Commercial Hell


What good is running a Web site if you can’t, from time to time, abuse that awesome power by using the site to vent about your pet peeves?

Answer: no good at all.

And so I am going to bitch about TV commercials that are driving me insane. If I have to watch them, then you have to read my complaints.



I cannot stand the chick pictured above, allegedly the “fittest woman on Earth.”  She is so fit that she no longer resembles an actual woman. In fact, were it not for her high-pitched, nasal voice, I would suspect that she is actually a man. And the music in this commercial is weird. Also, what the hell is




GEICO makes funny commercials. Liberty Mutual does not. Liberty Mutual foists aggressively unfunny ads on the public, like the obscenities featuring the young actor pictured below, who garbles his lines and sends viewers into paroxysms of laughter.




Continuing its relentless assault on all things actually humorous, Liberty Mutual decided that the blooming idiots pictured below are our new Abbott and Costello, or Laurel and Hardy for the 21st century. They are decidedly not. They make me want to vomit.



Last but not least, there is “Randy A.” in a My Pillow commercial. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but he makes my skin crawl when I hear him whine about getting a good night’s sleep “so I can do my job in the morning.” I desperately want to ram several My Pillows up Randy A.’s ass.






Are we all required to refer to this guy by the nickname, “Mayor Pete”? That’s way too cutesy and familiar and I refuse to do it. He is not my buddy. I suspect everyone calls him that because no one is quite sure how to pronounce his last name.




I am ranting about TV ads this week because some self-loathing Swedish airline made a commercial trashing Scandinavian culture by proclaiming it doesn’t exist. The culture, that is, not Scandinavia.

I am of Scandinavian descent. Everyone is just jealous because Scandinavia has the hottest chicks. 


© 2010-2020 (text only)


by Mary Stewart


Why, you might reasonably ask, would I read a 58-year-old book by romance novelist Mary Stewart? OK, let me try to explain.

I was motivated by a mixture of:  a) nostalgia, b) a hankering to read what they call a “cozy” mystery and, last but not least, c) fond memories of … Hayley Mills. She starred in Disney’s film version of the book.

So sue me. Go ahead, sue me.  Moon-Spinners fulfilled my wish list.

By today’s standards, the story is certainly “cozy.” There is no sex; just romance. There is violence, but nothing graphic. There is no swearing. On the whole, it’s very tame stuff, which I suppose is good or bad, depending on your taste.

The plot concerns a young English girl living in Greece who, while on holiday at a small fishing village, stumbles on a gang of thieves, a murder, and a kidnapping. Throughout all of this drama, my mental image of the heroine was Hayley Mills. I enjoyed that, because Mills was my childhood crush.

So sue me.


Footnote:  As for the actual title of this book – to hyphenate or not to hyphenate – I give up. Take a look at this:



© 2010-2020 (text only)



“There’s nothing more dangerous in this world than a pretty girl. Her good looks blind us to all the horrors that go on in her brain.”

– Rip van Dinkle, above




We listened to some of the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp audiotapes. Poor Amber definitely comes off as a frightening psycho. However … Depp seems a bit too level-headed, a bit too “voice of reason” and Mr. Wonderful in the tapes that, presumably, he made and leaked.

But yeah, there’s no excuse for pooping in a dude’s bed.


As for AOC and her boyfriend … we’re taking them seriously, because we’re quite certain they both hold degrees in sociology and psychology.



Harvey Weinstein, bless his heart and deformed genitals, seems to have channeled Van Helsing warding off vampires when it comes to pretty girls: Rather than using holy water, Harvey disarms them by peeing on them in the shower.


Because Amber’s poop is once again in the news, we thought it was a great time to examine her pooper:



Hard to believe that so much mischief could come from such a cute rear end.




From our Twitter feed:





Quiz:  Which country do you consider a bigger threat to the United States, China or Russia?

Problem:  If you say China, you can be accused of being racist. If you say Russia, you cannot.

Could that be the reason the Democrats so relentlessly demonize Russia, but not China?




Dinkle vs. King



© 2010-2020 (text only)



You’re at a bar and a stranger tells you a horrible secret about your spouse. Oh, no! So you go to your next-door neighbor for advice about what to do, and while consulting with your neighbor he receives a phone call from the police: His teenage son has been arrested for some shocking crime. Oh, no! Meanwhile, the cop who arrested the boy finds out that her father is actually a notorious thief. Oh, no! Right after that, we learn that everyone – you, your neighbor, the teenage boy, and the cop – has foolishly posed for nude photos which are now circulating on the Internet. OH, NO!!

