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by Maija Zummo 07.16.2013
Posted In: Life, Interviews, BABIES, Commentary, Culture at 11:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Turns Out Kids Aren't Racist Assholes

Children watch interracial Cheerios commercial; can't understand why people are still racist

The Fine Brothers are "filmmakers and new media pioneers" who have created a pretty successful web series called "Kids React," where they film kids reacting to stuff. 

The latest in their child-watching oeuvre is a video about the now infamous interracial Cheerios ad. Infamous because Cheerios literally had to disable the video's YouTube comments section because of the amount of incredibly hateful, racist commentary.

In the Kids React video, children are shown the controversial ad and asked a series of questions, including why they think it upset people. The kids, it turns out, are stumped; they didn't even register anything unusual about the parents or the family. (Because there isn't.)

The Fine Brothers preface the video by saying "This episode of Kids React will discuss the sensitive subject of racism and its impact on individuals, families and the world at large. The opinions of children about these issues can give incredibly valuable insight into where our society really is and where we are headed as a people."

If these kids' reactions are any indicator, we're on the right path. That being said, the Fine Brothers are from New York and they film in L.A., a reality that the children address in the video mentioning that people in other parts of the country might still be "behind the times."

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by Hannah McCartney 02.28.2013
Posted In: Cinfolk , Culture, Fun, Interviews at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Cinfolk: Sara Bornick

In “Cinfolk,” I ask interesting Cincinnati people doing interesting Cincinnati things questions I’d never get to ask for a traditional news story; the more interviews I do as a writer, the more I find myself daydreaming about what makes these people tick, aside from what I'd usually get to share in a traditional news story. For the inaugural Cinfolk blog featuring German Lopez, click here.
 

If you don't have cabin fever by this time of the year, you probably moved here from Siberia, the Arctic Tundra or  Wisconsin, in which case you're used to mind- and body-numbing misery and cold weather year-round. We're glad you escaped. For the rest of us, it's getting really old coming into work with frozen strands of hair, never having a good reason to drink a margarita, wear a sundress, roll down the windows or eat a popsicle. That's about all I'm thinking about these days, in fact, which is why I got in touch with Sara Bornick, founder and owner of streetpops, freelance graphic designer and proud owner of her very own EasyBake oven.
 
Anyone who's ever been lucky enough to have their teeth stained or a shirt dribbled on by one of Sara Bornick's gourmet, quirky and preservative-free ice pops understands that the transition from winter to spring just can't be complete until every Cincinnatian has the chance to buy the daintily packaged treats from her modest, funky little retro streetpops storefront in Over-the-Rhine.


According to Bornick, who’s been busy preparing for a new streetpops season, she and her cart-
toting team will be selling pops again on Final Friday, March 29. Look out for new pop flavors (like cookies and cream, butter pecan and maybe a chocolate olive oil pop crafted from imported Italian olive oil).


Hannah Mc
Cartney: What was your favorite toy when you were a little kid?

Sara Bornick:
For years I asked for an Easy-Bake oven, but never actually got one ... until I was about 25, as a joke. I was really into LEGOs as a kid, and anything outdoors.

H
M: Dog person or cat person? Why?
SB: Dog! Especially my Boston Terrier, Parker (aka Parker Pantalones).

HM: Did you have a nickname when you were a kid/in college/now? What was its significance?
SB: When I was a kid I was nicknamed "Bugs" because I had to have a lot of teeth pulled before I had braces on, so for a good year or so I only had my two front teeth.

HM: Have you ever met a celebrity? If not, who would you want to meet?
SB: I met chef-celebrity Richard Blais when he was in town on the Top Chef tour. It was right before we launched streetpops in 2011. We talked about a pop place in Atlanta that he loves
and using liquid nitrogen to make pops.

HM: Tell me one guilty pleasure artist on your music player.
SB:
Eighties hair bands/rock ballads — Def Leppard, Guns N' Roses.


