“Kenneth, what is the frequency?”

 

UFOs and (possible) space aliens continue to make the news.

Tucker Carlson keeps reporting on them, and YouTube features a wealth of UFO-related videos. President Trump was asked this week about the phenomenon.

If you’re a certain age, none of this is particularly new. You recall the above quote, in which a hapless Dan Rather was accosted by a stranger on the street, and you think: “Aha. Sounds like a question some space alien would pose.”

 

 

First Theory

 

My guess is that the aliens have been observing Earthlings for some time and have decided that we are at a tipping point. What tipped the point is the following: Thanks to the Internet, American Deplorables decided that too much wealth and power is in the hands of too few Americans (the “elite”) and said, “enough!” And so they elected Trump. And so we got Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Meanwhile, also thanks to the Internet, Third World denizens decided that too much wealth and power is in the hands of too few people (Americans and Western Europeans) and said, “enough!” And so they are storming the borders of Western Europe and America.

In other words, if Congolese tribal communities weren’t sitting around watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians on their cell phones, none of this would be happening.

The aliens are simply watching these earthly developments, trying to decide whether or not to step in — or they are just enjoying the show.

 

Second Theory

 

So how do you recognize a space alien? I suspect it is the Sleepy Eye.

Aliens recognize each other on the street by the distinctive-yet-subtle facial feature of one sleepy eye on a human face. Some of these sleepy-eye aliens are in the public eye, so to speak. Two examples:

 

.                         

                                 Sleepy eye on the right                               Sleepy eye on the left

 

Lest you make the mistake of thinking that Sleepy Eye Aliens all disguise themselves as older white males, here is another example:

 

Fox reporter Christina Coleman; sleepy eye on the right

 

So what does any of this have to do with that stranger accosting Dan Rather on the street? It does not appear that Rather has a sleepy eye. Actually, both of his eyes look somewhat sleepy (below).

 

 

My best guess is that Rather had a mote or some other irritation in one of his eyes, and was temporarily afflicted with the alien-recognition cue.

 

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Addendum: If this week’s review seems uncharacteristically off the wall, I blame it on the fact that I am currently reading a book by David Foster Wallace, a famous writer who took his own life in 2008. Wallace was very smart but also a bit weird. I in no way claim that the above post is very smart, but I think we can all agree that it is weird.

 

Addendum 2: I just recalled that there is a small town in Minnesota named Sleepy Eye. My guess is that Sleepy Eye is in reality an alien hub or base of operations.

 

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Black Mirror

 

TV Updates

 

The Name of the Rose: In case you hadn’t noticed, this is 2019 and the midst of the “Me Too” era. And so if you’re going to remake Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose (there was a 1986 film), it must have a “strong female character.” Or two. Never mind the fact that Eco’s novel and the Sean Connery movie relegated female characters to minor and/or victim status (it’s been awhile since I read the book; perhaps I’ve forgotten something).

Political correctness aside, Sundance TV’s eight-part miniseries, like the 1986 movie, is great fun to look at (it’s set at a mountaintop medieval abbey), and is bolstered by some superb actors.

I’m a sucker for a great villain, and I challenge you to find a better boo-hiss bad guy than Rupert Everett’s Bernardo Gui (below).

 

 

Black Mirror: Charlie Brooker’s Twilight Zone for the 2000s remains thought-provoking, and often touching. But something’s missing that was there in the early seasons.

That something, methinks, is the word “clever.” The new season playing on Netflix consists of three movie-length stories that are never dull, but lack that “wow” factor that so distinguished the show when it was an obscure British offering.

Is this change a result of selling out to the American behemoth Netflix, with its (presumable) insistence on casting big-name American stars and writing scripts with happier endings? Or has Brooker simply run out of gas?

 

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You would think that someone in Trump’s inner circle would point out that the above photo op during his interview with George Stephanopoulos resembles nothing so much as a prosecutor grilling a defendant, but then again there are lots of questions about Trump’s inner circle.

 

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I have only recently gotten used to the fact that there is a major league baseball player named Evan Longoria, and now I learn that there is an outfielder for the Detroit Tigers named Christin Stewart.

 

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Some kid pitched a no-hitter and my local paper decided this was a good picture to post in honor of the occasion:

 

 

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Hey, I’m an old-timer. I still get most of my news from cable TV and the print media. But they tell me that is not the future. The future, they say, is online. 

I read RealClearPolitics because, at least in theory, the left and the right are evenly represented. You can read what The Daily Caller says about Trump and then you can read what The Daily Beast says about Trump. Somewhere in between all the spin, you hope, lies the truth. I also check TV ratings to see who’s on top, Hannity or Maddow. But the future, they say, is online.

