Lemons for Loans!

Lemons for Loans: How to Pay Your Student Loans and Get a Car in One Easy Step

Do you stay up nights wondering how to turn an iPhone into a car or a car into an iPhone? Do you spend up to 90% of your ad budget chasing the wrong customers? Is your ineffective wooing of millennials costing you millions? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then you are the U.S. automotive industry, and Lemons for Loans is the solution to all your problems! [READ MORE]

I Don’t Feel Entitled, I Feel Guilty

Billfold LogoSuccess is a matter of luck. Right place, right time, right economy. Serendipitous opportunity begetting more of the same. It’s also nose-to-the-grindstone hard work and relentless ambition, but, without luck, that exertion might amount to nothing, no matter how inclined we are to believe otherwise. You succeed, you thank luck, but you’re secretly patting yourself on the back. You fail, you blame luck, but you’re secretly self-flagellating. We are not the masters of the universe we imagine ourselves to be. We take full credit when we shouldn’t and take on guilt and blame when our actions have not made us complicit.

I know about luck because I am a once-promising 26-year-old without a career—the over-parented, over-educated, under-employed, “entitled” millennial that trend pieces love to wax on about. [READ MORE]

Christmas with My Homeless Aunt

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When my father smiles, the wide gaps between his teeth are on cartoony display. His family could afford braces for only one child, and, as the girl, his sister’s looks won priority. In adulthood, Debbie was the homeless woman with perfect teeth.

The last time I saw my aunt was Christmas 2007. I was home in North Carolina for winter break during my senior year of college. I’d just completed my second term of French, and, on Christmas day, I was arrogant in my use of rudimentary language skills to make snide remarks to my French-fluent mother. A gruff smoker’s laugh interrupted my stilted chatter, and Debbie piped up in proficient French. [READ MORE]

A Proposal Regarding Proposals

Mom: It’s a logorhetorical question.  Me: What is?  Mom: ‘Speak now or forever hold your peace.’  Me: Well, it’s not a question, it’s a command…  Mom: Regardless, it’s culturally rhetorical.  Me: But, if it’s a truly great friend, won’t they listen to dissent, even respect the dissenter?  Mom: You overestimate the power of logic over emotion…  This is the conversation I had with my mother at least once a week for approximately three months. [READ MORE]

Animality

logoVampires, zombies, and nightmares are good and useful things? Maybe it’s restful for our brains to engage in a world of fight or flight where attention can be paid to large and largely simple fictional forces? We spend so much of our lives parsing and comparing endlessly intricate arguments and experiences, so a frightening world that operates on a simple binary of right vs. wrong provides relief? A sanctuary away from our norm? [READ MORE]

Don’t pretend to be normal

Instead of a corsage, it was Nietzsche’s Human, All Too Human. I was a freshman going to the prom with a junior named Doug. He was a deep thinker and thought I might be too.

Doug and his parents were from Chicago, which made them exotic in small-town North Carolina. They were also into new age spirituality. Doug learned the art of pranic healing – the cleansing of chakras with crystals – and practiced on me. (I think that my chakras were beyond repair even at the tender age of fourteen.)   Continue reading

Dear John Letter for Lena Dunham

GirlsListen, Lena, this relationship is over. I just can’t do it anymore. Each episode of GIRLS drives us further apart.

In the show’s first weeks, I so looked forward to Sunday nights. Well, in truth, I looked forward to Monday mornings because I don’t have cable just “borrowed” access to HBO GO. But now, the happy anticipation I used to feel for your next episode is gone. And Lena, I’ve figured out why things between us have changed. Continue reading

PDP (Public Displays of Pain)

logoThe world generally agrees that anything more than momentary PDA goes against decorum, citing the public interest and the risk of distracting drivers or other operators of heavy machinery, etc. But, how should we feel about PDP, public displays of pain? [READ MORE]

Humanist Homily Homunculus

In the beginning, I wanted to call the book I’m working on Cogitate instead of Generation Special.

When I was in London for graduate school my mother made me go to church and the sermon was about misdirected charity. Basically, in the 1800s in London (and presumably elsewhere) there were public baths. Above the public baths, (the sermonizer claimed that) some rich English people had inscribed “COGITATE, COGITATE, COGITATE” because poor people were poor because of some moral failing that would only be redeemed through reflection. So, those of us made poor, desperate, etc. because no one wants to hire us because of the economy and the fact that no one prohibited us from majoring in philosophy, should also cogitate? But, not because we are to blame for our sorry state. Definitely not that. And then, someone said cogitate sounded a lot like masturbate, which I counted as a plus. Continue reading

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