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.)
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.
Findlay After Four is a new way to promote shopping at Findlay Market on Thursdays between 4-6 p.m. The goal is to make sure
Findlay Market frequenters and newcomers alike are aware of the market’s
The hope is to drive more shoppers to the market and
begin to chip away at the confusion around market hours. Even though
Findlay is packed with shoppers and vendors during the weekends, but
things tend to quiet down during the week — especially later in the day,
but Findlay After Four is looking to change that while encouraging
vendors and merchants to stay open until the market’s later hours.
Every Thursday, Findlay Market has a variety of activities planned to encourage people to take the time to visit the market and shop. Beginning at 4 p.m. later today, there will be a cooking demonstration by a guest chef, and recipe cards will be handed out so shoppers can take them and find ingredients for the dish throughout Findlay. Christian Moerlein and MadTree beers will be available at the OTR Biergarten, and there will be a raffle and giveaways. There will be new activities each Thursday through August.
Findlay Market reminds me in so many ways of the time I spent studying abroad in Paris, France, where there really aren’t any supermarkets or grocery stores. In Paris, if you want groceries, flowers, or even a new pet, you go to the market. There are markets all over the city and they’re just beautiful — always bustling with friends, family, and the smell of freshly baked bread. After my time in France, I had a newfound appreciation for the marketplace. Going there has always been a mixture of a family tradition and a field trip: my mom shopped there with her parents and brother every week growing up, but after spending my childhood in the suburbs, it was always hard for her to find the time to take me down there for family grocery shopping trips as often as she’d liked — which makes me even more excited for the idea of Findlay After Four.
I’m especially looking forward to a new excuse to make the trek from West Chester to Findlay Market. I feel so lucky to have such a link to my mom’s past and her family traditions, as well as a way to connect with my hometown in such a diverse environment. Not only is Findlay Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market; it’s also a year-round home to dozens of food merchants selling meat, fish, fresh produce, flowers, cheese and — my favorite part — it boasts the largest tea selection in the Midwest at Churchill’s. It’s also a gathering place for street performers, farmers markets, shoppers and people watchers.
For more information on hours, vendors and special events, visit www.findlaymarket.org.
There's $100,000 on the line waiting to be handed out to 12 ambitious groups of Cincinnatians with big ideas, and every applicant is hoping to earn your vote.
They're all contestants in Cincinnati Innovates, a
contest designed to support Cincinnatians with progressive,
transformative ideas of any kind — and sometimes they're pretty quirky. This year there's an entry to raise awareness about how to steep tea, one for a woman named Mickey who wants to expand her CheeseSicles (frozen cheesecake on a stick) biz, another proposal that wants to develop a local indoor shrimp farm and one that wants funding to make "Bitch Bras" for dogs. But go look for yourself...there are plenty more, including the folks behind the Please and Carriage House Farm outdoor dinner series, recently profiled in a CityBeat cover story here.
Some of the proposals have a potential to impact not just Cincinnati, but also the great, big world outside us. Voting ends July 15, so there's still time to shake up the rankings; the proposal with the most votes when the polls close will win $2,500, but the rest will be doled out by judges after deliberation.
Last year the top winner was "Skinny Mom," spearheaded by Brooke Griffin. Griffin won $25,000 to support her network of mom bloggers who share info on food, fashion, fitness and family trends.
The applicants who've earned the top 5 votes so far are as follows:
1.) 3DLT.com - These guys want to create an online database based off the iStockphoto model, instead for 3D designs that can be purchased and printed at home, online or at a local 3D print shop. If you haven't heard about 3D printing, you probably will soon — it's what gave Buttercup the duck a new leg and it can also be used to print things like eyeglasses, jewelry, casts and tons of other things. Their website is already up and running, but they're looking for support to work on making 3D printing more accessible to the public.
2.) Fly Up Fitness - Applicant Brent Kruithof's inspiration for Fly Up Fitness, the portable fitness device, arose from his frustration with his busy schedule that made it difficult to make trips to gym. His "Fly Up" device uses body weight as resistance to exercise chest muscle, but the video shows a bunch of other ways to get your fitness on that don't look too terribly intimidating.
