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How To Get Fired From Your Unpaid Internship

13 Oct

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I’m a junior in Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. This summer, I got ‘fired’ from my unpaid editorial internship after The Atlantic published an article that I’d written.

That’s the lead. The full story is a little more complicated. I spent this summer writing for a small weekly paper with a tiny, fiercely dedicated staff, downward-spiraling circulation and five editorial interns, all unpaid. Now that print journalism is on its last legs, working for the weekly felt a little like pushing an old lady in a wheelchair. But I liked the creative and autonomous nature of the internship, which meant that I could walk into the office, write about anything that interested me and publish it on a legit site. Could I write about Nicolas Cage and Disney Princesses? Sure. Walk to a park an interview homeless guys about philosophy? You betcha.

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How to Feed Yourself and Your Unpaid Internship

25 Jun

There’s nothing like the sweet flavor of an unpaid internship.

Seriously. There literally is nothing like that. Unpaid internships taste like shit, because most internships boil down to three-plus months of ass kissing and there’$ nothing to $weeten the deal.

Plus, you’re starving. Because when you’re in New York, San Francisco or any other city where each square foot of rent costs the sum total of Dolly Parton’s plastic surgeries, do you have the cash to spare for sustenance?

$ign$ point to n0.

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An open letter to the Northwestern Kid who Just Didn’t Get Involved Enough

9 Mar
Happiness Club does NOT count

Happiness Club does NOT count

Dear Northwestern Kid Who Just Didn’t Get Involved Enough,

Let’s face it.  Every single person at this university is way busier than you, and everyone knows it. Uninvolved Kid, your lack of extracurricular involvement within Northwestern is like a giant dildo on the floor of a nursing home. We all know it’s there, but we really, really don’t want to bring it up.

Remember how you sobbed after realizing how fucking fat and lazy you’ve gotten since high school? How you dripped tears and snot onto your iPhone and Siri was like “whoa, this kid needs his mom” and called her for you? And how your faithful mom, who has been glued to her phone ever since that one time you rang her up about barfing in the BK lounge AGAIN, answered your moaning self-denigration with a “Honey! Of course that’s not true. You’re my little rainbow! Why, I bet everyone at your smart college thinks about themselves the same way.”

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Why I’m Voting for Obama: Five Haikus

28 Oct

I’d give him the head of state.

I’m no political scientist. I have never peered over the edge of the fiscal cliff; my knowledge of U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan is hazier than the only night I’ve ever been to the Deuce; and I picture the inner workings of the White House as strikingly similar to the Department of Mysteries in Harry Potter.

I am, however, a sucker for cool people doing cool shit. So SUCK IT, political ideologues – this election day, I’m gonna vote for Obama because he is both a PILF and the epitome of badass. Never mind that I believe in his straightforward adherence to old-fashioned democratic ideals – as in, equality in everything from universal health care  and marriage to freedom of choice – or his defense of national parks, or the respect he commands internationally. That shit pales in comparison to his killer dirt-off-your-shoulder. The Obamas, ESPECIALLY Barack, are rad. Just like, super cool. Honestly, even if Obama was all, “Let’s just put Sasha and Malia and the dog in charge while I go surfing in Honolulu and smoke some weed,” I’d vote for him anyway. A cool president is worth a million jobs in the manufacturing sector.

You know what else is worth a million jobs in the manufacturing sector? Amateur poetry. And everyone knows that the best form of amateur poetry comes in snack-size haikus – traditional short-form Japanese poems that follow a 5-7-5 syllabic pattern. So without further ado, I present an artistic homage to my favorite prez’ campaign in a manner that’s about as political as a toy poodle.

On Michelle’s super-toned arms
Graceful, burnished, buff
Those arms could lift our nation.
Can I vote for them?

On Barack’s Rad Music Taste
Let’s contrast your tunes
– Kanye, Bruce, Aretha – Mitt’s:
Toby Fucking Keith.

On the fact that he has a puppy named in accordance with said music taste:
You’re the First Dog, the
Second Bo, the third chillest
White House resident.

On Weapons of Choice
In a real battle,
Your horses and bayonets
Would smash Mitt’s Big Bird.

On the book he wrote/dedicated to his daughters WHILE BEING A PRESIDENT
You wrote a FUCKING
KID’S BOOK about national
Heroes. Marriage me, plz.

Now that you’ve learned a little more about America’s favorite chiller firsthand – and gotten a little lesson in poetic brilliance along the way – I challenge you to come up with a haiku of your own about Mr. Barack! Challenge yourself and make it politically relevant. Better yet, make it dope.

Rock out with ur barack out,
Gwyneth

Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Northwestern’s Inoperable Online Overlord, CAESAR

10 Jun

Look at me (this article.) Then look at Facebook. Now back. To me.

In the time it took you to switch pages, you would’ve been logged out of CAESAR, Northwestern’s all-purpose online tool for everything from bill payments to class signups and beyond.

I came, I saw, I dicked you over for registration.

