grouchyeditor.com drive-in

 

Waxing Philosophical

 

We are told by the “experts” that there are two factions fighting for control of the country: the left, which leans globalist and strives for a more diverse and egalitarian future, and the right, which prefers the status quo or, perhaps, a return to the “idyllic” past (like the 1950s). If this is true, in which camp do you find yourself?

I keep thinking of the movie American Graffiti. When I think of the America that I like, I think of that film, which is set in 1962, a bit ahead of my time. If you watch the movie and lean to the left (politically), one of the first things you might notice is its lack of blacks, gays, Hispanics, Asians, et al. It is about a bunch of white kids.

But if you are a member of one of those minority groups, imagine for a moment that you are represented in the movie; not as an “other,” but just as a regular kid. Isn’t that world appealing? The movie is about hope and dreams and youth and the birth of rock and roll and sadness and change. But mostly it’s a nice world, a good place.

Of course, it’s a fantasy world. Hollywood is, after all, the Dream Factory, and that’s what movies do.

We don’t have that world; we have Twitter.

 

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My

(two cents)

 

People need to stop dickering with the English language just to suit their political goals. Conservatives are mocking San Francisco for attempting to abolish words like “felon” and “convict” in favor of euphemisms like “justice-involved person.”

I agree with the conservatives; San Francisco deserves to be mocked. However … there are plenty of conservatives on Fox News who seem to want to abolish the word “rich” in favor of the euphemism “successful.”

Just stop it – all of you.

 

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Seems to me Trump is at the disadvantage in this tariffs battle with China.

We have one country (China) that doesn’t mind if tariffs make its people suffer. We have another country (us) that will punish any politician who makes us the least bit uncomfortable.

So which side do you think will endure the most pain?

 

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Just because there’s more good TV than ever, doesn’t mean that it’s easy to find. In fact, because so many new series get cranked out every week, it’s harder to find a good one.

When it comes to new TV shows, I used to rely on the critics at Rotten Tomatoes to steer me in the right direction. Not so much anymore. I haven’t heard of most of these critics, a lot of whom hail from obscure Web sites. Way too many of them are youthful social-justice warriors more interested in diversity than in something like, say, quality.

But you can, of course, rely on my judgment, and I’ve just seen the first two episodes of the second season of Mindhunter (pictured above) on Netflix. So far, it looks even better than its first season, and the first season was superb.

 

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Why don’t we just buy Greenland and give it to Israel? The Israelis can move there, the Palestinians can have Israel, and the Middle East problem will be solved.

Or not.

 

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I’m sure we’ll get to the bottom of the Jeffrey Epstein murder-or-suicide because both Democrats and Republicans want the truth …

… of course, Democrats want the truth only if it implicates Trump, and Republicans want the truth only if it implicates Clinton. And so … we’ll probably never get to the bottom of it.

After all, there are still doubters about the official versions of Kennedy’s assassination, Marilyn Monroe’s death, etc. So why should Epstein be any different?

 

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“We should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles.”

— Peter Fonda on Twitter last year, a quote that was strangely missing from many of this week’s fawning obituaries about the actor.

 

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It does kind of remind me of the famous World War II poster of Uncle Sam.

 

 

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by David Foster Wallace

 

Wallace is the author of One of Those Novels I Mean to Read Someday — right after I finish re-reading Moby Dick and War and Peace. That book is called Infinite Jest, and I admit that its mammoth length is the main reason I haven’t yet tackled it.

In the meantime, I checked out Consider the Lobster, a collection of Wallace essays published in 2005. Wallace, who committed suicide in 2008, was a writer of infinite curiosity. He was highly intelligent but had a quality so often missing from the highly intelligent: humility.

Lobster contains Wallace’s observations on everything from a pornography convention in Las Vegas to the impact of September 11, 2001 on Middle Americans to, as the title implies, the boiling of lobsters.

