Those who come of age online tend to think they know everything there is to know about pornography. I should know, I'm one of them -- or I was until getting a smutty education from author Susie Bright.
Jennifer Granholm, the former governor of Michigan, has a story she likes to tell about the Chinese. Granholm visited China in March. At one meet-and-greet, a Chinese official buttonholed her and asked when the U.S. was going to implement a national energy policy. By her own account, Granholm hemmed and hawed, mentioning the rise of the Tea Party and the inability of the current Congress "to get its act together."
I was sitting on a fold-out couch, wearing only my boxers, when Daniel's email popped up. There was no subject line, just a simple YouTube link. Over the next hour, I watched all seven videos on Simple Pickup's channel, each three times over. I couldn't quite explain my delirium until I read a comment posted by user SeaWeedBrain013: "You guys are my heroes. I don't understand how your pants can withstand the weight of your balls.
The Pacific Northwest is an improbable landscape. When Jonathan Raban first encountered it through the writing of Bernard Malamud -- whose novel about his time in Oregon, "A New Life," is a little-known masterpiece -- he thought Malamud's description of the Willamette Valley must have been the product of an overactive imagination. How could it really be true that the richest farmland in the world would be nestled between two mountain ranges, the Cascades to the east, the Coastal Range to the west, with a desert and an ocean on just the other side of both? "It read like the landscape of allegory," Raban observes in "Driving Home," his new collection of essays -- not a real place, but something out of "the freehand, fantastic tradition of the Jewish folktale." Only years later, when Raban met a professor who knew the area, did he learn that Malamud's novel was actually something of a roman à clef, with real people to match its closed-minded, casually anti-Semitic characters, and a real landscape to match what had seemed too dramatic to be real. "No," he was told, Malamud's novel was not a work of "ambitious fabulism"; rather, "the landscape of the Pacific Northwest was in itself an unrealistic stretch of country -- it was just naturally fabulous."
This is the second time I have tried to write a review of "Just My Type." It is a frustrating book -- warm and friendly on the surface but obnoxious underneath. The first time, I methodically tore it to pieces in my blue-pencil style, pointing out its deficiencies in niggling detail. When I was done, I felt satisfied but also uncomfortable. Did Simon Garfield really deserve such a bashing? After all, the book is full of fascinating stories and odd trivia about type, and the author has a charming, breezy style that makes each bit of typographic arcana easy to swallow. Is it really that bad?
Wayne Koestenbaum, the author of the new book "Humiliation," is answering questions from Salon readers over the next several days about their most shameful and cringe-worthy moments. Have a question of your own? Send it to email@example.com.
So the really big fight -- perhaps the defining battle of 2012 -- won’t be over Medicare. It won’t even be over Obama’s jobs program.
While Leonard Cohen studied silence in a Buddhist monastery, his former manager squandered his multimillion-dollar fortune. A court awarded him $9.5 million in damages, but the singer has yet to collect any of it.
Politico is reporting on a new poll finding that "Americans view Iran as the country that poses the biggest threat to the United States."
Just a quick question: Will Andrew Breitbart, the world's most ethical crusading journalist, ever get around to issuing a correction to this post that appeared at his BigGovernment.com site last week?
As the Obama administration announced plans for hundreds of billions of dollars more in domestic budget cuts, it late last week solicited bids for the construction of a massive new prison in Bagram, Afghanistan. Posted on the aptly named FedBizOps.Gov website which it uses to announce new privatized spending projects, the administration unveiled plans for "the construction of Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP), Bagram, Afghanistan" which includes "detainee housing capability for approximately 2000 detainees." It will also feature "guard towers, administrative facility and Vehicle/Personnel Access Control Gates, security surveillance and restricted access systems." The announcement provided: "the estimated cost of the project is between $25,000,000 to $100,000,000."
The news out of Texas is that the state's unemployment rate has ticked up to 8.5 percent, the highest it's been in 24 years.
Did you know that the Playboy Clubs were ground zero for the feminist movement in the early 1960s? You didn't? Well, then, tune into NBC's new drama "The Playboy Club" (10 p.m./9 Central); you'll learn that and many other things, courtesy of the clubs' founder Hugh Hefner. The Playboy magazine mogul narrates the pilot and is featured on-screen as a shadowy but benevolent power-broker character -- a godlike force who's always glimpsed from behind or in silhouette, rather like a Doonesbury caricature of a real-life politician. "The world was changing," Hef says at one point in the pilot episode, "and we were the ones changing it, one bunny at a time." Another gem: "It was the early '60s, and the bunnies were some of the only women in the world who could be anyone they wanted to be."
"One of the things that's very important ... is to never allow our youngsters to die in vain. And I've made the pledge to their parents. Withdrawing from the battlefield of Iraq would be just that. And it's not going to happen under my watch." -- George W. Bush, April 14, 2004
Sheriff Joe has finally started a "posse" to go after Barack Obama, for all of his cattle-rustling birth certificate-forging. Joe Arpaio, the cartoonish Maricopa County "lawman" who became a national right-wing folk hero by dedicating himself to persecuting immigrants, recently met with some "Tea Party" people who wanted him to investigate the legitimacy of President Obama's "long-form" birth certificate. He told them he'd look into it, probably to get them to go away, but WorldNetDaily, the Internet's epicenter of unreconstructed birther thought, took him very seriously. Via Talking Points Memo, WND now reports that Arpaio has assembled an elite team of five crack investigators to uncover the truth about the president's citizenship.
In a blunt rejoinder to congressional Republicans, President Barack Obama called for $1.5 trillion in new taxes Monday, part of a total 10-year deficit reduction package totaling more than $3 trillion. "We can't just cut our way out of this hole," the president said.
The Emmys, as Sunday night's broadcast repeatedly reminded us, is supposed to be one big industry "family reunion." In many ways, it is. Every year, the same beloved members of the pack are praised while everybody else smiles stiffly and waits around for the chance to get good and drunk. There are occasional moments of surprise, and times to honor those no longer with us. There's gentle joshing around. And somebody's feelings get hurt. Like those of a multinational conglomerate.