Oh, boy. I sure am looking forward to the coming week.

I live about ten miles from the site of George Floyd’s death, and about the same distance from the Minneapolis courthouse where Derek Chauvin is being tried for Floyd’s murder/manslaughter.

Meanwhile, every day I drive to and from work right past Brooklyn Center, where another cop is charged with killing Daunte Wright.

 

I live in Plymouth and work in Brooklyn Park (circled above). 

 

A verdict in the Chauvin trial could come this week. The activists are in town, and they are restless.

What, me worry?

YouTube’s Tim Pool has been telling those of us who live in the area that we are fools for not getting out of Dodge while we can. It’s anyone’s guess whether Pool is correct or if he’s overreacting.

I’ll let you know in a week or so. If I can.

 

**

 

I suspect that what we’re witnessing in this country, at least in part, is “revenge of the Millennials.”

Millennials were coddled and lied to by their Baby Boomer parents, who told their kids that everything would be fine: great jobs (not crippling college debt), and great personal lives (not war with every other “identity” group).

Oh, and then along came the killer virus. No more fun for the locked-up, masked Millennials.

Frustrated Millennials, like angry children, are now “woke” to their elders’ ways and are responding by attempting to tear apart every institution they can, like infants tossing poop at the walls.

They leave nothing untouched, torching everything previous generations held near and dear: baseball, movies, schools, the language, bathrooms, locker rooms, the law, and skinny models in Playboy.

A lot of these institutions deserve to be attacked. Problem is, the Millennials have no viable replacements in mind. Wreck everything and worry about rebuilding later.

I’m sure Russia, China, and North Korea will wait patiently while the snowflakes build a new America.

 

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Cheesecake Week!

 

 

I’m old enough to remember when Ronald Reagan’s daughter Patti (above) caused a scandal by posing nude for Playboy.

Patti was quite the rebel. In this Playboy video, she even gives us a money shot at 5:35.

 

 

But my goodness, Patti’s pictures were Pollyanna-ish compared to the garbage coming out of this idiot’s computer:

 

 

I’m still waiting for someone to explain why Saturday Night Live, which for years used the Trump sons as the butt of a running gag, hasn’t done squat about the biggest political target of the year, Hunter Biden.

If this worthless tool can crack wise about his drug addiction and related problems with Jimmy Kimmel, how is it that SNL gives him a pass?

 

**

 

You might laugh about space aliens controlling us, or about the idea that we are living in some sort of computer simulation. But the way things are going — Bill Gates wants to dim the sun? — those theories no longer seem quite so crackpot.

Yes, there seems to be a Puppet Master at work. The only question is whether it is human or extraterrestrial.

 

**

 

 

It only took me three years, but I finally got around to watching Seven Seconds on Netflix, arguably the ultimate “Black Lives Matter” drama on the tube.

Seven Seconds isn’t “peak TV.” I’d call it “frustrating TV.” There were moments when I thought, “This is powerful stuff; great television.” But there were also more than a few scenes where I thought, “This is heavy-handed, progressive propaganda.” Still, it’s worth a watch.

 

**

 

Some of these Prince Philip quotes are both hilarious and disturbing.

Judging from some of the comments, is it really such a mystery which member of the royal family (allegedly) asked about the color of Meghan and Harry’s children?

 

**

 

I finally got around to watching Parasite. I was struck by the attractiveness of the actress playing a rich housewife. Where had I seen this actress before? Oh, yes. It was here:

 

 

**

 

 

Popular catchphrase in American culture that is probably not popular at NASA:

“What could possibly go wrong?”

 

**

 

 

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Knives Out

 

A confession: Knives Out is the kind of movie I am predisposed to like before I’ve seen even one second of it. It’s a murder mystery set in a spooky mansion and with an Agatha Christie-like cast of suspects.

OK, I’ll concede that the above synopsis sounds like, oh, maybe 5,000 similar movies. But this time, there’s a decent budget and big-name stars. So bring it on!

