A new spin on Smeagol’s split-personality syndrome – and he wins hands down because he ‘drops the bass’. LMAO!
Hmm, what may a Japanese Fart Scroll be? That is the question. Well, I never knew either until I spotted Stephen Fry (King of QI) tweet on this rather elusive subject. Two clicks later I was amazed to find… well, these.
And my education was complete 🙂 I confess, I have seen stranger things, but still the mind boggles. Let me assure you that these fine scrolls are actually geniune. They are called the He Gassen (literally The Fart Battle) and a whole bunch of them were once auctioned at Christie’s for a handsome amount. If interested, you may find the full archive at the Waseda University website and the original post of the blogger who has brought them to light. I’d dearly love to know at least the name of the ancient artist who oh-so elegantly took the time to paint these images. The biggest question that remains is ‘what purpose do they serve?’ Is there a secret meaning to the pictures?
All I’m saying is I wish my blogger friend all the luck in the world during his research into the scrolls (yes, a whole new area of academic study people!) and I hope he gets to the bottom of it (no pun intended). In the meantime all that’s left is to admire the scrolls for their comedic worth and marvel at the creativity of the artist, or rather his specific flavour of toilet humour! My favourite out of the lot is below, and it definitely requires some technique!
- Part 1: Farting in a bag makes formidable ‘fart-bomb’…
Part 2: Which you can then use to defeat your opponents!
There is a lot of weird literature out there, but I wanted to put the spotlight on this rare, lesser-known side of Japanese culture. Whatever you are doing this week folks, I hope you will remember the fart scrolls and that it will put a smile on your face.
- Employee Reprimanded For Farting On Job With 5 Page Letter Listing Times Of Farts (coedmagazine.com)
- Diatribe: The Father Who Beat His Kids For Farting In The Car. (diatribesandovations.com)
- How About An Exciting Career As A Professional Fart Smeller? (gizmodo.com.au)
- You Can Send A Fart By Mail Now (tampa.cbslocal.com)
- The Art of the Silent Fart (therantingpapizilla.wordpress.com)
- Weekend Bookworm: There Is A Monster Under My Bed Who Farts (blogs.abc.net.au)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Meet Mr. Charles Pooter, perfectly average in every way. Actually, he doesn’t really like being average (as he is a smidgen snobbish) but he certainly isn’t a ‘nobody’ either. He is rather just one of us, a person trying to get ahead in life and be as successful as he can be in the face of life’s little embarrassing disasters. And believe you me there are plenty of those in this book!
This is his diary, wherein he faithfully records all of the aforementioned moments including the stress of moving into a new house. British comedy is famous for its sarcasm and dry wit, and ‘The Diary of a Nobody’ has this in spades as it was written by George Grossmith, a rather famous comedian of his time. The humour here is of the domestic variety, and includes sharp observations of moments between long-married couples like the Pooters, whose spats are not funny at the time of happening but become hilariously so in retrospect.
All families have their dysfunctional side, and the Pooter ‘black sheep’ is none other than Lupin, the son – a young, cad about town with a bad work ethic and a penchant for making money fast through dubious means. Like most fathers, Charles Pooter is seriously concerned for his boy as he can’t seem to hold down a job and has taken to slang and courting chorus girls, which to him are marks of indecency. Attached to the Pooter household are the maids and two longstanding friends Cummings and Gowing, who (like their names) arrive whenever they want and always manage to finish off Mr. Pooter’s spirits.
The problem with Pooter, (or rather the sad part of it) is that he is an intelligent man, but for some reason is never entirely taken seriously by his friends and family. Everyone is making jokes at his expense and his own jokes aren’t all that good either. He is a rather sensitive character, and comes across as a bit of a pushover. In fact, he reminds me a little of Kenneth Williams of ‘Carry On‘ fame’ with a large helping of John Cleese.
All in all rather funny in a quaint way. Despite being written in the late 1800’s, it is very easy to read and relate to. I feel sorry for Mr. Pooter! I swear I know someone like this in real life…
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.”
So you thought Scientology was wacky? Then you obviously haven’t read ‘Cat’s Cradle’. Forget Hubbards’ many layered, ‘brownie point’ rank system to reach the exalted state of ‘Xenu’; you need
‘Bokononism’. It’s not only completely rubbish and written by a mad man, but also insanely fun to implement. OK, I know it’s not ‘real’, but I really enjoyed the little sing-song calypso psalms that pepper the story every now and then.
‘Cat’s Cradle’ is, when all’s said and done, dystopian fiction. It looks at the delicate balance of the ecosystem, and how one crazy idea in the head of a crazy and very capable person can in effect, completely destroy life as we know it. Written in the first person, the story involves a writer obsessed with the scientist Hoenikker, the supposed ‘father’ of the atomic bomb and his attempts at writing a thesis around the day the bomb went off. During his research he gets to meet Hoenikkers weird and defective offspring, not to mention his work colleagues who give him insight into the frightening genius of the man.
