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FEATURED COLUMNS

fake vegas 2
the apology
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: pop culture
3.2.11 • CLASSIC

Dear Atlantic City, I'm sorry. Keep the money. Love, Joe I know. Not only is this my second sequel in a row, it's also my second column on Atlantic City in four months. To make it up to you, I spent dozens of hours embedding 21 separate instances in this column where you can add "That's what she said." Fun game? Or cheap gimmick? Yes. As for the AC, I'm just glad I didn't go too hard on the girl the first time around, and that I ended that column on a positive note -- that as s

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2007: the year of the empty brand
why trust a word?
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: advertising
1.5.07 • CLASSIC

Welcome to the year of the brand. Oh, wait. You know about branding already? You know that people have blindly bought anything with a given word on it for years and years, including words like Levi's, Hershey's, and Snackwell's? You understand that the purpose behind branding is to build a trusted relationship with a family of products on the customer side, and on the corporation side, to inspire customer loyalty and therefore rake in the profits? Good. Then lemme lay down this new groove. Br

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goin' commando
apparently, the balls are now free
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: television
5.12.08 • CLASSIC

Ah, Springtime! The time when a man's fancy turns to romance, courtship, and finally being able to see women's boobs after months of having them hidden under heavy wool coats. No, seriously, we all know by now that Springtime is the time of fertility. The whole Easter thing? Much of the Passover thing? Definitely the Cinco de Mayo thing. Beyond the historical significance of the major rites of spring, there's, well, eggs and alcohol; what better symbols of the perpetuation of the species? And,

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whose concept of conception?
a mother-to-be questions the church's position
by michelle von euw
topic: general
3.8.10 • CLASSIC

Dear United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, It’s not a secret that we haven’t been very close lately. We haven’t exactly seen eye to eye on a variety of issues, dating all the way back to the middle ages (for you) and the second grade (for me), when I asked why a woman priest couldn’t give me my first communion. For the first three decades of my life, I struggled to find some sort of middle ground between what you often said, and what I considered to be a purer interpretation of the te

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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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i see you, but it doesn't matter anymore
the rise and fall of music videos
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: music
6.27.12 • CLASSIC

Recently on a Saturday morning, I spent a couple of rare hours doing nothing but watching music videos on satellite television. As a child influenced by the 1980's MTV juggernaut, this is the adult equivalent to zoning out over cartoons.

I slipped into a programming cycle that let me see highlights from:

*80 and 90s pop/rock: ("Keep it Dark"–Genesis; "Never Tear Us Apart"–INXS; "Dear God"–XTC; "Smells Like Teen Spirit"–Nirvana)

*current country: ("Good Girl"–Carrie Underwood; "Banjo"–Rascal Flatts; "Pontoon"–Little Big Town")

*and current pop/R&B: ("The One That Got Away"–Katy Perry; "That Girl Right There"–Usher; "Titanium"-David Guetta featuring Sia)


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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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constructing the underdog, part v: gas and class
what we're paying for and what our presidential hopefuls say about it.
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: news
5.21.08 • CLASSIC

This article is part of a series intended to foster open discussions on the issues as we get set to elect the next President of the United States. See here for more info on the concept. You're invited to add your two-cents by joining the discussion. This one is a two-fer; two topics in one column. And after spending the past two months covering Iraq and Israel, it's time I bring it back home and cover topics that in all likelihood impact you directly (given my demographic). This month, I'm tal

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do you hear the words that are coming out of my mouth?
maybe we should work on our communication skills
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: general
8.22.11 • CLASSIC

Communication is the activity of conveying meaningful information. It is what moves us through every day, through each interaction with another human being. Hand gestures can ask for more and say stop, can suggest movement and sketch ideas, can say thank you and disparage. A touch can convey compassion, sympathy, joy, exhilaration, excitement. Even silence can hold space for yourself or someone else when there are no words that seem tremendous enough to express the right meaning.

Verbal communication, using words and building a dialogue, is what sets us above the animals. We have millions of expressions at our disposal; we should carefully select simple but effective sentiments for any occasion – but it is increasingly rare that we do so. In the age of Twitter, Facebook status updates and texting, communication between humans has decayed in so many ways. Intentional verbal missteps have been made common, and due to their commonality, are being included in the ever-expanding communal lexicon. Despite these questionable advancements, it has never been more widespread than now – the age of instant communication – that communication itself has been so neglected.

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revisiting fatal attraction
understanding alex forrest, 23 years later
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: film
11.17.10 • CLASSIC

When I first watched Fatal Attraction, I was twelve or thirteen. While I'm not about to ever let my prospective tween progeny sit down to see it, my mother chose to rent it for my whole family, and even invited my fourteen-year-old brother's friend Tim to join us. Two hours, one hastily departing Tim, and a dead Glenn Close later, I sat petrified. Apart from feeling like my mother had left a bitter, indelible dent in my adolescence (yeah, thanks MOM), I vowed that I would never, ever be Alex F

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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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shopping around the beltway
a look at the men's side of women's sizing
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: humor
2.16.07 • CLASSIC

There I was: At home, walking nonchalantly across my living room when tragedy struck. Contrary to what you may think, tragedy doesn't always strike with a gong, or a boom, or even an ominous flash of lightning and rumble of thunder. In this case, tragedy had more of a soft "fwip" as my belt broke in half while I was taking it off -- which meant it was time to shop for a new one. Up until that point, I'd bought 3 belts in my life. The first was some belt I bought in K-Mart, maybe Ames, pos

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polishing up the ball and chain
do you have this in designer?
by heather m. millen
topic: general
8.29.07 • CLASSIC

When I started writing for Intrepid Media, I really used it as an outlet to air out all my dirty laundry regarding relationships, life as a single gal in the city, conquests and heartbreaks. And now I write to you just two weeks short of my nuptials, something I've mocked endlessly on these very pages (if you do your research). Ah well, tis the circle of life I guess. Now as each circle comes around, I'm wondering if we forget entirely what the last pass was like. The other day, I was wat

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socialgeist
slimed by digital ectoplasm
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
topic: pop culture
3.14.12 • CLASSIC

Man, I've worked with some really fantastic people. People I'm proud to call friends 20 years later; folks I hope to know for many years to come. Others, despite our natural chemistry and the sharing of a thousand pizzas and coffees and cigarettes (I've since quit), I keep only in my memory, for whatever inexplicable reasons people have for maintaining distance in the face of friendship.

But then sometimes – and it's a fortunate rarity – there are people I just want to forget completely. Inevitable adversaries that've had such an ill effect on my psyche, I not only want them out of my life, I want any residual smears of negative energy they’ve left in my airspace GONE. FOREVER. The idea that they might irrevocably occupy some part of my brain is not only depressing, it’s offensive. All I want is for their memory to just...peter away, down the drain of my subconscious, and with any luck...poof! Gone.

“TOO BAD!” say Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

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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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