Morvern Callar, and six more movies

Morvern Callar

Samantha Morton stars as Morvern Callar, a young woman with an odd name, obviously. All through the movie she has to explain how it's pronounced and spelled, which is amusing for the audience but must grow tiresome for Morvern. 

She wakes up on Christmas Eve beside her boyfriend, but he's dead. He's killed himself, leaving her a note and the completed manuscript of his first novel. The note says he's sorry for the bloody mess, but asks her to send the manuscript to publishers for possible publication, and ends with, "I love you. Be brave." 

She is brave. Before sending the manuscript to a publisher, she changes the byline to "by Morvern Callar." Instead of having her dead beau buried or even notifying the authorities, she carves his body like roast beef, buries the pieces, and goes gallivanting across the country with her friend, using the dead boyfriend's credit card to pay the tab.



March 20, 2023

In addition to the novel and the note, Morvern's dead boyfriend also left her a pretty good mix tape, which becomes the soundtrack of the movie — Aphex Twin, Can, Stereolab, The Velvet Underground...

We're never shown what makes Morvern tick or why she's doing what she's doing, but the story works better not knowing. She's simply somewhat askew, as are most of us, but maybe more so. It's all reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith, and that's high praise.

The film has some 1970s-style movie nudity, much of which seemed dubious and unnecessary. Do grown-up best girlfriends who aren't lesbianically involved take baths together? I've never shared a bath with any of my male buddies, but maybe that's just me.

Bottom line, though, this is my favorite film of the week. It could've been a horror movie, a road movie, a dark comedy, a psychological profile, a lot of things, but instead it defies genre and simply tells its story. Does it well, too.

Verdict: YES.

♦ ♦ ♦  

Bottoms (1966)

Here's an hour and a half of people's butts, swaying as they walk away from the camera. They're walking away from the camera, because if they were walking toward the camera, you wouldn't be able to see their bottoms.

All butts are naked, so if you're into that you'll have plenty to like. Me, I don't mind butts if they're well-wiped, but the rear view is of minimal prurient interest. I was more intrigued by the people talking about their butts, and about the experience of dropping trou in front of a camera.

This odd documentary was directed by Yoko Ono, punchline of the 1960s and early '70s. Her cover of Pink Floyd is legendary, but I've increasingly come to believe that the snickering Ms Ono gets is sometimes undeserved. I've seriously liked some of her pop music, and Bottoms is enjoyable, too. Seriously.

Verdict: YES.

♦ ♦ ♦   

Charly (1968) 

Cliff Robertson goes full retard as Charly Gordon, an adult imbecile who undergoes surgery for brain repair.

The story's science is shaky, but the drama is compelling enough. As Charly's IQ rapidly rises, he gains a new perspective on the world, and falls in love with his lovely mentor (Claire Bloom). 

The editor in me was perturbed by an early scene where Bloom is teaching written English as a second language to adults and, on a chalkboard, she demonstrates that 'nite' should instead be spelled N i G H T. Clearly, this woman should not be teaching English until she's mastered the distinction between upper- and lower-case letters.

Other than that glaring error, Charly makes for a wise investment of your time, though there's really no surprise to it — it's exactly what you'd expect from the plot synopsis, no less and no more.

It's based on Flowers for Algernon, a terrific novel by Daniel Keyes that tells its story via Charly's journal entries, and gives a much deeper sense of the man than the movie can. Scripted by Sterling Silliphant, with an unusual score by Ravi Shankar, it's perhaps Robertson's best performance, but still, the book was so much better.

Verdict: YES.

♦ ♦ ♦  

The Diane Linkletter Story (1969)

Waters called this film "accidental," and it was never released nor intended to be. He'd bought a new camera with sound-synch ability, so he had some friends, including Divine of course, improvise a story about the death of Art Linkletter's daughter, Diane.

It's distasteful, obviously, to mock a woman's death, and Waters does what he can to make it more distasteful, because he's John Waters. It can't compete with Art Linkletter's crime against humanity, though — Linkletter built a nationwide drug panic around his daughter's death, claiming she'd jumped off a balcony while high on LSD.

As for the film, it's about nine minutes long, utterly amateur, and not particularly interesting unless you're a Waters completist.

Verdict: NO.

♦ ♦ ♦   

The Last Picture Show (1971)

After hearing about this movie for fifty years — it's widely considered one of the best films ever made — I'm disappointed to find that it's about horny high school boys eager to lose their virginity.

