John Cleese of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers fame is one of the funniest men alive. He’s also fearsomely smart. Beyond that, he has the vision and courage to oppose political correctness, one of the banes of comedy, creativity, and civilization itself. Thus it was an easy decision to snap up his new book, Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide (London: Hutchison, 2020), now out in paperback from Penguin. Creativity truly is a short book — I estimate about 20,000 words. It can be easily read in one sitting, and with great profit, for it is brimming with arresting insights and useful advice on cultivating one’s creativity. (more…)
December 19, 2022 Greg Johnson 6 comments
Cleese on Creativity
October 28, 2022 Greg Johnson
The following essay on Plato’s Theages is based on a transcript of a taped lecture, which I revised based on notes for two later lectures on the same dialogue that offered a more complete interpretation. I want to thank V.S. for the original transcript.
The Theages is a short Platonic dialogue that can be read as a response to Aristophanes’ Clouds. In both texts, Socrates is approached by a country gentleman to educate his son. In the Clouds, the father is insistent, the son reluctant. (more…)
June 7, 2022 Steven Clark
Veep: Seinfeld Meets Machiavelli
The Vice President of the United States: It’s a lousy job, but someone’s got to do it. So why not cut to the chase and get a lousy person?
This was the premise of the comedy series Veep, which ran from 2012-2019 on HBO, chronicling the rise and fall and semi-rise of Selena Meyer, who schemes, rules, dominates, cowers, and obfuscates her way to power. Selena, aided (and generally hindered) by her staff, carries the water for President Hughes, and is almost totally ignored except when he orders her out to show the flag, take the heat, or be his pit bull, although Selena winds up as a Chihuahua more often than not, especially when a last-minute bit of political expediency by the unseen President leaves Selene as the fall guy . . . or gal, less a pit bull than sacrificial lamb. (more…)
May 24, 2022 Spencer J. Quinn 27 comments
On Racial Humor
The 1970s and 1980s was an odd time for stand-up comedy. During this 20-year period, we saw the rise and glory years of what I would call racial humor. I define racial humor in this sense as jokes told by a racially aware comic that play upon or make fun of racial stereotypes. A comic can make fun of his own race just as easily as any other, but in all cases impresses upon the audience that his own race is one reason why the joke is funny to begin with. (more…)
Monty Python co-founder John Cleese endured a bit of a career hiccup a few days ago at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas — but this hiccup is indicative of bigger things. (more…)
January 6, 2022 Jim Goad 26 comments
Apologies are Never Funny
If, in a not-too-distant future when everything that is currently wrong with American culture has grown worse and I was forced to testify before a Senate Subcommittee Investigation to Uncover Hate in the Entertainment Industry, I would be able to present copious evidence that comedian Patton Oswalt has repeatedly referred to me as his friend over the course of several years. This is all public knowledge. (more…)
October 27, 2021 Travis LeBlanc 15 comments
The Slithering Sarah Silverman, Part 2
Part 2 of 2 (Part 1 here)
Another turn . . .
Why am I writing about Sarah Silverman in the first place? It’s because she has rebranded yet again, this time as an “anti-cancel culture” centrist (I guess?), and I think she may become dangerous in the future. She may even try to slither in our direction. (more…)
October 26, 2021 Travis LeBlanc 18 comments
The Slithering Sarah Silverman, Part 1
October 15, 2021 Travis LeBlanc 46 comments
Dave Chappelle & Anti-Israel Chic
One thing I have always admired about the British is that they know when to quit. Just think of all the legendary British bands that broke up at the height of their popularity: The Beatles, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Police, The Smiths. I’ll even throw in Led Zeppelin. They could have easily replaced John Bonham with any drummer in the world they wanted and kept going. They had won the rock and roll lottery, selling records like hot cakes and with no signs of slowing down. (more…)
September 22, 2021 Counter-Currents Radio 2 comments
Counter-Currents Radio Podcast No. 372 Greg Johnson, Jim Goad, & Thomas Steuben on America’s Decline
89 words / 2:01:47
Saturday’s episode of Counter-Currents Radio, in which Greg Johnson was joined by Jim Goad and Thomas Steuben to discuss current events, including the decline of the US military, Mark Milley’s treason, the California recall, and the late, great Norm MacDonald, is now available for download and online listening.
Topics discussed include:
00:02:30 America and China (more…)
September 16, 2021 Jim Goad 15 comments
I Didn’t Even Know He Was Sick
Norm Macdonald knew exactly what a modern comic wasn’t supposed to say. He also knew why, in these repressive times, the only remaining funny material is what you’re not supposed to say. And no one had quite the same skill in saying the ghastliest things with such an innocent twinkle in their eye.
Macdonald, who died Tuesday after nine years of very privately dealing with acute leukemia, had the finest comic mind ever spat out by Saturday Night Live. (more…)
September 13, 2021 Steven Clark 1 comment
Bread & Chocolate
Bread and Chocolate, a 1974 Italian film written and directed by Franco Brusati and starring Nino Manfredi, came when immigration was heating up in America. It reminded me of my own experience of the 1970s, when I was stationed in Germany and seeing foreign “guest workers” doing scut work everywhere, from restaurant help to loading trucks. In front of my barracks every morning, a doleful squad of Turks hopped off a truck to collect good, clean, municipal German trash while a burly German in a truck waited for them to do the drag and hassle before driving on. (more…)