Us

[4.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Hearing good things, Pun Son and I went to the Regal in Newington to take in this horror movie. Whoa. Whoa. I am fully prepared to hand writer/director Jordan Peele my Mastercard and say: just buy me tickets to your next ten movies. Mr. Peele knows how to do creepy and scary. (And also, sometimes, funny.)

Little Adelaide goes with her family to the Santa Cruz boardwalk one summer night. A bit of parental inattention (Whac-A-Mole) allows her to wander off to a deserted part of the park, she enters a spooky funhouse that turns out to be a gateway to… well, that would be telling. Let's just say it's a life-changing experience.

Years later, she seems to have recovered, acquired a husband and kids of her own, but she's still extremely reluctant to return to the boardwalk. Understandably, as it turns out. After some disturbing experiences, the family returns home, only to be confronted by a group of doppelgangers who are looking forward to a night of harrowing mayhem. Which happens.

The movie rewards your careful attention to detail. There's a recurring reference to Jeremiah 11:11:

11 So now I, the Lord, warn them that I am going to bring destruction on them, and they will not escape. And when they cry out to me for help, I will not listen to them.

That is (because I could not resist using it) the "Good News Translation". Why, that doesn't sound like good news at all!

The Phony Campaign

2019-04-07 Update

[Amazon Link]

In case you can't read the fine print on our Amazon Product du Jour: "Today's Phony Narratives Become Tomorrow's Fabricated History!"

Huge, if true. In any case, unexpectedly profound from a t-shirt.

This week's results:

Candidate WinProb Change
Since
3/31
Phony
Results
Change
Since
3/31
Pete Buttigieg 5.6% -0.9% 3,180,000 +2,857,000
Donald Trump 40.8% +0.5% 1,770,000 -100,000
Bernie Sanders 13.3% -0.1% 286,000 -27,000
Joe Biden 6.9% +0.2% 234,000 +32,000
Elizabeth Warren 2.1% -0.2% 163,000 -34,000
Kamala Harris 11.8% -0.4% 85,900 -7,800
Beto O'Rourke 6.5% -1.8% 85,900 -17,100
Andrew Yang 3.3% +0.4% 13,100 +500

"WinProb" calculation described here. Google result counts are bogus.

Elizabeth Warren came this close (imagine my thumb and index finger about 3mm apart) to getting dropped out of our table this week. It's not so bad, Liz: you'd be in the distinguished, albeit delusional, company of fellow senators Gillibrand, Booker, and Klobuchar.

  • At the Bulwark, Jonathan V. Last provides Secret Wars: The April Democratic Power Rankings. Lots of insight and contrarian observations, but let's take this about Mayor Pete, the leader this week in our phony poll:

    We should pause for a moment to consider the sheer audacity and political genius of Mayor Pete. Let’s say you’re an ambitious, progressive, gay guy from a deeply conservative state. You want to run for national office.

    How do you do that? Maybe you can find a blue House district, but after that what? You’re not going to win a Senate race or become governor unless you radically change your political persona and then get lucky, too.

    Buttigieg found a liberal city, got himself elected mayor, and then fast-passed the entire system by running for president. If he has a good showing, he’ll never have to go back to Indiana politics. He’ll come into the next Democratic administration. Or, if Trump wins re-election, can go become a university president or think tank head.

    He’ll carry around with him a national profile and a giant donor list and be prepared to run again in 2024.

    Guys like Biuttigieg [sic, the Bulwark can't afford a proofreader] often find a way. It doesn’t always work out (Martin O’Malley), but sometimes it does (Bill Clinton).

    I’m impressed and you should be, too.

    Sorry, but I'm not that easily impressed.


  • Emily Yoffe notes the truth about Vice President Handsy: Joe Biden Created the Culture He Is a Target Of. (As I never get tired of saying: I was present at that UNH gathering where Biden presented the infamous Obama Administration Title IX "guidelines". So I'm very much in the "it's silly, but it serves him right" camp.)

    Joe Biden is now living in the world of accusation he helped to create. It is one of peril for the accused, in which they are subjected to expansive definitions of sexual misconduct and little benefit of the doubt. Biden helped to bring it about as the leader of the Obama administration’s cornerstone effort to end sexual assault at colleges and universities, a worthy undertaking that quickly spiraled into overreach. The goal, as Biden often says, was to remake sexual culture on campuses and in society at large—a goal that’s reached remarkable fruition in the #MeToo era. Now, as he mulls whether to enter the presidential race, Biden is finding himself ensnared by some of the doctrines he has advocated over the past several years.

    Biden has been peddling an untrue origin of the phrase "rule of thumb" for years; maybe he should familiarize himself with "hoist with his own petard" instead.


