The Social Commentary Page

There are companies out there that archive the internet. I came across a website that has been attempting to archive the internet since 1996. Strangely enough, it had archived some of my old college website.

I present to you parts of my old college website to give hope to other people out there. I apparently was quite a douchebag back then, but I’m much better now.

Let’s start with the timeline I posted of the history of the “film company” my friends and I had when we were in college. To this date, we have really only ever finished 1 movie. I see no reason why that will change in the future.

The Cheesedick Films Timeline (I wish that I was making up that name.)

· 1991

    • Stayin’ Alive: The Spurting script is written by Chris Bennett.
    • Acting greats Eric Hiatt, Jesse Howard, Anders Runestad, Andrea Bargabos and dance sensation Bill Wentworth sign on to the project. Cheesedick Films is born.
    • Town class cinematographer Andy Jacobson agrees to do the project. The Jacobson farm is picked as the set for film making history.
    • Filming starts on movie about the classic battle between good and evil, starring Eric Hiatt as a baster wielding psychopath. Pitchfork fight and shower scenes are shot.
    • Filming stops.

· 1992

    • The leaders of the Cheesdick movement take the year off to explore their feelings.

· 1993

    • Cheesedick founding members Chris Bennett, Eric Hiatt, and Jesse Howard are forced to go back to the movie making business by Charles Frederick Joseph Behm. They are joined by Kelly Wilson, Sean Clubine, and Chad Palmer in the making of a Robot documentary.
    • Script is written and shooting begins.
    • Laws are broken, people are offended, and shooting ends.
    • Editing is completed and it plays to rave reviews.
    • Idea for a relevant roundtable discussion show is hatched during a rousing round of Big Red Bat Homerun Derby. Nobody is positive if this surefire idea was hatched because of the camaraderie they felt while engaging in athletic competition, or if that was just the Casey’s Taco Pizza talking.
    • Jay Janson makes an attempt to revive Stayin’ Alive: The Spurting but his attempts fail thanks to the treachery of Jesse Howard.
    • Later that year, William MacAlpine and Corey Faust come into the Cheesedick Films family.
    • In Your Face host Corey Faust leads a crack team on a mission of corporate sabotage. Corey attacks the world famous bear from WHO’s Beat the Bear in front of a group of helpless fans.
    • Production starts on the first Cheesedick television show: In Your Face, with William MacAlpine as the Executive Producer, Corey Faust as the controversial show host, and Chris Bennett and Anders Runestad as the original guests. Alleged drug bust after shows first taping is diffused.

· 1994

    • Jay Janson becomes a full time member of the Cheesedick family.
    • Two short subjects are shot in one day. The first, The Death of Barney is the only creation of the Cheesedick library where a human character did not fall victim to man’s inhumanity to man. The second short, which remains untitled to this day, was a gripping morality play about what happens when you join a gang. This short contains the only scene where William McAlpine’s character dies.
    • An action movie entitled Sworn to Vengeance is scripted and shooting begins but is halted after it is revealed that William McAlpine can’t roll a log down a hill.
    • Early in the year In Your Face is taken off the air for creative retooling after the Peter Dragon Incident.
    • An idea for a picture about the games people play with each other in every day life is hatched during a rousing game of Risk among Paul B. Golden, William McAlpine, and Chris Bennett.
    • A documentary about three American men (Tim “the Dawg” Thornton, Corey Faust, and Chris Bennett) making a roadtrip to Hooters entitled Pilgrimage is shot in 2 days on a shoe string budget. Pilgrimage was praised for its used of eclectic camera angles that would later be copied by ESPN2 and various dance shoes.
    • Plans for a giant rabbit movie are scrapped due to soaring budget costs. Financial backers pull out when Executive Producer Anders Runestad can’t keep the budget under the proposed $12.15.
    • In Your Face triumphantly returned to the airwaves with the new set design by Executive Producer Jay Janson. Bill Wentworth joins the In Your Face team as the Associate Producer. Corey Faust returned as the controversial host and he brought Chris Bennett, Sir William MacAlpine (recently Knighted), and Jesse Howard with him as guests. The show once again ended in a firestorm after Chris Bennett and Jesse Howard walked off the show after a peanut butter—cream cheese blowup. Then Bill Wentworth walked off the show refusing to work with Scott Kendall. Corey Faust vowed to continue the show without them. The show has yet to return.

