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2015 Advice for Graduating Students

2015 Advice for Graduating Students

I’d been working as an administrative assistant at an Ivy League university for about a year when my boss, the school’s marketing director, asked me to compile a list of inspirational quotes for the graduating class.

I dutifully sent a mass email to the alumni, asking them to share the best advice they had for the students before they entered the “real” world. I then boiled down their responses to the ten most representative quotes. Continue Reading

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Posted in Education0 Comments

Decidophobic Man Unable to Dismiss Completed Calendar Task Involving Ex-Girlfriend

Decidophobic Man Unable to Dismiss Completed Calendar Task Involving Ex-Girlfriend

Wilbur, Kansas – 29-year-old Marketing Manager, Larry Rossgarden, has considered himself to be a procrastinator since his college days at the University of Kansas, where he would consistently delay writing papers and studying for exams until literally minutes before they were due or set to occur.

Since then, his bad habit has gotten him kicked out of school, fired from 23 different jobs and resulted in the termination of a longstanding relationship with his college sweetheart, Lisa Janks. Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Society0 Comments

Better parenting through polling

Better parenting through polling

When it comes to parenting, I don’t always make the best decisions. I’m not always sure what the right thing to do is in a difficult situation.

Like the time our elder daughter begged and pleaded with me to let her drive the car to the mall. It was a sunny day. Traffic was light. And she had behaved extremely well all week long. So against my better judgment, I said okay. Two minutes later, she smashed the car into a stop sign barely 100 yards from our driveway. A part of me can’t help but wonder whether in retrospect I made a mistake giving in to the incessant pleadings of an eight-year-old to drive my minivan.

Sometimes my wife questions my ability to make the right call. Heck, she rarely listens to any of my opinions unless at least four complete strangers tell her the exact same thing – which got me to thinking: maybe the way for me to make better parenting decisions is to poll the opinions of total strangers.

In the most recent presidential election, the polls were incredibly accurate forecasters of people’s voting preferences. Nate Silver’s 538 blog accurately predicted the Electoral College winner in all fifty states. Politicians use polls all the time to help them decide how to vote. Should we legalize gay marriage? Poll your constituents. Should we cut defense spending? Do a poll. Should we ban hurricanes during the last week of a presidential campaign? (97% of Republicans resoundingly voted yes.)

I figure, maybe I can learn a thing or two from those politicians. That’s why I’ve decided to stop listening to my inner voice when confronted by a difficult parenting issue. Now I make all my important parenting decisions by means of polling. I have benefitted from the collective wisdom of a much broader community in many matters:

Poll Question #1: What punishment is appropriate for our elder daughter, who missed curfew for the third time in two weeks, giving the lame excuse that she missed the last bus from the library and had to walk the six miles home? According to my poll of 328 Boston Red Sox season ticket holders:

• 59% said that I should give her some slack since, after all, she was studying at the library.
• 24% said I should talk with her and ask her what she thinks the consequences should be.
• 9% said she’s had plenty of warnings and I should ground her until spring training.
• 8% said I should put in a pinch hitter and attempt a bunt to move the runner on second over to third.

parenting by polling - childrenPoll Question #2: The last time our younger daughter cleaned up her room, Michele Bachmann was leading in the Republican race for president. Her room now looks like a home in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. What should I do? I polled 147 Guatemalan goat herders and here’s how they weighed in on the matter:

• 37% said that unless it presents a safety issue, I should just let it go. Pick my battles.
• 29% said a sloppy room is a sign of disrespect for the head of the household. She should be punished by having to sleep outside with the goats in their pen for 20 nights.
• 34% said “What is a Michele Bachmann?”
• 100% said, “Your daughter has her own room?”

