Sanity? In MY Supreme Court?

In a bit of heartening news as the Spring term draws to a close, SCOTUS announced its decision today in Safford Unified School District v. April Redding. By an 8-1 vote (let’s all guess who dissented), the Supremes agreed that, in fact, strip-searching a 13-year-old because somebody said she might have aspirin is illegal. Souter, […]

It's all about the cover letter

I’ve been poring over the Craigslist jobs postings for the tri-state area and beyond, applying to anything that seems like it could fit. A week or so ago, an ad popped up for I Can Has Cheezburger, creators of the ever-popular LOLCats and the FAIL Blog. They were looking for an editor for a new […]

"The Dumbest Generation," Mark Bauerlein

Honestly, I don’t know why I’m even writing this. As someone born after 1980, I’m scarcely qualified to breathe on my own. This, at least, is the case according to Mark Bauerlein, author of “The Dumbest Generation.” That’s not the full name of the book, but I got bored 15 percent of the way through […]

"How To Be Good," Nicholas Hornby

Nicholas Hornby is the philosopher-novelist every struggling English graduate wishes he were. Though he’s British (strike one) and insufferably upper-middle-class (strike two), he still manages to write his characters anonymously enough to allow them to translate across the point. Hornby frequently attempts to tackle life’s larger questions in his novels – why are we here, […]

Things that annoy me more than they probably should

Some people most likely consider me an … irritable person, in that I appear to be angered and outraged by nearly everything that occurs. In the spirit of overreacting, the following is a list of things that, though relatively innocuous at first glance, are in fact egregious insults that are deserving of death, dismemberment or […]

Deep thoughts with Josh Heytvelt

I realize that former Gonzaga basketball player Josh Heytvelt was trying to give a heartfelt interview and express his remorse over being arrested for possession of ‘shrooms, but there’s a reason why athletes usually have people talk for them. This quote is why: Heytvelt was ordered to do 240 hours of community service. He did […]

Nature always wins

Some people (Capt. E.J. Smith* and Thomas Andrews chief among them) think they can tempt fate and get away with it, ignoring even the most obvious of signs. They pay for their arrogance with their lives. (I’d also like to include Timothy Treadwell [of Grizzly Man fame] on this list, since he was eaten by […]

"Pop Apocalypse," Lee Konstantinou

It’s the near future. Money has been replaced by Reputation, which calculates a person’s net worth based on their popularity. The Christians are fighting the Muslims, everyone’s got a camera trying to record the next big thing and the world is about to come to an end. Perhaps the author has a point with his […]

"The Unlikely Disciple," Kevin Roose

Note: This isn’t intended to be a rant or a cure-all for our socio-political problems – it just seems that way for a few pararaphs. Conservative vs. liberal is the defining archetypal dichotomy of our time. It has come to define us in nearly every situation we encounter in life, from politics to fiscal policy […]

Sarcasm: A play in one act

Our hero, DAN, is at a nondescript grocery store (SIDDMORE’D) attempting to purchase some aloe vera to alleviate his sunburns, and some pretzels to quell his rising hunger. He has acquired both when he gets in line at the register behind BROKEN-HEARTED, who is on her phone wailing (loudly) about RECENTLY EX-BOYFRIEND to UNSEEN FRIEND. […]

"Pygmy," Chuck Palahniuk

Palanic. Pah-looney-ick. Palindromicon. Phonetically, the sight of Chuck Palahniuk’s name causes my eyes and the little voice in my head that reads things out loud to let loose angry torrents of bloody tears. Intellectually, however, the very mention of his name sets my literary nether regions quivering. Palahniuk tends to reach out to the much-maligned […]

"The Custom of the Country," Edith Wharton

Upon reading Custom, I can’t help but come away with the same impression I got from Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady: These are some seriously self-hating Americans. Given the title, one is led to assume the entire novel is intended as a comment on the national character of we uppity colonists. As betrayed by […]

Heckuva job, Souter

All of the Justices seem to have swallowed their crazy pills on this one, but Souter is especially galling. Regarding whether or not children should be able to be strip-searched by principals/teachers at school: For a moment, Justice David H. Souter tried to put himself in the mind of the vice principal who ordered the […]

"The Awakening," Kate Chopin

*blink* As a writer, I have numerous shortcomings, but none so great as the inability to comprehend the actions of certain types of people. This often trips me up in fiction, as I find it difficult to write characters when I have no idea what they’d do in a given situation. It is a necessity […]

Trend story!!!

I hope you all used the trill when you read “trend story.” As any good journalist knows, whenever a group of incidents can conceivably tied together to inspire fear in the person sitting next to you, it’s your obligation to write the trend story. This time, it’s the WaPo, and the story is a classic […]

Oh, the priorities

One of my favorite bloggers, television writer Ken Levine, wrote a post lamenting the stupidity of those who would create a Facebook group bemoaning the death of a fictional character on “House.” Unfortunately, he has fallen for the oldest trick in the book – by worrying about someone else’s sanity, he’s actually taken his own […]

Christ, that is hilarious

As all good student journalists know, there will come a point in your journalistic life when you’ll want to end it. Sometimes this is the result of a lazy reporter making a careless error, but most often it’s an innocuous mistake that only blows up in your face after the papers have hit the stands. […]

"Columbine," Dave Cullen

Even now, 10 years after the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, a feeling of insecurity lingers. The intensity of the feeling wanes and waxes depending on external circumstances, but there can be doubt an innocence was lost about the safety of children and schools that day. Dave Cullen, a writer for Salon, was […]

Meta prank

Every year, roundabout this time, the staff of a certain student newspaper sets up an elaborate (or simplistic) prank on their favorite general manager. But with the state of the economy, we have to scrimp on everything, including ingenuity. Thus, you get: It’s been done before, but last time they only went halfway up. Of […]

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

I know it’s the hip new thing to blame everything going tits-up on the economy, but there are certain areas where I think there are other culprits to blame as well. One of them is obviously the newspaper industry (which was sliding ever closer to the precipice for some time now), but I think book […]

Pragmatism? What’s that?

Relatively cool off the indignation presses, a group called “The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood” alleges that Scholastic Book Clubs, those brightly-colored pamphlets we all got as young’uns, are detrimental to children because they could contain up to 35% non-book content. Excuse me while I faint in disgust. Actually, she cites 14 percent of the […]

Wait, what?

I realize everyone’s dogs were murdered by the shocking admission of Alex Rodriguez’s usage of steroids, but perhaps the bloviation has gone on a bit far? But with the revelation that at least one-eighth of its players and most of its marquee stars were (and might still be) faking it, the World Series now looks […]

Just like potheads

Legalizing marijuana is a touchy subject, pitting morality against the freedom of choice. Naturally, as the point which the two sides are arguing isn’t the same, when they argue their respective points neither side winds up actually listening to the other. From a negative standpoint, the argument against marijuana is no longer the fact that […]

Calm down, have some dip

Inahle. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Everyone needs to just step back and take a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. Feel better now? Let us turn our attention toward something that’s been troubling me of late: namely, hope. Hope is all well and good for getting people through the day. If we succumbed to every single pessimistic thought […]

Niggling nomenclature

Alcoholism is a disease. Any objections to this statement? The DSM-IV thinks so, and as I still hold a modicum of respect for that book – since they decided against naming video game addiction an actual disease – I will agree with their assessment. (It should be noted that I lost a great deal of […]