· 1995

    • The script for Games is completed in three weeks, starring William MacAlpine, Anders Runestad, Chris Bennett, and Jay Janson as a last minute fill in for Paul Golden.
    • Games is finished as a gripping suspense thriller that continues Cheesedick’s real to life filmmaking legacy. People start to wonder about the games that people play.

· 1996

    • Jay Janson, William McAlpine, and Chris Bennett complete Gratuitous Violence which is a short about a group of people that value money over human dignity and human life.

· Coming Soon from Cheesedick Films

    • The Best of Cheesedick: Real to Life Filmmaking.
    • A Recap of Man’s Inhumanity to Man
    • Stayin’ Alive: The Remake

Then I had a page where I wrote short snippets about my friends. Here is a sampling:

My “So-called” Friends

Remember George, no man is a failure who has friends.

—-Clarence the Angel

Lowell Davis

I believe that I met Lowell when we played for the Major Mets in the Boone Little League system. I used to bum rides from his parents to and from practice, and I guess Lowell was the first person I met that reminded me of myself. Or at least, how I was. We both had very conservative views, and both had very similar sense of humors where we took great pleasure in other people’s pain. We became friends fairly quick and we became locker partners throughout high school. However, around his junior year, Lowell started working at fast food restaurant that is sponsored by an evil clown. He graduated. He recently married Jamie Kay Pratt Williams and they are living happily ever after.

Dan Dill

Dan Dill is a story teller, the problem is that he is not a teller of STORIES.Our paths first crossed during Saturday morning basketball. We would play at 8 and he would be there at 7. He and Willy were the Saturday morning stars until I stepped onto the court. He looked at me and said, “What is this, some kind of joke?” However, I quickly showed him “what was up”. Dan is that guy that everybody knows: when he is single he tells everybody “How to handle a Woman”, but was domesticated rather quickly by his wife JoAnn. Dan was the last guy I ever thought would get married, but I think that he will make a great father to his son DJ.

Eric Hiatt

I believe I met Eric when I was in the ninth grade. The first thing I should point out is that Eric is the most talented musician I’ve ever met. Eric also has a very creative mind, but he also isn’t remotely normal. Eric probably could be a great sculptor or painter if he chose to be, but he has chosen to be a great percussionist. However, Eric has been misunderstood by most of his peers, thus he has had the rockiest road of us all. Eric chief interests are music, math, not holding a job, and education. Eric married Jennifer Waterbury. He joined the army, but now he is back and he is in the Christian speed metal band Shining Armor. Eric would like for it to be pointed out that he is an atheist and that he thinks the band name is less than stellar.

Paul Benjamin Golden

I met Paul about the same time I met Andy. Paul was the Baritone player in our local high school band. There’s not much to tell about Paul except that he and the truth have never been on very friendly terms and he likes to milk a joke for every last drop of humor it can get. Paul drives a Pontiac Sunbird and has a very good tenor voice. These two items must be related somehow. Paul’s hobbies include golf and bowling and he likes the musical Les Miserables. He was in the Des Moines Playhouse production of Guys and Dolls.

Corey Faust

So you’re curious about Corey Faust. Well, to look at Corey is to at first wonder why he isn’t down at the Greek House tapping the keg. However, once you get to know Corey you can only wonder, Why? I wouldn’t describe Corey as opinionated, but he does have opinions on subjects that people just don’t have a right to have an opinion on, such as citronella. This man just loves citronella!! I bet the man who invented citronella doesn’t have as much passion for citronella as Corey does. It’s a frigging bug repellent. What’s to care about? He also enjoys two games that I just can’t stand: golf and bowling. Yet, Corey is very easy to get along with and is very understanding and nonjudgmental person.

Monica Henning

Woodchuck, Monica, Monica, Woodchuck. Monica is one of the few people I know that hasn’t embraced the incredible medicinal powers of Woodchuck. She has gone so far as to write blasphemous messages in the dirt on my car about her hatred of Woodchuck. That’s alright, some of us fear Jagermeister as well. Other than that, Monica is just about the nicest person I know. She doesn’t get into your face about much except for her Astrology which she says is “so real its scary.” Sorry, Monica, but perception is in the eye of the beholder. If she’s not checking her horoscope, you can find her writing to the Bookmobile Man. Don’t ask, it’s a touchy subject.

