By KarenUhOh on Oysters Shucked

Years ago, back before our self-awareness became genetically coded, I boarded the Chicago "L" in the subway under State Street on a day when it had to be 90 outside and a good ten degrees north of that in the tube. Of course, the a/c on the car I entered had long ago evaporated into the great ice bucket in the sky.

Also, of course, the car was jammed. My position was standing, in front of the "handicapped" seats next to the door, where sat a woman of indeterminate age (I'd say mid-50's), who was bundled up in a winter cloth coat and woolen hat.

This lady opened a large green Tupperware container, removed a plastic fork from her coat pocket, and began to eat potato salad. "Classic" potato salad, all meaty chunks of potato and celery and olive, stagnant in a viscous goo of yellowing mayonnaise. It was obvious from the aroma that this dish had been nowhere near a refrigerator for quite some time.

Also obvious: the bundled-up lady forking this hash into her maw had a mustache. A GIANT, feathery mustache. Captain Kangaroo would have felt his lip to make sure his wasn't stolen.

Large chunks of this potato salad soon became lodged in the mustache. The lady also stoically abjured shutting her mouth as she chewed.

Next to her sat the most proper, prim lady, also "of a certain age," that you can imagine: designer business suit, spiked heels, made up within an inch of her life, even in that heat. She had been professionally oblivious through this, until the odor hit. . .and when it did, she glanced over, in that slight, sideways urban way, at what was next to her--whereupon she gagged, and placed her hand up alongside her face for the duration of her ride.

She lasted two stops.

Posted on April 17, 2014 at 1:26 pm 7

By BadUncle on The End Of Comments

I started commenting years ago on Gawker and a couple of its sister pubs. At the time, it seemed to offer the same opportunity for clever banter and occasional insight one used to find on the pre-Web Intertubes, while also mutating normal civility by the same false intimacy. Worse, anonymity with a democratic medium gives a megaphone to every crank in a crowd. When Gawker's readership floodgates burst, standards for wit eroded. I think the lesson here is you don't have to flog traffic by lowering the bar to entry for the commentariat.

These days, about the only commenting in which I participate (reading or writing), is on Awl pubs and IO9. And also Etsy, because, you know, doilies.

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 10:59 am 4

By SarahHeartburn on The End Of Comments

This is really nice. Like old times. We should do this more often. Every couple weeks? Thursdays are good for me. We'll talk.

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 10:50 am 2

By jolie on The End Of Comments

I still, for the most part, enjoy the comments on things I write—which is saying A LOT, given where I write. It's frustrating, however, to be subject to the "silencing effect" that negative comments have on writers, i.e. that you truly just CANNOT respond to them even when doing so can clear up a misperception, misunderstanding or address flawed information that a person is trying to insist is true and that your audience might take as gospel because there's this sense that a commenter correcting a columnist is the one who is in the right. Sometimes that's the case, but most often that person is dead wrong and yet? There's no truck in attempting to respond because no one wins in a comment (or twitter) war.

Related: No, Jezebel Commenter, Goo Gone does NOT remove silicone buildup from wood but thanks for playing and also while I have you, NO Jezebel should not hire a cleaning expert who has a PhD in Chemistry. That is an absolutely fucking ridiculous thing to suggest; if you have a PhD in Chemistry PLEASE do something better for the world than what it is that I do.

Sorry, really have wanted to get that out of my system.

ANYway. On the flip side of that, I also enjoy sites that have a robust commenting community and find it sad when that peters out. I've enjoyed being part of what was once a really fun and smart and sometimes incredibly insane commenting community here and at The Hairpin and have been sad to see that fall by the wayside. Though I suspect that the editors are thrilled to have effectively silenced the commenters, and it's their site, so what I feel about it doesn't matter at all really. If it happened while I was still contributing to the Network I would have been wicked bummed, but I still retain an incredibly vocal (oh my God, so vocal!) audience so in practice the lack of comments here has no effect other than to tug at my sentimental heartstrings from time to time.

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 10:25 am 3

By Clarence Rosario on The Girl With The YOLO Tattoo

I would have expected to read something like this on Thought Catalog. But then I remembered: I don't read Thought Catalog.

Posted on April 14, 2014 at 12:49 pm 2

By alicesherman on The Girl With The YOLO Tattoo

What are you doing to me, Awl. What.

Posted on April 11, 2014 at 5:12 pm 2

By KarenUhOh on Instagram-Having Dog's Owner Not Ready For Finalty, Logistical Challenges Of Child-Rearing Yet

"Fetch, Toliver! Bring Finnbarr to Mommy!"

Posted on April 11, 2014 at 11:10 am 5

By ejcsanfran on Everyone's Secret History

"I read it while I still lived in New Haven, eating and sleeping and dreaming fewer than ten minutes from where my last classes were held.."


Posted on April 8, 2014 at 6:04 pm 3

By gregorg on Gays Assassinate CEO

@pissy elliott straights can do whatever they want in their private lives; we just don't want them near our browsers.

Posted on April 4, 2014 at 10:16 am 3

By IBentMyWookie on On Lena, On Rihanna, On Kimye: The Very Necessary Death Of "Vogue"

I know April isn't usually the time for resolutions, but if The Awl would resolve to stop publishing bullshit like "She seems really funny, and fun, and I think she knows exactly what she's doing at all times, and that often the arguments I hear people make about her are tied up in their overall feelings about women—that she's stupid, or trashy, or whatever word they prefer meaning "too sexually available"—all subtext for a grown woman who does whatever she wants, who likes her body, who spends lots of time and energy looking a certain way and is happy with what she sees in the mirror" in the new year, that would be great. Thanks!

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 2:09 pm 11