June 5th, 2018

Sergio Balleseros

Book Reviews: The Devil And The Deep, part 2 + Scents

The Devil And The Deep: Horror Stories of The Sea edited by Ellen Datlow, part 2

The Tryal Attract
A comical and ludicrous story of a skull. This was not ceaselessly interesting or particularly jolly.

The Whaler’s Song
A suboptimal tale of a troublesome tragically flawed unrepentant men and their jaded masculinity. This tries for creative wistfulness but is a palpable disappointment.

A Ship Of The South Wind
What is a prairie chicken? This is an odiferous tale of the old west.

What My Mother Left Me
Bad behaviour is justified. This is an okay tale of copious abuse and toxically self-absorbed people.

Broken Record
A man is stranded on a desert island. There is no creative excitement and it is not morbidly fascinating. This was an unsalvageable bore.

Saudade
A man goes on a cruise. This was preoccupied with nuance and makes no sense. One felt distain for this narrative torpor, which is a useless vacuous experience.

A Moment Before Breaking
Is this a mythos tale? This is a tonally unsettling tale of a girl with menacing mystique, who is unreasonably terrifying.

Sister, Dearest Sister, Let Me Show You To The Sea
By Seanan McGuire. This is an excellent tale of sibling rivalry that is a twist on ‘The Little Mermaid’. There are dangerous consequences to an unloved sister who is full of seething resentment in this tale which is full of vicious little moments. The nightmarish situation of the heroine is beautifully desolate as she is the victim of intended malice and makes a bargain to live. This tale is wonderfully unrelentingly grim and unfolds with bleak fearful inexorability.

The Deep Sea Swell
A tale of a haunting on a ferry. This tries for grit and torment as an obviously monstrous ghost who underwent harrowing suffering while meeting a melancholic end lurks. But this is all silly antics and is completely incapable of scaring a Montessori preschool.

He Sings Of Salt And Wormwood
By Brian Hodge. This is a dull tale of emotional turmoil and the sea is a hostile element. This has a persistent whiff of fateness, self-delusion, behavioural disturbances and yet has no virtues. This was fruitless.

Best Lines:
“Down here, you’re food.”

“Shipworms”

Shit Happens
In this sexist tale, frat boy types deal with literal crap monsters. This was bilge.

Best Lines:
“Is the door locked?”
“Oh yes.”
“Good. Keep it that way.”

Haunt
Old sins cast long shadows. No.

~
Scents by Johanna Kingsley
This was a dull bonkbuster whose reason for existing lies in elliptical obliquity. Two half sisters are bound by blood but not love as they (Viveanne and Martinel) become bitter rivals as they battle tenaciously for control of a glittering fragrance empire. This covers 2 generations of family dysfunction. This is not to be cherished or celebrated and makes depravity and decadence boring.
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Scary Books

Trailers, Quotes and Stuff

‘Peppermint’ (2018) trailer
Jennifer Garner plays a mom who loses her husband and child to a cartel. A bribe is offered and the court case goes awry to a corrupt judge. Garner wears a bad wig and trains for 5 years to be an assassin. Yes!

Best Lines:
“It is low crime because of her.”

“She’s a multiple homicide suspect.”
“Not to them.”

‘Chasing Shadows’ promo
No.

‘Unstable’ promo
No.

‘Christopher Robin’ promo
No.

‘The Sinner’ season 2 promo
WTF?

‘Versailles’ promo
Louis, musketeers and a man in an iron mask. Mmmm.

Best Line:
“I am justice.”

Bitter lemon organic soda - a letdown.
Chocolate covered cherries - yum.
Made slow cooked scrambled eggs - creamy but I haven’t the patience for it.

Doing work on LJ.

Who read ‘My Life’ 92004)?

Who saw ‘Marathon Man’ (1976) or ‘Bulletproof Monk’?

Carluccio’s and Jamie’s Italian are closing?

I want to try gel lipstick.

The ‘Lethal Weapon’ TV show set sounds exhausting.

