Greetings from Doomsday: Malagueña

Good morning and welcome to the end.

You wake up to a trail of garlic cloves running down your staircase and no one will cop to putting it there. You’re filled with an ineffable sense of dread. You don’t know if the garlic was put in place to keep the vampires out or to ensure that you were kept in. Then you wake up and realize it was a dream and that monsters don’t exist in the form of bloodsucking ghouls.

The vampires in your life are emotional vampires, they’re the relatives who guilt you into donating to a charity that routinely misleads donors about how much of their charitable contributions actually go to those in need. These vampires are self-serving, passive-aggressive vampires, the kind of ghouls that Skype to say that you look like you need more color and that you should get some sun.

The vampires are everywhere these days, boys and girls. They’re the frothy-mouthed shit-heels who refuse to wear face masks and insist that COVID-19 is a “libtard hoax.” They do not fear the Morning Star like their ancestors and they aren’t modest enough to take the form of a bat. These revenants are shameless, myopic carnivores who feed on fear and demand special treatment.

You see them standing in line at the Post Office, openly ignoring signage that tells them to keep six feet between themselves and their fellow humans. They’re the old, hunched savages whose grills are slick with a film of sweat and stupidity and whose hands are perpetually restless. When they’re not hustling their balls they’re flailing ever closer to your comfort zone, hacking and coughing and assuring you that they’re not sick … but they’ve been sick their whole lives. Ignorance is a disease and it’s bred right into these blood simple morons.

The good news is, you’ve got the power of Horror on your side. Vampires cannot enter your home if they haven’t been invited. They can brag, bitch and bully their way into a big box store, but the manager won’t let them have more than their fair share of toilet paper. They can act as entitled as they want, but persistence repels them like a crucifix to the solar plexus.

“I’m sorry, sir, but these are the rules. There is a limit of one per customer.”

“I’ve been shopping at this shithole since you was swimming around in your daddy’s balls! I don’t need to take your shit!”

“Sir, there’s no need to be rude. I’m just following company policy.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

They slink away like the wounded hellhounds they are, barking obscenities at themselves as they waddle back to their shitty American-made automobiles and concentrate their fear-based hatred in other directions.

Vampires cannot enter if uninvited.

Outside they’re holding black delivery drivers hostage in gated communities for doing their jobs. The King Vampire is dreaming up conspiracy theories and encouraging the public to mainline household cleaners.

Inside you’re making music with friends from other countries. Outside the party line is blaming China. Inside you’re learning how to knit face masks for the homeless. Outside they’re beating black men about the skull and waving their batons at bystanders. Inside you’re taking an online course in misconduct law.

Even horror movies have happy endings sometimes.

Outside they’re going without masks and cutting each other off in traffic. In here we’re smoking on some Boost 20:1, riding high and drinking in the mellifluous licks of Jose Feliciano. Inside is good for now, inside here was always good. Hold your partner close because your dance card is clear and it’s time to boogie on the home front.

Reading in the Age of Facebook, Analytic Philosophy and Political Insurgency

by Phoenix

It is my goal to engage with literature, philosophy, science, books. I would argue that reading is always important, because it gives us a range of ideas to work with and apply to real life. It is a space to think about things. I feel a lot of the great philosophers and writers were able to help their readers achieve this. This includes the importance of contemporary literature and research. There is so much to learn.

But in the age of Facebook, sometimes it seems as though ideas, and the importance of good ideas, has been emphasized less and less. Many people have left and are leaving Facebook, and I think that it’s partly because of a deep dissatisfaction, the failing of social media to enrich our lives. I hope that those people that leave are certainly staying off the grid, and reading good books.

We know that there have been political implications to Facebook. We know that Facebook is a political tool, just as any, and it would seem to me, that Facebook has changed the way that we disseminate ideas. Especially with the fake news phenomena and clickbait, it is easy to believe things that aren’t true, because they are so readily available. You could say this about the Internet in general, but I think with the rise of social media, this issue has increased in severity.

