Twist ending for a popular TV show? That’s preposterous, is what you would say if you had never heard of St. Elsewhere. If a medical drama can end with the whole thing being the twisted fantasy of an autistic child, then certainly popular TV shows today can have twist endings as well. Here are my ideas.
The Monarch kills Dr. Venture. The Venture Brothers die after being attacked by a giant spider, but this time without any clones and so are dead forever. The Alchemist dies of AIDS. Brock dies while attempting to protect David Bowie from a coup by Lady Gaga, who becomes the new Sovereign.
Walter and the Walternate find a way to save both universes by diverting the Fringe Event energy into two pocket dimensions they discover via a vortex in a rural Washington State town. Walter comments on the damn fine coffee and pie. Agent Boyles learns of FBI records describing a bald, pale man from another world helping an agent in Twin Peaks during the 1980s, and comes to the conclusion that this so-called “Giant” was actually an Observer.
Unfortunately, following both the town’s history of FBI agents going mad and her own history of being possessed (by both Fauxlivia’s memories and Dr. Bell), Olivia is taken over for a third time by an evil soul from one of the pocket dimensions. The last scene is Olivia brushing her teeth, laughing maniacally in a mirror “How’s Peter?!” How’s Peter?!”
Don Draper finally confronts the core of his problem with women: he is gay. After Sally is killed at Kent state, and Bobby dies in Vietnam, Don takes his own life. As revenge to the Advertising Industry that sucked his life dry, Draper leaves behind a time bomb revenge scheme in the form of his final advertising idea: Erin Esurance!
C-SPAN concludes its decades of covering politics by revealing that the supposed politicians and representatives on camera were actually actors. In the wake of the Watergate scandal, the Supreme Court decided that American democracy simply was not sustainable and decided to seize control by fiat under the cover of this greatest hoax of all time. Led by head writer William Rehnquist, who would later be joined by David E. Kelley and Aaron SorkinMichael Bay, C-SPAN capitalized on the idea of letting viewers choose which characters would be on each season, an idea which was later found greater success in the hit show, “American Idol.”
There is a Jewish joke that goes: We could never have a completely Jewish supreme court. If we did, every time there was a 5-4 decision, the 4 dissenters would just leave to start their own supreme court.
This makes fun of the not uncommon occasion of groups disagreeing with their synagogue, and thus leaving to form their own. Indeed, Judaism is a religion, and culture, of constant argument and disagreement. As the saying goes: two rabbis, three opinions.
But the issue that really gets my tallit in a knot is Rep. Walsh’s idea that American Jews should fall in line with his political views. But alas, the Jewish people are not Rep. Walsh’s puppet. We won’t dance for him. We are not a court Jew to do his bidding.
Now, Walsh may think that he has a special connection with Jews, as conservatives and Christians often think they do. But throwing around the term “Judeo-Christian” and hating on Muslims isn’t exactly the core of Judaism. It may be the core of the Likud party, but as Walsh pointed out, most American Jews are Democrats.
While there is the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois, I cannot seem to find the existence of any Hebrew Theological Institute. Maybe it simply does not have a website. Or maybe Walsh’s own site got the name wrong. Or maybe he meant the Blitstein Institute, which is the women’s school at the Hebrew Theological College. But evidence of this Institute, much like evidence of Walsh’s understanding of modern Judaism, seems difficult to come by.
National Jewish Democratic Council President and CEO David A. Harris sums up the whole situation rather succinctly:
America is supposed to be the good guys. We are suppose to be the respected peacemakers of the world. We are supposed to lead by example as the Shining City on a Hill, a beacon of freedom to the rest of the world. We certainly don’t always succeed, but we should always be working towards that ideal.
Walsh wants to throw away that ideal. He wants to climb down from the hill.
Just when I thought I was out, they drag me back in.
After a leisurely day of walking to Union Square for kale, and then down to Washington Square Park to enjoy my free sample of pita chips and hummus, the Jurist EIC gives me a ring and asks if I want to write one final column.
