Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Situational Hitting

There are times and then there are times when one can safely, dismissively use the expression "that one." A primer:

When selecting your dinner, for example...

...or while ID'ing the perp...

...but during a presidential debate, in reference to your opponent sitting three feet away...? Never then.

(Photo: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Past, Present, and Future Irrelevance

This was a moment I am embarrassed to admit as a presidential historian:

Today, while reflecting on conservative thinkers turning against McCain, I considered a list of other conservative leaders and thinkers who may go heretic, and I wondered "What would Gerald Ford do?" and for one split second I thought, "Wait a minute, is Gerald Ford alive?" Almost immediately I remembered he wasn't, but even more immediately I wondered "Would it matter if he was?" The point being my brain could access the fact "Gerald Ford is irrelevant" faster than it could access "Gerald Ford is Dead".

Monday, September 22, 2008

There is a plan

Do not worry about the financial crisis, they have a plan....

Problem solved, am I right?

Seriously though, I am sick and tired of the rail splitting fundamentalists foisting his legendary chores as somehow more epic or monumental than the time he fought escaped slave river pirates.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Was Lincoln a gay?

The A. Lincoln blog argues that, contra the hopes and wishes of queer studies historians everywhere, Lincoln was not gay. Not that he didn't have romantic and sexual relations with men, that may very well be. What he argues is that Lincoln, and Buchanan for that matter, weren't gay because they "would not for example have placed their sexual behavior at the core of their sense of themselves, arranging their lifestyles and values around their sexuality as if it was their center of gravity".

Look, feather boas did not exist in the antebellum South, how could someone be gay without feather boas? This was an era that had yet to coin the term fashionista, lacked the technology of velour, and may or may not have had professional hairstylists. Without those mainstays of homosexuality, what would it even mean to be gay?

I suppose one could misconstrue gay to mean homosexual. The A. Lincoln blog even admits that by that stretch of a definition, Lincoln may have been gay: "So did Lincoln and Buchanan have same-sex relations other men? Possibly. ...But be that as it may, neither man was "gay."

Because if one cannot strike a pose, "act a diva", and embrace the inevitable gay lifestyle that all gays put at the "center of their gravity", than can one really be gay?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Abe Lincoln: Dwarf, Lout

Abe Lincoln was a dwarf and a clod whose mythical reputation has been exaggerated by historians. That's what President John Tyler's son Lyon Tyler argued anyway.

In pamphlets, books, and, one assumes, the walls of bathroom stalls, he viciously attacked Lincoln's record. He compared John Brown to Sacco and Vanzetti, equated the Union army with 1920's anarchist violence, and blamed Lincoln for World War I. He called him a backwoods idiot in a pamphlet titled "Are Handkerchiefs Superfluous? Lincoln Thought So." To him Lincoln was a "word juggler" and the Gettysburg Address was "a gilded fraud" and "bad sophism".

As long as you're reinventing the past, why stop with trashing Lincoln? Lyon Tyler agreed, arguing that slaves were "the most spoiled domestics in the world....The Southerners took the negro as a barbarian and cannibal, civilized him, supported him, clothed him, and turned him out a better Christian than Abraham Lincoln, who was a free thinker, if not an atheist."

He might as well have argued that Lincoln was a dwarf... and in fact he did (metaphorically at least); the title of his anti-Lincoln pamphlet was "John Tyler and Abraham Lincoln: Who was the Dwarf? A Reply to a Challenge"

H.T. to Dan Monroe "Lincoln the Dwarf: Lyon Gardiner Tyler's War on the Mythical Lincoln"

Monday, September 8, 2008

Wet Blanket Wolfson

Hillary Clinton strategist Howard Wolfson dashes our collective hopes of a vicious, clawing, cat fight between Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin:

"The questions are fair, but what undergirds them is an obsession in our popular culture with the "cat fight," an offensive term that describes the spectacle of two well known women fighting with one another..... Don't hold your breath. It's not going to happen."

