Category: Humor

Carting Away Hobbits

I’ve started to re-read The Lord of the Rings. While listening to Brad Birzer’s three-part interview on the National Review “Great Books” podcast, I realized that I had forgotten a lot of things about the books.

More troubling, I had forgotten a lot of the charming things about the book. Or maybe I had never noticed the charming things since I read the books in my teens. Charm, after all, is unexpected grace or enchantment, which is something I suppose most teenagers are incapable of feeling or, if they are, of recognizing.

Two weeks ago, I read the Prologue and Tolkien’s libertarian paean to the Shire. Last week, I finished Chapter One, “The Long-Expected Party.” Now I’m Chapter Two, where Gandalf confirms his suspicions about the Ring and Frodo decides to leave the Shire.

I’m greatly enjoying it.

As of this moment, though, my favorite passage is about the hobbits leaving the huge party:

“About midnight carriages came for the important folk. One by one they rolled away . . . Gardeners came by arrangement, and removed in wheel-barrows those that had inadvertently remained behind.”… Read the rest

Drunk and Driven

My pursuit of drunken perfection (humor)

I’m thinking about becoming an alcoholic. Beer and wine are my favorites, so I’ll drink a lot of them. I don’t like hard liquor, but I’ll drink it if that what it takes to realize my ambition. Unlike some people out there who want things handed to them, I’m willing to work and am dedicated to achieving my goals.

I have little doubt that alcoholism is a good career move. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers can’t take adverse employment action against a reformed alcoholic based on his alcoholism. As a practical matter, this means any time an alcoholic is denied a job, a promotion, or a raise, he can scream, “It’s because I’m an alcoholic, isn’t it!” As Dick Vitale would put it, “Protected class, baby!”

For guys like me, alcoholism is the only way to get such protected status. I could also lop off an arm or something like that, thus becoming genuinely disabled, but I hear that’s painful and it would adversely affect my golf game. (Drinking, incidentally, doesn’t — nor does it impair my bowling.)

I’m not just working the legal angles, either. I also look at alcoholism as a way to build up my credentials.

I’ve noticed that reformed alcoholics (and drug addicts) are uniquely respected. Once a person goes through rehab, he’s certifiably sensitive. I often strike others as unfeeling, so I could use a credential like that.

Reformed alcoholics often have new career opportunities, too. Once I go through rehab, I could work to become a counselor: a rehabbed alcoholic who helps struggling alcoholics. I might also get a job in a high school to help troubled teens; I’d latch onto those public school employee fringe benefits without even getting a teaching certificate.

Alcoholism is one of … Read the rest

Choose Wisely

A man is at a cocktail party. An angel appears and reveals to the crowd that the man had recently risked his life to save a little girl. The angel announced to the man in front of everybody: “You may choose one: Greatest wisdom, greatest wealth, or greatest fame.” The man thought for a minute and then chose wisdom. The angel said, “Done,” then disappeared. All the party guests gathered around and saw a warm glow develop around him. They waited silently and just watched him, sensing that he was pondering something great. After a minute he pronounced, “I should have taken the money.”… Read the rest

The Forsaken Stans

What are the most God-forsaken ares on earth?

I’m talking about barren areas. Relatively barren of natural beauty, of a beautiful cultural history, and of a beautiful contemporary culture.

And menacing: in its vastness, perhaps, or its brokenness.

There are plenty of contenders (western Australia, western China, northeastern Russia, Detroit in January), but one place always comes to mind first: the Steppes.

That vast area of central Asia from eastern Turkey to Mongolia, home to the Five Stans: KazakhstanKyrgyzstanTajikistanTurkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The region’s toughness repeatedly breed the toughest soldiers, who would occasionally slam into eastern Europe (Huns, Magyars, etc.). It never seemed to have enough historical continuity to develop a rich cultural history, always being invaded or doing the invading. Its Christian patrimony was largely destroyed by the Muslims. In the early 20th century, its entire patrimony and future and very soul were sucked out of it by the Soviet Union, leaving the region an economic wasteland.

If it weren’t for Borat, many Americans wouldn’t even know the region existed.

But the region is attempting to make something of itself. It has shifted to a market economy and things are looking better.

Of course, with the market economy, comes all those human foibles, from greed to self-promotion and public flagellation, like the pan-sexual bodybuilder who courted and married his sex doll in one of the stupidest PR stunts of 2020.