I would argue that Facebook can still be useful, of course. I would describe it as useful for writers, expressing their ideas in a specific medium. This is what I have learned, and it is why I use Facebook still, though I use it for different reasons, than people that just want to post memes and fake political news.

So the irony for me, is that I think Facebook is useful for conveying ideas. We may not always know how those ideas are disseminated and spread, because of the very specific algorithms that Facebook uses, but there is a potential to discuss important ideas on Facebook, in the most concise way possible, via creative writing.

But of course, I would have to argue, that Facebook is not an alternative to reading. We still need to read good books, whether classics or contemporary literature. We need to be able to engage with the great texts of civilization writ large, including the East and other provinces, and we need to know what is going on in the world of publishing today.

Another subject that might seem unrelated but is not, due to its impact on culture, is the strange elitism of analytic philosophy, and that paradigm. Analytic philosophy, as I understand it, is the dominant mode of discourse in philosophy academies.

I don’t think that there is anything wrong with analytic philosophy in a broad sense. I think analytic philosophy is important for providing a different perspective. But often, analytic philosophy is technical and specific and exclusive, and while you get this in Continental philosophy as well, it seems more pronounced in the analytic tradition, because they aren’t generally focusing on the immediate questions of humanity.

Maybe this is my bias, but I would argue that if you want to be a philosopher, you have to read all texts in philosophy, the way that many podcasts that focus on philosophy have been able to do. This includes reading texts on pragmatism, structuralism, semiotics, phenomenology, existentialism, and many other texts and movements.

In the age of analytic philosophy, it’s easy to provide too much attention to what could potentially be seen as smaller problems due to their technical nature, because they do not deal with the immediacy of human life and the human condition. Even Derrida, with all the frustrating jargon that he uses, is still writing about language, and how language affects us. I think this is important, even if we are not always aware of it. And being aware of this is political.

I learned from Bret Weinstein that the political landscape today is complicated, due to our evolutionary background, but also due to what could be called, political insurgencies. The way that I understand it, people in 2016 did not vote for the candidate that best represented their values, but rather, a candidate that would help the voters confront the political system. This was a gamble, and we have certainly seen the consequences.

I wanted to be concise and call my article, Reading in the Age of Donald Trump. I wanted to call it this, so it could help me focus on my many grievances of our current system of government. I am always hesitant to talk about politics, because it’s so emotionally charged and there is so much at stake, and though I think it’s important to speak out, I also want to be reasonable in the things that I say. But what we saw with Donald Trump was very problematic, especially when we think about how the whole movement was predicated on anti-intellectualism and promoting falsehoods.

I would say that it is very important to read in a political climate that is so very chaotic, that doesn’t make sense, and that skews our understanding of human nature and human society. I think any book that you read would be infinitely better than watching Fox News. It’s obvious that, like Facebook and other platforms, people were only talking about things that would reinforce their biases.

While I would say that biases are not always bad, I would have to say that they can still be misleading. I don’t think that it’s bad to dislike or even hate our president, but I do think that it is problematic to predicate your entire worldview on what one system of government does. This is because my general thesis about reality is that it’s open ended, that we are creative, and that we can endlessly problem solve if we are willing to.

All that said, I do think that reading is an alternative to being inundated by the callousness and cruelty of our current president. But the irony is that what you find out while reading, whether learning about Chris Hedges, or reading a history of political philosophy compiled by Leo Strauss, or reading Howard Zinn, is that the world is indeed a very complicated place, and there have always been nearly insurmountable problems.

When I think of Howard Zinn, for instance, I think of what he described as the bipartisan consensus, which is basically the consolidation of power in government. What this means for me and for my understanding, is that it really doesn’t matter who is president, whether a Democrat or a Republican, because the voters are still out of touch with being able to affect change, because of the separation between members of society and the government officials. He describes how Jimmy Carter, a progressive, was not any more conservative in his policies than somebody like Ronald Reagan or George Bush. I think this is an important point not when thinking about somebody like Donald Trump, but when thinking about how politics often works.

