Juicero delenda est

Friends, it has come to my attention that you have no idea what to do with your money.

First, you went and spent $400 on something they openly and deliberately called a “Juicero.” I know that names aren’t everything, and we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Heck, I can remember when Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific was a product that normal people bought without shame. But when it’s a high end item that was in development for ten years, with millions of dollars in investment, for which they almost certainly employed a team of marketing and creative types to . . . you know, I once met a sedevacantist priest named Father Pulvermacher. I think that would have been a better name than “Juicero.” So that’s the first thing.

Second, I gather that the Juicero, or The Pulvermacher, if you will, is some kind of counter-top device that allows you to ingest the juice of fruits and vegetables in your very home, if you can imagine such a thing.

Previously, when we were hoping to have the liquid aspect of plant products find its way into our mouths, we would be all, “Oh! Ah! Here is an apple, and here is my mouth, but I simply cannot work through the logistics! Help me, Gwyneth Paltrow! You’re our only hope.”

But Gwyneth can’t always pencil you in, so maybe you would go ahead and, in a juice-deprived panic, buy some kind of peasant-style juicer, like at Target or something, which inevitably results in what La Goopessa terms a “nightmare of clean-up.”

Now, when I say “nightmare of clean-up,” I’m usually thinking more in terms of shopping for a new couch slipcover while muttering, “And that’s why we don’t keep prunes in this house.” But I think Gwyneth meant that Pilar, who is in charge of the west end of the kitchen, is a little put out over all the little bits that can’t go in the dishwasher.

So anyway, this Juicero solves all of your problems that you are pretending you have by delivering some kind of loathsome pouches of chopped-up fruits and vegetables. They are organic, non-GMO, non-pasteurized, and still lightly dewed with the sweat of Pilar’s nephew, who is nine and someday hopes to find out what those strawberries he picks for eleven hours actually taste like.

You ask your Juicero to open wide (it only speaks Esperanto at present, but the next gen will be more flexible) and drop the bag in and then you use the pinky finger of your left hand to touch the air next to a button, or something, and then guess what?

Juice comes out.

I know.

Truly, this is a century of marvels. The Juicero contains four hundred custom parts, a scanner, and a microprocessor, and it is, of course, also wifi enabled. It is very, very important to have very local fruit brought directly to your home so that you can then leave that home and remotely command it to make local juice, so when you get home . . .

No, Pilar’s face doesn’t just look like that. She really does hate you.

And think, you’ve only spent $400 on this astonishing machine, plus let’s say $7 on a single-serving produce pack called “Root Renewal+” which “may help keep inflammation at bay.”

Now, when I want to keep inflammation at bay, I put my feet up on a laundry basket while I drink my bottom shelf g-and-flat-t with the restorative juice of a quarter of a lime, if they had any at Aldi. If I still feel puffy after this rigorous treatment, I dash off an angry email to that bastard Fr. Pulvermacher. Lay off the Jews, man. And down goes the inflammation! Or it may. The FDA has not evaluated this statement.

So a few of the guys who didn’t know about my regimen were pretty happy with their Juiceros . . . until they discovered that you could actually skip the Juicero part. You could just go ahead and squeeze the pouches with your very own paddy paws, and juice would come out of them. And you really didn’t need to buy a machine at all, because you already have a machine, called a “hand.”

And this aggression will not stand, man.

What the next step is, I do not know. Probably a march on Washington. Those seem popular. And when you get home, you can very easily make yourself some nice, refreshing juice.

Or, you know what? You’ve been marching all day. Get Pilar to do it.

Image: Baldassare Franceschini [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A Few, Simple Rules for World Breastfeeding Week

Hey, now. I guess World Breastfeeding Week is a thing.

Here are a few simple rules to follow:

If you’re a breastfeeding mother, yay! That’s great. Enjoy hearing people say nice things for a change.

If you’re a non-breastfeeding mother, ask yourself, “Am I feeding and caring for my kid?” If the answer is, “Yes, duh, I love my baby,” then you are good to go. If you have friends who try to make you feel bad for not breastfeeding, those are not your actual friends, and you can do better. Maybe find some friends who are, you know, friendly.

If you’re a breastfeeding mother who feels the need to educate people with your consciousness-raising nipplitude at all times, maybe take a step back and remember that nursing is about feeding and taking care of your baby, and clinical studies show that elevated levels of self-righteousness can pass into your breastmilk and will make your baby grow up to be an asshole. Maybe have a glass of wine and relax. (It’s fine for the baby!)