Jeff Bridges wants into Cybil Shepard's pants, and Timothy Bottoms is after the football coach's wife, Cloris Leachman. 

The film has a terrific cast, and there's some genuine art to it, definitely. The only movie theater is closing, symbolic of the town's demise, and there's no future for the people who live there. Anyone who stays is promised exactly that — a future with no future.

Made by Peter Bogdanovich, based on a novel by Larry McMurtry, The Last Picture Show is sometimes sad, sometimes deep, sometimes compelling, never boring, and it's absolutely a good movie.

Basically, though, it's a highbrow Porky's without jokes, or a soap opera — As the World Turns, set in a faded and dusty Texas town.

There are other elements in the story, but there's not much more to it than that. Everyone's trying to get boinked, and most of the characters succeed, but it doesn't make any of them happy.

Recommended, absolutely. This is one of the finest films ever made about the pursuit of boinking.

Verdict: YES.

♦ ♦ ♦  

Maniac Cop (1988)

The crazed killer on the loose in New York City is actually a cop. Film at 11.

I saw this at Seattle's long-gone Midway Drive-In when it came out, enjoyed it but forgot about it. Only now have I realized that it was written by the brilliant Larry Cohen, and co-stars Bruce Campbell.

Made before Campbell had fully embraced his campy niche, he plays his role as an actor, and he's surprisingly good, not at all Campbelly. Tom Atkins is the star, and he's grizzled and believable. There's also a dash of Richard Roundtree, and several splashes of Sheree North, who steals every scene she's in and almost makes off with the entire movie.

"You have the right to remain silent ... forever." 

Maniac Cop is unpretentious but enjoyable schlock. There are some enjoyable murders — tense, even terrifying without being any gorier that necessary, and there's a comical coroner who loves his work.

There's even a bit of a message, when a black guy says, "I've seen plenty of my friends murdered by cops. Shot in the back, shot when they didn't have a gun or a knife, claimin' the suspect had a shiny object. You know cops like killin'. That's why they cops. Yeah."

If the film is less than a masterpiece, and it is, it's probably because it was directed by someone named William Lustig instead of Mr Cohen. This is the only movie Lustig directed that I've even heard of.

Verdict: YES.

I wonder what's the backstory on my DVD rip's odd technical problems. Every time the story involves the Mayor, the imagery looks like VHS and the sound doubles in volume. When the setting is anywhere else, it looks and sounds like a movie. I'm guessing they ran out of funds and filmed the Mayor's scenes on video.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Nightfall (1988)

Isaac Asimov wrote lots of rather leaden science fiction, but this is based on one of his best, the short story "Nightfall," about a world orbiting several suns. With different sources of light, the sky's colors and shadows shift and alter, but true darkness is never known.

Once in a great while, though, the stars align exactly wrong, and the world sees a six-sun sunset followed by something nobody's experienced before — night. To the planet's people it might as well be armageddon.

As told by Asimov, there's great drama and trauma, and a showdown between science and religion. Sadly, Asimov's frightful future never envisioned what a mess Roger Corman might make of it.

In this deathly dull and misguided adaptation, David Birney stars as the rational scientist figure, wearing a wig and flowing robes. He's pitted against religious leader Alexis Kanner, and they throw mumbo-jumbo and stilted dialogue at each other.

Padded with inexplicable dance sequences and groping sexual hijinks, the film is barely coherent and forgets to have an ending.

I apologize to Mr Asimov for this film's existence, and for watching it.

Verdict: BIG NO.

Here's a much better telling of the same story in just half an hour, made for radio.

♦ ♦ ♦   

Coming soon:

A Day at the Races (1937)
Evil Bong 777 (2018)
The Giant Spider (2012)
Henri (2012)
La Jetée (1966)
The Mechanic (1972)
Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) 


There are so many good movies out there — old movies, odd or artsy, foreign or forgotten movies, or do-it-yourself movies made just for the joy of making them — that if you only watch whatever's on Netflix or playing at the twenty-plex, you're missing out.

To get beyond the ordinary, I recommend:

CultCinema Classics
Films for Action
Internet Archive
Kino Lorber
Korean Classic Film
Christopher R Mihm
National Film Board of Canada
New Yorker Screening Room
Damon Packard
Mark Pirro
Public Domain Movies
Scarecrow Video
Timeless Classic Movies
or your local library.

Some people even access films through shady methods, though of course, that would be wrong.

— — —
Illustration by Jeff Meyer. Reviews are spoiler-free. Click any image to enlarge. Arguments & recommendations are welcome, but no talking once the lights dim, and only real butter on the popcorn, not that fake yellow stuff.

