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Tag Archives: midnight

Save the World, Stop SOPA

17 Jan

The biggest threat to your paper on the role of North Africa's economy in the Byzantine Empire circa 1400 since that fifth of Jack Daniels and Facebook

If you’re reading this, I assume you like the Internet (thanks Al Gore). As such, you should probably be running around in circles puking and crying and screaming and calling your representative in Congress and then puking some more, assuming that’s your normal reaction to receiving news of legislation you disagree with.

See, Congress is currently considering two bills—abbreviated to SOPA and PIPA—that are aimed at curbing online piracy of music and film. And while we at The Ave would like to go on the record as opposing illegal downloading (……Look in a mirror. Right now. Do it. Now pretend you’re looking at seven-year-old you. Now try to explain how you could illegally download The Muppets. Now rethink your life choices), these bills go way too far.

Both SOPA and PIPA would give the government sweeping powers to censor online content and target search engines or aggregators that link to websites it says are illegal. As a website that we can only imagine gives nightmares to top officials in the CIA almost every night (we take Mondays off. Too busy Keggin, ya know?), we naturally disapprove.

But the heinous doesn’t stop there. Because of these bills, websites such as icanhazcheezeburger.com, Redditt and WIKIPEDIA all plan to go black tomorrow in protest. Seriously.

As if it isn’t bad enough that we won’t be able to get our full fix of kittens who hate their owners,* WIKIPEDIA IS GOING DOWN. Do you people even comprehend what that means? Literally, no one will know anything anymore. The single database in which all of humanity has stored the entirety of its collective knowledge will be gone at midnight tonight. Every single person on this soon-to-be-forsaken planet will be left with no awareness of the world around them. All sense of intelligence will be replaced by a distant, vacant stare and a sense of longing. Basically, imagine that every person on the planet is Rick Perry. But dumber and less hostile.

Now, I should point out that our boy Barack has said he will not sign these bills, and neither piece of legislation has been voted on or passed by either house of Congress.

But still the damage has been done. See, by naming the House version PIPA, supporters of this bill have already ruined my life. Pippa should be a word of joy, a word of happiness, and a word of incredibly shaped arses. Thanks to these heinous toolboxes, PIPA (same pronunciation as the first name of Our Lady of Bootyville) is instead an Orwellian nightmare of government overreach and special interests.

Censorship never seemed so attractive

In summary, I must admit I was wrong. I thought that there was nothing that could ruin Hottie McNiceAss from across the pond. I thought she was too good and had too round of a behind to be tainted by anything. But in less than eight months, our shitsville of a Congress has done it.

And so, for making me a liar, ruining Pippa and dooming humanity I say this to Congress: Ugh. Typical.

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*Porn too. Don’t forget about the porn.

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Things That Suck: Coffee

15 Dec

Coffee: Sir Twattingworth's anti-heroin

Fuck coffee.

I feel like a stranger in a strange land. Not because I’m the protagonist of a Robert Heinlein novel, but because I don’t drink caffeine. I’ll pause a moment to let your mouths fall agape as you shout “WAIT WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTT.”

True story. I’ve never drunk coffee in my life. Okay, wait, there was that one time when I was a curious young four-year-old and my dad let me taste his coffee and I was so horrified that I jerked violently and spilled it all over my Charlie Brown pajama pants. But other than that I have usually abstained from the black stuff. And from Red Bull. And Monster, too. Fuck that shit.

Final exams may be over at Northwestern, but I know there are a bunch of other poor unfortunate souls out there who still have to cram months’ worth of learning into their skulls before exams. As a result they may, in all their mortal vulnerability, be tempted to turn to the evil that is caffeinated beverages. I am here to hold up my hand and say the same thing I would say to anyone planning to read Roberto Bolaño’s novel 2666: Don’t do it!

My body is like this temple, in that it is a temple.

That’s a picture of a temple. I included it in this article because, like the Baha’i Temple, my body is a temple. When I stay up till four in the morning writing a six page essay about what Henry David Thoreau would think about the Weather Underground, I do so simply on the sober strength of my own fucking willpower. I understand that if you start thinking about this metaphor, some obvious contradictions might jump out at you like the T-Rex face in my old dinosaur pop-up book. But I’ll remind you that most temples have alcohol in them. You can put wine into a temple without damaging it, and Christians have done so for ages. But something tells me that if you shot lightning at a temple to “give it energy,” you would really just blow up the temple. That’s my visualization of inserting caffeine into a human system.

