Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category


“Friends, let me pause here to bask in the moment. The last time Brandon Belt hit a grand slam, I was driving. I pulled my car over at the beginning of his at-bat to send a tweet that said ‘Give me a Brandon Belt grand slam or give me death.’ After which Belt, of course, hit a grand slam. As Belt came up to the plate tonight, I found that tweet and sent it out again. Not two seconds later, he hit his second career grand slam. I’m not saying I caused it, but I’m also not NOT saying that.”

–Sami Higgins, McCovey Chronicles

(writing about the G-men’s throttling of the Phoenix — not Arizona — Venomous Reptiles tonight)



“They say it ain’t guns that kill people, it’s people that kill people.
But having a gun sure helps.”

–from the novel FKA USA


(The Quanderhorn Xperimentations, by Rob Grant and Andrew Marshall. London: Gallancz, 2019, 16.99 pounds, 464 pp.)

reviewed by Zeke Teflon

(First, a cautionary note: Don’t expect an overly discerning review; I read this book in the wee hours of several mornings while in a semi-zombified state due to ongoing insomnia. Those not blessed with that affliction can achieve a similar state through ingestion of too many IPAs, through smoking copious amounts of Humboldt Paralysis Weed or, preferably, through combining the two approaches.)

When I saw this book, I said to myself, “Self, ya gotta read this thing!” There were two immediate attractions: the name of the book, an obvious reference to the early Quatermass sci-fi films (derived from the BBC TV series), the first of which (1955) is titled The Quartermass Xperiment; and the name of one of the co-authors, Rob Grant, co-creator with Doug Naylor of what is, hands down, the funniest sci-fi comedy series ever produced, Red Dwarf. (If you’ve never seen it, the first six series are gems, as is series 8.)

The promo copy on the back cover of The Quanderhorn Xperimentations gives a good indication of its contents: “Adapted backwards from the future from the Radio 4 series before it was made.” In other words, the book’s interior — I hesitate to call it a novel — consists primarily of absurdist humor.

In this it somewhat resembles Red Dwarf, as it does in other respects: it treats some similar sci-fi tropes (e.g., time travel, polymorphic life forms); has frequent one-liners; running gags; character-based and oftentimes crude humor; and uses humorous organizational names and their consequent acronyms. (My favorite from Red Dwarf is the Committee for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitation Into Society — you can work that one out for yourselves.) One other similarity is that Quanderhorn lifts at least one joke — concerning the disposal of human remains — almost word for word from Red Dwarf (S1E1); there might be others, but I didn’t spot them.

Quanderhorn Xperimentations does, however, differ significantly from Red Dwarf in four ways: the characters in Red Dwarf are much stronger; the Red Dwarf episodes are much more coherent than any portion, let alone the whole, of Quanderhorn; as a result of those two things it’s almost always possible to suspend disbelief while viewing Red Dwarf, no matter how funny or how absurd the situation, and it’s simply not possible to do that with The Quanderhorn Xperimentations; and a lot of the humor in Red Dwarf is quite witty, something largely lacking in Quanderhorn.

As for the differences between Quanderhorn Xperimentations and the Quatermass films, there are several, the primary ones being: the Quatermass films were straight-up sci-fi, while The Quanderhorn Xperimentations is a work of absurdist humor with a sci-fi background; the Quatermass films featured a superhero-like primary character, Bernard Quatermass, who was both brilliant and ethical, while the corresponding character in The Quanderhorn Xperimentations, Darius Quanderhorn, is a callous, narcissistic evil genius.

Still, while The Quanderhorn Xperimentations falls short of both Red Dwarf and the Quatermass films, there’s enough humor in it to make it worth reading if you’re in the mood for an exceedingly light, undemanding read.

Recommended for Red Dwarf aficionados, fans of absurdist humor, insomniacs, zombies, and those who like to read after quaffing too many IPAs and inhaling the combustion products of burning Paralysis Weed.

* * *

Zeke Teflon is the author of Free Radicals: A Novel of Utopia and Dystopia (large pdf sample here). His latest book is the compilation Godless: 150 Years of Disbelief, published by PM Press, and when the insomnia let’s up and he’s relatively coherent, Zeke is working on the sequel to Free Radicals, an unrelated sci-fi novel, a nonfiction book on the seamier sides of Christianity, and an anarchist compilation for PM.

Free Radicals front cover

 

 


Paul Krassner, editor of The Realist and a co-founder of the Yippies, died yesterday at 87. There are undoubtedly many detailed obits on other sites, so I’ll confine myself here to a brief recollection of the single hour I spent interviewing him in 1978. It was at the American Heroes Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, which was sponsored (I believe) by the producers of the godawful, and deservedly long-forgotten, movie, “A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich,” a showing of which was the main event at the conference on Saturday night.

There were several famous people at the conference, and my late friend Mike Hughes and I interviewed Krassner, William Kunstler, and Timothy Leary for our college newspaper, the BSU Arbiter, which at the time was a good, independent college paper (prior to being ruined by the journalism department). The interviews have vanished into the mists of time; I stuffed my copies into a drawer about 30 years ago, and when I finally opened it I discovered that the papers had been partially eaten by cockroaches. (It could have been by interdimensional alien visitors, but my money is on the cockroaches.)

All that I remember of the interviewees is that I liked Krassner by far the best. He was gracious, relaxed, and extremely funny.

As a way of saying goodbye, here’s probably the second most famous thing that ever appeared in Krassner’s Realist. (The most famous — which earned him the undying hatred of many — was the satirical piece he ran shortly after the Kennedy assassination in 1963, describing Lyndon Johnson fucking Kennedy’s corpse in the neck wound on the plane ride back to Washington.)

One Nation Under God Graphic from The Realist

Farewell Paul. The world is a poorer place for your passing.

 

 

 


PM Press just published my latest book, Godless: 150 Years of Disbelief, which I compiled/edited. Here’s their description of the book:
Godless is a compilation of wide-ranging texts, both hilarious and horrifying, on atheism, belief, and religion. The selections in the book appeared in various formats from the late nineteenth century through the early twenty-first, and their authors were often active in the anarchist, Marxist, or radical leftist movements of their day. Derived from printed pamphlets, books by small publishers, and essays that appeared in widely distributed newspapers, these texts serve as freethinking propaganda in a media war against morbid authoritarian doctrines.
With both a sophisticated analysis of inconsistencies in deistic beliefs and a biting satirical edge, Godless gives ammunition to those fighting fundamentalist bigotry—and more than a few reasons to abandon Christianity.
Readers previously familiar with the authors’ political polemics will be rewarded in contemplating another side of their remarkable literary output. Contributors include Emma Goldman, Ambrose Bierce, Chaz Bufe, E. Haldeman-Julius, Earl Lee, Johann Most, Joseph McCabe, Matilda Gage, Pamela Sutter, S.C. Hitchcock, and Sébastien Faure.

* * *

PM is offering a 50% discount on Godless (with the coupon code JULY) until July 31.

And speaking of 50% discounts, See Sharp Press’s 50% off sale on all books (and even greater discounts on our anarchist and atheist pamphlet collections) continues, but will end this coming Sunday, July 31.

Joke of the Day 6-11-19

Posted: June 11, 2019 in Humor, Jokes, Skepticism

–from Seattle Propane’s Wallingford Sign