Category Archives: Comedy & Humor

Black-And-Yellow Lives Matter: On Driving Your Local Liberal More Loco

Comedy & Humor, Conflict, Culture, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Left-Liberalism And Progressivisim

Context: Our mountain neighborhood is blessed with a unique layout. The lower-neighborhood stretch faces green embankments, angled at approximately 60 degrees. This lovely midsection is abutted each side by the road.

I like my incline to be natural, which means that now, the embankment is supposed to be blanketed with wild flowers. But not if the local, progressive, statist tyrant has his way, and he always does.

It has been decreed that a close shave of the neighborhood embankments be the rule, for fear of … as Basil Fawlty would screech, “Fa-Fa-Fa-fire.” That is ridiculous, because the grass is predominantly green, and, you know, … the asphalt. It acts as a firebreak.

But progressive statists are not good at loving a neighbor as thyself (one of the Ten Commandments), which means practicing the live-and-let-live motto. Neither are progressives environmentalists. When it comes down to brass tacks, they don’t much like the natural world.

But I do.

So mow we do. But we leave the lovely embankment dotted with little alien-like crop-circles of wild flowers and grasses. And, I had a signpost made to place alongside my wild flower crop-circles. It reads:

“HELP THE BEES POLLINATE
BLACK-AND-YELLOW LIVES MATTER”

In one fell-swoop, the local progressive vigilante is being taunted for his lack of brotherly bee love. Mocking the Black Lives Matter catechism is a heresy that drives this progressive prototype more loco than he already is.

 

 

FRED REED: Entropy Comes to Fairfax

Comedy & Humor, Democrats, Education, Egalitarianism, FRED REED, Intelligence, Race

Where ‘Entropy’ is Fred’s brainy cousin and Aragola Prosciutto-Salmonella is president of a high school for the gifted, in  Fairfax, Virginia. The two ‘talk.’ It all ‘makes sense like lug nuts on a birthday cake’ on account that Aragola has the ‘brains of a fried egg’

BY FRED REED

I was born in the coal country of Bluefield, West Virginia, and still have relatives there, such as my cousin Entropy McWilliams who, perhaps influenced by a journalism gene running in the family, is education columnist for the mining industry paper, the Weekly Methane. When Thomas Jefferson High in Fairfax, Virginia, America’s finest technical high school, gave up its entrance exam because it wasn´t inclusive enough, Entropy was outraged. He went to interview Aragola Prosciutto-Salmonella, a housewife and president of TJ’s school board.  The following is a transcript of his opening remarks to her. His English bears traces of the slate dumps and back-hollers where he was raised, but is generally comprehensible.

Entropy: “I read somewhere, Peach Blossom, that you and some others that probably make retarded crawdads look like that Einstein guy and the apple that fell out of a tree on his had, so he figured out not to sit under the tree, made TJ get rid of its test to get in, because it kept finding smart kids and what you thought TJ needed was dumb kids because that would make everybody equal or included.  It makes sense like lug nuts on a birthday cake. I mean, it would probably seem dimwitted at a git-together of from the backwoods that married each too much but maybe that’s what the Fairfax Country school board is made of. Anyway, Turnip Flower, I wanted to talk to you, because they say you run the school board:

“Now, Sugar Pie, it might be rude of me to say that you have the brains of a fried egg. It might be accurate, though, or maybe an exaggeration. I don’t mean to talk bad about fried eggs. They got uses. You can eat them. You are probably a nice lady. But you ain’t got a wan, etiolated, undernourished glimmer of a starveling bulimic pretext for deciding who ought to get into a school for smart kids.  You probably shouldn’t be allowed even in the next state over because you might emit some sort of cosmic effluvium that would kill brain cells.

“So what I figure, Maple Syrup, is that you and me need to figure this thing out. Let’s start by thinking about what kids at TJ are, and what they do. What they are is smart. This may be an alien concept, but you can get used to it as we go along. Maybe. What they do is worry about things like second partial derivatives and DNA replication and spdf hybrid bonding orbitals. This is hard stuff to worry about. They have to be quick in the head. Maybe you think smart means you can find your way home without asking your telephone. No. There’s more to it.

