I’ve been following politics and current affairs for quite a few years. When I was a kid, there was Nixon and Watergate and Vietnam — though I must admit that when I was that age, all of it was just so much background noise.

But I do remember it.

Since then, America has endured recessions and mini-wars and scandals galore. Yet I don’t recall any time as bad as right now.

 

If the liberals/progressives in charge are correct, this Great Reset will save us from global warming and introduce a fairer, more equitable world.

But it seems clear to me that in the meantime, for 90 to 99 percent of us regular folk (depending on whether we spare the “1 Percent” or also the “10 Percent”), things are going to get worse and worse and worse and ….

Even if Biden and the Democrats got the boot today, the damage is done.

 

**

 

Conventional Wisdom?

 

I’ll admit that I’m often a contrarian. I tend not to trust whatever “conventional wisdom” is foisted upon us. Plus, I like to argue. Here are two bits of conventional wisdom that I question:

 

The Golden Rule — Oh, yeah? What if I am a sadomasochist? If I like to be whipped, does that mean I should do unto you (whipping) as I would have you do unto me?

There Are Only Two Genders/Sexes — Whichever side you take in this debate, one fact is always ignored: the existence of the hermaphrodite. If I am born part male and part female, doesn’t that mean there are three sexes?

 

**

 

The Kiss

 

 

Toward the end of the horror-comedy Freaky, viewers are treated (or subjected) to a kissing scene between the character played by Vince Vaughn and a teenage boy.

I am of two minds about this. On the one hand, if the scene is intended to generate laughs, no problem. It recalls the final line of Some Like It Hot, in which Joe E. Brown discovers that masquerading Jack Lemmon is really a male and doesn’t miss a beat in his assessment: “Well, nobody’s perfect!”

On the other hand, in this age of woke politics, I suspect that the filmmakers’ objective is more like: “Hey straight guys, stop being so transphobic/homophobic and try sex with another male!”

Ugh.

 

*

 

 

Freaky features a “cameo” by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers — the funniest sports gag since Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre stumbled through a few lines in There’s Something About Mary.

 

**

 

Fake Nudes!

 

 

I recently commented on the proliferation of fake nude photos, mostly of celebrities, that can be found online.

This phenomenon is potentially good and bad. It’s bad for regular folk because God only knows how many misunderstandings, breakups, firings, and embarrassments will result from Henry discovering online “photos” of Lucille giving a blowjob to LeBron James.

But it’s good for celebrities who have genuine nudes that have been leaked. Thanks to the plethora of fake pics, they can always claim that their very real photos are, in fact, bogus.

Either way, the rallying cry “fake news!” is likely to be supplanted by “fake nudes!”

On that note, here are a few fakes of ABBA singer Agnetha Faltskog. Because that’s what you expect of us.

 

 

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“Now, what really mattered to me was how all of this unfolded,” she explained. “What was the thing that sparked it, what started all of it. And, initially, I was under the assumption that Rittenhouse was the person who was chasing after Joseph Rosenbaum — that’s how it started. But I was wrong about that.

“I was in fact wrong about that, and to show you the evidence to reinforce that I was wrong about that, I want to go to this video.” — Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks.

 

Too often, when the “progressive” left is once again proven wrong about something in our ongoing culture war (like, say, the Russian dossier, or Hunter Biden’s laptop), it is given the benefit of the doubt:

“Oh, they were mistaken.” “Oops, looks like they might have gotten that one wrong.” “Oh well, do better next time.”

But the “mistakes” keep happening and show no signs of ceasing.

When MSNBC, or CNN, or Your Favorite YouTube Liberal spreads misinformation about Kyle Rittenhouse, Donald Trump, or anyone else they dislike, it is intentional. It’s not a mistake. These people are at war, and facts don’t matter to them; facts are merely inconvenient.

Because the left controls most institutions and has most of the money and power, the only hope is to wake up “the great unwashed,” and hope that the majority of Americans can stop watching Netflix long enough to exercise their common sense.

