like I said, welcome to reality. Reality is, if I had any amount of sense I wouldn’t be involved in this bullshit to begin with. Plus when it comes down to it, I just can’t say no to this motherfucker. So I mentally grit my teeth, let Mel dip his key into the baggy for a quick bump, and it’s off to the motherfucking races once again. Just another madcap early-morning delivery in Hollywood. Just another crazy adventure that could end with me getting caught, getting burned, getting jacked, or any of the many worst case scenarios my paranoia spins out with the regularity of Mel getting fucked up. But that’s the life I chose. The life I lead. Business as fucking usual.

“The Enemy” is RR’s contributing writer, and he’s currently living in Los Angeles.

Craigslist: The Internet’s Times Square of Old

RR Sideshow: Craigslist: The Internet’s Times Square of Old

Before Times Square became a G-Rated theme-park for Midwestern tourists in khaki shorts it was the one-stop-shop for all things shady. Everywhere you turned there were Technicolor-jacket wearing pimps, drug slingers with syringes in one pocket and hard dope in the other, shady topcoat types wearing gold-watch sleeves, and skimped out skag-slaves turning tricks for the price of a cup of coffee. Now the most skin you’ll find on 42nd street is that of a borderline-insane guitarist whose mom forgot to pack his fig-leaf. This isn’t a bad thing of course. I was too young to have been around when Times Square was the center of all things immoral. But I’ve heard the stories. If I had my choice between the Square of old and the Disneyland we have now. I’d take the Disneyland.

But there’s still something almost romantic about the idea of the old Times Square. In its own sick way, that type of jungle added to the charm of the city. It put something in the air – an indescribable grit that added to New York’s unique personality as one of the greatest cities on earth.

Since losing those few blocks of Sodom and Gomorrah youngsters like myself have been left wondering if there will ever be another haven for drugs, prostitution, porn, and just good ol’ fashion shady dealings. For years we’ve been forced to get our fix of morality’s dark-side through television, movies, and rock n’ roll – desperately hoping something would come around and fill the void. Today I am happy to report a new entity has finally come and answered the call – providing people of our generation with its very own Times Square, located right on the good ol’ Internet for all to enjoy regardless of their locale. I am of course talking about Craigslist.org, the home of all things shady.

No matter what it is you’re seeking, be it illegal services, sexual deviates, or con-men pitching penny-drop scams, you’re going to be able to find it on Craigslist. Need a hooker for the night? No problem! Just cruise on by the “erotic services” section and you’ll find thousands of ads featuring women pawning themselves at the rate of “300 Roses” an hour. Or let’s say you had a rough day on the job and the back feels as if you just worked on the pyramids – don’t fret, all one has to do is jump in the “community section” and type in words like: pain killers, norco, vicodin, oc, etc., and you’ll be sure to find a plethora of “nice guys” offering a variety pack of prescription drugs at premium rates.

The hunt for shade-balls doesn’t end with illegal activities – that’s just one drop of icing on the overall cake. If vices aren’t really your bag, there’s plenty more one could find on Craigslist. One of my personal favorites is the perverts. Oh boy are their ads side-splitting. Lonely old men looking for young girls to visit their homes after hours with nothing more to offer than their wrinkled birthday suits and a bottle of Korbel they picked up at Bev-Mo. And some of the tastes of these winners are that of those one could only find in a monthly penthouse jerk-book. From foot-fetishes to couples looking for a “little person” to spice things up after hours, it’s all there. If at anytime a curious Judeo-Christian fella wanted to know how the other half lived, all they’d have to do is log onto good ol’ Craigslist… or “CL” to the hard-core user.

It doesn’t end there either, not by a long-shot. There’s also what the “outsider looking in” like myself likes to call, “The Combo Meal”. This is when two forms of degenerate forge together vices with their sexual needs in order to create some sort of “Super Debauchery”. You’ll get an ad from a up-all-night coke-fiend (or “snow bunny” as it’s called on the site) looking for a late-night fix in which she’ll bait lonely men by asking “for a night to ski” or “a 420 friendly place to crash for the night”… etc, etc.

The list goes on and on. Massages being traded for Spanish lessons, brand new electronics still sealed in the box being sold for hundreds less under value, tax free cigarettes, hell even fireworks – whatever you need, there’s some schmuck on Craigslist waiting to answer the call who would normally be arrested at the drop of a dime in the “real world”.