 
 
by Hannah McCartney 02.21.2013
Posted In: Cinfolk , Interviews, Culture at 12:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Cinfolk: German Lopez

When journalists interview people, it's more often than not about something very specific. When we interview the governor, his press person would definitely give us a dirty look if we threw in questions like, "What's your favorite '90s boy band?" or, "Did OJ do it?" We're there to discuss something specific, and straying too far outside that topic is viewed as either a waste of the interviewee's time or an invasion of privacy.

The reality is that there are more facets to the people we interview than we'll ever know. What was Senate Chef Daniel Wright's favorite toy when he was a kid? What does CityBeat editor-in-chief Danny Cross order at Taco Bell?

The answers to questions like these don't define a person, but neither do their jobs, possessions, political leanings, philanthropic efforts or social status. It's a little bit of everything. In this blog series, I'll be picking random Cincinnatians who are doing something interesting, call them on the phone/harass them on the street and ask five or six weird questions and hope I don't get yelled at. Feel free to comment if there's someone you'd like to suggest.

As a practice go, I'm first interviewing my cubicle mate and reporter extraordinaire, German Lopez. If you don’t recognize the name German Lopez, it’s because you probably never read CityBeat, so shame on you. Around the office, he's known for his dry sense of humor, really liking donuts, ditching all of our happy hours and one time writing almost an entire issue by himself. He's the one we all go to when we need him to explain in plebeian language the meaning of complicated political and economic data.

Hannah McCartney: What's your favorite most recent viral video?

German Lopez: The video of Eddie, the geriatric sea otter with arthritis who can dunk a basketball, definitely tops my list right now. I think CityBeat should run a cover story just profiling Eddie. It's probably more important than the governor's budget proposals.

HM: When you sit down to write an article, what's the process like? Describe your work style.
GL: Before I start writing an article, I complete most of my research, interviews and an outline. Once that's all together, I sit down and write the entire article, whether it's 500 or 4,000 words, all at once. The first draft is usually a disaster, but I do extensive copy editing to fix up the structure and wording after that. The editing probably takes me longer than the writing process because I have to fact check every line and make sure it's all written in an easily digestible manner.

HM: What was the last meal you cooked for yourself?
GL: Chicken cutlets with mashed potatoes and corn. It was freaking delicious. But I rarely cook for myself. One of the upsides to having a stay-at-home husband is I usually get home to a delicious cooked meal. The only downside is I have to make all the money.

HM: Where's your favorite place to sit down and read a book in Cincinnati?
GL: On the couch at home while surrounded by my ferrets, cat and husband. But I usually read political blogs, newspapers and e-books on my iPad instead of actual print.

HM: What website can you not go a day without checking? Why?
GL: There are a bunch of answers to this, but the top choice is probably Wonkblog, the domestic policy blog at The Washington Post. It has all the studies and graphs I need to form an educated opinion on major political issues. And CityBeat.com, of course.
 
 
by Jac Kern 04.11.2012
 
 
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'This American Life' to Be Broadcast Live

Popular public radio show will be shown in local theaters

"I don't really like This American Life or Ira Glass," said no one.

The weekly, true storytelling public radio show with its quirky, adorable host seriously has something for everyone — timely topics, laugh-out-loud (or cry-out-loud) anecdotes, thoughtful insight. TAL even got my stubborn, conservative father to listen to NPR on a regular basis. So since we can all agree how awesome it is, let's celebrate the announcement that Ira and Co. will present a live show in New York City, to be broadcast in movie theaters across the country on May 10.

Those who watched the television adaptation of This American Life know how flawlessly the program can be adapted to incorporate visual elements with the standard unscripted storytelling format. But the live show is set to involve more than just interviews and animations seen in the TV program.