“I hear that you are on the war path because TJ doesn’t have enough colored people. Last time I looked, the school was almost all Chinese, Koreans, and Indians. Not the kind of Indians with feathers but the kind with dots. That kind of thing. Well, them’s minorities. Aren’t they colored enough? But you see, or likely don’t, they are smart. That’s why they got into TJ. And I reckon, Jelly Doughnut, that’s is why you want to keep them out. They make it too easy to see what everybody and his dog knows but can’t ever say because the FBI would show up with seven swat teams and one of them therapists ladies that looks likes she needs a boyfriend or a cat.

“What I reckon, Potato Dumpling, is that you need to figure out that not everything is the same as everything else. A beagle dog and a leaf blower is just plain different. They both got their uses. You can’t hunt possums with a leaf blower, and you can’t blow leaves with a beagle dog. At least, I never heard of anyone that could. But what you are trying to do at TJ is make beagle dogs blow leaves. They just can’t do it, not more than one leaf at a time maybe if they had a head cold and was sniffing a lot. Pretty soon they’d get discouraged, and lie down, and just not be good for much.

“Thing is, Peach Pie, kids is not all the same either. Some can hunt possums, and some can blow leaves, but can’t none do both very good. So they need to be in different places. Even a Democrat can figure thatout.

“All right, maybe that’s stretching it.

“Now the world is full of kids, Sugar Plum, and—sit down, hold on to the chair—they ain’t all the same. You’ve got black kids who can play football. They put on body armor and head covers and run into each other something marvelous. They make motingator good music and stand on their heads and spin, I think maybe it’s what they call brake dancing, and they are world class car jackers. You probably never saw a Chinese kid who could do any of it. It just ain’t in them. Chinese kids are still good people, but they’ve got their limitations.

“But the Chinese kids can do all kinds of equations and chemistry and stuff about computers. Nobody knows why. It’s just what they do. And what that means, Chocolate Drop, is that when cancer gets cured, if it’s sick, it will be someone named Egg Foo Wang or maybe Hot and Sour Ping that does it. But Hot and Sour can’t do it without learning lots of hard stuff funny little letters and tiny numbers floating on top. The black kids just don’t do this too good. Maybe they can blow leaves, though.

“The white kids don’t do numbers like the Chinese kids and don’t do music or rob cars like the black kids so they seem like stuffing in between. I’m not sure what they are for. Sometimes they get into TJ, though.

“Now why is smart important, Buckwheat? Why do kids matter who do mathematics, which is like arithmetic if you got lots of fingers and they can count in the tenth grade like usually gets done halfway through those college schools?

“Now, expecting a dumb kid to do differential equations is like expecting a alligator to play the piano. It just ain’t likely. Maybe once in a while you can find a circus alligator that can do it, and that alligator might do all right at TJ, but most likely it would turn out to be a Korean alligator. Besides, kids might disappear a lot. You got to be careful letting alligators into your school. That’s what I think, anyway.

“But we was talking about differential equations, that looks like hen tracks after a rain and can’t almost nobody understand them. But they’re real important if you want to build bridges or airplanes or space ships that can go to Mars. Now, me, Rice Pudding, I don’t much want to go to Mars because all that’s there is red sand and I figure we’ve got lots of sand here and we can paint it red cheaper.

“Now I know you want to be fair, Sunflower, and don’t want to discriminate, which is a really bad thing to do, like killing your grandmother. So you want to let kids into TJ that have the brains of a front-end loader so when they got to medical school and you need a brain operation, the doc will show up with a ice-cream scoop and a Phillips screwdriver and won’t know which end to open.

“So what’s wrong with a test to see who can cut on brains the right way? It just makes sense, but I guess we could do it anyway.

“Well, Gumdrop, I know you got your innards all in a knot because that test did what it was supposed to do and found smart kids like Mr. Spock and you think schools ought to be like prayer meetings where everybody can hold hands and love God and feel all equal. Thing is, loving the Lord and feeling all good about yourself don’t cut much ice or solve a lot of determinants.

