Tag Archives: celebrity gossip

Pop Culture Mysteries!!!

A brand new episode of Pop Culture Mysteries starts tomorrow…

“Hmm…my powers of deduction lead me to believe this dame croaked from boredom. Probably didn’t read enough of the Bookshelf Battle Blog, see?”

Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Blog Private Eye, has agreed to solve 100 pop culture mysteries and submit his findings right here on bookshelfbattle.com

Need to refresh your memory?  Better check out the previous episodes, see?

Pop Culture Mysteries:  Enter the Blond

Pop Culture Mysteries:  Case File #001 – Here’s a Story (Question Answered – What happened to the original Brady Bunch spouses aka Mike’s first wife and Carol’s first husband?)

Who better to solve a mystery than Jake Hatcher, a hardboiled film noir style detective who fell asleep in his office above an LA Chinese restaurant in 1955, woke up in 2014, and spent a year trying to figure out what happened before Bookshelf Q. Battler’s Attorney, the delicious dish Delilah K. Donnelly, offered him the chance to make 500 smackers?  (That’s a lot of dough in 1955, see?)

Do you have a question about popular culture?  Is there a plot hole in your favorite TV show or movie you’d like explained?  Is there a celebrity meltdown you’d like to know more about?  An entertainment myth you want debunked?

Put Hatcher on the case!

SUBMIT YOUR POP CULTURE MYSTERY QUESTIONS TO:

TWITTER –  @bookshelfbattle    #popculturemysteries

BQB’s Google Plus Page

Or just drop it in the comments here.

Hell, if you can get past her constant complaining, Liddie Laurent will even explain how you can read Pop Culture Mysteries on Wattpad.

Together, we can help Hatcher solve 100 mysteries and go back to his own time with a big bag of five dollar bills, which he will use to live like a king.

Tomorrow’s Pop Culture Mystery:  Han or Greedo – who shot first?

Man investigating murder victim image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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POP CULTURE MYSTERIES!

Pop Culture Mysteries is a new feature on the Bookshelf Battle Blog, hosted by a storytelling nerd of world renown, the one and only Bookshelf Q. Battler!

Jake Hatcher, a hardboiled 1950’s film noir detective in the tradition of Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe, has agreed to solve one hundred pop culture mysteries and file his reports right here on bookshelfbattle.com

LADY: Oh Detective, can you solve the Mystery of Why BQB Only Has 3.5 Readers? HATCHER:  Because he stinks worse than a swamp on low tide day, ma'am.  Now that'll be five bucks.

LADY: Oh Detective, can you solve the Mystery of Why BQB Only Has 3.5 Readers?
HATCHER: Because he stinks worse than a swamp at low tide, ma’am. Now that’ll be five bucks.

SOME CASES CURRENTLY ON HATCHER’S TO-DO LIST:

1)  How the hell did Doc and Marty from Back to the Future know each other?

2)  Why didn’t Rose take a seat in one of the life boats so Jack could keep that lousy piece of driftwood in Titanic?

3)  Who shot first?  Han or Greedo?

All these and more coming soon…but first up tomorrow…What happened to the original Brady Bunch spouses?

Do you have a pop culture mystery you want to put Detective Hatcher on?

Tweet it to @bookshelfbattle or leave it in #popculturemysteries (Because BQB totally owns that shit now)

Tell him on his Google Plus page

Drop it in the comments of bookshelfbattle.com

Together, we can help Jake solve 100 mysteries, earn 500 bucks and go back to 1955 where he will live like the King of Siam with his bag of green Abe Lincoln portraits.

Film noir detective and client photo courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Pop Culture Mysteries – Enter the Blond – Part 4

PREVIOUSLY ON POP CULTURE MYSTERIES:

Private Eye Jake Hatcher returns to his office to find a mysterious blonde dame who, as it turns out, is legal counsel to none other than Bookshelf Q. Battler.

Part 1    Part 2   Part 3

AND NOW THE POP CULTURE MYSTERIES CONTINUE…

“A lady lawyer?” I gasped. “Jiminy Christmas! Lady drivers, lady voters, and now this?”

After falling asleep in 1955, Detective Jake Hatcher woke up in 2014 and has spent the past year investigating out the crazy new world around him, wondering how he got here and how to get home. Follow his adventures on

After falling asleep in 1955, Detective Jake Hatcher woke up in 2014 and has spent the past year investigating the crazy new world around him, wondering how he got here and how to return to his own time.

