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Tag Archives: Neville Chamberlain

The Lord of the Rings as an unnecessarily detailed metaphor for World War II

13 Sep

It’s only fair to begin this article with a disclaimer that the ideas listed below were thought up by a few Sherman Ave writers who decided to spend a Wednesday night drinking heavily and watching Lord of the Rings. We’re not sure if that’s more of a discredit to our ideas or merely ourselves, but it only feels proper to acknowledge that these ideas were the result of a long, loud, and quite inebriated conversation, which – regrettably – drowned out the cinematic masterpiece playing on the shitty 19″ television before us.  And for all you Tolkien fanatics out there, we’re well aware of the fact that he adamantly rebukes all claims that his books have allegory for the world wars.  But if high school English teachers get to make up symbolism and shove it down your throat, then by God, we’re going to as well.

Mordor or Germany? Bet you can’t even tell.

Mordor as Nazi Germany

This one should be fairly self-explanatory. Mordor is a highly industrialized powerhouse which seems to have turned evil under the lordship of one pretty huge taint. After having lost a previous war (the one in the beginning of the Fellowship of the Ring, in which Sauron’s ring is taken by Isildur), Mordor is humiliated by their crushing defeat, and seeks not only to avenge their dignity but also to regain their status as a viable power in Middle-Earth. This means that Adolf Hitler is Sauron – a mindless and power-tripping despot who brings evil to the world. The Nazgul represent the S.S., being the ones who carry out Hitler’s bidding on more important tasks. That would probably make Heinrich Himmler represent the Witch-King of Angmar, which is obviously reasonable. Erwin Rommel is represented by Gothmog, the incredibly heinous-looking Orc general with the fucked up eye who leads the river crossing at Osgiliath. The Mouth of Sauron represents Joseph Goebbels and the Eye of Sauron represents Hitler’s mustache, seeing as it is Sauron’s most memorable feature.

“One does not simply cooperate with Patton’s Third Army.”

Gondor as Britain

Gondor is clearly one of Mordor’s primary targets, and Gondor knows that the rising power of Mordor means they will have to sustain vicious attacks, given their proximity. Gondor also is a storied Western monarchy that was once powerful but has since weakened, much like the British Empire. This means that Denethor is Neville Chamberlain, being a leader who once had potential but has become such a useless sack of shit that he needs to be replaced during the war. It must be, then, that Aragorn is Winston Churchill – the replacement for Denethor who comes to the rescue and rallies Gondor. (Side note: We’d go so far to say that Aragorn’s horse, Brego, represents whiskey, and that his sword, Narsil, represents cigars, seeing as those appear to be the two things that most aided Churchill in his life.) Continuing with Gondor as Britain, we’d say that Boromir is Field Marshal Montgomery, since he’s a pretty effective soldier who happens to be an asshole. Lastly, Faramir represents King George VI – a noble man who has lived his whole life in his older brother’s shadow. Lamentably, Faramir doesn’t have a debilitating speech impediment. By this model, Minas Tirith is London, the Siege of Minas Tirith is the Battle of Britain, and Osgiliath is Dunkirk.

Josef Stalin and Winston Churchill, preparing to ride horses into an army of Axis forces

Rohan as the Soviet Union

Of the forces fighting against Mordor, Rohan probably suffers the greatest losses. They are also initially hesitant to be involved in this epic war, thinking they can avoid it, just as the USSR maintained a Nonaggression Pact with Germany at the outset of the war. Eventually, though, Rohan comes to the aid of Gondor, and at the end of the day, one could certainly argue that Rohan was the most influential nation in Mordor’s demise. From this, we can assume that Grima Wormtongue represents Vyacheslav Molotov, the Soviet foreign minister who engineered a pact with the Nazi forces in the same way Wormtongue forged a similar alliance. King Theoden is Josef Stalin – a fairly disagreeable politician who seems to love power-tripping, but is ultimately instrumental in the war effort. This leads us to believe that Eomer is Georgi Zhukov, partially because Zhukov was a fantastic Soviet general, but mostly because we can’t really fit Eomer anywhere else. We would assume then that The Battle of Helm’s Deep is The Battle of Stalingrad, since it was a ruthless siege which occurred in unfavorable weather conditions but ultimately served as somewhat of a turning point in the war.