Some shops are cashless and staffless in China? They have facial recognition in public lavatories to dispense a maximum of 90cm of toilet paper per person?

I’d try honey tart and Italian cheesecake without a base and dirty fries and dirty sauce and lightly spiced walnuts.

What is hazelnut dukkah?

So the ‘Heathers’ TV show is yanked?

Recall ‘Bachelor’s Walk’ or the 2003 ‘QEFTSG’ or the ‘JAG’ ep ‘Code Blue’?

Carl Sagan Quotes:
“A vast cosmic arena.”

“Our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe.”

“Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.”

‘The Sunday Times’ Quotes:
“They exist only so that men can get away from their families.”

“Men’s desire to be away from women is reaching new heights,”

“Dabble at adulthood.”

“If she stands in the street long enough, potential extracurricular shags will eventually manifest.”

“A space to be a man in.”

“Manness is special.”

“Nobody cares about them anymore.”

“No longer has any hard power to protect him.”

“Discarded by his party.”

“Talk in a government-speak.”

“Existing outside traditional masculine codes.”

“Socially encouraged to be fearful.”

“A path for girls destined to be kept inside their homes and for whom the world wasn’t made.”

“Don’t ever try to help again.”

“Lay blame for life’s trauma, real or imagined.”

“Culturally defined paths.”

“A lot of his ideas are stuck in the 1980s, sadly.”

“Corrosive cowboy myth.”

“Ur-narratives.”

“People seem to be calcifying within the narratives of who they are, who their people are and who their country is.”

“My body is a haunted/house that I am lost in.”

“The remote settlement (but remote from what?)”

“Shunned by many of his countrymen for choosing exile.”

“Recorded many events as he would like them to have been, not as they were.”

“Morbid horror of Anglo-Saxons.”

“They remain anathema to many. Their fist-fighting ways to resolve disputes and contempt for authority.”

“Challenging their collective memories.”

“Perfectly normal, not-at-all threatening basement.”

“The smell of a 1940s whore.”

‘The Sunday Business Post’ Quotes:
“Not having my fears addressed.”

“Even more of a threat.”

“Wealth-worship.”

“A decent class of girl.”

“Prole drift.”

“Random act of decency.”

“Whom she stabbed on two occasions.”

‘Agents OF SHIELD’ Quotes:
“Your family is afraid of you.”

“You’re familiar with Dr Whitehall?”
“I buried him.”

“Destroyer of worlds.”

“Belligerent space goon.”

‘Frankie Goes To Russia’ Quote:
“Whip wielding psychopaths.”

‘Dr Phil’ Quotes:
“Good Christian woman.”

“Quit lying.”

‘The Guardian’ Quotes:
“Generational inequality.”

“Street trees.”

“Business historian.”

“Feel judged, spied-on or pitied.”

“Don’t want to disabuse them [of} their admiration.”

“Has a knack for rediscovering neglected talent.”

“Hated her in so many ways.”

“A manipulative, clingy, talentless fake who somehow enchanted the superstar.”

“Just hit the girls off stage with brooms.”

‘The Irish Times’ Quotes:
“Take a chain saw to the former president’s legacy on policy and decency.”

“Always found us wanting.”

“Wanted them simply to do what he had ascertained to be right.”
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Pretty Smart

Supergirl 3x20 + Quantico 2x22 + Chicago Justice (2017) 1x01 + A Very English Scandal 1x03 Reviewed

Dark Side Of The Moon
Kara fawns over Mon-El both of them ignoring the fact he is married. Winn is a moron. Alex and her baby-rabies fawns over Ruby. FFS. Reign taunts Lena. Mon-El and Supergirl and their gimp suits prance around. Supergirl ignores how she wanted Lena to have social submission to her. You are your own actions Kara. She is a personality undergoing slow-motion collapse.

Kara whines selfishly. Alex is self-obsessed. Mon-El spews unconvincing bravado. Alex bothers the former Midvale sheriff. Part of Krypton has survived in the city of Argo including Kara’s mother (recast with Lois from 'Smallville'). She’s never come looking for Kara or her twin sister? Kara shrugs off the Danvers clan to fawn off her obviously lying mother. Argo floats aorund in space and won't help.

