The Marx Brothers and American Comedy

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ The Electric Agora's own E. John Winner spoke with me about the Marx Brothers and their relationship to American Comedy. 1:30 Vaudeville, Burlesque, and Musical Theater 11:20 The Jewish Marx Brothers and “Playing in Peoria” 22:00 Writing for the Marx Brothers / Relationship with George Kaufman 27:40 Becoming the... Continue Reading →

Marxism for Dummies Like Me

by E. John Winner __ When I was 17, I fell in love with three older men. Indeed, they were so much older that two of them were dead at the time. They were everything I wasn't. They were short and thin, and though not athletes, they moved swift and agile. One couldn't say that... Continue Reading →

Twenty-Five Things Everyone Used to Understand

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ What strikes me more than anything about our current moment is how utterly alien the dominant zeitgeist is from that of just a few decades ago. Increasingly, I find myself unable even to comprehend people’s reactions to social, political, and cultural developments, let alone identify with them. This rather abrupt... Continue Reading →

Forbidden Ideas

by Mark English ___ The English writer, actor and stand-up comedian, Alexei Sayle, was born into a seriously left-wing family (they were Communists), and he still adheres to what he sees as Marxist principles. This background shaped his life but did not entirely destroy his sense of humor. The title of his autobiography is Stalin... Continue Reading →

Feminism, Mental Representation, and Churros

by Daniel A. Kaufman A disturbing glimpse into the way contemporary gender identity politics is compromising science and medicine. How progressive politics have ruined comedy. A detailed history of the original feminists, which their contemporary progeny should read carefully. [The late] Jerry Fodor’s brilliant and hilarious survey of theories of mental representation.... Continue Reading →

Dirty Uncle Bertie

by Mark English Blaise Pascal saw our need for entertainment and distraction as arising from the very essence of the human condition and dark fears regarding our place in an apparently hostile and infinite universe. He himself was terrified by the silence between the stars. One does not have to follow Pascal all the way,... Continue Reading →

That’s Not Funny

By David Ottlinger One good thing to come in the wake of these frequently misguided and often intolerant student protests has been a real and surprisingly hopeful national conversation about public discourse. I can’t remember a time when so much energy (and printer’s ink) has gone into debating free speech and censorship. I want to... Continue Reading →

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