The live event will feature stories by writer David Rakoff (who worked with Ira Glass and David Sedaris), comedian Tig Notaro (Comedy Central Presents, The Sarah Silverman Program), Glynn Washington (host of radio show Snap Judgement and jack-of-all-trades) and Ira himself. Taking full advantage of the live, visual format, the show will also feature music by OK Go, a short film by longtime TAL contributor and comedian Mike Birbiglia, a dance performance by Monica Bill Barnes & Company and much more to be seen. This American Life presented a live show, also broadcast in theaters, back in 2009.

The show will go live at 8 p.m. May 10 onstage at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. If you can't make the trip to the Big Apple (it's sold out anyway), check it out at one of many local theaters screening the show, including AMC Newport, Western Hills 14, Florence 14, Milford 16, Springdale Showcase Cinemas and Deerfield Town Center. Many of these theaters will present an encore screening May 15 as well. Go here for tickets.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.23.2012
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 3/23-3/25

Nothside Tavern's birthday, LEGO Fest, Robert Moses' Kin performance and more

Stop by the hipster haven that is Northside Tavern this weekend as it celebrates 10 years as a neighborhood bar and live music staple. NST's 10th Birthday Bash runs 6:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday with treats from Take the Cake both nights. Tonight, there's music from You, You're Awesome, Ohio Knife and Lydia Burrell. Saturday features music from Wussy and The Tigerlilies, the first band to rock the Tavern's stage a decade ago. As always, no cover. HB, NST!

Independent Spirit Award-nominated film In The Family opens at The Esquire tonight. Writer, director and star Patrick Wang will be in town for the premiere weekend, and will host a Q&A after this weekend's screenings. Check out the 8 p.m. screenings Friday and Saturday and the 1 p.m. show Sunday to meet and chat with the star. Read our review here.

San Francisco dance company Robert Moses' Kin performs in town this week with Contemporary Dance Theater's Guest Artist Series. Faith and Fable was inspired by choreographer/artistic director Robert Moses' children – fairy tales, in particular. Moses reexamined moral tales and translated them into a multi-genre dance piece for all ages. Performances are tonight at Saturday at the Aronoff Center. Go here to read our interview with Moses.


LEGOs are one of those iconic toys that kids still think are cool and adults still secretly want to play with. This weekend's LEGO's KidsFest may be marketed toward youngsters, but LEGO fans of any age can be entertained for hours at this construction block convention. At the fest, you'll find a LEGO model museum (clearly not built by kids), a master builder academy, activity area, challenge zone and much more. Saturday's sessions have sold out, but there's still tickets available for tonight (4-8:30 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 3-7:30 p.m.) All sessions feature the same fun exhibits and activities. Find ticket information and event details here.

Saturday morning, Park + Vine hosts a Grow Your Own Garden Class. Greensleeves Farm's Gretchen Vaughn will dish the dirt on growing vegetables and herbs at home with a hands-on demonstration on sowing and transplanting seeds. After the class, you'll take home a starter kit with seeds, soil and a plant. The class limited to 15 people, so RSVP at info@parkandvine.com. The workshop is $15 and runs from 10 a.m.-noon.

The Newport Aquarium welcomes Mighty Mike, a 14-foot, 800-pound American Alligator this Saturday. Mike is the largest gator in the U.S. outside of Florida. The new Gator Alley exhibit will feature many species of alligators and crocodiles from around the globe. The aquarium is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Find admission and other details here. Purchase your tickets in advance to save time at the door.

For more theater, visual arts and music events this weekend, check out our To Do, Music and Arts coverage.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.02.2012
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 3/2-3/4

Bockfest is upon us! The annual celebration of Cincinnati's beer brewing history kicks off tonight with the Bockfest Parade, stepping off at 6 p.m. Organizers are keeping an eye on the weather, so check back with their site and Facebook page just in case. Even if the weather gets real ugly, just stop by one of the dozen participating venues where admission is free and beer is a-flowin'. Tons of special events coincide with the fest: Tonight, Park + Vine hosts its second annual veenie roast tonight (veggie hot dogs on delicious Mayday pretzel buns), Japps will feature a dance party tonight and Saturday, a Craft Menagerie takes over Arnold's Saturday and Washington Platform has a Bockfest Brunch Sunday, to name a few. And remember, you're not just getting your drink on, you're supporting Cincinnati history!

