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FEATURED COLUMNS

burn this office to the ground
all it takes is horrible writing
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: television
5.2.12 • CLASSIC

I can't understand how something could go so bad in such a short amount of time.

Don't get me wrong. I've been in relationships with seemingly unpsychotic women, I've had an eighth or ninth drink that I felt pretty good about before it delivered poison into my bloodstream, I've left milk out on the kitchen counter on a hot day. So I know how something can go from dream to nightmare in an extremely small window.

But what the shark has happened to The Office?

The Office wasn't always a great show, but it was the most consistently funny show from its second season until Steve Carrell left, with an incredible amount of realism that was never overshadowed by the comedy or the brief moments of excellent drama, most of which had to do with Jim and Pam and their non-romance.

Within the space of half-a-season, The Office has devolved from an honestly funny and relatable workplace comedy to a ridiculous circus of unbelievable setups and dick jokes, including a five minute conference room discussion on impotence.

My point is this never should have happened. And here's why:

read on



that ends well
best and worst tv series finales of the 2000s
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: television
5.5.10 • CLASSIC

A discussion of best TV series finales always turns to the whiplash classics, the ones that change everything that came before. "St. Elsewhere", for example, or "Newhart." ("It was all a dream!") A discussion of the worst ones always turns, well, to "Seinfeld." Welcome to the month of May, when we're bound to see new examples of both, the worst and the best. Expectations are riding especially high this year with the upcoming series finale of "Lost", a show that has always had a history of answ

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resume, resumbe, resumsee
some little-known (and big-known) dos and don't's of job interviewing
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: humor
7.9.10 • CLASSIC

About a month ago, I celebrated my year anniversary at my current position. Yes, I brought in bagels. Did you even have to ask? A year was a good milestone, though, especially in this economy. I know this firsthand, since my last job abruptly ceased to be after 7 months, due to an inability to pay me and a bunch of other people. Luckily for me, 7 months has been my shortest tenure anywhere since moving up from "temp," with 7 years being my longest. It turns out that technically, there's no itc

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what a difference a decade makes
by michelle von euw
topic: general
12.11.09 • CLASSIC

A lot can change in a decade. As this one draws to a close, it's impossible for me not to look back at the last ten years and consider where we were when we started this millennium mired in Y2K fears, terrified that computers wouldn't be able to handle the switch from our short-sighted two-digit shorthand and consider a world beyond the 19-something-somethings. Two years later, we were dealing with a different type of fear, one that to most of us, felt much more real than the theoretical sc

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the reinvention of everything
oh, we back on that again?
by mike julianelle
topic: pop culture
2.5.10 • CLASSIC

Avatar is the number one grossing movie of all time (before you adjust for inflation. When you do that, it’s like number 312). As a result, nearly every potential blockbuster is being reformatted to fit 3D theaters. Prepare for an onslaught, from Clash of the Titans to Harry Potter And the Fact That Our Stars Are Now All 25 and Weird Looking (the Hot Girl Obviously Being the Exception) to Sex and the City 3D: Shoving Samantha’s Sexuality Even Further In Your Face! How hard is it to switch a no

read on



they tried to make her go to rehab
what celebrity excess reveals about society
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: pop culture
7.27.11 • CLASSIC

By the time this goes to press, it might be revealed that Amy Winehouse's death at age 27 was drug related. Even if it isn't a direct overdose, her history of drug abuse is well documented and sometimes, a little heart can only take so much torture before it just gives up. Literally and figuratively. I don't wish to speak ill of the dead, but I'm surprised at the rampant outpouring of woe regarding Winehouse's death. Yes, she was a talented singer/songwriter. Yes, she had stylistic flair. Yes

read on



requiem for a heavyweight
remembering the late, great heavy d
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: music
11.11.11 • CLASSIC

If you had asked me, earlier in the week, to name my favorite five or ten or twenty rappers of that golden time of hip-hop between 1986 and 1993, I would not have mentioned Heavy D. He created gems with seemingly so little effort that it was easy to take him for granted. But more so than many of the rappers I would have named, were it not for Heavy D, that era would look very different.

He was a part of an interesting chapter of the genre, guys like Kid N’ Play, Redhead Kingpin, etc., that mixed playful raps with sing along hooks and sampled songs that your parents could easily identify. But aside from the hits (and there were many), Heavy’s influence over hip-hop really cannot be overstated: He was the first rap star to preside over a major music label (Uptown Records, in ’96, a decade before Jay-Z’s more ballyhooed turn at Def Jam.) He gave a 19-year-old Howard University student named Sean “Puffy” Combs the internship that would prove to be his big break. And he introduced the world to his soon to be legendary cousin, DJ/producer Pete Rock, and his neighbor, R&B pretty boy Al B. Sure, all part of the Mount Vernon posse that had a mini full nelson on the urban music scene in the late 1980s/early 90s.

