by Ethel Lina White


Possibly because this was White’s first published mystery novel, Put Out the Light isn’t quite on par with her later, more-polished works like The Lady Vanishes and The Spiral Staircase (my reviews of them here and here).

But White does create one truly memorable villain in “Anthea Vine.” Vain, scornful, and sharp as a tack, the wealthy spinster (White’s word, not mine) personifies a 1930s career woman who evokes either empathy or disdain — depending on your perspective, I suppose.

The plot: Anthea rules stately Jamaica Court, where cohabitating relatives and visiting sycophants all kiss her butt in hopes of finding favor in her will.

But someone doesn’t want to wait for Anthea to die of natural causes. And then … whodunit?


© 2010-2023 (text only)



This Week on “Culture Wars”



To Boycott, or Not to Boycott


Bud Light was an easy boycott for me. Could have something to do with the fact that I quit drinking 14 years ago.


Target is also an easy boycott. I needed a new coffeemaker, something I might have purchased at Target two weeks ago. Yesterday I got one at my grocery store, instead.



Who needs fucking Bud Light? Who needs fucking Target?





I stopped watching Fox News a couple weeks ago. I’ve been getting my news fix from Newsmax, Tim Pool, YouTube and Twitter.


My advice: If you can’t bring yourself to boycott Budweiser, Target, Fox News, Disney, or professional sports, at least do the next best thing and cut back.





Mayors of sanctuary cities whining about immigrants and demanding taxpayer relief? Fuck them.

They’re getting what they asked for.





Reparations that turn your black neighbors into instant millionaires — at your taxpaying-expense? The idea would have appealed to Charles Manson, who dreamed of instigating a race war.





Henry Kissinger still in the news at age 100? More evidence that only the good die young.




Wish I had a better handle on who would do better in the general election, Trump or DeSantis.

I need a damn crystal ball.




Now that anyone who displeases the left is a racist — thinking of you, bicycle lady — does the word no longer have meaning?





FUBAR on Netflix: The most striking thing about the show, to me, is Arnold’s face.

Aging stars need to accept that wrinkles look much better on them than the freak-show number that plastic surgery does.




My ancestors lived in a village called Sunndalsora, located in central Norway.

I learned from this video that, during the Viking Age, the toughest Vikings in Scandinavia came from Norway. Not Sweden, not Denmark — Norway.

Within Norway, the toughest of the tough Vikings were from central Norway. You guessed it, the same region that includes Sunndalsora.


So don’t fuck with me. If you do, I might feel compelled to rape and pillage.



© 2010-2023 (text only)


A Nightmare on Elm Street


It’s been years, probably decades, since I watched the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. I wanted to see how well it holds up — or doesn’t. My takeaways:


1)  Surprisingly, Freddy Krueger isn’t on screen all that much. Although his presence is very much felt, the emphasis is on the tormented teens and their bad dreams.

2)  The nightmare sequences, with their heavy dependence on set design and special effects, are dated. Sequels and other rip-off horror movies have left A Nightmare on Elm Street in the dust.

3)  The soundtrack is quite good.

4)  Johnny Depp’s debut performance: About what you might expect from a debut performance — not much. The future superstar is practically unrecognizable as one of the teens. And this movie confirms what I’ve always suspected: Depp’s later, odd accent seems to be an invention of his own choosing. There is no affected speech from Depp in this film; he is just an ordinary-sounding bloke.

5)  The indominable John Saxon: I’ll bet that when Saxon launched his Hollywood career, he had no clue that his eventual legacy would be starring in not one, but two groundbreaking horror movies (the other being 1974’s Black Christmas).


Overall, the movie does not hold up as well as contemporaries like Halloween or Alien. But as an example of typical 1980s white-kids-in-suburbia-terrorized-by-fill-in-the-blank, it’s nostalgic fun. It’s just not particularly scary.  Release: 1984  Grade: B


© 2010-2023 (text only)



Compassion Fatigue


What do Dianne Feinstein, John Fetterman, the fat airline passenger, the dead Michael Jackson impersonator, illegal aliens, and transgender pronoun-changers all have in common?

Answer: When they do something bad, you are not allowed to think ill of them, much less punish them. If you do, then you are a “bad” person.


Fuck that. Here is why each of them is undeserving of our sympathy:



Dianne Feinstein — The senator makes feeble-minded Joe Biden look like Albert Einstein. She is physically and mentally incapacitated, and yet there is nothing wrong with her queen-sized ego. Retire already, lady.





John Fetterman — Progressives railed that Donald Trump was “unfit” for office. But because Fetterman suffered a stroke, we are expected to ignore his obvious unfitness (and lack of fashion sense) and simply feel sorry for him.





