A Merry Middle-Class Christmas

Bob, my mother’s boyfriend, will argue that Happy Days jumped the shark several seasons before Fonzie actually strapped on his water skis. In his view, the show’s lethal injection with schmaltz came the moment the Fonz sat down with the Cunninghams around their Christmas tree and read “The Night Before Christmas.” When the onetime breakout [Read More...]

Pepper-Spray Cop and the Humor of Despair

Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams thinks very highly of the “Pepper-Spray Cop” internet meme, which in its various forms spoofs UC Davis police officer John Pike. Last Wednesday, Pike was captured on video, pepper-spraying a row of demonstrators, who were sitting with limbs interlocked to protest the removal of their tents. Now, thanks to Photoshop and [Read More...]

Mr. President, Tax These Trees!

When I was very young, before we moved to Manhattan from the Newark suburbs, my mother divided people into two categories: those who put up real trees on Christmas, and those who went artificial. Without explaining exactly why, she made it clear that artificial tree-buyers were beneath contempt. All of her friends put up natural [Read More...]