Monthly Archives: April 2023

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.


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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.


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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.


© 2010-2024 (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?





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It’s not easy assigning a grade to a documentary like Skin, which chronicles the history of nudity in Hollywood films, because it depends on what the viewer is seeking. So here is a tiered system, based on what I presume might be your expectations from this movie:


a) You are hoping to gain insight into the subject of nudity in mainstream movies, i.e., you want to learn something of value — Grade: C

Although scads of filmmakers, actors and Hollywood insiders are interviewed, their “insights” usually boil down to familiar banalities: “We only do nudity if the scene is integral to the plot,” or, “I was young and needed the money.”


b) You love juicy behind-the-scenes anecdotes about big stars taking it all off for the cameraGrade: B

There are numerous such stories, but your enjoyment will likely hinge on how familiar you are with the players.


c) You are an unabashed voyeur and want to see as many clips as possible of your favorite actors baring allGrade: A

I’m guessing there are hundreds of such clips. You are guaranteed naked nostalgia featuring the scenes that got you hot and bothered all those years ago. This time in high definition.


Release: 2020




Virtual Reality


The threat of artificial intelligence is dominating the news, so it’s little wonder that moviemakers — especially scary-movie makers — are attracted to A.I. themes. In Virtual Reality, a combination of A.I. and V.R. plagues the cast and crew of a slasher flick when they begin to suffer the same bloody fate, in real life, that befalls their counterparts on a movie screen.

Not a bad premise for a horror film, but after an intriguing opening, Virtual Reality doesn’t go anywhere interesting. The Argentinean movie quickly devolves into a frenetic series of predictable fight scenes. Release: 2021  Grade: C


© 2010-2024 (text only)



War Sailor


Three cheers for Norway!

I’ve often wondered why it is always Sweden (Wallander, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Denmark (Borgen, The Killing) that dominate “prestige” shows from Scandinavia, while neighboring Norway seems to settle for cult stuff like 2009’s Dead Snow, a horror comedy about zombie Nazis. That’s right: zombie Nazis.

War Sailor, a three-hour movie-turned-miniseries now streaming on Netflix, is the anti-Dead Snow. The recipe is this: Take some Deer Hunter, toss in a bit of Casablanca and The Best Years of Our Lives, and add three stellar performances from the lead actors. The result?  The best thing from Norway since lefse. (Look it up.)


Left to right: Pal Sverre Hagen, Ine Marie Wilmann, Kristoffer Joner


The plot: At the dawn of World War II, two lifelong friends sign up for an 18-month stint on a Norwegian merchant ship. When Germany occupies Norway, their voyage stretches into years of separation from friends and family in Bergen.

The first two episodes are heavy on action and suspense (very good) while the final hour is pure heartbreaking drama (magnificent). The entire production looks and sounds great, and actors Kristoffer Joner, Ine Marie Wilmann, and Pal Sverre Hagen turn in unforgettable performances.

Zombie Nazis, my ass.





I am bewildered by Jordan Peterson’s YouTube presence. Are there YouTubers who enjoy posting thumbnails of the venerable Canadian that consistently make him appear tearful to downright suicidal?

I’ve never seen so many mournful, hangdog, despondent, just-shoot-me-now-and-put-me-out-of-my-misery images of an individual.

And then there are the apocalyptic headlines ….



Makes me want to send Peterson a box of lefse.


© 2010-2024 (text only)


by Michael Kimmel


Synopsis — Liberal sociologist Kimmel analyzes the phenomenon of America’s “angry white men.” He attributes most of this troublesome development to the decline of their privilege and the emergence of what he calls “aggrieved entitlement.”

It’s a tall order to write a short review of a book dealing with such a complex issue, so I’m summarizing my impressions:


The Bad


The book, published in 2013, is badly outdated. Not Kimmel’s fault, of course. But it was written before the election of Trump, before the emergence of workplace “equity,” before transgender women dominating women’s sports, etcetera. Some of Kimmel’s 2013 conclusions suffer when viewed from the perspective of today’s political climate.

The author tries to have it both ways. Kimmel insists that he can empathize with so-called angry white men because he himself shared — in some cases still does — many of their views. He then spends the rest of his book debunking (almost) all those views.

The lumping-together effect. There isn’t much of an attempt to distinguish the typical, disgruntled conservative male from far-right extremists. My impression is that Kimmel considers them all a “problem” to be solved.

Tens of millions of white men voted for Donald Trump. Does anyone believe that they are all Ku Klux Klan wannabes? Much of this book deals with fringe-group animosity; not enough with regular men. What many ordinary men crave isn’t entitlement; it’s respect.

Language tricks. In a discussion of domestic violence, Kimmel criticizes a researcher who is “careful even to put the word [battered] in quotations when discussing men but not when discussing women.” That’s a grammatical trick that Kimmel himself is not above using. Often.

Also, in his “explanations” of angry males’ complaints (see what I did there?), he invalidates those complaints by using words like “claim,” or “allege.” For example, men don’t simply “say” they suffer discrimination in family courts; they “allege” or “claim” discrimination. In other words, what they are saying is questionable — at best.

To give the appearance of fairness, concede a point or two, generally minor, to the angry white men. But immediately follow up with your contention that any possible legitimate complaint is vastly outweighed by the societal privilege that white men enjoy (or enjoyed).


The Good


A funny thing happens about two-thirds into the book, in a chapter titled “Mad Men.”  Kimmel briefly suspends his use of the annoying term “aggrieved entitlement” (i.e., so many societal ills could be remedied if these spoiled men would simply eat some humble pie and adjust to their new reality) and acknowledges that many of their complaints are (gasp!), in fact justified. In short, Kimmel appears to finally “get it.”

The book’s final chapters. Rather than tribes fighting each other over economic crumbs, the “angry white men” need to join forces with women and minorities to demand change. They share a common enemy: the economic elite. Angry White Men would have been a more convincing book if Kimmel had stuck with this theme.


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If there was any question about whether we are on the verge of a civil war, this Trump indictment by a crooked tub of lard in New York … well. It’s obvious we are not on the verge of a civil war; we are smack-dab in the middle of one.


Baby Boomers have always been a messy bunch (I am one of them). As we head out the door, we are leaving Millennials and Gen Z with the ultimate mess.

You’re welcome.




Are arrested people allowed to flip the bird at the camera in their mugshots? If not, too bad, because that would be an appropriate look for Trump.





I wonder when the woke police will get around to more modern writers. You know, writers like …



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