Author Archive: Ryan Klemek

Ryan Klemek is a staff editor and writer at the Skull Island Times. He also paints book cover illustrations for RK Galaga.

Weird Al vs. Prince

Portraits of Weird Al and Danny Elfman, done by the author

On the podcast Literally! With Rob Lowe, Rob often asks his guests if they prefer the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. If anyone were to ask me, I’d say the Monkees. It’s not that I think the Beatles or the Stones are bad, it’s just that I don’t see how they’re better than any other bands. The Monkees didn’t play their own instruments, but at least they had a funny TV show. I saw them live, actually. In Latham, New York, back in 1986. Really, though, I was there to see their opening act: Weird Al Yankovic. Al ran out onto the stage wearing surgical scrubs to perform “Like a Surgeon”, then later in the set, he and his band donned those silly red Devo hats when they did “Dare to be Stupid.” I was only 11 years old at the time, but it was an amazing show. I’ve seen…
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Food Review: Ice Cream

As batshit crazy as this might sound, I didn’t always love ice cream. It’s not that I disliked it, it’s just that I didn’t give much of a shit about it. I was always more of a cookie/brownie/ guy. Then one day, I realized cookies and brownies are way better if you throw some ice cream on top, and my whole life changed forever. Now, I eat cookie/brownie sundaes 4-5 times a week, which is probably a little too much fat and sugar for a 46-year-old man to be eating. But you only live once, right? Truth be told, I’m a bit of an ice cream snob. I steer clear of the processed shit like Turkey Hill, Hood, and the generic store brands, though I could be persuaded to eat Breyer’s. Baskin-Robbins sucks ass. Ben & Jerry’s is ok, but I prefer local ice cream shops to any of the…
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Divine Advice for Baby New Year 2022

Dear Jesus and Satan, Time has officially become a blur. Stress is aging people quickly, but nothing else is changing. There’s still a killer virus on the loose, people are still forced to wear masks, schools are still closing down regularly, and it’s still terrifying to go to the store or eat in restaurants. Oh, and the Earth is still on fire—probably more on fire than it’s ever been. Like my father before me, and his father before him, I am inheriting a shit storm that is beyond my ability to fix. The difference this time is, unlike my father and his father, I already don’t give a fuck. They at least tried to fix things, and when they couldn’t do anything, they had enough compassion to be sad and worried about it. I look at all these greedy, selfish people hoping that their problems will just magically go away…
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Divine Advice for Taylor Swift 5

Dear DA, I’m the hottest woman on earth. Everything wants to fuck me, men, straight women, animals. But once I hook up, I get dumped, so what the fuck’s up? I went camping and woke up to a bear humping my leg. At first, I tried to shoo him away, but he was very sweet. His name was something like “ARGHH!” or some roaring sound, but I understood him, so I gave him the ride of his life, and don’t pretend you aren’t jealous. Anyway, I wake up the next morning, and he’s gone. I’m already writing a song about him called “Who’s the Beast Now You Stupid Fucking Bear?” I know that technically he’s a beast, but it’s irony. Is something wrong with me? Is it the banjo? Should I stop playing the banjo? I know people hate it, but it’s a big ask from my perspective, and I’m…
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Movie Review: “Dracula” is the Only Watchable Coppola Film

Francis Ford Coppola is an overrated hack. There, I said it. His only entertaining movie is one that most people hate: Bram Stoker’s Dracula, starring Keanu Reeves, Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Cary Elwes, and Tom Waits. It’s melodramatic, over-the-top, pure campy fun, and it’s completely out of character for the usually dull, pretentious FFC.  But what about The Godfather? The fact that so many people say it’s their favorite movie is the most compelling piece of evidence that we’re all living in some fucked-up simulation. The one time I tried to watch this piece of garbage, I found myself staring at a vase on the shelf next to the TV because what was on the screen couldn’t keep my attention. It was a pretty handsome vase, but there weren’t even any flowers in it. Also, my neck got really sore because I kept falling asleep and my head…
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Album Review: Shostakovich Symphony 11

