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FEATURED COLUMNS

the king is dead
the disgustification of an american icon
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: pop culture
7.2.08 • CLASSIC

Sure, fast food is no longer fast and no longer cheap, but shouldn't it be food? In the hierarchy of American fast food there is McDonalds and there is everything else. It's not like Coke v. Pepsi or Nike v. Reebok. McDonalds has set itself apart from the pack, due to the fact that you can walk into any McDonalds anywhere in the world and, despite some minor inconsistencies in the greeting, the decor, and the menu, the experience is almost creepily similar. Number two, no cheese. Numero dos,

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women worth knowing
how reality tv is finally getting there
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: television
10.3.08 • CLASSIC

I cringe a lot these days. I cringe when a highly visible female politician fails to complete a coherent sentence. I cringe when an article in the New York Times is shockingly rife with errors, and the byline starts with "Alessandra". I cringe when female characters in movies are props instead of people, although by now, you'd think I'd be resigned. I cringe because I'm afraid that we're going backward, not forward, on this whole equality thing. And yet, I've found an odd corner of the world wh

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making the cut
like pulling the plug, but with less government interference
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: music
5.9.12 • CLASSIC

This past weekend, I was forced to make one of the hardest decisions any of us will ever have to make in our lifetimes.

I had to delete about 100 songs from my mp3 player.

Well, that's not entirely true. I had to replace my mp3 player (a Sony), which died on Friday, and it turned out that the new one, while technically holding the same capacity as the old one (8 gigs), held about 100 fewer songs. I think this is because the new player is bluetooth compatible while the old one was not, but it could also be because the universe occasionally likes to laugh at me.

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i want my wb
classic tv network lives again
by michelle von euw
topic: television
5.9.08 • CLASSIC

For a brief few weeks between my first two real post-college jobs, I took a temp position at a new television station. It was an exciting time for the WB: the network had just gone national, consolidating local stations that had been purveyors of fine television like the "Creature Double Feature" and kept a new generation engrossed in the trials of the Brady kids. The WB, and its counterpart, UPN, hoped to follow in FOX’s wildly successful footsteps by becoming the fifth and sixth national net

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why can't three be friends?
is he really going out with her?
by mike julianelle
topic: humor
8.8.07 • CLASSIC

In preparation for a Best Man speech I was obligated to give this summer, I racked my brain for anecdotes, adages, inside jokes and inappropriate comments with which to delight the crowd and fluster the groom. Stocking the speech with humorous details about my relationship with the groom wasn't difficult; I have 13 years of shared experiences to fall back on. The bigger issue was throwing in some words about the bride, whom I've only known for 3 years, and nowhere near as well. Obviously it's t

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ishka
one of the order of the three
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: writing
7.29.09 • CLASSIC

Ishka popped bath bubbles with a slender finger, much to the delight of her younger cousins. The three of them followed her everywhere, picking up pinecones and plucking delicate blossoms of corydalis, and presenting them to Ishka with a slight curtsy. Then, giggles. It's true that she, as the eldest Novy offspring, commanded a certain respect, and since she was near 13, better the cousins practice reverence now so they would be accustomed to it later. But, tonight, they annoyed her. "Go. You n

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where do broken hearts go
the unstoppable rise and fall of whitney houston
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: music
2.15.12 • CLASSIC

1. She was, without irrational argument, the greatest female singer of her generation, and the greatest female singer, possibly, to ever live. If you were sculpting a pop star from scratch, you couldn’t have built a better voice, a prettier face, or a greater vocal lineage. She rendered MTV colorblind in the mid-80s, following in Michael Jackson and Prince’s footsteps. Her talent was unreal at times, moved mountains that shouldn’t have budged. Who else could’ve pulled off The Bodyguard or turn “The Star Spangled Banner” into a best selling smash? Who else could remake songs previously recorded by George Benson and Dolly Parton into two of the biggest pop hits of their decades? And yet, despite all that – or maybe because of it – here we are.

2. How much can people give of themselves and remain sane? To have your foibles, flaws and mistakes analyzed, lambasted and paraded in front of millions, daily, is more than most of us could bear. And being on top in the music industry subjects one to a spectacular kind of evil. Yes, Whitney Houston was rich and beautiful and talented, but once that was who she would be forever, it was no longer unique or special. It became like being able to write or speak or drive a car, or any of the other things most of us do every day and take for granted. Many of us behave because we have jobs and bills and family members that make us do so. If those societal constraints were not only lifted, but abolished, and we were encouraged to do whatever we want, whenever, and with whomever, well, then, a clearer picture begins to formulate as to whom we really are.

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don't hassel the hoff
a discussion on the life and times of david hasselhoff
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: pop culture
5.16.07 • CLASSIC

Unless you're David Hasselhoff, you will never know what it's really like to be David Hasselhoff. You can speculate, you can talk about what he's wearing, but you don't know what it is to be "The Hoff," saving people's lives in a supercomputer on wheels; saving people's lives as a Doctor, saving people's lives as a lifeguard while surrounded by incredibly curvy women; being the King of the Internet. Dallas Maverick's star Dirk Nowitzki, just named NBA's Most Valuable Player, admitted he somet

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this earth day, make the world a better place
and not just with your gorgeous smile!
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: pop culture
4.22.09 • CLASSIC

"Another day, another dollar." Or, perhaps you've heard, bitterly and far more appropriate to the current economic situation: "Same shit, different day." It's always a cycle for us, whether we be creative types or worker bees in cubicle farms, however exciting life can be one day, it's usually back to normal the next. Or, whatever the closest approximation to 'normal' can be. Unfortunately, the same logic can't be applied to the planet we call home. "Another day...same earth" just doesn't h

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conqueror, thy name is apple
how i got an i-life
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: tech
5.25.07 • CLASSIC

I am hooked on Apple. No day goes by without quality time spent with my iMac and iPod; I can’t picture a day where I don’t spend some time tinkering with an iTunes playlist or listening to a podcast. But I didn’t consciously know how much of a habitual iNerd I was till I downloaded an iTunes upgrade. The page greeted me boldly with an 18-point font: “Welcome to the entertainment center of your world.” At that, I thought, "YES." My computer and iPod are indeed the gatekeepers of my entertain

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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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a hop from the grape vine
why wine people don't like beer
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: pop culture
8.21.06 • CLASSIC

I have this theory. Okay. Let me pause for a second and say that this is a phrase that usually comes out of my mouth after a good deal of beer, and generally ends with me pontificating about the reproductive habits of Smurfs (It's mitosis, I tell you! Smurfette is a mutant.) But this time I'm dead serious. I've come up with this theory because I'm tired of being sniped at by people who don't like beer, particularly people who favor wine to beer and consider beer a lowly drink, not fit to pas

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a diamond in the rough
the rules of engagement
by heather m. millen
topic: general
4.27.07 • CLASSIC

When I announced my engagement in September of 2006, I had many visions of what the following year would entail. What I pictured was an endless year of one champagne-drenched celebration after another, all held in my honor. Red carpets rolled out at any available opportunity! And, heck, I didn't even necessarily need parties thrown for me, I'd create them wherever I went, celebrating the engagement until it was no more. I'd have to invest in a tractor trailer to haul all of my fabulous new p

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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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