I like to blame the Jews–for making me fat. Did you know that to a Jew “No thanks, I had a late lunch” is the same thing as saying “Yes, I’d love some dinner” ?
Yes, it really is a big Jewish conspiracy. Actually, it’s more like a Jewess conspiracy than a Jewish conspiracy. But it is huge–38 unsightly inches in my case. Ok 40… 42 at the end of a long winter.
‘Ever notice that Jewish women are constantly worried that they’re eating too much and you’re not eating enough? It’s just so non-Golden Rule. So un-Christian!
The real difference between Reform and Conservative Judaism, on the one hand, and Hasidism on the other, is that Reform and Conservative Jewish men have figured out what their womenfolk are up to, while the Hasidic men remain blissfully clueless. And fat. Very fat.
In that sense, the Hasidim and the goyim (non-Jews) are closer to each other than either is to Reform or Conservative Judaism.
“More babkas, borscht, blintzes and brisket, honey?”
“Save it for the people whose ‘No thanks’ means ‘Yes.’ I’m staying thin. Like you.”
So no, you’re not paranoid–they really are conspiring to make you huge.
Alan Brech 2012
From Jacques Barzun’s From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life (2000) with little or no distortion:
• Kepler, the discoverer of the elliptical nature of planetary orbits, “was a practicing astrologist.” (p. 196)
He invented the elliptical writing used in modern horoscopes.
• Newton was “a dedicated alchemist.” (p. 196)
He sure struck gold when he combined figs with shortbread.
• Paracelsus was “hot with anger against authority.” (p. 197)
You should have seen his brother Full-On Celsus–as a little boy the Church confirmed him just so they could immediately excommunicate him, he was that bad.
• The Catholic Church defended Galileo as long as they could. It was the rest of the public that was against him. (p. 204)
• Pascal was too Catholic to be a mystic. (p. 215)
Jesus was too mystic to be a Catholic.
• Science is bourgeois. It’s just so new money. (pp. 206-207)
• The Middle Ages were jolly, not gloomy. Feudalism was a breeze. (p. 225-226)
• No one thought the world was going to end in A.D. 999. It’s a myth. (p. 227)
• Dante’s beloved Beatrice was nine years old. (p. 233)
Reading his poems is now like watching Woody Allen’s Manhattan.
• Romantic poetry and courtly love indirectly led to women’s rights. The Crusades helped too. (pp. 232-234)
My love is like an autonomous independent being
who dependeth not on my regard for her self-worth,
nor yet the approval of any man she may be seeing
to imbue her life with meaning, or give birth
• Medieval medicine makes a lot of sense. (p. 223)
• In the Middle Ages, bands of graduate and undergraduate students roamed the countryside practicing anarchy. The more sedentary just preyed upon the nearby townspeople. (p. 229)
• In the Middle Ages, there was no Middle Ages. (pp. 224-225)
If only that were also true for the Postmodern Era.
• In the 16th and 17th Centuries, Germany and Italy caused “harm” to other European powers “by their tempting weakness.” (p. 241)
Blaming victims again? (see May 24th post below)
• Dueling is an improvement over clan warfare, and absolute monarchs are better than dueling aristocrats (pp. 241-243)
Now here Barzun might be on to something.
Alan Brech 2012
Paraphrased nuggets from a really big book people say is great (From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life by Jacques Barzun, 2000) with occasional annotations:
• Dante was a nickname. His real name was Durante. (p. 113)
As in Jimmy?
• Faust was a puppet show in England when Goethe saw it and got inspired. (p. 112)
Now if only we could make a puppet show out of Goethe’s writings, imagine what it might inspire!
• Virgil was a magician. (p. 47)
He sure pulled The Aeneid out of his ass!
• The French Protestants provoked their own massacres. (p. 86, 113, etc.)
I’m not getting involved.