Delilah rolled her eyes and blew a cloud of smoke in my face.  My powers of deduction led me to believe that she did so on purpose.

“You certainly are a man from the first half of the Twentieth Century aren’t you?”

“I didn’t say I agree with the sexism of yesteryear, ma’am,” I said. “I’m just having a hard time adjusting to a world I barely recognize is all.”

Delilah poked her button nose back into the file of dirt she had on me.

“In 1955, you fell asleep in this very office,” Delilah said. “When you opened your eyes in the morning, you found yourself in the year 2014. Physically speaking, you hadn’t aged a bit. For the past year, you’ve been wandering the streets of LA in an aimless manner, desperately trying to figure out how you lost fifty-nine years.”

My jaw dropped lower than a discount plumber’s butt crack.

“How do you know about that?” I asked.

“Like I said,” Delilah replied. “I like to know everything there is to know about someone I intend to hire.”

“This world is the most topsy turvy ride I’ve ever been on and I want to get off, see?” I said. “Everyone beep beep bopping on computer machines, dames strutting down the street in trousers like they own the joint, and coffee shops that serve you everything but black coffee. If you know how to return me to my own time, sister, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d flap your gums and fill my ears full of that knowledge.”

“That brings us to my employer’s proposal,” Delilah said. “I represent one Mr. Bookshelf Q. Battler, a blogger who is the proprietor of a website known as bookshelfbattle.com aka the Bookshelf Battle Blog.”

I made a face that looked like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck.

“I’ve been trying my best to learn about everything I missed,” I said. “But you’re going to have to spoon feed me that one, ma’am.”

Delilah pantomimed her fingers in a motion as if she were a secretary in an office typing pool.

“My client does typey typey on the beep bop machines,” she said.

“Oh,” I replied. “Fancies himself the next Mickey Spillane I suppose?”

“Something like that,” Delilah said as she handed me a letter. “Here. Read for yourself.”

FROM THE DESK OF BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER

World Renowned Poindexter, Nerd Blogger, Reviewer of Books, Movies, and Assorted Cultural Happenings, Champion Fighter of Yetis

June 1, 2015

Dear Detective Hatcher,

Terrorism. War. Global Warming. Virus epidemics. Reality television. By now, you have realized that the world is a much different place than the one you left behind when you fell asleep on that fateful day in 1955.

In some ways, it’s much better. If a man slaps his wife around, people are more likely to do something about it.

True, it’s still not guaranteed that someone will do something about it, but there is a clear statistical trend that shows that if a man uses his wife’s face as a stand-in for a heavy weight speed bag, the authorities may very well take notice. In another sixty years, I’m certain we’ll get that guarantee of action in the face of spousal abuse.

African Americans are no longer treated like second class citizens. At least, our government has been wise enough to demand that this be so. Whether or not this is actually the case is…well…check back on that in sixty years too.

All I know is that all of the “WHITE ONLY WATER FOUNTAIN, DRINK SOMEWHERE ELSE, DARKIES!” signs have been taken down and that is a great deal of progress since your day.

Institutions of higher learning have sprung up like wild flowers, allowing minds of every race, color, creed and orientation to blossom under their guidance while employment opportunities abound for all.

Well, at least they did for awhile until the stock market took a great big ginormous dump all over the place in 2008 and well, look, by 2075, we’re going to have this whole shebang running like clock work. I guarantee it.

Of course, things have also gotten worse in many ways since your day.

Health officials run scared over a new virus every five minutes.

I’m no medical expert, but essentially what happens is somewhere in the third world, a chicken sneezes on a goat, said goat sneezes on a cow, the cow sneezes on a human and then like 10,000 humans drop dead in ten seconds flat. And the media feels the constant need to remind us every five minutes that the dreaded “Chicken/Goat/Cow Virus” could be lurking anywhere, maybe even in our breakfast cornflakes.

Don’t even get me started on the media.

Weapons have gotten deadlier since the 1950’s and believe you me when I tell you that more screwballs have them than ever before.

Your average street gang has more firepower in the back of a van than the Russian-Cuban alliance ever pointed at the US during the Cuban Missile Crisis. For many years, the Bloods and the Crips have been threatening to nuke one another over an unseemly joke told at the expense of one of their mothers during a game of three card monty gone bad.

