Saturday 20th of April 2024

how can one not be a satirist when your uncles own a local statue-making shop?


"This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing."

                                              Roman 13:6

Ohahohoa!… Roll in the haystacks!
The real question is “how much tax?” and "do these servants" of the god (possibly now mutated into the dollar with the symbol $) GIVE their time or do they plunder the coffers with negative gearing and other compensating travelling dildo gadgets, including quite fat remunerations?” Are our political systems thus a joke? A bad joke? A really bad joke, especially when they attack the truth and honourable people with rubbish under the secrets act?

Can massive wealth be a joke? Can tax be a relative joke? Who knows when the only things that we can be certain of are "death and taxes”, unless we take death as a joke, which it could be if you have a sense of humour about life.

JOKES and satire have been part of the human psyche for a long time… 

Even the serious Freud went for them…

Freud frequently identified with the Jewish characters in the jokes he told, and mentioned there was a strong relationship between these jokes and his own psychological and social state. 

Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious (German: Der Witz und seine Beziehung zum Unbewußten) is a book on the psychoanalysis of jokes and humour by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), first published in 1905 (translated into English in 1960). In this work, Freud described the psychological processes and techniques of jokes, which he likened as similar to the processes and techniques of dreamwork and of the unconscious:

Anyone who has at any time had occasion to enquire from the literature of aesthetics and psychology what light can be thrown on the nature of jokes and on the position they occupy will probably have to admit that jokes have not received nearly as much philosophical consideration as they deserve in view of the part they play in our mental life. Only a small number of thinkers can be named who have entered at all deeply into the problems of jokes. Among those who have discussed jokes, however, are such famous names as those of the novelist Jean Paul (Richter) and of the philosophers Theodor Vischer, Kuno Fischer and Theodor Lipps. But even with these writers the subject of jokes lies in the background, while the main interest of their enquiry is turned to the more comprehensive and attractive problem of the comic.

A bit too seriously academic, but humour and jokes go back a long way:
One evening at a palace dinner party, in about 40AD, a couple of nervous aristocrats asked the emperor Caligula why he was laughing so heartily. “Just at the thought that I’d only have to click my fingers and I could have both your heads off!” It was, actually, a favourite gag of the emperor (he had been known to come out with it when fondling the lovely white neck of his mistress). But it didn’t go down well. [Then he seriously made his horse a consul].

Laughter and joking were just as high-stakes for ancient Roman emperors as they are for modern royalty and politicians. It has always been bad for your public image to laugh in the wrong way or to crack jokes about the wrong targets. The Duke of Edinburgh got into trouble with his (to say the least) ill-judged “slitty-eyed” quip, just as Tony Abbott recently lost votes after being caught smirking about the grandmother who said she made ends meet by working on a telephone sex line. 
For the Romans, blindness – not to mention threats of murder – was a definite no-go area for joking, though they treated baldness as fair game for a laugh (Julius Caesar was often ribbed by his rivals for trying to conceal his bald patch by brushing his hair forward, or wearing a strategically placed laurel wreath). Politicians must always manage their chuckles, chortles, grins and banter with care.

In Rome that entailed, for a start, being a sport when it came to taking a joke, especially from the plebs. The first emperor, Augustus, even managed to stomach jokes about that touchiest of Roman topics, his own paternity. Told that some young man from the provinces was in Rome who was his spitting image, the emperor had him tracked down. “Tell me,” Augustus asked, “did your mother ever come to Rome?” (Few members of the Roman elite would have batted an eyelid at the idea of some grand paterfamilias impregnating a passing provincial woman.) “No,” retorted the guy, “but my father did, often.”

Where Caligula might have been tempted to click his fingers and order instant execution, Augustus just laughed – to his lasting credit. The Romans were still telling this story of his admirable forbearance 400 years later. And, later still, Freud picked it up in his book on jokes, though attributing it now to some German princeling. (It was, as Iris Murdoch puts into the mouth of one of her angst-ridden characters in 
The Sea, The Sea, “Freud’s favourite joke”.)


