The end of the year always brings with it retrospectives on the preceding months. We’ll start off with this sampling of January’s Best.
HARRY FLASHMAN NOVELS – My reviews of George MacDonald Fraser’s series of Flashman novels have been very popular items. January saw three items:
FLASHMAN (1969) – CLICK HERE
FLASHMAN AND THE REDSKINS (1982) – CLICK HERE
FLASHMAN ON THE GOLD COAST – CLICK HERE
ROBERT GINTY MOVIE MARATHON – Six of the most psychotronic movies from the one and only Robert Ginty.
White Fire, The Exterminator, Warrior of the Lost World, Goldraiders, Exterminator 2 and Scarab. CLICK HERE
PUCK MAGAZINE: ROBBER BARONS THEN AND NOW – CLICK HERE
PUCK MAGAZINE: THEODORE ROOSEVELT – CLICK HERE
FACULTY LOUNGE FASCIST ROUNDUP: JANUARY 21st – Yet another look at the Theater of the Absurd known as the United States “Educational” System. CLICK HERE
DENNIS QUAID FILM FESTIVAL – Five films of the biggest DQ this side of Dairy Queen. CLICK HERE
SHARYL ATTKISSON ON FALSE STORIES IN THE “NEWS” – CLICK HERE
GENTLEMAN JEKYLL AND DRIVER HYDE (1950) – One of Canada’s most bizarrely entertaining film shorts. CLICK HERE
MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY QUIZ – CLICK HERE
THE PARSIFAL MOSAIC (1982) – My review of the Robert Ludlum novel. CLICK HERE
THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR – From one of my replies to reader questions. CLICK HERE Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog examines yet another ancient Greek comedy which has survived only in fragmentary form.
The Ruins of the Theater of Dionysus in Athens.
COTTABUS PLAYERS (c 420s B.C.) – This comedy was written by Ameipsias, whose career as an Athenian comic poet ran from approximately the 420s B.C. to the 390s B.C. In the Dionysia Festival of 423 B.C. he won 2nd Place for his comedy Connus and in 414 B.C’s Dionysia he won 1st place for The Revelers. Ameipsias also won 1st place at a Lenaea Festival but the year and title of his entry are not known.
Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog will remember that Cottabus was a party game in ancient Athens and had two variations. The “lesser” variation involved the hard-drinking guests (and virtually ALL guests at ancient Athenian parties were hard-drinking) throwing the wine-lees at the bottoms of their cups at a plate balanced on a pole, with the winner being the one who knocked the plate off the pole.
The “greater” variation, to the proud, sea-faring Athenians, who “ruled the waves” long before Britons came along, involved throwing their wine-lees at plates floating in a pool, with the winner being the one who sank each plate. This small-scale equivalent of naval warfare was, according to Athenaeus, the more prestigious version and was characteristic of a more “high-end” party.
The all-important Chorus of this comedy by Ameipsias was presumably a set of rowdy, drunken Cottabus players. Let’s take a look at what can be gleaned from the surviving fragments:
** The comedy’s characters were SO drunk (“How drunk were they?”) they were using their projectile vomiting instead of wine-lees to sink the floating plates. Continue reading
Joe Biden’s hilariously bizarre but endlessly entertaining political campaign continues. Nibbling on his wife’s fingers while she was trying to deliver a speech on his behalf, telling pervy stories about little kids rubbing his “hairy legs” around a public swimming pool, claiming he comes from “the black community” and that he went to “an HBCU,” Joe always brings the crazy.
Sometimes it’s not his fault, like when his dentures came loose during one of the televised debates, his grotesquely bloody eye during another debate, Obama preferring to endorse Canada’s Prime Minister while snubbing Joe, etc. But for every time fate makes Joe’s buffoonish nature impossible to ignore there are plenty of other times when he is the author of his own destruction. Well, destruction plagiarized from someone else, anyway.