Poll Question #3: Our two teenage daughters squabble all the time. Lately their arguments have escalated into nasty name-calling with curse words and profanity. What should I do about this the next time they start after each other? I polled 275 Amish families in Lancaster, PA, and here is how they responded:

• 39% said that this is typical teenage behavior and I should not intervene. Let them sort it out.
• 28% said take away all their consumer electronic devices for a week. The Amish have lived without cell phones for years; the girls can survive without theirs for a week.
• 18% said that the girls’ use of curse words is an affront to God. Teach them a lesson in cooperation by making them build a barn together – no power tools allowed.
• 15% said when they’re done building the barn, they can start working on the grain silo. It’s in serious need of repairs. And while they’re at it, it wouldn’t kill them to repaint the school.

But after they voted, they discussed the issue further. And to my surprise, they all changed their minds – and unanimously voted for shunning.

parenting by polling - Bolivian womenUsing this polling system has dramatically reduced my stress level. I can’t actually say it’s helped me arrive at any better parenting decisions, but at least now I can point the blame somewhere else. Next time my wife gets on my case about a bad parenting decision and screeches, “Who in the world thought it was a good idea to let our daughter have a pet llama?” My response is simple: “A focus group of Peruvian llama ranchers, honey.”

In a few cases, however, the feedback has been perplexing. I polled a group of Tea Party activists about how to discuss the dangers of drinking and driving with my college-age daughter. 87% of respondents said the critical thing I need to do is to lower taxes, repeal Obamacare, and get the federal government out of my life. I’m not really sure what this has to do with the dangers of drinking and driving. Maybe if I dress up as George Washington it will make more sense to me.

My wife is not on board yet with my new parenting approach. She is old-fashioned. Amusingly, she still thinks the best approach is to stay calm, be clear in our expectations and apply logical consequences for our children’s poor choices. Sounds like way too much work, if you ask me.

Frankly, I’m not so sure my wife’s outdated parenting methodology works any better than my new system. So I polled 195 soccer dads about which approach they feel is more effective, mine or hers. They were divided on the question. But there was an overwhelming consensus on a related issue: They all agreed the coach does not give their kid nearly enough playing time.

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Posted in Kidz Zone, Opinon/Editorial, Top Stories0 Comments

Khameini Frustrated: Putin Still Friendzoning Ayatollah (2/2) (NSFW)

Khameini Frustrated: Putin Still Friendzoning Ayatollah (2/2) (NSFW)

Unlike Khomeini-ite Fiqh, TULIP-flavor Calvinism, and other scientific and empirically rigorous political discourses, “nice guy” and “friendzoning” are ideological aberrations that are completely detached from reality.

Still, that didn’t stop Khameini giving it to us one last time:

I mean, there are so many jumpy, rowdy, jerk-off pricks who treat other guys really, really, REALLY badly! And Putin doesn’t mind THEM!

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Posted in Politics, Religionism0 Comments

Khameini Frustrated: Putin Still Friendzoning Ayatollah (1/2) (NSFW)

Khameini Frustrated: Putin Still Friendzoning Ayatollah (1/2) (NSFW)

Some would say that The Enemies Of Our Glorious Nation™ are quarrelsome folk.

(Or if not “enemies of America,” at least the enemies of the non-satire news media and of The International Beltway Community).

Still, there is such a thing as honor among thieves; or if not honor among thieves, at least honor among “Recalcitrationists Of The Universal Interest.” Continue Reading

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Posted in Politics, Religionism0 Comments

New Dog Treat Introduced in Honor of Ghostbusters Reboot

New Dog Treat Introduced in Honor of Ghostbusters Reboot

St. Louis, Missouri – As the newest Ghostbusters film comes closer to fruition, more and more companies are releasing products that, in thought, will appeal to the everyday consumer who doubles as a Ghostbusterian.

The latest household name to join in on the ghost hunt? The Nestlé Purina PetCare Company with an innovative treat, featuring a new take on their original Beggin’ Strips that have gone unchanged since they debuted in 1993.

