Top Ten Art of War Quotes by Sun Tzu

#1 – “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”

#2 – “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”

#3 – “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

#4 – “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

#5 – “If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected .”

#6- “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”

#7 – “Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.”

# 8  – “Knowing the enemy enables you to take the offensive, knowing yourself enables you to stand on the defensive.”

#9 – “The skillful tactician may be likened to the shuai-jan. Now the shuai-jan is a snake that is found in the Ch’ang mountains. Strike at its head, and you will be attacked by its tail; strike at its tail, and you will be attacked by its head; strike at its middle, and you will be attacked by head and tail both.”

#10 – “Hence a commander who advances without any thought of winning personal fame and withdraws in spite of certain punishment, whose only concern is to protect his people and promote the interests of his ruler, is the nation’s treasure. Because he fusses over his men as if they were infants, they will accompany him into the deepest valleys; because he fusses over his men as if they were his own beloved sons, they will die by his side. If he is generous with them and yet they do not do as he tells them, if he loves them and yet they do not obey his commands, if he is so undisciplined with them that he cannot bring them into proper order, they will be like spoiled children who can be put to no good use at all.”

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What Can the Original Death Wish (1974) Movie Tell Us About the Gun Debate?

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal BQB here.

So, here’s the deal.  Every new generation, for some reason, truly and sincerely believes they are the very first to discover an issue, as though prior generations had never considered it before.

For obvious and tragic reasons, the gun debate is raging all over TV and over the Internet these days.  Funny though, are you aware that a 44 year old movie pretty much sums up the arguments for and against gun control in one fell swoop?

No, I’m not talking about the recently released reboot starring Bruce Willis, although I do want to see it.

I’m talking about the original Death Wish, which by now, is roughly the same age as a middle aged man.  Hard to believe, isn’t it?  I rented it last night and dated as the film is, it still hashes out all the talking points about guns that are being bandied about today.

You see, 3.5 readers, in the early 1970s, there was a crime wave in the inner cities.  Nixon actually won the presidency due to promises to get tough on crime.  People were fed up by the fact that they couldn’t walk down the street without getting hassled by hoodlums and Hollywood cashed on in this development, producing all manner of films where tough guys, fed up with the system’s inability to protect them, take law into their own hands and blow bad guys away with big ass hand cannons.  “Death Wish” was the most notable of these films, though it runs neck and neck with Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” series.

The plot?  New York City architect Paul Kersey is a mild mannered liberal professional and family man.  He loves his wife, his daughter, and abhors violence, having even been given a medical corps position during the Korean War to avoid having to kill anyone.

All this changes when his wife is killed and daughter brutally raped by a pack of hooligans led by none other than a young Jeff Goldblum.  “Life uh..finds a way.”

While some hero tales provide an instant transformation i.e. the main character instantly gains powerful skills overnight, Kersey’s progression from frumpy dad to badass killing machine is a slow one.

Kersey’s informed there’s not much the police can do.  His son-in-law, Jack, laments that to the government, his wife and Paul’s wife are little more than statistics, a certain number of crime victims that the powers that be deem acceptable, even normal, and that they’ll just have to suck it up and get used to it.

Pissed, Kersey starts carrying a sock full of quarters to protect himself.  When a mugger attacks him, he gives the mugger a sock knock and sends the ne’er-do-well running.   He learns an interesting lesson – if criminals are made to fear for their lives, they’ll run.

Our hero then takes a sojourn to Arizona for work, we he meets Aimes, a business associate who can only be described as a walking, talking caricature of a died in the wool NRA member on steroids.  Frontier justice, Aimes says, is the name of the game in the West.  Everyone’s packing heat and criminals know they’ll be instantly bagged and tagged, so crime rates are low according to the cowboy.

Aimes takes Kersey to a range and we can see Kersey feel like he’s regaining control of his life as he takes aim at targets and fires.  He reveals that he did some hunting in his youth and had to qualify as a marksman in the Army, so he has some skill.  The cowboy gives the city slicker a present, a rather menacing looking revolver.

When Kersey returns to NYC, he starts carrying the pistol.  Oddly, he’s accosted by another mugger.  Kersey keeps his cash and puts a bullet in the bad guy instead.  He runs home and is so horrified by what he’s done that he throws up.