And so I’ve been following the “adpocalypse” on YouTube, in which parent company Google is evidently pissing off every American under 50 years old by haphazardly censoring content providers on both the left and the right, because Google doesn’t seem to know what the hell it’s doing. Or it does know what the hell it’s doing and nobody’s happy about it.

This all began because of a feud between two snot-nosed brats named Steven Crowder (a conservative) and Carlos Maza (a liberal). I watched a bit of their content and decided I don’t like either one of them. They come off as over-educated, whining brats.

 

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                                       Sniveling Carlos                                                 Ranting Steven

 

Crowder and Maza are both Millennials. The future, they say, is online and the future is Millennials. 

God help all of us.

 

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Lest I be accused of ageism with my tut-tutting about youth online, I should mention that it’s not all so bleak on YouTube. There is a guy named Tim Pool who posts about current events every day, and he seems level-headed, thoughtful, and well-informed. He’s likable. YouTube needs more Tim Pools.

 

Cool Tim Pool

 

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The Five’s Greg Gutfeld said that, in his opinion, the difference between a psychopath and a normal person is how he or she reacts to the spinning woman in this video:

 

 

If you reacted in horror, Gutfeld believes, you are normal. If you laughed hysterically, you lack human empathy and are likely a psychopath.

I watched the video and I was horrified. Once I learned that the woman was going to be OK, I laughed hysterically.

 

**

 

 

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by Bill Bryson

 

Bryson is a genial fellow, and very few writers do gentle humor better than he does, but this short biography (barely 200 pages) is really just an intro to The Bard.

What’s notable isn’t what we learn about Shakespeare, but how little we learn about Shakespeare. There simply isn’t much in the historical record, and what there is, is often incomplete or vague. Not Bryson’s fault, of course. He obviously loves Shakespeare and that feeling is contagious.

Even so, this is less a book about the great writer and more a picture of what life was like in England 400 years ago.  My advice: If you’re really into Shakespeare, find a more substantial book. And if you’re really into Bryson, he has better (and longer) works out there.

 

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Four Musings from an Old-Timer

 

1)  I have two day jobs, one in the white-collar world, and the other in the blue-collar world. The former is in the education field, the latter is in the, uh, warehouse field, I guess.

They have their pros and cons. The white-collar job is quiet, polite, and often boring. The blue-collar job is noisy, chaotic, but rarely boring.

In other words, if you are a functioning alcoholic, go white collar: You can snooze through your hangover. If you are young and energetic, go blue collar. You won’t be bored.

Better yet, win the lottery and just stay home.

 

2)  With politics, you have to take a break from all the sound and fury, because the depressing bottom line is this:

When Democrats/liberals/progressives criticize the other side, they are often correct: The other side is filled with knaves and scoundrels.

When Republicans/conservatives/Trump criticize the other side, they are often correct: The other side is filled with knaves and scoundrels.

You have to pick your poison.

 

 

3)  Unfortunately, I’m beginning to think of school/workplace shootings the same way I think about floods in the Midwest and tourists who fall off cliffs while taking selfies – tragic, but just part of the background noise.

 

4)  I watched the first episode of season three of Slasher on Netflix.

Big mistake.

It has nudity and gore, which is to be expected from this kind of thing. But mostly, it was “woke” messaging being shoved down the viewer’s throat.

 

I much preferred High Seas, a new Spanish series also on Netflix (pictured at top).

It’s a great-looking, old-fashioned mystery set on a 1940s ocean liner. If you’re in the mood for that sort of thing, this is that sort of thing.

 

I looked up the show’s stars and discovered that lead actress Ivana Baquero has a leaked sex tape. Or perhaps it’s from a movie. Conflicting reports.

Either way, you know you want to see it, so here you go:

 

 

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Normally, this blonde on Fox – Ashley or Ainsley or whatever her name is – doesn’t do anything for me. But goodness … doesn’t she look like she just had a fun roll in the hay?

 

 

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The Perfection

 

Some movies seem to revel in insulting the audience’s intelligence. Moviegoers enjoy twists, so The Perfection doles out twist after twist – never mind that each one is more nonsensical than the last. Audiences also like sexy movie stars, so The Perfection includes a gratuitous lesbian sex scene between stars Allison Williams and Logan Browning. Last but not least, modern movie fans apparently can’t get enough gore and so – you guessed it – this movie has it in spades. Are we happy yet?

