So You’re Thinking of Converting From Anglican To Catholic

In an extraordinary bid to lure traditionalist Anglicans en masse, the Vatican said Tuesday that it would make it easier for Anglicans uncomfortable with their church’s acceptance of female priests and openly gay bishops to join the Roman Catholic Church while retaining many of their traditions.The New York Times

Congratulations on deciding to make the switch!  If you’re a PC user who has just switched to the Mac and want to find out how to adapt your old working habits to the Mac OS, you’ve come to the right place.  Wait.  Sorry.  That was plagiarized from Apple.com.  But really, it’s not such a different concept.  In converting to Catholicism, you are really just switching over your “files” (ideas/customs/most profound expressions of faith) to your “Mac” (Catholic) “hard drive” (brain/immortal soul.)

Although it may feel that you’re entering a brand new world on your Mac with Catholicism, you’ll be happy to know there are some interface elements that should be familiar from Microsoft Windows the Anglican church.  For instance, you are clearly already experienced with suspending disbelief.  The Anglican church has no central hierarchy, and the Archbishop of Canterbury is the first among equals.  Right.  That makes sense.  (I’m rolling my eyes.)  If you don’t think that’s weird, you are prepared for our notion of geography. Vatican City is in Rome, which is in Italy, but it’s actually its own city and country.  Pretty cool, right?  Similarly, once you start believing that communion is literally the body and blood of Christ, instead of a symbol, anything seems possible.  Life is way more fun when you are optimistic.

When confronted with something new, it can be tempting to think of the ways it is a lesser version of the old.  This will make you depressed.  Instead, like a new boyfriend who you need to stop comparing to your ex who was actually a lot cuter and knew how to take you to restaurants besides Thai Gardens lunch special, try to focus on the ways Catholicism is great for its own special reasons.   For instance, the Anglican church was founded by King Henry VIII, who, while mad hot on The Tudors, was actually a fat lard.  The Catholic Church was founded by Saint Peter, who wasn’t  fat and currently lives in heaven with Jesus and Peter Gallagher when he dies.

Besides Jesus H. Christ, history is filled with cool, famous Catholic people.  What’s that you say?  That’s because they were born before the Reformation?  Sorry, I can’t hear you. My Ludwig Van Beethoven cd is on too loud.

Some other smaller perks include being able to write a great autobiography, especially if you are from Ireland.  We get 50 cents off at Tasi Delight (with a valid Tasti Card), and all nail salons have a secret back room with secret colors that only Catholics know about, including Wafer White, Thorny Brown, and Vatican Velvet.  These are also the names of our secret racehorses that run in secret Catholics-only races.

Speaking of races, a lot of people considering the switch have been asking about our policy on black people.  We currently allow them.  But we’re working on it.

In conclusion, although it may feel like you’re entering a brand new world on your Mac, with Catholicism, you’ll be happy to know that there are some interface elements that should be familiar from Microsoft Windows. Because Catholicism is way better and you are going to love life a lot.

Super Poems

The Human Torch burning bright
The Human Torch burning bright

In a plot line inspired by Robert Frost’s poem Road Not Taken, fictional character Archie Andrews has already proposed to Veronica and will propose to Betty next month.  I wonder what it would be like if other comics were inspired by poems…(imagine dreamy music and blurry vision.)

On His Blindness—John Milton

Spiderman is blind, worries about his moral value as a superhero, comes to a new appreciation for spidey sense.

The Imperfect Enjoyment –Lord Rochester

Calvin and Susie finally do it, it doesn’t go well.  Probably because they’re in first grade.

The Waste Land—T.S. Eliot

The Green Lantern considers a stranger’s childhood in Austria, plays game of chess HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME into the fire Power Ring Jesus Buddah Shakespeare your mom HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME and we shall play a game of chess The Giant Puppet.

An Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot—Alexander Pope

Superman laments his status as the number one superhero because it means lots of annoying hero-wannabes are all up in his grill for advice.

The Lady’s Dressing Room—Jonathan Swift

While visiting Professor Xavier at his Westchester mansion, Angel accidentally walks in on Marvel Girl while she’s changing. He finds out just how many pairs of spanx are required to get her into the green body suit.

