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Tag Archives: badass

Why I’m Voting for Obama: Five Haikus

28 Oct

I’d give him the head of state.

I’m no political scientist. I have never peered over the edge of the fiscal cliff; my knowledge of U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan is hazier than the only night I’ve ever been to the Deuce; and I picture the inner workings of the White House as strikingly similar to the Department of Mysteries in Harry Potter.

I am, however, a sucker for cool people doing cool shit. So SUCK IT, political ideologues – this election day, I’m gonna vote for Obama because he is both a PILF and the epitome of badass. Never mind that I believe in his straightforward adherence to old-fashioned democratic ideals – as in, equality in everything from universal health care  and marriage to freedom of choice – or his defense of national parks, or the respect he commands internationally. That shit pales in comparison to his killer dirt-off-your-shoulder. The Obamas, ESPECIALLY Barack, are rad. Just like, super cool. Honestly, even if Obama was all, “Let’s just put Sasha and Malia and the dog in charge while I go surfing in Honolulu and smoke some weed,” I’d vote for him anyway. A cool president is worth a million jobs in the manufacturing sector.

You know what else is worth a million jobs in the manufacturing sector? Amateur poetry. And everyone knows that the best form of amateur poetry comes in snack-size haikus – traditional short-form Japanese poems that follow a 5-7-5 syllabic pattern. So without further ado, I present an artistic homage to my favorite prez’ campaign in a manner that’s about as political as a toy poodle.

On Michelle’s super-toned arms
Graceful, burnished, buff
Those arms could lift our nation.
Can I vote for them?

On Barack’s Rad Music Taste
Let’s contrast your tunes
– Kanye, Bruce, Aretha – Mitt’s:
Toby Fucking Keith.

On the fact that he has a puppy named in accordance with said music taste:
You’re the First Dog, the
Second Bo, the third chillest
White House resident.

On Weapons of Choice
In a real battle,
Your horses and bayonets
Would smash Mitt’s Big Bird.

On the book he wrote/dedicated to his daughters WHILE BEING A PRESIDENT
You wrote a FUCKING
KID’S BOOK about national
Heroes. Marriage me, plz.

Now that you’ve learned a little more about America’s favorite chiller firsthand – and gotten a little lesson in poetic brilliance along the way – I challenge you to come up with a haiku of your own about Mr. Barack! Challenge yourself and make it politically relevant. Better yet, make it dope.

Rock out with ur barack out,
Gwyneth

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Badasses in History: Shaka Zulu

7 Oct

Abs freaking everywhere

Ah Shaka Zulu.

Really, when it comes to warlords of Sub-Saharan Africa, it doesn’t get much more badass than old Shaka. Though not affiliated with Waka Flocka Flame—as their similar sounding names might lead you to believe—the two men do share some key similarities, in that both opposed the killing of animals: Waka by posing nude for PETA, Shaka by advocating the wholesale slaughter of those tribes not willing to submit to his rule.

Known even today as a military genius, Shaka managed to expand his chiefdom from a tribe 1,500 strong into an Empire spanning more than two million square miles and containing 250,000 subjects—or in modern parlance, the size of two Costcos and a Wall-mart.

Born with spear in hand (literally; it was a very very difficult pregnancy, let me tell you), Shaka essentially rebuilt the Zulu culture from the ground-up, transforming it into a militaristic war-machine by introducing the “iklwa,” (a short spear, named for the sound it made entering and exiting a foe’s body) the “assegai,” (a throwing spear; you figure this one out) and the spiked shield to his men. More importantly, Shaka also divided his warriors into smaller regiments, and required all his fighters to learn and understand complicated tactics (supplanting the previous “Run-forward-quickly-and-yell-loudly-stabstabstab” system used by his predecessors). In time, his men grew so fit that they could run up to 50 miles in a day. By comparison, most modern Americans can’t run to and from their fridge.[1]

Unsurprisingly, Shaka bitchslapped any rival tribes, giving the losers two choices: join Shaka and renounce their tribal loyalty, or live out the remainder of their lives in peace.

Oops. Homophones and whatnot. I meant pieces (Generally, this meant “the remainder” was in the ballpark of, oh, let’s say twenty seconds?).

As you can imagine, the second option was quite a bit less popular than the first, and as a result, Shaka is one of the lucky few to have finished a war with more people than he started it with, and is widely regarded as having controlled the most powerful and wide-reaching African empire since Ancient Egypt.[3]

Speaking of the British (read the footnotes, dick), Shaka managed to restrain his homicidal rage long enough to establish peaceful contact (damn, I was hoping for piece-full) and a few trade routes with the old limeys. That said, Shaka was generally more of the kill-first-who-cares-about-questions-anyway type, most notably after the death of his mother. When that happened, Kojak, I mean, Shaka, ordered a three-month period of mourning for all the Zulu people, in which no one was allowed to eat anything (which, you know, you need to do to like, live). Still not satisfied, Shaka went and murdered some cows so that the calves would know what it was like to lose a mother[4], and rounded his grief off by executing 7,000 people who “didn’t look sad enough.”

With no heads, they definitely looked sadder.

Anyhow, Shaka died in 1828, when his crotch-monkey half-brothers bro-ssassinated him with knives. He’s still remembered even today though as a definite badass.

Kind of a jerk though, right?


[1] You try running carrying a bowl of mash potatoes, two chickens, and one surprisingly unintelligent dog[2]

2 In that he is trying to eat the bowl rather than the potatoes

3 That English and French colonialism crap doesn’t count. If you don’t have a mountain of skulls, you’re not a warlord. Simple as can be.

4 Modern society’s got him beat on this one. Slaughterhouses, yo.

Why Obama Makes Me Sad

9 Feb

Let me ask you a question. How many of the following have happened since Obama’s election?

1) World peace
2) End of racism/sexism/homophobia/animal cruelty
3) The whales are saved.
4) My dog is as badass as this.

He's killing pirates! What would Jack Sparrow say about that!?

So there we have it: our president, contrary to popular belief, is not a demigod. Oh damn. If there’s anything I dislike about Obama, it’s that his followers seemed to think that following his election, a perfect world would ensue. However, in a perfect world, Rick Perry would be dead and Katy Perry would be granted immortality. So quit slobbing on his knob, because he hasn’t really done much to move us in that direction.

Here’s my first beef with Obama: the guy’s voting record as a Senator basically screams “I Wanna Be President.” The Illinois senate records show that Obama has voted “present” on 130 motions, mostly on controversial issues. Voting “present” is essentially voting “meh,” as a lawmaker. You only say “meh” when you don’t have the energy or clarity to say “No, thank you, I have decided to disagree with the decision being decided.” In a parallel manner, voting “present” means a politician either doesn’t have an opinion or doesn’t want evidence that he has one, because opinions are usually offensive to someone. Having a solidified stance would mean he’d eventually lose voters, and again, the man has had his eyes on the Oval Office longer than Rebecca Black has been alive.