Alas, Knives Out is good, but not that special. It’s handsome and well-produced. It’s amusing to watch Daniel Craig channel Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood accent from House of Cards. But the much-heralded plot is nothing you won’t find in scores of Netflix crime shows, or in an old episode of Poirot.

It’s true that you don’t find many mid-budget movies with stories like this anymore. But that isn’t because Hollywood doesn’t make them; it’s because they’ve all moved to TV.  Release: 2019 Grade: B+

 

 

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Parasite

 

Parasite, a black comedy/thriller from Korea, boasts the distinction of being the first non-English-language film to win a Best Picture Oscar. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about it: “The film was considered by many critics to be the best film of 2019 as well as one of the best films of the 21st century.”

I’m not sure if that’s damning critics or damning movies of the 21st century.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed Parasite, in which a rich family is infiltrated by a clan of con artists — think Al Bundy and his goofball brood from Married … with Children, but with Korean faces and street smarts. The elaborate con and the ensuing carnage are all amusing enough but … one of the “best films of the century”? Nope. Not even close.  Release: 2019 Grade: B

 

 

 

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I used to love this country for its variety of scenery and culture. The Grand Canyon, Hollywood, Bourbon Street, and Graceland — all under the same flag. How cool is that?

Somehow, all the states managed to coexist without imposing their values on each other. Alas, no more.

So, what happened? I blame (mostly) social media. Now we know each other too well. The Ketchums of Kansas and the Kardashians of California keep up with each other, too easily, on Twitter and Facebook. And none of them like what they see.

 

*

 

Kind of ironic if, instead of old Europe becoming more like the United States with the Euro, open borders, etcetera, the U.S. becomes more like old Europe, split into 50 squabbling states, each with its own culture and laws.

I’m used to hopping into the car and driving 500 miles through multiple states, no fuss. But soon, driving into a neighboring state might require hours of pre-trip research, simply to make sure you don’t run afoul of the law. Or the local “norms.”

Sad.

But that’s what it might come to, because I can’t picture Oklahoma abiding New York City rules, nor vice versa.

 

**

 

 

I used to think that Russell Brand was just a celebrity goofball who boinked, however briefly, Katy Perry (above).

But I stumbled on Brand’s YouTube podcast and was intrigued by his interview with activist Deeyah Khan.

He also steered me to this article about arrogant global elites and their big plans for the rest of us.

Interesting. I guess he’s not such a goofball.

 

**

 

There’s no question that YouTube harbors a wealth of fascinating, illuminating, and historical videos.

So why am I so easily distracted by crap like this?

 

 

**

 

 

Apparently, this is front-page news. Big deal.

When I was a scruffy child, I found myself trapped on a ride called “The Bullet” at the Renville County Fair, wedged in a seat between my teenage sister and her teenage friend. The ride came to a sudden halt and suspended us some 35 feet in the air. With the door open. With the safety bar, attached to the open door, unfastened. Oh, and we were upside down.

There we sat, for ten minutes or so, just a strong wind away from tumbling to our demise.

It didn’t even make the local paper.

 

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Invasion of the Cute Girls

 

Please read these headlines and decide what they have in common:

 

 

 

 

 

It seems that we, as a society, are making a horrible mistake.

We are so angry at the (mostly) rich, straight, white men in charge of things that we’ve decided to hand power to their polar opposites: young cute girls.

At the risk of sounding misogynistic (nothing new, in my case), I declare that the worst social justice warriors — cancel-culture perps, Me Too whiners, and all-around clueless menaces to society — are the cute girls. We’ve foolishly granted them too much power and they are simply incapable of using it judiciously. 

This is what AOC hath wrought.

 

Or maybe it’s what the cute, kidnapped girls hath wrought. Whenever some cheerleader in Nebraska gets abducted, it’s a media bonanza. We can’t get enough of the young cute girls. No wonder Meghan Markle wants to run for president.

I’m not being sexist when I complain about cute-girl power. I don’t want a 20-something male running society, either. And it’s not a liberal-conservative thing. Tomi Lahren and some of her Fox cohorts certainly give off a dumb-blonde vibe.

