Because It Is a Monday, and We May Need a Humor Break . . .

I give you this. My favorite part:

The third section is both incoherent and unconvincing. The long digression regarding the work of Richard Wagner is hardly appropriate; again, the author’s personal animosities are unpleasant to have to wade through. I would much rather see a return to the style of his earlier The Birth of Tragedy, which seemed to me altogether more sure-footed in its following of the transcendental achievements of Schopenhauer and Kant, which the author has sadly turned away from.

(Via John Protevi.)

Joke of the Day

Since the hardworking staff at this blog has taken an interest in intellectual jokes, here is a good one:

Two scientists walk into a bar

The first scientist says ‘I’ll have a glass of H2O.”

The second scientist says ‘I’ll have a glass of water too. Wh… why did you say H2O? Like, I know it’s the chemical formula for water and all, but it’s the end of the day and there’s really no need to intentionally over-complicate things like that in a situation outside of work”

The first scientist stares at his drink, angry that his assassination plan has failed.

In Which Edgar Allan Poe Pays Homage to the Chicago Blackhawks

After the Chicago Blackhawks triumphed this evening over the Boston Bruins, winning the Stanley Cup in a six game series, the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe visited me and demanded that I take down the following poem that he composed in praise of my hometown Blackhawks. I offer it now for your reading and reciting pleasure. Admittedly, Poe is out of practice when it comes to composing poems, given that he has been dead for 164 years, but I think that he still has enough of the old magic left in him to make poetry lovers sit up and take notice.

Anyway, without further ado, I give you Poe, resurrected: 

Once upon an evening dreary, with the Bruins, beat and weary,
With their faces sad and teary and hearts dragging on the floor.
While the Blackhawks celebrated, the Bruins to their foes migrated,
Even though they truly hated what for them was now in store.
"Tap, tap tap," did the Bruins on the Blackhawks' locker door.
"Away," said the Blackhawks. "You saw the score."

"Oh Blackhawks," said the Brui
ns. "You have brought us woe and ruin.
"Brought shame upon our crew and have achieved a higher score.
"But now, we've come to ask you, to charge, request and task you.
"Corey Crawford, put on your mask, you, and let's go and play some more.
"Give us another chance at Stanley, and let's go and play some more."
Quoth the Blackhawks, "NEVERMORE!"

"Blackhawks," said Team Boston. "Your obstinance is costin'
"Us redemption. We know we've lost and we've no right to anything more.
"But upon us take some pity, because our souls now feel quite s****y,
"There's despair within our city, another shot we do implore.
"To take the Stanley Cup another shot we do implore."
Quoth the Blackhawks, "NEVERMORE!"

"Blackhawks," cried Team Beantown. "You know, you're being mean now.
"If only you could have seen how Bostonians are sick and sore.
"We are beaten now in hockey, but Solo said 'don't get cocky,'
"Clubber Lang once gave Rocky a chance to even the score.
"We're admittedly not from Philly, but we want to even the score."
Quoth the Blackhawks, "NEVERMORE!"

"Blackhawks," screamed Massachusetts. "We know that it's quite useless
"To chew your ears off since we're toothless after hockey fights galore.
"Instead, your ears entreat we, your championship conceit we
"Seek to use to cause deceit; we want to play one series more.
"Oh come now, in your hubris, consent to just one series more."
Quoth the Blackhawks, "NEVERMORE!"

And with that, the Bruins scattered, with the Blackhawks not quite flattered
To think that Boston's begging mattered. There wouldn't be one series more.
Lord Stanley's Cup made bolder the great City of Big Shoulders,
Which has the Field of Soldiers where the Bears will Packers gore.
Let's now look to autumn, when the Bears will Packers gore,
And win Chicago championships more.


All Hail Kambiz Hosseini

If you were an Iranian living in Iran, you would seek some sanity in the midst of all of the lunacy your own government keeps inundating you with. Thankfully, Kambiz Hosseini is dedicated to spreading sanity

In the world of Iranian actor Kambiz Hosseini, almost everything about his country's presidential elections is side-splittingly funny.

"Becoming the president of Iran is like making a James Bond movie," Hosseini said in a recent CBCRadio program. "The characters stay the same, but they just keep changing the actors." He goes on to single out each one of the eight men selected last month by Iran's Guardian Council to contend for the presidency, leaving no one unblemished.

Hosseini's scathing and hysterical news podcast, is an essential part of the weekly media diet of Iran's middle class. Produced by the New York-based 
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, and incorporating sound bites from the week's headlines and commentary from Hosseini, the show channels the pathos of a generation desperate to intervene in a meaningful way in Iran's political charades.

Gaining access to Hosseini's show can be a complicated affair for Iranians. In Iran's capital, Tehran, years of Internet censorship and a crackdown on independent media that intensified after the 2009 Green Movement have transformed the way Iranians consume media. In a thriving city of 12 million, unfettered access to the Internet and satellite television channels has long been out of reach. Yet with less than a week before the nation goes to the polls to elect a new president, the appetite for independent political commentary in Iran is perhaps at its highest point in the last four years, only to be met with increased government censorship of websites like Facebook, YouTube, and Google.

It's perhaps difficult for web and media savvy Americans to imagine what its like to consume news in Iran.

"People are sick and tired of the state-run agencies with anchors who sit in front of them and deliver news with this dry structure," Hosseini says. Full of energy and always talking at lightening speed on his weekly podcast, the Hosseini that sits before me at a Starbucks in lower Manhattan is more contemplative. Nicknames and political debauchery aside, the longer arch of Hosseini's career reflects someone genuinely interested in how acting and journalism can play out in the political arena.

Here's hoping that more people like Hosseini speak up, make Iranians laugh, offer them some relief from their day-to-day troubles, and bring about genuine and positive sociopolitical change in the country. Iran deserves no less.

Tumbling 'Round the Intertubes--May 27, 2013

1. The Urban Dictionary makes it to the courtroom.

2. A Franco-American Memorial Day commemoration.

3. Yes. Let's.

4. Since this links to a spoiler FAQ, you obviously should not read it if you want to avoid spoilers. But you should read it if (a) you don’t care about avoiding spoilers; and (b) you want to laugh so hard that you pull a gut muscle or several.