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Jacque's invitation

Today I worked between Umberto and Hilda, a vendor I'd never met before. She's young, pretty, and she was wearing a low-cut blouse a little too big, and no brassiere. She sells art, and did a booming business. 

Whenever she bent over, a view of her cleavage was provided, and she bent over a lot. A few times she leaned way over to pick something up, and her breasts were visible all the way to the nipples and below.

When she was facing to the side, suddenly my fish display needed adjusting as I angled for another unobstructed view. When she was facing away and bent over just right, her untucked shirt was so loose I could sometimes see the bottom of her boobs from underneath.

I've had sex with women without seeing so much tit.

All day long, I saw as much as could be seen, which was plenty, while also trying to be nonchalant, so she wouldn't feel self-conscious. We even talked a little, but I can't remember about what.

♦ ♦ ♦  

On the other side of Umberto's table was Jacque the Green, and the three of us discussed our assorted wacko politics for a while. We're all happy to talk politics but none of us are much interested in listening, so that conversation didn't last long.

After a few laughs, Jacque invited me to his house sometime, for pizza and videos — so friendship rears its ugly head. Why anyone, especially someone who knows me, would invite me over for anything, I'll never know. It ought to be obvious that I'm not the outgoing and sociable sort.

We'd talked about noir a while back, though, and Jacque said he had a collection of old and noir movies on Betamax, which got my attention.

I asked if there'd be any talk of Amway, Shaklee, or Jesus, and he said no, so I said yes. I'm too poor to pass up a pizza and a movie if it's free. He gave me an address, and told me to show up Thursday night at 5-ish.

♦ ♦ ♦  

Again, we didn't see a single officer of the law today, and the effect is probably the opposite of what the cops expected. The drug dealers have temporarily relocated to different neighborhoods, and most of the  vendors who aren't American citizens have taken the weekend off.

You can still buy marijuana brownies at the pot table, though, because those guys are willing to go to jail for what they smoke and believe.

♦ ♦ ♦   

When my day selling fish was over, I came home and called the guy with the hairy ass — let's call him Harry — to clarify a few things.

"First off," I said, "my rate is $5 an hour, but this sounds like it won't take 10 minutes. There's a 4-hour minimum, so my fee is 20 bucks, OK?"

"That's reasonable," he said.

"I'll be in the city tomorrow night. Is that good for you?"

He said it was, gave his address and some brief bus instructions, and we agreed that I'd be there at 6:00.

"Now, either you provide the shaving necessities and rubber gloves, or I'll buy them and bill you."

"I've got shaving stuff," he said, "but I don't have any rubber gloves."

"I'll bring the gloves, then," I said. "Four bucks extra."

He agreed, which is four bucks more profit, because there are rubber gloves everywhere at Black Sheets, where I work on Mondays. They host orgies, once monthly, so there's a closet stuffed with rubber gloves. I'll just ask Bill and take a pair.

"I'd also appreciate it if you'd shower just before I get there."

"I'm planning to," he said.

"All righty then," I said. "See you tomorrow."

Yeah, I'll see more of you tomorrow then I really want to.

From Pathetic Life #22
Sunday, March 17, 1996

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Pathetic Life
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Rivers of living water

"Fish!" is my cry whenever I'm on the Ave. I sit at my table and say, "Fish!" When I'm feeling extra talkative, I'll say, "Fish! Get your fish! I've got fish, right here!" 

"Gee," Umberto said, after hearing me shout "Fish!" maybe 10,000 times since last summer. "It's a good thing you don't sell crabs."

So for a while I shouted, "Crabs! Get your crabs! I've got crabs, right here!" 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Brenda worked next to me today, and she handed me a long, funny, handwritten letter filled with her reactions and comments about my zine, which I'd given her. You'll find about half of her letter in this month's letter section, but I always edit out people's compliments. I'm more comfortable being insulted.

Then we talked for most of the day. We've known each other for two months and we haven't pissed each other off in the slightest. If she was single and 25 years younger I'd ask her out.

♦ ♦ ♦   

It's amazing that we could communicate, as Christians sang god-awful songs at the corner most of the day, with preaching between the hymns. They did it all through microphones and amplifiers, making normal conversation and rational thought almost impossible anywhere on the block.

Of course, what use would Christians have for rational thought?

After a while, the preaching set me off. What brainless rot. What a collection of nonsense for halfwits.

