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FEATURED COLUMNS

why the movies almost broke the internet
chris dodd, the mpaa, and pirates
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: pop culture
2.1.12 • CLASSIC

Man, now I got a new hate.

I thought it couldn't possibly get any worse than the music industry, a cadre of corrupt suits and ever-willing lackey artists who, in the name of stopping piracy which they sort of disguised as an effort of saving art for the entire universe, resorted to suing housewives they caught downloading free mp3s onto a home computer.

I mean, it wasn't bribery, but that's still some kind of new record for douchbaggery.

Some ten years after it all stated, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the lobbying arm of the moving pictures business, failed at their attempt to pass two laws, known as SOPA and PIPA, in the face of a firestorm of pushback from... well... everyone. But it hasn't stopped the effort.

Here's what MPAA frontman Chris Dodd said about the debacle:

"Those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake,"

That's. Just. Awesome.

read on



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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holly hobby (tried to rob me. silly stunt...)
now that i have the free time, what am i going to do?
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: humor
9.12.08 • CLASSIC

By the time this is published, my employers will know I have accepted a new job. Or, this is the most original letter of resignation ever. Regardless, the new position is likely to allow me more time in my weekly schedule, especially on weekday nights. Which means I may actually be able to do something in my free time. Because, for the first time in three years, I actually have free time. I'll be able to read those books I wrote about at the beginning of the summer that I haven't actually got

read on



tv wrongs and rights
a spring roundup of dolls, teens, and love gods
by michelle von euw
topic: pop culture
4.8.09 • CLASSIC

After watching yet another lackluster episode of “Dollhouse,” a show I've stuck with only because of banked goodwill by Joss Whedon, Eliza Dushku, and anyone even tangentially involved with “Battlestar Galactica” (in this case, Tahmoh Penikett), I suddenly realized why it is destined to fail. We don’t like our dramatic main characters stupid. Sidekicks can be silly. Comedic leads can be goofy, or oblivious, or clueless. Love interests can be vapid, and there’s always the airhead blonde ste

read on



bite your tongue
go for the golden
by mike julianelle
topic: general
6.8.07 • CLASSIC

It takes a strong man to hold his tongue. And I'm not just talking about Yaphet Kotto. It's not always easy to keep your opinions to yourself. There are countless situations in which one feels compelled to voice their thoughts, whether to respond to a personal slight, or correct a misguided assumption, or enlighten an ignoramus. But I say if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. Every day, we -- each and every one of us -- are faced with situations in which a clever put down

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identity crisis
a tale of starstruck lovers
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: pop culture
3.31.08 • CLASSIC

He said he didn’t know who she was anymore. She refused to believe that was true, thinking he was looking for an excuse, any excuse at all, to leave. He told her to get a life, and slammed the door. She kicked off her Carlos Santana heels as she locked the front door behind him. Get a life. There wasn’t anything wrong with her life. He’s the one who needs to find himself. As she wandered down the hall to the bathroom, she tripped over his forgotten Bob Geldolf man bag, nicking her toe in t

read on



alicia keys -- as i am (review)
is the third time the charm for the multiplatinum songstress?
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: music
11.21.07 • CLASSIC

2 1/2 out of 4 A rhetorical question: Are people are more in love with the "idea" of Alicia Keys than the actual person? Sure, she's gorgeous and plays the piano and puts on one hell of a live show and has at least three songs ("Fallin'," "You Don't Know My Name," and "If I Ain't Got You") that are instant classics by almost any definition. Still, her hype is disproportionate to her consistency. While that's not necessarily her fault, the hope was that her third studio album -- the revealingly

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re-starting real
what a decade plus of reality television has taught me about reality
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: pop culture
11.9.11 • CLASSIC

I heard this story this weekend on NPR about the “Golden Age” of MTV, in which it was claimed that MTV aired "the first reality show" on television in the early 1990s. That show was The Real World, and the "reality" was that the people were all real people, and not actors; that the show depicted these real people interacting in "real" situations; and the hook, as the introductory credits touted, was that the show demonstrated what happens "... when people stop being polite, and start getting real."

