Snide Remarks

Snide Remarks

5thgrade

Eric D. Snider: Boy Journalist (Part 2)

I kept these newspaper clippings in a photo album. To make maximum use of the space in the album, I would sometimes cut the columns up and rearrange the layout. Over time, some of the smaller clippings of clippings fell out of the photo album and were lost forever. Also, there were a few columns that I didn't save at all, out of sheer negligence.
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Bake Me to Church

Getting married is a huge production. There are so many details to consider! For example, first you have to find someone who wants to be married to you. This step alone can be very time-consuming. Then you have to book a venue, send out invitations, and double-check that the person still wants to be married to you. And now, on top of all that, you ALSO have to take time to meet with potential bakeries to see if they will sanction your union with a cake.
5thgrade

Eric D. Snider: Boy Journalist

I've wanted to be a writer since I was 5, but I didn't get my first paid gig until I was twice that old. Our weekly community newspaper, The Lake Elsinore Valley Sun-Tribune, had a student from each of the local schools write a column about news at their school, and I was chosen to represent Elsinore Elementary. I was proud that all of the other elementary schools were covered by sixth graders and I was only in fifth grade.
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Love and Sects

TLC recently aired a reality program called "My Husband's Not Gay," about Mormon women whose husbands are gay (sorry, ladies!). The title was presumably meant to be sarcastic, like when New Jersey is called "the Garden State," or when TLC was called "The Learning Channel."
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Requiem for a Geo

Ladies and gentlemen, I regret to inform you that Elaine Stritch is no longer with us. No, no, not the actress who played Jack Donaghy's mom on "30 Rock." She's fine (as far as I know). I mean Elaine Stritch the 1994 Geo Prizm that a family friend gave me in 2007 after the demise of my previous car. My friend Gene named the car Elaine Stritch because, like the venerable actress, it was rickety, cantankerous, and temperamental, yet somehow still kickin' after all these years. She was indestructible. A real feisty old broad, with 275,000 miles on her! And she won a Tony!
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The End of All Things

They say that our society has gotten more tolerant of indecency in recent years, and I tend to agree. Please allow me to share several hundred examples.

The Surly Urban Juror

One of the great privileges we have as Americans is the right to complain about being called for jury duty, and to try every reasonable method of weaseling out of it. This process is fundamental to our judicial system. As stated by the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial, reluctant jury composed of citizens resigned to just getting it over with."

Proud Fathers

When the Founding Fathers slapped together this great nation of ours (America), the world was a very different place. England was the most powerful nation on Earth, a fact that never ceased to embarrass the other nations. The most scandalous fashion trend was wearing a coat made of foxes with the foxes still alive. The ice cream cone had not yet been invented. Wi-fi was spotty at best.
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Supermania!

This week the motion-picture emporiums will unspool a new Superman film, "Man of Steel," that will reboot the franchise for the first time in well over a year. Henry Cavill is the latest actor to play the colorfully dressed bachelor, following in the rubber bootsteps of Christopher Reeve, George Reeves, Brandon Routh Reeviest, and Reeves Reeverton. Lois Lane is Amy Adams, and the villain is high expectations.

Truth Decay

American communities have been fluoridating their water for 60 years, and 70% of the country's population currently lives in places where the water is fluoridated. But Portland, Oregon, where I live, is not one of those places. In fact, Portland is the largest U.S. city without fluoridated water! We're about to vote on whether to start doing it -- and the issue is not as clear-cut as you might think. Many Portlanders are against it.

Correction News Network

Good evening. Thank you for joining us. Before we get to tonight's top stories, CNN would like to clarify -- and in some cases correct -- statements we made on the air yesterday. As you know, most of the day's coverage was devoted to the bold daylight robbery of a bank in downtown Peoria, Illinois, which led to a high-speed chase and, eventually, the capture of the suspected robbers. CNN stands by the bulk of its coverage, but we regret that in our urgency to bring you the news, we conveyed some details that later proved to be erroneous.
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Spring Breaking Point

It was 10:30 on a Thursday night, and I was at a movie theater for the first local screening of "Spring Breakers," which is about four trashy college girls who go to Florida and get in trouble with guns, drugs, and sex. (Note: it's impossible to go to Florida and not have trouble with at least one of those things.) The movie had opened in New York a week earlier and was already infamous for featuring former Disney stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens as two of the girls, all boobs a-flashin' and suchlike. It's a sign that they've grown out of their "Wizards of Waverly Place" and "High School Musical" personas and want to be grown-ups now, like when Shia LaBeouf left "Even Stevens" in 2003 to become a meth cook and was never seen again.

