Monthly Archives: February 2018

Have a Nice Day 3.5 Readers

That is all for today.

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I Can’t Think of Anything to Blog About

So tell me what you’re up to, 3.5 readers.

Movie Review – Black Panther (2018)

Mother of God, 3.5 readers.  Look what some rapscallion posted on Twitter:

Shameless plug: if you follow @bookshelfbattle you can read snarky commentary like that all the time.

And now, on to Wakanda!

Short version – Malcolm X and Martin Luther King (or at least their dueling philosophies on black empowerment) were put into superhero form and left to duke it out.

Longer version – Wakanda has long existed as a hidden utopia of technological greatness, all made possible to large reserves of vibranium, the magic, do-everything metal that makes Captain America’s shield so awesome.

At the core of Wakandan politics is a central question – should Wakanda remain hidden from the world, hoarding its technological secrets to ensure the country’s continued survival, or should it reach out and arm oppressed people of African descent all over the world?

T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), newly crowned king, takes the former position.  Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) a Wakandan-American with a desire to challenge T’Challa’s claim on the throne, takes the latter.  The stakes are high as whoever holds the throne is able to claim the power of being “the black panther” i.e. the superhero with amazing abilities that can be wielded for good or evil, depending on who is wielding them.

No superhero is complete without his entourage or “Scooby Gang” as Buffy used to call them.  T’Challa’s feisty younger sister Shuri serves as her brother’s James Bond-style “Q” or master of technology, coming up with all sorts of fun and interesting gadgets for the king to use in his war against evil.

Danai Gurira (“Walking Dead” fans know here as the samurai sword wielding Michonne) gets her long overdue big screen debut as T’Challa’s general, Okoye while Lupita Nyong-o is the big cat’s love interest.  Angela Basset rounds out the royal family as T’Challa’s mother.

Meanwhile, Andy Serkis, long relegated to behind the scenes work where his movements are recorded to create CGI characters like “Lord of the Rings'” Gollum hams it up big time as Killmonger’s partner-in-crime/internationally evil weapons dealer Ulysses Klaue.  I got the impression that Andy was waiting a long time to become a real life character and thus enjoyed every minute of it.

Martin Freeman connects the film to the ongoing Avengers plot line as Agent Ross.  Ross is loyal to America while T’Challa’s allegiance is to Wakanda, so somehow they have to set aside their differences to engage in some buddy cop shenanigans.

You know 3.5 readers, one thing I always notice about a super hyped movie is that it is always a let down if the movie doesn’t live up to it.  This film does.  I noticed a lot of African Americans at the theater wearing traditional garb so I imagine there’s a lot of pride in seeing the first black Marvel superhero on screen.

I mean, there was Falcon (Anthony Mackie) but he’s really Captain America’s sidekick and hasn’t been given his own movie yet.  And there’s Blade (Wesley Snipes) who had a whole trilogy but he’s not an Avenger and his powers are more occult/vampire related whereas the Avengers’ powers usually have less scary origins.

However you slice it, Black Panther is the first blockbuster super hero and he’s raking it in at the box office.  Further, as the Marvel cinematic universe enters its tenth year, the cat is breathing new life into the franchise.  While the older characters we’ve grown used to are a lot of fun, we’ve gotten used to their story lines and new additions like this one will keep interest going into the future.

Special effects wise, there’s a lot of cool stuff going on.  Typically, I don’t like it when movies put a certain brand of car into the film as an advertisement, but there’s a pretty cool chase scene in which a Lexus is driven in an unusual way.  I’ll let you watch it rather than spoil it.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy.

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This Blog is Meaningless So I Must Start a New One

3.5 readers, are you aware that in March, it will be the fourth anniversary of this exceptional blog?

That’s more years than I have readers.

Although you are all wonderful, I must admit that four years to gain such a paltry sum of readers wasn’t worth it.

I could continue this blog but lately, the issues of the day really weigh heavily on my mind and soul.  So much fighting.  So much disharmony and discord.  So many problems in the world, so much unrest.  So many people struggling, looking for hope and finding none.

