classic satire

The Problem of Hypotheticals

Martial, Epigrams 12.92

You are wont, Priscus, to ask me often
What sort of fellow I would be
If I were to come into riches, or
If I were suddenly given power.
Do you think there’s anyone alive
Who could say how his character will turn out?
Tell me, if you should become a lion,
What sort of creature would you be?

Saepe rogare soles, qualis sim, Prisce, futurus,
     Si fiam locuples simque repente potens.
Quemquam posse putas mores narrare futuros?
     Dic mihi, si fias tu leo, qualis eris?

Lion and Python, Antoine-Louis Barye, ca. 1863


SOCRATES: In the magnificent oration which you have just uttered, I think that you were right, my dear Agathon, in proposing to speak of the nature of Love first and afterwards of his works–that is a way of beginning which I very much approve. And as you have spoken so eloquently of his nature, may I ask you further, Whether love is the love of something or of nothing? And here I … yes, Glaucon?

GLAUCON: Is it of something?

SOCRATES: Yes, Glaucon, that’s what we’re getting to, but first I must explain myself… did you have a question, Aristophanes?

ARISTOPHANES: Going off of what Glaucon said, I was going to say that it’s probably something, too.

SOCRATES: …Right. But I must explain myself: I do not want you to say that love is the love of a father or the love of a mother–that would be ridiculous; but to answer as you would, if I asked is a father a father of something? to which you would … What is it, Phaedrus?

PHAEDRUS: This might not be right, but I think it’s that love is the love of a father or a mother?

ARISTOPHANES: Yeah, going off of what Phaedrus said, I think people love their fathers and mothers.

AGATHON: I agree.

SOCRATES: …Right, but – Okay, let me try something else. Is not a brother to be regarded essentially as a brother of something?




PHAEDRUS: Could you repeat the question?

SOCRATES: What I said was, is not a brother … Yes, Glaucon?

GLAUCON: This isn’t actually about this, but I was wondering if you could tell me what you mean by “justice.”

AGATHON: Wait, what page are we on?


Murderers at the Movies: 

Ted Bundy-Friday the 13th-Art Norman, a forensic psychiatrist who spent countless hours with Bundy at Florida State Prison said that the serial killer was “devastated” after watching Friday the 13th. The classic slasher movie left him “stimulated to the point that he was almost out of control.” 

Joel Rifkin-Frenzy-Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller would ultimately inspire the New York serial killer to begin his murderous rampage. 

The Zodiac-The Exorcist-In one of his infamous letters to the San Fransisco Chronicle, the mysterious serial killer wrote that the horror classic was “the best satirical comedy” he’s ever seen. 

Jeffrey Dahmer-The Exorcist Three-The Milwaukee Cannibal forced his victims to watch this horror movie with him before meeting their ultimate demise. He later told psychiatrists that he identified with the demon in the film, and wanted the kind of power he possessed. He even went so far as to wear yellow contacts to make his eyes look like demon’s from the movie. 

The Signs as Types of Humor!

Aries: Slapstick Humor

Taurus: Unexpected/Random Humor

Cancer: Classic Jokes/Light Humor

Gemini: Witty Humor

Leo: Anecdotal Humor

Virgo: Satirical Humor

Libra: Puns

Scorpio: Dark Humor

Sagittarius: Blunt Humor

Capricorn: Dry Humor

Aquarius: Sarcasm

Pisces: Self-Deprecating Humor

ajkline  asked:

My boyfriend and I have wanted to start Discworld for AGES and I keep seeing all these flowcharts of the proper reading order, but none of them match each other. Is there a proper order in which to read the books, or is Discworld a series you can just read as you find the books?

Oh man, flowcharts are a dime-a-dozen and everyone has their favorite ‘series’ within the discworld books. There isn’t a correct place to start, but if you’re planning on reading multiple books then you’d want to start at the beginning of a series. 