Terrorists run rampant the world over, demonstrating their claimed religious ideals by chopping off heads of people they disagree with and posting it all over social media.

I mean, holy shit, if I try to post the same link to my lousy book blog twice in one day, I’ll get a sternly worded passive aggressive form e-mail written by some 20 year old Silicon Valley chump who made his first million before he grew pubes but sure, let’s just let whackos the world over post their malicious mayhem for the whole world to see…and I’m sorry.

I’m off topic.
Bottomline? I don’t like the world I live in and the world has, on a daily basis since I was born, made it clear to me that the feeling is more than mutual.

I prefer fantasy worlds – ones created by writers and artists.

Books, movies, TV, video games. Yes Hatcher, they have video games now. You should play one. You will trip like there’s no tomorrow.

During the brief moments I spend in these fictional worlds, I’m happier than I ever am in reality.

But the questions, Hatcher. I have so many questions about the popular culture to which I have grown hopelessly addicted to.

You might even call these questions – “Pop Culture Mysteries.”

(Copyright Bookshelf Q. Battler 2015, Hands off you Silicon Valley Freaks!)

Who better to solve a mystery than Los Angeles’ most notorious private eye?

For security reasons, and also because my compound is messy as all get out, we will never meet. My maid just quit and I can’t find another one willing to work in the same house as a Yeti. Can’t say as I blame them.

My attorney, Ms. Donnelly, will take it from here. I trust she will handle all of the details. Be advised I have provided her with the authority to speak for me in all matters.

I look forward to working with you, Mr. Hatcher.

Yours Truly,

Bookshelf Q. Battler
Blogger-in-Chief
Bookshelf Battle Blog

Will Ms. Donnelly be able to negotiate an accord between Bookshelf Q. Battler and Detective Jake Hatcher?  Find out in the next part of Pop Culture Mysteries:  Enter the Blonde!

I know.  I know.  Horrible title but it would be too much work to change it now.

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Pop Culture Mysteries – Enter the Blond – Part 3

PREVIOUSLY ON POP CULTURE MYSTERIES: ENTER THE BLONDE 

PART 1 – Detective Jake Hatcher arrives in his office to find a mysterious blonde dame…

PART 2 – …who seems to know an awful lot about our fearless  private eye.

Attorney Delilah K. Donnelly, Examiner of Bookshelf Q. Battler's Legal Briefs (That's not an inappropriate pun or anything, he really gives her a crap ton of paperwork.)

Attorney Delilah K. Donnelly, Examiner of Bookshelf Q. Battler’s Legal Briefs
(That’s not an inappropriate pun or anything, he really gives her a crap ton of paperwork.)

“I’m here to offer you a very lucrative deal, Mr. Hatcher.”

How many times had I heard those famous last words uttered to me by a she-devil in a skirt?

“Let me guess,” I said. “You’re going to tell me that you want to hire me to take incriminating photos of your good for nothing husband in the throes of passion with his cheap floozy secretary. Only you’re going to shoot them both before I arrive and when the cops show up, they’ll mistake me for the trigger man. While I’m getting outfitted for a pair of striped pajamas, you’ll be on your way to Barbados with a pile of your dead hubby’s cash. Whaddaya say, sweetheart? Am I warm?”

“You’re ice cold,” the dame said with a chuckle. “My goodness, you certainly are distrustful of the fairer sex.”

“I trust no one, ma’am,” I said. “Dames have just given me more reason not to.”

My uninvited guest puffed away on her filtered cigarette and gave me the old once over with her eyes, looking at me in much the same way a lion must look at a fat gazelle with a gimpy leg.

“I hope one day you’ll learn to trust me, Mr. Hatcher.”

“Doubtful,” I said. “Especially when you’re probably going to try to bat your pretty little eyelashes at me out of a mistaken belief that you can make me fall in love with you and dupe me into killing your husband because you’re too chicken to do it yourself? Did I figure out your fiendish scheme yet?”

“Some detective you are!” the lady said as she snapped off her right glove and stretched out a finely manicured hand, complete with red nails polished so brightly I was able to see my mug staring back at me in them.

“You failed to deduce that there’s no ring on my finger!”

I stared at that dainty hand and silently kicked myself on the inside for letting a clue slip past me. Maybe it was late, maybe it was the extra doses of Jack Daniels, but that gal had gotten one over on yours truly, and I didn’t like it.

