Review: The Chestnut Man

By John Ruberry

Late last month a Nordic noir six-episode series, The Chestnut Man, a Danish production began streaming on Netflix. It’s based on the novel of the same name by Søren Sveistrup. It’s an ideal autumn offering on many levels. The Chestnut Man is set in Denmark in October with fall colors at their peak. Halloween–the celebration of it has been spreading in Europe–plays a part in the story, and oh yeah, it’s a compelling crime drama centered on a serial killer who leaves stick chestnut figures, chestnut men, at the scene of each murder. Just as the carving of pumpkins is an old tradition in North America the building of chestnut men is similar a tradition in Scandinavia.

Naia Thulin (Danica Curcic) is a police detective and a single mother whose work keeps her away from her daughter, Le (Liva Forsberg), so the girl spends more time with her quasi-grandfather, Aksel (Anders Hove). By the way Hove was a regular on the ABC soap opera General Hospital.

Thulin is assigned a new partner, Mark Hess (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard). Their first investigation is a chestnut man murder. Hess has a troubled past–he was recently fired from his job in the Hague. The chestnut man case is quickly tied to the disappearance of the daughter of a politician, Rosa Hartung (Iben Dorner), who is the minister of social affairs. Her position puts in charge of foster care and child custody cases.

Obviously I don’t want to give up much of the plot because it will introduce spoilers. Let’s just say viewers will be confronted with twists and turns in the story line. The scars of unhappy childhoods figure in to the plot as well.

I also recently watched two other new Netflix series that I believe any level-headed person should avoid. 

Brand New Cherry Flavor is set in Hollywood in the 1990s and centers on a young Brazilian director (Rosa Salazar) who sees her first movie project stolen by a scumbag Hollywood producer. (Aren’t they all scumbags?) Inexplicably the director consistently barfs up large-eared kittens. Except for the negative portrayal of Hollywood I detested this series. And with a couple of exceptions I hated the characters. Even the kittens disturbed me. And there is a disgusting sex scene I won’t even describe here.

You can judge a book–and a TV series–by its cover. The Netflix graphic promoting Midnight Mass is centered on a main character, a Catholic priest, who has a sinister look on his face. The plot driver of this series is that priest (Hamish Linklater), a mysterious young pastor who arrives at an island parish that serves a tiny fishing community. Let’s just say Midnight Mass has about the same amount of respect for the Catholic Church as The Da Vinci Code, only with tons of gore and blood thrown into the mess. Although to be honest I did enjoy Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code book. The movie? Not so much.

The island’s sheriff, a Muslim, Rahul Kohli, is quite good in Midnight Mass however.

In Midnight Mass the cinematography is beautiful–but The Chestnut Man has that and so much more–I believe you’ll enjoy that series.

The Chestnut Man is rated TV-MA as it contains graphic violence and crime scene photos, foul language, sex, and brief nudity. It is available streaming on Netflix in English, English with subtitles, Danish with subtitles, Spanish, as well as simplified and traditional Chinese. There are bits of dialogue in The Chestnut Man in English and German–with subtitles. I watched it in Danish.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Five Chappelle Thoughts, Vulgarity, Python, Rickles, Privilege and Irony Under the Fedora

Yesterday I had some time on my hands and watched the Dave Chappelle special and came away thinking these things:

If this had been the days of my youth this special would never had made it on the air, not because of the Transgender jokes but because the absolutely vulgar sexual humor all over the place. It was about as gross and disgusting as you can get and it really says something about how our society has changed that I seem to be the only person who has pointed this out.


What really gets me about the gross stuff is that like Monty Python Chappelle’s humor is actually very intelligent humor and he doesn’t need to go with the gross stuff to be funny. Furthermore a lot of the gross humor wasn’t all that good in the sense that it couldn’t have been more telegraphed if he had been sitting behind a desk in a Western Union office in 1877.

That being said his audience liked it and I’m remined of Eddie Murphy’s famous bit about Bill Cosby calling him on being vulgar and Richard Pryor’s response.

