Monday, July 12, 2021

BOOK REVIEW: Jesse Watters "How I Saved the World"

BOOK REVIEW
How I Saved
the World
- Jesse Watters -
Broadside Books
ISBN-13: 978-0063049086
__________

Like that time I took
Tammy Snodgrass to
the Senior Prom, the
just-released memoir
from Jesse Watters
provided a uniquely
satisfying experience.
Who knew the seats in
my dad's '78 Chevette
would even go back
that far?
__________

Today, ravenous viewers crave a more potent supplement in their cable TV news diet. And nobody in the biz meets that consumer demand better than the culinary crew at FOX News. In the spirit of full disclosure, I will admit openly to being a fan. Usually.

Truth be told, "Team FOX" is comprised of rock star personalities who are just more interesting than their sad competitors. C'mon now, you tell me  regardless of which side of the political fence you reside, if you're lookin' for a good time, what's it gonna be — a semi-formal soiree at Rachel Maddow's, or a bottoms-optional pool party at Kennedy's? I mean, an all-day ordeal at the DMV with Greg Gutfeld has got to be more fun than an all-night excursion in da club with Don Lemon. Am I a right? Then there's Dana Perino. Who wouldn't want to be her dog? But I digress.

So, when I heard that FOX News poster boy Jesse Watters was set to drop a book this summer, I felt a little tingle, not unlike Chris Matthews' left leg during Obama's inauguration. I snatched up a copy posthaste once it hit store shelves last week. But just as I was about to dive into what I expected would be a sizzlin' summer read, I was struck by a frightening notion. What if Watters' much-hyped memoir actually — sucked? Perish the thought.

Many years ago, I was blessed to be mentored by an amazing author. As I struggled with crafting my first novel, the seasoned vet took me under his wing and offered invaluable guidance. "Quarantine your reader at PAGE ONE," he said. "And keep 'em paralyzed," he added. Apparently, Watters got that same memo, as he paralyzes readers successfully with How I Saved the World.

Have you ever read a celeb memoir  maybe by a famous rock star? Onstage, the non-binary musician typically can barely stand up, and in interviews they're a total train wreck. Yet, you open their book, and the same non-binary musician speaks like a card-carrying Mensa member. Wait, what? Alright, admit it, you did NOT write your own book. Well, that's not the case here. Watters' unique voice rings as true as Lil Nas X yammerin' at a Gay Pride parade.

As a conservative Christian who contributes pop culture features to various entertainment news outlets, I have to choke down all kinds of content that doesn't exactly line up with my personal compass. As a result of my learned ability to remove that "stick" from my nether region, I've discovered (and enjoyed) many films, an array of records and a bounty of books I might otherwise have missed. Conversely, if readers from the other side of that fence cut Watters the same slack, they'd find that the dapper Watters' World host has quite an entertaining tale. And he might even be almost likable. Maybe. Relax — I said, maybe.

Watters' conversational style, personal experiences, political insights and razor-sharp wit are key components in his compelling story — one that delivers tremendous payoff  from his account of a certain harrowing NYC subway ride to recollections of being raised by ultra liberal parents to the startling revelation that during his time working at The O'Reilly Factor, many staff members were —  democrats. WTF? That doesn't fit the script!

His lifelong work ethic is impressive. Earning his current celebrated FOX status, Watters "did what (he) was told," as he climbed the ladder from the basement newsroom to the executive boardroom, from behind-the-scenes anonymity to front-and-center notoriety. Watters cooks with gas, reflecting on his past journalistic missions, from Hollywood high-clearance events to a Florida nude beach resort to an Ivy League gay sex party. He even once rescued the baby Jesus from the clutches of Satan — sorta. Love him or hate him, How I Saved the World is as edge-of-your-seat riveting as it is laugh-out-loud funny. And as Watters himself points out frequently throughout, he's "the nicest guy in the world."

