Culture

Lena Dunham’s Republican Rapist is Probably Not a Republican, Rapist

By on 12.31.14 | 1:38PM

Before I even begin, allow me to apologize. In this article, I am going to have to discuss Lena Dunham's sex life. I realize that the mere mention of Lena Dunham having relations with anyone or anything is enough to scar you, but I want to point out that you read the Spectacle at your own risk and we will not pay for your therapy. 

Anyway, in her book Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham discussed, in surprisingly graphic detail, a sexual assault that she suffered at the hands of the only Oberlin campus Republican that has ever existed. Only, further examination by Breitbart news and others seemed to indicate that, while there was a campus Republican at Oberlin at the the same time Dunham attended, that campus Republican absolutely did not rape her. And the campus Republican was, quite understandably, rather distressed that the suggestion would even be made, and not just because Dunham implied that he'd willingly seen her naked, but because accusing someone of rape is, legally speaking, defamation. 

'Tis the Season

Chinook Winter

By From the December 1997 issue

From our December 1997 issue.

Cody, Wyoming

To write about the weather, you have to be where the weather's interesting, or preferably lethal. Here winter has been punctuated in a cadence of blizzard, dead cold, wild chinook — at twenty below, thin ribbons of smoke from chimneys and exhaust pipes rise upward for what seems a hundred yards or more, finally fading into the cobalt sky. Tires rolling on the frosty pavement make a sound like ripping Velcro, and at night you can just about hear the firmament throbbing. It is the paradox of the frozen: cold brings quiet, yet in the quiet you hear everything. In Wyoming, madmen hear the stars.

Last Call

Christmas Below the Gnat Line

By From the December 2013 issue

I’ll risk cliché by saying it seems like we just did this a few months ago. Cliché perhaps, but true nonetheless. Hours and days last as long as ever, but the years whiz by.This isn’t a complaint. Christmas is joyous and I like it, even with its aggravations. There are fewer of those now as the family is smaller. Attendance at Christmas dinner at chez Thornberry, once a boisterous affair with young and old human celebrants in double figures and numerous dogs probing all perimeters for handouts, has dwindled, in the words of the song, to a precious few. 

But these few are indeed precious. And recognizing this is a good part of what Christmas is for, even though carols, presents, decorations, and parties remain in the forefront of what has been largely a secular celebration. This was the case even before our cultural transmission belts and their keepers went post-everything.

The Worst Christmas Song Ever

By on 12.23.14 | 12:11PM

So, I'm traveling today, which means that, unless Jesus performs a miracle on my iPad keyboard, it's likely this is the only post you'll get from me for at least a couple of hours. Which means, of course, that I have to make it good, right?

I want to talk Christmas songs. Not the kind you sing in church, but the kind you've been hearing on that one radio station that flipped its programming to Christmas music just after Labor Day and has been haranging you with approximately 80000 versions of the same eight songs for three months. There are some truly terrible Christmas songs. And in the spirit of the congenial debate often at play in this blog, I want to declare that there is a Most Terrible. 

North Korea Has Found Source of Hacks, Will Blow Up White House Now

By on 12.22.14 | 1:06PM

We all know that our government is taking the hacks on Sony Entertainment very seriously. We know this because President Obama held a Very Serious Press Conference on Friday, where he only called on Very Serious Reporters, who asked Very Serious Questions about his Very Serious Response to a corporate hacking.

According to President Obama, Sony tried to go it alone, found they were incapable of handling such an attack on their technology and now he'll be stepping in to handle their problems. Sony, on the other hand, quickly noted that they had asked the White House for help with the hack some time ago, and despite their regular contributions to Barack Obama's campaign coffers, no one picked up the phone in the Oval Office. But they're happy to have the help now, they guess. 