Winn yells at Ruby, the oversensitive whiner. Which of them do I mean by that comment? I don’t know. Alex is a bullying fascist. One is not primed for enthusiasm for this. The dialogue is this ep is laughable. Where is Max Lord? Alex is already planning to adopt Ruby as Sam is gone. Mon-El does something that I’m sure will have horrifying consequences. Winn makes Ruby’s pain all about him.

The world killer’s priestess is in Argo. As is Tim Russ of ‘Star Trek: Voyager’. Kara makes a speech. The world killer’s priestess is Selena aka the witchy villain from the 1984 ‘Supergirl’ movie. Alex’s baby rabies annoys. Lena tries to kill Reign and it ends on a cliffhanger. Oh who cares?

Best Lines:
“You seem more stoic and grave than usual.”

“Pizza bagel.”

“The sins of Krypton live on.”

“You are so much darker than you realise.”

~
RESISTANCE
Season 2 comes to an end. Iris returns, I don’t recall who she is. The twins are locked up, until they aren’t. Jon Kortajanena and Fredric Lehne guest star. The POTUS has begotten his own morality. Clayton is heedless and frenetically reckless. People are deeply deplorable. The gang continue their demented defiance against the POTUS’ abominable personal behaviour.

Alex has an insatiable appetite for confrontation. A congressman has a secret. There are damaging consequences and narrative energy. Alex has contempt for personal danger. Ryan has humourless graceless arrogance. Alex is culture rescuing. Shelby is a stupid hoe. The POTUS has a maniacal will to power. Felix has theatrical impatience with Clayton’s toxicity. Can they escape the moral quagmire?

Baddies escalate the nastiness. Felix admits he has culpable ignorance. The baddies have scorn heaped on them. Baddies have cold logic. Smart TV’s are evil. Personal and communal continuity is to be disrupted. Clayton comes up with yet another plan to bring down the thing of evil. He and his gang of idiots discuss this in front of the evil eavesdropping smart TV.

Will lurks. The POTUS’ lackeys have absolute intolerance of alternative opinions. Alex and co have important enemies. Things are fraught with tension. Nobody has a fierce intellect. The fate of the world rests on Alex and co’s decisions, as they try to stave off catastrophe.

Russians lurk. There are barely disguised threats and a confrontational position. After the lost promise of some of this season, it has picked up. People act unworthily. Alex and co always forget they are being watched continuously. How did Owen and Miranda and Clayton and Shelby and Ryan and Alex get into the convention? You can see how TPTB hope this is ominously accurate and eerily prophetic. Where is Claire? The POTUS has self delusion and smirks with mischievous fun and oozes certainty.

Clayton’s ex-fiancée shows up. Pussy hats are worn. Why? Clayton lied about his break up. Shelby wears excessive eyeliner. Alex wears a dress that she is falling out of. The Constitutional Convention has no security. Alex Facetimes. POTUS Roarke unravels due to her theatrics.

POTUS Roarke is fatally proud but his co-workers aren’t passionately loyal, he was tragically ambitious. Clayton revels in Roarke’s misdemeanours and downfall. Clayton’s moralist obsession leads to no maudlin reflection. Roarke’s narcissistic confidence and insincerity runs out. Alex runs. The dulled and deadening Ryan goes with her. They’ll have to be continually vigilant. Clayton marries his fiancée. Where is Dayana? Why was Leon killed? Where is Sebastian? Miranda goes to jail. Owen runs the CIA. This was good.

Best Lines:
“You scared the last one.”

“Doing bad for the greater good.”

“Paying 14 dollars for 2 ounces of flavoured ethanol.”

“A new era of security and purpose.”

“This government run by a rogue cabal of self-serving elitists.”

“We won. I think.”

