Lisa’s Editorial Corner: 10 Things For Which I Am Thankful In 2017

Well, it’s that time.

Every Thanksgiving, I come up with an even-numbered list of things for which I’m thankful.  I know some people are saying that we shouldn’t be thankful for anything this year.  These are the people who say that, because they’re miserable, it’s somehow offensive that everyone else isn’t miserable.

But you know what?

Fuck that.

No one tells me what to believe or whether or not I can celebrate a holiday.  That freedom is something that I’m very thankful for!  Here’s a few more things that I’ve been thankful for this year:

  1. I’m thankful for this site.  Arleigh Sandoc founded Through the Shattered Lens in December of 2009 and, about four months later, I posted my very first review on this site.  A lot has changed since that first review.  New contributors have added their own unique perspectives to this site and I’d like to think that, on a personal level, I’ve grown as a writer since I wrote that first review.  But one thing that has always remained consistent is just how much I love doing this.  I’ve posted over 4,000 posts on Through the Shattered Lens and I’ve had a blast writing every one of them!

2. I’m thankful for our readers.  Seriously, you are the ones who make all of this worthwhile.  We currently have somewhere around 28,000 subscribers and to each and every one of you, I say, “Thank you.”  Thank you for reading and thank you for commenting.  Just as I hope I’ve introduced some of you to some new movies, quite a few of you have also inspired me to take a second and third look at some of the films I’ve reviewed.

3. I’m thankful for all of the brave women (and men) who have shared their stories in an effort to make this world a safer place.

4. I’m thankful that this was the year of Twin Peaks.  On this site, starting with the original series and extending all the way through the end of the Showtime revival, we shared our thoughts on everything Twin Peaks this year.  Years from now, we’ll still be debating why Laura screamed.

5. I’m thankful that this has been a great year for genre films.  While so many of the year’s “prestige” films fell flat, 2017 will always be remembered as the year of War of the Planet of Apes, Wonder Woman, The Lego Batman Movie, Beauty and the Beast, Split Kong: Skull Island, Get Out, It, Spider-Man, The Big Sick, Logan, and Thor: Ragnorak.

6. I’m thankful for networks like TCM, which introduce classic movies to new viewers.

7. I’m thankful for my friends in the Late Night Movie Gang.  Every Saturday night, we watch a movie.  Sometimes the movie is bad and sometimes, the movie is really bad.  But we always have a blast.

8. I’m thankful that, in just another few weeks, I’ll be able to see The Disaster Artist.

9. I’m thankful for the artists who, in this time of rampant conformity, are still fighting to maintain their own unique and individual vision.

10. I’m thankful for Chinese food.  Seriously, who doesn’t love Chinese food?

Happy thanksgiving!


Lisa’s Editorial Corner: What Does It Feel Like To Be A Ghost a.k.a. A Few Thoughts On Being #Shadowbanned

Last week, on Twitter, I was shadowbanned.

In my case, it only lasted three days.  Since that experience, I’ve talked to several people who have been shadowbanned on Twitter for far longer.  I’ve also discovered that there are a lot of people who think that they have been shadowbanned but who aren’t sure.  Since I’ve had a lot of people ask me a lot of questions about the experience, I’ve decided to answer all of them here.

What Is Shadowbanning?

For the longest time, Twitter’s official position was that shadowbanning was a myth.  Only recently has Twitter admitted to putting “restrictions” on certain users.  As far as I know, Twitter has never made official use of the term “shadowban.”

However, that’s exactly what these “restrictions” are.

Basically, being shadowbanned means that you’ve been secretly restricted on twitter.  A lot of people on Twitter are shadowbanned but they don’t even realize it.  Unlike when an account is suspended, Twitter does not send a message to let you know that you’ve been shadowbanned.  Nor will Twitter let you know when your shadowban has been lifted.  These are things that you have to discover for yourself.

What Happens When You’re Shadowbanned?

I was shadowbanned for three days and I can only tell you about my own experience.  During the first 24 hours of being shadowbanned, I could not reply to anyone.  I could send out tweets to people but they wouldn’t show up in anyone’s notifications.  Therefore, I had to hope that, when I tweeted people, they would see my tweet on the main timeline.  Anyone who follows more than a 1,000 people can tell you just how unlikely that would be.

