Yesterday, Gawker received an impassioned email from a Mt. Lebanon (Pa.) High student concerning the school's proposed "grinding" ban. (If you are not sure what "grinding" is, you'll find out in detail shortly.) The letter was so convincing that we asked to republish it in full, and the student complied, so long as they remain anonymous, lest the school administration attempt to suppress Mt. Lebanon's one true Grinder Crusader. We salute the student's important cause.
What does it take to get an executive from the freaking cable company royally pissed about customer service? How about a Washington, DC-area coffee shop that refused to serve him a simple. God. Damned. Iced. ESPRESSO? And that told him, "if you ever show your face at my shop, I'll punch you in your dick?" As you might imagine, a 32-year-old New Yorker subjected to such depravities in Arlington, VA or where-the-hell-ever does not simply swallow such BULL shit and move on — he blogs about it! Come read about this horrible thing that happened to Jeff "The Iceman" Simmermon, and how he got it onto Boing Boing, Metafilter, the Washington Post and, this morning, into the New York Post.
Our bosses would never let this fly on our expense report, otherwise we would hire a lawyer right now and take Warner Music to court for hogging the rights to the world's most popular song — "Happy Birthday to You" — when we're told it doesn't even own them. At least that's the argument of Robert Brauneis, a law professor at George Washington University whose close read of the song's copyright history suggests anyone with enough money, free time or a sadistic streak could liberate "Happy Birthday" for public well-wishers around the world:
Denver Post columnist Al Lewis is on a crusade. A cranky Starbucks crusade! "How 'bout a slice of lemon to go with that $2.10 iced tea?" he asks, rhetorically. Because there is no lemon! Other places, they give you lemons. But fancy-schmancy Starbucks? No lemons. Don't blame Al Lewis. He's written (multiple) columns! He's sent his concerns all the way up the chain to the CEO! And now he knows why Starbucks' stock has lost half its value in a year: because they can't get Al Lewis a freakin' slice of lemon:
"Smart" celebrities who "care" about things love microcredit, the most buzzed-about poverty-ending economic fad since eating the poor. Mohammed Yunus, the guy who invented it, won a Nobel Peace Prize! And Harvard-educated Natalie Portman works tirelessly to promote the idea that small loans to impoverished people will lead to an entrepreneurial spirit that will lift everyone out of poverty. The only problem with "microcredit" is that it's actually loan-sharking, and it's destroying the lives of the people it's meant to help. France24 actually did some journalism and talked to recipients of the micro-loans instead of just taking the word of noble economists as gospel. Watch as collectors from Grameen Bank, the gigantic bank that largely runs the microcredit scheme, advise villagers to sell their children! Now, instead of just being broke, Bangladeshi villagers are deep in debt and killing themselves to escape their creditors. Finally, they are living the American Dream. So. Watch that clip here or just click through to see Natalie Portman babble at those ladies on The View about all the good work she's doing.
Larry King had noted medical expert/softcore video star Jenny McCarthy on the program last night to talk about AUTISM. Specifically, how it's caused by VACCINATING YOUR CHILDREN. This is patent conspiratorial nonsense, but it's very popular conspiratorial nonsense. Of course, in a battle between concerned, credulous parents and medical experts, the media will generally frame it as, say, Debate Rages Anew on Vaccine-Autism Link. Faced with a panel of three trained pediatricians, Ms. McCarthy shouted "BULLSHIT" twice. Then Larry put it to an internet poll. Clip after the jump!
While socialite Arden Wohl has been making experimental films in a thick cloud of marijuana smoke, social queen Tinsley Mortimer has been sewing handbags until her fingers bleed in the candlelit apse of her cathedral of love that she shares with Topper, and Lydia Hearst is safeguarding her legacy by means of idiocy, some old lady socialite named Joanne Herring in Texas has been keeping busy too! And in ways much, much, much awesomer (and maybe more destructive?) than her younger New York fellow upper-crusters.