Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Now I Know What a Portico Is

Hangovers get physically worse with age, but the raw quality of the brain doesn’t change—it’s just the same low-level misery as ever. It’s like having an open psychic wound for a day, where even a light breeze can affect me in ways I’d be fortified against on a normal day. There’s a sad irony here, in that the only time I seem to get drunk anymore is when stress overwhelms me by accumulation, and suddenly it’s over and I’m experiencing something fun, usually something social. And I want to heighten it, to exaggerate it, because I feel deprived of joy for so long that I want it in abundance. And then the next morning, there’s only sadness and anxiety. I’d do better to skip the drink entirely and just go running, read a book outside, go to a museum, do all the things of the idealized day that never quite occurs. It sometimes feels as though it’s been too long since I’ve had the end-of-day feeling of accomplishment, that I was productive in a way that also made me happy. And it seems like such stupidity, such a crime, that I’m letting stress chip away at me in a life that’s temporary. But of course we get swept along in a tide, we have been forever, and just as foolish as succumbing to stress is believing that the point of life is happiness and joy. But at times like these, I could really go for a bit more satisfaction. The reason standing in place feels so bad is that you are never actually standing in place—time is moving, you’re always closer to dying. So any day when you go to bed with a feeling of stagnation is a day that can only be described with the words “time passed.” You’ve lost a day, and gained nothing. I don’t advocate for the mindset that you must accomplish something concrete every single day, because that’s too fundamentally American-psychotic and will only lead to more stress and more failures to meet ridiculous expectations. But spiritual enrichment is a different matter. If I walk around my neighborhood tomorrow for one hour with my architecture encyclopedia book, and learn one or two new terms, it will still be the best thing I’ve done in a week. I’ll forget the new words before I get home, but I’ll settle for the temporary feeling—freedom to step outside the rip tide, to ignore everything, to seize something for myself, to be something other than a life that is speeding toward death while losing control of the story.

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Paste Politics Style Guide

The following applies to all Paste Politics submissions.

Submission Format: Please submit all pieces by pasting the text into an email, not as a Google doc or a Word document or anything else. If you copy and paste from Word or Google docs, please be sure the spacing is correct—these programs will often paste without paragraph breaks.

Indenting Paragraphs: Don’t.

Links: Put quotes around the text you want hyperlinked, followed by a colon (no space between finishing quote and colon) and the link (no space between colon and link). So if you want it to read like so:

I am a writer for Paste Politics.

You would write: I am a “writer”:http://www.dictionary.com/browse/writer?s=t for Paste Politics.

Please note!!!

1. There is no space between the finishing quote and the colon, and no space between the colon and the link.

2. When you put quotes around the text you want hyperlinked, please make sure you use straight quotes, not curly quotes. When you paste from wherever into the email, it will often paste as curly quotes, which you should delete and replace with straight quotes. The difference will be easy to spot.

When to use links: Only when necessary, to provide context for something that you don’t fully explain in the text. Use sparingly. If you reference Abraham Lincoln, you don’t need to link to Abraham Lincoln’s Wikipedia page.

Italics: Use <i> and </i> tags around the text you want italicized.

Bold: Use <strong> and </strong> tags around the text you want in bold.

Section headings: Use <big> and </big> tags around the text that will be the section heading.

Section breaks: Here’s a code you can paste in when you want a section break within the text:

<img alt=”1linebreakdiamond.png” src=”http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/1linebreakdiamond.png” width=”323″ height=”43″ class=”mt-image-center” style=”text-align: center; display: block; margin: 0 auto 20px;” />

Blockquotes: Use <blockquote> and </blockquote> tags around the appropriate text. Note that if your blockquote spans more than one paragraph, you will need new tags for each paragraph.

Dashes: We use long em dashes and no spaces between dash and text, like this:

“When we talk about Bernie Sanders—the man likely to be America’s next king—we often forget that he enjoys seances.”

On a Mac, you get these dashes by holding down option/shift/hyphen.

Embedding YouTube and Twitter: If you want to embed either of these, just put the embed codes in the proper place within the text and I’ll handle from there. The embed codes can be found on YouTube by clicking “share” beneath the video and then clicking the gray “embed” tab. The embed codes on Twitter can be found by clicking the three dots below the tweet, and choosing “embed tweet.”

Two spaces after a period: Don’t.

Dates: Month in abbreviations, no “th” after the day. So Dec. 12, 2016 is correct. December 12th is not.

Author bios: Completely fine, provided you write them in yourself at the end of the text, with links formatted correctly, inside italics tags, two short sentences at most.

Corrections: If there’s a spelling or grammatical error that I’ve missed along the way, or any kind of formatting error, I’m happy to correct. If there’s a fact error, I will correct, but unless you notice it immediately, we’ll have to note the correction at bottom. As far as stylistic corrections, once we’ve published, it’s too late to change. Believe me, I relate to my fellow obsessives and perfectionists who can’t stop noticing tiny improvements (I’ve been that guy), but we won’t be tinkering with the text after it goes up.