And when an idiot like Ana Kasparian finally wakes up and sees the light, don’t alienate her by calling her an idiot. Even though she is an idiot.

 

**

 

 

The Nobel, Pulitzer, Emmys, Oscars — they shouldn’t have to be sued to do the right thing. They should be doing it on their own.

This is why awards institutions no longer have credibility.

 

**

 

Over the past few years, The Grouch, believe it or not, has held not one but two day jobs. No longer. Thanks to Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate, The Grouch was shown the door this week by Pearson Education.

Asked for a comment, The Grouch said: “Let’s go, Brandon!”

 

© 2010-2021 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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by Jeanine Cummins

 

American Dirt is nothing if not controversial, what with its white, European-American author telling the tale of a middle-class Mexican woman whose life is upended — to put it mildly — and who chooses to make a harrowing journey from Acapulco to Arizona with her eight-year-old son in tow. Illegally.

The book’s critics say Cummins took pains to make the story palatable for American readers, and that her heroine, Lydia, is an unrepresentative, atypical immigrant. The critics might be right. What the hell do I know?

The novel was a bestseller last year. But all hell broke loose upon its publication.

The uproar over Dirt brings to mind James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, which came under fire for being hyped as a memoir when, in fact, it was fiction. Fact-based or fabricated, Frey had written a remarkable book. Pieces was a marketing failure, not a writing failure.

I can only comment on what I read in American Dirt, and as a work of fiction, it’s a superb thriller.

As for the novel’s politics, yes, it is very one-sided, very pro-immigrant and pro-immigration. There is even one none-too-subtle jab at Trump. But immigration is a huge story, with many subplots.

Someone else could write an equally moving, largely anti-immigration story, I’m sure. A story about an illegal immigrant, a career criminal who wreaks havoc on a small American border town, for example.

American Dirt simply isn’t that story.

 

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Am I the only one who watched Maid on Netflix and was reminded of the illegal immigration mess? I suspect most people who watch the ten-part drama will see it as a feminist rallying cry, a moving portrait of a single mother fighting the system and society in her struggle to survive, let alone make a better life for herself and her infant daughter. It is, indeed, all of that.

But I was also put in mind of the millions (billions?) of taxpayer dollars that are drained by the enormous influx of illegal immigrants, money that might otherwise go to help legal citizens like Alex the maid.

I guess that makes me an evil deplorable.

 

Despite its overall excellence, I do have a few quibbles about Maid. The acting is superb, and it’s the type of show that will likely stay with me for a long time.

I was totally absorbed by the saga of Alex and three-year-old Maddy … until the last couple of episodes, which wrapped up a bit too neatly. Suddenly, most of Alex’s troubles miraculously vanished.

Also, that obnoxious finger-snapping, in lieu of applause, at the group-therapy sessions reeked of political correctness gone wild.

After I finished watching the show, I considered reading the book (Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive) on which it is based — however loosely. And so I read a Washington Post article Stephanie Land wrote in 2016, in which I found the following lines:

“Once it was clear that Donald Trump would be president instead of Hillary Clinton, I felt sick to my stomach … [T]he world felt that precarious to me.

“There is no room for dating in this place of grief. Dating means hope. I’ve lost that hope in seeing the words ‘President-elect Trump.’”

No, thank you, to reading anything else by Stephanie Land. I prefer to think that the Netflix series’ quality is due to some talented screenwriters, and not to this idiot.

 

**

 

Now that I’ve praised a show that feminists (probably) support, let’s take a look at something Joe-the-beer-guzzling-trailer-trash-deplorable might like. Specifically, the photography by CBS cameramen on Survivor.

Recently, it was time to give law student Sydney Segal the boot, so we got to know her a bit better before Tribal Council:

 

 

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Yeah, Baldwin is quite adept at public relations. In the days following the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins — accidental or not — Baldwin’s grief has led him to dine out at restaurants, go shopping with his wife, and conduct informal chats with the press.

If I had just killed someone, I would be holed up somewhere, avoiding all but a handful of people.

