Saturday, January 17, 2009
Josh says: Yeah, expect a lot of bangs-adjusting and water-sipping from me. I have no idea what I'm going to tell these bright, scholarly people. Oh yeah, I got high and posted a video of Louis C.K. That got a lot of responses. If you know us (and are free), please come; familiar faces are always welcome.
You travel all of three blocks before realizing you are wrong--very, very wrong. Nine degrees is freezing. Nine degrees is way below freezing. Nine degrees is so cold that your fingers are turning purple. Nine degrees locks your jaw and makes the leg hair between your jeans and your socks stand on end. Nine degrees gives you brain freeze.
You reach your apartment, convinced that your toes will never bend again. You dig around your bag for your keys: a difficult task, given your numbing lack of dexterity. You dig and you dig and you dig five more times before you come to your second realization of the evening: you don't have your keys. You panic. You stop panicking; someone must be home.
You buzz once. Nothing. You buzz again. Nothing; a gust of air blows under your coat and you feel your blood congealing. You buzz for a third time and bang on the door. Nobody's home. You had thought, at one point, that you would soon be in bed, reading on the Internet about things that are nine degrees. But now it's past midnight, your body is the temperature of the ice on the sidewalk, and you are stuck outside your apartment without a way in.
You are never so grateful to be home as you are an hour later, when your roommate finally gets back and your fingers start to burn in reverse from thawing so suddenly.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
The lede is righteous enough: "A 22-year-old woman is selling her virginity online — offering her body to bidders nationwide in an auction that reportedly has netted a $3.7 million offer — and the law isn't doing a thing to stop her." Like, is Joseph Abrams trying to sound like a harried neighborhood gosisp? Because that's what he sounds like: a harried neighborhood gossip. Who voted for John McCain.
Abrams goes on: "The FBI isn't interested. The U.S. attorney doesn't care. Everything is fine by local police, and she isn't breaking any laws." I don't think he got local enough. How does the postman feel about it? What about the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker? I know, before we actually get any information from the brothel hosting the auction, let's get a few choice quotes from a conservative blowhard! Okay.
"Nevada has been out of step with the rest of the country for many years with regards to prostitution, and that's why I think it's important for federal prosecutors to look into this, so that Nevada does not dictate the morals and moral decency for the rest of the nation," says Matthew Staver, director of the Liberty Center for Pretentious Umbrage. No, Matthew, Nevada should not dictate our country's morals. You should. Stupid Nevada and its prostitution and its gambling and its...um...Siegfried and Roy.
And just how much is Dylan selling her virginity for, anyway? Try $3.7 million. Joseph Abrams knows that's a lot of money; he calls it "a price far above rubies." Emeralds? Don't push it. But definitely way more than rubies.
Abrams then calls the Web site "needlessly repetitive"--generally not a good idea to insult the source from which you're trying to get information, pal--and finally quotes some lawyer who says that the online auction "is as legal as toast with the crust cut off where she is." Virginity is more precious than rubies but also comparable to breakfast food.
Thank you Fox News for another fair and balanced report.
Someone really needs to parody the didactic, uninformed and absurd Above the Influence commercials like the one above in order to say what really happens when you're high.
"I ordered eight slices of pizza and ate eight slices of pizza."
"I laughed and had an overall lovely time with my friends."
"I found humor in everyday occurrences."
"I watched cars go down 1st Avenue while listening to Beethoven for an hour straight."*
*Happened last night
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
After Prop 8, there was a lot of crossfire between gays and blacks. Many in the LGBT movement were angry that black voters had largely chosen to vote for a gay marriage ban, citing the hypocrisy in demanding civil liberty for some but not all American minorities. Many black voters, on the other hand, claimed that the struggles of the gay rights and black rights movements were distinct, and supporting one should not necessarily entail supporting the other.
Ms. Ruby-Sachs is right. In fact, I'm going to use a block quote! That's how right she is.
For those members of the LGBT community who think the Black civil rights movement is over, it is your obligation to work harder to resolve the deep racial inequality in this country. For those members of the Black community who are not assisting with the fight for equal rights for same-sex couples, you are not betraying your race, you are betraying your commitment to equality -- the same kind of commitment you ask for in others -- that requires legal parity for all Americans.
I'm not saying that every white married man in this country is a horrible person who needs to be forced into accepting others. What I am saying is that the battle for civil rights--and belive me, it is and will continue to be a battle--is everyone's. While we may be arguing for different specificities--for example, gay people still have yet to attain marriage or adoption rights, whereas blacks and women have these things, while the latter two groups have their own struggles to overcome--we are arguing against the same psychological obstacles to full national equality. It is domestic xenophobia, the Others at home, and until that notion of the barbaric Other--that the Other is somehow worse than the person who identified the Other as such--is destroyed, American minorities* will never achieve full equality. I will be able to get married but still get jeered on the street; Jessica will receive a salary equal to her male coworkers, but have to face their lecherous harrassment every day; blacks will still be beaten by white supremacists, and the national consciousness will ignore the act. And one in three confused, effeminate little boys in junior high will try to kill themselves because their classmates are ignorant and scared of the little Others roaming their hallways.