You’re a wizard, Benito!

Isengard as Italy

A militaristic nation ruled by a cult-of-personality dictator, Isengard initially seems to be quite a formidable power in the war, and its allegiance to Mordor a massive setback. However, they end up being knocked out of the war much earlier than any other power, and their leader killed in a very gruesome and public manner. Needless to say, this means Saruman is Benito Mussolini – a very dickish leader who serves mostly as Sauron’s/Hitler’s puppet.

“RRREEEETTTTRRRRREEEEAAAATTTTT!!!!!!”

Elves as France

The Elves seem perfectly content to observe complacently as their world is taken over by evil dickbags. Even though they have a “history of courageous militarism,” they are way too pussy to actually participate in the war. Only a small group of Elves (representing, of course, the French resistance movement) is actually willing to stand up to Mordor and fight alongside their allies. Presumably, this means Legolas is Charles de Gaulle, seeing as he is the most involved elf in the war. Accordingly, Elrond is Field Marshal Philippe Pétain, the leader of the elves whose passiveness facilitated the spread of evil to the point at which he’s basically a traitor.

THEY’RE DEFINITELY JAPANESE, OKAY?

Easterlings as Japan

First of all, since we’re all thinking it: They totally look Japanese with their eye make-up and all that. But besides that, the Easterlings are a people puppeted by Mordor to fight for his cause. They don’t appear to have any obvious connection with Mordor other than their manipulation by the forces of evil. That’s all we’ve got for Japan…

Hobbits as Jews

Constantly being hunted by Mordor, the Hobbits only want to live peacefully in society and avoid conflict. Throughout the story, it’s clear that “the halflings” are Sauron’s main priority. Assuming that all Hobbits are Jews, we could then claim that the four most important Hobbits are the four most important Jews. Frodo and Sam are Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer, carrying a very powerful weapon which Sauron wants (read: The Ring of Power is the Atomic Bomb).

“I am become Death, destroyer of worlds.”

This, of course, implies that Mount Doom is Hiroshima, the culmination of the omnipotent weapon which summarily ends the war. As long as Hobbits are Jews, we’ll go ahead and declare that Lembas bread is bagels. Since we need other important Jews to fill the roles of other important Hobbits, we’ll say that Pippin is Anne Frank (remember when he hid from the Orcs at the end of Fellowship of the Ring?) and Merry is Oskar Schindler (yes, he was Catholic, but he’s close enough). Thus, Kristallnacht is Weathertop, indicating Hitler’s first attack against the Jews. The Shire is Israel, since they’re both places that the Hobbits/Jews can only really dream of during the war. And lastly, The Tower of Cirith Ungol is Auschwitz and Shelob is a train to Auschwitz.

Anne Frank and Oskar Schindler observe the ruins of North Africa whilst on the back of Haile Selassie

Fangorn Forest as Africa

Leading up to the war, Saruman had been meddling malevolently in the Fangorn Forest, much like Italy dicked around in Ethiopia in the 1930s. Furthermore, it was a series of events in Fangorn Forest that led to the fall of Isengard, just as Operation Torch and ultimately the Battle of El Alamein lead to the Allies being positioned to invade Italy. We’re going to go ahead and assume that this means Ents are Ethiopians, meaning that Treebeard is Haile Selassie, serving as the leader who called out Saruman/Mussolini on his inappropriate actions.

Did you ever notice that he’s only pictured from the waist up?

The Army of the Dead as the United States of America

You’ve probably been waiting for the good ol’ U-S-of-A to get its honorable mention, and now you’re probably crestfallen by their seemingly sad counterpart. Well…sorry. The Army of the Dead originally had no intention of joining the war, but were eventually coaxed into it to honor an ancient but very strong allegiance. Aragorn, as Churchill, is obviously the only person who could have garnered their support. The Battle of Pelennor Fields, representing D-Day, probably could not have been won without the help of the Army of the Dead. (The King of the Dead is Franklin Delano Roosevelt, especially after April 1945.) Speaking of the Battle of Pelennor Fields, you know those catapults that the orcs load with heads and launch at Minas Tirith? V-2 ROCKETS.

