THE LITTLE MERMAID: What the Media Isn’t Telling You About the Film’s Box Office Performance.

From the moment the public learned Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid would race-swap the title character Ariel, the film has been the subject of both controversy and excessive praise. Disney’s live-action remakes have consistently adjusted the original material to appeal to current sensibilities and to make casting less white and the content more woke. Naturally, Disney purists who cherish the classic 1989 animated film and wanted a more faithful adaptation of the story were a bit perturbed. While there’s no doubt that Halle Bailey, the actress playing Ariel, is extremely talented, it was a puzzling move for a story based on a fairy tale by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen.

Still, it gave the media exactly what it wanted: a pretext to accuse right-wing viewers of racism. Disney, meanwhile, saw dollar signs as its woke audience would be clamoring to prove just how anti-racist they are and flock to the theaters to see this movie.

Well, the movie itself clearly isn’t great. Despite the race-swapping and the woke tweaks to the content, professional critics didn’t gush over the film as you would have expected. As of this writing, the film has a 67% rating from critics tracked by Rotten Tomatoes. The audience score is 95%, but those reviews appear to be filtered and may not accurately reflect the views of all those who have reviewed the movie on the site.

One audience member who saw the film and wasn’t too enthused with the finished product was the Critical Drinker. And he’s got some (unfiltered) thoughts on the myriad of things that went wrong:


RIP: Ed Ames, star of TV series ‘Daniel Boone,’ dies at 95.

In the 1960s, Ames shifted careers and began persuing acting. His first starring role was an off-Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible.’

However, on television, Ames was likely best known for his role as Mingo, the Oxford-educated Native American in the 1960s adventure series “Daniel Boone” that starred Fess Parker as the famous frontiersman.

Due to his role in “Daniel Boone,” Ames became skilled at throwing a tomahawk, which led the actor to one of his most memorable moments of his career during a hilarious appearance on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson’ on April 27, 1965.

While on the show, Carson asked Ames to demonstrate his skills by throwing a tomahawk at a target of a cowboy outlined on a wooden panel.

Ames’ throw landed directly in the groin of the wooden cowboy, which caused the studio audience burst into laughter.

It’s a classic moment, which Carson repeated every year in his anniversary show:

As James Lileks asked in 2005, after Carson had passed away, “Ed fargin’ Ames throwing the tomahawk – was it funny because he planted it the yarbles, or because it resembled homo erectus? Both?”

SOHRAB AHMARI: Do Androids Dream of Terrible Streets?

“Techno-capitalism and urban dilapidation … seemed to go hand-in-hand.”

As the Marxist geographer Mike Davis, who died last year at age 76, noted, Starr’s offhand remark attested to Blade Runner’s enduring status as the “star of sci-fi dystopias.” The film has become a sort of visual shorthand for a set of persistent American anxieties about biotechnology, corporate misrule, and multiculturalism, projected from the California dream factory onto the rest of the country (and the world). For Davis, it was significant that the dream factory, Hollywood, was located nearby other key Golden State industries, not least computing and biotech, whose business was to slingshot our species into Dickian dystopia.

Yet Davis wasn’t very impressed by Blade Runner as a piece of urban futurism. While boasting whiz-bang effects (by ’80s standards), the movie presented a retread of a much older old, and racially tinged, picture of the future as Manhattan-style “giganticism”: teeming masses of culturally mixed and confused human drones huddling under massive pyramids of steel and glass.

That picture no doubt appealed to the likes of Starr as they sought to place the sole blame for the political-economic dislocations and contradictions of California at the feet of “multiculturalism.” Lamenting the loss of WASP primacy was a lot easier than facing up to the de-industrialization and middle-class destruction wrought by the neoliberal revolution launched by the likes of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

For Davis, the Kevin Starr/Blade Runner vision of Los Angeles (as yellow-peril giganticism) missed something still more crucial: the fact that the advances in technology hatched in California sat next to a “great unbroken chain of aging bungalows, stucco apartments, and ranch style homes”—all decaying as the city entered the third millennium. Techno-capitalism and urban dilapidation, sentient machines and lousy bus lines, seemed to go hand-in-hand.