What I Think About What You Think

As the old saying goes, opinions are like anuses: everybody has one, and everybody thinks theirs doesn't stink, and some are dangerously unpredictable and will not hold up under scrutiny and have a tendency to make others uncomfortable. Who among us has not at one time or another been offended by the tenor of someone's loud, squawking opinion?
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Empty Pockets

I was trudging through the security line at the airport one recent morning when a TSA representative started her patter. The TSA patter is familiar to all who have been on a plane in the last several years (a demographic which somehow never includes whoever is directly in front of me in the line). A TSA person who is not actively engaged in the screening/molestation process stands near the line and recites the TSA catechism to those trundling through it. "Remember to take the plastic bag containing your liquids out of your baggage." "Remember to take off your shoes, jackets, and belts." "Remember to suck in your gut when we take the naked pictures of you." And so forth.
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Get Out of the Way, Idaho

I've been a licensed driver for 22 years, and in that time have received my share of speeding tickets. Just about everyone has at some point. People who have never gotten a speeding ticket are like people who have never gotten a cavity, in the sense that shut up, nobody wants to hear it. But after a flurry of infractions in my teens and 20s, my run-ins with Johnny Law have grown markedly infrequent in recent years. My last ticket was in June 2005 -- almost eight years ago! And eight is practically nine, which is basically a decade, so it's been more or less a decade since my last ticket.
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Jamaican Me Crazy

As with any major entertainment event, this year's Super Bowl had its share of surprises and controversy. For example, there was the power outage -- and I'm not just talking about how [underperforming player] ruined things for the [team name]! Then there was the halftime show, when two homeless ladies rushed the stage and sang a song with Beyonce. And that's to say nothing of the game itself, which ended in a victory for one of the teams while the other team did not make enough points to achieve victory (or so I am told)!
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Low-Capacity Magazines

You are not supposed to buy the gossip magazines that you see at the supermarket. They are posted at the checkout because you are supposed to flip through them while waiting in line. They're not intended for purchase. The barcodes on the covers aren't even real. If somebody tries to buy one, the cashier is supposed to discreetly hand them a card that says, "Up-to-the-minute gossip is available for free on the Internet."
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Anti-Anti-Semitism

I want to talk about anti-semitism. That's because I don't understand it, and I like talking about things I don't understand, as evidenced by my lecture series "How to Program A Universal Remote Control."
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Claus for Reflection

I don't remember how old I was when I stopped believing in Santa Claus (SPOILER ALERT: there is no Santa Claus), but I do remember that I didn't feel like my parents had lied to me. Even though they had. Boy, howdy, had they. And what a lie! Throughout the first several years of my life, my parents consistently perpetrated an elaborate fiction about an imaginary figure who brought gifts on Christmas Eve, and they never once broke character or let on that they knew it was not true. That is amazing commitment.
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More Miserables

"Les Misérables" has been popular around the world ever since Victor Hugo wrote it, and even more so since someone had the good sense to turn it into a synthesizer-based stage music. The other big Broadway hit of the '80s, "The Phantom of the Opera," was also based on a French novel, as were most of the Broadway hits of previous decades, including "Le King and Moi," "Le Sound de Musique," and "Oklahomme!"
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My Rejected ‘Breaking Dawn — Part 2’ Screenplay

I admit I was discouraged when my screenplay adaptations of the "Twilight" novels were rejected by Hollywood for being "too short" and "written in crayon" and "potentially not serious." But I swore I would adapt all the books no matter how many movies they split them into, and a man's word is his bond. Here is my submission for the final entry, "Breaking Dawn -- Part 2." If you see it in theaters, you'll notice they stole a lot of my ideas.
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Vegging Out

I recently became a vegetarian because I lost a bet, which I assume is the only reason anyone becomes a vegetarian. This was not a permanent lifestyle adjustment, but it did last 61 days, enough time for my blood-gravy levels to fall dangerously low.
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Supernatural Selection

MODERATOR: Good evening. We are pleased to present this televised debate between the two candidates for President of the United States: Senator Casper T. Goest and Senator Batt Bloodgood. The format is as follows: I will introduce a topic, and the candidates will bicker about it until I interrupt them. Gentlemen, welcome.
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PETA vs. Pokemon

Good news, animal lovers! You can all breathe a sigh of bacon-scented relief. The pattern of animal cruelty that has plagued our world for centuries has at last been eradicated. There is no more animal suffering!
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Going Back to Cali