Anyways, here is my column, reposted, and obviously not copy-edited. I think I use three different styles for writing Cardozo Dean of Career Services.
Max Fischer said that the key to happiness is finding something you love to do and then doing it for the rest of your life.
I would guess that Dean Fama has found happiness.
In an open letter to Cardozo, Fama explained that he will be leaving his position as Dean of Career Services to merge his yoga and career counseling experience by developing yoga and relaxation programs for lawyers and law students.
But for the rest of us, it often feels like happiness is slightly out of reach. Heck, a legal job with a salary that will let one make student loan payments will suffice.
But Fama’s project sounds very interesting, and I have many questions about it. For example: Is he hiring?
Indeed, there is a bit of an image problem when a law school’s Dean of career services leaves for a non-legal job. Although that seems to be the new standard: go to law school but then not get a job in the legal industry. Of course, this begs the question of why go to law school in the first place?
Well, the free yoga classes weren’t bad.
Admittedly, Fama’s relaxation techniques are a great way to deal with the still tightening legal market and overall stress of the legal industry. But I can think of a great way to relieve student stress without resorting to mystical breathing techniques of the Orient.
So as Cardozo begins the search for a new Dean of Career Services, I have a recommendation. We’ve had a yoga instructor, and that was great. But this time, let’s try out a weightlifter.
Rather than teach students how to relax when we don’t get jobs, the next dean of career services should help students build the muscle necessary to shovel through the layers of bullshit it takes to get a job these days. We need a terrifying, muscle-bound dean to run around 55 5th ave, yelling at girlymen students about how they need to pump up their resumes. Instead of teaching students how to be flexible, Cardozo needs someone to help mold students into perfect specimens of legal Adonises. The point of law school is to get a law job. Cardozo should find someone who lives, eats and breathes the legal industry, and then turns it into a powder form that he can mix into a smoothie and jam it down students’ throats.
Law students are supposed to be adults who can take care of their own problems. But if OCS has demonstrated anything, it is that many students won’t take the proper job search steps without someone there to hold their hands. The next dean needs to embrace this duty with full intensity, taking those hands and forcing them to write cover letters until they have jobs, not unlike handcuffing a fat kid to a treadmill.
So as we 3L’s cross the stage at graduation, often jobless and in debt, I cannot help but wonder whether we, too, will one day match Dean Fama’s happiness.
Well, I may not have a job, but I wrote for the Cardozo Jurist. What did you ever do?
This took me way longer than I thought it would. Thanks to Dean, Joe, Eric, Sarah, and everyone who commented on the Facebook thread.
The point of this project was to create a hypothetical mixtape that one could make reasonably attempting to make a good mixtape, but failing spectacularly. As Dean put it, this is like when people play Springsteen’s Born in the USA as a rousing, patriotic, pro-America anthem.
There are many reasons an otherwise proper song would be a spectacular failure on a mixtape. Utter overplay may make a song devoid of any actual meaning, despite its popularity. A songs lyrics may be misconstrued to have a romantic tone, while actually the song is anything but. Young love often drives feelings to insane ends, leading to completely inappropriate emotional exposition via song. Attempts to introduce one’s own personal taste can fall flat. Sometimes songs just interrupt the flow of an album.
Of course, just because it is on this mixtape does not necessarily mean it is a bad song. I tried to emphasize that point by including a few songs that I personally enjoy but would admittedly make awful contributions to a romantic mixtape.
For the sake of this Worst Mixtape, it is hypothetically sent from me, the dator, to a random young woman datee. Of course, knowledge about the datee’s own personal tastes can allow the creation of custom awfulness, which will have to be lacking here.
Ah, nominated for Record of the Year at the 52nd Grammy Awards, winner of the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. How could this possibly be a bad song to start off mix tape? After all, one would want tonight to be a good, good night with whatever datee is receiving this mixtape.