I have been drenched in political theory, and I have learned a lot because of it. I have learned that establishing government is very complicated, because it changes so much, and there are so many differing views of important aspects of life such as human nature. Our view of human nature definitely affects the type of people we vote for.

Now with all of this said, I do think our political insurgency here in America, has highlighted some of the cruel practices that America has always had, from the very beginning. For instance, Obama, one of the most beloved Presidents of our time, repealed Habeas Corpus, and was violent with drones.

Donald Trump has been criticized as being a president that only cares about the rich and making the rich richer, and while this is very cruel and seemingly true, there is a sense in which when you are reading somebody like Howard Zinn, you realize that it’s much more complicated, because tax cuts, for instance, have always been given out to the rich, but not the poor. Howard Zinn describes how veterans who had shrapnel in their legs or were injured in the call of duty, were basically told by the government that they could go back to work and live without social security, not taking into account their service or their injuries and pain because of service.

I think at this point, you can see the importance of reading, and having a philosophical and literary basis for viewing the world. For me, the goal has always been to see more clearly. I think it’s important to have an opinion and a perspective, even if it is a strong one. But what you don’t want to do is let your perspective eat itself up and eat its own tail, because if that is what your perspective does, you cannot really affect change.

If you work hard to try to see the bigger picture and not just say the first thing that you think of, seeing clearly will allow you to establish your beliefs even stronger, because you have a specific framework from which to work from. Reading provides that basis, it allows you to work on facts and narrative, while also strengthening your opinions and perspective.

This is why reading is important to me. On a very personal and specific level, I am crushed by what I’ve seen happen politically over the past couple of years. I am heartbroken over the kids in cages, of the way that we treat immigrants in this country. Despite the fact that this is a very politically charged issue and that I am not fully educated on it, I still feel that what has happened in that specific case, is wrong and wicked.

But there is a lot that I have been unable to do or to say about it, some of which is because of our sharp left and right partisan distinctions. In politics, it’s hard to call an evil an evil, and actually be heard, because of all the noise.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t affect change through knowledge, and for me personally, I also do it through writing. Writing gives me a mechanism by which to express my ideas, and I can do that, because I read. So for instance, in the book I am writing called X, I narrate a character, a kid, who was in a kind of migrant camp. With a rich literary tradition to draw off of, I was able to write about this character, and provide nuance to what I am feeling and to what is happening politically in our landscape.

Of course, I know that choosing to be contemplative versus impulsive is very difficult. Impulsivity is not always bad. Sometimes you have to express your anger, you have to express your dissatisfaction, you have to express your hurt. I don’t want to take a moderate position politically, nor do I want to be pushed to the fringe. But I do want to express the value of reading in an age where it seems as though our opinion doesn’t matter, and that we can’t change things politically.

We know that ideas change things, and change society. While we may not be certain how ideas work, they do spread, and if we can express patience, gratitude for life, and a demonstration of knowledge, all of which comes from reading, we can help disseminate good ideas. Part of the academic life is refining your ideas, so that way they are more accurate and more humane, it has always been the importance of something like self-criticism, which reading allows.

So I would say: Facebook in and of itself may not be an evil, analytic philosophy in and of itself may not be elitist, and with our political insurgency, there may still be hope for the future. But you can come to a rich perspective, by reading books, and by thinking about these things.

It is important to read, as I see it, because it provides that nuance that I am talking about. In the world, there is a place for immediate action, but there is also a place for contemplation, and that is why, no matter how crazy the world gets or seems to us, we must continue to search for truth, and we can do that through reading good books.