But soon…Kersey becomes addicted to murdering criminals…or does he?  It’s sort of an up for interpretation part of the film.

Fun fact – although he’s portrayed as an out of control vigilante, Kersey technically never does anything illegal.  He just takes a lot of walks in the middle of the night in dangerous neighborhoods, on subways, in parks, and is sure to flash a wallet full of money in seedy establishments and/or look like a bumbling old man by carrying groceries.  He never attacks anyone who doesn’t attack first.

Maybe he really is just an old bumbler with a lot of bad luck…but most likely, he’s out trolling, just waiting, nay wishing that some mugger would attack him so he can shoot them in self-defense.

And that’s the rub.  Kersey never shoots anyone who didn’t draw a pistol or a knife on him first.

The overall theme of the movie?  If people arm up, bad guys will pussy out.  Not really a popular message today.

The alternative argument, that society will descend into chaos if everyone is carrying a gun, is briefly explored, but ultimately, it’s suggested that bumbling politicians are to blame.  During one such meeting of incompetent NYC bureaucrats, it’s noted that “the vigilante’s” hijinx have cut muggings down by half, but they’ll never tell the public for fear that the city will become a war zone.

But what’s the alternative?  Better governance?  More police?  A better economy?  More social welfare programs?  A better world where the poor have no need to rob and steal?  Nah, the politicians aren’t going to do any of that.  They’d really just prefer it if families of crime victims like Kersey would shut up, accept their statistic status and go along as if nothing happened.

Is it an awesome film?  In many ways, yes.  The gradual progression from pacified weakling to macho asskicker is fun to watch.

Is it open to criticism?  Yes.  In the past, criminals were portrayed as cartoon characters, bums who made a conscious decision to avoid the honest pay that a hard day’s work could provide and to seek a quick buck by hassling the law abiding instead.  Ergo, they deserved the new holes that Kersey gave to them.  And sure, that often happens but in today’s cinema, criminals are usually given a heartwarming backstory that makes you feel as though the person could not have helped becoming a criminal (often the case, though not always.)

Is the film racist?  Well, I mean, yeah, Kersey does shoot an awful lot of black dudes.  But he shoots white dudes too.  And there are many law abiding African-American characters, from a police officer that assists Kersey in the investigation into his wife’s death, to a working class couple who see a duo of white crooks enter a subway train and decide to get off at the next stop rather than deal with them, to an old black lady who, inspired by tales of the vigilante on the news, whips out a hat pin and stabs the shit out of two reprobates who try to run off with her purse.

I mean yeah, to borrow an SJW term, a white character gunning down so many black characters is “problematic.”  You could argue that perhaps there is a universal code of right and wrong, that no matter what color you are, if you point a gun or a knife at anyone of any color, then you’re getting what’s coming to you if the threatened person takes you out.  It’s a daily war against crime, with law abiding people of all different colors and backgrounds vs.  crooks of all different races and backgrounds.  White Paul Kersey and black old lady with the hat pin are on the same side – two good people who just want to walk home without getting accosted for the money they worked for.

But still, yeah, an awful lot of black dudes buy the farm in this movie so…how to rectify that?  I don’t know.  Maybe if there’s ever another reboot of this film, a black actor could play the Paul Kersey role, gunning down a rainbow of hoodlums from all different backgrounds, or just white guys, or really, does it matter what color the shooter or the person shot is as long as the shooter was being attacked and the attacker was, in fact, a threat to life?  Bruce Willis is one of very few conservative actors willing to touch this franchise, though I think Hollywood missed a real opportunity to hold a coup if they would have cast, say, Denzel Washington or Jamie Foxx as Paul Kersey.

Oh well.  Don’t picket my blog.  I liked the movie though I realize in many ways it’s un-PC, hokey, tacky and well, probably doesn’t hold up today.  I mean, sure if you stand out in NYC in the middle of the night for long enough, you might get robbed once, but no one is as unlucky as Kersey, getting robbed over and over, even if you are out walking around, wishing that someone would rob you so you could kick their ass.  (Note:  just give them the money.)

All in all, what does this old movie tell us?  Does it have any relevance to today’s gun debate?  Basically, the politicians of this movie, just as the politicians in real life today, are as clueless and inept as ever.  Gun control is a sensitive issue and no matter what side you’re on, government officials appear clueless and inept when they fail to make us all safe…and citizens must keep pressure on politicians to make the world a safer place because at the end of the day, they’re lazy and happy to just let victims become more statistics, more faceless victims, more deaths to be expected as just a matter of fact of life.

