We are neither red states nor blue states but the United States of normal goddamn people who like dogs

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Still from “White House Dogs” by Dog Lovers For Joe

Soon we the American people will be able to welcome two very good boys to the White House after four long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long dog-ass years. I’m speaking of course of the Bidens’ German Shepherds, Major and Champ. …


Look, I’m not a fan of racism, ableism, or classism but it’s not like I invented them. What I did invent is this app for applying to our learning pod!

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Hello school community!

I hope this email finds you well (lol)! As summer turns to fall and fall turns into the darkest winter in modern history, we’re excited to extend an invitation to your precious child(ren) to join our learning pod! A learning pod is like a tiny little exclusive private school or a miniature country club where your children can spend lots of time with children just like themselves but for righteous and theoretically community health-based reasons. …


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Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Before you even start with me, let me be very clear that until Marriage Story, the only thing I knew about Adam Driver was that some internet cats looked like him. And Star Wars something something I don’t know. I stopped watching Star Wars back when there was exactly one Star Wars movie and it was called Star Wars. Net net: I am not carrying water for Adam Driver. Fine, I loved Marriage Story and I will argue with you about that at another time.

But to the task at hand: I watched the Fresh Air, “Adam Driver storms out…” debacle explode across Twitter and I did what every Twitter scrolling idiot does, I clicked. And I clicked and I clickety-clicked. I felt outrage! That’s what we do on The Twitter! I! Am! Very! Somehow! Outraged! About this thing! That has existed! In my awareness! For seven whole seconds! How dare a famous, rich, handsome (?) person of the arts behave like a spoiled child? Especially to, of all people, the appropriately-bespectacled (quirky, not too flashy) Terry Gross? What kind of monster, etc. etc. …


Illustration by Bene Rohlmann

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When you’re heading out on a road trip with adolescents, don’t forget to bring everything, including a little emotional baggage! Here is a sanity-saving checklist to get you through long drives with teens.

☐ Teenagers

☐ Travel mugs

☐ Travel attitudes, depending on what we’re talking about when we talk about “travel attitudes”

☐ A road map, but for keeping a conversation going with teenagers

☐ A road map, but for navigating out of the “stop looking at me like that”/ “like what” struggle

☐ An actual road map, so you can remind your kids of the roughly 100-year age gap between you

☐ Pretending not to notice how genuinely excited they seem about hitting the road

☐ Absolutely not even once asking, “ARE YOU GUYS EXCITED?!”

☐ Restraining yourself from exclaiming, “THIS IS GOING TO BE SO FUN!”

☐ So many breath mints, so much deodorant

☐ A strict “no punch backs, but also no punching in ­general would be great” rule

☐ The adorable belief that any rules, strict or not, will be followed

☐ A playlist for everyone to sing along to

☐ A playlist that, turns out, you will be singing very much alone to

☐ A playlist that evokes ennui

☐ An air freshener printed with the words THE ENNUI CAME FACTORY-INSTALLED

☐ iPads, phones, headphones, earbuds, isn’t it great being together like this?

☐ Back to that whole “travel attitude” thing — the somehow unshakable belief that this trip will end up being the rare case where you actually make memories for real

☐ A solemn vow not to be overcome with emotion when your teenage son, who is now taller than you are, casually slings his arm around your shoulders as you gaze out at the Grand Canyon together

☐ An even more solemn vow to not ask your teenage daughter if she meant to wear her hair like that on purpose

☐ The double-dog most solemn vow that on this trip, you will not play the revenge card you’ve threatened them with all through middle school by shouting in the middle of the biggest crowd you can find, “YOU WILL ­ALWAYS BE MY BABIES! AND STOP TELLING ME I’M YOUR HERO!”

☐ A list of conversation starters no teenager would ever fall for

☐ An alternate list of ­conversation starters even your partner is questioning a little

☐ An alternate to the alternate list that is mostly just ideas for monologues

☐ A curling iron, a flat iron, ­Ariana Grande Cloud perfume, Ariana Grande Moonlight perfume, Ariana Grande Sweet Like Candy perfume, blue mascara, 25 sheet masks, glitter nail polish, glitter lip gloss, glitter, look into whether towing your bathroom behind you is feasible

☐ Phone chargers, laptop chargers, car chargers, a charger for the chargers, look into whether towing a Best Buy behind you is feasible

☐ A shopping list detailing how much food you’ll need to bring and continuously replenish in order to sufficiently feed teenagers, look into whether just driving a food truck instead is feasible

☐ Swimsuits, beach chairs, the smug knowledge your kids will definitely not be trying to eat fistfuls of sand and are able to 100 percent sunscreen themselves

☐ Hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, tweezers, Swiss army knife, rubbing alcohol, the illusion that at any point you could stop and perform surgery in your car

☐ A tendency to really lean into the illusion that you can perform surgery in your car, thereby giving you an attitudinal edge in arguments

☐ Think about it, does anyone want to argue with the one person who is potentially capable of performing surgery in a moving vehicle with just the minimal supplies on hand?