~
Fake
The latest ‘Chicago’ spin-off begins with what is the third part of a crossover with ‘Fire’ and ‘PD’. An arsonist is on trial. Carl Weathers of ‘Colony’ is in this and Jason Beghe and Elias Koteas guest star. The arsonist feels no social shame, there is no moral quandary that the arsonist confessed under duress. An annoying female cop annoys, this was rigidly conventional, the arsonist’s father annoys by being annoying and selfish and this ep and therefore this cancelled show is unpromising.

The arsonist’s mother feels moral scandal. This ep was not endlessly fascinating. There is yelling and exaggerated sentiment. The arsonist has an icy stare and chilling calm and a morbid manner. This ep produces nothing new. The defence lawyer sneers. The prosecutor is strident and aggressive and makes condescending remarks. A lie about sex abuse is brought up to con the jury, oh very tasteful TPTB!

Nobody has competency or self sacrifice. Instead they have lying and guardedness. The defence lawyer does excoriation of witnesses and one wasn’t exactly enchanted with this. Why does the arsonist have unsettling derangement? He is an incel stalker. Sigh. A reporter sneers. The much reviled and much maligned arsonist smugs. The prosecutor has a married lover and she is a determinedly terrible nasty and fickle whiner who has a dismissive attitude to the dead kids at the rave.

This ep was not interested or interesting. The judge sneers.  The defence paint the arsonist as a good, sweet and docile boy. The defence is a deadly serious dick given to relentless attacks on morals. The prosecutor has a sobering realization. TPTB and the characters blame the stalked burn victim for ‘causing’ the arsonist to burn down the rave because she wouldn’t go out with him. No wonder this was cancelled.

Best Lines:
“Playing lawyer games.”

“Sympathy pendulum.”

“Sympathy defence.”

“Attorney work product.”

“Unspeakable indignities.”

“Unutterable devastation.”

“I don’t have a terrace.”

“Sleazy website guy.”

“Inevitable morality.”

“They’re all irrelevant to me!”

~
A Very English Scandal 1x03
The establishment cover up for Thorpe. When Norman reports his own attempted murder, he is slapped around. Norman refuses to conform to the expectations of society. Thorpe lies and preens. Norman fails to keep quiet. Thorpe fears shame culture. There is a Cyril Smith mention; his sins wouldn’t come out until after his death. Old incriminating letters are found by rough-arsed builders. There is snobbery and a steely defence barrister. The trial begins.

A disgraceful biased judge oversees the case. Thorpe is emotionally aggressive and turns on friends. Moral choices are made. The defence relishes being a culture rescuing oik. The cover up makes you want to vomit with rage. Norman doesn’t help himself. Norman is given to unpredictable outbursts. He lives in censorious times. Norman has a hint of frailty. Thorpe isn’t a charm grenade. The court scenes are cringe inducing.

Norman faces a brutal onslaught. This is all senseless controversy. Thorpe has a manic kind of existential dread. No-one takes moral responsibility. There is no ironic nostalgia. Norman is treated disdainfully and is trapped in his own antic serotype. Thorpe is a moral failure. Norman plays up the role allotted to him. The veneer of merriment evaporates.

There is no moral victory. This is okay if not deeply satisfying. Thorpe has no fatal glamour, just a cloak of evil. No responsibilities, duties and care exist in his space of denial. Liberals are the enemy. Thorpe explored his desires. The establishment do stage management of the trial. Thorpe’s persistent demands for Scott’s death led to this.

The villains are acquitted despite trying to murder Scott. Thorpe’s mother sneers at him. Thorpe became an undesirable element in politics and the real Norman Scott pops up in the Where Are They Now montage, which also includes a clip of Peter Cook mocking the biased judge.

Best Lines:
“Or whether he just said he wanted him dead so often, one day someone listened.”

“That’s bearable.”

“Not the one from ‘Dad’s Army’.”

“Stupid babbling man.”

“Fleet Street on the attack.”

“Generic noun.”

“My own son married a hippie in a yurt!”

“Thorpe would fall one day.”

“His 2nd wife left him for George Best.”

“Disco biscuits.”

“You’re ruined. You know that don’t you?”

“Player of the pink oboe.”