One of the most notable things about 2012 is that it marks the 20th anniversary of 1992. I was reminded of this startling fact a few months ago, when I was summoned to attend a reunion for people who went to my high school and graduated from it on the same day as me. This occurred 20 years ago, according to math.
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Islam, You Slam, We All Slam

You've probably heard about the movie on YouTube that says terrible things about Muslims and that inspired some Muslims to fight back against the slurs by proving them right. While it is far from the most loathsome thing on YouTube, it has certainly been the most lethal. So far the film has caused more than 50 deaths worldwide, an impressive figure that even "Ghost Rider" was unable to match.
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Painless Chair Removal

So as I was saying, the time had finally come for me to get rid of the ugly yellow chair that I'd had since 1996, when I bought it for $7 at a thrift store. The chair was old and ratty when I got it, and had only grown older and rattier since then. In fact, most things are older and rattier now than they were in 1996, except maybe Madonna.
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Dumb and Summer

Summer is over, folks, which means it's time to wipe three things: the sweat off your forehead, that smile off your face, and the images of Channing Tatum from your memory. This year's crop of summer blockbusters was as potent and full-bodied as ever, with films covering a wide span of subjects ranging all the way from Marvel to DC, and drawing inspiration from such rich source materials as television shows, board games, and Seth MacFarlane's bong. Whether you were the stars of "Twilight," or just one of the hundreds of entertainment journalists assigned to write about the stars of "Twilight," it's safe to say you had a busy and deeply fulfilling summer.
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Requiem for a Chair

There comes a time in every man's life when he must put away the things of his youth and embrace adulthood. It is just as the Apostle Paul said: "When I was a child I spake as a child. But now I am grown up and do not ride a skateboard anymore, because come on."
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The First Man Ever to Decorate His Home with Hunting Trophies Tries to Sell His Wife on the Idea: A Dramatic Monologue

Hey, honey? I had some decorating ideas for when we move to the new house. Now, just hear me out, OK? So I was thinking we should put the nice recliners in that nook by the big windows, you know? And maybe buy a settee for over near the fireplace? And then I was also thinking maybe a moose head on the wall? Uh, it’s like a long upholstered seat. Oh, that! Yeah. A moose head.
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In Search of Pirates

The greatest crisis facing Hollywood today is piracy. Well, that’s not strictly true. Hollywood’s greatest crisis is that Hollywood’s profits are not as high as Hollywood would like them to be, and piracy is an easy thing to blame it on. If people are buying fewer movie tickets than they used to, it must be because they’re illegally downloading the movies at home! It’s certainly not because ticket prices are too high and movies aren’t that good anyway and people have high-quality sound systems and big-screen TVs at home and theaters are hellish dens of rude jackasses and you have to sit through 20 minutes of commercials and previews before the film starts and concessions are so absurdly overpriced that even people who work in the banking industry think, “Wow, they are really ripping us off here.” No, it can’t be that. It must be piracy.
cannes

Yes We Cannes!

Bonjour! (This concludes the foreign-language portion of this column.) It was recently my great fortune to attend the Cannes Film Festival, which is currently held in the quaint seaside village of Cannes, located in a country known as “France.” I had...
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Los Churros del Diablo

I believe the verb "to trudge" was coined specifically to apply to traveling. There's no better way to describe what it's like when you're dragging a wheeled suitcase behind you up a city street and down into a subway station. TRUDGE. You're leaning slightly forward, counterbalanced by the weight of the suitcase. TRUDGE TRUDGE TRUDGE.
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Wedding Your Appetite

Big news from the world of entertainment! "Cool World" star Brad Pitt and his girlfriend, animated science-classroom skeleton Angelina Jolie, who have been together for seven years and are the parents of six children, announced that they are getting married! This is huge, as it is exceedingly rare for a man and woman who have been together for seven years and are the parents of six children to make such a bold commitment! The news media will definitely want to cover this important story with breathless excitement!
cootersgarage

ShAAMCO

My car is a 1994 Geo Prizm. Doing the math, you see that my car is 18 years old. That is not very old for a person -- in fact, you normally wouldn't even pay attention to a person who isn't at least that old -- but it is quite old for an automobile that is in working condition and being driven regularly. In the United States, the average car on the road is 10.8 years old. By those standards, my Geo Prizm is a senior citizen!
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The 2012 American Hunger Games

Welcome to the 2012 American Hunger Games, the country's most exciting youth competition and bloodsport! A teenage boy and girl have been selected from each of the 50 states, and those 100 young people will murder one another on television until only one remains! Sponsored by Coca-Cola!
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Things to Do with Eric When He’s Dead

