Tag Archives: America

8 Craziest Detective Novels (Featuring Celebrity Sleuths)

“So anyway, after my divorce, everyone said I should have a hobby. Until I told them that I was planning to write a mystery novel where Alf solves crimes.”

~Some of These Writers, Basically

detectives

Mystery novels serve many important functions in American society. They’re read on our sandy beaches, they’re packed and probably not read on our family vacations, and they’re an easy way for lazy screenwriters to fast track a screenplay in Hollywood. We, as a nation, love a good mystery, be it the deductive sleuthing of Sherlock Holmes, or trying to figure out why there are used condoms in the bathroom garbage can when you and your wife have been trying for kids the last three months. If that sentence took a shocking turn, that wasn’t this feature’s writer oversharing about his debilitating divorce, it was a twist that you didn’t see coming!

Americans love mystery novels because they’re light, easy to read, enjoyable, and there’s something genuinely exciting about finding yourself shocked by an outcome you never saw coming. Which is why it is such a popular genre for not only American readers, but for American writers. We don’t have the numbers to back this up, because it’s not like we make enough money on this site to hire an actual research team, but every year roughly 900,000 mystery novels are written by recently retired business men and women who have not yet decided to take up fishing.

And sure, every once and a while we’ll get a Gone Girl out of this slurry of mid-life crises, but more often than not we’ll get someone that just goes, “Okay so it’s a mystery, but like, what if the detective was David Duchovny?”

Which, duh, if Duchovny was the detective it would have to feature aliens. Actually, there’s some nuggets there, we could make that work. So while we work on our masterpiece Murder on the X-Files Set, here’s a list of eight detective novels that have actually been published where the detectives are fictionalized versions of real-life people.

8 Craziest Detective Novels (Featuring Celebrity Sleuths)

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The Ipswich Witchcraft Trial, a.k.a. Holy Shit, We Had a Witchcraft Trial 141 Years Ago?

“Listen, we know we’re still backwards as shit right now, but we’re not ‘Witch Trials Are a Normal Thing’ Backwards, Yeesh.”

~The Year 1878

witch trial

The Salem witch trials hold a place of particular infamy in American history, a stark reminder of both the complications of our Puritan foundation as well as the sins of our hysterical forbearers. From 1692 to 1693, over 200 people were accused of witchcraft crimes, leading to the death of 25 innocent people whose only crime was “did something to piss off an asshole at some point.” But we still try to separate ourselves from these events. It was before America was America, we rationalize. It was over three hundred years ago, we say. But while the trials of Salem remain in the forefront of the American zeitgeist, we forget that there were dozens of other similar, though less widespread, witchcraft trials throughout the years. And they went on much longer than you’d think.

How late? Try the late 1800s.

Here’s the story of America’s (hopefully, but who knows the way things are going nowadays) last witchcraft trial.

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Elliott Roosevelt Might Just Be the Most Interesting Roosevelt Not Named Teddy

“Wait, we found more Roosevelt kids?”

~The Writer of Teddy’s Tots

elliott and eleanor roosevelt

We’re not exactly shy here about our preferences when it comes to the Roosevelt presidents. We’re Team Teddy all the way. But we’re not haters on this front. We’ll readily admit that FDR did have his badass moments, and his wife Eleanor was no slouch on that front either. So while we’re not surprised that their offspring generally went ahead and did impressive things, we were pretty amazed to hear about Eleanor’s supposed “favorite son”, Elliott. To give you a sense of the Elliott Roosevelt, um, flavor, we’ll just say that we’re about 90% certain that Elliott Roosevelt is only considered her favorite son because he made that claim after she died. Strap in, you guys, this is going to be a wild one.

Now let’s take a moment to talk about the middle son of FDR who, well, let’s just say lived a colorful life.

Elliott Roosevelt Might Just Be the Most Interesting Roosevelt Not Named Teddy

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Five Absurd Museums That Have No Reason To Exist

“Welcome to my museum devoted entirely to my very specific strain of ADHD.”

~The Founder of the Umbrella Cover Museum

ramen museum

Museums. You may know them as the big buildings with a bunch of old stuff that your friends start going to instead of day drinking on Sundays because “they have kids now, Johnny” and “Jesus, you mean you still went to the bottomless mimosa place by yourself? Are you okay?” But did you know they can be more than a “fun” date destination for couples who have just become the type who host “game nights” on Saturdays? They also can be completely batshit crazy and unnecessary!