Shoot a temple with lightning and it will never be intact again. Give me Red Bull and I will never sleep again. I have enough trouble as it is. The first time I stayed up past midnight on a day that wasn’t New Year’s Eve, it was all over for me. Once I crossed that threshold, it became impossible for me to ever fall asleep before midnight again. At night my productivity goes up, and I suddenly remember all the Grantland articles I wanted to read and all the episodes of Dragon Ball Z that I wanted to watch that I somehow forgot about during the daytime. Before I know it, it’s 2:30 and somehow the knowledge that I have to telemarket for three hours the next day doesn’t stop me from looking up YouTube clips of old Martin Luther King, Jr. speeches until my eyelids finally take executive action and shut themselves, only to be jarred awake hours later by an alarm just in time to swallow a mouthful of Cocoa Puffs before huffing it to my French class with all possible speed. No rest for the weary, and I am nothing if not weary.

I am not alone here. I have friends who drink coffee like it’s water. As a result, they go to bed at midnight and wake up at six every day. They think they’re fully functioning modern human beings. I think they’re more like zombie robots in danger of falling apart at any second. I don’t want to see that happen, so I’m finally coming out against the horrid black stuff.

She is hot. Coffee is awful.

That’s a subjective take on the general suckiness of caffeinated drinks, so I’ll throw in an objective approach as well. I feel like I shouldn’t have to mention this, since it is as inherently obvious as the blueness of the sky or the hotness of Kate Middleton, but caffeine is gross. Coffee is gross, and everybody secretly knows it. I’m not just talking about the people who pour mounds of sugar into their mugs to deaden their sorry souls to the fact that they’re drinking liquid poop. I’m talking about everyone. We all seem to have agreed to forget that coffee is disgusting, the way we all agreed to forget that George W. Bush was appointed President by the Supreme Court.

And not just coffee. Red Bull is gross too. I admit, I’ve tasted it a few times, and I’d sooner hang out with Michele Bachmann for a few hours than repeat the experience. But even if I hadn’t been capable of offering this personal testimony of awfulness, surely the list of ingredients – which looks like something Walter White might cook up in his basement to pay for chemotherapy – would probably be convincing enough. 4Loko actually tastes kind of good, but it’s illegal, so that’s a given. I won’t even talk about 5 hour energy drinks until they make better commercials. If my RTVF roommate could make a better commercial than the one you put on TV, you probably don’t deserve to exist, let alone be talked about in the valuable Internet real estate that is this website.

Would you rather drink coffee or eat poop?

I realize that this anti-caffeine argument is difficult. Sometimes the AP curriculum makes it seem as if the College Board just assumes that every AP student is injecting caffeine into their eyeballs (Either that or no one told them about the existence of time-consuming extracurriculars, but either way they’re a bunch of douchemuffins who gave me too much homework in high school). Then there’s the necessity of being a hipster in order to have any social currency in this hyper media-literate world. That means you need to read Pitchfork regularly and wear clothes originally designed for girls Europeans, but it mainly means that you need to spend a majority of your time in darkly lit indie cafes sipping black energy so you’re wide awake and prepared to unleash a shitstorm of ironic Tweets the next time Bon Iver releases a workout video. Caffeine has been so prevalent in our society for so long that we just accept it as a given fact of life. But the fact that people in the Eighties were accustomed to the idea of nuclear Armageddon didn’t make it okay. Nuclear holocaust is never okay, and neither is coffee, and don’t let Henry Kissinger tell you any different.

Society seems to have ordered its priorities like this:
1. Work
2. Sleep

But that is so, so wrong. Our society has forgotten the value of sleep. Let me tell you, there was one Saturday earlier this quarter when I slept until 3 pm. It was the greatest day of my life. We all need sleep to recuperate from the horrid heinousness of everyday life, and coffee prevents that. It sucks. Finals suck. Life sucks too. But you just need to get over it. Do it all natural or not at all, that’s my motto. Sleep well, my friends.

(And for those of you wondering about the fate of my aforementioned Charlie Brown pajama pants: They did not survive their encounter with coffee, and were promptly retired to the dustbin of history. The world is a worse place for it).

Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Evanston

30 Aug

After immersing yourself for a few weeks in the infamous college lifestyle, you’ll be surprised to discover that – just a few blocks from that wall of Jones on which you triumphantly urinated – there is a real city with real people. As easy as it is to be insulated in Northwestern’s spectacular campus, the city of Evanston is a great resource. The following comprehensive guide to key businesses in Evanston will assist you in your efforts to take advantage of the city (omitting Burger King and The Keg, since we’ve already explained their glorious nature).

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