The Thursday Three #6

1. When the terms and definitions on Urban Dictionary aren’t disgusting, they can be insightful. “Hot takes” are discussed in this article, which laments the demise of long-form journalism. A “hot take” is “an opinion based on simplistic moralizing rather than actual thought.” These hot takes can be found on social media and are supposedly taking the place of journalism; I would say that many people get their news from their social networks first rather than from newspapers or TV and radio stations. William Shirer must be rolling in his grave.

2. I recently finished reading another end-of-the-world book, We All Looked Up (Tommy Wallach). It was a YA novel and pretty representative of the genre. I didn’t think it was as outstanding as the critics did, but the dialogue was very well written. The premise was nice (an asteroid has a 66.6% chance of crashing into the earth, so everyone believes they have two months left to live), but the ending could have been handled better.

3. This article amused me. Apparently, even though Harvard applicants are no longer required to submit an essay with their application, they all still do anyway. So Harvard had no choice but to make the essays mandatory once again. That’s some dedication on the part of the potential students, especially when I think about all those papers and essays that could get written but never do and all those sites where you can download a paper for a fee. Good to know that some overachievers still write admissions essays.


The Drama! The Drama!

I’m addicted to drama. I don’t like to create drama (except in fiction), but watching it and reading about it is enough to keep me very entertained… and it gives me a lot of ideas.

Urban Dictionary defines “drama” as:

A way of relating to the world in which a person consistently overreacts to or greatly exaggerates the importance of benign events.

Typically “drama” is used by people who are chronically bored or those who seek attention.

People who engage in “drama” will usually attempt to drag other people into their dramatic state, as a way of gaining attention or making their own lives more exciting.

Common warning signs/ risk factors of drama or a dramatic person are:

1. Having one supposedly serious problem after another.

2. Constantly telling other people about one’s problems.

3. Extreme emotionality or frequently shifting, intense emotions.

4. Claiming to have experienced negative events that are highly implausible.

5. A boring job or mundane life.

6. Making claims without sufficient evidence or a lack of detail about supposedly serious events.

7. A pattern of irrational behavior and reactions to everyday problems.

In high school, there’s a ton of drama going on all the time and the vast majority of it is totally ridiculous. Whether you liked it or not, you typically got sucked into some drama at least once in high school. It seemed so important and life-changing back then, but when you look back on it now, it’s hilarious because it’s just so absurd.

I was never an attention-seeker in high school. It was enough for me to watch all the drama going around and live through it vicariously – even though sometimes, drama is like a vacuum that sucks you into it and holds you there for quite sometime. I wrote down a bunch of things that got into some of my later novels and made them a lot more interesting. I think that if you’re going to write YA, it should include some degree of drama, since when you’re a teenager, that’s what you tend to relate to because at any given time, either you or some friends are going to be involved in drama.

Why do you think shows like Gossip Girl, Teen Mom, Jersey Shore, and all the various soap operas have been so popular? Drama.


Humorous Websites to Brighten Your Day

In no particular order are several amusing websites I’ve found throughout the years. (They’re also great procrastination tools!) Feel free to comment with others you like!

1. Am I Right?

This website’s motto is “Making Fun of Music, One Song at a Time” and that’s precisely what it does. They’ve got archived parodies, misheard lyrics, and pretty much anything else you can think of having to do with music.

2. Funny Junk

Although this website dubbed itself “4chan’s retarded younger brother” at one point, the stuff on there is pretty hilarious, albeit immature. Nerdy humor and 4chan inside jokes abound. Some of the material isn’t particularly work-safe, so proceed at your own risk.

3. Awkward Family Photos

From the perverted, to the hilarious, to the just plain stupid, this website contains lots of family photos gone wrong. Check out their sister site, Awkward Family Pet Photos.

4. Stuff You Should Hate

I just discovered this blog yesterday. The author blogs about common irritations that everyone experiences; it’s the shared experience of American humanity that brings the humor.

5. Urban Dictionary

Of course, Urban Dictionary. How would we know the definitions of common slang terms without it? It does tend to border on the perverted and the stupid, but it’s a great site to visit for a few laughs.