welcome to the abyss

Category: Product Review

Vulture Capitalism By Grace Blakeley Is A Book That Everybody Needs To Read

Some Cool Badges And Patches I Received This Week

This is kind of a lazy post but it is freezing cold and my MS symptoms hate me right now.

Review: Burn It Down – Maureen Ryan (2023)

Wondering why actors, writers and other Hollywood workers are on strike right now? Then you need to read this book. In it Maureen Ryan, an entertainment reporter, lays out what is wrong with Hollywood and how things need to change in order to move forward.

What is wrong in Hollywood? Rampant abuse of all kinds is rewarded, while those who complain about it are blacklisted and unable to find work in the industry. There is so much abuse detailed in this book that it was emotionally a tough read for me. I had heard about some of the abuse before but I had no idea that it was this bad. She devotes a whole chapter to the production side of the series Lost and what happened on set and behind the scenes will make your toes curl. A black actor complained that they didn’t have enough lines and that their character’s arc didn’t make sense and what happened to them? They were fired from the show.

The studio execs are a huge part of why this keeps happening and they refuse to change their ways. They are almost exclusively older white men, who see nothing wrong with the way things are. As long as their pockets are full of money who cares about people being verbally abused by directors or fondled by staff writers. They will give known abusers jobs because they make them a lot of cash. Remember folks, making money is more important than the basic human rights of others.

What I really love about this book is that she puts forward ideas that could make things change in a meaningfully way. Did you know that there isn’t a centralized place for people to report abuse going on in the industry? That really blew my mind. An industry that literally makes billions of dollars can’t bother to do this simple thing? That speaks volumes as to what kind of people are in charge.

This is a great book that gives you the truth as to what is really going on behind the scenes and it is a must read. With all of that being said, people in the industry deserve to be treated with respect. I stand behind all of the industry people on strike right now and I hope something good comes out of it.

Album Review: Pet Shop Boys – Smash

The Pet Shop Boys have always held a special place in my heart because their first album Please was one of the first cassettes I ever owned as a teen in the mid 80’s. I used to listen to it so much that I still remember the lyrics. I kind of lost interest in them in the 90’s because I was so heavily into both punk and goth music at the time. I didn’t start disliking them or anything like that, it was just that before the internet came into being it was really easy to lose track of bands. So, imagine my surprise when this album was recently released: a 3 CD remastered collection of their singles. I jumped at it because I wanted to own more of their music.

I listened to the first disc very loudly yesterday and I have to say that this is one of the better remastered releases that I have ever heard. Seriously, it sounds bright and clear and so good that the 80’s songs sound very modern and not dated at all. Whomever did the mastering did a very good job. There is no extra bass or added fripperies which personally makes me very happy because I hate it when remastered releases sound nothing like what made the original releases special in the first place.

If you have never owned any of their music this would be an excellent place to start, and if you were around in the 80’s it will bring back lots of happy memories like it did for me.

Thoughts On Season Of The Witch: The Book Of Goth By Cathi Unsworth

I received this book a few days before it was released because of me living in the middle of nowhere, but I only started reading it a few days ago due to having shingles on my head. If you don’t know what shingles are it is a virus that you get from previously having caught chicken pox. There is no rhyme or reason as to why the virus reactivates and it is very, very painful. I’m doing much better now, but I couldn’t read for about a week due to some of the sores being on the side of my head where my glasses hit. I felt like a victim of consumption because it made me look really pale and sickly. You have to look on the bright side of things sometimes.

Anyways! This is quite different from the new John Robb book The Art Of Darkness because it has footnote references listed in the back. Personally, that doesn’t make a difference to me but I know that some people are really sticklers for such things. I am about 75% through it so far and I am having some mixed feelings about it. I am in no way saying that it is bad, because it is not. However, the way she goes about explaining things without connecting the information to the actual subculture can be a bit confusing at times. Since I am older and have been in the subculture for a few decades I know what these connections are, but anybody new reading it is going to be wondering why some of the bands are mentioned since they have no obvious connections to the subculture.

Take Lydia Lunch for example, because she is mentioned heavily in it. I have always known who she is because the alternative clubs I went to over thirty years ago used to play some footage of her, and there was a lot of talk back then about her having made a porn film with Henry Rollins in which he fists her. To this day I have no idea if that porno was real or something totally made up because it’s not something that interests me. Because of all of this I have always associated her with the punk subculture, but I can see the connection to goth since her art went down a dark path.

All in all I think it is a worthwhile book to read because there is some information in it that I have never read in other books about the subculture. Its only weakness, as I have mentioned, is the whole connecting the dots issue. Older people will get it, but some newer people will probably be left a little confused.

Product Review: Angry Itch 14 Hole Steel Toe Five Buckle Leather Boots

I added the khaki laces, they come with black ones.

Before I start I would like it to be known that I bought these boots with my own money and did not get them as payment to write a review. I don’t accept any free products and never will. With that out of the way let’s get to what you are here for; a review of Angry Itch boots.

These are quite honestly some of the best ‘alternative’ style boots I have ever purchased. I am not saying that lightly because trying to find a good quality ‘alternative’ type boot right now is very difficult since most are now made cheaply in China or companies have lowered their production standards. New Rock I am looking at you. With this being the case I literally searched high and low online for a brand that actually can last years instead of months. I saw a few mentions of Angry Itch and only one video of somebody actually sitting down and reviewing them. All other posts were only of people wearing them and that’s it.

