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I have no doubt you are sexually hip, but just in case you’re not, please know that “teabag” has a particular meaning in certain circles. In order to have a discussion of our general topic, we must be aware of that meaning, and I call on the Source of All Knowledge, Wikipedia: “‘Teabagging’ is a slang term for the act of a man placing his scrotum in the mouth or on or around the face (including the top of the head) of another person, often in a repeated in-and-out motion as in irrumatio. The practice resembles dipping a tea bag into a cup of tea.” I could quote you more, but you have had enough… “Tory” and “Whig” were putdowns when they originated, and so was “neoconservative.” (All things are new again, I guess.) “Yankee Doodle” was none too nice. That second word probably relates to the male organ. In the world of art, “Impressionist” was a putdown directed at those who painted rather gauzily or suggestively, rather than accurately. But no one today would consider Monet defamed if called an Impressionist. What about a special case— the worst word in American English, as some of us see it, namely the N-word? When I was growing up, in Ann Arbor, Mich., there was a little debate: Should school officials try to prevent black students from using the N-word? I don’t believe the issue was ever settled. And this brings up the question of whether “teabagger” could be kind of a conservative N-word: to be used in the family, but radioactive outside the family. –“Rise of an Epithet: ‘Teabagger’ and what to do,” Jay Nordlinger, National Review
Dissecting the brain of a man with no memory
seems little different than listening to Obama’s speech on Afghanistan: “civilian surge,” “the struggle against violent extremism,” “the transition to Afghan responsibility”
or all the hullabaloo about how the economy is getting better when it’s only getting worse less quickly
He had lived his life like one of those princes of Armenian fable, maybe Ara the Beautiful or Tigran the Great. His story began in a tiny storefront in Beirut, where his mother in her apron hand spooned the fluffy white garlic paste that would become the family fortune. From Hollywood to Anaheim, he had opened a chain of fast-food rotisserie chicken restaurants that dazzled the food critics and turned customers into a cult. Poets wrote about his Zankou chicken. Musicians sang about his Zankou chicken. Now that he was dying, his dream of building an empire, 100 Zankous across the land, a Zankou in every major city, would be his four sons’ to pursue. In the days before, he had pulled them aside one by one—Dikran, Steve, Ara, Vartkes—and told them he had no regrets. He was 56 years old, that was true, but life had not cheated him. He did not tell them he had just one more piece of business left to do.–“The Zankou Chicken Murders: When the patriarch of the hugely popular fast-food chain killed his mother and sister, then himself, he left behind a family wrestling with fate–and each other,” Mark Arax, Los Angeles Magazine
Copenhagen’s mayor to environmental delegates: “be sustainable: don’t buy sex;” meanwhile, Danish working women willing to do it for the environment: free sex for conference attendees; sex advice from Italian men: “I always advise my American girlfriends to avoid most Italian men because their view of a man-woman relationship is oftentimes embarrassingly cliché and outdated. I call this the “Dolce Vita Complex” — the Italian man thinks he is simultaneously Marcello Mastroianni and Baby Jesus.”
Wikipedia owes its existence to the nerdy culture of the first online discussion systems, such as Usenet; the unlikely success of moderated social sites, such as Slashdot, which was so influential in Wikipedia’s early days that the project was briefly known as “the Encyclopedia That Slashdot Built”; and the emergence of a tight community around WikiWikiWeb, the first application to use the wiki style of editing. The dotcom recession also helped by freeing a supply of superbly talented technologists from the burdens of paid employment. Wikipedia’s editing philosophy is about simplicity, and two of the cofounders, Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales, get much of the credit for it. From the earliest days, the community relied on three core rules:
Neutrality: entries cannot be partisan and should reflect fact rather than opinion (this “neutral point of view” principle is the site’s only nonnegotiable policy).
Verifiability: entries should quote facts that can easily be checked.
No Original Research: entries should not contain original and unpublished thought.
Top-ten archetypes of Internet commenters, or an answer to the question “don’t they have anything better to do with their time?”; related: the spread of the lonely virus; the sepia-toned nostalgia of watching Marilyn Monroe smoke weed; and why science must now embrace the “God particle”
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”