For the past two weeks, I’ve been digging through the gutter of ancient Greek and Roman comedy to find the grodiest jokes and weirdest plots from the classical world. Turns out, the founders of Western culture had dirty, dirty little minds just like we do in the good old US of A. But we can definitely give the Greeks and Romans a run for their money — the past few decades have been a golden age of gross-out gags. One name in particular has become synonymous with outrageous laughs. Whether he’s writing, directing, producing, or just making fart noises in the corner, Judd Apatow has become the face of a certain brand of smut. The funny thing is, a lot of his movies would have been right at home on the ancient stage. So here, ranked from least to most hilarious, are five of my favorite Apatow films — and the ancient plays that look a lot like them.
1. Celebrities in Hell: This Is the End and Frogs
Apatow mentored Seth Rogen as he filmed this 2013 apocaflic, in which a bunch of showbiz blockheads get hurled into hell on earth. Rogen and his stoner buddies (Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, etc.) get passed over by the rapture because their lives have been empty and debauched. So they have to fight to survive while the earth is plagued by molten brimstone, ravenous demons with grotesquely large genitalia, and Emma Watson. Only by demonstrating some kind of meaningful altruism can they get tractor-beamed up to heaven, where everyone gets a Segway and the Backstreet Boys are back together.
Aristophanes’ Frogs is also about a bunch of self-obsessed artists messing around in the pits of the damned. Dionysus, the showbiz god, descends past “forever-flowing crap,” an undead fiend who wants to rip his junk off, and a she-devil “with a bronze leg . . . and the other made of cow-poop,” in search of a writer worth his salt. The one playwright whose material has more substance than a shopping list gets tractor-beamed back to earth. Finding someone in show business who’s not too vapid to justify his existence turns out to take a worryingly long time.
(Aristophanes, Frogs 145 ff.; 475 ff.; 294 ff.)
When I was growing up in the ‘70s, there was a groovy poster that asked the penetrating question, “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” Well, in most places, the Democrats found that out on Election Night 2014 after they tried to restage the 2012 “War on Women.”
I didn’t have to become unexpectedly single in my late 40s to be reminded of one basic fact:
Grown women don’t dig being condescended to.
But that was the Democrats’ whole approach in wooing the next constituency they wanted to be able to someday take for granted.
Ever since Sandra Fluke announced she couldn’t afford birth control because she unconvincingly claimed to have needed $3000 of it through her law school tenure, the Democrats have decided that gender identity politics could be as valuable to them as racial identity politics.
It seemed to work in 2012, thanks to an unexpected assist from Todd Akin, who probably picked up the crazy idea in a tent meeting somewhere (where he got the rest of his scientific knowledge) that pregnancies resulting from rape are not merely rare, they basically cannot happen.
So Democrats, spurred on by their cultural Left wing in Hollywood and the media, decided that women (a majority of the population) could be the new minority victim group in their identity coalition that would give them an unassailable majority. But this ignored the fact that economic populism and a flat-footed opponent who directly matched their stereotype had a lot more to do with the 2014 Obama victory.
They decided to openly treat women as though their pretty heads couldn’t be bothered with such things as stagnant middle class incomes, the fact that their kids can only get part-time work because of Obamacare, Ebola, or the fact that the world is “going to hell in a handbasket.”
No, in the Democrat world, chicks only care about their lady parts.
The senior quote. You only get one chance to encapsulate your high school career in a few words. Do you go with something profound? Or funny? Do you make the Oscar speech you’ll never otherwise get to make? Do you quote a famous movie character or historical figure? Do you go with something clever and awesome, or do you just express your desire to party?
The biggest problem with the senior quote is that it’s forever. If you say something dumb, it’s right there in the yearbook for the school to remember forever. (For some reason, the yearbook staff inadvertently left mine out. I had gone all literary with a quote from Laurel Lee’s Godspeed*.)
Then there’s Paris Gray. The senior at Mundy’s Mill High School in Clayton County, just south of Atlanta, went with a little “nerd humor” for her quote, which wound up getting her in trouble.