In Lucian of Samosata's satirical dialogue Timon, Ploutus, the very embodiment of worldly goods, says to Hermes:
it is not Zeus who sends me, but Hades, who has his own ways of conferring wealth and making presents; Hades and Plutus are not unconnected, you see. When I am to flit from one house to another, they lay me on parchment, seal me up carefully, make a parcel of me and take me round. The dead man lies in some dark corner, shrouded from the knees upward in an old sheet, with the cats fighting for possession of him, while those who have expectations wait for me in the public place, gaping as wide as young swallows that scream for their mother's return."



In Canto VII of Dante's The Inferno, Plutus is the demon of wealth who guards the fourth circle of Hell, "The Hoarders and the Wasters” — or according to Macron, "those who make it and those who are nothing" (see: mal-poli macron is a turd...).  
Plutus symbolizes the evil of hoarding wealth.
Lucian of Samosata (around 125 AD – after 180 AD when he vanished) was a "Greeked" Syrian satirist and rhetorician who is best known for his tongue-in-cheek style, with which he frequently ridiculed superstition, religious practices, and belief in the paranormal. A good man.

Although his native language was Syriac, all his works are written in ancient Greek. As a young man, he was apprenticed to his uncles to become a sculptor, but after he ruined the statue he was working on, he was beaten by the uncles. He ran away to pursue an education in Ionia. He became a travelling lecturer in various universities throughout the Roman Empire. Acquiring fame and wealth through his funny teaching, Lucian finally settled down in Athens for a decade, There, he wrote most of his works. In his later years, he became a highly-paid government official in Egypt and vanished from the historical record.

His comic works were popular and more than eighty writings attributed to him have survived to the present day — a considerably higher quantity than many other classical writers. A good man.

His most famous work is A True Story, a tongue-in-cheek satire against authors who tell incredible tales.  This work is regarded as the earliest science fiction. Lucian invented the comic dialogue, a parody of the traditional Platonic dialogueThe Lover of Lies makes fun of people who believe in the supernatural and contains the oldest known version of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice”. A good man.

Lucian wrote numerous satires against traditional stories of the gods including The Dialogues of the GodsIcaromenippusZeus RantsZeus Catechised, and The Parliament of the Gods. His Dialogues of the Dead focused on the Cynic philosophers Diogenes and MenippusPhilosophies for Sale and The Banquet or Lapiths make fun of various philosophical schools, and The Fisherman or the Dead Come to Life is a defense of this mockery. What a good man...

Lucian ridiculed public figures. On the Syrian Goddess satirizes cultural distinctions between Greeks and Syrians and is the main source of information about the cult of Atargatis. Lucian had an enormous, wide-ranging impact on western literature and his works inspired Sir Thomas More's UtopiaWilliam Shakespeare's Timon of Athens, and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

Where is Lucian when one needs one…?

According to Lucian's The Dream — which was probably an oratory address upon returning to Samosata after establishing his reputation as a great orator — Lucian's parents were lower middle class and his uncles owned a local statue-making shop. Lucian fell asleep and experienced a dream in which he was being fought over by the personifications of Statuary and of Culture. He decided to listen to Culture and thus sought out an education. Really good man...

Lucian mentions in The Fisherman that he had initially attempted to apply his knowledge of rhetoric to become a lawyer, but he became disillusioned by the deceitfulness of the trade and resolved to become a philosopher instead.

What an amazing man...

Gus Leonisky
Your local satirist

the joke of tax cuts (for the rich)...

LAST WEEK the Turnbull Government got its personal income tax package through the Parliament.

The Government estimates that these tax cuts will cost the Budget $144 billion over the next decade. The Government has not, however, provided us with convincing evidence that the nation can afford this generosity and how it proposes to pay for these cuts while still returning the Budget to a sustainable surplus.

But no worries. According to the Government, there is no need for the public to reason why and how these tax cuts are reasonable. Instead, the Government celebrated its legislative victory, urged on by its usual media cheer squad. Yes, we were invited to think that all the Government’s troubles were over now that it has achieved passage of its personal income tax policies, with just the company tax cut for very big companies remaining to be passed.


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I shall be brief...