From puffed-up to self-deprecating, Watters' engaging and candid sense of humor drives the story, as he takes readers on his 300-page ambush — making friends, burning bridges and dropping names all along the way. However, a few names have been changed, e.g. Ruddy Balzac — priceless. And his mom's near-endless slew of scathing text messages are hilarious.

Even Watters likely would confess that the book's bold title might overreach a smidge. Clearly a multi tasker, he can peck at his keyboard and wink at his audience simultaneously. And by not taking himself too seriously, he lets us all in on the gag. Although I'd dispute the claim that he "saved the world," for a guy like me who was starved for a seasonal treat, Watters definitely at least saved my summer. 4/5

-Christopher Long
(July 2021)


- A SHOT OF POISON -
"10th Anniversary Edition"
(2020)
__________

- SUPERSTAR -
__________

- SHOUT IT OUT LOUD -
(2014)
__________

- C'MON! -
(2012)


Friday, July 9, 2021

TOP 10 TRACKS OF THE '90S: Guest Feature by Jesse Tanner Long

TOP 10 TRACKS
OF THE '90S
Guest Feature by
Jesse Tanner Long
__________

Ah, the '90s.
Hubble Telescope,
World Wide Web,
DVDs and… me.
Here are my top music
picks from each year.
__________

1990
MEGADETH
Lucretia
___________

1991
PRIMUS
Jerry Was a
Race Car Driver
__________

1992
WHITE ZOMBIE
Spiderbaby
(Yeah-Yeah-Yeah)
__________

1993
HADDAWAY
What Is Love
__________

1994
ALICE IN CHAINS
Nutshell
__________

1995
NO DOUBT
You Can Do It
__________

1996
DAVE MATTHEWS
BAND
Too Much
__________

1997
THE KILL
All Tied Up
__________

1998
MARILYN MANSON
Great Big White World
__________

1999
JIMMIE'S
CHICKEN SHACK
Spiraling
__________

Kind of upset I couldn't
find a spot for Ween or
Limp Bizkit but, hey.

-Jesse Tanner Long
(July 2021)
@freezerp



BE MY "GUEST"
Do you have something to say, something to get off your chest or an amazing story to share? From pop culture views and reviews to political commentary to messages of faith, my site is a great platform for writers to showcase their work. There are very limited criteria for submitting a post. Your views don't even have to be in line with mine — just create and contribute a compelling, well-written story. Interested? Send me and email. (AuthorChristopherLong@yahoo.com)

-Chris

Thursday, June 24, 2021

SUMMER JAMZ (2021)

SUMMER
JAMZ
(2021)
__________

Summer is just starting
to sizzle, but a fistful of
faves already are firing
up my personal playlist.
__________

THE JENNY THING - "American Canyon"
One of the most promising up-and-coming combos back in the day, So-Cal's The Jenny Thing vanished from the U.S. alternative music scene in the late '90s. Fast forward a few thousand light years, and the boys are back in 2021 with a shiny new eight-song set, American Canyon. While the record is a bona fide trove of retro-tinged treasures, the title track beams brightest. Blowing a red light near the intersection of Gabriel Avenue and Fripp Street, the song points to the past, as it races to the future. Press play. Repeat.


RENEE PHOENIX - "EZPZ"
For those of us who continue to crave the lost energy and spirit of the Vans Warped Tour, the latest solo track from Fit for Rivals ringleader, Renee Phoenix, certainly will fill that summertime void. Find my official review HERE.


SWITCH N' WHISKY - "Keep it in the Red"
Sporting long hair, tight trousers and low-strung guitars, South Florida's Switch N’ Whisky could be considered something of a circus freak sideshow in today's pristine pop world. But, boasting an arsenal of straight-up down and dirty tunes, unbridled passion and unrelenting street-smart determination, the band also just might blow up huge with "Keep it in the Red." Find my official review HERE.


ABLE MACHINES - "Picture the End"
With their debut record, the irresistible Hollywood-based electro-pop duo, able machines, has delivered undeniably the dysfunctional feel-good of the season. Like a warm summer breeze blowing gently across my aerosol-sprayed combover, this tune sounds so fresh, yet so familiar, it makes me feel like I'm 49 again. Find my official full album review HERE.