But these girls are young, and young (usually) means stupid.

It’s like what the proverb says about children: They should be seen and not heard. Most of them, anyway.

 

**

 

 

Joe Biden falling up the stairs: We’re supposed to “feel sorry” for him?

Nah. Considering the strong possibility that this geezer sold out his country to China, fondled underage girls, and is now turning North America into South America version two, it seems to me Biden’s fortunate to be falling on stairs rather than being told to bend over by some Bubba in cellblock six.

 

**

 

 

We checked with Rip van Dinkle regarding this story, and he said he did not understand the problem.

 

**

 

 

**

 

 

That does it.

I don’t want Trump back as president. I want John Wayne back as president.

Even though his real name was Marion.

 

**

 

 

Netflix recommendation: Masum. This miniseries from Turkey, of all places, can be a challenge to follow, what with its frequent time shifts, plot surprises and, of course, subtitles. But it’s juicy-good fun.

 

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I’ve been watching Jordan Peterson videos on YouTube. I’m a bit late to the party concerning Peterson, who apparently took the Internet world by storm several years ago, then succumbed to mental-health issues about a year ago and essentially vanished — much to the chagrin of his army of followers and the delight of his detractors.

But now Peterson’s back in a series of podcast videos, in which he appears to be engaging in self-therapy sessions with friends. He looks drawn and haggard and indulges in self-pity.

In his older videos he is formidable. He does battle with progressive opponents and smoothly takes them all down. He offers advice to students that is refreshing and grounded in common sense.

In the new videos he seems defeated. It’s depressing to watch. The videos suggest that old saw, “Physician, heal thyself.” Seems to me he could use some sort of hobby that lets your mind rest. Something childish and non-taxing.

Something like, say, reading The Grouchy Editor.

 

**

 

 

**

 

 

OK, OK … no more Mitch McConnell jokes.

For now.

 

**

 

There is nothing in the “Review” this week about the following topics: Andrew Cuomo, Biden’s stumble, Teen Vogue, school lockdowns, the Grammys, China, the Mexican-border crisis.

Not going there because, in the lexicon favored by teen girls: “I. Can’t. Even.

 

 

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The problem with “journalists”

 

Journalists occupy the same public sphere as politicians (elected) and lawyers (not elected, but they do have to deal with that whole bar-exam thing). Journalists are not elected, nor are they tested. Hell, they don’t even have to have a journalism degree. And yet they are handed, as a group, enormous power.

These young journalists are indoctrinated into “wokeness” by colleges. There are hundreds of Web sites that hire them for peanuts. Their woke articles generate outrage, which generates views and ads.

Rank-and-file print reporters earn very little, are usually in their 20s and new to the ways of the world. But the stories your favorite TV news anchor presents are often lifted from what the print journalist provides.

 

Once upon a time, I was a print journalist.

Back when they weren’t so awful.

 

**

 

 

I’m no fan of Britain’s monarchy, but after watching Ginger Boy and his Pampered Princess do their whiny thing with the queen of smarm, Oprah Winfrey, I’m supporting Team Elizabeth.

 

**

 

I used to believe that many conservative accusations about the left — they don’t like America, they want open borders, they want to take your guns away — were hyperbole. Not so much anymore.

Seems that many rich, white liberals/progressives/Democrats are battling twin demons: self-loathing, and the fear of not-so-rich progressives brandishing pitchforks.

Their only hope? Divert those pitchforks toward “evil white supremacists,” i.e., Trump supporters.

 

**

 

 

I watched a Colombian movie called Dogwashers on Netflix. It was no masterpiece. But I fear films like this one are an endangered species.

The movie, about a gang of lowly thugs and the unfortunate souls in their orbit, feels genuine. It was like eavesdropping on real people.

The filmmakers do not seem bent on pleasing Netflix and its global audience. There are no Hollywood special effects. I didn’t hear American rap music.

Dogwashers is gloriously photographed and the people are intriguing — even when they are just sitting around. Doing nothing. I liked that.

