ComPost Live with Alexandra Petri

Mar 13, 2018

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Happy Tuesday, all! Let's roll!

an ex-Secretary of State.

The long-anticipated Rexit has finally taken place. There has to be a Rexit Ralph pun here somewhere but I don't know who Ralph is in this scenario. 

Have you heard ‎Taika Waititi's commentary for Thor Ragnarok? It alternates between funny, silly, and charming. It may be my favorite commentary ever-- though the all hobbit commentary for Lord of the Rings is pretty good, so maybe it's my "most entertaining director's commentary"?

No, I have not, but this sounds excellent! It sounds like you're a connoisseur of director's commentary! Any other ones to recommend? I hear that Robert Pattinson's commentary on Twilight (not a director, but still) is great because his loathing for the franchise and his own performance is so painfully apparent throughout. 

Cook, KY.

Not OM, NM?

Should I eat it?

Hmm, before you do, make sure you haven't got hold of one of last year's donuts. We've got several regular days left until St. Patrick's! 

It's going to be one of those days.

As long as it's not also on the outside of your garments, you could just insist if questioned that you are one of the people who likes to have all the tags on the outside for comfort. 

I would put Pop Tarts squarely in the middle. I will eat them if they're around (Don't Hate), but I will eat something else if it's on offer (Don't Like).

Ooh, this is a good venn diagram. I'm trying to think what falls there for me. Most melon, I think. 

I wonder what Baudelaire would say?

Folly, error, sin, avarice 
Occupy our minds and labor our bodies, 
And we feed our pleasant remorse 
As beggars nourish their vermin.

Looking for something artisanal.

I'd patronize a craft brewery... 


She smelled nice and I learned origami.

This sounds like a well-functioning household! You harmoniously used all parts of the magazine. 

As dishes get washed and put into the drainboard, it fills up, and the dishes on the bottom never get touched. Seeking a plongeur/paleontologist.

It will be fascinating to discover how they lived, those Dishes of the Past! 

You should put a plastic dinosaur in one of the bottom pans and write the date on it, just for kicks. Or a woolly mammoth or saber-toothed tiger. 

so I want to talk about the forgettable moments ... if I could remember ...

"Purge it from your mind, Jeeves."

"I have already done so, sir." 

You have been warned.

Is that where the missing pieces from everyone's shoulders are going? 

Maybe Ralph is a verb.

One of the all-time great commentaries is the one for Tropic Thunder, where the director/star Ben Stiller is joined by actors Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black. There's a line in the film where Downey's character says he doesn't drop character until he's done the DVD commentary, and that's pretty much what happens.

UHF, hands down. Weird Al is both so darn proud of his movie and, well, behaving like Weird Al.

I've seen ads in Metro stations for some company that will apparently do your laundry for you. And as a promotion, the ads offer $20 off your first load. This confuses and worries me. I can do a load in my apartment building for $3. Am I not spending enough on laundry?

"Am I not spending enough on laundry?" is a question I have never asked. I think it would have to be MULTIPLE loads for $20 off to be savings though, yikes. My machine demands $3.50, ALL IN QUARTERS, just to be wantonly cruel, but I usually am doing multiple loads at a time and have to get a big quarter roll from CVS first. 

Many years ago, my then-boyfriend and I were walking around an Ikea. He'd spent the day fussy and out of sorts, and then suddenly ground to a halt in cookware. "I know why I feel wrong! My underwear is on backwards!" (Note: I have no idea how he figured that out without looking down his pants.)

I love the commentary on "Bend It Like Beckham" - great to hear Gurinder Chadha in her own words talking about what is her life, in many ways. And the commentaries by Nora Ephron - just a very personal voice.

I was sad to realize that this place doesn't exist, but apparently there really is an Organ, NM, so, uh, there you go

I was trying to will one into being, but I did not will it intensely enough and now there is a place called Organ, NM. 

This is stumping me. I can't decide whether the Foods I Sincerely Like area is larger or smaller than the Foods I Don't Like But Also Don't Hate area. Happily, the Foods I Sincerely Hate area is pretty small.

