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Showing posts from March, 2012

Parents Ruin Easter Egg Hunt, Childhood

Parents Ruin Easter Egg Hunt, Childhood

There's always someone who ruins things for everyone else. Any time you're no longer allowed to do something, it's because some jackwagon screwed it up for everybody.

That's why an Easter egg hunt was canceled this year in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Because some parents thought the Easter egg hunt was a competition, and not something small children could just do for fun.

According to a story by the Associated Press, the event had been marred by too many parents who ignored the "no parents" rule and climbed over the official "no parents" rope to help their precious snowflakes scoop up as many eggs as possible, even if that meant that other kids wouldn't get one.

"That's the perfect metaphor for millennial children," Ron Alsop, author of The Trophy Kids Grow Up, told the AP. "(Parents) can't stay out of their children's lives. They don't give their children enough chances to lear…

The Pains of a Writer's Rejection

The Pains of a Writer's RejectionNo writer likes rejection. It's so personal. It's not just our work that was rejected, we were.

Most adults build their identity around their work and its results. A carpenter doesn't just say, "I hammer nails." He says, "I build houses. Do you see that house? I built it." A doctor doesn't just say, "I prescribe medicine." She says, "I help people. Do you see that kid? I saved his life."

It's that way with writers. We don't just type, we create entire bodies of work that inform, entertain, and persuade. Having that work rejected means we have been rejected as people. Our thoughts, ideas, and experience, which made up our words, are not good enough to be read by others.

"Remember, it's not personal," say the veteran professional writer, smiling in that annoying, knowing way. "It's just business."

He remembers all too well the last time his work was rejected. He r…

Rush Getting Crushed, May Be Flushed

Rush Getting Crushed, May Be FlushedRush Limbaugh managed to offend nearly half the country (and not the half he usually offends) when he recently called law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute," after she testified before a congressional committee that health insurance should cover birth control.

It seems fair. It's a women's health issue, and some women use birth control for health reasons, so if they want to practice good health, then it should be covered by their health insurance. After all, who am I to say whether a woman is right or wrong for wanting to practice good personal health, or ask that it be covered along with other personal women's health issues? I'm a Guy. I shouldn't make these decisions.

As a father of daughters, I don't feel entirely comfortable discussing these. . . issues either. I know we're supposed to be mature adults who can use the scientific names of parts of our bodies. We're not supposed to sa…

Google IDs Newspaper Editor Jon Flatland as Serial Plagiarist

Google Catches Plagiarizing Newspaper EditorIt's a weird badge of honor in the humor writing world to be stolen from. To have someone else take your work, stick their name on it, and claim they wrote it. To tell the world they thought of that story, spun the words together, and made those jokes about the Mayor's wife's nose job.

It's a strange mix of emotions when it happens.

On the one hand, there's red-faced anger. Many of us make a mere pittance from our work and to have it stolen by someone who financially benefitted from it is an outrage.

On the other hand, there's pride. Pride that someone thought my work was funny enough to steal. That, of all the humor columnists to rip off, my work made them laugh enough to declare, "THIS! This column is so good, I must steal it."

We get special privileges when this happens, like openly mocking humor writers who were not ripped off.

I got to experience all this last Thursday, when I received an email from another …

Karl the Curmudgeon Wants a Writers Feud

Karl the Curmudgeon Wants a Writers Feud"Writer's don't have feuds anymore," said Karl.

What are you talking about? I said. We were sitting in a writer's bar called, predictably enough, First Edition. We had run out of internationally-themed bars, ever since Hey Mann, the Isle of Mann's bar closed down, so we decided to plumb the literary bars that dotted Indianapolis.

For the last 20 minutes, Karl had been glaring at a publicity photo of some writer hanging behind the bar, muttering something about holes in glass, or something like that. I had been on a mini-rant about how plagiarists should be publicly flogged with the Complete Works of William Shakespeare, hardbound edition, when he decided he wanted to fight with other writers.

"We need more writers feuds!" he thundered, plonking his empty beer mug on the bar. "Jack Kerouac and Truman Capote used to have feuds. Norman Mailer once head-butted Gore Vidal. Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein used…