If you’re someone who feels the need to REPORT ALL THE SKIN  as nudity even when, come on, it’s clearly not supposed to be nudity, then maybe get off social media, because geez.

breastfeeding madonna


If your coworker or employee needs to pump breastmilk during the workday, rest assured that she is not doing it for fun, because it is not fun. It is hard work, it kinda hurts, and it’s tiring. Skip the jokes, skip the raised eyebrows, skip the mooing noises, and get her a room with a door that locks.

If you’re Donald Trump and think that the only conceivable reason a woman would want to take a break is because she’s  being tricky, (even though she’s prearranged to take a medically necessary break to pump milk for her very young baby) and that if women were meant to be lawyers, they’d just take their mastitis and blocked ducts like a man, then maybe you should reconsider whether the word “human” ought to be associated with your name at all, you disgusting little

[Here the MS. breaks off and is resumed in a different hand.]

In the heat of composition I find that I have inadvertently allowed myself to assume the form of a large centipede. I am accordingly dictating the rest to my secretary. Happy world breastfeeding week.

How Mel Brooks saved my life

producers audience

Resolved: Jeffrey Imm is a moron, and so is anyone who wants to sanitize the power out of comedy.

Imm’s complaint is that Mel Brooks’ The Producers makes fun of Nazis, and therefore doesn’t pay proper respect to the horrors of the Holocaust.  As Walter Hudson points out in PJ Media, “The irony of protesting fascism with a blanket declaration of what can’t be laughed at appears to be lost on Mr. Imm.”

It’s not really worth arguing beyond that. If you’re a soldier, you use a gun to fight evil. If you’re a writer, you use words. If you’re a comedian, you use jokes — especially if you’re a Jew. That’s how it works.

Kathy Shaidle skewers Imm for his stupid protest, but then flashes her alien ID, saying:

Imm, in his own flaky fashion, is onto something. It’s not that those topics aren’t funny.

It’s that Mel Brooks isn’t funny.

This aggression will not stand, man.

I agree that Spaceballs, Men in Tights, and Dracula are unwatchable. The problem with these movies is that Brooks tried to skewer genres that he didn’t especially care about; whereas his love and devotion for his targets (including in High Anxiety —inexcusably missing from Shaidle’s list of Brooks hits) are the heart and soul of his funniest movies. And that’s where Mel Brooks really shines: when he’s in love.

Excuse me while I get a bit emotional about this, but this is why Mel Brooks is so great: he’s an optimist, and his exuberantly ridiculous jokes catch you up in his love of life, dick jokes and all. The jokes that “make sense” aren’t what make the non sequiturs and the fart jokes forgivable; they’re all part of the same sensibility.

Life is funny. Even when it’s awful (what with racism, and Nazis, and murder, and stuff like that), it’s kind of funny. Especially when it’s awful. Especially when you’re suffering.

Shaidle says:

Brooks always counters anti-Producers critics (no, Imm isn’t the first) by pointing out the obvious: that he was making fun of Hitler.

But what’s brave about that? Hitler managed to look pretty stupid without much help, and when it mattered, neither The Great Dictator nor (the far superior) That Nazty Nuisance accomplished sweet eff-all.

Well, he wasn’t just “making fun of Hitler” (and I don’t believe that Brooks considered himself “brave” for making The Producers, anyway). At the risk of overanalyzing humor, which is the worst thing that anyone can do ever, Brooks doesn’t just tease Hitler. He subsumes him.

This is obvious in The Producers, as Brooks deftly works the play-within-a-play angle, telling the world: this is how you do it. When you are a comedian, you make people laugh, and that is how you win.  People gotta do what they gotta do, and that’s why Max Bialystock won’t ever learn.

I don’t mean to crap things up by getting too analytical, but it’s hard to ignore: we’reall producers, and the worst mistake we can make is not to realize what kind of show we’re putting on.  In Brooks’ best films, he knows exactly what kind of movie he’s producing, and his glorious openness is what makes them so disarming. It’s what makes us laugh at things we don’t want to laugh at; and laughing at those things is what saves us from succumbing to them.

