How to Deal with Your Dickhead Relatives at Thanksgiving

Life-saving advice from Peter Dean

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Bury My Heart in Stars Hollow – How The Gilmore Girls Reinforced My Black Identity

“So where you from man?” He asked. He wore a flat bill hat that rested on his head at an impossible angle. Not quite 45 degrees and slanted to point upward, leaving the impression that it wasn’t adjusted purposefully, but it was, and any human who has ever worn a hat knew it. He was addressing a man with the same exact demeanor as himself. Slightly hunched to a point, to purposefully exude a carefree and relaxed nature. But, like the other guy’s hat, it was all show. Made to seem at nature with its environment but decidedly not at the same time.

“You know, I’m from Cleveland and shit man… You know. Around.”

“Word, word. Me too.” Said the first guy. He was all chin and all angles. They made geometry into conversation and I had to admire that. All juxtaposed into cool stances like a Picasso piece. Proto-Cubism in motion. It was at this point that they started to shuffle around each other awkwardly, hands stuffed in pockets, chin nods thrown at each other like rice at a wedding. Before long one asked the inevitable question; “So, like, where from around Cleveland?” The other guy reluctantly named a suburb to much the delight of his adversary. “No shit! I’m from-!” He lists another Cleveland suburb. It doesn’t matter which. I watch the whole shame dance as it unfolds. We’re all outside a bar in suburban Columbus, Ohio. I’m smoking a cigarette and I haven’t said a goddamn word.

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Stop Appropriating My (Nerd) Culture!

As you casually wear that Superman shirt, do you know his backstory? Can you name any of the writers and artists that brought it to life? What of the ancient Els on Krypton? None of that “On my planet it means hope” crap either. See, a real nerd can’t just go home after watching the latest DC movie flop, lick their wounds and re-watch The Wire for the sixth time. Actual nerds turn to things like the Smallville podcast or obsessing through the Superman wiki—lest we torment our friends and coworkers with all the fan theories and canon discrepancies that we physically can’t hold back. Meanwhile, non-nerds have the benefit of catching a few episodes of Doctor Who and grabbing a Funko Pop doll, instead of agonizing over the Face of Bo’s timeline or if the Silurians have the same makeup in each iteration. Nerds wield the responsibility of having an encyclopedic knowledge of the inane—that comes up in no normal daily conversation—which is why we overflow with excitement when someone indulges our discussions about which Comic Book universe is better or which season marked the decline of The Simpsons. This culture has gotten to enjoy the fruits of our laborious tending while we watch our passions rot into oblivion. It’s fine to like stuff that’s cool but it’s become far too easy to claim the nerd struggle as your own just by transiently consuming various “nerd” things. Things like:

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5 Things My Bratty Cousin Gets Wrong about Drug Testing for Government Assistance

Scientists have recently found a correlation in the brain patterns of teenagers and republicans. As it turns out, conservatives tend to have larger amygdala, the parts of the brain responsible for the majority of our survival instincts like fear and disgust, but also community and emotion. While liberals have a more defined anterior cingulate cortex, the brain region most closely associated with coping, delayed gratification, and the ability to look at multiple solutions. This also happens to be the region of our brain that matures the slowest—not fully formed until age 25 or so—mainly due to the inherent dangers our species faced before this failed social contract of ours. So in order for early humans to stay alive long enough to have children of their own, their brains needed to be hyper aware of anything that could potentially kill them; anything that could sap their resources; and all of the things that could take away their stuff. It’s not until we reach adulthood that the grey matter in our brains expands and the constant fight-or-flight triggers presumably subside. It’s like how most high schoolers display aggressive tendencies toward anyone not in their social circles or their own significant other (it’s the same thing with republicans but now America is the boyfriend). Still, even though we can pinpoint the evolutionary and developmental reasons why, it doesn’t stop me from telling my nineteen year old cousin to go to hell when she passes around some Change.org petition to drug test those in need of federal aid. Here are five reasons Megan needs to shut the fuck up! Continue reading “5 Things My Bratty Cousin Gets Wrong about Drug Testing for Government Assistance”

“The Number One”

Poem by Rob O’Donnell

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6 Pros and Cons of Defecting to Finland

It is a known rite of passage in America that all pseudo-anarcho-white guys, upon their first visit to a different country—ANY country—have to make a clichéd statement, pronouncing how much America sucks. Well, I knew this day would have to come sooner or later, so here goes: FINLAND GOT IT RIGHT AND AMERICA IS WACK AS HELL. Why? I’m glad you asked! Here are six reasons that will piss off your xenophobic uncle. Also, in the spirit of fairness, six possible drawbacks. Continue reading “6 Pros and Cons of Defecting to Finland”