We tend to assume that museums exist to hold things like dinosaur bones and mummies, but there’s not really much in the way of criteria for what counts as a museum. Anyone can start a museum about anything, and society just calmly lets this happen. The difference between a person running a museum out of their house and a hoarder is that the hoarder at least has a variety of interests.

To that end, we’ve gone out and discovered five museums that, frankly, shouldn’t exist. Is this our way of telling intrepid Americans everywhere that they should not turn their over-sized collections into galleries that preserve the past for the future? Yes. Absolutely.

Five Absurd Museums That Have No Reason To Exist

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Six Regional Pizzas You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

“I have very strong opinions about other people’s opinions about pizza, and this angers me.”

~The Internet

pizza

Back in 2013 we wrote what, arguably, is our most divisive article that doesn’t insult ALDI. In this article, we looked at all the regional pizzas in America, and told you which ones were ass. A lot of people felt compelled to defend St. Louis pizza! We didn’t know that there were so many wrong people in the world! And we get it, pizza is a touchy subject for some people. Like, it really shouldn’t fucking be, it’s just sauce, dough and cheese with other shit tossed in sometimes, but whatever, we’ll play along.

So when one of our interns suggested we do another pizza article, we took away his bourbon privileges for the rest of the day. Who wants to deal with those kind of headaches? But then we took a step back and said, fuck it, we’ve got a deadline to meet and literally every other staff writer was passed out drunk after celebrating a very important holiday in the office that we call “Wednesday on a kind of chilly day.” So how can we talk about pizza in a way that won’t piss everyone off? Maybe, just maybe, for once, we’ll just talk about food without commenting on how delicious or gross we find it. It’s a novel concept, for sure. So fuck it, let’s give it a go. Here are some pizzas from across America that you likely have never encountered before.

Six Regional Pizzas You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

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8 TV Shows That the Emmys LOVE (and the Golden Globes HATE)

“Wait, Mrs. Doubtfire won a Golden Globe for Best Comedy or Musical? I’m not sure if that lessens our opinion of the Globes, or improves it…”

~AFFotD’s In-House Film Critic

golden globes

When honoring television series, there are only two award shows we trust—The Golden Globes and the Primetime Emmys. The Globes, of course, award television and film, and are ruled by the whims of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a secretive group of people with some questionable credentials and qualifications, while the Emmys celebrate all aspects of television production, not just best shows and actors, and are awarded by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a group of producers, writers, and actors dedicated to the advancement of the television industry. Both awards are broadcast on national television in a national event filled all sorts of well-respected and regarded celebrities and also Mel Gibson sometimes is there. But outside of their categorical differences (the Globes have movie stars! The Emmys have a prize that’s just “Outstanding Production Design For a Narrative Period of Fantasy Program [One Hour or More]!”) these two organizations also differ in one major way.

Taste.

While the Golden Globes are notorious for nominating, and even awarding, shows that never even catch a whiff of an Emmy nomination (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, for example, won Best Comedy and Best Leading Actor in 2014, two categories it has never even been nominated for in the Emmys), there are a whole slew of well-regarded shows that, apparently, the Golden Globes think are butt.

There could be a lot of reasons for this! It could be that the Foreign Press prefers to award less “popular” shows than the Emmys do. It could be that they are inclined to lean more towards non-American-created content. Or it might be that the Emmys are run by a group of people who work solely in television, and the Globes are run by like 90 people who do things like write fake interviews with Drew Barrymore for inflight magazines. We could do a deep dive, dig up research, and examine social trends, and get to the real meat of why this happens.

Or we could just randomly pick like, oh, what’s a good number…eight? Yeah, if we were really lazy, we could just pick eight shows the Globes hate, and laugh about it. But this is a respectable publication, so we would never do that to you, right?

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The Weirdest Official National Animals in the World: Embarrassing Animal Selections

“And our national song is ‘Self-Esteem’ by The Offspring”

~Most of the Countries Listed

otter

For the last few weeks, we’ve talked about nations throughout the world whose national animals were a bit lacking. Mostly they were lacking in actual permeance, as none of are “things” that “really exist” yet they somehow are “national animals” for “some reasons” and “we can’t stop doing this quotation mark gimmick we’re so sorry.” But our research did more than just tell us that a whole bunch of countries had no idea what lions looked lack back in the day. It also clued us in on the fact that a lot of countries don’t really realize that a national animal is there to represent the country. Or, they realized that, and they have a very low opinion of their own countries. Here are some of the more depressing animals that some nations looked at and said, “Oh yeah, that’s us to a T.”