Biden’s inept coverup of his and his son Hunter’s corruption, the inane “gang member Corn Pop” tall tale, and so much more came to mind when I learned Quid Pro Joe’s newest slogan: “No Malarkey!” Seriously. THAT’S what he and his staff came up with. I guess they feel that slogan is the bee’s knees. Or the cat’s pajamas.
If you’re going to use a pathetic and outdated expression like “No Malarkey” you should at least go all the way and add “Dagnabit!” at the end of it. C’mon, Joe! Commit to the bit!
Will Joe’s opponents for the Democrats’ nomination escalate things? Will they announce new slogans like “No balderdash!”, “No hooey!”, “23 Skidoo” or “I’m what made us wiser than the Kaiser?” Should voters watch out for “Oh, rubbish!” or “Stuff and nonsense!” or a dangerously succinct “Nertz!” This could spiral out of control if they’re not careful. One of them may even resurrect “No horseplay!” in response to Joe’s creepy public pool story and his pervy confession that he loves it when children jump in his lap.
I can’t wait for insider accounts of the Biden campaign so I can read all about the bitter in-fighting over whether or not to use an exclamation point or a more statesmanlike period after Malarkey in that slogan. And did Joe’s advisers warn him that Americans might not be ready for a Malarkey-denier in the White House?
It remains to be seen if Biden’s new zero tolerance policy regarding Malarkey will be the game-changer he feverishly hopes it will be, but in the meantime “No Malarkey” has joined Wendell Wilkie’s “No man is good three times” as my favorite absurd campaign slogan.
Happy Thanksgiving from Balladeer’s Blog and my very special guest J.J. Abrams (left). Yes, I know that’s Harold Lloyd. I’m a Silent Movie geek, remember?
J.J. is thankful that there are still plenty of successful movie and television franchises left for him to tamper with and utterly destroy.
But hey, lens flares! Amirite? Continue reading
One of Balladeer’s Blog’s biggest hits in recent years was my look at 55 Hilariously Wrong Predictions From Psychics (click HERE ). You readers have been asking for more, so here we go with predictions for 1975-2000:
*** By 1979 the United States will have a war with China.
*** New York city will be uninhabitable by 1980 because of rising water levels. People are STILL trying to sell that one. They just keep pushing the alleged time period further and further into the future.
*** By 1980 social drinking will virtually come to an end in America due to health consciousness.
*** By 1979 M.D.’s will ally themselves with faith healers. (Maybe as a Bowling League, but certainly in no other way)
*** By 1990 psychics will hold important government positions as intuition and clairvoyance become more important.
*** During the 1980s consumption of the chemicals in food will cause generations of freakishly tall people. Their abnormal size will weaken their bodies and personalities.
*** By the mid-1980s both America and the Soviet Union will try to colonize the moon, leading to military “police actions” on the moon itself. Continue reading
Filed under humor, opinion
Jessi at Mindless Entertainment does a terrific sendup of the idiotic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and equally idiotic SJW’s (Sociopathic Joyless Weirdos). AOC embodies the old saying about someone being “always wrong but never in doubt.” Check out Jessi’s work and please subscribe to her channel HERE
ETHAN VAN SCIVER: HUMAN SUNBEAM
Okay, I’m being tongue in cheek with that title, but Van Sciver seems to have the same oddball sense of humor that I do so I figured why not? Ethan Van Sciver’s livestreams about pop culture are as addictive as they are entertaining.
Like so many others I found myself binge-listening to as many as I could do per day for several weeks and now I’m among the many waiting with anticipation for the next day’s installment.
Van Sciver has spent nearly three decades in the comic book industry as an artist and writer. Most of his time was spent at DC with legendary runs on Green Lantern and Flash, but in recent years “Uncle Ethan” as he’s called has become one of the leaders of the indy comic book “Outlaws” going their own way to create works free of the toxic influence of the Big Two publishers. Continue reading