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by Maija Zummo 02.21.2014
Posted In: Life, Culture at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Cincinnati Featured in National Geographic Traveler

They like us

"As much of America decamped for the suburbs or the coasts, artists, craftspeople, and entrepreneurs rebuilt entire Cincinnati neighborhoods alongside impassioned longtimers," reads an article from the April 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveler.

Cincinnati is more and more getting recognition for our renaissance attitude in national media, and this article touches on everything from our breweries to the 21c and the city's vast collection of every-era architecture and food and nightlife.

Read the full article here.

 
 
by Jac Kern 02.19.2014
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Culture at 03:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Miley Cyrus kicked off her Bangerz tour in expected fashion: with a mini-Britney, a gigantic phallic hot dog, the return of the infamous foam finger and Miley entering the stage via a giant Miley head, sliding down a giant Miley tongue. Here’s a look at this recent performance of “Party in the USA,” basically a children’s patriotic school play, if said children drank a bathtub full of molly-laced Kool-Aid first.

Side note: This is what U.S. History class will look like in 2064.


We’re more than halfway through the Olympics and the U.S. is currently in third place for medal standings with 23 medals —the most decorated country at this point.

There have been some ups and downs: Superstars Shaun White and Shani Davis failed to attain medals and other U.S. favorites scored much lower than expected. But history was made with Charlie White and Meryl Davis winning the first U.S. gold in Olympic ice dancing; bobsledder Steven Holcomb again broke a 62-year losing streak for the States (he and Steve Langton won bronze in the two-man race, medaling for the first time since 1952; Holcomb in 2010 also led his four-man sled team to the country’s first medal in that event in 62 years); and the U.S. commanded the podium for men’s ski slopestyle as Americans Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper took home the gold, silver and bronze, respectively.

The best spectacle came on the ice rink, though. Is that any surprise? With music, dancing and sparkly costumes, the other sports just don’t compete when it comes to entertainment. Retired ice princess Johnny Weir hasn’t missed a step with his flawless looks while providing figure skating commentary for NBC — Gawker has been on Weir Watch, documenting his sassiest ensembles and accessories.

Is anyone else kicking themselves for having just discovered Russian skating god Evgeni Plushenko? The highly decorated figure skater embarked on his fourth Olympics in Sochi this year after undergoing surgery on his spine in early 2013. Plush won Russia’s first gold at the games, competing in two team events before kicking off the figure skating short program. Sadly — and right after NBC aired an amazing reel on Plush and his very interesting history — the skater injured himself during practice, just before he was about to compete. Plush withdrew from the event, retiring from his sport effective immediately.

So this kind of thing happens all the time with athletes who push their bodies to the limit. But Plushenko is more than just a talented skater. He was a presence — with “top three in Russian woman” wife — as this now-viral showcase (aka not a competition) performance proves.

And finally we have The Faces of Figure Skating, which pretty much speaks for itself.

This dude is a dead-ringer for David Wain seeing a pair of boobs for the first time.

You know that Crystal Head vodka that comes in a cool glass skull? Well, fun fact, Dan Aykroyd founded the company, and some scientists created a face based on the “skull’s” dimension. Here’s what it would look like if the Crystal Head was a real guy:

Jimmy Fallon took over The Tonight Show hosting duties Monday and it’s already clear fans of his Late Night jokes, skits and recurring bits can expect just about the same from his new show and time slot. A cavalcade of celebrities welcomed Fallon on Monday, with Lindsay Lohan, Rudy Giuliani, Lady Gaga and other famous New Yorkers paying up as if they lost a bet that he’d never take over Tonight. Fallon’s first guest was Will Smith who, along with Jimmy, schooled us on the Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing. I also finally discovered that The Roots, when introducing Fallon, aren’t just yelling random numbers (I thought they were area code shout outs?), which became clear when ?uestlove enthusiastically shouted, “One!” at the start of the first show.

Fallon’s gonna kill it. So it’s definitely appropriate that his original Saturday Night Live audition tape is making its rounds. Spoiler Alert: Jimmy is a baby and auditioning for SNL appears to be the most terrifying experience ever.

