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  • - I wanna help out England.

  • I didn't bust my nuff (chuckles),

  • I didn't bust my nut enough in England.

  • Oh, I still didn't do enough.

  • - Stephenson was like, "Well, you know,

  • "there is other stuff you can do."

  • So Dahl was hired into a dark propaganda section,

  • referred to as the BSC,

  • which stands for the British Security Council.

  • (dramatic instrumental music)

  • Hello, today we're gonna talk about Edgar Allen Poe

  • and his rivalry with Rufus Griswold,

  • one of America's first pieces of (beep).

  • (haunting instrumental music)

  • Okay, this is the 1800s and no one has any money.

  • Like people are like sweeping the streets

  • and maybe you'd find like a crust of bacon and you'd eat it.

  • Edgar Allen Poe, he's one of the great American poets,

  • completely disrespected by everyone

  • he ever came in contact with.

  • He was always broke,

  • and he came into contact with a fellow by the name

  • of Rufus Griswold.

  • So Griswold says to Poe, "Hey, I'm making this book

  • "called 'The Poets and Poetry of America'

  • "so give me some of your poems and if I like 'em,

  • "I'll put 'em in."

  • He knows if he puts him in the book,

  • then Edgar Allen Poe will be likely to write a nice review.

  • So Poe's like, "Okay, I'll give you some of my poems.

  • "So here's my poems."

  • So books get booket.

  • The book gets published.

  • Poe's, three of Poe's poems are printed.

  • Griswold has printed 50 poems by one of his friends.

  • 50!

  • Poe's sitting there with the book in front of him,

  • flipping through the book, flip, flip, flip, flip, flip.

  • "What the (beep)?

  • "Are you (beep) serious?

  • "This (beep) sucker hack loser ass (beep)

  • "has put me in the very back of this book.

  • "I have been hornswoggled by (beep)."

  • Griswold comes to him.

  • He's like, "Edgar, what do you say that you write

  • "one of your wonderful reviews of my book

  • "and I'll give you $100 for it."

  • It's basically bribery and Poe's like "Sure, no problem.

  • "I'll take your money and write a review of this, this book.

  • "No problem.

  • "No (beep) problem, Rufus."

  • (laughing) So, so he, so he writes the review.

  • Now Griswold has been telling his friends, you know,

  • "Poe's gonna write this great review of my (beep)."

  • Then when he reads the review that he paid for, like,

  • "No one should read this.

  • "None of these poets are gonna be remembered except for me.

  • "It's a waste of time to even look at this thing.

  • "All this is crap, Edgar Allan Poe."

  • He's like, "Really?

  • "I gave you money to write a (beep) review of a book

  • "of poetry that I put you in, you ass (beep).

  • "Game on."

  • So Poe starts hearing that Griswold is now like

  • is talking (beep) about him.

  • So he goes on a tour of America.

  • I mean like, "Hey, what's up guys?

  • "You guys know about Rufus Griswold, right?

  • "The guy who wrote this (beep) book of poetry

  • "where he only put three of my poems in.

  • "You know about this guy, he's like a hack,

  • "just like a stereotypical, basic bull (beep) ass (beep).

  • "He has no talent at all.

  • "And if you give Griswold a hand job

  • "he'll put 20 poems in his (beep) book.

  • "He is a vile holographic piece of (beep).

  • "Holograms don't even exist yet,

  • "and I'm calling him a (beep) hologram."

  • Very important note, the anthology,

  • despite Poe talking all this (beep) is massively successful.

  • Poe goes to his job at this magazine

  • and seated at his desk is Rufus (beep) Griswold.

  • He's like, "Oh, I'm sorry.

  • "While you were gone, I got your job.

  • "And I'm getting paid more than you got paid.

  • "So I win.

  • "Goodnight."

  • So Poe's like, "What the (beep)?"

  • He's like, "What the (beep)?"

  • His worst enemy has taken his job and he's (beep).

  • He's (beep).

  • He goes on drinking binges.

  • He's a drunk, he's a drunk.

  • He's a lunatic.

  • He's like wandering the streets.

  • (sweeping instrumental music)

  • Right around that time, his wife dies

  • and Poe goes insane and starts taking laudanum,

  • which is this like downer

  • but it makes you high as a (beep) kite.

  • And that's it, man.

  • Poe continues to spiral down into an (beep) oblivion.

  • They find him laying in a gutter in Baltimore.

  • They take him to a hospital where he dies.

  • So Poe's dead.

  • Griswold wanted Poe to seem like a monster

  • so (beep) Griswold proceeds to write

  • the scathing biographies of Edgar Allan Poe.

  • "He was a drunk.

  • "He was always in debt.

  • "He sucked.

  • "He was awful.

  • "Forget about him, forget about him!"

  • (bird cawing)

  • But everyone in America read this and they're like,

  • "Wait, what?

  • "Drunk crazy guy who wrote about ravens?

  • "Where can I get his book?

  • "That sounds awesome."

  • It ended up making Edgar Allan Poe 50,000 times more famous,

  • and he's considered to be one of the great writers

  • of our time.

  • Later in his life, Griswold comes down with tuberculosis

  • and dies alone with a picture of Edgar Allan Poe

  • on the wall watching him like,

  • "Look at you, man.

  • "where are you now?

  • "Look at Griswold, all you people out there.

  • "I don't care what you do.

  • "What'd you do?