But a mere scratch of the surface reveals a justified loathing for this ubiquitous song. This ultimate in Secretary Jamz is a hollow, meaningless exploration of studio-recorded noise and misplaced Yiddish. But given the utter popularity of the song, if the datee doesn’t loathe it, she probably already owns it.
And even the datee does like it, how can a song that seems to have a contract with the world to be played every 15 minutes communicate any sense of romance or intimacy? How can it send a message besides one of utter genericness? Unless this is an Annie Hall situation where she’s very shallow and empty and has no ideas and nothing interesting to say, and she’s exactly the same way, this is one of the worst possible choices for a mixtape.
The only way you could choose a worse song if you went with the cover of I Gotta Feeling by Alvin and the Chipmunks and the Chipettes from Alvin and the Chipmunks 2: the Squeakquel.
One of the purposes of a mixtape is to introduce a new romantic interest to your own personal taste in music. This is part of a healthy relationship. So browse through your iTunes when the choice for next song becomes obvious: Rush!
Fact: No girl likes Rush.
“No!” you say. “She’s different! And even if she doesn’t, it probably is because she hasn’t heard their best stuff. I’ll put Spirit of Radio on the mixtape. She’ll love it!”
Fact: No girl likes Rush.
“OK, well maybe Spirit of Radio isn’t completely appropriate for a pseudo-romantic mixtape. But maybe there is a song that will introduce her to Rush while also conveying a sense of romance”
Fact: No girl likes Rush.
“Yeah! I’ll put on Tears, from 2112. I don’t usually listen to the B-side of that album, but it could get her interested in the band and it would be totally appropriate for the mixtape.”
Fact: No girl likes Rush.
“She is going to look so hot wearing my Snakes and Arrows shirt as pajamas after we do it.”
This may seem like fun little ditty. Hey, maybe she’ll dance to it or do a little strip. Plus, she probably likes Glee. Who doesn’t like Glee? With this song you get the two-in-one bonus.
This Swedish-written, joyless mass may function well as a Kylie Minogue reject, but as sung by a high school Glee club teacher it is just creepy.
This creepiness is further compounded by the lyrics. Who wants to be addicted to someone? We should want to be around people, and they be around us, due to rational decisions or at least the inexorable force of romantic emotions. But addiction? What are we, cigarettes?
Using a song with the datee’s name in it may seem like a cute move, but it tempts the gods of creepdom. The only thing worse than that would be to use a song with your own name in it. Thus, The Dream of Evan and Chan. Not only does it have my name, but the opening minute is an annoying synth mumbling that elicits responses like “is the CD scratched?” Or for the modern era, “Is the file corrupted?”
Songs like Owl City’s Firefly may be too obvious a choice of wimpy twee pop for anyone besides the biggest middle school Nancy to put on a mixtape, but The Postal Service has just enough age and reputation to make one of their deeper cuts seem like a good idea. It is not. Even for those of us who still like the group and have fond memories of having Feelings to Such Great Heights in high school, the Postal Service still takes part in that Platonic ideal of wuss rock. And you do not want your datee to think you are a wuss. If you want to reveal personal emotion while still retaining some semblance of inner strength, go with Springsteen.
Meat Loaf’s ditty sounds like a wonderful love ballad. It is not.
Inspired by Elvis’ “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You,” Meat Loaf set out to write a simple, popular love song. And upon first listen, it seems like a romantic expression of wanting and needing, explained via routine metaphor. Aww, Meat Loaf is in love. But he isn’t! He will never love her.
That is the message this song sends. This couple may have fun, they may develop emotion for each other, but there will never, ever be mutual love. And is that the message you want to send a datee? “Oh hey babe, you’re great, and we may have a fun relationship, but I will never, ever love you.”
It may be the truth. It may be pretty darn good. But no one wants to hear that two out of three ain’t bad. Believe me, I’ve tried.
There ain’t no Coupe de Ville hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box.
This is a great song about a romance with a man who could set things on fire with his breath. She won’t think it is a great song. She’ll just be confused and slightly angry by the use of the word Negro. Should have gone with Cindy Tells Me or On Some Faraway Beach, instead. Yeah, definitely On Some Faraway Beach.