George C. Scott is…SHADOWFAX

Gandalf as General Eisenhower

Gandalf is the only character in the story truly capable of uniting Elves, Men, Dead, and Gimli, just as Eisenhower effectively led French, British, American, and Canadian forces in Europe. This probably means that Shadowfax is General Patton. General Patton was an Olympic athlete in his younger days, so he was fit and fast like Shadowfax. Patton also responded to strangle whistles, and Shadowfax was reportedly killed in a car accident after the war. Honestly kind of an eerie connection. All this taken into consideration, it’s probably fair to say that The Battle at the Black Gate represents The Battle of the Bulge, as it was the last stand made by Mordor before being righteously defeated.

Yes, this is a picture of Dwight Eisenhower riding Harry Truman. No, you shouldn’t Google that.

The Eagles as President Harry Truman

Through the whole story, one can’t help but wonder – why the hell don’t they just use the Eagles to get to Mordor instead of putting Frodo and Sam on this painstakingly long journey? Similarly, looking back at World War II, one can’t help but wonder – why the hell couldn’t FDR die earlier so Truman could end the war sooner? Truman clearly knew how to end a damn war, because he had the cajones to mercilessly massacre 250,000 people. The Eagles swoop into save the day at the end in much the same way Truman swooped into end the war.

“Nobody toshesh a peripherally relevant bilingual democrashy!”

Gimli as Canada

Gimli maintains an odd subservience to Legolas and Aragorn, much in the same way that France is a large cultural influence in Canada and Britain is a moderate political influence. More importantly, though, we must acknowledge that Gimli and Canada were both really just involved in the war to provide comedic relief.

Oliphants as Bulgaria

The involvement of oliphants in the war certainly aided Mordor’s cause, but realistically, Mordor would have been perfectly fine without their help.

King Theoden, chuckling heartily at the misfortunes he caused the Ukrainians by his failed New Economic Policy

That Orc who says “We haven’t had anything but maggoty bread for three stinkin’ days!” as Ukraine

It would be wholly improper to write an article about World War II without making at least one joke about Ukraine producing most of the Soviet Union’s wheat but still starving because of Stalin’s unsuccessful implementation of a redistributive economic system.

Eleanor Roosevelt ponders her latent lesbianism. Or maybe the death of her father, Josef Stalin. Hmm.

Eowyn as Eleanor Roosevelt

Admittedly, this one doesn’t entirely work because Eowyn was in no way married to the King of the Dead. That being said, we would readily believe that Eleanor Roosevelt had a crush on Winston Churchill in the same way that Eowyn was tryna with Aragorn, and she probably would have gotten with King George VI the same way she got with Faramir.

Galadriel as Rosie the Riveter

Galadriel really only serves a symbolic role in the story, encouraging Frodo, Sam, and the others to continue their fight for good. If that’s the case, we suppose The Light of Elendil is Freedom, maybe? Too much? Too much of a stretch? This is almost done, we promise.

Gollum as Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin

Jeannette Rankin was the only congresswoman who voted against the American declaration of war in December 1941. Not only did she perpetrate one of the most pronounced bitchmoves in American history, but the real reason she voted against it is because she knew that the war would mean the use of the atomic bomb, and as a typical greed-driven female politician, she wanted the atomic bomb for herself. Hers. Her own. Her precious.

Congresswoman Rankin unceremoniously feasting upon a live fish from the reflecting pool.

Interestingly enough, she also loved beating live fish against rocks and eating them in a grotesque manner. She also wore a loincloth and had Split Personality disorder. She also bit off Albert Einstein’s ring finger in Hiroshima.

*Note: You may have noticed that we didn’t include Arwen. That’s because Arwen is a stupid bitch character who only gets mentioned twice in the books and deserves no fucking place in this vaunted story.

-Contributions from Brother Jürgen Taintsdorf, Commandant Leo Sextoi, and Sad Bones Malone

For more painfully unnecessary and exhaustive World War II metaphors and other things, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!  Then seek therapy immediately.

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May Heinous First-Round Results: Busch-Light Division

12 May

Anne Sullivan helps Helen Keller tap her first keg.