  • "Guess what?

  • "No one's gonna remember it.

  • "You're, you're silly attempt to disguise a (beep)

  • "history show in like people getting drunk, it's failure.

  • "No one cares.

  • "No one's buying it, man.

  • "Forget it, we're all getting sucked into the void."

  • Ugh. (thuds)

  • (Derek laughing)

  • (dramatic instrumental music)

  • - Uh, my name is Lucius Dillon.

  • Today, we're gonna talk about Roald Dahl (spits),

  • his life as a British spy.

  • World War II, Roald Dahl was a fighter pilot for the RAF,

  • the Royal Air Force, and he loved fighting them Nazis.

  • And he's like, "Ah, this is great."

  • And so he had to go and fly to a base in the desert.

  • He ran out of gas, hit the ground at 75 miles an hour,

  • cracked his skull.

  • He had to drag himself out of the plane

  • before the gas tanks exploded.

  • (dramatic instrumental music)

  • So he pretty much was like invalided out

  • of the Royal Air Force.

  • But then a famous author, C.S. Forester,

  • went to interview him about his crash.

  • Dahl was like, "Okay, you know what?

  • "My mind's a little spotty.

  • "Let me just, let me just write down some notes for you."

  • Forester's like, "Okay, send them to me later."

  • So Dahl sat down to kinda write it

  • and his mind was kinda muddled

  • because he went through a crash,

  • but he wrote like a really good story.

  • Send it to Forester and Forester wrote back, he's like,

  • "Okay look, you're supposed to give me notes,

  • "not write a full (beep) story.

  • "This, this is great.

  • "This is amazing.

  • "I, I'm not changing a word.

  • "I'm sending this straight to the Saturday Evening Post."

  • So that got sent and was actually really popular

  • and he realized like, "Okay, I can tear a pretty good yard,

  • "or I don't know if that's the right term, but (laughs)

  • "I can, I can write a pretty good story."

  • (spits) See, you gotta tickle it.

  • You gotta know... (laughs).

  • - Just keep going.

  • - Uh, yeah, he was the talk of the town.

  • And so he was invited to a lot of these parties.

  • He met up with a really cool guy called Bill Stephenson,

  • and Bill Stephenson's just like,

  • "Hey, what's going on with you?"

  • And Dahl is just like, "I wanna help out England."

  • "I didn't bust my nuff (chuckles),

  • "I didn't bust my nut enough in England.

  • "Oh, I still didn't do enough."

  • Stephenson was like,

  • "Well, you know, there is other stuff you can do."

  • So Dahl was hired into a dark propaganda section

  • referred to as the BSC,

  • which stands for the British Security Council.

  • A lot of other people were hired.

  • Noel Coward, who was a famous playwright and actor,

  • and also Ian Fleming, who some people might know

  • as James mother (beep) Bond.

  • Stephenson was like,

  • "Let's put you into some good political parties

  • "and meet everyone you (beep) can

  • "and report everything back to us."

  • He was like, "Okay."

  • So here's Roald (beep) Dahl, tall, handsome mother (beep),

  • long-ass face, eloquent-ass tongue,

  • but every time when he was at the party,

  • like he'd be eavesdropping on newspaper people, politicians,

  • and then secretly just like scribbling, you know,

  • little things on like napkins and reporting it to England.

  • He would also get into finding information

  • through pillow talk.

  • He had a list of ladies that he would go through,

  • like Cissy Patterson had her claws

  • into the Washington Herald Times, and she's like,

  • "You wanna see the boudoir?"

  • And he's like, "Yes, please."

  • So he (beep) the (beep) out of her for a while

  • and got whatever information that he could.

  • Then it went to Evalyn McLean.

  • She knew every politician in the world

  • so they (beep) a lot.

  • So he met Clare Booth Luce.

  • She was a Congresswoman and they (beep). (laughs)

  • And he got so much information through so much of his dick,

  • but after a while, and this is an exact quote,

  • like he called Ambassador Halifax and he's like,

  • "Look, I am (beep) out, okay?

  • "This goddamn woman has (beep) me from one end of the room

  • "to the other.

  • "I'm done.

  • "I can't do it.

  • "I am squirting dust."

  • And Ambassador's like,

  • "Just close your eyes and think of England."

  • And Dahl's like, "Great, okay, I guess I will."

  • - Get your chin-

  • - I'm just, no it's-

  • - Your chin off my neck.

  • - No, that wasn't...

  • My chin wasn't on you at all.

  • - I feel like we're laying on two muppets.

  • - (laughs) Yes. (coughs)

  • - Oh Jesus, is this your death scene?

  • If you die on the show, we're (beep).

  • (dramatic instrumental music)

  • - Okay, so FDR was in his third term.

  • Britain was like, "Okay, he's getting old.

  • "We are worried that he's gonna die

  • "because he's our biggest supporter right now.

  • "You need to let us know everything that's wrong with him."

  • And he's like, "Yeah, I'll be right over.

  • "Uh, and now, I'm here right now."

  • And so luckily Eleanor Roosevelt was like,

  • "Hey, I'm a big fan of yours so meet my husband."

  • And he's like, "Oh yeah, nice to meet you, FDR."

  • "Nice to meet you too, Roald Dahl."

  • And they have a lovely time.

  • They drink a lot.

  • So he took note of everything,

  • wrote it all in a 12 page document.

  • And it worked out very well until FDR died.