Monthly Archives: September 2015



Scream Queens


The premiere of Ryan Murphy’s latest series was amusing, with some very clever bits – especially the texting-murder scene, which was brilliant.

But I’ll be shocked if advocates for the deaf aren’t howling over the depiction of one deaf character. Or perhaps they are howling, and I just can’t hear it.








Conan O’Brien raised hackles over a joke about Fox News bimbos, in particular Jenna Lee (above: “Fox News Anchor or Porn Star?”).

“This trashy comment is not only inappropriate, it’s clearly ridiculous,” sniffed Lee.

It’s a familiar complaint from the offended Lee, much like what we hear from aging Hollywood actresses: Yes, I climbed the ladder to stardom on the strength of my sex appeal, but listen up young women it’s wrong and you shouldn’t do what I did.






From Ben Tracy’s report on diversity in Hollywood for CBS Evening News – “Just 13 percent of female characters on television are African-American. 78 percent are white.”

How dreadful, especially since, according to the U.S. Census for 2014, African Americans constitute … 13 percent of the population.






I’m not sure which is more embarrassing, watching John Boehner blubber like a gin-soaked infant, or watching the American media gush over the pope like teenage girls at a Beatles concert. Too bad there’s no “separation of church and media” in our Constitution.


© 2010-2023 (text only)


by Erik Larson



I get depressed when I think of how little I actually know of American history – or world history, for that matter. I had never heard, for example, of H. H. Holmes, an American serial killer who out-rippered Jack the Ripper, both in the ingenuity of his killings and the number of victims. I also knew next to nothing about the Chicago world’s fair of 1893, which is akin to someone a hundred years from now drawing a blank when asked about The Super Bowl.

In Devil, Larson juxtaposes two story lines – the construction of the Chicago exposition, and the nearby killing spree of 19th-century America’s most prolific murderer, a man born Herman Webster Mudgett but better known as H. H. Holmes, a charismatic doctor who lured unsuspecting fair visitors to his hotel, a gloomy edifice near the fair which the press dubbed Holmes’s “Murder Castle.”

Larson deftly weaves back and forth between the sagas of Holmes and the fair but, somewhat surprisingly, I think his depiction of the creation of the against-all-odds exposition is the more compelling read.


© 2010-2023 (text only)


Liz Collin


“Is that a peanut in your pocket … or are you not happy to see me?”


She’s a journalist and she knows you have a small penis … what could possibly go wrong? (See below.)


Smallest Penis




.             Magoo     Burns


“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?” – Donald Trump ridiculing presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.

Sadly, we do seem to elect presidents in much the same way that we select homecoming kings and queens – appearances matter. In that superficial spirit, here are the physical and/or personal deficits of our illustrious candidates:


  • Chris Christie – The fat boy
  • Ben Carson – The mumbler
  • Rand Paul – The daddy’s boy
  • Marco Rubio – Too young to buy beer
  • Jeb Bush – Another Bush
  • Mike Huckabee – The reverend in Footloose
  • Rick Santorum – The reverend in Footloose
  • Bernie Sanders – Mr. Magoo
  • Hillary Clinton – Mrs. Howell
  • Bobby Jindal – Lighter-skinned Urkel
  • Lindsey Graham – Gay Frank Underwood – or is that redundant?
  • Scott Walker – Who?
  • Ted Cruz – Young Mr. Burns
  • Donald Trump – The frat boy
  • Carly Fiorina – Mr. Ed








.                                       Somali     Amy Holmes

Small-penis bashers “Somali Rose,” left, and TV pundit Amy Holmes


Kings County Saloon is closing its doors for good on Sept. 27. Kings, of course, is home to the Smallest Penis in Brooklyn pageant. This is probably disappointing news for women like WCCO anchor Liz Collin (top of page and below right with Rip van Dinkle), who was pleased to meet pageant contestant Dinkle. When Dinkle gave Liz his penis-pageant business card, she seemed starstruck, gushing to Rip: “I heard about this!”


Rip van Dinkle       Liz Collin


While Collin was tickled by Rip and the contest for miniscule members, other talking heads were not so kind. The following is a recent Twitter exchange between conservative pundit Amy Holmes and “Somali Rose” after Holmes shared a link to Gothamist’s penis-pageant pictures, including the shot of Dinkle above left:









© 2010-2023 (text only)




Does Your Face Hurt? Because It’s …


“I think I know when someone’s flirting with me.” – Carly Fiorina, above, responding with good humor to Donald Trump’s insults about her face. In Trump World, Bernie Sanders is Mr. Magoo, and Fiorina is, apparently, Mr. Ed.


