Tagged: humor Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • feedwordpress 08:01:49 on 2018/08/15 Permalink
    Tags: , humor, , , music festivals, , , Woostock   

    “Interpretation reached such proportions that the real vanished”*… 

     

    Acid in movies

    Just one of the wonderful GIF’s and YouTube clips collected by author Dennis Cooper at “Some films (1966 – 1974) that either faked ingesting LSD or did.”

    * Erich Auerbach

    ###

    As we mind the drop, we might recall that it was on this date in 1969 that “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music” opened in the Catskills in New York State.  The organizers of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair– or Woodstock, as it is remembered– had hoped to sell 50,000 tickets; but by the week before the event, had moved 186,000.  A last-minute change of venue presented them with a hard choice: hastily erect more/stronger fences and install additional security on the new site (the now-famous Yasgur’s Farm) or offer the event for free.  The night before the event, with attendees already arriving in huge numbers, the promoters cut the fence.  Ultimately an estimated 400,000 people enjoyed a (somewhat rainy) weekend of performances from 32 acts.  It was, as Rolling Stone opined, a defining moment in Rock and Roll… and one at which scores and scores of trips were taken.

    source

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:40 on 2018/08/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , Fernando Arrabal, , humor, , , , , ,   

    “A graceful taunt is worth a thousand insults”*… 

     

    cards

    Bumblepuppist

    Definition – a bad whist player

    Every so often you need a specific insult, and bumblepuppist is about as specific as they get. We will grant you that the game of whist is not as popular as it once was, having been edged out by newfangled card games such as euchre and canasta, but once upon a time whist was the most deucedly popular card game in the land. This ranks pretty high on the list of words which are likely inapplicable in your life, but imagine how excited you will be if you do meet someone who not only plays whist, but is bad at it, and you have the appropriate descriptor.

    Bumblepuppist is also sometimes rendered as bumblepupper, and the word for “whist played poorly or without regard for rules” is bumblepuppy (from bumble and puppy).

    “Bumblepuppy,” as defined by a renowned authority upon whist, is a game played by people who imagine that they are playing whist, but who in reality know nothing of that intricate game.
    — The New York Times, 1 Jul. 1883

    Just one in a collection of put-downs bigger than the sum of their parts: “8 Insults Made Up of a Noun and a Verb.”

    * Louis Nizer

    ###

    As we test the limits of civility, we might send fascinating birthday greetings to Fernando Arrabal Terán; he was born on this date in 1932.  A playwright, screenwriter, film director, novelist, and poet, the New York Times’ Mel Gussow has called him the last survivor among the “three avatars of modernism.”  In 1962, Arrabal co-founded the Panic Movement with Alejandro Jodorowsky and Roland Topor, inspired by the god Pan.  In 1990 he was elected Transcendent Satrap of The Collège de ‘Pataphysique, a “society committed to learned and inutilious research” (“inutilious” = “useless”).  Forty other Transcendent Satraps have been elected over the past half-century, including Marcel Duchamp, Eugène Ionesco, Man Ray, Boris Vian, Dario Fo, Umberto Eco, and Jean Baudrillard.  Arrabal spent three years as a member of André Breton’s surrealist group and was a friend of Andy Warhol and Tristan Tzara.  A chess fanatic (a passion he shared with Duchamp), Arrabal wrote a chess column for the French weekly L’Express for over thirty years.

    200px-Fernando_Arrabal,_2012 source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:32 on 2018/08/10 Permalink
    Tags: cookbooks, , , , , Francatelli, humor, novelty, ,   

    “Every restaurant needs to have a point of view”*… 

     

    chili bowl

    Launched in 1931 by former amateur boxer Art Whizin, the Chili Bowl chain had 22 outposts at its peak. Each building was round and shaped like a chili bowl with 26 stools around a circular counter where diners could get the signature dish: an open-faced burger blanketed with chili. This 1937 photo shows the original Chili Bowl, located at 3012 Crenshaw Boulevard.

    One stop on a wonderful tour of La La Land’s most exceptional eateries; see them all at: “LA’s Awesome History Of Weird, Food-Shaped Restaurants.”

