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.
I like to think I'm always up on the gossip, but some newsworthy items slip under my radar, like 98 Degrees' Jeff Timmons (my childhood fave - sorry, Nick) being a Chippendales performer! Chippendales at The Rio in Las Vegas features the Cincinnati boy as their hunky headliner all summer long, extending his stay (eyebrow wiggle) several times.
So, if you like combining the most homoerotic performance ever to be marketed to middle-aged women with prepubescent boy band fantasies, and who the hell doesn't, get your ticket soon! Jeff will only be flexing his "Hardest Thing" (sorry) through Labor Day.
Or just watch this painfully awkward video of him posing for pictures!
Speaking of former child stars-turned-desperate, orange juiceheads, Baywatch alum and current Celebrity Rehab-er Jeremy Jackson has also made a bow tie-and-cuffs appearance. Some reports say he's addicted to fitness and would make excellent eye candy, so I'm guessing they haven't seen his stint on the VH1 show. Dude's addicted to German cattle steroids and cancer patient meds.
And if he's worried chemicals in bottled water will turn him gay, he clearly needs to give his Chippendales contract a second read.
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.
Fashioned after Don Draper's iconic pose in the Mad Men intro, Draping has infiltrated the interwebs! This is all in anticipation for Sunday's long-awaited two-hour season premiere. Read more about that here.
Like many fun Internet bits I stumble upon, Drinkify is a really simple site that has that cool, “Why didn’t I think of that?” factor. Just enter the artist you’re listening to (or plan to that night), and Drinkify matches a perfect beverage to match. Vampire Weekend = PBR, Sleigh Bells = 10 oz. Whiskey (”Serve neat.”) and, because I was curious, Justin Bieber = 8 oz. Red Bull.
Anyone who knows my television habits is fully aware of my love for Bravo shows. I know, it's an abomination, but sometimes you just want a Taco Bell bean burrito instead of a fresh-cooked meal, and sometimes I want to watch Real Housewives instead of quality television. It keeps me grounded.
The latest gem Bravo has bestowed upon us: Shahs of Sunset, a reality show (duh) about a wealthy group of Persians in Beverly Hills. Don't hate me. The following is one of many internet rants from Shahs' hottest piece, Reza (NSFW). I'll never look at Parmesan cheese the same way again.
The award for web video series that will make you snort aloud, revealing that you're screwing around at work goes to...Bad Lip Readings! I'm late on this, I know, but damn if these stupid videos aren't hilarious. Unfortunately Rick Santorum's real words are just as ridiculous as the ones dubbed in this video.
One could not recap recent internet/popular news without mentioning KNOYGATE. Though anyone reading this has access to the Internet and therefore has probably been bombarded with the progressing stories on Kony, allow me to briefly explain.
Joseph Kony is the head of a Ugandan guerilla group that terrorizes the country, murdering villages, kidnapping children from their homes and turning them into soliders. He’s an international villain, and filmmaker/activist Jason Russell has made it his mission to stop him. Russell created the film-turned-movement Invisible Children after spending time in Uganda. The movie’s been around since 2006, but Russell recently started an internet campaign, KONY 2012, to spread awareness about the injustice in Uganda.
The video flooded Facebook walls, news sites and Twitter Feeds like wildfire. It was particularly popular with younger people, because the video targeted American youth, explaining that if enough people know who Kony is, we can get our government to do something about him. That translates to "Young people can make a difference," which is totally a good thing. Kids have been infiltrating malls, sharing KONY 2012 stickers and bracelets to spread awareness. But some people started to get concerned.
See, it’s obviously great that young people are concerned about international injustice. But fad activism isn’t just annoying; following an organization you don't previously research is dumb – and re-posting a YouTube video doesn’t make you an activist.