DON BROCO - "Manchester Super Reds No.1 Fan"
What's a summertime party without something hot from Don Broco? It's a freaking drag, that's what! Fortunately, this season, that's not the case. Party on, kids!


THE DOLLYROTS - "Easy"
Why on earth would bi-coastal pop-punk poster kids, The Dollyrots, cover an R&B hit from the '70s? Because they're awesome! Find my official review HERE.


SLEEP TOKEN - "Alkaline"
As a guy who was around back in the day, the latest from Sleep Token reminds me a bit of Type O Negative. And the video looks like a chilling Hollywood epic.


DL SERIOS - "Digital Hate"
So, I'm super-psyched to share a summertime teaser from my own upcoming record. Way back in 1985, I assumed the persona of frontman, DL Serios, and I launched the outrageous, award-winning metal band, Dead Serios. In 2020, I (finally) split and started a solo thing. A tag team production effort between guitarist Chuck Lazaras, Attika frontman Robert Van War and myself, "Digital Hate" was one of the first tunes I cut for the album, which will drop later in the year. Along with me and Chuck, the studio lineup included Rob on co-vocals, Attika bassist Glenn Anthony and former Pat Travers Band drummer Tommy Craig. The track was mixed and mastered by European studio ace Robert Romagna and it was engineered by Brendon Keith Paredes. Dig, if you will!


So, what are you listening to this summer? Feel free to post your personal picks in the COMMENT section below.

-Christopher Long
(June 2021)


- A SHOT OF POISON -
"10th Anniversary Edition"
(2020)
__________

- SUPERSTAR -
__________

- SHOUT IT OUT LOUD -
(2014)
__________

- C'MON! -
(2012)

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

SUMMERTIME READS (2021)

SUMMERTIME
READS
(2021)
__________

I'm currently visiting and
revisiting a few refreshing
reads this sizzling season.
__________

THE MAGIC KEY
It's a crazy account. I didn't see it coming, but, BAM! — it found me anyway. In the fall of 2019, I met a beautiful new book from an amazing first-time author. Truth be told, ADVENTURES OF A METALHEAD LIBRARIAN: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir by Anna-Marie O'Brien affected me profoundly, both as a reader and a writer. Find my official full review HERE.

After trolling O'Brien online, I discovered her successful writing coach side-hustle. Hmm. So, I reached out to O'Brien, and in short order, she was working with me — helping to craft a writing project I was struggling with at the time — a TOTAL (personal and professional) game-changing experience, to be sure.

As a result, I was humbled and honored when O'Brien reached to me recently, and offered me an opportunity to take an advance look at her upcoming sophomore release, THE MAGIC KEY: Unlock Your Memoir. At just 20,000 words, it's a quick, yet compelling read — one oozing with insights, encouragement, advice and LOTS of love.

Whether you're an aspiring writer seeking qualified guidance from the get-go, or an experienced author who's still open to receiving a tippy or two, this one is gonna be a MUST.


A PLACE CALLED HEAVEN
Combining incredible knowledge with a cozy conversational style, Dr. Larry Ollison is the “Mac Daddy” of Christian authors. I’m currently combing his latest, A Place Called Heaven, for the second time. And it's as riveting during this summer season as it was the first time around during the past holiday season. Find my official full review HERE.

So, what are you reading this season? Feel free to share with the rest of the class in the COMMENT section below.

