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Wit Attitude

Friday, October 24 2014

The Commandments of Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce made the stage his pulpit, the audience his parishioners, and stand-up the sermons for his alternative secular faith.


Thursday, September 18 2014

Mr. Mencken Went to Dayton and the Culture Wars Began

Long before Christopher Hitchens and Bill Maher, H.L. Mencken was America's most notorious satirist of religion. And thus began the battle for the soul of America.


Friday, June 20 2014

The Fascination with Fundamentalism in Hardcore Punk

Some bands echoed the Dead Kennedys' anti-Moral Majority messages; others embodied right-wing religion.


Friday, April 25 2014

A User’s Guide to Parody Religions: Churches of the SubGenius & the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Our prophet explains that we may know what gravity is, but we don't know the cause of it, thus, “What if it is He, pushing us down with His Noodly Appendages, that causes this force?”


Friday, February 21 2014

A User’s Guide to Parody Religions: Dudeism, Invisible Pink Unicorns, and Americhrist Ltd.

Plotting exposure, parody seeks to unveil rather than to mask, to offer truths where it finds lies, deceit, or hypocrisy. So why has religion proven particularly prone to this means of comedic put-down?


Tuesday, January 14 2014

Monty Python vs. the Religious Right

The life of Life of Brian tells us much about a period when disparate cultural values were battled over in a dramatic tug-of-war on the frontlines of society -- and for Monty Python, the threat of prison loomed.


Friday, October 18 2013

Pussy Riot and the Art of Political Pranks

Why has the West taken such interest in Pussy Riot? Would our reactions be so different if a similar incident occurred in one of our major cathedrals, synagogues, or mosques?


Friday, September 6 2013

Family Guy’s Sunday Services

Whereas The Simpsons makes an effort to balance its religious satire with pro-spiritual representations, Family Guy largely regards organized faith as wholly corrupt and its believers as dupes and dopes.


Sunday, June 23 2013

Is ‘The Simpsons’ TV’s Most Sacred Show?

The Simpsons has always taken topical roads less traveled and nowhere is this more apparent than in its regular engagement of personal, institutional, and social issues surrounding religion.


Thursday, May 2 2013

Comics-in-Chief: Laughing With (and At) the Presidents—The Scathing Slice of the Satirical Edge

When America chose Nixon over Paulsen at the polls, it ushered in a president that many consider one of the most humor-challenged in modern history.


Thursday, February 21 2013

Comics-in-Chief: Laughing With (and At) the Presidents - The Watershed Moment of Political Humor

Never before JFK had a president employed humor so concertedly, nor had it used against him so openly.


Thursday, January 31 2013

Comics-in-Chief: Laughing With (and At) the Presidents - The Growth of Democracy & the Flow of Humor

“Greatest” and “worst” president surveys continue to reveal what is surely not just a coincidence: we have always and still continue to revere our wits in the White House.


Sunday, October 14 2012

Political Humor and Its Diss Contents

Political humor brings a lot of joy and laughter into our often humdrum lives, but is our national laugh fest a good thing for the nation at large?


Thursday, August 2 2012

Stand-Up! America’s Dissenting Tradition Part 3: The Bills of Rights, Hicks & Maher

Two sides of the same coin, Bill Hicks and Bill Maher are comedic patriots; leave (their country) they will not, nor will they leave it alone, for they persist at picking at their nation’s open sores of injustice, hypocrisy, and superficiality.


Thursday, May 10 2012

Stand-Up! America’s Dissenting Tradition Part 2: Transformers George Carlin & Richard Pryor

Whereas Richard Pryor used autobiography for his comedy of social dissent, George Carlin aimed his critical lens outwards, to reflect upon a world of greed and self-delusion.


Thursday, January 19 2012

Stand-Up! America’s Dissenting Tradition Part 1: Trailblazers Mort Sahl & Lenny Bruce

Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce were more than just maverick dissenters; they were the founding fathers of what would later coalesce under the umbrella of the “counter-culture”.


Monday, November 7 2011

Humor vs. Religion: An Unholy War. Part Two: Dispatches from the Front Lines

For comedians like Ricky Gervais, Bill Maher and others, the non-rational beliefs and behaviors that religion fosters are, from a “material” perspective, manna from heaven.


Thursday, September 1 2011

Humor vs. Religion: An Unholy War, Part One

Even within the US, where democracy and political openness have fostered a rich tradition of rebellious humor, stains still linger from those periods when “God-is-on-our-side” attitudes swept the nation into a mass hysteria of obedience and fear.


Tuesday, June 21 2011

Football Humor, Like the Game Itself, Is about Attack, Defense, and then Counter-Attack

No city in England “enjoys” such an entrenched, venomous, and savage sports rivalry as Manchester does with City and United. It's no wonder that a recent survey found Manchester to be the “rudest city in the world”.


Sunday, March 20 2011

Banksy’s Bare Wit-ness

Like Aristophanes in Ancient Greece, Mark Twain in 19th century America, or Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes, Banksy’s visual humor chastises power in its multiple manifestations by hauling it before the court of public opinion for a well-deserved flogging.


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