• Amerigo Vespucci really does deserve all the credit. Because he knew. (p. 104)
• Don Quixote is not a novel. (p. 111)
• Da Vinci was not a “Renaissance Man.” (p. 79)
• Tolstoy proved that opera is absurd. (p. 176)
• Italians used to be considered smart. (p. 149)
• Academia started as writers workshops. In Italy! (ibid)
• Germans were once peaceful and doltish. (p. 178) Part of being a Renaissance Person was being anti-German, euphemistically referred to as Gothic. But everyone knew you meant them.
• The Counter-Reformation was really just reform. Every society has its Inquisition, they just don’t call it that. (p. 38)
• Luther : Calvin : : Marx : Lenin (p. 34, 37)
Ok, so then Vespucci : Columbus : : Ben Franklin : Everyone who got struck by lightning before Franklin?
• Thomas Aquinas was almost excommunicated–twice! (p. 40)
Three times could be a charm Benedictus!
And yeah, I’ve only gotten to page 200–about a quarter way in.
©2012 Alan Brech–no one can steal from Barzun the way I just did
Brethren–and sisters–our text today is from the Book of Laughs. Now of course the full title is: The Laughs of the Ass-postles of Christ that’s Funny as Recorded by Bobo, Loyal but Overly-Editorial Scribe to Paul, formerly Saul, formerly of Gaul, who Claimed to be from Tarsus.
So you can see why people just call it The Laughs for short. That fuckin’ Bobo! Heh heh…
Today we’re gonna sermonize from Laughs 37:10 (hike!) where we find the following wisdumb:
“On that Day of Reckoning all the boogers thou ever picked and wiped shall be mounded up high and brought down on thy dwellings and thy fields, yay, on thy chattel and thy manservants, and then shalt thou have to account for the sins of thy very un-Jewish poor hygiene–
“–But IF thou believest in the holy nose hairs of the Messiah, in the redeeming sacrifice of his Pickless Existence, then shalt thou be washed clean of thine own filthy filtrations and enter into the Holy Mansion of God which has no boogers underneath the furniture and only a few old gum wads here and there because God suffers the children–and therefore, by implication, not you…”
Things will get better. They’ve Gott to!
There’s a good person born every minute–plus 254 other babies.
Look on the bright side–at least you’re not the goddamned Devil!
(plus some modern art that no one gets)
Background info: The Mormon Church firmly believes in a modern prophecy which holds that the Constitution and the Republic of the United States of America will be hanging by a thread during some unspecified crisis, and that the Mormon Church or its leadership will step in and save the Constitution. Plow through to the end of this drivel to see how this prophecy will be fulfilled in November…
Nugentism–the tendency to interpret politics through the lens of Braveheart or Lord of the Rings (because life really is that simple)–is actually a smaller problem than its converse: the fact that politics is about to get so super boring, democracy itself may be in peril.
Of course, democracy is always in peril, that’s what makes it great. Or good enough. Worth fighting for. Worth suspending your rights for. Something.
But not all perils are created equal. Peril is very undemocratic like that. And the peril of political boredom is real enough.
It sounds partisan, but it’s the Republican’s fault this time: Obama has to be boring, he has no choice–for now. He can become slightly interesting late in his second term and in his post-presidency he can become truly fascinating.
But until then, Obama has to act more like Romney (dull and doofy) than he normally would. Simply being the first black president forces Obama to be an extra-reasonable guy so that voters in the future won’t automatically associate black candidates with radical cultural change. His presidential biography will almost certainly be called Holding Back.
Only the Republicans have the choice of being interesting, like they were back in 2010 and 2011. But instead they’ve chosen boring, very very boring.
Their plan is clear: bore the shit out of the electorate and win a low-turnout snooze-fest! Much cheaper to go boring (thus “more efficient”) and Romney is at heart a money-man.
Village idiot: But won’t that lead to a crazy third party?
Establishment answer: Yes! Increased Nugentism is the inevitable by-product of boring vs. boring during times such as these. We’re just hoping it doesn’t crystallize into some sort of Ross Perot thing on steroids without the burden of Ross Perot dragging it down. That could be dangerous.