Not one bit.

“Even so,” I said. “It’s been my experience that a woman with a body like yours is always up to no good and this palooka didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, see? I think you made a mistake in coming here, sister. The all-day sucker store is two blocks down.”

“You’re really something else, aren’t you Mr. Hatcher?” the dame asked. “My employer warned me about you.”

“Your employer?”

“Yes,” the woman said as she handed me a business card. It read:

Delilah K. Donnelly, Esq.

In-House Counsel for Bookshelf Q. Battler

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Pop Culture Mysteries – Enter the Blond – Part 2

PREVIOUSLY ON POP CULTURE MYSTERIES – ENTER THE BLONDE:

PART 1 – Detective Jake Hatcher returns to his office to find a mysterious blonde dame sitting behind his desk.

That dame was all class, but a bit snooty – like an exceptionally attractive school marm.

Detective Hatcher prefers old school typing.

Detective Hatcher prefers old school typing.

She read from the file of poop she’d scooped on me with all the enthusiasm of a professor giving a lecture on transcendental metaphysics.

“In 1920, you were born one Jacob Ronald Hatcher in Bayonne, New Jersey,” the dame said. “Parents Gus and Mitsy, a barber and a housewife, both solid citizens who never did you wrong, unlike your conniving brother Roscoe who…”

“Yeah do us all a favor a skip over Roscoe, lady,” I said.

“In 1938, you turned eighteen and moved to Hollywood, deluded by the misguided hope that your handsome face and macho physique would be more than enough to provide you with a career as a movie star…”

“People have done more with less,” I interrupted.

“Alas, like most newcomers to Tinseltown, you were turned away by every producer and found yourself on the streets,” the dame continued. “You made your living as a prize fighter, taking on all comers and throwing matches for a fee under the names of ‘Punchy McGee,’ ‘Take a Dive Dan,’ and ‘The Down for the Count Kid.’”

“Yeah,” I said. “Well, it’s not my fault that was a rigged racket.”

“War broke out three years later and in your early twenties, you found yourself in Europe, fighting on the front lines,” the dame said, studying the file like it was the Old Testament. “I see you fought in D-Day and marched with Allied Forces all the way to Berlin.”

“You ‘aint just whistlin’ Dixie, ma’am.”

“There’s a notation here that you were involved in a special mission?” the dame asked.

I gulped my drink and poured another.

“That’s right.”

“Care to share?” she asked.

“Hitler,” I said. “I punched him in the face.”

The dame’s big blue eyes widened with shock. “Excuse me?”

Adolf Hitler - historians agree that the last words he heard before Detective Hatcher's fist collided with his face were,

Adolf Hitler – historians agree that the last words he heard before Detective Hatcher’s fist collided with his face were, “Sprachen zie punch?”

“I infiltrated a secret Nazi bunker and punched Adolf Hitler square in his stupid face,” I said. “Knocked the son of a bitch out colder than your demeanor.”

I could tell by the look on the dame’s face that she was impressed.

“You punched Adolf Hitler in the face?”
“Yes ma’am.”

“Adolf Hitler…Der Fuhrer of the Third Reich?”

“That’s the one.”

“I thought he committed suicide,” the dame said.

“That’s what the powers that be want you to believe, ma’am,” I said. “Truth be told I delivered Hitler to General Eisenhower, who had Old Adolf hauled off by a bunch of G-Men to a secret government lab. They did all kinds of experiments on him. They wanted to see what made an evil lug like that tick in the hopes they could prevent another monstrous dictator from popping up ever again. Given the headlines these days, it doesn’t seem to me like they were very successful.”

“And you’re telling me this…why?”

“You asked,” I said. “I’m not a liar, ma’am. A lady asks me a question, I give her an honest answer. Mitsy Hatcher raised a gentleman, I’ll have you know.”

“But the dishonorable discharge?”

“The brass didn’t want the public to know about Operation Fuhrerpunschen and I was a loose end,” I said. “They booted me out on a bunch of trumped up charges that weren’t worth the paper that they were printed on. Ordered me to keep quiet but hell, all of those bums are long dead now so it’s not like there’s anything they can do to me.”

“I see,” the dame said, turning her attention back to the file. “You returned to LA in 1945 and joined the Los Angeles Police Department.”