Of course, a huge apartment with a bunch of racially diverse unknowns forced to interact is not that realistic to begin with, even without a camera crew hanging around. From that faulty starting point, even though the people were real, the situations weren't. Portions of the show were altered, and outcomes were often staged either in their inception, or at least via post-production editing. A fake reality cannot be "real."

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basic human rights
where do you draw the line?
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: news
3.25.09 • CLASSIC

We've all read about the "Octomom", an extreme example of the baby-manufacturing industry gone wrong. This woman, a single mother on welfare living in California who already had six children, just gave birth to eight more. All fourteen of them were conceived with the assistance of in-vitro fertilization. I know I'm not the only person who's quite shocked and not just a bit outraged by this situation -- the country-wide backlash was matched only by the positive outpouring of support

read on



you could be sookie, or lafayette
the astrological guide to true blood's season 2
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: humor
8.17.09 • CLASSIC

Face it. You're a "True Blood" junkie. You want a Fangtasia T-shirt. You've taken a dive into Charlaine Harris's writing, even though you don't actually read. What you really want to know is if the new Tru-Blood drink will be worth serving at your viewing parties. Especially with vodka. Plenty of vodka. But, what really makes you a "True Blood" devotee is how well you know the crazy little backwater that is Bon Temps. You've already picked which vampire you'd like relations and a bite mark fro

read on



loving
a part of our speech
by sarah ficke (@DameMystery)
topic: news
4.16.12 • CLASSIC

Loving: Noun
Loving begins as a noun, but not just any noun. Loving is a personal noun; it is something we experience only through the prism of ourselves. We can’t point to the source of love, diagram its location, or dissect it from our body, and yet it is there. Loving is also a noun in the stricter sense: Richard Loving, a white man born in Caroline County, Virginia, in 1933.

Loving: Verb
Loving may begin as a noun, but we know it best as a verb. We recognize love only because we see it in action: caring, sharing, laughing, kissing, touching, soothing, healing, helping, grieving. These actions can shape our lives, yet we can’t trace them to a source. Love – of nature, of creatures, of music – is a mystery in the abstract, but vibrant in reality. Something happens in your spirit, your physical heart might thump, your nerves might jitter, and suddenly that potential for love comes out into the open. That kind of spark caught Richard Loving (noun: white) and Mildred Jeter (noun: black) and whirled them into action. They were loving each other, and – as it always does – that love was shaping their lives.

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occupational profiling
is this because i'm an irish guy in a police uniform?
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: pop culture
7.23.09 • CLASSIC

When Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was arrested at his Cambridge home this week I was struck by something. Clearly, most of the media attention focused on the possible racial profiling involved in the case. Did this ludicrous situation arise just because Gates is a black man? I found myself poring over the police report thinking to myself: I can't even trust this report. This could totally be a cop who knows he's going to be in trouble trying to cover his tracks. Slimy bastard. Later, upon refle

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who moved my chi?
finding my way back to inner peace
by heather m. millen
topic: general
4.23.08 • CLASSIC

I'm an incredibly organized person. I keep an "Infamous To Do List" that is updated daily and nothing gives me greater pleasure than checking off items. I like clean surfaces and carefully arranged closets. Clothes belong in a chest of drawers, not the floor of my bedroom. I have boxes and drawers and baskets, all to better organize my life... and my husband's life if he would only listen to me and STOP LEAVING ALL THAT CRAP ON THE DESK! When something is lost in the house, it's inevitably

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future tenz
the sexier decade ahead
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
topic: pop culture
1.6.10 • CLASSIC

In The Tenz, we fly in hovercars fueled by laughter and rock n' roll. We've adopted a single global language, which is a hybrid of all known languages with a sprinkle of jazz theory. Consequently we're all getting along much better, and everybody can dance. Moral and religious disputes have gone the way of Disco, praise Gawd. World peace sets the stage for tolerance, innovation, and a new cultural renaissance. Creativity and intelligence are valued over celebrity and convenience. Our elected le

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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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