Fafblog! – Insanity With a Purpose

2 08 2004

I first heard of Fafblog a few weeks ago when Jeff at Notes on the Atrocities featured it as his ‘Daily Link’. He called it the funniest blog he had ever read, which is a challenge, as far as I’m concerned. The funniest? Funnier than The Mermaid Tavern? That was hard to believe, so of course I had to check it out so I could call him on it when he proved to be wrong. Only I couldn’t because he wasn’t.

If The Mermaid Tavern is Benchley, Fafblog is the Marx Brothers. There’s even three of them: Fafnir, named after one of the giants in The Ring of the Nibelungen, is the confused, muddled, inoffensive Everyman who can barely remember who he is most of the time and who seems to face existence as if he were its mirror, reflecting back anything that chances to stand in front of him; Giblets is Fafnir’s feisty, combative, antipodean alter-ego who sees life as a war you can only win if you’re on the right side to begin with and who approaches that war with all the subtlety of a demanding 2-year-old in mid-tantrum; and The Medium Lobster, who is described on the sidebar as ‘a higher being with superior knowledge from beyond space and time. To your limited perception, he appears to be just another medium lobster. To your limited perception’ but rarely appears these days. If he is such a superior being, he probably has better things to do with his time, knowing full well that trying to straighten out one of these two, never mind both, would be a monumental waste of it–and a criminal act besides. After all, sanity isn’t nearly as funny.

In the same way that the Marx Brothers brought silliness-for-its-own-sake to movies and then, in their best, turned it to the service of satire, Fafblog is part inspired insanity with no other apparent purpose and part political skewering from which no one, least of all them, is safe. Here they are blogging from the convention floor in Boston right after Kerry’s speech.

Well here we are live speech bloggin again. Just like last time I will talk in regular talk an Giblets will talk in italics talk.Wow what a reception with the clappin. First of all what do you think of the music Giblets? I know it goes with the Vietnam theme but is “Holiday in Cambodia” inappropriate?

No Fafnir “Holiday in Cambodia” is not inappropriate. It is approriate cause it rocks.

Also you will recall that a number of people suggested Kerry make reference to Ronald Reagan in this speech an this is the first allusion. Remember that in 1980 Reagan walked out to the Dead Kennedy’s “Kill the Poor.”

Very true Giblets very true. Now I like this autobiographical stuff about goin over to East Germany on his bike an attackin the Nazis with it as a kid.

Yeah it’s a little slice of life you dont get that often.

“We have it in our power to change the world but only if we hold true to our ideals.” That is an excellent phrase. An excellent powerful beautiful phrase.

Especially when he finishes it with “with thousands of mighty robots.” Plus it illuminates a lotta his foreign policy which a lot of voters have been waitin for.

Yes I am glad to see him get into the nitty-gritty of things. The mighty robots initiative seems like an amazin plan an I have no idea why nobody even thought of it before! They should be able to take care of terror AND supply universal health coverage all at once!

He’s talkin about “I know what its like to walk around with an M-16 etc.” I dont get it, is Kerry a big NRA freak or a gun collector or something?

No he was in Vietnam.

Really? Wow. Giblets had no idea. You’d think theyd play that up more.

Malapropisms, misunderstandings, and mayhem–it’s all there, the MB staples, plus a healthy dose of cluelessness and an unerring instinct for ‘accidentally’ hitting below the belt. During their ‘convention blogging’, which went on all last week, Fafnir played the kind of generic tv anchor at a loss without his cue cards with which we are all so depressingly familiar, giving his ‘interviews’ of Giblets just the right touch of the ignorant know-it-all who breathlessly asks obvious questions as if no one had ever thought of them before, and automatically agreeing with everything Giblets asserts as fact no matter how patently false it is. Giblets, in turn, played the Guest Commentator role to perfection, pontificating pointlessly and occasionally at length on the trivial details he finds so significant despite the fact that they didn’t happen, and offering opinions that unwittingly rip the mask of civility from political rhetoric. Here they are analyzing John Edwards’ speech:

Well this speech is comin hot off the heels of a great introduction by John Edwards’s wife Elizabeth who came across as very warm an carin an matronly in fact I believe she spontaneously birthed a child on stage an so Edwards is startin off with an acknowledgement of his wife.It helps humanize his otherwise cold an distant trial-lawyerly demeanor which has been such a problem throughout this campaign.

