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culture of poverty

pikturewerk / flickr

Journalists try to stay away from editorializing, but I'm going to break the rule here and say I'm 100 percent comfortable calling CBS's new poverty porn offering, The Briefcase, disgusting. 

Everyone has their guilty pleasures. If you watch The Briefcase (and 6.8 million people did watch the premier episode Wednesday) I'm not saying that we can't be friends anymore.

Hogan / flickr

"Up by your bootstraps," that ubiquitous phrase that has come to function basically as shorthand for the American Dream, first came onto the scene in 1834.  

Linguist Anne Curzan says at that point, it was basically an insult. It described somebody delusional enough to think they could defy the laws of physics and pull themselves up in the air by the very things anchoring them to the ground. 

Is the "culture of poverty" real, or a myth?

Mar 24, 2015
Brian Paris / flickr

When I was in eighth grade my social studies teacher explained to my class the difference between Democrats and Republicans.

This lesson in American politics is my only specific memory of anything I "learned" in any class that year. For example, I'm sure I learned things in honors biology. But in my memory I see nothing except  for a kid doing push-ups in front of the class because he swore.