by Joan C. Williams

 

Since November 8, there have been hundreds – possibly thousands – of published articles about that branch of humanity famously labeled “the deplorables” by Hillary Clinton. Many of these election postmortems are clueless and/or condescending attempts to dissect and explain (to liberals) the strain of American voter that supported and continues to support Donald Trump.

But some of these election analyses are insightful. Joan Williams’s White Working Class expands on a previously published essay and it’s mostly an evenhanded, enlightening study of the social gap between the country’s “Haves” (the elite) and “Have-a-Littles” (what Williams labels the “working class”).

Williams, herself a born-and-bred member of the liberal elite, occasionally slips into full-on Democrat mode (in praise of big government) and takes some unwarranted swipes at Trump (a pure racist, even when his supporters are not), but she also has the balls to lay most of the blame for our current House Divided at the hands of those who hold the most power: the elites.

It’s too bad she doesn’t stick to her strong point, the first two-thirds of the book when she concentrates on the evolution of class division. Toward the end of White Working Class, Williams cannot resist tackling a host of other societal ills: abortion, race relations, illegal immigration, etc., and allows her inner liberal to promote the usual progressive remedies. It’s almost as if, after hammering liberals on their class cluelessness, Williams felt the need to soften the blow.

 

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One of the perks of running a Web site that very few people read is that, when you’re thinking,“I don’t feel like publishing any crap today,” you don’t have to publish any crap today.

 

And so until next week, please enjoy this picture of Nancy Pelosi.

 

 

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*****

 

 

Good for C-SPAN, which finally got to broadcast something people wanted to watch. Well … at least for an inning or two.

 

*****

 

Sign of the Apocalypse No. 1

 

 

Sign of the Apocalypse No. 2

 

 

 

*****

 

 

If they are planning another reboot of The Addams Family, it will be a sad world indeed if they fail to cast Laura Prepon as Morticia.

 

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Smug Dicks and Creepy Pricks

 

 

There was something very satisfying about watching Bill Maher, who regularly lectures Americans about how “stupid” they are, eat shit on his show Friday after getting busted for using the n-word.

There was also something pathetic about watching the comedian try to pass off his mea culpa as a “teachable moment” for all of us, rather than what it really was: a lame attempt to preserve his bona fides with fellow liberals – not to mention his show on HBO.

 

*****

 

 

Jared Kushner: Who the hell is this rich punk? Apparently he’s been charged by his father-in-law with saving the world, yet I am still waiting to hear him utter a single word.

They say Robert Mueller is investigating Kushner’s role in possible collusion with Russia. I don’t believe that. I believe Mueller is investigating whether or not the kid’s vocal cords have been removed.

 

*****

 

Trump doesn’t seem to understand – or worse, doesn’t care – that “the swamp” isn’t just composed of Democrats, the media, and Obama holdovers. It’s also composed of creepy conservative pricks like this guy:

 

 

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by George MacDonald Fraser

grouchyeditor.com Flashman

 

Flashman chronicles the misadventures of a 19th-century cad who, through sheer luck and an uncanny ability to be in the wrong place at the right time, manages to emerge a national military hero in Britain.

Imagine James Bond as a racist, misogynistic coward, and you’ll have the gist of this series (begun in 1969) about Harry Flashman, an unapologetic jerk in 1840s Afghanistan who deflowers dimwitted country girls, fornicates with superior officers’ wives and, when things go badly, as they invariably do, pins the blame on someone – anyone – else. Bottom line: Flashman is amusing, albeit forgettable, fluff.

 

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Homophobia Week!

 

 

 

*****

 

I was as surprised as anyone when the White House introduced new Press Secretary Gary Blackman at Tuesday’s daily press briefing:

 

 

 

*****

 

 

Apparently the Lifetime logo in movie ads is meant to be the equivalent of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, or a symbol of quality, like whatever it is that Disney uses. But I’m afraid the logo is backfiring for some of us.

I was a bit intrigued by The House Sitter — until I noticed the dreaded Lifetime logo, at which point I thought: “ugh.”

 

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Weirdo David Lynch is back, delighting us – or torturing us, depending on your point of view – with an update of his 1990s TV series Twin Peaks. What can I say about David Lynch, the confounding auteur from Montana?

I loved his Blue Velvet because the movie was Goldilocks Lynch: It had just the right amount of the surreal, just the right amount of logic. But in other films Lynch’s stew is too exotic for my taste; his bizarre-to-rational balancing act is too heavy on the former.