Village idiot: What about Santorum and Palin on a third ticket? Then Romney could become the severely moderate person he pretends to be when he’s not pretending he’s conservative.
A: And with a three-way split in the electoral college, Obama’s piddly popular majority will not be enough to get the 270 electoral votes. Then it goes to the House of Redneck-Resentatives for a fraudulent vote open to the highest bidder foreign or domestic. And we win!
Village idiot: Don’t you think that if that happened the Prophet of the Mormon Church would call up Mitt and say, “Look, bishop, we can’t win like this–you gotta hand it back to Obama–he won the popular vote”?
A: You’re an idiot.
(c) 2012, Alan Brech
If everyone bought and displayed a couple of these:
We might be able to plant the real ones soon afterwards!
(Operación Olé: Overwhelm Law Enforcement)
If things are good for you, then God* has pampered and spoiled you, and thus you have NO right to generalize for the rest of us.
If an afflicted person does not find comfort in the wisdom of happy-sacks like us, is it their fault, or the shortcoming of our “wisdom?”
But if your situation is horrible and not getting better, you can’t generalize your negativity onto the rest of us. The only thing we’ll listen to from the afflicted are heart-warming stories of how you overcame your affliction even as it killed you.
In other words, no one can philosophize anymore because a) no one has any source-credibility–oh what, you do??? and b) the philosophy of the happy-lucky-healthy and the philosophy of the sad-afflicted are both equally valid and maddeningly exclusive of each other.
And there’s no communication or translation between the two. It’s like different dimensions.
*Feel free to substitute “fate” or “luck” or whatever for “God” if it makes ya feel better
Sex is like food–no one food type (meat, vegetables, starches, fruit) is sufficient for a complete meal.
Therefore Islam is right–you get up to four spouses.
“But it’s gonna take at least five of these modern, wimpy, sports-escapist beer louts to satisfy this woman!”
“Sorry, under Feminislam® each person only gets up to four spouses. Men or women, doesn’t matter. It’s the “four-ness” we’re concerned about.”
“Mom, Dad, I’m getting married.”
“Oh we’re so proud and happy for you!”
“Mom, Dad, I’ve met a second spouse.”
“Oh we’re so proud!”
“Mom, Dad, I’m taking a third spouse. And a fourth. Both at the same time. Twins! It’s gonna be a wild honeymoon!”
“Oh we’re so proud–”
“–and jealous, congratulations!”
“Mom, Dad, I’m getting married to a fifth spouse next month.”
“You fucking pig!”
“You’re humiliating the whole family!”
(c) 2012, Alan Brech
The goal is to keep moving the white into the gray toward the gold away from the red.
If you get far enough (the gold keeps moving ahead of you–shh), you end up just running over those wierd pink-blues in the lower right corner (other people).
Red also moves as white moves, but red is much more clumsy about it, knocking into gray and white at the most inopportune time (anytime).
When red intersects with gray or white, depression can result. Or personal growth but fuck that. It’s easier to just get depressed and soak up the attention.
Theoretically, you should be able to expand the white until you push red and gold off the chart, but no one who’s ever done it has stuck around this place to tell us about it. The whole concept of doing that might just be another emanation from the amorphous green zone–i.e., just another loaf of bullshit glistening in the morning dew.
(c) 2012, Alan Brech
Worst professional specialty of the 24th Century: Historian specializing in 21st Century Studies.
“Basically, my job is to plow through all the pointless internet postings that survived CyberWorld War 2.0 and write unread scholarly articles about what life was really like in the 21st Century. The pay is low. Thank God some people kept using film! Those troglodytes who stuck to parchment and mercury-based inks really knew what they were doing.
“Naturally, this means the Amish are vastly over-represented in our view of the 21st Century, which is part of our job as historians to correct. Did I mention the pay is low?”
Part of a series of Great Titles that Went NOWHERE!
This is all I got: You have to share to communicate. Sharing is communist. Communication is communist.
But then someone yelled in my face that you don’t have to share to communicate you can just yell in someone’s face and not let them reply. Another great idea bites the dust…