Overall, depending what side of the fence you’re on, you’ll hate or love this film.  And honestly, I can see why you’d hate or love it.


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Does Mobility Compliance Increase Your Blog Traffic?

Wow, what a nerdy sounding question.

My theme is old and out of date, meaning if I ever change it, I can’t get it back.

Alas, I love it.  It makes my posts look like a comic book and that’s what I’m going for.

But, I would like to monetize this blog, but I just don’t think I get enough traffic at this time to bother with it.

So, just putting the feelers out there, have any of you ever switched to a mobile compatible theme and seen an uptick in your traffic?


Why 1 Million People Need to Each Pay Me 1 Dollar for My Fabulous Book

Hey 3.5 readers.  BQB here.

Take a knee, will you?

You know, 3.5, I’ve known all of you for a long time now and none of you have given me any indication that you’re bad people.  If anything, you’re good, God fearing people, folks who probably give to the needy, donating your time and money to help the poor.

Perhaps you even donate to charitable organizations that seek to cure diseases, help the homeless, or educate young folk.

Look, I don’t know how to break it to you, but y’all are 3.5 chumps.

Charity is a racket and you know what you get for donating to charity?  Jack Squat.  Seriously.  For as long as you’ve been alive, have you ever donated to a cause only to later learn that the problem that donation was intended to help alleviate was solved?

Cure cancer?  Please.  Cancer will be around forever.  Your Uncle Fred, your Cousin Larry and even your cat Mr. Snickerdoodle will all get it.  AIDS?  That’s sticking around too.  Hell, Mr. Snickerdoodle already has the cat version.

You want to donate to help the homeless?  Fine, but there will just be a new crop of homeless people next week.  Since the dawn of time, there have been people with money and people who beg for money.  Even in Ancient Roman times, there were plenty of rich Romans and then there were always a few panhandling Romans, looking for some spare coins from the wealthy Romans.  That’s never going to change.

Sure, just keep tossing your money down that charity hole.  People will still be sick, poor, ugly, fat, bald, gross, unemployed, rabies infested, trudging around aimlessly with gangrenous genitalia.

Don’t even get me started on saving the whales.  The whales are fucked and really, who cares?  What did a whale ever do for you?

Do you want to keep throwing your money away on charities that will never, ever solve the problems they claim to be working on?  Sure, you can if you want to, but why not actually, for once in your life, donate to a cause that will actually yield a result.

3.5 readers, it’s all very simple:

My book is priced at 99 cents.  That’s right.  If 1 million people would be willing to donate 1 dollar by buying my book, then I, BQB, will be able to get laid by women who are way, way, way, ridiculously way out of my league.

Look, 3.5, I don’t want to tell you how to spend your money.  If it gives you the warm and fuzzies to spend your dough sponsoring third world kids even though, if we’re being honest, all of those kids have been shipped off to a sweat shop to build your next smart phone…or you can help a pathetic nerd have sex with hot chicks.

3.5 READERS: But, BQB.  Helping you have sex with hot women is not a worthy cause.

No, but unlike all the problems you’re throwing money at with nary a result,  it’s a problem that can be saved with money.  Your money can yield actual, honest to God results when it comes to my sex life.

If 1 million of you buy my book for 1 dollar, then:

  • I’ll be a millionaire.
  • I’ll be able to self-publish all my other books in style.
  • I’ll buy fancy clothes.
  • I’ll buy a swingin’ bachelor pad in Malibu.
  • I’ll be able to hob knob with hot, morally challenged women who are willing to touch my sad, pathetic micro-phallus because a) remember, I’d be a millionaire and so I’d be able to throw impressive parties to invite hot women too, buy hot women gifts and take them to Paris and shit.

3.5 READERS: But BQB, good women will not be concerned with your money but your personality.

True, and if you’ve been paying attention to this blog, my personality sucks and besides who said anything about good women?  I’m looking for hot women with super loose morals, preferably ones who prefer to go at it in a best two out of three topless jello wrestling competition for my amusement.

