Monthly Archives: August 2012



Good job, TMZ, for placing that little red star over Prince Harry’s arse.  It does so much to preserve his modesty.






Back in May, some idiot on this Web site ridiculed CNN for speculating about a hurricane striking Florida during the Republican National Convention.  Idiots do not get fired at The Grouchy Editor, they get promoted, so yes, he’s still here.






Come on, voters.  Can’t we show Richie Rich that, at least this one time, money can’t buy everything?






Animal-rights activists are up in the air … er, up in arms because someone duct-taped a turtle to helium balloons and then launched the little fellow.  I don’t know, I think if I were a turtle, I might enjoy the change of scenery.


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by Jess Walter



Pasquale is an insecure young man drifting dreamily through life in his small, Italian fishing village.  Dee Moray is an up-and-coming starlet on the set of Hollywood’s infamous epic, the Richard Burton and Liz Taylor vehicle, Cleopatra.  Pasquale and Dee would seem to have little in common, but in author Jess Walter’s capable hands, their journey from 1962 to the present is a fanciful treat.  Ruins isn’t perfect; there are passages that resemble an old Doris Day-Rock Hudson farce with contrived situations, but Walter’s hopscotching, time-traveling story is mostly funny, bittersweet, and wise.


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Someone is always trying to cut funding for poor PBS.  And frankly, with so many great science shows on cable, it’s getting harder to justify public broadcasting.

Maybe it’s a sign of (my) old age, but I’m digging the programming on channels like Discovery, Nat Geo, and Science, which is often jaw-dropping stuff.  Who needs MTV?






“I think the vice president of the United States has become a laugh line on late-night television.”

Coming from the clown pictured above and below, should we take this quote from Rudy Giuliani as an endorsement of Joe Biden?








I’m still waiting for Bernie Goldberg’s angry denunciation of media bias as it pertains to the birthday cake that Fox’s Chris Wallace presented to Paul Ryan (above).




I’m tired of hearing about what a “nice guy” Ryan is.  We also hear how nice Mitt Romney is, and how nice President Obama is.  These guys are politicians — if they came off as snarling, sniveling jackanapes, what chance would they have of getting elected?





This is why some journalists eschew television and go into print media, where they cannot be seen.




We began this week’s review with a picture of the sun.  We end with a picture of the moon, courtesy of Katy Perry at a California water park.



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.                     Grouch            Maroney


Great Minds Think Alike






I can’t be bothered to read The Huffington Post commenting “guidelines,” because they are so obvious.  They must go something like this:

“It does not matter if your post is obscenity-free, threat-free, and libel-free.  If we don’t like it, we will censor it.”

I suspect that the Post dislikes me because I have the temerity to point out its typographical screw-ups.  Like this one:




So what did I post that caused “MotorcycleBoy” and the Huff Post editors to throw a tanrum?  This:







And finally, odd post of the week, courtesy of Gawker:




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by Hilary Mantel


This fictional account of life under England’s King Henry VIII, centering on royal advisor Thomas Cromwell, is an “admirable” book – but reading it was more chore than pleasure.

The upside:

Mantel’s dialogue is sharp and often witty.  The repartee between members of the king’s court, Cromwell family members, and even lowly commoners, is consistently engaging.

The sense of time and place is vivid.  I have no idea how accurate any of it is, but as a work of fiction, Wolf Hall opens the doors to palaces, chambers, and courtyards in Renaissance England and makes you believe that you are actually there.

The downside:

Mantel’s vocabulary is impressive, but I grew frustrated over her abuse of the simple pronoun, “he.”  I challenge anyone to read this novel without, at least occasionally, being surprised to learn that the “he” Mantel is writing about is not the “he” you had imagined.

Wolf Hall snagged numerous awards, including the Man Booker Prize.  But I side with scholar Susan Bassnett, who writes, “I have yet to meet anyone outside the Booker panel who managed to get to the end of this tedious tome.”


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Maybe you haven’t seen Louis C.K. in his FX series, or on the talk-show circuit.  But maybe you’ve heard of him.  Here’s a chance to see the grumpy comedian in a 2008 concert, just before he (kinda, sorta) hit the big-time.  Click here to watch his hour-long performance free of charge.


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It’s August and the country is entering the home stretch of the 2012 presidential election.  We are being bombarded with vicious political sniping and snapping — and that’s just among cable-news anchors.

As things get even more foul-tempered on our way to November, this Grouch needed a break from politics.  So thank you, Sight & Sound, for choosing this week to announce your new list of “the greatest movies of all time.”

Wisconsin’s favorite fat man, Orson Welles, has been dethroned by England’s favorite fat man, Alfred Hitchcock, at the top of the list, which is a poll of international film critics that Sight & Sound conducts every ten years.  But is top-pick Vertigo really Hitchcock’s crown jewel?

I made my own list of the master’s five best movies.  My criterion was simple if unoriginal:  I imagined that I was stuck on the proverbial desert island, along with a video player and five Hitchcock flicks.  Which five do I choose, and in what order?




North by Northwest     It was a tossup between this Cary Grant classic and the more somber Vertigo, but I figured that if I am stuck on an island, then I am a very depressed puppy, and I would prefer a comic thriller to a drama about a sexually screwed-up cop.




If you enjoy today’s Bourne and Mission Impossible movies, you can thank Hitchcock, because this 1959 thrill ride inspired the James Bond movies, which in turn led to the Matt Damon and Tom Cruise vehicles.









Vertigo     Earlier this year, Vertigo star Kim Novak made news when she expressed displeasure that The Artist had “borrowed” composer Bernard Herrmann’s score from this 1958 gem.  I think she should have considered it a compliment.  There was no better director-musician combo at work in the 1950s than Hitchcock-Herrmann, and Vertigo might be their best collaboration.  Oh … and the rest of the movie ain’t exactly chopped liver.






Rear Window     When you think about it, the people in this near-perfect movie do some awfully peculiar things.  Middle-aged Jimmy Stewart, confined by a broken leg to a wheelchair, treats gorgeous Grace Kelly as if she is Thelma Ritter.  I take that back, because he is actually nicer to Thelma:  He allows her to give him back rubs.  Meanwhile, across the courtyard, gay actor Raymond Burr spends much of the film dressed like a slob and behaving like most heterosexual men:  bickering with his wife.  At least the dog is normal.


Hitch7 Hitch8









Psycho     Frankly, I’m a little tired of this film.  That’s not a knock on the movie; I’ve simply seen it too many times over the years.  So I suppose if I’m really stranded on a desert island, I’d skip this shocker, just because I know it too well.  So let’s pretend that you are the person stuck on that island, and you’ve never seen Psycho.  It should be fourth on your list.


Hitch11 Hitch12




And finally … The BirdsFrenzyNotoriousStrangers on a Train?  Regretfully, I will have to pick Lifeboat.  After all, I need something to get me off that damned island.




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