Monthly Archives: August 2018

 

If we’re all watching fake news anyway, why not watch fake news that’s entertaining? That’s why I spent the night watching fake news on YouTube — primarily conspiracy videos.

Google, Twitter and Facebook work hard to censor political views they don’t like, but they have no problem showcasing videos and articles about fake moon landings, or unshaven Stanley Kubrick’s recent return to the Overlook Hotel (below).

 

 

These videos are fun. I began with the fake moon landings, which led me to Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut (in which Stanley filmed Tom Cruise’s then-wife Nicole Kidman, pictured below, in the buff), which led me to a video called “Pedophiles Rule the World,” which led me to Anthony Bourdain’s suspicious suicide in France, which led me to … you get the picture.

 

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These videos kept me up all night. And I didn’t even get to UFOs or the Kennedy assassination.

 

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Surely someone, somewhere, is busy updating “Bette Davis Eyes” to address this important question:

 

 

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If you’re going to borrow from classic high-school comedies, you might as well borrow from the best – movies like Mean Girls, Can’t Buy Me Love, and 16 Candles.

The makers of Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (above) understand this, and that’s why, despite the fact that I hardly fit the film’s target demographic, it never gagged me with a spoon.

 

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When they try to be funny, the Big Brother houseguests usually fall flat. But every so often, CBS cameras capture a gem of an exchange, like this one:

 

 

 

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by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith

 

Near the end of Final Justice: The True Story of the Richest Man Ever Tried for Murder, Charlie Rose interviews multimillionaire Cullen Davis for Rose’s TV show. A Texas jury had just acquitted Davis of killing his wife’s lover and a 12-year-old girl:

 

“Has your life gotten back to normal,” asked Rose in a husky, intimate whisper. “I mean, can you live a normal life ever again?”

“Normal would be walking down the street without being recognized by anybody,” Cullen replied. “That’ll never happen.”

 

Davis was right about that. One day in the 1990s, some 15 years after the 1976 murders, my wife and I were crossing a skyway in downtown Ft. Worth.  I caught the eye of a man headed in the opposite direction: a slight, dapper-looking fellow with a “cat that ate the canary” glint in his eye. He looked first at my wife and then at me. There was a trace of a smile on his thin lips.

It was, I knew instantly, Cullen Davis.

 

Rose gingerly turned the questioning to the murders. “Are you afraid, living in the mansion?” he asked.

 

At about the same time as our Davis sighting in the skyway, we lived near the infamous “murder mansion” on Mockingbird Lane in Ft. Worth. By then, the Davis trials were fading into history and the mansion itself was a long-abandoned wreck. Ghoulish curiosity seekers (including us and our friends) would spend a Saturday or Sunday squeezing through a vandalized plywood barrier to explore the once-lavish, $35 million palace, now dark, musty, and ravaged by souvenir hunters. (I confess that I took a piece of floor-tile from the kitchen – site of one of the murders.)

I mention all this because it’s not often that I read a true-crime book in which the (alleged) killer is someone I’ve seen up-close-and-personal, and whose former home I’ve helped ransack.

But pilfering floor tiles is nothing compared to the hijacking of the judicial system pulled off by Davis and his colorful, apparently conscienceless lawyer, Richard “Racehorse” Haynes, in three trials conducted in the late 1970s.

You think the O.J. Simpson trial was a miscarriage of justice? Check out the Davis trials, in which multiple witnesses — including victims shot point-blank by “a man in black” — identified Davis as the perpetrator, and yet Texas juries could not bring themselves to convict.

Apparently, jurors were awestruck by the strange little man’s wealth and charisma.

I certainly wasn’t awestruck when I locked eyes with Davis in that skyway, nor when I trespassed in the cavernous halls and living rooms of his haunted house.  I was creeped out.

 

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OK, OK. Congressional candidates don’t have “running mates.” We know that, but that would spoil the joke.

 

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences message to Hollywood with its new “best popular film” Oscar category:

 

“Your movie sucks, but it did make a lot of money from the Deplorables, and we like that, so here’s a little naked man for you.”

 

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So let’s see … isn’t that “cultural appropriation” times three?

 

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I don’t care what your politics are, funny is funny, and this “interview” with former sheriff Joe Arpaio is pretty damn funny.

 

© 2010-2018 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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The Mansion

grouchyeditor.com Mansion

 

I have a real weakness for horror movies in which a group of people are trapped at some isolated location and then snuffed out, one by one. This kind of film can have amateurish acting, sloppy cinematography, and a plot as tired as grandma’s bunions, and I’ll likely still watch it. The Mansion, a mix of (mostly) comedy and horror from France, is no And Then There Were None, but if you share my weakness for this genre you’ll enjoy the creepy old house and the systematic offing of numerous knuckleheads — one by one. Release: 2017 Grade: C+

 

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Reporters!

 

 

“What an asshole!”

 

– Fox’s Dana Perino on live TV, decrying some knucklehead who brought an alligator into a convenience store.

 

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“We reached out to [CBS honcho Leslie] Moonves and CBS for comment, but did not hear back.”

 

 – CBS reporter Anna Werner, essentially saying: “I reached out to myself for comment, but did not hear back.”

 

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“They aren’t being nice to me, and I don’t like it!”

 

– CNN’s Jim Acosta whining about anti-CNN, pro-Trump crowds.

OK, he didn’t really say that — we think.

 

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