☐ Everyone needs that person

☐ You are that person now

☐ This really is going to be a great trip

☐ The realization that, just like when they were little and you thought you needed to pack 1,276 items every time you traveled, all you ever really needed was all of you, together

☐ And deodorant — so much deodorant

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About the author: Kimberly Harrington is the author of AMATEUR HOUR: MOTHERHOOD IN ESSAYS AND SWEAR WORDS and is a contributor to McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Cut.


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Me, listening so hard. Whew, I need a martini!

We (those of us in charge of industry, government, and the courts) understand these are dynamic times. And we know we don’t always get things right. Or even just a handful of things right. We get almost nothing right.

But we want you to know we’ve heard you. We’ve heard your feedback and your many, many requests and we are innovating the least bad ways to solve modern problems. We also thought about this stuff a lot during an expensive retreat where we performatively starved ourselves. Look, we know we’re not perfect but we’re trying. …


Parenting humor sites don’t die, they just abandon you for their friends

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Dear people,

We all knew this time would come and come it has. We have decided to bring RAZED’s Terrorizing and Highly Inconsistent Reign of Terror™ to a close. But first! Here is our valentine to you:

THE FINAL ISSUE: FAREWELL, F*CKERS!

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Eric Olsen and I launched RAZED on June 6th, 2015. I’ll never forget that detail because our running joke was that the date was basically 666 (6/6/1+5 = 6).

I had exactly one (1) piece on McSweeney’s that April when Eric floated the idea of creating a humor site together. We immediately agreed to take every swing we could at parenting culture. The dumbass listicles, the vanilla veneer of “helpful” articles that grind your soul to butt dust, the absolute rejection of anything dark or difficult about being a parent, and the relentlessness of modern parenting in general. We were both sick of Sarcastic Mommy being the one acceptable mode of parenting humor — always ending predictably with a “but it’s all so worth it” DEPLOY THE ‘CHUTE line. …


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Okay everyone settle down, settle down. Let’s get started, it’s getting hot up here. It’s hot everywhere! It’s Hell, you guys. Hey Hitler, watch my tail there, buddy.

That’s right, it’s that time of the month again — and I know a little something about times of the month, don’t I ladies — when we recognize someone who has truly gone below and backwards in their duties. A person who has taken that whole false prophet thing and really run with it. And a person who is so repulsive that he only gets votes because people hate immigrants more than they hate him. You gotta love that logic! Jesus was an immigrant you guys but okay. …


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Jodi Kantor, The New York Times reporter who, along with Megan Twohey, broke the Harvey Weinstein story, spoke here in Vermont back in February. Of all the ground she covered, one anecdote in particular snagged my attention. She remarked that doing something as simple as watching an old movie with her eldest daughter now meant having to constantly press pause in order to provide context for what was unfolding, and why it was problematic.

Would that have happened 10 years ago? Or even two?

These are our homes, our marriages; this is our mothering now. Mothers and wives are at the forefront of reshaping, recontextualizing, reminding, and not a small amount of revisionist history. As with gun violence, everyone seems all too ready to put their faith in the next generation to fix it, adding a whole new level of labor to the sandwich generation we already are : one whiplashed between the gender dynamics of our mothers’ Mad Men reality and our daughters’ March For Our Lives urgency. …


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Hellacious

Isthmus

Lull

Lolly

Accrual

Rash

Yawp

.

Wangle

Oligarchy

Nougat

.

Thwart

Hagiography

Emperor

.

Particularly

Overlord

Perish

Uvula

Loutishness

Anemone

Rural

.

Vaginismus

Oaf

Tertiary

Ether

Kimberly Harrington is a regular contributor to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, the co-founder and editor of parenting humor site RAZED, and a copywriter and creative director. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, and on Medium. Her first book, AMATEUR HOUR: MOTHERHOOD IN ESSAYS AND SWEAR WORDS is out May 1st from Harper Perennial.


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Angry Extremists by artist Ben Slow. Photograph by Garry Knight.

I joined Medium back in the Olden Tymes (2015). It’s where I posted my first personal essays, my first opinion pieces, my first viral humor thingamabob. Medium, along with McSweeney’s, have everything to do with how I built a career separate from my advertising work. These two writerly places that exist in air are where I became a writer-writer, tricked an agent into signing me, and ended up writing a book.

During those first couple of months, I had maybe seven followers. It felt exciting to be a part of a community that loved writing but weren’t a bunch of snobby-snobs about it. You could write a thing, put that thing up, then obsessively check your stats because maybe it sucked! Maybe it was good! We cheered each other on. …

About

Kimberly Harrington

AMATEUR HOUR (2018) and BUT YOU SEEMED SO HAPPY (2021) | The New York Times, The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The Cut | kimberlyharrington.me

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