Cintas, an Ohio-based corporation that specializes in bathroom supplies, is hosting its annual Bowl Game contest, honoring the very best restroom in the nation. Know the best place to go when you gotta go?
As a city of over-achievers, we'll settle for nothing less than no. 1; we've already received the dubious honors of being America's sluttiest city and the city with the most sugar daddies per capita. But this time we're aiming high, attempting to take the title as the city with the most appealing place to pee and poop.
With any job, there are always those coworkers that seem a little bit off. Perhaps it's the gal who sends you a chastising e-mail for your "improper use of mailing labels," or the guy who beats the vending machine when his Doritos get stuck. Despite the crazy-making habits of most professions, it turns out that some jobs are far more likely to attract psychopaths than others.
Malcolm J. Brenner, the controversial author of Wet Goddess, the autobiographical novel of a young man's love affair with a dolphin, relaxes on a computer chair inside a San Francisco apartment, gently stroking one of the two cats occupying the room with us. His red sweater is wiry and frayed, like the hairs on his balding head. He's 40 years older than he was when he drove to a near-abandoned Florida amusement park with the intent to "make love" with a dolphin he had been photographing for nine months.
We're not the type of person to harp on slutty Halloween costumes. We frankly don't give a damn about whether you think wearing a silver bikini makes you an "astronaut" because, let's be honest, Halloween is a holiday about getting laid, just like New Year's Eve, and National Feral Cat Day. If slutting up Big Bird helps you accomplish that, then, well, we can't say we applaud it, but we do understand. With that in mind, we present to you the most downright laughable "sexy" Halloween costumes this year. Because now we have uncomfortable images of Sesame Street characters in our head and we don't want to be the only ones.
As purveyors of print and worshipers of the written word, we are one voice adding to many in the conversation regarding the survival of the physical book, and by proxy, physical bookstores. The discussion has been going on since the Internet reared its ugly, yet hypnotically fascinating head. As bookstore after bookstore joins the ranks of closed businesses across the country and reader after reader bows down to praise the e-reader, the talk of the sustainability and survival of print has grown from a concerned murmur to a frenzied outcry. Never is the seeming trend more apparent than when a local icon is threatened. Not one, but two San Francisco bookstores are facing the possibility of closing their doors due to languishing book sales and outrageous rent increases.
San Francisco sometimes feels like Charm City, but underneath those painted ladies and precious parks, there's a lot of dirt, creeps, and gore to be unearthed. Maybe not quite underneath San Francisco itself, but our region of California boasts its share of grossness in Richard Faulk's forthcoming book Gross America: Your Coast-To-Coast Guide to All Things Gross. The tour book of sorts takes us across the country to historically gross spots and specimens, which includes things like "worm gruntin,'" flowers that thrive on rotting flesh, and the last remaining vomit factory (which is, unfortunately for us, in Chicago).
In the Bay Area, we've done a pretty good job of keeping our more disturbing specimens underground. Faulk unearths how Colma basically became San Francisco's necropolis when we ran out of room for the dead in the 19th century. Plan your visit to one of Colma's 17 cemeteries and pay respects to Wyatt Earp, Joe DiMaggio, and Levi Strauss, among others.
We didn't need any more evidence that the hipster aesthetic and lifestyle were firmly implanted in the U.S. mainstream. We've known for a while that the whole package -- the fixie bike, the skinny jean, the knit cap or cheap-ass short-brim, the "ironic" facial hair, the black-frame glasses, the PBR -- make about as much of a statement as a set of new tires from Costco.
But today we got more evidence. It came in the form of
an obituary a press release about three shows to be released later this month on a YouTube channel called American Hipster. About the only thing that could scream "OVER!" louder than this is a Martha Stewart special on hipster cuisine or a line of plaid shirts from Mel Gibson.
"American Hipster explores what it really means to be cool," says the
obituary press release.
We'll just let that one hang there for a minute. Go ahead, read it a second time. It's worth it.
obituary press release continues: "'Hipsterism' is a growing trend in the U.S. that doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon."
We agree. It isn't going anywhere. Except to Target.
Speaking of targets, American Hipster (based on its trailers, embedded below) can't tell quite where it's aiming. First, this stuff has high production value. Really. These look like trailers for shows you'd see on the Travel Channel or Comedy Central -- or maybe even PBS, in one case. But the whole hipster thing is about low production value -- like something put together with a bicycle pump and a GAF View-Master between nine people sharing a two-bedroom Potrero Hill flat. So who are these shows are aimed at? Middle-class Oklahoma Colorado Wyoming Dakota? In other words, the only people left who've never seen a hipster in real life and have never traveled farther than the Best Buy out on I-10? That's our guess. Which means the skinny jean is attempting to muscle its way into the Mount Rushmore of American culture that includes baseball, hot dogs, mom, and apple pie. Which means looking like a hipster is about the safest thing on the planet.
Morning zoo sweater dumpling Glenn Beck is best known for saying ridiculous things on TV for a couple years and then suddenly not doing so anymore, probably because of the backstage scheming of Beck's greatest enemy, Woodrow Wilson. He also did some Founding Fathers cosplay and once held a rally where he honored Martin Luther King by denouncing the principles that Martin Luther King believed in.
Anyway, he used to be everywhere in our media culture, and then, suddenly, his voice was silenced, except for three hours of talk radio a day, a series of dumb books, frequent appearances on The O'Reilly Factor, his two web-sites, and another rally, in Israel this time because the forces that run the universe understood that that could be the funniest thing ever.
Turned out that rally isn't as funny as Beck's homepage, which looks like Gadhafi's Condi Rice scrapbooks, only with Glenn Beck, instead, and lots of ads for gold. At any given moment, there are at least 17 stock photos of Beck on the front page of GlennBeck.com.