At least nobody has looked sexier while cutting prescription drug costs for medicare by 50%

Number two: Obama is from one of the most corrupt states in the nation. Did anyone question how the man whose record is as spotless as a baby’s ass* somehow gathered votes in the state that produced Blagojevich, Ryan, and the Daley dynasty? Just in case you’re not local, the Land of Lincoln hasn’t had much recent luck electing moral lawmakers. 6 of the last 9 governors are charged with white-collar corruption, and 4 of those were convicted and jailed for it. The most recent villain was caught attempting to ensure that his appointment for Senate seat had something in it for him. I’m not making wild accusations of corruption; I don’t think he’s Blago. I’m saying that Obama passed the healthcare bill like a true Illinois politician: buying the holdout votes with “There’s something in it for you, Nevada and Florida!” Washington, meet pay-to-play politics.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent Facebook status reposted by a friend of mine: “Things my president has done: Got Osama…check. Same wife for 15 years with no extramarital affairs….check. Only active President to receive Nobel Peace Prize while in office…check.” There are several things wrong with this, other than the obvious “please stop drooling and engage your mental cavity.” The first: don’t give him credit for finding Osama. OUR TROOPS DID. Give him credit for the things he’s done — getting minorities out there voting, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and buying us a healthcare bill we didn’t want while teaching the country how Illinois does legislation.

But wait, there’s more: he can stay married! Without cheating! Give the man a prize! Speaking of prizes: I should really be past this by now. But Nobel Peace prize????? Didn’t old people use to have to DO shit for that????**

Not even comparable.

And to close: though I enjoy Al Green as much as the next person, I don’t give a rat’s ass if our president is “cute.” I want a president with a pair of balls*** and a goddamn voting record. Preferably the latter. Til then, I’m gonna hold this vote. If I want to interact with a cute older man, I will seek out Liam Neeson and Frank Sinatra. Frankie has a better voice, anyways.

Here’s to bipartisanship.

Brother Jürgen, please say you’ll still love me?

——————————————————————————————————————————
*Please ponder that metaphor. It was intentional.
**Also, congratulations to the original author of this quote for seriously qualified statements. “Only President to win Nobel Prize? Damn, there were four of those. Only President to do it while in office? Damn, that was three of them! Only President alive who’s won it? Fucking Jimmy Carter! Alright- he’s the only president we have RIGHT NOW who won the Nobel Peace Prize!”
***or, as a forwarded email from my mother instructed, “Balls are weak and sensitive. If you really want to get tough, grow a vagina. Those things take a pounding.”

Special thanks to Blake Wilson, whose Facebook feedback comparing Sherman Ave to the gastrointestinal contents at the end of the Human Centipede struck the perfect balance between offensive and motivating. Blake, don’t off yourself because of internet shenanigans; we’re still mourning Phoebe Black.

10 Events in World History That Totally Should Have Been Pregamed

2 Feb

There was once a time when history was regarded with reverence and esteem. Then the History Channel aired “Ice Road Truckers,” and since then, it has been hard for anyone to take history seriously. That being said, we still view history as an important part of our heritage that must be studied and understood. And by “studied and understood,” we of course mean “examined to establish which historical events would be funniest if all parties involved were shitfaced.” Here at Sherman Ave, history and drinking go together like, well, Mohawk rum and CVS-brand soda. Thus, we proudly present to you the 10 events in world history that totally should have been pregamed.

And you thought Northwestern students' Halloween costumes were offensive

10. The Travels of Marco Polo
As anybody who ever made the excruciating journey from the Keg to the mystical and foreign land of Burger King can attest, drunk adventures just tend to be more interesting than sober travels. Just imagine if Marco Polo had downed two bottles of wine before setting out from Venice! The young guido would probably embark on a series of raucous adventures throughout his travels, recording everything from his first encounters with Asian fusion cuisine in the land of Joy Yee to an ill-fated attempt to skinny dip in the Arabian Sea in an incomprehensibly ungrammatical text message sent to his roommate at three in the morning. The next day, Marco Polo would be way too hungover to feel dismayed by the revelation that, after being carried like three miles by his friends to the Yuan court, Polo used the sacred oil from Jerusalem entrusted to him by Gregory X to introduce the Mongolian Empire to waffle fries before promptly vomiting on Kublai Khan’s lap.

9. The Storming of the Bastille
On July 14, 1789, a bunch of disgruntled poor French people massed upon the Bastille, a large prison known for holding political prisoners. If you think about it, there are only three explanations for masses of people converging on a public place — they’re angry, they’re drunk, or they’re in the Jai Ho music video. Regrettably, seeing as the French were mostly angry in this scenario; they really should have been drunk. Simply compare the nature of angry public gatherings and drunken public gatherings. Angry public gatherings include Occupy Wall Street, Tiananmen Square, and Nazi book burnings. Drunken public gatherings include Snoop Dogg concerts, St. Patrick’s Day, and the celebration of Osama bin Laden’s death. You decide which you find preferable. Besides, A Tale of Two Cities would just be so much more interesting if Madame Lafarge was vomiting uncontrollably in every scene.

8. The Defenestration of Prague
Like anybody needs much provocation to drink in order to escape the infernal bleakness of Eastern Europe. But I usually do need to be at least a couple of shots of absinthe deep before I defend my religious freedom by shoving Catholics out of a third floor window into a pit of manure. Not to mention, a good pregame would have added a whole other layer to the term “getting shit-faced.”

Foam is beer!

7. The Crusades
Which Crusades? ALL OF THEM. ALL OF THE CRUSADES SHOULD HAVE BEEN PREGAMED. Okay, it’s like a road trip, but you can be as sloshy-slosh as you want, because you don’t have to worry about getting a DUI (unless the Holy Roman Empire stringently enforced horse-riding sobriety). Besides, there is no better instigator of belligerent shenanigans than Pope Urban II’s famous declaration, “God wills it!” That’s just asking to be misinterpreted for fratty purposes. Fifteen shots in an hour? God wills it! Eight consecutive kegstands? God wills it! Seriously, if someone walked up to me tomorrow and said “Hey, God wants us to get incredibly blitzed and then go ride a horse from Rome to Jerusalem,” I would instantly buy the necessary supplies. Then I’d probably proceed to buy a bible, to double-check the whole divine mandate thing.

6. Marx Writes the Communist Manifesto
Alcoholism becomes much easier when it’s supported by a good old-fashioned dialectical materialist ideology. A tipsy Marx after an unlucky game of Drunkopoly would undoubtedly replace his theories of Das Kapital with Das Boot, the class struggle with the timeless struggle for consciousness, and the stateless society the ideal of a pants-less society. His manuscript — hastily scrawled on the back of a cocktail napkin — would ignite rebels everywhere with its message, resulting in a series of idealistic revolutions calling for the redistribution of Miller High Life among the proletariat but rapidly degenerating into a dystopian shitshow of Adele lyrics in the gulag of Fran’s Cafe.

