Late Night Open Thread

It’s Pride Saturday night here. What this means for me is that I’m home alone making fussy green tea and reading Iain M. Banks. Fortunately, I’ve got the company of Nature’s Perfect Killing Machine.

It’s been a smidge hot lately; that’s how much energy Samwise could muster for greeting me after brunch. We keep the AC on in the bedroom, but I guess he decided the muggy living room was more his speed.

Happy Pride! How are you all? Got any Netflix/Hulu/Prime recommendations? I’ve been watching Neon Genesis Evangelion, which holds up surprisingly well.

Parting observation: Marianne Williamson has suddenly taken on a huge memetic presence in my Twitter feed. One of my Very Online friends even bought her shirt. You know, ironically.

83 replies
  1. 1
    BeautifulPlumage says:

    Happy Pride celebrations to all!

    Meanwhile, Miss Pearl tried to kill me last night with her trick of getting in front of me then walking real slow. I tripped over her and into a stack of heavy boxes. I now have a broken metatarsal in my right foot and cracked nose. Grrrr

  2. 2
    laura says:

    That fog pelted perfection of a cat….oooh he’s a great, beautiful beast.

  3. 3
    Barbara says:

    I don’t get any of that except Happy Pride Day.

    I’m binge watching Unforgotten.

  4. 4
    2liberal says:

    which banks are you reading ?

  5. 5
    eldorado says:

    yes yes, i’ll get on with the murdering.

    after the snacks and petting.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Steeplejack says:


    Good show. Low-key but solid. Have you seen River? Nicola Walker has a not quite starring role in that with Stellan Skarsgård.

    I just discovered today that I can get caught up to the start of the current season of Endeavour on Amazon Prime for free. Still trying to decide whether to get PBS Passport through my local station or go for the Amazon Masterpiece channel, which seems to be the same but maybe not?

  8. 8
    Steeplejack says:


    Bummer. Hope you heal quickly. And thank God Miss Pearl was not hurt! Priorities.

  9. 9
    Jay says:

    Pride Kamloops tommorow.

    Gonnna be there.

    No milkshakes.

  10. 10
    Blue mouser says:

    For Netflix: Wolfs Call, a French submarine thriller is pretty good. The series Black Spot is really interesting and quirky. Did you watch the anime movie A Silent Voice? It’s really good but can be upsetting in its depiction of bullying and it’s aftermath

    Can’t believe Ms Williamson made it to the debate stage. Seriously that person is divorced from reality.

  11. 11
    Jay says:

    @Blue mouser:

    She has 4chan/8chan/rethug support.

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    Not a new recommendation – if you’ve never tried it, check out <em>Patriot on Prime. Slow to start, building to intriguing to riveting.

    Currently working my way through Halt and Catch Fire on Netflix. Extremely uneven, but enough there to keep this quasi-tech head aboard thus far.

    Three other not new recommendations: The Returned on Netflix , Spiral on Prime and for science fiction with a twist done exquisitely, Charlie Jade on Prime (no link so as not to trigger FYWP).

    Also on Netflix (though for how long who knows) is The Third Man. Classic. if you’ve never seen it, good opportunity to remedy that gap in film watching.

  13. 13
    oatler. says:

    I don’t know what any of this has to do with Laura Dern’s khaki shorts in “Jurassic Park”. What? Is it me?

  14. 14
    Jackie says:

    @Blue mouser: I saw somewhere that RWers have started donating to her to keep her in the debates – hoping to bump someone more suitable out🤬

  15. 15
    Steeplejack says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    That one left a bad taste in my mouth. Lots of suffering, exquisitely detailed, and to what point? Maybe that was the point.

    The whole mise en scène weighed on me, similar to Gene Wolfe’s Shadow of the Torturer.

    This reminds me that I’m beached somewhere in the middle of Charlie Stross. Need to check my Nook.

  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Blue mouser: Can’t believe Ms Williamson made it to the debate stage. Seriously that person is divorced from reality.

    See also Eric Swalwell, Michael Bennet and Tulsi Gabbard, who I see went on FoxNews to say she was treated unfairly at the debate

  17. 17

    @Steeplejack: it’s definitely a grim book so far, though I just finished the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy, so this feels not so grim by comparison.

  18. 18
    Steeplejack says:

    @Blue mouser:

    Re Williamson:

    I don’t know if this made it over to Balloon Juice, but I thought it was funny.

    Stage 1: Did you hear Marianne Williamson in the debate last night? LOL!

    Stage 2: Did you see her on Fallon? She's wacky but she's not boring!

    Stage 3: Wow, she stuck around longer than I thought! Crazy!

    Stage 4: I have reservations about President Williamson's crystal tariffs.