Her quote? “When the going gets tough, just remember to Barium Carbon Potassium Thorium Astatine Arsenic Sulfur Uranium Phosphorus.” For those of you who aren’t up on your periodic table, the symbol for those elements translate to:
I’ve got cataracts, and thanks to a combination of bureaucratic CF at the doctor, at my new insurance company, and sure enough thanks to Obamacare, I still haven’t been able to get them fixed. (May. Maybe.)
For those of you who’ve never had them, the effect is more or less like having really dirty glasses all the time. Small print is hard. (Small print in Chinese is really hard, I have to resort of a magnifying glass.) You lose contrast, and glare washes out everything.
Now, here I am, reading web pages. I’m not going to mention who I’m using as an example, because it’s not Pejman Yousefzadeh’s fault, it’s some damn hipster web designer, who probably wears plaid pajamas and drinks hot chocolate while talking to his mommy and daddy about healthcare. But here’s a fragment of text:
Notice anything about it? Like it’s a little washed out looking?
So I apply my mad web skillz, and discover the background is, yes, white, but the text color is (102,102,102), or in hex #666.
This is called, technically “40 percent gray.” In other words, it’s 60 percent white. The text color is more white than not.
I mean, WTF? Are we supposed to read this?
It seems to be a trend too. A little googling and I find that #666 is a very popular text color. It’s supposed to be “easier on the eyes.”
Dear web designers: Go buy a book. You know, those paper things? I realize they’re old fashioned, but buy one. Or borrow one for crying out loud.
Open the book. What color is the text? That’s right, it’s black. Or damn near black. A 90 percent gray maybe. If it’s a recent book, and a textbook, it might even be some color like a dark Williamsburg blue. It’s not 40 percent gray.
Oh, and using like 10 point font is silly too, but that’s a rant for another time.
For those of you who find this nonsense hard to read, there’s actually a handy web site called readability.com. What they do is take a web page, strip it of the hipster cutenesses, and present it in a reasonably-large font, using black text. (Or nearly black — it’s actually a slightly yellow-green close to 90 percent gray. But it’s close to black.) Then it looks like this:
As if it were actually meant to be read.
And now get the hell offa my lawn.
At the Daily Mail: Hillary Clinton thought Bill didn’t have sex ‘of any real meaning’ with ‘narcissistic loony toon’ Monica Lewinsky, secret papers reveal
She later wrote in her autobiography that in reality she felt ‘dumbfounded, heartbroken and outraged’ at finding out he had lied to her and the public – an act that ultimately led to his impeachment in later that year.
But it can now be revealed that Hillary, who is now running for the presidency herself in 2016, told Blair he was driven to infidelity in part by his political adversaries, the loneliness of the presidency, and her own failures as a wife.
Hillary told Blair she had received ‘a letter from a psychologist who does family therapy and sexual infidelity problems,’ who told her, ‘most men with fidelity problems [were] raised by two women and felt conflicted between them.’
She said the psychologist believed Bill’s lapse in fidelity was rooted in his childhood.
Alana Goodman at The Free Beacon: The Hillary Papers: Archive of ‘closest friend’ paints portrait of ruthless First Lady
The Clinton camp found itself dealing with Bill Clinton’s infidelity early on. In a confidential Feb. 16, 1992, memo entitled “Possible Investigation Needs,” Clinton campaign staff proposed ways to suppress and discredit stories about the then-Arkansas governor’s affairs.
Campaign operatives Loretta Lynch and Nancy McFadden wrote the memo, addressed to campaign manager David Wilhelm.
The first item on the itinerary discussed “GF,” a reference to Gennifer Flowers, the actress and adult model who had recently disclosed her 12-year affair with Bill Clinton.
“Exposing GF: completely as a fraud, liar and possible criminal to stop this story and related stories, prevent future non-related stories and expose press inaction and manipulation,” said the memo.
In 1998 Bill Clinton admitted he had had a sexual relationship with Flowers.
On Feb. 23, 1993, Blair joined the Clintons for a family dinner at the White House. The subject of health care reform came up.
“At dinner, [Hillary] to [Bill] at length on the complexities of health care—thinks managed competition a crock; single-payer necessary; maybe add to Medicare,” Blair wrote.
