If you haven't tuned in to the RNC yet, here are 13 reasons why you should.

If you haven't tuned in to the Republican National Convention yet, you’re not alone.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.


Maybe you’re a Republican who gnashes their teeth every time Donald Trump opens his mouth. Maybe you’re a Democrat who’s already heard "Jail Shillary Clinton" enough for one decade. Or maybe you’re just a person who gets bored by boring speeches.

And yet, you still want to do your civic duty. You want to be able to participate in the watercooler conversation. Or, perhaps, you’re a nervous internet writer who dabbles in politics and you want to continue to justify your salary to the publication that employs you.

Fear not! Even if the speeches ramble, the music is suspect, and the balloon drop is anticlimactic, there are many ways to make watching the RNC a fun experience for the whole family:

1. Focus on the fun hats.

When you watch a baseball game, you see baseball caps. When you watch a rodeo, you see cowboy hats. When you watch bearded 27-year-old programmers in "Buffy" T-shirts hitting on college students, you see fedoras.

The hats at the RNC are in another league. A noble league ... like The League of Nations.

A league that peaked in 1918.

Cowboy hats?

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

Check.

Coonskin caps?

Photo by Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images.

Check!

Hats directly from the costume chest for the West Oakport Community Players production of "The Music Man"?


Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images.

Check and mate.

If you’re a fan of delightfully anachronistic haberdashery, the Republican National Convention is the small-screen event of the mid-2010s.

2. Watch campaign operatives desperately try to spin obvious screwups into success stories.

Melania Trump's apparent cribbing of a passage from a 2008 Michelle Obama speech on the first night of the RNC has already sent Trump's surrogates into a flurry of questionably credible but extremely entertaining denials.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Some simply pretended it didn't happen. Some tried to explain it away as a case of the two women simply having the exact same thoughts on the exact same subject. Others suggested that — hey! — only 7% of the speech was plagiarized, which really isn't that much. (College students on deadline, take note!)

There's no feeling quite so warm and cozy as sitting back on your couch, knowing there's a problem out there in the world ... and it's someone else's job to deal with it.

3. Cheer on the dancing delegates.

2012 convention attendees get their clap on. Photo by Robyn Beck/Getty Images.

The RNC remains America’s #1 source of elderly people who’ve still got it, show it, and want you to know it.

Curious what style of arrhythmic jerking was popular in 1962? Looking forward to seeing some semi-coordinated American flag-ography? Want to watch a county commissioner from Ladysmith, Wisconsin, gingerly hip-bumping the state comptroller of Tennessee?

You only get one chance every four years. Seize it!

4. Gawk at the ridiculously over-the-top entrances.

For Donald Trump, last night's raucous, backlit entrance to "We Are the Champions" was actually pretty restrained.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

It can only get more grandiose from here. Will we see him riding in on a hoverboard? Descending from the ceiling on ropes? Time-jumping in from the future? It's only Tuesday! The possibilities are endless.

5. Feel nostalgic about celebrities you haven’t thought about since you were a kid/before you were born.

Sure, "celebrity" might not the exact right word, but it totally would be if you had a time machine.

Scott Baio (Chachi!) was there Monday night.


Ehhhhhhhhhh. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

So was Antonio Sabato Jr., who totally was in something once.

Oh and hey, remember soap star Kimberlin Brown? No? Well, she’s speaking too.

Like Pogs, jelly shoes, and friendship bracelets, you might not have missed them and you might not have even loved them all that much even at the height of their popularity, but they're back, and sure, why not!

6. Cringe at the massive pandering fails.

In a Monday session with delegates from Pennsylvania, Paul Ryan took a few seconds to wave a Terrible Towel — an emblem of the Pittsburgh Steelers — in the air...

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

...which irked some in the city of Cleveland, where the RNC is happening. They were none too pleased to see the Republican leader brandish the banner of their bitter football rival.

In other news, Cleveland and Pittsburgh are apparently different cities. You learn new things when you watch the RNC!

7. Shovel popcorn into your mouth as Trump and his team pick random, hugely entertaining fights with GOP lawmakers.

Fittingly, for a candidate whose highest profile accomplishment is hosting a reality show, Donald Trump is really, really, good at draaaaaaaaaama.

Even before the speeches started, top Trump aide Paul Manafort attacked Ohio Gov. John Kasich — America's Republican uncle — as "petulant" for refusing to attend the convention.

Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images.

"Manafort’s problem, after all those years on the lam with thugs and autocrats, is that he can’t recognize principle and integrity," Kasich strategist John Weaver fired back in an e-mail to The New York Times, calling out Manafort's public relations work for the former president of Ukraine.

Rawr! Go get 'em, boys!

8. Daydream about what LeBron James is doing elsewhere in Cleveland while all this is going on.


Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images.

One of the great things about Cleveland hosting the convention is that, if you’re not feeling the program, you can just close your eyes and imagine what King James is up to just a few blocks away at any given moment. Maybe he's grabbing a beer at the Radisson lobby bar across the street or wandering around the perimeter of Quicken Loans Arena trying to catch a Pikachu!

Train your brain to conjure 'Bron, and you're sure to realize a truth that hardened political insiders have long known: The mental image of LeBron James doing anything beats watching the 19th lieutenant governor shuffle haltingly around the stage to Kid Rock’s "Born Free."

9. Enjoy the spectacle of news organizations testing out new technology with mixed results.

The Washington Post has a robot!


Come for the debut of an amazing, cutting-edge mass communication tool. Stay for the schadenfreude of when it inevitably, hilariously tips slowly forward and plants on its face.

10. Applaud the fact-checkers doing A+ work.

It's pretty hard to wallow in self pity about having to sit through three prime-time hours of the Trump Family Variety Spectacular when the heroes at FactCheck.org are spending their week watching every minute of both conventions evaluating every ridiculously hyperbolic claim made by every marginal elected official on that stage, presumably with their eyelids taped open.


Every single American owes these people a drink. At the very least, we need to all go in for a gift basket.

11. Savor the meme-worthy speech faces.

Like this one:

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

11. Revel in the ramshackle production quality.

A delegate stands on stage. The lights are hot. He's got his suit, tie, and firmest scowl on. He's projecting a stern air of authority. He's feeling good.

And then, this happens:


One prop master's catastrophe is one potato-chip-eating, couch-slouching American's perfect television.

12. Rock out to the endless playlist of music you love to hate to love to wonder what even is it?

Between the speeches, the logistical announcements, and the arcane points of order, the playlist on the first day of the 2016 RNC featured a weird collection of B sides — "Limelight" by Rush, The Who's "Eminence Front," "Stay With Me" by Rod Stewart — that undoubtedly delighted your Uncle Craig:

"I have an extra ticket to see Yes with your name on it." Photo via iStock.

But it pretty much left everyone else scratching their heads. And you know what, scratching your head is immensely soothing and gratifying, so thanks, music team!

13. Appreciate that you are watching democracy happen in real time — weirdly — exactly the way it’s supposed to.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

You may not be thrilled about the election. You may think the ads are tacky. You may wish the participants were different (dear God, you may wish the participants were different).

You can hate everything about the American political process and still be grateful this is how our political transitions go down rather than when the guy in charge dies and his 9-year-old son takes over, or when a bunch of tanks plow over the White House while the president is in Bermuda, or when every federal employee is replaced by an alien impostor except for a single, mild-mannered Nebraska congressman who, luckily, is played by Kurt Russell.

New political administrations in America happen after a bunch of nerdy bureaucrats make a bunch of boring speeches about freedom, justice, and patriotism in support of candidates we don’t like very much but who we will dutifully go out and choose between in November.

It’s unglamorous. It’s stressful. It’s frustrating and exhausting. But I’m going to tune in. Because it really is the worst.

Except for all the other options.

More
Youtube

Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

Most Shared
via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

Keep Reading Show less
Family