“Seemed like a shot at a steady paycheck,” I said. “Didn’t realize it was an invite to every two-bit thug to declare war on me…and honest cops? They didn’t last long back then.”

“I’m not sure they last long now either, Mr. Hatcher,” the dame said as her sad lips curled up into a rare smile. “Now, after the incident vis a vis your wife’s infidelity with your partner, you quit the force and went out on your own as a detective for hire, is that right?”

“That’s the long and short of it, ma’am,’ I said. “But what gives with the twenty questions anyway? You writing a book or something?”

“No,” the dame replied. “I just like to make sure I know everything there is to know about a man before I hire him.”

“Speaking of,” I said as I looked at my watch. “It’s been longer than five minutes and you’ve yet to explain to me why you’re here.”

Why is this dame here?  Find out in the next part of Pop Culture Mysteries: Enter the Blonde!

(Yeah, I know, we really need to fire the guy who writes these post titles).

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Pop Culture Mysteries – Enter the Blonde – Part 1

By: Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Private Eye

Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Private Eye

Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Private Eye

It was a dark and stormy night.

The kind of night where it doesn’t just rain cats and dogs. It pours flabby tabbies and labrador retrievers.

The H20 pumped down from the skies, dancing on the pavement like so many Swan Lake ballerinas. It sloshed all over my wingtips as I buttoned up my trench coat, tilted my fedora downward, and began wondering if an ark wouldn’t be a bad investment.

Luckily, I reached my office before I was swept away to Timbuktu.

Times were tough and money was harder to come by than integrity on network television. All I could afford was a one room hovel above a Chinese restaurant. It worked out well. I was a sucker for moo goo gai pan and my landlady, good ole Ms. Tsang, never failed to have a hot plate full of it waiting for me whenever I came home from a long night of sleuthing.  Gratis.  Free of charge.  I didn’t even have to pay for it.

Ms. Tsang was truly a sweet old gal.

I ate a forkful of my free dinner and headed upstairs to my digs, the door of which was prominently marked:

Detective Jake Hatcher

Private Investigator

Reasonable Rates/No Refunds

I popped open the door and relieved my worn out carcass from my sopping wet coat. The fedora? It stayed on. Many a ne’er-do-well has tried separate this gumshoe from his favorite hat and not lived to tell the tale. I wasn’t about to do the job for them.

My mind was swimming for shore and I was ready to drown it before it started doing the backstroke. I had an appointment with one Mr. Jack Daniels. He was an old friend I knew all too well. Some might say too well, my third ex-wife among them.

I poured myself a shot and there it sat before me, staring me straight in the puss like an uninvited house guest that refused to leave. An angel on my left shoulder told me to pour it out the window and sober up. The devil on my right shoulder told me to guzzle it down and keep ‘em comin.’

The devil won. He always does.

I tilted the glass against my lips and Mr. Daniels’ special prescription for what ailed me trickled through my lips, across my tongue, and down my gullet, where it immediately went to work on making all the bad memories go away.

Liquor – my best friend and my worst enemy.

Mysterious Blond Dame

Mysterious Blond Dame

“A bit rude not to offer a lady a drink, isn’t it detective?”

My heart beat faster than a conga drum in the hands of Matthew McConaughey during one of his special transcendental experiences. I turned around and there she was – a beautiful buxom blonde behind my desk, her shapely keister parked directly in my very own swivel chair.

“If we’re talking about manners ma’am, I assume it’s frowned upon to break into a man’s place of business and act like you own the place.”

She wasn’t your average broad. This dame had a face that could make the angels cry and a body that could convince Satan to turn the heat down in Hell. Lush red lips, flawless china doll skin and although she was sitting on it, I assumed she was packing the kind of caboose that could convince a man to ride the rails all the way to Albuquerque.

“Oh, I assure you there was no break in, Mr. Hatcher,” the dame said. “Your landlady let me in.”

“Oh she did, see?” I asked. “Now why in Sam Hill would she go and do a fool thing like that?”

“I told her we were old friends.”

“Friends?” I asked. “No offense ma’am, but I don’t know you from a hole in the wall.”

My visitor puffed away on a long filtered cigarette. She held it in a hand covered by a black glove that went all the way up to her elbow. Around her neck dangled a strand of pearls, the cost of which could have fed a small country.

She dressed like she had an account at every boutique on Rodeo Drive and spoke with the perfect and precise diction of a finishing school graduate.