The new product, known as Bagans Strips, are still catered towards dogs and are named after the late TV star and former host of the Travel Channel series, Ghost Adventurers, Zak Bagans. Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Talky Pictures0 Comments

EXCLUSIVE – An Interview With Mrs. Tsarnaev- Mother Of The Boston Bombers

EXCLUSIVE – An Interview With Mrs. Tsarnaev- Mother Of The Boston Bombers

Glossy – Good day, Mrs. Tsarnaev! Thank you for agreeing to do this interview with us.

Mrs. Tsarnaev – You should be thankful, you American sensationalist pig.

Glossy – Um…. well, that gets things off to a rousing start! As long as we are on the subject, why did your family come to America?

Mrs. Tsarnaev – We came here to experience the American Dream.

Glossy – Oh, you mean experiencing freedom and the importunity to make your lives better? Continue Reading

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Posted in Strange People0 Comments

Welcome to CatMatch.com

Welcome to CatMatch.com

Exciting news from Match.com, the world’s largest online match-making service. Since our launch in 1995, our goal has been to help men and women find their perfect someone. To date we have found matches for several million people – and successful matches for over 50 of them.

But why should humans be the only ones supported in finding their soulmates? That’s why we are proud to announce our newest service: CatMatch.com, the first online matchmaking service for cats. No longer will your favorite feline need to prowl the alley for a suitable mate. Check out some of our hottest kitties and subscribe your cat today. Who knows? Perhaps the kitten she’ll be smitten by is just a mouse click away.

Catmatch - DustyDusty7045 – 11-year old female, Portland, OR
Seeking male kitty for spooning on couch and cleaning fur

ABOUT ME

Relationship: Single – one owner.
Body type: Furry, light shedder – mostly on my master’s pillow.
Have kids? Yes, four, but they all disappeared at 8 weeks and I have no idea where they went.
Litter box trained? Absolutely! (But sometimes I forget when I’m tired.)
Favorite hobbies: Chasing red laser pointers, licking myself in my privates.
Favorite food: Ants, dust, rubber bands – pretty much anything I find on the kitchen floor. Oh, and my own vomit. But no one else’s – that would be gross!

More about me: If you like curling up on the bed for 18 – 20 hours a day, I may be just your girl. But don’t ask me to go outside. It looks terrifying out there.

Catmatch - GizmoGizmo2996 – 8-year old male, El Paso, TX
Seeking submissive female who won’t bug me

ABOUT ME

Relationship: Single – one owner but I just ignore him.
Body type: Rock hard abs. If you don’t believe me, just test me.
Have kids? Probably. Who knows? Who cares? Once the dirty deed is done, it’s not my problem, you know what I’m sayin’?
Litter box trained? Nope. Nobody tells me where I can and can’t take a piss. I make my own rules, honey.
Favorite hobbies: Beating the crap out of any neighborhood cat that dares to step foot on my yard.
Favorite food: Steak, pizza, pretty much anything I find on my owner’s dinner plate after he passes out in a drunken stupor. And the occasional mouse head.

More about me: Neutered? Do I look like I’m neutered? If you’re looking for a kitty to curl up next to you, I suggest you hit on Dusty up above. But if you’re willing to leave me alone and bring me a dead mouse now and then, I might let you hang out.

Catmatch - PrincessPrincessFuzzyFace984 – 6-year old female, Cherry Hill, NJ
Seeking male kitty willing to pamper me

ABOUT ME

Relationship: It’s complicated. Nobody dares call themselves my “owner”.
Body type: Just look at my fur coat. If you guessed Armani, you’re right.
Have kids? Are you kidding? With a body like mine, who has time for kids?
Litter box trained? I am shocked you even ask. Where are your manners?
Favorite hobbies: Being patted on my tummy, my chin, and behind my ears. Oh, and coughing up furballs after I preen.
Favorite food: Anything from the gourmet food aisle. Only fresh tuna or steak tartare pour moi.

More about me: I am used to the finer things in life. My own bed, my own chaise lounge for sunning on the deck. I wear a bejeweled collar. But I refuse to let anyone dress me up in a ladybug costume.