-Christopher Long
(June 2021)


- A SHOT OF POISON -
"10th Anniversary Edition"
(2020)
__________

- SUPERSTAR -
__________

- SHOUT IT OUT LOUD -
(2014)
__________

- C'MON! -
(2012)

Saturday, June 19, 2021

TOP 11 PEOPLE I WANT TO HAVE COFFEE WITH: Summer 2021 Edition

TOP 11 PEOPLE
I WANT TO HAVE
COFFEE WITH
Summer 2021 Edition
__________

Coffee, connection and
conversation — my three
favorite "C" words. Put
'em together, and I'll hit a
homerun. Toss my other
choice "C" word (cookie)
into the mix, and I'll pop
off a grand slam!
__________

When I created my initial coffee talk post eight years ago, I had no idea the topic would become such a popular frequent flyer feature here on my lil' website. Truth be told, from global rock stars to national political candidates to local store clerks, I connect constantly with people from all walks of life. Even when I'm chillin' with the young people at various social events, my encounters typically turn into impromptu interviews — I just can't help myself. Simply put, everybody has a story.

As I've discovered, one of the best scenarios for a quality conversation is over a cup of coffee at a cozy java joint. And I'm always thinking about which folks I'd really love to connect with. So, who are the most fascinating people on my brew-based bucket list this summer? Well, here are my Top 11. But why 11? Why not just an even 10? 'Cuz, it's ONE louder.

11

Never filtered and always
funny, he's a straight shooter.
A personal encounter with
Chappelle would have to
be an E-ticket ride.
__________

10

In a culture consumed by
conflict, Clark is a beacon
of light  the queen of the
Cuteservative scene. And
her popular daily program,
 Poplitics has become my
latest obsession.
__________

9

Among his distinguished
credits, Crowe directed the
greatest film of all time — 
Almost Famous. For that
alone, I could talk to this
guy 'til next Thursday. I
bet his aura is purple.
__________

8

There's not a lot on which we
agree. But Maher is a smart
fella and we do see eye-to-eye
 on a few things. As a result,
I've got tremendous respect
for the political commentator
and TV host. And I imagine
a coffee conversation would
be quite a hoot.
__________

7

An outspoken political commentator,
successful conservative author, and
popular talk show host, Owens not
only is a stunning beauty, but she's
right about everything. The dynamic
of our conversation would be simple.
She'd talk. I'd listen.
__________

6

Boasting ratings bigger than
a gaff at a Joe Biden press
conference, Gutfeld! is the
hottest show on late night
TV. And host, Greg Gutfeld,
has no shame when he's on
top of his game. Gutfeld is
sharper than my collection
of unused razors, and to have
a coffee conversation with
him would be my greatest
career achievement. Period.
__________

5

She's created much of my all-
time favorite music. During
the shag-covered 70s, glossy
magazine and album cover
images of the raging beauty
were THE source of my
constant teenage frustration.
Boy Howdy! She's still a
spitfire. While a face-to-face
coffee experience with Slick
is unlikely, I still believe in
miracles.
__________

4

He's no Casey Kasem, but
Failla does have the coolest
radio show on the air today.
Recently, he's become my
latest favorite rock star. And
if I still drank, this former
New York cabby seems like
the kind of guy with whom
I would enjoy making bad
decisions at 4am — white
cowboy boots, optional.
__________

3

With her hands seemingly
into everything over at
FOX News, Timpf is THE
hottest conservo-babe in
the biz. Truth be told, I'm
such a faithful fanboy, I
would gleefully gift her
my prized Misfits T-shirt.
That's sayng something!
__________

2

Hey, who wouldn't want to
have coffee with the next
President of the United States?
__________

1
FLO

Arguably the wisest woman
in America, Flo and I would
probably discuss and array of
lively topics, from affordable
auto insurance to how we can
rid ourselves of that rat, Jamie.

There ya go. I hope you had fun with my latest caffeine-crazed commentary. So, who's on your brew-based bucket list? Feel free to post your personal thoughts in the "Comment" section below.

-Christopher Long
(June 2021)
__________

TOP TEN PEOPLE
I WANT TO HAVE
COFFEE WITH
__________



- A SHOT OF POISON -
"10th Anniversary Edition"
(2020)
__________

- SUPERSTAR -
__________

- SHOUT IT OUT LOUD -
(2014)
__________

- C'MON! -
(2012)