For those who don’t want to hear the whole clip here is what Murphy said Pryor said to him about Bill Cosby chastising him over the dirty humor:

I don’t give give a f*** what every the f*** makes people laugh say that shit. Do the people laugh when you say what you say?

I said Yes

Do you get paid?

I said Yes

Well tell Bill I said have a Coke and smile and shut the f*** up. That Jello pudding eating M*****f*****..

Given what we now know about Bill Cosby this Eddie Murphy clip is a lot funnier and highly ironic, but Bill would answer that he never drugged a woman on stage in front of an audience.

Dave Chapple’s job is to make people laugh and he is very good at it and if people are laughing at the jokes and he’s getting paid millions then he’s doing his job even if he gets too gross for me. As for anything else, that’s between him and Christ and I wish him the best of luck there.


That brings up another thing about Chappelle that reminds me of Monty Python and Don Rickles, he hits everybody and makes fun of Everybody and is gross about EVERYBODY. There were no sacred cows to Monty Python and Don Rickles hit people, including the autocancel to their faces. Chappelle takes this to the Nth degree I mean he was making glory hole jokes about Martin Luther King. MARTIN LUTHER KING!

Can you imagine any other comedian making glory hole jokes about Martin Luther King on a stage? Can you imagine what would happen if I got up on a stage on a comedy night and tried to make a joke about Martin Luther King concerning sleeping around let alone glory holes. I’d be up against a wall.

And you think the transgender stuff is over the line?


One of the reasons why he does these things and also breaks all the other rules (for example smoking in places where I would be fined for doing so) is to distract people as he delivers his message, and his message seems to be:

Don’t be telling black people about how oppressed you are when we were friggin slaves and went through all we went through to get where we are now.

His answer to the Trans community claiming oppression reminds me of a story Tip O’Neill told about a group of black activists who came to congress and was berating a white congressman who had grown up poor in during the Great Depression in the era before government safety nets and answered: “Don’t come to my office and talk down it me. I was poor when poor was POOR!” Go deep into these specials and that, in my opinion is pretty much what Chappelle’s entire standup humor is about, but the bottom line is it’s still humor that makes you laugh and makes him money.

His answer to Trans activists talking about the oppression of their people was to ask if they kidnapped them and dragged them here from Transylvania.


Ironically Chappelle uses his status as one of the richest and most popular living comics to exercise privilege not only do do or say things that others can’t say without being hit by society but to flaunt said privilege, the privilege of wealth, the privilege of celerity and the privilege of race to advance pretty much a left liberal/radical worldview with a streak of libertarianism and a commitment to the 1st amendment . Even more ironically he does this while living in what would be considered a conservative leaning lifestyle in a white small town.

Dave Chappelle is actually is the personification of privilege he knows he has it and intends to make you know he has it and is going to use it. The reason why this said privilege doesn’t get me all that riled up is he earned said privilege with decades of hard work and a lot of nights in small clubs busting his ass to make people laugh and he does it as well if not better than any current living comedian. That is in fact the American dream.

The final irony is the the reason why he has this dream is that hundreds of years ago a black slaver caught one of his ancestors and sold said ancestor to a ship master headed for the new world allowing him the ultimate privilege that the decedents of that slaver can only dream of, growing up in America.

The answer to Durbin’s favorite question for SCOTUS nominees is in: Merrick Garland favors restricting personal freedoms

Blogger with Durbin in Chicago in 2019

By John Ruberry

When Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland in the final year of his presidency to replace Antonin Scalia on the US Supreme Court he was hailed by some as a moderate. 

Well “Moderate Merrick,” if he ever existed, is gone. 

Garland’s nomination was never acted upon by the US Senate, which was then in Republican control, and President Trump nominated Neal Gorsuch for the Scalia seat–and the Senate went on to confirm Gorsuch.

Had Garland faced the Senate he might have been asked this question from Sen. Dick Durbin, who is from Garland’s home state of Illinois, “Will you restrict the personal freedoms we enjoy as Americans or will you expand them?” Durbin posed that query to John Roberts during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings sixteen years ago and he has asked the same question, as did his predecessor, Paul Simon, during confirmation hearings for other SCOTUS nominees. 