Fatso on the airplane — Doesn’t matter that she’s obviously a Twinkies addict, the rest of us must accommodate her travel discomfort by paying for her additional space on airplanes. The world is expected to conform to her, not the other way around.





Transgender, et al., pronoun changers — Listen, as far as I’m concerned, you can call yourself whatever you want. But you do not get to change the English language. You are not a “they.” This is another case of the world expected to conform to a bitter minority, not the other way around.





“Asylum seekers” — We need to stop letting the left frame the debate by referring to illegal border crossers as “asylum seekers.” The migrants might call themselves that, but only because it helps them achieve their real goal: better-paying jobs in the U.S. The vast majority of them appear to be healthy young males, not families fleeing from evil dictators.





Jordan Neely — Much like George Floyd, we are all expected to think of this guy as a benign fellow, a Michael Jackson impersonator who had the misfortune of running afoul of a deranged ex-Marine. We must ignore Neely’s scores of criminal offenses, including his penchant for punching 60-year-olds in the face. You know, just like we are expected to ignore Floyd’s penchant for pointing guns at pregnant women.


Screw “compassionate conservatism.” Where is the liberal compassion for pregnant crime victims, minimum-wage-earning citizens, cash-strapped airline passengers, and lovers of the English language?




The Durham Report


I can’t get too excited about this report, which confirms what we already knew about government corruption. I can only get excited if, as a result of the report, big-shot heads begin to roll.

In other words, I will not likely be getting excited.




It’s getting harder to find anything new worth watching on Netflix. I stopped watching Tom Hanks in A Man Called Otto about one-third into the film because, unlike the similar-themed Clint Eastwood movie Gran Torino, Otto was drab and depressing. 




I’ve been playing catchup with Bill Maher’s podcast, Club Random. For the most part, it’s an entertaining show.

I say “for the most part” because, in nearly every episode, Maher lets his Trump Derangement Syndrome get the best of him and cannot resist goading his guest into agreeing with him that “orange man bad.” It’s amusing/annoying to watch this repetitive game, in which Maher tries his damndest to get hesitant guests like Aaron Rodgers, Kid Rock, Adam Carolla, and Jay Leno to join him in venting about Trump.

Much as Trump simply refuses to let go of the 2020 election, Maher simply refuses to let go of Trump.


On the positive side, it’s hard not to be amused at the sight of a drunken Richard Dreyfuss conducting his chat with Maher with his torso half on a chair, and half on the floor.



© 2010-2023 (text only)




(plus my two cents)




By firing and then smearing popular host Tucker Carlson, it looks like Fox News is hellbent on becoming the Anheuser-Busch of cable news.

Alienating your core customers in a misguided attempt to broaden your clientele does not shout: “winning strategy!”

Just as Budweiser’s decision to thumb its nose at Joe Six-Pack has backfired spectacularly, Fox’s dumping of Carlson is going to result in a viewer exodus.





Best-case scenario for Anheuser-Busch: It looks to its left, then to its right, realizes it cannot win, and then reaches out to other corporate behemoths also being blackmailed/extorted by ESG and social-credit proponents. Anheuser-Busch says, “Let’s band together and fight this progressive bullshit.”


Yeah well, I can dream, can’t I?





In my humble opinion, one reason the right can’t seem to gain any ground in the immigration debate is its decision to let the left set the ground rules.

Rather than focus on the core problem — millions of people choosing to break the law, aided and abetted by the Biden administration — the right seems to believe it can persuade by pointing out the plight of the migrants. They are portrayed first and foremost as victims, not as lawbreakers.

Never mind the migrants’ callous disregard of our laws, nor the impact they have on Americans in terms of lowered wages and costly drains on strained social services. No, above all, the bipartisan argument goes, we must slow immigration to help the immigrants.

Whatever you do, do not point out that the migrants willingly put themselves in harm’s way. 





When they eventually shuffle off this mortal coil, I propose that Donald Trump and CNN be buried side by side.

Their story was the ultimate example of a love-hate relationship.





Silly me. I thought that “E-Verify” was already a requirement.





I can’t decide if this Mayorkas guy is stupid, mentally ill, or just plain evil.




Now that House Republicans have finally come up with actual evidence of Joe Biden’s corruption (bank records), it’s disheartening, but not surprising, to observe the mainstream media’s response: crickets.




I’ve been watching Newsmax. Too many of its hosts are media castoffs I’d forgotten about. It’s a place where former talking heads go to die. People like Greta Van Susteren, Dick Morris, and Eric Bolling. Newsmax desperately needs someone with heft. Someone like Tucker Carlson. Or Megyn Kelly.

Carlson and Kelly — now there’s a dynamic duo.