Death is a fact of life -- though you wouldn't know it by watching the television series "The Facts of Life," which barely mentioned the subject outside of that one episode where Natalie murdered a clown. Everyone dies eventually, except Dick Cheney, so there's no point in refusing to think about it.
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Bathroom of Terror

I was awakened at an indecent hour on a recent morning by what I instantly recognized as the urgent need to make wee-wee. We've all been roused by the call of nature before, but this call was particularly insistent, like a telemarketer, one who was also, for some reason, screaming. Yes, it was like a screaming telemarketer inside my bladder -- and it wanted out NOW!
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A Novel Approach

Those crazies down in Hollywood -- or as I like to call it, HOLLYWEIRD!! -- are desperate to find new ways of inflicting their garbage upon us, and now they're really starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel. Do you want to know what their latest scheme is? Making movies based on books. That's right, they've exhausted all the regular sources for cinema stories -- board games, TV commercials, Twitter feeds, bumper stickers -- and now they're trampling the sacred halls of literature in search of new plots to steal. Those godless heathens are absolutely shameless.
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Man Vs. Animal

As a species, we humans have many advantages over the other animals, including opposable thumbs and an appreciation for limericks. But sometimes I worry about us. We have a dangerous capacity for self-delusion that is not generally found in the animal kingdom. Animals never think they're smarter or more capable than they actually are, but people do it all the time. To put it bluntly, we're idiots.
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A Game of Quarters

Several years ago some friends of mine thought it might be profitable to own and maintain a bunch of vending machines placed at local businesses. These were not the big, refrigerator-sized machines with dozens of candy options, but the small, single-item ones, the kind where you put a quarter in the slot, crank the knob, and get a handful of Skittles or whatever. It must only be children who use those machines, right? Adults usually don't ingest food products that came out of a germ-ridden plastic drum and were delivered without any packaging directly into their sweaty hands.
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The Hood Life

There are many articles of men's clothing that I have never owned. A jockstrap, for example. I've never had a reason to buy one, not even for comedy. I've also never had a rain slicker, galoshes, mittens, or capri pants. (That last one is a trick. There's no such thing as men's capri pants.) Nor have I ever owned a wife-beater T-shirt. I don't have the arms for it, or the wife. Frankly, I don't know why the companies that manufacture those shirts even call them that. Seems kind of offensive.
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A Grimm View of Politics

The Three Little Pigs (Conservative Version) Once upon a time there were three little pigs who wanted to own houses even though they had no reliable source of income, being pigs and all. The first pig took out a loan to buy a house made of straw. The second pig took out a loan to buy a house made of sticks. The third pig took out a loan to buy a house made of bricks. Everyone told them they should be careful about buying such expensive houses because they might not be able to keep up on the payments, but the pigs did it anyway. I'm not prejudiced or anything, but it's a simple fact that pigs are notoriously reckless when it comes to personal responsibility.
Paparazzi!

Seething Stars

Sometimes I use this column to make savage mockery of gossip magazines and celebrity culture. This is fun for me, but in order to do it I have to buy a few gossip magazines, and that's embarrassing. I always want to tell the cashier, "Oh, don't worry, I'm buying these ironically so I can make fun of them." But I don't tell the cashier that, because the cashier doesn't care, and I am considerate.
josephmaryinn

Joseph’s Blog: The Carin’ Carpenter

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven't posted anything here at The Carin' Carpenter for a while. Things have been hectic. Wait till you hear what happened. But first let me say: if you're in Bethlehem, do NOT stay at the Bethlehem Sleepytime Inn!!! It is t...
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Indistinguishable, That’s What You Are

I have brand loyalty for Q-Tips. The generic cotton swabs are cheaper, but they also have noticeably less cotton on the ends. You might as well be cleaning out your ears with a screwdriver.
circlekclosed

The Circle K of Life

We Sniders love Christmas because we Sniders love tradition. We love gift-giving and gift-receiving and "Away in a Manger," too, but it's the season's traditions that capture our hearts the most. If we Sniders do something a certain way one time, we prefer to do it the same way again the next time. We Sniders are probably mildly autistic.
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My Rejected ‘Breaking Dawn — Part 1’ Screenplay

I'm getting discouraged. This is the fourth time I've submitted a screenplay adaptation of a "Twilight" book, and the fourth time I've been rejected -- and not just rejected, but ignored! Totally ignored! I put my script in an envelope addressed to Twilight movies, Hollywood, California, mailed it, and heard nothing back. I'm starting to take it personally. Anyway, here's what I submitted for the first of the two "Breaking Dawn" movies.
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The Frog Days of Summer

