Monthly Archives: June 2023

Stars on Mars


Clearly, there is something wrong with me between the ears.


You can make a strong argument that all reality shows are stupid and fake — some more than others.

For some inexplicable reason, I am drawn to the dumbest of the dumb, the fakest of the fake reality shows. For example, I recently watched the reboot of The Surreal Life and enjoyed it. Now I am hooked on an even sillier reality show, Stars on Mars.

Stars was filmed in the Australian desert, where 12 celebrities are stranded in a fake habitat on landscape meant to resemble Mars. The “stars” are Marshawn Lynch, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Lance Armstrong, Natasha Leggero, Adam Rippon, Tallulah Willis, Tinashe, Richard Sherman, Ronda Rousey, Tom Schwartz, Ariel Winter, and Porsha Williams. Yeah, I don’t know half of them, either.

Everything is obviously staged. I’ve seen the first three episodes and plan to watch the rest.

I think I enjoy this type of nonsense largely because of the casting. It’s basically the odd couple — times six. William Shatner hosts and mocks a dozen bottom-feeding celebs who compete in pretend challenges on pretend Mars. Some of these people seem to take things very seriously. As if their careers depend on it — which might be the case.

It is all very entertaining.

I am clearly not right in the head.






Sure does look to me like Trump’s guilty … of being a blowhard.

Sure does look to me like Biden’s guilty … of treason.

Of the two offenses, which do you think should be punishable by prison time?





This must be what the critics mean when they say, “America is no longer a serious country.”





Not sure if this is really a “tragedy” or something unfortunate that happened. Aside from the 19-year-old with a foolish father, it’s hard to imagine a less-sympathetic bunch of victims.




So now we are expected to choose, I guess, between three egomaniacal jerks — Putin, Zelenskyy, and the latest contender, a scary-looking dude named Prigozhin.

You go first.





Sure, why not? It’s not like we have any other uses for $6 billion.




I can’t prove it because I don’t have any clout, but I suspect that — Elon Musk or no Elon Musk — I am being “shadow banned” on Twitter.

My Twitter engagements — likes, retweets, links to this site — although never all that impressive, are way down from what they used to be.

My politics haven’t changed. I suspect some closet liberal at Twitter doesn’t like me.


© 2010-2024 (text only)



by Anthony Gilbert


If you’ve never heard of Anthony Gilbert, don’t feel bad; neither had I. Gilbert was just one of scores of writers contributing to the “golden age of detective fiction” a century ago. I am of course familiar with Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers and Mary Roberts Rinehart and a handful of other members of the murder-mystery movement, but like so many writers of that era, Anthony Gilbert has faded into obscurity.

The Tragedy at Freyne is typical of its genre. A celebrated artist apparently commits suicide at his secluded British estate, and there are murder suspects galore. If you read old mysteries, you can predict most of what follows.

Gilbert’s story does have someone filling the usual protagonist role, a la Poirot or Sherlock Holmes, but he’s not particularly memorable. Where Gilbert shines is in the portrayal of female characters — particularly women with dark secrets.

That shouldn’t be too surprising. “Anthony Gilbert” was, in fact, a pen name used by Lucy Beatrice Malleson, a prolific English writer responsible for more than 60 crime novels.


© 2010-2024 (text only)



The Squid Game Effect



I’ve watched the first two episodes of the latest season of Black Mirror (above), and I think … it’s a good show. That’s disappointing.

I say that because Black Mirror used to be a great show.

The problem, methinks, has its genesis in creator Charlie Brooker’s decision in 2016 to leave his British roots and find a new home with Netflix. In other words, Brooker’s Twilight Zone for the 2010s “went Hollywood.”

I think of this trend as “The Squid Game Effect.” Every country wants its own monster hit on Netflix, and so they favor global appeal over local flavor. In doing so, their shows lose charm and distinction.

Ten years ago, I’d watch something on Netflix from Argentina or France or South Korea and I’d love it. There were always parts of these shows that I could not understand, not because of the subtitles but because of my ignorance of foreign culture (this often involved scenes about local laws; why isn’t he allowed to call a lawyer?). But that was OK, because I was learning something new.

