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When someone does or says something offensive, one thing that I never want to hear is that I should not be offended because they didn’t mean to be offensive.

There are roughly two sorts of offensiveness in this world: that which is intended and that which is unintended. In some ways the intentional offensiveness is easier to cope and contend with. If a person understands that what they do or say is offensive, even if they do it anyway, at least they are living in the same universe as you. They know that there are certain things that will push your buttons, and even though they have chosen to go ahead and push, they at least acknowledge that the buttons are there. It hurts to be the intended target of hurtful actions or words, but there is some degree of comfort in knowing that you’re starting from a common ground, and that you know where you stand with the offender.

Ideas, In Case You Missed It, TNG »

Though it was a rainy week all across the eastern seaboard, this was a slow week was a drought for TNG. We are still looking for writers so head over to our Get Involved page for more information.

Advice, Ideas, Personal Narratives, The Adventures of the Boi Wonder »

There is this intense feeling of numbness and exhaustion in the days following a horrific event in a family (or family-like circle of friends,) especially when one hasn’t really been sleeping anyway. The headache that I had for a week probably wasn’t helping to cure the numbness and exhaustion either.

Columns, Ideas, Sexuality, Yes, Master »

I love the sound of chains clinking and clunking when binding a slave up. It establishes a faintly medieval vibe and pushes that aura of inescapablility and punishment. Chains are immediately associated with authority, access, and metalic strength. If it’s man vs. chain, you know automatically who will win. None of us are Superman.

Dating and Relationships, Learning To Drive Stick »

Don’t tell me that the first date is super casual… jeans and t-shirts attire. I don’t date like that. I don’t do jeans and t-shirts in general. I do pencil skirts, I do slacks. This to me just translates to “I’m lazy and can’t force myself to dress nicely for you, so rather than feel badly about my attire, I’m going to tell you to dumb it down too.”

Commentary, Ideas »

The game of who is more oppressed is a complicated one. When intersectionality is taken into account, questions of identity are more complicated than black or white, gay or straight, Christian or not. Being of a majority group in one aspect of one’s identity does not preclude minority status in another, and social minority is not always a numerical minority. Minority status may be visible or virtually invisible, concealable or not. Some are able to pass or to assimilate to minimize the stigma they will bear in mainstream society, others cannot. Still others are unwilling to so.

Ideas, In Case You Missed It »

Your Managing Editor fell asleep on his desk this afternoon with a nice dry German wine and a Firefox window full of science blogs in front of him, so you get to read about evolutionary trends in Pleistocene megafauna. As he asks the other 9.1% of unemployed Americans about cheaper, more social ways to kill time on Friday afternoons, check out some highlights from this week’s content:

Columns, Commentary, Ideas, Not Your Average Prom Queen, Television »

In our intensely divided country there is one thing that brings together the rich and the poor, the married and the love-seekers, the beautiful and the homely, those asking for help and those offering advice.

Reality television.

When MTV’s The Real World began its edited broadcast of 7 strangers residing together in a house in 1992, it was clear that their actions would leave the world of televised entertainment changed forever. The intimacy, the honesty and the grit were impossible to recreate in small screen fiction, and the viewer addiction was dangerous.

Ideas, Rants »

Language has always fascinated me. The way words come to represent concepts, or to misrepresent them, the ways the things which words represent can change and evolve, and how sometimes the words follow suit, and sometimes they don’t. Words and language are so powerful, so complex, and yet they have no reality in and of themselves. Stripped of context, language is merely a series of letters and/or sounds. In context, however, they can create or destroy whole worlds.

Ideas, Place »

The Subway is a magical, magical place. The sweating masses, skittering rats, incessant saxophonists — all naturally a breeding ground for … romance? I’m not talking about I-love-yous and eternal vows, or even first dates out at that swanky bar you’ve been meaning to take someone to. The romance of the Subway is softer, quieter, and rarely makes its presence fully known but in the afterthought of a fleeting encounter, after the train has moved along and you’ve found yourself with a ten-minute walk home to reminisce on that intimate stranger with the hairy wrists.