I can no longer waste my time on writing fart jokes.  Fart jokes are crass and they help no one.  I must, instead, make a difference, so I have decided to start a new blog, one in which I will discuss the many important issues of the day.  Further, I will reach out to experts from a variety of backgrounds to get their take on how the world might improve.

I’d love it if you all follow me to this new blog and hopefully it will have more than 3.5 readers.  If you would check it out and give me your feedback, I’d appreciate it.

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The History of Not Giving a Shit

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By: Brother Waldo, BQB’s Spiritual Advisor and Member of the Church of Not Giving a Shit

Greetings and no shits be upon you, 3.5 readers.  When BQB asked me to be a columnist for this blog, I didn’t really give a shit about that.  But then I thought about it and decided that to not write on this blog would be to say that I give a shit about not appearing on this blog.  Ergo, I decided to write on this blog, but to not give a shit about whether or not anyone would read it.

Why should you not give a shit?  Personally, I don’t give a shit if you do give a shit, but if you are asking why should you not give a shit, my first response is to ask you what has giving a shit ever gotten you?  Probably just a bunch of shit, which you’ll have to give many of your precious shits about.  Never give a shit about any shit.

More importantly, since the dawn of time, man has given shits and those shits have always gotten the shit givers into a whole mess of trouble.

Let’s examine this further.  Wars are started by people who give a shit about something.  They are waged against people who give a different type of shit about something.  Both sides give so much shit that they kill each other just to prove who gives more of a shit.  In the aftermath, the world just turns to shit.

Violence, famine, turmoil, strife – all started by people who gave a shit and all actions to make others give a shit just shitting up the place.

But, 3.5 readers, for as long as there have been people shitting up the world through the shits they give, there have been fine, upstanding members of the Church of Not Giving a Shit who stood up to not give a shit.  Those non-shit givers typically always made it through the most difficult of historical times by simply keeping their shits close to the vest rather than give them away with reckless abandon.

Take Brother Alistair, who was once asked by an ancient British king to join the army and run at a bunch of marauders and get his legs chopped off.  All the other shit givers gave a shit and they were hacked to pieces.  Brother Alistair, on the other hand, just shrugged his shoulders, said, “I don’t give a shit,” and walked off the battlefield.  He lived to be 102 which was fairly unheard of in those days, yet it was made possible for not giving a shit spared his body so much stress.

Yes, for as long as people have made the world shitty by giving a shit, there have been proud members of this fine church who didn’t give a shit and lived to tell the tale.  From the earliest wars in human history, all throughout the dark ages, the renaissance, the Revolutionary War, Civil War, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and more have all saved themselves from destruction simply by not giving a shit.

Ah, but here’s where our movement gets interesting.  Many did not give a shit about wars so they were saved by walking away from battle.  Others who gave a shit joined the army and fought because, when asked whether they were scared to fight, they simply said, “I don’t give a shit.”

Yes.  You see, it’s possible for two different people to not give shits and yet the shits not given lead to different paths, war and abstention from war, respectively.  Shits can be given in different ways, from those who don’t give enough of a shit to fight, to those who don’t give enough of a shit about the fear of death that they sign up.  Ironically, those who don’t give a shit about dying tend to be the most valiant fighters who live to tell tales of battle, or at least they would tell them, if they gave enough of a shit about you to tell you.

Ultimately, as long as there has been time, there have been people who do not give a shit.  Not giving a shit is one, if not the, oldest movement of all time.  Why, if you give a shit to find out, you’d know archaeologists have found ancient cave paintings featuring cavemen falling asleep whilst being chewed out by their cave wives for not picking up enough rocks on the way home from caveman work.

It’s up to you and if you give a shit about joining our church, you’d be taking part in a longstanding tradition of not giving a shit, a movement filled with a vast, vibrant history of not giving any shits at all.

Ironically, if you don’t give a shit about joining, then you’ve already joined.  We’d add your name to the roll of the great non-shit givers, but we don’t give a shit whether or not your name is recorded for posterity.

Thank you for giving a shit about this column, but also know that if you did give a shit, our church is not for you.

You don’t give a shit about that?  Welcome back.

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Introducing Brother Waldo of the Church of Not Giving a Shit

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Hey 3.5 heathens.  BQB here.  I must confess, the utter failure of this blog has caused my to realize something very important, namely, that I need religion in my life.  After all, we all need something to believe in to get us through the day, a source of spiritual healing and guidance just to get us through the journey of life.