    — James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) June 28, 2019

  19. 19
    Raoul says:

    It’s a smidge hot and humid in Minneapolis. We celebrated Pride by inviting some lovely lesbians and their adorable, bold and clever 4 year old over to our townhouse community pool.

    She can’t really swim yet, so in addition to playing with mom and mops in the shallow end (that’s the two parents), she rather instantly charmed one of our neighbors who we hadn’t even met before — we’re new here, finally playing house with my dude after 13(!) years — into getting a ride on her back to the deep end and return.

    Did I mention Aspen is adorable? Even strangers agree. They were soon judging her jumping into the pool while waving contest vs. my dude. She won every heat.

  20. 20

    Happy Pride! My mine has been quiet as well. With the first anniversary of my mother death coming up next week, I’ve not been feeling festive.

    But back to Pride, here’s good essay why Pride needs to remain flamboyant, and the best summary of Pride that I’ve seen:

    They wish we were invisible.

    We’re not.

    Let’s dance.

  21. 21
    HumboldtBlueh says:

    Huh, it appears at least one person suffered repercussions from the border crisis.

    Damn Canucks.

  22. 22
    Steeplejack says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Okay, no spoilers from me, but I’ll be interested to see what you think after you finish it.

    Synchronicity: The Three Body Problem is queued up next for me.

  23. 23
    NotMax says:


    Missing trailer from above. However it barely scratches the surface as to what the whole schmear is about.

  24. 24
    Blue mouser says:

    @Jackie: I saw that too! That is so depressing. And she is claiming that her mic was also cut during portions of the debate. Le sigh

    I don’t know how to post a link but there was a tweet of hers where she claims the power of the mind is greater than nuclear radiation, and that you just need to think of angels to disperse it into nothingness.

  25. 25
    Raoul says:

    @oatler.: If they can help keep Bullock in the Gov’s seat (or running for Senate) in Montana, godspeed to them.

  26. 26
    dmsilev says:

    Got any Netflix/Hulu/Prime recommendations?

    Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse showed up on Netflix recently. If you haven’t seen it yet, definitely worth a watch.

  27. 27
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Jim Sciutto @ jimsciutto
    Trump just now: “in the final stages of working out just a quick meeting” with Kim.

    Ted Boutrous @ BoutrousTed
    President of the United States pleading for fleeting hello from brutal international thug.

    his supporters think he’s ‘tough’, they believe him when yammers about how “we’re respected again”

  28. 28
    Doug R says:

    Stranger Things Season 3 shows up July 4. Into the Spider-Verse hit our movie channel today, a must-see for Spider fans and comic book fans.

  29. 29

    @Steeplejack: Lightly relevant to your first comment: Surface Detail was recommended by the same friend who turned me on to the Laundry Files.

  30. 30
    Steeplejack says:

    NotMax said earlier today that Juliet, Naked is on Amazon Prime now. And tonight I saw that it is also running on Epix, if your cable system has that. Highly recommended. Ethan Hawke, Rose Byrne and Chris O’Dowd in a very well written non-rom-com.

  31. 31
    Steeplejack says:


    I definitely want to see Into the Spider-Verse. Also Evangelion.

  32. 32
    NotMax says:

    Also, not streamable AFAIK, but all 13 episodes of Wild Boys are on YouTube. Intermittently watching it again from my previously downloaded copies for either the third or fourth time. So damn well constructed, and so beautifully filmed. trailer

  33. 33
    Steeplejack says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I like Iain M. Banks, but Surface Detail just left a bitter taste. The other one that rubbed me the wrong way was The Hydrogen Sonata, for different reasons.

  34. 34
    Steeplejack says:


    That looks interesting.

  35. 35
    Geoduck says:

    @Steeplejack: Well, at least seeing the Tangerine Shiatgibbon lose to her would be epic.

  36. 36
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Surface Detail was thematically very grim, from what I remember. The War in Heaven (was that it) is a necessarily fraught subject.

    That said, it was also very good and not nearly as shocking as Use of Weapons in many ways.

  37. 37
    Blue mouser says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Thats very true. Though I think Ms Williamson goes beyond delusional and swims in the dark deep abyssal plains of woo. There is 2009 tweet (granted sent out 10 years ago) where she says that God is big and swine flu small. Our cells filled with divine light that can be poured onto the immune system.

  38. 38
    Steeplejack says:


    Yes. All of us “crawl over broken glass to vote for the Dem” people would experience something akin to the “I didn’t think the leopards would eat my face!” phenomenon.

    But I’ve been chuckling all day about “crystal tariffs.”

  39. 39
    NotMax says:


    Spent weeks and weeks tracking down decent quality full episodes all over the place after stumbling upon the first, well before it showed up on YouTube.