 
 
by Kelsey Kennedy 02.12.2014
Posted In: Commentary, Culture at 03:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)
 
 
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How to Become a Cincinnatian, for Non-Natives

They say you move to Cincinnati and put on a pair of goggles — the longer you stay, the harder it is to take them off. And why would you want to? I’ve lived here for five years and still manage to fall deeper in love with this city every day. For all you newcomers, here are some necessary guidelines for your initiation into the greatest city in the Midwest.

1. Pick a chili, not a side. The East side/West side rivalry is deeply rooted in competitive turf wars and stubborn rationalizations. When brought up in conversation, it’s usually best to remain indifferent and let your eyes glaze over until the fighting stops.

2. Become a regular at (at least) one bar in Over-the-Rhine. Find your favorite bartender at Neon’s and dance to the ‘8os music at Japp’s on a Saturday night. Discover new music at MOTR or wind down with some jazz at 1215 Wine Bar.

3. Understand that high schools — and the culture surrounding them — are really important here. “Are you from around here?” is almost always followed by, “So what high school did you go to?” Cincinnatians stick to their alma maters like glitter on glue, and everyone has a reputation.

4. See The Cincy Brass play at Mr. Pitiful’s before you die (or move). Request the song “Let Me Clear My Throat” by DJ Kool. Gyrate on everyone.

5. Get to know Kentucky. Bounce around the Levee and Mainstrasse. End your night with a cheesy goetta omelet at the Anchor Grill. Trust me on this one.

6. Cincinnati has the second largest Oktoberfest in the world (The WORLD!) second only to Munich. Dress like a German, drink like a German, eat like a German.

7. Develop a severe case of road rage while driving on I-75. Perfect the ability to stare someone down after cutting you off.

8. Vote. Get involved with this city’s politics. Picket City Hall or write a letter to an editor. Cincinnati had a record-breaking low voter turnout in the 2013 mayoral election — make your voice heard.

9. Give back to your neighborhood. Volunteer at the Freestore Foodbank or tutor kids at Wordplay Cincy. Teach an art class or buy someone an umbrella on a rainy day. Start a collaborative effort to make this city the best it can be.

10. Master the Metro and make friends with the drivers. Sit up front and strike up a conversation with a stranger. Try not to fall when the metro slides down one of Cincinnati’s many 90-degree angles.

11. Appreciate Cincinnati sports. Tailgate at a Bengal’s game, cheer on the Cyclones and pledge your allegiance to Brandon Phillips’ smile.

12. EAT ALL THE GOETTA. And LaRosa’s. And Graeter’s. Now start training for the Flying Pig.

13. Find your favorite city park with your favorite view of the skyline against Kentucky. Feel safe tucked away in the hills. Ponder about the meaning of life.

14. Roll your windows down and go 10 miles over the speed limit on the Roebling Bridge. Listen to the whirring sound. Just do it.

15. Develop a deep love for all things Cincinnati and defend your city when people talk shit. Recognize that you are a part of something larger than yourself — that Cincinnati isn’t just the Queen City — it’s a community and a network and a lineage of diverse Midwesterners who all contribute to making this place a force to be reckoned with.

Oh, and read CityBeat.

 
 
by Hannah McCartney 11.13.2013
Posted In: Fun, Culture, Humor, Life at 03:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
 
 
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Penis Sighting at Nippert Stadium

There was a 100-yard penis at UC yesterday and nobody told us about it

UPDATED 3:29 P.M. "This definitely puts Nippert Stadium in a hard place."
"He just wanted to stick it to the man."
"Hopefully the dean doesn't blow up in his face." — Staff writer German Lopez

UPDATED 3:28 P.M. "If that prankster doesn't keep it up, he might just get off with a warning." — Hannah McCartney

UPDATED 3:22 P.M. "You didn't say anything about this guy potentially getting caught and getting the shaft
." — Staff writer Ge
rman Lopez

Snow angels are for rookies. And snow penises, evidently, are for University of Cincinnati students.

