Category Archives: Humor


Lileks, back from his Aegean trip, has started a new B&W series.

Also, summer camp reminiscences. Which makes me happy that the place I went to is still around. I still remember the swimming test. I had just had lessons at the high school, and passed everything to be allowed the run of the lake. One part was treading water for some duration (ten minutes, maybe). Another was diving down deep (maybe fifteen feet) to bring up a handful of muck. Probably with bloodsuckers in it.


Lileks takes a vacation in Greece:

A few switchbacks up we found a nice niche that would have been an excellent spot for a small bar; seems it had served that function once, as it had benches and something like a table. We chatted with some Brits who were also dying but cheerful about it. They’d met some donkeys coming down, and the lass astride one of them leaned over and said “Worst Day of my Life.”

We continued on, up the shite-strewn path. By “567 steps” they mean a step, then a yard of irregular, ankle-snapping stone, followed by another step, followed by a yard of irregular, ankle-snapping stone smeared with ordure, and so on. Another herd of donkeys, this one thicker than the last, and not particularly concerned with our presence. Suddenly you realized you had two options: you would be crushed against the wall by donkeys, or pushed over the side by donkeys. Neither seemed appealing, just like the growing belief you would either suffer failure of the heart or the kidneys.

With pictures and video, of course.

The End Of Captain Video

It’s OK, though because now we get reviews of Captain America:

It begins with a reprise of the fist-fight, which is a bit dismaying; does this mean we won’t get a new fist-fight? The elements of any serial are the Suddenly Important Piece of Technology, a fist-fight, a car going off a cliff, gunplay, and certain death faced by the hero or the Gal Friday. The best episodes have all of them; most have two.

Anyway, Gail was saved, as usual, by selective editing; Cap manages to stop the blade before she’s bisected, leaving everyone too shaken to ask why there was a guillotine in a box factory in the first place.

Well, everything that has gone on before is dropped like a hot poker; Maldor says “it’s time for the next phase of the operation,” suggesting that they’re no longer into using high-powered scientific inventions to steal art and precious metals. Rest on their laurels? Not our Maldor! He wants to go after Henley, the Oil Magnate, who’s never been mentioned, but “he also was a member of the Mayan expedition that discredited me.” As if we remember that from six weeks ago. As if the fact that all the members of the expedition are dying off except the one guy who they discredited wouldn’t occur to, oh, MAYBE THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY WHO IS ALSO CAPTAIN AMERICA.

Maldor sent Henley an extortion note, confident he will show it to Captain District Attorney, and by bugging Captain District Attorney’s apartment, Maldor will know what he is doing.

Because if there’s one thing you want when committing blackmail, it’s the constant involvement and attention of the District Attorney.

As only Lileks can do it.

P. J. O’Rourke

What I would tell the graduating Rutgers class of 2014.”

Here you are graduating from Rutgers, which is, as I mentioned, the 69th-best university in America. Maybe Rutgers should add more vegan selections to its cafeteria fare. U.S. News & World Report scorekeepers go for that kind of thing. Actually, you’re tied for 69th with Texas A&M, an NFL first-round draft with a small college attached.

Your most famous alumni are Garret A. Hobart, 24th vice president of the United States, Ozzie Nelson of Ozzie and Harriet, Mr. Magoo, and seven former governors of New Jersey. Given the recent history of that office, I promise not to tell anybody. (Gov. Kean went to Princeton.)

And you just wasted $100,308 on tuition, fees, and room and board, assuming you were able to zip through Rutgers in a mere four years. Although you only wasted $53,996 if you were living in your parents’ basement. But you wasted $156,404 if you’re one of those bridge and tunnel people from out of state. Let’s call it a hundred long. Approximately 14,000 of you are graduating this year. That’s $1.4 billion wasted.

Why do I say “wasted”? Those of you who are, know why. Those of you who, for reasons unfathomable, are sober on this occasion may need it explained.

I have done research. I used the same tools for deep and comprehensive understanding that you used for your essays and term papers—Wikipedia and random Internet searches.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (at least as reliable a source as the National Association of Cats and Dogs), the average starting salary for a newly graduated B.A. is $45,633.

Not bad, you say. There’s almost rent and a car payment in that, after taxes. But “average starting salary” assumes you’re salaried. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 75 percent of college graduates are in the labor force. Maybe the rest are on a grad-school full ride getting a Ph.D. in string theory.

There’s reason to doubt it. A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows 44 percent of recent college graduates are underemployed. A report in The Atlantic claims half of those recent graduates are working “in jobs that don’t require a degree.” And, in a National Center for Education Statistics survey, 48 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds with student-loan debt say they are unemployed or underemployed. Can you spell KFC?

I wouldn’t bet on it.


All the president’s dudes:

Let’s start with that ten p.m. phone call between Obama and Hillary on the night of the terror attack. (I’m sorry –video demonstration.) We don’t know what they actually said. And since it was only the two of them, we probably never will. But we do know this — they hate each other. But at the same time their futures were inextricably tied in this case. Talk about drah-mah…. all that gnashing of teeth and swallowing of emotion while being forced to agree on their farshtinkener story. The dialogue writes itself.

And speaking of the former secretary of State, how’s this for a scene — Hillary at the Benghazi victims’ funeral reassuring the grieving parents they’ll get that “evil filmmaker” who’s behind their sons’ murders when all the while she knows that’s baloney? Wow. Great stuff. Straight out of a vampire movie – Dracula or even the classic Nosferatu. Angelica is just made for it. (I know wrong hair color, but that can be fixed and she’s been there before. She killed as Morticia Addams. Just think what she would do with the scenery chewing iconic “What difference does it make?” scene? Ladies and gentlemen of the Academy, need I say more?)


Chelsea Clinton’s Fetus

An open letter to it:

Before you were even born your mommy’s mommy pretended that it’s a completely normal thing to announce your own grandchild’s birth to the world at a joint press appearance with your mom, hosted on Skype and live-streamed. With America Ferrera!

Although you will at all times pretend to be a normal baby, you actually already have your very own career, like doctor or fireman or lobbyist! Can you say “Campaign Asset”? Good, now let’s learn about skill sets! You only need one talent. Ready? It’s “Soften the Candidate”! Sort of like human bubble bath.

It’s apparently driving a lot of hostile comments from readers.

Tortoise Ranching In The Old West

A brief history:

Back in the old West a lot of the toughest codgers tried tortoise ranching, but it died out because it took years to drive the herds up to Kansas City or Chicago. On a good day they might cover a mile and a half, but most days they could only drive them about a mile because a herd has to graze. There was no use bringing skinny turtles to market. In frontier towns along the drive it was a always big week when the boys brought a herd through, and people would grab their kids out of the streets in case there was a stampede as the torts got a whiff of the salad bar at the Golden Corral and Saloon.

A lot of people don’t realize it, but Westerners learned to say little and talk slowly so they didn’t run out of things to say during the big tortoise drives. Now that’s part of our Western culture. But then came the barbed wire fences, and the last of the free-grazing tortoise drives stopped because the tortoises didn’t give a s**t about the barbed wire, but the cowboys would have to carry their beer coolers and lawn chairs the long way round and try to catch back up to the stock, and that was just too much work for the world’s laziest f**king ranchers.

The only ones left are the ones who run mixed herds of cattle and tortoises, like Cliven Bundy’s family. If the BLM wins, an historic and traditional American way of life will come to a final, bitter end, and this nation will close a fascinating chapter of its history.

I did not know that.