NFL Week 16 Picks, Christmas Edition


Along with Donald Trump’s election victory in November came the end of the War on Christmas.

Christmas won.

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And I took it.

The thing you have to remember about major cinematic awards —the Oscars, the BAFTAs, the Golden Globes, etc.—is that they’re not a particularly good measure of artistic accomplishment. They’re fun and they’re glitzy and they offer an approximation of what’s good in any given year, but, well, most films don’t really win on the merits. They win because producers and directors and stars lobby and schmooze with voters, by placing big ad campaigns in the trades, by talking up Oscar bloggers and other lesser creatures. Some movies are nominated, and some win, because they flatter a certain sensibility more than because they’re particularly good.

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New Substandard Tackles ‘Rogue One’

Rogue One

If you’ve seen Rogue One and you like listening people talk about things you’ve seen on a movie screen, you should probably listen to this week’s Substandard. I don’t want to raise expectations too high, but it’s the greatest hour-plus of recorded material in the history of mankind.

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New Trailer Watch: Blade Runner, John Wick, and Dunkirk

omg omg

So, as I mentioned in my Rogue One review, I happened to see the new Star Wars Story at an IMAX theater that was playing the five-minute prologue for Dunkirk. This was different from the trailer released the other day—different, and better. I don’t know if it’s the first five minutes of the film but I kind of hope they are: we start right in the middle of the action, with a pair of young soldiers running a stretcher up a pier to a departing ship. Interwoven in this little mini-drama—will they make it before she leaves? Or will their wounded friend be stuck on the French shores?—are shots of Mark Rylance getting ready to depart for France and, most importantly, Tom Hardy doing some dogfighting in the skies.

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The NYT Is Having a Meltdown Over Trump’s Israel Nominee

David Friedman

For a moment this week it felt as if the sneering, embittered media hysteria surrounding Donald Trump was starting ever so slightly to subside. But not so fast. The New York Times, the paper of record of urban liberal contempt for Deplorable America, discovered a fresh new outrage: Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Israel.

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NFL Week 15 Picks, Featuring Antje Utgaard

Antje Utgaard Instagram

The season is fast-approaching its close and we will soon be without an abundance of football to watch every week. This weekend we are lucky to have 15 games, including one on Saturday night, so I am going as big as possible. Here are my eight picks for week 15, with model Antje Utgaard: Miami Dolphins AT New York Jets …

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New Substandard: On Guilty Pleasures and Seinfeld’s Single Person Privilege


There’s a new episode of The Substandard, the only podcast in America in which some dudes talk about popular culture! This week we talk about cruises (which I hate) and guilty pleasures (which I deny exist). Listen below, subscribe here! You can also leave a review there. Do it, do it now! One thing that comes …

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Han Solo Must Hang

Han Solo

His Excellency Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith

c/o Imperial Palace, Coruscant, and via hyperwave facsimile.

Greetings and Salutations Lord Vader!

I write on behalf of Mr. Biff Diddle, who wishes to provide his insight as an Amicus Curiae in the pending matter of Galactic Empire v. Solo, currently before you in your capacity as Imperial Legate and commanding officer of the Super Star Destroyer Executor. Mr. Diddle has asked me to provide you with his recommendation that the Defendant pirate Han Solo be sentenced to the highest measure allowed by Imperial law, which is to say, that Captain Solo be terminated by hanging.

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Another Message to Electors


This video is, unfortunately, not a parody:

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The 7 Most Insane Andrew Sullivan Quotes About Obama From That New Republic Interview


In the immediate days after the U.S. presidential election, the New Republic convened “five leading historians and political observers” to discuss President Obama’s threatened legacy. A lengthy transcript of that discussion appeared in the magazine’s postelection print issue, accompanied by a full-page photograph of the president bathed in radiant white light.

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Life Under Trump: Like Life Under Obama, Basically


Donald Trump is such a menace that life under the heel of his boot will, apparently, resemble life under the boot of Barack Obama. At least, that’s my takeaway from the last month or so.

Consider some of the following. Here, for instance, is a Rolling Stone story dated November 23, 2016:

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NFL Week 14 Picks, Featuring Charlotte McKinney

Charlotte McKinney

People these days take any factual criticism, no matter how big or small, as an affront to entire institutions. One example came this week. The Washington Free Beacon pointed out that the Virginia Military Institute was giving its students coloring books to relieve stress. In response, the VMI community unraveled in outrage thinking the entire institution was under attack, rather …

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A.O. Scott Should’ve Been Paying More Attention ‘Then’

Green Room

In the New York Times’ critics’ list of the best films of the year, there’s this little riff from A.O. Scott:

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Top Ten Reasons Andy Puzder Is a Great Pick for Labor Secretary


Reports indicate that Donald Trump has made another magnificent decision and will nominate Andy Puzder to be his labor secretary.

I do not know anything about Puzder’s thoughts on labor—I assume he thinks a $15 minimum wage is stupid, which is good enough for me. But I have closely analyzed his marketing strategy at Carl’s Jr. and let me tell you, the man knows a thing or two about business.

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‘Krisha’ Mini-Review


One of the benefits of awards season is getting to catch up on smaller films that floated through theaters without much fanfare. Krisha is one such flick; it played for a few weeks but never hit more than 26 theaters at a time, grossing just under $145,000 in its short run. But it’s picking up some awards season buzz, and for good reason: The debut feature from Trey Edward Shults is among most engrossing 80-or-so minutes you’ll see all year.

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