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My Online Auction Addiction and What Should I Do With My Punisher Helmet?

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

In recent weeks, I developed an addiction to an online auction site.  I don’t know why, just…so much fun memorabilia and while I’m not rich by any stretch I am finally at a point in my life where I can afford the very occasional frivolity.

Long story short, I bid on and won a Punisher football helmet signed by Jon Bernthal, the actor who plays the Punisher on the Netflix series.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.  In retrospect, I don’t like football.  I’m not a huge Jon Bernthal fan.  I think he’s ok. Honestly, I didn’t know his name and always referred to him as that actor who played Shane on The Walking Dead.  By the way, I always thought Shane sucked because his big gripe is that Rick was mad that he banged his wife like literally five minutes after Rick was presumed dead.  Although I guess if I thought Shane sucked then Jon Bernthal did his job.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t dislike Jon Bernthal….I just don’t worship the guy or anything either.

Long story short, I bought it with an eye toward putting it on a shelf that heretofore had nothing on it.  But when it arrived, it came in the helmet’s original box and inside, it was sealed in a plastic bag so….I guess now I’m worried about taking it out.

Will air, dust and fingerprints ruin the Jon Bernthal signature?  Should I just tuck it away in the closet somewhere?  Perhaps in ten years it would have a nice resale value?  In fact, maybe I could secretly root for Jon Bernthal to become an Academy Award winner so its value could increase.  Maybe Jon Bertnhal will score a role in the Toilet Gator movie!

Then again, I don’t know.  Maybe it would be fun to keep it on the shelf and look at it.  Perhaps I could get a glass case for it or something, or is a glass case overdoing it?

It is also signed by Ebon Moss-Bachrach, who plays The Punisher’s technical assistant Micro.  I gotta be honest, I only watched the first season so I didn’t know there was a Micro.  I had never heard of this actor before but I could root for him to be an Academy Award winner too.

Hell, if Bernthal and Moss-Bachrach win in the same year I could retire off this thing.

Sidenote- I gotta be honest, I originally wanted to win an Avengers football helmet signed by Stan Lee, but the bids on that were way too high for a humble blog proprietor to afford.

Double sidenote – This wasn’t totally silly because as a kid, I did like and read the Punisher comics.  I don’t know why, I just thought out of all the superheroes, he was the most believable.  He had no special abilities or powers.  He was just a vigilante who violated all norms of due process and criminal procedure law and just shot bad guys in the face.  Like honestly, I love Batman, but at least Batman would leave a bad guy hog tied so the cops could find him and arrest him and put him on trial.  The Punisher would just extrajudiciously decide that a dude was guilty and blow his head off with a bazooka.  As an adult, I do realize that this lack of due process is wrong though so Batman is probably the better vigilante.

In conclusion, should I leave the helmet sealed in the bag and inside the box and in a closet or should I take it out and put it on a shelf?

(Sidenote – I also bought a first issue, first edition GI Joe comic book that came sealed in a plastic case and a 1966 Superman Comic Book that did not come sealed in a plastic case and that after that, that was it.  OK it wasn’t it, I actually bid on a lot more things but thankfully, I lost all those auctions and then after that I stopped and quit cold turkey..)

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Is this Pug…

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…a cold pug who is being swaddled to warmth?

…a wise monk pug?

…a Jedi pug?

…a stoic pug?

…a pug who stole a towel?

…a pug who bought a towel?

…a pug who once was wet but now is dry?

…a member of an ancient order of pug assassins?

…a wise pug elder?

…a wizard pug?

…the keeper of ancient pug secrets?

What do you think this pug is?  Answer in the comments?

TV Review – Stranger Things Season 3 (1980)

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

It took me awhile but I finally got through Season 3 of Stranger Things.

These are probably bland observations but I’ll make them all the same.

#1 – The nostalgia factor for someone who grew up in the 80s is fun.  From the music choices to the overall feel, the Duffer brothers know that decade which is odd because I don’t think they spent a lot of time in it.

