You will sit and stare at a ceiling and hate yourself and hate the world and cry about everything because everything hurts. You will wonder if it could have gotten better if you’d just been a little different, if the timing had worked out, if if if…
5 Times 'Drunk History' Schooled Us on American History
Sure, Comedy Central’s Drunk History is a fun way to watch your favorite actors lip-sync their way through historical reenactments narrated by very drunk people. But it’s also, dare we say… educational?
We’ve picked up plenty of fascinating nuggets of untold American history from Drunk History’s reenactments. And with the show returning for a third season this week, we’re celebrating by putting five of our favorite lessons on your assigned reading list.
1. John Wilkes Booth and his brother Edwin (Season 1, Episode 1)
You may have known that Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth was an actor… but did you know he had a brother, Edwin, who was also an actor? Or that the brothers performed Julius Caesar together, which inspired John Wilkes to shout “Sic semper tyrannis” while attacking Lincoln? We sure didn’t — and it’s extra delightful to see all of this acted out with Adam Scott as John Wilkes, Will Forte as Edwin, and Stephen Merchant as a goofily bearded Lincoln.
2. The tragic tale of Mary Dyer (Season 1, Episode 4)
Before we declared our independence and got that whole “religious freedom” thing going, being a Quaker was against the law in the all-Puritan Massachusetts colony. But one woman, Mary Dyer, bravely stood up and fought against this injustice — and got hanged for her trouble. Good thing we have Winona Ryder to act it out and educate us on the bad old days.
3. Lewis and Clark’s X-rated journey (Season 1, Episode 7)
The history books portray Lewis and Clark as brave, intrepid explorers of the untamed frontier. Drunk History paints a slightly different — and NSFW — version, with the pair of explorers (Tony Hale and Taran Killam) striking a peace treaty with the Lakota Indians, enjoying the company of the native ladies… and picking up “crazy STDs” as a result. Five words we hope never to hear again: “mercury tonic on your genitals.”
4. The amazing inventions of Percy Julian (Season 2, Episode 1)
Percy Julian (as portrayed by Key & Peele’s brilliant Jordan Peele) was a gifted scientist, but because he was a black man growing up in “Jim Crow Segregation Land,” he never got his due. Well, until now, with Peele acting out Julian’s struggles with discrimination and eventual triumph in discovering how to make steroids out of soybeans rather than horse urine. Because, as we all know, “there’s, like, a million soybeans per every one horse d–k.”
5. The battle over the Statue of Liberty (Season 2, Episode 2)
The Statue of Liberty is an enduring symbol of American freedom, so it’s a bit surprising to learn how strongly our U.S. Congress resisted it in the first place. French designer Frederic Bartholdi (Taran Killam, again) offered us Lady Liberty as a gift, free of charge, but Congress still said no thanks (because “the French are kind of pussies”). Then when Bartholdi finally got them to accept the statue, they balked at paying for a pedestal! We ask you: Can you put a price on liberty? Well, apparently, you can.
Season 3 of Drunk History premieres Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central.
Below is a list of 20 interesting—some actually incredible—Black films that are currently on Netflix. Keep in mind that Netflix swaps films in/out, so this list is as accurate as its publish date (August 12, 2015), and some films may eventually be removed from Netflix. Some of the films mentioned below are ones that I have reviewed/live tweeted before as well (most of those reviews originally on Gradient Lair), which you can see in my recent posts: 28 Film Reviews and first review since launching Cinemacked: Film Review - Middle of Nowhere.
Middle of Nowhere
Beyond The Lights
I Will Follow
Mother of George
Yelling To The Sky
Better Mus’ Come
Life of A King
Go For Sisters
Coming To America
20 Feet From Stardom
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975
Also, each month I will share a post like this one: 3 New To Netflix Selections - August 2015, where I pick 3 selections that I have never viewed before from what’s newly added to Netflix. Since posting the aforementioned post, I watched and live tweeted one of the selections, Flex Is Kings.
(The first photograph in this post is of Danai Gurira in the Nigerian love and life story, Mother of George, in her role as Adenike Balogun. Incredible film; definitely check that one out.)
2. Do not be seduced by privacy settings and passwords, which are temporary illusions that distract from the reality of the previous point.
3. Understand that context and data are often one in the same. When you enter information on the internet, assume that you include the who (you), the what (the data), the when (the time of data input), the where (the site on which the data is being placed), the how (the device on which you input the data), and the why (the purpose of the site).
4. Believe that all of your credit card transactions are being kept in a colossal, searchable ledger that one day will be made available for all to study.
5. Believe that data does not disappear when you delete it.
Paris is Burning (Jenny Livingston) - Wayne’s World (Penelope Spheeris) - Sleepless in Seattle (Norah Ephron) - Clueless (Amy Heckerling) - Walking and Talking (Nicole Holofcener) - Eve’s Bayou (Kasi Lemmons) - Holy Smoke (Jane Campion) - American Psycho (Mary Harron) - Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt) - Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold) - The Kids are All Right (Lisa Chodolenko) - Night Catches Us (Tanya Hamilton) - Somewhere (Sofia Coppola) - Middle of Nowhere (Ava DuVernay) - Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley) - Your Sister’s Sister (Lynn Shelton) - In a World… (Lake Bell) - It Felt Like Love (Eliza Hittman) - The Babadook (Jennifer Kent) - Beyond the Lights (Gina Prince-Bythewood) - A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Ana Lily Amirpour) - Girlhood (Céline Sciamma)