"In heaven," the idiot Reverend explained, "there will be rivers of living water." He said it slowly, dramatically, and then repeated it slowly and dramatically, as if the phrase meant something.

But does it? "Rivers of living water"? It's another Christian crock, a line I heard thousands of times at church as a kid, but never thought about until today. There's an entire hymn built around it, which the Christians sang twice:

Drinking at the springs of living water
Happy now am I, my soul is satisfied
Drinking at the springs of living water
Oh, wonderful and bountiful supply

What does that even mean? The water is alive? That's just sickening, isn't it? Maybe you eat meat, but you wouldn't eat meat while it's still living and breathing. Would you drink water that's alive?

"Rivers of living water" was the theme of the preacher's sermon, so when he said that line a third time, I started heckling him. Using a loud and obnoxious mock moron voice, I shouted "Rivers of living water? What does that mean?"

And every time he mentioned the rivers of living water, I shouted it again: "Rivers of living water? Tell us more please about the rivers of living water!"

But he never did, and after half an hour or so, Umberto asked me to shut the hell up. He said I was bugging him more than the Christians were.

♦ ♦ ♦   

A pretty blonde smiled at me, which in itself could be the high point of any day, but there's more to tell. 

"Don't be mad at me," she said, and I wondered what's the catch? A pretty woman smiles at me, and she thinks I might be mad at her for smiling?

"I'm Corina," she said, "from Sacramento," but she also said her last name, which is uncommon enough that it clicked in my head. The zine has a subscriber in Sacramento with that last name.

Well, hell, I'd promised Josh that I'd try to be nice when readers approach me on the Avenue, so Corina and I talked for 20 minutes or so. She told me about herself — she's 30, divorced — but I didn't tell her much about me, because she's read the zine so she knows all about me.

Had a nice time talking with her, and she said I'm not as obnoxious as I make myself seem in the zine. Fooled her!

Then she had to go — the friends from Sacto she'd come with we're waiting for her, so we hugged goodbye. The hug hurt my sunburn, but she left me in a good mood that lasted all afternoon — my longest extended non-grumpiness in at least a month.

♦ ♦ ♦  

Working on the Ave, I'm often annoyed by the other vendors, and the customers, and the street preachers — everyone, basically, but especially by the constant presence of cops.

Telegraph Avenue always has police patrolling, on bikes, on foot, and in squad cars, looking for a chance to hassle the homeless, or search someone who seems suspicious (meaning young and black, or young and poor).

With all these cops patrolling a few blocks, the effect — especially for a cop-hater like me — is that you always see police, police, and more police. It's like there are 500 cops on the beat, but they're really the same five or so cops, over and over and over.

Well, today, bizarrely, there wasn't a single cop. No coppers on bicycles, no coppers on foot, no coppers in cars cruising by. Saw a couple of meter maids, but that's it.

Lawmen don't decide for themselves where they're going to patrol. A police department is a military organization, so they're given marching orders.

When the police suddenly disappear, it's because they've been ordered away, which means something's going down — a sting, an undercover operation, a set-up of some kind. The department's higher-ups have ordered the heat off the street, so as not to give the prey the jitters.

I mentioned the absence of police to Umberto, and to the guys who sell marijuana brownies, and they'd already noticed.

Probably it sounds like paranoia and maybe it is, but I prefer the term 'awareness'. It is not possible to expect the worst from cops, because whatever you're expecting, cops can make it worse.

From Pathetic Life #22
Saturday, March 16, 1996

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Baked, beaned, and burned

It was sunny and summerry, so lots of girls on Telegraph Ave were wearing lots of skin and not much else, which makes for a nice day indeed.

There were no other vendors on the block, though, so when it came time to pee there was no-one to watch my table. A problem I've never had before. 

To pee, I had to disassemble the entire fish table, bungee it all to the cart, and roll it with me into the john at People's Park. Then, bladder empty, I rolled back to the Ave and set everything up again. It took about fifteen minutes.

♦ ♦ ♦  

Thought I was getting sick again by the end of the day, and came home feeling fevered. Even after a cold shower, I'm still really hot. 

Caught a glimpse of me in the mirror, though, and I'm not sick, only sunburned. I'm bright pink, with tender, baked, flaky skin under my fresh cut quarter-inch beard.

Two cans of beans for dinner led to four trips to the toilet during the night, but that's to be expected.

So I'm delighted to say that I think I'm done being sick. I don't even mind being sunburned. It's simply wonderful to be almost healthy again.

