by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt

 

Here’s the thing about current-affairs books — they tend to have a short shelf life. What was eye-opening in 2018 can feel ho-hum today. If you happen to be a news junkie, like me, reading The Coddling of the American Mind in 2021 feels like revisiting old news, even though the book is just a few years old.

And yet that’s a compliment to the authors. So much of what they describe in Coddling — concepts that seemed fresh in 2018 — is now omnipresent on media news outlets. That’s a testament to their powers of persuasion.

What Lukianoff and Haidt describe (in case you haven’t guessed from the title) is the concept of “safetyism” and its harmful effects on society in general, and schools in particular. Safetyism, they claim, is introduced by over-protective parents, continued by college administrators, and then spread throughout the greater society. Hence, the “snowflake.” Hence, social problems galore.

But you probably already knew that. You, like me, should have read this book in 2018.

 

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I’m thinking that Fauci would make a great Bond villain. In fact, he might turn out to be one of the greatest villains of the 21st century.

Put that on your magazine cover.

 

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What happened on that New Mexico movie set was a tragedy, no question.

But it’s hard to summon much sympathy for Alec Baldwin, who seemed to take glee in condemning the cop in this fatal shooting:

 

 

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I’m more of an “ass man” than a “tits man” (no offense, tits; I like you too), so I don’t have a problem with the new shorts that Hooters is trying to introduce for its female employees. I can understand, though, why some girls are against it. After all, it’s easier to accentuate your assets up top, what with push-up bras and whatever else they use, than it is to disguise a flabby ass.

But these TikTok girls who are making a fuss about the shorts are lying to us. They claim they don’t want to be exposed, down low, on the job, and they exhibit how awful that is by wearing the shorts and … exposing their down low to the world. Yeah, right.

But since the girls are hellbent on showing us how awful the shorts are, we feel obligated to help advance their cause:

 

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This Biden-Beavis thing might be funny except for the fact that anything Biden-related is no longer funny. It’s nightmarish.

 

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The Trip

 

I’m not normally a fan of gross-out humor, which is too often witless and juvenile. And I’m not attracted to gore, which I find a bore. So why am I recommending Norway’s The Trip, which is loaded with gross-outs and gore? Because when done right it can be funny, and The Trip is a black comedy that made me LOL — an event so rare for me that when it does happen, I simply must praise the film.

Noomi Rapace and Aksel Hennie play a married couple who are ostensibly taking a relaxing holiday trip to their lakeside cabin. But peace and prosperity are not in their cards. The plot starts out like The War of the Roses, but then … shit happens. Literally. To say more would be a spoiler, so I’ll shut up now. Release: 2021 Grade: B+

 

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I just finished watching There’s Someone Inside Your House on Netflix. In some ways, the movie was comforting. It’s nice to know that 40 years after I was first exposed to this kind of junk, young people are still transfixed by slasher movies in which other young people get slashed.

On the other hand, watching the flick was dispiriting. Since the 1970s, movies like this nearly always featured nubile young starlets getting naked. This was done, presumably, to cater to the lust of males in the audience — not to mention the leering producers and crew on set.

No such luck in There’s Someone Inside Your House. The movie certainly has nubile young starlets, including final girl/star Sydney Park (pictured above). But no one shows skin. (As a consolation for horny males, Park does treat us to tits and ass in her Instagram posts. See below.)

 

 

But I miss the gratuitous skin in teen slasher flicks — or, for that matter, in sex comedies. Everyone involved back then seemed to understand that bare-naked actresses were not essential to the plot, but they got naked anyway. And if this was degrading to the actress, well, she wasn’t held at gunpoint. She got paid. Like starlet Karen Wood in this shamelessly gratuitous — some would say humiliating — scene from 1985’s Screwballs II (originally titled Loose Screws):

 

Karen Wood

 

“I’m ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille.”

 

Not just bare-breasted, but groped as well.


In addition to the cluster of actors, there would also be an off-camera crew taking in the action.


 

The end of the gratuitous nude scene in mainstream movies — what caused this cultural calamity? Was it overzealous feminists? Harvey Weinstein? An Internet where the most disgusting and dehumanizing pornography is just one click away, and a cultural desire to compensate for that by sanitizing mainstream fare? All of the above?

Depending on how despondent we become thinking about the demise of the gratuitous nude scene, we might or might not make this an ongoing category at The Grouchy Editor. We have nostalgia for movies and starlets who knew that what they were doing was naughty — but did it anyway.

 

Karen makes a dash for the exit.

 

Sydney shows us the back door.