I did not see Twin Peaks the series nor the feature film that came out in 1992, so I’m probably not qualified to review the Showtime update. For example, I am clueless about the new drama’s backstory. It’s hard enough to follow the peculiar residents of Twin Peaks, Washington, without knowing the history of the “Log Lady” or Laura Palmer. 

Hence, no review here, but rather some random impressions after I viewed the first three episodes:

 

grouchyeditor.com Peaks

 

Not surprisingly, critics are falling over themselves in praise of the show. But you have to wonder how many of them gave a thumbs’ up because they know that if they don’t, they’ll be accused by rabid fans of being too stupid to “get it” – whatever “it” is.

And so, is my thumb up or down? Well, I like the show, but can’t say that I love it. It’s visually arresting, often humorous, and never dull. But I have too much respect for story, and I get the impression that Lynch does not. He’d just as soon toss nonsense at us for the sake of tossing nonsense at us, and then call it a day.

 

 

Actress Madeline Zima, whose bare bottom figures prominently in the premiere, was born on Sept. 16. I was born on Sept. 16. In honor of our birthdays, here are some pictures of Madeline in her birthday suit:

 

grouchyeditor.com Zima

grouchyeditor.com Zima

grouchyeditor.com Zima

 

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*****

 

 

*****

 

Everyone is calling Trump investigator Robert Mueller “well respected.”

That’s what they said about James Comey. That’s what they say about a lot of these guys right before the shit hits the fan.

 

*****

 

If they go ahead and impeach Donald, we’ll all have to admit that he certainly increased ratings – and I’m sure we can all agree that’s the most important thing.

 

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grouchyeditor.com Devane

 

William Devane was on my TV. Again.

I thought, surely I can’t be the only one ready to take Devane’s gold and silver and put them where the sun don’t shine. I thought, if ever the masses finally grab their pitchforks and seek out the “One Percent,” certainly the first name on their list will be William Devane.

For years now, Devane and his smug countenance have been harassing me on my television, usually on Fox News, making me feel bad because I don’t have Devane’s private plane, wall safe, piles of gold, or tee times.

To my relief, an Internet search confirmed that I am not alone in my distress:

 

I don’t think those Rosland Capital commercials starring William Devane are having the desired response. If I have to watch one more TV spot where he’s flying his plane, sitting in his gorgeous home with his massive fireplace, or riding his horse on his expansive ranch, I’m just not sure what I’ll do. – Reel Life with Jane

 

Whenever I watch the Fox News Channel I automatically hit the mute button on the remote as soon as I see William Devane’s commercial come on.

Each and every spot starts the same way, with Devane engaged in some rich guy activity such as playing golf, horseback riding or flying his private jet. Then he turns, looks into the camera and says, “Hi, I’m William Devane.”

The trick is to grab for the remote and switch on the mute button before he can get past “Hi.”

Then, as if Devane’s natural smirk and smarminess wasn’t enough, the sponsor makes it even worse by putting this guy in rich-looking environments like country clubs, and gentleman farmer ranches.”  – Jewish World Review

 

There is more to these desperate pleas for relief from William Devane. You can read them here and here.

 

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grouchyeditor.com Bill

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by Molly Haskell

grouchyeditor.com Spielberg

 

I’m of two minds about Steven Spielberg. I share the general belief that he’s a brilliant showman. I think that Jaws, for example, might be the best adventure film ever made. On the other hand, I hold Spielberg largely – if indirectly – responsible for the sorry state of Hollywood today, with its glut of “franchise” movies and over-emphasis of special effects. Not to mention studios’ “will teenage boys like it?” marketing mentality.

The publisher was wise to assign this short-but-insightful Spielberg biography to Haskell, a renowned critic who appreciates the filmmaker’s talent and influence but is not, by her own admission, a die-hard fan. Haskell’s chapters are chronological, linking Spielberg’s personal life and evolution to the plots and themes of his movies. I didn’t always agree with her evaluations, but her prose is unfailingly thought-provoking.

To me, the book is most interesting in the chapters about early Spielberg, when the wunderkind was setting the world on fire with energetic, imaginative blockbusters like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Later films like Empire of the Sun, Amistad, and Lincoln might hold more appeal for a serious analyst like Haskell, but I’ve always felt that when it comes to a Steven Spielberg movie, popcorn is more palatable than polemics.

 

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