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FEATURED COLUMNS

the facial divide
5 reasons why we change our appearance
by joe procopio (@jproco)
topic: pop culture
1.3.11 • CLASSIC

Late in the fall I grew a beard. But not just any beard -- the sexiest, angriest, swarthiest beard that ever dared cover the chin of any man. I didn't even so much grow it. I just wasn't paying attention, and before I knew it, the beard happened. By force. But look, I'm not going to insult you by pretending for more than four sentences that you will read 1000 words about my beard. And furthermore, it would take that long to even explain the awesomeness. The reason I'm writing all

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what september means
a hodgepodge of savorables
by jael mchenry (@JaelMcHenry)
topic: general
9.6.11 • CLASSIC

I don't have a favorite month, but if I did, September would definitely be in the running.

Why? Five reasons.

1. Back-to-school. Yes, it's been years since I've actually been personally involved in anything based on the semester system, but at the same time, the fact that school is starting gives a rhythm to the year. It's a time of newness and excitement. If you live in a town with a lot of college students, as I do, there's something contagious about the energy of all those teenagers, something you can feel in the city. Arrival, beginning, adventure. And what's cuter than all those little-kid first-day-of-school pictures on Facebook? Maybe it's because I always loved school, but they always, always put a big smile on my face.

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watchin' ii
electric boogaloo
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)
topic: pop culture
6.8.11 • CLASSIC

I have broken only two promises in my life. The first promise, the details of which I cannot reveal for reasons that will soon become apparent, resulted in two women in tears, one bear with a broken leg, a slight increase in the price of marbles, and the forced resignation of a senior official for a small island nation. The second promise was made last month when I told myself I wouldn't write two columns in a row concerning my weight or Weight Watchers. Okay, technically, I haven't broken th

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william wants a doll
how does a feminist mom raise her son to be the same?
by michelle von euw
topic: general
12.10.10 • CLASSIC

As I turned the corner in the upscale independent toy store full of handcrafted puzzles and games well beyond my price range, an item caught my attention. It was an adorable baby doll sitting high up on the shelf, nestled in a box that touted lifelike toes and a removable diaper. The doll, dressed in a blue striped onesie with only a patch of light brown hair on a pale pink head, reminded me immediately of my son. Certainly, the pacifier attached to the baby doll’s mouth by a magnet mirrored

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bleat the parents
judgment fray
by mike julianelle
topic: humor
12.22.10 • CLASSIC

We’ve known each other a while now. We don’t always see eye to eye, but despite our differences, I think we can all agree on two things: 1 – I’m a pretty amazing person, all around. 2 – I can’t remember the second thing. My actions, behavior, personality and general comportment on a daily basis are completely and 100% irreproachable. As such, there’s no reason to bother judging me; there’s nothing to judge. Besides, you don’t see me judging you, do you? Sure, most of you like terrible music

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god for president 2012
the official statement
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)
topic: humor
3.28.12 • CLASSIC

Behold, voters, for I have arrived!

No longer will I allow my self-appointed press secretary Rick Santorum to speak on my behalf. Bless his soul, he often goes off with his pistol half cocked, as we say in the American South. I am afraid that greatly skews his conscious understanding of me, the Bible, the Earth, women, Christianity, education, migrant workers, the role of government, the financial sector, the separation of church and state, unemployment, renewable energy, ham and cheese sandwiches, ring-tailed lemurs, athletic socks, rally stripes on muscle cars, Etch-A-Sketches--well, you see my point.

Something is bothering me. Frankly, I hate to bring it up, but my PR firm, Holy Universal Results, gently suggested I get in front of this before Anderson Cooper.

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an unawkward interview with awkward black girl's issa rae
by jason gilmore (@JasonGilmore77)
topic: pop culture
12.12.11 • CLASSIC

Stanford and NY Film Academy grad Issa Rae has made a major splash with her popular, loosely autobiographical webisode, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, which debuted on YouTube earlier this year. The show, "ABG" for short, details the humorous travails of J (played by Rae), the general absurdity of her love life and antics of her friends and co-workers, all within a very non-PC world. Made from a desire to see characters of color shown in a Seinfeld-esque sensibility, the debut has garnered over 500,000 views and averages about half that number of views per episode.

In addition, the series has triggered a resounding Kickstarter campaign, a college tour and its star/creator to be signed by the powerful management team, 3 Arts Entertainment. Issa took some time to talk about the show's origins and how to create a popular web series, while outing some of the show's famous fans.

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a message to the reluctant would be father: part 1
overcoming pedophobia
by jeffrey d. walker
topic: general
12.15.10 • CLASSIC

When I was writing this month's piece, I was at first reluctant to write about my upcoming child. After all, Michelle just wrote about raising her boy, Jason wrote a letter to his unborn child, and Julianelle started a blog on being a dad. And this is far from an exhaustive list on articles about children on this site. I'm just saying, the competition is stiff; Maybe we're not Salon or the Huffington Post, but our staff here is not a bunch of troll slouches. However, at this juncture, it'

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me-conomics part 1: poor, poor you.
how america has built and maintains 'disposable' lower classes
by maigen thomas (@Maigen)
topic: news
2.21.11 • CLASSIC

In India, there’s a clear caste system. When you’re born to a particular class of people, you stay - generally speaking – within that class of people. (Karmically speaking, if you play nice, you might be reincarnated into a ‘better’ caste in your next life.) On this side of the ocean, we don’t have such blatantly defined social ranks, but the American people are still distinctly separated by economic status. In America, social status is constantly being jockeyed for, but the caste lines ar

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the extra notch on the cheating curve
factoring weiner's impact on fidelity
by alex b (@Lexistential)
topic: news
6.20.11 • CLASSIC

These days, everyone knows Anthony Weiner's name. Thanks to Twitter, Andrew Breitbart, and Opie & Anthony, any news-savvy person has their very own two-cent penile crack to make about the newly resigned Congressman. Is he hard-pressed for answers? Maybe he's not meant to last more than his near-twenty years in political life, and can try again in half an hour. Everyone's had a laugh at Weiner's expense, even as the jokes are wearing thinner than luxury brand lambskin condoms. Everyone except

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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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why i blog
an instrospective about why i write on the online
by erik lars myers (@TopFermented)
topic: writing
10.17.11 • CLASSIC

This past week I published a piece on my blog Top Fermented that garnered a fair amount of attention, both positive and negative. I expected a backlash. I knew that many would disagree with me, but I was happy to see that many people also agreed, and equally as happy to see that some who disagreed took the time to reasonably state their cases against mine.

It's honestly made me wonder - why the hell do I bother?

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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

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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...

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