    * Danny Meyer

    ###

    As we muse on the mimetic, we might sparea thought for Charles Elmé Francatelli; he died on this date in 1876.  A Italian chef working in England, renown in his time, he was chef to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert for a time, chef of the St. James Club, among other prestigious postings .  But he is probably better remembered for his best-selling cookbooks, The Modern Cook (1845), A Plain Cookery Book for the Working ClassesThe Cook’s Guide and Housekeeper’s & Butler’s Assistant, and The Royal English and Foreign Confectionery Book.

    Charles_Elme_Francatelli source

     

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:30 on 2018/08/05 Permalink
    Tags: bon-mot, , , humor, Judy Canova, , , ,   

    “Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit”*… 

     

    bon-mots

    Both published in 1897, Bon-Mots of the Eighteenth Century and Bon-Mots of the Nineteenth Century, pretty much deliver what they promise — that is, a compilation of some of the best conversational witticisms of the two centuries. Examples from many famous and expected names adorn its pages — including Joseph Addison, Samuel Johnson, Oscar Wilde, and Lord Byron — but we are also introduced to more obscure though no less prolific sources, such as the actor Charles Bannister and the Irish politician John Philpot Curran. Although many of the bon-mots might not stand the test of time — so often firmly rooted in the language or the culture of the time as they are — some don’t fair too badly today. Also don’t miss the two introductions which each include entertaining examples of how various writers have defined “wit” (in Bon-Mots of the Eighteenth Century) and “humour” (in Bon-Mots of the Nineteenth Century). Look out also for the fun little “grotesques” that litter the pages of both volumes, by English artist Alice B. Woodward.

    Voltaire

    Bon-Mots of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century (1897)“; page through them at The Internet Archive.

    * Oscar Wilde (featured in the second volume treated above)

    ###

    As we celebrate celerity, we might spare a thought for Judy Canova; she died on this date in 1983.  A veteran of a sister act in vaudeville (“the Three Georgia Crackers”), she got her break as a teenager when bandleader Rudy Vallée offered her a guest spot on his radio show in 1931.  Her career spanned five decades, during which she performed as a comedian, actress, singer, and radio personality, appearing on Broadway and in films.  She hosted her own self-titled network radio program, a popular series broadcast from 1943 to 1955, first on CBS, then NBC.

    Judy Canova source (and repository of audio examples of her work)

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:34 on 2018/08/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , found photos, , humor, Magnum Photos, , photojournalism,   

    “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst”*… 

     

    banana

    Doug Battenhausen spends much of his working hours searching for pictures no one else cares about.

    They’re the kind taken by people would never be considered ‘photographers’, the kind that no one has even thought about for years, where any sense of artistry is purely accidental.

    Instead they’re pictures of drunk friends at grotty house parties or silly sleepovers, landscapes snapped from car windows on boring drives, and assorted images that Doug can only describe as “strangely mundane”…

    drunk

    relection

    Learn more– and see more abandoned images– at “The internet’s forgotten shit pics are accidentally amazing,” and then visit the motherlode: Battenhausen’s Tumblr, Internet History.

    * Henri Cartier-Bresson

    ###

    As we smile at serendipity, we might spare a thought for the source of today’s title quote, Henri Cartier-Bresson; he died on this date in 2004.  A master of the candid and pioneer of street photography, he was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century.  With other luminaries (Robert CapaDavid Seymour, and others), he founded Magnum Photos. a photographers’ co-op that covered the world for news outlets and other publishers.  His Magnum coverage of of Gandhi’s funeral in India in 1948 and the last stage of the Chinese Civil War in 1949 brought him international acclaim.

    View his Magnum portfolio here.

    220px-Henri_Cartier-Bresson source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:32 on 2018/07/27 Permalink
    Tags: , Dostoevsky, , humor, Lermontov, , Pushkin, Russian literature, toast,   

    “Toast cannot be explained by any rational means”*… 

     

    toast

    Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” rendered on toast by @ClaireLarsson

     

    Twitter is largely an echo chamber of gamers and white supremacists and white supremacist gamers, howling with the ceaselessness of a puppy chasing its tail. It wasn’t always like this. People used to have fun on the internet, according to the old tales.