I don’t think Reagan and Thatcher had much to do with the poor state of Silicon Valley’s infrastructure, where 21st century technology is being birthed alongside an ill-maintained power grid, telephone lines, and roads seemingly little changed since the late 1940s through the mid-1960s.

ROBERT SPENCER: Biden’s Handlers Think They Have a NATO Ally in Erdogan. But Erdogan Has Other Ideas. “To celebrate Erdogan’s victory, his followers gathered in Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia mosque and screamed ‘Allahu akbar,’ which does not mean ‘God is great,’ as the Western establishment media routinely claims, but rather, ‘Allah is greater,’ that is, greater than your god. It is a declaration of supremacy with immense implications.”

SPACE: James Webb telescope discovers gargantuan geyser on Saturn’s moon, blasting water hundreds of miles into space. “Analysis revealed that the jets contained methane, carbon dioxide and ammonia — organic molecules containing chemical building blocks necessary for the development of life. It’s even possible that some of these gases were produced by life itself, burping out methane deep beneath the surface of Enceladus, an international team of researchers posited in research published last year in The Planetary Science Journal.”


Remarkably, however, Crawford H. “Chet” Taylor is entirely a figment of ChatGPT’s imagination. Tony Vanhuisen wrote:

Crawford H. “Chet” Taylor was never Governor of South Dakota and, in fact, I can find no evidence of such a person, at all. I will credit ChatGPT, though, that Governor Taylor is a plausible-sounding fictional governor.

The 14th Governor of South Dakota was not Chet Taylor (who again, doesn’t exist) but Tom Berry. Taylor is said to have served from 1949 to 1951; in fact, that would coincide with the second gubernatorial term of George T. Mickelson.

AI even produced a fake portrait of the fake governor:

AI is so good, it even gave “Chet” a second pocket square!

JEFF GOLDSTEIN: The White Face of Black Supremacy. “On Instagram, this middle-aged warrior for Social Justice has 330 thousand followers. Twitter? Mr McWhorter — who can safely be described as white as a debutante’s taint — has over half a million followers, to whom he offers such wisdom as this. . . . I bring all this up as a backdrop to my final words on the ‘CitiBike Karen’ affair. The facts, to the extent they continue to matter, are not in dispute — especially if what we are after is an accurate presentation of how to contextualize the 90-second viral video that threatened to ruin the life of Sarah Comrie, a white physician’s assistant, whom the left set about to turn into an objective correlative of white ‘Karenicity,’ of female whiteness weaponized as a means to consciously control and subjugate black men. . . . McWhorter was and continues to be one of the driving forces of this narrative, having recently appeared on TYT to once again bemoan the racism of Ms Comrie and the dangers she posed to black men as a direct result of her whiteness. Responding to Guest Host Sharon Reed’s leading prompts, McWhorter claims that he ‘never cared about a stolen bike’ (he did), but instead, that what he saw that ‘alarmed’ him was Ms Comrie’s response to having the bike she rented taken away from her by black teens, which response — calling out for help while they were trying to take her property — put their lives in jeopardy. Comrie’s life, conversely, was never threatened, nor does she have any right to even perceive it as such; after all, as a pregnant white woman surrounded by several black teenagers cursing at her and laying hands on her bike, to believe herself unsafe is merely proof of her implicit biases and her latent racism. She has nothing to fear from black teens throwing f-bombs her way; whereas they had every right to fear for their lives. Because black on white crime in New York is simply not a thing, whereas a white woman calling for help — and here McWhorter invokes Emmett Till — leads to instantaneous lynchings of black youth in 21st century New York City, the contemporary urban equivalent of 1950’s Selma, Alabama, or Jessup County, Mississippi, circa 1964. I mean, do you even sociology, bro?”

Plus: “To hear McWhorter tell it — and again, this hipster doofus reaches over 6 million people through his various social media presences, which is why this matters — the viral video led not to the vilification of Ms Comrie, but rather to a ‘narrative’ and a ‘press push’ that ‘vilified’ the black teenager whose name has still not been released, whose job has never been threatened, whose family has never received deaths, and whom local media, as well as a host of national outlets, didn’t immediately label a racist and a thief, nor demonize for his skin color.”

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: The Return of Good and Evil, Part 1.

And here’s Part 2. “Of the two attributes of intelligence, it is value-setting not problem-solving that may prove the most critical one of all.”