  40. 40
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Steeplejack: I can agree with that. That said, Player of Games is a book I’ll always love. Banks had a good range

  41. 41
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Blue mouser:

    “Gosh, I wish there was an SNL show this week,” McKinnon told Seth Meyers, appearing on Late Night with Seth Meyers just hours after the second Democratic debate took place. McKinnon had to reluctantly agree with Meyers that out of the nearly two-dozen Democrats vying to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2020, Williamson is “the one who might not make it to the fall.”
    McKinnon admitted that “the window for Marianne Williamson impressions might be closing fast”, which is unfortunate because the two comedians loved the potential they saw in Williamson’s performance, calling her “a shining comet” and “a beautiful flower.” The comedic opportunities were so great that McKinnon said she was already practicing her impression while the debate was still on.

    I think she met the debate qualifications before Gillibrand or Booker? hard to believe there’s that many people that goofy in this country… oh, that’s right, trump is president. Never mind.

  42. 42
    West of the Rockies says:

    I really enjoyed Tales of the City on Netflix.

  43. 43
    Jackie says:

    Breaking news: Kim Jong Un agrees to meet Trump at DMZ – per Trump

  44. 44
    Steeplejack says:


    Yes. I still need to run down that collection that has some Culture short stories in it. Wasn’t available as an e-book last time I looked, but that has been several years now.

    I am in the process of moving from Nook to Kindle, so I’m a little disarranged at the moment. And I load up on Internet/​blog junk-food reading, which leaves less time and appetite for “literature.”

  45. 45
    Steeplejack says:


    Maybe one of their aides will see an adder in the grass, draw his weapon and trigger a melee that will get rid of both of them but not lead to a wider conflagration.

  46. 46
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @ LateNightSeth
    Kate McKinnon debuted her Marianne Williamson impression and it’s perfect.

  47. 47
    Plato says:

    Lol. The two nutjobs are supposed to have an ‘impromptu meeting’. Even with all the ‘planning’, bupkiss was achieved in previous ‘summits’. Sure this will go swimmingly well as well.

  48. 48

    @Jackie: I’m sure it will go as well as their last meeting. Kim met our pre-conditions* for the meeting, like giving up his nuclear program, right?

    *I was told though out the Obama years that you couldn’t meet with these people without pre-conditions.

  49. 49
    NotMax says:


    Putin, MbS, Kim.

    “Anyone who is not a murderous autocrat, please move to the back of the line.”

  50. 50
    Steeplejack says:


    We just didn’t realize that preconditions include “I’ll be in the neighborhood, can I drop by?”

  51. 51
    Jackie says:

    @NotMax: 🤦🏼‍♀️
    We can hope Trump shows up only to be stood up by Kim

  52. 52
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    Nature’s Perfect Killing Machine.

    I spent the afternoon doing yard work. Among the fallen leaves I swept up were the gruesome, not-immediately-identifiable remains of two different critters. Scoot has been a busy boy. I wish he’d get the gopher that has eaten all of my lobelia and snapdragons.

    Marianne Williamson perfectly embodies the view, much more common among evangelicals, that the fervency of your beliefs correlates to their accuracy. Which, if it were true, would result in Shrödinger’s Tinkerbell popping in and out of existence every time there’s a showing of Peter Pan.

  53. 53
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    huh, it’s early afternoon in Korea and apparently The Beast is on his way to meet with Otto Warmbier’s killer as we speak… er… type

  54. 54
    NotMax says:

    Jared at his Bahrain bribe-a-thon: “Today is not about the political issues. We’ll get to those at the right time.” Source

  55. 55
    Yutsano says:

    @Raoul: Bullock is term limited. He REALLY should be trying to take out Daines.

  56. 56
    Steeplejack says:


    Everybody’s cryin’ justice
    Just as soon as there’s business first

  57. 57
    plato says:

    @Jackie: Oddly enough, lil kim is the only ‘leader’ I think who could stand up to the traitorous thug. All the other world ‘leaders’ have basically kissed the thug’s ass so far.

  58. 58
    plato says:


    Oddly enough, lil kim is the only ‘leader’ I think who can stand up to the traitorous thug. All the other world ‘leaders’ have basically kissed the thug’s ass so far.

  59. 59
    Steeplejack says:

    I went a little deep down the neo-soul hole after posting downstairs, so I’m going to close out the night with some honest to God old-school soul: Sandra King, “Leave It Up to the Boys.”

  60. 60
  61. 61

    @Jackie: The North Koreans are known for doing that.

  62. 62

    @plato: All except his employer.

