Monthly Archives: January 2015

Buttwipe

 

Deflated Ass of the Week:

 

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who lectured us about the “integrity” of a league that routinely extorts millions of dollars from taxpayers to build stadiums with seats that only the one percent can afford to buy, while Goodell pockets $300 million in personal salary.

 

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PinskyValeGrace

 

I have to wonder if HLN gasbags Drew Pinsky and Nancy Grace enjoy sharing Tuesday prime time with the king of YouTube farts, Jack Vale.

 

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A high-school student was caught on video pummeling a teacher who had the temerity to take away the kid’s cell phone.  Dr. Keith Ablow’s analysis for Fox News:  “The reason this has gone national, and viral, is because we all know now how connected we are to these devices.  Mobile technology has become integrated into our psyches.”

Silly me.  I thought the video went viral because it shows a high-school student pummeling his teacher.

 

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How to Ensure No One Will Watch Your Show:

“You’ve all now seen the inside of my colon.  I’m sorry.” – Morgan Spurlock, plugging his filmed colonoscopy.

 

 

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The Voice of Authority:

 

“I don’t believe he’s [Mitt Romney] not gonna run.” – Fox ace political analyst Stacey Dash.  I had been waiting for Charles Krauthammer’s opinion about Romney’s surprise exit, but now that Dash has spoken, I consider the matter settled.

 

 

Another Voice of Authority:

 

“America is at its most puritanical.” – Lena Dunham, complaining about something.   But Lena has a point.  Some of us recall growing up in the 1960s and watching uninhibited fare like The Dick van Dyke Show, in which Dick might be seen “motorboating” Mary Tyler Moore over the kitchen sink.

 

 

Dick

 

If only America weren’t so prudish today, perhaps Lena could do something like that on Girls.

 

Girls

 

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Panic Clock

 

Scientists have set the hands of their infamous “doomsday clock” to three minutes to midnight.  But what happens when daylight saving time rolls around — do they move the clock ahead an hour?

 

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Eastwood  Wayne

 

Clint Eastwood is apparently this generation’s John Wayne:  He makes entertaining movies that have an, uh, “interesting” take on reality.

 

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How to Get Bullied on the Internet

 

RightBullies

To get bullied from the right — criticize Chris Kyle

 

LeftBullies

To get bullied from the left — support Billy Crystal

 

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“Only in America could a story like this get this big.” – Dana Perino about “Deflategate”

Not really, Dana.  In Europe, soccer fans riot and trample each other to death.  In South America, soccer fans storm the field and behead referees.  But in America, we make jokes about “balls.”

 

Wish I could get more worked up over this deflated-balls controversy, but I can’t.  I have a feeling that if 99 percent of the players and coaches in the NFL thought they could get away with cheating, they would go ahead and cheat.

 

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And last and least, today is the “Weekly Review’s” fifth anniversary.  What, us worry?

 

Alfred

 

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Wallander

 

I love me some Kenneth Branagh, and I’ve enjoyed his portrayal of the Swedish detective Wallander on PBS, but I recently binge-watched Sweden’s original TV version of the hangdog hero and man, now that I’ve seen Krister Henriksson’s (above) rendition of Wallander, there simply is no other Wallander.

 

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Happiest Oscar-Nominations Surprise:

The Lego Movie got stiffed.  It was technically impressive, but other than that its appeal was strictly at the third-grade level – which is apparently where 96 percent of the nation’s film critics reside, per Rotten Tomatoes.  Everything is awesome, my ass.

 

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Taylor

 

To borrow a phrase that I hate from teenage girls:  I … can’t … even …

 

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I’d write something about Allison Williams’s rear end this week, but I already did that a few weeks ago.  Instead, let me express my sympathies to her father, Brian, who no doubt is still contending with vanilla cake jokes at work.

 

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by Dan Riskin 

Nature

 

Premise:  Mother Nature is not nice.  In fact, she is inherently selfish and cruel, interested only in perpetuating her own DNA, and if there is any hope for the future of mankind, it behooves us to rise above our own hard-wired, self-serving instincts to build a better world.

The Good News:  The book itself is – or should be – an example of how technology can improve the experience of reading.  There are links in the text so that, for example, after you read about a wild bird in the Brazilian rainforest, you can click on a link to watch YouTube videos of that very bird in the Brazilian rainforest.

The Bad News:  The links did not work on my Kindle.  Amazon would not take me to the Amazon.