Well we have the answer to the question that Durbin never asked Garland. Joe Biden’s attorney general favors restricting personal freedoms.

Last week, citing unnamed threats against unnamed school board members, Garland in a memorandum declared, “I am directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with each United States Attorney, to convene meetings with federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders in each federal judicial district within 30 days of the issuance of this memorandum.”

In short, Garland is unleashing the FBI against parents who have spoken out against hateful and bigoted Critical Race Theory offal that is being rammed down the throats of their children. Do you want someone like Agent Petty from Ozark showing up at your front door? Clearly Garland is plotting to separate parents from their children. After all, leftists from Karl Marx on have viewed parents as an obstacle to pursuing their goal of a perfect society, which of course is a totalitarian state where the elites, who of course are so much wiser than everyone else, guide the rabble. Yes the rabble. You know, people like me and you, part of a multi-million member conglomeration similar to Ozark’s redneck Langmore clan. That’s how our leftist “betters” see us.

Last month at a Virginia gubernatorial candidate debate, the Democrat nominee, longtime Clintonista Terry McAuliffe, let loose this surprising bit of candidness, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

I believe parents should have the defining voice in school curricula—as do undoubtedly most Americans. 

In his farewell address in 1989 Ronald Reagan said, “And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” And that is as it always should be.

But in his first inauguration speech as California governor the Gipper warned, “Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction.”

We now have an attorney general–and a White House administration–that favors restricting freedom.

Don’t look for Durbin to call them out on it.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Arson, climate change, and wildfires

Blogger at Denali National Park

By John Ruberry

Is it a wildfire if an arsonist sets it?

It’s been a brutal season for wildfires in the west. Climate change of course is usually blamed for these fires but what about arson?

The Fawn Fire in northern California, which has burned about 13 square miles, is fully contained after two weeks of destruction. It has destroyed 185 buildings.

How did it start?

A former San Francisco Bay Area yoga teacher, Alexandra Souverneva who claims to be a shaman on her LinkedIn page, is accused of accidentally starting it while trying to boil water to remove bear urine from it. But a California newspaper says that Souverneva may be connected to other fires.

Gary Maynard, a former college professor, is being held without bail for allegedly setting several fires near the Dixie Fire in northern California. He is not accused of starting the Dixie Fire, but the cause of that blaze, which is still undetermined, may have been caused by Pacific Gas and Electric equipment. 

This year, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, over 100 people have been accused of wildland arson.

Conditions are very dry in California–it is suffering from drought conditions. If an arsonist attempts to start a fire in one of the forest preserves near where I live in Morton Grove, Illinois, it will likely be a slow burn, as we’ve had a wet summer here. In California the results will be horribly different. 

If you haven’t heard about arson as the cause of wildfires it’s probably because the mainstream media, to protect another of its narratives, in this case that climate change is an existential threat to humanity, is minimizing arson’s role in wildfires. 

But CNN sees the arson angle of wildfires as a serious enough of a threat to that narrative that it published an article in August debunking it. 

Arson-caused wildfires is something to keep your eye on.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Cui Bono Black America

Friday I talked about how I Stacy McCain & I both look at our situations in terms of our grandparents and consider just how lucky we are. Yesterday I applied this to black America and noted that not only is black America lucky, but the progress of Blacks in America from slavery, and having nothing to a group with political, cultural power not to mention wealth to the point that it’s the ultimate victory over those who sold their ancestors into slavery as their descendants would be anything to have the US citizenship and the advantages they now possess.

This triumph which is the greatest of its type in the history of the world however is not celebrated as it rightly should be in the black community and instead black America is routinely told how oppressed they are in a state so racist and so hostile that they are slated to lose before they even begin.

The question becomes, why would people sell a message of racism and destined failure rather than a history of success over odds to their culture in general and their children in particular?

