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Compulsive Anxiety While Reading the News Online

It’s laughable to think you’re supposed to be hunched over a bowl of sugary cereal peering at the lucent screen of a laptop, hair mussed in the manner of Beethoven, nodding away at the scribes who tell us how our world is careening through the cosmos.

Definitely they think it looks cool to be bookishly scowling over a coffee table littered with New Yorkers and Atlantics.

But typically you’re stretched on the sofa, surrounded by smelly throw-pillows, listening to Wendy Williams fuss charmingly about a troubled starlet’s recent unclothed escapades. Your brain is in gossip mode, not tuned in with the literati of Midtown or Dupont Circle. In fact, your wits are barely lucid enough to board the Cablevision rumor express.

Nobody wants this as their profile pic: dirty T-shirt lounging prior to a visit with the bathroom mirror. But here you are, pecking away at streaming video from newsy URLs that really just want you to buy term life insurance or membership to a dating site synced with your inbox.

They’ll never fix the economy, not without the reemergence of Teddy Roosevelt (big stick, mustache that means business, head-cracker from Hell’s Kitchen). You know more about stock dividends and amortization than any hipster poet should know. Right now you are gazing at Miss Wendy trying to flip a fried egg in a wok and knowing there’s about to be a gag on her mountainous boobs.

Why wouldn’t Iran want nuclear weapons? When you were in high school, this bully with the Motörhead mustache carried a butterfly knife in his top pocket (zippered, punk band buttons with fists and skulls) and always said he’d like to fit a gun in there. If only he could’ve. Poor guy. His mother wore leotards to parent-teacher nights and was so drunk everybody gathered to watch her mount the stairs. Like a ship in a storm.

If they want to close the borders, let them try. You can put a screen over a window but the air still gets in. Plus, four out of five gardeners are from Caracas. And that fifth one came up from Durango and brought a team of La Quinta maids with him. You know that profits don’t come easy in this economy and payroll-reduction is the fastest way for corporations to make money. It would be funny if somebody wanted to keep Canadians out. You like that joke about Canucks being so boring they’ve taken all the pizzazz out of assisted suicide.

A football player is mulling whether he’ll come out as a gay lineman on an AFC North team that is just one speedy wideout from a Super Bowl ring. This guy – they’re calling him “O-lineman X” – can bench press six-hundred pounds. And this twiggy sportscaster is spitting venom, calling O-lineman X all kinds of raunchy names. You’d like to see them in a bar fight. Hell’s Kitchen, bats to the face.

The Governor of a Southern state has announced he’ll bring back the Confederate flag if he has to. You know he’ll have to. Once you make a threat like that …

Guy in Sioux City had his toe sliced off by a floor-waxer in the bus terminal. He says he got his toe back but it was too ruined to get sown back on. He shows the toe and there’s memes of it within minutes, none of them really all that funny.

You hate it when this assistant manager at your old job IMs everybody about today being payday. It’s all because you are stalemating the old crew by seeing who will dump whom from their contacts list first. You haven’t worked there in over two months.

Miss Wendy pops a humus fondue into her giant mouth and her eyes bug out like a tarsier. When she laughs it’s like a Muppet who never wants you to know she’s the insane one. This is the same secret you are keeping with half a dozen FoxNews people. It’s no wonder celebrities kill themselves. There’s too much pressure on them to not reveal who they really are. They could benefit from just letting it all hang out and show up at Greenfield High in ballet tights, smashed like a Tammany Hall Irishman.

You got a woman who’s barricade herself in a motel room in Sparks, Nevada saying she won’t come out until the government reveals the source of its mind control. The bald guy from FoxNews asks Obama about this during a meet-and-greet in the Rose Garden. The President taps at his podium and purses his lips, typical junior-high principal move. Next question?

Gators in Florida are eating phone cables. It was a mistake to bury all the phone cables, Bell spokeswoman says. But gators can’t climb cellular towers, so there’s no disruption for Blackberries or iPhones. All is good unless gators learn to fly.

Miss Wendy waves her pink keratin at the screen and squeals so that you tap the mute button. You swipe past the Wall Street news. The thing about a public park being sold off to the highest bidder gets a lot of positive comments on the paper’s website. People like the idea of somebody making a buck, regardless of its unethical properties. Everybody is saying it’s sink or swim with the economy right now. But this summer a lot of disadvantaged kids won’t have that option.

You cut the TV sound back on. There’s a sweaty face barking about prayer in school. Some fella in a flattop and a Lyndon Johnson tie who bangs his hairy fists into each other and swears up and down that God loves America more than America loves God.

If they love each other so much, why don’t they get married? Oh, wait, right. Cobain said God is gay. And nobody’s gonna let the Supreme Court tell them who can and can’t get married – unless it’s about a woman getting hitched to (and later dispossessed of) a man. Right?