Jesse Howard

In the Second Grade I moved from the Boonies to Urban Boone, which meant that I had to switch to the Page/Bryant school district. This is where I began my longest friendship with Jesse Howard. It all started in Mrs. Ford’s second grade classroom where we both got sick of hearing Paul Carstenson ramble on about how his dad takes him to their house on top of the clouds or hearing Terry Anderson tell stories about how his dad beats up ninjas. I’m not sure why we started hanging out with each other outside of school, unless it was mutually shared boredom. I really used to enjoy going over to Jesse’s because he had HBO and we could watch The Swamp Thing and he had an Atari 2600, WooHoo!!!. Then his dad (the greatest umpire to ever step onto a little league field) wouldn’t let me leave the breakfast table until I finished all of my milk, and it wasn’t so cool. Years later his dad came home drunk when we were there and told us that we were all “good guys” about a million times before passing out. Jesse recently was bound by the laws of marriage to Kelly Accuff. I had one of the greatest honors of my life bestowed upon me, when I was allowed to function in the capacity of Best Man in the ceremony. I’d always been the best man at every wedding I had attended, but somebody finally had the good sense to acknowledge it. I figured Jesse would get married though, he always listened to chick music.

Jay Janson

Jay Janson comes from Eastern Iowa, so he possesses one of those snotty Eastern attitudes where he thinks he better than us Central Iowa salt-of-the-earth-tyes. What he doesn’t realize is that his hometown of Cedar Rapids is a rotting cesspool and he was lucky to have gotten out of it when he did. For some apparent reason, he fancies himself to be quite a fighter, but only his pony tail and lack of acting talent resembles Steven Seagal. However, Jay is one sick, sadistic, brilliant artist. I met Jay in the 8th Grade, and my mom wanted to know why I was hanging out with this little kid. She couldn’t believe that he was a mere two months younger than me. A couple years later he moved back to Cedar Rapids and we kept up a correspondence that will one day be published in books of great literature. His chief interests are mixing drinks and finding things for a computer to do that other inventions have done since the turn of the century. P.S. He hates David Hume.

Scott Kendall

Well, what can I say about Scott “Buck” Kendall. Buck has never suffered from an excess of personality. During our high school days we had to constantly invent nicknames for him to give him some form of character. Buck was one of the first ones, but he was also known as the rabbit Slayer for the machete job he did on a couple of the cute little innocent fuzzy bunnies with his big powerful lawn mower. We also briefly recognized him as a minor (very minor) deity. He spent a summer as the God of Thirst. No man ever thirsted as much as he did, yet he constantly quenched it with the sugared mule urine known as Mountain Dew. Then he became the Wind Warrior for the surfing shirt he invariably wore, even though the closest ocean is about one thousand miles away. However, the surfing shirts were the crowning achievement of Scott’s fashion history. Before them was Rude Dog. Currently he owns 3 shirts: the Iowa Games shirt, his black and blue shirt, and that shirt that doesn’t suck too bad that Lynn picked out for him. Then Scott became the Toolbelt Man. Scott adopted this personality because his dad is the greatest carpenter since the one from Nazareth. Okay, maybe he is better. The man can build a sidewalk out of a 2 x 4 and some patience. Scott always claimed to be equal in the acts of woodworking with Papa, but we all knew better, mostly because Scott has managed to nail a board to his knee on a few occasions.

Anders Runestad

I met Andy Runestad probably when I was in the ninth grade. It was mostly over a dispute about whether or not Led Zeppelin was satanic or not. I don’t recall exactly what positions were held, but I’m sure that I was probably right. Our friendship blossomed when I began playing basketball every Saturday morning at 8. Andy was my ride there and we had plenty of time to get to know each other because after he picked me up, we had to wait 45 minutes for Lowell Davis to get ready. The thing we have most in common is our love for old movies and the Butthole Surfers. Andy is an English Graduate of Iowa State University and is currently employed by Computer Animation. He has yet to tie the knot, but he is one of the walking wounded and its only a matter of time before he and his girlfriend Carrie are bound by the laws of the State of Iowa.

