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John Updike vs. George Carlin (2); Hobbes and Dick advance

Yesterday‘s winners were determined by Zbicylist’s comment:

Nasty, brutish and short — and not necessarily human.

Pretty good, but now that Hobbes has made it into the Final Four, the competition’s stiffer. He’ll need something better than “nasty, brutish, and short” to get past Cervantes and make it into the final.

And today we fill out the Final Four with a contest between an author who Helen DeWitt can’t stand, and a comedian who shares a name with two of my colleagues.

P.S. As always, here’s the background, and here are the rules.


  1. Paul Thomas says:

    In his own words on Ali, ’nuff said:
    “He said, ‘No, that’s where I draw the line. I’ll beat ’em up, but I don’t want to kill ’em.’ And the government said, ‘Well, if you won’t kill people, we won’t let you beat ’em up.’ “

  2. Rick G says:

    Carlin on probability and the baseline fallacy: “So I’ve been praying to Joe [Pesci] for about a year now. And I noticed something. I noticed that all the prayers I used to offer to God, and all the prayers I now offer to Joe Pesci, are being answered at about the same 50% rate. Half the time I get what I want, half the time I don’t. Same as God, 50-50. Same as the four-leaf clover and the horseshoe, the wishing well and the rabbit’s foot, same as the Mojo Man, same as the Voodoo Lady who tells you your fortune by squeezing the goat’s testicles, it’s all the same: 50-50. So just pick your superstition, sit back, make a wish, and enjoy yourself.”

  3. Anonymous says:

    On the other hand, Carlin seems to have a serious problem confusing medians and averages: “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that”.

  4. Jonathan (another one) says:

    Carlin: “Forecast for tonight, dark. Continued dark, followed by widely scattered light in the morning.” Simple models for simple purposes.

  5. zbicyclist says:

    “As a matter of principle, I never attend the first annual anything.” (Carlin)

    This is enough to disqualify Carlin from this contest as a potential “no show”, but really the “no show” rule has got to go. I appeal to the commissioner! Getting rid of Jesus and Twain because they might not show was bad enough.

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