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Musings on Satan’s Toilet, A.K.A. the Blomquist Recreational Center

28 Apr

“Life is like a box of chocolates – You never know what you’re gonna get”.
– Forrest Gump

“If exercise is also like a box of chocolates, which in fact it is not, then Blomquist is like that box after it has been picked over by an obsessive chocolate connoisseur, leaving only the ones with the inedible citrus middles.”
–      Gwyneth Effingmouth

You may be thinking, “Thanks for a weird, fucked up metaphor, Gwyneth!” Allow me to explain myself.

A layer of hell reserved for all those who took beer from men without paying for it.

Blomquist Recreational Center, or “Blom” for short, is also referred to as Northwestern’s Estrogym. In theory, Blomquist should fit my profile quite well. It’s the closest gym to the sorority quads and full of cardio equipment, and I am in fact a sorositute interested in the benefits of a good cardio sesh. Furthermore, I live in PARC, or “the armpit of Allison,” a res college located in the Deep South of campus. Yet despite the seemingly perfect match between Blom and I, the facility makes me want to puke my guts out – and not just because of vicarious bulimia induced by my sorori-roundings.

Here’s why: Blomquist basically takes exercise, a healthy and possibly enjoyable lifestyle choice, and sucks all of that good shit away with the force of a mega-vacuum, turning the otherwise-innocuous South Campus “gymnasium” into a sweaty, poorly-lit lower layer of Hell. Hence, I only go there when a) I hate myself, or b) I’d get mugged running outside because it’s late in the PM. Without further ado, let me present a well-researched and highly informed argument for why Blomquist is about as unappetizing as that last fermented Russell Stover bonbon in the box:

The Vending Machine
Out of the five times I’ve tried to buy a Powerade, the vending machine has “vended” it to me exactly once. (It was indeed delicious, one thing that even Blom can’t fuck up, but you can get that shit at the C-store.) And it’s intermittent, which means that the problem has been solved and then respawned. My personal hypothesis is that the vending machine is suicidal and on life support, because who wouldn’t want to off themselves after a lifetime dominated by Blom?

The Lighting
According to an inside informant, the lighting at Blomquist is specifically engineered to induce migraines, seizures, and self-loathing. I’m pretty sure I’ve never felt uglier than the few times I’ve seen myself in the gym’s mirrors, including that awkward phase in 6th grade when calling me “androgynous” would have been a compliment.

The Bathrooms
I’m sorry (not sorry) but they are SO WEIRDLY DESIGNED. WHAT THE FUCK. There are like five doors you have to open before getting to the main event, and they are all grey and heavy and cold, like dead elephants impeding everyone’s basic excretory needs.

However, my main beef with Blomquist is not with the facilities themselves. I’m a rich-ass college kid with an infinite supply of Cap’n Crunch and free Busch Light everywhere I turn. Some kids have to work for the money to buy that shit, and they sure as hell don’t get free gym memberships. No, what really pisses me off is the content that Blomquist’s managers choose to display on:

5% gradation? Seriously bitch?

The Televisions
The Blomquist televisions, placed directly in front of the cardio equipment like barrels under the chins of St. Bernards, invariably display either really shitty soap operas, reality TV, or the Food Network. The former two offerings are understandable as a means of positive motivation. Television series, even vaguely nineties-esque lower-budget ones (and especially MTV-funded shitshows), tend to hire more attractive people than your average university student or BK security guard. When I see attractive people, I’m motivated to look like them, boosting my potential workout. Those shows usually have a couple of major uggo foil characters as well, which is also physically beneficial – when I see fat or unattractive people I cackle to myself, tightening my abs and boosting endorphins.

However. WHAT THE FLYING FUCK is the Food Network doing on a television in front of a bunch of people trying desperately to burn as many calories in as little time as possible? Why are the television operators trying to induce such masochism into the sweating college kids that spend so much of their precious time in this “gym”? It makes one wonder why, despite the fact that elliptical machines and treadmills are practically modern-age torture devices and studies have shown that fancy desserts may or may not equal .2 orgasms on the pleasure scale, we choose the former for ourselves. I’m reminded of that timeless moment from Dodgeball, when White Goodman preemptively punishes his desire for the doughnut in front of him with electric shocks:

“You want it, don’t you, fat boy?
You want that doughnut.
Go ahead and have a bite.
One little bite won’t hurt you.
[ELECTRIC SHOCK]
Momma.”

In sum, I hate Blomquist and you should too. Don’t settle for Khloe “Kim on anabolic steroids” Kardashian, or Ace of Cakes-induced sadomasochism. Run to the Baha’i temple instead and have yourself a religious catharsis. Then maybe you won’t have to spend your free time reading god-forsaken rants about São Tomé and Príncipe.

The Road Not Taken: Other possible directions for One Direction

20 Apr

This is an insult to America and hoodies everywhere.