♦ ♦ ♦  

PS. A story I almost forgot to tell:

On Telegraph today, as sometimes happens when I'm in a good mood, me and some strangers on the sidewalk engaged in silly banter, and in a conversation with a middle-aged man, the topic turned to sex.

He asked a philosophical question, "Would you rather have no chance for sex in the future but great memories of sex in the past, or would you rather have great sex in your future but give up your memories of all the women?"

"All the women" isn't many for me, but that's a very odd question, I thought, especially since it neatly approximates my own past and prospects.

"I'd rather have the memories," I said. "The memories get better and better with time, but the real thing gets worse and worse."

From Pathetic Life #22
Friday, March 15, 1996

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Hello, and good morning, and good night.



leftovers & links
March 18, 2023

I'm getting settled in at Haugen & Dahl, and not yet hating it.

It's only slightly sad. I'd wanted to escape 45 years of office work, so I tried and failed as a bus driver and a postal worker, and applied for other, more adventurous jobs that I didn't get.

A fat boy's gotta eat, though, and office work is the only work I know, so there I am on Millionaires' Island, Monday-Friday, doing office work again.

It's a decent place to work. I'm not ashamed of what the company does, and nobody there has (much) gotten on my nerves yet. I'm catching on to the work fast enough, which I oughta — it's the same work I've done for most of my adult life.

The layout of the place is unusual — instead of the ordinary grouping where people doing the same work sit together, they have everyone jumbled together. Like, there's an IT Department, with three nerdy people like you'd expect, but one of them works by the elevator, another's down the hall by the restrooms, and the third works upstairs. 

In the cubicle to my left, a woman answers questions on the customer call line, which isn't my job. She knows my job, though, used to do it and still helps out with my 'team' sometimes, and she's the one mostly training me. And it's astounding to eavesdrop as she fields customer service calls — she's resolves almost every caller's problems, and quickly, and gives a damn. Every call she takes sounds better than any customer service call I've dialed in my life.

In the cubicle on my right, there's a woman who seems to be Lily Tomlin, working Accounts Receivable. She fields calls from bureaucrats and people who owe the company money, and her phone conversations are comically obtuse. Everything this lady says she says slowly, and repeats a minute later, (intentionally?) making the day difficult for everyone she talks to.

So on my left, amazing competence, and on my right, a fountainhead of frustration.

The cubicle in front of me and the cubicle in front and to the right are both stuffed with storage boxes.

The cubicle in front and to my left has a temp in it, doing some other department's work. He's black, and very shy. He doesn't say good morning, doesn't answer when anyone else says it, and never has anything to say to anyone unless it's work-related. Kinda reminds me of younger me, but with a crazy stylized afro — tall on top, stubble on the back and sides. From behind him, where I sit, he kinda looks like a whisk broom.

And there's no cubicle behind me — I'm right in front of a window. Yeah, at this place the new hire gets a seat with a view. Nice view, too. Being at a window, though, the chill shivers me on cold mornings.

My day starts at 8AM. The lady who's training me starts at 10. The office layout has no bosses within earshot, so most mornings I work alone, overhearing other workers as they arrive and talk — about people and policies they hate, how awful Mr Rizzo is, and how Shan and Kelly think nobody knows they're sleeping together.

Well, now the newbie knows.

It's been a few weeks since I started, so I'm getting to know the people there, something I never quite know how to do. People confuse me, and always have. 

Hello, I say, and good morning, and good night, and we converse lightly as required, about work and the weather, maybe about weekend plans.

It's tricky, though, because if someone tells me what they're doing on the weekend, there's a danger they might ask what I'm doing this weekend, which is nothing, and also nobody's business, and I don't want to talk about it.

I'm simply not looking for friendships at the office. Not looking in life either. I'm just trying to do my work at Haugen & Dahl, which doesn't include making pals.

I am quite content with hello, and good morning, and good night, and anyone who expects more from me is going to be disappointed.

There are two women from work who ride the same morning bus to the island and the evening bus back to the city, and we wait at the same bus stop.

And I say nothing. If I say hello to them at the bus stop, I'll be obliged to say hello every time I see them, and goodbye when we get off the bus, and maybe sit with them during the ride, and eventually we'll trade names and they'll tell me about their husbands and children and lives, and they'll want to know about my cat and dead wife and — I simply don't wanna.

During my first week, I worked near a woman named Sheri but spelled wrong — Scheireigh or something. She's fascinated by the color purple — her hair is purple, her cubicle was decorated with a hundred purple knickknacks, and she'd even replaced her standard-issue keyboard with a purple keyboard she'd brought from home.

