Thursday, April 8, 2010

Utne Reader -- Good for A Laugh

So, is President Obama shilling for the Utne Reader, or has the Utne Reader co-opted his image and election catch-phrase to sell subscriptions? I don't know. And I really don't care.

How does an unimpressive lump of clay like me know about the Utne Reader? Well, Homer Simpson makes fun of it in a Simpsons episode, and some snobby wannabee friends of Helen Goode's drop the name in passing as they augment their coolness in an episode of The Goode Family. Other than that, I don't know much about it. I perused their website today, where I saw this Obama imagery, and, well, didn't linger very long.

They do offer this lede in an article on the lively "art" of conversation:

Modern society is notably sociable in temper. Hermits have long been out of fashion. When guidebooks praise a city, they point to its number of bars and clubs. We’re all meant to know how to keep a conversation going. Having no friends is one of the greater remaining taboos.

And since I'm a friendless hermit, I'm offended. But since the author goes on to suggest that we can revive the lively art of conversation basically by throwing the kinds of parties SpongeBob Square Pants throws (engineering topics of discussion in an orderly fashion in order to avoid awkward silences and mindless prattle) I left the offense behind and had a good chuckle.

(The video is seasickness-inducing. Apparently, the person who did this YouTube clip has neither a tripod or heard of the concept of DVD ripping.)

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