You, Me and Dupree

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Oh, dear Lord, it's awful. A "comedy" that didn't elicit a single laugh, chortle, or giggle from me.

Worse, the people who came up with the movie title do not employ the Oxford Comma.

Anyway: Mrs. Salad was out of town, and we (somehow) were gifted with this 10-year-old DVD, which she saw no interest in watching, ever. So…

Molly (Kate Hudson) and Carl (Matt Dillon) are newlyweds. Best Man Dupree (Owen Wilson) is Carl's longtime best buddy, but he's currently an underachiever, to put it mildly; to attend the wedding, he's lost his job and domicile. So we can put Dupree up in our house until he's back on his feet, right, honey?

Added complication: Molly's dad (Michael Douglas) is unimpressed with Carl, to the extent that he recommends vasectomy to Carl.

None of the main characters are interesting or likeable. Nobody ever says anything funny. The PG-13 rating prevents Kate Hudson from getting naked. There are unexpected developments, sure, but in order to say "I didn't see that coming" you have to care enough about the plot to imagine what might be coming next.

On the back of the DVD box, one Lesley Nagy, film critic of KBWB-TV in San Francisco, is quoted: "IF YOU LIKE WEDDING CRASHERS, YOU'LL LOVE YOU, ME AND DUPREE!" Let me just caution you: Lesley is a liar. Maybe not as bad as Hillary, but she's right up there. For I liked Wedding Crashers just fine, but ….

The Phony Campaign

2016-10-17 Update

PredictWise has Hillary with an astonishing lock on the Presidency (91% probability, up from 86% last week). FiveThirtyEight is slightly more dubious: 83.9-89.1%, depending on your choice of methodology. At right: the Trump campaign.

He's doing pretty well in the phony poll, however:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2016-10-10
"Donald Trump" phony 1,490,000 +200,000
"Hillary Clinton" phony 995,000 +106,000
"Jill Stein" phony 410,000 -65,000
"Gary Johnson" phony 122,000 -7,000

  • Professor Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek pens Another Open Letter to Hillary Clinton, caused by her boobish agreement with Donald Trump on prosecuting Chinese steelmakers. This is nothing new; Boudreaux quotes a 112-year-old speech from Winston Churchill debunking the trade know-nothingism of his time. Nothing much has changed.

    I don’t for a moment expect Churchill’s words to cause you to rethink your hostility to free trade; you crave power, not truth. But I do want you to know that you and Mr. Trump are merely the latest drum majors in a long, shameful parade of charlatans and scammers who absurdly promise the masses that greater prosperity is to be had if only they’ll agree to pay higher prices for the goods and services they consume.

    At this point our best hope is that Hillary's merely a shameless liar on this issue, that she really knows better.

  • Ever wondered why we're stressed? Jim Geraghty, indispensable as usual, has the answer: "We’re Stressed Because We Feel Obligated to Act in Contradiction to Our Values"

    Geraghty obseves that partisan Democrats (containing a good chunk of Bernie Sanders supporters) now find themselves having to "swallow their pride, put aside their concerns and worries, and pretend [Hillary] is noble and trustworthy." Despite daily revelations to the contrary.

    Diehard Republicans probably have it worse, having to support a lecherous blowhard, a floater of delusional conspiracy theories, etc.

    Of course everybody’s stressed. One of two bad options – a man and a woman who do not reflect the values and sense of ethics of most decent Americans — is all but certain to be president, and lots of people feel the need to pretend that they want these bad options, lest the worse one win. What’s more, people are realizing that they’re going to have to validate one of these people by giving her or him their vote.

    Not me, Jim.

  • David Boaz is roughly on the same wavelength as Geraghty in his diagnosis of "Trump Derangement Syndrome", a coinflip counterpart to the well-known Bush Derangement Syndrome of years past.

    What do we say about conservatives – people who believe, variously, in limited government, free markets, Judeo-Christian values, and the importance of character in public life – who have been forced to utter absurdities in defense of Donald Trump? It’s one thing to say that Hillary Clinton and her Supreme Court justices and her 4,000 bureaucrats are on net worse than Trump and whatever menagerie he brings to the White House. But when free-market conservatives find themselves enthusiastically defending the most protectionist presidential candidate since Pat Buchanan, or Christian conservatives are forced to say that personal character isn’t really a big issue for them, I fear that derangement has set in.

    Examples follow. But the bottom line, friends, is: Politics corrupts us. I'm reading a book that convincingly makes that point, should have a brief description up in a few days.

  • [Amazon Link] Which reminds me: Jon Ronson is a journalist who keeps finding himself in bizarre situations. One of those, years back, found him infiltrating the infamous Bohemian Grove retreat, where megamoguls and famous celebrities gather to engage in bizarre rituals. His unreliable ally back then was Alex Jones, radio-show nutbar behind the Infowars conspiracy site.

    Today, of course, Jones is one of the drivers behind the Trump candidacy. Ronson was able to reconnect with Jones, also meet the nearly-as-wacky political consultant Roger Stone, and explore the crazy sordidness that's actually influencing the Trump campaign. (The recent talk about the election being "rigged" is pure Jones.)

    Ronson has released a short e-book, The Elephant in the Room, telling the tale, and—whoa—it's free to Amazon Prime users. Recommended; Ronson's clearly on the left, but that doesn't obscure his powers of observation. (If you use the link at right, I'll get a small percentage of your $0.00! Thanks in advance!)

  • And there are a lot of things to dislike about PETA, but this is not one of them:

    Seriously, folks: no matter how you feel about PETA, if you have the time and inclination to give one of our furry friends a safe and loving home, I recommend it.