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CHAPO TRAP HOUSE NEWSLETTER ISSUE FOUR

It's another newsletter, right on time, as always. Be sure to add newsletter@chapotraphouse.com to your email address book to ensure prompt newsletter delivery. We have a cornucopia of content prepared for you today, so let's get right to our top story:
STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER

stop it"guhhh where's the newsletter" "are you guys too stupid to do the newsletter anymore" "my email address is in Belarus does your newsletter deliver to there" Stop it. Just stop it. Stop contacting us about it. Stop discussing it. You have no idea how difficult it is to make this newsletter. It takes hundreds of hours of highly technical labor to get you precisely one issue of the newsletter. Do you think it's easy to make these pastel backgrounds or find newsletter-themed clip art? If it's so easy, why don't you make the newsletter? Go on, smart mouth, make an issue of the Chapo Trap House newsletter. We would love to see that. Also don't contact us about your ersatz newsletter or any other newsletter-related criticism. If you simply must sound off about the newsletter please let it be something along the lines of "oh gosh oh wow what a great newsletter as always, the fonts are wonderful and there are no typographical errors because you put so much work into the newsletter oh jeez it's so great i'm going to print it out and mail it to every bakery in town."
All right, now that that's out of the way, we can get to the book. Buy our book.
BUY OUR BOOK

bookWe did it! We wrote a book! It took a long ass time but we are now officially bona fide bookdoers. Moreover, the book is extremely good! Stop hypothesizing what's in the book or analyzing the crummy catalog copy -- we wrote a heckin good book that can best be described as both an elaboration of the political ideas and comic tone of the podcast and an admixture of the individual sensibilities of its authors (i.e., us), whose other writings you may be familiar with. It's like we all took turns having sex with a Google Document, and this book is its child. Within its pages you can find invective, analysis, spoofs, goofs, and even some lampoons. It also features exceptional art from Eli Valley and Jon White.

Here's a short list of places where you can currently preorder t
he book:

Books-A-Million
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Indiebound
 
DO CONTACT US ABOUT INDIE BOOKSTORES
 
Our publisher is compiling a list of independent bookstores at which to distribute the book. I am not Will, I do not know how this process works, but we want to recommend as many as possible. If there's a bookstore in your neighborhood or even someone else's neighborhood where you want to see the book stocked, just reply to this newsletter or send an email to chapotraphouse@gmail.com. Please do not email us to complain about the fonts in the newsletter or to claim the capitalized letters in the newsletter spell out the name of your dead childhood pet or God-knows-what-else. Please limit the email to independent bookstores. Thank you so much.
And now with the first of what we hope will be many pieces of exclusive book-related content, our very own Matt Christman has a glimpse of what was left on the paper cutting room floor.
REJECTED BOOK TITLES
Matt Christman

We at Chapo's Trap House are celebrating the pre-release of our first book, The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Facts, Logic and Reason in the fashion of all first time authors: by buying tweed jackets, staring pensively out windows, and having affairs with our much younger graduate students. But our enjoyment is tempered by the fact that we were not able to choose the title of the book. Our publishers insisted upon having the last say on that one. As an extra treat for loyal newsletter subscribers, here is the list of titles we proposed, none of which apparently met Simon and Schuster's exacting standards:
  1. The Chapo Guide to Correct Opinions
  2. Jerusalem Protocol: A Lt. Hard Manrock Adventure
  3. Truer Allegiance: The Way of the Shadow Grey Wolves
  4. Reach Around the Aisle: A Happy Ending to Partisan Gridlock
  5. The 69 Laws of Power
  6. PAWG Save America
  7. Some Gibberish Reference to a SoundCloud Rapper from Felix That I Forgot
  8. The Ultimate Barbecue Cookbook: Recipes from the South's Premiere Pitmasters
  9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Capitalism
  10. Buy This Book
RECAP: RECENT EPISODES OF CHAPO TRAP HOUSE
Virgil Texas

Episode 185 - Own Your Own Immigrant!

