Monthly Archives: September 2019

by Amy Tan

 

As I read The Joy Luck Club, I was reminded of what’s great about books, especially fiction. Here I am, a middle-aged white man living in 2019 America, suddenly immersed in the lives of Chinese women and their Chinese-American daughters, spanning most of the 20th century. It was a bit like snooping in a stranger’s medicine cabinet: Much of what you see there is fascinating; some of it is unfathomable.

Tan is very good at world-building. Open her book to any page and you are immediately absorbed by whatever she’s writing about. Vivid images and memorable metaphors abound. That’s the good news.

Yet if I’m honest … there are eight main characters in the story – four mothers and four daughters – and I often found them indistinguishable. The mothers all suffer hardships and learn valuable life lessons, which they attempt to pass on to their girls. The daughters are all more optimistic but also more foolish. At times I felt I was reading the same story four times over, just with different character names.

But Joy Luck seems relevant to me, some 30 years after its publication, in part because there is so much talk about China today, and it illustrates the gap between the Chinese way of seeing the world, and the American way. The Chinese – at least traditionally – seem to be all about fate and omens and what the West might consider superstition. They see America as a place of much opportunity, but too little wisdom and too much worship at the altar of money.

 

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This week, let’s take potshots at people in the news. People you might like. Or people who are, well, children.

We can do this, at least so far, because no one visits this site, so no one knows what we’re up to. If you are reading this, you probably accidentally clicked on a bad link that brought you here.

We also feel good about taking shots because we are using the plural pronoun “we,” so that “we” can insulate ourselves from potentially angry readers. Or potentially angry reader. You know: “I didn’t write it! She must have written it!”

 

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I’m sorry, but if I’m casting a remake of some evil-child movie like The Bad Seed or Orphan, I’m definitely interviewing this girl. Scary.

 

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“High school girls love me”

 

(click to enlarge and actually be able to read the text)

 

This business of the media digging up old Tweets and videos to trash American citizens is despicable. What’s fun, however, is the business of digging up old Tweets and videos about the media itself. Like this YouTube video of football analyst Cris Collinsworth being a, uh, naughty boy in the 1980s:

 

 

 

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This is how you get blocked by a pretty girl on Twitter. First, you notice her pictures:

 

 

 

 

Then, to make sure she blocks you, you reply to her Tweet like this:

 

 

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Fox News has a reputation for being “Trump’s channel,” but I’ve suspected for quite awhile that some of its anchors/hosts are closeted Swamp creatures and/or “Never Trumpers.”

They just have to be subtle about it because, well, they are on Fox News.

 

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Unbelievable on Netflix is a pretty good show. There are bits of Hollywood “woke”-culture preaching, but for the most part it’s a gripping, if grim, drama.

 

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A Young Man with High Potential

 

Is it just me who finds it off-putting when a perfectly good suspense-drama finds it necessary to include a 10-minute sequence of graphic gore? Young Man concerns a social nerd/computer genius (Adam Ild Rohweder) who falls for a sexy girl (Paulina Galazka), then lets things get out of control and winds up running from the law – a cliché plot, for sure, yet suspenseful and well acted. But when Crime and Punishment veers into Blood Feast, it loses me. Release: 2018  Grade: B-

 

 

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American Horror Story got off to a smashing-good start on Wednesday.

But here’s the thing: American Horror Story always gets off to a smashing-good start. And then it drops off in quality — sometimes quickly, sometimes gradually.

As always, the show has impressive production design and top-notch technical aspects – photography, sound, direction, you name it. Alas and alack, at some point you can expect the story to go off the rails.

 

We could complain about the unrelenting gayness of AHS (see crotch, above), but this is a Ryan Murphy show, so we’re afraid that’s a lost cause.

 

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Politics Makes Depressing Bedfellows

 

It never fails. I will be presented with a choice between Political Position A and Political Position B. I will favor, say, Position B. Later, I will turn on cable news and see someone advocating for my favored position. This person will be repulsive.

I will then be forced to choose: Stay with Position B and become a reluctant ally with this revolting person, or … turn the channel, I guess.

 

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Since “white privilege” is now one of the cardinal sins of American life, will someone please explain why Cokie Roberts – daughter of powerful Democrat politicians and a Wellesley College alumnus – is now being venerated by our media?

 

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If you enjoyed our recent post about the “Flasher King,” here are two girls on a beach – one of them topless and scratching her ass – who spot a naked guy and decide to film him, not realizing that they are also being filmed.

Gotta love Millennials and the age of cell-phone cameras, right?

 

 

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Felicity Huffman is going to prison for 14 days? Hmmm.

One commentator said that, in reality, this will likely amount to 10 or 11 days in prison for the TV star. Someone else said that, due to administrative and processing time, she will likely spend only a few days behind bars.

I fully expect to hear soon that, due to this or due to that, Huffman will really spend two or three minutes in the slammer.

 

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Imagine my surprise and confusion when I read this (apparent) photo caption on the Decider Web site:

 

 

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In our quest to gradually turn The Grouchy Editor into a full-blown porn site (see last week’s video clip from Showtime’s Carnival Row), please enjoy this week’s clip from Power, featuring Candace Neolani Maxwell, also pictured above:

 

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Yet another hot chick

 

 

This isn’t soft-core porn, but if you enjoy hot girls who are actually funny in YouTube videos, here is Lara Fraser from The Daily Dropout:

 

 

If you feel this pivot to hot girls is a bad move by our Web site, consider the alternative: stories about Democrats debating.

We rest our case.

 

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Dave Chappelle ruffled some feathers with his latest Netflix stand-up special, so I had to check it out to see if he would ruffle my feathers.

My feathers are unruffled. I must be getting old.

In one corner, there are social-justice warriors who are offended by Chappelle’s politically incorrect jokes. In the other corner, political pundits like Tim Pool (I seem to be referencing Pool a lot recently; perhaps I need to get out of the house more often, away from YouTube) are hailing Chappelle as a legendary genius.

I watched the special, Sticks & Stones, and thought it was … interesting. That’s my reaction to most comedians these days: They are interesting.

None of them make me actually laugh. The last one to make me laugh out loud was probably Louis C.K., and he’s now branded as a pervert.

I must be getting old. Either that or I’m just a pervert.

 

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Since we’ve established that I’m probably a pervert, enjoy this video of British actress Tamzin Merchant getting poked by some black dude wearing a unicorn costume. Or a centaur costume. Or whatever it is. It’s from Amazon’s new series Carnival Row:

 

 

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