From The Archives
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Football Pick Haikus For Week 13

Thursday, November 29

At Atlanta -3.5 New Orleans

Actual great game on the NFL Network! I’ll take that half point. PICK: SAINTS

Sunday, December 2

At Chicago – 3.5 Seattle

My heart says Seahawks but my heart doesn’t really make any money. PICK: BEARS

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The End Of Men Hyenas

"For more than 1000 years, people believed that hyenas were hermaphrodites, since female hyenas have long, fully-erectile pseudopenises that mimic male genitalia. Seeing a hyena play the role of mom while sporting what looks like a penis would bewilder even an astute naturalist. Not only do female hyenas look like males, they are also the more aggressive and socially dominant sex, exhibiting aggression more than three times more often than male hyenas do." —There's a lot of hyena genitalia on display in the above video, and some graphic usage thereof. But if that kind of thing doesn't bother you (or, hey, if that kind of thing is precisely what [...]

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'Breaking Dawn – Part 2': A Trampera Has Ended

After a long captivity, Mary HK Choi was liberated from the Rihanna plane, and now she and Natasha Vargas-Cooper are here to render verdict on the final installment of the Twilight series. Read the previous chat for Breaking Dawn here.

Natasha: I feel like this movie was essentially about outerwear?

Mary: I have so many opinions about the clothes.

Natasha: It was like a Nordstrom winter sale. NOT NEIMAN MARCUS.

Mary: Agreed. It was Burlington Coat Factory. BCF Holiday Sale for frenz and famz.

Natasha: This was definitely more of a coda to the series than an actual ending.

Mary: True, though I would approve of [...]

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Art World To End Sexism and Racism Shortly by Facebooking with 'Times' Critic

Have you been following the recent travails of New York Times art critic Ken Johnson? It is probably coming soon, for an unhappy non-resolution, to a public editor near you. The long and short of it is that there is a petition calling for his head, or at least an ear. In short, he's gone in against "identity-based" art shows—exhibitions of ladies and the black folks and what have you—as an “evil whose necessity would disappear in a more equitable world." (This is exceedingly contrary to the position held by his colleague Holland Cotter, who has often supported this sort of exhibition.) Here is a very good [...]

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Meditations on 12 Bits of Bathroom Graffiti

When I started grad school a few months ago, I was delighted to find that all the restrooms in the Humanities building have chalkboards in each stall. Presumably it’s a technique intended to cut down on actual graffiti, and it seems to work: Though the chalk is long gone and the messages are mostly in marker, those messages on the chalkboard, and the stalls’ walls, remain pristine (for some definition of the word pristine that includes surfaces sprayed nearly continuously with microscopic drops of toilet water).

Here are a few:

Lady 1: Well-behaved women rarely make history. Lady 2: self-hatred [with an arrow pointing to the strikeout] Ah, the [...]

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Susan Rice, Condi Rice … How Can Important People Have the Same Last Names?

For many Americans who thought it was okay to stop "following the political news" for at least a few weeks after the election, the controversy over "Susan Rice" has been very confusing. Didn't we just have a lady named "Secretary of State Rice," as secretary of state? Then what's the big deal? That particular glass ceiling is shattered, right? Why does John McCain keep trying to turn back the clock, to when he was young?

Throughout modern history, the popular consciousness has been regularly baffled and confused by stars who share the same surname. The 1990s, for example, are perhaps best remembered as a time of great confusion for [...]

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Is Andre 3000 Better At Rap Than Biggie Was?

I have long been a proponent of the idea that the Notorious B.I.G. is the best rapper of all-time. (This after having long been a proponent of the idea that Rakim was the best rapper of all-time. I have been proponentizing for a long time. I am very, very old.) But I am starting to consider a different idea. Is Andre 3000 the best rapper of all-time? I think he might be! The body of work he amassed with his partner Big Boi across the six OutKast albums that came out between 1994 and 2006 already made for a strong case—Andre expanded the breadth of rap-lyric subject matter with [...]

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Jesus Definitely Wants SunRay Kelley For A Sunbeam

“I’ve never been a big fan of electric lights. I have cat eyes. I emit enough light out of my body.” —Self-taught architect SunRay Kelley, on the principles that guide the design of the homestead he's built in the woods in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. Kelley smokes enough pot to describe the time when he accidentally cut open his forehead with a chainsaw as, "Not the most pleasant experience." His work reminds the Times' Michael Tortorello of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin. I think it's more like if Andy Goldsworthy was let loose in The Shire. Either way, here are pictures of it, which belong on the wonderful [...]

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Democrats: Party Of Racial Division

"In virtually every instance, the idea that the Republican Party is 'too white' is dropped with almost no discussion of what exactly that means. The phrase is being pinned like a scarlet 'W' on anyone who didn't vote for the Democrats' nominee. It's a you-know-what-we-mean denunciation. Its only meaning is racial…. The Democrats' insistence on pandering to political categories is a dead end for the country. Rather than spinning their own Rubik's Cube of race, gender and ethnicity, Republicans should start growing their share of the electorate by doing a better job of telling people how to succeed in the American melting pot, a wonderful organizing idea now mocked [...]