Helen Keller/Sun-Tzu vs. Hammurabi/John J. Audubon
Winner: Helen Keller/Sun-Tzu
Sun-Tzu’s extensive knowledge of strategy really helped bring his team to victory in this game.  Somehow, he was able to effectively rerack the cups in a way that his teammate, who we all know familiarly as “the deaf and blind chick we like to laugh at,” could sink three cups.  Moreover, their opponents proved not to be especially formidable.  Hammurabi spent most of the game just braiding his beard like he was Gimli the goddamn dwarf, and Audubon merely reinforced the well-known stereotype that ornithologists are not, in fact, beer pong all-stars.  Keller and Sun-Tzu had no trouble gliding to a three-cup victory.

“Rollbacks, bitch!”

WIlliam Henry Harrison/Queen Victoria vs. Friedrich Nietzsche/Genghis Khan
Winner: Friedrich Nietzsche/Genghis Khan
Although WHH curled up with a blanket in  a corner for a “nap” in the first 5 minutes and never returned (probably for the best), the game heated up quickly. Victoria alone was quite a match for Nietzsche and Khan, but soon the sexual tension became too much to handle. As Victoria and Khan took to each other like Lindsay Lohan to ruining her life, right there on the table, Nietzsche managed to finish the game by himself. Not 100% ‘legal’, strictly speaking, but are you really gonna argue with a man who has swords for arms and an iron dick? Or Nietzsche?


Yeltsin goes up for a high-five from Prime Minister Grey, following one of the few shots they made.

Malcolm X/Mao Zedong vs. Boris Yeltsin/Earl Grey
Winner: Malcolm X/Mao Zedong
Between Boris Yeltsin’s debilitating neurological disorder and Earl Grey’s refusal to drink piss-warm beer, the two were a very stoppable duo. What Malcolm X and Mao Zedong lacked in raw skill and compatible political ideologies they made up for in moral fiber. When Mao got discouraged after missing his fourth shot, Malcolm turned to him and shouted words of empowerment. “YOU ARE STRONG. YOU DESERVE TO WIN THIS.” And goddammit Mao turned it around. There was one sticky moment after Boris shot with his elbows over the table. Malcolm demanded that his team be awarded a three cup advance for Boris’ heinous transgression. Their offensively apathetic opponents were happy to oblige. Malcolm X and Mao Zedong shall proceed to round two.

We’re not sure if this is Neville Chamberlain or if it’s an ill-fated crossbreed of George Clooney and John Cleese.

J. Edgar Hoover/Cleopatra vs. General George Custer/Neville Chamberlain
Winner: J. Edgar Hoover/Cleopatra
This was one of the closest games of the first round, heading into a tense round of overtime before Hoover and Cleopatra emerged victorious.  Hoover and Cleopatra were a pretty cohesive team, which was evident when they chest-bumped after every cup they made.  General Custer made a pretty respectable showing, making 6 cups in regulation and 2 cups in overtime, but he was dragged down by Chamberlain, who is consistently ranked among history’s top 10 pussies.  When it was time for the rebuttal shot in regulation, Custer had to talk Chamberlain out of simply offering the Sudetenland to Hoover and Cleopatra in exchange for a tie.  However, the game was full of good sportsmanship, even amidst the overwhelming discomfort that ensued when Hoover celebrated by donning Cleopatra’s dress.

May Heinous Breakdown: Busch Light Division

1 May

Yesterday, we provided our coked-out fans desperate for Rogger Rabbit-themed porn loyal readers with the first May Heinous preview, a rundown of the competitive Pabst Blue Ribbon Division. Tonight we continue our coverage of the 32-team beer pong tournament with our preview of the historical figures within the Busch Light Division vying for the prestigious Morty Schapiro cup. Submissions for the official Sherman Ave May Heinous pool are open until Sunday, May 6th, and can be downloaded HERE before submitting completed brackets to shermanave1@gmail.com.

Somehow managed to graduate despite being drunk for most of her undergraduate years.