Even after I regained the ability to reply to people, my name and tweets still didn’t show up in twitter searches.  Nor did they appear under any hashtags.  This lasted for three days.  For me, as a film blogger, this was a huge issue.  A good deal of the traffic on this site comes from people going on twitter and searching for film reviews.  As well, since 2009, I’ve been a prolific live tweeter.  Not only do I enjoy live tweeting films and TV show but also it’s also helped to bring attention to both this site and several other sites that I write for.

How Did You Know That You Were Shadowbanned?

I found out through pure chance.  Every Saturday, I host #LateNightMovie in the chatroom.  Every Saturday, two hours before the movie, I tweet out the link to the members of the Late Night Movie Gang.  On October 7th, when I tweeted out the links, I had already been shadowbanned but I didn’t know it.  An hour after sending out the links, I received a tweet from my friend, Steve.

Of course, neither Steve nor Janeen were able to read my reply because it never showed up in their notifications.

Suspecting that my replies were not showing up, I then sent a tweet to Jeff while he was standing right next to me and looking down at his phone.

The tweet did not show up in his notifications.

Jeff then proceeded to do a twitter search for my tweets, under his account.  None of them showed up.  When he looked up my profile, he got a message warning him that my profile might contain “sensitive material.”

(When you’re shadowbanned, your tweets will only show up if you do a search under your account.  The only way to know for sure is to either log out of twitter and do a search or have someone you know do a search under their account.)

So, When Twitter Shadowbans You, They Go Out Of Their Way To Keep You From Knowing That You’ve Been Shadowbanned?  That Sounds Pretty Freaking Cowardly.

No shit.

What Did You Do To Get Shadowbanned?

I have no idea.

This is why shadowbanning is so frustrating.  As opposed to a suspension, in which case you’re told why your account has been suspended and what you can do to prevent your account from getting suspended a second time, a shadowban comes with no warning or explanation.

My suspicion is this: Because I’m a prolific reviewer, I post a lot of links on Twitter.  My guess is that the Twitter Algorithm decided that I had posted too many links so it decided to shadowban me as a “warning.”  I’ve also read that some people have been shadowbanned after posting too many tweets under one hashtag.  It’s meant to combat “hashtag abuse,” which is when bots will post a hundred spam tweets under one hashtag.  I’m all for combatting bots but all shadowbanning is doing is making it more difficult to host a good live tweet.

If The People Who Ran Twitter Actually Understood What People Use It For, Why Would They Ruin Live Tweeting With Random Shadowbans?

For the most part, the people who run Twitter have nothing to do with handing down a shadowban.  That’s all handled by the Twitter Algorithm.

What Is This Twitter Algorithm That People Keep Mentioning?

One of the biggest misconceptions that users seem to have about twitter is this belief that there’s a group of people reading and judging every single tweet.  With the amount of people who use twitter every single day, that’s just not possible.  For the most part, Twitter is an automated service and suspensions and shadowbans are, with a few possible exceptions, automated as well.

The Twitter Algorithm does not take into consideration how long you’ve been a member of twitter or the content of what you’re tweeting.  Instead, it is simply designed to react to certain triggers — like tweeting a certain amount of links or using a hashtag a certain amount of times.  Unfortunately, no where is it specifically explained how many links are too many or how many times you can use a hashtag before the Algorithm decides that you need to be put on time out.

In short, Shadowbanning is a victory of automation over humanity.  And, since it’s an algorithm, it doesn’t have to worry about whether or not it’s inconvenienced you or treated you unfairly.

But You Were Only Shadowbanned For Three Days.  This Seems Rather Dramatic For Just Three Days…

Yeah, kiss my ass.

But Seriously…

Yes, it was only three days.  However, if I get shadowbanned again, it’ll be five days.  I’ve spoken to people who have been shadowbanned for months on twitter.  Several of them eventually had to create a new account and start over again from scratch.

For me, it comes down to this.  I was only shadowbanned for three days but I still don’t know why I was shadowbanned and, as a result, I don’t know what I should specifically do to prevent it from happening again.  Every time I send out a link to a review that I’ve written, I now find myself wondering if my tweets are about to once again vanish from twitter search.  As much as I love live tweeting Lifetime and SyFy films, I will now spend all of my time on twitter looking over my shoulder and wondering if the Algorithm is about to get me again.