#2 – Often in movies about kids who save the day, the kids are usually presented as geniuses and the adults as bumbling idiots who get in the way  Here, not so much.  Hopper and Joyce are integral to the plot and aren’t treated like dummies getting in the kids’ way.  Also, the kids are kids.  They make kid mistakes and they need, or rather even seek out parental help because they know their limits whereas other films would show a kid genius who is just being slowed down by the adults.

#3 – Look away if you don’t want spoilers, but the final mall battle where the kids throw fireworks bombs at the monster is visually stunning and fun to watch.

#4 – Russians are the villains and kids and adults alike really dump on them throughout the season, calling them commies and deriding communism as evil and corrupt.  I didn’t think that was allowed anymore in today’s PC world, even in a period piece.

#5 – They do tend to work 80s era actors into the series.  Winona Ryder, aka Joyce was a popular kid actor in the 80s.  Sean Astin of Goonies fame has a brief role as her love interest in Season 2.  In Season 3, Cary Elwes of Princess Bride fame plays a villainous mayor.  Comedian Paul Reiser plays a scientist that experiments on the evil monsters.

#6 – I think the challenge for the show was trying to keep reinvent itself after an initial plotline that was cool at first but over time became somewhat limiting.  For example, after two seasons of battling evil monsters that inhabit the “upside-down” version of their town (basically, an evil parallel universe) one wonders why anyone still chooses to continue to live in Hawkins, Indiana.  Season 3 upped the game by bringing Russians conducting an evil experiment in the bowels of that 1980s staple, the shopping mall and it looks like (spoiler alert) Season 4 will likely involve a plot to rescue Hopper from the upside-down.

#7 – I’ve run out of observations but if you have any, leave them in the comments.  In the meantime, don’t click on the video below if you don’t want a spoiler.  Otherwise, enjoy the kids’ rendition of “The Neverending Story” theme song.

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What is this Bunny?

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Is this bunny…

…a magic bunny who can grant wishes?

…an adorable bunny who poops rainbows?

…a wise bunny who can tell you the secrets to the universe?

…a murderous bunny who will bite your face off if you come too close?

…a happy bunny who will spread joy throughout the land?

…a kitty that someone has glued big ears to?

…a bunny who identifies as a dog?

…the actual Easter bunny?

…the King of Bunnytopia?

…a carrot addict?

…a carrot addict with such a serious problem that he steals from all the other bunnies just to feed his three bushel a day carrot habit?

Personally, I prefer to think this bunny is Dr. King’s dream come alive, for he is a perfect example of two colors working together to make something cute.  You didn’t think of that so you are probable a racist bastard.

But I forgive you because not everyone is as great as I am.  Anyway, let me know what you think this bunny is in the comments.

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Will You Play a Rousing Game of Ms. Monopoly?

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

So I saw that Hasbro has come out with “Ms. Monopoly,” which I guess is meant to celebrate women or something, though that’s odd because it’s not like the original game is limited to male or female players.

A key rule change in this version is that female players get $240 when passing go whereas men get a measly $200…because, um, I guess the best way to celebrate strong, independent women is to give them a headstart because they need it because men have all the advantages but also, they don’t need it because they’re so strong and independent and so on.

This is where someone woker than I will point out that this rule change is a commentary on the unfairness of society and that men on average make more than women so see if you men playing this game like it when the women make more for a change.

Then, this is where I would tell the person who pointed this out that they are comparing apples to oranges because sure, women on the whole make less than men on the whole, but that’s because many women often choose less profitable occupations, and amongst the non-college educated, men always have the opportunity to get into construction or roofing or contracting and many women tend to not be interested in such professions and if you are worried then the way to fix it isn’t by just shouting down the imaginary boogeyman that is lurking in the shadows, doling out extra money to men, but rather, to look at why many women don’t go into more lucrative fields and working on ways to break down those barriers.