Why would they present America as a racist desert for blacks while at the same time tens of thousands of blacks are fleeing the oldest black republic in the history of the world and are currently living under a bridge in Texas in their quest to become part of this nation that activists say will oppress them.

So the question I ask black America in general and Black Americans in particular is.

Cui Bono?

Who benefits from keeping you in fear, who benefits from selling you a message of despair and disillusionment? Who benefits from the hate crime hoaxes and the false perceptions of of thousands of unarmed blacks shot annually by police nationwide increasing the stat by a factor of 100 or 1000?

Who is getting rich and comfortable by selling you this bill of goods?

I submit and suggest that once you start asking and answering that question will break those who wish to keep you in peonage for their own benefit. And that truth will set you free.

The Left’s Dirty Little Secret: Black America since 1865 is one of the Great Success Stories in History of Mankind

Yesterday I commented on how both Stacy McCain and myself understand the secret of happiness by realizing that no matter how bad an individual situation we remember how far our families has come in a couple of generations from subsistence to comfort.

But our experience pales before the experience of Black America as a whole.

Think about this for a second. Newly freed black American’s in 1865 as a whole:

  • Owned little or nothing
  • Were illiterates
  • Were considered inferior
  • Had (in contrast to African immigrants post 1865) no national identify other than slavery
  • Had no political power
  • Had only whatever experience they had as slaves (primarily subsistence agriculture)

There was no real political class or professional class or middle class shopkeepers to support them, at best that were patronized by well meaning people who thought them lesser and at worst they were exploited to gain wealth and power in the conquered states (the “carpetbaggers & machine pols of reconstruction”)

Yet from this situation in 150 consider the state of black America now

Black buying power currently stands at over $1.1 trillion and is on the road to hit about $1.5 trillion by 2021. This collective buying power means that nearly $2 trillion will be flowing through black America annually very soon, making us the centerpiece for various researchers, marketers, advertisers, and other campaigns designed to influence black spending patterns.

educationally

  • Per the NSBA in a 2020 paper 2017 stats from the national school board 11% of teachers and seven percent of SCHOOL PRINCIPALS are black (out of 13% of the total population) two thirds of black students graduate with high school diplomas.

In reputation

  • Black students and applicants at the corporates level are actively sought by companies and colleges.

In politics

  • 63 members of he current congress are black (about 12% corresponding to the population) and that’s not even considering the numbers in various state legislatures and local governments.

In identity:

  • Black culture, black music, black literature, black television and the black church have provided a visible culture that is noted and powerful worldwide

Finally consider

  • Black actors,, sportsman, broadcasters and prominent scientists, members of government are fully a part of American culture as a whole as are black Americans in every part of life.

Frankly the only places where black America is regressing is in Democrat cities many run by black pols and even that that the rising tide of black America lifted all black boats including those who were corrupt in the community as well as those who were not.

As a person who is a student of history I submit and suggest that no other society has come from that point from nothing as the black community and thus I state for the record:

The success of Black America’s rise from Slavery to where it is today is one of the if not the greatest Society success stories in the History of Mankind and is a peculiarly American Success Story

Now there are those in that corrupt community who would have Black America ignore this fact and focus only on failure and there are others, particularly in the Democrat part who would keep Black American in the plantation of victimhood and suggest to black children and teen that they are oppressed and inferior and thus need to be lifted rather than encourage and challenged but to all of those who claim the state of Black America is one of oppression I ask you these two question:

  1. How many of the descended from black slaves in America would exchange their lot with a Black person in Africa and would move there permanently if given the chance?
  2. How many of those descended from the blacks slavecatchers and slave sellers in Africa would exchange their lot with a Black Person in America and would move here permanently if given the chance?

I submit and suggest that the number of the first is negligible and the number of the 2nd is almost all of them.

That’s the final victory of black America, those who descended from the people who sold their ancestors into slavery would given anything to be in the position of the descended from those they sold vs where they are now. And all of this comes from the hard work of those slaves and their children who started with nothing and built a culture and society.

Take a bow black America and remember the people trying to sell you victimhood are the folks looking to build their power on you perceiving yourselves as inferior.