Other Questions: Check out the general style guide for all Paste writers.

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A Measured Response to Pete Willett, from an American

Dear Pete,

It was with great interest that I read your thoughts on this weekend’s Ryder Cup, and I’d very much like to address a few of your points in the same spirit of collegiality and mutual affection with which you penned your own missive.

First and foremost, I hope you’ll forgive me for ignoring the first half of your essay, in which you employ vague behavioral pseudoscience in the service of sorting golfers into categories beginning with the letter “B.” (You tried your best, and as a southerner in my country would say, “bless your heart.”) Instead, I’ll skip straight to the section where you address the attributes of America, and all its citizens, while simultaneously pasting the world’s largest target on your own brother’s back.

Now, you may assume that since I’m American, I’ll waste my time trying to disprove your characterizations. Nothing could be further from the truth! I’ll concede many of your points about our national shortcomings, and on those occasions when you didn’t quite hit the bullseye, I know it’s not for lack of effort. It’s just that, like most English subjects, your cognitive function has been diluted over time—an inevitable byproduct of centuries of inbreeding which not even a violent influx of superior French conquerors could disrupt for very long (I have to think that if the Normans understood the slow genetic revenge your people would take on them, they would have stayed in France and let the Danes slaughter you out of existence). When I truly consider the scrambled chromosomes of the English, resulting in the characteristic pale flaky flesh and close-set eyes of your average insensate soccer hooligan, as well as the regrettable brain damage mentioned above, I feel a sense of wonder that a man like you could pen an essay that was, at times, very nearly witty. Pete, I mean this sincerely: You should be proud.

No, I won’t dispute your contention that America is a nation of obese diabetics with a penchant for radical conservatism that is somehow horrifying and dull at the same time. Instead, I’d like the chance to place our national character in a more global and historical context. For how can we truly understand Americans, odd beasts that we are, if we don’t study the contrast with our former colonial overlords— those tea-slurping, emotion-suppressing, crown-worshiping English who once ruled an empire on which the sun never set, and who now battle Slovakia to 0-0 draws in international soccer tournaments.

When describing the English today, Pete, I believe it’s important to treat the poor blokes with appropriate nuance. That’s why I would never write a sentence like, “your country consists entirely of pasty, chinless old men with concave chests who spend their entire days staring into the fire at some musty, disintegrating social club, attempting to forget the fact that nobody in their family has held a job for six generations, and that they’re utterly dependent on a dwindling family fortune first established in the 13th century by a minor liege lord who curried favor with a hemophiliac king by murdering a six-year-old boy who might one day have challenged the throne.” Nor would I write, “your country consists entirely of drunken, swine-like peasant people with high foreheads and cauliflower ears, who speak in a bizarre infantile rhyming slang, and are such reactionary xenophobic racists that the mere sight of brown-skinned people on their miserable gray island sent them fleeing en masse from the European Union.” Nor would I write, “your country consists entirely of class-obsessed narcissists who give each other meaningless titles to curb a bone-deep insecurity about their intellectual torpor and total lack of physical vitality.”

No! I’d write all these sentences at once, to give the complete picture.

(By the way, did you know that study after study has shown that English men have the world’s smallest penises?)

There are some other facts that I think are worth consideration. For one, your powerless figurehead of a queen has somehow gone decades without taking off the same pair of white gloves, possibly because the idea of actually touching anything English is too disgusting for her to contemplate, since she’s actually German. For two, your country’s image of male beauty is Prince William, an enfeebled balding old person disguised in a young man’s doughy body, effete to the bone, blander than your cuisine, who walks around grinning moronically as he cuts ribbons at the opening ceremony for the Slough Lawn Bowling Club for the Exclusive Use of Landed White Gentlemen. For three, your country’s most interesting historical figure was an enormous elephant of a human named Winston who spent most of his thinking up witty rejoinders to duchesses who insulted him at parties, and was finally reduced to begging an American polio victim for salvation from the Nazis. For four, your trademark dish is “fish and chips,” in which the chips aren’t actually chips, and the fish is barely fish. For five, your climate is so bleak that instead of seasonal depressive disorder, your people suffer from a mysterious, fleeting sense of joy for the six days in July when there’s a faint implication of sunlight. For six, your next king has a tampon fetish.

But I don’t want to be unfair and focus solely on the present day. The history of England is also worth exploring—from the old days, when your kings and dukes were allowed to have sex with peasants’ wives on their wedding night, to modern times, when a far-right psychopath you charmingly nicknamed “The Iron Lady” let ten Irish political prisoners starve to death in prison for the crime of wanting to be called…political prisoners. In between, you had one king who killed both of his nephews, a queen who killed her cousin (your thoughtless betrayal of kin is starting to make sense, Pete!), and one man who was so despised for daring to dream of a democratic future that his corpse was dug up and beheaded in posthumous tribute. And then, not content to wreak havoc and death in the motherland, you kicked off the modern era by making life hell for poor people all over the globe, robbing them of their freedom and dignity, and forcing them to play interminable “sports” like cricket.

