Archive for August 8th, 2008

Links (8/8/08)

My regular trolling of the intertubes:

A great article about how materialists are more likely to be miserable.

Here’s a really fascinating article about the (welcomed) death of mall culture in America. Seems that driving 30 miles to shop at the mall is becoming less and less appealing with $4 a gallon gas. Some mall are being opened up and converted in insta-town centers. [via Boingboing]

A man in Hong Kong almost loses his yang humping a metal park bench. [h/t Ted] UPDATE: Here’s a Hong Kong computer graphic re-enactment of the incident.

That crazy woman who spend a small fortune to clone her dog might been the same person who kidnapped a Mormon missionary, chained him to a bed and used him as a sexual slave. While he cried rape, she declared her love.

‘I loved him so much that I would ski naked down Mount Everest with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to.’

Link. [via BoingBoing]

And then there’s this terrific article in the Washington Post about corporate influence in the Olympics. Was it found on in the news or opinion sections? No, it was in sports.

So what is this Olympics really about? It’s about 12 major corporations and their panting ambitions to tap into China’s 1.3 billion consumers, the world’s third-largest economy. Understand this: The International Olympic Committee is nothing more than a puppet for its corporate “partners,” without whom there would be no Games. These major sponsors pay the IOC’s bills for staging the Olympics to the tune of $7 billion per cycle. Without them, and their designs on the China market, Beijing probably would not have won the right to host the Summer Games.

Link.

And finally, there’s this brilliantly cynical opening rant from the cult flick How to Get a Head in Advertising.

My Brush with Low-Level Religious Terrorism

Ok. For someone who has lived in Los Angeles for the better part of a decade, I have an odd confession. I hate driving. I’m not scared of cars, but I loathe being dependent on them. And the grinding tedium of stop and go traffic often leaves me more aggravated than a full eight hours on the job. So I take the bus a couple times a week.

The thing I like about the bus, aside from not lining Dick Cheney’s pocket with more of my hard-earned money, is that I get a half-hour or so of reading in before and after work. It’s a nice buffer between the bustle of the office and relative quiet of home. And this morning I was eager I dive into my new book, Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart. I’ve been wanting to read this puppy since I read an excerpt in the New Yorker some two or three years ago. Yet the moment I get a seat and open my book, some guy next to me who looked like a thinner version of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and who was sporting an outfit that looked like a silken Mao suit opened his book, the Bible, and started spouting off a sermon. Using the bendy part of the bus as his pulpit, he delivered Biblical commandments in a booming, sonorous voice that was almost impossible to block out. Almost immediately, I pipe up saying, “Please don’t. This is a crowded bus…” but that didn’t even register. Between Western and Westwood, I don’t think the guy paused for more than five seconds. I realized with greater and greater frustration that there was no way I was going to be reading my book this morning. Nothing short of a kick to the teeth is going to shut him up.

He continued, “You work five days a week, six days a week. But then you send all of your money at clubs, the bars. You hook up with prostitutes. Go to crack houses?” Jesus, how does this guy spend a weekend? Once we rolled into Westwood, he shambled off and the whole bus said a collective, “Hallelujah.” Yes, I thought. This was my brush with low-level religious terrorism.


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