Actually, I'm in 100% agreement with Wolfson. A cat fight is a petty sexist spectacle that demeans the participants and onlookers alike; distracting the public narrative from what should be a serious and erudite discussion of the real issues that face our nation. Let's all say it togethor: we don't want a Hillary vs Palin cat fight.

What we want is a Hillary vs Palin duel. Broadswords. At dawn. If it was good enough for Lincoln, it's good enough for them... That is unless they think they're better than Lincoln. Are they suggesting they're better than Lincon? I smell a gaffe!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

McCain Acceptance Speech Response

While we here at the Washington Pugilist are editorially bipartisan with regard to the outcome of the upcoming election- having affirmed and reaffirmed our philosophical commitment to the clinical study, analysis, and reportage of imaginary fistfights- we do feel the need to offer an official response to candidate McCain following his decidedly minced words about what it means to fight.

McCain's acceptance speech this evening acted as much as a call to service for Americans as it did to elucidate core discrepancies between himself and candidate Obama. Making sweeping declamations culled from outstanding first-hand experience about the nature, necessity and effect that war and combat can have on an individual, he convincingly played the role of the war-hewn scholar.

In the end, though, what will be seen as a tactical failing amongst an underserved constituency- that being the national network of bullies, thugs, goons, muggers, and hired guns- was summed up by these few, short sentences:
I don’t mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, I’ve had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way: In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.
To candidate McCain, we respond thusly: uhhh,, no, no, no. No.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Apolitical, seemingly innocuous predictions about Sarah Palin...

Favorite movie: Thelma and Louise
Favorite author: John Grisham
Huge KISS fan
Closet full of denim jackets she rarely wears but won't throw out

Yakuza Bruisers

With two hurricanes down and an imperiled city brazenly indignant after being stood up for a second date with annihilation (classic bad boy syndrome)... here come three more motherfucking hurricanes.

Which raises the question: which candidate will stand up to the retributive Japanese Yakuza responsible for all of these deadly storms?

Idaho weatherman Scott Stevens earned himself national media play and plenty of ridicule when he theorized that Japan’s crime syndicate used a Cold War-era Russian storm machine to create Hurricane Katrina. Three years later, however, with his Weather Wars site still tickling the conspiratorial fancies of a likeminded readership, Hurricane Gustav has revitalized broader discussion of Stevens’ previously laughed-off theories.

Now, this story is precisely the type of sub-crackpotdom that we here at the Pugilist thrive on, and one we feel has the chance to be the October surprise everyone's been waiting for—in September.

So the question again presents itself: would it be McCain or Obama best putting the handle on some Japanese ninja shit?

(Take note, Jim Lehrer, this is optimus prime material for your 9/25 debate sheet)

Let’s break it down. For one, McCain’s already ended up on the bad side of some Asian wildboyz, so he’d be working with a full-on revenge mentality in addition to his rapidly deteriorating cognizance- an unpredictable combo that would spell game over for all but the fiercest of warriors. Obama, on the other hand, was raised by Muslim shadowfighters in a desert bunker dojo according to several reputable e-mail forwards- an obvious advantage- but would just as likely fall in league with the ninjas given his already well-documented hatred of America.

Tell me where I'm wrong.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

You're going to have to go a little lower than that

Boreilly, et al, are up in arms-UP IN ARMS!- at the now disproven rumors that Guv'ner Palin's daughter is the true mother of the Governess' baby. He goes so far as to call it the worst smear ever and, with characteristic taste and subtlety, compares it to Nazis and the Klan. Obviously, Bill's point is that nothing is more insulting than accusing someone of having a Down's syndrome baby... I mean, how embarrassing would that be?!? It's the ultimate smear.

I'm afraid Dr.O'Reilly* should revisit some campaigns of yore if he wants to see some real smears, because pregnant tennagers just can't compete with the ungodly ugliness of the election of 1828.

John Quincy Adam's men took to smearing Andrew Jackson's wife, Rachel Jackson, as a polygamist for unwittingly failing to fully process her divorce from her abusive ex-husband before marrying Jackson. Allegations were made in an anonymous pamphlet entitled "View of General Jackson's Domestic Relations, in Refernce to his Fitness for the Presidency" as well as in the Cincinnati Gazette and the Daily National Journal, which argued:

"[Jackson] spent the prime of his life gambling, in cock fighting and horse racing", and "tore from a husband the wife of his bosom."

