Tom Lehrer makes me happy

Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics
And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
And the Hindus hate the Moslems,
And everybody hates the Jews.


About ashleyfmiller

I write, give occasional speeches, and am currently getting my PhD in Mass Communications from South Carolina. Before going back to school, I worked in Los Angeles in reality tv, web series, and film.

Posted on May 10, 2010, in art, Entertainment, Religion and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Hi Ashley. I followed a link from Pharyngula to discover your blog. This post particularly surprised me, it seems we have a bit in common! I am an actor trained on stage but beginning to explore the world of film. I am also a fan of PZ and Tom Lehrer.
    I had the good fortune of meeting Mr. Lehrer a year ago. He came to see a production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” that I was in, and actually waited around after the show to tell me that he thought I was funny! Imagine that. It was like Wolfgang Puck saying I make good spaghetti.
    Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed perusing your blog, and I wish you the best of luck with your film. If you need any actors with natural snarkiness, drop me a line!

    • ashleyfmiller

      That’s immensely cool. My hits have gone through the roof — wordpress can’t keep up apparently. If you have a reel feel free to send it my way, and if you’re looking for the vaguely interesting stuff to read “Posts worth going back and reading” is a place to start.

  2. John Sherman

    Tom Lehrer should make EVERYONE happy! The animated Elements was exceptional.

    • ashleyfmiller

      When I was doing my late night youtube search through the Tom Lehrer ouvre, I discovered Roy Zimmerman. Do you know him, he seems similar in a lot of ways?

      If you liked that elements, this is another animation which is how I first learned of Tom Lehrer. My Chem teacher my freshman year of undergrad played this in class:

  3. The other Elements was also excellent! Thanks for the link. And I’ll check out Roy Zimmerman.

  4. givesgoodemail

    I wish I’d paid more attention to Mr. Lehrer when he was more active in show business.

    When he taught at Santa Cruz he offered a math class for non-majors called Math for Tenors.

    The world is a poorer place for his leaving the performance arts.

    My favorite lyrics of his?

    Get in line in that processional,
    Step into that small confessional,
    There, the guy who’s got religion’ll
    Tell you if your sin’s original.
    If it is, try playin’ it safer,
    Drink the wine and chew the wafer,
    Two, four, six, eight,
    Time to transubstantiate!

    • ashleyfmiller

      I love his wacky rhymes.

      This one is actually my favorite:

      I’ve never quibbled
      If it was ribald,
      I would devour where others merely nibbled.
      As the judge remarked the day that he
      acquitted my Aunt Hortense,
      “To be smut
      It must be ut-
      Terly without redeeming social importance.”

  5. I love Tom Lehrer and surprised someone by joining in a rousing chorus of “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” while at work.

    I find Tim Minchin very similar to Tom, both in terms of musicality and fabulous word choices.

    • ashleyfmiller

      I like Tim Minchin a lot, but I always thought he was more an inheritor of George Carlin than Lehrer. He seems so much naughtier to me than Lehrer

      But there is also a sense that all musical comedians owe something to Lehrer.

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