Daily Bafflements

The BafflerOctober 26, 2015
"He plagues my son Ludovic and his friends by banging on the window bars and buzzing on the intercom all night," says Lady Shaw-Stewart

One posh poltergeist at Ardgowan Estate “plagues my son Ludovic and his friends by banging on the window bars and buzzing on the intercom all night,” says Lady Shaw-Stewart. / easylocum

• A win for safety is a loss for PR, according to one Japanese gangster ring: “A low-ranking underboss” from the Yamaguchi-gumi has declared that the group is not indulging neighborhood children with treats this Halloween. “Trouble is brewing with the breakaway faction, the so-called ‘Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi,’” he explained, “and we don’t want to take a chance that some innocent child is embroiled in violence.” For the Yamaguchi-gumi, which describes itself as a humanitarian group, Halloween has long been  “a very cost-efficient form of PR . . . The candy is cheap and they don’t even need to spend money on costumes.” (Thanks, Daily Beast!)

• The Harvard Lampoon, an elite magazine apparently housed in a “mock-Flemish castle,” cavorted Jimmy Fallon past the Baffler offices on a chariot last weekend. And what a privilege it was for Fallon, who was called the emperor of Cambridge (at his own insistence)! And what an honor for the Lampoon (as Fallon noted in his brief acceptance speech)! Was anyone speaking truth to power? Well, no, but the notion that comedy should do that is long dead, as Ben Schwartz noted in his salvo in Baffler no. 27.  Of course, now and then, comedy really does seize power—just ask Guatemala’s new president, Jimmy Morales!

• Halloween is yet another occasion for the British upper classes to assert their superiority, as Tatler stunningly proved this month under the headline “How Posh Is Your Ghost?”

• Tony Blair’s Iraq war mea culpa was “so obvious it’s surprising he bothered to speak.”