Monthly Archives: June 2016 Brother


I tuned in to CBS and became convinced that I was watching The Human Centipede. But no, it was simply the return of Big Brother, in which a bunch of self-absorbed young people spend the summer with their heads up their ass – or, in the challenge pictured above and below, up someone else’s ass. Brother


The dude in these pictures is James. James has been on Big Brother before. Every summer, James chases after cute girls in the house, although rarely does he find himself with his nose up their butts, as in these pictures. The girls like James, and they flirt with James, but they are never serious about James. Poor James.




Stale Jokes About “Brexit”


These jokes were lame when I thought of them two days ago, but at least they were fresh. Since the time that I thought of them, they have popped up in talk-show monologues and on the Internet. So they are no longer fresh jokes. They are, however, still lame:


Joke 1:  For weeks I ignored stories about “Brexit,” because I thought it was the name of a British soccer team.


Joke 2:


Gone Today, Hair Tomorrow? Boris  Trump




From my local newspaper:

“Nystrom found a baggie containing just under three grams of crack cocaine in Brown’s anal cavity, police said.”

Indeed, sometimes the jokes really do write themselves.



***** Smoke


I don’t understand why our president was forced to quit smoking, presumably to set a good example for America’s youth, while at the same time … Lynch


… our attorney general is allowed to set another kind of example for America’s youth. Can you say, “Let’s tax soda pop”?




Let’s check in again with James. Poor James. Brother Brother


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by Bill Bryson Dribbling


Bryson’s latest book is half travelogue, half opportunity to dish on British history, pop culture, and modern denizens – which is a good thing, because that dishing is where Road mines its abundant humor and charm. The book is a follow-up to Bryson’s 1995 hit, Notes from a Small Island, in which the author crisscrossed the United Kingdom, taking notes and offering an American expatriate’s observations.


Pros:  Bryson’s encounters with locals, especially rural locals, are often laugh-out-loud funny, particularly the dialogue as he recalls it. And his enthusiasm for English landmarks and historical figures is contagious. I’ve never been to England, but this book makes me want to visit – and walk everywhere once I’m there. Man, does Bryson love to walk.

Cons:  Bryson occasionally succumbs to “Get Off My Lawn!” syndrome, in which the grumpy geezer believes everything and every place was better years ago, during his youth, and isn’t afraid to say so. In modern Britain, Bryson carps, litter is everywhere, youth are increasingly boorish, and government projects are misguided. All of that could be true, but I sometimes got the feeling that what Bryson misses more than the England of his youth is the Bill Bryson of his youth.


Inexplicably, toward the end of the book, Bryson feels compelled to vent about his country of origin, decrying the “stupidity” of Americans in general, and conservative Americans in particular. Out of the blue, the author also decides to share his feelings about hot-button political issues of the day.

Am I interested in Bryson’s take on gun control and immigration? Sure, why not. But in a book in which 99 percent of the grumbling is about irksome potholes and overpriced cups of coffee, switching gears to Bryson’s political convictions is out of sync and leaves a sour taste in an otherwise delightful read.


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Share Curb


More TV Crap …

Because the News Is Just Too Damn Depressing


I’m not sure how to react to HBO’s announcement that Curb Your Enthusiasm is being resurrected for a ninth season. Curb might be my all-time favorite comedy series — for its first four or five seasons.

But the quality of the writing gradually declined as the years went by (I recently watched all 80 episodes), which might not be a good sign for Season 9.

Then again, if Larry gets back together with Cheryl (above), wouldn’t that be pretty, pretty cool?


The Guardian


I wouldn’t be presumptuous enough to echo the above statement from a writer at The Guardian, because that would imply that I’ve seen every sitcom of the past 20 years. But I can say that Curb is the best sitcom that I’ve seen in the past 20 years.


** OJ


If you’re only going to watch one O. J. Simpson series this year, skip the ballyhooed FX miniseries, which was entertaining but not all that informative, and catch the documentary that is currently airing on ESPN. Assuming, of course, that you are not burned out on all things O. J. Simpson.




I can’t be the only one who starts watching HLN’s Forensic Files at 1 p.m. and, four hours later, notices that it’s 5 p.m. and I am still watching Forensic Files. Am I?


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This is The Grouchy Editor’s 1,000th post.


In honor of this momentous occasion, we thought we’d post an old favorite, the image that we feel best represents what we stand for: Goat


You’re welcome.


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There is a movie opening this week (pictured above) about a “genius editor” named Maxwell Perkins.


Isn’t “genius editor” a redundant term? Of course it is.