The first time I heard Dmitri Shostakovich’s 11th Symphony, I was training for a marathon. I had just finished a 22.3-mile run—my last long one before the race—and was chugging a kale banana walnut hemp seed Greek yogurt orange juice smoothie while skipping around on Spotify. When I found that thunderous section of wild percussion and howling brass in the second movement, I got so fucking high that I started crying like a baby elephant. Endorphins + exciting music = quite a bonkers trip. Film Music Snobby critics often shit on Shostakovich 11 because they think it sounds too much like film music. By this, I assume they mean it’s too melodramatic, too loud, and overly sentimental. Anyone who thinks that is an idiot deserving of a swift kick in the taint, which I will gladly deliver while forcing them to listen to this recording. Is this music dramatic, loud,…
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Food Review: Apples

As garlic wards off vampires, so is the effect of apples on doctors. At least that is the lesson taught to us as children. Is there any truth to it? None of the doctors I spoke to would give me a straight answer. Apples: the Wonderfruit Legend has it that an apple helped Sir Isaac Newton invent gravity when it leapt from an overhanging tree branch and struck him in the noggin to jumpstart his imagination. If not for that crisp little ball of sugar, we would all be floating around in space. Not many other fruits have made such important contributions to science. Where were pears when Einstein was developing the A-bomb? Why was it a key and not a banana that Benjamin Franklin tied to his kite when he was inventing electricity? In all fairness, it is not the job of fruit to further technological progress, which is…
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Divine Advice for Mayor Pete

Dear Jesus and Satan, It’s pretty obvious that I’m a puppet for the democratic donor class, but some people think I’m literally made of wood, like Pinocchio. If that were the case, my nose would be the length of a telephone pole. The truth is I’m actually a hologram generated by a Facebook algorithm. Keeping this a secret has been difficult, and my PR team is wondering if it might be time for me to go public with it. Some of them think it could even improve my image. Voters love technology, right? Well, I’m 100% technology. On the other hand, I’m even easier to hack than a Dominion voting machine and I’m barely visible in direct sunlight. As holograms yourselves, what do you guys think I should do? Sincerely, Mayor Pete Buttigieg Dear Mayor Pete, I think your PR team is right—telling the truth could help your brand, but…
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Divine Advice for Martians

Photo by NASA

Dear Divine Advice, First of all, let me say on behalf of all “extraterrestrials,” that we appreciate how your pope has decided we might have souls. It’s condescending as fuck, but the fact that His Holiness is acknowledging us at all is real progress. What we don’t appreciate are your billionaires planning to colonize our planet as though it’s just another piece of real estate they can acquire in a game of Monopoly. Mars is an uninhabitable wasteland and there’s nothing worthwhile to mine, so I can only assume they’re coming here to enslave us. Aside from the ethical issues, there are practices problems with this as well. Gravity on Earth is 2.66 times greater than it is on Mars, so we Martians simply won’t have the strength to build your pyramids and railroads. Maybe you just want to force our women into prostitution, and let me tell you, that…
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Divine Advice for Evander Kane

Dear Divine Advice, As one of the only black hockey players in the world, I’m kind of like a four-leaf clover, except I don’t bring good luck. Recently, I was given a 21-game suspension for submitting a fake COVID vaccination card, which is super embarrassing, because Canadians are supposed to be more sensable than our hot-headed American neighbors. Like a true Canadian, I apologized profusely once I got caught, but the guilt will haunt me forever. We don’t have guns up here, so walking around unvaccinated is the most dangerous thing you can possibly do in our society. Rules exist for a reason, and by subverting my employer’s health protocol in such an underhanded way, I’ve brought shame to my entire country. My suspension is little more than a slap on the wrist, and I fear a harsher punishment awaits me in the afterlife. Is there anything I can do…
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