They both end with a reassuring message. The first one tells you what will make you happy (friendship, altruism, and religious practices), and the second tells you how to not be miserable, so they do both end on a high note.
What about The Monkeysphere? One of the few articles that doesn't rely on list-based humor (which is awesome but we all need changes), and uses one of the greatest metaphors ever.
The guide to how same-sex marriage in the United States will affect people with almost every heading starting with "If You Are A Heterosexual . . ." ending with "This will not affect you in any way."
Not to mention the conclusion of his article "Five Changing Perspectives That Show You've Become an Adult", where he talks about the many letters that he's gotten from teenage fans who've admitted to contemplating suicide. As he writes, learning how to take responsibility for your own mental health is one of the most important parts of growing up.
"I fully realize that plenty of adults go through this — it's not a teenagers-only deal. The difference between an adult and a child in these situations is that a kid is used to being taken care of. If your parents notice you acting weird, they can step in and get you the help you need. But when you're an adult, all of that is on your shoulders, which means you have to recognize that the situation isn't normal, and you have to get up and pursue a cure yourself. Because adults get shit fixed, including themselves. An adult lives, goddamnit."
"When Archie is too progressive for you, that's how science identifies you as an earlier species. All those people asking questions about your protest aren't reporters, they're anthropologists trying to work out why you didn't die off before we became Homo sapiens. And if they said so you'd be more upset about the "Homo" part. Instead of evolving from monkeys like the rest of us, your only improvement is flinging shit metaphorically instead of physically. And since several species of monkey enjoy homosexuality and don't say anything, they're two steps ahead of the American Family Association".
Robert Brockway's Why Ebert Is Wrong article. Both for its slap to the 'no game can compare to a masterpiece' argument, as well as his perfect summation of why gamers care that games be considered art:
And he's already answered his own question: "do we as their consumers become more or less complex, thoughtful, insightful, witty, empathetic, intelligent, philosophical (and so on) by experiencing them?" Anybody who's ever felt even an inkling of something like that from a game is going to be understandably "concerned" when you insist that they're lying.
"Because there is nothing on this earth - not overwhelming odds, nor brutal police states, nor fear, nor violence, nor the kind of horrible, devouring apathy that makes things like death squads for children possible - that will ever, from now until the heat death of this whole screwed universe, force this kid to sit down and put his fucking shirt back on."
Arrogance is useless in a vacuum. You can't be right if no one is wrong. You can't win if there isn't a loser. And they can say we're all damned together, but they're the ones that knew it first. They don't admit to being winners or right or any of that, but that's so obviously what it's all for. So who is the website for? It's for themselves, and they're just telling themselves the same thing over and over again. No one who goes there is interested in really learning their point of view. It's like a sideshow, you go to stare. So the real audience is just the people writing it, cyber fapping their own bizarro Jesus C.H.U.D. dongs like OCD hamsters on a wheel of intolerance. So what's the point? Exactly.
In all of the countries mentioned up there, the Internet is heavily monitored and regulated (or, in the case of North Korea, doesn't even exist for regular citizens). They are strict anti-technology cultures because technology fosters the spread of information, the control of which is vital for dictators to retain that unchecked power we mentioned earlier. The end result is a bunch of state officials who couldn't convincingly Photoshop Nazi paraphernalia into a picture of Mel Gibson's living room lording over nations they have engineered to be devoid of anyone they could hire to do it for them. The Onion has better Photoshop artists, and they manage to trick more people with their fake news than any of these assholes do.
The passage of time reveals a movie's true quality, not the number of gold statues it won. Citizen Kane didn't win the Best Picture, neither did Raging Bull, or Dr. Strangelove, or Rear Window or Star Wars. Keep that in mind while you're watching the circus, and you'll have a better time all around.
Derek Bloch's account of escaping from the Church of Happyology in "5 Disturbing Things I Learned in Scientology's 'Space Navy'". Bloch recounts the years of psychological abuse and borderline-slavery that he endured as a Sea Org employee, only to be unceremoniously booted out as soon as the organization found out that he was gay. Even though his family eventually disowned him, he did succeed in building an independent life for himself, he found a supportive network of friends, and he managed to share his story with an online community of fellow ex-Scientologists who knew his pain. The conclusion?
"It's been just about two years since I've spoken with any of [my family], but that's OK. I have friendships now that aren't based on a crazy space cult. And now that I'm out, I know that there aren't millions of loyal Scientologists standing arm in arm across the world. There are barely even 25,000 in the United States. And now there's one fewer."
Eulogy for the Genius of Adam Sandler, an analysis of the decline in quality of Adam Sandler's movies, presented as a hypothetical eulogy for Sandler from the future. It finishes with a excerpt from Sandler's final interview, in which he has an inspiring epiphany:
"Look, crap has always existed. It's fine to not be good at something. It's even OK to be good at something and still be unentertaining. But what is this pervasive culture of being able to do something well and deliberately dialing it down to the blandest possible incarnation? The Ke$has and Guy Fieris of this world, the Adam Sandlers. We're all going to die. TRY TO DO SOMETHING BEFORE YOU DIE!
