In 2000, the Internet Was the Future, until Every Internet Company Went Broke

Nobody really had the answers to these questions about the internet, but it was clear there was a lot of venture capital to be raised by pretending you did.

I Promised Myself I Wouldn’t Talk about “Cancel Culture” Here, but Then Crime Scene Happened, so I Guess I Have To

The reality is that the whims of the internet mob are, at best, only occasionally guided by moral clarity and a sense of true justice.

Kilroy Was Basically Everywhere, at Least until World War II Ended

Kilroy graffiti was something of a liturgy: a ritual that reshaped hearts and minds into parallel forces striving toward the same goal.

We Never Quite Figured out What “Political Correctness” Is, but We’re Still All Pretty Sure It’s a Bad Thing

By the late eighties, though, the American right had discovered political correctness, and—well—that crowd has never met a phrase it couldn’t turn into an insult.

Why Seventeenth-Century French Noblemen All Looked Like Grandmas

Giant, poofy white hair—something those of us alive today all associate with grandmas—somehow, for nearly a dozen generations, became a symbol of male power and virility. How did this happen?

For Several Decades Quicksand Was the Most Dangerous Thing on TV and Movie Screens…and Exactly Nowhere Else

If quicksand is really so dull, though, how did it become such a popular trope in cinema? And how did it disappear just as quickly?

So You Just Found Out You’re in a Cult: A Socratic Dialogue

Wait! Conspiracies happen all the time! Why are people so down on conspiracy theories these days?

No, Y2K Wasn’t a World-Ending Disaster. It Also Wasn’t a Silly Hoax.

Of course, as overblown as much of the Y2K panic was, the it-was-all-a-big-hoax assessment wasn’t really accurate either.

Maybe the Real War on Christmas Was the Friends We Made along the Way

The backlash against O’Reilly’s 2004 fabrication of “The War on Christmas” was as swift as his declaration of it to exist.

The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall of 3D Cinema

When you factor in the higher costs, the uncomfortable glasses, and the headaches, it was probably only a matter of time before the novelty wore off.

We All Should Have Seen the Beanie Babies Crash Coming, but We Didn’t

For anyone who didn’t live through the nineties, it’s difficult to explain how big a deal Beanie Babies were.

You Will Probably Not Be a Rock God, and Neither Will I: Some Deep Thoughts on Bill and Ted Face the Music

We’re not, it turns out, a civilization of rock gods and their devotees; we’re all connected, and we all depend on each other.

No, the Medieval Era Wasn’t Characterized by Rampant Witch-Burnings. You’re Thinking of the Modern Era

Under the extreme stress of plagues and environmental disaster, people were undoubtedly looking for someone to blame, which—hmm, that sounds familiar.

MSG Is Perfectly Safe to Consume, but We All Spent Several Decades Freaking Out over It Anyway

By the late sixties, “chemicals” were no longer magical things that were going to solve all of our problems; they were dangerous things that were going to kill us all, and MSG was no exception.

Alvin Kelly and the Flagpole Sitters of the 1920s: They Weren’t Sick, but They Weren’t Well…

It was the 1920s, and it felt like humanity could do anything—and it took the opportunity to do really stupid stuff, like pass off urinals as art, chase after nascent fascism, and—yes—sit around on flagpoles for days at a time.

Videogames Probably Don’t Cause Violence, but They Sure Seemed like a Good Scapegoat in 1993

Joking aside, though, I’m sure you’re wondering—do violent videogames cause violence? The answer, according to science, is “Well, mayb…no. Prolly not.”