Hollow Men—T.S. Eliot

Anthony Stark quits being Iron Man for a while, goes back to his company, but he’s just middle management.  It’s not as fun as being a super hero and driving a sweet Audi.  His alcoholism is less charming and more necessary

All those cat poems—T.S. Eliot

Batman loses his brooding, grumbley side.  Becomes jolly, whimsical, roly-poly.

The Shield of Achilles—W.H. Auden

Steve Rogers becomes Captain America, except World War II actually really terrible.

Tiger—William Blake

The Human Torch is in the forests of the night.

My Metropolitan Diary

Dear Diary,

This summer, I was reading my book on the steps in Union Square when one of the chess teachers came up and made me smell his cup of “tea.”  I’m pretty sure it was just gin.

Dear Diary,

One winter I was in the playground with my friends, and we wanted to make a snowman.  I scooped out a bunch of snow from the trash can.  I also scooped out a diaper filled with poop.

Dear Diary,

This summer, while waiting in line outside to sell books to the Strand, my line friends and I watched a homeless guy get in a fight with some garbage.  I thought nothing of it and went back to playing solitaire on my ipod, but the guy in front of me called the police, explaining that “he’s not really doing anything, he’s just scary.”  The police came, but by that point the homeless guy had moved down the block, so I didn’t technically see what happened.  But I imagine the homeless guy continued leading his life of grinding poverty, and the guy in front of me continued his life of being a complete jackass.

Dear Diary,

One time a girl in my high school met a guy on the subway, and she gave him a handjob.  True story.

Dear Diary,

Today I sat down next to a cute old lady on the M86 bus and smiled at her.  I didn’t realize I’d accidentally sat on a tiny corner of her Burberry Trench until she pulled it from under me, saying, “Watch it, fatty.”

Dear Diary,

A few years ago, I was waiting for the subway at Chambers street when I saw a rat run down the platform with a cheeseburger in its mouth.

Dear Diary,

Today I threw an empty soda bottle into a trashcan, and a rat jumped out at my face.

Dear Diary,

A few years ago I was running into the subway to get to school on time, and I was proud of myself to have picked a practically empty car.  As we rolled out of the station, I was filled with questions. Why is everyone crowded into that far corner away from me?  Why is the homeless guy next to me snoring so loudly?  And why is does that huge pile of human feces by the door have sneaker prints leading to my sneakers?

Dear Diary,

In the spring the ginkgo trees make my neighborhood smell like barf plus fart.

A List in Response to a News: Ladies’ Specials? That’s What She Said!!!!

toot toot!!! All aboard!!!!!!!!!!!!
toot toot!!! All aboard!!!!!!!!!!!!

In an effort to make travel safer and more pleasant for women, several new commuter trains in India are for women only.

Other Places I would Like To Be Only For Women

1. The women’s bathroom at the movie theater on 68th street last night.   That was really weird.

The end.

xoxo

Gossip Girl

(Sophie)

A List in Response To A News: Take My Cats, Please. Seriously. I’m Going to Freak Out.

CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT THE WORLD IS COMING TO??!?!!!
CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT THE WORLD IS COMING TO??!?!!! THIS WAS LIKE THE THIRD PHOTO THAT CAME UP WHEN I GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCHED "CAT."

What’s that you say?  A cat lady on the Upper West Side?  How weird.

My Cats or My Future Baby?

  1. Barf on the floor
  2. Poop on the floor
  3. Pee on the floor
  4. Has a brain larger than a handful of grapes
  5. Sleep on my mom’s nice chairs so that I keep getting up with what Best Friend Lindsey calls a “diaper of cat hair”
  6. Not have such judgey-looking eyes
  7. Grow up to be a functioning creature capable of actual conversation and feelings
  8. Scream and claw at my locked bedroom door at 6am so that I will get up and feed them cat food
  9. Purr loudly like some kind of 4th grade nerd while I’m trying to research how Kim Kardashian lost so much weight
  10. Be cute and not annoying
  11. Not freak out when I want to dress it in a cute outfit
  12. Not be covered in hair
  13. Not cover everything I own in hair, causing drafts from opening and closing doors to blow cat-hair tumbleweeds across the floor
  14. Not be crouched on my bedroom floor glancing awkwardly from me to the pile of vomit under its chin
  15. Be worthy of my love
  16. Not barf into the box of old newspapers that I was about to put out with the recycling
  17. Not make me want to drown it
  18. Not chase its friend down the hallway, leap onto my computer desk knocking over my tea, run over my keyboard typing weird garbage into my email to my boss, then barf on the floor
  19. Love me back

Future baby: 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

My Cats: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9

Large and In Charge

Photo from Glamour.
Photo from Glamour.
Sophie Pollitt-Cohen writes:

Recently, Glamour magazine ran this photo in an article promoting healthy body image.

