Monthly Archives: June 2018

Uncivil Wars

 

 

Silly old man. He’s 72. Probably didn’t realize the Twitter mob would be out for his scalp.

 

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Big Brother is back, but CBS missed out on an opportunity for ratings gold. It should have stocked the house with half Trump supporters, half Trump haters.

Of course, had the network done that, someone would no doubt burn down the house.

 

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The “Old Man” of Pawn Stars fame died. I don’t watch that show anymore; not because I don’t like it, but because I burned out on it.

When I first discovered Pawn Stars, I couldn’t get enough, and I binge-watched episodes for weeks. Same thing with other “reality” shows like recently deceased Anthony Bourdain’s series.

I still like the stars and their shows but, at a certain point, I realized I’d seen enough.

 

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My upstairs neighbor has been blaring music today, loud enough to make my framed Frazetta (look it up) shimmy on the wall. But that’s OK.

If there is one time of day it should be socially acceptable to play deafening music, it’s Saturday afternoons.

 

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I stopped watching late-night talk shows when the hosts stopped making jokes in favor of childish temper tantrums. But James Corden’s 23-minute “carpool karaoke” with Paul McCartney was irresistible. Click here to watch.

 

 

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How to take down your political opponent:

 

Mike Huckabee gave a textbook example of how to insult a political opponent when he went after liberal pundit Donny Deutsch on Saturday.

First, you make it clear to viewers that you’re not even sure who your opponent is. You do this by mispronouncing his name.

Second, you mispronounce it like this:

 

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November 13: Attack on Paris is basically nothing more than a series of interviews with survivors of the 2015 terrorism massacre. But it proves that if you want to truly horrify an audience, sometimes all you have to do is place a camera on people and let them talk.

 

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Not sure what Rip was referring to, but if “when pigs fly” gets the attention of a Playboy model, you have to go with it.

 

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I guess I’m not much of a journalist. The major news story pictured above occurred just 15 miles from where I sat at work on Tuesday, yet I didn’t know about it until the following day.

 

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If they had channels like Science and shows like What on Earth? when I was a kid, I believe I might have pursued a career in science. Well … probably not.

These science shows affect me like the myriad true-crime shows on basic cable: I never deliberately seek them out, but once I land on one of them, I’m hooked.

 

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In the classic movie Laura, a detective played by Dana Andrews grows obsessed with the portrait of a woman he believes is dead.

Is it OK if I grow obsessed with the buttocks of an actress from 40 years ago?

Sadly, although this actress might still be living, I’m guessing her ass no longer looks quite this spectacular:

 

 

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“Do we know if there are still people who are Scotch-taping together the president’s torn-up documents?” – Rachel Maddow grilling a Politico reporter about the latest Donald Trump scandal.

 

I used to think Maddow was one of our top TV journalists, but it looks as if Trump Derangement Syndrome has claimed her.

 

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Question That Refuses To Go Away:

 

“Will this be the year that the United States finally embraces soccer?”

 

Answer That Never Changes:

 

“No.”

 

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A proposal for media writers: If you agree to stop using the term “toxic masculinity,” I’ll agree to stop using the word “feminazi.”

 

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This business of the U.S. government forcibly separating parents from their children is awful.

One can only imagine how psychologically damaged Paul Manafort’s daughters must be, seeing their father get locked up.

 

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Assuming Trump is as devious as some of his detractors believe, I wouldn’t be surprised if he secretly hired celebrity nutcases like Robert De Niro and Samantha Bee to ensure his re-election in 2020.

 

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Random Gripes

 

Coastal media keep sending reporters on “road trips” to Trump Country/Red States/Deplorable Land and then writing articles about what they learn (or don’t learn). What a waste.

Would the New York Times dispatch a reporter to London for two weeks and then let its “London correspondent” write articles about British news from a desk in Manhattan? I think not.

You have to establish permanent bureaus in Omaha or Des Moines or San Antonio or wherever.

 

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The Miss America pageant, struggling to stay relevant in 2018, decided to ditch its swimsuit competition — and lose half of its audience.

How many of us really want to see Miss Tennessee play the piano and discuss global warming? Nope, we tune in to look for cellulite.

 

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So now they are saying that Hereditary (above) is “extremely scary,” a new classic in the horror genre. Well, we shall see. They said that about It Follows, which was good but hardly classic. They said it about The Babadook, which was intriguing but not even remotely scary. So … we shall see.

 

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The media are boring us with stories about Justify, the latest racehorse threatening to win the Triple Crown. Yawn.

I’m sorry, but horses are inherently boring.

By comparison, dogs are not boring. Dogs rescue their families from burning houses in the middle of the night. Dogs eat their deceased owners when they are stuck in the house with no other food. (OK, not sure if that last is true; do they eat their owners?)

But horses? They just look at you and snort.

 

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Can we please abolish the phrase “his (or her) life was ruined by (fill-in-the-blank)” when high-profile people get caught up in scandal?

Monica Lewinsky’s life was not “ruined” by the Clinton affair. Louis C.K. and Charlie Rose did not have their lives “ruined” by self-inflicted scandal.

Unless you are now washing dishes in Dubuque, or you are a Muslim woman caught cheating on your husband in rural Afghanistan, your life was not ruined; it was changed.

 

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If you enjoyed The Shield, check out Israel’s Fauda (above). Like L.A. cop Vic Mackey, Israeli Doron Kavillio is a chunky, complex, hot-tempered antihero battling bad guys and superiors in a show that’s relentlessly suspenseful.

 

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The above quote is from Anthony Bourdain.

I don’t know, man. If even that guy found life unbearable, it makes you wonder how the rest of us manage to soldier on.

 

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The Grand Budapest Hotel

 

I’m not a fan of director Wes Anderson’s breakout film, The Royal Tenenbaums. The movie’s tone is quirky to a fault, and its oddball characters left me cold. The characters in Grand Budapest are also an eccentric bunch, but this time Anderson hits a comic sweet spot.

Ralph Fiennes is especially good as a harried concierge who is falsely accused of murder and on the lam with his loyal “lobby boy.” Anderson’s visuals are endlessly inventive, and he delivers something rare: inspired slapstick for intellectuals. Release: 2014 Grade: A-

 

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The Dinner

 

Richard Gere, Steve Coogan, Laura Linney and Rebecca Hall have more than food on their minds when they convene at a ritzy restaurant to discuss the consequences of a horrific crime involving their kids. The Dinner took me by surprise more than once, because none of its characters are what they first appear to be. The smooth-talking politician might not be so bad, his charming wife might harbor dark impulses, and the “woke” narrator might have major issues.

The movie crams an awful lot of unpleasant subject matter into two hours, including mental illness, privilege, and racism, but it’s also a smart story with unpredictable performances from its quartet of stars.  Release: 2017 Grade: B+

 

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My new Netflix recommendations:

 

 

 

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“I would rather say nothing than to cause more trouble.” — John Goodman with the only sensible quote during the entire Roseanne fiasco.

 

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I suppose that at the end of the day it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans, but if you’re a cliché-hater, talking head John Bussey (above) said “at the end of the day” four times in the space of about two minutes today on Fox.

 

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From The Washington Post:

 

 

No comment.

 

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As a society, we’re making lots of progress.

Eighteen months ago, during the election campaign, we were discussing Trump’s dick size.

Now we’re onto cunts.

 

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