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hot for teacher vs. burn the witch
jeff rants about the line between protecting students and running sexy teachers out of town
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: news
11.20.09 • CLASSIC

I don't know where sex fantasies about school teachers started, but I know they exist. Tracey Cox, author of several sexual advice books, once wrote about "That lurid reverie about your primary school teacher and raspberry jelly". I could also point you to at least three hardcore pornography websites dedicated solely to the topic of teacher / student sex, though I won't do it. Then there are real-life examples. The first one that comes to mind is Mary Kay Letourneau, attractive even in her m

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taking time
why, in this economy, i would voluntarily take six months unpaid leave
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: pop culture
7.27.09 • CLASSIC

I have been working since the day after my fifteenth birthday. I started as a bagger at my local grocery store, and eventually moved up to the awesome responsibility of being a cashier. Since the day I started working, I have steadily worked at a part- or full-time job, sometimes two. Granted, I've had 63 jobs in 23 industries, if you count things like teaching knitting classes for pay as a job (I wonder, is that in the 'fashion' industry or the 'textile' industry?) - which I do, as that was

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where's my little black card?
if dina lohan gets a scoop, i want one too.
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: humor
6.21.10 • CLASSIC

Evidently, one of the best things to have for bragging rights in this increasingly plastic-happy age is a Little Black Card. Borrowing the prestigious appearance of a VIP American Express card, Little Black Cards look slick and promise privilege. It doesn't matter if said card is issued from the Foot Locker, or is only a not-yet-loaded prepaid from Russell Simmon's RUSH line, for it always looks good enough to wave around in the (numerous) instances I feel poor in this recession. I'm broke!

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the power to decide
why it’s necessary for women to control their birth control
by sarah ficke (@DameMystery)
topic: news
3.7.12 • CLASSIC

When Sandra Fluke stood up to testify in front of Congress on February 23rd about the importance of accessible birth control for all women, she probably didn’t expect to be called a prostitute. Women probably didn’t think that, in March of 2012, we’d be defending our right to use a medicine that was approved for sale 52 years ago. And yet, here we are again having to convince people – primarily men – that women do have the right to have sex without pregnancy.

We live in a time when men are lowering or erasing the barriers that allow them to get women pregnant (see: insurance-subsidized Viagra), while making it harder and harder for women to prevent conception. While the issue is birth control, no-one is really talking about condoms in this case. Condoms are available on supermarket shelves, they cost less to buy, and they are known to prevent STIs – a definite medical benefit. They also require the consent of a man. The real subject of the conversation is the pill: the birth control method that women control and that women can practice with or without a man’s knowledge or consent.* The question then becomes not just should women use contraception, but should women be allowed to choose contraception on their own? There are many excellent reasons why the answer is – and should always be – yes.

read on



why i blog
an instrospective about why i write on the online
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: writing
10.17.11 • CLASSIC

This past week I published a piece on my blog Top Fermented that garnered a fair amount of attention, both positive and negative. I expected a backlash. I knew that many would disagree with me, but I was happy to see that many people also agreed, and equally as happy to see that some who disagreed took the time to reasonably state their cases against mine.

It's honestly made me wonder - why the hell do I bother?

read on



the cult of eff
bearing facebook's existential weight
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
topic: pop culture
11.7.11 • CLASSIC

Sleepless.

It's two in the morning. My 5-year-old daughter has been in school exactly one week, and she's already brought home a lovely collection of drawings, handwriting worksheets, and the requisite headcold, which is now keeping me awake, along with the surprisingly annoying pitterpat of rain on asphalt and a Sudafed-induced psychedelia of voices and images swirling 'round my poor, stuffy skull.

I'm a bit of a worrier, and at my age and life stage (the two aren't exactly in sync thanks to my spending all of my twenties and, yes, even some of my thirties trying to be a professional musician) there's plenty of nourishment for the big green monster loving in Binkley's Anxiety Closet.

Still, I was somewhat shocked - enough so to prop myself up and subject my watery eyes to the microwave blaze of the iPad - to discover I was not only lying awake, suffering the indignities of late-night snot and Psuedoephedrine night terrors, I was also sweating the increasing burden and exponential, existential complexity of Facebook.

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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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