So like, the earliest books that Pratchett wrote were focused Rincewind, who is a terrible wizard and does a lot of running away and manages to see a lot of the world in the process. I don’t recommend starting here because the first few are some of Pratchett’s oldest books and therefore lack the kind of cleverness and subtlety that he becomes famous for. But the Rincewind books are, in order:

The Color of Magic (deals with tourism/travel story, dragons, kind of classic fantasy satire)
The Light Fantastic (directly follows tCoM, apocalyptic story, cthulu/lovecraftian mythos)
Sourcery (old-fashion epic high fantasy satire, like Conan the Barbarian)
Eric (directly follows Sourcery, parody of the story of Faust)
Interesting Times (basically the Conan-the-barbarian-equivalent is trying to take over discworld’s China-equivalent and dragging Rincewind along)
The Last Continent (time travel and Crocodile Dundee parody)
The Last Hero (illustrated story— aged heroes are going to blow up Discworld’s mount olympus-equivalent because they’re pissed the way life turned out— Rincewind has to stop them)
Unseen Academicals (not really Rincewind book, but wizard-centric and deals with the wizard’s university. sports culture and the fashion industry)

Another series of his focuses on the character Death, who TALKS IN ALL CAPS and is generally a pretty nice guy who finds humanity interesting. These books have a lot of existential discussions and what it means to be human— plus Susan, Death’s granddaughter, shows up later and she’s FANTASTIC; very smart and wit so sharp she could cut you with it, and the ability to see through every kind of bullshit.

Mort (Death gets an apprentice so that he can experience living like a human, the apprentice keeps trying to save this chick he likes, Death’s adopted daughter thinks he’s an idiot)
Reaper Man (Death gets fired from his job, people don’t die and get angry about it)
Soul Music (rock & roll, introduction of Susan! focuses more on her than Death tbh)
Hogfather (an assassin is hired to kill the Discworld Santa Claus equivalent, Death & Susan save the day)
Thief of Time (a race to save the world from beings that want to freeze time permanently)

My second favorite series features the Witches— they are these incredibly badass ladies that makes sure shit. gets. done. There are a lot of fairy tales and Shakespeare stories that get covered by the witches’ series, but get flipped upside down because none of them have ever been the sort to give people what they want but rather what they need. Which people don’t always appreciate. Granny Weatherwax is the bomb btw.

Equal Rites* (girls are witches and boys are wizards— but a girl is born with wizard powers)
Wyrd Sisters (shakespeare!!!)
Witches Abroad (fairy tales! fairy godmothers! marti gras! voodoo!)
Lords and Ladies (motherfucking elves)
Maskerade (phantom of the opera parody)
Carpe Jugulum (vampires! not the twilight kind)

*not the best to start with— I recommend skipping and returning to later

Pratchett also writes a young adult series that I actually HIGHLY recommend, like seriously, the only difference between his kids books and adult books is that the kids books have chapters and only from one POV. This series takes place after the Witches series, because it’s about a young witch that learns a lot from the older witches. I recommend reading the Witches books first but it’s not completely necessary.

The Wee Free Men (fairy tale hodgepodge plus the Labyrinth and Narnia)
A Hat Full of Sky (what it means to do for people what needs to be done instead of what they want done. also alien possession)
Wintersmith (nature spirits, kind of Jack Frost but much worse, greek quests)
I Shall Wear Midnight (witch hunts, evil spirits)

My favorite, favorite, favorite series is the City Watch. It’s kind of a bunch of cop stories, which I love, and the Captain of the Watch (Sam Vimes) is this adorable grumpy badass who’s not bright but fucking determined, and his cops are all these diverse characters, and the leader of the city, Vimes’ boss, is even smarter and better than Machiavelli. 

Guards! Guards! (dragons, royalty, Casablanca)
Men At Arms (dwarf-troll race relations, the Discworld’s first gun)
Feet of Clay (attempted assassination whodunit, introduction of Golems—argument of what qualifies personhood, basically an “I, Robot” kind of thing)
Jingo (war with the Discworld’s Middle-East equivalent— written pre-9/11)
The Fifth Elephant (vampire-dwarf-werewolf politics, hard core action-adventure)
Night Watch (time travel! french revolution/les miserables)
Thud! (dwarf-troll race relations, riots, murder mystery)
Snuff (cop on holiday, crime happens, hidden slave trade ring)

Another series that takes places around the same time as the later City Watch books and in the same city, are the Moist von Lipwig books. If you like stories about the redemption of the con man (like the tv show White Collar), these are good. I find them very funny, because he definitely is redeemed in spite of himself.

Going Postal (Moist is forced to take over the defunct postal service, politics, big business)
Making Money (Moist is forced to take over the defunct mint, banking, money politics, economics)
Raising Steam (invention of the steam engine, politics, terrorism

There are also books that are stand-alones, that you can just read one and decide if you want to read more Discworld books.

