How much of a sellout is Macklemore, anyway?

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This evening, Macklemore performed at fake Spring Fling in New Haven. I did not attend, but the specter of the Thrift Shop rapper performing before hundreds/thousands/[insert official police estimate here] of adoring fans inexplicably called to mind an article that showed up in Slate back in February, “Macklemore NBA ad with Wings: Is the rapper a sellout?” Slate has since changed the article to “Macklemore’s Strangely Self-Censored NBA Promo”, but the original title is still visible in the url, or through the Google if you don’t believe me.

In case you didn’t come across the article when it first came out, Jordan Teicher used it to compare the original lyrics of Macklemore’s Wings with the truncated version that appeared in the NBA’s All-Star Weekend Preview:

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No, Candy Land didn’t *just* become sexy

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Peggy Orenstein published a short blog post Thursday in the Atlantic about Candy Land. Drawing her readers’ attention to the classic board game’s modern portrayal of female characters like Princess Lolly and Queen Frostine, Orenstein wonders what the constant bombardment of “images of women whose bodies range from unattainable to implausible” does to impressionable children.

Here are the characters in question (guess which one’s which):

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Just what does Google have against Easter?

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On Thursday, I wrote about eggs in honor of Pesach’s mensiversary, so it felt only appropriate to take the opportunity today to celebrate Easter Sheni with an article (perhaps more appropriately) on the same subject.

Which comes as well-deserved and overdue recognition, if you ask some. Those people were outraged when the Google doodle on Easter Sunday featured not the Jesus, but the namesake of Cesar Chavez Day (a birthday celebrated in California, Colorado, and Texas). Here’s one such response:

It’s a small thing, of course, but this kind of thing, accumulated, signals an intention to de-Christianization of our culture, and the creation of an intentional hostility to Christianity that will eventually cease to be latent, or minor.

And this outrage was backed up not only with words, but with drastic action:

Today I switch to Bing since #google thinks Christ is less important that (sic) Cesar Chavez, socialist labor leader on EAST DAY! – Lisa Schreckenstein

I am ow a BING follower….and so after a few phone calls and posts I made today..so are many of my Friends and Family. – Diane Daly

Yeah, that threat seems credible. I can just picture these ladies using Google to find the name of Microsoft’s alternative.

But much like its namesake — the War on Christmas — those who fight the Good Fight in the War on Easter have it all exactly backwards: just as the onset of Christmas continuously encroaches on the rest of the calendar into Thanksgiving and Halloween, so too Easter season now extends across a bloated holiday season.

And if you think Google isn’t a part of that celebration, you probably already use Bing. Granted, searching the history of Google doodles doesn’t turn up a design expressly commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ (slash some colored eggs) since 2000 — and perhaps adding insult to injury, hilariously turns up the Chavez doodle as well

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McDonald’s Bacon, Ranch, and Sweet Chili chicken wraps for Passover

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“Passover?” you’re probably asking yourself. “Wasn’t that like a month ago?”

Indeed, it was exactly one month and one day ago, and it is thus no accident that I chose to write this post on Shushan Pesach Sheni.* [To those who don't get this joke immediately: don't even bother trying to figure it out. Of course, feel free to ask, and if you manage on your own, mad props, but seriously -- don't waste your time.]

The inspiration for this piece comes by way of a Sponsored Ad Suggested Post that appeared in the middle of my Facebook newsfeed in the middle of Passover, and it took me a month to convert that inspiration into actual written material because this isn’t my full-time (or even part-time) job. Without further ado, here’s the ad:

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Happy Earth Day to the ground

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The books you can see below were assembled haphazardly: at different times, from various places, for an assortment of reasons, and I have yet — yet — to read a single one of them.

But when I walked past my bookshelf this morning, I couldn’t help but notice that this collection of random bindings shares a single common techelet-colored thread:

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First, my apologies (again) to Jon Stewart; Second, I show Stephen Colbert how it’s done

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I promise, Paper Treiger is not turning into a blog about Comedy Central’s late-night lineup. But before I make it stop looking suspiciously like that’s just what’s happening, I first owe Jon Stewart one more apology.

