Posts Tagged: The Problem Of Conveying Tone On The Web

Your Secret Latte Identity

Is this article a tribute to the fact that the increasing diversity of our nation's population is resulting in an explosion of previously unfamiliar names or an early signal that as the economy becomes mainly centered around the service industries many of the pieces we read considering modern life will be about the knotty problems that come from interacting with the help? Yes.


What Kind Of Stupid Jerk Fires Sue Simmons?

On the one hand, I am filled with sputtering rage at the news that NBC has chosen not to renew Sue Simmons' contract. Along with broadcast partner Chuck Scarborough, Sue Simmons has been the face of local news here in New York for literally as long as I can remember. A hard-charging, swear-dropping, before-broadcast-drinking, poker-playing, fun-loving broad, she has been exactly what this city needs as a news anchor. Plus, there's that great urban legend about her mugging down with some gal at Shakespeare in the Park. For three decades now, Sue Simmons has been synonymous with the New York broadcast. I can't even imagine what local news [...]


How To Date A White Bitch (Advice For The Non-White Dude)

In her Huffington Post primer "How to Date an Indian (Advice for a Non-Indian)," Andrea Miller, the CEO of trusted relationship advice website YourTango, lays out a multitude of reasons as to why Indian folks-"innately gracious, social creatures"-make perfect spouses. Miller, you see, is married to a perfect hunk of brown male straight out of New Dehli, which thus gives her "pretty good perspective on the desirability of the people from the world's largest democracy-and how to woo them."

As an Indian person myself-one who has had the misfortune of stepping foot on the wretched land mass known as the Subcontinent on more than one occasion-I couldn't help but [...]


The Battle Between The Sexes

"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 [...]


How Race Is Lived In America

So last night I was meeting a couple of friends for drinks in Brooklyn, which is always a dicey situation because I have no idea where the hell anything is in that borough and am reliant on cab drivers or bad directions from the subway to get to my destination. (Those of you from out of town should know that Brooklyn is laid out completely illogically, with bizarre and unpronounceable road names rather than an orderly set of numbered streets and avenues. There is also, excepting for a couple of bridges and a place that is famous for cheesecake, a distinct lack of local landmarks by which one might [...]


My Dark Night Of The Sole

A few months ago I had what I guess you would call a milestone birthday—although given the deliberately poor choices I have made over my lifetime, pretty much every birthday at this point is some sort of actuarial miracle. In any event, this flipping of the chronology to a suffix with a zero put me in a somewhat ruminative state: Maybe, I thought, I should do something nice for myself, instead of something bad to myself.

Now, I have many poor qualities—I drink too much, I am callous and indifferent to the feelings of those around me, I am quick to anger and deficient in patience, I have almost [...]


I Enjoy Being A Lesbian

From time to time, the Awl offers its space to members of the community with an interesting viewpoint on current events. Today we hear from a lesbian blogger who wants you to know what her experiences are like.

You know what I really like? Cats, knitting, my blog and the Indigo Girls. But that's not all there is to being a lesbian, which I am. In a lot of ways, we're just like everyone else. Let me tell you a little bit about my day! It's probably not too dissimilar to yours.


Why Everyone Hates The New 'Sex and the City' Movie

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 [...]


The Balloon Boy Who Cried Wolf

Whether or not this whole thing turns out to be a hoax, enough doubt and suspicion has been raised about the whole thing that I think we're missing the most significant aspect of the event: The next time a little boy gets trapped in an experimental helium balloon his storm-chaser father is building in the backyard, I bet state and local authorities are going to be much less quick to initiate rescue proceedings. And that's the biggest tragedy of all.


Lady Writer Typically Fickle

"There are, abundantly, prizes for regional writers, for black writers, for Christian writers, for Jewish writers, for prison writers, for teenage writers, for science writers, and on and on. Why must a prize for women’s writing be the single object of contention? Yet this argument will not hold water. Each such category signals a particular affinity, or call it, more precisely, a culture (and in the case of Jews and Christians, a deeper and broader civilization), and women are integral to all of them. To argue for femaleness-as-culture is to condemn imaginative and intellectual freedom and to revert to the despised old anatomy-is-destiny. And to the sheep pen and the [...]


Everyone Taking 'The Onion' Seriously in One Place

If you really like to feel bad about people, there's a website devoted entirely to people taking stories from The Onion seriously on Facebook. Warning: it's a dark path to walk. Maybe you should read a book or pet a puppy instead? (via, via)


Tweet-And-Run Reporting Results In Iced-Tea Tempest

It was one of those headlines crossing the transom yesterday that raised an eyebrow: A huff from the News, "Opponents of immigration law call for boycott of Arizona Iced Tea – but it is brewed in New York!," that was above a 151-word news-of-the-dumb item on "misguided tea fans" who were airing their grievances online. Total number of quoted sources in the piece: Two. The source for both those quotes: Twitter. You can probably see where this is going!


Third Eye Blind And The Difficulty Of Critical Reading

"Third Eye Blind wasn't one of those crappy, non-cute rap-rock bands that proliferated in the nineties, wearing polyester shorts and chin beards. In hits like 'Never Let You Go' and 'Semi-Charmed Life' (remember how great that song was in Dirty Work?) they rapped and they rocked, mixing guitars and hip-hop. What singer Stephan Jenkins did is hard to describe – 'extremely fastly spoken lyrics' someone wrote on Wikipedia, which sums up how totally unique it is." Rob Tannenbaum's "defense" of Third Eye Blind is super on its own, but is made even better by the quality of the comments which follow it.