Pyramids (an assassin finds himself with god-powers and has to save the Discworld equivalent of Egypt)
Moving Pictures (invention of movie-making! but the movies are warping reality)
Small Gods (religion, the spanish inquisition, what makes a saint, greek city-states, what do the people in power (gods or otherwise) owe the people beholden to them)
The Truth (invention of the newspaper, freedom of the press, mistaken identity, murder mystery)
Monstrous Regiment (a girl joins the army as a boy to find her brother; covers military/warfare, feminism, human stupidity)
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (a YA book that’s a take on the pied piper story)

….So, that was a lot of words. I dunno if any of it is helpful, but I hope so! And if it might be useful to you, my top 6 favorite discworld books of all time are: Night Watch, Small Gods, Monstrous Regiment, Thud!, Feet of Clay, Witches Abroad.

tl;dr I love the City Watch books the best, so you should start with Guards! Guards!

Universal Lands ‘24-7’ With Eva Longoria & Kerry Washington To Star



Mike Fleming Jr   June 6, 2017, 8:44am

EXCLUSIVE: Universal has acquired 24-7, a pitch by Baltimore-based screenwriter Sarah Rothschild that will be developed as a star pairing of Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington. The actresses will produce what is described as a workplace comedy, Longoria through her UnbeliEVAble Entertainment banner and Washington through her Simpson Street banner. UnbeliEVAble’s Ben Spector also will produce.

Rothschild is a writer on Love, Unscripted for Awesomeness TV; the Universal comedy The Gauntlet; and The Dog Walker, which has Alison Eastwood attached to direct. The writer is represented by Verve and attorney Kim Stenton.

Longoria is with  CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Group and Washington with CAA, Washington Square Films, and attorney Gretchen Rush.

Longoria most recently was seen in Ricardo de Montreuil’s Lowriders as well as the BBC Two miniseries Decline and Fall, an adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s classic social satire. Simpson Street is developing feature films based on the books The City of Saints and Thieves with Will Packer and Universal; The Perfect Mother, which is set up at TriStar; and The Mothers at Warner Bros.

VP Production Sara Scott will oversee development on 24-7 for Universal. VP Will Rack will oversee development for UnbeliEVAble, and VP Pilar Savone for Simpson Street.

An Overstuffed Eater’s Plea

Anthologia Palatina 11.9 = Leonidas of Alexandria (1st cent. CE)

Do not again set before me,
When I have done with dinner
And can no longer persuade my belly,
Udders and thin pork-slices.
For rain that’s out of season
Does farm-workers no good
When the harvest has been reaped;
Nor does the West Wind
Avail sailors at all
When they’re already safe in harbor!

Μὴ πάλι μοι μετὰ δόρπον, ὅτ’ οὐκέτι γαστέρα πείθω,
    οὔθατα καὶ χοίρων ἄντα τίθει τεμάχη·
οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐργοπόνοισι μετὰ στάχυν ὄμβρος ἄκαιρος
    χρήσιμος, οὐ ναύταις ἐν λιμένι ζέφυρος. 

Still Life with Dressed Game, Meat, and Fruit, Alexandre-François Desportes, 1734

Intro to 19th Century British Lit - Reading List

rememberthekisses requested an introductory list of some British literary texts from the 19th century, and I thought it would be a good idea to share the list. So, to mix key novels, poetry, theater, and a few literary movements:

  • Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
    because… it’s Pride and Prejudice
  • Lyrical Ballads, by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    because… it’s probably the key volume of British Romantic poetry. 
  • Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
    because… again, the name speaks for itself, and it does what Dickens does so well and reflects the social changes of the mid-century and the increase in social mobility.  
  • A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
    because… same, and it makes for a good example of the popular historical novels of the time.
  • Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë
    because… like P&P and Great Expectations, Jane Eyre speaks for itself…
  • Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë
    … as does Wuthering Heights (plus morbidity! and little touches of the Gothic! and the infamous moors!)
  • Tess of the d'Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy
    because… Realism and a nice taste of Victorian angst.
  • Middlemarch, by George Eliot 
    because… Realism, and no matter what people say, Middlemarch is a great story. 
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson 
    because… Gothic Literature regained immense popularity towards the end of the century and Jekyll and Hyde is one of the key texts of the movement. 
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
    because… Gothic Lit mixed with Wilde’s wit! 
  • The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde 
    because… it’s Wilde at his theatrical best, and The Importance of Being Earnest is one of the most entertaining plays in existence. 
  • Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray
    because… nothing gives you a glimpse of a time period like social satire.