Now every country wants its own version of Money Heist. Something generic that everyone everywhere can relate to, all at the same time.

Maybe my attitude makes me a snob, or an anti-globalist. I don’t care. I miss the surprises and idiosyncracies of the old shows. And Black Mirror was better when it was strictly a product of Great Britain.





At this point, I don’t care anymore. It’s my team against your team, and your team is full of shit.





Speaking of teams … if you are a fan who supports pro baseball in general or the Dodgers specifically, you aren’t “part of the problem.” You are the problem.




More of the talent at Fox News needs to follow Tucker Carlson’s lead and walk out the network door (OK, Carlson was shown the door; whatever).

It’s not as if these talking heads, many of them millionaires, are going to wind up living in a cardboard box beneath the freeway.

Show some balls and move to Newsmax or Timcast or Twitter or wherever. Either that or initiate a revolt at the Murdoch channel.





“Lazy fucking grifters” — has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?





Someday, after he’s gone, we’ll find out just how dependent Stephen King was on good editors.

Especially grouchy editors.


© 2010-2024 (text only)


Knock at the Cabin


I haven’t seen all of M. Night Shyamalan’s films, but of those I have, this is the first time since his breakout hit The Sixth Sense in 1999 that he sticks the landing. And the second act. (He always sticks the first act; nobody does initial “hooks” better than Shyamalan.)

Knock at the Cabin was such a pleasant surprise. It doesn’t have a twist to match Sixth Sense, but then very few movies do. But the suspense is there, and the actors are excellent all-around.

Plot: A vengeful God has decided the time is ripe for Armageddon. It’s up to a gay couple and their cute-as-a-button adopted daughter to pacify The Almighty (or something) — by making an unthinkable choice.

Shyamalan nails the premise, the characters, and most of all, the tension. Release: 2023  Grade: B+






Some thrillers are so dumb, stretching their credibility so thin, that you get tired of the nonsense and stop watching them. Other thrillers are also illogical, but it doesn’t matter because they find ways to compensate. Like Missing does.

The action in this film is so fast-paced and entertaining that it’s only after the end credits roll that the plot holes begin to nag at you.

Story: A teen girl’s mother goes missing and it’s up to her and her Gen Z computer skills to uncover skullduggery and save the day. You can probably guess if she’s successful. Release: 2023  Grade: B






Bill Nighy plays a British bureaucrat who, after learning he is terminally ill, attempts to rekindle a zest for life after years of a “zombie-like” existence as a repressed office drone. Through encounters with two young people, Nighy’s widower learns to live again.

This remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru was screen-written by my favorite living novelist, Kazuo Ishiguru (The Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go). That makes sense, because no one depicts loss and death better than Ishiguru, and those themes are dominant in both Living and The Remains of the Day.

But Remains is the more powerful movie, I think, because the ending is so tragic. The stakes were higher for the butler played by Anthony Hopkins, who came oh-so-close to achieving happiness for the first time in his life with a housekeeper played by Emma Thompson.

Nighy’s bureaucrat might be equally stifled, but unlike Hopkins’s butler, he at least found joy earlier in life. Release: 2022  Grade: B+




Terrifier 2


I haven’t done this since I reviewed The Human Centipede, but I’m going to cop out when I grade Terrifier 2, the sequel from director Damien Leone to his 2016 horror movie, Terrifier.

I am not typically a fan of “body horror” (excessive gore, for the geezers out there) films. They are poor substitutes for genuine suspense and scares. But I admire solid craftsmanship, and the word “horror” does imply unpleasant things. On those counts, this long nightmare about “Art the Clown” is as effective as they come.

The upsides: Leone’s stylish direction has a 1970s grindhouse vibe; the Final Girl protagonist and her family are fleshed out (literally, at times) and likeable; money was well spent on production design and special effects; one sequence in particular — featuring Art and a poor girl who winds up with a stump where her arm used to be — is truly horrific.

The downsides: The movie is much too long; the plot is bare bones: homicidal, supernatural clowns terrorize and slaughter young people, ad nauseum, ad nauseous.

Release: 2022  Grades: A- if you like this kind of thing; F if you can’t stomach it.