The account is at odds with public statements by the former First Lady that she never supported the single-payer option.
In an interview with the New York Times as she ran for president in 2008, Hillary Clinton said she had never seriously considered adopting a single-payer system, in which the government, using funds appropriated from taxpayers, pays for all health care expenses.
“You know, I have thought about this, as you might guess, for 15 years and I never seriously considered a single payer system,” said Clinton in the interview.
Scary thought: electing Hillary as President tells America’s daughters that to succeed they must endure a man like Bill for life… #tcot
— David Swindle (@DaveSwindle) February 10, 2014
An alternative perspective? Just released today from Prager University, Tammy Bruce describes a Feminism 2.0:
No links for such attention whoring, but you if you’d like to see what the modicum of fuss is about, click over to the Daily Caller’s Betsy Rothstein as she checks out “The Grey Lady’s Nip Slip,” complete with (slightly NSFW) photo:
You’d think these things would be reserved for HuffPost’s sideboob section or even a Daily Caller slideshow.
But no, this is The New York Times just a few days before Thanksgiving. There are other ways to depict the delicate subject matter of breast-cancer screening than boob shots in the world’s most respected newspaper, right?
And — unexpectedly! — the Times is reduced to pretending that it was all ever-so “unintentional:”
The above-the-fold front-page photo, by Israeli photographer Rina Castelnuovo, accompanies a story about Israeli women grappling with one of the world’s highest rates of breast cancer. It shows a woman’s torso replete with a Star of David tattoo, a lumpectomy scar, and, yes, a bit of areola…
Castelnuovo tells Daily Intelligencer that she didn’t set out to be provocative. “It was an unplanned moment,” she told us in an e-mail. “I was taking the young woman’s portrait and we were chatting about her cancer and the scars.” The inclusion of the areola, she said, was “not intentional.”
In precisely the same way that Martin Bashir’s scatology festival last week was an unplanned moment for NBC’s subsidiary network — which just happened to be pre-scripted and loaded into the teleprompter for their anchor to read. The Times’ front page is one of the most heavily edited and controlled news environments on the planet; nothing gets there by accident. Today’s train wreck was simply the Times‘ effort at recreating the controversy that Time-Warner-CNN-HBO hoped to build last year with Time magazine’s goofy breastfeeding cover — a desperate plea for attention by an ancient publication increasingly approaching irrelevance.
Cross-posted from Ed Driscoll’s blog
Well, they’re young and healthy (for now), and they’re independent contractors on the individual insurance market, so Obama needs them to sign up for Obamacare. And now, they can. Depending on how much income they report, you may be subsidizing them.
Maybe Obamacare is really Clintoncare.
Even as the world careens from crisis to crisis—will Iran get (and use) The Bomb? Will the euro finally fail? Will ObamaCare put the nail in the coffin of the U.S. economy and America’s tradition of self-reliance and individual liberty? No one’s crystal ball is sharp enough to say. But even as the world conjures with these and other pending catastrophes, there are still local tempests to conjure with. In the somewhat rarefied world of word-processing software, the corporate giant Apple has precipitated a category five storm in the teapot inhabited by users of its iWork suite of software: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, the Word, Excel, and Powerpoint of the Apple eco-system.
Last week, in the course of a big Apple event in San Francisco, The Corporation announced, to considerable fanfare, new versions of iWork. There were smiles everywhere as a couple of Corporate officials took to the stage and demonstrated that, at long last, users would be able to collaborate on the same document simultaneously over the internet, on their Macs and/or their iPads and iPhones, even on PCs. This is a feature that Google has offered for some time, but Apple’s implementation was supposed to be more elegant (if less robust technically). The software had been rewritten from the ground up, they announced, adding many new features. It was a particularly welcome announcement for those who use the software because the last major update to the iWork software was in 2009, eons ago in the chronology of software. Patience was about to be rewarded. A new Apple triumph was about to be born. The new software, which Apple was offering for free, would make serious inroads into the hegemony of Microsoft’s Office suite, which is a de facto world-wide standard.