"I'm not talking about the people who try and suck — your Pitbulls of the world, who were always going to be affably mediocre. I'm talking about people with real ability and awareness who instead elect to autotune their work, pour donkey sauce on it, and otherwise piss in the pool and call it a day. If you have legitimate ability, you don't get to carpet bomb your success with the easiest option to assail the senses. You owe it to everyone who took the time to help you learn your craft to stand the fuck up and MAKE SOMETHING.
Gladstone: Let me make something clear. In order to make these statements you must hate two things: logic and America. There is NO way to say that an individual has a protected right to do something and simultaneously criticize your government for not suppressing the execution of that right. There is no way for President Obama or any other president to put a stumbling block in the way of the free exercise of religion without violating the sanctity of that freedom. Should I say it more simply? OK. You can't legally stop people from obeying the law.
The Burlington Coat factory is private property. Those who want to build on it are private citizens. They are violating no law in wanting to build a community center. Under what authority do you propose we stop them? There is no "unless you're a Muslim within X yards of a national tragedy exception" to the free exercise of religion. Do the Gingrichs and Palins and Reids want to start a precedent where you can compel people not to exercise the freedoms guaranteed under our Constitution provided enough people don't like you?
And what are we saying to Muslims? That if they were good Americans they would willingly give up their rights? I can't think of anything less American than that? This is America. We do what we want. And all you have to do to have that right is be a citizen here. And if you're a traitor, well then we will prosecute you for treason and penalize you for taking up arms against the greatest country in the world, but we will NOT start curtailing your freedoms based on mere speculation fueled by lies about what you're building and where you're building it.
In the days following 911 it was very popular to say that we couldn't do anything differently in America or "the terrorists would win." We can't stop driving gas guzzling cars. We can't stop supporting dictators in other parts of the world for financial or political gain. We can't vote for a Democrat. Most of that was rhetoric. Some of it was probably true. But one thing is definitely true: if we ask our leaders to start dishonoring the freedoms that make this country great, the terrorists surely will have won. And I don't want to see that. Because unlike those with power and influence who would lie to you, I love America.
Gladstone gets another one for "3 Ways 'Checking Your Privilege' Never Fixed Anything", where he exposes some of the ugly implications behind the "Check Your Privilege" movement. Namely: it's built on blind assumptions, it cynically rejects the idea that human beings are capable of empathizing with people who are different from them, and it encourages people to shut down their supposed "oppressors" with snappy Catch Phrases instead of having intelligent conversations with them.
"By now, you're really getting pissed off. You're positive you know who your enemies are, and you're positive their background prevents them from agreeing with you. You feel I'm distorting the whole point of 'check your privilege.' To you, the phrase is noble. The phrase is simply beseeching the wrong-minded power elite to engage in self-reflection and see how their socialization has led them to be narrow-minded, oppressive, and wrong. I've had friends explain that to me — 'check your privilege' is only trying to start a dialogue. That's almost the equivalent of saying that 'check my cock for your wife's lipstick' would start a dialogue about the state of one's marriage. The phrase is insulting. It's a shortcut allowing you to dismiss the opposing views of your adversary. It does absolutely nothing to illuminate. If you're a black transsexual woman arguing with some white cisgendered male, and you truly want to explain how his 'privilege' prevents him from understanding your point, your struggle, or simply you, then spouting 'check your privilege' isn't going to help. 'Check your privilege' fosters no mutual understanding. Why not talk about you? Explain you? Share you? What do you want: to be an understood, accepted part of the world with an equal chance for happiness and success, or just to tell the people you perceive as privileged that they're wrong? What is your goal? What is your endgame?"
"In all of his ventures, he's a paragon of slightly insane but surprisingly insightful positivity, and even the people who have met him and kind of buy into the 'elaborate hoax' theory admit he's one of the nicest guys they've ever met. So, some people are saying there's more than one of this man? To this, I say fuck yeah! I want there to be more Andrews W.K. The world needs more Andrews W.K. In fact, regardless of whether this thing is true, from now on I'm choosing to believe that there are at least a dozen of this guy running around, giving good advice to strangers, making faces on Fox News, going insane on Twitter, and rocking like no men have rocked before or ever will, all the while wearing that trademark smirk on their faces. At night, they all meet in a hidden Andrew W.K. lair and embark on secret missions where they fight crime. With the power of partying."
In this article, No. 2 talks about how Herodotus discovered that the Egyptians were into Bestiality and weren't just good at banging crocodiles-they were masters of it. This is doubly awesome when you realize that doing the feat would be incredibly dangerous. And finally, it's awesome knowing that some time in Ancient Egypt, there was an Egyptian with a black belt in crocodile banging.
Soren gets death threats, some of which are creepy, others not so much. What does he do? Write an article that simultaneously mocks them and laughs it off. That's if the death threats were real and the whole thing isn't just fictional. If not, it's still a pretty cool article.