“All friendships must begin somewhere, Mr. Hatcher,” the dame said. “What’s holding up that drink?”

I had half a mind to show her the way out, but my inquisitive side drew me in. I poured a shot of the sweet brown goodness and handed it to her, then suffered the indignity of having to sit down in the rickey chair on the opposite side of my desk, the one I reserved for clients in need of my services.

I checked my watch.

“I’m bushed after a long day of giving the criminal element of Los Angeles the old what for, ma’am,” I said. “So you’ve got five minutes to state your business before I give you the old heave-ho.  No pun intended.”

“My, my, my,” the dame replied. Her lips pursed as they blew out a smokey circle that rose into the moonlight creeping in through my one and only window. “I must say, Mr. Hatcher, you’re the first man I’ve ever met who was in a rush to be free of my company.”

“Now see here, ma’am,” I said, matter-of-factly, “This old gumshoe’s heart has been pierced by more stiletto heels than I care to count. I’m sure you’ve convinced many a sailor to crash his ship on the rocks with your siren’s song, but this fish is wise to the hook in your worm, see? I’m immune to your feminine wiles.”

“Aww,” the dame said as she mocked me with an insincere pouty face. “Poor Mr. Hatcher. Still reeling over the loss of your ex-wives I take it?”

“All three of ‘em,” I said. “But I fail to see how that’s any of your business, doll face.”

“Your first wife, Trixie Bordeaux, she cheated on you with your old partner back in the day when you were a detective for the LA police department, didn’t she?”

“Walked in on them while they were dancing the horizontal mattress mambo in my own house,” I replied. “That’s a sight that can never be unseen.”

“Your second wife, Muffy Sinclair,” the dame continued. “She shot you six times and left you for dead, then ran off to Tahiti with your boorish brother Roscoe.”

“She was a crack shot and yet she managed to miss every vital organ,” I said. “Somewhere deep down that bird was still crazy for me.”

“Your third wife, Constance Connors,” the dame said. “She was the best wife you ever had and yet you fouled that one up on your own.”

“Sad but true,” I said. “I hit the giggle juice hard to dull the pain my first two wives caused me, never realizing I was pushing away the only dame that’d ever been loyal to me until it was too late. She ran away from me faster than a long distance marathon runner on uppity pills.”

“I certainly hope you’ve cured your addiction since then?” the dame asked.

“I can handle my hooch, sister,” I said as I poured myself another shot. “Say, how in the bloody blue blazes do you know so much about me anyway?”

On my desk was a big black briefcase. It wasn’t mine so I knew it belonged to my guest. She popped it open and pulled out a manilla file folder, stuffed to the brim with paperwork.

“I know everything there is to know about you, Mr. Hatcher.”

What’s in store for our fearless detective? Find out tomorrow on Pop Culture Mysteries, an exclusive new feature on the Bookshelf Battle Blog.

Copyright (c)  2015 Bookshelf Q. Battler.  All Rights Reserved.

Images courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Pop Culture Mysteries – An Introduction

FROM THE DESK OF BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER

World Renowned Poindexter, Reviewer of Books, Movies, and Cultural Happenings, Champion Yeti Fighter and Blogger-in-Chief of the Bookshelf Battle Blog

Dear 3.5 Readers,

Let’s face it.

I’m not a very important person.

Does that come as a shock? I’m sorry, but it’s true. (Oh, it didn’t come as a shock? Thanks, but play along anyway, OK?).

Out in the wide world, tragedy and terror loom large on the horizon, peaking their ugly faces out from every corner.

BQB's soap box

BQB’s soap box

Every day, people are being killed by hurricanes, blown away bytornados, zapped by lightning, swallowed whole by monsoons, kidnapped by pirates (the billowy shirt kind, not the Somali kind), burnt up in wildfires, or carried away by hideous hungry trolls.

And that’s just in the world outside. At home? Why, you could be moseying along, minding your own business and WAMMO! You spill your ice cold glass of Diet Shasta Orange, slip on the puddle, crack your knogan on the way down and it’s good night daisy.

Did you know the home is the number one place where an accident can happen?  Why, you could drown in a bucket, get a paper cut while opening bills and develop a raging staff infection, or do a jumping jack in an effort to get healthy only to lose your squash to the overhead ceiling fan.

