Monthly Archives: September 2023



Once again, I tell you that I am a teen girl trapped in an old man’s body.

How else to explain that I dig the music of Harry Styles and Miley Cyrus?






The guy who wrote this article comes down pretty hard on the cast of this year’s Survivor, whom he describes as “superfans” and Comic-Con attendees.

One young guy is so flabby that he can’t climb a ladder. A woman decided three days of roughing it was too much and so quit the show at the first tribal council.

I have mixed feelings about these people. It’s true that they seem awfully soft.

On the other hand, who doesn’t love a good trainwreck? These contestants have enormous potential for head-scratching, jaw-dropping antics.




“I think the border is the number two issue … If they don’t get ahold of this corrupt FBI/Department of Justice, we don’t have a country left.” — Devin Nunes


That’s a tough call: government corruption vs. the deluge of illegal immigrants. The first problem leads to the second, so I must agree with Nunes.





How can they cast a show like this without Evel Dick from Big Brother?


© 2010-2024 (text only)




When I was in high school (back in the Dark Ages), the announcement that we would be viewing a documentary was a mixed blessing. Watching a movie — any movie — was always preferable to watching a teacher at the blackboard. But the films themselves were often dry and dull. You had to decide whether to learn about the migration patterns of geese — or take a surreptitious nap when the lights went off.

I thought of this yesterday after I watched The Saint of Second Chances on Netflix, about St. Paul Saints founder and owner Mike Veeck. The film was entertaining … but entertaining to a fault?

Documentaries these days, unlike those long-ago docs about migrating geese, are often more watchable than most fiction offerings on Netflix. But I don’t trust them. (See, for example, the popular-but-tainted Making of a Murderer from 2015.)

Saint borders on hagiography, with many unanswered questions about Veeck’s life, and lots of sugar-coating. At one point, we learn about the rehabilitation and redemption of baseball star Darryl Strawberry, who, we are told, rediscovered his “love of the game” after a short stint with the Saints. I later checked Strawberry’s bio and learned that a few years after his return to Major League Baseball, he was again suspended for drug violations.

I guess he forgot about his love for the game. No mention of his relapse in the movie.

Veeck himself is portrayed as a fun-loving hustler who wanted nothing more than to bring joy to the world. The facts that he was apparently a heavy drinker and, for much of his adult life, an absentee father, are glossed over.

It is an entertaining movie; critics and regular folk alike seem to love it. But is it a “documentary”?

I think we need a new genre description. Perhaps “docufantasy”?





The Upside of A.I.


Now that artificial intelligence has entered the picture, I’d just like to say this: If I manage to offend you with my opinions on this site, just remember that it might not be my ramblings. It could be the opinions of some trouble-making robot.

On the other hand, if you enjoy what you read here, the scribblings were no doubt penned by me.




Am going to add a new category to Reviews in Short: “Would I Watch It Again?”

Now you know.


© 2010-2024 (text only)


by Oscar Wilde


Oscar Wilde’s first published story, The Canterville Ghost, tells the tale of an American family that, upon purchasing an ancient English estate, learns that the house also comes with a nettlesome ghost.

Much to its dismay and despite its best efforts, the ghost more than meets its match in the Otis family.  This is especially true of a pair of mischievous twin boys.

Unlike Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and his plays, Canterville seems to be aimed primarily at children. The trademark Wilde wit is on display, but unlike his later works (yet in keeping with the titular spirit) the story doesn’t have much meat on its bones.


© 2010-2024 (text only)





Rough Week for Political Babes


I once got banned from Twitter for commenting that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has “nice tits.” Little did I know that Corey Lewandowski was telling people that Noem has a “nice ass.”

Now they’re both getting cancelled for not being nice. (Noem and Lewandowski, that is, not the tits and ass.)

Also this week, A.O.C. got booed and Lauren Boebert got groped in a theater (above). It was a tough week to be a babe in politics.





Several years ago I was Web surfing and saw a picture of an actor from some TV show or movie, and I thought she looked familiar. I read the caption and learned that “she” was actually Hal Holbrook:



I thought of this yesterday when I stumbled across a 15-year-old Web page titled “Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians.” This tickled me, so I thought I would share some of the (dated) pictures. Here you go:






Good to know I’m not the only one getting “shadow banned” on X.





Uhhh … your guess is as good as mine.


© 2010-2024 (text only)



by Frances Hodgson Burnett


Plot:  Ten-year-old orphan Mary moves from India to England, where she discovers the titular garden and some “magical” neighbors who greatly improve her outlook on life.