Finally, I’d like to point out the worldwide popularity of your neighbors, like Scotland and Ireland. Scottish men wear dresses and eat sheep guts, while the Irish have been decimated for centuries by every country with the technological capacity to build a simple boat, and have nothing to show for it but an unyielding gallows humor and an American president that was murdered by Ted Cruz’s father, and still everyone likes them far better than England.

Honestly, Pete, the world might hate England worse than you seem to hate your own brother. As it happens, the European Ryder Cup team has six Englishmen on its roster. So if some of my American brethren, stuffed on cookie dough and intoxicated on pissy beer, happen to treat your own countrymen a bit harshly this weekend, I hope you’ll forgive us. It’s simply a case of the world’s foremost power nudging a fallen empire toward the abyss of historical irrelevance which is, inevitably and irrevocably, its ultimate fate.

Stiff upper lip, chappie.

—Shane

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Friends of Tiger: Ryder Cup Hype Train Ep. 3, With Kyle Porter

We’re back on the Hype Train with Kyle Porter of CBS Sports, and you know what we’re talking about—DL3 has picked his 3, and we got the takes to match. Did Rickie deserve the pick? Is Kuchar the most boring selection ever? What about the Bubba snub? It’s all here, so tune on in.

For more stories from the PGA Tour, order my book, Slaying the Tiger, here.

We’re on iTunes now, broseph. Subscribe to ‘Friends of Tiger’ here.

Download the mp3 of this episode here.

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Friends Of Tiger: Ryder Cup Hype Train Episode 2, With Chris Solomon

We’re in week two of Ryder Cup hype-train mode, and Chris Solomon of No Laying UP is on board to talk European captain’s picks, American captain’s picks, and to come up with a new pregame song for Patrick Reed. We also take a record amount of Twitter questions, and set a new record for sheer length at 96 minutes. That’s a long podcast! You’re certainly getting your money’s worth at a cost of exactly nothing, so enjoy your latest journey on the Hype Train.

Links: Chris’ story about how Team USA would look with a less ridiculous points system, and his case against Jim Furyk.

For more stories from the PGA Tour, order my book, Slaying the Tiger, here.

We’re on iTunes now, broseph. Subscribe to ‘Friends of Tiger’ here.

Download the mp3 of this episode here.

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Friends of Tiger: Ryder Cup Hype Train, Episode 1, With Alex Myers

It’s the first of a series of Ryder Cup podcasts leading up to the big event, which we’re officially calling The Ryder Cup Hype Train 2K16 USA Express. Joining me this week to talk about my favorite sporting event in the worlds is Alex Myers of Golf Digest. We cover just about everything, from the systemic changes made by the Americans this year after the Gleneagles debacle, to the imminent European captain’s picks, to the less-imminent but still pretty imminent U.S. captain’s picks. We’re talking Furyk, Reed, Love, Clarke, sample sizes, the legacy of past captains, and more. And that doesn’t begin to tell the story, because Alex and I set a FoT record by going for 88 minutes strong. Turns out, we both love this event and have lots of opinions. Don’t mi

Links:

Alex Myers’ Golf Digest podcast with Davis Love III, and Jim Furyk.

For more stories from the PGA Tour, order my book, Slaying the Tiger, here.

We’re on iTunes now, broseph. Subscribe to ‘Friends of Tiger’ here.

Download the mp3 of this episode here.

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Friends of Tiger, Episode 2.05: Burying Olympic Golf with Luke Kerr-Dineen

I’m not going to mince words—today Luke and I are dead-heading, and our target is Olympic Golf. What does that mean? It means everyone in the immediate vicinity of Rio needs to duck and cover. Check it out, and wear safety netting, because we are the Zika mosquitoes of golf podcasting.

Links:

Me on how to save Olympic golf, from October 2014.

Luke on why Olympic golf is a disaster.

My defense of Rory’s “it’s not my job to grow the game” remarks.

For more stories from the PGA Tour, order my book, Slaying the Tiger, here.

We’re on iTunes now, broseph. Subscribe to ‘Friends of Tiger’ here.

Download the mp3 of this episode here.

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Protected: Phil Mickelson is Not “Vindicated,” He’s Just Very, Very Lucky

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Friends of Tiger, Episode 2.04: Catching up with the Great, Masters Preview

Man what a show! It’s the Masters preview, going up Thursday afternoon—oops. I spend 15 minutes each with Alex Myers, Luke Kerr-Dineen, D.J. Piehowski, Kyle Porter, and Chris Solomon. We’re hashing it out—who’s going to win, who’s going to lose, and who’s going to get held indefinitely in an underground chamber at Augusta. Check it out!

For more stories from the PGA Tour, order my book, Slaying the Tiger, here.

We’re on iTunes now, broseph. Subscribe to ‘Friends of Tiger’ here.

Download the mp3 of this episode here.

 

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