Somehow the folks at Hypervocal and Uproxx caught wind of this before us because we spent all morning trying to fix our blogging system, but someone took advantage of Monday night's snowfall in a non-traditional way, if by non-traditional you mean drawing a humongous awkwardly and disproportionately-shaped penis on the field at University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium.

According to the Hypervocal and Uproxx stories, a UC student took a photo of the public work of art and Tweeted the image, but deleted it later because she felt guilty about it . Of course, by then it was too late, and now it will live down in penis-themed viral web content forever.

I want to make a lot of jokes about this, but Hypervocal and Uproxx have already had a BALL doing that themselves.

Jizz Angle



No word yet if the student has been PENalized.
 
 
by Hannah McCartney 11.08.2013
Posted In: Fun, Humor, Culture, Is this for real? at 03:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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The Many Twitter Faces of John Cranley

John Cranley had only a few unsullied hours of golden time on social media to celebrate his mayoral win on Wednesday before he became the subject of at least two Twitter accounts created solely to troll him, and they're worth a follow if you'd describe your sense of humor as somewhat to very immature or are still totally salty about Cran-man's victory.

So far, we know of @CranleyVille and @MayorCranley, both of which have taken to creating alternate, highly egotistical and cartoon-like depictions of our new mayor.

While whoever is behind CranleyVille clearly has more time on his or her hands (whoever it is tweeted 90 times in three days),  both provide some pretty amusing fodder for 4 p.m. on a Friday afternoon.

Why social media has quickly taken to poking fun at Cranley in every way possible — or whether or not a Qualls victory would have brought something like an "Afghan Girl Qualls" to life — we'll never know. And while CityBeat holds a great deal of respect for the mayoral position and for Cranley, that doesn't mean we're not allowed to be immature and laugh a little bit.

Oh, and here's the real deal, too.
 
 
by Hannah McCartney 11.07.2013
Posted In: Music, Culture at 01:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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This Could Be Ohio's New State Country Song

For whatever reason, Americans deem it a necessary source of pride for us to award the states we live in all sorts of symbolic attributes, such as an official state amphibian (Ohio: spotted salamander), official state muffin (Minnesota: blueberry) or an official state "sport" (Maryland: walking?). And Oklahoma's unofficial state sport is apparently obesity — their official meal is "fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken-fried steak, black-eyed peas, and pecan pie."

Now, there's a very real possibility that sometime soon, the state of Ohio will add to its arsenal of symbols (our state drink is tomato juice?) by adopting its own state "Country" anthem: On Wednesday, Nov. 6, Ohio Rep. Nick Barborack (D-Lisbon) introduced House Bill 330 to the general assembly, which would give the state an official Country song called "Ohio" by Lisbon, Ohio musician Zach Paxson.

Here's the song that's been Ohio's official, official song since 1969:


Old-timey, for sure, but at least there's some pretty imagery thrown in there. Everybody likes moonlit streams and freedom.

And we all know "Hang on Sloopy," the '60s Pop Rock ditty that was actually wasn't designated our state Rock song until 1985, when the House passed a resolution with a bunch of references to the song, including phrases like: 

WHEREAS, "Hang On Sloopy" is of particular relevance to members of the Baby Boom Generation, who were once dismissed as a bunch of long-haired, crazy kids, but who now are old enough and vote in sufficient numbers to be taken quite seriously; and

WHEREAS, Adoption of this resolution will not take too long, cost the state anything, or affect the quality of life in this state to any appreciable degree, and if we in the legislature just go ahead and pass the darn thing, we can get on with more important stuff.

The '80s were a weird time for a lot of things, so this makes a lot of sense. The introduction of Paxson's song, however, feels a little out of the blue.