Fortunately, his bride is now broken (leaving ribald pundits to speculate why). PG-13 link. The whole thing is so preposterous, I am a little embarrassed to post about it, but there are no doubt woke folks out there who applaud his alleged affection. Those folks can’t be mocked too often. … Read the rest

Choose Wisely (a joke)

A man is at a cocktail party. An angel appears and reveals to the crowd that the man had recently risked his life to save a little girl. The angel announced to the man in front of everybody: “You may choose one: Greatest wisdom, greatest wealth, or greatest fame.” The man thought for a minute and then chose wisdom. The angel said, “Done,” then disappeared. All the party guests gathered around and saw a warm glow develop around him. They waited silently and just watched him, sensing that he was pondering something great. After a minute he pronounced, “I should have taken the money.”… Read the rest

The Leek: Catholic America’s Finest News Source

Leek“The Real O’Neals” Simply Points Out that Catholicism Sucks

Executives at ABC are encouraged by criticism leveled at the network’s upcoming sitcom, “The Real O’Neals.”

“It’s not like we say the Pope denies climate change or opposes an increase in the minimum wage,” said James Gilbert, ABC head of programming. “So it doesn’t go over the top. ‘The Real O’Neals’ is simply a humorous look at how many Catholic families really live.”

Claims from Catholics that the sitcom is offensive because it mocks Jesus Christ, demeans the Virgin Mary, views any criticism of homosexual activity as bigoted, and portrays priests as hypocrites is misplaced, says ABC.

“Look,” said Gilbert, “We’re just making a comedy that takes a few things for granted, like, Catholicism, as a general rule, sucks. That’s nothing new, right? So why the controversy?”

Still, many Catholics plan on boycotting the show, much to ABC’s satisfaction.

“Let’s face it, we control the media,” says Star Lucis, ABC assistant public relations manager. “A boycott just gives the show more PR. And then we have our news branches and our collaborators at the other major media outlets mock the boycotters’ position, so ultimately we get a lot of free publicity, the show isn’t remotely harmed, and we’ve taken another step toward discrediting Catholicism and promoting the secular mindset and the sub-mindsets that come with it, like the goodness of homosexuality.”

“It’s a win-win for good people everywhere.”… Read the rest

Friday

BYCU

I decided I hadn’t been spending nearly enough time at Modern Drunkard Magazine, so I decided to surf around it last weekend during the Detroit Lions game. I wasn’t disappointed. It turns out they’re in the second “Clash of the Tightest,” which is “a ferocious, tournament-style, single-elimination, winner-walks-out-on-the-tab bottle-royale.”

They first came up with a list of 16 of history’s greatest drinkers, employing loose, yet common sensical, criteria:

First off, living drinkers were excluded because their story is not fully told; for all we know they’ll join the Anti-Saloon League and start bad-mouthing sweet mother booze.

Backsliders such as Jack London, who did turn against the booze in his latter years, were also disqualified because winners never quit and quitters never win.

Lesser-known hard pounders were also excused because everyone has an uncle who should be in the fight and we only have room for 16 contenders—and we’d have to take you and your aunt’s word for it and we personally don’t trust either of you.

They then pair off the historic drinkers with commentary offered by Howard Cosell and Laurence Olivier. After a lot of, ahem, colorful commentary and blow-by-blow drinking narrative, they declare the winner, who advances to the next round.

It’s funny, albeit PG-13 (or R), and you’re not too late to enjoy it. They’re still early in the first round. In the first match, Andre the Giant defeated Alexander the Great. They just featured the second match, Doc Holliday v. Hunter S. Thompson, last weekend (HST won by disqualification after Holliday muttered “Here’s your huckleberry, you son of a *****” and lunged at Thompson with a knife).

Here is the full list of the 2014 contestants:

1. Andre the Giant
2. Alexander the Great (def.)
3. Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
4. Doc … Read the rest

Tuesday

Zombie Me

Dien Ho asks, What’s So Bad About Being A Zombie? This passage, especially the last line, cracked me up:

[T]he life of a zombie has characteristics many of us strive mightily to achieve. Their lives are highly centralized and simplified, since their needs and wants often revolve around just a few things, like brains or human flesh. They are largely indifferent to pain and suffering. Short of severe head injuries, zombies enjoy a type of immortality. Zombies do not care about most of the pesky concerns that fill our daily lives: they do not care about the weather, their appearance, their social status, their retirement plan, their morning commute, and petty office politics. They are not concerned about the threat of terrorism, floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes. And they certainly do not become jealous, depressed, worrisome, or suffer the other anxieties that regularly plague our waking moments. Indeed, if we focus on just these qualities, the life of a zombie resembles the ideal state of a disciplined Zen Buddhist monk who has managed to let go of his earthly concerns.

Mr. Ho also asks: If one can be better off dead – as many advocates of euthanasia have suggested – surely one can be better off undead?”

Professor Ho, incidentally, then goes on to ask what makes the living better off than the undead. He reaches no dispositive conclusion (which isn’t surprising, since philosophy has always dead-ended, just as it had when Christ came to take thought to the next level), but, drawing on an array of philosophical precedent, he says “a caring and deliberative attitude towards one’s life-projects is a necessary condition for a meaningful life” and that “the failure to reflect upon them entails the absence of meaning.” Because zombies can’t do such things, their existence is … Read the rest