"I love Joplin! I love Joplin." So began President Obama in his Sunday address to the town of Joplin, Missouri, smudged from the face of the earth by a tornado a week before.
"I love you, Obama!" yelled a Joplin resident in the audience.
While there is much hope to be had in Joplin's will to rebuild, there is even more to be found in the obliterated town's welcoming of Obama. About a century ago, a Joplin lynch mob attempted to drive every last African-American resident out of town, and pretty much succeeded.
It's been a long time since an African-American publicly loved Joplin, or [...]
I've always kind of liked the moon. And have felt an instinct toward protection when friends and colleagues have attacked her in print. What did the moon ever do to us, I thought, except look pretty and give us tides to surf on and write nice faux-reggae songs about? Well, it turns out that the less credulous among us may have been right not to trust her seductive blue glow after all. The moon has been holding out on us for years, hoarding vast supplies of valuable water beneath her apparently dry, desert-like surface. Scientists started to suspect something was up recently. But now, new [...]
A few months before your 31st birthday you’ll be lying in bed holding Animal Farm with one hand and idly examining your boobs with the other. With a start, you’ll notice something that resembles a robin’s egg rolling around under the skin of your left nipple. You’ll play with it for the rest of the day, and when your boyfriend comes over you’ll ask him to touch it. He’ll say, “Yeah, hm.” He’ll dump you the day after you find out you need surgery to remove it.
You’ll make an appointment with your gynecologist, and she’ll have the same “Yeah, hm” reaction your dude did, only she’ll also hand [...]
Hi. Guess what I'm wearing right now? That's right. Shorts. It's hot out! And it's after Memorial Day. Everything changes now!
And so, five quick guidelines for summer dressing—from head to toe. All over your body, as the poet sang.
"My end goal, besides integrating all the disparate elements as smoothly as possible, was to capture the stark, somber beauty of I’m New Here—a challenge because the album was so uniquely a piece of its own, an emotional open wound sonically unlike anything he’d recorded before. But I thought it came out well. As it so happened the mix wound up getting lost in the sauce in the run-up to I’m New Here's release. With yesterday’s heart-breaking news of Gil Scott-Heron’s passing, I thought I’d post it up here to share, a brief homage to this legendary artist/activist/thinker, and his brilliant final project." —If you're looking to listen to [...]
Famous story, here recounted by The Daily News:
Harold Brodkey used to tell the tale of how legendary New Yorker magazine editor William Shawn handled his use of a four-letter word: It's up to you, Shawn said, but would you rather be remembered for your story or the first use of that word in this magazine? Brodkey spiked the offending expletive.
Shawn was indeed vigilant against vulgarity. It's said that, being afraid of elevators, he used to carry a hatchet in his briefcase in case he was ever trapped inside one. But I like to think the weapon served also as a warning to staffers who did not get [...]
Bank of America is paying just $20 million for having foreclosed improperly on 160 active-duty military service personnel. (This, of course, was frequent predatory lender suit-settler Countrywide in action; Bank of America purchased Countrywide in January, 2008, for $4.1 billion in stock, and has paid for it more and more ever since, including the former CEO's SEC settlements.) But $20 million! That's nothing, in the grand scheme of the forthcoming housing disaster. For one thing, there are about half as many foreclosed houses being sold now as there were two years go: at this new pace, "it would take exactly three years to clear the [...]
I was 150 hours into designing PleaseFireMe.com; no end in sight, no web design experience, and, suddenly I found myself in Atlantic City with a piña colada in one hand, cigarette in the other, slutty dress on both thighs. Over the next six months, there would be three times I overworked myself into a delirium-induced adventure. This was the first. Or, as you will later see: Step 34.
Like most writers, I have trouble knowing how to quit. The ironic result? Please Fire Me: Posts from the Revolting Workplace, the humor book I co-authored, based on a Tumblr site, released this month. I’m very proud of it. There are [...]
In financial circles, the Miami Heat making the NBA Finals is what could be considered a solid return on investment. When the team was cobbled together, an appearance in the NBA Finals seemed like its destiny. Then we saw them play and there appeared to be a chance that they might not even make past the first round of the playoffs. We bought into the Celtics, the Magic, the Bulls. (And by ‘we’ I mean ‘me’ and maybe you, too.)
Yet the NBA Finals, which begin tonight with the Dallas Mavericks looking to pull a “not so fast” on the Miami Heat, feature as much a “team of destiny” [...]
With a gay couple named prom king and queen in Sanford, Maine, and an alleged lesbian-gay male prom king and queen pair at a charter school in Hialeah, FL, and a trans prom queen and gay male prom king in Davie, Florida, one must ask: are the kids actually alright? Well, probably. The downside is that, allegedly according to alleged students in Florida, their prom queen is allegedly kind of a gossipy meanie. But hey, that's the very definition of equality, when mean girls can come in any stripe and connive their way to the most important and meaningful social position in high school! Don't worry, [...]