On April 7, I wrote that poor Mr. Leibowitz had become — as I put it — sort of adorably predictable. In the course of making this allegation, I not-so-boldly predicted that the Daily Show host would invoke Star Wars at least once over the coming week. I say the prediction was not-so-bold because it seemed at the time like hardly a week goes by — if not an episode — when he doesn’t somehow use Star Wars for an easy punchline. I was sure this was the safest bet in the world. I would have even put money on it.

And, as it turns out, I would have been out some money.

I just finished watching every episode of the Daily Show from the week of April 8 (with the exception of the Edie Falco interview, because I’m not that masochistic), and was shocked to discover that Jon Stewart did not once compare the Pope to the Evil Emperor — or otherwise invoke the galaxy far, far away.

So my apologies to Jon Stewart. Predictable as I thought, you are not.

Apology complete, I will note that he called out Star Wars — by name — in his first episode the following week, on April 16. But that’s not what I predicted, so all it counts for is trolling me.

Meanwhile, on the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert also got in on the trolling. He waited only minutes — six minutes and forty seconds, to be exact – into Monday night’s episode to accuse Prez Billy Jeff of playing Jedi mind tricks on him.

But Colbert wasn’t happy rubbing salt in my wound just once, and waited only two minutes and forty seconds into Wednesday’s episode to draw the obvious parallel between the Navy’s new laser gun and the Death Star.

And in case hogging all the Star Wars references for the week wasn’t bad enough, Colbert topped off the segment by butchering my favorite line from Star Wars (and one that I deployed to better effect just last month), when he inexplicably told the ewoks, “I find your lack of faith highly laserable.”

So, to give this genre the respect it deserves, I present the following exploration compiled by myself and Mr. James Katz:

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Dr. Pepper, Stephen Colbert, and Ivan Pavlov walk into an advertisement

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I make an effort to watch every single episode of the Colbert Report and the Daily Show. Sure, I occasionally find myself weeks — months — behind, but I fastidiously plug along even when it means reviewing tomorrow’s headlines, three weeks from now. And as you know, I often make the advertisements I’m forced to watch on repeat in the course of my endeavors the subject of posts like today’s.

So it felt a little bit like betrayal when, after years of conditioning at the hands of Stephen Colbert, my vigilance and commitment were turned against me for the sake of product placement.

I speak, of course, of the latest offering from Dr. Pepper. The offending ads feature a mountain man (though I like to think of him as a caveman — perhaps a member of Dr. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, with an emphasis on club) engaged in various manly, outdoorsy, Americany activities. The surface appeal to Colbert is obvious. But the ad represents something much more sinister upon closer inspection — and not just because Colbert agreed to air an advertisement so prominently featuring the #1 threat to America (Bears!):

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Invasion of the Unidentified Smiley Objects?

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An extremely reliable and trustworthy friend who in no way has a taste for games, especially on the internet, reports sighting unidentified smiley objects on this blog — and only on this blog — particularly while viewing one particular post, ironically titled Why I Love the Internet.* He further reports, “Where it is in the page depends on the level of zoom.”

*Ironic because it apparently should have been titled “Why I don’t understand the internet”.

I don’t see them, and I spend a good amount of time around here. But then again, I also don’t see the WordPress ads. And so I turn to you, Dear Reader. Do you ever see them? Or is my friend hallucinating? Or trolling me?

Better, do you know what’s going on?

I’m really just curious, and in the meantime, happy to learn my blog is seemingly a joyous place.

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Richard Sherman: finally a(dderall) smoking gun?

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On Thursday night, Seahawks CB Richard Sherman threw out the first pitch at Safeco Field. Here’s what that looked like, courtesy of the AP:

Richard Sherman

But in a stadium full of really blurry people, how did he manage to stay so focused?

Even money (I did not arrive at that number randomly) says I know his secret:

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