“To tell the truth, discriminating seems like a good thing to do sometimes. It seems like most Americans just don’t like smart people and want to stuff dumb ones into just about everywhere. Well, it’s working. But who’s going to cure cancer or figure out how to get red sand from Mars if we fill TJ with kids who need a twelve-page book and two coaches to figure out how to dress themselves? I don’t get it.

“So ponder on it, Marmalade. In a computer class that’s all about bits and pieces the teacher is going to say to Wing Ling and Jin Ping and maybe sometimes to Willy Bill like this: “In a helve-and-discard search of an ordered list, the search time is proportional to the binary log of the size of the search space.” Then he says to Jimmy Jack and Sally Lou and Deewan and Lasagna, “If Mommy Beaver has three sticks and Little Bitty Baby Beaver has two sticks, how many sticks….”

“I reckon it would be lots easier just to burn the school down and have cancer and be done with it. What do you guess?”

Read Fred’s Books! Or else. We know where you sleep.

******************************************

FRED REED describes himself as [previously] a “Washington police reporter, former Washington editor for Harper’s and staff writer for Soldier of Fortune magazine, Marine combat vet from Viet Nam, and former long-haul hitchhiker, part-time sociopath, who once lived in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River from the Yankee Capital.”
His essays “on the collapse of America” Mr. Reed calls “wildly funny, sometimes wacky, always provocative.”
“Fred is the Hunter Thompson of the right,” seconds Thomas E. Ricks in Foreign Policy magazine. His  commentary is “well-written, pungent political incorrectness mixed with smart military commentary and libertarian impulses, topped off with a splash of Third World sunshine and tequila.”

FRED’S BOOKS ARE ON AMAZON, HERE

FRED’S ARTICLES ARCHIVE

Killer Kink

Hardboiled is back! (The exclamation point is to arouse wild enthusiasm int the reader, a boiling literary lust.) Gritty crime fiction by longtime police reporter for the Washington Times, who knows the police from nine years of riding with them. Guaranteed free of white wine and cheese, sensitivity, or social justice.

NEW COLUMN: ‘Tarded’ Medical Idiocrat Won’t Treat ‘Unscannables’ Like Me

Art, Comedy & Humor, COVID-19, Healthcare, Intelligence, Left-Liberalism And Progressivisim, Pseudoscience, Science

“Why come you don’t have your Covid tattoo,” he yelps, cowering in the corner, “where’s your bar code”

NEW COLUMN is “‘Tarded’ Medical Idiocrat Won’t Treat ‘Unscannables’ Like Me.” It’s currently featured on WND.COM, The Unz Review, and on The New American.

Meet Doctor Lexus (diploma via Costco):

In Idiocracy, Mike Judge’s genius of a satire (really a documentary, if you think about it), Luke Wilson plays Joe Bowers, frozen by the military in 2005, “who accidentally wakes up in 2505 to find a broken-down, thuggish America, where language has become a patois of football chants, hip-hop slang and grunts denoting rage, pleasure and priapic longing, where citizens are obese, violent, ever-horny and narcotised by consumerism.” (As I said, a documentary. Citations here.)

The “dumb-a** dystopia” depicted in “Idiocracy” has evolved (devolved, rather) because low-IQ individuals, so robust, have out-bred the intelligent (yes, Judge openly references IQ as a measure of intelligence). Consequently, nothing gets fixed. There are garbage avalanches. A Gatorade-like drink has replaced water in irrigation. Because growers don’t know better, nothing grows. …

The most watched show on the “Violence Channel” is “Ow, My B-lls!” The “highest grossing movie of all time is called ‘A**,’ and consists of 90 minutes of the same naked, hairy butt on screen.” Audiences are enraptured. All enterprises are sexualized; Starbucks offers a “full body latte.” Costco is an Ivy-League law school.

Or, a medical school, in my tale of woe. Idiocracy is the perfect metaphor for my own visit to a Washington State doctor’s office. …

And the doctor’s office has become its own obstacle course. Combine endemic, Idiocracy-like institutional rot, with the control Covid has bestowed on some exceedingly mediocre and malevolent minds—and one can never be too prepared.

