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The Hedgehog and the Fox and the Newt

[ 99 ] September 26, 2016 |
Donald Trump, maybe

Donald Trump, maybe

A tweet by Newt Gingrich caught my eye:

It was sort of a weird tweet, fun to riff on; but an alert follower showed me this: It’s an essay by Isaiah Berlin. (Note: I’m not familiar with him even slightly; just reporting the facts.) Here’s what wikipedia wikisays about the essay:
“The title is a reference to a fragment attributed to the Ancient Greek poet Archilochus: πόλλ’ οἶδ’ ἀλώπηξ, ἀλλ’ ἐχῖνος ἓν μέγα (“a fox knows many things, but a hedgehog one important thing”). In Erasmus’s Adagia from 1500, the expression is recorded as Multa novit vulpes, verum echinus unum magnum. The fable of The Fox and the Cat embodies the same idea.Berlin expands upon this idea to divide writers and thinkers into two categories: hedgehogs, who view the world through the lens of a single defining idea (examples given include Plato, Lucretius, Dante Alighieri, Blaise Pascal, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Friedrich Nietzsche, Henrik Ibsen, Marcel Proust and Fernand Braudel), and foxes, who draw on a wide variety of experiences and for whom the world cannot be boiled down to a single idea (examples given include Herodotus, Aristotle, Desiderius Erasmus, William Shakespeare, Michel de Montaigne, Molière, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Aleksandr Pushkin, Honoré de Balzac, James Joyce and Philip Warren Anderson).”

It seems a rather obscure reference to me. I wonder if Newt used it to troll liberals into saying things like this:

If so, well-played, Newt. Well-played.

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“American Horror Story:” Where Are We Now? Oh, Roanoke

[ 41 ] September 19, 2016 |

American Horror Story is a show with a mixed record. On the one hand, I think it’s one of the boldest, most transgressive shows on the air. I think it’s far scarier than most R-rated horror movies. I think it’s artful, I think it’s beautiful to look at. I think sometimes it overreaches. And recently I feel it crossed a line by depicting a brutal rape (and extraordinarily gory murder scene). (TRIGGER WARNING FOR MY STORIFY BELOW.)

If you read the Storify you’ll see I missed seasons 3 and 4. Three I missed because the witches’ coven didn’t interest me as much as past settings and because it aired the year I was taking care of a toddler by myself while hubby was overseas. I attempted to watch Season 4 but was so freaked out by the punch-you-in-the-face-scary clown murdering someone in broad daylight I could not make it past the first episode. Don’t know if I’ll ever go back to try again. This is what I mean by overreaching. Sometimes AHS’ violence, sex, and mixing of the two is downright traumatizing.

Currently, I’m watching season 6, which seems promisingly to be the perfect balance of the off-the-charts signature AHS creep factors and poignant psychological drama. I am also streaming season 5. Its premiere episode knocked me on my ass, and frankly I’m not sure how I feel about it. It will be interesting comparing and contrasting these two seasons as I go forward.

Any of you watching AHS? Have thoughts?

Burning White-Hot Friendship-Ending Movie Hot Takes

[ 934 ] September 15, 2016 |

 

 

pooproadI recently read a tweet asking folks to share their most potentially controversial movie-related hot takes. As soon I shared mine, I knew I’d want to hear LGM’s hot takes.

Me? I really disliked “Mad Max: Fury Road.” I found it goofy, and not endearingly so. The whole time I was watching it, my eyes were lodged so far up in my skull (I was rolling my eyes, get it?) I’m not even sure I’ve actually technically seen it. But, seriously, I’m legitimately baffled by its acclaim. Don’t get it. At all.

I’ve talked about this before, but I enjoy the movie “Sin City.” Stylistically, I think it’s a terrific film. I think there’s a sense of play at work that is really appealing to me. It’s fun to look at. I even enjoy its goofy dialogue. I think it’s over-the-top, extraordinarily misogynistic, hyper-macho and profoundly silly. And yet I continue watching it and wringing enjoyment from it. Come at me.

Now give me your best movie hot-take. And don’t make it mealy-mouthed. Let’s piss some people off.

Bros Just Wanna Watch the World Burn

[ 343 ] September 12, 2016 |

I found this…not so stunning:


Interesting that this human garbage pile “knows too much…” but doesn’t care to share what he knows. I mean if it’s SO BAD isn’t he obligated? A cynical person might think he’s full of shit. Let’s name what’s really going on here: this is a guy who just doesn’t wanna vote for a boring old lady.