From: Marketing department, socks and ping pong balls division Subject: Marketing strategy for upcoming film "The Muppets" Date: February 1, 2011 To: Senior vice presidents of marketing, Walt Disney Pictures Dear senior vice presidents: Our department has concluded its study into the matter of how best to promote the Company's upcoming film "The Muppets," which as you know is scheduled for release this Thanksgiving. Here are our recommendations.
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Infant Jest

Styles change, and fads come and go, but you know what's always popular? Babies! People love babies! Not all babies, because some are ugly, and not all the time, because sometimes they stink or make noise, but in general. You show up with a cute, happy baby dressed in an adorable li'l outfit, and you'll make even the mudgiest curmudgeon drool in adulation.
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Soda Speak

Attention men! Did you know that it is embarrassing for you to drink diet soda? Well, it is. Diet soda is for women. Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is for a man to do something that a woman also does? It is super embarrassing. In the Old Testament days, they'd have put you to death for that. "And a man shall not drink of the same reduced-calorie beverage which the woman drinketh, for this is abomination," that's what the Old Testament says.
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The Super Bowl of the Mind

It's no secret that I don't follow sports. Sports don't follow me, either. We have little to say to each other. Nonetheless, as a student of human nature and a person always eager to find new things to make jokes about, I was receptive when a friend ...
Open Mic

Open Mike Night

Thank you! Thank you. My name is Ezekiel Dunlap. This is my first time at open mike night, so I'm a little nervous. I hope you'll bear with me.
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Jews Your Words Carefully

You know how sometimes you're not really paying attention when people are talking, and you wind up misunderstanding them? For example, there was the time I was at lunch with my mom, and I thought she told me I was born by cesarean, when what she actually said was that she was going to have a Caesar salad, and she wished she'd had an abortion. Totally different.
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Arachnophilia

I want to get a dog. Dogs provide companionship, loyalty, and someone to blame your farts on. But I'm not allowed to have a dog in my apartment. Cats are OK, but my landlady is racist against dogs.
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Summery Judgment

Did you have a great summer? You did if you are the Summer Blockbuster Season! (Which you are not. The Summer Blockbuster Season is an abstract concept and as such cannot read Internet columns.) We moviegoers had a decent summer too, especially if you measure in decibels.
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The Internet Reacts to the Upcoming Film Version of ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ 1939

Meh. I can't believe they're rebooting this franchise. Ugh, they're shooting some of it in color? So tired of that gimmick. It gives me a headache.
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Freedom of Depress

This week marks the second anniversary of the incident wherein my antidepressants quit working and I had a bit of what doctors call "cuckoo time." Boy howdy, that was not pleasant! I did not enjoy that experience very much at all! You should try not to let that happen to you!
Accountant

No Accounting for Taste

Like many people -- perhaps even some of you reading this -- I earn a living by providing services in exchange for monetary compensation. I do a thing, and then someone pays me a previously agreed-upon sum of money for that thing. The system is imperfect, but it generally functions adequately for me and the other people who perform labor in exchange for payment.
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For PETA’s Sake

According to the ol' clock on the wall, it's time to check in and see what kind of marvelous nonsense those drama queens at PETA are up to! Don't worry, that clock on the wall is made from 100% synthetic materials, except for the hands, which are frogs' legs.
Apple worship

The Apple of My i

A lot of people worry about the decline of religious observance in America, but that's only because their definition of "religion" is too narrow. If Apple Inc. had a church for its faithful members to gather in, it would be filled to capacity every single week, all those people reverently bowing their heads, playing with their iPhones, just like in regular church.
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Drunk Thoughts

Let's check out the latest developments in the field of being very drunk! First stop: Anchorage, Alaska! This snowy Canadian village, located just north of the North Pole, is home to a lot of drunkards, probably because there's nothing to do and it's only daylight for eleven hours a year and you live under the constant threat of a militant Eskimo uprising. To prevent these drunkards from freezing to death in snow drifts or endangering others by driving their dog sleds home to their ice forts, the city of Anchorage has a van that picks them up and takes them to a place where they can sleep it off for the night.
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Positive Buzz

People have complained about the film "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" for many reasons: it's too long, it's too loud, it was directed by a sociopathic 13-year-old boy, it exists at all, etc. I can sympathize with some of these objections. What I can't get behind, though, is any criticism of Buzz Aldrin for appearing in it.
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Choosing Your Candid Hate