To that end, I looked high and low.  I spoke to the Christians and they told me that Jesus died for my sins.  I preyed to Jesus to thank him and told him if he died just for my sins, then the whole cross thing was an overkill.  My sins aren’t voluminous and I don’t think anyone should have to die just because I eat an extra slice of pizza and cry while I masturbate myself to sleep every night.  Gluttony and lust, right there.

Next, I talked to the Jews.  I told them that I’m a failure as a blogger.  They told me that Moses parted the Red Sea and wandered the desert with his people for forty years, so fear not, becoming a great blogger, like any other goal, takes time.

I spoke to the buddhists and they said don’t worry if you’re a terrible blogger because your blog, like anything else, was never meant to last forever.

I searched high and low and all representatives of religions were helpful, but none really spoke to me until I met Brother Waldo in a supermarket in East Randomtown.

“Damn,” I said.  “This store is all out of milk.”

“So?”  Brother Waldo said.  “Who gives a shit?”

“I do.”

“Why do you give a shit?” Waldo asked.

“Because I want strong bones,” I replied.

“Why do you give a shit about strong bones?”  Brother Waldo asked.

“Because I want to be able to walk well into my old age,” I said.

“Who gives a shit about that?” Brother Waldo asked.

“I do,” I said.

“Why?”

“Because I…”

And so, the conversation continued like that for an hour until Brother Waldo let me in on a secret.

“I’m Brother Waldo,” the man said.  “I’m a member of the Church of Not Giving a Shit and what you’ve just witnessed is the infinite cycle of circular shit giving.”

“Excuse me?” I asked.

“It’s possible for you to give a shit about something into perpetuity while also giving your reason for giving a shit as little more than a constant refrain of the lie that somehow, you must give a shit because you feel you are required to,” Brother Waldo explained.  “But you aren’t.”

Wow.  That changed my life.  I AM NOT REQUIRED TO GIVE A SHIT!

Blah, blah, blah, long story short, I moved Brother Waldo into BQB HQ, named him my spiritual advisor, joined the Church of Not Giving a Shit, and gave the good brother a column on my fine blog sooooo….enjoy.

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Movie Review – Battle of the Sexes (2017)

Men vs. Women…and a naked man holding a tennis racquet!

BQB here with a review of “Battle of the Sexes.”

It’s the 1970s and women’s lib is all the rage.  Women are burning their bras as tools of oppression against their jugs and telling men to make their own sandwiches.  Really, it was anarchy.

Amidst this backdrop, tennis legend Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) becomes a feminist folk hero when she defies tennis great Jack Kramer (Bill Pullman) by leaving the already established women’s tennis league and leading fellow female players to create their own, all over a pay dispute as women players were paid much less than their male counterparts.

Meanwhile, washed up, formerly great tennis pro Bobby Riggs is now in his mid-fifties.  He’s found a new life with a beautiful and rich wife Priscilla (Elizabeth Shue who, sidenote, gave this reviewer one of his first boners and continues to do so even though she’s getting up there in years).

You’d think that would be enough, but Bobby is bored.  He misses his heyday, a time where he drank, partied, lived it up and gambled…so much gambling.  Unlucky for Bobby, Priscilla does not approve of his gambling and has made it known that he needs to either settle down or lose her.

Long story short, Bobby, seeking a second chance at fame and fortune, challenges Billie Jean to a “battle of the sexes” – man vs. woman on the tennis court.  He hams it up for screen, telling women they need to get back in the kitchen, make his dinner, etc.

I won’t spoil it any further but suffice to say, good writing usually makes the audience root for both opponents.  Billie Jean feels she can’t stand idly by as this dummy makes a mockery of the women’s lib movement.  As for Bobby, what begins as a chance to grab the attention he craves turns into a quest to prove this his wife that it’s ok for him to gamble and live large and engage in get rich quick schemes because he’s really, really good at them.  Bobby makes this point known at a Gambler’s Anonymous meeting where he tells a bunch of down and out degenerates that their problem isn’t that they’re gamblers but that they are bad gamblers.  Bobby’s schemes make money and therefore he thinks he should be acclaimed as a hustler, not a mere gambler.