Another downside to watching Newsmax: I had hoped that moving away from Fox might spare me this, but no, those ulcer-inducing, hair-pulling, obnoxious My Pillow ads followed me there.


© 2010-2023 (text only)


Why does her crown look bigger than his? Is that why he looks sad?



British whoop-de-doo over the monarchy


As an American, I fall into the “mixed feelings” camp concerning Britain’s monarchy. I enjoy — sometimes immensely — shows like The Crown, The Queen, and Downton Abbey. The real royal family’s escapades are an endless source of soap-opera entertainment.

Also, I have little doubt that the whole monarchy thing benefits the psychology of Britons. It makes them feel special.

But intellectually and morally, kings and queens seem to me like an anachronistic waste of time, money, and resources.

But hey, so long as my tax dollars don’t go toward any of it, I’m happy to sit back and watch the show.


In related news …


Left, the pride and joy of Britain’s royal family. Right, the pride and joy of America’s royal family.




Political Incorrectness






Yup, methinks it’s time to resurrect the sobriquet so aptly coined by Arnold Schwarzenegger: “girly men.” You know, to describe folks like Dylan Mulvaney.





I suppose we aren’t meant to ascribe literal definitions to the four archetypes described in the Strauss and Howe book The Fourth Turning (my review is here). But it gives me pause to think of myself as a “prophet” when the only thing I can safely predict in life is that the Minnesota Vikings will never win a Super Bowl.

As for the idea of millions of spoiled-brat Millennials acting as the world’s “heroes” … well, God help us.




Red Pilled


In the AllSides chart below, I’ve circled the media I consumed ten years ago in blue, and the media I consume today in red. The Web site circled in purple is the only crossover.

This is what happens when you get older and wiser:









© 2010-2023 (text only)


by Lucy Foley


Foley sets up her murder mystery in classic style: A group of suspects gathers on an isolated, stormy island off the coast of Ireland, each of them harboring dark secrets and motives for murder.


What works:

Using the first-person, present tense, Foley immerses us in the innermost thoughts and feelings of her collection of (mostly) wealthy, privileged characters. They are all very flawed and, well, suspicious.

The setting — a wedding at an ancient castle on the cliffs of a barren island — is suitably atmospheric.

The narrative flow, hopping back and forth in time, adds to the tension rather than being a distraction.


What doesn’t work:

With one exception (the “best man”), Foley’s male characters are more one-dimensional than are the females. They say it’s difficult for male writers to create believable females. Apparently, it is also true that female writers struggle with the psychology of male characters.

The killer reveal is not exactly shocking. When everyone in the story has the means and motive for murder, the person whodunit should probably come as more of a surprise.


© 2010-2023 (text only)


TV Tidbits


Jury Duty


I watched the first two episodes of this Amazon Freevee “mockumentary” and thought they were hilarious. Unlike so many reviewers, I do not use the word “hilarious” lightly, because in my experience very few comedies deserve it.

But Jury Duty, in which a clueless nice guy is unknowingly surrounded by fake jurors, lawyers, bailiffs and a judge, had me laughing out loud — another term I rarely use. This good-natured juror is appointed foreman and participates in a fake trial and fake everything else, all while a supposed documentary crew films the proceedings. Think The Truman Show in a sitcom format.

But a funny thing happened somewhere in the third episode, when situations and characters began to seem contrived to me, a bit too made-for-television. Is the real dupe on this show just its audience?

Say it ain’t so.


The Diplomat


I was a big fan of The West Wing, a lauded show that, in retrospect, sugar-coated what liberals hoped Bill Clinton’s administration was actually like.

Yeah, dream on, liberals. Me included (at the time).

So now, some 25 years later, we have The Diplomat on Netflix, which is written in part by West Wing alumnus Debora Cahn. Like its CBS predecessor, Diplomat features lots of “walk and talk” banter, clever dialogue, and charming characters we are meant to admire.

It is an entertaining show, albeit one that tilts more humorous than the often-heavy-handed drama on West Wing.

But if The Diplomat’s showrunners are hoping that viewers will see their show’s politicos as an enhanced, idealized version of the Biden administration, uh, I have three words: “Let’s go, Brandon!”





LeBron James got nut-slapped by another player during a playoff game.

Yes, I realize it’s not very nice, but I enjoyed seeing the moronic NBA superstar writhing in agony on the floor.






Yes, I get it. Tucker Carlson will do just fine after getting unceremoniously dumped by Fox News. He will find another outlet and make lots of money.

That’s not the point. That’s not what makes Carlson’s canning a bad thing for conservatives.

Like it or not, Fox is a primary source of news for millions of (mostly) conservatives. Many of them will not likely find Carlson on whatever Web site or channel he turns to. Fox will not replace him with another strong, anti-establishment voice.

