I recently experienced a stunning revelation about the aging process that, as is the case with any worthwhile realization, caused me to fully reevaluate a firmly-held conviction and ultimately made me a wiser, more sympathetic person to all those for whom it has occurred. Anyway, for a long time I was completely convinced that people became "old" when their fear of new developments and technologies outweighed the innate curiosity and excitement we tend to feel when introduced to something of which we have been previously ignorant. In this conception aging is not so much a function of chronology or exhaustion as it is a result of uneasiness or discomfort [...]
Suck it, Barbara Ehrenreich: Science says that positive thinking can make you happier! "Despite the finding that happiness is partially genetically determined, and despite the finding that life situations have a smaller influence on our happiness than we think they do, we argue that still a large portion of happiness is in our power to change," says UC Riverside psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky. The article includes five activities in which you can engage to make yourself more chipper. (There is also, naturally, an iPhone app.) They are mostly on the order of thinking nice thoughts about yourself and others. Fair enough-some of these things very well may work-but I [...]
I have a theory about money in this age of financial services and valueless commodities which is essentially that there is one big pile of money on the table and the people who are in charge of things let you move the pile around. Sometimes it stops in front of you for a bit before you pass the pile on to someone else. If you're lucky a couple of coins fall into your lap for you to keep, but mostly you push the pile to the next person. For a while the memory of the money in front of you keeps you warm and happy, and when that finally [...]
As a mostly disinterested observer I've found the overwhelming backlash against the new Sex and the City movie to be somewhat surprising. After all, it's not as if there's any radical departure from the series' formula that fans might find upsetting: The show always trafficked in the most grotesque stereotypes of shallow femininity; what made it so culturally noteworthy was the willingness of women to not only buy into its overt misogyny but embrace it. Even the show's greatest detractors would grudgingly admit an odd fascination with it. And yet we seem to have reached a moment where a growing number of former fans find themselves disgusted [...]
Greetings from Britain, "the glassing capital of the world":
I was glassed/bottled once a year for three years running. The first happened in Southport because I was wearing a long scarf. The third time was for accidentally spraying somebody with beer in the Old Blue Last. The second, and worst, was on Charing Cross Road in London by a guy who attempted to smash a bottle on the wall three times to stab me. I laughed at him but then he smashed the beer bottle in my face and ran off while his girlfriend cried: "Oh my gawwwwd. What â€˜ave you done!" I put my hand to [...]
I have a pet theory that the reason organizations like the Murdoch press are so dead-set against bike lanes or anything that makes cycling easier in New York City is because they know that, at some point in the future, the city will inevitably be forced to acknowledge the environmental and congestional factors choking its arteries and limit automotive traffic to such an extent that what remains on the streets will either be delivery vehicles or cabs, and anything they (organizations like the Murdoch press) can do to help forestall that day of reckoning is worth it to them, and also they hate cyclists, which is kind of a [...]
"In evolutionary terms, and sometimes in real terms, males and females fight to get the maximum reproductive output for the minimum input. Identifying which sex wins has a long history and remains a highly controversial area of biology that is still full of surprises. Yet the question of who prevails in this particular battle of the sexes is too tempting to dismiss."
That's from the provocatively-titled New Scientist piece, "Dirty tricks of the egg and sperm race." It's a rather lengthy examination of how reproduction has been considered throughout history as a battle over which gender's genes will dominate in its offspring, and how those perceptions have shifted [...]
I often develop theories. Many of them are wildly off-base or miss some specific point which would completely undermine their validity. Or they're just very obvious but I'm so self-adoring that I believe I'm the first one to have come up with them. Anyway, thanks to the magic of crowdsourcing, I can test them out in public, right here on The Awl! Here's the latest:
If you are a politician whose career has been damaged or derailed by a sex scandal, the period of your rehabilitation is directly correlated to the popularity of your immediate successor.