SIDENOTE: Sarah Silverman turned my head as Billie Jean’s manager, Gladys.  If Sarah could drop the whole “I say dirty things in a sweet voice” act (as she does here), there might be bigger roles in more serious films for her.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Between Billie Jean wanting to be accepted by the public without having to keep her sexual preference a secret and Bobby wanting to be accepted by his wife as the larger than life big mouthed baller that he is, the movie has a lot to say about the boxes life places us in, how we have to do backflips to prove ourselves and get out of them and overall, wouldn’t it be great if the world we just let us all live as we choose?

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Judy Garland in Blackface

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal BQB here.

Ugh.  Maybe I’m not the pop culture guru I thought I was, because I found out the other day that Judy Garland performed in blackface.

Around Christmastime, I watched the Wizard of Oz after not watching it since I was a kid.  As an adult, I really appreciated the Jude-ster’s vocal talents and, embarrassing as this may be, I began looking up clips of her other performances as an adult.  Her rendition of “Come On, Get Happy” is pretty great.

Should I be admitting a love of show tunes?  Yes.  #2018.

So anyway, the other day I was on YouTube, looking for another dose of Judy and low and behold, two clips appear of her in blackface.  She’s got the dark makeup, the wig, the exaggerated whites around her mouth and eyes.  She’s calling herself “Opal Pearl Washington” and singing about her “Mammy and Pappy.”

Holy crap.  I mean, maybe you could defend her on the grounds that in at least one of the appearances, she’s a kid and her parents and/or studio execs are to blame but even so, finding out that Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz appeared in blackface is the equivalent of:

#1 – Finding out that Santa snorts coke off of stripper asses.

#2 – Finding out that the Tooth Fairy uses the teeth she collects for no reason other than to just swim around in them naked and revel in all the pain the kids went through to lose their teeth.

#3 – Finding out that the Easter Bunny is a serial killer who cuts off people’s faces and wears them.

#4 – Finding out that America’s Dad of the 1980s Bill Cosby used to drug women for sexual perversion purposes and, oh shit, that happened and I felt bad then too.

#5 – Finding out that seemingly trustworthy morning talk show host Matt Lauer had a button under his desk he could use to lock women inside his office.  Oh shit…

So anyway.  I guess that information has been out there a long time and I’m just discovering it.  Did I mention the other video was basically a tribute song to FDR?  Yes, because in the 1940s it was totally cool to get in blackface and support presidential candidates apparently.

Oh well.  The woman died of a barbiturate overdose when she was 47 so I’ll assume there was a long list of shit the studios made her do that weighed on her mind.  People have pointed out she sold a house to Sammy Davis Jr when no one else in Hollywood would.

Not excusing it…just ugh…Judy!  Why, Judy, why?  Say it ‘aint so!

I’m not posting the video.  Feel free to look it up on YouTube if you want your faith in humanity shocked.

I’ll try to soldier on but if I find a video of little Toto in a doggie klansman outfit then I’m going to give up on life.

 

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BQB Gets Controversial #1

Manufactured controversies designed to increase traffic to this fine blog:

#1 – Bunnies eat salad.  Ergo, if you eat bunnies, it’s like you are eating salad.  A cup of bunny stew a day keeps the doctor away.  The logic here is unassailable.

#2 – Everyone who disagrees with me should be loaded into a rocket and shot into outer space.

#3 – Every person in the entire world should be issued one nuclear warhead.  No one will ever be mean to anyone out of fear that the person who is treated poorly will detonate his or her warhead.  Thus, everyone will be nice and a new day of kindness will envelope the world.

#4 – Everyone who is ugly should be put on one island.  Everyone good looking on another.  Everyone will then be happy.  All the ugly people won’t be hassled by the uggos and all the uggos will accept their ugly status and not burden themselves with crazy thoughts like, “But I could improve myself and get someone hot!”  No, you won’t.  You’re ugly.

#5 – Children’s lemonade states should be inspected for all required permits.  I’m tired of pint sized scofflaws circumventing the system.

#6 – “Ninja Certification” should be offered as a valid career path and/or major at every reputable university.