The same journal asked readers to imagine what would happen if John Quincy Adams "were to take a man's wife from him pistol in hand."

Rachel Jackson was called "American Jezebel" and the question was begged "Ought a convicted adulteress and her paramour husband be placed in the highest office of this free and Christian Land?"

Distraught from the constant attacks and the unbearable thought of 4 more years of them, she died of a heart attack. Check Bristol's pulse. Still good? Ok, Rachel Jackson wins for now then. But keep me updated.

*Bill was awarded a honorary doctorate from the University of Awesome for his work in journalism. Too humble to recognize his doctoral level awesomeness, he has yet to claim the award (aka it's on my desk waiting to be picked up).

History Is Calling, President Carter, Will You Pick Up The Phone?

At the suggestion of commenter angelia sparrow, I present the further works of former President James Buchanan:

Cheating Chance: Vice Detective, Brandon Carr, despite his tattoos and bad-boy cool, lives in the closet with no intention of ever coming out. Then he meets Nevada Gaming Agent, Nick O'Malley, at a Goth convention and his perfectly constructed world starts to crack. Nick's passions for him, a restored hearse and rope bondage might drown Brandon's will. With the odds stacked against them they try to move from simply sex to something more. Sparks fly as the pair probes a world of cheating, murder, drugs and money laundering. The investigation repeatedly derails their relationship, finally forcing Brandon to choose between staying in the closet and saving Nick's life.

My hope is the positive feedback about former President Buchanan's work will inspire Jimmy Carter to release his secret homoerotic novellas. Thanks to bbmrebel for the suggestion as well, but at the risk of slowing morphing into a gay book club, we'll make this the last post about Mr.Buchanan's possible authorship (for now).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Russia's Putin saves TV crew from Siberian tiger

That was the headline from a Yahoo! News article, and this was what I pictured immediately:


Unfortunately, it seems he used a tranquilizer gun... but still... that's incredibly badass. If there is ever a Washington Pugilist Worldwide Edition, Putin will definitely be a contender.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Umm... President Buchanan... about that book you're writing...

The 15th President James Buchanan was often accused in his day of being a closeted homosexual. The argument was famously put forth by James Loewen in "Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong", and continues to have its proponents and critics. 

It is unknown whether gay romance novelist James Buchanan is aware of this irony. It is also unknown whether or not the works of gay romance novelist James Buchanan are actually posthumous publications of the former president himself. Let's assume, for the moment, that they are. And so I present you with a list of the homoerotic works of former President James Buchanan:

Twice the Cowboy, Twice the Ride: Manuel Santos Fuentes was not the type of cowboy Jess Graff was used to. From the moment they met during the El Paso International Rodeo, Jess wanted the Charro. When Manuel is injured during El Paso de la Muerte, Jess seizes the opportunity to get his vaquero into bed. But cross-cultural misunderstandings and family feuds threaten to destroy their relationship before it really starts. Can two men from wildly different backgrounds overcome hatred and jealousy and learn to trust in each other?

The Good Thief: What if the wrong guy, turns out to be the right guy for you? Caesar Serrano thought he screwed up when he landed in the bed of LAPD Officer Nathan Reilly. But when Caesar breaks into the wrong house and stumbles upon a heinous crime, implicating a high ranking LAPD officer, Nate is the only person he knows to turn to. The resulting investigation throws the Blue Brigade into panic. Now he's running for his life and Nate is his only hope for survival. Can two men, on opposite sides of the law, come together to bring a monster to justice?

My Brother, Coyote: Seth and True are cousins, born in the same house on the Navajo reservation. That's about all they have in common, though, what with Seth going the way of a bad seed, and True living up to his name and going to college while studying with the tribe to become a medicine man. They have one other thing in common, though. They love each other, to the point where secrets in both this world and the spirit world threaten to destroy them because of it. When they're trapped by a vicious pothunter they believe is raiding a sacred burial ground, they learn that some secrets can kill. Can these brother-cousins stay alive...and stay together?