What is evident is that a) Hoenikker’s scientific intelligence was off the scale, but b) had severe emotional lacks which means that c) he approached his work with all the curiosity of a child, but none of the responsibility of an adult. This revelation sends huge shock waves through our researcher, especially when he realises that the last project the good doctor was working on, was ‘Ice 9’; a sliver of which has the capacity to turn every water particle into ice. Some killing machine right? And where did the idea come from? A random crazy general from the American War Department who is constantly complaining how the Marines are fed up of working in all that mud all the time.
But the doctor died before it was ever realised, so we can breathe a sigh of relief, right? Right? No, we can’t. The nightmare scenario begins to unfold, as our poor researcher boards an airplane for the island of San Lorenzo which consequently will also be the very place where this strangest of Armageddon’s take place.
Dystopian fiction is usually quite depressing and grey, but Vonnegut changes all that. ‘Cat’s Cradle’ is in essence about a very upsetting scenario which despite all the light-hearted humour, still seems like it COULD happen in reality. But it is the humour that saves it from being just another ‘Brave New World’. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but makes very accurate observations about society and the ludicrous things we use science for. Vonnegut doesn’t beat you over the head with his message about weapons of mass destruction, but leaves a margin of seriousness within all the silliness for you to chew on.
This is an intellectual novel that is very easy to get into that also resonates deeply with current issues of climate change, war and destruction. Read this. You won’t regret it.
“The bike was more or less fixed and we had decided to leave the following day, so we thought we’d throw caution to the wind with some new pals who invited us for a few drinks. Chilean wine is great and I was drinking it unbelievably quickly, so much so that by the time we went on to the village dance I felt ready to take on the world. The evening progressed pleasantly as we kept filling our bellies and our heads with wine. One of the particularly friendly mechanics from the garage asked me to dance with his wife because he’d been mixing his drinks and was not feeling very well. His wife was hot and clearly in the mood and, full of Chilean wine, I took her by the hand and tried to steer her outside. She followed me meekly but then noticed her husband watching us and told me she would stay behind. I was in no state to listen to reason and we began to argue in the middle of the dance floor. I started pulling her towards one of the doors, while everybody was watching, and then she tried to kick me, and as I was pulling her she lost balance and fell crashing to the floor.Running back towards the village pursued by a furious swarm of dancers, Alberto mourned the loss of the wine her husband might have bought us.”
Having majored in creative writing, I can understand the trials and tribulations of getting your thoughts on paper, and the frustration of dealing with publishers. How wonderful then when I happened upon these very funny and relevent jokes about the art of writing, on Worddreams, a fellow bloggers website. I enjoyed them so much, I wanted to share them with you.
Special thanks to Kal, who gave kind permission for me to post it here!
A visitor to a certain college paused to admire the new Hemingway Hall that had been built on campus.
“It’s a pleasure to see a building named for Ernest Hemingway,” he said. “Actually,” said his guide, “it’s named for Joshua Hemingway. No relation.”
The visitor was astonished. “Was Joshua Hemingway a writer, also?”
“Yes, indeed,” said his guide. “He wrote a check.”A linguistics professor was lecturing to his English class one day. “In English,” he said, “a double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative.”A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”
A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.
She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.
“Oh my,” said the writer. “Let me see heaven now.”
A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.
“Wait a minute,” said the writer. “This is just as bad as hell!”
“Oh no, it’s not,” replied an unseen voice. “Here, your work gets published.”
There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire to become a great writer.
When asked to define great, he said, “I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!”
He now works for Microsoft writing error messages.
A screenwriter comes home to a burned down house. His sobbing and slightly-singed wife is standing outside. “What happened, honey?” the man asks.
“Oh, John, it was terrible,” she weeps. “I was cooking, the phone rang. It was your agent. Because I was on the phone, I didn’t notice the stove was on fire. It went up in a second. Everything is gone. I nearly didn’t make it out of the house. Poor Fluffy is–”
“Wait, wait. Back up a minute,” The man says. “My agent called?”
The wife of novelist and critic William Dean Howells once enlisted the aid of a young maid. One day the new assistant – having noticed her husband’s constant presence in the home – asked to speak with Mrs. Howells.”You pay me four dollars a week, madam,” she began. “I’m afraid I really can’t afford to pay you more,” Mrs. Howells interrupted apologetically. “Well, what I was wanting to say, madam,” the girl continued, “is that I would be willing to take three until Mr. Howells lands a job.”
A critic once castigated Winston Churchill for composing a sentence which ended with a preposition. Churchill replied with a mocking note: “This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.”
Famed British humorist Alan Coren was once advised that anyone seeking to draw the attention of the book-buying public should write about cats, golf or Nazis. Coren promptly published a collection of essays entitled Golfing for Cats. Its cover? A picture of a cat in a Nazi uniform wielding a putter.