The Professor Brothers is an animated web series created by Brad Neely. The eponymous learned protagonists are the brothers Frank and Steve Smith, both professors at a community college in a fantastical town called China, Illinois.
Bible History #1 (Sodom and Gomorrah):
I attended Jewish day schools for my entire education. Which is to say that I spent many middle school hours actively not listening in Hebrew class and many hours with a highlighter in bible class, smirkingly seeking out any words and phrases vaguely sexual or scatological.
So you can imagine the kinship I felt when I first watched this episode of Professor Brothers. Its account of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah accords perfectly with the cosmology I developed from my religious education. It’s a pity that Brad Neely is from Arkansas which was pretty light on Jewish day schools. We could’ve totally kicked it in Rabbinics. -SK
History Lesson (JFK):
I once attended a fascinating talk at the 92nd Street Y where Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick discussed the Untold History of The United States. Basically their respective TV series and books delved into the idea that it’s often only the top line details of the events that shape our world that get remembered as history, and often the real, more interesting and more complicated details, people and events disappear into the ether much like time itself.
On this particular evening, Stone and Kuznich shared a detail of the Cuban missile crisis I had never heard before. Whilst history largely credit’s JFK’s nerves of steel with preventing nuclear war, it was actually the nerve of a Russian submarine officer named Vasili Arkhipov who, somewhere below the surface of the ocean, argued with against his captain launching the torpedoes and in doing so saved the world.
It is through that prism that I choose to view this history lesson cum indie electro pop music video from the Professor Brothers. Some of the details are familiar to us and we know them to be true: JFK was President, he was popular, he was a significant international pantsman of the highest order and he didn’t dig communism. But what else is true yet remains untold? Did he have great stats? Was he telepathic? Perhaps we’ll never know. But many who lived in his time and heard him speak have corroborated one important Professor Brothers fact – he definitely smelled like the future. -CP