Aside from all the free-flowing crime and sexual deviancy, there’s one other item on the Craigslist forum that really gets me gagging on four-cylinders. It’s these shade-ball “business men” that prey on the needy and naive. Whether it’s some jag-off in Nigeria trying to bait a poor single mom into giving her bank account so she may be a professional “check casher”, or it’s one in the million “Data Entry Scams”, most of these guys want to help no one but themselves and prey on the most desperate of people. Aside from that pond scum, you’ll find the jerks taking advantage of the many actors and actresses in town. You may find a person posing as an agent just trying to get someone to buy new headshots, or some scum-bucket trying to get a girl to do a topless midnight-audition in his studio apartment… no matter the scam or how absurd there’s always going to be someone to play the role of victim.

Which brings me to the reason behind this little rant – there are shady people out there and we can’t stop them all. But we should be able to prevent some of this shit. The Times Square of old was within the confides of reality, you can catch most of the criminals and shut them down promptly… which was done (hence “Times Square of Old”). But the Internet is another animal. There’s thousands of these degenerates popping up everyday and not enough shows on MSNBC to stop them. We (or craigslist) has to make a better effort in educating the users of the site of potential harm. Advertise new scams, flag emails, and show some form of control – because right now it’s a mess on that site.

Granted there are many legitimate postings on “the list” coming from well-intentioned cats with nothing but growth in mind. But after “cruising the lines” it seems the bad far outweighs the good. If “craigslist” a “community” like it claims to be, then I purpose that the good ol’ folks of craigslist perform a street-sweep and wipe the scum off the streets. If the good ol’ folk of CL don’t wanna answer the bell, then we’re forced to decide between two choices: inform those using the site of what’s going on, so they’ll be better prepared to combat it… or let it continue, and sooner or later the slow moving mud will eventually cover one of our heads, or one of those in whom we love…

Geoffrey A. Citron is a contributing writer for (RR).

Hey Buddy, No One Cares Who You Know…

RR Sideshow: Hey Buddy, No One Cares Who You Know…

Living in Los Angeles one encounters quite the cast of characters where ever they turn: from the freaks in Hollywood, to the greasy-haired cell-phone peddlers of the Valley, to the latest Ohio-transplant looking to succeed where so many have failed in “the industry”. It’s all here. Our homeless can cop a SAG card by rolling around Venice on in-lines, vomit-covered bimbos can achieve fame while getting 86’ed from a dive, and people are made into Stars overnight with a cheap camera-phone… Just about anything can happen here in Los Angeles, because hey, we’ve got personality!

But personality only goes so far. Sooner or later novelty wears off; jokes die down, and let’s face it- shit just gets old. I can handle the bums, “out-of-work” actors don’t give me any flack, I don’t mind a gridlock on the 405 from time to time, even the fact it only rains as many times as the seasons change doesn’t salt my balls too badly. But there is one thing about this city growing an ulcer the size of a golf-ball in my stomach that only the likes of Travis Bickle could fathom. The scent of this intangible element of LA is thicker than any of the city’s smog and reeks up a room faster than LA’s finest medicinal grass. I am of course alluding to the one thing this city’s most notorious for – bullshit.

That’s right I said it… Bullshit.

This city is plastered in Bullshit. Bullshit is everywhere you turn and almost unavoidable. It’s around every corner and takes no prejudice or mercy. Los Angeles Bullshit affects all walks of life, creeds, colors, religions, personalities, and professions. And worse of all, it can creep up without warning. If one isn’t careful he can contract and pass-on bullshit to others without knowing it.

Despite what many people think, bullshit will not get you ahead, it won’t land a bed-mate, or attract “the right mix” for “your next project”. Bullshit in the long-term only attracts more bullshit, and it’s all the same no matter how large your budget is.

Really, how many times can I (we) be expected to put up with the same song sang by so many different people? It seems every person I meet is either a producer, from “a very wealthy family”, or has an in with “another guy”. How many times have you heard, “Oh yeah man I’m getting about 40 grand in three weeks or so” or some variation of it? I can’t count on five hands how many people I’ve met who’ve had “production deals” or “money coming in within the week” or “big things popping off”. No matter how different the stories may have been, the result was always the same: “Oh yeah man, things just fell through. Things didn’t work out like they were supposed to.”

