NonFiction Review – Modern Manners by P.J. O’Rourke

From Amazon, Google books, and Good Reads Modern Manners: An Etiquette Book for Rude People by P.J. O’Rourke gets a solid 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Modern Manners was originally published in 1983. A revised version was of the book was republished in 1989 because the original was too risqué.

In the revised version it cleaned up some of O’Rourke’s comments to make them more reader-friendly and less offensive to some.

“The prose in the revised edition was also cleaned up a bit – partly to correct my solecisms and partly to reflect the decade’s growing prudery. (AIDS had rendered certain jokes not quite as funny as they’d seemed six years before.)” O’Rourke says.

Taken from the back of the original edition of the book:

“A complete guide to contemporary social behavior detailing all the most up-to-date forms of vulgarity, churlishness, and presumption.”

This book is a rule book mocking etiquette, and everything society has learned from it. This book is a guide on anti-etiquette for people living in a world without rules. This advice, written for the ‘90s (and beyond) goes on a range of topics from sex, entertainment, and death.

From what I gather, P.J. O’Rourke is a funny, cynical man that doesn’t like the change in the world and has a lot to say.

Here is what a mix of Google Books and his website has to say about him:

“Satirist and novelist Patrick James “P. J.” O’Rourke was born in 1947 in Toledo, Ohio. He graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and attended Johns Hopkins University where he received his M.A. in English.” – Google Books

“He began writing funny things in the 1960s “underground” newspapers, became editor-in-chief of National Lampoon, then spent 20 years reporting for Rolling Stone and The Atlantic Monthly as the world’s only trouble spot humorist, going to wars, riots, rebellions, and other “Holidays in Hell” in more than 40 countries. He’s written 16 books on subjects as diverse as politics and cars and etiquette and economics.” – P.J. O’Rourke’s Website’s “Author Bio”

P.J. has written for a lot of magazines, even to screenplays and books. That’s no exception for his website. There, he has another section dedicated to what he wants to say in his biography.

He talks about his family, then his schooling, and then gives us a timeline of who he has written for and concluded with who he writes for the most and that he likes to be in isolation.

“I write mostly for The Weekly Standard and for World Affairs (not a magazine about Bill Clinton’s trips overseas). And Garden and Gun (which is the best title for a publication ever) has promised that it really will let me write “Chainsaw Gardening.”

I live with my wife and three children in rural New Hampshire because—because no one else wants to. The other day I was mentioning to my wife that Perth, Australia, is the place where people live that is farthest away from any other place that people live. “And the reason we don’t live there,” said my wife, “is the weather’s too nice.” – P.J. O’Rourke’s Website’s “P.J.’s Own Bio”

Here is a timeline of what he has done, in his words, from his website.

“In the early 1970s, I worked for various “underground” newspapers and, for a while, edited one in Baltimore called Harry. It was an embarrassing name, but it was an embarrassing era.

In 1973 I went to work for the National Lampoon, becoming managing editor in 1976 and editor in chief in 1978.

In 1981 I worked on Rodney Dangerfield’s first movie, Easy Money. I swear that when my co-writers and I handed in the script it had an ending. Michael Kinsley, then editor of Harper’s, sent me on a trip to the Soviet Union in 1982. I decided to become a foreign correspondent. Foreigners are funny and do my work for me.

From 1985 to 2000 I was Rolling Stone’s foreign affairs desk chief (and all of the indians). I reported from something like fifty countries and covered a dozen or more wars, rebellions, uprisings, and armed assings around.

There was also a lot of freelance work, for Car & Driver, Automobile, The American Spectator, Forbes FYI, Playboy, even House and Garden. (I had a crush on the articles editor, and she promised that someday she’d let me write an article on chainsaw gardening.)

In 2000 Mike Kelly, editor of The Atlantic, called and said, “I can pay you less.” Mike, who was one of the best, was killed in the assault on the Baghdad airport in 2003.” – P.J. O’Rourke’s Website’s “P.J.’s Own Bio”

I could not tell you what qualifies him to write a book on etiquette besides he’s written some before. He’s gone to several different foreign countries and probably saw cultural differences there. That may have sparked an interest in him to watch American society and then write a book on how we behave with one another.

I believe that his purpose to write this book is to show how dumb manners are. This book isn’t all satire but a lot of it is. There are a lot of things not to agree with and things that you obviously shouldn’t do, but there are parts that make you think and even highly consider.

What I’ve come to ask myself is what even are manners? So, what if you’re rude. Does any of that really matter in the end?

I think what P.J. O’Rouke was trying to accomplish here was to shine a new light on the modern ways of etiquette. Instead of blindly following old tradition we don’t understand or following the trend of something we barely understand. I think he wants us to think for ourselves and be more aware of our actions.

I honestly believe that because just reading his writing, his biography, and even what he has to say about some of his books. He’s a person who doesn’t care what others should do, but you should be aware of what you are doing.

He is not emotionally involved in his book. I do know that he doesn’t like technology and that the world would be better off without it and because of that, I think he wrote Modern Manners by being objective, to observe people and write the facts from what he saw and from what he knows.

My immediate reaction after I read the introduction was I love this man because of how he writes. It was just funny and true. Some parts made me stop and think, but as I kept reading, I kept laughing. There was at least something on each page that I had read and needed to share with other people.

I rate this 5 out of 5 stars and would read again. I would also 110% recommend to anyone to read for any reason and because of this novel I would happily read P.J. O’Rouke other books.

Last Person I Talked to Before Class


“We’re almost there, Diane.”

That’s what she told me.

She’s happy and excited that the school year is almost over.

I’m telling her about all of my current stressors and we’re talking about how neither of us did any homework over Thanksgiving. We took a break, but I also worked.

She reassues me that after finals week, all we will have to do is work. It’ll be better than trying to please our professors because once we’re at work all we will do is work and leave it at work.

She’s in a dress ready to go straight to Goosman Law Firm after her classes. We both really love our jobs outside of the college. Every morning, she has to put on make-up otherwise she feels like she didn’t get ready for the day. Opposite of me, I brush my teeth, wash my face, and then brush my hair calling it a day.

Brayton. Her name is Brayton and she’s the sunshine in my life. She’s always happy and optimistic. I don’t know what else to say.

Profile Sketch

Katelyn Marie Brinkerhoff is a senior at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA. She works at Chick-Fil-A in Sioux City as a general manager. At BVU she is Student Council President and helps on the Students Activities Board.



Chase – her roommate

Head Manager at Chick-Fil-A

Advisor os Student Council

Maybe –> Sister


Jaden’s word is tolerant. His definition of the word is putting up with something that you should not have to put up with. When asked for an instance of him being tolerant towards something, he had an immediate story come to mind.

One summer, Jaden was working at a bar in Okoboji. He had a manager there who constantly disrespected him, swore at him, and when he was not around, she would talk bad about him. She was his boss, so he was mindful of her, but whenever he had to speak with her, he could tell that she just didn’t like him.

He thinks that she did not like him because he was young, quiet, didn’t have much experience in the field, and that job was not his priority. It was the summer, and he was busy with other things. So, he could not work as often as she is like him to work. Even while he was busy with other activities, he worked over 40 hours a week.

Now, that time in Jaden’s life is over, but because of that, he has grown as a person. Before he would just stay quiet and to himself about things that bothered him. Now, he chooses to stand up for himself and to speak his mind. Rather than sit through things that make him unhappy.

Red Box Review

Big Trouble in Little China, released in 1986, is an action-adventure movie directed by John Carpenter starring Kurt Russell. The film is rated PG-13 with no warning on the packaging why it is rated PG-13, but besides some scenes in a brothel, this movie is full of action.

Honestly, I would watch the film again, but it is a movie you put in the background while you do something else. I’d only rewatch the film for the hilarious quotes. I would recommend this movie to anyone. It is one of those movies you have to see at least once, just to say you have.

The film takes place in Chinatown in San Francisco and follows truck driver Jack Burton, Kurt Russell, on a crazy Asian-themed adventure to help his friend, Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) get his green-eyed girl back. In the movie, having green eyes is a very rare thing and makes you a hot commodity. This movie is filled with Asian tropes such as karate, swords, samurais, an emperor, and other crazy Asian legends.

As for the details of the movies, the acting was okay. I believed the characters and that they were there. It is just old, you have to keep in mind for the technology they had back then, this was pretty decent, but it is an eyesore looking at it now. The plot was easy to follow because it is a ‘get the girl’ kind of plot, but if you are not paying attention the entire time you find yourself one place and then another without reason. It is only because the fight scenes are long and cheesy that it was difficult to keep focused on the movie, which is why it is a film good for the background noise. Don’t worry, if you miss a fight scene in another 10-15 minutes, another fight scene will come back on.

Something that surprised me about this movie is that they did not overplay or stereotype the Asian music. This film did not play Asian clichés, and I found that nice because even though this movie had a ton of Asian tropes, the music was far from anything stereotypical. I would say give this movie a watch for the dialogue. You follow a truck driver and a restaurant owner on a quest to save the girl. They are the unlikely team that gets put together and even though this is an action adventure there are a lot of laughs along the way.

My first thought when I saw the cover of this movie is that this movie is going to be all dumb humor. Surprisingly enough, though, not a lot of stupid humor, but there are some gold pieces of dialogue and conversation throughout the movie. I say if you like action adventure films or anything to do with Asian culture, this movie is a good one to pick up. It has a lot of Asian aspects about it, but it is not so much folklore that it is boring to the watcher. You learn some new things while seeing a gun-fight the next scene.

I would give this movie 3 out of 5 stars. I did not completely hate it, but I did not completely like it either. The dialog stands out, and the plot was easy to follow, but the fight scenes were long and repetitive, and one moment you are somewhere and the next you have no clue where you are. Overall this movie was fun, and you have to experience it for yourself. This movie will not leave you disappointed; it will leave you wanting to watch it again, but maybe for another day.

College Culture Final

We, as a society, are obsessed with knowing about the lives of other people. We are definitely in love with TV shows about roommates: Big Brother, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Friends, How I Met Your Mother, among many others. We see a lot of roommates on TV, but we do not experience the roommate life until college. Roommates are a big part of college culture. College is the first time students will have a roommate in their life.

A roommate is someone you share the same living area. The space that you once called your own, where you went to be with yourself, where you are your most comfortable. This area is no longer just your space. Not only is it a new place that you have not called your own yet, but you now have to share this space with a complete stranger.

Random roommate assignment is what happened to Brayton and Kaylin. They came to Morningside knowing that they were going to be roommates with each other, but had no idea what the other person was going to be like besides what’s on their Facebook.

Brayton Hagge from Crofton, NE was the only student from her graduating class going to Morningside. Without knowing anyone else going to her future school, she had no choice but to fill out the housing survey to have a random roommate.

Kaylin Petersen from Lake Park, IA did know other students at Morningside. At the time, she was a cheerleader on campus and had an old friend from her high school here. Kaylin wanted the ‘college experience’ of living with an unknown college roommate instead of her friend and instead of the other girls on the cheer team since she would be seeing them at practice.

Freshman moving day came, and Kaylin was there before Brayton, “When she first entered the room, she greeted me and immediately I thought, she’s friendly and is going to be really more outgoing than me.” Kaylin chuckles with a shake of her head. “And then the first thing we talked about is how messy we are.”

Flash forward to three years later, Brayton laughs, “My first impression of Kaylin was that she watches a lot of TV.” She shrugs. “I knew she was a cheerleader, but that’s it.” She and Kaylin are still roommates. Kaylin says what made it work best for them was that they were not spending every minute of the day together. The two had their friend groups that they hung out with during the day, but in the evening, in the room they shared, they became friends.

It did not mean that they avoided each other outside of the residence hall. It was just nice for the two of them to get away from each other by having other friends, but still having a friend at home. There isn’t a rhyme or a rhythm to it all just depends on what kind of person you and your roommate are and figuring it for yourselves.

Some people though aren’t as lucky. Kari* came to Morningside and picked out a roommate she went to high school with and things did not go according to plan. They were not best friends, but they knew each other and got along. Before the end of their first year living together, some things happened, and by the end of the year, they did not even talk.

The next year, Kari moved in with a friend she made in college and that did not go as planned either. Whether it was the different personalities or maybe Kari can’t have roommates. Things just don’t always go as according to plan. It is like learning how to live with your roommate like Brayton and Kaylin. You just have to keep testing out the waters to see if you can live with someone else.

Kari is now in graduate school and living off campus in a house by herself, and she says although it gets lonely, it is nice having a place you call your own.

Roommates are a part of college culture and whether you get along with your roommate or not. You end up learning some things about yourself such as how to live with other people, if you can live with other people, or if you are better off alone. Whether you know you can live with a roommate you will always have Rachel, Chandler, Joey, Ross, Phoebe, and Monica there to keep you company. The best part about these roommates is that you can just turn them off.

*In my previous post, you know this story is about Kari. Meaning even if I changed her name, you’d still know it is about her. She just wishes for her last name not to be mentioned.

Election Scavenger Hunt

Election Scavenger Hunt

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I like this comic on the 2016 election because it’s unbiased on who you think is poopier than the other. That is if you think a candidate is even poopy because some people love one candidate over another, flaws and all.

Y’know, I honestly don’t want either of these candidates to win the presidency, and I think that we need a better political system because both of these candidates suck!

(3 Paragraphs Removed, Per Professor’s Request) Somethings just can’t be said, even with Freedom of Speech.

My friend Evan keeps saying that Putin may declare war on America if Hillary gets elected because he hates her, no other reason besides that he hates her. “Everyone knows he hates her,” he says, “He’s said it on camera.”

More history, I’ll be alive during World War III.

Now, here we are at the end of the election and really . . . I know three people who wrote-in Bernie, and I’m one of them because I couldn’t, in my heart, vote for either candidate because I do not believe that they will lead our country well the next four years.

If anything good came out of this election, it is the SNL skits. Those are funny. I like those.

Next are from Buzzfeed:

When Lin-Manuel Miranda threw the perfect Hamilton reference into his monologue.

When Lin-Manuel Miranda threw the perfect Hamilton reference into his monologue.

And when Trump addressed the women who are voting Trump.

And when Trump addressed the women who are voting Trump.

Everything about Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway, which may be even better than her Hillary Clinton.

Everything about Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway, which may be even better than her Hillary Clinton.

When actual Hillary Clinton made her cameo.

When actual Hillary Clinton made her cameo.

Gold. All solid gold.
When I started typing this article, I was sad because this election is coming to a close and there’s nothing good going to come out of it. After seeing all of these SNL skits, though, I’m smiling because the skits are funny and because I’ve learned that the 2016 election is just a fucking joke, and here I am laughing about it.
That’s all that I’ve come to learn politics is a joke, and if Trump doesn’t have to have a degree in politics and be President of the United States, I don’t need a degree in English for anything. Put me in the chemistry lab! I’m ready! It has ‘try’ in it so, all I gotta do is try! Science bitches! I’m gonna Rick and Morty this shit!
Screen Shot 2016-11-08 at 8.46.17 PM
Also, it was nice knowing all of you because Trump is going to send me and my family back to Vietnam. No. I’m not illegal. I am a born and raised an American citizen, but with how small Trump’s brain is he can’t tell the difference between the two. So, I’ll see all of you on Facebook. You will be missed.
Meet Tyler

Meet Tyler

Story/Article #4 – Profile


Tyler Martin Figge a senior at Morningside College and is potentially everyone’s best friend and worst nightmare. According to his roommate, Kyle Kinney, he’s always causing drama, but means well in the end. He will always there for you, always willing to put aside all of the drama that he may or may not cause and put his crazy partying lifestyle on hold just to help you.

Tyler is Morningside Activities Council Vice President, Beta Beta Beta President, Morningside Student Government Commuter Representative, and runs for the Morningside Track and Cross Country Team. He works at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino as a card dealer and has a love/hate relationship with it.

He says: “It is a very interesting job. Some days I like it, sometimes I don’t. Depends on the day and the costumers.”

When he isn’t working at the Hard Rock, he is going to Morningside for a biology/chemistry major with a minor in business and world history. In his free time all he likes to do is party, sleep, watch netflix, or paint.

Which his roommate, Kyle, can vouch for: “He will always be the life of the party and he definitely has to be the center of attention at that party. And if he’s not, he kinda just pouts there in the corner.”

Life of the party or not, he will always put aside his own feelings when it comes to helping out a friend in need. Tyler says for himself that he cares a lot for people and will do anything for just about anyone. He claims that he is also known to stick up for people and to say what is on his mind.

His best friend, Anna Hart, backs him up on that statement. Saying that the best way to describe Tyler is that: “He’s one of those people who’s always there when you need him.”

So, whether he’s working at the Hard Rock or doing research in the lab, you will always find Tyler putting a smile on someone’s face. He will always be causing mayhem and being the life of the party, while doing his own thing. Yet will always drop what he’s doing to bring someone’s spirits up. Best friend or worst nightmare, he always means well.

In the future Tyler’s plans on going to grad school for marine biology or zoology because he wants to work with penguins.

Lane’s Adventures in Disney

News Article!

Well, that was the most heartfelt article that I’ve read in a long time. The article was about a mom who sews her daughter Disney princess costume with a budget. A budget as in, she goes to the goodwill and buys shower curtains, table cloths, etc. and upcycles them into different Disney costumes. She also talks about why she does it, to give her daughter a chance to dream, widen her imagination, and to break out of her shell.

The article is set up paragraph, picture of Lane in her costume, paragraph, picture, and goes on until the end. I think its nice because she’ll be talking about a certain costume and then the next picture is of the dress she was just talking about. It makes me want to keep reading the dresses are so amazing i can’t even believe that the Cinderella dress was a shower curtain and the little girl is so adorable!

Its an easy article to read and flows smoothly with a nice ending.

I follow her on instagram and reasons i want kids. <3


Broadcast Stories


Broadcast Story!~

Its Diane Nguyen here with some Morningside hot topics.

A good night’s sleep never comes easy. That’s why most sleep experts recommend good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is where you practice the same routine every night and when you wake up. A good night’s sleep means having good sleep hygiene. You can get 12 hours of sleep, which is highly unrecommended, and still be tired. Simply because all that sleep will mean nothing without good sleep hygiene.

According to the National Sleep Foundation here are a few things to keep in mind when practicing sleep hygiene:

  • Avoid naps during the day
  • Don’t drink alcohol or coffee before bed
  • Don’t try to go to bed if you aren’t tired
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time

Those are just a few of the main points when it comes to getting good sleep hygiene. No one has the same routine or way they get to bed, so just because something works for someone means that it will work for you. A good night’s sleep never came easy, but doesn’t mean that they are impossible to come by.

Moving onto campus news, just last week Morningside’s Campus was made into a setting for the walking dead. The philosophy club put together a fundraiser for the last week of October that went until midnight on October 31st, called Humans vs. Zombies. A game of tag where the zombies go and tag the humans, infecting the campus.

May the last human survive win.

The main rules were that your armband must always be showing, the zombies could not run, humans could not be tagged inside the buildings, and outside players could not interfere. And here is Brendan Pinto with a more detailed explanation on how to play the game.

The Philosophy Club had this fundraiser so that they may be able to go on a conference for sometime next spring. Having already asked for an allocation amount from student government, this is just for them to have some cushion. Unsure if this event will be going on next year, but we can all say that this time around was a very successful event.

Last bit of exciting news,  there were no daytime classes Tuesday, November 4th due to Freshman Registration. All night classes resumed as scheduled though.

Let’s hear what some people did with their short day-off.

Anna Hart a 3rd year at Morningside College did:

Tyler Figge a 5th year at Morningside College did this:

Not only was it Freshman Registration Day it is also voting day. From 7am-9pm in the Lobby of Eppley Auditorium is where you can place your votes for Iowa, MSide.

That was Tuesday. Hope everyone had a great day and remember to always, keep moving forward.