Catmatch - ZeusZeus6798 – 16-year old male, Sioux Falls, SD
Seeking a remote control and a beer

ABOUT ME

Relationship: Single – one owner but we have an agreement – you don’t bother me; I won’t bother you.
Body type: Not really sure since I can’t see past my belly. Does that make me fat? Yeah, I’m guessin’ I’m fat. Big deal.
Have kids? Probably somewhere. But that was a long time ago. And I don’t have opposable thumbs so it’s not like I can write them to ask how they’re doing.
Litter box trained? If it’s placed within a foot of wherever I’m resting, then I’ll give it a shot. Otherwise, nah, not really.
Favorite hobbies: See the picture? I’m doing it. Pretty much a one-trick pony, I’m afraid.
Favorite food: Not really too picky, just so long as I don’t have to hunt for my meal. Look at this body – it hasn’t hunted since Friends was on the tube.

More about me: I’m not what you would call the adventurous type. Just put me in front of a large screen, turn on any channel, and I’m good. I really like that Fish Tank channel. Could watch that for days.

Catmatch - CupcakeCupcake1573 – 12-week old old female, Akron, OH
Seeking kitty in the mirror to be my playmate. He’s so funny.

ABOUT ME

Relationship: That’s a big, fancy word. What does it mean?
Body type: Adorable. At least that’s what my master tells me.
Have kids? Aren’t I too little to have kittens of my own?
Litter box trained? Not yet, but I’m working on it. My owner keeps spraying me in the face whenever I make a poopy in the living room.
Favorite hobbies: Chasing my tail, getting stuck in funny places like the bathroom sink, and falling asleep in adorably cute positions.
Favorite food: Buttons, gum, tape, shoelaces, dirt, or anything shiny.

More about me: I like to play and play all day long. I wonder what happens if I tip over that vase? Um, a little help please outta this waste basket. I think I’m stuck. Oops. I just spit up a plant. I wonder if I can get inside this shoe. Where did that kitty in the mirror go? zzzzzzzzzz

Some pretty exciting kitties looking for a special someone to nuzzle up next to. So what are you waiting for? Subscribe to CatMatch.com today and find your PURR-fect match.

Coming in summer 2015: Match.com – Bovine Edition.

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Posted in Entertainment, Human Interest, Top Stories1 Comment

Guy Desperate for Job Will Take Anything That Doesn’t Make Him Question Self Worth

Guy Desperate for Job Will Take Anything That Doesn’t Make Him Question Self Worth

Jacob Ericsson is broke and about to be homeless.

But he’s looking for work and will accept any offers as long as he’s not “too good” for the job.

Ericsson made a plea for any and everyone to e-mail him leads for jobs around Los Angeles, adding he probably wouldn’t follow up on positions with a long commute or where he’d be embarrassed to be seen by ex-girlfriends. Continue Reading

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Posted in Society0 Comments

Oregon Man Successfully Hides Chin from Wife

Oregon Man Successfully Hides Chin from Wife

Portland, OR—The vanity of the world is reaching new heights, or should I say lows.

Recently in the news, a Korean husband divorced his wife when she birthed an ugly child, an Indian woman left her husband when she discovered he couldn’t spell, and a Mexican man, hell-bent on singlehandedly populating the world, abandoned his wife when he learned she was secretly using birth control. Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Strange People0 Comments

What Would Allah Do?

What Would Allah Do?

If the Shi’ites were fighting the Sunni’s what would Allah want?

He say for them to lay down their arms and realize that they are brothers of the same faith.

If a Moslem country’s leaders were demonizing other countries to make them look bad, what would Allah do?

He would say ”My children, look to your own lives and the ways to improve it. Do not cast your sight abroad to look for the sins your own soul reflects.” Continue Reading

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Posted in Religionism, Serious Commentary0 Comments

Dangerous Animals And Situations In The Grand Canyon And How To Deal With Them.

Dangerous Animals And Situations In The Grand Canyon And How To Deal With Them.

