The Blarg No. 88: Barbara VanDenburgh

It has to be talked about, if only briefly. I’d feel wrong otherwise. In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s a complete and total shit show out there. If you’re a right wing conservative, I highly doubt you’re listening to Limited Engagement or reading The Blarg, but if you are, I’m not even sorry. I honestly don’t feel like the Democrats are doing much better at this point in time, but in order to stem the tide of regressive, fascistic, fear-mongering, and my fingers have actually gone apoplectic. That’s how bad things are—my fingers can’t even keep up with the horror running through my head.

What I’m saying is that the prevailing evil is so evil, we are left with no choice other than to vote for the lesser of two, because something has to fucking change and change fast. Irreparable damage to the progress of humanity and science has already been done, and it’s going to take a fuck ton of work just to get back to where we were which, honestly, already was not that great.

We have a job to do. That job is to send a message of undeniable strength and unity, which is that we won’t stand for this dismantling of social progress any longer.

My early voting ballot came in the mail today. I’ve never been more excited or terrified to vote. I’m terrified it won’t work, that we’ve already gone too far down a dark, dark path. If you have a conscience, if you have a glimmer of hope for social progress, you have a choice to make, and you know what the right one is. This is difficult. I am not one to even begin to tell someone what they should do—it just isn’t my place—but this is different. This time, there is something that you should do, and you hopefully know what that is. Don’t let polling make you complacent. They have to feel every vote.

Okay, I’m done with that. Let’s talk about something else.

Oh, we—Janell and I—went and saw a double feature this past weekend. We saw The Sisters Brothers and The Old Man and the Gun. The Sisters Brothers is a fantastic, dark, humorous novel written by Patrick DeWitt. I highly recommend it. I can’t say that I recommend the movie, though. It was the first of the two we saw, and I walked out thinking it was pretty good. Then we got our tickets for the 2nd movie, and by the time we sat down to watch the previews, I’d already downgraded it to being just okay. Walking out of The Old Man and the Gun, my opinion of The Sisters Brothers had settled in at “not that great.” There are some excellent performances, but I had some real problems with the story and the liberties they’d taken with changes to the novel. One of the reasons for the quick slide in rating is how good I think the 2nd movie is. The Old Man and the Gun, though not a terribly surprising or original (I mean, the crime genre has been done to death), is a fantastic movie. Everyone in it is great. Personally, I think Tom Waits steals every scene he’s in, but Sissy Spacek gives a wonderful performance, and Robert Redford… Honestly, is there anyone left in film with the caliber and gravitas of Robert Redford? I highly recommend it—and go see it on a real screen, in a theatre, with other people.

Speaking of films…

Barbara VanDenburgh is a reporter, cultural critic and Senior Content Strategist for USA Today Network (she has a ton of great film reviews you can find up on the AZ Central website), as well as the moderator for the popular First Draft Book Club, which meets once a month at the Phoenix location of Changing Hands. The next First Draft Book Club meeting will be Wednesday, October 24th at 7 pm, to discuss Gary Shteyngart’s new novel, Lake Success. For more information on that, you can visit the Changing Hands site, and for more Barbara, follow her on Twitter at @BabsVan.

Listen to LE 88 – Barbara VanDenburgh


Jared Duran


Filed under Arts and Culture, Podcast, The Blarg

3 responses to “The Blarg No. 88: Barbara VanDenburgh

  1. Mary

    I recommend you eliminate the swearing and instead give specific examples of what you are referring to instead of general statements. What specific dismantling of social progress are you referring to? Do you honestly think conservatives are “evil?” do think that they think they are evil? … it is what you think about a situation that makes something evil, in your mind. I recommend you read or listen to some Wayne Dyer; I was lucky to have read his first book in 1976: “Your Erroneous Zones” which addresses choosing your thoughts and changing your perspective on judging others. “Love is Letting Go of Fear” by Gerald Jampolsky is another good book!

    I am glad that you said “I honestly don’t feel like the Democrats are doing much better.” We are all in this together and need to work together for win-win scenarios.

    Thanks for the movie review, I was not planning on seeing “The Old Man and the Gun” based on the last Robert Redford movie on the book “A Walk In the Woods” written by Bill Bryson. Redford had said he had never laughed out loud so much before reading a book. Bryson weaves history and facts in with his personal experiences and interactions with others, which is not all that compassionate, but is funny. “One Summer in 1927” is my favorite Bryson book which describes the competition to be the first to fly across the Atlantic, Babe Ruth’s life and home run record, a famous trial, a domestic terrorism event, among other events in 1927. Way before we were both born! “A Sunburned Country” about 3 trips he took to Australia is also good.


    • Mary, thank you for your considered response. I will likely not stop swearing. The Blarg is a brief missive to promote when a new edition of the podcast goes up. Although I may communicate some personal political views from time to time, I do not intend it to be a thorough discourse. I appreciate you taking the time to read this blog and submit a response.


      • Mary

        What is the benefit of swearing? Its certainly not very loving or considerate of others to swear. Does it give you a feeling of power to force your negatively onto others? Does it feel good to be undisciplined and unconcerned or caring about self and others? Isn’t it verbal abuse and lazy to swear? Think about it, the next time(s) you swear.


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