5. Hannibal Leading His Army Over the Alps
When I’m plastered, there are only two things I want: Guacamole and Elephants. I have some doubts about the guacamole rations in the Carthaginian army, but there were definitely some fucking elephants. They’re just so large! In that state of mind, it’s difficult to perceive objects larger than the distance between Burger King and 7/11. An elephant would just be mind-blowing. Furthermore, there are tons of fun activities to do in the Alps: skiing, snowboarding, sledding, making snow angels, having snowball fights with fellow Carthaginian soldiers, walking behind Hannibal and quietly muttering lines from “Silence of the Lambs,” etc. If someone just told me to march over an entire mountain range, I’d be pretty miffed, but if someone had me do a power hour and then said “Let’s go hiking!” I’d take the bait like a middle-aged housewife at Herman Cain’s mansion.

A thimblefull of tequila brings out her coquettish side

4. The Trial of Joan of Arc
Tensions might have ran high in the Rouen courtroom as the Maid of Orléans was tried for heresy, but that’s nothing a little Smirnoff chased by a slap can’t solve! If only the Bishop Cauchon had pregamed, the interrogation would have devolved from religious inquiry to a saucy game of “Never Have I Ever,” with questions mostly pertaining to Joan’s fantasies about the Dauphin and her penchant for cross-dressing. Joan of Arc will then famously proceed to declare to the courtroom, “I do not think I am in mortal sin, and if I am, it is for God and the priest in confession to know that I used the pages of Ezekial 23: 19-20 to roll the biggest joint Charles VII ever saw!” The trial would inevitably end with the pronouncement that the patron saint of France was “one righteous motherfucker” before burning her at the stake and cooking escargot over her smoldering ashes.

3. The Arrival of Cortez in Mexico
I’ll be the first to admit: When I’ve have too much to drink, I’m very friendly. Best friends are inundated with hugs, acquaintances are equally inundated with hugs, and the quiet Korean girl from my Econ discussion probably sustains a fairly serious spinal injury from the amount and magnitude of the hugs with which she is inundated. But even in all of my drunken affection, I very rarely greet a stranger and jump to the conclusion that they are the god Quetzalcoatl. There was that one time, but she had a very oddly proportioned face, and I couldn’t come up with any other explanation for it. Ultimately, Montezuma and his Aztec cronies should have heavily pregamed the arrival of Cortez, if for no other reason than to justify their absurd actions (just think if only Cortez had been entranced by the Aztec’s gold tequila rather than the golden buildings of Tenochtitlan). I’d have to be incredibly trashed to give a stranger the keys to the capital city of my civilization, even though I was once trashed enough to lock the keys in the car at 2:30 in the morning after drunkenly transporting a couch through several blocks of downtown Evanston.

2. The Construction of Stonehenge
Seeing as its pretty easy to build Stonehenge in the opening of Civilization IV, I can only assume that the Druids were pretty far gone when they built one the most complex monuments of the Stone Age. I mean, you’d kind of have to be three sheets to the wind to agree to lug 25-ton rocks from a Welsh quarry to some testament for the enterprising spirit of man. Assuming the Druids were drunk on mead, there are few explanations remaining for the memorial. My guess is that they either built a fast-food restaurant catering to students’ late-night culinary needs, or else a bar with a lax ID policy and stripper poles on the dance floor.

Drink every time a Russian model looks like this by the time she hits her mid-thirties?

1. Russia
You may not have ever thought to pregame an entire nation, but it seems like the only appropriate thing to do. I’d really like to isolate a single event in Russian history that needs to be pregamed more than the others, but that is simply a Sisyphean task. Conclusion: Nothing in or relating to Russia should ever involve sobriety. Therefore, instead of painstakingly listing every event in Russian history, I present to you: “History of Russia: The Drinking Game!”
• Drink every time Russia is invaded in the winter against the invader’s better judgment
• Drink every time a prominent politician is sent to a gulag
• Drink every time Brezhnev’s eyebrows appear in an intricate nightmare of yours
• Drink every time Putin shares an uncomfortably intimate moment with a wild animal
• Drink every time Tolstoy and/or Dostoevsky makes you lose faith in everything, LITERALLY EVERYTHING
• Drink every time Tchaikovsky tries to suppress his latent homosexuality
• Drink every time a Russian leader tries to expand executive power
o Drink twice if it’s Putin
• Waterfall from 1917-1991

Ross Packingham and Evander Jones

Love a Random State: Ohio

24 Jan

I may be a tad bit biased, but Ohio is a pretty badass state. We fuck up pretty much every Presidential Election. We can’t make decisions on anything from street cars to abortion. We are some waffling motherfuckers, and I’m not talking about McGriddles. Besides being a political asshole, here are some other reasons you should bow down and worship my state of conception/birth/childhood.

The beautiful metropolis of Cleveland

1. Ohio is the 7th largest state by population.
Cincinnati is the 61st largest city in the nation by population.* Being mediocrely medium-sized takes all the pressure off being big. We may not have the hustle and bustle of New York or the flotsam and jetsam of Chicago, but we sure do have a lot of wide open spaces and corn. This makes for some great middle school field trips, like visiting an Amish farm and learning how to properly milk a cow or taking a spin on a tea-cup-death-trap-vomit-inducing ride while eating a stick of deep-fried butter at the local carnival.

2. Subpar athletics.
I may not be an expert when it comes to sports. I didn’t vehemently protest the NBA lockout, I do not worship Tebow born from the Virgin Mother, nor do I have any vague inkling as to what Royal Shrovetide Football is really all about. However, I do know one thing: If the Cincinnati Bengals were running in the Republican primaries, they would rank somewhere above Michelle Bachmann and somewhat below Stephen Colbert. They may suck at football and politics, but the Bengals have quite a record off the field. Since 2000, the team has a combined criminal record of 30 arrests, 8 DUIs, and 1 charge of “boating under the influence.”** I’m not really sure how this makes Ohio awesomely badass, but it does.

3. Larger than life Presidents.
We produced President William Howard Taft, the man who couldn’t fit in a normal bathtub. In fact, a bathtub fit for four men was installed in the White House just for him. I bet VP James Sherman had a pretty good time in there, seeing as he was a normal sized man. (That leaves room for three more people, for those of you who are still in Math 110).

O-hi-OH!!!!

4. Ohio is beautiful.
OK, maybe just Halle Berry is. Halle Berry was Miss Ohio 1986. At 19, Halle managed to lock down a state title and first runner-up for the Miss USA pageant. Pretty badass, Ms. Berry.