An even better example of how Brooks annihilates the enemy without losing his soul is in the underrated To Be Or Not to Be, where Brooks and his real-life wife Anne Bancroft play a pair of two-bit entertainers  (they’re “world famous in Poland”) who bumble into a plot to rescue a bunch of Jews from occupied Poland.

The movie is not great, but one scene makes up for everything else: The audience is full of Nazis, and the only way to shepherd the crowd of Jews out of town is (work with me here) to dress them up as clowns and parade them out of the theater right under the enemy’s noses. Against all odds, it’s actually working, and the Nazis are deceived — until one poor old babushka, her face pathetically smeared with greasepaint, freezes. It’s too much for her: so many swastikas, so many guns. She can’t make herself do it, she’s weeping and trembling, and the audience realizes something is wrong.

They’re just about to uncover the whole plot, when the quick-thinking leader looks the Nazis straight in the eye, and shouts merrily, “JUDEN!” He slaps a Star of David on her chest, takes out a clown gun, and shoots her in the head. POW.

And that’s what saves her. That’s what saves them all. The crowd roars with laughter and keeps their seats while the whole company flees. Juden 1, Hitler 0.

The same thing happened to me. Again, work with me, here!

Depression and despair have been my companions ever since I can remember. Most of the time, if I keep busy and healthy, I have the upper hand; but one day, several years ago, I did not. The only thing that seemed reasonable was to kill myself, and that was all I could think about. The longer it went on, the less escape there seemed to be. Too much darkness. I couldn’t pass through it.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t kill myself. I’m still here. Part of the reason for that is because, of all things, I suddenly thought of that scene in Brooks’ 1970 film The Twelve Chairs. I barely remember this movie — we try not to have a lot of Dom DeLuise in our house, out of respect for my husband —  but the plot was some ridiculous, convoluted story of someone trying to do some simple thing, and things getting worse and worse. At one point, everything has come crashing down around the hero’s ears, and there is no hope.

So what does he do? He responds by running around in circles on the beach and screaming, “I DON’T WANNA LIVE. I DON’T WANNA LIVE.” And that’s the line that popped into my head.

So guess what? I laughed. Just a little giggle, but it helped. It was a little shaft of light, and it helped. I still had to pass through the dark room full of the enemy who wanted me dead, but someone who was on my side had slapped a Star of David on my chest, made me a target — and once I was explicitly made into a target, I could survive. It was all a joke. It was a circus, and I knew I would survive.

Suddenly I knew what kind of show I was in. It was a comedy, and I was going to make it out of that dark room. I don’t know how else to explain it beyond that. Mel Brooks saved my life, fart jokes and all. That’s what kind of movies he makes.

10 Ways to Insult a Catholic Blogger (and Why You Shouldn’t Bother)


1. You’re just trying to get attention with this! Oh gosh-all-whillikers, not attention! You mean that I made an effort to write in such a way as to persuade people to click on the headline, think about what I said, and elicit a response of some kind? Is outrage! Next time I have a thought, I’ll jot it down on an orange peel and bury it under the shed. You know, for the greater glory of God.

(If I’m writing flagrantly click-baity headlines, attaching photos of Mila Kunis’ chestal area, or just plain lying about stuff, then that’s no good. But just being interesting? That’s my job.)

Read the rest at the Register.


Columbia Students Lay Siege to Themselves


So here’s what I say to the Columbia students clutching their carefully cultivated pearls as they face down the hot breath of those terrible, wild gods: you’re damn right it’s not safe. You’re not in control here, not on this playground. You may find yourself climbing too high and too fast, and you may reach out for that rung on the monkey bars only to find that you’re grabbing thin air, and down you will plummet, onto the hot asphalt, or maybe further, down into the underworld, where dark Hades glowers over the fluttering dead.

So what?

Read the rest at the Register. 


FLASH! Cardinal Mahony is actually horse meat

Simcha Fisher’s greatest fan suggested rerunning this piece for Throwback Thursday. This post ran in March of 2013, during the Papal Conclave, back when things were stupid. I had forgotten all about the “Pope will be arrested if he leaves Vatican” rumor! Enjoy this glimpse into all that we have left behind, before this year’s stupidity train has a chance to gather steam.


Catholic Memes has a nice summation of the stupid things the secular media just can’t stop saying:

This feeding frenzy of factoids, irrelevancies, red herrings, and bogus trivia is just going to accelerate. These are people who don’t know anything about the Church, don’t want to know anything about the Church, and, most importantly, are willing to believe just about anything about the Church.