Nope, it’s bad news all around. Turns out Rupert Murdoch is just another crocodile in the swamp, and the swamp has claimed another victim.




From the Department of “Some Things Never Change”



When I was ten years old, I would have thought this video, in which a hacker jacks off during a Zoom meeting of some local officials (blurred at top left in the picture), was funny as hell.

I still think it’s funny as hell.

(Apparently, board member Adam Sammon in the bottom-right square also has a case of arrested development.)





If this chick is representative of female cops in New York City, it’s little wonder that crime has gone up in the Big Apple. The bad guys probably want to get arrested.


© 2010-2023 (text only)



I miss Craig Ferguson.

I don’t watch late-night talk shows anymore. Not since Ferguson left and not since Kimmel, Fallon, Meyers, and Corden showed their true colors as leftist suck-ups and sellouts.

For all I know, Ferguson is also a true-blue progressive. But the thing is, he was an equal-opportunity celebrity basher. Possibly because he was an “outsider” (Scottish turned American citizen), Ferguson brought a fresh perspective to American political humor.

Plus, he was more entertaining than the clowns who pollute late-night these days.

Come back, Craig. We need you.

Unless, of course, I’m wrong about you and you were just disguising your “wokeness.”





Thanks to A.I. and deep fakes, this could be true, or it could be bogus.

Fucking A.I.








Stone Ridge Creamery Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream. I recommend it.

In the 13-year history of this Web site, I have never pitched a food product. But I am now.

That should tell you how strongly I feel about this.


© 2010-2023 (text only)



Biden does his thing


Putin bonding with his people


Russia’s leader kisses a little boy’s bare belly, the Dalai Lama tries to tongue a kid, and Joe Biden creeps on little girls.

With this kind of “leadership,” is it any wonder that so many people think it’s fine if grown men in thongs twerk their sweaty butts in the faces of children?




I used to have mixed feelings about government leakers like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. Not anymore.

Now that we understand the level of corruption in the Deep State, the military and intelligence communities, what we need is more whistleblowers, not fewer.





Here’s a litmus test to discern which Fox News hosts are establishment lackeys, and which are pro-regular people: observe how they cover this online leak about Ukraine.

Tucker Carlson emphasized the lies we’ve been told about Ukraine — by Biden, the military, and hawks in general — while Neil Cavuto had his panties in a bunch about the 21-year-old leaker. When Cavuto guest John Ratcliffe tried to steer the conversation to those lies (“The Biden administration was misleading the American people”), Cavuto quickly changed the subject back to the leaker.

Yes, fatso establishment boy Cavuto sucks.




Speaking of fatso Cavuto, there’s nothing like watching him and fellow fatso Karl Rove whine about Donald Trump ads that insult fatsos Chris Christie and Bill Barr. “This stuff has gotta stop,” Cavuto huffed. “Let’s slim it down,” said Rove.

The only problem, which neither Cavuto nor Rove brought up, is that Trump himself is a fatso.





I’m sorry, French protestors, because I’m sure Emmanuel Macron and his government are just as corrupt as ours. However … as an American who doesn’t qualify for full retirement until the age of 67, it’s hard for me to summon much empathy for you having to work until age 64. Especially when you expect us to pick up most of the tab for NATO — your national security — while you enjoy weeks and weeks of vacation time.




There’s no other way to describe it: Tim Pool’s live podcast Friday from Austin, Texas was an unmitigated disaster. The sound was inconsistent and often unintelligible, the picture was crap, and after 45 minutes of suffering through the production, I had to stop watching because it was, well, unwatchable.

Too bad, because Pool had a pretty good lineup of guests: Alex Jones, Blaire White, Michael Malice, and Alex Stein. But if Pool wants to keep taking his show on the road, he’s going to have to suck it up and hire some professional technicians who know what they’re doing.

You’re never going to win the culture war if your podcast resembles a third-grade talent show.





The Bud Light controversy brings to mind the infamous “Heidi Bowl” of 1968. Remember that one? In the closing minutes of a tight game between the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders, NBC decided to cut away from the cliffhanger so that a scheduled showing of Heidi would not be delayed. Bad decision. Outrage ensued.

Fast forward to 2023 and Anheuser-Busch’s decision to align top-selling Bud Light with weirdo Dylan Mulvaney.

Great move by the marketing executive pictured above. I mean, who better to understand the tastes of beer-swilling (mostly) male customers than a privileged, woke, young white woman? If only the Neanderthals could be exposed to dress-wearing, TikTokking Mulvaney, surely they would see how fun he is and raise a toast to their new role model — right?





© 2010-2023 (text only)