A 4-year-old Siberian chess prodigy reports foreknowledge of events to come, leading Amber and Will to the site of the Tunguska event. Are they just pawns in his game? Matt and Felix go undercover as ISIS terrorists to bust a Cuban drug smuggling ring running out of Guantanamo Bay. Meanwhile, Virgil gets more than he "bargains" for when he buys a fancy blender.

Episode 186 - Executive Producer

Amber and Will head to the seedy side of Atlantic City to investigate "Roller," a mysterious gambler who has never lost a game of craps. Are his dice the only pair that's loaded? Nobody's laughing when Matt and Felix have to take classes at the UCB Theater to track down the Improv Strangler. Meanwhile, Virgil lands in "hot water" when he's invited to appear on a public access cooking show. Guest starring Richard Wolff as Roller.

Episode 187 - Mumsnet

Amber and Will get caught in the crossfire of a civil war when they head to Syria to investigate a recently discovered ziggurat. Is there a greater danger than barrel bombs lurking in the Levant? Matt and Felix have to go undercover in virtual reality as Sonic and Knuckles to track down a rogue hacker. Meanwhile, the fame goes to Virgil's head when his watercolor wins first place in a local art contest. Guest starring Marcus Barnett as Bashar al-Assad.

Episode 188 - Menaker Facts Stated

After the mysterious Yellow Man warns Amber and Will they're getting too close to the truth, the two make a startling discovery in the Tesseract. Matt and Felix face a crisis of conscience when they go undercover with the Proud Boys and find out shocking truths about their haplogroups. Meanwhile, Virgil is shocked by what he sees when sets up a camera to find out just what his cat does all day. Guest starring Daniel Menaker as Himself.

Episode 189 - All That Is Solid Melts Into Sauce (SEASON FINALE)

Felix refuses to work any longer with an octoroon. Will refuses to betray his "father," even if it puts Amber's life at stake. Just as the podcast is more disunited than ever, producer Chris vanishes without a trace. Can the Trap put aside their differences long enough to find him? Meanwhile, when Virgil finds his mailman knocking boots with his neighbor's wife he is torn between his loyalty to his friend and his love of getting mail. Guest starring Patton Oswalt as Mailman Bill.
For your last morsel of content, we take another visit to the Menaker Movie Corner. (Thank you to Liz for fixing the Menaker Movie Corner logo.)
Menaker Movie Corner
Will Menaker

lights, camera, movies!Greetings Film Fanatics, the Menaker Movie Corner is back, and this week I'm running down a retrospective on a film series I've curated in my living room on one of America's greatest treasures: Charles Bronson. Born Charles Dennis Buchinsky the 11th of 15 children of Lithuanian immigrants in the hard scrabble coal part of Western PA, Charles Buchinsky only learned to speak English in high school. This immigrant background combined with the Western PA dialect to give him the distinct and memorable staccato voice technique he would use to great effect later in life. Charles fought in WWII as a gunner in a flying fortress, where he won a purple heart. After the war he changed his name to Charles Bronson and became a famous handsome movie man and tough guy. He is probably best known for his roles in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE DIRTY DOZEN, and the DEATH WISH films. Here are few of his hidden gems that were screened these past few weeks in my movie nook:

BREAKHEART PASS (1975, dir. Tom Gries)

This movie is like MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS but it's a Western and stars Charles Bronson. If that doesn't sell it I don't know what will. 

MR. MAJESTYK (1974, dir. Richard Fleischer)

Probably technically the best movie of the bunch, it's based on story by Elmore Leonard. Directed by Richard Fleischer, whom I like a lot (he did SOYLENT GREEN, TORA! TORA! TORA!, and THE BOSTON STRANGLER, which are all great), MR. MAJESTYK is about a humble melon farmer in Colorado who just wants to bring his melons to market until he is intimidated by toughs for hiring immigrant labor instead of their stable of local winos. He beats them up and gets sent to the local jail where he immediately starts a vendetta with a mafia hit man played by Al Lettieri, best known as "Solozzo the Turk" from THE GODFATHER.  His love interest is an organizer for migrant workers and the bad guys are the mob and their hayseed enforcers, so it's kind of woke too.