.         Carly2         Ed





I’m not a big Rolling Stones fan, but I’ve found a kindred soul in Keith Richards, who trashed heavy metal and rap music. Richards is correct. Heavy metal is like a screeching cat, all volume and discordant noise, and rap is a monotonous metronome, all beat and no melody. Now get off my lawn.






First impression of Stephen Colbert’s late-night gig:  too much mugging and silliness, not enough good writing or wit. Colbert’s interviews aren’t bad, but his monologues seem aimed at 12-year-olds.




“Social media thrives on divisiveness.” – author Jonathan Franzen, whining about our digital habits.

The people who complain most vociferously about social media are celebrities. It reminds me of the carping from traditional Hollywood when reality TV began to dominate the airwaves 15 years ago. Actors and writers felt threatened by competition from amateurs popping up on shows like American Idol and Survivor. Similarly, people with social clout, like Jonathan Franzen, are used to setting the tone of American culture, and they aren’t happy when Twitter and YouTube spawn competition.








A Canadian bimbo named Nicole Arbour rattled the Internet with a fat-shaming video. On one hand, Arbour’s YouTube rant is vulgar and mean-spirited. On the second hand, I don’t shed tears for the overweight because the overweight didn’t shed tears for me when, as a smoker, I was taxed and banned into near-oblivion. On the third hand — because don’t we all have three hands? — here are naked pictures of Arbour from a low-budget movie called, fittingly, Silent But Deadly.




© 2010-2023 (text only)




Politics in the Twilight Zone


We’ve grown accustomed to bizarre behavior from our Fearless Leaders, especially during election season, but every time we turned on the news this week, it felt like Rod Serling was writing the script:




The Boston Globe did a taped interview with Elizabeth Warren, above, after her well-publicized meeting with Vice President Joe Biden. At first we thought we were watching Warren do a cameo for a sitcom, or perhaps appearing in a Saturday Night Live skit.


The Globe guy would ask a reasonable question, Warren would dodge the question — and the audience would then erupt in what sounded like canned sitcom laughter. It was like they were watching Roseanne and Dan squabble at the kitchen table over Darlene’s latest shenanigans. Very strange.






Famous Catholic Joe Biden gave a speech wearing a yarmulke. Very odd.






Bug-eyed Harris Faulkner sued Hasbro for $5 million because the toy company produced a “Harris Faulkner” hamster. Very weird.






Lanny Davis was exposed in the Clinton e-mails as the most shameless butt kisser in Washington. Here are excerpts from a Lanny e-mail to his queen, in which he pleads for Her Majesty to say nice things about Lanny to a reporter doing a story about him:


My dear friend Hillary:

I hate to email you too much and to ask you for any favors. I feel as if I am taking advantage of a great privilege that you allow me to send you a personal email every so often.

Please please please (note there are three pleases): Do not be bashful or concerned about saying no to my request.

I didn’t want you to feel badly if you have to say no. But then again. The honest to goodness truth is: Aside from Carolyn, my four children, and my immediate family, I consider you to be the best friend and the best person I have met in my long life. You know that from the dedication and appreciation of you I have always felt and expressed to you over four decades.

Best and warmest regards,



All of this weirdness almost makes Trump seem normal. Almost.




We here at Grouchy Editor sincerely appreciate reader comments, especially when they are as incisive and topical as this one:





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It’s a vampire movie, and so parts of it are a tad silly, but when you have a skilled director at the helm and two actresses of above-average caliber in the leads, you get a movie that’s classier and more intelligent than most of its bloodthirsty brethren. Sultry Gemma Arterton and somber Saoirse Ronan play mother and daughter undead on the run from both human and nonhuman tormentors. Neil Jordan’s moody movie is so absorbing that it’s not until the end credits roll that you realize just how much of it strains credibility.  Release: 2013  Grade: B+




Roger Dodger



Who’s the real “ladies’ man” — smooth-talking, bar-hopping, misogynistic Roger Swanson (Campbell Scott), or Roger’s naïve, teenaged nephew (Jesse Eisenberg), whose innocence melts female hearts? We find out the answer, sort of, when 16-year-old Nick spends a wild night on the prowl in New York with his playboy uncle. Eisenberg is good in his first feature film, but Dodger is delicious black comedy mostly thanks to Scott, whose Roger is a pathetic-yet-fascinating train wreck.  Release: 2002  Grade: B+


© 2010-2023 (text only)