“As an El Al plane landed at Ben-Gurion airport today, the voice of the captain came on: “Please remain seated with your seat belts fastened until this plane is at a complete standstill and the seat belt signs have been turned off. We also wish to remind you that using cell phones while the aircraft is still moving is strictly prohibited. To those of you who are seated, we wish you a merry Christmas, and hope that you enjoy your stay. And to those of you standing in the aisles and talking on your cell phones, we wish you a happy Chanukah, and welcome back home!”—
“As an aside: is anyone on TV bad at their jobs these days? Not if it’s a high-status gig. But feel free to be a bad waitress, or a crappy paper salesman or receptionist, or an ennui-ridden local government intern, or a lazy, crazy comic on a low-rated comedy show.”—Kera Bolonik’s review of House of Lies in New York magazine
The gay and lesbian community of Minnesota has issued a letter of apology to recently resigned Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch for ruining the institution of marriage and causing her to stray from her husband and engage in an “inappropriate relationship.”
"On behalf of all gays and lesbians living in Minnesota, I would like to wholeheartedly apologize for our community’s successful efforts to threaten your traditional marriage," reads the letter from John Medeiros. "We apologize that our selfish requests to marry those we love has cheapened and degraded traditional marriage so much that we caused you to stray from your own holy union for something more cheap and tawdry."
The Douchiest Parts from this Scarlett Johansson Profile in USA Today
"I used up all my subway tokens. It’s a privilege to not have to take the subway."
[Regarding her hate of being called “ScarJo”] “”People can’t actually say the whole name? It’s just bizarre.” She tries shorthand sobriquets on other stars. How come Daniel Day-Lewis isn’t subjected to “like, ‘DaDay’? So Cate Blanchett is not, like, ‘CaBla’? Why is that? Why do I have to get stuck with a mangled moniker?”
"Crowe, whom Johansson had auditioned for before, for Almost Famous and Elizabethtown, says it was “certainly brave” of her to consider a smallish part where she’s using none of her ‘ravishing girl skills.’”
"What does seem to be in her future: a family for when she’s older and, ideally, doing what she’s wanted to do since she was 12 — direct."
“There’s something sweet and wonderful about Christina Ricci. She’s like a lot of us. To look at her and hear her speak, you’d think she didn’t have a whole lot going on in the noggin, but under it all she’s a smart, tough cookie. Also, she’s never been caught shoplifting, taking copious amounts of illegal substances or battling a sex addiction. America loves our train wrecks, but we also love our strong, independent weirdos.”—
So is this supposed to be a compliment? Also, who the fuck uses the word “noggin”?
You seem nice and all, but I don’t really think that “You’re probably not going to eat this whole sandwich, are you?” comment was necessary. And the “It’s a COMPLIMENT” when I didn’t smile and laugh at your comment was certainly not necessary.
Here’s the thing: we could have a whole conversation about body image and women and food and all that fucked up shit, but plenty of people who are a lot smarter than I am wage those conversations every day. All you need to know about me, deli lady, is that I am exchanging my money for your sandwich. If I eat it, eat half of it, or throw it in the garbage unopened, it shouldn’t matter to you because you get to keep the money anyway. I totally get that you might have just been trying to make conversation. I’m the sort of person who talks to strangers in line at the bank, so I would have responded favorably to your attempts at chatter. Maybe next time you could try the weather? Because now I’m really having trouble enjoying this tasty sandwich. So much trouble that I might not even finish it.
The Good: My neighbor and her terrible boyfriend (who smoked in the hallway even after I told him I was allergic and liked to make passes at me when she wasn’t around) broke up, and she kicked him out.
The Bad: She’s recovering by listening to a back-and-forth assortment of sad Spanish-language love songs and “Moves Like Jagger.”
