Ready Player One and Close Shaves (New Substandard!)

In this latest episode of the Substandard (subscribe, tell your friends, leave a review), we discuss Steven Spielberg's latest project, Ready Player One. Sonny liked it more than the book and touches on the themes of childish obsessions and middle-aged regrets, as he did in his Washington Post column. JVL took a much more cynical view of the film as catering shamelessly to suckers who love anything containing '80s nostalgia. But I loved Ready Player One. It was ridiculously chockful of '80s references!

That said, JVL does have a point: Go to YouTube and you'll find increasingly more videos about the "10 Pop Culture References You Missed in Ready Player One," complete with red circles around objects in the thumbnail. "The Biggest Easter Egg in Ready Player One—You Won't Believe It!" And yes, there are a bunch of Member Berries laying around here. ‘Member the Akira motorcycle? ‘Member the A-Team van?

In other news, I recount my trip to New York City. There is nothing more humbling than going from the St. Regis Hotel to Port Authority, where I was not only stowing my own bags into a New Jersey Transit bus but stowing the luggage of other passengers since the bus driver couldn't be bothered.

I also share my experience of getting a close shave. And yes, it was worth it—who doesn't love a hot face towel, a soothing balm, and a close shave? For best results, you shouldn't tense up, which is natural when someone is pressing a sharp razor to your face and neck. But this is meant to be a relaxing experience—so relax and let it go. Speaking of which, Sonny's daughter just saw Frozen for the first time and is now completely addicted. JVL insists it's the greatest animated feature ever, which Sonny strongly disputes. Or does he?

And whatever you do, do not bring up dogs to JVL. Or dog people. He has strong opinions on the matter.