Tag: Murphy Brown

Day 999: Buh-Bye, So Long and Hallelujah

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It’s a completely valid question.

For the past 50 or so days I have been fielding one question more often than most: what am I going to do for Day 1000? Will the final kilograph reflect upon the 999 that came before, like some extended clip show of my greatest guffaws and most aww-rending moments? Will I spend my final entry in closing-credits mode, thanking those who have made this all possible and put up with my considerable dearth of free time over the last 2 years and almost 9 months?

In short… no. While my original intent was to meander down that self-serving footpath for my final article, I decided that I would only do so if I could cite the Wikipedia page that had been created about me – as it turns out, that doesn’t exist yet.

In order to figure out my final missive, I felt I should turn to the moulder of my wisdom, the sage oracle who has helped to shape my morality, my perception, and even my understanding of the world: television. I have experienced the highs and lows of series finales – certainly at least one of them could illuminate the road to a poignant, entertaining, and (most of all) worthy coda to this monstrous undertaking.

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My first option is the beloved trope of bringing back a classic character for the finale. In my case I could introduce a surprise cameo by Yoko Ono, Craig David, Mary Nissenson, or if I really want to stretch to my roots, Phineas Gage. I could style the entire piece in a blend of haiku, musical theatre and secret code (did anyone ever figure that one out?). It sounds trite and cliché, but that’s always a place to start, isn’t it? Read more…

Day 874: Browsing The Naughty Bits Of Reddit

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I’m going to let you, my loyal readers, in on a secret. My weapon of choice with which I take aim at any number of strange stories, from murderous ice cream vendors to toilet gods, is Reddit. If you’re unfamiliar with the social news site, let me fill you in on how it works.

Reddit is split into roughly a gazillion communities, known as subreddits. When you join (which is free), you subscribe to the ones that interest you. For example, r/funny is where you’ll find everything from church sign typos to pugs dressed like the Blues Brothers. r/foodporn features exquisite shots of steaks and BBQ shrimp skewers and whatever else will make you regret eating Hellman’s mayonnaise with a spoon for supper. There are also subreddits for all types of fandom, from the Beatles to classic films to the TV show Community (not the happiest subreddit right now, trust me).

And naturally there are boobies. While I restrict my redditing to perusing my front page, which I have customized to my own wonky obsessions, and the r/Wikipedia subreddit, which is filled with a bevy of interesting and obscure topics like the ones I cited above, there are communities for all sorts of fetishes and quirks. And like any landscape in which freedom of speech is the guiding tenet, sometimes things go too far.

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I’m offering this photo of an elephant driving a car because searching for images to represent r/jailbait will get me fired from my day job.

Reddit is comprised of a notoriously small staff. Volunteer moderators police a number of the forums, ensuring that posts in r/Modern_Family don’t feature online Ponzi schemes or links to bestiality. Also, the general public can upvote the best or most interesting posts, while downvoting the stuff they don’t like, resulting in a democratic front page of generally high-quality posts. The site’s administrators originally had no intention of hosting pornographic material. They didn’t want the hassle. Read more…

Day 199: The Looneys’ Supporting Cast

On this glorious second-to-last day of my writing project, I… oh… right, it’s 1000, not 200. Damn. Okay, on this nowhere-near-the-endth day of this writing project, I opt to flash back to my youth, to the childhood that’s been baking in the incandescent red-green-blue glow of my TV-tube memory.

Back then, as I often tell my kids (and they never roll their eyes when I tell them this story, I’m almost certain of it), we had Saturday morning cartoons. That was it. During the week I subsisted on sitcoms and – eventually – MuchMusic (which, I also point out to my kids, used to play music. It was a glorious time!). I have fond memories of watching The Transformers or G.I. Joe cartoons, but the Golden Hour came at 11:00am every Saturday when Bugs Bunny & the Looney Tunes gang aired their already-antiquities to my hungry eyes.

I’d love to pen a kilograph to the genre-defining brilliance of Chuck Jones or Mel Blanc, or allow Wile E. Coyote & the Roadrunner (my favorites) to grand-marshal a thousand-word parade, but I’m tempted to do something different. I want to give a little love to the lesser-known crew of the Looney brigade. Everyone remembers Bugs, Foghorn, Daffy,Yosemite, Sylvester, Tweety, Speedy, Elmer, Marvin, Taz, Porky and Pepé. But the supporting cast were the essential soda that washed down our weekly burger of cartoon goofiness. Read more…

Day 101: The Universe Is A Dick – The Mary Nissenson Story

After spending a day clawing through a hundred Wikipedian subjects, counting every word by hand and trying to remember what it felt like to breathe outside air, it’s nice to welcome Mary Nissenson into my consciousness for a pleasant, normal kilograph.

Except Mary’s story is anything but normal. She is a biopic waiting to happen – a riches to rags story from my lifetime, though one I’d never come across until now. Everything about her climb to success simply shrieks of hard work and commitment; Mary wasn’t the blow-her-way-up-the-ladder type. What comes next is nothing short of tragic.

Mary grabbed her undergrad degree from Vassar in 1974, then became the first female elected president of the law students’ association at the University of Chicago Law School. She graduated with her law degree in 1977, then promptly celebrated by going to see Star Wars. I was three that year; I assume that’s what everybody did in 1977.

There was no better way to celebrate. It was a glorious time.

She worked as a corporate litigator, one of the most lucrative career paths in the legal world. Before long, she was working for WBBM-TV as an investigative reporter. She won an Emmy for her look at child labor law violations.

Not satisfied with a mere Emmy, Mary also racked up a Jacob Scher Award for investigative journalism, a Peter Lisagor Award for journalistic ass-kickery, a Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association, and she finished off the Old 96-er in one sitting.

Read more…