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Who Will You Pay With Your Time, Money and Attention Tonight?

Public Enemy plays at Irving Plaza, every small literary website does a benefit for Stephen Elliott's film, a Nico Muhly premiere at the debut recital by the rather incredible soprano Jennifer Zetlan at Alice Tully Hall, Sarah Schulman and Vijay Prashad talk Palestine at McNally Jackson, Maura Johnston and pals talk about the Polaris Prize at Housing Works!

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Ask Polly: Why Do Guys Dump Me Like a Hot Potato?

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Snausages for your mopey inner mongrel!"

Dear Polly,

I am writing to you with what I believe to be the number 1 question on every twenty-something's mind: Will I ever find love? Let me detail this.

I am in my early twenties and my longest relationship lasted 8 months, and the guy was two-timing me for the last month or two of it (I was 19; he was 31). I've only been in one relationship that I genuinely believed would last, and even culminate in marriage, and that one only lasted four months. [...]

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New York City, November 27, 2012

★ Tedious and just short of loathsome. Vague promises of snow produced instead a cold, needly rain, with a few flakes blown in for not-very-interesting contrast. Discarded things stuck to the wet pavement in the evening: kinked twine, plastic sheeting, a crumpled something that was either an elbow-length glove or an unwanted umbrella sheath. At bedtime, the kindergartener clambered up and over and through the headboard and footboard of the big bed. Recess time, he said, had been spent indoors, watching a movie.

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Is Your Smart Phone's Tin Case Destroying the Entire Earth?

The iPhone and the Samsung phone (sPhone?) are very good technological devices primarily because they have shiny metal on the backside, underneath the plastic case you bought to protect the shiny metal from smudges or scratches. But is the mining of this metal destroying a beautiful Eden-like Indonesian island? Probably! Friends of the Earth did a six-month-long investigation (PDF) of the Appalachian-style tin mining operations on Bangka Island, where a massive industrial operation is "destroying forests, farmland and coral reefs, injuring miners and driving away fish and marine life." All so you can put an "Otterbox" over the shiny metal!

Apple and Samsung "neither confirmed nor denied [...]

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Moon Even Useless For Insanity-Inducement

It turns out the full moon does not actually make people crazy, which is not the same as saying that it doesn't suck, because it does. It sucks so bad. Fuck the moon.

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Please Welcome "The Awl's Weekend Companion," for iPad and iPhone

There's a whole bunch of ways to read now, and we'd like you to indulge in all of them, as you wish, even in the ways that don't particularly help us publish writing. One thing we've often heard from folks is that they would like a quiet thing to sit down with for reading—away from the laptop and the desktop, away from the IMs and Twitter and email and noise.

With the help of 29th Street Publishing, we've made The Weekend Companion. It's a weekly Awl magazine, and it comes out every Friday, for iPhone and iPad, through Apple's Newsstand. Each issue has just five or [...]

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The Atlantic Successfully Trolls All Women, Forever

So the n+1 editors know about Sandra Tsing Loh, right?

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Talking to Dylan Moran About Standup, Touring the World, NYC and More

Known for his dry wit and ever-present glass of wine, Irish comedian Dylan Moran has been referred to by Le Monde as “the greatest comedian, living or dead.” An international superstar, Moran recently became the first professional English-speaking comedian to perform in Russia. He’s also been on seen on-screen in Channel 4 sitcom Black Books (which he co-created and starred in), and in films like Shaun of the Dead and Run Fatboy Run.

In December, he brings his international tour Yeah, Yeah to New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. I recently got the chance to chat with him about double positives, New Yorkers, and trying to articulate [...]

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The English Language's 26 Most Important Letters

The English alphabet has ever been the center of the American literary universe — the letters of Whitman, of Edith Wharton, of every poorly-spelled happy hour chalkboard in Greenwich Village — and though the legendary set of graphemes has lost a little edge and a lot of grime what with all the crazy texting the kids do today, it is still creative fodder for countless contemporary writers, even the ones who have figured out that if you do graphic novels you have to write like 75% less.

As you may have heard, one of the alphabet's most legendary letters, Q, recently announced that since he was only appreciated in Scrabble [...]

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You Spend Because You Suck

"People who are sad are more likely to seek instant financial gratification, even though it means losing out on more money later if they had just waited."

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My Extremely Dead Zombie-Vampire Novel

As National Novel Writing Month enters its final days, the next in our series about the novels that we started writing but, for whatever reason, never finished.

Sometime in 2006, I was lying in bed, kind of drunk and thinking about zombies, and I had a thought. In a world (the voiceover in my head went) in which both vampires and zombies existed, who would be forced to be humanity's friend? Vampires, because if all the people turned into zombies, the vampires would have nothing to eat. But in a world where both vampires and zombies existed, what's the worst thing that could happen? No, not vambies, dummy… [...]

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