When traveling, safety is of the utmost importance.

Each year over six million people are gored to death in the Grand Canyon by cactii alone.

Don’t be a statistic. Be smart… I mean, you’ll still be a statistic, technically, but the better kind.

What to do in the Grand Canyon if:

Continue Reading

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Posted in Travel1 Comment

What Happens When a Satirist Feels Uncomfortable at the Satire of Others?

What Happens When a Satirist Feels Uncomfortable at the Satire of Others?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I can’t seem do the links correctly for these (in bold) Tried using wordpress function, but trial run was unsatisfactory. Please do them for me?

EDITOR’S NOTE: No problem. Now I just have to figure out how to delete these damn notes to each other here up top.

At the risk of egregious flattery to my colleagues, my favorite satire outlet I write for is Glossynews. And I once wrote the following piece, which actually means a lot to me. [a href=”http://glossynews.com/entertainment/television/201410120242/autistic-savants-inspiring-says-cable-tv-diversity-pimp/”>It is THIS one.

This piece is a little “close to home.” I later read it at the Creative Writing Society at King’s College London, during Disability History Month. I believe there were signs of amusement; this was the very first “fake news” satire piece I had read at the Society.

Shortly after, however, I found out that someone (JihadTimes) had written also written a piece on Glossynews called:

ISIS the Autistic Brother of Al Qaeda

Upon reading this piece, I felt vaguely uncomfortable; although I certainly didn’t “throw my rattle out of the pram” (!) The humor appeared obscure and impenetrable to me, and I was already aware (of course) of some existing odd or unusual usages of the word “autism” in a broader context in the English-speaking world.

By the way, as an entirely un/necessary savant digression, I have heard elsewhere of an “autistic economy,” and at least one curious reference to “autistic” as an adjective in “An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought,” by the brilliant but erratic Murray N. Rothbard.

Actually, given the peculiar cottage-industry of speculative, amateur diagnoses of Asperger’s, I am almost tempted… ;)

… Well, if anyone is entitled to do that, I am! And it’s plausible enough, after all… you know what they say about those influenced to some extent by right-libertarian thought

(Don’t ask me to explain what a bleeding-heart-post-humanist-libertarian™ is, or I’ll be here all day, as I’m a un/fairly garrulous person)…

Still, on a more serious, or at least po-faced note, I did find the article disturbing.

But later, I reflected on my reception of the article. Isn’t satire supposed to be ambivalent? Is satire normally “right” or “wrong,” or is it more amoral than (im/)moral?

Actually, I do believe that it is very rare indeed for satire to be “wrong,” regardless of the ethical criteria. As regards immorality, one could perhaps speak about Nazi or Wahhabi caricatures of Jewish people, or the portrayal of “class enemies” in some periods of Communist history.

But there is partly a question of definition here; are such distortions “satire” or something else? Either way, in the UK (where I live), or the USA (where two articles mentioned above were published), one could hardly compare the function of internet satire, generally speaking, to the more brutal examples of “humor” just cited.

Yet, ultimately, I consider the piece on ISIS a compliment. The fact is that the author of the piece in question did not patronize me; they did not “spare the feelings” of any individuals at Glossynews who might or might not have Asperger’s Syndrome or autism.

Whether or not the person in question knew or not (whoever they are), I am deeply moved that they felt at liberty to take the risk they took. I would far rather they were prepared to take that risk, than walk on eggshells around me.

To speak more poignantly:

I once knew someone who was (I believe) utterly incapable of humoring me. That person has had a tremendous impact on my life, and enriched it immeasurably. And although it was not to be, and I have been in mourning for a long time, for what I and we have lost, I will never forget the beauty and the joy of sitting face to face with someone who could never ever speak to me otherwise than directly. As someone with Asperger’s, I have never known such a thing again, and probably never will.

For some of us with Asperger’s, we get used to people being polite, perhaps because (at least earlier in our lives, when our symptoms may be more pronounced), others may not know how to respond.