What Can You Do If You’re Shadowbanned?


Oh Come On…

Okay, there are things you can do.  You can still send out DMs, which is what I did to let people know that I was shadowbanned.  I was shadowbanned on Saturday.  By Sunday afternoon, over a hundred people had sent tweets to @twitter and @twittersupport, letting them know that I was not a spammer:

By the end of the day, people were once again able to read my replies, though my name and tweets still didn’t show up in any searches.  Did all the tweets make a difference?  I don’t know but it was still a wonderful feeling to see the amount of support that I received.

I also reached out to twitter support myself.  Unfortunately, as anyone who has ever had to use it can tell you, the Twitter Help Center is a mess and deliberately useless.  They literally have a form for everything, except for what you actually need.  You can file an appeal if you feel that you have been unfairly or incorrectly suspended.  However, you cannot file an appeal if you’ve been shadowbanned.

(Of course, Twitter’s official position is that shadowbanning doesn’t happen.)

I sent Twitter Support an email every day that I was suspended.  I also tweeted @TwitterSupport several times.  I have yet to hear back from Support or receive any sort of acknowledgement that my complaints were ever received.

I’ve Heard That You Can Get A Shadowban Lifted By Offering To Spend Money on Twitter Ads…

I’ve heard that, too.  I don’t know if it’s true or not but it wouldn’t surprise me.  Money talks.

That said, I’m not going to spend money when I haven’t done anything wrong.

Why Is It Easier To Get Shadowbanned For Tweeting Too Much Under A Hashtag Than For Tweeting Out Hate Speech?

That’s a good question.  When, after two days, I was still not showing up in any search results, Jeff did an experiment.  He did a twitter search for Richard Spencer, the infamous alt-right Nazi.  Spencer and his tweets showed right up.

I mean, imagine that.  My tweets — which, for the most part, deal with movies and cats — were hidden.  But Spencer’s tweets were right there for the world to see.

So, You Support Censoring The People You Disagree With?

Actually, I don’t.  I think that banning racists on twitter would be a mistake because banning them would not make them any less racist.  It was just make it more difficult to spot and expose them.  If twitter banned Richard Spencer tomorrow, it wouldn’t make him any less dangerous.  Instead, it would make him a martyr to the idiots who follow him.  Sometimes, it’s best to let people speak and expose themselves for being who they truly are.

(If you need evidence of this, I suggest checking out the 1957 film, A Face In The Crowd.)

So, no, I don’t support censorship.  But I do support fairness.  Because right now, it’s apparently easier to get shadowbanned for live tweeting a TV show than for promoting hate.

Right now, twitter has plenty of rules but they’re randomly and arbitrarily enforced.  My personal solution would be to have less rules but that’s not going to happen.  We live in authoritarian society.  Those who aren’t getting off on enforcing the rules secretly crave someone to tell them what to do.  (The Twitter Algorithm is itself the latest attempt to control people without having to actually deal with them as individuals.)  Since the rules aren’t going away, twitter needs to actually figure out how to enforce them without unfairly penalizing people like me.

Again, What Can I Do If I’m Shadowbanned?

My advice: go outside and enjoy the sunshine for three days.  If your ban isn’t lifted after three days, go outside and enjoy the sunshine for two more days.  If the ban isn’t lifted after five days, you’re in trouble.

Sadly, just as Twitter refuses to provide a reason for a shadowban, it also refuses to provide information on how to get them lifted.  As I mentioned earlier, several people, after being shadowbanned for months (even over a year in a few cases) have resorted to creating new accounts but that, in itself, is a pain.  I have close to 10,000 followers right now.  If I ever had to start a new account, I’d have to start from scratch.  I’m sure many of my followers would follow me over but that’s assuming they knew I had created a new account.

Hopefully, Twitter will get its head out of its ass and figure out that punishing innocent users for arbitrary reasons is bad for business.  Otherwise, a few years from now, Twitter might be as relevant as MySpace.

Why Lisa Is Currently Furious

Hi there, WordPress subscribers!

