Trailers From Hell: Ralph Bakshi’s ‘Coonskin’ (1975)

Hey, who’s up for a two and a half hour conversation about both ‘Bad Lieutenant’ movies?

The Projection Booth has you covered in their new podcast. These guys are always fun.


‘Britain’s values based on Star Wars, Breakfast Club and The Godfather’


Bill McKay, from Peterborough, said The Godfather taught him that family was the foundation of society, adding: “It also taught me that gambling and prostitution are acceptable sources of revenue, but that drugs are absolutely not.” (…)

Meanwhile, Professor Henry Brubaker, from the Institute for Studies, said there remains a very small number of people in Britain who are so Christian that they actually go to church once a week.

He added: “Most of them are really quite unpleasant.”


Fred Reed: ‘I am puzzled as to why racism is thought to be a terrible thing’

Fred Reed writes:

As near as I can tell, a racist is one who approves of rigorous education, good English, civilized manners, minimal criminality, and responsible parenthood, among other things. I am, then, a racist. I see no reason to grovel about it.

I decided long ago that if, while I was doing a radio interview, a caller-in told me, “You a racist!” I would hesitate as if puzzled, and say, “… So what?”


Ezra Levant talks to Mark Steyn about the new edition of ‘Passing Parade’ and more (video)

Thanks to Brian Lilley for name-checking me on his show last night (video)

If everyone is sick of hearing me talk about this subject, I guess now they can listen to Brian talk about it instead — another piece of cybertechnology/infrastructure is banning “conservatives,” in this case, gun purchase transactions.


Barbara Kay loves my new book, ‘Confessions of a Failed Slut’


She says via email:

Kathy, I just read your hilarious and insightful e-book. Brilliantly funny! And informative! (Who knew about “dino-porn”?)

I loved its laugh-a-minute pace and punch.

I see now that you are a kind of “otherkin” yourself — Mark Steyn’s lost twin trapped inside a short woman’s body.

Seriously, it’s no secret why we’re all fans of Mark; now I see why Mark is such a devoted fan of yours. I am too.

You’re a treasure.

xx Barb


Aaron Clarey says nice-ish things about me around the 8:15 mark (language warning)…

Earth Day: A few blasts from the past

Just a reminder:

The founder of Earth Day murdered his girlfriend


[T]he image of the burning river that purportedly catalyzed Earth Day and the modern environmental movement was actually taken in 1952, not 1969, because the “historic” latter fire didn’t even burn long enough to be photographed. (…)

By the 1969 river fire, the image was far more threatening than the actual event. (…) the dependence upon visual imagery is a kind of nostalgia masquerading as political strategy. And like almost all expressions of nostalgia, it is reductive and simplifies a much more complex picture…



The Science of Cool: My NEW Taki’s column

Comments should be about 95% JOOOOOO-free…

Placed side by side, James Cagney fits Cabane’s criteria for cool far better than Humphrey Bogart. Even when merely striding cockily down a sidewalk (then dodging machine gun fire), Cagney’s background as a professional dancer was evident in almost every film he made, not just in Yankee Doodle Dandy. His sharp, frugal gestures and bits of business also live up to Cabane’s bonsai tree ideal.

(When you learn that Malcolm McDowell based his performance as “Alex” on Cagney’s screen persona, you never watch A Clockwork Orange the same way.)

We are often surprised to discover how short certain charismatic performers really are, or were. (I still refuse to accept that Freddy Mercury was anything less than 6’ 1”.) The bantamweight Cagney, on the other hand, always seemed short—but it didn’t matter. That alone places him in an even higher stratum of cool, one occupied by a very few, including Cagney’s rival, Humphrey Bogart.

Other than being shortish, Bogart’s persona overlaps little with Cagney’s. Contra Cabane, Bogart’s characters, however tough they are (or think they are) have more tics than a lice-infested kindergarten nerd.

Bogart rarely stops scratching his head, readjusting some article of clothing, shifting in his chair, or doing those weird things with his mouth.

Yet, were you to ask a random selection of fairly cultured individuals which of these two men was the “coolest,” Bogart would certainly win.


Dear Charles P. Pierce: Who’s the ‘idiot’ again?

Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce, who looks and sounds like one of those old Hunter S. Thompson wannabes who are taking too long to die off, thinks that when groups like the Heritage Foundation advertise on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, that’s the moral equivalent of 1950s “payola.”

