Posts Tagged ‘History’

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Great Lion Tamers of the Past

September 6, 2010
[Oh, look! It’s some history! With pictures! Originally published May 24, 2009.]

In an effort to prove that not all Lion Tamers are insubordinate wastrels, here’s a brief history of just a few of the many great Lion Tamers of the past.

capitalistWilliam Danforth Lion Tamer
A noted robber baron and all-around good guy, William’s distinctive look came about after a long night of booze and opium. After chasing women and “the dragon” for several hours, he made an ill-fated visit to an underqualified plastic surgeon and tattooist, in that order.

W.D.’s penchant for mind-altering substances often caused him to appear in public with lewd phrases written on them. His long dormant patent for “Printing of Lewd Messages On or About the Buttocks of Garments” was snatched up by several clothing manufacturers around the turn of the century (21st, that is), including Aeropostale, whose slogan is “Drawing Attention to Your Daughter’s Ass Since 2005”.

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Ishmael Rimbaud Lion Tamer
Noted Detroit slum lord and general villain. Pictured here counting the monthly take with the highly-touted “scenic view” of “Eminent Domain Terrace” in the background.

Although he was one of the first landlords to provide tap water to his tenants (“Cold” and “Colder”), he was also known to mislead potential customers with promises of “breathable air” and “minimal silverfish infestations.” His last brochure promised “easy access to hundreds of limb-threatening jobs” and highlighted their proximity to “several leading schools, from which to draw your workforce.”

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Henry Monteblanc Pickwick Lion Tamer
H.M. Lion Tamer was a well-known raconteur and ladies’ man, due to his unnaturally large trust fund. He is shown here perusing an early issue of the self-published Daily Word Preƒƒ, featuring such diversions as:

Other popular features included 19-year-old Donald Mill’s fiery articles condemning the actions of his peers and Craigƒliƒt’s Miƒƒed Connectionƒ, which featured invitations to all sorts of debauchery and fisticuffs.

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Maude Beachcomber Lion Tamer
Maude, the protagonist of David Bowie’s Suffragette City, was a BDSM enthusiast who often showed “special treatment” to those in power. This portrait depicts her displeasure with “Silent” Cal Coolidge’s refusal to provide a safety word.

A 45-minute session ran around $12 and culminated in some affectionate bussing and a shocking glimpse of ankle.

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Reginald Nordstrom Lion Tamer
Noted early plastics innovator. His untimely death came about during a heated argument about the “future” between two of his employees, Benjamin Braddock and Lloyd Dobler. As he tried to break up the squabble, he was knocked into the pressure molder. Several hours later, R.N. has become the world’s first bobblehead doll, doomed to be given away at St. Paul Saints games for years to come.

He was eulogized with: “He threw his life into his work, inadvertently. Go Saints!”

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Jackson “Jack” Charles Lion Tamer
One of the few British Lion Tamers, J.C. travelled the world over, faithful umbrella at his side. A man of few words and fewer thoughts, J.C. never left the British Isles without his bandoleer, sword, chip on his shoulder and Union Jack shoved jauntily into his skull.

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Artemis Xerxes Lion Tamer
Cursed with gigantism, due to a thyroid condition and a vengeful God, A.X. enjoyed the rare privilege of being able to ride a roller coaster at the age of 18 months. Guiness declared him the “World’s Tallest Man,” a title he would hold from 1850-1899.

He, and other helpful but smaller giants, were a boon to the bustling railroad industry. His success was short-lived, however. Union Pacific heads soon discovered that he was not a “Chinaman,” and therefore, would be requiring real wages and full meal rations.

After this layoff, he travelled from town to town, terrorizing buffet owners and schoolchildren alike, offering “Sideburn Rides” for a nickel.

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Pierre Zimmerman Hilton Lion Tamer
Founder of the United States Magazine (or US Magazine), which lit the fire for such powderkegs as “Brad Cheats on Angie,” “Lindsay Lohan in Lesbian Love Triangle,” and “Kevin Federline Masturbates Furiously.”

Pictured here sitting literally on a powderkeg.

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Michael (Michelle) Nesbitt Lion Tamer
The first transgendered Lion Tamer, Michael left the country in 1901, fed up with the pressure of semi-regular voting and providing for a family due to his “breadwinner” status.

He returned from Sweden in 1902 as a woman, and immediately jumped into the Women’s Suffrage movement, leading protests for the right to vote and higher wages for women.

-CLT

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The Presidents of Harvard University Vol. 3 – Wrapping Up the Nineteenth Century

November 2, 2009
Harvard continues to exclude outsiders through their use of a made-up language.

Harvard continues to keep information from outsiders through their proprietary made-up language.

This volume (3, for those keeping score) takes us through the last half of a tumultuous century, which saw a civil war, the rise of the railroad, the advent of opium addiction, the blaming of said railroad workers, the “railroading” of said opium-addicted railroad workers, various land grabs, tangles with Spain and Little Spain (Mexico) and the peak of beard popularity.

Harvard, of course, was not affected by any of these things. The hallowed and insular institution continued to crank out upper class snobs and privileged twits like no other college in America (and I’m including Ole Miss).

Let’s take a stroll into the turn of the century with the presidents of Harvard, whose tenacity and shortsightedness allowed them to circumvent the “progression” of the rest of the United States.

16. Edward Everett 1846-1849
Everett’s four-year term was most noted for his introduction of “panty raids.” The first several attempts were aimed at Yale who, much like Harvard, were still only providing men with higher education. Despite this hurdle, the imagination of the Crimson allowed them to return from each raid with hundreds of pairs of “man panties” or “Yalie thongs.”

