From The Archives
19

100 Years Later, A Black Man Finally Loves Joplin

"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 [...]

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8

Each Generation Lazier Than the Last

"Accusations of laziness have been levied against 'kids these days' for decades." Every generation is lazy! (A follow-up to this not really rousing defense of the current youngs.) No, but seriously, the kids today are soooo much lazier.

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5

The Moon Has Been Hiding Water From Us For Who Knows How Long

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 [...]

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4

New York's Most Photographed Attraction

Do you know what New York City's most photographed attraction is? Rep. Anthony Wiener's penis! Kidding, it's the Apple store uptown. Of course. Nerds.

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0

What It's Like to Get a Biopsy

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 [...]

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3

Guess Where They're Holding The Cannibal Show?

"The exhibition makes the case for understanding the fascination with cannibalism as a seismographic reaction to contemporary developments such as medical innovations that confront the boundaries between two bodies — organ transplants, genetic manipulations, and gestational surrogacy. Against this background monstrous sexist, racist and consumerist tendencies emerge." —There is an exhibition on cannibalism in, of all places, Germany. Here's a slideshow! [And, of course, related.]

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78

Five Advisory Opinions for Men in Summer, from Head to Toe

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.

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5

Gil Scott-Heron, 1949-2011

"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 [...]

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42

The Dirty Talk Of The Town: Profanity At "The New Yorker"

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 [...]

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1

What TV Does To Ladies

Awl pal Meghan Keane explains how Fox News turned her into a "TV slut." (Hint: It involves makeup.)

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7

Experts: Thing You Kind Of Knew Was Bad For You Is Bad For You

"An international panel of experts says cellphones are possibly carcinogenic to humans after reviewing details from dozens of published studies…. The group classified cellphones in category 2B, meaning they are possibly carcinogenic to humans. Other substances in that category include the pesticide DDT and gasoline engine exhaust."

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8

Do Not Under (Almost) Any Circumstances Buy a Home

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 [...]

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19

Hate Vs. Hate

I have long thought that a Patriots-Cowboys Super Bowl would be the ultimate competition in which you wished both sides could lose, but apparently I was not being imaginative enough.

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8

Be Bored And Hungry Forever

This guy will tell you how to lose a bunch of weight, but there is a terrible side effect: you will live considerably longer than you otherwise might have.

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0

How to Become a Published Author in 237 Simple Steps

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 [...]

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20

Remember The Cassingle?

Here you will find the brief history of the cassingle, in graph form. Younger readers can probably just skip right over this one. [Via]

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11

The Miami Heat Rewards Program For Valued Fans

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” [...]

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9

Will Popular High School Gays Also Suffer Curse of Sad Later Lives?

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, [...]

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16

Prince Philip's Greatest Hits and Blunders

"'A few years ago, everybody was saying we must have more leisure, everyone's working too much. Now that everybody's got more leisure time they are complaining they are unemployed. People don't seem to make up their minds what they want.' A man of the people shares insight into the recession that gripped Britain in 1981." —Prince Philip—the husband of the British monarch—is turning 90 in a few weeks, and so here are 90 of his most-famous off-color and off-putting remarks. (Some, however, are delightful.)

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0

Berlusconi: The Beginning of the Middle of the End?

Close readers of this site will not find anything particularly new in this profile of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, but it is written by Ariel Levy, who is always a pleasure to read, so it is definitely worth your time. Enjoy! Meanwhile, back in Italy…

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