Gene Wilder’s Endearing Menace

Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka

Like the rest of the civilized universe, I was saddened to hear of Gene Wilder’s death yesterday. Despite the fact that he hadn’t appeared in a major motion picture for some 25 years, he left an enduring mark on the cinematic landscape. You don’t really need me to tell you this, you just need to look at the titles associated with him: Young FrankensteinBlazing SaddlesThe Producers, and, of course, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Matthew Walther’s Washington Diary

Didgeridoos are very large. The bro I saw yesterday wearing a green “Mushroom Life” t-shirt was holding one only ten feet from my face and it looked bigger than him. We were both standing in front of the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse, where, according to Reuters Daybook, my old Iowa sweetheart Susan Sarandon was supposed to be speaking at 1:00 p.m. on behalf of a Native American tribe opposed to a pipeline in North Dakota.

Five Scariest Movies in the Last 30 Years

Blair Witch Project

Inspired by the creepy new trailer for Rings—the sequel/reboot/whatever of the 2002 J-horror remake The Ring—I decided to watch the original (well, the original American iteration) last night. While watching, I tossed off a tweet that it was probably one of the five scariest films of the last 30 years. This, of course, inspired people to ask what the other four were.

Gawker Employees and Other Monsters of History Remember Gawker

Gawker

Washington, D.C. — New York gossip rag Gawker ceased operations yesterday following owner Nick Denton’s inability to unload the property at auction, prompting a seemingly endless flow of sentimental essays, whiny laments about the power of the wealthy, and treacly thinkpieces about the demise of the once-proud website. Visitors to the site in its final …

Ryan Lochte, American Hero

Ryan Lochte, Hero / AP

Any American who has ever traveled to a non-English-speaking third-world craphole knows one simple fact: the locals are always trying to shake you down for some of that sweet sweet cash you’re carrying. Always. There’s always a scam in the offing, always a cabbie looking to take you for a literal and figurative ride. You have to be on the lookout, because foreigners know that Americans would rather throw money at a problem to make it go away than get involved with local authorities.

This Sounds Like the Worst Game in the World

Photo on 8-19-16 at 3.03 PM

Until yesterday I was still unpacking from my extended stays in Cleveland and the City of Brotherly Love. Last night my wife got sick of watching me throw dirty shirts out of my suitcase into the laundry basket and demanded that I empty my luggage for real. It took a while, but I complied.

In Defense of Jared Leto

For the record, this post is titled 'In Defense of Jared Leto,' not 'In Defense of Jared Leto's Ridiculous Outfits' / AP

News broke yesterday that Jared Leto had been cast in the forthcoming Blade Runner sequel, and reaction was mixed-to-hostile. The hostility stems in part, I think, from the fact that “the forthcoming Blade Runner sequel” is a thing that exists and is unnecessary to the point of annoyance. But there also seems to be a legitimate strain of Leto Fatigue in the critical world.

How to Virtue-Signal With Dead Kids

aleppo child

Liberal anti-interventionists have a guilty conscience. They know the Assad regime, now joined by Russia and Iran, has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in the worst mass slaughter since the wars in Africa in the 1990’s. They also know that, unlike in Africa, the United States could have done things, relatively easy things, to prevent much of the killing.