 

***

 

 

Can’t say it any better than the Bee.

 

***

 

 

I am starting to like this kid, Peter Doocy. Daddy’s boy has some real cojones.

 

***

 

I’ve Said It Before, and I’ll Say It Again

 

The Wuhan Flu:  Instead of shutting down the entire country, we should have isolated the elderly (including me real soon) and people with underlying conditions. Period. Everyone else should have kept on keeping on.

 

The Great Reset:  It should always have been about going after the tax-dodging, wealth-hoarding super-rich — and not about race, gender, religion, and whatever else you have.

 

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Searching

 

I was wary of Searching because it’s a gimmick movie. Like Unfriended and films of that ilk, the entire story is told from the perspective of a screen — computer screen, cell-phone screen, security footage, you name it. I’m not a fan of the screencast genre because, among other annoyances, I find myself triggered to “interact.” I feel like I should be clicking on buttons or highlighting text. Too much work.

But like the much-maligned found-footage genre, if the screenplay is clever and the direction is skilled, screencast movies can work. Searching succeeds because the gimmick never becomes outlandish, and the script contains several surprises and one nice twist.

Oh yeah, the plot: A widower undergoes every parent’s nightmare when his teenage daughter goes missing. Then he undergoes every technophobe’s nightmare: enduring all those screens to retrace her steps.  Release: 2018  Grade: B+

 

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Row, Row, Row Your Boat

by J.D.H.

 

Thelma pushed her spectacles up the bridge of her nose and studied the contents of her medicine cabinet: Pravastatin … Lisinopril … Propanolol. In the background, outside of her tidy bathroom, she could hear Henry Popkins droning on and on. Now Henry was onto the nature of God and existence.

Geezus, the man was intolerable. His visits, frequent, were a trial to her. Thelma contemplated a translucent bottle of something called Verapamil, then slammed the cabinet door shut, unsatisfied. Henry’s voice boomed out from her kitchen.

“I ask you this, Thelma: Could it be that the Almighty created all — billions and trillions of birds, bees, people and animals — because He was bored?”

Thelma shuffled back into the kitchen and eyed Henry carefully. She would get no closer to him than an arm’s length; the man’s cologne was overbearing, but that was nothing compared to his halitosis. He needed a remedy for his bad breath, and if there was a spray or a pill for that problem, Thelma would find it.

 

**

 

“Think about it. Jus’ say you are God. If God was a woman,” Henry chuckled at his own joke.

“You are bored. It’s just you, and nothin’ else. So what do you do? You create things. But just a few things ain’t enough. You’re still bored. You need to create billions of things, so that there are billions of things havin’ thoughts, and it still ain’t enough. On account of those thoughts, none of ‘em, are new to you, ‘cuz you already thought of ‘em ‘cuz you are the Creator.”

Thelma sighed. She pulled a chair up to the kitchen table and eased into it. Her legs objected. Her legs objected to any change of position. To take her mind off her arthritis, she studied Henry’s hair. It oozed gel, it sparkled grease, and Thelma wondered if perhaps it was Henry’s hair gel that assaulted her nostrils, and not his cologne.

She did not want to look at Henry, and she did not want to smell him. And she sure as the dickens did not want to listen to him. Her cotton skirt had hiked up around her thighs, so Thelma contemplated her own varicose veins. And Henry droned on ….

 

**

 

“You take the Big Bang. We are told that the universe came about from mass no bigger than a pin’s head. But what do you suppose that mass was? Could that mass have been a thought — God’s thought? Is that all we are, Thelma, just a bunch of thoughts that God came up with because He was bored?” Henry felt triumphant. He waited for some sort of acknowledgment.

Thelma issued a grunt. “You shut up for 12 seconds and listen to me, Henry Popkins.” She leaned toward him, caught a whiff of his gel, and sat back again. “This talk of life being not real, you know who always says it?”

Henry was silent, so she continued. “I’ll tell you who says it — the idle. The dreamers like you. My daddy, your daddy, my mum and all them’s that works, them’s like the migrant field hands, they don’t cotton to this ‘God’s Dream’ talk because that’s a luxury of the idle.

