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It may, truly, be the worst movie I have ever seen—at least among that category of films that did not set out on a mission to be awful under the pretense that awful is an art form.  Sandra Bullock can do better, and has.  Melissa McCarthy literally made me weep from laughter in Bridesmaids. But halfway through The Heat—the evening’s entertainment recommended by the nineteen-year-old guffawing in the seat next to me—I could have wept from agony.  Instead, I was propelled by despair on a fast march to the bottom of a ginormous bucket-o-popcorn slathered with an artificially-colored, artificially-flavored, not-really-butter confection that my wife persists in ordering, presumably to kill us all.

Movies like this make me afraid for America.  I don’t go to them as a rule, but that doesn’t save me from the previews.  I watch them and realize that this is why our nation has fallen below Kaboomistan in almost every marker of cultural advancement.  It’s part of a larger decline, and it is my bounden duty to say so as I move steadily into geezerdom.

The dinner that I prepared and served by 7:00 in order to make the movie on time was chicken breasts seasoned with Old Bay and cracked pepper, sautéed in light oil, and slathered in the last fifteen minutes of cooking with Tupelo honey from the Savannah Bee Company.  The aforementioned nineteen-year-old and my wife both loved it and asked about the ingredients.  Being the oddball that I am, I couldn’t just say Tupelo honey.  Instead, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to sing a cover of the Van Morrison song by the same name, pausing just at the chorus of “She’s as, sweet as . . . ” to let them fill in the blank.  But the blank remained there, staring back at me from two faces across the dinner table.  No one had heard of the song.  Another icon of western civilization gone and forgotten to clear the way for some real entertainment, like The Heat.

Where are you, Van?  Where did you go, America?  God help us all.