    For a few minutes today, you can return to a state of innocence. This week, a charming hashtag has sprung out of Germany: #KunstGeschichteAlsBrotbelag, which according to my expertise (Google Translate) comes out as “Art History as a sandwich.” The premise is pretty simple: classic works of art reinterpreted as pieces of toast. That’s it! And the people doing it are really very good…

    Samples at “Enjoy these classic works of art reinterpreted as toast“; the thread is here.

    * Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake

    ###

    As we take a bite, we might spare a thought for Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov; he died on this date in 1841.  A writer, poet and painter, sometimes called “the poet of the Caucasus,” he was the most important Russian poet after Alexander Pushkin’s death in 1837 and the greatest figure in Russian Romanticism.  His influence on later Russian literature is still felt in modern times, not only through his poetry, but also through his prose, which founded the tradition of the Russian psychological novel (and was, this hugely influential on Dostoevsky, among others).

    Mikhail_lermontov source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:48 on 2018/07/17 Permalink
    Tags: 80s, , humor, Moon Unit, , , , Valley Girl, Zappa   

    “In a lot of places, of course, the ’80s had never really come to an end”*… 

     

     

    frankie-goes-to-hollywood

    Frankie Goes to Hollywood: You have woken up under your high school gym teacher.

     

    Simple Minds: You have tasted a scented pen.

    Mike and the Mechanics: You have thrown a Rolodex at a raccoon or skunk.

    Peter Gabriel: You know what Fimo tastes like.

    Roxette: You have injured yourself with a Q-Tip.

    Madonna: Your bedroom smells like Midori.

    Tommy Tutone: You have attempted to use a Polaroid picture as an ID.

    Eurythmics: You have lost a mood ring in a hot tub.

    The Smiths: You have read aloud to a hamster, ferret, or turtle.

    Def Leppard: You have used a package of lunch meat as a pillow.

    Psychedelic Furs: You have worn sunglasses through an entire tooth cleaning…

    Consult a (very complete) list to find out “what your favorite 80s band says about you.”

    * Nick Harkaway, Tigerman

    ###

    As we revisit yesteryear, we might recall that it was on this date in 1082 that “Valley Girl” by Frank Zappa and his then 14-year old daughter Moon Unit, entered the Billboard Pop chart at #75. It peaked at #32 in August.  Written by the dad and daughter and performed by Moon Unit, and intended as a parody, the single popularized the Valley Girl stereotype nationwide; following the song’s release, there was a significant increase in “Valspeak” slang usage, whether ironically spoken or not (not the least of which was the film, Valley Girl).  Indeed, Zappa later sardonically observed that, despite his rich body of work, he was likeliest to be remembered as a novelty artist for “Valley Girl” and “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow.”

    220px-Frank_Zappa_Valley_Girl_single

     

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:40 on 2018/07/01 Permalink
    Tags: , , humor, , , practical joke, , Pythagoras, Pythagorean Cup,   

    “All practical jokes, friendly, harmless or malevolent, involve deception, but not all deceptions are practical jokes”*… 

     

    28134677457_5f485d8423_z

    When you think of the ancient Greeks, practical jokes might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But along with art, architecture, and philosophy, you can add trick cups to their list of accomplishments.

    The Pythagorean cup is so-named because it was allegedly invented by Pythagoras of Samos (yes, the same guy who gave us theories about right triangles). It’s a small cup with a column in its center. It doesn’t look like much, but when an unsuspecting drinker fills it past a designated level, the liquid mysteriously drains out. Legend has it that Pythagoras used it as a way to punish greedy drinkers who poured themselves too much wine…

    A timeless practical joke, brought to you by the ancient Greeks: more merriment at “Pythagorean Cup.”

