Legendary Physicist Richard P. Feynman Dabbled In Pick-Up Artistry
Before Carl Sagan and Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the pop star of science was Nobel-Prize-winning physicist Richard P. Feynman. He was a nerd, but he was also cool, dividing his time between discovering the secrets of the Universe and playing the bongos.
Feynman was also a real hit with the dames. Unfortunately, that didn’t mean that he had a high opinion of women. During his tenure as a professor at Caltech, he made so many sexist gags in his lectures that he triggered campus protests against him and inspired a nickname, “Richard ‘P for Pig’ Feynman.” And this was the 1950 s, when sexist jokes were basically background noise for most people.
His sex life was no less uncomfortable. In his autobiography, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman !, he joyously lays out his escapades, including all the techniques he learned from an early form of what’s now dubiously referred to as “pick-up artistry.” That’s right, Feynman was an early 20 th century version of the asshole who hangs out in bars and tries to hit on women by insulting — sorry, “negging” — them. As he describes in the book, he took on a mentor who taught him this 😛 TAGEND
Later, Feynman recounts an anecdote about the first time he applied these, uh, teaches. After a session at the bar, he took a stroll with a girl whom he’d befriended, who suggested they buy some coffee and sandwiches and then go back to her place. Score! But that’s when Feynman broke the cardinal regulation — he paid for the coffee and sandwiches himself. Worse than that, he’d bought sufficient food for three people, which was a big red flag. Sure enough, she then told him that another friend was going to be joining them. Female treachery! The Master was right!
So Feynman “recovered” the best route he knew how 😛 TAGEND
Now, we don’t know which dictionary Feynman was using, but we’re reasonably assured that “soliciting fund to not have sex” is kind of the opposite of a whore. In any case, Feynman claims that he still boned her later. And likely her supermodel friend. No wait, they were twins. Yep.
David Foster Wallace Was A Really Creepy Stalker
We’re loathe to go after David Foster Wallace, the guy who wrote possibly the greatest commencement speech in the history of higher education. He was awesome, his life was tragic, and excavating for skeletons in his closet is like looking for a pile of dead hobos in Mr. Rogers’ basement. But in any case, it must be said that Wallace had … kind of some issues with women.
A biography by D.T. Max reveals that Wallace, the patron saint of literature, was a relentless bully to his younger sister growing up. We’re not talking about calling her names or defacing her Barbies; he punched her so hard that he knocked her teeth out, and then dragged her hobble body through “the excrement left by their dog.” Ah, boys will be boys, right?
Max goes on to detail the creepy and outright abusive relationship that he had with his future girlfriend, poet Mary Karr. According to Max’s biography, Wallace’s courtship of Karr was less Nicholas Sparks and more Fatal Attraction . Karr was married with a child when they met and knocked back his advances, but Wallace wouldn’t have it. His attempts to woo her included illustrate up at her house and workplace unannounced, lying to their reciprocal friends about them having an affair, and turning up at a party he wasn’t invited to with a new shoulder tattoo of Karr’s name and a heart. His approach to romance was basically Sideshow Bob stalking Bart.
Somehow, Wallace and Karr did start having an affair, but his creepiness didn’t end there. At one point, according to Max, Wallace became so thwarted with Karr’s reluctance to divorce her husband that he called an ex-con about buying a firearm so he could kill him.
Even after this affair ended( thankfully without anyone get murdered ), Wallace remained a sex fiend for the rest of his life. He boned his female students, he boned the women in his narcotic recovery sessions, and he boned the “audience pussy, ” as he privately described the fans of his work. Reportedly, he once told fellow novelist Jonathan Franzen that he felt his life’s purpose was to “to put[ his] penis in as many vaginas as possible.” To us, he’ll probably always be that cool writer guy who once made a really relatable life metaphor about fish.
Lou Reed Was A Violent, Racist, Woman-Beating Prick
Nobody really expects rock musicians to be nice people. The Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed, however, was more than an asshole. According to a recent biography written by Howard Sounes, he was some kind of ogre .
