Category: Weekly Reviews


Stranger Things premiered its third season and, thanks to our cultural wars, I was seeing politics everywhere in the first episode.

The villains are Russians. This must be a dig at Trump, and Netflix is virtue signaling to the Russian-collusion crowd, right?

Then again, the story takes place in 1985, when the Cold War was still in full swing, and so who better to play the bad guys than Russians? So maybe it’s not a political statement.


One of the evil Russians is a smoker. This must be a nod to anti-smoking fanatics, right?

Then again, the coolest, funniest guy in the show, Sheriff Hopper (pictured above), is also a smoker. So maybe it’s not a political statement.


Also, if you support the Hollywood boycott of Georgia and its abortion laws, will you put your money where your mouth is?

You should not be watching Stranger Things, because it is filmed in, you guessed it, Georgia.





I’m not sure what these Democrat presidential candidates hope to accomplish with their relentless hyperbole about Trump and, by association, his supporters. Trump is a white nationalist, a neo-Nazi, a homophobe, a misogynist, and a rapist, they say. How could 60 million people vote for him?

So, if you voted for Trump, you hear this rhetoric and might think: “Wow. I supported a guy who is a homophobic, racist, rapist, Nazi, white nationalist – I must be really terrible and must atone by voting for (fill-in-the-blank Democrat).”

Or you might think: “These Democrats are no saints. They lie and slander and will say anything to get elected, including insults thrown at me. I’m no worse than they are. I’m voting for Trump again.”

Which option do you think Trump voters will take?






I’m not a big fan of adults using their children to make political points. But come on now, you idiots are threatening this cutie pie?



© 2010-2019 (text only)

Share soccer    

Let me count the reasons we should hope that the U.S. women’s soccer team gets bumped off in the World Cup:

1) They are poor sports and showoffs; when you win by a score of 13 to zip, celebrating after every goal just tells the world you are a bunch of jerks; 2) the team supposedly represents the U.S., yet one of them protests the national anthem. Why should the country support you when you don’t support the country? 3) they play soccer, which bores the heck out of me. I am supposed to wish you well in a sport I don’t like just because you are female?




To Trump or Not to Trump


The problem with Donald Trump isn’t just Donald Trump; it’s the insane reaction to him. If you’re sick and tired of all the whining and rancor that seems – at least on TV and Twitter – to be tearing the country apart, deciding whom to vote for next year is a devilish dilemma.

On the one hand, Trump is in office as a gigantic “fuck you” to the establishment and the (mostly liberal) status quo. In his role as a “fuck you,” Trump has been an unqualified success. But on the other hand … does anyone really want four more years like the past two howling, snarling, civil-war-inducing years?

If the Democrats had a candidate who is neither 1) completely off the rails and beholden to the radical left, nor 2) pretending to be beholden to the radical left and simply lying to get elected, I think a lot of Trump supporters would switch sides, simply to return to some sense of normalcy. It would be a relief.

But the Dems aren’t doing that. They continue to throw an all-encompassing temper tantrum and threaten to create an entirely new country. So the choice is four more years of Trump, or electing a Democrat whom we hope is lying to us.


** Rosehaven


Good sitcom you are not watching:

Rosehaven, now in its third season. It’s funny. It’s good. Enough said.


© 2010-2019 (text only)


“Kenneth, what is the frequency?”


UFOs and (possible) space aliens continue to make the news.

Tucker Carlson keeps reporting on them, and YouTube features a wealth of UFO-related videos. President Trump was asked this week about the phenomenon.

If you’re a certain age, none of this is particularly new. You recall the above quote, in which a hapless Dan Rather was accosted by a stranger on the street, and you think: “Aha. Sounds like a question some space alien would pose.”



First Theory


My guess is that the aliens have been observing Earthlings for some time and have decided that we are at a tipping point. What tipped the point is the following: Thanks to the Internet, American Deplorables decided that too much wealth and power is in the hands of too few Americans (the “elite”) and said, “enough!” And so they elected Trump. And so we got Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Meanwhile, also thanks to the Internet, Third World denizens decided that too much wealth and power is in the hands of too few people (Americans and Western Europeans) and said, “enough!” And so they are storming the borders of Western Europe and America.

In other words, if Congolese tribal communities weren’t sitting around watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians on their cell phones, none of this would be happening.

The aliens are simply watching these earthly developments, trying to decide whether or not to step in — or they are just enjoying the show.


Second Theory


So how do you recognize a space alien? I suspect it is the Sleepy Eye.