The appropriate response to any Air Supply song is, “Really? Air Supplyinterrobang” This soft rock sentimentality belongs in the bins of 99 cent CDs at the local carwash. But through the reality warping veil of puppylove, these Australian crooners may seem to say everything that words cannot. The specific choice of this song among all of Air Supply is the music video, which I’m pretty sure was made by Tim and Eric.
Any sense of seriousness this song has is completely lost after viewing the music video.
This loosely defined “song” may sound like an appropriate love/sex song to MSI fans, but to normal people it sounds like an Awful. Much like Rush’s Rain, the sort of song that you would put on a tape to try to introduce a datee to the sort of music you like after she said that she hates the genre. But in the end, it won’t engrain her to the music, it’ll just make her hate you too.
I once dated a girl who had this song on a friend mixtape. She had never heard the whole song, because the opening several minutes are sing-talk dialogue between the annoying child-like characters who don’t want to have to pay for things. I could not find a youtube version of the song with the broadway soundtrack lead-in, but you can imagine.
And even if you do listen enough to get to the actual song, lyrics about AIDS and azidothymidine are not exactly surefire ways to set the right mood.
Again, this is a circumstance where if she doesn’t hate it, she already owns it and it was probably “Her Song” for some high school or college relationship with perfectly affable douche who wished he was John Mayer.
Some stand up comedian I cannot recall has a bit about the rather common going back to a girl’s place, where she tries to get the mood all sexed up by turning out the lights and then putting on some music to which she can appropriately undress, only to turn on some John Mayer. In what crazyland do Mayer’s mushmouthed lyrrrrrrarrrrcs convey any sense beyond that of a turgidity assassin. Spoiler alert: the crazyland of 14-year-old girls and those who never grew out of it. Appropriately enough, Mayer says he wrote the song when he was 14.
Ah, it all makes sense.
Admittedly, I don’t recall ever actually hearing this song. I’m sure I had, but I just can’t think of a specific time when I listened to this song. So after sitting down and listening to it, I was reminded of another song with a similar message and lyrics.
While I have not had time to analyze and critique David Brooks’ commencement speech at Rice University, I have had time to read The Atlantic’s twitter feed, which delivered this wonderful new Internet meme to my metaphorical doorstep.
Given the plethora of Facebook pictures from Rice University’s graduation, I expected to see some featuring Brooks. But so far, nada. Friedman says I should wait six more months, but why wait when I can merely add Brooks in.
Brooks at Graduation
Come on, David Brooks. Get off the phone! There is honor being conferred.
David photobombing Davers? Oh you!
This photo will be placed on a 1.44″ floppy disk, which will then be rubbed with magnets from 4rd grade science class. The file from the disk will then be uploaded as a YouTube video, then recorded, then uploaded onto YouTube again. A screen grab from the video will be displayed on a 10 foot screen via digital projector. The screen is covered with a three-inch grid, and viewers are encouraged to trace a square of the grid with crayon. Once completed, each section of the grid will be sold as designer toilet paper.
But of course, part of Brooks’ style is to visit various locales of American culture and then write about them with the greatest expertise. And what better place to fetishize the trials and tribulations of the social lives for yuppies-to-be than a college party like NOD.
Brooks' new book will be about NaCos, or Naked Co-Eds
Friedman was giving out mustache rides at NOD for 50 cents, but some guy from the South Asian Society was doing it for 25 cents and put him out of a job.
Thus is my partaking in what will hopefully become a grand internet meme. Perhaps I should have written on the pictures in Impact? Let’s try that:
He earns that place in the New York Times.
This was my first official assignment for The Atlantic.
So tomorrow is Rice University commencement, and David Brooks will be speaking. I’ve already commented on Brooks’ past commencement speeches, and how they would be rather inappropriate for Rice. Given his history, I’m curious just how much he is going to change for a unique campus like Rice.