Don’t fall for it, you’re descended from giants, act accordingly.

Stacy McCain Discovers the Key To Happiness

One of the reasons why the current situation in the US makes me so unhappy is that I am a student of history and a collector of history books to some degree and when I compare the boundless optimism of historians of a century and a quarter ago to the media crowd of today it makes me shake my head.

But when I get down like that I do what Stacy McCain does here:

We must live in reality, rather than in our political fantasies of an ideal condition of “Equality” that, so far as I know, has never existed anywhere at any time in all of human history. This utopian fantasy is harmful in that it breeds irrational discontentment, no matter how objectively splendid our actual circumstances may be. Some of the most bitter people in America are rich liberals whose affluent lifestyles would have been unimaginable to their grandparents or more remote ancestors. My own grandfather plowed the red clay hills of east Alabama behind a mule team. He had no indoor plumbing or electricity or central heat. Rather than make myself miserable by comparing my situation to that of Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, I prefer to make myself happy by thinking how much easier my life is than that of my grandfather. Right now, I’m drinking a fruit smoothie and eating a meal I warmed up in the microwave, while preparing to hit the “publish” button and communicate with a readership of thousands. What have I got to complain about, if I pause to compare my situation to my grandfather’s life in rural Alabama?

My father was born in 1921 and would have been 100 years old this Halloween, his father was born in the late 1800’s, My mother was born in 1924 and her mother, the youngest of my four grandparents was born in 1896. All were born before the airplane, before the radio in the shadow of the Volcano Mt. Etna.

They came to a country where they were considered of a different race, did not speak the language and worked hard all their lives. My parents born here did the same, people simply don’t understand how lucky they are to have what they have particularly when it was built on the hard work of folks like this who took risks.

A great example of this blindness came up a few months ago. My son was experimenting with a sauce and decided to call my older sister to get some tips on how our grandparents made the meat. Was it in a sauce raw or did they cook it in the sauce etc. She pointed out that the reason why they cooked things in the sauce wasn’t flavor, but that it was a lot of work to clean pans, to cook etc, particular in an era before washing machines and the harnessing of electricity became the norm. . A lot of the styles we romantic about the past was all about necessity

I will likely never have to work as hard as my father who left school in at 11 in the sixth grade to work, who fought a world war in the pacific and then came home to build a family. I will likely never have to pick dandelions to have something to eat as my mother did occasionally as a kid (she never lost a taste for them) Nor will I have to work remotely as hard as my grandparents did to get by and that is due to both their hard work and American progress.

To know history is to be grateful for the lot you have as an American, which is why so many are willing to come here and work for money many Americans would not, because they know what they’ve got.

The Reason Why the GOP in general and Professional Conservatives in particular will not embrace or run with the F— Biden chants in colleges in one sentence…

At the American conservative Colin Pruitt laments that Conservatives will not embrace the anti-Biden chants at college football games giving them a cultural entrée to campus where they are treated as pariahs or Barstool that has pushed them:

It’s highly unlikely conservatives will embrace Barstool to the degree they should. Like President Trump, Dave Portnoy’s brash approach blinds observers to obvious lessons. But also, like Trump, elite conservatives won’t have to embrace Barstool. Their voters and their constituents already have. Americans know that their congressmen won’t stand up to Roger Goodell, and they know Republicans are more interested in defending their hedge-fund donors than retail traders. So, they’ve found a new and better champion. Love Barstool conservatives or hate them, they’re standing up and saying what everyone is already thinking. 

Alas there is a much easier explanation as to why they won’t embrace the Barstool stuff in general and the f— Biden crowd.

They don’t see an effective way to monetize it for themselves

No cash for them and their consultants, not interested period!

Stacy McCain Explains a Fact of Life

This should be required reading in every school in American and that includes DRIVING SCHOOLS:

Watch enough police chases, and you’ll develop a profound contempt for these fleeing motorists. Why did they decide to run for it, after all? Over and over, the suspects in these chases either (a) have drugs in the car, (b) have guns in the car, or (c) are wanted on felony warrants, but sometimes (d) all of the above. When an otherwise law-abiding citizen gets pulled over for speeding or some other traffic violation, it’s a bummer, but no big deal. You’re not going to take off at 120 mph because of a mere traffic ticket.