Phoenix is a prolific writer, and has written over seventy books, and published more than fifteen. He actively engages with the world through his imagination, and seeks to inspire others with his writing, no matter how dark or raw it might be. He always hopes to make a connection with his readers. Also a musician, Phoenix lives in Salt Lake City, and engages with the world as fully and as passionately as he can. Find Phoenix at

JT Leroy, More Like JT Literary Fraud!

By Ben Arzate

Just a few weeks ago, as of writing this article, the film JT Leroy was released. JT Leroy was allegedly a young transgender woman who came from an abusive household and formerly worked as a prostitute. Leroy released three semi-autobiographical books, but remained reclusive from the 90s, when she first began publishing, until 2001 when she began making public appearances.

The inconsistencies revealed in her interviews began casting doubt on her authenticity. In 2005, it was revealed that JT Leroy was an invention of the author Laura Albert and the person making public appearances was the actor Savannah Knoop. Despite the hoax that Albert and Knoop perpetuated, the books released were, in fact, labeled as fiction and many defended the stunt as performance art.

Probably the most infamous case of literary fraud in the United States was James Frey and his memoir, which turned out to be complete fiction, A Million Little Pieces, released in 2003. The book followed Frey’s supposed time in rehab after drug-related criminal charges.

A Million Little Pieces received mixed reviews, with the harshest review coming from author and critic John Dolan, known for his War Nerd column, who lambasted it as the worst book he ever read, calling it complete fiction. Despite this, it became a best seller and was selected for Oprah’s Book Club in 2005. Shortly thereafter, an exposé was published in The Smoking Gun, showing that nothing in the book was true.

One of the most ridiculous cases of literary fraud was the 2008 fake memoir, Love and Consequences by Margaret Seltzer, writing under the name Margaret B. Jones. She claimed to have been a half Native American girl who was an orphan and was involved with the Bloods gang in LA. In interviews, she even talked in Ebonics. Not long after it was released, the publisher had it recalled when Seltzer’s sister exposed it as a complete fraud. She was white, not mixed, and grew up with her biological parents in an upscale suburb.

With Leroy, one could see how people bought into the fraud. The books were fiction and couldn’t be fact checked, and the author kept out of the public eye for a while. Frey and Seltzer, however, were much more obvious cases of fraud.

The characters were overt stereotypes that didn’t ring true and many parts were flat ridiculous. Frey, a curly-haired frat boy, painted himself as a tough guy who did a ton of drugs including sniffing glue, despite coming from a rich family who could afford decent drugs. Jones/Seltzer was obviously a white girl putting on an act. Why did people believe such things?

It’s no secret that people enjoy stories of overcoming adversity, especially personal adversity. The vast majority of books, memoirs especially, are about just that. The rub is what kind of adversity. Frey’s story fit a sexy narrative that drugs will ruin your life and make you a hopeless addict, but you can climb out of it with the help of the benevolent rehabilitation industry.

Seltzer’s fraud was a bit more multi-layered. The obvious aspect is that there is a wide audience of white Americans who have an interest in things perceived as being “black,” but like them even more when they don’t have any actual black people. Not to mention many true narratives about gang life, especially in LA, tend to be very cynical and unsentimental. Seltzer injected her narrative with bathos and sentimentality, as did Frey, which opens it up to a much wider audience.

This may sound like a pretentious thing to say, but it seems that most readers do not want to be challenged. They want their worldview confirmed. I’d argue that nearly everyone is guilty of this at at least one point. It’s no wonder a huckster who has their finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist can put together a narrative that will confirm it to rake in money and fame. Much like many of the mostly now-forgotten authors who, in their time, wrote to please the people in power, even if they had to lie.

It’s a noble thing to have convictions, but it isn’t to follow them so blindly. We see this now with many people buying into fake news stories that confirm their bias or putting themselves into social media bubbles where they hear no opposing opinion. Liars and frauds who can string a sentence together will always have a lucrative market, so keep your critical eye open.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go finish my memoir about growing up as a lesbian in a family of undocumented immigrants.