Yes it has Giblets. What other kinds of problems is John Edwards goin to have tonight?

What I think Democrats should be careful about is the amount of “class warfare” in Edwards’s speech. They might want to tone it down a bit an add some moderate lines like “It is good to tax poor people more” an “rich people get taxed too darn much” an “would you like more money rich people? I understand poor people have quite a lot just lyin around.”

Maybe it was inappropriate to introduce Edwards with “Eat the Rich”?

It’s never inappropriate to rock, Fafnir.

I almost feel like the speech is uneven at times like when John Edwards goes from talkin about big corporations gettin tax breaks for cuttin American jobs to talkin about feeding the strength of America’s armies by drinking the blood of the terrorist’s dead.I think it just shows John Edwards’s youth an inexperience. Everyone knows you eat the heart of your enemies to gain their strength. Drinkin the blood is useless. Now Dick Cheney is a vice president I trust to know about eating another man’s still-beatin heart.

Overall I am not impressed with John Edwards’s “two Americas”/”one America” speech. If there is only one America, how will Giblets aspire to get into a classy elite America where the rest of grimy smelly America is kept out?

But what about the big corporations who are always tryin to step on the little guy?

What little guy? Giblets an Fafnir ARE the little guy. We are short, man. We are really really short. Robert Reich almost squashed us at a buffet today.

Well then I believe we have two Americas Giblets. One for Fafnir an Giblets an one for very very big people who threaten to step on Fafnir an Giblets.

Too true Fafnir. Too true.

I also believe we have two Edwards speeches. One for the “two Americas” speech an one for the acceptance speech. I think they sorta tried to eat each other tonight.

Giblets, as you might be able to tell from that last excerpt, is a raging Republican with the short leash and the short-circuits between his perception and reality that you might expect from a zealot. In a diatribe on why he hates the Democratic Party, he first accuses it of hiding its real self–

You still fail to please Giblets, Democratic National Convention! Allow Giblets to enumerate the ways in which you have failed Giblets – and all of America by proxy!# Hiding the “true face” of the Democratic Party! Oh sure the Democrats like to pretend they are all nice and sweet and moderate but inside they are all psychopathic Bush-hating socialist omnisexual reptiloids who hate Bush. Why is the party hiding its psychopathic Bush-hating socialist omnisexual reptiloids from the public? Why is it dressin them up an makin them talk like for example Bill Clinton or Barack Obama? Because it is runnin away from its psychopathic Bush-hating socialist omnisexual reptiloid identity that is why! Giblets finds you shameful and cowardly Democratic Party!

–then later–

# Revealing the “true face” of the Democratic Party! Giblets was deeply offended by the psychopathic Bush-hating socialism comin out of Al Sharpton tonight! Sure this is the loathsome face of the Democratic Party, but does Giblets really have to see it?

–blissfully unaware of the contradiction. By any measure, this is brilliant satire, but it is also achingly funny. Here’s the end of Giblets’ rant:

# No love for Giblets! All the other bloggers here I think are gettin invited to better parties than Giblets! I saw that TalkLeft guy headin to some party with supermodels or naked presidents or naked supermodel presidents. Damn you TalkLeft guy! Giblets is stuck here talkin to Robert Novak an all he can do is make gargling sounds with his venom sacs. “Ggllgglgl,” says Novak. Shut the hell up Novak you annoy Giblets!

I defy you to suppress your giggling all the way through that. If you can, try their interview with Wolf Blitzer or their interview with the Family research Council’s James Dobson:

FAFBLOG: Well Dr. James Dobson it has been a while since we had our last interview an in between the Ban Gay Marriage Amendment Amendment failed. How you been since then?
JAMES DOBSON: Just terrible, Fafnir. Because of the weakness and corruption of the United States Senate, I have been forced to become gay.
FB: Oh no!
JD: I’m afraid it’s true, Fafnir. I now spend my nights in a ball gag and a chastity cage while Gary Bauer whips me from behind in his skintight leather bodice.
FB: That is terrible news Doctor James Dobson! Not only has gay marriage forced you to become gay, it has made you a bottom!
JD: And that’s not the worst of it. Pat Robertson changed his name to “Trixie” and is giving handjobs in Tiajuana for five bucks a pop. Bill Bennet is a ponyboy in San Francisco. No one’s seen Jerry Falwell since the FMA was killed, but there’ve been sightings of a heavy-set post-op tranny with three breasts, a chimpanzee sex slave, and a fiery Southern oratorial style along the backroads of Central Virginia.

