Also…

…I’m kind of digging the new X Files. It’s hitting just the right nostalgic note for me.

Diablo, A Review

Diablo, a new movie starring Clint Eastwood’s son, Scott, is a throwback Western that embraces the tone and some of the visual nature of Clint’s earlier spaghetti Westerns. Not as gritty or mean as Leone’s movies, it still has a nasty, bloody side that follows the same path. But it doesn’t pull off the trick quite as well as those earlier movies.

Chalk that up to Scott Eastwood. Clint’s casual, flinty nature came across in every scene throughout those movies; he was the gravity that held the center with a believable effortlessness. His son, who can look uncannily like his father, suffers by comparison. He has many of the same manners, as if he had studied the looks, the squints, the movies of his dad, and was doing his best to channel the elder actor. He simply can’t manage the trick, though.

Luckily, Walter Goggins, of Justified and Hateful 8 fame, manages to inject life and menace into the flick. He has a knack for bad guys and he plays this role perfectly. Unfortunately, he has limited screen time to work his magic and what time there is doesn’t quite manage to redeem the movie.

The rest of the cast is solid as is the soundtrack and the cinematography. Of course, it helps to have the beauty of Alberta is your landscape for a movie like this; while the action is supposed to take place in Colorado, the gorgeous landscape makes a dandy stand-in.

The story of a man searching for his wife’s kidnappers meanders slowly– a pace that makes it’s relatively short running time feel quite longer– toward a twist that will leave most viewers entirely unsurprised. The writers telegraph that punch way too early and then fail to capitalize on the story’s abrupt left turn.

Which is a long way of saying that the movie just isn’t that good. It is, however, good enough to fill almost two hours on Netflix on a late, Saturday night if only to get that really strange sense of watching Scott Eastwood channel Clint’s old movies.

Score: 5/10 and just barely worth your time.

Music Download: Joe Passed, “Lego My Ego”

Via Riot Act Media, if fuzzy, post punk type pop music is your thing, then this is your thing. Download “Lego My Ego” from soundcloud.

One of the songs from Jo Passed’s upcoming EP, Out, it’s heavily textured, buzzing with energy, and catchy in a head-nodding kind of way. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the thing sounds like.

Fifteen Minutes of Shame

Man with Make up and Make Up Brush

Don’t Tread on Me
Photo from Dollar Photo Club.

From National Review, we learn today that “Eliminating Gender Norms from Clothing Styles is Actually Transphobic” for some reason. This being the Age of Outrage, you can be damned sure that someone is going to preach the good word–which is to say, we’re not going to tolerate that shit.

But trans people should be aware that well-known faces like Jaden Smith are starting to encroach on our territory. They’re starting to wear the trans uniform without actually stating that they are transgender, and they’re claiming it for themselves under the guise of gender-neutral fashion. All of which begs the question: where does that leave us?

Well, Katie, I hope it leaves us in a place where we’ve reached (I hope, I pray) peak absurdity. This is a moment where it doesn’t matter what you say or do, someone will be offended. They’ll be offended because they prefer the social benefits of outrage over finding the good (or intended good) in what people do. They would much prefer to aggregate power behind cultivated victimhood than merely give the benefit of the doubt.

But it doesn’t matter anymore. It can’t matter any more. It’s just a bunch of people yelling at the top of their lungs, pegging the max on their outrage meters, desperately trying to enforce their view of how everyone else should behave.

It’s a funhouse version of Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame, though. In the future, everyone will spend fifteen minutes of shame at the hands of an internet lynch mob and no carefully assembled armor of social justice causes and virtue signaling can possibly save you. It will be a quiet joke told between friends, a well-meaning photo that you took (but didn’t vet with your minority advisory council), an inappropriately appropriated “ethnic” meal, a candidate or cause you supported decades earlier, a political donation you forgot to regret loudly and publicly enough, or merely daring to believe something outside of the current cultural orthodoxy.

Whatever it is, the lynch mob is closing in and your fifteen minutes of shame is coming up.

But, surely, no society could possibly withstand that, could it? No society can maintain a common fabric with so many power hungry, outraged fingers pulling at the threads. Surely, we’ll grow past this absurd moment and remember that the other people on the receiving end of our outbursts of self-righteousness are just like us: imperfect folks doing their best to get along. Surely, we’ll remember to extend them good will and the benefit of the doubt when they say something questionable (and maybe even remember that it isn’t our place to police every word that comes from their mouths to begin with).

Surely, with generosity of spirit and kindness in mind, we’ll remember that ripping each other to shreds and leaving careers, personal reputations, friendships, and dignity in tatters isn’t the best way to build the better world that we all are aiming for.

New Music: The Smith Street Band, “Surrender”

Because today deserves guitars, drums, and a very strange mess.

Fight the Man

I love this story and I hope the forces of good triumph over the forces of Warner.

Happy Birthday remains the most profitable song ever. Every year, it is the song that earns the highest royalty rates, sent to Warner/Chappell Music (which makes millions per year from “licensing” the song). However, as we’ve been pointing out for years, the song is almost certainly in the public domain.

Read the rest.