In Defense of Conspiracy Theorists

by Zakary McGaha

Although I’m an accounting student I’ve taken, and passed, many college-level science courses, including two astronomy courses. If you’ve taken astronomy, you’re probably aware that physics plays a HEAVY part.

Why am I pointing this out? Because, apparently, if you’ve taken science classes and have a knowledge of physics, you think “social media platforms where you can spread disinformation at will would have to go right off the bat (Lelievre)” in order to keep flat earthers from dumbing the world down. Well…I must be the black-sheep of this proud few, because I don’t believe that at all.

A hot topic nowadays is whether “conspiracy theorists” should be allowed to theorize publicly on the internet. To me, this is a non-topic: of course they should. Dissent and speculation have pretty much given us innumerable gifts. Without the ability to question, test stuff, and prove/disprove theories, we wouldn’t have gotten very far as a species relative to every aspect of our existence.

According to the person who wrote the article “Flat Earthers and the Problem with Internet in 2019,” we’ve reached a point in our evolution in which we have to turn back the wheels of time: we need to shut people up and keep people from questioning things, because all the questions are already answered. Oh yeah, and we should all watch some YouTube channel called “Wisecrack.”

More than anything, this article asserts that we need to prioritize getting degrees at universities as oppose to…to…hearing people talk on the internet? Now, remember, they told you to look up “Wisecrack.” Apparently, that channel emphasizes good ole book learnin’. Okay, so what should we not do exactly?

With a little bit of independent thought, it becomes increasingly clear that the author of this article doesn’t want us to engage in independent thought.

This author believes that the democratization of the “web has created a lawless wasteland where every source of information is equally accessible,” which has made people settle for “entertaining” knowledge as opposed to…real knowledge? “And a conspiracy theory is way more fucking entertaining and easy to understand than a physics class.”

This dude either hates people theorizing about conspiratorial issues, or he loves physics so much that he can’t fathom people having other interests. Either way, he’s essentially saying that knowledge should be learned in a “going-to-church” sort of way, wherein the university is the church, and that any independent thought outside of the orthodoxy should be discouraged, and that platforms for people to discuss these topics “would have to go right off the bat.”

There are many flaws with this argument. Let’s assume our society devolves into an authoritarian nightmare and all “questioners” are done away with, along with all free-speech internet platforms. The only people left are akin to babies salivating in eager anticipation of University Mama’s next spoonful of 100% accurate information.

Would these salivating sycophants be able to take the torch and update the dogma? Would there be room for discussion that goes above and beyond what University Mama put on the spoon? Who knows, but I’m thinking not since they wouldn’t even be allowed to talk about their repressed questions on social media.

So I’m assuming they’d have to be “elected” into Pope-like roles if they wanted to do anything beyond updating whatever was on University Mama’s spoon…and we all know that people with such positions of power never do anything for reasons beyond the public good (sarcasm very much intended).

Another flaw in the article’s argument rests on the fact that it doesn’t point out exactly who the stupid people are who need to be oppressed for the common good; the people who are referred to in this ominous-sounding sentence: “We’ll eventually get rid of them, but the problem is going to persist if we don’t act on it.”

Is it just flat earthers we should fuck over? Trump is brought up too. I guess everyone who voted for him is just as stupid as a flat earther, so we should take away their internet privileges as well. What about other college-educated people who don’t agree with our college-educated collective on a whole slew of various issues? University Mama says your ass is grounded!!!!

So, in essence, anyone who doesn’t agree with the mainstream institutions on everything needs to be isolated from the rest of the population because they haven’t been baptized. And they’re stupid. And they’re ugly. And University Mama knows all! Repent! Repent! Join us or perish!

You may not believe it, but I’ve met several people at university who were either pro-Trump or conservative…and that includes professors. I even had one who talked about listening to Alex Jones, although he disagreed with his comments on 9/11.

