Inhofe’s Greatest Climate Change Denial Hits

James Inhofe

James Inhofe making decisions about climate change legislation could be the most depressing thing about the GOP taking control of the Senate. I wrote a little piece for The Huffington Post on the matter:

As you’ve likely heard, Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe — author of “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future” — is the Republicans’ first choice to head the Senate committee that oversees the country’s environmental policy. If Inhofe becomes head of Environment and Public Works Committee, I’m not sure which will be the larger irony: the fact that he considers climate change a myth or that his middle name is “Mountain.” We’d likely be better off with the creators of Prius Repellent running this important climate committee.

Inhofe, after all, voted against federal disaster relief for Sandy and has compared the EPA to the Gestapo. And given the latest climate report by the United Nations, the timing could not be worse. In fact, Inhofe thinks the UN invented the idea of climate change to “shut down the machine called America.

While other Republicans are mocked for dodging the the truth about climate change — I’m not a scientist — Inhofe thinks the topic is a moot point. “Nobody has uttered the term ‘global warming’ since 2009,” he says. This assertion, while intensely dumb, is actually less embarrassing than others he’s made in the past. Here’s a collection of his wisdom on the topic:

Don’t worry about climate change, Jesus is in charge.

• God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.

Read the rest on The Huffington Post. Or just skip it and go coal rollin:

Gentrification Tales

gentrification-tales

I wrote a short little thing on gentrification and, uh, The Village Idiot for Curbed:

When I moved to Williamsburg in 1996, there was little to do on Bedford Avenue other than eat really good massaman curry at a hole-in-the-wall called Plan-Eat Thai, or dodge the cracked-out prostitutes who haunted the streets south of Metropolitan Avenue. (They’d chase you if you walked too slowly.) My shared, two-bedroom apartment, steps from the subway, was $900 a month, but still felt overpriced on a minimum wage salary from The Strand. Bored, I often found myself venturing into the city at night and quickly became a local at the aptly named Meatpacking District dive, The Village Idiot. The place was filthy. The bottles behind the bar were buried in bras. The music was of the rowdy, George Jones variety. If you got bored watching the Tonya Harding sex tape that looped on the monitors, you could buy a goldfish for a buck to feed to the snapping turtles in the aquarium up front. But best of all, it was cheap. In fact, on slow nights the bartenders would feed me drinks, free of charge, so they wouldn’t have to drink alone. [Read more...]

Happy April Fish Day

fishday

As the youngest of three siblings, the arrival of April Fools’ day was never exactly a reason to celebrate. As a kid, I recall awakening — breathless, disoriented, in a cold sweat — to the sight of my sister bleeding-out on my bedroom floor, a butcher knife jutting out from her armpit. (Yes, that happened.) My brother, not interested in “Harold & Maude” theatrics, would opt instead for pain, cackling “April Fools” as he smacked me upside the head with his palm, the stone from his high school ring turned inward to underscore the joy of the occasion. Hitting me didn’t exactly qualify as a prank I’d foolishly try to explain. Judging by his laughter, it fit the bill for him.

On this day devoted to pranking, I can at least take a bit of solace in knowing that I’m not the only fool. Cultures across the globe have long celebrated a “Fools Day” at the onset of spring to facilitate the humiliation of the weak, the young, and the naive. Keep Reading

Your Phone Is Ruining You For Us

I find it impossible to write fiction that’s set after 2002. Not because I’m a Gen-Xer waxing nostalgic about relaxing to Morcheeba on a distastefully stained sofa I found partially torn apart by a dog in an alley. (Oh, the glamour.) It’s just that it’s inconceivable to depict contemporary times authentically without including interludes where characters stare at their cell phones instead of advancing their plotlines – their lives – towards some conclusion. Which is, as a thing to read, mind-numbingly dull. Unless I write “and then his Galaxy 4’s battery died” no one can ever get lost, forget an important fact, meet a partner outside of a dating site, or do anything that doesn’t eventually have them picking up a phone. So I’m stuck writing about an era where Ethan Hawke was considered the pinnacle of manliness.

On average, people spend 119 tedious minutes staring at their cell phones each day (and that’s according to a UK phone provider). That’s 43,435 minutes annually. Thirty days a year. The month of June. Sure, a portion of those minutes is spent doing useful things. But most involve time-killing activities like playing Bubble Safari or pinning photos of cronuts to our Pinterest walls. It’s a substantial chunk of the year for our plotlines to stand still.

More at The Awl.

Seven Great Under-the-Radar Christmas Albums

It’s that time of the year again when new indie renditions of syrupy holiday songs are shared by music snobs who wouldn’t touch Harry Connick’s Auld Lang Syne with Michael Bublé’s Mele Kalikimaka. There are definitely some strong releases to be discovered including Sufjan Stevens’ latest holiday collection, Silver and Gold, though, admittedly, you’ll feel so twee listening to it you’ll hallucinate rainbow-colored snowmen. Still, do we really need to hear Arcade Fire cover “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” or Neon Vulva’s chillwave take on “Sleigh Ride?” Regrettably, most of the alternative holiday songs shared around this time of the year rival the traditional schlock in corniness.

More at The Awl.