Michael Hemminson’s Fat, Bloated Corpse
a beer memory
by Reviewer Rob
With childlike glee I read, earlier this year, of novelist Micheal Hemmingson’s demise in Tijuana short of his forty-eighth birthday. The guy was well past his pop-noir writing prime, although I’m sure could still annoy. When he was trying to be a resident paid writer (and antagonist) here at Reviewer in 2004 it lasted long enough for his sweaty narcissism to make him more of a liability than a real contributor. He revealed to me that he was both a news wire stringer in Rwanda during the wars of the 1990’s and that he was currently a police informant for the SDPD. Neither of these I doubted but later when I told him I couldn’t find anything from him on the internet about Rwanda he became belligerant. Hemmingson was a dick, and not a very good writer, although he did win “awards”. I quickly grew to hate him. I’m late with writing this obituary — he died in Tijuana over twenty months ago — but I have no qualms about kicking a dead horse, or jackass in this case, especially when it was known to give plenty of kicks when alive. I shared a pizza with the guy. It was pizza and beers, tall cold Budweisers, to be exact, at a Moulin Rouge-themed bar in San Diego’s gaslamp district around the corner from Hustler Hollywood. We had agreed to meet there one night in 2004 to discuss collaborating on some editorial in Reviewer. More on that later. Hemmingson always had to be in print somewhere. He’d published novellas and was on staff at The San Diego Weekly Reader, but all that wasn’t enough to feed his gluttonous ego. He needed to see his name in print everywhere and at all times. I began getting email after email from him, and he would message me all the time on Livejournal. Back then, more so than now, Reviewer Magazine had a tawdry “street” nightclub scene flavor that a noir-beat writer was drawn to. So once on the scent he began aggressively courting it as a source of wind to fill his sails while navigating the seas of cheese. I could say more here about how he bullied people to help fan the dying embers of his literary fame but he’s run out of room. Goodbye, Micheal Hemmingson, glad you croaked, hope it hurt.
Photo credit: a CNN iReport interview, where Michael Hemmingson’s fat, bloated corpse lives on.
“Too Tall Hall”
Ron Hall Was A Friend Of Mine
by Reviewer Rob
It was 2 a.m. in Venice Beach one chilly November night last year with no one on the boardwalk except a lone artist painting a canvas and a skateboarder cruising down the concrete strip, sleeping bag under his arm. I walked out to the top of the sand berm at the high tide line and took a photo with my phone for Instagram. The next morning Tony, a highschool buddy from San Diego I hadn’t seen in 20 years, posted a comment on it: “That’s my neighborhood.”
We messaged back and forth. Found out he’s shacked up with a woman in L.A. who’s a former lead singer. Tony and I made tentative plans to meet for a surf. A while later my phone rang. Tony wanted to get more info about what I was doing up in L.A.. Small talk drifted and we began talking about our mutual friends from when we were kids.
Tony asked, “Remember Ron Hall?” Of course I did. Ron and his older brother Jimmy lived a few block over from me and I knew him from seventh grade until 11th grade when… [Read the whole story HERE as a member, Join