Moving on…in light of this new game, here are some upcoming female based board games (and/or woke board games):

#1 – Ms. Clue – Without even opening the box, just assume all male players are automatically guilty and send them directly to jail with no concerns for constitutional due process.

#2 – Ms. Twister – Female players will have a rollicking fun time as they spin the wheel that tells them which brightly colored dots they must put their hands and feet on, contorting themselves into all manner of silly positions.  Male players will decline to play and will huddle in a corner, recording themselves on their cell phones, saying things like, “Look, I’m all the way over here!” and “Here are my hands!  Look at my hands!  I’m keeping my hands to myself and away from all of those dots!”  and pointing out that they are not anywhere near the women and that these recordings will hopefully bail them out of any legal proceedings.

#3 – Woke Operation – Though the patient is the one who decided to drink himself until his kidneys exploded, you’ll need to be overtaxed to pay for this operation.  Also, you must chop off the patient’s penis and attach a vagina without making the game buzz.

#4 – Woke Risk (Or Woke Stratego) – The player who plays as America must forfeit all turns and give up all territory and possessions to all other players to make up for past injustices.

#5 – Woke Scrabble – Same point awarding system as before, but if you try to use your tiles to spell out any pronouns, you must slap yourself in the ball sack with a ball peen hammer.

#6 – Woke Game of Life (Millennial Edition) – All players under 35 just fart into their webcams and become automatically millionaires.  Anyone born before Reagan was president can literally go fuck themselves.

#7 – Ms. Chutes and Ladders – All female players get to climb the ladders.  All male players get kicked down the chutes.

#8 – Ms. Pictionary – All drawing clues just require the players to give a middle finger to the patriarchy.

#9 – Ms. Trivial Pursuit – Female players are awarded an extra pie wedge everytime a male player mansplains the answer to a trivia question.

#10 – Ms. Hungry Hungry Hippos – The game begins when the male players throw all of the little balls into the ring.  All female players will then proclaim that their hippos are not hungry…but then they will nibble on the balls that the men are eating…more and more until the male players just wonder why the female players didn’t just order their own damn white balls but, ok, then the male players calm down and realize that the female players” hippos are under a lot of pressure to please society by looking hot so they’ll go along with the rouse and pretend like the women players’ hippos didn’t eat all the white balls and the male players’ hippos will go back into the box starving but they’ll do it because they know to order more white balls would be taken as an insult.

The male players’ hippos will then pick up the check even though the female players’ hippos have jobs and money and are empowered and shit.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Should Deodorant Come in Boysenberry Scents?

I’m tired of that chemical perfume smell.  I want to smell like lavender, vanilla, oranges, citrus, and creme de menthe.

Do you also want to smell like this?  If so, please invent such wonderful smells and put them into aerosol form.

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TV Review – Team Foxcatcher (2016)

Have you ever looked the other way on a friend or loved one’s mental illness because they have money?

Maybe you rationalized taking an insult because they pay the rent.  Maybe you sucked it up and turned a blind eye to their abuse because you have nowhere else to go.

As the story of “Team Foxcatcher” unfolds, you realize that there were numerous early warning signs that multi-millionaire John du Pont, heir to the vast chemical company fortune, was one hair’s breadth away from snapping like a twig.

And while in hindsight, it’s easy to blame the wrestlers, the estate employees, the coaches, the local police, the Wrestling Association and so on, one has to remember that financial security is the end all/be all of life and few will be willing to bite the hand that feeds them until the abuse just can’t be ignored anymore.

The boiling point came when du Pont shot and killed Dave Schultz, an Olympic wrestler and family man who he’d invited to train on his property.  Once the gun was fired, everyone surrounding the murderous madman realized they should have seen it coming and yet, in the years leading up to it, no one did.

This documentary does a great job of telling the story of du Pont’s long descent into madness, and how so many people who depended upon him were willing to look the other way on his mental illness because he was their goose who laid the golden egg.  (And in many respects, while money initially got them into his life, love for the man got them to stay.)