That’s pretty much the formula of these Harlan Coben stories that pop up on Netflix. Bombshell revelations pile up in such rapid-fire succession that you don’t really have time to think about how silly most of them are. But it’s absurdly entertaining.

If you’re in the mood for that sort of thing, check out 2018’s Safe or this year’s The Stranger (pictured above).





If Elizabeth Warren fails in her bid to become president, what do you bet that she blames her hapless husband for saying “no thanks” to having that beer with her?




So they are delaying the final impeachment vote until Wednesday because senators want to give speeches. Oh, joy.

Can’t we just get it over with so that we can all move on to the next scandal?




Michael Bloomberg vs. Donald Trump: I guess the argument goes, “It takes one billionaire asshole to beat another billionaire asshole.”

I won’t say which is which.




The worst thing about the Super Bowl is that, once a year, we have to watch all of these pansy celebrities pretend that they are just down-to-earth, regular folks who like to watch football. In other words, Deplorables.




I wanted to refresh my memory about Katelyn Faber, the Colorado teen who accused Kobe Bryant of forcibly butt-pumping her in 2003 (Bryant paid her off to avoid a trial). These are the photos that popped up on Google:






I don’t know about you, but to me they look like half a dozen different girls.





Speaking of hotties … the picture above is of Caroline Collins, news anchor for Youngstown, Ohio. Good lord. Why don’t my local anchors post pictures like this?

We’re guessing that Collins gets a lot of boorish, immature comments about her (voluminous) Web postings. Like this one from an expected culprit:




© 2010-2020 (text only)


We get a lot of review requests along with links to private “screeners.” Mostly, these are low-budget movies so dreadful that they don’t even appear on Netflix or Amazon Prime – yet.  They have titles like Luciferina and The Haunting of Mia Moss and, in this case, Rondo.

Often the movies are unfinished: The soundtrack might not match the video, the credits have yet to be added, that sort of thing. But occasionally these films have a certain rustic charm; the spirit of Ed Wood living on.





If ever there was a successful film director who exemplifies the much-decried “male gaze,” it would be Brian De Palma. De Palma’s thrillers – especially in the 1970s-80s — often featured damsels in distress and damsels in undress:  Melanie Griffith in Body Double, Angie Dickinson in Dressed to Kill, and former De Palma spouse Nancy Allen in several of his films, to name just a few.

If De Palma was guilty of glorifying the male gaze, then I’m guilty, too; not just because I enjoyed his voyeuristic images, but also because, stylistically, he emulated the late, great Alfred Hitchcock.

Which brings me to Rondo, written and directed by Drew Barnhardt, a filmmaker who told me he was definitely influenced by De Palma. This is more than apparent in Rondo, with its 360-degree pans, voyeur elements and, of course, sexy ladies.

I confess that I had the wrong idea going in to Rondo. From that title, I expected some macho action flick a la John Wick. “Rondo,” I supposed, would be the protagonist’s he-mannish name, and fistfights would ensue. Wrong.

“Rondo,” it turns out, is the password to gain admission to a perverse sex club. And the movie protagonist is not some hulkish weight-lifter but rather a buxom babe named Jill (Brenna Otts). When something bad happens to Jill’s brother after he visits the sex club, she goes undercover to investigate.


Above, Jill (Brenna Otts) comforts her traumatized brother


OK, this low-budget movie isn’t in the same league as the best of Brian De Palma. But it is an entertaining (if a bit sleazy and grim) little thriller. If you like bloody violence you will enjoy the ending. And if you enjoy damsels in undress, thanks to actresses Iva Nora and Otts, your male gaze will get an eyeful.




Male Gazing in Rondo


“Mrs. Tim” (Iva Nora, above and below) is about to discover the downside of weird sex clubs





Brenna Otts, above and below, submits to a pat-down by the villainous “Lurdell” (Reggie De Morton). 


Lurdell and Jill discuss the terms of her sex-club desires. Below, Jill goes into more detail:


Lurdell and his evil companions enjoy some white-girl booty.


Among movie-nudity scholars (yes, they exist), there is some debate about what constitutes actual “nudity.” To me, if you reveal 99 percent of your bare ass — thong panties or not — then yes, that qualifies.