 

 

OK, there is one obvious Hollywood influence on Dogwashers. In the time-honored tradition of male-gazing Tinsel Town, starlet Lina Vanessa Nieto’s glorious T&A are on display for no apparent plot-related reason. Which is reason enough for me.

 

 

 

**

 

More gems from The Babylon Bee:

 

 

And this from resident gadfly Rip van Dinkle:

 

 

 

 

 

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The Dig

 

Here’s a fact-based “prestige picture” that’s very classy, very pretty, and very … bland. Well, at least the second half of the movie is.

Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan are a pleasure to watch in the first half, in which an obscure excavator (Fiennes) finds an ancient Anglo-Saxon ship and a true soul mate (Mulligan) on land the young widow owns in Suffolk. But once the big find is found, the movie bogs down with extraneous subplots about another couple’s romance and looming war with Germany and … not nearly enough Fiennes and Mulligan.

The film would have been stronger had The Dig ditched reality and instead focused more on its two leads. Release: 2021  Grade: B-

 

**

 

The Block Island Sound

 

Most horror movies that are destined to fall apart tend to do so in the third act. Too few of them know how to “stick the landing.” So, kudos to the McManus brothers for pulling off a damn-fine ending in Block Island, in which an unseen force wreaks havoc on an East Coast seaside village.

The problem with this low-budget film is the first two-thirds of it, in which less-than-stellar acting and a plodding plot give no hint of the good things to come. Release: 2020  Grade: B-

 

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I am expecting the Me Too movement to go after Dr. Seuss.

I mean, aren’t women sexualized and victimized by his 1939 masterpiece, The Seven Lady Godivas?

 

 

In case this is the first time you’ve heard of Seuss’s naughty book for big kids, here is some background:

 

 

Seven nude sisters and seven peeping brothers? It must have been Andrew Cuomo’s favorite childhood book.

 

**

 

We’re hearing all kinds of talk about secession, or a “peaceful divorce” of blue states and red states. OK, well …

Secession was one thing during the Civil War when states were divided geographically. But how is that kind of split supposed to work in 2021, when we have all these blue cities surrounded by red outstates — and all of them falling under the umbrella of a single state?

Will blue Austin, Texas be happy to join the rest of (mostly) red Texas in seceding? Will outstate Minnesota, where I live, be content to turn blue to join its only major city, Minneapolis?

We’ll have to change our name to the 10,000 States of America.

 

**

 

 

Tim Pool and friends this week discovered The Fourth Turning, a 1997 book that seemingly predicts much of what America is going through now. Here is a clip from Pool’s panel discussion. Here is my review of the book from 2019.

 

**

 

I’m not sure which is worse, having a president whose handlers are so afraid of what he might say that they must shield him from difficult questions, or having Biden stumble and stammer his way through difficult questions.

 

**

 

Minimum Wage

 

I go back and forth on this issue. On the one hand, seems to me that if your small business can’t afford to pay employees enough money to feed themselves, then perhaps you have no business having a small business.

On the other hand, Democrats who want a minimum-wage increase are also in favor of open borders, which will ensure millions of poor immigrants — lowering everyone’s wages.

 

 

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I wouldn’t presume to call this a “review” of the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution, any more than I would attempt to “review” the King James Bible. But since I finally got around to reading these historic documents (the book includes the Bill of Rights), let me make a few humble observations:

 

1:  No wonder American society is a mess. The problem is the English language. Nearly every word we use is subject to interpretation — including the words penned by the Founding Fathers. If we could all agree on the meanings of “just,” or “benefit,” or “inalienable rights,” wouldn’t life be peachy keen? Alas, we are an argumentative bunch. 

2:  If we take the original documents at face value, our country is, evidently, saturated with constitutional violations. They say history is written by the winners; constitutional law is all too often defined by those in power. Our judicial system, charged with deciphering the Constitution, is just as susceptible to prejudice as the rest of us.

3:  Those old boys in the 18th century did their best with what they had. So far as I can tell, no other country has done better.

 

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