Posts Tagged ‘culture wars’

By John Ruberry

After a long day at work earlier this month I clicked on the “Surprise Me” feature on Netflix. What popped up was Mike Myers’ new vehicle, The Pentaverate.

“Well,” I said to myself, “this might be pretty good.” 

In fact, The Pentaverate doesn’t even measure up to “pretty bad.” The six episode limited series is one of the worst shows I’ve suffered through. Oh, somehow I managed to view a couple episodes of The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer. I know about awful.

Warning: There are numerous spoilers and some rather disgusting things that I will mention in my review of this Netflix series.

The origin of The Pentaverate dates back to a throwaway line from Myers’ second film, So I Married an Axe Murderer, where the father of Myers’ lead character, also played by Myers, claims that a secret society, the Pentaverate, a five-man cabal, which at one time included Colonel Sanders as a member, rules the world. In this series narrator Jeremy Irons tells us, the original members of the Pentaverate discovered in 1347, contrary to the belief of the Catholic Church, it was fleas that spread the bubonic plague. 

As the first episode begins, the newest member of the group of five, Dr. Hobart Clark (Keegan-Michael Key), a scientist, is accepted into the Pentaverate after he is kidnapped. Apparently, he is the first non-white fellow of the all-male group, replacing a member who mysteriously died. The other members are played by Myers. Lord Lordington, an elderly Englishman, Bruce Baldwin, an Australian media mogul, who of course is based on Rupert Murdoch, Shep Gordon, a manager of various rock acts, a real person who is the subject of a documentary directed by Myers, and Mishu Ivanov, a Russian oligarch and Vladimir Putin crony.

Warning! Not-safe-for-work language in the trailer.

But Myers isn’t done with his roles. The lead character of The Pentaverate is Ken Scarborough, a television reporter who wears plaid sportscoats; he is a quirky throwback from the 1970s who does man-on-the-street interviews of other oddballs, while overshadowing them. Scarborough works for, wait for it, Toronto-based CACA news. Yep, caca. 

The other four Pentaverate members manufacture a story that Dr. Clark, who was invited into the secret society because they believe he can reverse climate change, is dead. Clark’s phony passing occurs while attempting to mimic an internet video fad–kissing your own anus. Clark’s room at Pentaverate headquarters is guarded by a sasquatch, who immediately defecates outside the scientist’s door. 

In addition to a Shrek cameo, Myers plays two other characters, internet personality Rex Smith, a stand-in for Alex Jones, and Anthony Lansdowne, a conspiracy theorist from New Hampshire. 

Besides being an assault on good taste, The Pentaverate is an attack on right-wingers, with the implied message that all conservatives are conspiracy whackos like Lansdowne. He is a believer, or has been a believer, in QAnon, Pizzagate, and the Illuminati. His last words as he falls to his death is, “But what about her emails?” 

Lansdowne, in his bumper-sticker laden van, which not surprisingly has a malfunctioning portable toilet, drives Scarborough and his pre-woke Doctor Who-like young female companion, Reilly Clayton (Lydia West) to New York City, which looks nothing like today’s NYC, but more like your standard Doctor Who “future metropolis.” Scarborough, recently fired by CACA, is convinced by Clayton and Lansdowne to infiltrate Pentaverate headquarters, and he does so after a painful penis tug initiation. 

Clark, following an intimate evening with the Pentaverate’s executive assistant Patty Davis (Debi Mazar) in the Moon Room studio–did the Pentaverate fake the moon landings?–suddenly dies, this time for real. He is promptly replaced by casino billionaire Skip Cho (Ken Jeong). Oh, I have never thought Jeong was funny. Jeong recently showed his true political colors after childishly storming off the set of The Masked Singer after Rudy Giuliani was revealed as a contestant.

Myers seemingly hasn’t emotionally moved on from being an 11-year-old. Flatulence jokes are among the things that ruined his cinema take on Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat, a children’s film, by the way. Scatological so-called humor also undermined another Myers movie bomb, The Love Guru

Outside of Myers’ fading fame, why did Netflix greenlight this debacle? Could it be that woke Netflix executives fell in love with The Pentaverate’s snide attacks on conservatives, who they probably believe are personified by Smith and Lansdowne? I have liberal friends. Really, I do. And many of them insist that I take marching orders from Alex Jones.

Here’s a tip for Netflix and Myers: the first rule of comedy is that comedies need to be funny.

Netflix lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022. Its stock value plummeted 35-percent last month. Yes, when you go woke you go broke. And I can’t think of a single Netflix dramatic series that is aimed at conservatives. Longmire was the closest show I can think of, but production of it ended in 2017, and Longmire was originally an A&E offering. And as I wrote in last week’s review of Ozark, that otherwise quite enjoyable show contorted itself to find ways to attack Republicans.

Over 70 million Americans voted for Donald Trump in 2020. That’s a lot of viewers, Netflix. We don’t live in vans with clogged toilets. We own televisions. 

Cloying use of easter eggs, that is, references to other works that do nothing to advance the story or add laughs–assuming of course there is even one laugh in The Pentaverate–is also another problem here. Winks to other Myers’ works, along with yet another tired replay of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, as well as Game of Thrones, are simply annoying. Rob Lowe, a veteran of several Myers movies, makes an unnecessary appearance.

Myers’ acting, outside of his sympathetic portrayal of Scarborough, is subpar. In his review of The Cat in the Hat, Roger Ebert noticed that at times Myers sounded a bit like his Linda Richman “Coffee Talk” character from SNL. The use of convincing accents is supposed to be one of Myers’ strengths, but his Lansdowne character’s accent, rather than sounding like what you’ll hear from a rustic New Englander, varies from a Canadian to a New Yorker style of speech–that is, when Lansdowne isn’t coming across like Wayne Campbell from Wayne’s World.

