[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

I've decided to bag my Netflix DVD subscription. Reasons:

  • It takes a long time for shipped DVDs to arrive. I'm sure the USPS is partially to blame, but come on. I suspect that the main reason things are slow is that they've cut back their shipping facilities.
  • Theoretically-available DVDs at the top of my queue are marked with "short wait" (or sometimes "very long wait") and I get shipped something further down in the queue instead. The current movie getting this treatment is Tenet. The DVD was released back in December, it's been top-of-queue since then, and … still haven't gotten it.
  • They don't even buy DVDs that they could send out. There are 21 DVDs in my "Saved" queue. Some of them aren't available yet. But there are a bunch that are, and … well, I guess there's no incentive for Netflix to stock them.

I'm probably slow on the uptake, and should have done this long ago. Netflix doesn't want to be in the disc-shipping biz, and if it takes lousy service to get rid of its loyal customers, so be it.

So (ahem) this movie is one of the last Netflix DVDs. A 1942 movie set in coastal California, where Bobo (Jean Gabin) and his pals Nutsy (Claude Rains) and Tiny (Thomas Mitchell) mainly work just enough to support their drinking and carousing habits. Unfortunately, fellow carouser Pop Kelly has been strangled. And (for some reason) Bobo has his hat the next day.

But never mind! Bobo also heroically rescues Anna (Ida Lupino) from a suicidal walk into the ocean. She does not initially appreciate the favor. I suppose suicidal people don't usually like people to spoil their plans. But gradually love blooms. And Bobo takes up semi-steady employment at a bait shack. And he shows a decent mechanical aptitude when a philandering doctor happens by with his malfunctioning speedboat. And…

Well, stuff happens. John O'Hara wrote the screenplay, so the dialog is definitely above average.

URLs du Jour


  • On the short list of honest leftists, Glenn Greenwald provides us with the Tweet du Jour.

    I'm reminded of the adage (often falsely attributed to various totalitarians, but it's probably what they're thinkin'): "You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs."

    In this case, the omelet is (something like) "saving our democracy from the existential threat of disinformation".

    And the eggs: your rights to free expression, privacy, social media companies, probably some cable news channels whose editorial calls cross some vague line.

    And more. There are always more eggs to break. And the omelet never actually gets made.

  • Kyle Smith hands out the Order of the Brown Nose. Which could turn into a full-time job.

    Step forward, Eddie Glaude of MSNBC, who on Tuesday night compared Joe Biden to the Lord and said his ascension would comfort the dead: “President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Harris pulled the grief and regret out of the privacy of our hearts,” he said. “I’m reminded of the Psalmist, you know? ‘He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.’ Maybe the dead will speak to us now. Maybe they can rest now.”

    Close competition came from CNN’s David Chalian: “I mean, those lights that are, that are, just shooting out from the Lincoln Memorial, uh, along the reflecting pool, it’s like almost extensions of Joe Biden’s arms embracing America.” John Harwood of CNBC didn’t wait for Joe Biden to be sworn in before informing us that his presidency would surely go beautifully, observing the morning of January 20 in a tweet that the transition from Donald Trump to Biden meant a journey from “ignorance” to “knowledge,” from “amorality” (he meant “immorality”) to “decency,” from “corruption” to “public service” (the Biden family members who have gotten rich selling their connections high-five each other) and from “lies” to “truth.” Hours later, a Biden official hiding under a cloak of anonymity falsely stated that the Trump administration never developed a national vaccination plan and printed it as the truth shortly before Anthony Fauci clarified that there certainly was a vaccination plan and noted that many millions had been given their shots under it.

    More at the link. It's NRPLUS, but if you need some encouragement to throw a few bucks toward the magazine…

  • … here 'tis in pixels adroitly arranged on your screed by Kevin D. Williamson, who notes one more bloviator on the Threat to Democracy.

    Every time former CIA director John Brennan appears on cable news to warn America about some new “insidious threat to democracy,” I am reminded again that he deserves to be in federal prison. In this corrupt media environment, however, the official who oversaw an illegal domestic-spying operation on the legislative branch of the United States government, who tried to cover it up and blame innocent Senate staffers when discovered, and who then brazenly lied about it to legislators and the American people — this man is held up as a paragon of civic virtue.

    We still don’t even know what role Brennan played in spying on his political opponents during the 2016 campaign. We do know he went on TV for years after, alleging to have insider knowledge of an unprecedented seditious criminal conspiracy against the United States. Never once was he challenged by his hosts. And when an independent multi-million-dollar investigation couldn’t pull together a single indictment related to those claims, Brennan shrugged it off by saying that he may have “received bad information.”

    Brennan was back on MSNBC yesterday, contending that American intelligence agencies “are moving in laser-like fashion to try to uncover as much as they can about” the pro-Trump “insurgency” that harbors “religious extremists, authoritarians, fascists, bigots, racists, nativists, even libertarians.”

    Yes, even we libertarians will be under the watchful eye of Brennan's Panopticon.

  • I'm a faithful reader of the WSJ's Best of the Web column, currently run by James Freeman. From Friday's column:

    Meanwhile in Washington, the news is less encouraging. President Joe Biden has sent a bizarre diktat to the heads of federal agencies and departments. The Inauguration Day memo instructs them to “identify ways to modernize and improve the regulatory review process” to promote “policies that reflect new developments in scientific and economic understanding, fully accounts for regulatory benefits that are difficult or impossible to quantify, and does not have harmful anti-regulatory or deregulatory effects”.

    “Fully accounting” for alleged benefits of big government that are “impossible to quantify” sounds like a rather difficult task—perhaps even the opposite of accounting. Here’s hoping the CPAs among our readership will share their views on how they might attempt to fulfill such a task.

    We're kind of used to getting that kind of self-contradictory prose from institutions of higher education. It was to be expected that kids exposed to that would graduate to government memo-writing.

  • On my short list of web comics is Basic Instructions. The artist, Scott Meyer, just posts reruns these days. This one, from 2013, is just wonderful: How to Deal With Definition Creep.

    [Definition Creep]

    And—please don't sue me, Mr. Meyer—here's his followup text musing:

    Literally no longer means literally, not always anyway. Sometimes it means literally, other times it means something like “might as well be,” which is literally the opposite of what it usually means. (That sentence is true using one of the two accepted meanings for literally, but I can’t be bothered to figure out which one it is.)

    What this all boils down to is that literally is literally meaningless. (As in it might as well be meaningless, not that it is actually truly meaningless.)

    Now that the word literally has lost all reliable meaning, people use it much more often. Can that possibly say anything good about people?

    No, it can't.

Last Modified 2021-01-24 10:23 AM EDT