Category Archives: Other Oddities

Cringe n’ Purge: The Rise of Islamophobia and a 9th Grader’s 9/11 Diary

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“Osama, Saddam, you guys are messed up. You can kiss my ass.”

We all know things in the United States haven’t been going so hot. Between the imminent dismantling of the ACA, threats to abortion rights, and Sean Spicer eating entire packs of gum, every day has started to feel like the movie Groundhog Day, if the movie Groundhog Day was about Bill Murray waking up every morning and getting punched in the balls by a billionaire megalomaniac with lips like a bleached sphincter.

The current political and social atmosphere has made it hard for me to come up with ideas for posts. I want to be entertaining, but I also want to be relevant. Moreover, I want to keep my head above the sewage waters of current public discourse and help others do the same. So I started to think: When was the last time it really felt like the world was going to hell?

And I answered myself: 9/11.

And I just so happen to have a written eyewitness record of that most pivotal era in American history. Some of it is fairly prescient. Some of it is exactly the kind of stupid bullshit you would expect a 9th grader to spout. Meanwhile, some of it shows that the more things change…

Well, you’ll see what I mean.

9/11/2001

4:00

This morning started out normal. I did my hair, put on my jeans, blue tanktop, and blue hooded sweatshirt. Mrs. Ellerby, my neighbor, Zayne’s mom, gave me a ride to school since she was going there anyway.

I went to 2nd hour, laughed at a diagram of a fish’s anus, and got annoyed by the dumb jocks. Daniel and Jenny Deville kept fighting and wouldn’t shut up.

Then, in 3rd hour, it all started. Mr. Miller came in and said, “Today is a day that will go down in history as, um…a very strange day. The Pentagon and the World Trade Center have been attacked by terrorists.” Continue reading

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All the World’s a Scam: Pseudoscience, Psedoreligion, Pseudobusiness, and Donald Trump

TrumpRegrets is a new Twitter account that’s almost as hilarious as it is disheartening. A catalog of voter remorse, the account retweets messages from former Trump supporters who somehow–miraculously–didn’t anticipate the turn things have taken. Some of the tweets are poignant. Others are just abusive.

I save the latter, because they cheer me up whenever I’m forced to contemplate the thin-skinned, bloviating flesh bag we’ve just inaugurated president.

TrumpRegrets

Bitch.

Those of us who didn’t vote for Trump may wonder how the other half got duped into supporting a man who looks like a three-week-old Jack o’lantern and talks like a smackhead with a closed-head injury, but it’s really not so mysterious. Generally speaking, people respond well to being told what they want to hear.

I’m not exempting myself from that assessment, by the way. When I stumbled across alleged evidence of Trump photoshopping his hands to look bigger, my first instinct wasn’t to fact check. It was to wallow in feelings of validation.

You vain, pathetic little man, I thought. Aren’t I clever for not having voted for you.

In reality, I has nothing to do with cleverness and everything to do with having been burned in the past (well, okay, and a sizable differential in conscious racism–but that’s beside the point). Trump, at his core, is a con artist, and I’ve been targeted by con artists before. Any vulnerable member of society has. Me as a poor kid. You as a member of the LGBTQIA community. Her as a woman of color. Many people learn to recognize the signs of a scam, chief among them that “a-person-with-power-is-being-suspiciously-nice-to-me” feeling.

Some people, though. Someone people are just a little too desperate–or clueless, or isolated, or bigoted, or whatever–to run things by their internal fact-checker. And that’s when people like Donald Trump can convince them to act against their own best interests.

Continue reading

I Played 8 Queen Elsa Medical Fetish Games So You Don’t Have To

It started, as so many things do, with a text conversation with my husband.

Elsa foot surgery games for kids

I want you to know how tiresome this is getting for me. My husband is not a wild guy. He makes vanilla ice cream look like a ghost pepper smoothie. He makes Peppa Pig look like Caligula. I once asked him which physical attribute he found most alluring in a woman, and he responded: “Bangs.”

