By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
The Hooligan rises again: In my November 9 column "Zine But Not Heard," John Reidy, the man behind The Hooligan, which is among the most singular Denver zines ever, said nasty things about the biweekly publication Go-Go, not the least of which was, "If Go-Go is around for seven years, I'll eat a turd." Afterward, he was bombarded with e-mail attacks from Go-Go supporters questioning everything from his punk credibility to his sexuality.
But instead of crawling away to sulk, Reidy responded by revving up his unruly creation again. The Hooligan, which has consisted mainly of intermittent Reidy essays for the past year or so, is back online at thehooligan.com in the most complete version since its mid-'90s heyday; features include Reidy's trademark rants and "The 20 Second Film Review," in which movie critiques are based entirely on trailers or commercials. Reidy promises regular updates, and he even claims that he'll say nice things about Go-Go types if they "actually put out something good," which apparently hasn't happened yet. "But in the meantime, I have the right to say whatever the fuck I want."
He's ba-a-a-ack: Last year, Denver Post columnist Chuck Green vigorously defended his right to wax sentimental about inhabitants of the animal kingdom ("The Dogfather Speaks," July 6, 1999), but for months afterward, he failed to exercise the privilege. In January, however, he dipped his toe back into the pet dish with three blurbs about a Dumb Friends League telethon; in the last one, he highlighted Bobo, a poodle and "adorable cuddlebug." Then, on January 31, the dam broke, courtesy of a piece called "Murphy a Devoted Friend."
After a lead that noted "a few folks have mentioned that, over the years, I tend to write too often about household pets," he refuted the charge. "Too often I write about people," he declared, adding, "I prefer to write about dogs, and this is one of those days that I will indulge myself, not my critics." And indulgent he was, declaring that at the time of Murphy's purchase sixteen years back by "a schoolteacher," the mutt had "soiled his shoe-box sized carrier on the way home" because he was "so enthralled by his good fortune." In subsequent years, Murphy was always there for his owner ("As she shed tears watching a movie on the Romance Channel, he understandingly rested his chin in her lap"), but old age brought with it arthritis, cloudy vision and deafness. Finally, the schoolteacher "accepted the inevitable" and spent a final "teary-eyed night with her hero." But today she believes that Murphy "is chasing butterflies on the clouds...His ears are no longer deaf, and he hears her prayers."
Two days later, in a sterling example of egotism and laziness, Green offered a follow-up column consisting entirely of letters from shlock fanciers grateful for this serving of treacle. Not included was more background on Murphy -- namely, that the dog actually belonged to Green's wife, Susan. But Green insists that the information wasn't left out because he'd plowed the same field back in 1998, when he penned a multi-part eulogy for another of his departed canines, Gus. Murphy was mainly Susan's dog, he says, and he didn't want to "intrude on their relationship" by inserting himself into the tale: "It wasn't about me. It was about them."
Will Green resist making similar tributes when each of his surviving pets, including parrot Reggie, who already knows how to play dead, shuffles off this mortal coil? Doubt it -- because after a long absence, the Dogfather has been unleashed! Give that dog a bone!