With the 2012 presidential election less than 18 months away, it's time for the news media to buckle down and get serious about covering every conceivable aspect of it. Their goal is ambitious. If Election Day arrives and there remains even a single American who is not already sick to death of the political process generally and each candidate specifically, then the news media have not done their job.
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Stand in the Place Where You Work

It's common knowledge that pretty much everything people enjoy is deadly. Liquor, promiscuity, fudge, corn dogs, homemade penicillin, eating things you find on the subway, bear-baiting, all of it will kill you. A person prone to hyperbole might say, in exasperation, "Fine! To avoid the world's dangers, I'll just sit quietly in a comfortable chair!" Well, guess what, Mr. Sarcasm, sitting down will also kill you.
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Goodwill Hunting

It had always been my assumption that the clothes you buy at Goodwill have been laundered between the time they were donated and the time they were put on the racks. They couldn't just sell people's dirty clothes, could they? That's gross. We are not savages.
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The Summer TV Preview

Hey, couch potatoes! Think summer TV is boring, with all the shows on hiatus and nothing but reruns to put in front of your glossy, sweat-drenched faces? As if! Get with the times, loser! In the modern world, all the networks and cable channels offer new programming all summer long, and your lowered expectations and heat-induced lethargy mean you'll watch it -- YOU'LL WATCH IT ALL! But you need a guide to help you prioritize your viewing! That's where we come in! Turn on the fan, sit back, let your moistened thighs affix themselves to the couch, and gulp down this thirst-quenching Summer TV Preview!
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Mysterious Kin

(Warning: This column contains multiple references to baby genitals.) Two of my brothers are married. (Not to each other.) At the moment, both of my sisters-in-law are pregnant, and are both due to deliver in mid-June. This is as it should be, as the almanac tells us that Snider mating season did indeed fall in September last year.
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It Takes All Kinds

One of the most interesting things about America is how diverse it is. There's room for everybody! Well, maybe not physically. Not always, not with how fat we are. Seriously, have you seen us? We're HUGE. There's a lady in one of those obesity scooters who always goes to the free advance movie screenings, and we dread having to sit behind her because she wears flimsy, sleeveless house dresses whose straps can barely contain her cascading rolls of back fat. Also, one time she brought with her, in a plastic bag, no joke, an entire roasted chicken, which she ate during the movie. I'm not kidding. It smelled delicious, but did she share? No, she did not.
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One Less Boogeyman

Many of us were celebrating in the streets late on the night of May 1, firing guns into the air and chanting "U-S-A! U-S-A!" The atmosphere became even more festive when we found out that Osama bin Laden had been killed. It was the most excited Americans had been over an international event on a Sunday night since The Beatles played "The Ed Sullivan Show."
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My Body Is a Wonderland

The human body is amazing. Mine is, anyway. Have you seen it? It's soft, lumpy, and hairy, like somebody dropped a big ball of bread dough in a pile of barbershop sweepings.
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A Matter of Control

My parents, born in 1953, grew up as witnesses to the primitive early days of television. There were only a few channels, everything was in black-and-white, and you weren't allowed to imply that anyone ever had sex or went to the bathroom. You'd think the people of that generation would be amazed at how far TV has come since then. Now there are hundreds of high-definition channels, they're in full color, and plenty of programs show people not just having sex and going to the bathroom, but doing both at the same time. Poopin' and doin' it, that's what TV is all about. But do the surviving members of that first TV generation appreciate it? No. All they watch is "Jeopardy!" and "Everybody Loves Raymond," both of which were probably on in the '50s anyway.
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Soccer Punch

It is popular everywhere in the world except the United States. Americans tend to make fun of it, though a growing number support it fervently and seek to convert others. It is impossible for someone who loves it and someone who hates it to discuss it without the person who loves it being condescending and the person who hates it being stubborn. The answer? Soccer, though we also would have accepted socialized medicine.
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Leaving in a Huff

One thing you may not know about me is that I am a writer. More specifically, I'm a freelance writer. This means I can have several clients at once, work from home in my underwear, and set my own hours. It is basically like being a prostitute, but with less stringent hygiene requirements.
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Celeb Me Entertain You

Frowny-faced old people on television keep complaining that nobody reads the news anymore, but I don't think that's true. Print journalism continues to flourish in the form of gossip magazines. OK!, In Touch, Us Weekly, and their competitors keep Americans abreast of all the latest developments in the lives of celebrities -- who are, after all, our most precious natural resources and must be treasured. These magazines use a specialized lingo, however, that can be hard for a layperson to comprehend. There is often a layer of what's known as "B.S." between what they say and what they really mean. So as a public service, I have reprinted a handful of quotes -- all from the April 4 issues of In Touch and OK! -- and translated them into the vernacular, so that all may be edified.
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South By South Wet