The celebratory mood lasted for about 15 minutes. Then a few people downloaded and started using the software. Uh oh. In its effort to make iWork compatible with the version that runs on the iPad and iPhone, Apple decided to neuter the desktop version of its software. “Big deal,” you say. “Use Microsoft Office.” More and more people will do just that, I suspect. But in the meantime, there is high drama at the Apple support site and App store, where the hostile comments about the software vastly outnumber the positive comments. One independent reviewer summed up the verdict: “Pages 5: An unmitigated disaster.”
I’ve been using Pages myself for a couple of years. I’ve never liked Microsoft Office, and I’ve always harbored a particular dislike for Word, which I find bloated and unwieldy. Before using Pages, I wrote using a DOS- and then Windows-based programmer’s editor. It was a bare bones approach, but I liked the simplicity of the software and the control it offered over text manipulation. Together with a DOS-based PostScript layout tool, I was good to go.
If you don’t know what twerking is yet, I’ll explain it one more time. To “twerk,” as the kids say, is not your average Jennifer Gray/Patrick Swayze dirty dancing. In fact, it makes their bump and grind look like the foxtrot. I was in Oklahoma last year hanging out with my cousins at a rodeo bar (yeah, I know it’s cliché but when in OK City, it’s A-Ok to go full-on cowgirl). I was beyond perplexed when I realized I brought my red leather cowboy boots down hard on some poor girl’s fingers on the dance floor. What were her fingers doing on said dance floor, you might ask? She was twerking. Imagine, if you can, what kind of position a girl must be in to have her hands on the floor and ass in the air, while gyrating around like an acrobat on LSD. It’s not pretty. In fact, it’s pretty ugly. I can tell you that I and the five other people I was with had a great time discussing and laughing (as was the guy she was twerking on, btw). No one thinks this is sexy. It’s a big joke. It’s as if the guys in the room (not men) are all waiting to see who they can fool into trying this “move,” which is nothing more than a scene from a XXX movie.
This video pretty much sums up how ridiculous and stupid people look while twerking.
So, what can you do about it, you who have daughters and a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach that they too might slide down the way of tongue-out twerking?
Read more at TMZ. And some recommended books on the subject:
Why Benghazi Is a Crime More Evil Than Anything a President Has Done in Our Lifetimes… in 60 Seconds
I published this on November 4, the conclusion of an article titled “The 15 Best Books for Understanding Barack Obama’s Mysterious Political Theology,” and a summation of my conclusions after more than three years spent investigating the president’s ideology full time:
Sitting here on this Sunday morning before the election, the Sun now up, reflecting back on these years scouring through dusty old Marxist books, trying to understand a president who built his career on a mountain of lies, I confess a peace with either electoral result on Tuesday. A part of me almost wishes that Obama
stealswins reelection (as I anticipate he will). The thought of him quietly retiring to a mansion in Hawaii in January to live out the rest of his life in comfort and adoration should inspire nausea. Only if Obama wins reelection do conservatives have a chance to hold him accountable for Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and all the crimes we don’t even know about yet. The man has blood on his hands and we can’t let him get away with it.
An ancient dictum popularized in recent years by the late Christopher Hitchens on the path forward, should Tuesday disappoint:
Fiat justitia ruat caelum
Do Justice and Let the Skies Fall
It’s hard to know if this video is a Spinal Tap style farce, or a freakish collection freeloaders glorifying the retrogression of human progress. They are living as humans in the west lived in the 18th Century, except without the work ethic.
They get free food, produce little, lounge around in tents, pee into hay bales, dumpster dive for food and beg. We know them here in the United States as hobos, bums and the people under the bridge.
One woman says “it wasn’t really a conscious decision” to live like this – how could it be!?
But they’ve adopted the “Eco” label. Eco-This, Eco-That, which buys good press for what is otherwise a shameful waste of time and talent. Their “Eco-village” dispenses with one of the most important human inventions to aid good health: sewage systems. The village represents an environmentalist crusader’s dream – humanity reduced to low impact animals with minimalists footprints. A side benefit, according to one Eco-Hobo, is a “peaceful solution to the problem of humanity.”
Sure it is.
h/t to the Man on the Nag.
The unedifying saga of Amanda Todd is one with a single victim, no heroes, and too many auxiliary vampires and vultures.