We learn that Du Pont has been socially isolated and sheltered his entire life.  He grew up in posh wealth with his mother, but never had any friends and never met a sticky situation that he couldn’t buy his way out of.  Although a man of great wealth, it was his father and others before him that built the company and so, he has spent his life as an eccentric, awkward weirdo, desperately wanting to do something that would leave his own mark, earn him respect independent of his family name and money, and so on.

Ironically, he almost got there.  A sports fan who didn’t make it as an athlete himself, he builds an athletic complex on his large, sprawling PA estate and invites America’s greatest Olympians to come and train.  He is quickly hailed as a hero, especially to wrestlers, who are typically dominated by the Russians.  We are told that wrestling is a rather complicated sport, taking years to master, and by the time a wrestler really gets the hang of it, he has to quit and find a paying job to support his family.  Russia pays its wrestlers and du Pont solves the problem by paying the wrestlers a salary out of his own pocket and even given them homes on his property.

Though truly a loon, he might have gone down in history as a great benefactor for American sports.  But alas, as the documentary unfolds, he gets crazier and crazier until tragedy strikes.

The documentary tells the tale of a man coddled by everyone, for he has coddled them with his money and so they are essentially returning the favor.  Not happy to sit back and take praise the way so many other pro sports team owners do after a major win, Du Pont wants to get involved and train with the wrestlers, though he has zero skill to offer and is an old man.

He says weird things.  He does weird things.  He has guns.  A lot of guns.

The warning signs were there.  Perhaps not so much that he would kill someone, but there were situations where had it been a poor person doing what he did, people wouldn’t stand for it.

For example, du Pont develops a strange fear of anything colored black, and demands that anything black be removed from his estate.  No black clothes.  No black cars.  No black paint on buildings.  He even fires all the black wrestlers.  Du Pont argues it is nothing personal or racist, he just can’t stomach the color black anymore.  As a high ranking wrestling official (I forget the name of the organization) explains, that moment should have been the point where his group should have cut ties with du Pont but alas, there just wasn’t another way for wrestlers to train and afford a decent living.

Local law enforcement is aware that du Pont is a loon too but du Pont has helped them with his money over the years.

Du Pont becomes paranoid and hires serious, big time security agents.  He’s convinced there are secret tunnels on his estate and spies hiding in his walls and though they agents realize these beliefs are crazy, they investigate his strange claims anyway…and the viewer is left to debate whether or not they should have just told him he’s an idiot or if they were just doing a job they were hired to do.

It all comes to a head when du Pont becomes increasingly jealous of Dave Schultz, the wrestler that everyone on the team rallies around and views as their leader.  Du Pont wants to be loved just as much, but no matter how much dough he doles out, he just can’t get as much love…and eventually breaks down and sadly, shoots Schultz, killing him.

The Foxcatcher movie with Steve Carrell was great, but I think the documentary did a better job of showing how people around Du Pont realized he was nuts and should have removed themselves from him….but its one of those things where you support your crazy uncle figure until his craziness consumes him.

And ultimately, it is a sad story.  Schultz could have gone one last victory before retirement and being with his family.  Du Pont could have maybe seen a shrink and gotten some help and gone down as a respected sports philanthropist but…sadly, mental illness took its toll.

STATUS: Shelfworthy.

 

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Is Dave Chappelle Insufficiently Woke?

Hey 3.5 readers.

Trying to post a little more.

It saddens me that the PC police are coming after Dave Chappelle.  This guy was the king of comedy in the early 2000s only to be branded a villain today.  Sorry to say it but he didn’t change.  You all did.

Oh, how I loved my Chappelle’s Show DVD box set in the old days.  I’d just watch those sketches over and over.  The guy was such a comedic perfectionist that he left 50 million on the table and walked away because he couldn’t phone it in like so many others did and the stress of doing comedy right got to him.