Tyler Perry Presents “Earnest Reviews of Terrible Movies by bspencer: Marmaduke”

[ 76 ] September 10, 2016 |

Some of you who follow me on twitter know I have a a hate/hate relationship with the “film,” Marmaduke. My son has watched it many times as a four and five-year-old, thus I have too, if only via osmosis.

Anyway, Marmaduke fascinates me. Whenever I watch it, so many questions arise:

  1. How did this project get greenlit?
  2. Who’s idea was it to make a movie about an unfunny one-panel cartoon no one’s cared about in 30 years?
  3. Is a Family Circus film inevitable? Will its debut finally give me the excuse I need to rocket myself into outer space and just float around the silent vast blackness, forgetting that Marmaduke exists?

But the most pressing question of all is always: How the hell did this movie score the cast it did, chockablock with Hollywood A-listers and veterans? How the hell did it get the likes Owen Wilson, Emma Stone, Keifer Sutherland and Steve Coogan…TO VOICE DOGS? Why is William H. Macy in this? Did Judy Greer really need this paycheck? The mind boggles.

Marmaduke has a plot, though I couldn’t tell you exactly what it is, even given how many times I’ve endured this cinematic shitpile. Something about moving to California, a dog park with mean pedigree dogs, Marmaduke’s owner Phil losing touch with his family because he’s working too hard, Marmaduke running away, Marmaduke in a love triangle with Fergie (you read correctly), William H. Macy is a dog-humping asshole for some reason…it’s just a random assortment of plots from other films, stitched together like some Frankenstein monster of a movie from hell. And with each additional plot point, the movie somehow becomes dumber and more unfunny and more horrifying.

Anyway, I highly recommend it. If you view movie-watching as some sort of test of endurance or if you’ve pretty much just given up on life.

Rod Dreher Presents “Totally True Stories that Actually Happened and Are Absolutely Not Made Up, Starring Rod Dreher and the Benedict Optioners”

[ 146 ] September 8, 2016 |

Folks, here’s a guest post by our friend Rod Dreher. Enjoy! (THIS IS A PARODY.)

Friends, people send me letters. They know the world is changing, they don’t like it; and because they’re good people who don’t like to make the fuss, they need a place to vent. Oftentimes, I’m their ventee. Recently a friend of mine sent me email about her experience with the Trans Menace. I’m paraphrasing her account here.

My friend had taken her teenage son to see the Captain America: Civil War movie for his birthday. In line behind them waiting to buy tickets stood several men in their early 30s who were obviously transgendered, and a young woman who presented as a man, though was plainly a female. My friend, “N.”, said the group started talking about murdering hobos, including their favorite execution methods, their favorite hobo-dispatching weapons, you name it. One of the group was 20; an older transgender said to him, “You’re just a kid now, but when you turn 21, we’re going to take you out and get you broken in.” They proposed riding the rails for a cross-country killing spree.

On and on like this. And more transgenders joined them, not waiting in line, but moving towards the front to stand with their friends. N. told me that the trans group was very aware of itself, and did not care who heard their filthy murder talk.

N. said, “These transgenders went on and on–loudly and proudly–about how much they liked killing hobos.”

It got me wondering: if the transgenders are so willing to wantonly brag about killing hobos, who’s next? Old-timey prospectors? Obnoxious hipsters with interesting-terrible beards? It could be you, even if you’re beardless.  What’s a good Christian to do? I recommend shutting yourself off from the world, shitting yourself constantly and writing totally true accounts about your experiences the LGBTQ community. It’s really the only option these days.

 

“Stranger Things” Open Thread

[ 88 ] September 7, 2016 |

 

Finally finished up the first season (yes, there’s going to be a second) of “Stranger Things” this past weekend. Overall, I found the show flawed but fun and occasionally terrific. But just between you and me and my twitter followers one of my favorite things about “Stranger Things” were the attempts by wardrobe and makeup to make Winona Ryder look frumpy. It was pretty adorable. I mean, the woman  has perfect features–flawless skin, perfect nose, stunning bone structure, big doe eyes. The only way you could make Winona Ryder ugly is to apply prosthetics. But “Frumpy Winona Ryder” had me tittering to myself throughout the season’s run so…goddess bless, guys.

So, what your thoughts on the show?

Belated Happy Labor Day, Moochers

[ 33 ] September 6, 2016 |

In celebration of Labor Day, here’s Edroso on the annual meltdown conservatives have at the prospect of honoring working men and women. For folks who seem to be such proponents of bootstrappin’ it they seem to have utter contempt for average working schmos.

Glenny Gonna Glenn

[ 1,013 ] September 5, 2016 |

 

Here is an excerpt from a Democracy Now! interview in which Glenn Greenwald makes the exact same argument conservative outlets have been floating for months now–that Democrats have “cried wolf” too many times in past elections.