Every update about the adorable looking 15-year-old girl who was apparently driven to suicide by online “jailbait” bullies simply increases the world’s toxicity.
So I hesitate to add to this mess, and am unsure whether I have anything original or useful to say.
Except one thing, the thing I haven’t seen mentioned much in all the bandwagon-jumping articles condemning “cyberbullying” and “rape culture,” and calling on Somebody (always Somebody Else) to Do Something.
Here it is.
Are you ready?
DON’T POST NAKED PICTURES OF YOURSELF ON THE INTERNET.
Where have our brains gone? It’s true, humans have short memories. Case in point, the re-election of Jerry Brown as the Governor of California. (Quick reference; Village News Jerry Brown’s past performance should not be overlooked.) But when did we become so mindless, making reality television such a large source of our entertainment? Of course it’s not just television and film media, it’s the printed media as well. There are very few places you can go where one of your senses is not assaulted by some sort of reporting about yet another mindless event or story.
Rag magazines have been around for years reporting on UFOs and on things such as assassination attempts or conspiracy theories. Those stories are becoming more of the past, which would be fine if they weren’t being replaced with stories such as the size of Kim Kardashian’s tush. Do we really care, and if so, why? Why is there even a discussion about whether she has had tushie enhancement or not? Honestly, doesn’t that sort of journalism make you feel as if you’re getting a bum deal when spending your money on this magazine or others like it?
It seems to me that as our economy continues to spiral downward, the search for a quick, easy buck has also reached an unenviable low…. reality TV. Forget the game shows. Those garner the contestants one shot at a prize that may or may not include money, and there’s always a catch. The catch here is that you have to win the game to win the prize. If you don’t, too bad, so sad. You’ve wasted a day and have nothing to show for it except possibly a little humiliation.
Ah, but with reality t.v., a person can become famous even when lacking any kind of extraordinary talent or skill. It’s as if today’s television show producers have found a way to bring back the circus sideshows that were banned so many years ago.
How did Honey Boo Boo become America’s darling? The show has been great for the cheese ball industry, but probably not very encouraging to those watching the show and trying to stay on a diet. Is it possible to watch that show without a bag of cheese curls in hand? Watching as Honey Boo Boo’s mom lifts her multiple chins to show the camera the crust that has accumulated under those folds of fat is more nauseating than when she’s feeling sexy and throws kisses to the viewers, yet the number of viewers continue to rise. As a matter of fact, Honey Boo Boo’s August 29th episode drew more adult viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 than did the Fox News coverage of the Republican National Convention. Trying hard not to be out done was the September 5th episode which tied in viewership with CNN’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention.
“There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people. For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs.” — Thomas Sowell
1) They may believe that learning about something is the same as doing it.
When you’ve gone to school for years, read hundreds of books, and talked to “experts” about a subject, there’s a tendency to believe that you can learn everything you possibly need to know about something without ever doing it. Unfortunately, there are some things in life you can just never understand without personally experiencing them, as this quote from Good Will Hunting explains.
Sean: So if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you’d probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can’t tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You’re a tough kid. And I’d ask you about war, you’d probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, “once more unto the breach dear friends.” But you’ve never been near one. You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I’d ask you about love, you’d probably quote me a sonnet. But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn’t know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms “visiting hours” don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, ’cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you…. I don’t see an intelligent, confident man…. I see a cocky, scared sh*tless kid. But you’re a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my f*cking life apart. You’re an orphan right?… You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally… I don’t give a sh*t about all that, because you know what, I can’t learn anything from you, I can’t read in some f*ckin’ book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I’m fascinated. I’m in. But you don’t want to do that do you sport? You’re terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Additionally, as Thomas Sowell has noted, “experience trumps brilliance.” If you had a restaurant, whom would you rather have running it for the next year? A seasoned veteran of a restaurant business with a decade of experience and an average IQ or Nikola Tesla, one of the most brilliant scientists who ever lived? Keep in mind that Tesla used to falsely claim that he had created a death ray, never married because he thought great inventors should remain celibate, and spent the last decade of his life obsessing over pigeons. Yeah, that’s what I thought.