I’m not even going to get into the invisible bacteria growing on your feet, the latest hybrid monkey/bird/alligator/giraffe flu virus outbreak to hit the headlines, how your golf game is going to be interrupted when a celebrity crashes a vintage World War II fighter jet right in the middle of your back swing, or god damn it, the literally millions upon millions of spiders that are crawling up your nose each and every night, laying eggs, and throwing a massive disco dance party in the epicenter of your brain.

I’m not not going to worry about any of that anymore and neither should you.

Why?

See the beginning of this tirade where I did or did not shock you when I informed you I am not an important person.

As such, I have no ability to do anything about the vast multitude of problems that plague the world like a bad haircut on yearbook photo day.

Could I run for and win an elected office and use my wit and wisdom to cure all of society’s ills?

No.

Why?

First, I hate to break it to you, but I’m not all that handsome. I know ladies, I know. I’m sorry to devastate you with this news.

What? You figured it out? All men who spend a lot of time blogging look like a cross between Gollum and a chupacabra? Well, hey, let’s not go that far…um…yeah yeah, all right, that’s fair.

Second, I’m not a gifted public speaker – partly because my tongue ends up tied in more knots than a bag of Rold’s Gold and partly because I speak the truth people need to listen to, not the BS that John Q. Public wants to hear.

Third, I can’t be bought by the man – unless the man represents a prominent book publisher. In that case, then yes sir, my character can die, be reborn, wear a pink tutu, and/or kiss a goat. Whatever you want, sir. You just tell me how hairy you want that goat to be.

The average politician has to be good looking and photogenic, with a million dollar toothy grin. He needs to speak eloquently, with the ability to charm the pants off the room and a soul dark enough to allow him to spoon feed a heaping helping of horse manure with a side of fries to the masses – extra chunky, just how the masses like it.

Yes, if you wish to become a politician, you’ll be forced to compromise your principles in the name of campaign contributions. Those boku bucks come with a zip string that gets attached to your back, allowing the donor to yank on it and force you to regurgitate his agenda, turning you into one great big walking, talking Chatty Kathy doll.

The common man who cares about the average joe has no place in today’s political system. I’m not taking a side here. Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, that weird party that insists on passing a law that would require everyone to wear shoes on their hands and walk upside down…they’re all just a bunch of heads attached to one great big bloated smelly hydra.

To quote the late great Douglas Adams of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame:

“The major problem – one of the major problems, for there are several – one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

Be honest folks, do you think good old Abraham “Born in a Log Cabin and Educated Myself by Candlelight” Lincoln could ever get elected today?

No. Those losers on twitter would have a field day with him:

Tonight on Campaign 2016 News Coverage - Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator.  Sure, he freed the slaves and held the union together - but can we really be expected to follow a man with a face that craggy?

Tonight on Campaign 2016 News Coverage – Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator. Sure, he freed the slaves and held the union together – but can we really be expected to follow a man with a face that craggy?

My friends, I guarantee you somewhere out there is an Abraham Lincoln-esque individual whose heart is in the right place, whose common sense and can do attitude could lead the world into a new dawn of peace and prosperity but….he’s too fat…too old…has a crooked nose, bad hair, a hella craggy face, or has been plagued by never-ending reports of a third grade scandal during which he picked a booger out of his schnozola and flicked it at an unsuspecting classmate who ended up traumatized for life.

In short, we’ve become a nation of dummies that focus on nothing but insignificant crap and then wonder why our leaders provide us with the same insignificant crap in return.

I don’t know. All I know is that our best possible leader has some problem that he knows the media would use to run roughshod over him and therefore he’s like, “Screw politics! I’m going to sell used Sonatas at the Hyundai dealership in Tulsa!”

“3.5 READERS: BQB – do you have a point?”

Yes! Over a thousand words later, I have a point! I really do.

I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THAT WHICH I AM POWERLESS TO CHANGE.

And if you’re a follower of this blog, then chances are, you don’t either.  (Though if you do, you’re still more than welcome).

What do we do when we can’t change the sad state of affairs the world finds itself in?

We tune out and turn on the TV.

We pop in our earbuds and crank up the Top 40.

We purchase an overpriced bag of popcorn and take in the latest over the top, special effects laden blockbuster.

Hell, I heard a rumor that some people even poke their noses into a book once in awhile.

Pop culture. Open up our gobs and shovel it straight down to the deepest, darkest recesses of our bellies, Hollywood. We can’t get enough of it.