Taking away people’s internet privileges because they might ask uncomfortable questions or talk about uncomfortable topics isn’t going to solve anything: it’ll only create resentment that’s bred from repression. Professors shouldn’t be the fucking rulers of public discourse. Newsflash: THEY DON’T ALL AGREE WITH EACH OTHER…especially physics professors.

Independent thought is not only possible: it’s probable. Books can be purchased and read by anyone with the brain and the means; same thing with religion: anyone can read the Bible, Quran, etc.

Anyone who assumes they have the authority…cough cough divine authority gurgle…to tell other people what they can and can’t talk about on the internet is tooting their own horn. No one is going to repress dissent; no one is going to repress speculation.

These things, I would argue, are inherent to humans. I don’t know about you all, but anyone who groups all conspiracy theorists into the “flat earthers” category in order to justify regulating speech on the internet sure draws dissent from me.

A Million Ways to Die Hard is the Sequel That Fans Deserve

By Bob Freville

There’s an inherent problem with the Die Hard series—it hasn’t been good since 1995. Sure, 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard had its dim charms, such as Maggie Q in black leather and the scenery-chewing fan boy Kevin Smith’s cameo as a basement-dwelling hacker. But there was an insufficient amount of awesome to sustain the otherwise laughable installment.

What the franchise lost when Underworld director Len Wiseman came aboard was any semblance of grit or reality, even hyper-reality. One could argue that what made Die Hard appealing in the first place was its very human anti-hero.

Far from the Steven Seagals of the world who can take a machine gun to their windshield and drive away without a scratch, Bruce Willis played John McClane as a flawed and vulnerable man, one whose blood leaves a trail throughout the fated Nakatomi Plaza.

This was not the McClane of 2007 who was able to survive a brush with a fighter jet and a collapsing bridge without so much as rupturing his ball sack. This was the flesh and blood homosapien of 1988 who had to struggle to make his way through an air vent without burning his thumb off on a hot Zippo.

Instead of the honest, soft-spoken family men typified by Charles Bronson, McClane was a divorced alcoholic mess who had to grapple with a hangover while battling the bad guys. Rather than puffing out his chest and making heroic declarations, McClane was a babbling disaster who cussed at his assailants and offered up sarcastic barbs in lieu of the expected police negotiation tactics.

The last two iterations of Die Hard don’t even seem like they were written for the same character, largely because of the obscene time gap between them. 1995 saw the release of Die Hard: With a Vengeance, arguably the last worthwhile entry in the series.

In it, McClane is back where he started, nursing a headache and navigating the seemingly impossible terrain laid out for him by yet another psychopath. The threequel doesn’t waste our time with any of the self-improvement saccharine audiences had come to expect from things like the Lethal Weapon films.

On the contrary, we are afforded a potential sidekick in Samuel L. Jackson’s Zeus Carter, a small business owner who is cajoled into assisting McClane in the villain’s game of riddles. Zeus is there not only to transform Die Hard 3 into a buddy comedy but to reinforce just how little has changed in McClane’s universe. The Harlem native is like a one-man Greek chorus, incessantly lamenting what a shitty trainwreck John McClane is.

Compare this to the forced surrogate father-and-son camaraderie that develops between McClane and Justin Long’s Matt Farrell (Live Free or Die Hard) and it’s blatantly obvious that the franchise has gone off the rails. What Wiseman brought to the table in the last two egregious installments was a cartoonish superhero style of action and a series-defying form of bloodless violence.

From the parkour-practicing bad guys whose stunts look like a rehearsal for Spiderman to the lame expository dialogue of its goofy villains, both Live Free or Die Hard and 2013’s A Good Day to Die Hard represent a reinvention of the wheel that nobody asked for, especially not the die hard fans of the Die Hard series.

The last movie oddly ignored the plot developments and character arcs of its predecessor, opting instead to add an estranged and, indeed, extraneous son (Jai Courtney) character to McClane’s life. The good money said that Die Hard had died flaccidly and was likely dead for good.