Hell, 3.5 readers.  I’ll tell you what.  If you guys turn me into a millionaire, then I’ll gladly post the evidence of how your donation worked to achieve something – namely, the vast improvement of my life.  Sure, it will be creepy to see photos of a man who is best described as “Fat Nosferatu” be surrounded by super hot chicks but hey, that’s life.

Bottomline:  I know money is tight.  I know you have many options to choose from when it comes to donating.  And of course, I’m not seeking a donation.  I’m asking you to buy a book.  If you buy it, you’ll laugh, because it’s funny.

At any rate, if 1 million of you get together, each put in a single buck, then you will achieve an actual result, namely, you will turn me into a man that is popular with super hot gold digging bimbos.

Is that a good result?   A bad result?  All I know is that it’s a result, and that’s more than I can say than any of the other places you’re throwing money at.  You can’t solve all the world’s problems, but you can help a nerd get laid.

Throw your buck in, 999,999 of your buddies to do the same, and this blog will become a recollection of my exploits as a millionaire/stud for ridiculously hot chicks who would never be with an uggo for me, but for the money that you gave me by buying my book.

Or just keep donating to save the homeless, the whales, to cure diseases, and then in 20 years, I’ll accept your apology when you tell me, “You were right, BQB!  Homeless, diseased whales are still running amuck.  If only I had given that money to you to get you laid!”

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Toys R Us is Closing

Ahem.  Mi mi mi mi mi!  Here we go…

“I don’t want to grow up.  I’m a Toys R Us kid!  There’s a million toys at Toys R Us that I can play with!  From bikes to trains to video games, it’s the biggest toy store there is!  I don’t want to grow up, cuz maybe if I did, I couldn’t be a Toys R Us kid!”

Thank you. I’m here all week.  Tip your waitresses.

Sad news, 3.5 readers.  I can tell you, as an 80s kid, it was quite the awesome experience to visit a Toys R Us.  I’m not sure today’s kids got it as much because toys are everywhere. Long before Amazon, I felt big stores with big toy sections like Wal-Mart were seriously cutting into Toys R Us’ action.  I assume Amazon and online shopping did too, though I read an article stating the company also had debt problems.

So…alas, another iconic retail chain bites the dust.  Will you visit your local Toys R Us for one last spin amongst the toys?

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Is There a Way to Back Up Your Blog?

Hey 3.5 readers.

Question.  Is there a way to back up this fine blog?

Most of the time, I type my stuff right into the web browser.  Easy, but then, what if, God forbid, WordPress goes out of business tomorrow?

That’s why I’m wondering if there’s a little button or app or something I can push that will give me a backup of all my posts?

The only other way I can think of is to a) cut and paste and save all old posts by hand and b) save posts as I write them.

Thoughts?  How do you backup your fine blogs?

More power loss in BQB HQ

Sorry 3.5 readers. I’d say don’t let this rattle your faith in this fine blog but did you have any to begin with?

Movie Review – Gringo (2018)

Weed, guns, complicated plots!

BQB here with a review of “Gringo.”

Hmmm.  What’s up with this film?  Well, every once in awhile, Hollywood dumps an ensemble cast into a confusing attempt at a witty, stylish, fast-paced crime comedy and this movie is 2018’s answer to that formula that really hasn’t worked since “Ocean’s 11.”

This movie is 2018’s attempt at such a film.

Here, Richard and Elaine (Joel Edgerton and Charlize Theron), are partners in crime, a duo of corrupt pharmaceutical company representatives/alpha types, the modern day equivalent of the wild sex having yuppies of the 1980s.

Together, they keep their thumb on Harold (David Oyelowo), a dutiful, nerdy employee, so unflinchingly loyal to his bosses that he’s not able to see their more sinister intentions.

During a trip to Mexico, where the company is attempting to perfect a weed pill outside of America’s jurisdiction, all hell breaks loose.  A kidnapping, drug dealers, a hitman with a heart of gold and a couple of hipsters all rain on Harold’s parade.

Charlize, who continues to give me boners and I doubt will never not give me boners, is naughty in this role, saying dirty words you’d never think you’d hear her say.

Meanwhile, David plays the nerd of stressed out, hyper-sensitive, over-worried nerd well.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  There are some cool scenes and fun laughs.  Overall, you might wait to rent it.

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Movie Review – Lady Bird (2017)

Growing up is hard.

BQB here with a review of “Lady Bird.”