In the case of this grubby little shop, the pronoun slot alone on the attendant patient forms ought to have been a portend of what was to come. My choice of pronoun would have been “grammatical” had that option been offered. Otherwise, I never dignify the pronoun charade. See below:

Washington woke would sooner flout the spirit of the  Hippocratic Oath than speak ill of the homeless grotesquerie that is unfolding on our streets. Since the term “virtue signaling” has become a cliché—a term insufficient to the task—let me offer an improvement. The progressive’s preening aims to emphasize his or her own providential purpose in the universe. To that end, progressives like to discredit the rest of us. That’s more like it

When the appointment was scheduled, not a word of warning was forthcoming about the inquisition, the third degree, that would ensue at the front desk on the day of the visit. I’m healthy, masked and without fever. That ought to have been the end of it.

It was not. Shoved in my face on a stark sheet of paper, bereft of the office’s masthead, was the demand for my vaccination status. Well, of course. Doctor Lexus (diploma via Costco) wasn’t owning this disgrace. This was nothing to boast about.

I refused to divulge my vaccination status. …

READ ON. NEW COLUMN is “‘Tarded’ Medical Idiocrat Won’t Treat ‘Unscannables’ Like Me.” It’s currently featured on WND.COM, The Unz Review, and The New American.

 

 

Satire In The Big Easy: ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ By John Kennedy Toole

BAB's A List, Barely A Blog, Comedy & Humor, Culture, English, Juvenal Early's Archive, Literature

The plot concerns Ignatius’s long war of attrition against the 20th Century ~ Juvenal Early

By Juvenal Early

New Orleans (N’awlins, as they say in the South) has always been a city full of characters.  Port cities are like that, and, as the Mississippi River’s window on the world, New Orleans has been the ne plus ultra of character cities, throughout its colorful history. It’s a veritable bouillabaisse of Acadians, swarthy Mediterranean types, rednecks, Cajuns, Creoles, Africans, Arabs, and anyone else who ever went down to the sea in ships. The most Catholic of cities, New Orleans did Carnival so well, its Mardi Gras became a major industry. Throw in jazz, politics, the Mafia, the flesh trade, and several quirky genius chefs, and you’ve got an unusually high quotient of characters.

Set in The Big Easy, John Kennedy Toole’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel A Confederacy of Dunces (© 1976), gave the world Ignatius J. Reilly, a latter-day Thomist, a Medievalist, a Grand Inquisitor, a man for whom the standard New Orleans character was degeneracy incarnate. Given his druthers, Ignatius would’ve chosen to live in a world purged of said characters. Fictional though he was, Ignatius has ended up becoming perhaps the grandest New Orleans character of them all. In homage, the real people of New Orleans erected a statue to Ignatius, and right on Canal Street.

Ignatius is fat, unkempt, lives with his mother, is a perpetual student of Medieval philosophy, and critic pop culture. He complains constantly about the misery visited upon him by his faulty pyloric valve (abused as it is, by Ignatius’s diet). As described in the book’s first paragraph, he is distinguished by his odd dress: baggy pleated trousers, oversized flannel shirt, a scarf, and topped off by a green hunting cap with earflaps—all this, mind you, in one of the capitals of The Long Hot Summer.

The plot concerns Ignatius’s long war of attrition against the 20th Century. The elevated language he spouts in defense of his worldview—and the way people react to it—makes for non-stop Rabelaisian pageantry.

A Confederacy of Dunces is a picaresque novel, lurching hilariously from one episode to the next, from one lively conversation to another. Ignatius is a man who can attract the wrong kind of attention just by waiting for his mother in front of a store. Whenever he speaks to people—which is often—he gets deeper into trouble. Completely without self-awareness, he insults virtually everyone whose path he crosses, assuming they’ll take it as constructive criticism from someone who obviously knows better. By the end of the book, he’s pissed off everyone to high heaven, and they all want a piece of him. The clashes and conflicts, conflated into his conversation, makes for some of the best social satire of the Sixties.

Irene Reilly wants her son to get a job. Setbacks old and new have depleted the family nest egg, and they need a new revenue source. As man of the house, Ignatius must sally forth and be the breadwinner, but his long college training in Boethius and the Middle Ages have fitted him for nothing outside of academics, and he burned his bridges there long ago. What to do? Reluctantly, Ignatius, age 30, begins his search.