“When the migrant comes in at night, and his hands are blistered and his back is broken, you think he’s a singin’ ‘Row, row, row your boat, life is but a dream’? Any who sweats for a livin’ knows he ain’t a part of nobody’s sweet dream. Not even the Almighty’s.”

Henry said, “Hmmmm.”

 

**

 

“Know what else is real, Henry Popkins?” Henry said nothing. “That life-killin’ breath of yours, that’s what’s real. And I know I ain’t a-dreamin’ when I am forced to sit here and inhale it.” She paused, and a sly smile crept across her face. “Boom-chucka, boom-chucka, boom-chucka-boom!”

Henry smiled back at her. Softly, he echoed, “Boom-chucka, boom-chucka, boom-chucka-boom.” It was a special thing of theirs.

 

**

 

Thelma studied Henry again. Something was moving in his hair. Wasn’t it? She leaned forward, squinting at him … sure enough, there just above his left ear, something small was moving sporadically, struggling in the hair goop. It was a fly, trying to work its way free. This had happened before, Henry’s hair so thick with goop, insects would check in and they wouldn’t check out. Row, row, row your boat.

Thelma frowned and got up from her chair. She peered out the small window above her kitchen sink and saw movement out in her beet field. The migrants.

 

**

 

When she was a girl, she and all her friends did what these migrants did today, marching up and down the rows, hoeing the beets. But she and the other kids were carefree and lazy, just killing time and earning soda money. The migrants were serious about their work, it was their little piece of the American Dream.

Thelma squinted out the window. One of the migrants, Jesus she thought it was, had an erection.

“Henry, come look at this here. Jesus got him a Johnny-on-a-Pole, I knows it.”

Henry did not stir, so Thelma shuffled back into the bathroom, humming as she went: “Row, row, row your boat, gently …

“Where now, woman?” Henry barked.

“You need things, Henry. Lots of things. Let me get one thing just for you. Jesus gave me somethin’ the other day, might cure your bad breath.”

“Bad breath, you say? Crud and nonsense. It’s all in your head, Thelma. Everything’s in your head!”

“Got something right here … hold on … from Jesus. All the way from South America.”

 

**

 

There was a knock on the door. Thelma sat in her rocker, half-asleep and half-contemplating the veins on her chubby thighs. Whoever was knocking was persistent. With a grunt and a sigh, the old woman rose and slowly made her way to the entry.

Jesus, clad in dirty khaki pants and a striped cotton shirt, removed his tattered hat as Thelma invited him inside.

“Miss Thelma, hello. Hello.”

Thelma glanced at the man. She didn’t need to examine him, his appearance never changed. She did notice that his erection was gone.

“I have more raw cassava for you.” He removed a plastic bag from his pocket and held it before her.

 

**

 

Thelma’s eyes brightened at the site of the bag. “Don’t say? Don’t mind if I take it off your hands.”

Jesus peered over the old woman’s shoulder at Henry, still seated at the table and apparently studying the contents of his plate. He hadn’t budged since Jesus entered the house.

She gestured to the kitchen table. “Last batch worked good. Come see!” She ambled over to the table and stood just behind Henry.

“Problem with old people, Jesus, yours truly included I suppose,” she chuckled, “is we get set in our ways. Comfortable. Too comfortable.

“Old Hank, for example. You can’t argue with the man. He doesn’t see reason; he only sees what he wants to see. So I’d argue and argue and get nowhere. It tires you, Jesus, it really does.”

 

**

 

Jesus made his way, tentatively, to the table. Henry, paralyzed and half-comatose from Thelma’s serving of the South American toxin, raw cassava, blinked once.

“Henry did not believe in pain, Jesus. Old Hank thought it was all in our head!” She chuckled. “So I had to learn him. Henry knows reality now, don’t you Henry?” She punched him, hard, in the smallish goiter that was forming on his neck. No reaction from Henry. Just a soft moan.

