Comedy

You Make Me Feel Like Danzig

Ed Brayton delves into the beliefs of a Catholic priest in England who recently announced that “among the causes of homosexuality is a contagious demonic factor.” The priest, Father Jeremy Davies, also said that “extreme secular humanism, ‘atheist scientism,’ is comparable to ‘rational satanism,’” which is one of the more ridiculous terms of abuse I’ve ever heard. I guess “secular humanism” is losing its sting.

I can’t give Father Davies’s demonic theories much credence. I know many kind-hearted, utterly un-demonic homosexuals. And everything I know about demons I learned from Glenn Danzig. According to Danzig’s studies of the phenomenon, demonic factors lead primarily not to homosexuality but to awesomely ridiculous heavy metal videos:

Comedy
Music
Religion
Uncategorized

Comments (0)

Permalink

You’re Fit And You Know It

If The Wall Street Journal keeps printing articles like this, a speculation on whether Barack Obama is too skinny to appeal to an increasingly corpulent American electorate, it could really eat into the circulation of . . .  The Onion. (Even the infographic looks suspiciously Onion-esque.)

Comedy
Design
Politics
Press

Comments (0)

Permalink

The Long Arm of the Sea-Puss

When I first read the introduction to James Thurber’s My Life and Hard Times some fifteen years ago, I laughed out loud at the mixture of menace, melancholy, and absurdity in its concluding sentence: “As F. Hopkinson Smith long ago pointed out, the claw of the sea-puss gets us all in the end.” “The claw of the sea-puss” is pretty unbeatable as a simultaneously ridiculous and terrifying metaphor for the ravages of time and death. I imagined the sea-puss as a cute but murderous deep-sea monster, some fell hybrid of crab and Hello Kitty, perhaps betentacled and squid-beaked as well. I meant to look up “sea-puss,” and F. Hopkinson Smith, of course, at the time, but I was living a careless, profligate existence when I was in my early twenties, and I became distracted by other things (not least by laughing at other things in Thurber’s book, like the “Get Ready Man”) and I simply forgot about them.

I recently reread My Life and Hard Times, however, and I’m happy to say that the World Wide Web has the sea-puss answers I seek. According to Webster’s online dictionary, “sea puss” is an alteration of an Algonquian word for river, and means “a swirling or along shore undertow.” According to a number of sites I could find, F. Hopkinson Smith was for most of his life a marine engineer, and designed the foundations for the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. In short, Smith was a man intimately familiar with the powers of the sea-puss. Smith didn’t begin to write until later in his life, apparently egged on by friends because he was such an engaging “after-dinner raconteur.” I found one of Smith’s novels, The Tides of Barnegat, on Google Books. Chapter XXII is entitled, “The Claw of the Sea-Puss.” The flavor of Smith’s prose, and the terrible destructive power of the sea-puss, can be found in an earlier passage, describing the weather at a beach in the fall:

The cruel north wind now wakes, and with a loud roar joins hands with the savage easter; the startled surf falls upon the beach like a scourge. Under their double lash the outer bar cowers and sinks; the frightened sand flees hither and thither. Soon the frenzied breakers throw themselves headlong, tearing with teeth and claws, burrowing deep into the hidden graves. Now the forgotten wrecks, like long-buried sins, rise and stand naked, showing every scar and stain. This is the work of the sea-puss—the revolving maniac born of close-wed wind and tide; a beast so terrible that in a single night, with its auger-like snout, it bites huge inlets out of farm lands—mouthfuls deep enough for ships to sail where but yesterday the corn grew. 

If that has whetted your appetite, you can read Smith’s entire novel online at its page on Google Books. And may you avoid the sea-puss’s awful claw for as long as you can.

Books
Comedy
Culture
Language

Comments (1)

Permalink

Pulp Fiction

The inimitable Chris Sims has used panels from Archie comics to illustrate Pulp’s magnum opus, “Common People.” 

Archie Cocker

 Please enjoy “Archie In . . . A Different Class!”

Comedy
Comics
Culture
Music

Comments (0)

Permalink

I Was Looking for a Job and then I Found a Job, and Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now

Andrew Winters tells of the trials and tribulations of being Morrissey’s valet. Apparently Morrissey asks all of his employees what the first record they bought was, and there are right and wrong answers. (I believe mine was Randy Newman’s “Little Criminals,” when I was six or seven. Not sure whether that would pass Moz-muster.)

(Via Dr. Frank.)

Comedy
Music

Comments (0)

Permalink

Extreme Makeover Hitch Edition

The Christopher Hitchens makeover continues in Vanity Fair, this time with some terrrifying photos of the Hitch’s recent dental work. (The main article by Hitchens is not online.) Don’t worry, there are waxing photos, too.

Incidentally, I hate to perpetuate a national cliché, but what is it with the British and their teeth? One of Hitchens’s (ex-?)friends, Martin Amis, goes into harrowing detail about his rotten teeth and their extraction and replacement in his memoir, Experience, and he, like Hitchens, grew up well-fed and well-educated. What went wrong? Do British water pipes have a sugary lining? Is the National Health Service really that bad? Or is it like obesity here in the U.S.: an obvious problem that most people are simply too lazy to do much about?

Comedy
Culture
Uncategorized

Comments (0)

Permalink

“A feeling of fitness and well-being always lends extra zest to the cocktail hour.”

Christopher Hitchens checks in at a spa. Don’t miss the photos.

Comedy

Comments (0)

Permalink

The Origins of Smooth Jazz

The Onion has one man’s story of how he came to play the music favored by dentists and hotel bar managers everywhere.

“Eventually, you grow up a little and give up your dream of an experimental hardcore rock-jazz trio called ‘Orbit.’”

Comedy
Music

Comments (0)

Permalink

Great Moments in Marketing

A German zoo used a trompe l’oeil dog costume to attract people to the zoo as part of its menacing “Come to the Zoo before the Zoo comes to you” campaign. Scroll down for the pictures.

Advertising
Animals
Comedy

Comments (0)

Permalink

“S” Day Is Here

Tim and Eric, of the “Tim and Eric Awesome Show: Great Job!” have posted a cumulatively hilarious series of loopy “promos” for Shrek the Third here. Watch them before they get taken down. (Via BoingBoing.)

Advertising
Comedy
Film

Comments (0)

Permalink