Sounes doesn’t use the word softly. After Reed’s death in 2013, Sounes, who was a huge fan, set out to write a glowing biography, for which he interviewed more than 140 people — and every single one of those interviews transgressed off another little piece of Sounes’ heart. Though he wanted to be as kind as possible to his musical hero, Sounes was forced “to go where the tale goes.” And here’s where the tale went: Reed was apparently a violent, racist, misogynistic fucking shit. It’s known that he once told a journalist, “I don’t like niggers like Donna Summer”( and that should have been kind of a red flag right there ), but according to those who knew him, he wore his racism on his sleeve. At one point, he referred to Bob Dylan as a “pretentious kike.” Yes, the guy who once released an hour of guitar feedback called someone else “pretentious.”
Reed’s relationships with women were more violent than a mosh pit. His ex-wife Bettye Kronstad told Sounes that Reed would occasionally get mad and pin her against a wall, shake her, made her, and “then one time he actually gave me a black eye.” She wasn’t the only one. According to one of his childhood friends, Reed would often beat his girlfriends in public when they said something that irritated him. When the spouse of the( presumably former) friend said something about it, Reed started making her too. Because Reed was an equal opportunity misogynist.
When Sounes approached filmmaker Paul Morrissey for an interview, Morrissey indicated for the book that “You need a good title like The Hateful Bitch [ or] The Worst Person Who Ever Lived . Something that says this isn’t a biography of a great human being, because he was not … He was a stupid, disgusting, awful human being.” As Sounes recounted, “The word that kept coming up was prick. Girlfriends called him a pricking, people he was at school with called him a pricking; people in his band called him a prick.”
But man, wasn’t White Light/ White Heat a great album?
Roald Dahl Kind Of Tried To Justify The Holocaust
Roald Dahl introduced generations of kids to the sorcery of reading through his whimsical fictions about chocolate mills, friendly giants, and unsettlingly big fruit. Thankfully, one theme he never snuck into our prepubescent brains was his opinions about Jews. At least , not that we’re aware of.( Perhaps those pointy snouts in The Witches are more offensive than we thought ?)
We’ve discussed already how Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is low-key racist — in the original version, the Oompa-Loompas weren’t orange dwarves, but a slave workforce of African pygmies. Well, racism is a bit like cockroach poop: When you watch a little bit of it, too often you can look behind the fridge and find an infestation.
First off, according to a recent biography, Dahl was a deeply unpleasant human to begin with. He carried on several affairs behind his wife’s back, was rude to everyone he met, and( much like Dr. Seuss) didn’t care much for children. Dahl didn’t write exclusively for children, but when he did, he pretty much merely did it for the paycheck as, like he told another author at a party, you can much write anything and “The little bastards’d swallow it.”
More concerning, though, were his thoughts on Jews. In a review of a volume about the 1982 intrusion of Lebanon by Israel, Dahl said this was the moment “we all started hating the Israelis, ” and questioned, “Must Israel, like Germany, be brought to her knees before she learns how to behave in this world? ” Before you point out that criticism of Israel isn’t inherently antisemitic, know that Dahl doubled down when he was questioned about his comments, helpfully clarifying that his animosity was, indeed, targeted specifically at Jews 😛 TAGEND
“It’s not like he was Hitler or something.”
This is the point in any interview where you really need to decide to stop talking. But Dahl went on to elaborate how he guessed the Jews kind of had the whole Holocaust thing coming because, according to his version of history, it never passed to them to fight back. “I mean, if you and I were in a line moving towards what we knew were gas chamber, I’d rather have a go at taking one of the guards with me; but[ the Jews] were always submissive.”
But is all this enough to really label Roald Dahl an antisemite? Well, there’s also the interview he gave a few months before his death in which he literally described himself as “anti-Semitic.” There’s, you know, that.
S. Peter Davis is the creator of the Three Minute Philosophy YouTube series, and is the author of the book Occam’s Nightmare . Did you help an old lady to cross the street into a cavity of alligators? Here you go . Also check out 6 Celebrities Who Are Surprisingly Angry On Twitter and 5 Beloved Celebrities Who Were Nothing Like You Think . Are in favour of our YouTube channel, and check out 5 Famous Historical Figures Who Were Total Perverts, and watch other videos you won’t consider on the site ! Follow our new Pictofacts Facebook page, and we’ll follow you everywhere .
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