MURPHY'S LAW (1986, dir. J. Lee Thompson)

In this one Bronson really brings out the stock role of "burned out, divorced, alkie-cop who plays by his own rules." Here is plays a real shit heel booze hound who gets framed for the murder of his stripper ex-wife and her lover by a female serial killer he put away years ago. It was produced by the legendary Golan-Globus team, the power house duo behind almost all of the 80s most reactionary action classics, so the films views on women are real tight. Its portrayal of women as either bitch ex-wives or psycho stalkers is juxtaposed with the presence of Bronson's side kick, a plucky street punk and thief who ends up on the run with him. She seems to be in her twenties but talks in a stream of 8th grade caliber insults like "booger breath," "sperm bank," "dildo nose," and "butt crust." At one point she calls another cop a "homo" and tells him to "go suck a door knob." She falls in love with Bronson by the end.

ASSASSINATION (1987, dir. Peter Hunt)

In this one Bronson is a Secret Service agent who is assigned to protect the first lady, played by Jill Ireland. She is a feisty women's lib type who doesn't like taking orders from men and says her goal as first lady is to get her husband to pass the E.R.A. The plot revolves around the president's chief of staff plotting to assassinate the first lady because she's going to divorce the president because he's impotent. You'd think this would be the perfect opportunity for Bronson and the first lady to hook up, but sadly the film doesn't go there and settles for Bronson succumbing to the brassy seduction of his much, much younger female partner with all the enthusiasm of someone agreeing to pick up groceries on the way home from work. 

10 TO MIDNIGHT (1983, dir. J. Lee Thompson)

The true gem of this series is another Golan-Globus/J. Lee Thompson collab, and it is truly extraordinary. Bronson is back as a cop, but not an antisocial alcoholic fuck up. The plot is about a nude serial killer who targets his daughter. Yes, you read that right, a serial killer who kills people while he's fully nude, you can even see his balls in one shot. There is a huge amount of totally gratuitous male and female nudity in this movie, and it has one of the great all time Bronson lines. When his boss asked why he knew one of the killer's victims wasn't raped, he says: "If anybody does something like this, his knife has gotta be his penis." There's another all-time scene where during an interrogation with the killer Bronson confronts him with a masturbatory aid swiped from his apartment that looks like a pussy attached to a portable clothing steamer or some kind of Black & Decker power tool. 

https://twitter.com/willmenaker/status/961769835674955776

At the end the killer is in cuffs ranting to Bronson and his daughter that he'll get out on an insanity plea, and Bronson shoots him square in the head in front of several dozen cops, and then the credits roll. 

 

Those are the Bronson movies I've watched lately, but for my Pick of the Week I'm going with two very different, but very great heist flicks, one British, one French.

The first is THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN (1960, dir. Basil Dearden). It's about a bunch of ex-military chaps who decide to rob a bank with military precision and planning because their lives as regular British people are so insufferably boring. This is a great flick about a bunch of bloody good guys who come together to plan out and execute a plan. I'm a sucker for those kinds of movies, along with movies set on trains or in prisons.  The next is RIFIFI (1955, dir. Jules Dassin), which is a French movie about a heist so it's very different. This film is a masterpiece, it's like if Michael Mann made a movie in Paris in the 1950s. Its about a jewelry heist and apparently the films depiction of the robbery and bypassing alarm systems with fire extinguishers was so realistic it was briefly banned in Mexico after a series of copy cat crimes. This is an epic crime classic and you won't be disappointed.

Till next time, keep watching!
That's it for this issue! Congratulations on reading the newsletter. Please please God remember what we talked about earlier. If you get bored just re-read the newsletter. Email chapotraphouse@gmail.com regarding independent bookstores. You can also reply to this email. Bye bye everyone.

- Virgil






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Chapo Trap House · 12921 W. Washington Blvd · Los Angeles, CA 90066 · USA