Here is a cautionary tale about alcohol, and how it should not be mixed with jackasses. I learned this last week at the South By Southwest film festival, where alcohol flows through the streets like water, and jackasses flow through the streets like alcohol.
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Bragtime Music

You kids today and your hip-hop music. It's gotten so immodest! In my day, rappers were puckishly boastful, perhaps, but not to such a flagrant degree. The Beastie Boys would talk about putting off sleep until they had reached Brooklyn, which was both practical and sensible given the lateness of the hour. MC Hammer offered public service announcements about what could and could not be touched. Yes, Vanilla Ice made bold claims about rocking microphones in the manner of a vandal, but no one took him literally. Regardless of what he said "in character," there was no evidence in his real life of microphone-rocking, much less chump-waxing.
cockfighting

Rooster’s Millions

Cockfighting is one of mankind's must vicious and inhumane practices, up there with bear-baiting and karaoke. It's a nasty, hideous thing that's thousands of years old and has usually dwelt on the fringes of society, rarely tolerated by the mainstream. It's like Joan Rivers, only quieter.

My Rejected ‘Eclipse’ Screenplay

Another "Twilight" movie, another crushing disappointment that they didn't use the screenplay I submitted. I don't know who this "Melissa Rosenberg" person is, but if she thinks her interpretation of Stephenie Meyer's sacred prose is better than mine, she is mistaken. Here's the script I wrote. You tell me which one is better.

My Rejected ‘New Moon’ Screenplay

If it seemed like everywhere you went this weekend you saw nothing but men, it's because every ovary-bearing creature in America was watching "New Moon." Fabric stores and Hot Topics throughout the land closed their doors, and the Lifetime Network went off the air, as all of womankind gathered to see the further adventures of their sullen heroine, Bella Swan, and her various supernatural boyfriends. The film made an astonishing amount of money, which makes me all the more bitter that my screenplay adaptation of the book was rejected. Here it is, so you can compare it with what they used instead.

The Great Depression

Clinical depression has very different social repercussions from other illnesses. Your boss doesn't think twice when you call to say you've got strep throat and won't be in for a few days. But when you're depressed -- what, you can't work because you're SAD? You're calling in SAD today??

How Sweat It Is

The Pacific Northwest experienced a record-breaking heat wave last week, causing Seattle and Portland residents to drink their coffee cold and ingest their marijuana in smoothies. It was 103 degrees in Seattle on Wednesday, the highest temperature ever recorded in that city. And where I live, in Portland, also known as Seattle Junior, we made it to 106 that day, just shy of our all-time record of 107, which goes to show that we can never do anything right.

Strange Encounters with the Neighbors

The way I met my new neighbor Melissa was that she was driving her moving van up to our apartment building and accidentally knocked the side mirror off my car. If this were a romantic comedy and we had met in this fashion, the car would have been my most prized possession, Melissa and I would have hated each other instantly, I would have told her some ridiculous lie about myself, we'd have fallen in love, she'd have learned the truth about my ridiculous lie, we'd have broken up, we'd have missed each other for a few minutes while a sad pop song played on the soundtrack, and then we'd have reconciled after I chased her down at the airport. Since it's not a romantic comedy, I just had her pay for the new mirror.

Ribald for Your Pleasure

One of the unusual things about the CineVegas Film Festival, in Las Vegas, is that many screenings are attended by elderly local residents who, unlike their aged counterparts in other places, are not offended when the movies are filthy.

In Which It Is Hard to Throw Away a Desk

I bought a new desk at Ikea to replace the wobbly old one I'd been using, then realized I'd Ikea'd myself into a pickle: I now had two desks, with no easy way of getting rid of the old one. Giving it to Goodwill was impossible because I had neither the pickup truck nor the motivation required for such a task. And the desk wasn't in good enough condition to be worth Craigslisting -- besides, I wanted it gone NOW. So I decided to destroy the desk and just throw its pieces in the garbage.

Leaving the House, and Why I Don’t Want To

I look forward to one day being a cranky old curmudgeon who doesn't leave his house except to get the newspaper and chase hooligans off his lawn. In fact, the only thing stopping me from living this way now is that I'm only in my 30s, and society fro...

