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.
The next 48 hours or so present a trifecta of holidays: Saturday is Record Store Day, Sunday is Earth Day, and, thanks to a group of teens in 1971, today (4-20) is unofficially Weed Day. Surely we can find a way to celebrate all three this weekend.
Visionaries and Voices, the Northside gallery that works with artists with disabilities, hosts its annual art auction gala Saturday. Double Vision features live and silent auctions featuring artwork from 20 local artists and other prizes, music by Magnolia Mountain and DJ Mowgli, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. The event runs 7-11 p.m. at Memorial Hall; tickets are $50.
While April 22 is officially Earth Day, celebrations take place all weekend long. Cincinnati's 42nd Annual Earth Day Celebration takes over Sawyer Point Saturday from noon-5 p.m. The free event features exhibits, entertainment, kids activities and various recycling opportunities. Go here for a full list of local Earth Day events and be sure to pick up this week's Green Issue, featuring lots of environmental opportunities and the Central Ohio River Valley Local Foods Guide.
Cincinnati is lucky to have numerous quality, independent music retailers around town. From Everybody's Records to Shake It, we all have some great music memories thanks to these stores. Record Store Day, the third Saturday of April, is devoted to celebrating indie music shops and the music they help promote. Each year on this day, these stores present live music, limited releases and sales. Go here to check out local Record Store Day happenings.
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.
Flynt is currently touring in support of his book, One Nation Under Sex: How the Private Lives of Presidents, First Ladies and their Lovers Changed the Course of American History. He will sign copies of the book starting at 7 p.m. The first 25 guests will receive a free gift bag.
Flynt added a Hustler location Downtown last year on Seventh Street, not to be confused with his brother Jimmy Flynt's store on Elm Street — the two have been involved in a long-standing financial feud.
Check out this video from Commonwealth Club of California with Flynt and Eisenbach as they discuss stories and implications from One Nation.
Fans will recognize Odenkirk from Mr. Show, Breaking Bad and countless other TV appearances, where he generally plays a cheap, arrogant skeezball. Let's Do This is no different.
Let's Do This also stars hilarious "I've seen that guy in a million things" comedians like Jerry Minor (Delocated's Mighty Joe Jon, The Black Blonde), Brian Posehn (The Sarah Silverman Program) and Cincinnati-native Andre Hyland (The Jesse Miller Talk Show, Tracy, Dean & Jesus) all star in the video.
Check back with Adultswim.com for Let's Do This updates.
Popular PBS series and appraisal show pioneer Antiques Roadshow has come to Cincinnati to film an episode locally. Film crews can be seen at various area landmarks such as Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the American Sign Museum and the appraisal site, Duke Energy Convention Center.
Host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Lark Manson were scheduled to visit the zoo today to discuss the rhino population crisis and its relation to antique trading. The crew will stop by the American Sign Museum Friday with Walberg and appraiser Leila Dunbar to cover 20th century vintage signage and get some vibrant shots of the local attraction.
Saturday is the big day for the lucky 6,000 expected guests in attendance. From 8 a.m.-5 p.m., more than 70 appraisers will be on-site at the Duke Energy Center to assess the value of more than 12,000 vintage toys, antique furniture, knick-knacks and plenty of other items. Of all stops on Antiques Roadshow's six-city tour, Cincinnati's show received that highest number of ticket requests (more than 37,000). Antiques Roadshow attendees are selected at random prior to the event.
The episode is set to air on PBS in 2013. The show previously filmed an episode in Cincinnati in 1998.
Watch July 21st, 2012 -- ROADSHOW Comes to Cincinnati, OH! on PBS. See more from Antiques Roadshow.
In my opinion, costumes are imperative to any good October outing, but a successful ensemble doesn’t have to be complicated. Pulling from pop culture — from favorite movies and TV shows to current events — is a perfect way to find a culturally-relevant costume. (And, speaking of cultures, make sure you don’t select a get-up that mocks one. Racist costumes, much like Daniel Tosh, are way more offensive than clever or funny.)
Dressing like your fave TV characters is always a hit. Most television networks sell costumes coinciding with their top shows online. Pay homage to the first season of American Horror Story by dressing as the Rubberman or sporting the creepy Larry Harvey burn-face mask. FX also offers costumes from Wilfred, Archer and The League. More of a Kenny Powers fan? Get his Miami Mermen look here because, in case you missed it, Powers is coming back fucking soon. Since creating your own costume is almost always preferred, put on your DIY cap and peep inspiration from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and 30 Rock.
Whether you're throwing a Halloweekend party or just want to experience the weekend from your couch, peep this week's Halloween-inspired TV picks here. AMC, Syfy, ABC Family and other networks will be showing marathons of horror classics, family-friendly favorites and everything in between, in addition to new holiday-themed episodes of your favorite shows.