Oh President Buchanan, we hardly knew ye.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Quiz Time

It was the tumultuous 60s, the country was at war, and the Democratic convention descended upon Chicago to select a Presidential candidate. Do you know was nominated? Or have I fooled you again?


Dear nerd,

I hope you're not busy, because I'm about to steal 30 minutes of your time with this website. It's a timeline of Teddy Roosevelt's life composed of entries from his diary. The hilarity cannot be unintentional; it's just too good for it to be the work of some stodgy Teddy Roosevelt Collection librarian who accidently put together a work of unintended comedy greatness. Here are some choice quotes:

April  1873: In Vienna "I bought a black cock and used up all my arsenic on him"

November  1878: 
2nd - At Porcelain initiation, "...was higher with wine than ever have been before-or will again. Still, I could wind my watch. Wine makes me awful fighty."
26th - Begins teaching Sunday school at Christ Church on Garden street opposite Cambridge Common

March 1879: Romping through Maine

September 1883: Kills first buffalo

August 1884: Kills two deer with one bullet. "This was much the best shot I ever made."

May 1885: Picks up new herd in Medora. Survives late night stampede

May 1896: Comptroller Fitch's testy exchange results in the offering of a duel. "Pistols or anything else!" Yells Roosevelt. Cools off and tells reporters there will be no duel.

February 1904: Lunch with Buffalo Bill

April 1904: Letter to Ted: "I am very glad I have been doing this Japanese wrestling... My right ankle and my left wrist and one thumb and both great toes are swollen sufficiently to more or less impair their usefulness... since you left they have taught me three new throws that are perfect corkers."

December 1909: Dines on elephant trunk soup from the beast he and Kermit disposed of the preceding evening. 

December 1913:
13th - "Caymans were becoming more plentiful. The ugly brutes lay on the sand-flats and mud banks like logs, always with the head raised, sometimes with the jaws open... it is good to shoot them. I killed half a dozen..."
25th - Arrives in Corumba
27th - Bags ant-eater

January 1914: Bags tapir

February 1917: Writes letter to Secretary of War requesting permission to "raise a Division of Infantry with a divisional brigade of cavalry in the event of war (possibly with the permission to make one or two of the brigades of infantry, mounted infantry.)" Request denied.

March 1817: "In view of the fact that Germany is now actually engaged in war with us, I again earnestly ask permission to be allowed to raise a division for immediate service at the front." Request rejected the following day. 

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A bit of Teddy

Browsing through my 1968 Life Magazine Special Issue on the Presidency, as I'm wont to do on weekends, and I found two interesting Roosevelt quotes:

"I wish I had 16 or 20 lions to turn loose on the Senate floor"

A first natural reaction to this was that he was angry at the Senate and wanted lions to attack them. More likely though he was sitting in the Senate floor, bored and daydreaming, and felt the sudden urge to hunt 16 or 20 lions. So urgent was the need that he didn't want to wait to go home, book a week long boat trip to Africa, hike for days across the Serengeti, and stalk and kill one maybe two lions. No, he wanted to kill 16 to 20 lions right then and there. Such is bloodlust.

Apparently he also called golf a "sissy game" and advised Taft that if he played it in public he would lose the 1908 election. I couldn't agree more. I mean, would you vote for this?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mary Odd

I find the title of Brian Thornton's book, "101 Things You Didn't Know about Lincoln", a little bit condescending. Oh yeah, Mr.Thornton? Are you so sure I'm a Lincoln illiterate simpleton who doesn't know any of these 101 things about Abe Lincoln? Well I like to think I know a little bit about Abraham Gregory Lincoln, our nations first President, inventor of the lightbulb, and legendary general who defeated Napoleon in World War I. Despite my haughtiness I gave the book a chance, and while I was entertained, the title was a damned lie: I didn't learn a whole lot new about Lincoln. I did, however, learn a few things about Lincoln's wife Mary Todd.