3.5 readers, I’ll admit it.  I’m a male chauvinist pig.  I put off watching this movie because I thought it would be ultra-feminist tripe, hyped up to make women feel good about themselves.  Turns out, it isn’t so much about feminism as it is about the eternal struggle of every generation – that battle that comes when kids wants to spread their wings and parents feel they must clip them.

So sorry I assumed the worst about this movie.  I was part of the patriarchy all along.  Who knew?

In director Greta Gerwig’s (I assume semi-autobiographical) meditation on growing up in early 2000’s Sacramento, we follow the senior year in high school of Christine (Saoirse Ronan) who, in a display of the ultimate in eccentricity, takes the name “Lady Bird” and demands others refer to her this way as well.

If the genesis of the self-appointed nickname is explained, I missed it, though I got the general sense that it is one of those silly choices kids make during a time when they believe the world is wide open to them, that they’re special, unique, that they’ll be the next big thing and so it’s ok to do wacky things like re-name yourself.

Lady Bird and her mother, Marion (Laurie Metcalf) have a love/hate relationship.  One minute, they’re in a battle royale, the next minute they’re going dress shopping.  Sometimes they’ll take breaks in the fighting to direct kindness towards the other.

The genesis of the fights?  Lady Bird wants to study at a big name, fancy school, but lacks the grades or qualifications.  Mom and Dad (Tracy Letts) are struggling to make ends meet and though Dad can never say anything negative to his little girl, Mom constantly lays down the law, informing Lady Bird there’s just no way her dreams of heading off to a big city could ever happen.

The film shows both sides of that eternal kid/parent coming of age struggle.  Lady Bird is overly dramatic, perhaps too intelligent for her own good, overthinking the mundane to the point it drives her crazy.  Suburban life doesn’t just bore her, it’s killing her – the sheer lack of opportunity and ability to express her creativity is too much to handle.

On the other hand, if Lady Bird’s dreams are fantasy, Mom and Dad are mired in reality.  Mom is a nurse, working double shifts where she sees death and illness all day.  Dad’s battling depression, having been let go from his longtime job and forced to go through the indignity of sitting through a job interview where he has to explain to a much younger, green around the gills boss how to conduct an interview.  You get the impression that Dad could tell the kid to step aside and get him some coffee, but he accepts the indignity with, well, great dignity.

Yes, we even see both sides of life at the Catholic school Lady Bird attends.  Lady Bird lives to question religious authority and to prank Sister Joan (Lois Smith).  Yet, when Sister Joan holds the power to make Lady Bird pay for a slight, she, well I suppose in the name of Christianity, turns the other cheek.

Meanwhile, an elderly priest/drama teacher who fills his students’ with laughter and song is dying.  Coincidentally, he’s a patient of Lady Bird’s mother and while he’s brought so much joy to so many, he’ll be facing death alone.

In short, the adults know how shitty life can be, especially for the unprepared.  Risks and gambles rarely pay off.  Like the infamous tortoise, slow and steady wins the race.  Mom may seem like a bitch for trying to talk Lady Bird out of pie in the sky dreams, but then again, Mom knows that working a boring, regular job, as non-glamorous as that may be, puts food on the table and gets a mortgage paid off.

Thus, the movie makes a key point.  Kids and adults both have something to say in the eternal growing up struggle.  If a kid has X dream, efforts should be made to make it happen.  Then again, kids have to realize all the struggles Mom and Dad do behind the scenes.  Get that barista job and get in the struggle, just as your parents did before you.

Ronan (my eyes go cross when I try to spell her first name) shines while Laurie Metcalf, a staple of network television since her early days playing Aunt Jackie on “Roseanne” is finally getting some long deserved acknowledgment.  Alas, in any other year, I think she would have been a shoe-in for best actress had she not been up against that other longtime, underappreciated staple of network television, Allison Janney.  Both were equally deserving so I assume it was a coin toss.

In the end, I envy Lady Bird.  Oh, to be young again and to look at the world as a friend, a thing of beauty to explore and not an enemy that is going to bend you over and attack your butt every chance it gets.  Kids, don’t lose your childish sense of wonder as you head off in pursuit of your dreams, but do take your parents’ advice.  The lumps they took might just save you from taking them.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  I think the fish fucker movie is better, though I still thing Three Billboards was the best.

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