And yet, it’s always him discovering this deep-web, poorly-disguised internet fetish nonsense. On top of that, he knows that, once he brings it up, I’ll be compelled to dive into it face-first. He knows, and yet he tells me anyway.

I hope you’re happy, Ryan.

Note: While there is nothing NSFW about these games, they do contain some medical imagery that readers may find stomach-churning. I know I had to look away from my screen a couple times while I was playing them. Continue reading

Unsavory Alums: Schools and Serial Killers

University of Michigan

I found out that the Unabomber attended the University of Michigan shortly after transferring there in 2006. There was no avoiding the revelation. Ted Kaczynski’s memoirs were housed in the Hatcher Graduate Library, after all. He’d donated them in 1999.

Considerate guy.

It was only this year that I learned of another unpalatable U of M alumnus: infamous grifter, serial killer, and Murder House proprietor H.H. Holmes. It was then that I began to feel uneasy.

Logically, I had no reason to be self-conscious. A certain proportion of American murderers are bound to go to college, which means a certain proportion of American colleges are bound to have hosted serial killers. Still, though–Kaczynski and Holmes? You can understand why it gave me a bit of a complex.

In the interest of remedying said complex, I decided to make this list of the alma maters of every American serial killer from the last two hundred years. Along the way, I had to wade through a lot of whack jobs who either dropped out of high school, were kicked out of the military, or just plain didn’t have the chops to make it to university. Some of the academic failure prevalent in the serial killer community appears to be the result of socioeconomic factors. Some of it, though, is related to the fact that–contrary to popular believe–the majority of murderers are really, really stupid.

Did your school make the cut? Find out below! Continue reading

Angels of Death: Fictional Detectives Who Witnessed a Suspicious Number of Murders

When I was little, I loved watching Murder She Wrote.  Well…okay, I mostly loved the incongruously peppy theme song. Those of you too young to have ever heard it, give it a listen and try to tell me it’s not a bop.

(That’s right. The video’s a two-hour loop. You’ll thank me later.)

What I never noticed, at least at the time, was just how many people wound up dead when fictional detective Jessica Fletcher was around. The woman is a dark harbinger. And she’s not the only one.

Continue reading

The Horrors of Children’s YouTube, pt 3: An Unholy Discovery

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This post is part of an extremely-occasional series on the worst of children’s YouTube videos. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

Imagine: you’re browsing YouTube when you come across one of the more recent videos from an account called Play Kids. The title of the video is “♫Nursery Rhymes♫ HULK Colors x4 riding Banana Colors cars & Lightning McQueen Cars (Songs for Kids).” The description of it reads as follows:

HULK COLORS With Their New Banana Colors Car & Disney Pixar Custom Flying Colors Lightning McQueen Cars. Popular Children Song With Action. Nursery Rhymes Fun Time.

You might be forgiven for thinking the account manager threw in a bunch of random words in a pitiful bid to enhance the video’s SEO. Only after clicking the play button would you realize that the description was entirely accurate.

Another thing you’d realize? You’ve just fallen into one of the strangest internet rabbit holes in existence. Continue reading

Rumble at the Goodwill Book Sale

Later in my life, when I’m asked to reflect back on my time in Boston, I’ll remember exactly two things:

  1. The T was always late.
  2. People in Boston are ready to throw down anywhere at any time.

I see more arguments on an average day in Boston than I’d see in an entire year in the Midwest. Some of these altercations can be chalked up to population density (in the city center) or meth use (in my neighborhood). But others seem to spring from something embedded in the culture. What would earn you a silent grimace in Michigan lands you in a profanity-laced screaming contest in Massachusetts.

That’s not to say the Midwest is perfect, because God (and recent voting results) knows it’s not. But people there are, on the whole, less likely to become homicidally enraged because someone gave money to a homeless person outside Tedeschi.

 

But I digress. Sort of.

Let me tell you about a fight I saw at Goodwill. Continue reading