Read Better: Five Steps to a More Balanced Media Diet

I had way too many opinions on celebrities and way too few on issues that directly affected me. It was time for a change.


I try to live in a highbrow universe, but the truth is that I could wax poetic about the salacious details in Whitney Houston’s autopsy report. I’m never more animated or articulate than when I debate the moral ills of Morgan Freeman’s romantic involvement with his step-granddaughter. (The man played God, for goodness sake!) Clearly, sometimes I read crap.

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Set Match: My Five Minutes of Muslim Speed Dating

I’m supposed to meet my husband here.


The exterior of Park 51—you may know it from scandalized media reports as “The Ground Zero Mosque”—didn’t look promising. Park 51 was supposed to be a 13-story community center featuring cultural programming, classes, and a fitness center. Right now, it’s an undeveloped, mostly-abandoned building with no signage located on a deserted street most known for its proximity to the Amish Market. The only way you can even figure out which building belongs to the center is to look for the police car perpetually parked out front.

I’m supposed to meet my husband here.

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What the Backstreet Boys Cruise Taught Me About Sex, Love, and Nostalgia

I approach this reality with a mix of shame, excitement, and anthropological interest.


It was a hot Friday morning when two strangers and I pulled into the Port of Miami and waded into the crowd, our hearts racing. Hundreds of people dressed in island gear milled outside a hulking Carnival cruise ship. Some held elaborate craft projects painted with glitter. Others wore bright pink t-shirts that read: "Oh my god, we're back again." Almost all of them were women.

I quickly scanned the area in search of male figures that I recognized, but found only a smattering of nondescript boyfriends and husbands—of course they wouldn’t be here yet. My companions and I sidestepped the line of women stretching out from the ship and swept through the VIP check-in. We had paid extra for that.

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