As the world gets worse and the average citizen becomes less able to change things thanks to Larry Lobbyist and Carl Corporation, we find our minds becoming more and more immersed in fictional, fantasy worlds – worlds where we can pretend we’re people that we are not, men and women we could never be, people with a voice, people who can make a difference…

…PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY MATTER!

I don’t know about you, but I devour pop culture like a fat guy at an All You Can Eat Big Mac Buffett because the worlds developed by artists are a thousand times better than the world I live in.

As fans of those worlds, do we matter?

Yes…and…no.

Yes, we matter because Hollywood will occasionally listen to us when we bitch about how they screwed the pooch with our favorite franchise, how they dropped the writing ball and steered our most beloved characters into an impermeable corner, or how sometimes they just do something out of left field (Dexter=Lumberjack??? Why???)

No, because like the other people that Holden Caulfield would call a bunch of phonies, Hollywood is also run by big corporations and CEOS who view you as one more schmuck to plunk down your cash and put your butt in a theater seat. Whether or not you are actually entertained is all too often an immaterial issue.

Can we change that?

No.

But we can ask those elusive questions – “WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN AND THE EVER IMPORTANT, WHY?”

What happened to Mr. and Mr. Brady’s first spouses?

How the hell do Doc and Marty know each other?

Why couldn’t Rose have just gotten on that damn lifeboat like she was told?

Why does Miley Cyrus insist on sticking out her tongue and making a face akin to a weasel suffering from an epileptic seizure?

What time is Hammer Time?

Questions. Like you, I have so, so very many questions about pop culture.

I want to take the plot holes of my favorite movies and TV shows and spackle them over with putty, apoxy, glue, and dare I say, the finest caulk in the land.

I want to analyze celebrity meltdowns and learn why fame, fortune, and adoration of the masses wasn’t enough to keep our favorite stars from hitting the silly sauce, popping the goofy pills, or getting on social media and ranting with all the eloquence of a bull roid raging its way through a china shop.

The long and skinny of it?

I want to learn as much as I possibly can about the fantasy worlds in which my mind temporarily resides from time to time because the powers that be have made the real world around me so utterly unbearable.

ALIEN JONES: Jumpin’ Jupiter, BQB. You sound like you’re reverting to that 1990’s phase where you wore nothing but flannel and played Smells Like Teen Spirit on a continuous loop.

BQB:  Not now, AJ.  I’m on a roll.

My friends, my followers, my 3.5 readers, my dear, dear Aunt Gertrude…it is my great honor to announce a new feature on the Bookshelf Battle Blog:

Pop Culture Mysteries.

I have questions about pop culture and I’m sure you do too.

To that end, I have retained the services of a hardboiled 1950’s Sam Spade-esque, film noir style private detective to investigate all the questions we have about our favorite movies, TV shows, music, and yes even books.

Stop by every week as Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Battle Detective takes our questions, sniffs out the clues, snoops around the suspects, chases down the leads, and reports back here with his findings.

It’s going to be one helluva ride, readers. Along the way, we might even learn how a 1950’s sleuth ended up in modern times.

As we speak, Detective Hatcher is hot on the trail of the questions listed above and more are on the way.

For reasons that will soon be made clear, he has committed to investigate no less than one hundred pop culture mysteries for the benefit of my readers before he’ll be able to renegotiate his contract.

Do you have a pop culture mystery that my resident gumshoe needs to unravel?

Tweet it to @bookshelfbattle or leave it #popculturemysteries

Leave it in the comments or on my Google Plus page

You’ll have to use me as an intermediary because, you know, Jake’s from the 1950’s and is still getting up to speed on computers.

Noble readers, as always, thanks a million for stopping by.

I don’t know why, but I have a feeling in my gut that this feature will be the one that makes bookshelfbattle.com blow up.

ALIEN JONES: I have that feeling in my gut too. It’s the after shocks of that rancid seven layer dip you bought at the quick-stop and served during Scandal night.

BQB: Can you…not tell the audience that Scandal night is a regular thing at BQB HQ? Please? OK

AJ: What? The Yeti already knows. And everyone knows that the three forms of mass communication are telephone, telegraph, and tell-a-yeti.

BQB: He is a relentless gossip. It’s true.

Thanks folks. I’ll let Jake take it from here.  Stop by bookshelfbattle.com for the the first episode of POP CULTURE MYSTERIES!

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