Paxson's video, and the lyrics to the song, from Paxson's website (SIC to the errors):


Austin Texas was a great place
but I couldn’t wait to get home with a big smile on my face
and see those green farms and factories
as I made my way through my favorite city’s
Chorus
So give me a cold one at the end of the day
and a “w” for the scarlet and gray
this still is the greatest place that I’ve ever known
OHIO, OHIO
Every morning I pass them
in their work boots and their business suits but we all come from the same roots
and we’re the keeper of great names
cause we got the rock ‘n’ roll and the football hall of fame
Chorus
So give me a cold one at the end of the day
and a “w” for the scarlet and gray
this still is the greatest place that I’ve ever known
OHIO, OHIO

Chorus
So give me a cold one at the end of the day
and a “w” for the scarlet and gray
this still is the greatest place that I’ve ever known
OHIO, OHIO, we’re the pulse of America here in the heart of it all
OHIO

What do you think of it? I only made it through the first 30 secondsI grew up in a rural town and any varietal of  Country music makes me hurt inside. Plus, I found the video, which is a kind of schizophrenic mix of a bunch of really blurry photos accompanied by WordArt lyrics, hard to watch.

Clearly, I'm biased, and I don't really get why there are several politicians taking the time to lobby for this to join "Hang on Sloopy" and "Beautiful Ohio." The bill is just waiting to be signed to a committee, so it will be awhile before a decision is made. But it's worth thinking about. Does it deserve to join the ranks of Ohio's tomato juices and bullfrogs? Or are state symbols just generally not supposed to make any sense?

 
 
by Hannah McCartney 11.06.2013
Posted In: Fun, Drinking, Culture at 12:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
 
 
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Cincinnati's Trivia Nights

Here are places you can marry your loves for drinking and being nerdy

Nerds tend to gravitate toward other nerds because it's okay to talk about things like Star Wars, city referendums and why Apple products are superior to anything that is not an Apple product. Social drinkers tend to like hanging out with other social drinkers so that everyone's jokes seem funnier and it feels OK to eat enough nachos to serve a small family or do things like jump in public fountains.

Much like peanut butter and jelly or Wes Anderson movies and white people, when combined these two traits form a harmonious swirl of glee and whimsy.

There are myriad watering holes around Cincinnati with trivia nights featuring prizes and all sorts of food and drink specials and cash prizes for winning teams. Here are a bunch organized by day. 


MONDAYS:

Brew House 

 Mondays, 7:30-9:30 p.m., 1047 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills, (513) 961-9058
Win gift certificates to the Brew House.

Mount Lookout Tavern

Mondays, 8 p.m., 3209 Linwood Ave., Mount Lookout, (513) 871-9633
$50 1st Place. 

Neons Unplugged

Mondays, 7 p.m., 208 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 827-9361.


TUESDAYS:

Jefferson Social

Tuesdays, 10 p.m., 101 East Freedom Way, The Banks, (513) 381-2623.
$40 1st Place.

Mayday 
Tuesdays, 8 p.m., 4227 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, (513)-541-0999
 
Willie’s Western Hills
Tuesdays, 9 p.m., and Thursdays, 7 p.m., 6380 Glenway Ave., Western Hills, (513)-922-3377

WEDNESDAYS:

Avenue Brew 

Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 310 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, Ky., (859) 261-4381

Flipdaddy’s

Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 7453 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, (513) 272-2337

Keystone Hyde Park 

Wednesdays, 8 p.m., 3384 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, (513) 321-2150.
Drink specials, $40 1st Place.

Molly Malone’s

Wednesdays, 8 p.m., 112 E. 4th St., Covington, Ky., (859)-491-6659
$2 draft special and prizes.


Longworth's

Wednesdays, 8 p.m. 1108 Gregory St., Mount Adams, (513)-651-2253
Drink specials, 1/2 price apps.


Next Chapter

Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 940 Pavilion St., Mount Adams, (513)-381-1905


THURSDAYS:

Beer Sellar

Thursdays, 8 p.m., 301 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., (859) 431-6969
$35 1st Place - $20 for best team name.


Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments.
 
 
by Maija Zummo 10.11.2013
Posted In: Culture at 10:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Three-Year-Old Talks to His Poop (Viral Video)

Apparently there's a lot of it

Cheesestring, poutine, pickle chips, an apple, chocolate thingies, more chocolate thingies — this kid has seriously inhaled a shit ton of food. And now he's worried about overflowing the toilet. In his words, ugh.


