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FEATURED COLUMNS

reunion deathmatch: the police v. van halen
a look at both shows and a little gen-x nostalgia
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: music
12.3.07 • CLASSIC

If you had asked me which bands I regretted most never having seen live, the answer would have been easy. Everything I know about rock music begins with the Police. The Beatles broke up 7 years before the first Police record came out. In 1984, U2 was passed the torch of biggest band in the world by the Police (some say it happened onstage at Live Aid). Men at Work was for babies and nerds, but cool kids like me were into the Police. I had the chance to see them in 1983, but I was a little kid a

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march away from madness
when bracketology goes wrong
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: sports
4.4.08 • CLASSIC

I don't care about sports, except once a year for a few weeks, when I become dangerously overinvested in men's college basketball. I research every team in the tournament, from Siena to St. Joe's, the Hilltoppers to the Zags. I make my picks, obsess over my bracket, glue my ear to the local sports radio station. (Note: local Philly sports radio doesn't actually broadcast the tournament but does comment on it nonstop, with a strikingly frequent use of the word "fazool.") Over a small contribution

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top of the drop
hitting the apex and picking up speed
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: news
8.10.11 • CLASSIC

My father called me the other day.

This, in itself, is not news. We talk a lot. However, it did seem to be a good way to open a column, especially since my next few paragraphs have to do with that conversation. Otherwise, you'd be totally in the dark, and I'd have failed without even getting started. Luckily for both of us that didn't happen.

Anyway, in the course of our conversation, the current political and economic climate came up (we're very intellectual, he and I). My family has traditionally been moderate liberals (some less moderate than others), and we both agreed that the current Republican Party has us appalled. And the current Democratic Party has us mostly disappointed. I mentioned that I had been curious, following last week's debt ceiling debacle and the stock market drop that accompanied it, as to what my least favorite economic talking head, Larry Kudlow, had to say about it.

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the seven year itch
why can't tv do right by marriage?
by michelle von euw
topic: television
10.10.08 • CLASSIC

After months of ignoring the critical buzz, I finally succumbed to the pressure, and watched the first DVD of the acclaimed drama "Mad Men". While the show certainly looked gorgeous and authentic, as much as I can judge what is authentic in terms of a 1960s Manhattan advertising firm, I had trouble warming up to the characters. The men and women who populate the show, or at least the first three episodes, are a bit too cold and distant for me to really care about their struggles. I understa

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my irish eyes are crying
sick and pale with grief sunburn
by mike julianelle
topic: humor
7.11.07 • CLASSIC

I have never been mistaken for an albino. I am not one of those clowns that places a lot of stock in my lineage. I happen to be 50% Italian and 50% Irish, but I don't have an Irish flag on my wall and I don't pretend to relate to Paulie Walnuts. I like The Godfather movies as much as the next guy and I like drinking as much as, well, everyone. But I am American, first and foremost. I appreciate having access to some of the traditions, recipes and traits that are inherent in the two ethnicitie

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god for president 2012
the official statement
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: humor
3.28.12 • CLASSIC

Behold, voters, for I have arrived!

No longer will I allow my self-appointed press secretary Rick Santorum to speak on my behalf. Bless his soul, he often goes off with his pistol half cocked, as we say in the American South. I am afraid that greatly skews his conscious understanding of me, the Bible, the Earth, women, Christianity, education, migrant workers, the role of government, the financial sector, the separation of church and state, unemployment, renewable energy, ham and cheese sandwiches, ring-tailed lemurs, athletic socks, rally stripes on muscle cars, Etch-A-Sketches--well, you see my point.

Something is bothering me. Frankly, I hate to bring it up, but my PR firm, Holy Universal Results, gently suggested I get in front of this before Anderson Cooper.

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wall of noise
racial tension on the rise could lead to a long, hot summer
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: news
4.9.12 • CLASSIC

"The thing I hate almost as much as racist images is the current politically correct climate that strangles honest discussion, then calls the resulting silence progress. Meanwhile, people are not allowed to ask questions or express their feelings to those whom might disagree; we fear being called racist more than we fear being racist." - Jason Gilmore, 2011

There has never been a time in this country's relatively brief existence when some black person's name wasn't being publicly dragged through the mud. When we weren't being vilified, demonized, misunderstood or marginalized by the vanguards of media. (This is not to discount that we were physically being dragged through the mud alongside it, in some cases.) See, I've lost some of you already. You think this is going to be another diatribe about how hard it is to be black. Well, it is and it isn't, but  part of what makes it hard is that our complaints are not valued. 

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hands off my brown bag
when politics and your kids' lunch cross paths
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: news
2.22.12 • CLASSIC

If you don't listen to extremely right-wing news sources (and I'm not talking Fox News here, I'm talking Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck), then you probably missed the story about a Turkey and Cheese sandwich that was rejected by a school food inspector, who ordered instead that the four-year old eat school cafeteria chicken nuggets. Then, it allegedly happened again.

Of course, such stories would come out of my home state of North Carolina, where I was raised to be a good Republican boy, and where few people approve of big government sticking their nose in their business... the business in this case, apparently, being their kids' lunch bags.