Tragically, just about the only time director Leone’s camera shows LESS than what we might expect is during star Lauren LaVera’s shower scene. Above, what you see is all you’ll get.


© 2010-2024 (text only)



Culture Wars Victory Tally:


Bud Light, Target, Twitter — Red States Winning

Everything Else — Blue States Winning


Heavy sigh. This shit is going to go on for years.








Is this flying-saucer stuff some kind of orchestrated distraction so that we don’t pay more attention to the crap taking place in politics?

If it’s not just a distraction, then What The Fuck Is It?


Perhaps the visitors from another world are just looking for someplace new to live.

With New York Mayor Eric Adams suggesting that New Yorkers find room for illegal aliens in their homes, maybe the rest of us should think about housing the space aliens in our spare bedrooms. Just a thought.






Toronto pitcher Anthony Bass


If you are a celebrity and simply must weigh in with your political opinions, the worst thing you can do is waffle.

Bass is learning the hard way that trying to appease both sides will only make everyone dislike you.








If The New York Post persists in publishing stories like this one, about a cop who discovered that sex sells, then we feel duty-bound to publish at least one picture of her.

Even if, as in this shot, her butt looks enormous.




At this point, I don’t much care if Trump is “guilty” or “not guilty” of the charges in the indictments against him. Until Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, et al. are also facing charges, to me it’s all just election interference from the authoritarian left.


© 2010-2024 (text only)




I’ve felt for a long time that Donald Trump’s fatal flaw is a stubborn reluctance to recognize the traitors in his own orbit, the backstabbers who insinuate themselves into his inner circle. These modern-day Bruti* include most Republicans in D.C. — swamp creatures like Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Mike Pence — and bureaucrats in his own administration, especially in the intelligence agencies.

And why on Earth does Trump persist in granting interviews to obvious (to most of us) foes like The New York Times? Does he really believe he can sway them to his way of thinking? Is the liberal media Trump’s equivalent of Citizen Kane’s “Rosebud,” something he once loved but lost a long time ago?

Trump is like a little boy who believes that if he’s nice to the schoolyard bully, the mean kid will eventually stop stealing his lunch. Not gonna happen.

Trump can trust a few people, like son Don Jr.

Ivanka and Jared? Not so much.





Elon Musk continues to discover the same type of backstabbing at Twitter that Trump had in office. Thankfully, unlike Trump, once Musk learns the truth about the weasels, he stabs them before they can stab him.




I love me some LandumC goes there on YouTube. The mysterious “LandumC” is a dude who posts short videos about old movies and TV shows, mostly from the 1960s-‘70s. The videos are entertaining, informative and, if you’re a geezer like me, nostalgic.

But LandumC goes a bit overboard in the thumbnails promoting his channel. He has discovered that sex = hits and is carrying this marketing ploy to the extreme. For example, take a look at this thumbnail/heading for the cop show Mannix: **



If you watch the video, you learn that the heading refers to Lucille Ball’s production company pleading with CBS to keep Mannix on the air — and not to sexual hanky-panky involving the actors in this picture.

Be honest (unlike LandumC): Are you thinking about production companies when you read that headline? 








No idea who “Peach” is, but she’s got the right idea.




Oops, he did it again



So let me get this straight. Biden falls on his scrawny ass — again — but we’re not supposed to laugh because he’s old and if we do, then we are “mean.”

Considering that this sick fuck is doing his best to tear down the country, and if there was any real justice he’d be sitting in a prison cell … getting laughed at for repeatedly humiliating yourself in public is the very mildest form of punishment.






  • * You say “Brutuses,” I say “Bruti.” They both seem to be acceptable. Look it up.


  • ** Last week we received a comment from a reader who was unhappy that we haven’t posted enough gratuitous nudity of late. In watching the above Mannix video, we noticed a lovely lass with an amazing ass. Hence, we went down the Francine York rabbit hole. Turns out the actress is from a small town in our home state. Please enjoy this week’s gratuitous nudity, featuring the most famous of Aurora’s areolae:



Joe Mannix checking out Francine



George Peppard enjoying Francine in Cannon for Cordoba



(Click on pics for a larger view)


© 2010-2024 (text only)