The movies have a long, sometimes shameful history of white-girl heroines being threatened or violated by the “scary black man.”

Between Otts’ sex-fantasy speech about “big dicks” (see above) and the symbolism of a black man pressing his gun into her backside (also see above), well ….


In researching this article, we checked out some old thrillers and found this scene from De Palma’s 8mm (1999), in which naked actress Emily Patrick shares the stage with a BBC (look it up). Except

It isn’t a De Palma thriller. We were confusing 8mm with De Palma’s Snake Eyes, which premiered a year earlier and also starred Nicolas Cage. Oops.

The scene below depicts another nude white girl imperiled by a BBC. Except

Emily Patrick doesn’t seem “imperiled” at all. In fact, she looks downright pleased to see her companion’s appendage – much like Jill’s sex fantasy.

OK, so wrong movie, wrong director. Watch the clip anyway:




(Click on photos for a larger view)


The movie clip: Emily Patrick




We’re giving the final word on Rondo to resident pest Rip van Dinkle:

“OK I give up. I tried to interview Brenna for this article. We tried to reach her through the movie’s publicist. We tried through the film’s director. I even reached out to her on Twitter.

“Could. Not. Get. A. Reply.

“What riles me up is that line in the movie about her character’s preference for “big dicks.” That’s just not right. I’m guessing that if she sees this article and my picture, she will change her mind. So here you go, Brenna. This dick’s for you:” Hybristophilia



© 2010-2020 (text only)



Did anyone bother to tell Trump that we don’t want any of their damn viruses as part of the China trade deal?




We Need to Replace:




But, but … “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”

Then why did I just watch Dr. Oz telling us that there is no medical research supporting the benefits of eating breakfast?

Can that be true? If so, breakfast has to go.


Rotten Tomatoes


This Web site appears hell-bent on rewriting history by allowing “woke” Millennials to write “reviews” of old movies and also, apparently, by deleting negative audience ratings of woke shows like Doctor Who.

Can that be true? If so, Rotten Tomatoes has to go.


John Roberts


If Roberts is the “referee” of Trump’s impeachment trial, why isn’t he enforcing rules that tell senators they cannot leave their seats, access electronic devices, and eat candy during proceedings?

Can that be true? If so, Roberts has to go.





© 2010-2020 (text only)




Jordan Peele’s 2017 hit Get Out created a stir because it was a rarity: a horror movie with smarts. Critics gushed because, face it, when it comes to the scary-movie genre, the bar is awfully low. But to me, Get Out failed to achieve goal number one:  it wasn’t particularly frightening.

Not so with Us, Peele’s 2019 follow-up. Lupita Nyong’o stars as the female head of a family of four that encounters their wicked doppelgangers while on holiday in Santa Cruz, California. This time, Peele pleases both critics – there is symbolism galore; what do the doubles represent, the global underclass? Our individual dark sides? – and horror-film aficionados. Peele wisely puts the scary first, the message second.

Also, it turns out you can spend all the money you want on special effects or monsters or gore, but there’s nothing more terrifying than a knowing, evil grin — especially from someone who looks just like you. Release: 2019 Grade: B+


© 2010-2020 (text only)



Twitter Is the Devil



“This quoted Tweet is unavailable.” I am seeing way too much of this kind of thing on Twitter.

If I so choose – and lots of people do – I could post the most vile, disgusting pornography on my feed and that, apparently, would be fine by Twitter. But someone’s political statement must be censored?


Also, love him or hate him, millions of us follow Trump on Twitter, if only to see what outrageous thing he’ll say next. So how come his posts never show up on my feed?





Poor Stephen King. Now he knows how J.K. Rowling must have felt last year when she ran afoul of the social justice mob. When you feed the woke beast, someday it will want to eat you.





I tend to agree with Penguin Piers on this one. I also tend to hate myself because, dammit, I do get caught up in all of this British royals nonsense.







Lara Logan Has No Agenda on Fox: She’s a journalist, so of course she has an agenda – even if it’s just going after other journalists and their agendas.




What about the women who willingly slept with Harvey Weinstein just to advance their careers?

I can’t be the only one who would be interested in that story.


© 2010-2020 (text only)



TV and YouTube Tidbits



We publish on Saturdays and so, tragically, many of the week’s highlights are “old news” by the time we get around to them. So if Donald Trump attempts to hump Laura Ingraham’s leg on a Tuesday, we generally don’t mention it because everyone else does — over and over and over again.