Have you looked at you WordPress Reader lately?

It’s been reformatted once again!  The WordPress Reader is now using combined cards and it’s probably going to kill a lot of your favorite sites.  I just thought everyone might want a little advanced warning.

See, here’s how combined cards work.  Let’s say that there’s a wordpress site — like this one — that publishes multiple different posts during the day.  In the past, each post would appear separately in your reader, as a “card.”  However, someone apparently thought that prolific writers — like me for instance — were posting so much that the WordPress Reader was getting crowded.

So, now, we have combined cards!  Instead of getting a card that reads, “TV Review: Twin Peaks On Through The Shattered Lens,” followed by another card that reads, “Why Lisa Is Currently Furious,” you’ll get a card that reads, “Two new posts on Through The Shattered Lens.”  If you want to just casually click on the like button or get a quick preview of the images used in those posts, you’ll no longer be able to do that.  Not with combined cards.  Instead, you’ll have to click on the combined card and then click on one of the posts listed.

Does that help to “clean up” the reader?  I have no idea.   I really didn’t know that there was apparently a “cluttered reader” crisis going on.

What I do know is that this new format only serves to reward writers who only post, at most, once a day.  Meanwhile, people like me and sites like this, will be punished for having a lot to say.  With this combined card nonsense, WordPress has pretty much destroyed the benefits that many sites got from people casually browsing their reader.

And who is going to suffer?

Only the most active and prolific writers.  I’ve already heard from many other WordPress users that, since the introduction of combined cards, both their views and their likes are way down.

I mean, what the Hell?  HOW IS THIS A GOOD THING!?  In the end, the only thing this reformat is going to do is unfairly deprive sites of hundreds of potential views, likes, and comments.  Why punish those of us who are actually willing to put in the effort to make our sites worth visiting!?  And, perhaps even more importantly, why do this without giving us any say or advanced warning?

No.  I am not happy about this at all.


Guilty Pleasure No. 32: It’s So Cold In The D by T-Baby (a.k.a. My Excuse For Not Getting More Accomplished Today)

I’m supposed to be writing right now but I can’t get this damn song out of my head…

Oh well — I’m going to try to get something of value written and posted tonight, even if I do have an 8 year-old meme stuck in my head…


Previous Guilty Pleasures

  1. Half-Baked
  2. Save The Last Dance
  3. Every Rose Has Its Thorns
  4. The Jeremy Kyle Show
  5. Invasion USA
  6. The Golden Child
  7. Final Destination 2
  8. Paparazzi
  9. The Principal
  10. The Substitute
  11. Terror In The Family
  12. Pandorum
  13. Lambada
  14. Fear
  15. Cocktail
  16. Keep Off The Grass
  17. Girls, Girls, Girls
  18. Class
  19. Tart
  20. King Kong vs. Godzilla
  21. Hawk the Slayer
  22. Battle Beyond the Stars
  23. Meridian
  24. Walk of Shame
  25. From Justin To Kelly
  26. Project Greenlight
  27. Sex Decoy: Love Stings
  28. Swimfan
  29. On the Line
  30. Wolfen
  31. Hail Caesar!

An Exorcist TV pilot? What Sweet Hell is This?


I don’t wear hats but if I did, I would give a tip of the hat to my friends over at Horrorpedia for the news that apparently, a pilot has been put into production for an Exorcist TV show.

And then I would sigh.  Actually, that’s what I’m doing right now.

Seriously, an Exorcist TV show?  Which dumbfug toadsucker thought this was a good idea?  What damnable dumbfuckery is this?

Oh!  And hey, the pilot is being written by the same guy who wrote the Fantastic Four movie!  It gets even better!

For what it’s worth, here’s the plot description:

Two very different men — Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera) and Father Marcus Lang (Ben Daniels) — tackle one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession and confronting the face of true evil…

To be honest, I could probably get enthusiastic if the show was a prequel about the early life of Father Merrin.  But this sounds more like a remake of Deliver Us From Evil and that movie was pretty bad!  I mean, not even Joel McHale could save that movie…

And seriously — what type of priest is named Marcus Lang?

Here’s hoping that Pazuzu puts a stop to this before the legacy of a true horror classic is tarnished any further.

