Something fucking awesome happened in Cincinnati on July's Final Friday. A dude with a card table, some DJ stuff and a microphone (two turntables and a microphone, even) incited a random dance party with over 100 people around 1212 Main Street in Over-the-Rhine.
Music was pumping, and people flocked to it. I have never witnessed such an amassing of complete strangers and intimate friends. Plaid-clad hipsters were cutting loose with older, baggy-shirted locals. Drunk people who had tumbled out of bars were sweating out all the alcohol they had just paid for to Kool and the Gang. Everyone was incredibly, stupidly happy.
There was no reason for it. No social networking was involved. Nobody knew about it through a text or because they were Tweeted at or received a Facebook invite. It wasn’t sponsored by Final Friday, and it wasn’t even planned. DJ Alcatone, the awesome instigator, shrugged his shoulders when I asked him (over the Funk blaring out from two speakers), why he was playing music on a street corner in OTR. He said he just was. And people were just dancing.
There were three guys dancing in the middle of the damn street, stopping cars to gyrate in front of them. One was dancing intensely, and then he paused and directed traffic around other dancers. An SUV pulled up and four dudes sat on the edge of the car windows, took their shirts off, and held their arms in the air.
An entire two-block span of Main Street was filled with sweaty, writhing people. DJ Alcatone started a soul train in the middle of the crowd. There was a break-dancing competition, and seriously, who knew old people could get down like that? One guy did that thing where he contorted his whole body in the air, resting solely on his hand on the ground. (Yoga has not prepared me to attempt this.)
Cell phones crowded in the air, everyone snapping pictures of the “something” that was happening right in front of them. Cops drove by and didn’t stop. The opposite side of the street was crowded with overflow dancers. A girl with an “I’m the bachelorette!” sash across her torso sashayed in front of cars, darting back and forth between the two sides. There was even a man with a broken leg in a wheelchair. Seriously. He was spinning on his wheels, grooving to the music.
It was like someone had pressed pause on every social, racial and economic stricture and preconception, and hit “play” for uninhibited, good-spirited, uplifting interaction. It was so simple, and no one stopped to think about it. No one stopped to consider “what it meant,” or why it was happening, or how it could be better. Honestly, it couldn’t have been better.
The police were called about two hours in, and were actually smiling when they told everyone the party had to end. That was probably the best time to have the party end — before everyone remembered themselves, the faces we all put on for the everyday world, the way we conduct ourselves around people we want to impress. No one was trying to impress anyone. Even the bad dancers (there were a few) were applauded. It was the fact that everyone involved stepped outside of themselves, without any catalyst or promise of reward, and for two hours, we just were.
To women, nothing says ‘I Love You’ quite like a big, fat cockroach on Valentine’s Day. That's right, for just $10, you can name a special bug living at the Bronx Zoo after your sweetie - because like love, a cockroach is indestructible.
Cincinnati may be 20 years behind the times (according to that old adage), but no more than two months after New York's Dominique Ansel Bakery birthed the cronut — a magical, croissant-donut hybrid — the Queen City’s already got local bakeries with our own varieties. Holtman’s Donut Shop is serving up the pastry at its Loveland location and Savor Catering sells them at Roebling Point Books, Bow Tie Café and Left Bank Coffee (they even offer “croughnut holes!”). Better yet, the cronut is actually still trendy in its homeland, drawing long, early-morning lines and even high price scalping on Craigslist, so we’re really not that passé after all!
This happened. Via AV Club:
When Big Brother first made its U.S. debut in 2000, I recall being excited to witness some actual uncensored drama go down with an online companion to the television show (Oh innocent, early Internet era me). What would producers actually show? People peeing? Nipples? Sexy time? F-bombs? Now, of course, that’s practically standard fare for a boring Housewives hour. More than a decade later, we still have Big Brother and it’s still uncensored online, it’s just a little surprising what’s getting caught on camera. Basically, this bunch — Season 15 — is a group of bona fide racists, a bunch of regular Paula Deens. But we’re not talking about backwoods idiots who don’t know any better or politically incorrect Daniel Tosh wannabes. These are people who can’t refer to their Asian roommate without listing off the Panda Express menu while making squinty eyes.
Fans have been upset that producers weren’t showing any of this behavior on the actual telecast (these shining moments were only seen online), but some real gems were exposed on Sunday night’s episode. Watch a roundup of This Week in Big Brother Racism, ya know, if you want to just hate humanity some more. With a title so innocent, who would have thought the show could expose so much evil?!
Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer finished its first season with a bang last week. The comedian’s series, which has been picked up for a second season, was stellar — the perfect mix of stand-up, on-the-street interviews and sketches and, while it was clearly targeted to women, it was funny across the board. The episode closed with Amy’s stand-up, where she brought out her opening act, Bridget Everett (the martini-guzzler seen in the finale's “Crazy Sex Tips” sketch). While the clip isn’t available online now, Bridget performed a similar bit on an HBO special:
Skip to 3:30 for the song I’ve been shouting out the car at strangers for the past week. And yes, that’s Ad-Rock in the back. Bridget Everett, marry me!
