Tao Te Ching Written by Lao-tzu From a translation by S. Mitchell
Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval
and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.
Amazing 9 year old Asean Johnson brings the crowd to their feet at Chicago school closings rally (by The Video Catalyst Project)
Masturbation Is at the Root of the Culture Wars…”Tell me how you really feel about masturbation, and I can more or less predict how you’ll feel about the more frequently debated ‘sex war’ issues.” | The Atlantic
UPDATE: Ibragim Todashev, 27, with ties to Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was shot and killed after attacking an FBI agent during questioning in Florida, law enforcement officials said on Wednesday | NBC News
The Ball (by Quirkology)
Anthony Weiner for Mayor (by AnthonyWeiner4Mayor)
Find out where the EU is heading… | Stratfor
Grim eurozone headlines continue to pile up, while Europeans yearn for the return to pre-crisis days; let Stratfor guide you through this era of widespread youth unemployment, a possible EU exit by the United Kingdom, and widening cracks in one of the union’s main foundations: the alliance between France and Germany.
Forty chicken nuggets
by Paul Ryan
McD’s Worker: Hello, and welcome to McDonald’s! Can I interest you in 40 chicken nuggets for $8.99?
Paul: Good lord, no. Why would I want that? I’m by myself.
McD’s Worker: Sorry, they’ll fire me if I don’t offer the poorest possible health choices to every customer.
Paul: I’ll just get a cheeseburger and small fries.
McD’s Worker: A double quarter pounder with cheese and super size fries?
Paul: No, just a regular cheeseburger and SMALL fries.
McD’s Worker: We don’t have small anymore. Small is now “children’s size.”
Paul: I’m pretty sure the children’s size is the recommended amount for a grown adult. You know you’re not supposed to eat a pound of potatoes in one serving, right?
McD’s Worker: At least we still hide the ketchup from everyone. That’s unintentionally healthy.
Paul: You DO make it borderline impossible for people to get more than two ketchup packets without throwing a tantrum first. Can I just get the cheeseburger, child fries, and a cup of water?
McD’s Worker: We don’t have non-premium water anymore. We removed the option from our fountain drink dispenser so people will buy bottled water.
Paul: Bottled water seems like a huge waste of plastic for someone who’s eating in the restaurant.
McD’s Worker: Dasani paid us to do it. They want everyone to recognize their bottles in stores.
Paul: Is there a recycling bin for the plastic bottles?
McD’s Worker: No, that would cost us an extra twelve cents per week, so we just let people throw them in the trash.
Paul: Sigh. All right. Just give me one of those McFlurry things.
McD’s Worker: Would you like regular or pussy size?
Paul: Um … pussy size, I guess?
McD’s Worker: Sorry, I meant child’s size. What used to be regular size is now child’s size, while our new regular size has been upgraded to roughly a half carton of ice cream.
McD’s Worker: Would you like to supersize your meal?
Paul: No. I just spent 20 minutes picking the sizes of everything.
McD’s Worker: Yes, but now you get one more chance to make a poor life choice!
McD’s Worker: Would you like me to Iron Man your order?
McD’s Worker: It’s a heavy glazing of sugar we coat over your entire order, like Krispy Kreme donuts.
McD’s Worker: It’s sponsored by Iron Man 3, out in theaters now! You get an Iron Man paper hat with it. Can I Iron Man you, sir?
Paul: A paper hat? That’s kinda cool … wait, no! No, you can’t! And it’s “may,” not “can.”
McD’s Worker: MAY I Iron Man you, sir?
McD’s Worker: Would you like a hot apple pie added to your order?
Paul: No! I’m already getting ice cream!
McD’s Worker: Can I supersize your order?
McD’s Worker: Can I Iron Man you?
McD’s Worker: MAY I Iron Man you?
Paul: No, goddamn it!
McD’s Worker: May I grease you up so you can use the Playland slide?
Paul: No! I … wait, yes. That one sounds fun.
McD’s Worker: Great! Here’s your receipt. We’ll have that for you in five to ten minutes.
Paul: Isn’t this supposed to be fast food?
McD’s Worker: Yes, but our cashiers are too busy upselling sadness to give people their orders in a timely fashion.
Paul: That makes sense.
McD’s Worker: While you wait, please enjoy our McDonald’s Entertainment Network, where we repeat the same four inane clips of former NFL star Michael Strahan’s morning talk show until you want to stab yourself in both eyes with a fork. We’ve plastered it on six different TV sets throughout this small restaurant, and turned up the sound really loud so it’s impossible to ignore.
Paul: Can you turn it down?
McD’s Worker: CBS requires it to be that loud, to ensure their advertising works. Also, it helps drown out the incessant beeping of our fry machines, which our cooks never turn off because they’re too stoned.
Paul: That sounds like a lot of extra work to fix a very simple problem.
McD’s Worker: We only fix problems if the solution increases our revenue.
Paul: Can I get some extra ketchup packets?
McD’s Worker: Not until Heinz pays us to hand out giant tubs of ketchup way larger than any rational person needs.
Paul: I always heard you have to ask for ketchup packets because hobos use them to make soup.
McD’s Worker: We just made up that rumor to shame people into not using ketchup. I mean, soup? Really? Why wouldn’t they just eat the ketchup directly?
Paul: Well played. I’m impressed.
McD’s Worker: May I Iron Man you NOW, sir?
Paul: No. Go fuck yourself.
Teens Are Trapped in Abusive, Cult-Like ‘Drug Rehab Centers’
If you like Army Wives, Preachers’ Daughters, Dance Moms, or any other TV show attempting to create a taxonomy of women based on the professions of their husbands, fathers, and children, then you may well have caught an episode of Teen Trouble. It’s a reality TV show on the Lifetime network where a guy named Josh Shipp sends “at-risk teens” to “alternative rehab centers,” where they’re forced to endure emotional and physical abuse before being allowed to rejoin society.
Shipp is your classic Jerry Springer brand of therapist—no real qualifications, a huge ego, and a penchant for money and entertaining TV over science and genuine psychology. “I’m a teen behavior specialist,” he says in the intro. “My approach is gritty, gutsy, and in your face.”
But the show is a lot grittier than you might expect from that typical teleprompter spiel. The unregulated “troubled teen” industry is able to persist despite numerous allegations of physical and sexual abuse,torture, and death at various institutions, and Shipp is exploiting that same system for monetary gain. Even when they aren’t abusive and/or deadly, the pseudoscientific practices used at “tough love boarding schools” have often proven to be ineffective and can lead to PTSD, anxiety, depression, and drug addiction. Maia Szalavitz, author of Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids, told me about some of the horror stories her own research uncovered.
“The classic list is food deprivation, sleep deprivation, public humiliation, beatings, and denial of access to the bathroom to the point where you wet or soil yourself. But I’m also constantly hearing stories of people being forced to re-enact various traumas, like being raped,” she told me.