5. Badass motherfuckers in office.
Jerry Springer, host of The Jerry Springer Show, served on Cincinnati’s city council for three years, before resigning when Jerry’s favorite hang-out was revealed: a Kentucky “massage parlor.”*** But it only gets better: he paid his “masseuse” with a city check. It doesn’t get much classier than that. He was then elected the mayor of Cincinnati from 1977-1978. We obviously know how to choose effective leaders.

6. In Ohio, it is illegal to get a fish drunk.****
Need I say more?

7. Where art thou, Ohio?
There actually aren’t many NU students from Ohio. There should certainly be more Amish, chili-loving, politically frustrated, Midwesterners up in Northwestern’s business. However, this makes for some great feedback. Apparently, Californians have no fucking clue where Ohio is. My roommate thought it was near Iowa and her friend could swear she thought it was south of Illinois. I guess they don’t teach Geography in the Bay Area. As a loyal Ohioan and a college student with half my brain still intact despite raging alcoholism and mind numbing, drug-induced Sporcle competitions, I know exactly where Ohio is: right between New Mexico and Arizona. Right?

8. Home of Skyline Chili.
Although none of you Northside Prep trust-fund babies or LTHS fanboys have heard of Skyline, enlighten yourselves. Cincinnati’s definition of chili: chocolate (yes, chocolate) ground beef soup poured over spaghetti noodles and topped with neon yellow, synthesized, shredded cheddar cheese. Mouth-o-meter: fucking delicious.

9. Hipsterz.
Searching for the inner-sanctum of hipsterism? Look no further. Clifton, a small neighborhood on the outskirts of downtown Cincinnati, is a hub of culture and excitement. 98% of Clifton residents are Democrat, making us some badass, Obama loving hippies. 98% of us also love Indian food. Why? There are 7 locally owned Indian restaurants in Clifton. Step outside my house and take a good whiff of Saag Paneer and Chicken Curry. Yum. You can always find a homeless town troubadour belting out his love life with the aid of his trusty accordion. Besides musicians, we are also home to many other badass personalities, such as the mysterious bag man who, although he appears to be homeless, goes to the grocery store every day and picks up 3 lemons, a loaf of bread, and a bag of kitty litter. Meth lab, anyone? There is also the penguin man who yells at cars going over 25, the local business owners who all seem to be tangled in a Romeo and Juliet-esque love affair, and my personal favorite, the middle school drug dealers who hang out at the shelter in Burnet Woods after school. (Whoops, did I just blow your cover?)

Take a trip back in time

10. We have one of the largest Amish populations in the country.
Amish people are badass. Love the Amish, and eat their chicken; it’s free-range!

Needless to say, Ohio is a badass state. If this article has convinced you to pack up your Illinois life (or wherever the fuck you’re from) and move to Ohio, call my step dad. He’s a realtor.

——————————————————————————————————————————
*Sporcle. Yeah, I did it. I used Sporcle as a source. Try to censor that, PIPA.
**NKY Sports World
***Massage parlor = brothel
****Twitter

Badasses in History: Audie Murphy

4 Dec

Audie, en route to fucking some shit up

Let’s start this week’s historical badass with a riddle. What’s black and blue and red all over? Answer: Chuck Norris after trying to fuck with Audie Murphy.

“That’s impossible!” you say.

Well, shut the fuck up and sit down and maybe you’ll see what I’m talking about.

You see our story begins in 1924 when Audie was born the sixth of twelve children to Emmett and Josie Murphy in Kingston, Texas. Things were hard for Audie, as he was and would remain very small, something looked poorly upon in Texas, “where everything is bigger.”

Riiiiiiight.

Anyway, Audie and his siblings worked on the family farm as children, at least until his father abandoned the family in 1936, presumably saying, “How the fuck did we end up with this many kids?” His mother died five years later, leaving the Murphy children to fend for themselves, with only the oldest sibling, Elizabeth, at age 31 to care for them.

Audie, rightfully realizing his life was going up shit-creek faster than a prairie dog in a wheelbarrow race, decided the best thing to do would be for him to join the army. So, Audie put his three youngest siblings in an orphanage (he would later reclaim them after coming back from the war), and attempted to enlist.

See, I say “attempted” for a reason.

Thing is, Audie tried to enlist right after Pearl Harbor, at age 17, but was turned away for being too young. Reputedly, Audie hulked the fuck out on the recruiter, but matters would stand this way for some time. Shortly after, Audie tried to enlist once again, but was declined by the Marines, the Air Force, and the Navy.

Why? Well, he was 5’5’’ and 110 pounds. Yeah, he kind of looked like one of those starving kids Sally Struthers is always bitching about. Luckily for Audie however, the United States Army was always on the lookout for meatshields…I mean corpses…I mean cannon fodder.

Damn it! I mean upstanding, brave specimens of American masculinity.

Yeah, that works.

So, long story short, Audie finally got to live out his dream of being a military man. At which point he promptly passed out during training and was ordered to be a cook instead. But, like short people everywhere, Audie wouldn’t shut the fuck up. He insisted on being a combat soldier for so long that finally his drill sergeant gave up and let him do it.

At this point Audie got sent overseas to North Africa, where he saw no action and presumably just fucked around playing stickball or something. After getting tossed over to Sicily however, Audie finally got to prove himself and was quickly promoted to sergeant.

So he was only like 18. He was Audie Motherfucking Murphy, so suck it.

That's more gold on his chest than Nelly has in his mouth

Now we get to the fun part, and by fun part, I mean we get to the part where Audie becomes the most decorated soldier in American history.

I didn’t mention that before? Really? I could have sworn…

Well no matter! Just listen up.

By the way, Audie contracted malaria during the Allied Invasion of Siciliy. So everything I’m about to explain? He did it with malaria. Yeah.

At one point, Audie mined a road where Axis tanks were known to be crossing. Asking his men to cover him, Audie stealthily snuck up on one such tank and tried to blow the thing up with a Molotov cocktail. When that didn’t work, Audie tried rifle grenades (all while getting shot at, and pulling Matrix style shit to avoid them). It worked. All by his lonesome, Audie managed to knock the tank off its treads, rendering it useless.

Yeah, Audie Murphy took out a tank, all by himself.

What the fuck? I can’t even do that shit in a videogame much less real life. And he was 5’5’’. There are NBA centers whose arms are longer than that. AND he was 110 lbs. That’s like what? How much my books weigh each quarter?

So we’ve established he was a badass, and that alone would be enough to ensure him a place of glory (it did win him a Bronze Star), but it’s not all.

The scene: It’s 1944, the Germans are being repelled and the Allies are pushing forward. BUT! The German forces are by no means down for the count. Enter a beachhead in Southern France.

Audie and his company were ordered to capture an enemy artillery position. In the course of the conflict, the Germans signaled their surrender, at which point Audie and his men went to take their position.