So, buying these boots was a really big leap of faith on my part. What really got my attention about them was the fact that the brand is made in Poland by a German company. They are really proud of their product being made in the EU and don’t hide that fact at all. Another huge factor in me buying these is the price-point. Even though they are made of leather they are cheaper than brands such as Demonia; this pair runs from about £100-£140 depending on where you buy them.

Sewn, glued and screwed.

First let’s talk about the construction. As you can see the soles are stitched and also screwed in. On top of that they are also glued, so the soles are attached using three separate methods instead of just the one or two that the other well known brands such as New Rock or Demonia use. Historically I have only ever owned one pair of ranger type boots that had screws in the soles and those were bought at Shelly’s in London 25 years ago. I only had to stop wearing them because my feet grew and they became too small. Yes, your feet still grow as you get older, be prepared! If the soles of these boots wear down a lot in the future I can just get new soles screwed onto them which is a huge plus. The buckles themselves have a cool dystopian feel and are fastened to the boots with rivets instead of being sewn on, which means they will not easily break.

The buckles are riveted to the boots instead of sewn.

These boots are made of a nice quality leather. They are not made of plastic coated leather which makes it more easy to care for them. When I received them the leather looked a little dry. This is very common when you buy any type of boots online because they may not be stored in a climate controlled warehouse. This is in no way the fault of the brand because I have had this also happen with New Rock boots I have purchased in the past. I spent a little time moisturizing them and they no longer look dry so this is a very easy thing to correct. In fact you should always moisturize your leather boots at least a few times a year, because it makes them last way longer than if you do not moisturize them at all.

The zipper is robust and double sewn into the boot, as are the straps.

I always get a little nervous about zippers on boots, because often they will be of a very cheap quality. However, the zippers on these are very robust and not flimsy plastic. In the few weeks that I have been wearing these I haven’t had a single issue with them which is a huge relief! They are double sewn into the boot making them more strong and less likely to detach from the boot.

View from the front. Hidden from view are 2 slits in the tongue that keep it in place when laced.

Now on to the most important section of the review; the fit. I have a slightly narrow foot and calf and I am a size 6.5 UK/8.5 US. Since these boots only come in whole sizes I ordered a size 7 UK/40 EU. It is always more easy to make a slightly larger boot fit than to ram your toes inside a boot that is too small. Before I tried them on I inserted one foam insole into each boot and put on a thick pair of thermal knee high socks since doing both always makes my half size feet fit into boots better. I do this with every pair of boots I own. They fit my feet like a glove. No joke! My heel barely lifts inside the boot when walking in them. I think this is partly due to the adjustable buckle straps. I have slightly narrow calves and the buckles allow me to strap them in very well. I have worn them on several short walks and I haven’t gotten a single blister from them. None. The construction of these boots is so well done they could honestly go down a runway and nobody would think they are out of place. All of the decades of Frankensteining clothes together have taught me that the construction of garments is just as important as the type of material you use.

Meet our little pet xenomorph Cujo. I bleached the nuclear cloud on the leggings with a stencil and a bleach pen.

With that being said these boots would fit a narrow or regular foot better than a wide one. However, if you have a wide foot and are a whole size you might get away with ordering the next size up. I am not guaranteeing that so please don’t come at me if that doesn’t work out for you. Also, I would have to say that these will not fit you if you have larger calves. Zippered up the circumference of the top of the boot is 12 inches fully tied closed. The buckle straps are also for more slim or regular calves. You can add a hole or two on them and that’s it. If you are a slim legged individual that has issues finding boots that don’t gap at the top these may actually work for you.

Do I recommend buying these boots? Hell yes! This brand deserves way more attention than Demonia or New Rock. They are making very well constructed quality leather boots for not that much money. They are sold by mostly UK and EU dark alternative physical stores and websites, so if you are outside of those areas they may cost a bit more. They can also be found on Ebay and Amazon, but make sure you are getting the real deal and not fakes. The only reason why I am not providing links is because so many stores are in flux right now.

I will be reviewing quite a number of boots I own over the coming months because I have bought them all with my own money. I am not for sale so you will only get honest reviews from me.

Product Review: Nite Militia Vegan 3.0 Bag by Jungle Tribe

Obviously not me. I couldn’t get a good photo of myself wearing it.

Let me start by saying that this is not a sponsored post. I am almost 50 so I really doubt that anybody would send me free stuff anyway. Any product review that I put up on this blog will be of items I have spent my own money on.

This has quickly become one of my favourite bags. Mostly because it looks very dystopian/post-apocalyptic without looking like a cosplay item. I went to the grocery store the other day wearing it and it was very comfortable and easy for me to wear. I plan on wearing it mostly on my hip because it doesn’t get in my way at all while using my cane.

Jungle Tribe make a lot of hip/holster type bags and they can all be worn several different ways. This one is no different. I can wear it on my hip, across my body, under my arm or on my back. It also has a small chain from the magnetic closure that is attached to a thin card holder that fits easily inside the bag. I bought this one in particular because I really love the look of it and it was more affordable than the other models that are mostly made of real leather. It’s made by hand and is very well constructed out of thick canvas. This thing is probably going to last me over ten years easily. They may be expensive but you get what you pay for.

My new favourite bag.

There are Chinese made knock-offs of Jungle Tribe’s bags on Amazon that are cheaply made and fall apart easily so do not purchase one on there. Jungle Tribe have even made some YouTube videos talking about it. If you want one of their bags go to their Etsy store. Mine was sent out the day after I ordered it so you don’t have to wait forever to receive your bag.

I am very happy with my purchase and will be buying one of their leather bags later this year. I hope this has inspired some of you to also purchase one, because it is important to look good in our dystopian hellscape.


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