Monthly Archives: June 2008

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: License plates

Here’s a funny little story out of my home state. A few months ago, a teenager in Fayetteville, NC, clued her grandma in that the three letters on her license plate, WTF, are text-slang for…well, you’re reading a blog, so I don’t have to tell you. Granny in turn called the DMV to complain. Evidently, more than 10,000 drivers currently have WTF license plates in the Tarheel State—and the sample license plate on the DMV’s website even bore the three letter code. So how did no one notice this before?

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Monday Brag Round-Up, June 30

Courtney Martin

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Filed under Brag Round-Up

Well I Guess It Would Be Nice…

In exactly twenty-two days George Michael will return to Madison Square Garden and I will be sitting in his lap.

Ok, that is not the truth.

But I will be in the audience, actively losing my mind.

The prepubescent girl inside of me, who was scandalized by the “I Want Your Sex” video, could not be more thrilled.

For my birthday, my friend B gave me the DVD collection Ladies and Gentlemen, The Best of George Michael. I’ve been watching it on repeat for days, in anticipation of George’s arrival,

So ladies and gentlemen, I offer you my top five George Michael videos. (note: My top five videos are not my top five George songs, that’s another list).

5. Too Funky
This song will never make my “best of” George mix, but the video is quintessential nineties glam and for that and that alone it makes the list. All the Top Model contestants in the world could not compare to one Linda Evangelista working a runway in a white fur coat and platinum wig. Continue reading

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Filed under Music, Pop Culture

Watching Unity (in the Airport)

Airports, those great bastions of movement, breed many little thoughts. Yesterday, during my 6 hour layover in Minneapolis, I sat crunched into one of those plastic chairs reading about Wangari Maathai and the ups and downs of her struggle with the Kenyan government. What a persistent woman, a visionary who gathered people together–men and women, this tribe or that tribe–in the cause of environmental restoration. Then, bubbling from gate F10’s TV, the Headline News caught my attention. Usually I position myself away from the television, but I saw Hilary and Barack in Unity, New Hampshire together–and this moment was live.

Hilary, hands raised, speaks in support of Barack, in support of their Party. There they are, the two of them, somehow communing, at least above the fray of months of wolving at each other. I am sentimental and this moment makes me proud of my country. I know there are underbelly angers and resentments and that uniting is absolutely crucial for party survival, and that smooth choreographing is at play… but the image and feeling is hitting me anyway. I allow it to sweep over me; it registers quite physically. I like nothing more than two perspectives (two warriors) acknowledging each other. For all pomp, it feels revolutionary. Continue reading

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Filed under General, Orienting

Sibling Rivalry Reversed

My sister and her family stayed with us for most of last week, and we didn’t have a single eye-roll, hair-pull, or biting (comment or teeth marks in a thigh) incident. If we fought about anything, it was over paying for the other one’s lunch or groceries. One night, I called out to her from the kitchen, “You know, it feels like one of my best friends is visiting.” She shouted back that she felt the same way. This is new.

Over the weekend, we watched the only home video we have from our childhood. Mom missed the boat on buying a video camera, but when we met our stepdad’s parents for the first time, they documented the weekend. Pretty cute to see little sis feeding our Rottweiler from her high chair and to hear my most stuffiest nose voice. But it wasn’t all giggles. After figuring out that one could in fact move in front of this camera, I finally put my posed hand down from it’s frozen wave and became the entertainer. Little me spun around in circles with a toy suitcase, and when it thwacked 2 yr old lil’ sis on the head and she landed on her diaper bottom, I blamed her for running into it. “Why did you do that? Gosh!”

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Filed under All The World, Health, Relationships

With Help Comes Hope: the Lifeline Gallery

Pamela\'s story at Lifeline GalleryThis week, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, with a donation from producer James L. Brooks, is launching The Lifeline Gallery, a powerful virtual space where suicide survivors, attempt survivors, and suicide prevention supporters can share their stories.

Basically, you can create an animated avatar that looks like you (or not), then record your two-minute message by phone. The website instantly links your message to your avatar’s lips, and then you can save your story in the gallery. You can also e-mail your story or embed it on your MySpace, Facebook, or other website. (For those not using a U.S.-based number, you can also type your story and the site will transcribe it your words into speech.)

After the cut, I’ll let the project speak for itself (turn on your speakers to hear her story):

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Filed under Beauty in a Wicked World, Health, In The News, Science & Technology

Sissy Boys and Big Daddy Presidents


It seems like the mainstream media thinks that Hillary Clinton’s bow out of the race signifies the end of this anomalous moment where gender was–gasp!–relevant. Not so fast Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and all you others…gender is very much still at play.

Barack Obama has been cast as the “feminine” candidate. His leadership style tends towards the collaborative, discussion-based, compassionate, even gentle side of things. Ellen Goodman wrote a great column on just this back in the day. Just as Bill Clinton was dubbed the “first black president,” ol’ Obama may just be “the first female president.”

McCain, on the other hand, is indisputably repping old school masculinity. He’s tough, militaristic, and has a widely-known temper. Just like Bush, he’s trying to be the “big daddy” president, who will keep Americans safe from the evil monsters lurking under the proverbial bed.

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Filed under General, Generation Overwhelmed