William Wentworth

Bill is a man, I guess. I mean what do you call an individual with male reproductive organs, but won’t play tackle football. I met Bill when I was finally invited to play Saturday morning basketball. I would be walking through the hallways with my locker partner Lowell Davis when Bill would stop Lowell and inquire if they were still on for b-ball on Saturday. I was under the impression that Bill was some kind of great player considering how enthusiastic he was about it. Well, when I finally did play, let’s just say I wasn’t very impressed with what I saw. That doesn’t mean just Bill. They told me that we were just to pass the ball to William MacAlpine and Dan Dill and let them do the scoring. I told them that I didn’t come here to watch a game of basketball. Our contingent used to go over to Bill’s alot to watch movies or just to watch him hide his Guns’n’Roses albums from his parents. He used to drive a Ford Fairmont stationwagon, and we just beat that car into the grave. Bill attends Iowa State and majors in Journalism. His life pretty much revolves around comic books and the Chicago Bulls. His roommate is Scott Kendall.

Jeff Vickers

Jeff makes up exactly one half of the greatest paper towel football team to ever step on the field. I am that other half. What is paper towel football you may ask? Well it involves taking a roll of paper towels and covering it with tape. Then what you need is to get yourself a quarterback with a cannon for an arm and a receiver with hand like feathers but with a grip like a bear trap. If you put this together, call us. We’ll be ready to rumble. We still haven’t met the two person team that can play us to within 28. Jeff isn’t as popular as he could be: Why? He just doesn’t shut his mouth. He thinks he tells it like it is, and to some extent he does, but the truth will make you many enemies and very few friends. However, if you can stick it out, there is nothing better than a friend who thinks they tell the truth. When he doesn’t, I just take 3.8 seconds out of my busy schedule and beat him down marine style.

Sir William MacAlpine

If I have any friends that aren’t playing with a full “Go Fish” Deck, it’s Sir William MacAlpine of Leaf Road Manor. Willy, for one reason or another is obsessed with England and Scotland at the same time. I’ve tried to make him understand that the Scotch pretty much hate the English, but this seems to make no difference to Sir William. When he was in high school he looked like an army recruiting poster. His hair was invariably buzzed. Then when he made it into college, he just stopped shaving and getting haircuts. Now he looks like what Jesus would have looked like if Jesus would have been European. His chief interests are watching British comedies on Iowa Public Television, putting pennies on rolls of tape, and not going to class.

The moral of the story is that if you are heavily screwed up right now, there is still hope for you too.

Jesse Goes to Honduras

Looks like I’ve fallen a might behind.

I’m in the process of helping Jesse put together a slideshow of pictures from Honduras. He has told me many a tale from his mission trip, but my favorite will always be about how he earned the credentials to be a first ballot hall-of-famer in the Chicken Killer Hall of Fame. I think I find that story so funny because we had chickens when I was a small, but undeniably cool child.


Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip
So Jesse has to travel to Honduras to see farm animals?

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip
No word on whether or not Honduras Wendy’s serves the Baconator.

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

This picture reminds me so much of the movie Born into Brothels. If you haven’t seen that movie yet, run to your local video store and pick it up. I could also arrange to loan out my copy, but I would have to be very trusting of that person. It is one of the most powerful movies ever made.


Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip
This is supposed to be the oldest church in this hemisphere.

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip
People live in the garbage dump and forage for food there.

Jesse's Honduras Mission Trip

Jesse hopes to go on a mission to Africa next year.

Resurfaced

As I have slowly been going through some stuff, I came across some art from a couple of my friends that was buried by time. I’m glad I found this stuff.








You might look at this stuff and wonder if I was hanging around a mad scientist like Dr. Trahan (sp?) or the criminally insane, but in fact I used to hang out with geniuses. Not just insane geniuses, but your ordinary, everyday geniuses.

Night Visions

I assume everybody else does the same thing when they can not sleep at night.


07-07-08

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07-07-08

There are times when I look at flowers that I am reminded of the following quote:

God loved the flowers and invented soil. Man loved the flowers and invented vases.
-Variation of a saying by Jacques Deval

Independence Day

It was a busy 4th of July.

I started the day at about 9 AM by moving mortars into place. Then at 10:30 I went over to Half Shell to help set up and serve beer until about 3 PM.