 
 
by Jac Kern 09.11.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Humor, Movies, Culture at 01:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Back-to-school shopping was always pretty fun as a kid, but for child divas of the ‘80s and ‘90s, Lisa Frank made school supplies more than just educational basics — they were Technicolor accessories you were allowed to bring to school! Lisa Frank produced folders, posters, backpacks, pencils, notebooks and other craft and school supplies in the ‘80s and ‘90s that featured vibrant, colorful characters. It's like a child-friendly acid trip come to life. As The Atlantic reveals below, Lisa Frank is actually a real person and, despite the fact that she is a very private person, she recently gave a brief promotional interview after Urban Outfitters bought her vintage stock. Check it out, take the hand of a rainbow tuxedoed panda and walk down memory lane (and look out for a young Mila Kunis!) as you peek into Lisa Frank Incorporated:


Today, as Americans and people across the world remember 9/11, concerned about a possible war between the United States and Syria, young people are left with one question: What rhymes with hug me? Yes, Robin Thicke's “Blurred Lines,” the song version of that friend who was really fun at a party but doesn't know when to throw the towel in and call a cab, features plenty of questionable lyrics, but "You wanna hug me/What rhymes with hug me" has turned the average Top 40 listener into a regular investigative reporter. What does rhyme with “hug me?!” Thankfully, the WRWHM lyric generator is here to help, with a variety of fun options. Unfortunately, if you’re a rhyme Nazi like myself, you’ll be disappointed to find many non-rhyming examples, similar to the assumed "fuck me" in the song. (He's inferring "fuck me," right? Right?!)

Fifty Shades of Grey, the Twilight fan fiction that made it OK for women to openly read shitty romance novels again (thank god!), has been on its way to the silver screen for a while now. All the while, fans have been speculating who would portray the book’s main characters, particularly the BDSM-loving Christian Grey. Well, wait no more, horny moms — Sons of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam will soon be the recipient of endless deliveries of cable ties and Lane Bryant panties, as he is officially the face of Mr. Grey. I guess this is a good move for him because every human with a vagina will throw their dollars and undies at anything Shades, but Jax Teller? Really? Taking on the role of Grey’s girl, Ana, is Dakota Johnson, daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, who I’ve referred to as “the Stanford girl who slept with Justin Timberlake in The Social Network” more than once. Here are some peeps who turned down the roles.

Four years ago, Mac from Always Sunny (in Season Five’s “The World Series Defense”) wrote a very emotional, sticker-filled letter to Philadelphia Phillies’ second baseman Chase Utley. It’s been a long wait, but Utley finally responded.


Ever want to watch celebrities recount their first sexual encounters to your favorite Full House heartthrob? I know, you’ve been waiting for years. Finally, here’s Losing It With John Stamos.

Australian comedian Chris Lilley is back with a new project featuring one of fans’ favorite characters. For those unfamiliar with the comic chameleon that is Lilley, cancel all of your plans, log onto HBO Go (or borrow someone’s account) and watch Summer Heights High and Angry Boys (Lilley’s first series, We Can Be Heroes, is not available to stream anywhere as far as I can tell, but you should buy that shit if you can find it). Lilley makes these amazing mockumentary-style series in which he plays multiple characters, often different genders, ages and nationalities, and he does so in a way that is so realistic, poignant, raw and hilarious, you’d really have to think twice before calling it “drag” or “blackface” — he becomes these characters.

In Lilley’s upcoming series, he will reprise his role of Ja’mie King, prissy bitch supreme featured in WCBH and SHS. Ja'mie: Private School Girl will debut on HBO Nov. 24. Please enjoy this Ja’mie mash-up, you fugly povos.

And as we welcome on new series, we say goodbye to another: True Blood will end after its seventh season next summer. Bon Temps better go out with a bang. And by bang, I mean a barrage of full-frontals (Spoilers!).