A Few Final Thoughts On The 88th Academy Awards…


Well, another Oscar season has come to an end.  I’m going to take one day off from thinking about the Oscars and then, once March begins, it’ll be time to start speculating about what will win next year.

Like the majority of our readers, I just finished watching the 88th Academy Awards.  It was an interesting ceremony.  It was strange.  It was full of moments that made me cringe.  And, at the same time, there were a few moments that left me feeling very inspired.  Clocking in at 3 hours and 30-something minutes, it was neither the worst nor the best Oscar telecast that I’ve ever watched.  (My favorite remains the ceremony that was hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway.  It was such a fun disaster.)  On twitter, people seem to think that it was either the greatest or the worst thing ever.  I am one of the few to think that it actually fell somewhere in the middle.

Let’s talk about the awards.  Going into this, I was hoping there would be a few upsets and there were.  Unfortunately, few of them were upsets that I was particularly looking forward to.  For instance, Mark Rylance won best supporting actor for Bridge of Spies and, no offense meant to Rylance, but it was hard not to wish that the award had instead gone to Creed‘s Sylvester Stallone.  Stallone, no matter what you may think of the majority of his films, is a cinematic icon and this was probably his last chance to win an Oscar.  Rylance, meanwhile, seems to be destined to being the actor you call when you can’t get Richard Jenkins.

And then there was Best Original Song.  I, for one, am still stunned that the song from SPECTRE was even nominated.  But then it actually won the Oscar!  And, in doing so, it defeated Lady Gaga’s anthem of survival and strength, Til It Happens To You.  Lady Gaga’s performance of Til It Happens To You was definitely one of the show’s highlights.  Not even the presence of our long-winded, gropey Vice President could diminish the strength and power of that performance.  Just imagine what a great moment it would have been if that performance had been followed by Til It Happens To You actually winning the Oscar.

I got really excited when, early on, Mad Max: Fury Road started to win all of the technical awards.  Oh my God, I thought, what if Mad Max actually wins Best Picture!?  That would be a game changer as far as the future of the Oscars is concerned…

But then Alejandro Inarritu won best director and gave his typical sermon.  And then Leonardo DiCaprio won best actor and used it as an excuse to lecture us all about global warming.  And I started to dread the idea of The Revenant winning best picture and having to sit through another speech from either of these two undeniably talented gentlemen.  But then, after being shut out for most of the night, Spotlight won best picture.  The producers ran up on stage and started to lecture the Vatican…

It’s a strange victory.  Spotlight won a total of two Oscars.  Mad Max won six Oscars.  The Revenant won three.  The Big Short and Room took one.  Though the vote totals are never released, I’m going to guess it was a very close race.

I have to admit that I always cringe a little whenever the Oscars get political because celebrities, on the whole, tend to be flaky.  And, often times, they lecture everyone else without bothering to look at or modify any of their own behavior.  Frequently, it leads to a hypocrisy on their part that, over the years, has tarnished some very worthy causes.  It’s not surprising that the 88th Academy Awards were extremely political.  A lot of people said a lot of things but did they actually understand what they were saying or were they just playing another role?  That’s the question I always ask whenever a celeb says to vote this way or that.

I have to admit that I got kind of bored with Chris Rock trying to get people to buy girl scout cookies.  But, let’s give credit where credit is due.  Chris Rock called the film industry out on its own bullshit as far as diversity is concerned.  He told the self-congratulatory Academy audience that they too were capable of being racists and, even watching on TV, you could feel the tension in the room.  This was the epitome of speaking truth to power and good for Chris Rock for going there and, hopefully, making everyone in that audience feel a little bit uncomfortable.

And yet, at the same time, it was hard not to feel that it won’t make much of a difference.  The assembled members of the Academy applauded whenever a presenter or a winner called for diversity but, in the end, are they going to do anything more than applaud?  Watching the show, I imagine that most of the rich white people in the theater were thinking to themselves, “Chris isn’t talking about us.  He’s talking about those other rich white people.”

What’s the solution to the industry’s diversity problem?  Well, the first thing that would have to happen would be for the industry to admit that it has a problem and that’s never going to happen.  The mainstream American film industry is too high on its own rhetoric to ever take an honest look at itself.  Instead, studio execs and producers are always going to put the blame on “those other white people.”