My blog Faith Goes Pop, about the intersection of religion and pop culture, is the featured blog on Patheos.com today. It was a good day to feature the site, since I got to write about two of my favorite love-to-hate reality TV families:
As a lover of all things bad TV, I have been on the receiving end of lots of hand-wringing “Reality TV is ruining America!” comments from people. Many of said hand-wringers claim they only read Russian novels in the original and don’t own a television, so I guess they must have heard about the Kardashians via osmosis or something. Here’s the takeaway: there have always been stupid people. There have always been spectacles. But they were around before we had cameras to document them, so you can just go clutch your pearls somewhere else.
Officials with England’s York Dungeon said they are giving complimentary deodorant to visitors after complaints from actors.
Mark Pollard, a supervisor at the tourist attraction, said bosses decided to distribute free deodorant to visitors after actors who perform for up to 10 hours a day at the Dungeon complained of being “overwhelmed” by the body odor of audience members, The Mirror reported Monday.
“31. Herbert Hoover – Hufflepuff
32. Franklin D. Roosevelt – Gryffindor
33. Harry S. Truman – Gryffindor
34. Dwight D. Eisenhower – Gryffindor
35. John F. Kennedy – Gryffindor
36. Lyndon B. Johnson – Slytherin
37. Richard Nixon – Slytherin
38. Gerald Ford – Hufflepuff
39. Jimmy Carter – Hufflepuff
40. Ronald Reagan – Gryffindor
41. George H.W. Bush – Ravenclaw
42. Bill Clinton – Slytherin
43. George W. Bush – Hufflepuff
44. Barack Obama – Ravenclaw”—
After years of almosts and maybes, I met with a rabbi today to talk about having a bat mitzvah. I’d called four rabbis, and he was the first to call me back. I knew at once that I liked him; he was funny and kind and kept writing down names of books he thought I should read. (The way to my heart is with text.) Halfway through the discovery that his synagogue has a once-a-month sign language service, a woman’s voice shattered down the hall: “Rabbi! Rabbi! Come quick!”
The receptionist was mid-seizure. The cantor was on the phone with 911. The rabbi followed the instructions: turn her to her side, support her head. I ran downstairs to tell the other receptionist what was happening. He and I propped the front door open; we helped the EMTs find the office upstairs.
The cantor thanked me for helping and said that I was very useful and present. In the whole of my life I have been called many, many things, but the word “useful” has never been among them. But this is the year I’ve learned to cook, and perhaps this is the year I will be useful.
This, I said, still catching my breath on the sidewalk as the ambulance drove away. This is going to be my congregation.
“Portlandia’s audience already consider themselves in on the joke. Their sketch about an adult hide-and-seek league is funny on its own merits, but it hits harder if you’ve actually had to pretend to give a shit about a kickball grudge match between 30-year-old graphic designers. The first time I saw “Put a Bird on It,” I made a mental inventory of my own birded totes and T-shirts and saw them as trite for the first time. Ashamed, I recognized myself. Then I immediately forwarded a link for the video to friends — the first rule of getting the joke is to make sure everyone knows you get it.”—Put A Bird On It: The Aftermath
“She stands and crosses the room to get a bottle of ketchup, and even the hungriest customer stops to stare. In jeans, high-heeled black leather ankle boots, and a khaki button-down, a tiny ripple of diamonds around her neck, she looks the quintessential movie star. Her dancer’s figure and Empire State Building legs literally stop traffic — just ask the hordes of photographers who follow her every move. She returns with the ketchup and settles into the booth. Part Bambi, part Ali MacGraw, Katie [Holmes] and her massive doe eyes, rosebud cheeks, and darling smile have everyone in the restaurant down for the count.”—This is why I never read celebrity glossy mag interviews.
It's E.E. Cummings' Birthday, So Here Is My Favorite Of His Poems
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose
or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
So I was going to wait until next week to announce this, but I couldn’t help myself. I’m launching a blog for religion website Patheos.com. The blog, Faith Goes Pop, will be about all things spiritual and pop culture-y, which is one of my favorite beats to cover.
The reasons I couldn’t wait until next week?
1. An Israeli hospital posted about a visit from the Duggar family, and you know how much I love that huge J-named family
A: I haven’t seen them in person, but I have seen some “dens” in the tunnels, nowhere near stations. Pray you don’t ever need to be evacuated through an emergency exit…I sure as hell do!