 
 
by Zohair Hussain 09.04.2013
Posted In: Culture, TV/Celebrity, Music at 11:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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'Blurred Lines': Styled vs. Sensationalized, or Why 'We Can’t Stop'

As readers' interests shift, integrity seems to lose its main market in reporting

Following last week’s “scandal” at the MTV Video Music Awards, the pacing of news and reporting made itself known as a speed force to be reckoned with. In the minute-by-minute duration and aftermath of the performance of one, Miley Cyrus, and her “partner in crime”, Robin Thicke, new age media came together to do what it does best: twitter our feed with dribble and spit-up commentary.

It can’t be denied that news reporting, in many ways, is stepping further away from hard facts and closer to tabloid gossip. In a day and age where Twitter is the new paperboy, it can’t be denied that the facts are coming faster. And while this could be an opportunity for better news, more quickly, more often than not we’re trading chances for quick links to real stories with 140 character quips on MC-Hammer-like “did you see her butt”s (#chauvanistsforCyrus).

The real disappointment comes, though, when we look to major media outlets (Still trusted by some. Take off the aluminum hat, Johnny.) the next day for hard-hitting news, only to see that they’ve decided to throw their own hats in the ring. With prize-winning headlines such as CNN’s “Miley Cyrus twerks, stuns VMAs crowd,” the morning news was just as obsessed as the evening newsfeed.

As a reporter, a writer, an observer, this obsessive, sprawling focus is what scares me most. It isn’t the performance itself, full of dancers dressed as teddy bears or Cyrus’ gyrating hips on Thicke’s overly hyped crotch (See “Blurred Lines” for more details). It isn’t so much the event that took place, as it was the reactive reports that left an extra, bitter after taste to my morning coffee.

Even arts reporting, perceived to have more lenient, pop-culture laced subject matter, used to hold itself to similar standards of respectful re-tellings of facts rather than fiction. Though there had once been a clear distinction between opinion pieces and news articles, even in the realm of aesthetic focus, the lines are suddenly more blurred than ever. And where does that leave us, the “responsible” voices?

Culture is, in many ways, defined by the voices that carry out its most essential conversations. If we are of the few so lucky as to have a readership, our words carry the weight of decades of said cultural insight and historical backing. What do we have to say for ourselves when these words, our influence, sacrifice authenticity for celebrity? Integrity for popularity? What are we really accomplishing when we re-draw the line between honest reporting and scandalized, gossip mongering, and honest words inch closer to the latter? What would our (fore)mothers say?

This isn’t to say that there aren’t some voices, some news outlets out there, who aren’t doing it right. While most couldn’t look away from Cyrus’ extended tongue (search “Venom” and “Marvel Comics” for more details), The Guardian, for example, wouldn’t look past the more subtly digressive implications of the performance. Did you miss the moment where the young, stage-dominant, Caucasian Miley Cyrus groped her not so white back up dancers? (The Guardian didn’t.)  

Some took an even more seasoned route, using temperance techniques to stop the sensational train in its tracks. In Rolling Stone's initially deceptive write up, “It's Miley, Bitch: The Tongue That Licked the World”, Rob Sheffield gave a more balanced account of the 2013 Video Music Awards, mentioning Cyrus almost in passing, and spending his time taking equal shots at all the stars involved in what he said was MTV’s attempt to make “sure this year’s VMA party was a real show. With a little help from Miley."

I ask again: What are we creating when we allow objectivity to bend to the will of popular demand, asking for glitter and jazz and sensationalized headlines? Nothing. We are creating a secular sinkhole of informational access. We lead our readers right back where they started.

And that says to me that there must be a change made. The truth is, we CAN stop. If we want to.

Why can’t we create insight, rather than propagate fan mongering, rather than cling to one star's fateful decision to wear her teddy bear out that night? Let the reporters report and the readers decide. It’s now or never. Robin Thicke will age (even more so, it seems) Miley Cyrus will find Disney again (and a few more times after that), “Blurred Lines” will find its way off the Billboard charts (catchy can only be caught for so long), but the honest word —that will last for…at least a few more years.

 

 
 

 

 

 
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