I think the extent of this diagram fluctuates wildly depending on how hungry I am, and right now I am not hungry and all food sounds like something I would begrudgingly tolerate, at best (an abnormal state for me). 

Are you on a Paleo diet?

The cat drinks out of finer crystal than I get served. Should I worry about being included in the will?

This sounds like the start of an Agatha Christie! Don't try to poison the cat; it will backfire, I think. 

The musical "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" has a musical commentary, titled, inevitably, "Commentary!", that frequently makes references to the action on screen. Clever, funny, and hummable.

I must again post, for those of us who, as an Irish-American Post film critic once said, suffer every March from Toxic Shamrock Syndrome.

I was just remembering this annual discussion as I tried to abbreviate St. Patrick's and was pulled up short! Thank you for sharing. 

Honestly, all of the LotR commentaries are good and are worth losing that month of your life (or however long it takes to watch/hear them). Peter Jackson explains why he made some decisions that annoy me on viewing, but kinda make sense when he explains it. After that, we mainly watch the Marvel movie commentaries. James Gunn is friends with EVERYONE. Oh, and some of the James Bond commentaries are... interesting. A lot of Roger Moore saying, "I don't remember that, but oh, that's good," or one of the director's repeatedly saying, "oh, she's a pretty girl."

Sounds EXACTLY like what I would expect, in all cases! That's nice to know, like having someone come back and tell you that the background graphics really do go all the way around even when you aren't looking at them. 

There's a farm in Frederick County Maryland that brews beer from entirely grown-in-Maryland products, and keeps sheep to nibble the lower leaves of the hop plants. The farm also sells yarn spun from the wool of those sheep. I bet if they added pot to their repertoire, they'd have very happy sheep.

Or extremely paranoid sheep who are nonetheless quite hungry!

that marijuana is still a schedule one drug under federal law. So no matter how legal it is under state law, it is still illegal. This makes for all sorts of business issues, like having a bank account, paying your taxes, sending stuff through the mail, etc. So, if you have any skills in that area, I'd recommend the beer. Or maybe whatever the next crafty tipple will be. Pear cider?

A yoga retreat in New Mexico where they feed you very well.

The Spinal Tap commentary is by the band (the actors in character). They complain about the hatchet job the director did on them. One commenter mentioned "Bend it Like Beckham", the extra where the director shows how to cook Aloo Gobi with her mom and aunt commenting is delightful.

Mountain Dew.

That's a good one! Or Minute Maid Lemonade, which has that weird aftertaste but is better than no lemonade!

When did that happen?

I don't know! We are trapped in a black hole and time is dilating in curious ways. 

"Perry." NOT "pear cider." Another theological debate; you'll probably wish you hadn't posted by the end of the chat.

Uh oh, into what carbonated waters have I waded now? 

I want to learn your motivations.

I, too, would like to learn my motivations! Coffee seems like one of them. 

Do you like dragons? :) side note: this is the first time I've been in one of these so I'm not really sure how to go about it

I love dragons! I also like chimeras, just because I like a fabulous beast you could theoretically pet if it were sufficiently housebroken, and scales seem like a predominant element of most dragons. 

I really want that OP's then-boyfriend to be their now-husband. <3 <3 <3

I used to watch these with my sister in the backseat of my dad's car on long car rides cause she couldnt read and I could. I remember the one for that godawful Sinbad animated movie was really good. I'll have to get back into watching them now.

You still have to use quarters? You haven't transitioned to a debit-card system yet? (I will say, though, that I used to enjoy lining up all the quarters in those slots and then making them disappear by cramming them into the coin box.)

It is BARBARIC, I tell you! But putting them in the slot is quite satisfying. 

on the stairs and foot bridges in Rivendell? Seems like elves wouldn't need that sort of thing at ALL. Always annoyed me. I think elven architecture would have different architecture because they are so sure footed. Running up and down rope ladders without holding on and you need hand rails to walk up some stairs?

Maybe the handrails are for visitors? 

A distinction without a difference.