It was over a decade ago that I abandoned my red birth state for the true blue state of New York, settling eventually in what may be the most liberal place on the east coast, Ithaca, New York. This, a law school education, and other circumstances of my life, now permit me to fairly consider both sides of the political coin when I'm confronted with an issue. I wasn't given the title of "chief white house correspondent" at IM for nothing, you know.

But there hasn't been a liberal take on this Turkey and Cheese sandwich story; not on NPR, not on PBS, not anywhere that I've looked. I could have missed it if there was one, but I'm pretty sure there wasn't. So, I guess it's up to me, then. And so...

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do you hear the words that are coming out of my mouth?
maybe we should work on our communication skills
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: general
8.22.11 • CLASSIC

Communication is the activity of conveying meaningful information. It is what moves us through every day, through each interaction with another human being. Hand gestures can ask for more and say stop, can suggest movement and sketch ideas, can say thank you and disparage. A touch can convey compassion, sympathy, joy, exhilaration, excitement. Even silence can hold space for yourself or someone else when there are no words that seem tremendous enough to express the right meaning.

Verbal communication, using words and building a dialogue, is what sets us above the animals. We have millions of expressions at our disposal; we should carefully select simple but effective sentiments for any occasion – but it is increasingly rare that we do so. In the age of Twitter, Facebook status updates and texting, communication between humans has decayed in so many ways. Intentional verbal missteps have been made common, and due to their commonality, are being included in the ever-expanding communal lexicon. Despite these questionable advancements, it has never been more widespread than now – the age of instant communication – that communication itself has been so neglected.

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the unsuperior chinese mother
debunking amy chua's parenting beliefs
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: general
1.19.11 • CLASSIC

As the product of a Filipino upbringing in America, my childhood is nowhere near as stereotypically severe as the first-generation Chinese kids I went to school with. Where my peers turned in longer hours of study for a perfect 4.0 average, my mother was fine if my report card consisted of A's and B's, and forgave the D+ I had struggled to earn in Calculus after nightly studying. Though I admired their straight A's, I was content with my decently good grades; in turn, they seemed wistful towards

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the way we read now
amazon's kindle, and the present and future of the digital book.
by sarah ficke (@DameMystery)
topic: tech
11.30.07 • CLASSIC

On my nineteenth birthday, I fell in love with a book. The moment my fingers touched the supple, green leather cover, worn soft and smooth from age, I knew that I had to own it, so much so that I told my dad that he could send back whatever present he had bought for me because this was it - the only thing I wanted. The content of the book (it happened to be The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas) was almost immaterial. The book itself was my object, and it remains one of my most prized possessi

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autobots, roll out
inside the fear in one geek's mind
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: film
5.21.07 • CLASSIC

Somewhere I feel like something in Hollywood is being marketed wrong. I know I'm in the coveted 18-35 White Middle Class Male demographic, but surely I can't be the one that Hollywood is marketing to. It doesn't make any sense. What about the baby boomers? There are so many of them it's going to crash Social Security. Every single retirement commercial lately starts off with, "Did you used to be a hippie?" You can't lure them into the theater? How hard could it possibly be? It's the 30 y

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constant craving
*the secret* to success
by heather m. millen
topic: humor
8.27.08 • CLASSIC

The other day I was sitting at my desk. It was about 4:00 in the afternoon, the day had been a bit stressful and I was greatly in need of a tiny token of relief. Suddenly, I realized that all my soul craved was a cookie. I don't eat cookies very often but who am I to judge what my soul desires? My husband happened to call and I said aloud and with conviction: "I really want a cookie." Ask. Cookies are good. I used to make cookies with my grandmother. She made these amazing little thumbp

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the elevator superhero
captain america goes to portland
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
topic: pop culture
4.20.12 • CLASSIC

The morning we're leaving for our family trip to Portland, Maine, my son discovers one of the hiding places where I've (obviously) failed to conceal an open Amazon box containing two kick ass 10" Marvel action figures. Through the open cardboard flap, he spies a Captain America shield, barely visible through the packaging - but it's enough to send him flying down the stairs yelling "DADDY DADDY I SEE CAPTUM ANMERICA CAN I HAVE HIM!?

He's three this month, and there's just no postponing gratification - birthday or not - when a toy of this caliber is unearthed. If he'd dug a little deeper, he would've seen the brain-melting awesomeness of the accompanying Iron Man figure. Luckily, I get to save that one for his big day.

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RECENT COMMENTS

re: irrussistible
I am not going to read it this time. I do and I just cannot pull myself together to comment. It is a beautiful tribute. I am very glad that you wro...

re: guns don't kill people....
Can we please find a way to heal and protect? I NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A man opened fire Friday inside two classrooms at the Connecticut elementary sc...

re: a year without netflix
I would expect that and especially Netflix. Marketing, baby. They're spending zillions to get new subscribers....

re: everybody poops
What a bunch of crap! :-D Sorry. I tried to let it pass. Butt I'm weak. [edited]...

re: you are on your own heroes journey
Too short. Sigh. Thanks Maigen. I just miss him. I am glad that I can find people who cared deeply for him here. He had such good friends here!...





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