Yearly Archives: 2017

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”: 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=”” 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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