After Lincoln's assassination, Mary didn't leave the White House for five weeks. I wonder if Andrew Johnson and his family moved in before she moved out and they shared awkward, silent dinners with Mary dressed in widow's garb? When she did finally leave the White House she was wearing so many black veils that people could not see her face at all. Creepy!

I also learned she supposedly once chased Abe down the road with either a butcher knife or a broom. I'd say the difference there is important. And later, after Lincoln's death but before her son Robert had her committed to a sanitarium, she would pay hotel maids to sleep in her hotel room with her because she was afraid to sleep alone. I knew she was a little off, but that's not Drew Barrymore or Cameron Diaz slightly nuts, that's Howard Hughes or Charlie Sheen batshit crazy.

101 things I didn't know about Lincoln? No. A couple stories about crazy old Mary Todd Lincoln I've never heard before? Definitely.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

T.R.: Warmonger?

The insightful and witty James Poulos thinks that William Jennings Bryan needs to shut his silver loving, evolution hating mouth about Teddy Roosevelt.... not in so many words of course.

He argues that T.R. gets the short shrift from critics who call him a warmonger. Sure, as President he kept his cool, but as undersecretary of the navy? He was a bit overzealous about the Spanish-American war... what with trying to start it and all. And that wasn't even his first choice of wars, what he really wanted was a war with Germany. After overseeing the arming of the U.S.S. Maine, Roosevelt thought it would be swell if there was war to be had, any old war would do, really:

"I wish there was a chance that the Maine was going to be used against some foreign power; by preference Germany-but I am not particular, and I'd take even Spain if nothing better offered"

Luckily for Roosevelt, unluckily for the Maine, he got his wish when the Maine exploded in a Cuban harbor and provided him with an excuse to begin pushing for a war. How hard did he push for war? I'll let his boss, Secretary of the Navy John Long, tell you:

"I find that Roosevelt, in his precipitate way, has come very near causing more of an explosion than happened to the Maine... The very devil seemed to possess him."

I've gotta say, with all due respect to the James Poulos and the 1906 Nobel Prize Committee, that sounds a bit like a warmonger.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Some Hayes Never Learn

In what must have been a debauched orgy of bacchanal delights, the living descendants of Rutherford B. Hayes gathered at his home in Fremont Ohio Saturday to pay tribute and share memories. Stephen Hayes, great-great-grandson of Ruddy, let's us know what fun it was growing up in such a historical site: "Many rooms were off limits. My parents wouldn't let us go into any room on the second floor." Which must have been tough for the young boy, as the second floor was where the President Hayes kept his climbnasium, ball pit, and trampoline collection.

Showing us how much the Hayes family descendants have learned since the 1870s, Hayes' great-granddaughter Margaret Clark tells us

...she admired the Hayes heritage because they took a stand for such principles as truth and honesty. "'Lemonade Lucy' -- I'm very proud of that," she said, referring to the name given Lucy Hayes because of the stance she and the President took on abstinence in the White House. "She had the fortitude to stand up for what is right."

You don't see many people taking a stand for prohibition these days. It would have been refreshing, if a little anachronistic, had she not followed that up immediately by calling for a reinstatement of the fugitive slave act and denouncing "carnal modernisms" like the telephone and the daguerreotype.

Oh my God he's going to do it!

He's tired of losing steam in the polls, and he's been reading our website, so now he knows what the American people really want. He's going to follow our advice and end this election right here and now the way it should be done!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Now THAT would be badass...

We've all received the chain mail from our racist aunt or uncle from Kentucky making the water-tight case for Obama as anti-christ. Now, according to this this Time article, people are suggesting the new McCain video is designed to insinuate that the rumor is true. Like we needed more proof! Right, Aunt Mabel?

The article itself really, truly says it best:

It's not easy to make the infamous Willie Horton ad from the 1988 presidential campaign seem benign. But suggesting that Barack Obama is the Antichrist might just do it.