The majority of the online responses were positive, and even my male friend Baker commented on her nice smile and other weird, irrelevant things like that.  But my first thought when I saw it was “What is the dealie with the fat lady in Glamour?”

Why am I being such a hater?  I spend so much time thinking about body image and how the man keeps me down, so shouldn’t I be all for sisterhood and junk?  It would seem that men are the ones promoting these standards for women, as people in power are normally want to do to people without power.  As Hawthorne wrote in his story The Blithedale Romance about a particularly feminine character, “She is the type of woman such as man has spent centuries in making.”  If men are making the rules, why are women the ones enforcing them?

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New Frontiers in Niche Marketing

Marketing to vampire buffs.
Marketing to vampire buffs.

Sophie Pollitt-Cohen writes:

Lately I’ve had advertising on the brain.  I rented billboard space on my cerebral cortex for Gold’s Gym.  But also, I’ve been thinking about marketing strategies a lot these days.  It seems that advertising is a way to sell people things and thus make money.  I love money!  I have a plan: marketing to incredibly specific groups of weirdos.

The New York Times ran an article on Tuesday about different products aimed at freaks who are way too into vampires.  (I should probably just say “people who are into vampires,” because being into vampires at all is the same as being too into vampires.)

These products are just regular stuff we already own, except their names are vampiric.  Fang Floss is just regular floss. SunScream is sunblock, but they write “VPF” on it, which stands for “Vampire Protection Factor,” because “sun damage is the NO. 1 killer of the undead.” A close second is dog bites (the dogs have rabies).

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Deodorant Ads Help Us Learn About an Important Word: Incitement

A problem and solution all in one ad.
A problem and solution all in one ad.

 

Sophie Pollitt-Cohen writes:

 

Important ideas are all around us.  Just look at anything I’ve ever written—free and easily accessible right here on the internet.  But also, things in our daily lives are more than what they seem.  Commercials are full of powerful concepts, and they’re fun to deconstruct.  But then you realize what is really going on and you pretty much want to kill yourself.  On a lighter note, let’s read my fun essay!

The New York Times had an article this week about deodorant advertising. The photos show men with huge pieces of deodorant coming out of their armpits to spell words such as “evil.”  These ads touch on an important cultural idea even though they don’t name it and probably didn’t take Joel Pfister’s class at Wesleyan where we learned all about this.  This idea is called incitement.

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Study Shows…

Co-ed dining: the tried and true diet
Co-ed dining: the tried and true diet

Sophie Pollitt-Cohen writes:

Study shows that women eat less around men

For a complete list of things that don’t change, google “the past” and “still photographs of anything anywhere.”

******

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“Women order smaller and less calorific meals if eating with a man than if dining with female friends,” according to a group of people the DailyMail calls “Scientists.” Women responded: “Obviously. What? No, I’m not crying. Get out of my office!”

If having this insight qualifies you as a scientist, apparently any human being can be one, and I would like to be an astronaut please. Then I could wear a diaper and hang out with monkeys, who also wear diapers.

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Thoroughly Walled In

Henry David Thoreau, who took nothing for granted.
Henry David Thoreau, who took nothing for granted.

Sophie Pollitt-Cohen writes:

Sunday August 9th 2009 is the 156th anniversary of Thoreau’s Walden being published.  “But I read that in high school and hated it,” I hear you say. (I have very good ears.)  “It’s a bitter guy talking about beans for three hundred pages.  Walden is the worst.”

 

False.  You think Walden is the worst because you were in high school, and everything is the worst when you are in high school.  I would like to revisit what I consider one of the most important things to take away from Walden, besides a commemorative lamp: the importance of questioning the inherent.  That means questioning all the things you dismiss as inevitable, beyond your control, natural—from who makes your clothes (and why we’re even buying new clothes in the first place) and schools to who makes your ideas.

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