I’m not exactly in the target demo for this book, which is presumably children. But it’s easy to see why Burnett’s 1911 novel is considered a classic, with its vivid depiction of sour-faced Mary and the life lessons — the power of positive thinking; the healing effects of nature — that she and another child absorb at a mysterious mansion in Yorkshire.

Pros:  The fun is in witnessing the gradual transformations of grumpy Mary and an even haughtier boy from spoiled brats to good kids. The Yorkshire dialect is quite amusing, as are the cantankerous dispositions of certain locals.

Cons:  I could do with less of Burnett’s horticultural infatuation, which reminded me of the endless descriptions of masts and decks penned by Herman Melville in Moby Dick (of all books). I get that some authors love to wax rhapsodic about chrysanthemums and poppies and vines but … good grief, enough is enough.


© 2010-2024 (text only)




Trump or death?

OK, I guess.

Why not?





When I’ve had it with politics, culture wars, and any other noise, I gravitate to this YouTube channel, wherein a young woman and her boyfriend describe life in Svalbard, Norway.

Her videos are scenic, peaceful, and addictive. I highly recommend them.




Remember George Will?

Yeah, I don’t either.


Why is it that these bitter old men (looking at you, too, Stephen King) are such big fans of baseball?





I can’t believe that I used to watch this idiot on MSNBC. I should have been warned about his mental instability during those bizarre James Thurber segments he used to air.




Where have you gone, Siskel and Ebert?


From Vulture:



From Rotten Tomatoes:



In the name of “diversity and inclusion,” Rotten Tomatoes critic consensuses are watered down and unreliable.

Bottom line: The scores you see on RT are increasingly reflective of the opinions of snot-nosed college grads who write for politically correct blogs.




Disturbing Trend on Twitter – er, “X”



Once upon a time, pundits would post provocative comments and hope to generate views and comments. Maybe they would get 75 comments.

Now that X is monetizing “engagement” (reader comments), the pundits have learned that it pays to ask questions, instead. Simple “yes or no” questions are best. With any luck, your 75 comments could triple, or quadruple.





Look at those eyes. Look at that sneer. Now tell me that Dick Cheney isn’t evil personified.


© 2010-2024 (text only)



You Won’t Be Alone


“It may strike some as too artsy for its own good.” — from the critics’ consensus about You Won’t Be Alone on Rotten Tomatoes.

Yeah, that might be an understatement.

Actually, the film isn’t so much “too artsy” as it is bleak and slow-moving. The plot involves a peasant girl who, after a fateful encounter with a witch, becomes a sometimes-murderous shapeshifter seeking love and the meaning of life in 19th-century Macedonia.

Individual scenes are mesmerizing, many images are indelible — the photography and score are beautiful. But oh, man, is this movie slow going. Meaningful or meaningless, life is simply too short. Release: 2022  Grade: B-






Groundhog Day meets The Twilight Zone when a bickering couple goes for a scenic jog that never ends in this low-budget indie.

I love a good premise, but when said premise is nothing new, repeated ad nauseam, and leads to an ambiguous denouement that reeks of a screenwriter’s “I can’t think of a good way to end this, so I’ll just have them do something gross” … well, no thanks. Release: 2022  Grade: D




Happy Death Day 2U


Like its predecessor, 2017’s Happy Death Day, this sequel is a mash-up of Groundhog Day, Back to the Future, and Scream. Also, as in the original, the plot is a convoluted mess involving time loops, multiverses, and the “butterfly effect.” And if you’re looking for actual scares, best look elsewhere.

None of that matters. What matters is that it’s all consistently amusing, the characters are likable, and good lord — move over, Jennifer Lawrence. To my mind, Jessica Rothe is the best comic actress working in movies.

And did I mention that the story is also shockingly poignant? Release: 2019  Grade: B+






The first half of Barbarian promises to live up to its lofty 93 percent “fresh” rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The movie is compelling, believable and, above all, suspenseful.

Georgina Campbell plays a young woman who, upon arriving in Detroit for a job interview, learns she must share a rental house with a man played by Bill Skarsgard. Can the handsome stranger be trusted? Are the two of them alone in the small house?

Alas and alack, the second half of the film, in which the story switches gears, is all too familiar to fans of horror flicks: It’s increasingly ridiculous, with our heroine making bone-headed decisions and the plot veering into genre cliches.

If you are a horror-film-lover, as I am, you understand that these days you can’t have nice things — just half of nice things. Release: 2022  Grade: B


© 2010-2024 (text only)




Hey, I’m no spring chicken myself. But this is getting ridiculous:



On the other hand …


Young, Fresh, and Vital!





Nothing “old” about Blue on this season’s Big Brother:





Hey, you voted for this:



I’m sure they are weeping for you in Texas.




Again, Hawaii voted for this “leadership.”


© 2010-2024 (text only)