Helen Keller and Sun-Tzu
Helen Keller, bless her soul, was never one to take alcohol as a friend. It’s no surprise given drinking is only fun if you can see or hear the debauchery that occurring around you. So I would anticipate her be a supreme lightweight and either pass her drinks off to the little guy or blackout before we’re done. Considering as she’s already functionally “blacked out,” this shouldn’t take too long, but without most of her senses, Keller has little left to lose. While much has been made of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, far less scholarship has been devoted to Sunny’s earlier work, The Art of Pong. The treatise, hastily scrawled on cocktail napkins and the foreheads of Tzu’s vanquished foes, is considered by many Fratstars as the definitive piece on beer pong strategies and tactics at the time, and is still read for its insight, including the oft-repeated idiom “知己知彼,百戰不殆。”
Strengths: Strategy, Tactics, Parables
Weaknesses: Deaf, blind, already blackout
First-Round Opponents: Hammurabi and John Audubon
Team Cohesiveness: 3.7/10
Evander Jones and Porky Saltstick

Alone. Yet again.

Hammurabi and John James Audubon
Famed ornithologist, meet mediocre leader in Civilization IV. Hammurabi literally codified the rules of beer pong in stone, promulgating specific laws that governed rollbacks, overtime, re-racks, and punishing all transgressors with Sköl-induced death. Audubon, meanwhile, identified 25 new species of birds and a number of new sub-species, presumably to distract himself from his violent masturbation addiction. Expect Hammurabi to pursue a “Cup for Cup” strategy in the Ragin’ Mesopotamian’s quest to defeat Keller and Tzu.
Strengths: Rule of law, beards
Weaknesses: 1/2 of their team devoted his entire life to drawing pictures of pigeons.
First-Round Opponents: Helen Keller and Sun-Tzu
Team Cohesiveness: 1/10
Evander Jones

She really put the Dick in Dickensian

William Henry Harrison and Queen Victoria
Old Willy, as his friends and doctors called him, was the 9th president of the US. And I do mean old. Pretty sure this dude was about 185 or so (so meaning 68) when elected, and presidency did not agree with him.  And as far as beer pong skills go… have you ever watched your grandfather try to take his medication? Takes him about 6 tries to successfully get all of those little pills in his mouth. Now imagine that hot mess making an attempt at ping pong ball to cup.  Vicky, on the other hand, has the tenacity of a sea turtle. Not only did she rule the United Kingdom for 63 years, but she also managed to have 9 kids without going batshit cray. Endurance, patience, and a vagina are all qualities of an excellent BP player.

The weak American and the powerful Brit. A new sitcom on fox or the best drinking duo this side of the frat quads? Only time will tell.
Strengths: Child-bearing, defeating Indians
Weaknesses: Pneumonia, waning empire
Team Cohesiveness: 6.5/10
First-Round Opponents: Friedrich Nietzsche and Genghis Khan
Parrty Cat

Can we just go get baked instead?

Friedrich Nietzsche and Genghis Khan
Nietzsche was a smart chap, but he was no frat bro. His downfall will be his handlebar mustache, and/or the fact that he has probably never even heard of the game. On the flipside, he IS German, and if there is one thing the Germans are especially good at, it’s drinking impressively. Genghis Khan, on the other hand, is a scary motherfucker. The only moment of weakness he showed in his entire life was his death, the reason for which is still uncertain to this day. I personally like the theory that one of his thousands of biddies hid a small pair of pliers inside her lady cave, which meant that when he…well you know. Long story short: Khan is the ultimate warrior, and should have no trouble tearing shit up in a beer pong game.
Strengths: Brute strength, high tolerance
Weaknesses: Depression, walls
Team cohesiveness: 8/10
First-Round Opponents: William Henry Harrison and Queen Victoria
Parrty Cat

Shit, they’re heating up.

Malcolm X and Mao Zedong
Not to be confused with Denzel Washington, Malcom X is credited with boosting African American pride during the tumultuous Civil Rights era in the United States. His excellent rhetorical skills could really take a beer pong game in a number of directions. Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China and a Communist revolutionary, is quite the interesting counterpart for Malcolm X. He kind of reminds us of that father figure who swears he has your best interests at heart, but also may publicly beat you to death if you don’t share your toys. We’re also not especially certain about Mao’s familiarity with the game.
Strengths: Team morale, self-image
Weaknesses: Temper, poor strategy
Team Cohesiveness: 3/10
First-Round Opponents: Earl Grey and Boris Yeltsin
-Marietta Von Festering

One day my name will be FAMOUS!

