A very special 'This American Life' about an administration with the endemic belief that laws only apply to the little people, and a limitless refusal to concede on even petty issues, no matter the costs. The highlight is about immigrant widows of US citizens (30:50). The program also discusses the constitutional beliefs of the presidential candidates. [more inside]
The Christian with Four Aces. Bill Sizemore writes about the infamous televangelist Pat Robertson.
The Diner: A true American hallmark, that first appeared on the horizon in the early 70's (the 1870's that is), and has remained a fixture on the American psyche since. If you've never been to one, why not go ahead and have your next meal there? There maybe one right around the corner from where you live. If not, well, like me, you can sit back and look at the glorious images that are available and hope that one day your dream comes true. But until then: remember to adhere to the Ten Commandments, and yeah--if you can--get a copy of Diner (youtube) and watch it. It might not be "strictly" about Diners, but it's fun all the same. [previously]
"These photographs of McClellan Street by David and Peter Turnley, taken in 1972-73, help us understand how America came to be the country that it is today." — John G. Morris
Music has been used in American military prisons and on bases to induce sleep deprivation, "prolong capture shock," disorient detainees during interrogations—and also drown out screams. Based on a leaked interrogation log, news reports, and the accounts of soldiers and detainees, here are some of the songs that guards and interrogators chose.
The Best Sandwiches in America Esquire magazine lists the very best examples of many very delicious sandwiches nationwide.
Esalen: Where "California" Bubbled Up (one photo mildly NSFW) For many others in America and around the world, Esalen stands more vaguely for that metaphorical point where “East meets West” and is transformed into something uniquely and mystically American or New Agey. And for a great many others yet, Esalen is simply that notorious bagno-bordello where people had sex and got high throughout the 1960s and 1970s before coming home talking psychobabble and dangling crystals. In short, Esalen is in every way, even geologically, California at its most extreme. It is its caricature, as well as its noblest expression.
Saddam's Confessions - Given Saddam Hussein's central place in the American Consciousness over the last couple decades and particularly in recent years, I found 60 minutes' interview with FBI interrogator George Piro pretty fascinating.
"The Emptied Prairie," a National Geographic article on North Dakota's ghost towns and the decline of the Great Plains. Typically amazing National Geographic photos here. Reminds me of a similar series that ran in the New York Times several years ago, which included this fascinating article by Timothy Egan.
The Wire is dissent; it argues that our systems are no longer viable for the greater good of the most, that America is no longer operating as a utilitarian and democratic experiment. An already-quite-good discussion about The Wire, originating in Mark Bowden's Atlantic article ('The Angriest Man in Television') and continuing through Mark Bowden's post on the show's nihilistic bleakness gets even more interesting on Matt Yglesias's blog, where the creator of the show stops by to give his opinion on what it's all supposed to mean.
Excellent post over at BLDBLOG on the history of Bannerman's Arsenal, a ruined island castle in the middle of the Hudson river, created by a war profiteer who was at one time the world's largest arms dealer. Bonus points for the amazing accompanying photos by Shaun O'Boyle, whose site Modern Ruins has been featured on the blue previously.
Join the No Cussing Club™. Look at some people who don't cuss. Become one of them. Then buy a CD, a T-shirt, and a mood ring type color changer thing about hugs. But not before you learn the story behind it all.
COW! ON! AMERICA! Cows have invaded America! Until the 1850s cows had invaded our families and now they want back in! They dominate our roadways! Who can escape their mystical dancing, their skills at running, their mastery of computers, and their lovely parades. They plot our destruction, corrupt our children with fan clubs and feed on the living. They even went global! When will the maddness end???
Welcome to Guardian America "So what is Guardian America, what makes a British newspaper think that Americans will want to imbibe its view of America and the world, and why, having decided to undertake such an improbable project, would the paper place it in my hands? Fine questions. Let's explore." [more inside]
Kerouac's On The Road: The 50th Anniversary Of A Book I Had Not Read I can't be the only one whose impression of the book, from hearing about it but not actually reading it, was that it was about young, potent men, lost in a growing commercial society, two coiled springs ready to pop, looking for adventure-- America style. And this Road Trip that launched a thousand, other boring, useless road trips, was about young men looking to experience the world, really see, really live, really feel, free of the constraints of an artificial post war soulless society . . . That impression is wrong. You know what the book is really about? It's a primer on how to be a narcissist.
The Union is Dissolved! Or, at least it will be, if these unusual allies have their way. While waiting for the results of the Second North American Separatist Convention, you can read up on the separatist groups who attended the first convention last fall.
Photographs of American Cities from the middle of the 20th Century.
Parity - The Canadian Dollar is (almost) at equal value to the American Dollar for the first time since 1976.
Lazy-Ass Nation. "Somewhere along the way, we fell in love with the dream of the effort-free existence."
Ghetto Capitalists At once an outsider and a welcome participant in the ghetto economy, he found that he was suddenly part of “a vast, often invisible web” of economic exchange. That web supports the residents of Maquis Park and adds a strange sort of order to their existence, tempering chaos and adding predictability to the lives of Chicago’s poor. For the most part, the people he meets seem eager to trade. It’s just that much of what they’re trading isn’t going to meet with the approval of a law-and-order Republican or a bleeding-heart Great Society Democrat.