Seriously though, if it were true -and I'm not saying it is- that would be pretty badass. Lightning from his hands, plagues of locusts, parting and unparting seas at his whimsy. He'd be unstoppable and would dominate in a fight against any president... unless of course the mythical, paranoid rumors that racist rednecks spread about Martin Van Buren were also true, and he was actually a partially shaved yetti. THEN we'd have a fight on our hands. What do you say, Anti-christ v.s. Yetti, who takes it?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Alternative Theories

"Nixon was always being attacked sexually. It was always said that he was a fag and that he had no sexual relations with his wife for 15 years and that was why he liked power. And Hitler had only one ball, and that was why he wanted to conquer the world."

That's future Governer Schwarzenneger delivering a handful of homophobic smack-down to Dick Nixon in a 1977 interview. I can think of another Reason why Pat Nixon (a stone cold fox, by the way) wouldn't have slept with Nixon for 15 years. I'll give you a clue; it's paunchy, sweaty, and covered in phlebitis.

"I am not a gay"

Good point, Woody

"men of ordinary physique and discretion cannot be President and live, if the strain be not somehow relieved. We shall be obliged always to be picking our chief magistrates from among wise and prudent athletes-a small class" ~ Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson knew Presidents need to be tough. It's amazing then, given his advice that we elect only athletes, that Wilson ever ran for President, because he was sick and getting sicker. He began suffering from repeated neurological diseases starting six years before he was elected. Presidential health historian Kenneth Crispell counts six "medical episodes" between 1906 and 1920 that affected his performance as president.

I don't need to go on about how sick he was, I think I've made the point...but I will anyway.

During his last term he suffered a stroke so bad that his face grew more paralyzed every time he smiled. He grew a beard and moustache for the first time in his life to try and hide this. His doctor warned cabinet members not to upset him because "any excitement might kill him". Yet somehow, the depressed, semiparalyzed Wilson, who thought that presidents should be "wise and prudent athletes", attempted to seek a third term.

Woodrow Wilson's words support our website in theory, and his actions prove the need for it to be done in reality, rather than merely speculatively. If Dennis Kucinich thinks he is one of the "wise and prudent athletes" fit to run the country, then I say he proves it. Give us 30 pushups, beat Olympia Snowe in a fist-fight (fair match-up, no?), or stop running for President.

Monday, August 4, 2008

maybe there is some pie

Already full from lunch, a worn and beaten Barack Obama gave in to the fatty expectations of the patrons of a Missouri diner. "Well, I've had lunch today but I'm thinking maybe there is some pie", he conceded. Like a first time visitor to an italian home for dinner, he does not know how to politely say no to the persistent "Eat! You're too skinny! Eat something!" What he needs to learn, is how to say "No thanks, I'm full. You fat, petty, fucking idiots."

It's hard to blame him for yielding to the peer pressure though (he had the fried chicken, not pie). The people are genuinely confused by Obama's physical appearance, and as a potential future president, he needs to clarify things for them. For instance, the sincerely puzzled Glen Johnson, informed us in a recent Associated Press article that "Sometimes it's hard to tell if Barack Obama is running for president of the United States or Mr. Universe." It's understandable how Mr.Johnson and other functionally retarded individuals are so easily perplexed. You see, Barack Obama goes to the gym, and when Glen Johnson sees someone in a gym, he assumes he's training to compete for Mr.Universe. Likewise, he's unsure of whether or not John McCain is a senator or a bus driver. You see, John McCain is often seen on a bus, surely he drives it for a living?

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis is more than confused, he's indignant. "Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day" he insightfully sneered. He's right, and Obama should thank him for the advice and embrace his strategy. First you go to the gym, then you win Mr.Universe, then you become a celebrity, and then and only then do you run for an executive office.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Problem Wit You Is You Ain't Fat Enough, Friend.

The Wall Street Journal has their fingers on the fat sweaty pulse of the nation, and they let us know that fat people (i.e. most people) don't like to be reminded of their fatness by a skinny Presidential candidate. Apparently people are uncomfortable because Obama is too skinny. "He ain't like me! He ain't like me!", the public worries.