Earl Grey and Boris Yeltsin
Former British Prime Minister Earl Grey (or more specifically, Charles the 2nd Early Grey) hails from the prominent Grey family in Northumberland, England (aka no one’s ever actually heard of this fucker, but they named a tea after him). If you’re a pretentious dick then you know exactly what type of tea makes an Earl Grey blend, and maybe you even know why it was named after this Charles fellow. Boris Yeltsin, who was the First President of the Russian Federation, is known best for his grand plans to transform Russia’s socialist economy into a free market economy – a skill which is quite applicate to beer pong. He’s used to playing with vodka, so to him, drinking a six-pack of Natty Light is the equivalent of shotgunning a LaCroix.
Strengths: Socioeconomic reform, high tolerance (although Grey’s tolerance is presumably high only for tea)
Weaknesses: Sweating, being remembered for relationship with a beverage
Team Cohesiveness: 5.2/10
First-Round Opponents: Malcolm X and Mao Zedong
-Marrietta Von Festering

I see what you’re trying to do there.

J. Edgar Hoover and Cleopatra
Forget his 50-year stint with the FBI and his power to destroy naval spies – Hoover’s pong skills will blow everyone out of the water. After all, if a man can keep the plans of the most powerful nation in the world, his activities as a Freemason, and his cross-dressing habits under wraps, chances are he can throw a little plastic ball into a solo cup. Cleopatra, on the other hand, is woman enough for both of them. This Ancient Egyptian Queen will make up for what she lacks in beer drinking ability (I’m pretty sure she was too sexy to drink this figure-ruining beverage) with an evil-queen sex appeal and ridiculous charisma. That hot bitch will certainly throw off the other team while J. Edgar does serious work sinking cups/daydreaming about his limitless potential as Shirley Temple.
Strengths: Power-tripping, eye make-up
Weaknesses: Insecurity, asps
Team Cohesiveness: 9/10
First-Round Opponents: General George A. Custer and Neville Chamberlain
Gwyneth Effingmouth

Few know that Custer’s last stand actually happened at the basement of Sig Ep, when Crazy Horse wiped his ass on the pong table.

General George A. Custer and Neville Chamberlain
General Custer has many reasons to drink. His moplike mustache and goth button-up shirt lend him an undesirable serial rapist quality.  He is also best known by the systematic ass-kicking he endured at the hands of the Lakota tribe at Little Bighorn.  My guess is that what Custer lacks in accuracy, he’ll make up for in alcohol consumption.  Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of England during the rise of Hitler and the beginning of World War II, is known for pursuing a policy of appeasement, or “ass-kissing,” towards Nazi Germany. What Chamberlain lacks in testicles he makes up for in, well, nothing, because he’s probably the type of drunk who knocks back a couple of aged whiskey shots and then cries into the phone to his mother about his wish to return to the golden days of his childhood.
Strengths:  High rank, sharing first names with notable Gryffindors
Weaknesses:  Lack of testicles, lack of scalp
Team Cohesiveness: 5/10
First-Round Opponents: J. Edgar Hoover and Cleopatra
Gwyneth Effingmouth

Shurned Out: Riding the Bubble at Northwestern

23 Feb

Apparently he didn’t appreciate the five-foot pictures of his face in the crowd.

Last Saturday, John Shurna broke Northwestern’s career scoring record, surpassing Billy McKinny‘s 1,900 career points with a three-pointer against Minnesota. Last weekend I set a career personal high score of 18,310 points in BrickBreaker, but nobody made much of a fuss about it.* Or even a t-shirt.

As Northwestern basketball fans are starting to realize, life on the bubble of the NCAA tournament is a lot like what I’m assuming drunk sex with your pledge wife would be like: you hold your breath and hope that everything magically falls into place to bring about a wondrous sensation you’ve never felt before, but you’re really just waiting for something to go horribly awry and inevitably ruin everything you hold dear. There will probably be a lot of crying in the end no matter what.