Breaking Bad’s final episodes air starting Aug. 11, but will that be the end to all the Bad characters we’ve come to love? The rumors of a Saul Goodman spinoff are getting more and more credible as BB creator Vince Gilligan says he and producer Peter Could have a concept in development that they plant to seriously pitch once Breaking Bad comes to a close
Artist-type Steve Lovelace got a lot of attention last year for his
Corporate States of America map in which Lovelace selected a brand that best represented each of the 50 states.
(Ohio got Wendy’s. JBCs for all!) Now, he’s done it with booze.
Quick question: WTF is Hoppin’ Frog?!
Last week was all about callin’ bitches on online. Prime example No. 1: The Vegan Sellout site — which has since been wiped from the web — a forum for calling out vegan/vegetarians who do not practice what they preach (i.e. people who “hold secret barbecues,” gave up the lifestyle to wear leather or claim to be vegan but eat meat on occasion). Whether this was a product of veg saboteurs or the most pretentious, backwards-thinking vegans ever is yet to be determined. Over in the Hamptons, James Cuomo is getting loads of credit for forming a Facebook group called “Douche spotter,” aimed at targeting weekenders who infiltrate Hamptonites' homeland with their nasty rat faces every summer. I’m typically all for calling out bad parking jobs and fashion nightmares (these make up most of the photos), but not so that some waspy a-holes can feel better about themselves. Ironically, Cuomo definitely looks like a douche himself. Join the group here, and see why it totally warranted a GD New York Post story.Hey, people with voluntary restrictive diets and/or East Coast upbringings: Mind ya bidness!
Better late than never obsession: British sci-fi dark comedy, Misfits. It’s everything I wish True Blood still was, only in the U.K. instead of Louisiana. Young delinquents + freaky storm + crime + super powers + sex + camp = I’m on the third season and I haven’t even been watching for a week! Thanks, Hulu!
Texas gym teacher Deal Irby wore the same ensemble on every school picture day for 40 years! Meanwhile, I can barely fit into my T-shirts from four years ago. BRB, gonna go drink my lunch now.
Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards melted the face off the Internet, so if you’re still trying to form an opinion and sift through gif reactions, or you’re one of those people pretending you don’t know what the VMAs are — the Moonman has been around since 1983 and the VMAs have been pooping out pseudo-controversy for just as long. You know what they are. Sit back down — don’t worry, momma’s here.
If you really don’t watch the VMAs, it’s important to understand that the V and A do not matter — MTV rarely plays music videos, as we all know, and no one ever remembers who actually wins the Mooman by the end of the night. The respected academy of critics are teens who vote for whichever marginally talented star tweets the most. You watch for the pop culture experience — whether it’s Fiona Apple’s “bullshit” acceptance speech, the Britney-Madonna kiss or Beyonce’s baby bump announcement, crazy shit goes down at the VMAs. And this year was no different.
The big draw of the night was Lady Gaga’s big comeback. It’s been two years since a big performance and release, and Mama Monster also is back from a hip injury that kept her out of the public eye for a bit. Gaga opened the show with her new single, “Applause,” which was welcomed by audience boos (those turned out to be staged. Gaga — go figure.). The performance looked like some kind of jazzy, art school, off-broadway number, complete with dudes in leotards and onstage weave and costume changes, ending in LG in a big ass brown curly wig, a mermaid shell bra and thong. Her body was siiiiick (eat it, haters) and it was nice to see her look/act like a human — this is not the meat dress-wearing, alien goth princess, Jo Calderone Gaga. This is ARTPOP Gaga.
She seemed a little more down-to-earth, if that’s possible? Like she was having fun, and not taking it too seriously. Which is good, because her new song is in a fucking Kia commercial.
Next up is the kind of moment that makes careers
and ends presidencies. Just kidding. It’s just Miley! So I (like every human
with access to the Internet) detailed my roller coaster of emotions when I first
watched Miley Cyrus’ video “We Can’t Stop.” And I must say, I have no problem
with MiCy growing up and changing directions. Alternatively, I have no problem with her being a completely fake, manufactured product (cut to Lady Gaga —Government Name: Stefani Germanotta — looking like the normal girl she
actually was less than a decade ago, on an episode of Boiling
Points. Most pop stars were once Hannah Montanas before their producers gave them "molly"
and a rejected Rihanna beat, OK?).
I have no qualms with her getting an fierce haircut and wearing denim diaper shorts and juxtaposing her former good girl image with her current hot lady looks. But there's a difference between shifting from Country to Pop or Disney kid to edgy starlet and purposefully quashing your saccharine image by motorboating a woman's thonged butt on TV just for the shock factor. I see you Miley, and I will not respond to you.