 

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I have mixed feelings about the resurrection of Cops (the TV show — although Officer Friendly rising from the dead might be kind of interesting). On the one hand, I’m not a fan of cancel culture, so when a small group of angry radicals on Twitter does not get its way, for once, that’s welcome news. However … I never cared much for Cops because it exploits poor people at the worst moments of their lives. All in the name of entertainment.

What’s that, you say? The downtrodden deplorables can always refuse to be on the show by declining to sign a release? Technically true, or so I’ve read.

But if you’ve ever been snared by the criminal justice system, you know there’s enormous pressure to please the cop/judge/parole officer, or whoever controls your fate. If you sense that they want you to be on the show (because they will also get to be on TV), you’ll probably sign the damn release. Anything to make your life a bit easier.

Finally, I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate that most of the working-class subjects of Cops do not have high-priced lawyers or media consultants to advise them on the long-term consequences of their appearance on the show. At least on Jerry Springer, the guests know what they’re in for.

 

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Sorry, but I have little interest in Adele or her new album. As a non-fan who does not follow her travails in the entertainment media, Adele strikes me as the British version of Taylor Swift — a singer who whines a lot.

 

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Survivor, like its CBS cousin Big Brother, has gone all “woke.” This is bad news for CBS cameramen and horny males in the audience, because hot chicks and gratuitous T&A shots are rapidly becoming no-nos. But we dirty old men still get a few breadcrumbs, such as these shots of 20-year-old Liana Wallace’s booty:

 

 

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From the “Department of Stories We Don’t Worry Enough About”

 

 

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Vaccine Hysteria

 

I wonder if the people who are demanding that everyone get the virus vaccine recognize themselves in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Just like the vaccine-demanders in 2021, the pod people in Snatchers are encouraged to snitch on holdouts, shame them in public, and not rest until everyone conforms to what their leaders demand.

The original Snatchers is generally interpreted as a critique of the 1950s red scare.

Today the bad guys are neighbors who rat you out or sit silent while the state attempts to force everyone to bend to its will.

 

 

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I keep reading that the best way to undo the damage done by progressives during the Biden regime is to vote the bastards out of office in next year’s election.

Problem is, the fruit loops in charge have done so much harm, so fast, that I’m not sure we can wait that long. Voting them out of office will be too little, too late.

Exhibit A: illegal immigration. The only way to “undo” the harm done by opening the floodgates to hundreds of thousands — millions, if you count the illegals already here — of newcomers draining the system is massive deportations.

But how would you like to be the president in charge of that, accused by leftist media of “tearing families apart”? I can see the headlines now, comparing that unlucky president to Hitler rounding up the Jews in Nazi Germany.

 

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Yeah, I can relate to poor Webber.

I haven’t attended that many plays during my days here on Earth, but I’ve only walked out of one. Back in the early 1990s, a touring production of Webber’s Cats came to Dallas. I could not make it through the first act. My then-wife and I made a dash for the exit.

I did not, however, buy a therapy dog.

 

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I finished Denmark’s The Killing, and the show mostly lives up to its positive hype. There are twenty (long) episodes, but nearly all of them are absorbing and certainly “binge worthy.”

The one thing I preferred about the American remake was the ending, in which we finally found out Who Done It. The Danish finale was a bit anti-climactic; not so with AMC’s version.

 

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My Twitter suspension is over. Not at all sure whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

 

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Rip’s Lament

 

“Suspended from Twitter. Again. At this point, I pretty much consider it a badge of honor.

“My sin? A certain politician was quoted as saying things could only ‘go back to normal’ if 98 percent of the population got vaccinated. I simply voiced my opinion that things would only ‘go back to normal’ if something, uh, rather unfortunate happens to that politician.”

 

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Yeah … I guess so.

Problem is, the depiction of rich American capitalists as foul-mouthed, lecherous, sociopathic sadists is so broad and hyperbolic that it’s almost comical. That broadside at “capitalism,” featured in the closing episodes, is one of the show’s few weak points.

 

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Biden and his “advisors” are criminals who are destroying the country. That’s all you need to know.

 

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TV Updates

 

Netflix’s Squid Game is getting a lot of positive buzz, and deservedly so. If I describe the show’s plot, you might immediately think of The Hunger Games. Or Battle Royale. Or, going back even farther, The Most Dangerous Game.

As in those earlier movies, Squid presents a group of people put into an untenable situation: Kill or be killed.

Been there, done that, you might understandably conclude.

But here’s what distinguishes Squid from its thematic forebears: In this case, enough thought has been put into the characters so that, as a viewer, you will care about who wins and who loses. You will root for some and hiss at others. Sorry, but in The Hunger Games, I really only gave a damn about Jennifer Lawrence because, well, she’s Jennifer Lawrence.