Aliens recognize each other on the street by the distinctive-yet-subtle facial feature of one sleepy eye on a human face. Some of these sleepy-eye aliens are in the public eye, so to speak. Two examples:



                                 Sleepy eye on the right                               Sleepy eye on the left


Lest you make the mistake of thinking that Sleepy Eye Aliens all disguise themselves as older white males, here is another example:


Fox reporter Christina Coleman; sleepy eye on the right


So what does any of this have to do with that stranger accosting Dan Rather on the street? It does not appear that Rather has a sleepy eye. Actually, both of his eyes look somewhat sleepy (below).



My best guess is that Rather had a mote or some other irritation in one of his eyes, and was temporarily afflicted with the alien-recognition cue.




Addendum: If this week’s review seems uncharacteristically off the wall, I blame it on the fact that I am currently reading a book by David Foster Wallace, a famous writer who took his own life in 2008. Wallace was very smart but also a bit weird. I in no way claim that the above post is very smart, but I think we can all agree that it is weird.


Addendum 2: I just recalled that there is a small town in Minnesota named Sleepy Eye. My guess is that Sleepy Eye is in reality an alien hub or base of operations.


© 2010-2019 (text only)


Black Mirror


TV Updates


The Name of the Rose: In case you hadn’t noticed, this is 2019 and the midst of the “Me Too” era. And so if you’re going to remake Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose (there was a 1986 film), it must have a “strong female character.” Or two. Never mind the fact that Eco’s novel and the Sean Connery movie relegated female characters to minor and/or victim status (it’s been awhile since I read the book; perhaps I’ve forgotten something).

Political correctness aside, Sundance TV’s eight-part miniseries, like the 1986 movie, is great fun to look at (it’s set at a mountaintop medieval abbey), and is bolstered by some superb actors.

I’m a sucker for a great villain, and I challenge you to find a better boo-hiss bad guy than Rupert Everett’s Bernardo Gui (below).



Black Mirror: Charlie Brooker’s Twilight Zone for the 2000s remains thought-provoking, and often touching. But something’s missing that was there in the early seasons.

That something, methinks, is the word “clever.” The new season playing on Netflix consists of three movie-length stories that are never dull, but lack that “wow” factor that so distinguished the show when it was an obscure British offering.

Is this change a result of selling out to the American behemoth Netflix, with its (presumable) insistence on casting big-name American stars and writing scripts with happier endings? Or has Brooker simply run out of gas?





You would think that someone in Trump’s inner circle would point out that the above photo op during his interview with George Stephanopoulos resembles nothing so much as a prosecutor grilling a defendant, but then again there are lots of questions about Trump’s inner circle.




I have only recently gotten used to the fact that there is a major league baseball player named Evan Longoria, and now I learn that there is an outfielder for the Detroit Tigers named Christin Stewart.




Some kid pitched a no-hitter and my local paper decided this was a good picture to post in honor of the occasion:



© 2010-2019 (text only)


Hey, I’m an old-timer. I still get most of my news from cable TV and the print media. But they tell me that is not the future. The future, they say, is online. 

I read RealClearPolitics because, at least in theory, the left and the right are evenly represented. You can read what The Daily Caller says about Trump and then you can read what The Daily Beast says about Trump. Somewhere in between all the spin, you hope, lies the truth. I also check TV ratings to see who’s on top, Hannity or Maddow. But the future, they say, is online.

And so I’ve been following the “adpocalypse” on YouTube, in which parent company Google is evidently pissing off every American under 50 years old by haphazardly censoring content providers on both the left and the right, because Google doesn’t seem to know what the hell it’s doing. Or it does know what the hell it’s doing and nobody’s happy about it.

This all began because of a feud between two snot-nosed brats named Steven Crowder (a conservative) and Carlos Maza (a liberal). I watched a bit of their content and decided I don’t like either one of them. They come off as over-educated, whining brats.



                                       Sniveling Carlos                                                 Ranting Steven


Crowder and Maza are both Millennials. The future, they say, is online and the future is Millennials. 

God help all of us.




Lest I be accused of ageism with my tut-tutting about youth online, I should mention that it’s not all so bleak on YouTube. There is a guy named Tim Pool who posts about current events every day, and he seems level-headed, thoughtful, and well-informed. He’s likable. YouTube needs more Tim Pools.


Cool Tim Pool




The Five’s Greg Gutfeld said that, in his opinion, the difference between a psychopath and a normal person is how he or she reacts to the spinning woman in this video:



If you reacted in horror, Gutfeld believes, you are normal. If you laughed hysterically, you lack human empathy and are likely a psychopath.

I watched the video and I was horrified. Once I learned that the woman was going to be OK, I laughed hysterically.





© 2010-2019 (text only)



Four Musings from an Old-Timer


1)  I have two day jobs, one in the white-collar world, and the other in the blue-collar world. The former is in the education field, the latter is in the, uh, warehouse field, I guess.

They have their pros and cons. The white-collar job is quiet, polite, and often boring. The blue-collar job is noisy, chaotic, but rarely boring.