Of course, Nazi’s being total dickwads, they were faking and promptly shot and killed Audie’s BFFL.

This was really quite a poor decision on behalf of those Germans. I say “poor decision,” but what I really mean is “complete and utter catastrophe.” This is because Audie Murphy, on seeing his friend gunned down in front of his eyes, went Super Saiyan.

Legends say that he was doused with fire and emerged unscathed. That he shrugged off the strikes of lightning like they were so much trash. He endured a hail of bullets and his screams of rage flung them to the ground.

It may not be all true, but the reality is this: Within one hour, every single German was dead. Audie literally ran to the German position, amidst a storm of bullets, and took control of the nearest machine gun, slaughtering every Nazi within sight, and winning him the Distinguished Service Cross.

When another machine gun operator starting firing on Audie, he promptly picked up a mortar gun and gave that Kraut bastard what for. He then took out two more turrets and two sniper positions.

All by HIMSELF. This guy makes Rambo look like a pussy. Hell, he makes Seal Team 6 look like kindergarteners.

But even that doesn’t measure up to his actions in Holtzwihr Forest, which I’ll get to in a minute.

Before Holtzwihr Forest, however, Audie won the Purple Heart —for taking a mortar shell fragment to the hip, then immediately requesting to return to the front upon recovery — and two Silver Stars — the first for taking out two German positions using only a pair of hand grenades, saving the lives of numerous other soldiers; the second for reconnoitering near a German outpost and relaying its location to nearby artillery so it could be destroyed.

In case you aren’t keeping track at home, the tally is as follows: 1 Bronze Star, 1 Purple Heart, 1 Distinguished Service Cross, and 2 Silver Stars. Not bad for a 20-year-old right? He was also promoted to staff sergeant, then platoon sergeant, then platoon leader, AND THEN 2nd Lieutenant during this time.

Well it gets better.

On January 26th, 1945 (just one day after being named company commander, as well as suffering wounds from a mortar that exploded nearby that same fucking day), Audie and company became engaged in battle in the Holtzwihr Forest in France (I know, the name sounds German. Shut up).

During the course of the battle, Murphy’s 128-man company was reduced to 19 men, nearly all of them wounded. Realizing things might not turn out sunshine and daises, Audie decided to do something incredible: hold the Germans off by himself.

Yeah, he did that thing every movie hero does but that no one has the balls to pull of in real life. HE PULLED A FUCKING GANDALF AND SAID “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”

Seriously though, he shot at the Germans until he ran out of ammunition, at which point he climbed aboard a flaming, abandoned M10 Tank Destroyer (yes, it fucking blows the shit up out of tanks). Remember, it was on fire while he did everything I’m about to tell you. And he still had malaria. And he was wounded from the mortar shell. Also, it was 14°F. Just so we’re clear.

Audie started using the .50 caliber machine gun on all Germans coming his way. He got shot in the leg, but kept going for nearly an hour, all single-handed. The only time he stopped fighting was to call in artillery fire using a nearby telephone line.

In the end, Murphy and his remaining men—who came back—staged a counterattack and drove the Germans back out of Holtzwihr Forest, winning the battle.

When asked why he had decided to seize a machine gun and attack an entire squad of German infantry, he uttered perhaps the most badass explanation ever given:

Nobody fucks with Audie's betches

“They were killing my friends.”

I stand in awe of this man. If he wanted to punch me in the face I would take it and be honored. For his actions in Holtzwihr, Audie was given the Legion of Merit and the Medal of Honor, America’s highest military award, as well as given a promotion to 1st Lieutenant.

Audie continued fighting in the war, amassing a staggering total of military awards. In fact, he won every single U.S. decoration for valor available to Army ground personnel at the time. Some of them more than once.

In total, Audie was credited with destroying 6 tanks, and personally killing 240 German soldiers. Audie would eventually be promoted to Major while serving in the Texas National Guard. After his retirement from the service, he became an action star in Hollywood, starring in a few Westerns and — get this — playing himself in a movie called To Hell and Back about his battle in Holtzwihr.

He was such a popular actor, in fact, that he got a star on the Walk of Fame.

How can you get more badass?

Oh, here’s a list of Audie’s medals. If you don’t feel like counting, the number is 33. He was, and is, the most decorated soldier in American history.

• Congressional Medal of Honor
• Distinguished Service Cross
• Two Silver Stars
• Legion of Merit
• Two Bronze Stars
• Three Purple Hearts
• U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal
• Good Conduct Medal
• Two Presidential Unit Citations
• American Campaign Medal
• European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with One Silver Star,
Four Bronze Service Stars and one Bronze Arrowhead
• World War II Victory Medal
• Army of Occupation Medal
• Armed Forces Reserve Medal
• Combat Infantry Badge
• Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar
• Expert Badge with Bayonet Bar
• French Fourragere in Colors of the Croix de Guerre
• French Legion of Honor, Grade of Chevalier
• French Croix de Guerre With Silver Star
• French Croix de Guerre with Palm
• Medal of Liberated France
• Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 Palm

Badasses in History: Jean Lafitte

31 Oct

The Somalians know what's up

Pirates rock. And no, I’m not talking about the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, only the first of which was really any good. Yeah, Johnny Depp is a great actor, and Jack Sparrow is awesome and even got a song written about him by The Lonely Island. But in general, the movies sucked. At least we can all agree, real life pirates were awesome.

Well actually, most of them fucking sucked.

Being a pirate in the 18th and 19th centuries was a lot like being a cook at some shitty “restaurant” like McDonald’s. People made fun of you and you had no job security. Also, you were dirty, smelled bad, and were more than likely illiterate. I’ll end the comparison here, but I could go on and on.

The point is, the life of a pirate was not glamorous. Pirates more often stole food and everyday goods than gold. And really, what kind of idiot would bury his treasure as opposed to simply fucking buying an island or something?

Also, scurvy.

Widely renowned as “the douche of the seven seas”, scurvy killed more pirates (and sailors in general) than any high seas adventure ever did. If Pirates of the Caribbean depicted the life of a pirate accurately, 90% of the crew would have been dead of scurvy, disease, and starvation at the end of the first hour, and Jack would have either been caught or just said “fuck it all, I’m going back to land” in the fifteen minutes after that, thus ending the film before most of us could finish our two-foot long hoagies.

As you can see, being a pirate left a lot to be desired.

Way too badass for a frechman

Unless of course, you were Jean Lafitte.

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, he was French. But he was so badass it doesn’t matter.

He has more epithets than can conveniently fit on a business card: “The Corsair”, “The Buccaneer,” “The King of Barataria,” “The Terror of the Gulf,” “The Hero of New Orleans”; all of them names for the same man, the same baller. The same Pirate King.

