What does your handwriting say about you? SPOILER: Nothing. Which is probably good, because when is the last time you spent any time writing anything by hand? Didn't you cramp up in like thirty seconds because your wrist was all, "What? I thought we GOT OUT OF THIS BUSINESS!" Anyway, if you're in France you might not get a job because you have bad handwriting, but you probably have bigger problems, what with being French and all.
"Yes, a meteor or comet was the death blow. But the giant lizards were already in trouble when the impact came. Giant herbivores that reached 80 tons had deforested more and more land and had to go far and wide for food. The predators and scavengers that lived off of them struggled to keep up. It wasn’t exactly good times before the sky would go dark and the volcanoes would erupt." —This must be from an article about … dinosaurs? No, not literal dinosaurs. Some kind of change in habits or industry, perhaps a "game changer" of some kind? Maybe it's about Windows 7, or Windows 8, or? Let's [...]
As it turns out, we won't be able to properly judge whether or not Tom Friedman was right about that whole invading Iraq thing until "9 months and 21 years" after the invasion, so let's all check back here in December, 2024 and see how things turned out.
"Do you really think you’re better than the porn industry, beauty pageant industry? At least porn has the decency to admit it’s built on the backs of amateurs and screws everyone over. Meanwhile three-year-olds are wearing dentures so they can have that perfect smile and you make them pay for the privilege of treading your filthy middle-school auditorium stages." —Miss Delaware has been "de-throned" for doing the wrong kind of self-branding promotional videos.
"Apparently the avenues by which lusty millennials come to grope and perchance know one another are brusque, confused and rife with deception, and probably aren’t reliable precursors to unions of enduring bliss. Which is to say: they’re as imperfect as they’ve always been. While we Homo sapiens have paired off in diverse methods across disparate epochs, we’ve seldom done it with ample information or any particular finesse. There was no saner, better yesteryear: just a different set of customs, a different brand of clumsiness." —The Times' Frank Bruni talks sense in the wake of the Manti Te'o scandal and that other recent example of our semi-annual bout [...]
Here is the argument David Brooks makes in his op-ed, "A Sad Green Story," in today's Times: Government legislation to curb global warming, which he supports, has failed because because Al Gore supported it so strongly. It is the "highly partisan former vice president"'s fault, Brooks says, because after Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth came out in 2006, and Gore "became the global warming spokesman, no Republican could stand shoulder to shoulder with him and survive. Any slim chance of building a bipartisan national consensus was gone." It is Gore's fault, for being so highly partisan earlier in his career, that Republican congressman refuse, on partisan grounds, to [...]
"I did not learn to cook, either. Instead I have become a superior dinner guest. I am wonderful to have at your side while you cook, particularly if you give me a glass of wine, and also to have sit at your table, because I will appreciate your food in a deep, emotional and highly verbal way." —Awl pal Jami Attenberg reminds us that the key ingredient in chicken noodle soup is "guilt." In other news, her wonderful novel The Middlesteins has been picked up by German publishing company Schoffling & Co. It's fun to imagine the conversations at the office about how to handle the retitling of [...]
"During her 11-year reign, Thatcher was the politician who British musicians (and a few non-Brits) of many stripes—ska, punk, rock, New Wave, folk, reggae, even electronic dance music—loved to hate. The vitriolic song titles alone—never mind the lyrics—left listeners in no doubt about the depth of loathing: The English Beat's 'Stand Down Margaret'; Heaven 17's '(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang'; Klaus Nomi's 'Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead'; The Specials' 'Ghost Town'; The Varukers' 'Thatcher's Fortress'; the Larks' 'Maggie Maggie Maggie (Out Out Out)'; Morrissey's 'Margaret on the Guillotine'; and Elvis Costello's 'Tramp the Dirt Down.'" —English music about loathed politicians has always been so much [...]
"'We tell ourselves stories in order to live,' Joan Didion wrote in 'The White Album.'" —Man, did she ever! Look, Joan Didion is great and all. I'm glad her genius has been acknowledged in her lifetime, so that she is aware of just how appreciated she is. And it's terrific that her ability to transform our seemingly ineffable motivations into pithy expressions of undeniable truth is so [...]
America, In A Very Real Sense, Is Waiting All Day For A Sunday Night That Never Comes, Or, At Least, Comes Only For Those At The Top Of A Ladder They're Increasingly More Successful At Pulling Up Behind Them
When South Africa hosted the World Cup, the European Press was filled with denunciations of this choice, because surely “a developing nation” wouldn’t have the wherewithal to host an event of such status and magnitude. What does the thirty-four-minute blackout—caused by too much electricity—say about this country? Have we overdeveloped or are we actually undeveloping? Are we the player, so pumped up on steroids that we can barely squeeze out of their jerseys or are we the player so decimated by repeated blows to the head, we need help remembering the names of our family? We’re both: two Americas defined by structural inequality and the withering of the idea that [...]
"There aren’t many respects in which I can even guess what it would have been like to be Martin Luther King, but this (highly circumscribed) instance is one of them." —Oh my God, guess. Seriously, guess.
"Will you tell your children that a liberal government will increasingly marginalize, dismiss and weaken the support for and the safety of the Jewish state?… Will you explain that whatever their personal beliefs, tax-funded institutions will require them to imbibe and repeat the slogans of the left, and that, should they differ, they cannot have a career in education, medicine or television unless they keep their mouths shut?… Most importantly, will you teach them never to question the pronouncements of those in power, for to do so is to risk ostracism?" —Right-wing "convert" David Mamet appeals to American Jews' sense of parental guilt as he encourages them to [...]
This article about R.E.M.'s Mike Mills and his fondness for fantasy sports does so well up until the last sentence. WHY? There was no need to go there. Tsk etc.
"In the book, I tell a story about the day that my father brought home the news that he’d been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I was a senior in high school, a month shy of graduating; he was given two months to live. As you’d imagine, my family was fairly devastated, and my mother asked me to drive to the video store to rent a couple movies to get our minds off the news—comedies, my father suggested; he wanted to laugh. Operating in what I guess was a state of shock, I made a poor choice at the video store. I’d picked up my girlfriend on the way home, and [...]
"The moral complexity of the Rampaging Dad saga—or at least the semblance of moral complexity—comes in the unfolding depiction of how even a righteous mission can warp, debase, and harden a decent man over time until he goes functionally berserk. In order to right a wrong and rescue a captive soul, the movie’s (anti-)hero may carve a trail of destruction whose human toll surpasses that of his adversaries, becoming the very monster he seeks to slay. This is amped up to insane, absurd excess in Taken, where, according to one online tally, Neeson’s Bryan knocks off about three dozen guys with neck snaps, gunshots, knife stabs, and, in one showy [...]
"The establishment media has become a part of the establishment class. That means it’s against their best interests to do the right thing and expose the corruption that plagues Washington—if they did, they’d be fighting against themselves. At Breitbart News, I plan to investigate these people. Together with Breitbart News, I’m going to expose corruption in Washington." —A blogger is moving from one wingnut website to another, and the establishment media is all over it!
"In early 2013, the LRRL proposed a simple solution: a curfew for men. Every male person over the age of thirteen would be legally required to be accompanied by at least one female person over the age of eighteen when leaving his home between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m." —Is this how humanity will stop rape?