Natalie Dylan is doing what we all should have done for our first times: she's making money for letting some horny, sweaty dude lay on top of her for 3-5 minutes. And by "money" I mean "$3.7 million!!!"
Dylan is auctioning off her virginity to the highest bidder in order to pay for college. I'm sure many will condemn her for this, but I find it fucking awesome. It's a purely capitalist move. She possesses a good that she knows is highly valued to many people, and so she's putting it on the market to see what kind of revenue will pour in. None of this sentimental bullshit about some "precious flower" that is only propelled these days by religion and nervous fathers. She's 22 years old and still a virgin, so clearly she hasn't found anyone worthy of sleeping with her: why not make some money from it?
Besides, your first time (and the second and third) sucks. It's painful and awkward and doesn't feel good at all and in fact it feels like someone is stabbing your insides. If you have to go through that, you may as well make $3.7 million off of it.
I'm sure that Dylan will catch a lot of flack for this, but maybe we should look at it the way Sweden looks at prostitution laws: she is simply selling something she has, but not forcing anyone to buy it. Perhaps those to be condemned are the creepy, old, rich businessmen, willing to shell out millions of dollars for something so antiquated in its desirability.
Though in my perfect world no one would be condemned, but ha this is America and we still are squeamish about sex, so whatever.
3. Green Day, "Basket Case." So, like, remember when Green Day was cool? You know, before they started making videos with U2 and being all righteous and stuff? Think back. Maybe the older brother of the girl with whom you carpooled to Hebrew school every Tuesday night--the hot one who always played basketball shirtless on his driveway so you'd pretend to tie your shoe in front of his house on your way home from a walk when you saw him practicing--tried to get you into this song and you were like, "No, it's all about Janet Jackson!" and that's when everyone kind of started suspecting you were gay. And maybe, years later, after Green Day saved the world and became the most inexplicable legends since someone decided John Mellencamp belonged in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you watched the video for this song and it brought back this weird nostalgia for your childhood Judaism and the lyrics were actually applicable to your life and it was catchy and unpretentious and only then, years later, did you get what everyone loved about Green Day, but by that point it was too late because Billie Joe Armstrong had become so Hot Topic. Sigh.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Please stop comparing Barack Obama to Abraham Lincoln. At this point, you are grasping at straws.
I understand they are both widely revered men who crafted relatively bipartisan cabinets as they entered the presidency during a moment of great potential national transformation. But isn't every new election one of these moments? When has a candidate not referred to his candidacy as "historic" or "coming on the brink of great change"? Remember when Gore-Bush was the Biggest Deal Ever? Yeah, so was Kerry-Bush. And they were pivotal moments, to be sure, but my point is that obviously a new president will bring about a change in leadership. Obama's campaign theme of hope and change wasn't, in retrospect, all that revolutionary or insightful; it simply capitalized what the American people already felt and desired following eight years of Bush, and repeated those sentiments until they became accepted as facts of our national consciousness. It was simple psychology and wonderful campaigning.
Lincoln entered the presidency at a time when our nation was literally splitting apart; we were on the brink of civil war, and the debate over slavery had reached its zenith. By contrast, Obama won the election because he took states that have recently been Republican strongholds--hello, Virginia--and found a way to captivate an entire nation unified in its global fatigue and economic danger. The situations that met the budding presidencies Lincoln and Obama were both difficult, to say the least, but hardly comparable. If anything, Obama is more like FDR, a Democrat taking over for a Republican whose failed policies led the nation into depression. But even FDR didn't have to grapple with a losing battle overseas. In that sense, I guess Obama is rather Nixonian. But Barack Obama isn't really like Richard Nixon at all, in any way.
You could look at almost any president (except for you, Polk, you scallywag) and point to some aspect of his candidacy that's "just like Obama." But if history has taught us anything, it is that America is a regenerative nation, with each generation facing unique and previously unfathomed challenges to its national livelihood. Obama can certainly learn from the past, as can anyone, but as platitudinous as it sounds, his focus will have to be on the future if he wants to succeed. Insisting that he is "just like" Lincoln, FDR, or anyone else--assigning him a template that does not and cannot apply--only hinders that foresight.
P.S. Yes, Obama and Lincoln are both from Illinois. But it's hardly the same state now as it was two centuries ago. And I presume Obama's been trying to distance himself from his, um, unclean home state as of late, anyway.