There’s no end to the shit that passes peoples throat in this town. Whether it’s a story about a “friend of a friend”, having an “in” at a production house, or even a Craigslist ad looking for “fresh faces”, there’s always an angle. These people keep spitting this bile (sometimes without even knowing it) because they think it will get them ahead, or their over-the-top shit will impress someone worth impressing. When the fact of the matter is, anyone worth impressing doesn’t need whatever these people are peddling. All the lies in town do nothing more than delay, destroy, and annoy. Telling lies in LA has become the new Crack-rock – the payoff is short-lived, nothing is accomplished, and the people doing it are not only a disease of the American way of life, but a dime-a-dozen as well.

Sadly, no matter how counter-productive it may be, the Bullshit in this town will continue on and only get stronger. Bullshit sells a dream, and that’s what this city is all about.

Why do so many continue to pass around these biggie-sized cups of verbal diarrhea actually expecting people to take a sip? It would take a real Scarecrow from Oz to eat half the shit I hear on a given day. Yet bullshit fills the air more than the vehicle omissions?

I’d like to think in most cases many people are keen to the fact they’re being taken for a ride. And they continue to ride the bullshit-train straight to disaster for the hopes of something at the end of the rainbow. It’s that good ol’ fashioned 12 Steppers definition of insanity: to continue a same action expecting different results.

Maybe some people don’t know they’re being lied to? Maybe it takes a few ticks on the odometer before the leather skin starts to grow. Or perhaps I’m right, and people just chew the shit for the hopes of a better life, a free drink, or hell, maybe they just like hearing a good story. Whatever the case may be, things will almost always be harder for everyone (or at least really annoying) as long as this endless stream of shit is allowed to pour out to our city streets.

Whatever the case may be, these lies floating around have to see the light of day and be exposed for what they are. Some people need a little push in the right direction. They have to see that these lies impress no one. We can’t buy into the shit no matter how badly we want to believe. Keep the bullshiters alone, refuse them an audience and they’ll have no reason to continue. Keep their beds cold and their drinks warm, and maybe we can save Los Angeles from becoming a real-life version of Thirty Days of Night – A land of darkness where Vampires flourish where the next victim is just another meal away.

Geoffrey A. Citron is a contributing writer for (RR).

The Stereophonics – "Pull the Pin"

RR Listen: “Pull the Pin”

The Stereophonics have always been a powerful music force across the pond since their 1997 release, “Word Gets Around”, but it wasn’t until 2003 that they began to catch the ears of an American audience. With the release of their smooth-sounding, ballad-filled album “You Gotta Go there To Come Back”, many trendy American filmmakers opted to insert The Stereophonics groovy, retro-rock tracks into films such as Paul Haggis’ Crash and Paul McGuigan’s remake of L’Appartment, Wicker Park – thus introducing The Stereophonics to a whole new market of listeners.

Armed with an American fan-base, The Stereophonics took a stab at a more commercial sound with their 2005 release, “Language. Sex. Violence. Other?” The album was shunned by most fans as a cheap attempt to garner a larger fan-base through cheaping their sound to appease more commercial listeners. Although songs like “Superman” and “Dakota” proved to be hits with your casual listener, the overall tone of the album lacked the gritty sound many fans were used to and left many wondering if The Stereophonic of old would ever return.

Despite much skepticism, The Stereophonics newest release “Pull the Pin” comes through in fine form – perhaps proving to be The Stereophonics finest effort to date. Tracks like “Soilders Make Good Targets” and “Stone” couple past failures with elements that have made The Stereophonics a unique and successful sound for over a decade – showing off their ability to grow as artists – which they certainly have. For fans of the ballads that were so strong in “You Gotta Go there to Come Back”, The Stereophonics answer the call with new classics, “It Means Nothing” and Daisy Lane”.

“Pull the Pin” provides Stereophonics fans new and old with an original, melodic, ear-gasam that is unparalleled by any release as of late. “Pull the Pin” is not only a perfect mixture and showcase of The Stereophonics talents, but perhaps a preview of things to come…

“Pull the Pin is slated for US Release on October 8th 2007”.

Geoffrey A. Citron is a contributing writer for Details magazine.