Jeff Koyen of Crank

Leftovers & links & reviews without spoilers

♦ Jeff Koyen, long ago the creator of Crank, is briefly mentioned in this morning's Pathetic Life entry from 1994, so I googled him and sent this email:

Holy crap, I'm impressed by you.

In my old age I'm re-reading, re-typing, and re-publishing Pathetic Life, and every time a zinester is mentioned in the old material I google the name, to see (a) whether they're dead yet, and (b) what the hell they've done with their lives.

There are a dozen or 15 names I've googled so far, sending emails to a few with no response. Most were impossible to find, some came up dead, and there've been disappointments, like one zinester who became a preacher and another who became a cop. And then there's you.

Jeff, you are my biggest and best surprise so far — successful journalist, entrepreneur, and Person Who Did the Right Thing. I read "The 52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of the Pope" when it was first published, and remember the silly uproar that followed, and an editor who quit in righteous indignation, but despite your uncommon name I never noticed it was *you* until googling your name this morning.

I don't know anything about the three businesses you've entrepreneured since then. Glad you've been successful and all, but just for the whole New York Press/Pope John Paul II/Matt Taibbi incident, you are a bloody icon to me, a 21st century man in a cape, hair tousled in the wind. 

Thank you & that's all.

Amsterdamned — This is a 1998 action movie, about a couple of Dutch cops looking for a maniac who’s murdering people in Amsterdam’s canals. The film has a famous and fun speedboat chase through the canals, but other than that it's an episode of Starsky & Hutch where everyone speaks with a Dutch accent.

All the expected genre stereotypes are here, including bland cop banter with bad jokes, killer’s POV camera, pins on a map, the impatient cop boss, the doomed hooker, the beautiful girlfriend, the wisecracking daughter, etc. Apparently, 95% of Holland's female population is gorgeous and in their 20s. It's all just as clever as the movie's title, which is not very. The lead actor dubs his dialogue in English, which might explain why his performance seems so wooden. Or he's simply a lousy actor.

Amsterdamned is just about exactly the kind of movie I don't want to bother with any more — shallow and stupid. When you get bored like I did, fast-forward to the canal chase sequence, 1:19-1:26.

♦ I'm enjoying Lois Lane's love theme from Amsterdamned, though. The lyrics are relentless — "Amsterdamned, Amsterdamned, Amsterdamned ..." — but the music is catchy old-style pop, and it's been on replay for the past hour.

♦ I mentioned a few days ago that I’d somehow lost my only copy of Pathetic Life #7, but it was easy to find: It seemed like a crazy long shot, but I googled “Pathetic Life #7,” which told me that the University of Missouri at Kansas City has a copy in box 4, folder 2 of the special collections at their library. Sent them an email, and they scanned it and emailed a PDF in ten minutes, at no charge. I am a grumpy old coot, but this amazes me. 

♦ Also, I never applied, but I’ve been accepted at Harvard!

♦ I’ve always liked “Never Gonna Let You Go,” by Sergio Mendez. It’s on my playlist of 1,500 or so tunes on shuffle whenever my life needs a soundtrack. I don’t know anything about music, though, and if I’ve ever given the song any thought beyond tapping my toes, it’s just been, “That’s a song you can’t hum afterwards, because the melody goes all over the place.” Well, here’s Rick Beato, who knows a lot about music, explaining that it’s the most complicated chart-topping pop song ever.

Journalism still exists.

♦ Oh, you want us to lip-sync the song for TV? 
♦ Hans StΓΌcke has been on a road trip for almost 60 years. 
We are not old men. We are not worried about petty morals.” —Keith Richards

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  1. Captain HampocketsJuly 3, 2021 at 7:32 AM

    I have not read this post yet, but also have very fond memories of Jeff Koyen's zine.

    Man, time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin...

    1. Captain HampocketsJuly 3, 2021 at 7:34 AM

      Yeah, that takes balls.

  2. Captain HampocketsJuly 3, 2021 at 7:39 AM

    Oh dear, you've mystery linked my old blog.

    This might be a better link:



    1. Your comment made me scratch my head cuz I haven't seen your old blog in weeks. Apparently I made some cut-and-paste error and all three of the mystery links instead link to just plain blogger.com, your hosting site and mine. Sadness. Three pretty good links lost and unrecoverable, but we get a link to your fine blog out of the deal, and that's pretty cool.

      I'm deleting the mystery links to nowhere.

  3. I m in horror at the Florida condo collapse. Now they stopped digging thru the rubble because there are worries that the part still standing will fall.

    What does it mean when 100+ people can be sleeping quietly and all dead in a moment?

    1. Well, it means life is brief and you never know how brief.

      It also means something I haven't seen anyone mention yet: Regulation is good.

      Republicans want to deregulate everything, but almost every regulation on the books is written in blood — lawmakers don't pull rules out of their asses, they're written after people die. Without regulations, people die from eating in a restaurant, and elevators unexpectedly plunge to the basement.

      The rule in Florida is that buildings like one that collapsed are inspected once every 40 years, and obviously that's far, far too long between inspections. A structure that size should be inspected perhaps annually, so there's a record and a red flag when things need maintenance and repairs.


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