  63. 63
    Jackie says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: 🤞🏻🤞🏻
    I’d love to see Trump humiliated on live TV😁😂

  64. 64
    Amir Khalid says:

    New York Yankees beat FSG-owned Boston Red Sox in the first of their two matches games in London. Boo.

  65. 65
    CaseyL says:

    Just saw the trailer for “Yesterday,” about a guy who awakens in a world where the Beatles never existed. I can’t decide if it looks charming or not. Props to Danny Boyle and the producers for casting an Anglo-Indian in the lead role, though!

    It would be interesting to see what Boyle thinks would and would not be the same in a world without the Beatles. They were major drivers of the counterculture movement, major innovators in pop music structure and instrumentation, and the opening shot of the “British Invasion.” It’s impossible to imagine the 1960s without them, and damn near impossible to imagine pop music without them.

  66. 66
    NotMax says:


    Have not seen it but the reviews seem to coalesce around “first half fine, second half dreck.”

  67. 67
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    trump talking about what a great honor it is for him to meet KJU in the DMZ, “a great honor to step across that line”. Kim told him he was the first president to set foot in North Korea, they’re playing him like a fiddle. trump thanks him for his great friendship.
    ETA: I think trump just said he plans to invite Kim to the White House

  68. 68
    rikyrah says:

    Feel better 😷😫😔

  69. 69
    rikyrah says:

    I want to see it

  70. 70
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Samwise! ❤️

  71. 71
    rikyrah says:

    Samwise 😍😍😍

  72. 72
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Ben Rhodes @ brhode
    Trump is lying. I was there for all 8 years. Obama never sought a meeting with Kim Jong Un. Foreign policy isn’t reality television it’s reality.

    So trump is claiming Obama wanted to meet with Kim and Kim wouldn’t? What an asshole

  73. 73
    Tehanu says:

    @Steeplejack: @MisterForkbeard:
    Yeah, I’m interested too, and also interested in what other Banks books you’ve both read. Surface Detail is a grind of a read but I thought it was worth it.

  74. 74
    Mel says:

    Samwise is one handsome lad!

    “The Expanse” is an excellent scifi series to binge watch.
    For something a little more humorous but still engaging and worth a long watch, both “Killjoys” and “Dark Matter” are good bets.

  75. 75
    Ramalama says:

    If Hulu is still offering deutschland 83 you should check it out. An original dystopian story involving East Germany back when the cold war was still hot.

  76. 76
    Another Scott says:

    @HumboldtBlueh: Thanks for the links.

    He’s a great artist and satirist; given the ownership, etc., I’m not surprised he was “let go”. I think he’ll land on his feet. His new book in September is likely to be a best seller now.


  77. 77
    Luthe says:

    Watch recommendation: Good Omens on Amazon Prime. It’s based on the book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, so it’s hilarious. And everyone, cast and crew, swears it’s a love story between the two main characters, an angel and a demon played by Michael Sheen and David Tennant, respectively.

    Also Amazon Prime has Babylon 5. *swoon*

  78. 78
    Steeplejack says:


    I’m seeing it Monday. Will report.

  79. 79
    Steeplejack says:


    Don’t know how much detail to go into in an apparently dead thread, but, in case you circle back:

    I binge-read all of the Culture novels at some point—10 or 11 years ago, I think—then read The Hydrogen Sonata when it came out a little later. They tend to run together in my memory into one long “Culture novel.” I liked them all, but, as I said last night, Surface Detail and The Hydrogen Sonata were problematic. I wondered later if Banks’s last illness had some effect on his mood or outlook.

  80. 80
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: I thought “Casual Slaughters” was gping to be my next band name, but now I think it’s going to be “Schrodinger’s Tinkerbell”.

  81. 81
    J R in WV says:

    I just finished a very long book called “American Elsewhere” by Robert Jackson Bennett. It takes place in a strangely remote New Mexican town where there was once a top secret government physics lab. There are critters hidden in plain site that remind one of either Stross or Lovecraft. A lovely book with some interesting characters, lots of close calls, and satisfactory ending(s).

    Highly recommended !! I’ve got some other work by the guy cued up … can be a little too much like “The Road” and the other works by Cormac McCarthy great reads, hard to put down, disturbing to read at 2 am in bed.

    ETA “bad” -> bed

  82. 82
    Michael Allen says:

    @Steeplejack: On NYC PBS a new Endeavour is on at 9-10:30 PM. The question: will he still have that unfortunate mustache? Then two episodes of Grantchester from 2017. Don’t know if I’ve seen them and don’t care. *Sidney Chambers* sigh. And his gay sidekick. And more Cambridgeshire.

  83. 83
    Melusine says:

    @Luthe: Liked the material they added in ep 3 expanding on Aziraphale and Crowley’s relationship, as well as the reference to this infamous scene:

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