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Poop Culture

by Paul Provenza Dave Praeger

Is "The Origin of Feces" a Darwinian concern? Perhaps not, but it is the title to the preface of this tongue-in-cheek and unexpectedly revealing exploration of human behavior by the webmaster behind the popular PoopReport.com.This book is not a history of poop, but a study of today. Its goal is to understand how poop affects us, how we view it, and why; to appreciate its impact from the moment it slides out of our anal sphincters to the moment it enters the sewage treatment plant; to explore how we've arrived at this strange discomfort and confusion about a natural product of our bodies; to see how this contradiction--the natural as unnatural--shapes our minds, relationships, environment, culture, economics, media, and art.Paul Provenza, the director of The Aristocrats, says in his foreword: "It's shocking to think that a book about poop can be considered an act of courage. But it is. Most of us have knee-jerk responses to the topic that we are not even aware of. Attitudes that, like the awful stench of poop itself, permeate all of society and culture. This book has some very profound and beautiful things to say. It takes a dirty, smelly, unpleasant subject like shit and brings forth ideas that are empowering, dignifying and life affirming."

Satiristas

by Paul Provenza Dan Dion

Our nation's finest comedians, contrarians, and comic subversives come together to discuss the nature of humor, its relevance to society, and how simply speaking the truth as one sees it can give life meaning We are living in a new golden age of satire. In a nation divided, polarized, and cynical of "official" news and information, it's no surprise that more young people get their news today from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert than from 60 Minutes and CNN-the people who speak the most openly and fearlessly are our satirists. Politics and culture are analyzed, criticized, scandalized, and energized by comedians with no agenda other than to create the laughter and shock that comes from recognition and truth. Perhaps the greatest collection of comic talents ever between two covers, ¡Satiristas! is a collaboration between Paul Provenza-comedy's insider inquisitor extraordinaire, director/co-creator of the film The Aristocrats, and star of Showtime's The Green Room with Paul Provenza-and Dan Dion, comedy's most celebrated portrait photographer. A virtual who's who of iconoclastic comedy, the book is an epic, hilarious, multivoiced manifesto on satire and comedy, and a revelatory study of the complexities and inner workings of the comic mind. Balancing on the razor's edge of communicating important ideas without pretense or condescension, political comedians Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, and Lewis Black weigh in with late-night monologists Jay Leno and Craig Ferguson. Veterans like Conan O'Brien, Robin Williams, Richard Lewis, and Roseanne Barr speak their minds alongside comedy legends such as the Smothers Brothers, Tom Lehrer, Lily Tomlin, and the late, great George Carlin. Also represented are creators, writers, and producers of The Daily Show, South Park, Mr. Show, This Is Spinal Tap, Wonder Showzen, Kids in the Hall, Freaks and Geeks, Superbad, The Simpsons, Monty Python's Flying Circus, and Saturday Night Live as well as fresh, up-and-coming talents and a new generation of comedy stars. Together, this cross-section of subversive comic artists offers insight into what drives them and makes them tick, and what drives them crazy and ticks them off. Paul Provenza's casual, intimate, artist-to-artist interviews are intelligent, outrageous, controversial, and even downright sick-but no idea or opinion is censored, and the unabashed honesty that results is funny, thought-provoking and inspirational. The intimate photographic portraits by Dan Dion, comedy's Richard Avedon, are art pieces that take us through the stand-up routine to the person underneath, making ¡Satiristas! something that will change the way you look at comedians and the art of comedy.

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