From Freud himself:

The factor of bewilderment and illumination‘, too, leads us deep into the problem of the relation of the joke to the comic. Kant says of the comic in general that it has the remarkable characteristic of being able to deceive us only for a moment. Heymans (1896) explains how the effect of a joke comes about through bewilderment being succeeded by illumination. He illustrates his meaning by a brilliant joke of Heine‘s, who makes one of his characters, HirschHyacinth, the poor lottery-agent, boast that the great Baron Rothschild had treated him quite as his equal – quite famillionairely. Here the word that is the vehicle of the joke appears at first simply to be a wrongly constructed word, something unintelligible, incomprehensible, and puzzling. It accordingly bewilders. The comic effect is produced by the solution of this bewilderment, by understanding the word. Lipps (1898, 95) adds to this that this first stage of enlightenment - that the bewildering word means this or that - is followed by a second stage, in which we realize that this meaningless word has bewildered us and has then shown us its true meaning. It is only this second illumination, this discovery that a word which is meaningless by normal linguistic usage has been responsible for the whole thing - this resolution of the problem into nothing - it is only this second illumination that produces the comic effect. 

Whether the one or the other of these two views seems to us to throw more light on the question, the discussion of bewilderment and enlightenment brings us closer to a particular discovery. For if the comic effect of Heine‘s famillionairely‘ depends on the solution of the apparently meaningless word, the joke‘ must no doubt be ascribed to the formation of that word and to the characteristics of the word thus formed. 

Another peculiarity of jokes, quite unrelated to what we have just been considering, is recognized by all the authorities as essential to them. Brevity is the body and the soul of wit, it is its very self,‘ says Jean Paul (1804, Part II, Paragraph 42), merely modifying what the old chatterbox Polonius says in Shakespeare‘s Hamlet (II, 2): 

Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit 
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, 
I will be brief. 

In this connection the account given by Lipps (1898, 90) of the brevity of jokes is significant: A joke says what it has to say, not always in few words, but in too few words - that is, in words that are insufficient by strict logic or by common modes of thought and speech. It may even actually say what it has to say by not saying it. 


Heine himself has derived a second joke from the word Millionär‘ - copying from himself, as it were. 

In Chapter XIV of his Ideen‘ he speaks of a Millionarr‘, which is an obvious combination of Millionär‘ and Narr‘¹ and, just as in the first example, brings out a suppressed subsidiary thought. 

Here are some other examples I have come upon. 

There is a certain fountain [Brunnen] in Berlin, the erection of which brought the Chief Burgomaster Forckenbeck into much disfavour. 

The Berliners call it the 'Forckenbecken‘, and there is certainly a joke in this description, even though it was necessary to replace the word Brunnen‘ by its obsolete equivalent Becken‘ in order to combine it into a whole with the name of the Burgomaster. 

The voice of Europe once made the cruel joke of changing a potentate‘s name from Leopold to Cleopold, on account of the relations he had at one time with a lady with the first name of Cleo. This undoubted product of condensation keeps alive an annoying allusion at the cost of a single letter. 

Proper names in general fall easy victims to this kind of treatment by the joke-technique. 

There were in Vienna two brothers named Salinger, one of whom was a Bôrsensensal. This provided a handle for calling him Sensalinger‘, while his brother, to distinguish him, was given the unflattering name of Scheusalinger’² 

This was convenient, and certainly a joke; I cannot say whether it was justified. But jokes do not as a rule enquire much into that. 

¹ [The German for fool‘.] 

² [ Scheusal‘ means monstrous creature‘.] 

Read more: Der Witz und seine Beziehung zum Unbewußten

Here we see why Trump cleverly called our illustrious Turnbull "Trumble" and why we indulge from time to time in "Turdbull" or "Turnbullshit". In regard to Tony Abbott, if you can't see why Gus often calls him "Turdy", then you need some glasses.

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a couple of jokers...

US President Donald Trump’s joke with French President Emmanuel Macron during a bilateral meeting in Brussels during the NATO summit even had journalists laughing.

When Macron finished giving a statement in French, Trump quickly responded to tell the French leader he enjoyed listening despite not actually having any idea what was being said.

“It sounded beautiful,” Trump joked. “I have no idea what he said, but it sounded great.”



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trump does the sistine chapel...