Al Sharpton Worried You’ve Forgotten About Him Since Yesterday

By on 12.22.14 | 12:38PM

The events of this weekend are horrifying. Two NYPD officers are dead in an unprovoked attack that seems to have been cheered by at least a segment of the public. A child has been left fatherless, sentiments on both sides of a heated debate have been ignited, and a city is in mourning. 

But before you go discussing the relative impact of philosophies and agendas on the state of race relations in America, or consider how inflammatory remarks from community leaders may have ultimately worsened the situation, please remember that there is only one real victim here, and that is Al Sharpton, who held a press conference yesterday lest his "leadership" get dropped from the news cycle.

[T]he Rev. Al Sharpton, who has called for peaceful protests, condemned “eye-for-an-eye” violence and called it absurd to blame protesters or politicians for the officers’ deaths.

Bill Clinton Creeps On NY Dem’s Daughter

By on 12.18.14 | 12:49PM

This is yesterday's viral photo, but we were all so obsessed with covering unimportant things like the Administration lifting the Cuba embargo and North Korea strong-arming Hollywood into pulling a movie that was probably going to tank anyway that we had to pass on covering a creepy photo of Bill Clinton hugging the daughter of a New York Democratic mega-donor. 

Fear not, though. 

The woman being only minimally restrained by both former President Clinton and what appears to be a Herve Leger bodycon dress, is Andrea Catsimatidis, daughter of John Catsimatidis, a "billionaire grocer" who donated $750,000 to Hillary's 2008 Presidential bid, and who may be best known for his part in a scheme to allegedly purchase the New York Senate for the Democratic Party, along with current NYC mayor Bill de Blasio.

Kim Jong Un “Interview” Death Scene Leaks Online

By on 12.18.14 | 11:25AM

Yesterday was a great day to be a tinpot dictator. 

We've already discussed the US softening of relations with Cuba, and last night, Sony Pictures, terrified of North Korea's psychotic overlord and his Atari missile launcher, pulled The Interview from theaters, after it became apparent that North Korea was behind the massive Sony email leak. Now, granted, had something actually happened, we'd have been all over Sony for failing to take decisive action, and blaming them for whatever life, limb and property was lost in the ensuing revenge. But at least right now, it's pretty clear that when it comes to a strong foreign policy towards men in fancy pajamas with rockets pointed at their Malibu beach hosues, Hollywood is more in favor than we thought they'd be.

Rick Santorum Would Like to Talk Frankly About Procreation

By on 12.17.14 | 1:19PM

I'm not sharing this because I feel like it adds anything to the debate over who should be our 2016 Presidential nominee. Frankly, I think the more candidates we have with varying degrees of insanity on varying subjects, the better. It's high time that the Republican party extoll the virtues of diversity of opinion within its ranks, and while some of the crazier folk might be apt to tarnish the party's public image in unexpected ways, at this point, they're only living up to double-standards that have already been set for them. And, if all else fails, with so many potential nominees seemingly grasping at the straws of sanity in one room, there's always a chance that a professional debate could dissolve into a wrestling match. 

I'm sharing this because I had to read it and I do not want to be alone in my misery. Ladies and gentlemen: Deep Thoughts With Rick Santorum.

I’ve spoken on a lot of college campuses and a lot of high schools, and [I've got] seven kids, so obviously sex isn’t a real problem for me.

No.

Michelle Obama Once Got Asked for Help at Target, Thinks It Was Probably Racist

By on 12.17.14 | 1:09PM

Look. I honestly believe that yes, there are lingering vestiges of racism in our society. You don't exorcise something that pervasive in modern culture in less than a century. Occasionally - not regularly, but occasionally - we've all been known to make varying assumptions about other people based on existing stereotypes.

I have no doubt that, in their lifetimes, the Obamas have experienced lots of instances of discrimination based on skin color, and I think that's a tragedy. However, I do not think being asked to reach something on a high shelf at a big box retail store is one of those instances.

"I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn't see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn't anything new," Michelle Obama, who is 5'11", said. 

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