Ricky Gervais’ skewering of Hollywood happened ages ago in Internet time: last Sunday. But it was so delicious, we just have to mention it again. And we have to post the YouTube link to his monologue, in case you haven’t seen it.





Poor Schitt’s Creek. Now that it’s airing its sixth and final season, it is at last getting some attention. Apparently the combined efforts of The Grouchy Editor (2017 plug here) and Pop TV are no match for Netflix reruns.




If Tucker Carlson would like increase his reach among middle-class viewers, he might consider changing the way he says the word “rather,” which he pronounces like a stereotypical wealthy snob: “raw-ther.”


Speaking of wealthy snobs … not that this show is ever short on juicy material, but this week’s big news about the royals should give Netflix’s The Crown at least one additional season:






Dracula: Good grief. Showrunners Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat took a perfectly good first two episodes and completely destroyed this reboot with a boneheaded decision regarding the third and final installment. That’s our opinion, and we’re sticking to it.




Funny YouTube Videos


Disclaimer: I am just one person. I can watch just a tiny fraction of the videos on YouTube. But the following are highly recommended:


A lot of the best YouTube clips feature grandma- and grandpa-types. In this video, “Marge” (above) is tricked into visiting a nudist beach.


Marge again, this time enduring someone’s gas-passing (actually “Liquid Ass”) in an enclosed vehicle.


Southern grandpa’s turn to be pranked. More gas-passing in a car.


Another victimized grandmother. Grandson is especially cruel.


An adult male cries like a little baby. From “The Daily Dropout.”


“The Daily Dropout” heads to the beach.


We have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of these prank videos take place at the beach because, even if the prank fails or isn’t particularly funny, there are always thong-clad butts to ogle. Certainly we here at The Grouchy Editor would never let such crass considerations affect our judgment about which videos to highlight. (By the way, see screen captures at top and below.)





I don’t know about you, but I’m always touched when Facebook asks me if I’d like to share my precious “memories.”




© 2010-2020 (text only)




(Spoiler Alert: None of them are very pleasant)


Trump And Conservatives Will Continue To Hype Our “Great Economy”

Congratulations! After years of unemployment or underemployment, you finally landed that new job flipping burgers at McDonald’s.

Meanwhile, Bill Gates has enough money to buy several countries, but why should you complain? You have a new job! And that’s all that matters in our great economy.

Oh, but wages are on the rise? Great news!  Instead of earning $12 an hour, you now earn $13 an hour. How’s that for “trickle down”?


Conservatives Will Continue To Downplay The Benefits Of Soaking The Rich

As long as Bill Gates and cronies like Stuart Varney can convince conservatives that an attack on Bill Gates is an attack on all businesspeople, well, Gates can go on his merry way. Because, you know, any transfer of wealth from the rich won’t solve all of our problems, so there’s no point in doing anything at all. Right?


We’ll Stay Involved In Middle East Wars – But Only Temporarily While We “Train” The Locals

We’ve been hearing this for 20 years. Our soldiers are training the Iraqis, or the Kurds or whoever, to be self-sufficient so that we can finally leave. Sadly, the Iraqis or whoever don’t give a crap about the U.S. or its interests, and will never be “trained.” So we’ll just have to stay there. Right?


If We Abandon The Middle East, That Will Open The Door For Russia

So what? The Middle East is a nightmare. Let it be Russia’s nightmare.

But there is money to be made, so we must stay there. Right?


I Will Still Be Unable To Stream The Danish TV Shows Forbrydelsen And Borgen

For some infuriating reason, Amazon only sells them on DVD. I’m not even sure if the Amazon DVDs are American-player-compatible. Plus, they are overpriced. Why can’t I buy them digital?


Finally, 2020 Won’t Be So Bad – But 2021 Will Be

That’s because, if Trump wins, half the country will become unhinged. If Trump loses, the other half will become unhinged.

Forget 2020. 2021 won’t be pretty.


Caveat: The above predictions were all made prior to the offing of that Iranian general. Should that lead to World War III in 2020 … then, well, never mind.





Is that “method acting”?





Great. That means we can expect to see more garbage like Murder Mystery from Netflix.





I thought about reading this article, but good lord, it’s eight paragraphs long. Who has time for that?





© 2010-2020 (text only)