I wonder what Esquire‘s own advertisers make of Pierce’s bizarre take on such perfectly legal, time honored business arrangements.


‘While the City Sleeps’: Surprisingly racy for 1956

I was really taken aback by some of the dialogue; someone asks George Sanders about a male colleague, and Sanders drawls back, “How should I know? I’m not sleeping with him.”

It’s like Carry On Up the News Room, except this is supposed to be a semi-serious movie.

Also surprising is what an unconvincing drunk real-life alcoholic Dana Andrews is in this film. Maybe he was afraid if he was too believable, people would “find out” (what they already knew anyhow.)

It’s clearly Lang’s intention to show that the folks on the trail of the sex-crazed killer (played by Drew Berrymore’s dad) are in their own ways as sexually brazen and amoral as he is.

Also weirdly modern is the “serial killer profiler” character.

If you like crime procedurals and/or “big city newspaper” movies, check it out.

(Also: Note that the media conglomerate logo looks like Charles Foster Kane’s personal monogram):

Hurricane Carter: Fact vs Fiction — My NEW PJMedia post

Let’s hope the eulogizing doesn’t last the whole day…

From the moment he was arrested in 1966, Carter maintained his innocence. His arrest and conviction, he insisted, were all evidence of systemic racism.

“Hurricane” soon attracted celebrity devotees, some of whom happened to be blessed with a handy talent for propaganda:

Bob Dylan penned a hard-driving hit song about the imprisoned boxer. Norman Jewison later directed a well-received 1999 Oscar-bait biopic, The Hurricane, starring Denzel Washington.

Because Jewison is Canadian, that film turns a familiar Hollywood convention upside down:

In most American movies — from those set during the Normandy invasion to 2011′s Argo — Canadians’ contributions to real life events are downplayed; The Hurricane, on the other hand, exaggerates them to an embarrassing degree.

However, the role played by a teenaged Canadian, his hippie parents and their fellow commune dwellers in Carter’s eventual release was just one aspect of the story that the movie deliberately got wrong, in order to portray “Hurricane” in the most sympathetic possible light.


Theodore Dalrymple: The Gross Domestic Pissants

The English are an ugly race of people:

On the train to the airport in England, and at the airport itself, I saw a population that struck me as more militantly ugly and unintelligent than any other known to me, one that consumes without discrimination and enjoys without taste.

With regard to ugliness, for example, it added to whatever ugliness Nature had bestowed upon it by refusing to wear any clothes that might possibly lend it any dignity, rather choosing apparel that accentuated its natural unattractiveness.

Grossly fat slobs, for example, insisted upon wearing figure-hugging T-shirts that did not quite meet the tops of the shorts that exposed their fat white tattooed calves, exposing their repellent midriffs to the appalled gaze of the minimally sensitive.

Of the women it would be kinder not to speak…


Remembering ‘settled science’ and unsettled tectonic plates

A reader writes to Mark Steyn:

Re Dr Mann and his obsession with the legitimacy of his work and stifling any and all dissent: When I was a student at University of Toronto in the 1970s, our president was J. Tuzo Wilson. Besides being an amiable person around campus he was also a man who didn’t mind tilting at the windmills of “settled science”.

In his case the field was plate tectonics, also known as continental drift. Along with several scholars, especially Alfred Wegener, Arthur Holmes and Samuel Carey, Dr. Wilson postulated the theory that the planet’s plates were moving and had done so for millions of years. The position of the continents today did not reflect their position over history.

Needless to say, the Dr. Manns and Al Gores of the day were having nothing of it.

Wegener was not a geologist, they pointed out. The German physicist Scheidigger was ripping the plate tectonics advocates in the 1950s. In one of the more supreme ironies, noted UK warmist and settled scientist David Attenborough (at university in the second half of the 1940s) noted the lack of acceptance for plate tectonics among the establishment at the time:

“I once asked one of my lecturers why he was not talking to us about continental drift and I was told, sneeringly, that if I could I prove there was a force that could move continents, then he might think about it. The idea was moonshine, I was informed.”

Apparently Attenborough has acquired a taste for other brands of moonshine since.

Trailers From Hell remembers ‘Pink Flamingos’ (1973)

Ingeniously, the trailer doesn’t contain a single scene from the movie: