‘Mary Poppins’ age rating increased in U.K. due to ‘discriminatory language’”

The objectionable word is “Hottentot.”

From context, I knew that the “Hottentots” were an African group of some kind, but I didn’t know exactly what a Hottentot was until today, and I didn’t know it was a disparaging term. There is a scene in Mary Poppins where some stuffy old fart insults the chimney sweeps by comparing their blackened faces to Hottentots. Frankly, as I listen to that with today’s ears, I think it would be offensive even if “Hottentot” were the accepted name for that ethnic group. I guess things were different in 1964, when white people could get by with all kinds of racist shit.

As the good lord intended. (Or so they thought at the time.)

“Colorado high schoolers Jaxson Remmick and Gavin Hamann have already won a pair of national championships in the American Cornhole League. This fall, both head to South Carolina to play Division One cornhole.”

Pickleball is next!

In fact, pickleball makes more sense than this.

How long before division one Twister?

It may seem that Hallmark and the candy companies invented this holiday, but the celebration of this feast on Feb 14th dates back 1500 years

Saint Valentine of Rome was martyred on February 14 in AD 269. The Feast of Saint Valentine, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day, was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14.

Of course that feast originally had nothing to do with romance. St. Valentine was the patron saint of funny hats. I made that up, of course, but the truth is almost as silly. He was the patron saint of epilepsy and beekeeping.

The feast acquired its modern meaning about 600 years ago, and the romantic associations were either invented by or first documented by ol’ Jeff Chaucer himself: “For this was on seynt Volantynys day Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.” (The last three words would be “choose his mate” in modern English. The rest is self-explanatory.)

The fact that Chaucer was the first to mention the romantic angle could have happened because Chaucer was pretty much the only significant English author in that era, and few came before him. That was an era when few were literate and those who could read and write were generally reading and transcribing classical texts and sacred works. The printing press had not yet been invented. Anybody who scribbled an original thought, and was in a position to distribute it to literate people, could rise immediately to second place on the most-read list. (The Bible had a centuries-old stronghold on the top spot.) It is therefore possible that the association of Valentine’s Day with romance existed undocumented for centuries before Chaucer wrote about it.

Both Shakespeare and John Gay commented on Chaucer’s reference to the mating birds of St. Valentine’s Day.

  • Shakespeare wrote in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (around 1590): “Saint Valentine is past. Begin these wood birds but to couple now?”
  • John Gay wrote in The Shepherd’s Week (1714): “Last Valentine, the day when birds of kind their paramours with mutual chirpings find.”

The weather of England must have been quite mild in those days if they associated February 14th with chirping birds.

The printing press appeared in the century after Chaucer’s, and soon thereafter came the earliest surviving, well-documented “Be My Valentine” note that we know of, in a subsequently published letter that Margery Brews wrote to her fiancé John Paston in 1477, calling him her “right well-beloved valentine.

In the original text: “Unto my ryght welebelovyd Voluntyn, John Paston, Squyer, be this bill delyvered.”

Bottom line: That lovey-dovey Valentine crap has been in the English-speaking world for a good while, since long before Whitman invented the sampler.


Most macabre St. Valentine trivia:

The flower-crowned alleged skull of St. Valentine is exhibited in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome.

Let’s face it, that is a turnstile through which we must all pass eventually.

“Choi Min-ah, the daughter of a company president, mistakes a new machine as a device which helps her with her fatigue, and she is accidentally turned into a chicken nugget. As her father, Choi Seon-man and intern Go Baek-joong who has a crush on her, try to turn her back into a human, they discover unexpected secrets.”

I wonder how many nugget-related secrets can truly be unexpected.

The Sleepy One claimed to have a chat with French president Francois Mitterand in 2021 – a pretty nifty trick since Mitterand died 25 years earlier!

It also seems that there is no French citizenship in the afterlife. Biden first referred to him as “Mitterand from Germany”!

Wait, now I get it. I saw The Sixth Sense. Biden has been dead the whole time.

This places him in a new light. While he looks pretty burnt-out for a living human, he looks above average for a corpse.

About a decade ago she had breast reduction surgery. Per Wikipedia: “She was shocked after walking down the red carpet to see the photos the next day and ‘every headline be about my cleavage.'”

And yet here we are, about a decade later, and … look at the headline above. The cleave is once again impressive.

I suppose there’s not much else to write about since I haven’t seen her in anything since Modern Family went off the air. I never watched that celebrity astronaut show, which was basically Dancing With the Stars, except without the dancing and the stars. I couldn’t get excited to watch McLovin and some Willis offspring pretend to live on Mars.

I did read that Ariel thought it wasn’t a fair competition because another entrant, Lance Armstrong, was a real astronaut.

Everyone knows the guy on the moon was really Stretch Armstrong.

If there really was a guy on the moon.

If the moon is even a real thing, and not a hologram projected from a secret base in the desert.

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This revered screen treasure is now on Tubi in its entirety. In addition to Angelique, it features several actors whose names you probably know: Julie “Living Doll” Newmar, Wally “Underdog” Cox and Victor “Count Manzeppi” Buono (pictured above with Pettyjohn). I’m guessing that all of them save Pettyjohn wanted to forget that they were ever in this movie.