He quickly lucks into a job with Levy Pants, a moribund sweatshop. The loyal but dull-witted office manager, impressed by Ignatius’s pompous language, hires him as a file clerk. Whereupon Ignatius dumps the company records in the garbage, fills the file cabinets with plants, and writes insulting letters to the company’s biggest customers. For good measure, he organizes the labor force—mostly black—and impels them to attack the company office, the vanguard holding a banner—made from one of Ignatius’s crusted sheets—proclaiming a “Crusade for Moorish Dignity.” He is, of course, summarily fired.

Next, Ignatius finds work pushing a hotdog cart for Paradise Vendors, Inc., and, of course, he ends up eating much more than he sells. His pyloric valve, as he tells everyone, completely shuts down. Dressed up as a pirate—head bandanna, sash, plastic cutlass, and earring—he roams the French Quarter, looking to cash in on the tourist trade (ironic, of course, since most tourists come to the French Quarter specifically for the great variety of Creole, Cajun, and Southern cooking). He catches the eye of a prominent member of the gay community—a sodomite, as Ignatius would say. Initially appalled, Ignatius hits on a brainstorm. If gays can be organized politically, they will eventually take over. Taking power, they will also control the military, rendering it effeminate, ineffective, and fabulous! A non-aggressive US Army means World Peace. It all fits into Ignatius’s master plan. (Hey! It’s not all that farfetched.) Ignatius sets to work with predictable results.

There is much more: the conflict at home with his mother; forays to the local movie palace, where he declaims loudly about the degradation of cinematic art; a couple visits to The Night of Joy, a Bourbon Street skin joint, where Ignatius hopes Boethius will save the world from its worst appetites. The plot builds and builds to the inevitable denouement and the unlikely Deus Ex Machina.

Most scenes are replete with wonderfully lively dialogue, at once zany and…well, altogether real. Toole knew his hometown and he captures the peculiar Brooklynese patois heard among certain of its down-market denizens (think Stanley Kowalski). Wondrous too is the elevated pomposity of Ignatius, truculence as poetry. As a special bonus, Toole throws in Mr Burma Jones, doubtless the greatest black character ever created by a white writer.

But why take my word for it. Let the book speak for itself.

There is conflict:

“You got any identification, mister?” the policeman asked…

“What?” Ignatius looked down upon the badge on the blue cap. “Who are you?

“Let me see your driver’s license.”

“I don’ t drive. Will you kindly go away? I am waiting for my mother.”

“What’s this hanging out your bag?”

“What do you think it is, stupid?  It’s a string for my lute.”

“What’s that?” The policeman drew back a little. “Are you local?”

“Is it the part of the police department to harass me when this city is a flagrant vice capital of the civilized world?” Ignatius bellowed over the crowd in front of the store. “This city is famous for its gamblers, prostitutes, exhibitionists, anti-Christs, alcoholics, sodomites, drug addicts, fetishists, onanists, pornographers, frauds, jades, litterbugs, and lesbians, all of whom are only too well protected by graft. If you have a moment, I shall endeavor to discuss the crime problem with you, but don’t make the mistake of bothering me.”

Movie commentary (during a public screening):

Popcorn spilled down his shirt and gathered in the folds of his trousers. “What degenerate produced this abortion?”

“Shut up,” someone said behind him.

“Just look at those smiling morons!” …

When a love scene appeared to be developing, he bounded up out of his seat and stomped up the aisle to the candy counter for more popcorn, but as he returned to his seat, the two big pink figures were just preparing to kiss.

“They probably have halitosis,” Ignatius announced over the heads of children. “I hate to think of the obscene places that those mouths have doubtlessly been before.”

Criticism of the Ladies Art Club:

“Oh, my God!” Ignatius bellowed…” How dare you present such abortions to the public!”

“Please move along, sir,” a bold lady said…

“You ladies need a course in botany. And perhaps geometry, too.”

“You don’t have to look at our work,” an offended voice said…

“Yes, I do!” Ignatius screamed. “You ladies need a critic with some taste and decency…The water in this bowl looks like motor oil.”