Want to start an online conversation with a stranger? Here’s a surefire method:


A)  Go to a site like The Huffington Post or Drudge Report, select an article, and then find the comments section. It is not necessary to actually read the article or any of the reader comments.

B)  Select a random comment and reply to it with these two words: “Shut up.”

C)  Repeat as necessary. I guarantee that this will start an online conversation.


***** Jerks


They say we get the candidates we deserve. I guess we must have really pissed off the gods this year.

Which of these two insufferable jerks will be our next president? I have to bet on Hillary, for one reason: She’s awful, but she’s smart. Trump is awful, but he’s stupid. Smart trumps stupid. Usually.


***** Carpenters


My musical tastes have never been cool. In the 1970s, I liked disco, the Jackson 5, and the Carpenters. I disliked heavy metal and most of what the critics liked.

I was reminded of this last week when PBS aired a documentary called Close to You: Remembering the Carpenters. Karen and Richard Carpenter were, of course, hokey and schmaltzy and kitschy and sappy. I don’t care. I still like their music.




Random quotes from Red Eye: JoNo


“I currently have scaffolding – I’m on the fifth floor – and there are men who are like, on the thing, and they’re just outside my window. I need thicker drapes, ‘cause and then like, I can’t do anything in my bedroom anymore.” – Joanne Nosuchinsky (above), during a panel discussion of traffic congestion. Yes, traffic congestion.


“There are still guy shows. I mean, I’m sorry, but somebody please tell me that Game of Thrones is not a guy show.” John Podhoretz on Hollywood gender issues.

“You’re right, there’s not enough male nudity.” — Joanne again.






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Share Bourdain


TV Updates


I find it hard to believe that anyone has a better job than Anthony Bourdain, who in Parts Unknown (above) travels the globe on CNN’s tab, eats whatever the hell he wants to eat, and is feted by locals who must pretend to like him so they can be on TV.


** Scream


God help me, the second season of Scream is airing on MTV, and lord love a duck, I’m digging it again. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.


** Cavett


I recently praised old episodes of Johnny Carson’s show, but I think I picked the wrong talk show to recommend. What’s really a joy is watching Dick Cavett interviews on Decades. Who would you rather watch, Carson with Burt Reynolds and Barbara Eden, or Cavett with Groucho Marx and Truman Capote?

On second thought, don’t answer that.




I finished the second season of the podcast Serial, and I was reminded of Jules Verne novels. Verne wrote Around the World in Eighty Days, in which the heroes did not make it around the world in 80 days, and Journey to the Center of the Earth, in which the heroes did not make it to the center of the Earth. Two great novels, certainly, but not with outcomes you might reasonably expect.

In Serial, we hope to resolve a murder mystery (season one) and the Bowe Bergdahl controversy (season two). But having listened to both podcasts, I remain as puzzled as ever.




Cassius Clay died, which is a horrible development for cable-news junkies — not because Clay died, but because now there will be no other news for days on end … and we just got done with that sort of thing after Prince died. The only thing worse is CNN saturation coverage whenever a plane crashes.




Someone named Erin Elmore was defending Donald Trump to Don Lemon on CNN. I had not heard of her, so I Googled Erin Elmore. Apparently, this is the kind of thing that qualifies one as a Trump spokesperson:


.                         Elmore Elmore

(click pictures for larger views)


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Kilo Two Bravo Kilo


Here’s a tense, realistic slice of war in which a small band of British soldiers in Afghanistan gets trapped in a riverbed littered with active landmines. This is the rare thriller in which the gore is not gratuitous, the special effects are actually special, and the term “nail-biter” can be taken literally — I was certainly biting mine. Release: 2014  Grade: A-




Victoria Victoria


Victoria has a gimmick, sure. It’s a 138-minute movie shot in one long take — no edits, no breaks. But once you stop marveling at the technical skill of the filmmakers, the single-shot gimmick actually aids the story, pulling you along with young Victoria as she impulsively hangs out with some bad boys on a night when things go horribly wrong in Berlin. The movie artfully transitions from playful lark to exciting heist to, most surprisingly, a touching finale. Release: 2015 Grade: A-




Everest Everest


We’ll never know exactly what transpired atop Mt. Everest on May 10, 1996, the day that eight climbers expired while attempting to scale the peak, because survivors dispute the details. But I do know two things about 2015’s Everest: 1) as an adventure movie, it boasts climbing scenes that are spectacular and harrowing, and 2) as a human drama, the film is somewhat lacking. When people die every day somewhere on the planet from poverty, natural disasters and senseless violence, it’s hard to muster empathy for a bunch of rich adventurists who perished in pursuit of bragging rights.  Release: 2015  Grade: B


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