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When I joined the army as an ROTC cadet, I knew I was probably gay. I say “probably” because I had girlfriends on and off, and—to be honest—had convinced myself that I could cure that gay thing through enough prayer and enough girlfriends. Problem was, the sex never really worked. Never felt right. Never was right. So, I became good at other tricks. I was always “too drunk” or “had to get up early” or—pathetically—”was injured during rugby.”….[I] had decided that celibacy was the way to go when I met a fellow combat arms officer, who was gay. We had similar backgrounds and similar career paths—both at the top of our respective battalions. We were quite alike, except for one small detail: This officer, a West Point graduate, lived an open life. “I’m a damn good infantry officer, a distinguished honor graduate from Ranger school, promoted early to Major,” he’d say. “I believe in the Army’s core values. And I don’t want to lie.” –“My Life as a Gay Officer,” Anonymous, Daily Beast
Poor Israel. The only democracy in the Middle East. The only nation that gives its Arab citizens rights under law. And the world hates Israel so much. Why do people hate Jews so much? I know Jews are a bit different… but to hate us this much? To want to kill us en masse? To condemn Israel for self-defense (while ignoring cold blooded murder by North Korea)? What’s going on? God bless the devout Christians of this country. They are Israel’s best friends on the earth. –“A Long Memorial Day,” Ben Stein, American Spectator
Readers are fleeing newspapers. What are newspapers offering to lure them back? Out-of-register color photographs have replaced blurry black and white pics. More working women and black people appear in comic strips….Various versions of “Dr. Gridlock” have been instituted so that when you get to work and open your morning paper you can see why you didn’t get to work. That avant-garde broadsheet the New York Times supplemented its dull “Corrections” with a “Public Editor” who combines pomposity with groveling as only a New York Times editor can. And, in “Styles of the Times,” Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust have been crossbred with Anna Wintour to produce something for famously overdressed people with scary romantic entanglements that’s known in the trade as the Gay Sports Pages. Then there’s Sudoku. –“Not Dead Yet,” P.J. O’Rourke, The Weekly Standard
Stopping an oil leak with an atom bomb
More from TedRoss:
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.”