One enlightened voter lays out the case:

"I won't vote for any beanpole guy," another Clinton supporter wrote last week on a Yahoo politics message board.

Why am I not surprised this quote comes from on an internet message board rather than a jogger in the park, or someone standing under the own power? If I were Obama, I wouldn't worry about this guy and his demographic. Maury Povich can't show up at all of their houses with a forklift to hoist them to the polls on election day.

Actually, I think we have a photo of the guy who posted that comment as he posted it.

This article is so rich with hilarious goodness that there will be at least 2 more posts on it to come (hint: they mention Taft). Thank you WSJ, for assuring us what the voters want: "Yeah, I agree with his values and qualifications... but who would win in a fight?"

We Stand Corrected

Good news. Lifted from the comments, our friends at Studio Macbeth assuage our worries:

You'll be happy to know that we have not neglected historical moments in Lincoln's life. This is a series of portraits and we are holding back a good number of them for the moment... Lest anyone get the wrong impression from your ending sentence, be assured that we are creating no images of Lincoln brushing his teeth or worse.

We're relieved to hear that they will not be doing 3D renditions of Lincoln biting his toenails, smelling his finger, or burying a dead pet cat. NOT that we wouldn't want to see those things per se, in fact I would pay a good deal of money to see a 3D rendition of Lincoln biting his toenails. We just worried that talent was being wasted, but we worry no more. Thanks for the correction Studio Macbeth, and keep up the good work... and I hate to be a nag, but have you thought about doing one of Lincoln kicking Rutherford B. Hayes in the crotch? Now THAT would be a good use of your talent.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Teddy "Batman" Roosevelt

Was Teddy Roosevelt Batman? That's how I'm misconstruing this interesting post at the American President's blog. They suggest several similarities between T.R. and the Dark Knight. In addition, I would list the following parallels, some fake some real, can you tell which is which?:

1). Both studied forms of karate

2). Both walked the streets at night fighting crime

3). Both were the 26th President of the United States

4). Both went to Ivy League schools

5). Both had their first loves die young

6). Both were friends with William Taft

Answers in the comments.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lessons From History

According to the Awesome Talks blog, Lincoln played a "jews' harp", or jaw harp, at the debates with Stephen Douglas. That's hilarious. Picture Barack Obama, orating eloquently on some topic at the first presidential debate, the audience listening with rapt attention. Meanwhile, John McCain sits in the background on a rocking chair, going back and forth between shaking his head with folksy disbelief at Obama and lazily playing the jews' harp, bored and absentminded. History calls Senator McCain, will you pick up the phone? - I mean, jews' harp?

Monday, July 28, 2008


Zee Germans present us with evidence of Obama's badassness (badassitude? badassicity?). In fact, so badass is the evidence, that it is a little hard to swallow. Apparently, Obama was seen in a gym curling 70 pound dumbbells with each arm. This should quell rumors that Obama will try to balance the the ticket by selecting Gregg Valentino as V.P.

Lincoln: Back-Snapper

From the A. Lincoln Blog comes this great image of young, badass, Lincoln wrasslin' with some young punk. Notice the stoic, unemotional look on his face as he, apparently, prepares to break his opponents spine.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wasted Opportunities

Close your eyes and imagine this: You are a premier 3D digital artist and a die-hard fan of Abraham Lincoln. You've decided to combine your skill and your obsession and digitally recreate events in Lincoln's life. The question is, what moments do you recreate? They lay-historian is drawn to the obvious; the Gettysburg Address, the Lincoln Douglas Debates, even his assassination in Ford's Theater. The historian of Presidential combat knows better, and thinks of the time Lincoln fought river pirates, or trained with a broadsword for his duel with James Shields. "Perfect, any of the above will do," you think.

Hold on, though. What about investing your time and money into recreating a nearly perfectly realistic rendition of our nations 16th president eating a sandwich? Or even better, looking at an apple? "Stop wasting my time with your maniacal suggestions," you'd probably say.