Q: How often do people commit suicide by jumping on the tracks?
A: It happened 136 times in 2010 (statistic includes accidental deaths). So about twice a week. It hasn’t happened on one of my trains yet, but I did witness it happen on a train right across from mine.
Q: Is that (sometimes) what “sick passenger” means?
A: No, sick passenger is code for “dead customer ON the train”. Often times it actually IS a sick passenger though - sick usually refers to some kind of bodily injury, rather than someone puking or passing out, and the delays are mainly from the MTA doing an investigation to cover their asses when that customer eventually files a lawsuit.
"Police investigation" is the code for a suicide by train. Service will be disrupted for about a half hour, usually. I’ve seen it mess up things for as long as 3 hours though.
Q: Why do people shove their way onto the subway before letting others off?
Tonight, you are offered all the internal freedom that you can imagine. How do you want to live the next moments of your life? Do you want to love more? Do you want to be more joyous? Do you want to speak your truth? What does your truth say?
Yom Kippur is the happiest day of the year because it gives us the radical option of being here now. We don’t work. We don’t eat. We don’t drink. We don’t have sex. We dress in white robes.
We do these things because Yom Kippur is a ritual death. It is the way that we allow our old selves to die.
Tomorrow, when we break our fasts, we step into newness. We step into being the people we want to be and not just the people we have been.
This list was compiled byBarry Deutsch, aka “Ampersand.” Permission is granted to reproduce this list in any way, for any purpose, so long as the acknowledgment of Peggy McIntosh’s work is not removed. If possible, I’d appreciate it if folks who use it would tell me how they used it; my email is barry-at-amptoons-dot-com.
My odds of being hired for a job, when competing against female applicants, are probably skewed in my favor. The more prestigious the job, the larger the odds are skewed.
I can be confident that my co-workers won’t think I got my job because of my sex – even though that might be true. (More).
If I am never promoted, it’s not because of my sex.
If I fail in my job or career, I can feel sure this won’t be seen as a black mark against my entire sex’s capabilities.
I am far less likely to face sexual harassment at work than my female co-workers are. (More).
If I do the same task as a woman, and if the measurement is at all subjective, chances are people will think I did a better job.
If I’m a teen or adult, and if I can stay out of prison, my odds of being raped are relatively low. (More).
On average, I am taught to fear walking alone after dark in average public spaces much less than my female counterparts are.
If I choose not to have children, my masculinity will not be called into question.
If I have children but do not provide primary care for them, my masculinity will not be called into question.
If I have children and provide primary care for them, I’ll be praised for extraordinary parenting if I’m even marginally competent. (More).
If I have children and a career, no one will think I’m selfish for not staying at home.
If I seek political office, my relationship with my children, or who I hire to take care of them, will probably not be scrutinized by the press.
My elected representatives are mostly people of my own sex. The more prestigious and powerful the elected position, the more this is true.
When I ask to see “the person in charge,” odds are I will face a person of my own sex. The higher-up in the organization the person is, the surer I can be.
As a child, chances are I was encouraged to be more active and outgoing than my sisters. (More).
As a child, I could choose from an almost infinite variety of children’s media featuring positive, active, non-stereotyped heroes of my own sex. I never had to look for it; male protagonists were (and are) the default.
As a child, chances are I got more teacher attention than girls who raised their hands just as often. (More).
If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether or not it has sexist overtones.
I can turn on the television or glance at the front page of the newspaper and see people of my own sex widely represented.
If I’m careless with my financial affairs it won’t be attributed to my sex.
If I’m careless with my driving it won’t be attributed to my sex.
I can speak in public to a large group without putting my sex on trial.
Even if I sleep with a lot of women, there is no chance that I will be seriously labeled a “slut,” nor is there any male counterpart to “slut-bashing.” (More).
I do not have to worry about the message my wardrobe sends about my sexual availability. (More).