Covington's Carnegie Center presents its sixth annual Art of Food show, opening tonight. As you might've guessed, this art exhibit is centered around all things edible. The reception features beautiful culinary creations (that you can actually eat) by everyone from BonBonnerie to La Poste, Queen City Cookies to Taste of Belgium. Admission is a little steep ($60 at the door for non-members), but you'll leave with your left brain and stomach both very satisfied. Admission after the reception is free. Get details here.

It's always exciting when a new exhibit comes to the Contemporary Arts Center, and their opening parties are always a blast. Saturday the CAC welcomes two new art shows: I surrender, dear, Dasha Shishkin's first solo museum exhibit and Spectacle: The Music Video, curated by creative collective Flux. Read more about the artists here and check out our preview of Spectacle here. Music videos as art. Super cool.

The opening reception kicks off at 8 p.m. In addition to checking out the artwork, electronic musician/wizard Dan Deacon will perform 8-9 p.m. If you haven't heard of him, here's a preview:



Following the original performance is a DJ set 'til 11 p.m. The party is free and there will be a cash bar. Get more info here.

If you didn't score tickets to tonight's sold out Black Keys show, there are plenty of other music options. Eli's BBQ on Riverside Drive hosts Downtown Country Band tonight at 10 p.m. Tickets are $12. And really, any concert that also features barbecue is probably a sure bet. The Harlequins hosts an album release show Saturday at Mayday in Northside. Peep our interview with the crew. There are tons of other live music shows this weekend. Find them all on our music blog.

This not enough for you? There are tons of other happenings this weekend. Arts? We got 'em. Theater? You bet. Foul-mouthed, inxtoicated comedians? Of course. Just check out our To Do page for all your fun-having needs.

 
 
by Amber Hemmerle 06.22.2011
Posted In: Interviews, bikes at 12:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

Interview with Brandon Scott Perry

"Can't stop, won't stop." These words may seem meaningless to some, but for the past 72 days they have been the motivation for Brandon Scott Perry.

On April 3, 2011 Perry embarked on a journey that will affect himself and thousands of others for the rest of their lives. What started out as a dream turned into reality and sparked a movement - Trek for the Cause. Perry's 2,354 mile expedition for the American Cancer Society began on foot in Cincinnati and ended on bicycle in Los Angeles. At war with the weather, fatigue, his emotions, physical pain and, at times, boredom, he managed to overcome what seemed impossible.

Monday I had the chance to meet the man who has so greatly impacted myself and others alike somehow touched by cancer. Two Blue Moons, a near death experience with a sharp tortilla chip and a plateful of quesadillas later, we were no longer strangers.

CityBeat: How did you come up with the idea for the trek?

Brandon Perry: I've always wanted to go out on the open road and see how far I could go. On Nov. 4, a week after I found out my grandpa was terminal and I remember waking up and was like this is what I'm going to do: I am going to dress in all hot pink and ride a pink lawn mower across the country for breast cancer. Since that's not street legal and what not, I just decided I was going to walk across the country for the American Cancer Society to cover all types of cancers.

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Olivia Doan is only eight years old and was diagnosed with a brain tumor on Oct. 24, 2010. She along with a grandfather and close friend, were the main inspirations for the trek. Olivia finished her last chemotherapy on June 19 and is now heading down the road of recovery.

CB: Were you always a runner?

BP: No, I've never been a runner. I go to the gym, but I've never did a marathon, never did a 5K or anything close to a marathon and have never been a biker. So for me, to pick up a bike 600 miles in was crazy. The last bike I had was when I was 15 and it had pegs on the back.

CB: What was the most difficult part about leaving?