Receding Airlines

Traveling is an ordeal. I don't know why anyone ever goes anywhere. Our ancestors had the right idea: live your entire life in the village where you were born, and if you venture out on a trek, assume you're going to freeze to death, get lost, or be attacked by ring wraiths.

The 10 Types of Internet Comments

The evolution of the Internet has led to almost complete interactivity, so that today when you read a blog, article, or column, you can usually post a comment in response to it, thus letting the world know what you think. This is an improvement over the old system, where the world didn't know what you thought. Can you believe life was ever like that?

PETA, PETA, Kitten Eater

I was strolling through the neighborhood, breaking sparrows' necks with my bare hands and kicking squirrels into oncoming traffic, when I thought: What's PETA been up to lately?

The Oaf of Office

Many of our elected officials have been having trouble lately. Not Barack Obama, of course, who began to excrete rainbows and lollipops the moment he was sworn in (the second time), but others. A brief rundown:

The Book of Highdef

And it came to pass that I, Eric, was desirous that I should obtain a television with high-definition; for behold, my television had waxed old, and had but 27 diagonal inches; and verily, it did not receive high-definition, and it did now befit the lifestyle of a hillbilly.

The Best of ‘Snide Remarks’: 2008

In the spirit of laziness that seizes us all this time of year, and in the spirit of tradition that also holds sway in late December, let's take a look back at some of the chunks of "Snide Remarks" columns from 2008 that were slightly less unfunny th...

The Latest in Edutainment

Things the Movies Taught Us in the Second Half of 2008 "Hancock": The drunk hobo who sleeps on the bench at the bus stop might have superpowers, so think twice before beating him up and stealing his bourbon.

Going Postal

I had a run-in with my local post office recently that I'm hesitant to share because I don't want you to think that I'm a U.S. Postal Service hater. On the contrary, I generally have no problem at all with sending or receiving mail, and while it's trendy to complain about the ever-increasing price of stamps, 42 cents is still quite a bargain for getting my rent check to my landlady without having to encounter her directly. So I'm a USPS supporter.

A Message from Claus Inc.

Ho ho ho! Santa Claus here, just checking in from headquarters at the North Pole to let you know about some changes we're making. This recession has hit us all a little hard, and like everyone else, we've had to adjust. But don't worry! I'll still be bringing presents to all the good little boys and girls on Christmas Eve, just as I've done every year since Clement Clarke Moore created me in 1823! I'm still a right jolly old elf! We're just making some minor changes.

My Rejected ‘Twilight’ Screenplay

The movie "Twilight" opened this weekend to the delighted squeals of teenage girls and sexually frustrated middle-aged women everywhere. The novel it's based on has been enjoyed by millions of readers, and hailed as the best book they've ever read by people who don't read a lot of books, so anticipation for the movie was running high. I thought it turned out OK -- but frankly, I was disappointed they didn't use the screenplay adaptation that I submitted. Since they didn't, here it is. To everyone who saw the movie this weekend: Do you think mine is better???

The Gay Marriage Column

Well! There has been quite a rhubarb over this whole gay marriage thing! If you'll permit me, I'd like to employ my usual measured, careful analysis of this controversy to see if I can help us understand both sides a little better. On the one side, you have the fags. The fags, the queers, the dykes, and the lesbos. They want the government to let them marry each other the same way people of the opposite sex marry each other, i.e., expensively, and followed by a lifetime of sexless drudgery.

I’ll Be Darned

My grandfather, John L. Merrifield, died on Nov. 1, just 46 days shy of his 82nd birthday. His life spanned 29,905 days, and he probably worked on about 29,000 of them. He was always working. He loved work. This was one of many things that he and I did not have in common. Growing up during the Great Depression is probably what instilled that work ethic in him. It's too late for me, but maybe the next generation, growing up in the new Depression, will get it. Grandpa would like that.

Boys Nintendon’t Cry

When the video-game-based film "Max Payne" was released last week, a critic named Roger Moore said on Rotten Tomatoes that it "suffers from the heartlessness that makes games emotionally inferior to movies. Nobody ever shed a tear over a video-game character's death." Naturally, this led to several dozen people posting angry comments talking about the times that they did, in fact, cry over the death of a video-game character. This reinforces the truism that no matter how ridiculous something is, there will always be someone who has not only done it, but is proud to admit it.

Fact Checking

Here is our analysis of some of the claims made by the presidential candidates in the most recent debate. Obama's claim: "I want to thank Hofstra University for hosting us. I'm very happy to be here tonight." The facts:Obama was not actually happy to be there. He'd been hoping to watch the baseball playoffs, not sit at a table and argue with John McCain.