But the person of whom I speak was different. This person was not merely unwilling to humor me; I am tempted to say that it would not even cross their mind, although that is a dangerous speculation. And I will never forget, and I will never regret.

The reason I make this point is that on a very different level, it was great to see someone write an article that could be considered “offensive” to autistic people. It was a great thing, precisely because, in a funny kind of way, I was being treated as an equal, and not as someone of less worth.

For, to be treated “specially,” to be some kind of “holy fool” up on his or her cloud, pristine and heavenly, and to be liberated (and hence) deprived of all humor, mockery or satire; whether monological sneering or dialogical banter; this would be hell on earth.

For, I cannot afford to be oblivious to how if I lose the one-way humor, I may also lose the two-way humor.

And, of course, the one-way/two-way distinction itself is problematic. For, even though I found myself unable to laugh at the article I have spoken of, I would say that I also participated in the humour, insofar as, even without laughing, I gave it my blessing.

Not that the satirist in question required my blessing; rather as the truth needs no defence, neither does humour or satire. No one needs an endorsement from me in order to satirize autism, Asperger’s or disability.

Still, I will draw a (somewhat loose) analogy. In many countries, women are free to marry whoever they wish, and yet in a church or perhaps other religious wedding, there will still be something like a “giving away” of the bride.

Nowadays, such a custom is not intended to imply that the woman is the property of her father, brother or whoever; but it represents a kind of good will and blessing that, although not strictly required for a free individual, is something that is healing to give. It is not to be bestowed (via “conspicuous benevolence,” as I call it); but to give as a free gift, in love; unasked and unflaunted.

And the same applies to the covenant between the many individual satirists in our world.

But of course, I’m not implying the existence of a monolithic “satirist community;” please don’t be giving assimilationist political parties any ideas! ;)

Anyway, I just added a (not so) new core principle to my semi(non-)ironic “Confession of Faith on my academic blog :

“The day you can no longer laugh at yourself; that is the day you know they have finally won.
This is the thread on which all my laws and prophecies hang.”

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Posted in Human Interest, Opinon/Editorial0 Comments

Conspiracy Theorist Denies Olive Oil is Extra Virgin

Conspiracy Theorist Denies Olive Oil is Extra Virgin

NEW YORK – Guido da Vinci had always wondered how there could so much extra virgin olive oil in supermarkets across the world.

“I mean wherever I went in the world, I could find extra virgin olive oil. A lot of it. Finally, I thought: how could this be?”

“So I did some research on the internet. And I found that more than two-thirds of olive oil that is labeled as extra virgin isn’t really extra virgin. Some of it may be virgin, but lots of it isn’t virgin at all!” Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Science0 Comments

College Student Sues Toyota For Tinnitus

College Student Sues Toyota For Tinnitus

Stevens Point, Wisconsin—Tinnitus is a condition that causes a ringing in the ears. Nearly 1 out of every 10 Americans suffer from tinnitus.

Though severity of the noise is on a case-by-case basis, tinnitus has been known to cause people to go insane. The internal ringing gets so bad, people have jumped to their deaths off bridges, drilled out their own ear drums with power tools, and punched their in-laws unprovoked—at least that’s what I told my wife after throat chopping her father. Continue Reading

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Posted in Education, Health3 Comments

Guy Who Screams “IF ONLY YOU KNEW HOW THEY FEEL!” Actually Doesn’t.

Guy Who Screams “IF ONLY YOU KNEW HOW THEY FEEL!” Actually Doesn’t.

Sexually frustrated loudmouth, Humbert Hegel, is a very vocal coffee-break-emancipator at a certain academic institution.

But what’s the one thing everyone loves about Humbert?

…Apart from his being so damn interdisciplinary that there’s NOTHING IN THIS WORLD about which he’s not an unquestionable and unqualified unqualifiedly infallible expert? Continue Reading

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Posted in Human Interest, Strange People0 Comments

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