Cut to six years later and now yet another sequel has been officially announced. Except it’s not just a sequel, it’s also a prequel.


Yep, the project formerly titled Die Hard: Year One will be released as, simply, McClane. The title change is no doubt motivated by two mitigating factors: 1) Fans did not react well to news of ‘Year One,’ fearing that the one ingredient essential to the series (Bruce Willis) would be in absentia. And 2) Bruce’s former-Planet Hollywood partner-in-crime Sly Stallone made an ass-load of cash by directing himself in a Rocky reboot entitled Rocky Balboa, to say nothing of the success he’s had with Creed.

Details about the sequel and its plot have been kept close to the vest, but the producers have assured the public that Willis will feature prominently in the flick which will flash back and forth from McClane’s younger days as a rookie cop in New York City to his current life as…Bruce Willis.

That’s the one thing the fans and the media have seemed to neglect when it comes to latter day Die Hard movies. Those who would get pissed off at the prospect of a Willis-free Die Hard are very obviously operating on nostalgia mode.

Were they to go back and re-watch either Live Free or Die Hard or its abysmal follow-up, they would see that the John McClane we all know and love is barely recognizable within the bald pate and squinty eyes of Willis’s whispery twilight persona.

It’s no surprise since Willis has long forgotten how to play anyone other than himself. The balding wife beater-wearing John McClane from the first two pictures is long gone, so why keep Willis around to phone in what could be a bad ass performance by a more game actor?

But I digress.

The real question is why bother with a prequel when a better sequel already exists?

I’m talking about A Million Ways to Die Hard, the hardcover graphic novel by Wolverine veteran Frank Tieri and artist Mark Texeira. The book’s plot takes place on the eve of the first film’s anniversary and it is made for the Post-Tarantino Age, revolving as it does around the rather contemporary concept of a movie-obsessed maniac taking hostages at the storied Nakatomi Plaza.

Die Hard is an action franchise desperately in need of a good bad guy. Ever since Wiseman took the helm, the series has been drained of anything approaching the slimy malevolence of Hans Gruber (the late Alan Rickman) or the inspired iniquity of his poofy brother (Jeremy Irons in ‘With a Vengeance‘).

A Million Ways… delivers the sinister skeleton of the perfect post-modern villain. Mr. Moviefone is equal parts Ghostface (Scream) and Internet troll, a madman who could be quite memorable in the right hands (Think Sam Rockwell or Michael Shannon).

The evidence available suggests that McClane will be yet another sequel by committee (hence the years of development and title changes) and not the Die Hard that fans have been hoping for. On the other hand, A Million Ways… has the raw potential to be just that.

Instead of some franchise-bastardizing quasi-prequel, it is a blueprint for a balls-out meta-sequel to the original, one that retcons all but the first two entries. At just four short chapters, the graphic novel is a brisk read that leaves plenty of room for improvement.

As a sequel in its own right, it isn’t all that incredible (Tieri’s dialogue is often cheesy and derivative), but that doesn’t matter. What the book does is serve as a concise guide that a solid screenwriter could follow when setting it into type.

A sort of gorgeously-rendered storyboard for how to make a proper return to the brash, potty-mouthed action classic we all grew up on, A Million Ways to Die Hard is everything that die hard Die Hard fans deserve. Shit, it even gives us Sgt. Al Powell’s son. You remember Sgt. Al Powell, he was TV’s Carl Winslow on Family Matters. Well, he also happened to be the ballsy cop who helped McClane communicate with the ground in part one.

Are we still set to nostalgia mode? You bet.

The studio should scrap McClane like they scrapped countless drafts of the script before it and pay attention to what Tieri and company have going on. The right wit and some nimble fingers could crank out a worthy movie using the pages of this above average graphic novel. So what are you waiting for, Hollywood? Yippie ki yay, motherfucker!