Thelma smiled down at Henry. “Row, row, row your boat, life is but a dream ….”

Henry’s lips parted. A tear trickled down his cheek. Two flies, trapped by the hair goop above his left ear, struggled in vain to escape their final resting place.

 

 

THE END

 

Click here for the index of short stories.

Click here to see all of the stories.

 

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Free Money

 

For Everyone! *

 

* (except you)

 

 

“Medicare Martha” (above) has some questions on her TV commercial:

 

“Where’s my additional benefits?”

“Where do I get these automatically?”

 

Martha, who we are told is already on Medicare, just found out that she might be eligible for more taxpayer money. But there’s a problem: Martha can’t be bothered to pick up the phone.

Selfless, kind-hearted Martha is such a wonderful spokesperson for older Americans, don’t you think?

Free money for Martha!

 

*

 

 

Biden must be trying to spark civil war while he is out of town, in Europe, with the news of this proposed reward for illegal immigration.

Or … is it possible this is fake news meant to distract us from the backlash against Biden’s vaccine mandates?

 

At any rate, free money for illegal immigrants!

 

**

 

 

I photo-searched A.O.C. and discovered there are lots of fake nudes of the congresswoman. However, there is a bright side for A.O.C.

Should she ever become embroiled in a sex scandal of any sort, and there are pictures, she can point to the ubiquitous fakes already out there, and plausibly deny everything.

 

 

Oddly, if you Google fellow squad member Ilhan Omar, you will find just one nude fake — but more fake nudes of A.O.C.

 

 

 

**

 

 

I don’t know which would be worse, having this sputtering, dissembling weasel on the Supreme Court, or as the attorney general.

 

**

 

As I watched newly bespectacled Bill Maher perform his monologue the other day, I had the nagging feeling that I’d seen it — or him — in some bygone era. Who was it I was reminded of? Hmmm ….

 

.                    

 

**

 

 

Last but not least …

 

 

Let’s Go Brandon!

 

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by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt

 

Here’s the thing about current-affairs books — they tend to have a short shelf life. What was eye-opening in 2018 can feel ho-hum today. If you happen to be a news junkie, like me, reading The Coddling of the American Mind in 2021 feels like revisiting old news, even though the book is just a few years old.

And yet that’s a compliment to the authors. So much of what they describe in Coddling — concepts that seemed fresh in 2018 — is now omnipresent on media news outlets. That’s a testament to their powers of persuasion.

What Lukianoff and Haidt describe (in case you haven’t guessed from the title) is the concept of “safetyism” and its harmful effects on society in general, and schools in particular. Safetyism, they claim, is introduced by over-protective parents, continued by college administrators, and then spread throughout the greater society. Hence, the “snowflake.” Hence, social problems galore.

But you probably already knew that. You, like me, should have read this book in 2018.

 

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I’m thinking that Fauci would make a great Bond villain. In fact, he might turn out to be one of the greatest villains of the 21st century.

Put that on your magazine cover.

 

**

 

What happened on that New Mexico movie set was a tragedy, no question.

But it’s hard to summon much sympathy for Alec Baldwin, who seemed to take glee in condemning the cop in this fatal shooting:

 

 

**

 

 

I’m more of an “ass man” than a “tits man” (no offense, tits; I like you too), so I don’t have a problem with the new shorts that Hooters is trying to introduce for its female employees. I can understand, though, why some girls are against it. After all, it’s easier to accentuate your assets up top, what with push-up bras and whatever else they use, than it is to disguise a flabby ass.

But these TikTok girls who are making a fuss about the shorts are lying to us. They claim they don’t want to be exposed, down low, on the job, and they exhibit how awful that is by wearing the shorts and … exposing their down low to the world. Yeah, right.

But since the girls are hellbent on showing us how awful the shorts are, we feel obligated to help advance their cause:

 

.                         

 

.                                                   

 

 

 

**

 

 

This Biden-Beavis thing might be funny except for the fact that anything Biden-related is no longer funny. It’s nightmarish.

 

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