There’s something very funny to me about the idea of very serious religious scholars wrestling over the question of bringing religion to the unwashed, alien masses. Feels like a Far Side cartoon — maybe with a priest in his vestments greeting the UFO-exiting spacemen with a bible, and the aliens in their own religious garb reciprocating with some sort of gangly sponge.
My editor will probably not find that as funny as I do, but hey, that’s showbiz, baby.
“Welcoming E.T. to the Ummah”
If plants and animals can be followers of Islam, and if inviting all living things to their faith is a Muslim sacrament, is it the religious duty of all Muslims to try to convert our alien overlords when they descend down upon us? Welcome to the world of Muslim teen Area 51 memes:
Jokes aside, while discussions about extraterrestrial life aren’t atop the agenda for most imams, they can provide a way to discuss Islamic duty — to both the Earth itself and the Muslim community more largely. READ MORE
Ned Flanders Overdrive
What do you get when you marry Ned Flanders’ “hi-dilly-ho, neighborinos!” ethos with heavy metal’s pathos? Okilly Dokilly, “the world’s only Nedal band,” that’s what. Consisting of “Head” Ned on vocals and four other Neds behind him, to go to a Okilly Dokilly show is to witness the hellish energy of a metal band and the agreeability of the guy to whom they pay homage. As Miles Klee writes, it’s a combo that works better than you think it might.
‘Madden NFL’ is a Dumpster Fire
It’s glitchy. It’s boring. It’s unchanging. And yet, for some reason, fans still can’t stop forking over 65 bucks with every new release of Madden NFL.
So why is Madden so bad year after year? Blame a culture of overworking and underpaying dev teams, and an all-consuming desire to appeal to casual gamers at the expense of realism, Eddie Kim writes.
Comedy in the ‘Cancel Culture’
Are a number of high-profile comedians and an army of right-wing grifters correct that “comedy” is being destroyed by the uptight Millennial PC police? Perhaps. But more likely, it’s misplaced outrage that points to a failure, or perhaps a laziness, in comedy to write jokes that are actually funny.
Travel Agents in 2019
The travel-agent profession would appear to be superfluous in an era where vacationers can book flights, hotels and experiences on their phones, from the toilet. But travel agents haven’t gone quietly; besides keeping up their duties making sure you get into the Louvre without waiting in line, many of them are carving out a niche as, essentially, fixers. It’s a value-add many travelers find indispensable.
Working Out to Death
When you go to the gym, the fact that you could be killing yourself is probably the last thing on your mind. But rhabdomyolysis — a condition whereby your muscles break down from overexertion and essentially poison your body — should be a concern for any athlete. As serious as it is, though, it’s also easily preventable, if you know what warning signs to look for.
Concrete: An Instagram Love Story
Comedian Catherine Cohen made an observation on Twitter recently that “the only way to know someone is definitely straight is if they Instagram buildings.” As a straight white dude I can say, yeah, that sounds about right. But don’t forget about our love of skylines, empty roads, and above all, concrete. Madeleine Holden explores the cold, sterile art of Instagram bro-tography.
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