There was  a time when grown adults would go door to door in crazy costumes on Halloween, demanding treats. It was called mumming.* Now we (we meaning twenty-first century Americans) call it trick or treating, and only children do it. Depending where you live, children might not do that any more, and it’s possible that the […]

1. The first time someone got a wedgie: A.D. 96 Whenever you get up out of your chair (I often have been noticing it now), your wretched tunic sodomizes you. And when you go and try to pluck it out —now straining with your right hand, now your left— you only work it out with groans […]

Someone told me the Oscars are coming up, so I thought I’d look back at what kind of job the Academy has been doing. Here, therefore, is a list of Who Should Have Won Every Academy Award for Best Picture Going Back to 1930—based solely on the nominees. A * indicates the Academy correctly picked the best nominee, […]

Here’s a 1936 recording of the Carter Family singing “Cannonball Blues.” I’m not a folk music historian, and I’m not here to unriddle the origin of this song, but it’s clearly a variation of the “Buffalo to Washington” model. There are a lot of songs with a similar tune and chorus, and the subject matter […]

The morals of most Dr. Seuss books—those that have morals—are usually pretty basic and uncontroversial and there’s not a lot to talk about there. I don’t mean this as a criticism—these morals are for five-year-olds. I just mean that I’m not going to write an essay about Yertle any more than I’m going to write […]

You know, 2015 was a pretty grim year for comics. There have probably been worse years—and I’m looking at you, Heroes Reborn—but generating a top ten graphic novels of 2015 involved dragging in a lot of “pretty good” padding. Fortunately, this is 2016, and although many things went poorly in 2016, we got some solid comics […]

(A lot of the same ideas as found here, but with the specific Warren Ellis parts removed, and no use of the word “boner” so you can show it to your mom.) Let me first say that I hate Nazism and everything it stands for. Now let me say that unpopular, even hateful speech is, […]