Well, the geniuses at Studio Macbeth disagree. A digital art studio specializing in realistic 3d Lincoln images, the studio's goal is not to recreate Lincoln's historical moments as never seen before; in stunning realism. No, what they want to show, in their own words, is "Lincoln in human situations for which there are no other extant depictions, e.g. Lincoln at table, Lincoln descending a staircase, Lincoln mourning a child."

If they'll depart slightly from their theme and show Lincoln engaged in mortal combat with Rutherford B. Hayes, then they'll have my support. Until then, I'll pass on 3D digital Lincoln brushing his teeth, tying his shoes, or wiping his ass.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Here's a tasteful headline from Time via Yahoo! News:
Obviously, Obama went to Iraq to give Nouri al-Maliki a terrorist fist bump and roll dice with Jalal Talibani. Alternative headlines they might have considered:

Obama's Trip: Statesmanship or Jive-Talkin'?
Obama's Trip: Realpolitik or Gangsta Rap?
Obama's Trip: Diplomacy or Jazz Trumpet Solo?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Honey, Wolf says we should be offended." "Then we're offended, goddamnit."

As committed as we are to the majesty of the written word (and equally so to tired platitudes), the notion of a picture being worth a thousand has long outlived its usefulness in American political discourse. Sound bytes, slogans, and declamatory castigations made succinctly by human caricatures rule this day and age. One need only look upon the ongoing hypocritical clusterfuck that the media's collective chastisement of New Yorker magazine represents to understand that there is no standard, there is no agenda; there is only a sliding scale of sensationalism built from piles of data that every last outlet uses to coax reader / viewer / listener-ship to their product. So when one form of media presents a product of questionable decorum, the only real outrage will come from counterpart medias needing to fill their 24-hour coverage.

Then again, it's naive to assume that already misinformed people will so remain (or, perhaps even read the Lizza article and revaluate their preconceptions) and that people who understand the satire will smirk and move along, thus leaving the net effect of the cover hovering right around zero in a vacuum-world study. No doubt, a percentage of the dumb-as-fuck will try to process such information, fail, and arrive at the non-conclusion that the only way to crack this riddle of how to think will be by turning on the TV.

That brings us to blame time. Can we really upbraid news corporations for being so unscrupulous? God knows how many polisci hookups between faux-outraged square-rim plaid dudes and retardedly out of their league freshmen hotties have occurred using the perniciousness of media globalization as an in for "further mind expansion back at my place." Similarly, stupid people are effectively unblameable and a necessary concession for the rest of us to go through life so self-satisfied.

So, you're asking yourself: Can anyone be blamed for anything ever?

The short answer is: No

The long answer is: The educational system

Monday, July 14, 2008

Inconclusive Evidence

According to the AP, John McCain owns a ferret. Does that make him more tough or less tough? The evidence is inconclusive. Exhibits A and B strongly suggest ferret ownership is correlated with toughness, but I'm not sure how to interpret exhibit C. 

Exhibit C:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hayes vs Lincoln

The votes are flowing in like... like... well they're flowing, let's just leave it at that. The Rail Splitter is taking an early lead over Bulletproof Hayes; probably getting a lot of the freed slave vote. It's still a close one though. Let the debate ensue in the comments below... FIGHT!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

the Contenders

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The time is nigh at the Pugilist for us to postulate on that Great Question that plagues the political and social landscape: Who would win in a fight between the current presidential hopefuls? 
We all want the answer before we cast our precious ballots so let us debate!
Please provide reasonable evidence for your conclusions.

We will keep Hillary in the discussion so feel free to bring any other candidate into the fray (I'm thinking of some interesting under card battles---Dennis Kucinich vs Mike Gravel? A shovel full of gravel vs. Mike Gravel?)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Welcome!... and get out

You want to tell us that Lincoln wasn't Jewish or that Chester A. Arthur didn't smother Garfield with a pillow soaked in laudenum? Or maybe you just don't like us. Well, first off, shut up. But second, tell us more. We're incredibly insecure and get off on your criticism and insults. And as Ben Franklin said "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, or gives you something to think about when you're cutting yourself".