There are so many stories out there waiting to be told.   At some point, the industry is going to have to stop bragging about how they tolerant they are and instead help those unique and interesting stories to be told.  Out there right now, there are people of every race, gender, religion, and political ideology who have a story to tell.  At some point, if the film industry really wants to change, it’s going to have to start seeking out those stories and giving those storytellers a chance.   At some point, those in industry are going to have to stop bragging about how much they donated to which campaign and actually put their rhetoric into action.

Until then, it’s going to take a lot more than merely giving Chris Rock a standing ovation to truly bring diversity to the film industry.

Did anyone else find it weird that the show ended with “Fight the Power” being played over pictures of wealthy white people accepting awards?  I don’t think the show’s producers really considered what that would look like.

Anyway, that concludes this Oscar season!  It was an exciting one and I can hardly wait for a new one to begin!

Lisa’s Editorial Corner: Thank You


Hi, everyone!  It’s Thanksgiving!  Well, actually, it’s the final hours of Thanksgiving.  In fact, it’s 10:03 as I start this and it’s totally possible that I won’t be ready to post it until midnight so, by the time you read this, Thanksgiving will probably be over and you’ll be in a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/None of the Above type of mood.  Well, no matter…

So, every year, I make out a list of what I’m thankful for and I post it on this site.  Today, as I relaxed at my uncle’s house and I listened to all my cousins talking about football, I realized that I wasn’t really quite sure what I was specifically going to mention.

Don’t get me wrong.  There’s a lot that I am thankful for.  I’m thankful to be alive.  I’m thankful that I have people in my life who love me and I’m thankful that there are people who I love.  I’m thankful that my sprained foot is much, much better.  I’m thankful that it rained today so I would have an excuse not to lay out in the sun and pretend like I’m actually capable of getting a tan.  Seriously, I’m a redhead.  We don’t tan, we just burn.

And, because this is an entertainment-related site, this would be a good time to mention that I’m thankful that 2015 has been a pretty good year for film.  Mad Max, Ex Machina, Sicario, 88, Inside Out…I’m not even beginning to scratch the surface of how many good films have been released this year.  As for the bad films — well, The Fantastic Four, Ted 2, and Vacation were all terrible but you know what?  None of them did a bit of good at the box office so at least the movie going public is not adding insult to injury.

It’s been a good year and, as a lover of the Oscars, I’m especially excited by the fact that there is no clear front runner.  Oscar season is going to be exciting!  Sure, it would appear that The Martian and Spotlight appear to be early favorites but neither has dominated.  Seriously, this is going to be fun.

So, there’s a lot that I am thankful for but you know what I’m really thankful for?  I’m thankful that I have thoughts to share and I am even more thankful that are people out there who are actually interested in learning them.  There is nothing more wonderful than the freedom to say whatever the Hell you want.  That, along with so many other things, is what I’m thankful for in 2015.

So, instead of coming up with a big list and trying to show off how witty I am, I’m just going to use this holiday to say “Thank you.”  Thank you to all of the writers and reviewers at the Shattered Lens.  Thank you to Arleigh Sandoc for asking me, 5 years ago, if I would be interested in contributing to an entertainment blog that he had just started.  Thank you to all of the writers who were here before me and thank you to everyone who joined after me.  Thank you for keeping this site alive.  Thank you for keeping this site interesting.  Thank you for keeping things lively.  Thank you to all of you.  Thank you for everything.

Even more importantly, thank you to all of our readers.  They you to everyone who subscribes to this site.  Thank you to everyone who has ever left a comment.  Thank you to everyone who has ever clicked the like button.  Whether you’re a regular reader or if you just found us through a google search, thank you!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Whether today was Thanksgiving or just another Thursday, I hope it was a wonderful one for you!

All my love — Lisa.

P.S. Wow, it’s 10:26 and I’m already ready to post.  Happy Thanksgiving!

P.P.S. By the way, since it’s Thanksgiving, here’s the NSFW trailer for Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving.  Hurry up and get this movie done, Eli!

P.P.P.S. Finally, since it is Thanksgiving, why not read my review of the classic killer turkey film, Blood Freak?