Friday, February 3, 2012

This week: a whole bunch of reasons not to be friends with people

In this week's rendition of all stuff-that-made-me-giggle, there are a whole lot of people in the news who nobody wants to play with.  We've got a group of moms who can't count, another mother who prefers her sons make their own chicken stock when they cook her dinner, an Alabama senator who wants to keep teacher's salaries low "for the kids" and a man who actually graphs out his friendships.  After the jump.

The Chicago Tribune
"Funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families," the million (or so) moms write on their website. "DeGeneres is not a true representation of the type of families that shop at their store. The majority of JC Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there."
DeGeneres' daytime talk show has more viewers than the American Family Association has moms. Between January 16 and January 22, "Ellen" averaged 3.38 million viewers -- or 2.38 million more people than the AFA has moms.

The New York Times
There are a few ground rules. They must make a complete, balanced meal. It needs to be more healthful than not, so deep-frying is out. I try to steer them away from heavy meat or cheese dishes; simple fare, like soup and sandwiches, is fine by me. And though I dream that they will end up more like Alice Waters than Rachael Ray, I have not banned timesaving processed ingredients like canned sauces and broths. I just lobby against them.
For quality assurance, I have to approve each meal plan. When my older son, Sam, proposed making creamy carrot soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, the concept was good but the balance was wrong: too much dairy. We settled on a salad with nuts and pears as a better accompaniment for the soup.

The New York Times
What’s missing, then, is that sense that while Glamour’s higher purpose was always to empower women, it mostly just talked about sex. It was so fascinating to read about masturbation, dirty texting, Facebook flings, frustrations with fellatio and Obama fantasies (all in the June 2009 issue). Well, the sex talk has not so much gone missing as it has been repackaged, now a little more provocative and a little less instructional. An example: One article asks, “Is everyone kinkier than you?” 

Read this book.

The New York Times
The passive approach works with friendships in which the bonds are tenuous, said Jeff Newelt, a social media consultant in Manhattan. In his line of work, he considers it his job to make friends, but a couple of years ago, decided he needed to prune the overgrowth.
His solution was to divide his social base into two categories: “linear” friends (lasting relationships based on a deep connection) and “nonlinear” (situational friends based only on shared past experience, like an old job).  

The Wall Street Journal
Mr. Mullins, 19, is the creator of "Felix the Peaceful Monk"—his character in a videogame called "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim." The game gives players wide latitude over their on-screen characters' appearance and actions. Felix, who is half man, half cat, has become a small-time Internet celebrity for his steadfast refusal to kill.

New York Magazine
"If you double a teacher’s pay scale, you’ll attract people who aren’t called to teach," he said.
Seriously though, to be fair, McGill is also in favor of keeping the salaries of state senators nice and low, so that only those truly called to political office will serve.
Nah, just kidding. He thinks the 62 percent pay raise the Alabama legislature gave itself in 2007 was totally justified. 
Click to zoom.

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