News Appetizers Make for Lively and Awkward Dinner Conversation

It’s Friday, my loves, and that means it’s time to think about all of the things you’ll want to avoid talking about at dinner parties. Or, if you do talk about these things, then you can at least know what you’re talking about. Hungry yet?

The Senate killed a Republican-led effort to allow employers and health insurance companies to deny coverage for contraceptives and other services to which they have religious or moral objections. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) was the only Republican to join with Democrats on the measure, which makes me sad because she’s not running for re-election and she is just about the only Republican around willing to compromise with the Democrats. Dinner Party Awkwardness Level: 7. People will rather talk about Davy Jones if they’re not political and Andrew Breitbart if they enjoy a daily ragestroke.

Conservative provocateur and blogger Andrew Breitbart died Thursday. Breitbart was one of the early contributors to The Drudge Report and a pioneer in using blogs and the Internet to support conservative causes. I don’t speak ill of the dead, so no wisecracks here. Dinner Party Awkwardness Level: 5. People will feel uncomfortable joking about someone who just passed away, but the dude was a dick who caught a Weiner.

Davy Jones of The Monkees passed away this week. Who will cheer up sleepy Jean? And who will meet me at the station when I take the last train to Clarksville? Dinner Party Awkwardness Level: 1. This is a great topic of conversation because everyone will then want to go to karaoke and sing songs by The Monkees and you will have a fabulous Friday night.

Tornadoes tore through the Midwest and South, weaving a path of destruction. The hardest hit was Harrisburg, Ill, where six people were killed and 100 were injured. It’s a reminder to pay attention to warnings and to have a plan (and another reason for me to worry about the fact that my apartment doesn’t have a basement). Dinner Party Awkwardness Level: 10. This one’s a downer, folks.

Google rolled out its new Privacy Policy on March 1st. You’ve probably seen the little tab telling you to check the the policy because it’s important. I’m sure you didn’t read it, but the bottom line is that Google knows everything about you, including your preference for watching kitten videos on YouTube and buying Lisa Frank-style unicorn stickers. Dinner Party Awkwardness Level: 2. It’s a safe way to get your panties in a twist without hurting anyone’s feelings.

The assault on rebels in Homs, Syria continues to be just awful, awful, awful. True assholes exist in this world. Dinner Party Awkwardness level: 10. This shit’s just terrible.

Apple will unveil its iPad 3 probably next week, and rumors abound that there will be a bargain-priced 8GB version to compete with products like the Kindle Fire. Dinner Party Awkwardness Level: 2. You’ll probably bore most people, but that guy you like who has everything Apple will looooooooove you. And then bore you with all the details because really, you just thought it was something easy to open with.

Egypt will allow NGO workers to leave after it imposed a travel ban due to accusations that the workers were taking illegal foreign funds and fomenting unrest. Which just goes to show you that democracy is often a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Dinner Party Awkwardness Level: 7. No one was really paying much attention to this story, but it’s a telling sign of how the Arab Spring is panning out.

He actually said this.

Everyone’s favorite definition of Santorum is now down in search results. Dinner Party Awkwardness Level: 1 if you are with people who wish inconvenient things on Rick Santorum, 10 if you are dining with people who like their panels on birth control filled with dudes. Though it looks like Santorum will do all right keeping awkward phrasing by his name.

By [E] Sally Lawton

My food groups are cheese, bacon, and hot tea. I like studying cities and playing with my cat, Buffy.

21 replies on “News Appetizers Make for Lively and Awkward Dinner Conversation”

I am so sad about Davy Jones. I mean on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the saddest), I am a 4. That’s pretty big for me in terms of a pop culture figure.

I liked watching The Monkees tv show as a kid. My parents took me to 3 of their concerts (I fell asleep during one, but we had a balcony and I had a migraine. Sue me.) so I associate Davy Jones with wholesome family time activity.

And he never ruined it by doing something creepy or scandalous (that I heard about). And oh man, remember him in that Brady movie? GOOD TIMES.

In the “Wishing Inconvenient Things on Rick Santorum” category, I was super bummed to find that the blog “I Hope Rick Santorum…” (with such gems as, “I hope Rick Santorum’s chips break off in his queso dip”) was taken down right as it was catching on. It was way better than “Rick Perry’s Unpopular Opinions.”

You bet this is real.  People still fling this shit at me at work.  Just a month ago I was giving report and my relief starts ranting and raving about ‘Obozo’ and how he has put our nation in harm’s way because we technically don’t have a President because he’s not a US citizen because everyone knows he paid some super awesome forger to fake those birth records.  There was a reason it took him so long to reveal the ‘real’ certificate to the public and blah blah blah.

How do you argue with crazy?

The Guardian’s been recommending DuckDuckGo as a non-evil alternative to Google. So far so good though (whisper it) I think I’m going to miss Google Scholar. And I balked a bit at the name, having almost completely forgotten how bizarre I thought “google” sounded when a friend first recommended it WAAY back when in 2002.

And–forgive me, but it’s late over here in Euroland–I should shame-facedly confess that I read the title of this piece as “New Appetizers Make for Lively and Awkward Dinner Conversation” and clicked on it expecting to read hilarious tales of wonky canapes and petits fours gone wrong. But I’m glad I didn’t, as this was so much more interesting and useful than anything that my exhausted end-of-week brain could come up with. Thank you Sally! Bon weekend…

Here are a couple of articles from a sibling site of the Bad Site I No Longer Visit. I never set up a “profile”, so this stuff doesn’t even apply to me, even though I use Gmail. I don’t really know how that makes sense. Hope this helps a bit.

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