And while there are tons of horror movies in theaters this weekend, Hollywood continues its butchery of all things sacred with the remake of Carrie. It's not in theaters 'til March 2013, but the trailer does look pretty creepy.
Off the screen
and onto politics, this being an election year promises plenty of Romney- and
Obama-inspired costumes. Expect plenty of down-and-out Big Birds, binders full of women
and horses-n-bayonets. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing Workout Ken 2012,
aka a guy dressed as Paul Ryan from his P90XXX Time Magazine photo shoot.
Fellas, all you need are some earbuds, a red ball cap, grey T-shirt and some
free weights (fake ones if you’re not as ripped as Romney’s running mate.) Make it work!
What’s orange, fiery and generally terrifying? No, not The Great Pumpkin. The Donald! Trump recently dropped his “October Surprise,” an announcement that had bloggers speculating all week. The statement, supposed to be detrimental to the Obama campaign, spurred rumors of everything from Obama’s alleged coke-dealing past to a failing relationship with his wife. But what recently surfaced was even lamer than all of that.
Trump has requested that Obama release his college transcripts as well as his full passport records by 5 p.m. Oct. 31 (there’s the Halloween tie-in!) and he will donate $5 million to any charities of the president’s choosing. So, essentially, more birther bullshit. Yawn. Last time I checked, Trump had about the same amount of political pull as Lindsay Lohan, so I doubt this bears any consequence on the upcoming election, but it would be nice to see Obama stick it to the grotesque ginge and, hence, idiots everywhere, one last time.
Miley Cyrus hosted and performed on Saturday Night Live this weekend and I have to admit — she rocked it. You have to give it to the writers for coming up with some original ways to incorporate her recent now-ubiquitous scandals (VMAs, buzzworthy music videos, ever-exposed tongue), but MiCy deserves some credit, too.
Bitch may be feuding with Sinead O’Connor and giving twerking a bad name, but she is definitely a solid performer. The weak skits of the night (How dare SNL make a failed attempt at a cheerleader sketch when we all know the Spartans can never be topped? Too soon!) flopped because of poor ideas or shoddy writing, not due to Miley’s lack of acting skills. The trend so far this year is the best skits being prerecorded ones (the Girls spoof with Tina Fey, this week's Fifty Shades of Grey auditions), which kind of defeats the purpose of it being a live show. Nonetheless, the No. 1 sketch of the night perfectly blended a Miley earbug with the government shutdown: “We Did Stop.”
Meanwhile, Nori West is racking up finer garments before her fourth month on Earth (FOR FREE) than the rest of us can probably ever imagine owning. In our adult lives.
In Case You Missed It: Dumb and
Dumber To is actually happening.
Not to be confused with the cringe-worthy 2003 prequel Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (which I totally saw in theaters the day it opened), this Farrelly Brothers sequel will feature OG stars Jim Carrey (Lloyd Christmas) and Jeff Daniels (Harry Dunne) picking up 20 years after the duo’s last adventure. In D&D2, which currently has an unspecified 2014 release date, one of the guys has a long-lost offspring, and they both embark on a journey to find the child in hopes of attaining a new kidney. Kathleen Turner will play Fraida Felcher, a character mentioned but never seen in two scenes of the original (Below). Sounds like she's the baby mama. And SPOILER ALERT: Jennifer Lawrence will make a surprise cameo as a young Fraida. Hopefully we’ll get to see the French Tickler in action. Billy the blind kid and Sea Bass will also return, played by their respective original actors.
And because behind-the-scenes movie peeks are so fun, here’s Quvenzhane Wallis on the set of Annie with her near-identical stunt double who is at least three times Q’s age. The Jay Z and Will Smith-produced remake, due in theaters during Christmastime next year, will also star Jamie Foxx in the Daddy Warbucks role, appropriately renamed “Benjamin Stacks.”
Although it’s been 13 years since Freaks
and Geeks originally graced our television screens, longtime fans and
newcomers discovering the fantastic series on Netflix or IFC can now experience
McKinley High in a whole new way. The Fine Brothers, Internet creatives behind
the popular React series, developed a Freak and Geeks
choose-your-own-adventure game that combines great television, old-school video
games and your inner 10-year-old’s favorite genre of books. Players can
actually click on different choices in the YouTube video, leading them to new
videos based on their selections. Play now!
Watch what you say to Siri: That robot voice on your phone is actually a real lady! Recently, we learned Lisa Frank is an actual, live human. Next up: Siri. Voice actress Susan Bennett has come forward as the woman behind the mysterious personal assistant living inside newer Apple mobile devices. The recent Apple software update iOS 7 gives users the option of a new “male” Siri voice, prompting Bennett to reveal Siri’s original real-life counterpart. Meet her here.
Check out these cool paintings on coins: