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Author archive for: Starshine Roshell

A Cart … Apart

Debate over Returning Shopping Carts Mirrors Political Divide

But in these polarized political times, I’m noticing how the stories we tell ourselves ​— ​or were told once upon a time and never bothered to fact-check ​— ​can have a profound impact on the way we carry ourselves through the world. And the assumptions we make about others.

You see it in the current immigration debate, as otherwise reasonable Americans shriek at one another, “They’re here to take our jobs!” “No, they’re criminals in the drug- and sex-trade!” “Nonsense, they’re asylum seekers escaping treacherous lands!” Surely the folks knocking at our borders include all of these archetypes and more ​— ​but our inner narratives, once written, resist editing. So the shrieking persists.

I saw this Story Scenario play out in another fascinating fracas recently. I happened upon a friend in the always-perilous Trader Joe’s parking lot. Having loaded groceries into her car and loath to lug her shopping cart all the way back to the store, she asked my opinion on the Age-Old Grocery Store Debate: Must we always return the cart?

Like … every single time??

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Oh, Say, Can You C-Word?

Notes on a feckless country

The word couldn’t have gotten more buzz if Trump’s stubby thumbs had tweeted it from his golden toilet.

The once-verboten, inarguably vulgar C-word has been on everyone’s whispered lips after funny gal/political commentator Samantha Bee hurled it at Ivanka Trump. The First Daughter earned the ire for tweeting a tender and utterly tone-deaf photo of herself snuggling her son during a week when migrant children were being torn from their parents at U.S. borders per her dad’s new “zero tolerance” immigrant policy.

Predictable reactions followed: 45 feigned offense, though we’ve all heard him refer with equal crudeness to the same body part and saw him welcome Ted Nugent to the White House after that courtly gentleman used the same epithet on Hillary Clinton. Bee apologized. A couple of companies pulled their ads from Bee’s aptly named Full Frontal show. And even liberal women who applauded her message mumbled to one another that the jab was uncouth.

But as the entire incident erupted at the intersection of my three favorite things ​— ​debating over language, insulting a Trump, and alluding to vaginas ​— ​I rather enjoyed it.

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Secrets of a Very Catholic Daughter

‘Hiding Out’ Author Talks Drugs, Deception, and Double Lives

He used to leap around naked in front of thousands of people weekly while touring the nation in Hair, a rock musical about sex, drugs, and draft-dodging. On my first day of 9th grade at a snooty prep school, my 70-year-old history teacher proclaimed to the class that my father had sat naked on her lap during a matinee in Baltimore. I never quite recovered.

But then I met Tina Alexis Allen and discovered I had it easy. Really easy.

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One Space. Period.

Foes of Formatting Want Us to Take
Double-Spaced Step Backward

For months on end, I’ve been watching in shock as seemingly impossible things keep happening: The most innovative nation on the globe elected an actual imbecile. Hooded Klansmen marched proudly in our streets. Regulations aimed at slowing our environmental doom were casually reversed.

Now researchers are making a scientific case for using two spaces between sentences in typed communication, instead of one. Two profligate, puffy spaces. Instead of just the sensible single space.

And this, my friends, is where my head explodes. This is where I say, By god, you animals, no more. No more will I stand idly by and watch barbarous, maniac-manned bulldozers ram at the pillars of our human progress. Feh, ye foes of formatting! We have come too far from the clomping Smith Corona Sterling and the humming, ham-fisted IBM Selectric dumping unsightly utilitarian gaps in the midst of our otherwise pretty paragraphs, to ever — nay, ever! — go back.

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A Requiem for Trolls Gone By

I’m Nostalgic for Nasty Online Commenters

For a decade, they plagued me. Called me bitch, boob, bigot. Speculated about my weight and marriage. Pronounced my children morons. They spewed countless frothy phrases at me from the online comment section at the end of my columns.

Now they’re gone.

In February, the Santa Barbara Independent joined the growing crowd of news sites shutting down their online comments. Reuters, CNN, Bloomberg, NPRNBC News, the Chicago Sun-Times — the websites of media companies are slamming their windows on the fast-flying fingers of the fractious fruitcakes who spend their days anonymously picking fights with writers, public figures … and, well, mostly with other fractious fruitcakes.

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My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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