BP: I knew it was going to be lonely, which it was. Unless I was staying in a firehouse, it was super lonely. If I wasn't in a firehouse, I was alone in a hotel or at someone's house. One night I just tented-it on the side of the road in Indiana. And having to leave my grandfather, knowing he might not be here when I get back.

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Brandon's grandfather was diagnosed with bone cancer. He had the joy of seeing his grandson upon return on June 13. He's doing much better and continues to be Brandon's motivation.

CB: What was your lowest point during the trek?

BP: Day six, it was on a Friday and I was in Bloomington, Ind. on Indiana University's campus sitting at a bench in front of Chili's. I was waiting for my friend Andy to pick me to stay with him for the night. I'm looking at my Facebook, seeing all my friends post stuff like, "I'm going out tonight," or "Meeting up with everyone tonight." At that point I was thinking, "Am I really going to do this?" I had been doing 20-30 miles a day so it was rough and I just sat there, discouraged, thinking I couldn't do this. I left my friends the next day. It had been raining, but it finally cleared up and that was the only day I ever questioned it.

CB: Highest point during the trek?

BP: Finishing 103 miles in one day, through the desert. It was so hot, my face was caked with salt, my backpack - everything was caked in salt. It just really sucked, but I did it, I got finished. I knew at that point I was only five or six days from finishing.

CB: Most interesting person you came across?

BP: Gary Kearn, who was 68 years old, biking from LA to Chicago just to see if he could do it. He finished a couple days before I did. He ended up leaving from Chicago and biking to New York just because. A 68-year-old man, out living his dream.

CB: How much money has been raised at this point?

BP: Almost $11,000.

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Trek for the Cause T-Shirts can be purchased here for $22, where a portion of the money will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

CB: Advice for anyone wanting to make a difference, small or big?

BP: Well, I don't suggest walking, but don't ever give up. I was just following what my heart told me to do. I don't feel like I'm a hero, I feel like I'm just a person who had an idea, a dream. I get a lot that I'm a hero, inspiration, crazy - I get all of that. If I made somebody feel they were big enough to take on the world and didn't raise a dollar, it would still all be worth it. Be inspired by small things and big things. If you ever get the chance, inspire yourself.

CB: Any future plans?

BP: I want to do a fundraiser for Joplin, Mo. They are good people, just like any other community. But since I went through there and they helped me out a lot, I felt more responsible to do something for their community.

On June 13 after 72 long, lonely, life-changing days, Perry finally touched down to the place he calls home. He's been busy with news appearances, radio shows, other charity events and even an interview with a measly little intern from CityBeat. I'm not going to lie, I was nervous at first because we were total strangers who would not even know each other if it weren't for my Facebook Creepin' Disorder. After the first five minutes though, I felt like I had known Brandon for ten years. I can only attempt to be half as determined, confident and inspiring as he is but for now I'll continue to help make Brandon's dream become a reality.

Come meet the man yourself June 23 for Brandon's Welcome Home Event from 6-9 p.m. at the Montgomery Inn Ft. Mitchell (400 Buttermilk Pike) and from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. at Mynt Martini on Fountain Square. There's going to be tons raffles, a silent auction, food, drinks and Brandon... duh. To make a donation, visit www.trekforthecause.com.

Check out Perry's run-in with the TMZ crew:


 
 
by Jac Kern 05.06.2011
Posted In: Interviews, Fashion, TV/Celebrity, Events at 03:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

CFW Profile: Laura Dawson

Fashion designer Laura Dawson makes her homecoming Monday as she shows her collection in Cincinnati Fashion Week (CFW) for the second year. A graduate of The University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP), Dawson went on to New York to work for Donna Karan, style/design for Moby, The Brazilian Girls, Yelle and The Scissor Sisters and even appeared on Bravo's The Fashion Show. She founded her line of women's clothing in 2003 and has worked out of London since 2009.

Read More

 
 
by Jac Kern 05.05.2011
Posted In: Interviews, Fashion, Events, Fun at 03:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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CFW Profile: Jonathan Mezibov

Fashion designer Jonathan Mezibov grew up in Cincinnati and has since gone on to launch his own clothing line and website, featuring shirts that have appeared in GQ Japan and Vogue China Men. Mezibov returns to the Queen City this month for the second annual Cincinnati Fashion Week (CFW).

Read More

 
 
by Kelly Tucker 04.11.2011
Posted In: Culture, TV/Celebrity, Life, Interviews at 12:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 

UC Pop Praxis: Social Justice & the Media

I opted out of typing music listings and attending sociology class Friday in favor of checking out the conference taking place on the University of Cincinnati’s campus: Pop Praxis: Social Justice & the Media. With discussion topics like, “Disco Stick: Lady Gaga and the Phallus” and a keynote speech from Bitch Magazine’s own Andi Zeisler, I was stoked for an enlightening day of stimulating pop culture discussion.

The conference was the result of a collection of papers, presentations and workshops submitted by speakers ranging from undergrads to professors to alumni from a number of universities. Submissions were required to regard "pop culture as it relates to feminism, race, disability or queer theory, class, consumption, and all forms of political activism or cultural production."

It was an honor for the university to welcome Andi Zeisler, co-founder and editorial/creative director of Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture. She wasted no time launching into a pointed discussion about the importance of feminism today, despite the general public’s tendency to assume that the movement is past and irrelevant.

“Any media needs to make money,” Zeisler pointed out, “and the quickest and surest way to do that is to sell out women.”

In short, while addressing the frustrating roadblocks today’s feminist advocates face, Zeisler commended technology and blogging as new ways to comment on the media and bring important issues to public attention, keeping intelligent discussion going that might not have been able to take place before.

Zeisler said Bitch’s goal is to help people think about pop culture in a more critical way, so it makes sense that the speakers in the sessions that followed did exactly that.

While the main event was arguably Zeisler's speech, the presentations and workshops were fun and eye opening.

During the first session, Sarah Mitchell called out Winnie of The Wonder Years for her textbooks that attempt to make math “sexy” for middle school girls in “Postfeminist Math Barbie: Danica McKellar’s Provocative Education Advocacy.” Lee Serbin also pointed out the shaky, back-and-forth stance Tina Fey’s character holds between feminism and postfeminism in 30 Rock during her discussion, “30 Rock and Feminism in Flux.”

Some women in the media, however, aren’t so bad to look up to. One presenter discussed how Lady Gaga rocked the phallus on the cover of Q Magazine as a response to the public’s accusation that she’s packing a package. While still technically enforcing the belief that a penis equates power, her gender-bending humor puts sexists in their place.

A strong argument was also made for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Admittedly, she was skinny and blonde, but more importantly, she overcame that image to kick vampire ass. The slayer was decidedly deemed a pretty solid female role model for something popularized by mainstream television.

Feminism wasn’t the only topic of the day, however. One student discussed Batman as an extreme representation of hypermasculinity who tends to equate violence with being a man. That, and maybe steroid use after all the bulk the superhero’s acquired over the years.

During the same session, another speaker addressed the somewhat androgynous image of the emo kid. This speaker deserves props for researching something so fickle in the world of teenage cliques. She concluded that, while the emo subculture allows for somewhat of a break from that Batman-inspired masculinity, only the white boys of suburbia seem to make up this social group.

While it was impossible for me to make it to each presentation, at the end of the day, the message was clear: People need to be careful about what they consume.

There are no clear answers. Watching a Lady Gaga video over 30 Rock isn’t necessarily going to be more empowering, and children who prefer Batman to Chris Carrabba aren’t doomed to a life of violence. The important thing Pop Praxis stressed is that the discussion remains open and that we, as responsible consumers of popular culture, keep a critical eye on it.

 
 

 

 

 
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