America ★ America ★ America ★ America ★ America ★ America ★ America, Fuck Yeah! ★ America the Beautiful ★ America's Funniest Home Videos ★ America's Got Talent ★ America's Most Wanted ★ America's Next Top Model ★ American Beauty ★ American Dad ★ American Express ★ American Gigolo ★ American Girl ★ American Gladiators ★ American Idol ★ American Idiot ★ American Inventor ★ American Life ★ American Pie ★ American Pie ★ American Psycho ★ American Psycho ★ American Tune ★ American Woman ★ An American Tail ★ An American Werewolf in London ★ Angels in America ★ Breakfast in America ★ Captain America ★ Coming to America ★ Good Morning America ★ I'm Afraid of Americans ★ Kids in America ★ Living in America ★ Living in America ★ Lost in America ★ Miss America ★ Once Upon a Time in America ★ Only in America ★ The All-American Rejects ★ The Greatest American Hero ★ The Justice League of America ★ This American Life ★ White America ★ (You Can Still) Rock in America ★ Young Americans ★
The US Clean Air Act makes it illegal to sell highly environmentally-friendly cars in 42 states. Apparently.
Going After Gore "Al Gore couldn't believe his eyes: as the 2000 election heated up, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other top news outlets kept going after him, with misquotes ("I invented the Internet"), distortions (that he lied about being the inspiration for Love Story), and strangely off-the-mark needling, while pundits such as Maureen Dowd appeared to be charmed by his rival, George W. Bush. For the first time, Gore and his family talk about the effect of the press attacks on his campaign—and about his future plans—to the author, who finds that many in the media are re-assessing their 2000 coverage."
Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal by Joel Salatin. This Saturday will mark this article's four year anniversary. Frankly, I was mildly surprised not to have found it mentioned before in MeFi. It's a good read about a sad state of affairs; how our government is turning its own people into outlaws, because freedom has been traded in for an illusion of security. ...but then we already knew that. Don't we?
Radar picks the worst colleges in America. At least one of the picks is rather dubious, although I suppose being the "worst" Ivy League is a position of some note, and another one of the picks was where my school's valedictorian went. Either way, it's always nice to see the Moonies somersaulting into otherwise non-Moonie related stories.
American Rhetoric :: an online archive
Clinton White House Spokesman Joe Lockhart does stand-up. Text, or if you prefer there is some audio at the 51min mark from This American Life.
This map displays county-to-county migration data for 2000-2005 from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. In, out, staying put, median household income. [via]
La Vida de Vagabundos Americanos. Images of America's young homeless from the excellent Polaroid Photography Collective, featured before.
Knob Creek Gun Range, a former military-munitions test range situated near Fort Knox is home to the "World's Largest Machine Gun Shoot and Military Gun Show". Run by private citizens excercising their second amendment rights (Kentucky has no state-level gun laws) the focus is on Class III firearms - things like assault weapons and anti-tank rifles, but also the occasional high-caliber sniper rifle and cannon. Hold my bourbon and watch this! (more)
"Americans need to educate themselves, from elementary school onward, about what their country has done abroad. And they need to play a more active role in ensuring that what the United States does abroad is not merely in keeping with a foreign policy elite's sense of realpolitik but also with the American public's own sense of American values. Because at their core, those values are sound. That is why, even in places where you'll find virulent anti-Americanism, you'll also find enormous affection for things American." An article by Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Why not celebrate our Independence Day with the violent overthrow of the government? Some say they want a revolution, others would rather secede. Should we stay or should we go?
On the cusp of DEVO's first tour of Europe since 1990, it's become clear that, though largely cast aside after their 1980 hit "Whip It", DEVO's influence is finally being felt on modern audiences, around the world. DEVO has inspired tribute bands, some traditional, some not. They've also spawned new bands, domestic [MySpace link], and Foreign like Japan's POLYSICS [YouTube], and Germany's Mutate Now [YouTube]. With musical inspiration like this, can't we forgive such missteps as Devo 2.0?
The Third View project is a fascinating presentation of "rephotographs" of over 100 historic landscape sites in the American West that presents original 19th-century survey photographs, photographed again in the 1970s, then once again in the '90s - from the original vantage points, under similar lighting conditions, at (roughly) the same time of day and year. [Flash, and you'll probably need to allow pop-ups; a little more info inside...]
Australian TV show The Chaser recently went to New York and asked some American citizens what date the September 11 attacks occurred on. Here are some of their answers.
Australia is home to the biggest worm in the world, the Giant Gippsland Earthworm - Megascolides australis. The next biggest is the Giant Palouse Earthworm - Driloleirus americanus from Oregon. Both [Gippsland, Palouse] are only classed as vulnerable in the threatened category of the IUCN Red List, simply because they are hard to count. This is despite the extreme measures taken to save some and to try and just find a live specimen of others.
In 2008 Elect “Independent” Don Cordell For President, of the “United States of America” our, “America the Beautiful” OR, You “will be” “Citizens” of The: UNITED NATION’S, “NEW WORLD ORDER”
Beyond Bush: What the world needs is an open, confident America. An interesting article from Zakaria Fareed.
Marriage in America: The Frayed Knot. "As the divorce rate plummets at the top of American society and rises at the bottom, the widening “marriage gap” is breeding inequality."