Archive of Articles in the "Humor" Category

Wait For It... The Iconic (But Cringeworthy) Official Banished Words List

[ Posted Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024 – 19:12 UTC ]

At the end of the day, there are other iconic things in Michigan than just college football (Go Blue!). Murdick's Fudge, for instance. Traverse City cherries. But for the sweetest of all you have to look further north, to what is known within Michigan as "the U.P." (which is populated, of course, by "Yoopers"). Because the Upper Peninsula is home to Lake Superior State University, who long ago (back in the 1970s) proclaimed themselves language mavens extraordinaire and began putting out an annual "List Of Banished Words."

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My 2023 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 29th, 2023 – 19:20 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second of our year-end awards columns! And if you missed it last Friday, go check out [Part 1] as well.

As always, we must begin with a warning for all readers. It's long. Really, really long. Horrendously long. Insanely long. It takes a lot of stamina to read all the way to the end. You have been duly warned! But because it is so long, we certainly don't want to add any more here at the start, so let's just dive in, shall we?

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From The Archives -- The Biggest Conspiracy Of All

[ Posted Wednesday, December 27th, 2023 – 17:46 UTC ]

Speaking as someone who generally enjoys a good conspiracy theory just for the "creative writing" aspect alone, in all good conscience I simply must report this shocking news: I have uncovered a big, fat conspiracy that is no mere theory. We're either being lied to, or we're joining in the propagation of the lie ourselves, with merriment. In actual fact, it would not be hyperbole to call this the father of all conspiracies.

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My 2023 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 22nd, 2023 – 17:37 UTC ]

Welcome to the first installment of our year-end awards!

As always, we must begin with a stern warning: this is an incredibly long article. So long you likely won't make it to the end, at least not in one sitting. It is -- as always -- a marathon, not a sprint.

We have tried to credit readers' nominations where we could, but writing the whole column is such a frenzied activity that we may have omitted the citations here and there -- for which we apologize. Reader suggestions make our job putting together this list a whole lot easier, and we are indeed grateful for the people who do take the time to do so (and you still have a chance to make nominations for next week's awards, we would point out).

OK, since it is so long, let's not make it any longer and get right to it. Here are our winners for the awards categories first created on the McLaughlin Group television show, for the year that was.

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From The Archives -- Why Christmas Is Not On The Solstice

[ Posted Thursday, December 21st, 2023 – 18:18 UTC ]

When is Christmas? And why?

These are questions guaranteed to get you funny looks when you pop them, especially in a gathering of wassail-soaked relatives. But if you're tired of hearing the seemingly-eternal "this is what Uncle Fred did when he was twelve" stories, and you're leery of bringing up politics with your kin from Outer Podunk, then it's at least a conversation-starter that's somewhat neutral. Plus, you can reaffirm your nearest-and-dearests' image of you as a latte-sipping fruitcake who moved away from the glory of the heartland and now lives on (say it with an embarrassed whisper) the coast.

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For The Rest Of Us

[ Posted Wednesday, December 13th, 2023 – 17:23 UTC ]

Satanism has become a bone of contention in the Republican presidential primary. No, really! We're so far through the looking glass that you just can't make stuff like this up anymore, since reality provides an adequate diet of "sentences I thought I would never write."

It started with an modern annual tradition. In Iowa, the Satanic Temple successfully petitioned to erect their own holiday display in the statehouse, alongside the Christian and Jewish displays. They put up a mirror-bedecked goat's-headed statue, wearing a pentagram/wreath on his chest. Because, you know, the holidays!

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Friday Talking Points -- What Next? Food Fights In The Cafeteria?

[ Posted Friday, November 17th, 2023 – 18:18 UTC ]

Over 20 years ago -- right around when Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor of our state -- we were fond of shocking people by pointing out: "Politics has become indistinguishable from show business." The entertainment industry and our political system had been slowly merging, ever since the ascension of B-movie actor Ronald Reagan to the White House in the 1980s. But we have to say, we never foresaw the day when politics would become completely replaced by entertainment and entertainment alone. And we seem to be fast approaching that point.

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Juvenile Political Violence In Congress

[ Posted Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 – 17:36 UTC ]

What is one to make of the sudden rise in physical altercations (or threats thereof) in the halls of Congress? Well, you can play it for comedy, that's certainly the first impulse. Or you can adopt a sort of "Tsk, tsk!" tone and go for the moral highroad. Then there is the traditional fallback of the opposition party using it to score political points. But in these uncertain times (to say the least) one might be tempted to fit this into a bigger picture and say it is part and parcel of a dark and very dangerous trend in American politics right now: the normalization and acceptance (by one party) of political violence.

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Bone-Shaking Hallowe'en Tales For Right And Left

[ Posted Tuesday, October 31st, 2023 – 15:32 UTC ]


It is time once again, goblins and ghouls, to offer up some frightening political horror stories for both sides of the aisle. As in years past, we have brewed up a witches' cauldron of fearful spine-tingling tales to scare the pants right off you, no matter where you dwell on the political spectrum.

And, as promised, there will be pumpkins! We have carved two jack o'lanterns to fit each chilling tale, although we do admit that the second one was rather hard to think up an actual image for (we went with California, although upon reflection maybe we should have carved a train... or a snarling dog's face...).

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I Welcome The Return Of The Court Jesters

[ Posted Thursday, October 5th, 2023 – 15:29 UTC ]

There are plenty of things I could be writing about today, not least among them the horrifying and completely laughable notion of making Donald Trump speaker of the House, but I decided to focus in on the "laughable" part instead. Because I, for one, am immensely pleased that late-night comedy shows are back on the air every night (and, starting this weekend, on Saturday night as well).

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