Oh, when there is a crack within the five members of the Pentaverate, who do you think is behind it? Why of course! It’s the casino billionaire and the Murdoch stand-in. 

I hated The Pentaverate. Hated, hated, hated. If you have any sense of taste or decency, you will hate it too. 

You have been warned. 

Oh, if you think I am just a grumpy old man with a minority opinion on this actual sh*t show, as of May 15, the average critic score on Rotten Tomatoes is just 20 percent. Only once in the last week have I noticed The Pentaverate ranking as a top-ten most viewed program on Netflix. And based on the CGI and the A-List (to some people) cast, I imagine Netflix wasted a lot of money on this fiasco.

The Pentaverate is rated TV-MA for full frontal (possibly with use of prosthetics) nudity, animals engaged in sex, violence, suicide, adult situations, foul language, and scatological references. Well, at least no one smokes in it. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

It took tens days for the NBA Conventional Wisdom to go from: The Celtics are fools to take the 2nd seed and face the Brooklyn Nets in the 1st round, to The Unstoppable Celtics defensive machine is going to beat Milwaukee in the 2nd.


Between the Push for Abortion, the push for Gay Marriage and one million genders and the push to surgically or chemically make as many children unable to reproduce by the time they reach twenty is it any wonder that stealing elections is and will only grow a a vital cog in the left’s electoral plans?


No matter how familiar one is with history and the rise and fall of cultures, civilizations and empires as a normal event, seeing said fall happen to your own is disconcerting.


As the NY grand jury that was empowered to investigate Trump prepares to disband It still amazes me that there are people who think that even though the Obama Administration, the Deep state and the Biden administration have been going over Donald Trump’s life with a fine tooth comb for the last 6 years that there is still some kind of crime he will be caught with that none of these entities were able yet to discover.


It’s rather amusing to note that the left in power in government, education and media is currently using every single tactic that they spent the last 50 in books, film and plays warning the public to keep an eye out for and beware.

I speak to John Atlas of Catholic Scouting at the 2022 Catholic Men’s Conference at Assumption College

To clarify, this is the Diocese being involved in the Boy and Girl Scouts of America and not some other organization as some seeing the headline might think. Like those of us who stay in blue states to fight the good fight the Worcester Diocese does a badge for scouting the emphasizes Catholic values fighting the good fight for kids and Christ within these organizations.

This is the last of my Catholic Men’s Conference interviews for 2022

I have always been most proud of the fact that I am truly a unique individual.  I have never fit in anywhere and never wanted to.  The people who know me say that I am way, way out there in my own little universe.  I don’t march to the beat of a different drum, I wander aimlessly to music that only I can hear in my head. 

From the beginning of this great nation, individuality was most highly prized.  Rugged individualism was one of the cornerstones that the United States was built upon.  The Constitution was written specifically to protect the God-given natural rights of every single individual in the United States. 

Classical Liberalism, which is the precise opposite of modern liberalism, is the philosophy that was closely held by the founding fathers of the United States.  They infused that philosophy into the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution so thoroughly that it is the lifeblood of the United States.

Libertarianism is the modern equivalent of Classical Liberalism. That is the philosophy that is at the very core of my being because no philosophy is more individualistic.  According to Libertarianism and Classical Liberalism, each and every individual is free to do whatever they want to as long as they do not hurt any individual or interfere with the rights of any other individual. 

In a true Classically Liberal society, such as the United States was meant to be, each and every individual is free to live their lives as they wish, as long as do not hurt anyone or interfere with the rights of anyone.  As long as we do not hurt others or interfere with the rights of others, the government at all levels must leave us alone to live our lives as we wish, neither restraining or helping us in any way.

Today the United States is as far away from being a Classically Liberal society as can possibly be because this nation has been infected by various forms of collectivist philosophies, in ever increasing amounts, for more than 100 years.  Collectivism is the very opposite of individualism. Those utopian philosophies, when instituted, turn any society into a hell where any individual, or group of individuals, can be sacrificed by any government, for any reason.  This is most often done in the name of the “greater good.”

The Democratic Party has been completely taken over by collectivists of a socialist variety.  Since the installation of Joe Biden, thanks to the stolen 2020 presidential election, the Democrats have nearly completed their transformation of the United States into collectivist hell hole.

Rather than individualism, collectivist mob rule by brain washed masses is now the predominant culture of United States. 

The instinctual roots of collectivism and dangers of those misguided philosophies are discussed in this article: How Compulsive Conformity Can Get People Killed (thefederalist.com)

In primitive environments, the herd instinct serves as a means of survival. If some sense danger and rush to safety, all follow. But how does such a conformity impulse work in a high-tech society like ours? It doesn’t really.

Sure, a certain level of conformity is normal for a society to function. But an unchecked conformity impulse in a technological society like ours acts more like slow-motion suicide than a survival mechanism. We think we’re saving ourselves by conforming, but in the long run the opposite is true.

In fact, our instinct to conform has become a weapon tyrants use to control us by threatening social isolation for those who don’t obey. This is especially the case when a monopoly of tech overlords can broadcast propaganda to the herd, instantly and globally. In such cases there is no “wisdom of crowds.” When the masses obey the propaganda to avoid social punishment, they only prop up propaganda and thereby spread social turmoil.

The lack of resistance to the liberty destroying mandates and lockdowns imposed to combat the Wuhan Flu here in the United States was rather appalling to me.  This lack of resistance was brought about by decades of collectivist indoctrination and the destruction of our true history.

If we were still a nation of nonconforming nonconformists like me, the Wuhan Flu restrictions, mandates, lockdowns, and other nonsense would have ended rather quickly.  Unfortunately for all of us, the United States is now a nation of conforming sheeple.