Columns

There’s No Time Like Christmas for the Jews

Not everyone thinks Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year — namely, Jews. While many grin and bear it during the holiday season, quietly celebrating Hanukkah as their neighbors erect 1000-watt Santas in their front yards, some may want to avoid all the Jesus cheer (or at least capitalize on it). Here’s how: ...

When You’re Dead to the World, Not to the Internet

As of last week, I have vowed to never again complain about fixing people’s bad writing. I have found true horror, and it is not the annoyance of repeatedly correcting passive voice to active voice. True horror is the pain of reading through your own terrible writing. It is the despair of slogging through eight years of overly earnest blogs, almost all of which make me roll my eyes so hard I can almost see my brain. ...

Supreme Court Debates Mass Surveillance in 1984-esque Case

It is a truth universally acknowledged that doomsayers determined to point out the slippery slope of politics will always reference 1984. With its vision of Big Brother, trackers and the thought police, George Orwell’s political classic has become the tired go-to for anyone threatened by big government — and even, as of last Tuesday, for members of the government itself. On Nov. 8, the novel was referenced six times by the Supreme Court while hearing the case of whether police should be able to track anyone via GPS. ...

Global Warming: Killing Jobs and Bears

The U.S. Department of Energy released a report last week that world emissions of carbon dioxide jumped 6 percent in 2010 — a figure far worse than what climate scientists predicted four years ago. And half of the increase is attributable to China and the United States. Despite all of this, President Obama halted the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate air quality in September, succumbing to a belief that regulations would kill jobs. ...

Protest Tunes They Are a Changin’

Since Occupy Wall Street began on Sept. 17, there’s been a lot of yelling — but, sadly, not much singing. Though the protest and all its subsequent nationwide occupations began over 50 days ago, there has yet to be a single significant protest song like the anthems that shook the movements of the ’60s. ...

Nicolas Cage and the Burden of Genius

It started as joke. Weary of the predictable Halloween movie night fare, a few friends and I took a tip from a popular “Best of Nicolas Cage” viral video and rented “Vampire’s Kiss” — a little-known 1988 vampire dramedy starring Cage and a host of low-profile supporting actors. ...

Read for the Love of Letters, Not for the Feel of Paper

I pride myself on being level-headed. I rarely raise my voice. I’m not tempted to hurt the people who cut me off on I-805. I no longer bat an eye at Alexandra Wallace-like examples of Internet stupidity. And yet, the most obvious chink in my armor of apathy involves something seemingly inconsequential: my Kindle. Every time someone makes snide comments about how real books are much better, I fantasize about how hitting said person over the head with the combined weight of all the books I’ve read on the damn device. (Note: I’ve read more than 52 books this year; average length: 600 pages.) ...