Cereal Nonfiction: The Story of the Kellogg Brothers

Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal featured a review of The Kelloggs: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek.

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Five Worst Stephen King Adaptations, Ranked (New Substandard!)

In this week’s episode of the Substandard, we talked about The Dark Tower and Stephen King adaptations. There was, of course, a ranking. But we ran out of time for me to do my five-worst list! So I’ll share that with you here, below. Remember to subscribe or leave a review. And make sure listen all the way to the end; it got a bit heated in the outtakes.

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Sriracha Goes Mainstream

Last year, McDonald’s test-marketed a Big Mac in Ohio. The special sauce was blended with sriracha, that now-ubiquitous condiment consisting primarily of red chili paste and vinegar, whose origins have been traced to Thailand (specifically the subdistrict of Sriracha in Chonburi Province).

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Fast Times, Phoebe Cates & Cameron Crowe (New Substandard Micro)

On the latest micro episode of the Substandard (subscribe, leave a review!), we look back on Fast Times at Ridgemont High, 35 years later.

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Presidential Priorities

Sometimes supporters of Donald Trump will point to the president’s limited accomplishments—the appointment of Neil Gorsuch; some executive orders—and angrily say to conservatives who hold on to their antipathy for the president and demand to know what, if anything, he could do for those who have yet to hop on the Trump Train to stop being “Never Trump.”

And the answer, if we’re being honest, is “probably nothing”? You can get a good sense why thanks to the way he’s behaved for the last couple of days. John Podhoretz brushes the broad strokes here; the big point is that it the lack of support, then and now, never really had to do with issues or with military strategy or anything like that. It had to do with temperament. Donald Trump is, simply put, temperamentally unsuited* for the job of “most powerful man in the known universe.”

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Atomic Blonde, Death Wish, Death of a Chinese Restaurant (New Substandard)

In the latest episode of the Substandard, we discuss Atomic Blonde, the controversy over the remake of Death Wish, and the decline of 3D.

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For Google to Be Pure, It Must Purge More Fully

Troubling news out of Silicon Valley, where Google—the company that knows literally everything about you and everyone you love—has been shown to employ people who think bad thoughts and, in a forum encouraging the free exchange of ideas, exchanged ideas that are Bad. I mean, can you even believe someone would write a manifesto with passages such as these?

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WTF, I Love ‘Wonder Woman’ for Best Picture Now

I am on record as opposing efforts to nominate Wonder Woman—a film, for the record, that I quite liked in large part because it so successfully aped the aesthetic of Zack Snyder—for best picture at the Oscars. It’s a fine movie! It’s just not, you know, best picture material.

But, if I’m being totally honest, there’s a small, dark part of me that kind of wants it to get a nomination just to see Hollywood tear itself apart during the Oscar race. Because—again, if I’m being totally honest—the only reason that Wonder Woman would get a nomination is because a woman directed the film and this represents a step on the long, hard march toward equality and also this is a way to stick it to conservatives. Or, I dunno, something:

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This Is the Best Donut. No Other Donut Is Better

In the latest Substandard, Vic, JVL, and I discussed donut shops. After the embed, I shall tell which donut is best.

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Actually, Dany Should Use Dragons Against King’s Landing

Spoilers for Game of Thrones through the fourth episode of the seventh season below. I was a bit confused to see this tweet from the New York Times‘ Ross Douthat regarding the use of dragons against Lannister King’s Landing: Has anyone written the dragons/King's Landing///atomic bomb/Hiroshima hot take yet? — Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) August 7, 2017 Confused …

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Luc Besson and Chinese Buffets: Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together

Look, I’m a simple man. I like mediocre food offered in enormous quantities, and I like action filmmakers who can tell a story that will also make you laugh a bit.

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Judith Jones, a Legendary—and Loyal—Editor

French Cooking

Longtime editor Judith Jones died on August 2 at the age of 93. To say she had an eye for talent—and for what makes for a good book—is an understatement.

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Sam Shepard, 1943-2017

In this week’s mini-episode of the Substandard, JVL, Vic, and I briefly discussed the life and work of Sam Shepard. After the podcast (subscribe, etc.) I want to share a brief excerpt from a fantastic New Yorker essay on a part of Shepard’s life I, honestly, didn’t know much about: his work as a playwright.

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Free Beacon Fan Fiction: EXCLUSIVE: How Trump’s First Meeting With Putin Really Went Down

Trump Putin


A luxury suite at the Metropol in Moscow. One wall is covered with ikons of the Theotokos, St. Athanasius, St. Nicholas, and Lenin. Beneath the holy images sweet incense rises from a gilt lamp emblazoned with scenes from the confrontation between Michael I Cerularius and Pope Leo IX. TRUMP and PUTIN sit opposite one another in ornate chairs upholstered with hunting scenes in a Russian folk style. Between them sits a tray of white gold caviar and bottle of Heinz ketchup. TRUMP squirts the bottle on to a silver spoonful of the caviar.

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Hollywood v ‘The Masses’

movie theater

The lede on the New York Times‘s box office roundup from the weekend is … odd.

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