  • [Amazon Link]
    At Reason, Katherine Mangu-Ward provides a mini-review of a mini-book: Superheroes Are Everywhere (available via link at right. No, your right.)

    California Sen. Kamala Harris kicked off her 2020 Democratic presidential campaign this January with the now-mandatory cliché-ridden memoir. But she also published a kid's book: Superheroes Are Everywhere (Philomel).

    On a certain level, you have to admire the chutzpah it takes to put a picture of yourself on the cover of a book directly below the word superhero. Harris comes from a long tradition of superherodom, it seems, including her blood relations, her neighbors, and…her fellow lawyers. As the very short book drags on, one is tempted to side with young Dash in the classic Pixar superhero flick The Incredibles, who grumbles to his mom that if "everyone's special" then "no one is."

    While the final page declares that the "heroes are…You!" the use of Harris' childhood photos and life timeline, and the fact that she appears on every page, make it pretty clear who the reader is meant to understand the real hero is.

    If Trump wrote a children's book, what would the title be? Don't Be a Dopey Sloppy Loser maybe?


  • At the Atlantic, staff writer Edward-Isaac Dovere examines The Myth of Beto O’Rourke.

    Myth is important to O’Rourke. He named his oldest son Ulysses because he loves The Odyssey, and likes to talk about how it’s a story of a man having adventures on a quest to get back to his wife (he leaves out the part about Odysseus turning around and leaving Penelope again to search for his father, after 10 years fighting in the Trojan War and 10 years at sea). In his early stops on the campaign trail, he’s mentioned several times that he’s been rereading Joseph Campbell, explaining how he’s taken the “follow your bliss” advice of the man who wrote of the archetypal hero in his book, The Power of Myth.

    O’Rourke’s own myth is about being a phenomenon in raising money online, drawing massive crowds and speaking sincerely, from his heart. There’s no question that O’Rourke can do all those things, but as Ivanka Trump wrote in her 2017 book, “cultivating authenticity is essential to creating strong bonds” with people.

    Quoting Ivanka as an authority on authenticity is a bold move, Edward-Isaac.


  • Emily Zanotti (in the Daily Wire) notes another myth Beto! is buying into: Beto O'Rourke Goes Full Socialist, Says He Will 'Break Apart' American Wealth. At issue:

    "One country", except for those guys whose wealth we're planning to expropriate. Over to you, Emily:

    That's...rather extreme. Instead of simply redistributing wealth the way Warren, Harris and others are looking to do, with huge increases in income and corporate tax rates, O'Rourke seems to believe wealth, power, and "privilege" must be taken by force from those that hold them — and he's oddly vague on the details.

    His speeches are lofty, but his concrete policy positions seem to begin and end with an open borders immigration policy and universal background checks for gun buyers — the only two issues he's been clear on thus far. Late last week, O'Rourke seemed to take an extreme position on abortion, claiming that he, as a male, had no right to interfere with a woman's decision to terminate her pregnancy, even up until the moment of birth.

    Details would be nice, Beto! Will tumbrels and guillotines be involved?


  • At NR, Kyle Smith goes right to the phony issue: Beto O'Rourke is Fauxbama.

    […] a great many people were entranced by Obama’s platitudes. Giving speeches, it turned out, was the only thing he was good at. But those speeches made him president. Closely hewing to the Obama script, Beto O’Rourke reminds us that the power of a script depends entirely on the skill of an actor, and how well he fits the role. Anthony Hopkins makes a convincing King Lear. Justin Bieber, not so much.

    Obama: a phony who managed to make it seem authentic. Beto!: a phony that might actually come across as a phony.


  • (We better get these Fauxcahontas links in while we can.) What do you suppose Elizabeth Warren's increasingly dramatic proposals reflect? According to William A. Jacobson at Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: Elizabeth Warren's increasingly dramatic proposals reflect a campaign struggling to stay relevant.

    Here is a partial catalog of Warren’s increasingly dramatic proposals just in the past three weeks:

    ‘Full-blown Conversation about Reparations’ for Blacks and Native Americans

    Eliminate the Electoral College

    $700 Billion Free Childcare Plan

    Expand Government Oversight of Credit Reporting Bureaus

    Break Up Big Tech

    Break Up Big Corporate Agricultural Businesses including Seed Companies

    Jail Executives for Negligence if Company has a Fraud Scandal

    Jail Executives for Negligence if Company has  a Consumer Data Breach

    End the Senate Filibuster

    These proposals have kept Warren in the short-term news cycles without any obvious positive impact on her popularity or fundraising. Warren is approaching the point where even the sympathetic liberal and mainstream media will grow weary.

    What is left for Warren to propose? Public flogging of executives?

    "If I have to propose that to get you damned kids to like me, then sure!"


Last Modified 2019-04-07 11:43 AM EST