All of it is interesting; all of it is engaging. My only complaint is Wallace’s love of the footnote (and footnotes within footnotes). At times it becomes distracting and tiresome.

 

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grouchyeditor.com Hunt

 

The Hunt

 

If you just read the synopsis of this upcoming (see below) movie, your immediate reaction could well be, “What is Hollywood thinking?  Liberal elites hunt down Trump supporters?”

But if you watch the trailer, you might have an entirely different opinion. Looks to me like the thing might actually be pro-Deplorable. If that’s the case, won’t a lot of people feel silly for criticizing it?

Of course not.

 

Editor’s Note:  The film studio just announced it is cancelling The Hunt’s September release. Not to worry: I imagine that, just like The Interview several years ago, the movie will eventually be released for streaming and we’ll all find out the fuss was much ado about nothing.

 

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Watching the media these days, I get the strong impression that we are on the verge of civil war.

Here’s a suggestion: Let the media fight the civil war and the rest of us will watch on television.

Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham can battle Bill Maher, Sarah Silverman, and Jim Acosta. I’d watch that. Wouldn’t you?

 

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Big Tech Battle

 

Are Twitter and Facebook more like a newspaper or the phone company? If the former, you have to let us sue them when they misbehave. If the latter, they can’t be allowed to censor anything that doesn’t already break the law.

I vote for the latter. Treating them like Ma Bell won’t be pretty, and the Wild West will rule social media, but hey, you can always block, mute, or unfriend.

Problem right now is, these “algorithms” don’t work worth a shit.

 

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Unpopular Thought No. 1:

If our parents and grandparents were truly “the greatest generation,” then why did they do such a lousy job raising their spoiled-brat children (the Boomers — my group), which in turn did an even lousier job raising their spoiled-brat children (the Millennials)? Just asking.

 

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Unpopular Thought No. 2:

Farmers pride themselves on their supposed independence, yet with their endless government bailouts and subsidies, aren’t they our biggest welfare recipients? Just asking.

 

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Unpopular Thought No. 3:

Listen, I’m no gun nut. If you believe the world would be a better place with absolutely no guns, I’m with you. But if you scratch your head when the pro-gun people resist every attempt to regulate gun ownership, I have two clichés for you: “slippery slope” and “if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.” Those might be clichés, but that doesn’t make them untrue.

I know this, because incremental regulation worked well for the anti-smoker brigade. I’m a smoker who watched “common sense” regulations progress from no smoking on airplanes to where we are today, which is basically treating smokers like lepers oozing disease from their pores.

The gun people watched that happen, too. So that’s probably why they fight every little attempt to regulate them.

 

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Far be it from me to add fuel to the fire of conspiracy theories. However …

What do (dead) Jeffrey Epstein and (living) Jim Comey have in common?

Answer: They both potentially have/had very damaging dirt on the rich and powerful. Epstein is now conveniently dead, and Comey last month escaped charges from the Justice Department, which is very convenient for him.

Moral of the story: If you are a convenience store clerk who dreams of joining the rich and powerful, be content with your lot in life. Joining the rich and powerful can be hazardous to your health.

 

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A Simple Favor

Anna Kendrick does A Simple Favor.  Big mistake.  

 

I was beginning to despair of ever again seeing anything clever and funny, i.e. entertaining, in a Hollywood “comic thriller.” But then I saw A Simple Favor, which has it all: clever script, fast-paced direction, and engaging characters. Anna Kendrick is perfectly cast as a Susie Homemaker with a video blog who gets drawn into a murder investigation when her new “best friend,” a glamorous mystery woman (Blake Lively), goes missing.

At times the plot does get a bit far-fetched. I gave that a pass because of the top-notch cast and a tongue-in-cheek tone that works.  Release: 2018  Grade: A-

 

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Personal Shopper

Pretty much how I felt while watching this film

 

A Simple Favor is a female-centric movie for everyone. Personal Shopper is, alas, a female-centric movie for diehard fans of Kristen Stewart only.

