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FEATURED COLUMNS

spies like us
remembering a great magazine
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: writing
8.3.09 • CLASSIC

I had completely forgotten about the existence of Spy magazine until I saw the coffee table retrospective Spy: The Funny Years for sale at Borders. And to add insult to injury, I hadn't even seen the book until it was in the bargain bin. This was awesome, because I picked it up for $2.99, but it was also immediately sad because it was like accidentally seeing one of your rock star heroes headline the lounge at the Hilton.Might as well get drunk, stand up front, and sing along. Who knows you in

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let's make a deal?
paying a price for not paying the price
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: general
10.5.11 • CLASSIC

How many deals do we see a day, and how many do we need?

I opened one of my less-used email accounts the other day and was just floored. Somewhere along the way I got on the lists for buckets of these Groupon-type providers, and apparently they've been accruing for ages -- restaurant deals, shopping deals, drink deals, deals for classes and lessons and events and supplies. Bloomspot and Facebook deals and Swirl and some kind of random Amazon-in-your-face thing, and they just keep coming and coming.

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occam's aftershave
when the simplest solution is just to cut it all away
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: humor
10.7.11 • CLASSIC

That's right, boys and girls. This week is my birthday (10/10, for those who can only remember one double-digit number at a time). I'm turning the big 37 (for those of you who are quadri-digited).

Yeah. Not really a landmark birthday. It's not like 25, when people stop saying, "Oh, you're still a baby." Or 30, when people stop saying, "I remember when I turned 25." Or 35, when people stop saying, "Why are you dating that 40-year-old?"

Actually, the truth is, I'm not feeling old, but I find myself doing things that I never pictured myself doing. I'm occasionally making "my father's noise" when I get up from sitting for a while. Last weekend, I opted for taking a nap over staying at a block party. And I've started coloring my beard.

*sigh*


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glee
the worst show you can't stop watching
by michelle von euw
topic: music
10.11.10 • CLASSIC

Despite what the Emmy voters and popular press may tell you, Glee is not a good television show. I know; I’ve watched every episode. I am a connoisseur of TV. I appreciate and celebrate television shows as an art form. I champion the creativity and the intellect it takes to achieve a good series. I will talk to you about the brilliance of The Wire and Everwood; I will describe in great detail the perfect arcs of season one Veronica Mars and season two Buffy the Vampire Slayer; I will tell y

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comic relief
my pop culture blind spot
by mike julianelle
topic: pop culture
8.6.08 • CLASSIC

Like everyone else I know, I've seen The Dark Knight. But it took me a while. For such a big release I'm typically there the first weekend, if not opening night. But, due to a number of circumstances (sell-outs, busted AC at my local theater, drunkenness, marriage, etc.), I waited until the second weekend to finally see what has become the movie phenomenon of the year. At least until Midnight Meat Train sweeps the nation! To most people with lives and legitimate priorities, waiting a week to s

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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

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making tha profound sound's missing you video
the difference between your video treatment and real life
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: music
2.14.11 • CLASSIC

So, to make a long story short, I'm friends with a group of young guys who have an up and coming rap group called Tha Profound Sound. We had been talking back and forth for awhile about my shooting a music video for them. Finally, on January 1st of this year, it happened. As a means of taking you into my process, I'd like to show you my original treatment for the video, along with my comments regarding what stayed and what didn't. First, the video. Now, the treatment. With my comments in [].

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what's smarter than a smartphone?
having all the fun, getting more options, paying less
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: pop culture
2.18.11 • CLASSIC

A hand held device that can do practically everything used to be reserved for people like Dr. McCoy and Dr. Who. But these days, smartphones bring science fiction to life. I've been slow to bite. Sure, I've been envious every time one of my friends on AT&T publicly diddled their iPhone in front of me. I've tried not to drool, and reminded myself that I was a happy Verizon customer who couldn't have such things anyway (sure, there were other options, but the iPhone was the Apple of my eye

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the good (and bad) girls guide to...
getting out of the country
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: general
8.25.08 • CLASSIC

You need a vacation. A mini-break. A holiday. Maybe you need to step away from a high-pressure job, or take some time to think about a lovelife situation. Maybe your family is driving you crazy. Maybe you just need to get away for some "You" time. Now is the best time for you to get away from it all. I'm not being facetious, actually, this truly is the best time of year to travel -- the kids are headed back to school, the tourist season is just about over, but the weather is sti

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excuse me, can you please stop surfing for porn?
what's the appropriate measure for xxx?
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: general
11.14.11 • CLASSIC

A memory haunts me, one from eight years back. I'm 27, and sitting in the dark with a 45-year-old guy. Much as I'd like to recall it as a lovely instance, it's the last civil date we have with one another. Knowing our end is imminent, we behave pretty well.

We're at the movies, watching Auto Focus with Greg Kinnear. I had chosen it on the basis of looking seemingly light-hearted; as Bob Crane's sordid life is revealed onscreen, I figure out otherwise.

And, so does my date. The deeper the film delves into Crane's sex secrets, he sits ramrod straight, staring at the screen without noticing that I saw him do so. His evident "a-ha" moment led to my first grasp of the eventual truth: like Crane, my date was a porn addict.

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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.

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love a fair
why i love typos
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: writing
6.22.09 • CLASSIC

Confession time: I love typos and misspellings. Don't get me wrong. They have no place in the real written word. They don't belong in books, newspapers, blogs, news articles, or any place where the author wants to be taken even halfway seriously. But, oh, thank god for the internet. Facebook and Twitter, those two magical huge social networking devices, provide me with an endless supply all on their own. The internet and cell phones with their infuriating number-pad, "Just press 5556665551

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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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