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The Pros and Cons of the NBA Lockout

21 Nov

Dear God, please don't force us to follow the NHL instead

Tense labor relations have always held a special place in America, from the Pullman Strike of 1894 to the recent Writers Guild strike that cost the American entertainment industry $500 million and Jay Leno the remaining shreds of his humor. But this year’s NBA lockout ranks among the more important and entertaining labor wars in U.S. history, pitting millionaires against mega-millionaires in one of the most asinine power struggles since Congress appointed a joint committee to reduce the debt.

Now, with the NBPA rejecting David Stern’s ultimatum and sending negotiations into a “nuclear winter,” the 2011-2012 NBA season is in more danger than an intoxicated Freshman girl in the 3rd floor of SAE. Besides not having to pay $55 for nosebleed seats to watch the Bulls play the Timberwolves in one of the least inspired athletic performances since Shaq in Kazaam, here are the pros and cons of losing this year’s entire NBA season to the lockout.

PROS

Do you see a ring on this finger?

LeBron James Goes Another Season without a Ring
With a quarter of the season cancelled so far and the rest of the season in jeopardy, it seems likely that the Whore of Akron will be blue balled for yet another year. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of King James barnstorming with All-Stars in high school gymnasiums is an awesome idea. I just hope that the players spring for trained CPR professionals to be on hand for when LeBron chokes in the fourth quarter.

Increased Focus on College Basketball
Without pro basketball, we can all devote more attention to the real games. Not that watching the Toronto Raptors play the Oklahoma City Thunder isn’t fascinating, but I’d much rather watch student athletes give it their all night after night than watch Blake Griffin dunk on the Trail Blazers. And when it comes to the playoffs, Virginia Commonwealth beating Kansas offers far more suspense and drama than the Celtics beating the Knicks in four straight games.

The Fall of David Stern
Who knew that a miniscule white man could be so goddamn overbearing? The same commissioner who instituted a dress code to make players look less “urban” has managed to lose both control over the owners and the trust of the players with his negotiating tactics that make Stalin look like Neville Chamberlain on estrogen. The smugly arrogant man did great things for basketball, but his days seem numbered.

Wait, they ACTUALLY call travelling over here!?

Turkish Basketball
With the signing of All-Star Deron Williams, Beşiktaş Milangaz immediately became a Turkish Basketball League powerhouse. With the possible addition of Kevin Love, Carlos Boozer, and Luol Deng, the Fighting Black Eagles have a chance to be the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls of the EuroChallenge. And nothing beats watching 8,000 screaming Turks watching a basketball game.

CONS

Increased Focus on Northwestern Basketball
More time to devote to college basketball means more time to devote to Northwestern basketball, which means more time to suffer from heartbreaking embarrassment. Seeing as the Wildcats have yet to reach the NCAA Tournament, and hasn’t even finished above fourth place in the Big Ten since the Tet Offensive, the odds seem a bit stacked against us. Although it certainly does feel good to dominate the Texas-Pan American Broncos, even an NIT win would feel pretty good.

Thank goodness we still have the Puppy Bowl

ESPN Programming Post-Super Bowl
ESPN’s programming after the Super Bowl and March Madness can get pretty dire before baseball season starts up again even in non-lockout years. But without basketball highlights, SportsCenter won’t have anything to discuss besides the top 100 greatest chessboxers of all time, while ESPN broadcasts nothing but Cheese Chasing and arena football at night.

No Derrick Rose
Probably one of the most tragic aspects of the lockout is that it prevents us from watching Derrick Rose lead the Bulls with his lightning-quick crossover and fearlessness in the key. The MVP is the pointguard of Thibodeau’s dreams, and has been key to the the Bulls’ recent success. If I miss out on the opportunity to watch Rose because a lot of rich men want to be richer, I might punch the nearest kitten.

A much simpler time in basketball history

Loss of Greed and Theatricality
The NBA has a stunning lack for both, and both the players and the managers have displayed their inordinate desire to get more than they need (or deserve), and to try and look good while they do it. No American sports league has ever had a higher average salary. It’s difficult to side with either party while they bicker over how much they should profit from Tomahawk jams and jersey sales, cancelling games and fucking over not just the fans, but every NBA arena employee trying to support their families by selling $9 bottles of Miller Genuine Draft to season ticket holders.

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