Helpful Race Relations:

“Shit! You think I like the Night of Joy? Ooo-wee. I wanna get someplace. I want to get someplace good, be gainfully employ, make me a livin wage.”

“Just as I suspected,” Ignatius said angrily. “In other words, you want to become totally bourgeois. You people have all been brainwashed. I imagine you’d like to become a success or something equally vile.”

“Hey, now you gettin me. Whoa!”

“I really don’t have the time to discuss the errors of your value judgements.”

Don’t forget LGBT:

“Please be serious for a moment. Stop fluttering around here.”

“Moi? Fluttering? What do you want, Gypsy Woman?”

“Have you people thought of forming a political party and running a candidate?”

“Politics? Oh, Maid of Orleans. How dreary.”

“This is very important!” Ignatius shouted …”you may hold the key to the future.”

“Well, what do you want to do about it, Eleanor Roosevelt?”

“You must start a party organization. Plans must be made.”

“Oh, please,” the young man sighed…

“You may be able to save the world!” Ignatius bellowed in an orator’s voice….

“This kind of conversation depresses me more than you could ever imagine,” the young man told him.

And the aforementioned Burma Jones at the Night of Joy:

“You oughta tell your customer use they ashtray, tell them peoples you workin a man in here below the minimal wage. Maybe they be a little considerate.’

“Listen here, Jones” Lana Lee (said)…” All I gotta do is phone the police and report you’re out of work. You understand me?”

“And I tell the po-lice the Night of Joy a glorify cathouse. I fall in a trap when I come to work in this place. Whoa! Now I jus waitin to get some kind of evidence. When I do, I really gonna flap my mouth at the precinct.”

“Watch your tongue.”

“Times changin,” Jones said, adjusting his sunglasses. “You cain scare color peoples no more. I got me some peoples form a human chain in front of your door, drive away your business, get you on TV news.”

When Ignatius is home alone, he fills Big Chief writing tablets with his unique invective, gems of nihilism, as his half-foe/half-ally Myrna Minkoff describes it:

I can at last describe to you our factory…The scene which met my eyes was at once compelling and repelling. The original sweatshop has been preserved for posterity at Levy Pants. If only the Smithsonian Institution, that grab-bag of our nation’s refuse, could somehow vacuum-seal the Levy Pants factory and transport it to the capital of the United States of America, each worker frozen in an attitude of labor, the visitors to that questionable museum would defecate into their garish tourist outfits. It is a scene which combines the worst of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis; it is mechanized Negro slavery; it represents the progress which the Negro has made from picking cotton to tailoring it.

You won’t want to put this novel down. But you also won’t want to rush through it.  You’ll want to savor every dialogue. There’s nothing else like it. Sadly.

Everyone loves this novel. Everyone I know who’s read it is also saddened, disappointed, and angered to know that it’s all we’ve got. John Kennedy Toole spent most of the 60s writing A Confederacy of Dunces and trying to get it published. Failing in the latter, he took his own life in 1969. His mother, believing ardently in her son’s genius, shopped the manuscript around, until she was finally able to press it into the hands of another Louisiana novelist, Walker Percy. In the novel’s preface, Percy describes how he reluctantly took up the dog-eared pages and was dismayed, after reading the first few pages, to find that it wasn’t bad enough to dismiss. He read on and gradually came to relish its genius. He managed to find a publisher for it, and a year later it won the Pulitzer Prize.  See if you don’t think it’s not the funniest novel you’ve ever read.

I could say a lot more about the book. Subplots involving a half-dozen of the novel’s eccentrics; Toole’s not-so-hidden messages; the sexual tension between Ignatius and Myrna Minkoff; strippers and cockatoos; theology, geometry, and the consolation of philosophy. But in the end, it’s just a great book to read. What’s it all mean? Who knows? Just read it.

With apologies to Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer (which is the great Mardi Gras novel), A Confederacy of Dunces is the great New Orleans novel.

*******

“Juvenal Early” is a contributor to Barely A Blog. His first essay was “The Dissident Right Has An Idiocracy Problem.” It made waves! He has a BAB archive.