From an email doing the rounds... Too funny to let it pass...


This is a joke of course — quite funny, though after reading the words, it could be a true Trumpism:


adams family



"I met with Pope Francis today. He's a really great pope; great, great pope. You know he's the leader of the Catholic Church; big church. I couldn't believe it when he told me how many Catholics there are. Way more than I thought. They have churches all over the world; some are very, very close (so close) to my hotels and golf courses.


"He took me into the Sistine Chapel. Beautiful ceiling. I don't think too many people even know about this place. The paintings are great, I'm telling you. The Pope (great guy, by the way, knows more about the Bible than almost anybody, we got along great, I think he really likes me) told me the whole thing was painted by this young Italian; I think his name is Michael Angelo. At least that's what Francis (we're great friends) called him, I think. Trust me, we're going to hear more about him. He's really artistic, and everybody tells me I have the greatest eye for the bestest art. I told Frank I'd like to buy some of Mike's art. I asked him if Mike's done anything on velvet. He'll check (great guy). I'll hang his stuff at Mar-a-Lago or Trump Tower. He needs more exposure. He's too much with the churches. He could paint my presidential portrait on the Capitol Dome. Or maybe a mural on my big, beautiful border wall, but just on our side.


"Unbelievable. The fake media is at it again. I just saw something on TV that Michael died 450 years ago. Sad. I've already got some people looking into this and you won't believe what they're finding."



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awaiting for the verb...


The standard representation of a German joke is an Englishman watching a group of earnest Teutons being told a funny story and asking why they are not laughing. He is informed, “They’re waiting for the verb.” Then there’s the jape performed on an English audience in Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat. The pranksters tell them the mournful dirge they are hearing is the funniest song in the German language and that the Kaiser had had to be carried off to bed he found it so droll. The audience laughs itself silly and wonders why it was so often said Germans had no sense of humour. It turns out to be the saddest song in the German language, which had reduced the Kaiser to tears. The audience departs in embarrassed silence. 

No matter what the language, a lot of humour is lost in translation. German humour tends to be long-winded, like the language; yet another reason why it is hard to translate. I tried out a few simple Count Bobby, Baron Mucki jokes on my son. This one worked: Count Bobby tells an artist: “Paint me a picture of Mary Magdalene!” 

“Before or after the sin?” 

“During! During!”

Connoisseurs will appreciate this is a Catholic joke, therefore restricted to Austria and south Germany. The Catholic Rhineland would probably consider itself too sophisticated for this sort of ribaldry. Berliners are famous for their wit, which often has a dryness to match our own. In novellas like Master Flea or Little Zaches E.T.A. Hoffmann proved himself a brilliant satirist, sometimes on a par with Swift. Joachim Ringelnatz’s light verse is held up as a good example of Berlin humour, the written equivalent of the artist Heinrich Zille’s depictions of Berliners at play. Clara Waldorff or Wilhelm Bendow kept audiences tickled pink between the wars. Munich possesses its own classic comedian in Karl Valentin, who has his own museum. Valentin is wordy, but he has a funny face and a great comic timing, albeit in Munich dialect. 

Political cabaret was a form of humour that thrived both in Berlin and Munich. In the ruins of Berlin Günter Neumann at Ulenspiegel was able to poke fun at the Allies provided he made them laugh, and he did, uproariously. Kleist’s comedy Broken Jug or Zuckmayer’s Merry Vineyard or Captain of Köpenick can be very funny when well performed, but Germans laugh at the Berlin or Rhineland dialects of the characters just as we might chortle at a Brummie or Geordie. An accent alone can be sufficient to set them off. Saxons have nasal accents, and ungainly German tends to be dismissed as Saxon. During communist times, the Saxons ruled the roost in the GDR, and cracking jokes about them was one way of getting your own back. 

German jokes are sometimes ponderous, befitting their verbosity. German comedy films are not always rip-roaringly funny. Gerhard Polt’s Bavarian philistines can be an acquired taste but in Look Who’s Back and Schtonk, Germans have poked fun at the Third Reich. There is nothing new in this: Hitler jokes (not to mention digs at Goering and Goebbels) were a way of letting off steam once, just as Honecker jokes were a manner of resisting the GDR (remember the one in The Lives of Others). The historian Richard Grünberger tells the story of a Berliner and a Viennese comparing notes after an air-raid. The Berliner says, “The raid was so heavy that for hours after the all-clear window panes were hurtling down into the street.”

