American as an Armchair Pedophile

Let’s get these kiddie-ticklers. Let’s lock up these freaks who get off to images of our children licking lollipops. That’s right, throw that candy bar on a string out onto the sidewalk you perv, we’ll snatch it up, we’ll hold your greasy hand on the walk back to your van as long as we’re sucking on a Twix, then right when you’re ready, right when you’re frothing with pedophilic fantasy we’ll whip out our camera and shove it down your throat. Some all-American anchor in a snazzy blazer will come out and castrate you, metaphorically of course, with a pearly smile on his face and the firepower of an entire police force at his back. Brace yourself—this is going to hurt.

If You're Into It

This summer Flight of the Conchords, starring the self-proclaimed fourth most popular folk-parody duo in New Zealand, surpassed an increasingly gimmicky Entourage as the first most popular comedy on HBO.

Okay, maybe FOTC hasn’t passed Entourage yet, but it’s only a matter of time at this point. I mean, how long can a show survive with acting performances from the two main characters that are arguably as bad as Shaq’s performance in Kazaam? Jeremy Piven’s back must be about to give out after carrying this series for a season and a half.

Ahmadinejadmania: The Other, The Insane

When Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived at Columbia University Monday, our fellow Ivy Leaguers found themselves in the middle of a political whirlwind. Republican senators strolled onto Fox News sets with chests puffed out, vowing to retaliate to the speech by depriving Columbia of federal funds. The air-headed pinups doubling as midday anchorwomen on CNN blankly asked mysteriously chosen Columbia students whether this was “free speech” or a “forum for hate,” seemingly ignorant to the fact that the two aren’t exactly diametrically opposed. On the streets of New York, protesters waved around colorful signs and made some noise, and one Columbia grad with a bullhorn even went so far as to rip up her diploma—a profound display of symbolism.

The Lighter Side of Life Gets Lighter

I’ll be honest; I have no idea why has a story about a woman who strangled a raccoon with her bare heads. Or why they have a story about a woman who lost then found her planner. Or why they have a story titled “Doggie ice cream delights Austrian canines.” Or why they have a story about a Chihuahua who saved a baby from a rattlesnake. But they do. In a subsection of World Newson the MSNBC website, we find Wonderful World —an archive of dozens of articles about heroic animals (see above), lotto winners (an Oklahoma couple, a millionaire lawmaker, an Indiana family), age-defying old people (a 83 year old skydiver, a 112 living human being), and other similarly quirky mindless stories.

The Obligatory Facebook Bashing Column

Some time between September 2006 and September 2007, Facebook became an evil, corrupting medium of social destruction driven to blackmail America’s future with concrete proof of its drunken stupidity. Or at least that’s the impression you’ll get by reading any article about Facebook on any college campus over the past year. For some reason, columnists at college newspapers across the country have found it necessary to lecture their readers on the dangers of the wildly popular website—taking every opportunity to patronize Facebook, to condescendingly bash every idiosyncrasy presumably in order to gain some sort of intellectual high ground over the band of aloof savages previously known as Facebook users. I am not one of these writers.

I Want My TMZ

The American obsession with celebrities often gets characterized as a guilty pleasure. It’s not a perverse, voyeuristic stalking of the people we see on TV, it’s an innocent guilty pleasure—like eating too many chocolate chip cookies or spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook. With the advent of the Internet, the obsession with celebrities has risen to a whole new level. Now instead of just getting a peek behind the celebrity curtain, the curtain has been flung open, rendering the madness behind it exposed to anyone who wants to look. We aren’t just aware that Paris Hilton is feuding with the drummer from Blink-182’s ex-wife, we get to see drunken interviews and grainy cell phone pictures of maybe Paris Hilton’s black eye as proof.

Encountering Strangers on the Bus to Nowhere

James Carville, famous partly for his role in Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign but mostly for losing a government affairs debate to Will Ferrell in his cameo in Old School, once said of the Keystone State, “Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between.”