Check out some pictures from Half Shell.


July 4, 2008
Shannon and Matthew

July 4, 2008
Scott with the 1st Beer of Half Shell

July 4, 2008
Becky and Jenny

July 4, 2008
I switched from my “Beat Iowa” hat to a “Beer Nuts” hat for this Half Shell.*

July 4, 2008
Burnin’s Sensations

July 4, 2008
Sarah finishing off the pepperoni pizza that she didn’t want to be “too eager” for.

July 4, 2008
I don’t know what is going on in this picture.

At 3 I headed back to the fireworks area to set up sandbags. Fireworks was a very educational experience. For starters, fireworks don’t look anything like I thought they would look like. I thought they would look like giant bottle rockets or like the big red rockets that Wile E. Coyote shoots at the Road Runner. Instead, they look like this:


July 4, 2008
Fireworks.

The main thing I learned though was that being in the pit or ground zero of a fireworks display is about a million times more entertaining and fun than watching a fireworks display.

To let off fireworks there is a dress code. You are required to wear boots, long pants, a cotton long sleeve shirt (polyester will catch on fire), a hard hat, safety glasses and ear protection. Even with all of that clothing and protective gear it is hard to put into words how powerful and loud the fireworks are in the pit. It is an intense experience.

I was really down in the pit to take some pictures. However, I was ordered to set off a couple of fireworks. So I set off three.

After we finished some clean up I went over to Jen and Derrick’s traditional 4th of July barbecue. I was asked the same question a few different times while I was there:

“Which fireworks did you light off?”

Shannon would usually answer the question: “The good ones.”

Although I enjoy her vote of confidence, that answer has no basis in fact. The truth is that you never get to see the fireworks that you light off. In fact, you barely ever see any fireworks at all. You feel them. You hear them. You never see them.

The steps to setting off the fireworks prevent you from ever seeing them. When you go to light off the fireworks you are handed a 5 or 6 foot pole with a road flare taped to the end. You approach the mortars with the flare pointed away from the fireworks. When you get near the fireworks you remove the protective sleeve that covers the fuse. Then you take a few steps back and light the fuse with the flare. As soon as the fuse starts to light, you turn your back to the fireworks, get low and move away from the mortars.

While you are moving away from the fireworks, there is another person acting as a spotter. The spotter tells you when it is okay to go light another fuse or to get down. Trust me, you definitely know when the shell has shot into the sky. You feel it. However, there are a couple of things that could go wrong. The shell could blow up in the mortar or the shell can come a few feet out of the mortar and then blow up. If these things don’t happen, you get to go back and light off more fireworks. But you never really get to see the fireworks that you light.

Here are a few pictures from the pit:


July 4, 2008
Joe packing mortars.

July 4, 2008
Charby moving boxes of fireworks.

July 4, 2008
Shannon putting foil on the Grand Finale mortars.

July 4, 2008
The line moving away from the explosion is the flare.

July 4, 2008
Fireworks.

July 4, 2008
More fireworks.

July 4, 2008
Peggy setting off fireworks.

July 4, 2008
Shannon watching.

July 4, 2008
Grand finale aftermath.

Of course there are about 80 more pictures in the Snapshot Gallery in an album named “Jaycees – Independence Day – 2008”.

Jaycees – Independence Day – 2008

When I concluded my evening at Jen and Derrick’s barbecue I found out that something pretty major had happened in my absence. However, that is not my tale. All I can tell you is that congratulations are in order next time you see them.

One last story.

While I was walking around Half Shell taking pictures two girls came up to me.

“Do you want to take our picture?” they asked.

“Why would I want to take your picture?”

“Because we are so cute.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yeah!”

“I can take your picture.”

I’ll leave it to you to make your own assessments about the level of cuteness these girls possess.


July 4, 2008

I have a feeling this is how the Girls Gone Wild guy got started.

*I bought a new hat for this coming Half Shell on Saturday. I think it is perfect.

Obfuscate

Saturday was my annual lunch with Mark at The Machine Shed. It seems that it is also becoming a tradition that we get an out of focus picture of us taken together.



However, I think it is becoming a trend. Take a look at other pictures I’ve had taken with friends lately.





Perhaps this could be my new thing.