Might I humbly suggest that the best way to avoid an unfortunate incident would be to not be using or transporting

  1. Illegal drugs
  2. illegal guns
  3. a person with outstanding felony warrants

Or as Jim Carey once put it so eloquently :

They’ve Thrown It All Away

4th Doctor: Count, do you realize what will happen if you try to go back to the time before history began?
Count Scarlioni: Yes. Yes, I do. And I don’t care one jot.

Doctor Who: City of Death 1979

“Future generations, your own descendants who will rise up after you, as well as the foreigners who will come here from far-off lands, when they see the calamities of this land and the ills with which the LORD has smitten it all its soil being nothing but sulphur and salt, a burnt-out waste, unsown and unfruitful, without a blade of grass, destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in his furious wrath they and all the nations will ask,

‘Why has the LORD dealt thus with this land? Why this fierce outburst of wrath?’

And the answer will be, ‘Because they forsook the covenant which the LORD, the God of their fathers, had made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt, and they went and served other gods and adored them, gods whom they did not know and whom he had not let fall to their lot:

Deuteronomy 29:21-25

One of the things that made America different than many other countries has been its institutions and our trust in them.

Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of Sir Humphrey bureaucrats, plenty of bad teachers, plenty of shady pols, bad cop and the odd incompetent Doctor but as a whole our institutions were trusted and moreover DESERVED OUR TRUST.

This has always been one of the draws of America to people of other lands, particularly people persecuted for their political beliefs.

That is why our foes spent so much time investing in culture, in schools to pervert what children are taught, in movies and news to shape the messages given to the public and in the net to restrict what is allowable to be posted and said.

Some of us tried to fight against these things but were attacked by the left who were determined to see this through, by our own side because they though it would be too “controversial” and obscure an economic message but most of all by the professional political class who thought such a fight would harm their chances of winning and thus securing generational wealth for them and theirs.

A few people put out the warning. Folks like Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and to a lesser degree Donald Trump who instead fought the culture war not by pointing out the dangers of the left but of the successes of America and American Culture in a way that had been discouraged everywhere else.

Well that message is now gone, given away by courts unwilling to tackle the steal of an election and what has happened in less than sixty days.

The trust in our institutions is gone. The CDC, the military, the presidency, the press the lot.

Now to be fair the left pushed distrust in the institutions for a while and among but now those of us who defended those institutions has seen those who would use them as a weapon against their political enemies rise to the top It has taken less than twelve months for this to rise to its fullest level.

The biggest of these institutions that have gone for this has been the military.

No other institution in the country had a better reputation, and no wonder, no other military in the history in the world has been used for just and right more than the US military. No other military in the world is more trusted than the US Military and as a rule when the US Military is deployed civilians of whatever country they are deployed to have less to fear than the military of any other (particularly the UN).

More over it was not uncommon for US soldiers at restaurants to find that their tab had been picked up by ordinary citizens not out of fear or intimidation like you might see in a 3rd world tinpot dictatorship but because of the love and respect they enjoyed.

It has taken 240 days for the grifters to take this trust built over 240 years away.

Now the top brass, the ones that were advanced by the Obama administration don’t seem to care. They don’t see the military as an honorable career dedicated to protecting America and Americans but see themselves at the top of a gravy train that’s cashing in. They see us as simply rabble to be controlled and as long as they are rewarded in terms of finances and power they’re indifferent. Their only mission is themselves.

They have followed the other institutions into this same rabbit hole

The real question is what will the junior officers do and will the ones who actually believe in the military’s mission bother to stay? Who will bother to enlist in such an army and what will they do when they can’t get the bodies to sign up?

And again the Army is just one aspect of this problem in government, medicine and academia.

John Adams said that public business has to be done by someone. If we chase out the honest and honorable then then we’ll have what we have.

Our enemies have played this very well.