Williams and Browning play star cellists who encounter a terrifying virus while on a trip to Shanghai—or so it seems.  So far, so good; the movie looked great and there was genuine tension. But then the far-fetched twists began, so that by the end of the story The Perfection was anything but.  Release: 2019  Grade: D+

 

Logan Browning’s ass is the only thing approaching “perfection”

 

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UFOs are in the news again. Did they – whoever “they” might be – ever explain the video below to the public?

 

 

If you can ignore the corny X Files music and some caption editor’s lame attempts at humor, this is quite the bizarre video.

 

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Of all the loons running for president on the Democrat side, the one who impresses me is Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard (above). She doesn’t seem to have gone over the progressive ledge; unlike her frenzied competitors, she seems even-keeled, level-headed … sane.

Then again, I haven’t really boned up on her positions on every issue, and I do have a tendency to bone up over pretty ladies, so … there’s that.

 

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We here at The Grouchy Editor resolve to do a better job of  “sparking outrage.”

After all, it seems to have worked awfully well for Twitter.

 

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Left-leaning Judge Blocks Trump Initiative

 

This keeps happening. I would assume that, if and when the Democrats ever regain the presidency, they can expect the Republicans to remember all of this and, when said Democrat president attempts to implement a national policy, it will be blocked by a conservative judge.

 

**

 

 

Very strange. I thought that was the reason so many women start eating.

 

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We get a lot of review requests along with links to private “screeners.” Mostly, these are low-budget movies so dreadful that they don’t even appear on Netflix or Amazon Prime – yet.  They have titles like Luciferina and The Haunting of Mia Moss and, in this case, Blood Paradise.

Often the movies are unfinished: The soundtrack might not match the video, the credits have yet to be added, that sort of thing. But occasionally these films have a certain rustic charm; the spirit of Ed Wood living on.

 

Blood Paradise

 

 

Imagine you’re a Swedish actress. Your director-husband looks like a Greek god, and you resemble a younger version of Melania Trump (you are both former models). But you don’t have a lot of cash at your disposal. What do you do for work?

If you’re statuesque beauty Andrea Winter, you make a low-budget horror-comedy on the family farm in north Sweden. And you recruit your non-actor parents and brother to play pivotal roles. Oh, and you produce, co-write, score, edit and star in it.

We’re going to do something a bit unusual here. We’re going to write not one, but two reviews; one of Blood Paradise itself, and one of the film’s main attraction: Andrea Winter Wahlgren.

 

The Movie

 

 

Novelist Robin Richards has writer’s block and decides that a change of scenery might be the fix she needs. So she moves into a farmhouse in rural Sweden. There is just one problem: The locals are a peculiar lot. Very peculiar, including a poker-faced farmer (Winter’s real-life father) who makes mysterious trips into a nearby outbuilding; her “biggest fan,” an odd-looking fellow who sidelines as a Peeping Tom; and a gruff neighbor who enjoys playing with guns (Winter’s real-life brother).

When Robin’s boyfriend (Patrick von Barkenberg) shows up on the farm, things take a nasty turn.

The premise of Blood Paradise isn’t bad. At first, I was reminded of Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone: a female novelist moves to the country and fish-out-of-water hijinks ensue. But the comedy part of Blood Paradise is, unfortunately, dropped pretty quickly, and the horror that remains is fairly pedestrian stuff.

You’ve seen this story before. The phones don’t work. The locals are more odd than ominous.

But the farmstead is attractive, and so is …

 

The Farmer’s Daughter

 

 

By now, it’s become something of a cliché: A European actor will do extensive nudity, American audiences will be (a bit) shocked by said nudity, and the actor will state that, where she (usually a she) comes from, nudity is commonplace and “natural.”

Why is something considered so natural in parts of Europe thought of as more sexual — and naughty — across the pond? Is it a hangover from the prudish Puritans? Or are the Europeans bullshitting us?

In the YouTube clip below, Andrea answers a fan’s question about the nudity in Blood Paradise:

 

 

Either way, it’s not your everyday movie in which a fetching daughter scampers about in the buff in scenes with her real-life male relatives.

The Grouch did the following e-mail interview with Winter:

 

 

The Grouch:  Thanks for doing this interview. At the beginning of Blood Paradise, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect – would it be mostly comedy, mostly horror, or a mix of the two? I thought the story might be influenced by, say, Romancing the Stone, in which an attractive novelist with writer’s block travels to some far-flung location and winds up in a wild, comedic adventure. But by the end of your movie, it was quite clearly more in line with movies like Psycho or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. What was your intent in making this movie?

Andrea Winter:  Our intent was to make a movie that was both fun and scary but in an artistic way. I see a lot of new independent horror films that have a lot of comedy and they’re really scary, but I don’t see many that are artistic. I didn’t just want to make another horror film just to make one. I consider myself as much of an artist as a filmmaker and it was important to me that our movie was as beautiful as it was scary. I also consider myself a vintage horror snob and we were very inspired by old horror films. Maybe that’s why our film turned out the way it did.