#7 – The “Star Wars” series should end with the smash revelation that Chewbacca is now the Emperor of the Galaxy and that he was just a reincarnated version of uber flamboyant 1960s piano play Liberace with faux fur glued to him the entire time.  After this revelation, no more “Star Wars” movies should be made.

#8 – Military units should be dispatched to track the end of any and all rainbows.  Any leprechauns found should be captured and brought in for questioning.  All pots of gold should be confiscated and the proceeds put towards bringing down the national deficit.

#9 – Flavor Flav should be named Secretary General of the United Nations.  Vanilla Ice should be pope.  From now on, all important world leader positions should be filled by 1990s rappers.

#10 – Prior to marriage, all prospective couples should be required to submit one nude photo of the other, preferably in a hilarious yet embarrassing position, possibly involving funny hats, balloons, and clown makeup, to an impartial arbitrator.  When the prospect of divorce is raised, both parties will be given 24 hours to submit to a reasonable settlement.  Otherwise, the photos will be blasted on social media.  If they submit within the time limit, the photos will be destroyed.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Two Things That Were Better in the Past

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

I know.  It’s not good to idolize the past.  Sometimes it’s hard to watch an old TV show like “Leave it to Beaver” and think the 1950s were awesome only to realize that yeah, they were only awesome for Ward and people like Ward and no one else.

So, all that’s a given.  We’re all glad for improvements in equality, civil rights, etc.

Here’s two things I wish had remained:

#1 – Clothing – People, and I don’t care how rich or poor they were, where they were from, their background, ethnicity, race, profession, religion or what have you, dressed up whenever they did anything.  A trip to the grocery store required a suit.  People always wanted to look their best.

Some of that is because there weren’t many options to dress down.  T-shirts with funny sayings on them hadn’t been invented yet.

I’m willing to hear some criticism of this.  Dressing up probably wasn’t fun for women if it involved long gowns with all kinds of parts and straps and iron bars and shit.  And maybe a suit for a trip to the store is a bit much.

Surely, there could be some modern compromise that captures the idea that to be out of your house means to look your best and it’s easier to be less formal.  Tell you what, how about suits are only necessary for jobs that require them but maybe a nice polo shirt over that “I’m with Stupid” t-shirt, OK?

Look, I’m not one to talk.  I look like I wake up everyday, dive into the hamper and just walk out wearing whatever stuck to me.

Another thing that sucks is a lack of headwear.  Fedoras were awesome and should still be wearable today as a real look and not as a proclamation of hipsterism.  You know what looks stupid?  Wearing a baseball cap for any other reason than you are a baseball player or some other kind of athlete.  Or maybe you want to have a head covering while you are active, keep the wind out of your hair or the sun off your head without something bulky.  I get that.

However, the fedora was like a fancy suit for a man’s head.  And ladies had some fancy hats – dresses for their heads.  I really think we should bring back the hats.

Know why?  Past people understood a) not everyone has good hair and b) not every person with good hair has a good hair day.  You got the locks?  Let them flow on a Friday night.  You don’t?  Don’t worry.  Pop on a fancy hat.

I said fancy hat.  Not your “I Honk for Titties” trucker cap, you pervert.

The second thing I wish had remained from the past are the hobbies.  TV wasn’t as prevalent, so people…read!  They actually read.  And they played games…and talked.  They played music.  People would gather around a piano and sing while someone played. People knew how to play instruments and shit because they relaxed by learning how to play them because TV wasn’t the giant time suck it is today.

You can still do all these things today but you need to be more disciplined and sigh…shut that tv off.

I know I said two but I thought of a third thing – food.  People did eat a lot of bacon and drank a lot of whole milk and they smoke and drank a lot and didn’t understand all the health ramifications of bad food.

Today, info about bad food is prevalent….but it’s much more available so we stuff it in our cakeholes and hope for the best.  Processed foods, fast food…shit in olden times, June would just bake Ward a cook turkey.

Do we need a debate over who cooks the turkey?  No.   I don’t care if June cooks it, or Ward, or hell tell Wally and the Beaver to get off their dumb asses and cook it.  I’m just saying, people used to cook their own food more and I think they were healthier for it.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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