Also, in Squid Game each of the six deadly children’s games the participants are asked to endure is tense and exciting.

 

South Korea is on a Netflix roll. Squid Game’s polar opposite, the comedy/drama/mystery You Are My Spring, was a charming delight. It made me want to move to South Korea.

Squid Game makes me want to stay put. But I highly recommend it.

 

 

Spoiler Alert!

 

 

For years now, I’ve been wanting to watch the much-praised Forbrydelsen (in English, The Crime), which debuted in 2007 and was then remade as an American series called The Killing.

The original was a Danish hit and is credited with inspiring the Nordic noir craze that led to the success of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Bridge, and too many others to mention.

My problem was that Forbrydelsen was hard to find. It was never on Netflix and, as far as I could tell, was only available for purchase on DVD — an expensive purchase, at that.

But it’s now available on Amazon Prime, and I’m about halfway through the first season. So far, it almost lives up to expectations. I say “almost” because I did something very foolish. I watched the American remake when it aired on AMC, and now I’m cognizant (I think) of too many plot elements that are too like The Killing.

In other words, I spoiled it for myself. But I highly recommend it.

 

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The last thing I want is to be associated with lunatic liberals like Ilhan Omar, but here is my mini-anti-Israel rant: Why do I see so many Israeli ads (often on Fox News) begging for money to aid that country’s poor?

I’m certainly not anti-charity, but aren’t there countries in Africa and elsewhere that, unlike Israel, don’t already sweep in billions of American taxpayer dollars, yet don’t bombard us with commercials asking for more, more, more? Isn’t Israel considered a relatively wealthy nation?

Just asking.

 

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Wow. Whenever they compile a list of best and worst Friday movies (yes, they do this), this one usually winds up near the bottom of the rankings.  This writer must be, like me, a Debi Sue Voorhees fan.

 

© 2010-2021 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

 

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Lawrence Jones might not be the most polished anchor on Fox News, but he’s often the most entertaining. Check out the reaction by Joe Concha during this exchange between Lawrence and Congressman Byron Donalds:

 

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Hopefully, this means that we will never again have to sit through a movie or TV show about the 1950s Hollywood blacklist, now that our celebrities have all embraced McCarthyism.

 

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Battle of the Best Butts!

 

 

Mask-less A.O.C., surrounded by mask-less “elites” and mask-wearing slaves, er, servants, stuck her rear into a camera to let her constituents — and everyone else — know exactly what she thinks of them.

 

 

Meanwhile, at the Video Music Awards, 35-year-old Megan Fox reminded all of us that she still has a dynamite derriere and that she also has a 31-year-old “daddy.”

 

 

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I’ve grown a bit weary of everyone’s surprise or outrage over the latest scandal or double-standard perpetrated by the Democrats. Whether it’s a botched Afghanistan evacuation, an invasion of unvaccinated immigrants at the border, or whatever comes out of Joe Biden’s mouth, we are way past the time of accepting “oops” as an explanation.

Apparently, Democrats have noticed how well “oops” works for Twitter every time it “accidentally” silences another conservative voice.

Too much of this stuff is deliberate, and certainly not a mistake.

 

© 2010-2021 grouchyeditor.com (text only)

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The Voyeurs

 

Here’s the thing about stupid erotic thrillers: If the movie can manage to keep me entertained, I am willing to forgive any number of gaping plot holes, ridiculous twists, and bad acting. So long as the filmmakers don’t take their movie too seriously, neither will I.

Amazon’s The Voyeurs is certainly guilty of the three cinematic sins listed above, but I kept watching for several reasons: 1)  I’m a sucker for movies that take their inspiration from Hitchcock and De Palma, and Voyeurs, in which our heroes make the mistake of spying on their sexy, intriguing neighbors, does exactly that. 2)  The twist ending is unbelievable, sure, but rather than try to hide that unfortunate fact, Voyeurs embraces it. 3)  Star Sydney Sweeney (pictured above), totally unconvincing as a respected optometrist, is utterly convincing as a woman with spectacular boobs.

And Ben Hardy, as the charismatic villain, proves that at least one member of the cast can act.  Release: 2021 Grade: B-

 

Natasha Liu Bordizzo, left, also gets naked.

 

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The Vast of Night

 

Don’t go into The Vast of Night expecting Spielbergian spectacle, a la Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Do go in expecting — dare I say it? — a more realistic depiction of what a visit from space aliens might be like, should the creatures decide to drop in on a small New Mexico town in the late 1950s. Simple, straightforward, and above all, atmospheric as hell, this little film is a creepy gem. Release: 2019 Grade: A-

 

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