But I don’t want to get too carried away with the satirical aspect of Fafblog (I know, it’s too late, that train done left the station) at the expense of its frantically warped whimsy and apolitical left-field looniness. There are Fafnir’s and Giblets’ evil twins from an alternate negaverse, Fat’s-Lung and Mutton, who plague them on a regular basis by, for instance, ‘replac[ing] half of all the furniture an appliances in [their] house with evil robots which look just like furniture!’; serious philosophical discussions such as ‘Utilitarianism versus Deontology’

FAFNIR: Why hello Giblets! I see you are almost fully immersed in a bowl of ham jello.
GIBLETS: Unnngh… Giblets is in such pain.
FAF.: Oh no Giblets! You have not been eatin pork to painful excess again have you?
GIBS.: Giblets does it… GLLGGLL… for national greatness. He stuffs himself with liquid ham… for the glory of the republic!
FAF.: But Giblets does the end always justify the means? For example say there is a man stuck in the opening of a mine shaft.
GIBS.: How would a man get stuck in a mine shaft? Mine shafts are huge.
FAF.: Well lets say he’s a big fat man stuck in a mine shaft an there are like a dozen other people trapped in there because the fat man he is just so fat.
GIBS.: This is an improbably fat man we are talkin about.
FAF.: Maybe he has been eatin ham jello. For the glory of the republic.
GIBS.: Then he can stuff off. This is Giblets’s ham jello.

–and day-to-day adventures like the time they broke the washing machine by loading it with marbles.

So me an Giblets an the bowl of frosted flakes an bananas are stuck sittin on top of the dryer talkin.”Harrumph,” says Giblets.
“Think Chris’ll be mad?” says me.
“Why should he be?” says Giblets. “Not our fault the basement flooded. It’s God’s. He knew what was gonna happen when we put all those marbles in the washin machine an he didnt do squat.”
“That’s very true,” says me. “Foreknowledge is fore-responsibility. For shame, God.”
“I don’t think Chris will believe it,” says Giblets. “Chris does not believe in God.”
“I don’t understand why,” says me. “There is plenty of anecdotal evidence like the Jesus tortilla.”
“Does God really look like Jesus or does God really look like the tortilla?” says Giblets.
“The Catholic Church has informed me in numerous paintins that God is a really big ol man in the sky with a beard,” says me.
“That is absurd,” says Giblets. “Everyone knows that God is a really big ol rabbit in the sky with a beard.”
“Very true,” says me. “There is plenty of anecdotal evidence.”

‘Chris’ is the more-or-less normal human Fafnir and Giblets live with and, I strongly suspect, the creator of Fafblog. Whoever he is, he’s a fucking genius and I could fry him like an egg for writing funnier than me. With roots that connect to sources as disparate as SJ Perelman and The Goon Show, HG Wells and Superman comic books, Fafblog is at once something old dressed up in new clothes and something almost entirely original that has never been seen before, at least not by me, and if that sounds contradictory, you try describing that madhouse without the use of paradox.

Two final notes:

1) Do not fail to read the comments. The Fafblog community is wide, hip, and often as funny as the blog itself.

2) As with Lumpenblog, the Fafblog archives are a treasure-trove in which one can be easily and ecstatically lost for days–or at least until one’s sides hurt so much that one has to quit for fear of breaking a rib. Don’t skip them.

I will leave you, as I must, with some words of wisdom from a rare post by The Medium Lobster.

[A]s long as the United States grapples with the forces of terrorism, the shadow of Terror Itself will hang over the democratic process, infecting and poisoning it at the most fundamental levels. Can America allow itself to carry on any presidential election, knowing that its outcome may be influenced by the existence of terror, until Terror is, at long last, finally defeated? The answer, my friends, is a most resounding “no.”Remember, after all, that in these days it is the darkest enemies of democracy we face, and in the war to defeat them, we cannot let democracy stand in the way.


“We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”–Gen William Westmoreland




One response

2 08 2004

Yeah. Fafblog is terrific!

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