More Bad News:   Riskin’s decision to link wildlife to humanity’s “seven deadly sins” is often a gimmicky stretch.  Is an insect that eats lots of food truly indulging in “gluttony” – or is it simply acting on instinct?  Is a monkey really “envious” of another monkey’s bowl of grapes – or does it simply crave the grapes?  Riskin’s theories are more successful when he likens human behavior to our animal cousins, less successful when he attributes human-like motivations to animal behavior.

Despite the publisher’s best efforts to convince us that Mother Nature is a unique take on what people are and why they do what they do, this is mostly just a biology book about creepy crawlies.

 

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Cartoon

 

I don’t understand the terrorist mindset.  Seems to me that if you’re going to be outraged by Western media, you might want to direct your anger at art that actually stands a chance of influencing people.

A few years ago, extremists went ballistic over an amateurish video, Innocence of Muslims, that looked like it was produced by Mrs. Spolum’s third-grade students.  Today, we have Kim Jong-un throwing a hissy fit over a piece of Hollywood fluff called The Interview, and French fanatics freaking out over juvenile cartoons published in a magazine nobody’s heard of.

Who could be next on the terrorists’ hit list?  Adam Sandler?

 

 

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Difficult Quiz:

 

CNN

 

Which dude above is CNN’s gay sex-symbol anchorman, and which dudes are his guests?

 

 

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From The Huffington Post:

 

Gay

 

Well, Jones did once tell a national TV audience that Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman “looks good in the shower.”

 

 

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From Politico:

 

Politico

 

Will someone please explain how it is that Boehner can be at his desk smoking a Camel?  Are members of Congress, unlike the rest of us, allowed to smoke cigarettes in public buildings?

 

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Gone Girl

GoneGirl

 

Screenwriter Gillian Flynn’s adaptation of novelist Gillian Flynn’s bestselling book is certainly faithful to the source material, but I don’t see that as such a good thing. Flynn’s twist-filled story – I refuse to call it “clever” because there are so many far-fetched developments – follows the plight of poor Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), who becomes Suspect A when his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) goes missing.  Unfortunately, the head-scratching plot holes that marred Flynn’s book are also present in the film.  On the positive side, this is a David Fincher project, and that means silly story or not, the movie is always watchable.  Release:  2014  Grade:  B

 

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Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale

 

I have no idea how accurately Fruitvale Station depicts the events of New Year’s Day 2009, in which 22-year-old Oscar Grant was slain by police responding to a disturbance at an Oakland train station.  I suspect that the filmmakers put a bit too much sunshine on Grant, portraying him as a young man who was unfailingly kind to strangers, children, dogs, and his mother.  But as a dramatized snapshot of the disconnect between two Americas — black and white, rich and poor, law and lawlessness — Fruitvale is powerful and thought-provoking.  Release:  2013    Grade:  B+

 

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The Interview

Interview

 

Critics want us to believe that when they sit down to review a film, they can be open-minded and objective.  But we all have expectations, and I’ll admit that mine were low for the notorious comedy, The Interview.  The movie, in which James Franco and Seth Rogen play TV journalists asked to assassinate North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, is actually … not bad.  Not great, but not bad.  A lot of the humor is sophomoric, and a little bit of Franco’s mugging goes a long way with me, but the film looks good, its heart is in the right place, and there are some genuinely funny scenes.   Release:  2014   Grade:  B-

 

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CNN

 

New Year’s Resolutions:

 

  • Here’s hoping there are more airplane disasters, so that CNN might finally go to 23-hour airplane-crash coverage and change its name to AC (airplane crash) 360.  One hour per day would be allocated to Anthony Bourdain, who would, of course, review airline food.
  • Here’s hoping the cable-news networks will institute bans on politicians using the following phrases:  “the American people,” “American women,” “African-Americans,” and “Mexican-Americans.”  Those aren’t political coalitions.  American women, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and the American people seem to be just as splintered as any other group.
  • Here’s hoping there will be no more stories about the booming American economy.  Until Joe and Mary Sixpack feel the “booming American economy” in their wallets, they don’t want to hear about Wall Street.

 

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Favre

 

What I Heard:

“I’m not wearing football pants.”

 

What He Actually Said:

“I’m not wearing football pads.”

 

— Brett Favre in a commercial for Copper Fit.  I’m not convinced that Favre is the guy you want talking about not wearing things.

 

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Word That You Didn’t Know Exists:

 

Gruntle

 

So if you are happy with your boss, that makes you a gruntled employee.

 

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