The weirdest argument, among many, is that his R. Kelly sketch normalized R. Kelly.  I remember that sketch.  He hanged R. Kelly out to dry as a whacko, urine obsessed degenerate pervert.  How that supposedly “normalized” R. Kelly I’ll never know.  If anything, it trashed him and made people more aware of his pervyness.

It’s just sad to see everyone getting on his case.  Your thoughts?

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Other Movies I Saw This Summer But Didn’t Get Around to Reviewing

Sorry, 3.5 readers, I have been uber busy, but here are some brief takes on some other movies I saw but didn’t get around to reviewing:

The Kitchen – Though it has a few good moments, I thought this 1970s crime drama starring Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy and Elisabeth Moss was kind of lame.  It’s about a trio of New York housewives whose husbands go to jail and they step up to run their criminal enterprise.  It’s sort of cringe because on one hand, it’s clear the movie is made such that you are supposed to root for women making it in yet another male dominated profession, i.e. crime and yet, these women are murdering and robbing and so on so really, should we be cheering on anyone who does such things?  McCarthy and Haddish are great comedians and I get they wanted to exercise their dramatic chops, but this wasn’t it.  Those vehicles are possible.  For example, McCarthy nailed it with “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and Haddish will likely find her dramatic role one day.  Moss, who has drama experience from Mad Men, doesn’t get much of a chance to shine.  Overall, it felt like a cheesy ripoff of 2018’s Widows, which was also about three wives who pull off a heist when their husbands are taken out of commission.

The Art of Racing in the Rain – This is another one of those noble dog movies where the dog helps his owner throughout.  Although they are just one step above being a Hallmark Channel movie, they’re still pretty good.  This one is about a race car driver who has perfected the art of racing in the rain, i.e. don’t panic or you’ll wipe out, rather, assume the rain will come and turn into the skid.  Though he was unprepared for his wife’s death and the ensuing custody battle with her parents over his daughter, the lead, whose name I forget, keeps on driving with the help of his pooch.  Good stuff.

Angel Has Fallen – A good addition to this series.  Made me go back and watch the original Olympus Has Fallen and realize it is underrated as an action film.

What movies have you seen lately, 3.5 readers?

Movie Review: It: Chapter 2 (2019)

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I don’t like the It movies.

However, I admit that I don’t like them because they scare me on a psychological level, which is, I suppose, Stephen King’s overall goal, thus quite ironically, what makes the movie a success makes me not want to watch it again.

Both films deal with how children grow up and confront their fears, how they either overcome the obstacles that hold them back and succeed or if they don’t, are eventually consumed by them.

Frankly, the first film would have been enough, but I suppose the second shows how in a weird way, even as adults, we are still kids inside, unsure of ourselves, scared of the future, afraid to confront our demons.

“It,” a demonic being that often takes the form of uber scary clown Pennywise, takes great joy in exploiting the fears of a group of kids, later turned adults, in Derry, Maine.  As the second installment progresses, each adult will have to face a fear that has paralyzed them since childhood, and the old clown is there at every turn, rubbing their fears in their faces.

So, on a psychological level, yeah, the movie will mess you up.  I’m an adult man and I had trouble sleeping after this one, though less so than after the first one.  Sometimes too much of anything and while Pennywise had me shitting my pants in the first one, and for most of the second, I eventually just felt by the end of the second that someone should just drop a nuclear missile on this dumbass clown’s head and be down with it already.

There’s a lot of things I don’t like.  For example, kids getting murdered.  Kids getting their heads chomped off by a clown.  I get that its about confronting the fears that have plagued you since childhood, but come on, we don’t need to see children being murdered in such gruesome detail.  Maybe split the difference and have the clown’s big teeth coming at the kid, then cut away, but no, they show the kids getting chomped in horrifying detail.  Gross, disgusting and unnecessary.

Some great performances by the adult losers – Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader and the guy who plays Young Professor X being the only ones I recognize, though all did well.

STATUS:  Shelf-worthy, though please keep it off my shelf.  I never want to see it again, which I suppose means King did his work.

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