We didn't talk much because I don't talk much to anyone, but she gave me a desk-size purple mousepad, and I like it. It really ties the cubicle together.

Then she got moved to a different part of the office, but she came back to visit me a few days later, which is simply strange. We'd spoken perhaps a dozen sentences to each other in my first week, and despite her gifting the giant mousepad, I wouldn't have thought we were anything more than slight office buddies.

But when she popped in, she spoke at me for about five jovial minutes, telling me all about her new position, and the puppies her dog had last week, and other adventures in dog breeding, and her husband, and her daughter (named Lavender).

I ain't slamming Scheireigh, by the way. Nice lady, and I like her purple aura. It's just that she's every bit as extroverted as I'm introverted.

"That's a nice green shirt you're wearing for St Patty's Day," the assistant boss said to me on Friday. 

And I must be getting comfortable in that office, because I replied honestly. "It's an accident. I have five shirts unstained enough to be work appropriate, one for each day of the work week. You'll see me in green every Friday."

He thought that was hilarious, and was still giggling as he walked away. As if I'd been joking.

News you need,
whether you know it or not

US banks launch $30bn rescue of First Republic to stem spiraling crisis 

The money and motivation here is beyond any ordinary person's understanding, but understand this: First Republic is a villainous bank catering almost exclusively to rich bastards, and much more is going on here than what's reported here.

After spending his life deporting illegal immigrants, man discovers he's an illegal immigrant

I have zero sympathy for this schmuck — no, less than zero. His plight is hilarious to me.

Private Christian college pays $14-million but admits no wrongdoing in athlete's heat stroke death after being denied water 

Axios fired a reporter for calling propaganda propaganda

"The smell is next level": millions of dead fish spanning kilometers of Darling-Baaka river begin to rot 

"Endless, brutal heat": Argentina's late-season heatwave has "no similarities in history" 

Global fresh water demand will outstrip supply by 40% by 2030, say experts 

California town races for survival after levees fail: "It destroyed everything" 

Younger generations will be 'damned' without climate change action, says Biden right after approving another giant oil pipeline project 

Climate change increases skin infections 

7 Virginia deputies charged with murder in death of man who prosecutors say was 'smothered' at hospital 

Judge rejects plea deal for child rapist cop

If someone's having a "mental health crisis," do not, do not, do not call the police 

City to pay $75K to 2020 protester rammed by NYPD vehicle 

Missouri sheriff, 2 deputies face criminal street gang activity and conspiracy charges alleging they tried to help a man kidnap his daughter 

Utah bans abortion clinics in wave of post-Roe restrictions 

Kentucky Republicans break public meetings law to pass anti-trans bill targeting kids 

Wyoming becomes first state to outlaw abortion pills 

Florida textbook publisher removes mention of Rosa Parks's race from section about the Black civil rights icon 

Russia disinformation looks to US far right to weaken Ukraine support 

Wisconsin conservatives reward a Trump coup plotter 

More than a quarter of Republicans approve of Capitol attack, poll shows 

Florida lawmaker wants to ban kids from talking to a teacher when they get their period 

Mystery links
There's no knowing where you're going






My browser history
without the porn

A relentless wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is threatening trans people's right to exist. 

Prices at the supermarket keep rising. Is it really inflation? Or something else? 

The slowest train journey in India 

I don't want to log in to your website. 

•  Lessons from My Lai on drawing the line 

The guy who made Wikipedia suckier is mighty proud of his work 

PLATO: How an educational computer system from the ’60s shaped the future

♫♬  It don't mean a thing  ♫
if it don't have that swing

Another Brick in the Wall — Luther Wright and the Wrongs 

The Future — Leonard Cohen 

It's a Knock Off — Sparks 

One is the Loneliest Number — Harry Nilsson 

The Story in Your Eyes — The Moody Blues 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

Mira Bellwether 

Bobby Caldwell 

David Dunn 

John Jakes 

David Lindley 

Suzy McKee Charnas 

Charles Pernasilice 



Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.  

Tip 'o the hat to ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, CaptCreate's Log, Katameme, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, One Finger Medical, Two Finger Magical, Miss Miriam's Mirror, Nebulously Burnished, RanPrieur.com, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration. 

Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo, John the Basket, Dave S, Name Withheld, and always extra special thanks to my lovely late Stephanie, who gave me 21 years and proved that the world isn't always shitty.

Cranky Old Fart
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