Web Hostess Live: The latest from the Web

Jun 12, 2014

A weekly chat about the best ways to kill time online. Our Web Hostess, Monica Hesse, sifts the Internet so you don't have to, searching for meaning, manners and the next great meme.

Good afternoon!

Behold, the chat is visible, and will start right on time. I'll have to shut it down at 2:30, unfortunately, for a meeting that couldn't be rescheduled, so send in your comments and thoughts early. When I get back to my desk at 3, I'll post any great outtakes that didn't get to go up before we closed up shop.

The latest from the web, really, is a pretty vocal uproar on the Post publishing two offensively idiotic columns on sexual violence in the span of a few days. (I love that they think that changing the sub-head on one from "marry your baby-daddy" to "stop bringing all those boyfriends home" is somehow an improvement.) Yet all that's on the Post Opinion pages today is Cantor, and aside from two letters to the editor, there isn't ONE piece on the internet uproar it brought on itself. Is the editorial page going to do anything to hold the paper to account for its actions? Any other thoughts? Man, I miss the ombudsman.

The article in question is this one, which has the edited headline.

And here's a recap of the uproar surrounding it.

I, too, would have liked to see an ombudsman take on the issue. That being said: major events in Iraq, major events in the Republican party, and major news relating to Bowe Berdahl, the recently-released Taliban POW, were all pretty important news events to thoroughly cover, wouldn't you agree?

 

The incident with the sexual violence column does call into question the difficulties with headlines that are designed to draw readers in -- something every news outlet is trying to do online -- occasionally becoming too cute by half and ruining the story. (Though, to be fair, people have also criticized the content of the story).

I say it's an outrage, an utter abomination, when business gets in the way of chatting!

What I tell people every day.

Unfortunately I thought that Will had a good point about how much due process a government agency (the public university) is required to provide a student before the public agency assess a million dollar lifetime penalty by way of expulsion. My preferred method would be for colleges to get only ajudicate things that are not crimes. Two room mates can't get along in the same room or plagairism, then the college takes care of it. For actual crimes such as sexual assault or rape, then the cops handle it.

And this question is in response to the other Post column that took a lot of heat this week -- George Will's infamous column in which he asserted that rape victims have received "coveted status."

Last week, I ran across the Luigi Death Stare meme, found it funny (particularly the extended highlights video to Ridin' Dirty), and shared with my husband. We own a Wii U, so we've been playing Mario Kart 8, and that meme inspired him to start playing as Luigi and spend more time playing with the end of race recaps than actually racing. I can confirm that it becomes less funny pretty quickly when there's no music and you're watching someone rewind and replay video over and over. I think I've created a monster.....

What, this Luigi Death Stare meme?

If your husband starts playing it late at night while muttering to himself, and if he hasn't bathed in 3 to 5 days, come back here and we'll stage an intervention of some kind.

Additionally important question, which Hank Stuever probably abundantly covered in his chat: Is everyone here watching the new season of Orange is the New Black? You are, right?

I thought the "cops" are a government agency. Are they not?

No, "Cops" is a show on Fox. Lots of shirtless criminals, lots of rolling around after being tackled in the grass.

I couldn't make last week live :( Anyway - with respect to who does and does not call themselves feminists - plenty of people *are* feminists, if you just look at the definition. BUT they see the 'media defined' feminist, and they say - hey I'm not like HER so I must not be one. As for 'in the 50s/60s people didn't need two incomes.' Well, sure, they didn't THEN. But before then, and basically since humanity began, families had two incomes *or* they made EVERYTHING they had. People grew all their food, made their clothes, cooked everything from scratch. life was completely different. When you make reference to the 50s and/or 60s you are referencing a time that was actually an anomaly.

Okay, if you all had to go back to a time where you grew your own food, made your own clothes, and cooked everything from scratch, how well would you fare? It's life-as-Oregon-Trail, and I would die of dysentery within about four days.

Let's hope this means his seven books are over and he just fades away. I mean, if this column isn't evidence of early-onset (or perhaps not so early) Alzheimer's, I don't know what is.

On a happier note, adding "and the Prisoner of Azkaban" to the end of any book title automatically improves it, no?

Whenever you're feeling down... as if the whole world's against you, and you're at the end of your rope... switch on an episode of Cops. Your life will seem better inside of 15 minutes.

Well, your life will, at the very least, seem more clothed, and with more teeth.

I wouldn't. I would be dead of the appendicitis that I had at the age of six. But can't we find a happy medium? It used to be cheaper to sew your own fabulous outfits but now it's more expensive and that is because of sweatshops overseas owned by U.S. corporations. Um, sorry, when I get on my soapbox I forget what point I was trying to make. I'll go back to my vegetable garden. But I'll leave the air conditioning on in the house.

Calm down and be soothed with a high-fructose genetically-modified treat, okay?

Because the Post keeps his chats secret until the last minute, and now you are cutting us short. Shakes fist -- why why why?

They keep them secret? I didn't know this. How? Does Adrian hop out from behind a weedy thicket at the last minute and say, "HAH, I'm here!"?

Have you read any of the columns by your new coworker Radley Balko? On many of those cops shows, the cops make a big deal about making arrests. But in many cases they had no basis for the arrest. Instead a person gets a video of them being arrested and spends time in jail for no reason other than to make good TV.

None of this is surprising. It's the original staged reality show.

By the way, I meant to post this last week and didn't: It's a spelling test, pegged to the National Spelling Bee. I thought all of you would do really well. I missed one. It's one I always miss. I know I'm spelling it wrong, but I can't ever spell it right. I go to great lengths to never have to use the word because of how it haunts me. What are your incessant spelling or grammar errors?

It feels that way. I know not to make appointments or lunch engagements on Tuesdays at 11 and Thursdays at 2, because you & Alex keep me sane, but I desperately miss Adrian's weekly chats and they're never announced until sometime in the morning of the day that they will occur. If I ask you gardening questions will you get them to Adrian for me?

Oh sure, why not. Last week you were passing on your Weingarten questions, and this morning someone asked me if I could get a message to Bob Woodward (no).

Also, I don't know why I didn't post the spelling test earlier in the chat. Now y'all are going to be off taking until long after the chat ends.

Also full of artificial food coloring. Blech.

You better not be disparaging Little Debbie.

I had not expected that you would be such a science denialist and use GMO as a possible slur.

Oh good god, is this a serious question?

I'm terrible when I have to recite the letters, spelling bee style. Much better when I'm writing.

It's like when you can't remember your debit pin number unless you're at the kiosk, typing it out.

Which reminds me, why must Jerry Brown embarrass himself and all Californians by promising Andrew Cuomo a box of organic rice cakes instead of something Cuomo will never be able to get in New York, like tree-ripened apricots or really ripe avocados?

Or an In-n-Out burger.

It was a serious question. Anti science views whether they are anti-vaccine, anti-GMO or anti-global warming need to be called out.

I was joking. The whole conversation was about things that didn't exist in the 1950s, specifically related to food. Really, calm down. I'm not anti science. I even get the extra vaccinations for my dog.

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Monica Hesse
Monica Hesse is a staff writer for the Post Style section. She frequently writes about culture, the Web and the intersection of the two.

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