All right, it’s fun to track this kind of thing, why not take it up a notch?  It’s getting easier and easier to fake people out.  I mean, if “Friends of Hamas” grew legs because it was too good to check, then why not . . .

Amigos de Torquemada.  A super elite cabal open only to men descended from cardinals who have done things that even Alyosha Karamazov is still mad about.  On hot summer nights, the Amigos can be seen skulking about the seedier districts of Rancho Santa Fe, kicking over recycling bins and maybe even playing a few rounds of ding-dong ditch, because they are MIRED IN SCANDAL.

Pretty please, if some talking head sticks a microphone under your nose on your way out of confession this Saturday, won’t you, oh won’t you bring up the Amigos de Torquemada?  I want to see Chris Matthews gagging on his own tongue in his hurry to break the story.  Or maybe we could send up a trial balloon about . . .

The Prophecy of Wallaby. Even more obscure than the Prophecy of Malachy, scholars have recently uncovered these ancient lines etched on the side of a termite hill on the outskirts of Yarrawonga, Victoria, presumably during a short-lived and ill-conceived attempt by an especially ambitious band of Carthusians to re-evangelize the Irish convicts, who had no time for that.  The Prophecy of Wallaby predicts that the next pope will have been born in a month which doesn’t not have an “r” in it . . . or does it???

Or wait, have you heard?  Some of the more conservative cardinals still retain the archaic tradition of using nuns as hassocks.  And some of them haven’t changed their socks in weeks!

FLASH:  As soon as Benedict XIV settled into his helicopter and the pilot turned off the “no smoking” sign, he burned a photo of Ashton Kutcher.  Just because.

DID YOU KNOW?  We all know that if the smoke is white, we have a new pope; if it’s black, the conclave could not come to an agreement.  Well, as one of his final acts of barbaric oppression, the former Pope Benedict XVI signed his name to a new bit of dogma:  if the smoke is yellow, that means it’s now a mortal sin for women to complain about their husbands leaving the toilet seat up.

THIS JUST IN:  In order to squelch any possibility of transparency or an open and honest dialogue, the Swiss Guard has been spotted in and around the Sistene Chapel, installing super sensitive metal and explosive detectors, electronic device jammers, and an eleven-ton ball made out of stone that will CRUSH YOU.  The Catholic Church.  That’s how we roll.  With eleven-ton balls of stone.

Little known fact about the inner workings of the conclave:  Of course they could elect a female pope if they wanted to.  They just don’t want to.

And finally, the greatest tip of them all:  Cardinal Mahony is actually horse meat.


At Synod, Sex-Obsessed Catholic Church Finally Talks About Sex, Finally

It is stunning that the Bishops are talking about sex! As long as you are the kind of person who wakes up stunned to see the sun rise, stunned to find that you have feet at the end of your legs, stunned to discover that the floor under those feet is still made out of wood, just like it has been for decades and decades.

Read the rest at the Register. 

PIC John Paul II waving

Catholics, Cotton Candy, and Comeuppance

PIC Care Bear farting a rainbow

And I says to myself, I says, Sorry, Shakespeare! Sorry, Homer! Sorry, Flannery O’Connor and Evelyn Waugh, Somerset Maugham, Mark Twain, Faulkner, Melville, Doestoevsky, Chaucer, Joseph Conrad, Dickens, and Thomas “Joyboy” Mann. Sorry to you all, but you have got to go, because I’m fairly sure that on page 243, right where nice little college girls and college boys could read it, someone got in someone else’s pants and didn’t drop dead of the clap before the end of the book. And on the very next page, someone used God’s name in vain and even though a perfectly good crevasse could have plausibly opened up and swallowed him without doing much violence to the dramatic integrity of the work as a whole, IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. Is outrage!

Read the rest at the Register. 

At the Register: Prayer doesn’t make things happen

science religion meme

I agree, sort of.

We don’t pray for a cure for cancer and find a vial full of miraculous medicine on the table. We don’t pray to reach the moon on Christmas Eve and find a functional rocket ship waiting under the tree in the morning.

Praying doesn’t make things happen. Praying makes things possible. 

Read the rest at the Register.

At the Register: Why we can’t have baptisms during Lent

Hope this helps.