Stewart plays a celebrity’s assistant in Paris who grieves for her recently deceased twin brother. And grieves. And grieves. The first hour of the movie was intolerable: Kristen mopes, Kristen strips, Kristen engages in endless, pointless text messaging with a mystery man who might be her brother’s ghost. No, thank you. Release: 2017  Grade: D

 

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We’re feeling especially lazy this week, so the “Review” will be short and sweet. Well, short, anyway.

 

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I was Internet surfing and came across this shot from Piranha 3D:

 

 

I think every woman who has ever asked, “Do these pants make my ass look fat?” should take note that, compared to water, your pants ain’t nothin’ to worry about.

 

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Money Heist: Part 3 has a plot that’s often just as ridiculous as in earlier seasons, but at times it’s a wildly entertaining ride. The final episode, especially, was packed with twists and turns.

And the pregnant cop (below) as villain? A stroke of genius.

 

 

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Between rancorous politics and mass shootings and just things in general, I’m thinking this might be a great time to move to New Zealand.

Can I smoke in New Zealand?

 

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There’s a Reason Our State Bird Is the Loon

 

There is a woman who follows me on Twitter (I also follow her), whom I don’t really know. I don’t recall how we became mutual followers. But looking at her avatar, she appears to be just an ordinary female American, possibly a soccer mom, possibly not. I believe she mentioned in one of her tweets that she is 52 years old.

But looking at my feed in recent weeks, it appears that she’s become more active. Here is a sampling of what she’s had to say:

 

 

Mind you, this sampling is just from the past 24 hours. These rants go on all day, every day.

Why in hell is she so angry?

 

What is it about Donald Trump that has driven so many Democrats off the deep end?

I think it’s the Rocky syndrome. In America, there is no story or myth more powerful than that of the underdog rising up against insurmountable odds to triumph. It’s how we were born:  rag-tag patriots knocking off the all-powerful British Redcoats.

And it’s how Rocky Balboa became a movie legend in 1976, not quite defeating, but going the distance, against Apollo Creed. Granted, Donald Trump is no humble nice guy like Rocky was. But in November 2016 he pulled a Rocky for the ages.

Now imagine you are on the wrong side of that shocking event. You are a Democrat and you voted for Hillary. But on November 8 you became the British in 1776, or Apollo Creed in 1976. You are the loser and the villain.

That’s a hard pill to swallow.

That’s why the Democrats have lost their marbles.

 

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Of course, I could be wrong. In the past, I’ve voted for certain Democrats, which no doubt makes me a naïve fool in the minds of some on the right. I’ve also voted for certain Republicans, which no doubt makes me an evil bastard in the minds of some on the left.

In my defense, I live in Minnesota. This is a state that gave the world Ilhan Omar and now this woman, who plans to run against her:

 

 

OK, so many problems here. First, I have no idea who the dude in the MAGA hat is. Also, this is Minnesota, and Minnesotans don’t say “y’all” the way the guy introducing this young lady does.

But remember, this is the state that gave the world Jesse Ventura and Al Franken, so you can’t really be surprised by Stella, who, by the way, has apparently been charged with this:

 

 

I’m from Minnesota, where there is no shortage of loons. Most of them seem to be in politics.

 

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Where I was when …

 

The first men walked on the moon:

With my family on vacation at a lakeside resort in Minnesota called Izatys. I recall (hazily — hey, I was a young fart) a small group of us vacationers huddled around a black-and-white TV in the resort’s recreation room, watching the famously grainy images of Neil Armstrong and company on the moon. If there was cheering or any other overt displays of emotion from our small group, I don’t recall it.

 

Kennedy was assassinated:

Have to admit I’m not sure, because I was basically a toddler. I do remember playing on the living-room floor of a neighbor’s house while the tragic event was being endlessly discussed on television. I also recall – I think – that dinner with my family was an especially somber occasion that evening.