Pear cider can be made with imported pear juice or concentrate and can even include some apple juice. The main difference between perry and pear cider is that pear cider can use juice from edible pear varieties like Conference. "Proper" perry, on the other hand, is made only from proper perry pears.

Or, as this poster would suggest, a distinction WITH a difference! :)

Which is scary if you're named Ian.

Be Careful, Ian! 

This is not a thing I have experienced, but it sounds a bit like watching a movie with someone who's seen it 25 times and says things like, oh, watch this bit, she falls down the staircase and there's a man with a knife hiding behind the washing machine. Or maybe there's more to it than that.

Ah, but that person is RESPONSIBLE, so it adds a certain something!

Do you think that "Hamlet" could be re-imagined as an episode of "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!"?


I am still on this antiquated system myself. I was actually thinking about it not long ago -- what happens as we move to a cashless society? Did you know Chase branches won't even give you rolls of quarters in exchange for bills unless you're an account holder? Should I be stockpiling???

As long as CVS still will, we can hold out! But we might have to start taking buses to bars with skeeball and change machines soon. 

My boyfriend and I once had to empty the apartment of his irresponsible young-adult daughter, who was moving out because she was behind on her rent. We found the kitchen cupboards full of DIRTY DISHES. She put them away without washing them.

Hey, sometimes the one thing that will break you on any given day is having to look at the sink full of dishes, and you have to just put them somewhere out of sight. That being said, ideally you retrieve them and wash them before people who will look into your cupboards arrive, but it sounds like this situation wasn't ideal in several respects! Glad she had you to help even if you had to touch the Sinister Mustard Spot Of Indeterminate Age! 

i'm currently in my ap us history class but we're doing literally nothing. what's your favorite fact about american history to make up for knowledge i won't have?

What time period are you on? 

Hmm, George Washington had a dog named Sweet Lips. They said of Teddy Roosevelt that he wanted to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral. Abraham Lincoln used to tell a story called the Farting Carver whose punchline was "Now, I'm going to see if I can't carve this turkey without farting." 

Francis Scott Key had written another different song to the same tune as the national anthem but it didn't catch on, but, like, he'd secretly been doing that for years. 

These aren't very useful facts. 

Oh, the existence of this guy is just wild:

How do you feel about griffins and cameleopards?

Very pro! 

Will we still be able to trust you after this one?

No! And something terrible will happen to all of pop music. 

is how my dad says Perrier. But maybe all these years he's been asking for something else and we just never knew.

But my now-husband gets stressed out if I put his box of cereal away instead of leaving it on the kitchen island, where he can remember it exists. So it's possible I have a type.

I resemble this remark! I understand that one of the basic developmental milestones of childhood is understanding that objects continue to exist when you cannot see them, but I still like to keep the Pants I Intend To Rewear in a pile where they will not disappear. 

Rivendell was founded by both Elves and Men. So it was always a cosmopolitan city. Bilbo lived there later, among others. The rails are for the non-Elves.

The next time my husband and I argue in an Ikea, I'll make sure his underwear is on right.

Ha, this sounds almost like a threat... 

Come on, guys, there HAS to be a "Great Dane" joke here somewhere.

If you assume that Claudius was guilty, then he's the perfect person to say "And I would have gotten away with it, too, except for that meddling kid."

wanted to give me and my brother a gift for each night of Hanukkah, we managed to convince her to give us "consumables" meaning stuff you use up (not necessarily eat). Laundry quarters, deodorant, lipsticks, tea, cold medicine, etc. were all on my list for her to pick from. Most useful gifts I have ever gotten in my life.

Honestly this sounds wonderful. A slightly nicer version of an item you are definitely going to use but would never buy for yourself seems ideal! 

Then again this was my thinking the year I got all my friends umbrellas, and I don't know that it really came through. 

The worst director's commentaries are exactly like this. "Ah, the first entry of Meryl Streep. [twenty seconds of silence] She's great, isn't she? [forty seconds of silence] Look at that beautiful shot. Roger Deakins is a great cinematographer. [sixty seconds of silence] Here comes Paul Newman. [thirty seconds of silence] Paul Newman. What can I say?" YOU'RE MAKING A COMMENTARY. YOU'D BETTER HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY. Anyway, that's why good director's commentaries are so worthwhile.