My clothing is typically less expensive and better-constructed than women’s clothing for the same social status. While I have fewer options, my clothes will probably fit better than a woman’s without tailoring. (More).
The grooming regimen expected of me is relatively cheap and consumes little time. (More).
If I buy a new car, chances are I’ll be offered a better price than a woman buying the same car. (More).
If I’m not conventionally attractive, the disadvantages are relatively small and easy to ignore.
I can be loud with no fear of being called a shrew. I can be aggressive with no fear of being called a bitch.
I can ask for legal protection from violence that happens mostly to men without being seen as a selfish special interest, since that kind of violence is called “crime” and is a general social concern. (Violence that happens mostly to women is usually called “domestic violence” or “acquaintance rape,” and is seen as a special interest issue.)
I can be confident that the ordinary language of day-to-day existence will always include my sex. “All men are created equal,” mailman, chairman, freshman, he.
My ability to make important decisions and my capability in general will never be questioned depending on what time of the month it is.
I will never be expected to change my name upon marriage or questioned if I don’t change my name.
The decision to hire me will not be based on assumptions about whether or not I might choose to have a family sometime soon.
Every major religion in the world is led primarily by people of my own sex. Even God, in most major religions, is pictured as male.
Most major religions argue that I should be the head of my household, while my wife and children should be subservient to me.
If I have a wife or live-in girlfriend, chances are we’ll divide up household chores so that she does most of the labor, and in particular the most repetitive and unrewarding tasks. (More).
If I have children with my girlfriend or wife, I can expect her to do most of the basic childcare such as changing diapers and feeding.
If I have children with my wife or girlfriend, and it turns out that one of us needs to make career sacrifices to raise the kids, chances are we’ll both assume the career sacrificed should be hers.
Assuming I am heterosexual, magazines, billboards, television, movies, pornography, and virtually all of media is filled with images of scantily-clad women intended to appeal to me sexually. Such images of men exist, but are rarer.
In general, I am under much less pressure to be thin than my female counterparts are. (More). If I am fat, I probably suffer fewer social and economic consequences for being fat than fat women do. (More).
If I am heterosexual, it’s incredibly unlikely that I’ll ever be beaten up by a spouse or lover. (More).
Complete strangers generally do not walk up to me on the street and tell me to “smile.” (More: 12).
Sexual harassment on the street virtually never happens to me. I do not need to plot my movements through public space in order to avoid being sexually harassed, or to mitigate sexual harassment. (More.)
On average, I am not interrupted by women as often as women are interrupted by men.
I have the privilege of being unaware of my male privilege.
“Whenever and wherever I hear The Revelator I will always be home, driving around watching my memories change. I will be history connecting with love stories through lyrics and guitar solos; I will be rock ’n’ roll and country and everything old and new about them. And I will always be trying to get to the roots, back to something that may or may not exist, looking for freedom to throw in history’s face.”—
I am so lucky that I have been able to create art and music and fulfill my passions through my job for the past 11 years. But I’m stupid enough to have put all my eggs in one basket. It is now the only thing I can do to make money. I’m 33 years old and I can’t make coffee. I don’t know how to use Excel, or bartend, or wait tables, and I’m officially too old to join the police force. I’ve lost the confidence to go back to school and feel stressed out about impending debt when I think about further education for even one second.
I have several jobs within the music industry as of now: bands, DJing, remixing and even writing music for other artists. I’m a workaholic and have my hands in a bunch of different places. But, all these jobs have unstable incomes. I don’t get a salary; I don’t know how much money I will make next month, next year or five years from now. I don’t have health insurance. And I live with the stress of not knowing, not planning and not understanding whether or not I will ever be able to reach my goals of having a family and feeling safe financially. When I say “safe,” I mean safe. I mean basics. I mean health insurance that is good enough for me to take care of myself, not just if I need a $10,000-dollar, life-threatening procedure. I mean dental care. I mean saving money in a retirement fund so that I can take care of myself when I’m 80 years old. Clearly, there is a difference between survival and luxury.