“That’s nothing,” came the reply. “In Vienna, portraits of the Führer were raining down into the street for days after the raid.” 

What makes us cry with laughter? When I was young, it was Benny Hill, an almost wordless satyr who was always in hot pursuit of scantily-clad females; or Frankie Howerd, who was—as they said then—“as camp as a row of tents”. 


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Note: in German grammar, the verb is often placed at the end of sentences.

5. And Finally: The Verb Comes Last. Although the primary rule is to place the verb second in German, there are many circumstances when the verb comes last.


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the pommy fake new yorker...


In regard to the article above on Germanic jokes...


Standpoint is a monthly British cultural and political magazine. Its premier issue was published in June 2008. Standpoint is based in London and was co-founded by Daniel JohnsonMiriam GrossJonathan Foreman and Michael Mosbacher; Johnson was its first editor,[1] but announced on 11 December 2018 that he was standing down, and that a new editor would be announced shortly.[2]

The magazine describes its core mission as being "to celebrate western civilisation", its arts and its values – in particular democracy, debate and freedom of speech – at a time when they are under threat.[3] The magazine is broadly centre-right in orientation, but aims to include a "broad church" and to capitalise on the realignment of political attitudes in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The magazine has sought to revive the art of the essay in Britain, calling itself a response to "a market swamped by the journalistic equivalent of fast food"


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Gus would describe Standpoint as trying to be an equivalent to The New Yorker — except that Standpoint is more to the right conservative views and espouses climate change denialism. Most of the articles in Standpoint are critical of the theory of global warming. (Standpoint won't hesitate to publish Nigel Lawson's drivel — see also: The New Yorker is more in tune with the scientific facts


It seems that both aim to lure readers through "images". While the images used by Standpoint defeat its own response to "a market swamped by the journalistic equivalent of fast food",  the images CREATED by the New Yorker are much more sophisticated.


[T]he limiting factor [in literature] is the reader. No other art requires the audience to be a performer. You have to count on the reader's being a good performer, and you may write music which he absolutely can't perform—in which case it's a bust. Those writers you mentioned and myself are teaching an audience how to play this kind of music in their heads. It's a learning process, and The New Yorker has been a very good institution of the sort needed. They have a captive audience, and they come out every week, and people finally catch on to Barthelme, for instance, and are able to perform that sort of thing in their heads and enjoy it.[11]


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even crato......

President-elect Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he will nominate Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s top health official, as his assistant secretary of health. Levine, a pediatrician, would become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.


“Dr. Rachel Levine will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic — no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability — and meet the public health needs of our country in this critical moment and beyond,” Biden said in a statement. “She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts.”


As Pennsylvania’s secretary of health, Levine has risen to national prominence for leading the state’s public health response to the coronavirus pandemic, despite repeated and ugly attacks on her gender identity.



Biden taps non-binary drag queen to look after nuclear waste: MIT graduate and 'kink activist' says it will be 'enormous challenge' to take on top level Department of Energy role
  • Sam Brinton, who uses the pronouns they/them, said in a post on LinkedIn that they have accepted the job of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition
  • The White House has not yet confirmed the appointment despite repeated requests from 
  • Sam, in their post, said they will proudly be the 'first gender fluid person in federal govt leadership'
  • Photos online show them posing with men in bondage gear, dressed up as a nun and wearing a red lace gown to galas
  • Sam is seen in some photos wearing bright red lipstick beneath their moustache





I see no pleasure in gazing at an effeminate fellow, with laviscious postures and ridiculous grimaces... and this to the noise of a foolish harp, all which with their frequent rehearsals and continued din of stamping and jumping, are truly ridiculous and unbecoming a man of your parts and education....

               Crato in a dialogue with Lucian, the satirist, around 120+AD (see at top)


No anti-whatever from Gus. just showing that comments about "some" they/them people isn't new....