Everett attempted to spice up these same-sex raids by introducing various bills to Congress (through his well-endowed lobbyists) suggesting that some major schools be forced to allow women to enroll. Needless to say, these efforts failed (although not for a lack of endowment) as Congress, and indeed the rest of the country (including the railroad workers) viewed women as second-class citizens who could not be trusted with an education, living wage or even childbirth, considering the infant mortality rate.

Everett’s term came to an end after a panty raid on Vanderbilt resulted in the capture of female undergarments. These never-before-seen items caused severe mental trauma in those who had seen them and life-threatening psychosis in the few who had actually touched the items. After the fourth sniper attack in as many weeks, Everett was asked to step down and run (in a zig zag pattern) across the quad to his waiting buggy.

Affectionately known as “Sniper Victim #23.”

17. Jared Sparks 1849-1853
Jared Sparks is credited with introducing a successful line of weight loss programs into the normal curricula of Harvard. Sparks would often entertain his fellow officers with thrilling tales of weight loss through careful sandwich selection. Although very popular (and inspiring) at first, Sparks constant reminders and detail-heavy anecdotes about which sandwich he had eaten and how many “fat cells” were contained in each resulted in a massive backlash which heavily damaged the local food cart economy.

Sparks was finally asked to step down when his normally long-winded diatribes on meatball subs and other anti-masturbatorial foods began to arrive in the form of short sentences which were hand-written and delivered at random intervals to whomever happened to be close by. Close associates were overheard muttering about his incessant twittering and overused “fat pants” visual metaphor.

Affectionately known as “Fuck You, Sandwich Boy.”

18. James Walker 1853-1860
To know James Walker was to love him, or rather, be “loved” by him. An ego-centric womanizer until his deathbed conversion to the Symbionese Liberation Army, Walker aided and a-bedded (sorry) over 8,000 women in 8 years. As his constant scoring began to eat into his time as president, JW would often let his second-in-command, James Walker Jr. VII run the place, much to the dissatisfaction of the other Harvard officers, who saw their money being blown on candy bars and hookers and their daughters being knocked up left and right.

Walker would have lost his post much earlier if he hadn’t exercised Harvard’s “privileged insider” clause, which allowed him to live life by a different standard than the enrollees and at least some of the officers. He also used a 120-year old typo to grant himself “eminent domain” in matters related to the wives and daughters of all Harvard students and employees.

With so much going for him, Walker’s abrupt retirement came as a surprise. While Walker issued a statement referring to his “desire for a quiet life of banging random chicks, away from the day-to-day pressures of running Harvard (and banging random Harvard-related chicks),” but many of his contemporaries speculated that perhaps his “dick” had “just fallen off.”

Affectionately known as “Wilt.”

19. Cornelius Conway Felton 1860-1862*
Felton presided over an era that came to be known as “The Shortest Era Ever.” As the figurative head of Harvard, Felton spent most of his time fulfilling ceremonial duties such as groundbreaking, large novelty-check signing, baptisms, circumcisions, Hot or Not tie breakers, pancake breakfasts, mass burials and the occasional Live Aid concert.

Though Felton’s stay in office was brief, he spent each moment as if it were his last: by begging forgiveness from various deities and sobbing inconsolably. As his private sobbing and praying began to intrude on his more public duties, the Harvard officers began to work on an “early retirement” plan.

Things came to a head at a groundbreaking ceremony for the above ground pool. Felton seized the oversized ribbon-cutting scissors and attempted to slash his wrists. He was wrestled to the ground by his fellow board members and remanded to the state, which soon remanded him to the local crazyhouse, at which point the staffers remanded him to his surviving family, which bequeathed him, still alive, to Harvard University. He lived out his final years as a living statue of himself.

Affectionately known as “Three-and-out.”

*Died in office as a result of statuefication. See also: Goldfinger.

20. Thomas Hill 1862-1868
A tireless opium addict and eccentric inventor, Hill spent a majority of his seven-year term trying to perfect his “gravity bong/scientific calculator” prototype. Most historians point to his concentration on the first half to be the reason the second half was never able to get its ass of the couch or come up with rent money.

As Hill continued to chase the double dragons of drug paraphernalia (Billy Lee) and scientific calculation (Jimmy Lee), the Harvard board members acted quickly to revoke his severance pay and change the locks. He was finally ousted during an 18-hour marathon intervention in which the board members pretended to care about his health and whatnot. Hill responded by vomiting and passing out in the hall closet. He awoke 4 hours later to find his belongings (including himself) on the lawn. The rest is history. Boring history.

Affectionately known as “C. Thomas Howell.”

21. Charles William Eliot 1869-1909
Eliot lived to see the turn of the century, much to the dismay of several local bookies. An inveterate gambler and loudmouthed braggart, Eliot so ired the local townspeople that the remaining board members retired and changed their names. Indeed, the hallowed halls themselves were tainted by his filthy habits, as local thugs repoed the above ground pool, second billiards table, the K-M sections of the bleachers and the letters “R” and “D.”

After one close call with a lynching party, CW took to hiding himself in the lower levels of the undergraduate library, subsisting on hardtack and book binding. After 22 years in seclusion, Eliot returned to the surface to find the campus nearly deserted. Rather than let the proud metaphorical ship Harvard continue to drift listlessly, CW took the helm (metaphorically) and proceeded to rape and pillage Yale (not metaphorically).

At the behest of yet another lynching party (working in conjunction with local mobsters), Eliot was lynched. Due to a lack of proper tools or measurements, Eliot was suspended only four feet off the ground and was unable to properly asphyxiate.

Given a mulligan by the angry townsfolk, Eliot returned underground, eventually resurfacing to party like it’s “1899.”

Known affectionately as “Goddamned Lucky.”

-CLT