"Paul Newman. What can I say?" made me giggle audibly. Thank you for that!


This reminds me of the James Thurber story where he "solves" Macbeth.

On much of my new clothing, there is no longer information on care. So I have to interpolate, based on fabric weight and type. This is part of a trend. Tire manufacturers no longer put on inflation recommendations. Many foods have been stripped of their "sell-by" date information (replaced with "better if enjoyed by. . ." or nothing at all). They are depriving us of important consumer information, and this will lead to people handing other people sips or bites of stuff and asking, "Does this taste terrible to you?" I am especially cheesed off about the laundry, because I had finally mastered the symbols--including the square with a smile connecting the upper corners and two skew lines, which means "line dry in the shade."

I can't remember ever seeing that sign, and now I am sad it is being omitted from things! It sounds beautiful. 

Realizing that objects continue to exist is part of Piaget's theory on the stages of cognitive development. My related hypothesis is that people who have a lot of clutter haven't yet attained that stage.

I've read that as President he was indeed quite the center of attention when he gave away his late brother's daughter Eleanor in marriage to her 5th cousin Franklin.

If they'll add rounded or padded stomachs to go with the padded hips, I'll be ecstatically happy and already fashionable.

It's nice to awaken and discover that you were ahead of the curves!

Have you read any articles related to this movie in how it relates to the question of being a misunderstood artist just trying to do what you love against a society that just wants you to follow the mold of what society wants you to be? Also if you have any recommendations for criticism of Disney movies in general, I'd love to hear about them.

I have not! Any recommendations, chat? I think Alyssa's criticism of things is always great (she didn't enjoy Wrinkle and even though I did I thought her criticism was intensely smart, as usual!) 

The TRULY Great Dane was Victor Borge. We attended a symphony orchestra's pops concert of his, and it was one of the best we've ever seen/heard!

I bet he was wonderful to see live!

Man, what happened to all the piano entertainers of yesteryear? 

OF COURSE he did it. He says he did it. He says he killed his brother. How much more explicit d you need?

NEVER ASSUME! He could be lying... in his soliloquys... to protect uh 

no, you're right. 

There are still Elton John and Billy Joel. Admittedly they aren't quite Liberace or Borge, respectively, but all four were classically trained, and it showed in their playing.

I am sick of Hamlets in which the director is so concerned with explaining why the Danish nobles chose the old king's brother despite the existence of a 30 year old crown prince (OK, he is messing about in Germany, but still) that Claudius seems to be a nice guy until he reveals that he is sending R&G to England with a letter telling the English king to kill Hamlet. He is a murder the whole time we know him. And dangerous as all get out. Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet emphasized this aspect of the play (and compressed the timeline) and it worked very well.

people lie to themselves all the time.

I feel like when I lie to myself it is to make myself feel better, not to admit that, as my brother's murderer, I doubt my prayers will reach heaven. 

What did oyu like about Wrinkle in Time? Your comment is one of the few positive ones I have seen!

With the caveat that I am a simpleton who is easily delighted by things and that I saw Amazing Spiderman 2 in theaters twice VOLUNTARILY because I thought it was GOOD, and the other caveat that I got to the movie late but exactly in time for the call to adventure, and it has been years since I read the book -- I really liked how much it felt like a fairytale. I liked how it presented a series of impossible tasks and tests and Meg solved them. I thought it conveyed tessering really well. And I thought the actors were fantastic. 

Claudius giving his confessional prayer speech while zipping along in a golf cart, pursued by Hamlet and the Scooby gang down an endless Elsinore corridor. Past a suit of armor, a couch, a flaming torchlight, a globe on a stand, a suit of armor, a couch, flaming torchlight. . .


On that image, I should skedaddle and try to write about all the definitely-not-chaos that is definitely not engulfing everything! Have a wonderful week, all! See you on Twitter (@petridishes) and the blog (! 

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Alexandra Petri
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