 

The terrorists attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001:

At home getting ready for work, listening to the radio describe a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. I believe that at first they thought it was a small airplane. Later, at work, we spent most of the day watching CNN report the dramatic developments.

 

Ilhan Omar married her brother:

Probably at home alone, possibly masturbating.

 

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Speaking of Ilhan Omar … I got an e-mail the other night inviting me to the Minneapolis airport (about a 20-minute drive) to welcome her home from D.C.

I thought about going and wearing a MAGA hat, just to see what would happen. But I decided not to because a) I don’t own a MAGA hat, and b) I value my life.

 

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I might have hyped this show before, but if you like funny and you dig British comedy, check out Trigger Happy TV on YouTube.  As far as I can tell, it’s the clear inspiration for YouTube channels like The Daily Dropout, Vlog Creations, Jack Vale Films – you name it.

 

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Babe of the Week: Jessica Sula

 

I was watching the third season of Scream (don’t ask why; it wasn’t anything special) and wondered where I had seen the cute actress who played “Liv.” Oh, yeah, she was the bare-bottomed lass who gets butt-whipped in Godless:

 

 

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Where do they find these courtroom “artists”? This woman is supposed to be a beauty queen? And check out those shoulder pads on El Chapo.

 

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Talk about fortunate timing. I’m referring to the producers of the movie Crawl (above), an alligators-and-hurricane thriller that opens just as Hurricane Barry barrels into the southern coast.

Although I suppose it won’t set any box-office records in New Orleans.

 

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Last week I said that Stranger Things doesn’t appear to be overly political.

Can’t say the same for Netflix, which caved to social justice warriors and will no longer allow smoking on shows like Stranger Things.

What’s next — going to use digital technology to delete Humphrey Bogart’s cigarettes from old movies like Casablanca?

Oh, hell. I shouldn’t have said that. They’re probably working on it right now.

 

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America’s biggest problem? I think YouTube pundit Tim Pool nails it in this video:

 

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Good golly, The Donald is in for some heavy criticism no matter what happens during tomorrow’s promised purge of illegal immigrants.

You just know that the media is salivating at the prospect of documenting “families torn apart,” making Trump look as cruel as possible. Democrats will liken it to Jews being crammed onto trains bound for Auschwitz.

But if Trump calls the purge off or limits it to just a small number of violators, the right will howl that, when it comes to immigration, Trump is once again simply a boy calling “wolf.”

 

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Stranger Things premiered its third season and, thanks to our cultural wars, I was seeing politics everywhere in the first episode.

The villains are Russians. This must be a dig at Trump, and Netflix is virtue signaling to the Russian-collusion crowd, right?

Then again, the story takes place in 1985, when the Cold War was still in full swing, and so who better to play the bad guys than Russians? So maybe it’s not a political statement.

 

One of the evil Russians is a smoker. This must be a nod to anti-smoking fanatics, right?

Then again, the coolest, funniest guy in the show, Sheriff Hopper (pictured above), is also a smoker. So maybe it’s not a political statement.

 

Also, if you support the Hollywood boycott of Georgia and its abortion laws, will you put your money where your mouth is?

You should not be watching Stranger Things, because it is filmed in, you guessed it, Georgia.

 

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I’m not sure what these Democrat presidential candidates hope to accomplish with their relentless hyperbole about Trump and, by association, his supporters. Trump is a white nationalist, a neo-Nazi, a homophobe, a misogynist, and a rapist, they say. How could 60 million people vote for him?

So, if you voted for Trump, you hear this rhetoric and might think: “Wow. I supported a guy who is a homophobic, racist, rapist, Nazi, white nationalist – I must be really terrible and must atone by voting for (fill-in-the-blank Democrat).”

Or you might think: “These Democrats are no saints. They lie and slander and will say anything to get elected, including insults thrown at me. I’m no worse than they are. I’m voting for Trump again.”

Which option do you think Trump voters will take?

 

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I’m not a big fan of adults using their children to make political points. But come on now, you idiots are threatening this cutie pie?

 

 

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