I don’t remember why, but I actually wrote a lengthy review of this offbeat flick. Here’s a line that will give you at least a small clue to the insanity of this film:

Oh, boy, I’ve been putting off mentioning this one, because it is just too embarrassing to type. This must be the only film in which Wally Cox does a nude sex scene.

Julie Newmar mentions in the DVD special features that the film was made for literally zero budget. The director filmed without permission in various locations, and never paid the actors. (We presume he conned people out of a camera and film.) It goes without saying that no actor would ever work for him after that, so this remains his one and only film.


1. The evil count’s full name was Carlos Mario Vincenzo Robespierre Manzeppi. That was a character in Wild Wild West. In the same era, Buono also played the villainous King Tut in the campy Batman series. Coincidentally, Newmar also played a Batman villain, Catwoman. (I assume it’s a coincidence, unless the director specifically tried to hire Batman characters.)

2. I’m so old that I remember Wally Cox as “Mr. Peepers,” a high school teacher who was not a voyeur, despite his name. (C’mon, man. It was the 50s.)

3. You probably know that Angelique was Captain Kirk’s green-haired love interest in “The Gamesters of Triskelion.” She was popular at Star Trek conventions for many years, but died while still in her 40s.

I rarely agree with him, but this is an exception. When he’s right, give him his props.

He proceeded to demonstrate how the testers give him six “names” to remember. He then proceeded to list no names at all, but five random things, “a chair, a hat, a badge, a necklace, and a vote” (That last one might have been “a boat.” He sort of slurred it.)

Trump’s sixth thing was probably “an unfound door.” He didn’t specifically name it because … well, because it wasn’t found.


This has been your obscure Thomas Wolfe reference of the day. Mr. Wolfe, a true literary lion, famously listed random things in a poetic style of prose: “A stone, a leaf, an unfound door.” Perhaps Mr. Trump missed his calling.


Alternate theory:

Perhaps he was answering a trivia question: “Name all the things Doja Cat wore to the 2021 VMA show.”

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We know her better as “Catherine” Bach, but she was plain ol’ Kathy back in 1976, about three years before The Dukes of Hazzard.

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Extraordinarily bad movie. It’s one of those where, even when you have just watched it, you can’t describe what it is about. Given that, I wrote a completely fake review suggesting that it was a lost script by Shakespeare, and many people took me seriously, despite lines like this:

It represents Shakespeare’s only known indulgence in the more explicit details of “the saporous Sapphic supper,” or as we like to call it today, carpet-munching. Unfortunately, the film may not perfectly reflect Shakespeare’s intentions, since it has been filtered through the imperfect recollections of a writer whose other works include “Blazing Stewardesses.”

As Lincoln (allegedly) pointed out, you can fool some of the people all of the time …

even when you’re not trying to.

Here’s what the film is supposed to be about, per Wikipedia:

Nicole is a wealthy, reclusive widow who lives alone with her murderous chauffeur. When she falls for a successful car salesman, and makes friends with a young dancer, things begin to turn out for the better. However, when she begins to suspect that the car salesman is cheating on her, she snaps and slips into an “alternate reality of violence, sex and paranoia.”

I wonder how you word the “help wanted” ad when you’re looking for a murderous chauffeur. Do you have to use coded language, or do you just come right out with it?

Is there anyone Fani hasn’t fooled around with? I can see her smoochin’ it up with the sexy lawyer, but … well …

Kidding aside, I am having a hard time believing this story. Michael Isikoff is a respected journalist, but I would like to know his source for these anecdotes, and whether he followed the standard practice of getting another source to confirm.

Supposedly Graham said, “If you told Trump Martians stole the election, he’d probably believe you.” That’s kind of true, at least as hyperbole. If he could believe the Hugo Chavez and Ruby Freeman stuff, he would believe almost anything. This reminds me that I once worked with a market research expert who told me this anecdote about a time when his client insisted on introducing a product that had been summarily rejected by consumers in test markets.

“Since he insisted on a roll-out, I had to come up with a target market for his commercials. Do you buy ads targeting old people? Teenagers? Housewives? Since the product’s use applied more or less equally across all demo groups, and was rejected across-the-board by all of them. I got the idea of developing a gullibility score outside of the traditional demos. The client looked at my questionnaire about his product and asked me why I had included a question about the Rapture. ‘How can that be relevant?,’ he asked. I said, ‘Look, your ad claims are dubious, so you need some gullible people. If people believe in the Rapture, they will believe absolutely anything.’ He scoffed, but it turned out I was right. There was a tight correlation between people’s responses to his ads and the Rapture question. He ended up buying ads on conservative religious programming and cable networks friendly to evangelicals. It worked like a charm. The product picked up tons of first-time customers. Unfortunately, they turned out to be one-time customers because the product didn’t do what the ads implied. The lack of repeat purchases and the bad word-of-mouth soon killed it. But I still contend that my idea was Nobel Prize material.”