For have no doubt, that is what he was. Jean Lafitte was an honest-to-goodness King of the Pirates. Operating out of Louisiana, Lafitte claimed as his kingdom much of the Gulf of Mexico and large parts of the Louisiana bayous, including the city of New Orleans.

A maze of swamps, bogs, river deltas and marshes, Lafitte’s realm was nigh-inaccessible to outsiders, and left hundreds of government bounty-hunters shitting their pants in frustration, while the crocodiles sat nearby playing poker, commenting that these newcomers were really rather mannerless. Imagine! Entering a swamp without offering some meat. The nerve!

Frivolity aside, Lafitte was something else. While a pirate, Lafitte was also something of a philanthropist, providing much needed supplies and foodstuffs to the poverty-stricken people of early-1800s New Orleans at low prices, without expectation of real compensation. In fact, Lafitte would often give the goods away for free. Here, for example, is a posting regarding one such event:

COME ONE! COME ALL!
TO JEAN LAFITTE’S
BAZAAR & SLAVE AUCTION
TOMORROW
AT THE TEMPLE
== FOR YOUR DELIGHT ==-
CLOTHING GEMS & KNICK-KNACKS
FROM THE SEVEN SEAS

And the people of New Orleans came. Men and women, parents and children, all loved Lafitte for the bounty he provided. What kind of a-hole wouldn’t like this sort of guy?

(Yes, slaves probably didn’t like him. Ignore that for the moment)

Funny you should ask. The answer is this fuck: William Charles Cole Claiborne (who you know is a douche because he has four names. Pretentious shit folks. Pretentious shit). Claiborne, naturally, was the Governor of New Orleans, a guy who really didn’t give a fuck about the welfare of his citizens.

Let’s be real here, if a Pirate King is more generous than you, you’re probably an asshole. Likely of some extremely smelly animal. Let’s say, for the sake of discussion, an elephant’s asshole. Yeah, that big of an asshole.

Claiborne was such a fuckwad that he issued a posting offering $300 for Lafitte’s head. And no, the reward did not count if Lafitte’s head was still attached to his neck. In any case, three-hundred dollars back then was a lot of money. But Lafitte, being such a generous soul, responded as any badass would.

He simply put out an advertisement of his own, offering $1000 dollars for the head of the Governor, a giant middle-finger to authority if ever there was one.

This, along with Lafitte’s so-called “piracy” (lolz), led Claiborne to try to create a militia with the sole purpose of popping a cap in Lafitte’s French ass. This unfortunately made Lafitte angry. And like the Hulk, you would not like Lafitte when he was angry.

Before I continue, I need to take a moment to explain something about Lafitte. He was, by all accounts almost always a perfect gentleman. Let me quote Joseph Geringer, author of an article entitled Jean Lafitte: Gentle Pirate of New Orleans.

Many stories exist, most of them founded on fact, attesting to his chivalry. When a family named Martin found itself in danger caught in a rowboat during a violent storm in the Gulf of Mexico, a vessel manned by Lafitte took them aboard. Mrs. Martin’s diary reads: “Lafitte the Pirate…treated us with all kindness possible (providing us with) a bountiful breakfast (and) even supplying a hat for my husband who had lost his own.

He gave the man a hat! How fucking cute is that!?

But seriously, Lafitte was a stand-up guy.

On another occasion—I shit you not; this sounds like it is straight out of a Disney movie:

A charming story relates the night that the pirates were playing cards in Lafitte’s den. An argument had broken out between Lafitte’s crew and Gambi’s, the latter blaming the others for cheating. “We shall have a third party cut the cards,” Lafitte announced and sent Thiac to summon one of the fishermen from the coast up to his house. When the fisherman arrived he looked nervous; he had brought with him his little daughter in hopes that these pirates wouldn’t harm him in front of his child.

Lafitte smiled when he saw the girl and asked her to cut the deck, explaining to her in a gentle voice what that meant. She did, and Lafitte went on to win the play. Gambi stormed out. Before they left, the island chief called the little girl to his lap, thanked her for her help and dropped a $20 gold piece into her palm. She grew up never forgetting the dashing pirate who had been so kind to her.

Hopefully voiced by Tom Hanks

Seriously, how has Disney not made a movie out of this? It has adorable children and the softening of the heart of a “cold” man.

It’s literally like Up if you replace the tiny old guy with a badass Frenchman (I’m still not used to having those words together like that) and the fat boy scout with a precious little creole girl.

Also, replace the dog with, let’s say, a crocodile with a monocle and top hat? Yeah, that works.

So clearly, Lafitte was not just a badass, he was a nice badass, which is arguably much much rarer.

Well, he was usually nice. Like I mentioned earlier, Lafitte had a bit of a temper. At one point during his reign as Pirate King of Barataria, a group of men assembled outside Lafitte’s home, threatening mutiny. Lafitte, badass that he was, came outside his home (presumably to the sound of thundering trumpets, as John Williams or Danny Elfman arranges the nearby orchestra) with a smile.

He was, in fact, still smiling when he strode up to the leader of the mutiny and casually shot the man in the face, then turned (continuing to smile I imagine) and returned to his evening dinner without a word.

Lafitte: 1, Mutiny: 0

Pure fucking ownage.

To add to his badassitude, Lafitte was also an accomplished duelist. And by “accomplished” I mean “Inigo Montoya, check what’s really up.” Reputedly, Lafitte never lost a duel, and was one of the most skilled rapier-duelists of the age.

In fact, legend has it that one night while eating dinner with his lady-companion at what would later become the Courtyard of Two Sisters Restaurant, Lafitte was challenged three separate times. Pausing momentarily to presumably offer the men the chance to leave with their lives and their dignity (or at least their lives), Lafitte apologized to the lady and drew his rapier.

Three dead douchebags later, Lafitte is said to have returned unharmed and unflustered to his filet mignon with cabernet sauce, which he proclaimed excellent.

But what really makes Lafitte so fascinating is this: he loved America, even though he was a French pirate.

Seriously, he ordered his men to never fire on or raid an American vessel. The one time someone did, Lafitte himself shot the troublemaker.

Despite this (as we’ve seen), American politicians (fuck you, Claiborne) and even Presidents continued calling for Lafitte’s capture and execution. They didn’t really care which one.

It wasn’t until the War of 1812 came along that Colonel Andrew Jackson—yes, that Andrew Jackson—decided it might be better to have Lafitte on their side. And because Lafitte loved America, he agreed to help.

He didn’t do very much useful though.

Oh wait, yes he fucking did. He was actually almost single-handedly responsible for the American victory at the Battle of New Orleans. You know, the one that later helped then-Colonel Andrew Jackson later win the White House and that helped the Americans repel the British. Yeah, that Battle of New Orleans.

