Daily Archives: April 3, 2010



The Jerks of Summer


In high school, certain truths were self-evident:  Most of the “theater people” were gay, most of the jocks were jerks, and Karen VanderHaagen would not go out with me.

Life is not fair.  We continue to reward jocks with taxpayer-funded playgrounds, like new Target Field in Minneapolis, and with most of the pretty girls, like Karen VanderHaagen.

So I have mixed emotions about this multi-million dollar stadium in my back yard.  Spring is here, Minnesota’s lineup looks pretty good … but dammit, please stop telling me that “the Twins” built a beautiful new stadium.  The taxpayers built it.






I guess I’m just another spoiled American, because I want an iPad.  Everyone has an opinion about these computer tablets.  Stephen King says reading books on them gives him an eerie sense of “not-thereness.”  Anna Quindlen assures traditional publishers that the iPad does not signal the end of the world as they know it.

I just know that I want one.  Buy me one.  I’ll bet pro jocks can afford lots of them.


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Men Who


“Though The Men Who Stare at Goats is a mostly entertaining, farcical glimpse of men at war, some may find its satire and dark humor less than edgy.”

Those aren’t my words; that’s the consensus of critical opinion posted by the editors at Rotten Tomatoes, a Web site devoted to film reviews.  Here’s my reaction to that consensus:  What the hell???

“Less than edgy”?  Talk about understatement.  Goats is a dreadful piece of work.  What makes it even worse is the fact that everyone involved with this movie seems so darned pleased  with it, as if they were making the new millennium’s version of M*A*S*H.  Fellows, you were not.

George Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Ewan McGregor, and Jeff Bridges (how many more variations of “The Dude” is this actor going to foist on us?) star in this “wacky” sendup, loosely based on a real government program in which the military attempted to use New Age mysticism, paranormal activity, and the kitchen sink to revolutionize modern warfare.   I’m guessing that a lot of this stuff looked hilarious on paper, what with its spoofs of both the military and hippy cultures.  I’m also guessing that directors like the Farrelly brothers might have somehow added some zing to this mess.

But regardless of who’s at fault, “less than edgy” doesn’t begin to describe how bad this film is.     Grade:  D


Director:  Grant Heslov  Cast:  George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey  Release:  2009


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