In other words, if you are a functioning alcoholic, go white collar: You can snooze through your hangover. If you are young and energetic, go blue collar. You won’t be bored.

Better yet, win the lottery and just stay home.


2)  With politics, you have to take a break from all the sound and fury, because the depressing bottom line is this:

When Democrats/liberals/progressives criticize the other side, they are often correct: The other side is filled with knaves and scoundrels.

When Republicans/conservatives/Trump criticize the other side, they are often correct: The other side is filled with knaves and scoundrels.

You have to pick your poison.



3)  Unfortunately, I’m beginning to think of school/workplace shootings the same way I think about floods in the Midwest and tourists who fall off cliffs while taking selfies – tragic, but just part of the background noise.


4)  I watched the first episode of season three of Slasher on Netflix.

Big mistake.

It has nudity and gore, which is to be expected from this kind of thing. But mostly, it was “woke” messaging being shoved down the viewer’s throat.


I much preferred High Seas, a new Spanish series also on Netflix (pictured at top).

It’s a great-looking, old-fashioned mystery set on a 1940s ocean liner. If you’re in the mood for that sort of thing, this is that sort of thing.


I looked up the show’s stars and discovered that lead actress Ivana Baquero has a leaked sex tape. Or perhaps it’s from a movie. Conflicting reports.

Either way, you know you want to see it, so here you go:






Normally, this blonde on Fox – Ashley or Ainsley or whatever her name is – doesn’t do anything for me. But goodness … doesn’t she look like she just had a fun roll in the hay?



© 2010-2019 (text only)



UFOs are in the news again. Did they – whoever “they” might be – ever explain the video below to the public?



If you can ignore the corny X Files music and some caption editor’s lame attempts at humor, this is quite the bizarre video.








Of all the loons running for president on the Democrat side, the one who impresses me is Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard (above). She doesn’t seem to have gone over the progressive ledge; unlike her frenzied competitors, she seems even-keeled, level-headed … sane.

Then again, I haven’t really boned up on her positions on every issue, and I do have a tendency to bone up over pretty ladies, so … there’s that.




We here at The Grouchy Editor resolve to do a better job of  “sparking outrage.”

After all, it seems to have worked awfully well for Twitter.




Left-leaning Judge Blocks Trump Initiative


This keeps happening. I would assume that, if and when the Democrats ever regain the presidency, they can expect the Republicans to remember all of this and, when said Democrat president attempts to implement a national policy, it will be blocked by a conservative judge.





Very strange. I thought that was the reason so many women start eating.


© 2010-2019 (text only)





It’s not often that I agree with the boneheads who run San Francisco, but I’m with them on their decision to ban facial recognition use by law enforcement. The argument in favor of the technology is that it will make finding the bad guys much easier.

OK, let’s follow that argument to its logical conclusion: You know what else would make finding the bad guys much easier? Placing cameras in everyone’s living rooms and bedrooms.






Sure, I can see the resemblance.




Usually when celebrities die I shrug it off. Better them than me. But this one hit hard:





This was just a throwaway comment by Neil Cavuto on his show Saturday morning, talking about income inequality:


That’s the kind of attitude – “It’s too bad about the enormous gap between the super-rich and everyone else, but hey, what are you gonna do?” – that’s so infuriating.

Cavuto’s got his (big) piece of the pie, so too bad about the rest of us. Or, as Doris Day might have sung, “Que Sera, Sera.”


** Ivanka Ivanka



© 2010-2019 (text only)



Little Mark Zuckerberg has decided that he and a panel of media “experts” can best determine what should or should not appear on Facebook.

God help all of us.




I think I speak for most Americans when I say that I always get a warm sense of security and well being whenever I hear our president utter his favorite reply to so many questions: “We’ll see what happens!”




Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time writing reviews of books, movies, and TV shows. Sometimes my reviews are just a few paragraphs in length; sometimes they’re longer.

Probably a colossal waste of time.

Probably I could just post a smiley face and simply write: “Should you spend your time on this? Well, you could do worse!”


Black Summer and Quicksand: While neither show merits five out of five stars … you could do worse!




Everything’s rosy in Stuart Varney’s world


I’m sick and tired of blowhards like Stuart Varney and Larry Kudlow crowing about the Trump economy. The Trump economy pleases well-off know-it-alls like Varney, and Masters of the Universe on Wall Street, and economics gurus in academia.

But ask the average Joe or Sally and they will tell you it’s not “the economy,” stupid, it’s your wallet — two very different things.




Venezuela: Oh, by all means let’s meddle in that mess. We’ve proven many times that we’re very good at fixing that sort of thing.

Asked to comment on the situation, President Trump said, “We’ll see what happens!”



© 2010-2019 (text only)