A badass always recognizes a fellow badass

Jackson was thankful (duh) and requested that the U.S. government grant Lafitte and his men pardons for their earlier crimes. The request was granted and Lafitte in many ways became a national hero. Jackson in fact wrote Lafitte a personal letter of gratitude as well, one Lafitte would always taken great pride in:

“I do an act of justice, and at the same time one very agreeable to my feelings to state the services you have rendered during the late invasion of your country…Sir, to one of those to whom the country is most indebted, I feel great pleasure in giving this testimony of your worth, and to add the sincere promise of my private friendship and high esteem.”

Personal thanks for Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson himself and the title of “Hero of New Orleans”? NBD. Just a day in the life of Jean Lafitte.

But, since most people are fucking assholes, rumors began to circulate that Lafitte was once again committing crimes, this time adding a number of murders to the list. Things became so ugly that Lafitte and his men thought it wise to depart their much-loved New Orleans, choosing to settle anew on Galveston Island, off of Texas.

For a time, he became a freelance privateer, working for Mexico to sink and steal from Spanish ships. This obviously pissed Spain off.

Unfortunately, America was also trying to make an alliance with Spain at the time, so American politicians being what they are, they totally ignored how Lafitte had fucking saved their asses and instead sent soldiers to tell Lafitte to either abandon his new island or be destroyed.

Once again, it was unwise to make Lafitte angry, as he simply torched his entire island, probably mooning the navy as he did so.

Did he die?

No. When the flames died down, the navy went to inspect the island and found all of Lafitte’s ships missing. Where he went from there, no one knows. Lafitte never again appears in any known history.

Maybe he is still out there. King of the Pirates, Badass of the Seas.

Badasses in History: Hannibal Barca

11 Oct

One of my least favorite things about real life is that it totally doesn’t work like video games. Unlike Call of Duty or Halo—where I can beat the shit out of like a billion elites by just going all kamizake and then respawning—in real life it fucking sucks to be outnumbered. What it comes down to, in the real world, would be some guy in armor (Master Chief) getting beat to death by like 30 really pissed-off midgets (Grunts).

That’s the mathy explanation anyway. Today’s historical badass, however, not only shat all over my “normal” difficulty setting, cranking it all the way up to “Deicide”, but he did so against other people, not some dumbass AI.

His name was Hannibal Barca.

No. Not that Hannibal. The other one. The real one. The one that isn’t fucking Anthony Hopkins (who was, incidentally, totally as awesome as Hannibal Lector).

Anyway, this Hannibal was like Samuel L. Jackson if Samuel L. Jackson could go back in time and utterly bring the Roman Empire to its knees.

This Hannibal did something no other person in history was even remotely capable of. It’s like if Kobe played basketball against a team made up of genetically half-bred squirrel dolphins… the other side just doesn’t stand a chance.

To understand why Hannibal was such a BAMF, we have to go back to the third century BC to the civilization of Carthage.

His beard is rumored to be the inspiration for Morty's

Hannibal was born in 247 BC, son of Carthaginian leader Hamilcar Barca. Incidentally, “Barca” means “thunderbolt.” So yeah, Hannibal Thunderbolt. His motherfucking last name was THUNDERBOLT.

Sorry, I get carried away sometimes.

As I was saying, Carthage at the time was kind of like modern-day Detroit in that both had totally gotten fucked over and no one really gave a shit. To fix this, Hannibal’s dad, Hamilcar—being awesome (but not as awesome as Hannibal)—decided he’d get back at Rome for defeating Carthage in the First Punic War. Needless to say, they got owned by Rome’s far superior numbers and equipment, kind of like how in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King the good guys are FUCKED until the ghost army comes… except Hamilcar didn’t have a ghost army.

Or Gandalf. Gandalf would have totally helped.

Still, I feel like I’m forgetting something.

Oh, right, 8-year-old Hannibal went with his dad’s army.

Before you ask, this wasn’t his father’s order or anything; little Hannibal fucking asked to go. TO WAR. TO KILL PEOPLE.

Needless to say, no 8-year-old has ever been so ball-crushingly awesome.

Hamilcar, either the world’s best or worst father—I don’t think they make mugs for that—agreed to let Hannibal come if he did one tiny thing: swear an undying oath of vengeance to burn Rome to ashes and slaughter every Roman he could.

…………

Family issues a couple thousand years ago really make you think about the shit you complain about today.

Anyway, Hannibal, being the badass he was even at age eight, responded, “I swear so soon as age will permit…I will use fire and steel to arrest the destiny of Rome.” I think he also added, “time to PWN some fucking NOOBS!

Battles in those days were a lot like off-campus parties: nowhere to move, and no idea who's assaulting you

Regardless of little Hannibal’s presence, things didn’t go well, which is surprising since I would have thought an 8-year-old on a battlefield would have been a highly effective throwing weapon: you throw the kid and then hit the enemy in the face or something… maybe Lunchables are involved. Whatever.

Basically, the big thing was that Hamilcar died in battle after conquering much of what is Spain and its surrounding nations today. Hannibal, after getting down on his knees amidst thunder, lightning and rain, and screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! to the heavens, decided that he would keep his promise and pull an American History X-style curbstomp on Rome.

So for the next twenty years Hannibal engaged in what can only be assumed to be history’s longest training montage, fighting off lions, killing soldiers, and generally fucking shit up. Then, in 221 BC, his brother Hasdrubal was assassinated, and as Hasdrubal was Carthage’s main general, this meant Hannibal suddenly had a rather powerful new job title.

Because of the assassination’s success, the Roman’s acted a bit like everyone did at the end of the every Disney movie ever. They chilled out and celebrated even though there were dozens of unanswered questions and unsolved problems.

Hannibal, not being a complete idiot, took advantage of this in every way possible by gathering an army and repeating his brother’s plan.

That takes mad balls.

And, funnily enough, the Romans were still taken by surprise. Seriously Rome? Too many pot brownies probably.

Putting the Dos Equis man to shame

Anyway, in the spring of 218 BC, Hannibal marched with his army to Gaul (now France and other countries) on the way to the Swiss Alps.

Which he proposed to cross. With about 50,000 men. And also 37 war elephants. Dude, how badass are war elephants? Like, at least as badass as 300.

This was totally not going to be easy. I mean, the Swiss Alps are 15,000 foot high mountains, and Hannibal had thousands of soldiers AND FUCKING ELEPHANTS to feed. It was probably the equivalent of trying to ride a skidoo in the middle of the Arizona desert. Under normal circumstances, it just shouldn’t be possible, like Dane Cook saying something funny.

But Hannibal did it. He lost about 25,000 of his men, and all but two of the elephants, but he fucking did it. From there, he went on to win every single battle he fought with Rome for the next decade—being outnumbered virtually every time, with no way to easily get continued supplies—including the Battle of Cannae, which to this day is still studied by military historians who sit and read about it and say, “How the fuck did he pull this off?” With about 15,000 men, Hannibal defeated a Roman army of 50,000-70,000. That’s easily a ratio of 4:1. Among the dead were about 80 Roman senators (25-30% of the entire Roman government).