3.) Perfect Pass - This one's targeting a pretty specific market: quarterbacks. Pat McLaughlin, football coach at Moeller High School, developed "Perfect Pass" to train quarterbacks to throw a football properly by building muscle memory.
4.) Please & Carriage House Education Kitchen - CityBeat last month covered Please & Carriage House Farm's dynamic outdoor dining series taking place this summer, and now the duo is looking for funding to grow its system into a full-scale facility offering "education kitchen" classes and workshops to encourage the community to use and appreciate local, healthy foods.
5.) Fit Mommies - There is apparently a humongous and very active community of moms trying to get rid of their pooches. Fit Mommies is a local workout program designed specifically for prenatal and postnatal fitness. They're hoping to win so they can expand the business into a mobile app and an online workout platform.
Hopefully, you've heard about CityBeat's first Answers Issue by now, and hopefully, by now you've submitted plentiful golden, glowing and totally insightful questions you want us to answer.
If you haven't, however, there's still time to rack your brain for the most stump-worthy questions about life in Cincinnati so we, CityBeat's faithful editorial staff, can do some sleuthing, drink some Red Bull, make
some calls, read some files, spend a few hours on Google, hit up the
library, talk to some fortune-tellers — whatever we can to get your
Ask us questions about
life in the Queen City you want
answered — that means anything on city politics, arts and culture, food, sports,
neighborhoods, E. coli in the Ohio River, bird law, what an inmate eats for breakfast at the Hamilton County Justice Center, etc. Whatever's on your mind.
You submit your question (check out the Answers Issue page here),
and our dutiful reporting team will pick the ones we like best, divide
them up and bring you back the answers in an issue sourced directly from
you guys. Your questions will be anonymous when we print them.
We could use a lot more questions, you inquiring minds. Here's the question submissions form.
Remember The Greatest Event in Television History, the 15-minute special on Adult Swim in which Jon Hamm and Adam Scott remade the intro to ‘80s detective series Simon & Simon, shot-by-shot? If not, watch the clip here, and stick around after the credits for the original theme song to truly appreciate the attention to detail.
Well, as you’ll hear from impeccable host Jeff Probst in the clip below, he lied to us last year. It wasn’t the greatest event in television history. THIS IS:
That's right, Adam Scott and Amy Poehler (with help from Horatio Sans) recreated the beginning credits to Hart to Hart, another ‘80s detective drama. Here’s the original:
If your significant other suddenly begins behaving differently — working late hours, cancelling plans, hanging out with new people you’ve never met, being secretive — there’s a possibility he or she may be cheating on you. You have two options: confront your loved one with honesty and concern and try to repair your relationship or call Cheaters.
Now in its 13th season, Cheaters really is one of those bottom-of-the-barrel shows.First of all, Spoiler Alert: Yes, they’re cheating on you. No one’s paying a camera crew to document some anticlimactic shit. Secondly, people (myself included) actually watch these public, messy splits as entertainment! Who would sign up for this?
For those classier than I who’ve never seen the show, here’s the gist: Cheaters sends a surveillance crew to investigate a suspicious complaintant’s partner. After a few days of “detective work,” the show’s host brings the evidence to the complaintant and offers them the chance to confront the cheater (generally in a very public and/or embarrassing situation). Of course, they do. Madness ensues.
Cheaters’ longtime host Joey Greco rose to iconic status
when, during the confrontation of a woman’s cheating boyfriend, he was stabbed
in the gut by the fleeing boyfriend. Later evidence suggests the stabbing might
have been staged, but Greco will forever go down in reality TV infamy as the man who would take
a knife to reunite a woman with the man who cheated on her…or something. Sadly,
Greco stepped down as host in 2012, a fact I was not aware of until this
weekend when I caught the show during some late-night channel surfing. It turns
out Grecs has been replaced by a younger host with a certain
junkie dead-eyed je ne sais quoi.