The Weirdest Official National Animals in the World: Embarrassing Animal Selections

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The Weirdest Official National Animals in the World: Mythical Creatures Edition (Part 2)

“Heh. COCK of Barcelos.”

~Our Giggling Copy Editor

uk emblem

Last week, we wrote an article that basically centered on the premise of “a lot of countries have silly or unusual national animals, and a bunch of these national animals don’t even exist, let’s make fun of them.” We held ourselves to one penis joke (heh, phrasing) and we can assure you we will not be so restrained this time around. Here are more of…

The Weirdest Official National Animals in the World: Mythical Creatures Edition (Part 2) Continue reading

The Weirdest Official National Animals in the World: Mythical Creatures Edition (Part 1)

“What…Am…I?”

~The National Animal of Bhutan

emblem

If you’re an independent nation, there’s a good chance you have a national animal of some sort. In fact, of all the official countries in the world, almost ¾ of them do. We don’t have a really good reason why that’s the case. In fact it’s kind of weird that a bunch of countries randomly decided to give themselves mascots without anyone questioning as to…what’s the point? We’re sure some country started doing it like thousands of years ago (honestly, probably China?) and a few other independently decided to go the same route, and eventually most countries just got peer pressured into it, but it’s kind of weird that we take national animals as just like, a normal thing for countries to have.

Now America has a few national animals, and we’re not alone in being countries that double down. Naturally we have the bald eagle, but did you know that we also named the American bison our “national mammal”? Yeah that’s right, we have a national mammal. Now, that’s only been the case since it was signed into law in 2016, but still, we do now have two animals. And that being said, neither of these options are bad. Bald eagles are badass, and look badass, while bison have long played a historically significant role in many cultures throughout American history.

But as you might surmise, not every country can really lock in a good national animal like America. In fact, a lot of countries are represented by animals that are not only weird, they straight up don’t fucking exist. And not a single one of these fake animals is a warthog in an army uniform firing a bazooka, which is what we would have come up with if asked to make up a mythical creature to represent America.

You know the deal at this point. We found out that some countries are weird about an arbitrary thing, and we’re going to tell you all about the weirdness. And folks? There are a lot of official animals that straight up do not exist. So many that we’re going to split this sucker into two articles. Keep in mind, most of these creatures were invented about 300 years before we as a species really started getting good at “imagination” and it shows.

The Weirdest Official National Animals in the World: Mythical Creatures Edition (Part 1)

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We Need to Talk About Dr. Seuss’ Weird Ass Taxidermy Creatures

“May I kill them with a knife?

May I rid these things of life?

They give me nightmares I can’t stand

Please burn it all, Sam I Am”

~Seriously Though, These Are Freaky As Hell

dr seiss

Dr. Seuss is one of those true American heroes who have reputations that are impossible to tarnish. Like, sure, he did some racist political cartoons about the Japanese back in World War II, but we’re usually pretty okay ignoring that. It was war after all, and compared to his peers his cartoons were, um, well almost quaint. Besides, he’s an all-time American, and his books are timeless for a reason. Brimming with whimsy and imagination, every red-blooded Americans who didn’t have a mom or dad that took the whole “alternative parenting” thing too far grew up reading Green Eggs and Ham or One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish (fun fact about the latter—he wrote it on a fucking dare. Someone bet he couldn’t write a book using just 50 unique words or less. He used 49).

The point being, Dr. Seuss is a treasure, and nothing he could do would make us say otherwise. You could tell us he lived a second life killing farmhands in rural Nebraska, where he was known as “The Scarecrow Killer” and we’d be like, “Well, let’s just say he had a complicated legacy, but he probably did more good than bad.” So with that in mind, we’re going to talk to you about his “collection of unorthodox taxidermy” which is almost enough to tarnish his reputation. It doesn’t, but it does weird us the fuck out, and we need to talk about it.

We Need to Talk About Dr. Seuss’ Weird Ass Taxidermy Creatures

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