We all thought that the era of the boy band was over once New Kids on the Block released this soul-crushing monster of a video. After NKOTB, like many other depressing vestiges of our diaper years, started trying to capitalize on their adolescent success by filming yucky middle-aged versions of themselves hitting on scantily clad women in the early stages of a trophy wife wrinkly-tan, it seemed that the final page of the horrendous pulpy magazine of Boy Band Lore had finally been turned. I mean, no one likes greasy old men without recognizable talent (at least, no one without clinically diagnosable issues).

So the dust had nearly settled on the era of the Boy Band. For a few years there, I could’ve believed in Markwell (ohwaitnoicouldntomgwtfishedoing). One of the three genres of music that I absolutely hate had finally been starved of any sort of positive attention and seemed to be crumbling into a well-deserved oblivion.

BUT THEN.

THIS BULLSHIT.

One Direction is, inexplicably, making Boy Bands a thing again. I picture Dr. Frankenstein reinvigorating the entire sorry cadre of N*Sync (minus JT, who miraculously avoided death by bringing SexyBack) with a single jolt of candy-colored lightning from The Sky, aka the UK version of X-Factor. The “Igor” in this metaphor is some stupid fucking preteen who stopped vigorously masturbating to an Edward Cullen-inspired fantasy fiction blog for long enough to watch a YouTube clip her British cyberpal sent her.

Walking the red carpet to Douche Convention 2K12

So Who the fuck Is One Direction? You may be wondering, if you’re the type of person who has been living in a happy fantasyland matrix where Fleet Foxes string flowers and prayer flags across Pitchfork, Of Monsters and Men’s album has finally broken the top ten, and The boner-worthy Lollapalooza lineup is getting the acclaim that it deserves.

Until a few days ago, I was that person – a blissfully unaware hipster, tuned into my own Spotify and out of the pop culture loop. Now I’m Morpheus. And now that you’re reading this wake-up call you’re Neo.  And since we’re not in the Matrix anymore but rather in a media-saturated music-less wasteland, you should probably wake the fuck up.

One Direction is a British-Irish Boy Band that will probably dominate the cover of TigerBeat and consume the sexual fantasies of the “prepubescent girls with braces” demographic for the next few years. And they are SELLING MORE ALBUMS THAN MOST OTHER ONES RIGHT NOW. This is a travesty that must be halted. The UK has come up with a lot of good things – the Beatles, divorce, and Shakespeare come to mind – and a lot of bad things, like food made out of unappetizing organs and those curly wigs that judges wear. One Direction belongs to the latter category and must be stopped. How to stop them short of methods that would warrant my arrest, dear reader, is a mystery to me. In lieu of multiple-count homicide, I’ve brainstormed a short list of the “directions” I’d like One Direction to take. These choices all constitute satisfying ends for the band, namely, out of my radar, but remember: ultimately, there can only be One Direction for these pseudo-musical turds. Choose wisely.

Possible Direction 1: Into Japan
You may have heard the phrase “I’m big in Japan” from a witty friend as a sort of self-deprecating joke. Or maybe I’m weird and it’s more of an esoteric Tom Waits reference than anything else (THERE’S A T-SHIRT THOUGH GUYS IT’S TOTALLY A THING). Either way, the phrase references the fact that no one really knows what’s going on there, so if you’re big in Japan it doesn’t really matter to people in the USA. Mostly because we’re egocentric assholes, but also because styles like this one are big in Japan and, despite all of her efforts, Snooki hasn’t really reached that level yet. Plus, Japan is an island. And it has way too many people on it. If One Direction isn’t trampled in a freak-Tokyo-subway accident or killed in a haunted house a la The Grudge, at least its members will blend into the crowd of short skinny people in candy-colored clothing. Even if they don’t blend in, they’ll be Big in Japan – and therefore small in every other sense. Lolz.

Possible Direction 2: Down The Mariana Trench
At 6.78 miles below sea level, The Mariana Trench is the deepest place in the world. Nothing lives down there, especially melodic mediocrity and eunuchs with soft hands. I mean, there’s 15,570 pounds per square inch of pressure down in ol’ Mariana – that’s about 50 jumbo jets on the average-sized person, 100 on fatass Rush Limbaugh. The skinny little pricks that comprise One Direction would be boy pancakes. As pancakes, their stupid fucking vocal cords, shiny hairdos, and winning smiles would be incapable of making Simon Cowell gloat anymore. Just like their voices pre-autotune, the boyz of One Direction would be utterly, incomprehensibly flat.

Glad the puppies made it through Satan's anus alright.

Possible Direction 3: Through Satan’s Rectum
Does this last one really require an explanation? Although I am a pretty committed atheist, a girl can dream. And I dream of the possibility of One Direction’s ending as a piece of excrement being pushed through the colon of the Supreme Evil Being. You could say I’m a sentimental gal, I guess 😉

In sum: One Direction is pissing on music more blatantly than Brother Jürgen Taintsdorf pisses on the steps of tech after fratting it up on Friday nights. Heinousness to the heinous power.