Fuck yeah, Hannibal Barca.

Hey Rome, remember that one time I almost single-handedly brought your empire to its knees?

Sadly, however, the years kept weakening Hannibal’s army—but not Hannibal, the dude beat up Wolverines for his morning exercise. This eventually forced Hannibal to make a retreat with his remaining forces back to Carthage. He did manage to sack several cities during the retreat—kind of like a last second money shot at Rome—but on the whole he had won every battle but lost the war.

Eventually, Hannibal would go into voluntary exile from Carthage when Rome threatened it again while Hannibal was without troops, but even then he worked as a mercenary general, winning almost every battle he fought. In one victory, a naval one incidentally, his weapon of choice was a barrel of poisonous snakes, which he would toss onto enemy ships.

This caused Rome so many problems, even when Hannibal was just a mercenary, that they demanded his allies surrender him or be annihilated. His “allies” being whiny douchebags, they agreed.

But, Hannibal was too badass to let himself be killed by Romans, so he took poison and wrote a final “fuck-you” letter to the Romans to be found next to his body.

It said:

Let us relieve the Romans from the anxiety they have so long experienced, since they think it tries their patience too much to wait for an old man’s death.

Even beyond the grave, the dude managed to flip-off Rome.

Righteous.

Josh Kopel

Badasses in History: Winston Churchill

8 Sep

Rumor has it that Churchill fathered his successor to the throne of Badassery, Morty Schapiro

The study of history is, in many ways, the study of humanity. From kings and heroes to slaves and cowards, history provides us with an unrivaled view into the inner workings of the human mind.

But never has any historical figure kicked quite as much ass as Winston Churchill.

Let’s start off by investigating what the man had to work with. On the pros side, he was born the grandson of the seventh Duke of Marlborough. Aristocratic blood? Check. He was enrolled in the best schools. Education? Check. He was a brilliant politician. Acumen? Check. Oh, he also beat the Nazis. Awesomeness? Check.

Now for the cons. That school he was in? He hated it and got bad grades. Good GPA? Not check. He was fat…and rude…and a bit of a drunk. Winning personality? Not check. At the time of his political achievements, he faced a weak parliament and a weaker aristocracy. Strong support system for confronting foreign difficulties and interacting with the power-hungry, vicious Nazis? Not check.

The man was born with five-pound jowls

So to recap: Winston Churchill was born rich, but balked at any attempts to civilize him beyond what was required to find and light cigars, and—who could forget?— jimmy open the liquor cabinet. He then went off to the Royal Military College where he had the option of enrolling in either the cavalry or the infantry. He chose the cavalry. Why? Because it had a lower grade requirement and he hated math. Here was a man who had his priorities straight.

At that point, his father asked that he transfer to the infantry, to which I can only presume Winston replied: “Suck it.” Whatever his exact words, he stayed in the cavalry for some time until he got bored—again I can only assume because he was too bitching at everything for his regiment to handle—at which point he became a journalist and war-correspondent. Even more awesome (if such a thing could be possible) Churchill then went to Cuba to follow a conflict between Spain and the Cuban rebels, where he learned about cigars. His response was reportedly to blow smoke in the face of the Spanish General Ramon de Not-As-Mind-Blowing-as-Churchill. As history has taught us, this ended the war then and there.

But while his early life was too grandiose for words, it was Churchill’s later life that cemented his place as history’s greatest badass. You see, Churchill’s greatest quality was this: he was fucking hilarious. Yes, Churchill played a central role in the defeat of the Axis powers and the preservation of Great Britain beyond the bombing of London. But all of that nonsense pales in comparison to his rollicking contributions to insult comedy.

This image was captured moments after Churchill listed off the gut-wrenchingly filthy sexual activities he had engaged in with Stalin's mother

Though Churchill’s insults can — and do — fill entire books, some of them stick as even more groin-grabbingly funny than others. When asked about his opinion of Neville Chamberlain (who some of you may remember as the dickwad who tried appeasing the Nazis as British Prime Minister before Churchill), Old Winston had this to say: “He looked at foreign affairs through the wrong end of a municipal drainpipe.” In other words: “That dude is a shitface.”

On cultured people, tubby had this to say: “Cultured people are merely the glittering scum which floats upon the deep river of production.” What a baller.

Still, as funny as Churchill was in general, he had two particular adversaries with whom he had supreme moments of insulting hilarity: Lady Nancy Astor, member of Parliament and second-class comic, and playwright George Bernard Shaw.

We’ll start with Shaw. Both intellectuals (Shaw of the kind that actually does things of artistic and literary merit, and Churchill of the kind that makes fun of those things), the two often enjoyed exchanging witticisms. Shaw, no real fan of Churchill’s, thought it might be funny to send Winston a pair of tickets to Shaw’s newest play, Major Barbara. Accompanying the tickets was a short note: “Have reserved two tickets for opening night. Bring a friend, if you have one.”

Now, at this point, any lesser man would have accepted the truly hilarious burn at face value. Not Chubby Churchill. He wired back—in a moment where even God himself spit out his top ramen in laughter—”Cannot possibly come first night, will attend second, if there is one.”

Awesome.

Onto adversary number two: Lady Astor. The two had a long legacy of mocking one another, Astor for Churchill’s rampant alcoholism and obesity, Churchill for Astor’s general bitchiness. Who can forget this exchange:

He usually only needed one of those fingers to properly express himself

Astor: If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.
Churchill: Madam, if you were my wife, I’d drink it.

Again, awesome. But these clashes of wits pale in comparison to a later insult. One particular evening, Churchill came to a party visibly drunk and irate, so much so that a Mrs. Bessie Braddock quite publicly remarked, “Mr. Churchill, you are drunk!” But Winston, drunk or not, knew a challenge when he heard one. After shouting “Challenge Accepted!” he looked the offending woman in the eye (or chest, as Churchill was not one for manners) and said: “Yes, and you, Madam, are ugly but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly.”

So yeah, no one rocked the house like Winston.

Some more Churchill insults for your consideration:

  • Young man (after seeing Churchill leave the bathroom without washing his hands): At Eton they taught us to wash our hands after using the toilet.
    Churchill: At Harrow they taught us not to piss on our hands.
  • [Referring to Arthur Balfour] If you wanted nothing done at all, Balfour was the man for the job.
  • The British Prime Minister after single-handedly clearing Juno Beach during D-Day

  • Churchill: Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?
    Woman: My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course…
    Churchill: Would you sleep with me for five pounds?
    Woman: Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!
    Churchill: Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.

And now for the winner:

  • [Referring to Charles De Gaulle] He looks like a female llama who has been surprised in the bath.

Josh Kopel