Grouch:  I watched an interview with you and the film’s director, which was quite illuminating. What was it like working with family members? Did they inhibit your work in any way? Also, what was their (family members) reaction to the finished product?

Winter:  It was truly fantastic working with my family members. They were so professional and sometimes I actually forgot they were my family members. I’ve always wanted to put them in a movie. They’re all such natural born actors. Our dinner parties are quite interesting. It’s incredible. I believe (and hope) they are proud of the movie. Of course I don’t think they have much of a choice but to tell me that they like it, since we’re family.

Grouch:  It seems to be inherent to movies like this – in the horror genre – that sex or nudity is part of the formula. But it’s unusual, I think, for the lead actress doing the nude scenes, in this case you, to also be the producer, co-writer, co-editor, music, etc. Was it difficult being “the boss” and then taking your clothes off in front of cast and crew?

Winter:  I made fun of it a lot. I mean, it probably sounds like a nightmare, trying to run a production naked, right? But it wasn’t that weird, believe it or not. In Sweden nudity is quite normal and the director and the cinematographer are both German. I see completely naked people sunbathing in the parks in Berlin like it’s no big deal all the time. In Germany men and women go to the sauna in the gyms together, completely naked. It’s the north European way I guess.

Grouch:  What has been the general reaction to your movie? Also, what’s next for you?

Winter:  From what I’ve read and heard I feel like people either love or hate our movie. I guess some people don’t get it. I understand and respect that. We made this movie exactly how we wanted to make it. It’s not supposed to be taken that seriously, we want people to laugh and have a good time. Every time someone tells me that they like the film, or when I hear audiences laugh at certain parts of the film it’s all worth it.

Me and the director, Patrick von Barkenberg, are developing two new projects right now. One is a TV-show that we have been working on for a very long time. We are hoping to make it in the UK, but we’ll see what the response is. The other one is an independent movie that we are planning on filming in Northern Italy if everything works out. I’m very excited about both of them.

 

At this point, the reader has probably made up his or her mind about whether or not to watch Blood Paradise. Possibly, you are like our contributor Rip van Dinkle and are most intrigued by Andrea’s nude scenes. She was kind enough to drop a “hello” to Rip in the comments section of his “Playboy Interview”:

 

 

In turn, we asked Rip to write captions for the sexy screen captures below. Rip, we should add, is not exactly politically correct.

 

 

 

Rip: “This is the first nude scene. Like all of us, Andrea enjoys some quiet time in the tub. Unlike most of us, she’s worth watching.”

 

 

Rip: “The dude above is Andrea’s real-life partner. You might be looking at him sniffing her foot, but I’m looking at some pussy hair. Then again, I’m a dirty old man.”

 

 

Rip: “The guy above is Andrea’s real-life brother, watching his sister scamper naked in a field. I wonder if he got a boner. I’m sorry, but if that was my sister, I would still get a boner. I wonder if she wondered if he got a boner.”

 

 

Rip: “Andrea told an interviewer that the scene above was shot at dusk, and that mosquitoes were biting her everywhere. Apparently, even the bugs wanted a piece of ass.”

 

 

Rip: “Gee, I wonder what the guy above is peeking at. Could it be Andrea’s perfect butt cheeks?”

 

 

We end with this intriguing YouTube clip from the same appearance referenced above, in which von Barkenberg hints that the DVD (tentatively scheduled for release in July) might be even more revealing than the theatrical cut:

 

 

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It’s not often that I agree with the boneheads who run San Francisco, but I’m with them on their decision to ban facial recognition use by law enforcement. The argument in favor of the technology is that it will make finding the bad guys much easier.

OK, let’s follow that argument to its logical conclusion: You know what else would make finding the bad guys much easier? Placing cameras in everyone’s living rooms and bedrooms.

 

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Sure, I can see the resemblance.

 

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Usually when celebrities die I shrug it off. Better them than me. But this one hit hard:

 

 

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This was just a throwaway comment by Neil Cavuto on his show Saturday morning, talking about income inequality:

 

That’s the kind of attitude – “It’s too bad about the enormous gap between the super-rich and everyone else, but hey, what are you gonna do?” – that’s so infuriating.

Cavuto’s got his (big) piece of the pie, so too bad about the rest of us. Or, as Doris Day might have sung, “Que Sera, Sera.”

 

**

 

grouchyeditor.com Ivanka

grouchyeditor.com Ivanka

 

 

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