GLENN GREENWALD: I mean, Donald Trump is—I mean, the tactic of the Democratic Party in the last 25 years—they know that ever since they became the party of sort of corporatism and Wall Street, they don’t inspire anybody, so their tactic is to say the Republican Party is the epitome of evil. Even when they have conventional nominees like Mitt Romney or John McCain, they demonize them and say they’re this unparalleled threat to democracy. In this election, just by coincidence, it happens to be true.

Here he is normalizing modern Republicanism, something some alt-leftish/bro-left have recently accused Hillary Clinton  of doing. John McCain chose Sarah Palin to be his running mate. SARAH. PALIN. Mitt Romney was caught calling 50% of the country moochers. These two acts alone should have been disqualifying for both candidates. That they are considered “conventional” by Glenn Greenwald is troubling. In a sense he’s right: they are conventional by today’s standards…in that they are still terrifyingly bad candidates who might have done real harm to the country yet cosnervatives/Republicans still chose/supported them. That Trump is a worse candidate still is not the fault of liberals/Democrats. In what sense is Glenn Greenwald on the left? Can he truly claim to care about economic issues if he’s willing to normalize the sentiments of Mitt Romney?

Freaky Friday Links

[ 99 ] September 2, 2016 |

      • Michael Tracey thinks your concerns about online harassment are silly, a laugh-riot, really. In a Medium post full of weasel words and obfuscations, he tells us–as a dude who knows–what we should and shouldn’t worry our pretty little heads about. If you can get past his hate-boner for Arthur Chu (of all people) you’ll get to read embarrassing shit like this: “Which brings us to the case of Milo Yabba-dabba-do-opolous, who was perma-banned not long ago for getting into a Twitter fight with a movie star. ” Ha ha ha!! See, he doesn’t know how to spell his name. He doesn’t have to worry about it because Milo hasn’t lead an ugly harassment campaign against him. Nice use of the phrase “movie star.” See, it’s ok to viciously attack celebrities (especially if they’re people of color or women!) No one was ever hurt by a little online harassment. “So what these aggrieved Twitter personalities are demanding is the accrual of even greater power to Silicon Valley feudal rulers, who are already on a perpetual sanctimonious power-trip. Chu & co. ultimately want Jack Dorsey or whoever to assume massive unilateral control over “the conversation,” so as to placate the people who see online harassment as more consequential than war, disease, and famine.” This guy seems legit.

 

 

 

 

    • Here’s my latest piece. It’s based upon the Shel Silverstein book, “The Giving Tree.” It’s called “Giving Back.

 

 

 

 

Meatless Entrees: Curried Cauliflower

[ 75 ] September 1, 2016 |

 

Reading this Vox article about how meat consumption is up got me thinking about my own eating habits. I aspire not to veganism or vegetarianism, but flexitarianism. That is, I’d just like to consume considerably less meat. For various reasons. 1.) I think it’s better for my health. 2.) It’d probably be better for the environment if everybody ate less meat. So I’m making effort include more vegetarian dishes in my cooking repertoire. The process is fraught for me because frankly I cook for someone who straight up doesn’t particularly care for meatless meals (and who also won’t eat any variety of bean), but he also understands that I cannot eat heavy meat-based meals all the time.  In that spirit, I made a cauliflower curry last night that hub seemed to enjoy. So perhaps you ought to try it too!

Curried Cauliflower with Rice

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsp. high quality curry powder (I recommend Penzeys)
  • 1 small knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. (or a tad less) brown sugar (optional)
  • veggie or olive oil
  • hot cooked rice
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Toss cauliflower florets with a tiny bit of salt and plenty of oil to coat. Roast for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 heaping tablespoons of oil in deep skillet. Season onions liberally with salt and pepper and saute ’til they become almost black. (This step is crucial, don’t skip it.)
  3. Stir in garlic, ginger, and curry powder, stirring ’til garlic becomes fragrant.
  4. Pour in the water,  and tomatoes, along with the optional brown sugar.
  5. Add the roasted cauliflower, giving everything a good stir.
  6. Let simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens and the flavors have a chance to combine. (I’d give it at least 10-20 minutes.)
  7. Serve over hot cooked rice topped with chopped fresh cilantro.

 

 

 

How to Hit on Women Wearing Resting Bitch Face

[ 376 ] August 30, 2016 |

Blink and you missed it, but for 48 or so glorious hours, twitter was a-twitter with hot takes on the Australian doofus who wrote a how-to guide on hitting on women who clearly don’t want to be hit on, specifically women wearing headphones. The offending post has already been removed, which might move me to feel sorry for its author had its content not been so clueless and offensive.

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