    * W. H. Auden, The Dyer’s Hand

    ###

    As we ponders pranks, we might send a “Alles Gute zum Geburtstag” to the polymathic Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the philosopher, mathematician, and political adviser, who was important both as a metaphysician and as a logician, but who is probably best remembered for his independent invention of the calculus; he was born on this date in 1646.  Leibniz independently discovered and developed differential and integral calculus, which he published in 1684;  but he became involved in a bitter priority dispute with Isaac Newton, whose ideas on the calculus were developed earlier (1665), but published later (1687).

    As it happens, Leibnitz was no mean humorist.  Consider, e.g…

    If geometry conflicted with our passions and our present concerns as much as morality does, we would dispute it and transgress it almost as much–in spite of all Euclid’s and Archimedes’ demonstrations, which would be treated as fantasies and deemed to be full of fallacies. [Leibniz, New Essays, p. 95]

    28134677537_d79a889e6a_o source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:16 on 2018/06/19 Permalink
    Tags: Anthony Bourdain, , , humor, Juneteenth, ,   

    “Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”*… 

    Kobe sliders: “I’m waiting to see the end of the Kobe slider. I’d be really happy to see that gone. The Kobe slider is an indication of a douche economy that’s threatening to me personally. It’s like bottle service at the nightclub; it’s a societal ill. It’s a clear example of nothing being added to the slider experience by using Kobe beef other than the price. No one who orders a Kobe slider wants the unctuous, fatty experience of ordering a Kobe steak. What they want is bragging rights in front of their princes of douchedom around them so they can all high five. It’s part of the ‘bro’ culture I find troubling.”

    Fond remembrance…  one of twenty provocative peeves at “Here’s an abbreviated list of everything that Anthony Bourdain hates.”

    * Anthony Bourdain

    ###

    As we prepare for the ride, we might pause to think some celebratory thoughts:  today is Juneteenth.

    Though the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on September 22, 1862 (effective January 1, 1863), word was slow to spread.  On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger, who’d arrived  in Galveston, Texas, with 2,000 federal troops  to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves, read “General Order No. 3” from a local balcony:

    The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.

    Former slaves in Galveston celebrated in the streets; Juneteenth observances began across Texas the following year– and are now recognized as State Holidays by 41 states.

    Ashton Villa in Glaveston, from whose front balcony the Emancipation Proclamation was read on June 19, 1865 (source)

     Juneteenth celebration in Austin, c.1900 (source)

    Juneteenth has become a popular time for family reunions and gatherings. As with most social events, food takes center stage. Juneteenth is often commemorated by barbecues and the traditional drink – Strawberry Soda – and dessert – Strawberry Pie. Other red foods such as red rice (rice with tomatoes), watermelon and red velvet cake are also popular.  The red foods commemorate the blood that was spilled during the days of slavery.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:22 on 2018/06/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , , humor, , , ,   

    “Classics are books which, the more we think we know them through hearsay, the more original, unexpected, and innovative we find them when we actually read them”*… 

     

    Highly efficient summaries from Abridged Classics: Brief Summaries of Books You Were Supposed to Read but Probably Didn’t by John Atkinson. Not recommended for use in study…

    More samples at: “Literary classics retold as two-panel comics

    * Italo Calvino

    ###

    As we ponder the précis, we might recall that today– and every June 16– is Bloomsday.  a commemoration and celebration of the life of Irish writer James Joyce, during which the events of his novel Ulysses (which is set on 16 June 1904) are relived: Leopold Bloom goes about Dublin, James Joyce’s immortalization of his first outing with Nora Barnacle, the woman who would eventually become his wife.

    The first Bloomsday was observed on the 50th anniversary of the events in the novel, in 1954, when John Ryan (artist, critic, publican and founder of Envoy magazine) and the novelist Brian O’Nolan organized what was to be a daylong pilgrimage along the Ulysses route. They were joined by Patrick Kavanagh, Anthony Cronin, Tom Joyce (a dentist who, as Joyce’s cousin, represented the family interest), and AJ Leventhal (a lecturer in French at Trinity College, Dublin).

    The crew for the first Bloomsday excursion

    source

     

     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
esc
cancel