I’d love to mock him again, but someone has already done a way better job than I could in this rush of a morning, preparing to hop an Amtrak to Philadelphia to see my sister’s graduation at Bryn Mawr. (Perhaps as a senior gift, her class could give the school some much needed vowels.)
The Final Edition’s David Brooks column is a thorough takedown of Brooks’ habit of ignoring the facts in front of his face to create some overarching theme. Usually it all takes the form of Republican apologetics. Here is a clip, but you should read the whole thing.
I’ve interviewed dozens of political leaders. Most of them feel some obligation, whether out of sincere belief or simple professionalism, to pay lip service to objective reality. It’s what sociologists call the “bias toward consensus.” I’ll validate your world if you validate mine. And, for most people, it serves a real purpose. It makes meaningful discourse possible, and provides a basis for mutually-comprehended cultural norms and relationships.
Bachmann sees things differently. She is perhaps the most visible of the societal type known as the New Solipsists, or Newso’s. You can tell Newso’s by their various characteristic behaviors and patterns of consumption.
If Newso’s feel like going to Circuit City to buy DuMont televisions and watch the latest broadcasts of Lost and The Shield, they do. They fly business class on Pan American to New York City, where they stay at the Biltmore and eat at La Caravelle. Every two years they trade in their car for another top-of-the-line Oldsmobile.
“I’m concerned because Obama is the first Communist Martian we’ve ever had a heartbeat away from the White Office,” she says, unprompted. “If you look at the Founding Fathers, none of them were Martians, except maybe Benjamin Franklin. But he wasn’t married, so he couldn’t be a father. Centipedes from South America will destroy us all until Jesus Christ returns.”
5. Make the very same fucking point your “liberal friends” were making. (“This doesn’t mean that the Tea Party influence will be positive for Republicans over the long haul. The movement carries viruses that may infect the G.O.P. in the years ahead.”)
6. Claim it’s an entirely different point by virtue of irrelevant caveat. (“But that damage is all in the future.”)
But I will keep going with my Smile, nonetheless.
Anyways, I won’t get to be at the David Brooks’ fest, or Maureen Dowd’s follow-up speech in Valhalla. Instead, I will get to hear the Bryn Mawr commencement speaker, Judith Jamison. I have never heard of her, though Wikipedia says she is some sort of dancer. That’s neat, though I doubt she’ll be able to tap dance around the issues like Brooks does.
Evangelistic advertisements are nothing new, especially for we Texans. Or while walking down 14th street and some cute girl comes up to you and tries to talk about how great Jesus is and rather than going with the “Why are you trying to make me no longer Jewish? Are you a Nazi?” argument I go with the Euthyphro but she doesn’t quite get it.
But these ads are oddly specific. May 21? I certainly hope the world doesn’t end then, that is my first day of post law school celebration.
How do they calculate that day, anyways? Luckily, Salon compiled the arguments. First, it is the anniversary of creation.
Another piece of evidence — explained by Family Radio affiliate eBibleFellowship — suggests that the world began in 11,013 B.C., and its 13,000th anniversary came and went in 1988.
Wait a second… Star Trek V. That was filmed in 1988! When the world first ended!
Oh my stars! It all makes sense now. God is a Trekkie, and all the 613 Commandments are actually Starfleet Regulations. And God has been rather absent in the management of the world because, as Starfleet Regulation 619 states: the commanding officer must relieve themselves of command if their current mission leaves them emotionally compromised and unable to make rational decisions.
After the Encounters at Farpoint, it was clear that God has to relieve himself of duty. But now he is back in Command with his number one, Jesus, promising to beam aboard his USS Holy Spirit a crew of the most dedicated and talented graduates of Starfleet Academy that Sector 1 has to offer. So send your regards to Boothby and the rest of the damned souls destined to suffer here on earth. 300 million to beam aboard, May 21!
Our continuing mission? To explore strange new theological structures. To seek out new worshipers and religions. To boldly go where no God has gone before!