Black Widow

[4.0 stars] [IMDB Link] [Amazon Link, See Disclaimer]

Huh. At Amazon, the DVD is more expensive than the Blu-ray. Well, it showed up for no (extra) fee at Disney+, and I have no interest in a Red Sox-free World Series, so…

It's the origin story of Natasha Romanoff. (I'm not sure if the Marvel movies have ever explicitly called her the "Black Widow" before.) It's pretty dark: girls plucked off the streets or taken from their parents by Soviet Union baddie, Dreykov. Only the ablest survive to go on missions of espionage/sabotage/assassination. A pre-teen Natasha gets implanted in Ohio with her phony "family": dad Alexei, who (somehow) got the super-soldier serum to become the "Red Guardian"; mom Melania, the brains of the cell, and little sister Yelena, (who thinks the"family" is real. Sorry, kid.

After completing the mission, their cover is blown, and they make a harrowing escape to Cuba, reality is revealed to little Yelena, just as she's whisked off for spy training and girl-parts removal. Flash forward to a point in the MCU timeline just around the time of Captain America: Civil War; Natasha is on the run for being on the wrong side. But she gets word that that old baddie Dreykov is still around; way back in pre-Iron Man 2 days, she thought she had killed him in order to win the favor of SHIELD.

So she teams up (after some sisterly-but-really-not fighting) with now-grown Yelena to track down the still-dangerous Dreykov and his deadly army of mind-controlled Widows. Again, involving explosions and lots of CGI.

It's all pretty neat, and the post-credit scene makes me want to see what happens next.

URLs du Jour


  • Eye Candy du Jour is… A tweet from Jesse Singal. It's not pretty, unfortunately:

    It's just one example in the continuing wokification of the AMA. Legal Insurrection's William A. Jacobson has a longer article with more examples: American Medical Association Language Guide Demands Focus On Racial “Equity” And Micromanages Terminology. Among the Orwellian "suggestions" is to 'Avoid saying “target,” “tackle,” “combat” or other terms with violent connotation when referring to people, groups or communities.' For example, instead of saying "Combat (disease)" you're now supposed to say "Eliminate (disease)"

    Because that will somehow fix everything.

    Jacobsen comments:

    It would be easy to dismiss this as just woke posturing. Except look how far it has gone in a short period. While the AMA does not run the health care system, it is hugely influential. This language policing will soon be the basis for policing licensing and used as a threat much as the JAMA editor was forced out. It will follow the path we saw with speech policing that migrated from campus to the culture.

    Can I speculate that it won't be long before Politics and the English Language will be banned as hate speech?

  • Orwell's remains currently at 8200 RPM and increasing… John Hinderaker has the latest guidance from the Ministry of Truth. CRT: It Doesn’t Exist…And It’s Awesome!

    Critical Race Theory has become the number one political issue in the U.S. So, needless to say, it is the top issue in school board elections that are taking place across the country. Thus, in one of Minnesota’s largest school districts, the administration emailed talking points to school board members, telling them how to answer questions about CRT from concerned parents. No doubt many other districts have done the same. Remarkably, this particular email included no fewer than six attachments with talking points on CRT.

    These six pro-CRT missives are pretty much interchangeable, although they come from a variety of sources: the school district itself; Education Minnesota, the teachers’ union (this one includes an attack on American Experiment); the Minnesota School Boards Association; the University of Minnesota; the Minnesota Association of School Administrators; and the Council of the Great City Schools.

    Examples are like a stupid-person parody of our local New Hampshire Listens efforts. "I'm going to pretend I'm paying attention to your concerns, while ignoring them." What are you gonna say to a parent who asks:

    Why are you teaching children that all white people are racist?

    The rhetorical jiu-jitsu:

    First off, I’m thrilled you’re taking such a deep interest in how and what our kids are taught, a conversation that I feel is long overdue. What I know most Americans believe is that we expect our students - whatever their color or background - to be able to learn hard truths and handle honest history and civics. I believe in children’s potential to meet new challenges and have an honest reckoning, and when we try to edit and distort our history, we are doing them, and our future a disservice. My loyalty is to children and who and what they can become.

    Yeesh. Thanks much, educrat, for implying that I'm in favor of distorting history, and that I'm disloyal to my kids. As an indication of how much actual respect is involved, this is from a section in the document titled "Responding to Nonsense".

  • Least surprising headline of the day comes from Andrew Wilford of the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, writing at Reason: Democrats Have a Lot of Bad Ideas for Tax Reform

    Passing an enormous, (theoretically) paid-for spending bill that pleases all the various factions within the Democratic Party was never going to be easy. But the current framework that Democrats have unveiled—where party leaders determine what revenue raisers to use by throwing them at a wall like spaghetti and seeing what sticks—is downright disastrous.

    This slapdash approach is par for the course nowadays for Congress. Passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was marred by last-second additions and changes, as well as funky accounting to pass muster by reconciliation rules. Even before this year, Congress was not exactly known for fostering the development of careful, thoughtful policy making.

    The "careful, thoughtful policy making" seems to be "how can we best fool the people that someone else is going to pay for this?"

  • Find your favorite. At the WSJ, Andy Kessler provides us with Nine Theories of Progressive Power.

    Go ahead, try to tax the unrealized stock gains of billionaires, a wealth tax of questionable constitutionality. Or wear a “Tax the Rich” dress with the same font as a Chick-fil-A takeout bag to a gala for millionaires and billionaires. Or expand the idea of “infrastructure” to include social giveaways—free stuff for all. But what do progressives get out of it?

    They must know that massive wealth redistribution and public spending crush the economy if they have ever studied the failures of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society or Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Progressives often invoke Europe as an economic model knowing full well that the U.S. outstrips almost all European countries in economic output per capita—15% higher than Germany’s, 43% higher than France’s.

    Surely former law professor Elizabeth Warren has studied enough history—I mean, Harvard, right?—to understand the fallacy of her socialist leanings. Her government-controls-everything policies usually lead to Venezuela-style ruin. Why pursue these policies? What is the end game? Here are nine answers.

    Here's mine:

    Add the “Lord of the Rings” theory: Power is addictive. Imagine different congressmen as Gollum. It often fits.

    Pushing people around gives them an endorphin rush. Can't we find some way to addict them to something else instead? Video games? Porn? Composing snarky tweets? Writing a blog that nobody reads?

Last Modified 2021-11-01 10:41 AM EST