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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in humor

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 A Guest Blog by Rudd Rayfield

 

 

Ohmigods!

He's turning blue!

Ohmigods!

He's playing a flute!

Ohmigods!

He's surrounded by cows!

(sings)

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Dolmen

The Archdruid was dying.

From all over Gaul, druids gathered to his bedside to ease his passage from this world to the next. As they stood around him chanting, a novice brought him a bowl of fresh milk, but the Archdruid refused it.

The novice took the milk to the hearth, warmed it, and stirred in some honey. As he poured the milk back into the bowl, he spied a jar of apple brandy that had been a gift from the local chieftain, and added a goodly amount to the warmed milk-and-honey.

He held the bowl to the lips of the Archdruid, who drank it down to the last drop.

“Old Father, do you have any final words of wisdom to guide us after you have gone Behind the Sunset?” asked a senior druid.

With difficulty, the Archdruid raised himself on his elbow. An otherwordly light shone from his eyes.

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The Cartoon That I'd Draw, If I Could Draw

Jainism is India's religion of ahimsa (non-harming) par excellence; in fact, it's probably from Jain (that's Jine, not Jane) practice that both Hinduism and Buddhism got their commitment to non-violence and vegetarianism. Jainism is so committed to non-harm that, as with Catharism, it's considered meritorious to starve oneself to death, since to eat necessarily deprives others of life.

(Known as sallekhana, this would seem a pretty harmful act to me—self-harming is still harm, yes?—but, hey, I'm no Jain. In my opinion, the Dharmic religions parted company from their natal paganisms when they became world-denying.)

So deeply rooted is Jain reverence for the sanctity of non-human life that some Jain monks wear face masks constantly, even when they're not wearing anything else (and Jainism is also where Wicca got the term skyclad from), lest they inadvertently inhale some flying insect and so take life.

All this by way of prelude. So, in this Covid-19 Era—you can see where this is going—here's the cartoon that I would draw, if I could draw.

Gods, I love high-context humor.

 

Street scene, with wall-posters detailing covid protocols, and people wearing facial masks.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Breaking Glass, or: Bach with a Skip

At work one morning I'd put Bach's Sixth Brandenburg Concerto—the one without violins—on the sound system. I've always found Bach to pair well with Sunday brunch.

Unfortunately, the disk had a skip in it. The same brief phrase repeated and repeated, playing over and over and over.

As I was crossing the floor to change the disk, the door opened and a customer came in.

When she heard the music, her face lit up. She gave me a radiant smile.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
I'll Be Home for Sam Hane

From the liner notes of my 2005 spoken word album, Radio Paganistan: Folktales of the Urban Witches. 

Really, one has to wonder just who the speaker is.

Good Samhain, all!

I'll Be Home for Sam Hane

 


I'll be home for Sam Hane,

you can count on me.

Pumpkins glow on dancing bones

beneath the naked trees.

 

Hallows Eve will find me

where the hearth-fire's red:

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'Witch' Originally Meant 'Too Busy,' Suggests Philologist

AP: Minneapolis MN

You may have heard that the word “witch” originally meant “wise one,” or “bender [of reality]”, or “waker [of the dead].”

But if Stefano Pozzo, Doctor of Philology at the University of Paganistan is correct, the word derives instead from an Anglo-Saxon adjective meaning “too busy.”

“Students of Old English, the parent language of Modern English spoken more than 1000 years ago, have long suspected the existence of an I-stem adjective wicca” said Pozzo, who pronounces the word WITCH-ah, “but until recently we had no manuscript evidence to prove it. Newly-available palimpsest studies, however, make it clear, not only that the word existed, but that its original meaning, as we had long suspected, was 'too busy.'”

Surviving Old English texts, he explained, were largely written on parchment, which at the time was a valuable resource, far too valuable simply to throw away. It was common practice to reuse old parchment by scraping off the original ink and writing a new text on the erased surface.

Pozzo noted that new computer technology has now made it possible to read erased texts, known as palimpsests, which had heretofore been inaccessible to scholars.

In a recent article, Hebrew University's Dr. Tzemakh Posner amplifies Pozzo's contention.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Seeing with a Different Eye

Witches are popular with cartoonists. Of the thousands of witch cartoons that I've seen over the years, one stands out in particular.

 

  1. Rainbow. At one end, a big black pot of gold. At the other, a witch, hands raised, looks on with delight and surprise.

  2. Witch runs over to pot.

  3. Witch dumps out gold.

  4. Rainbow. At one end, a pile of gold, laying on the ground. At the other, the witch happily stirs her new cauldron.

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