CityBeat Blogs - Culture http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/blogs-1-1-1-33-101.html <![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 11/21-11/23]]>

Things to leave the house for all weekend. Shopping. Holiday stuff. Music. Plays. Food. 

On Friday:

  • The Germania Society hosts a traditional German Christmas market all weekend — Christkindlmarkt — including hot mulled wine and Saint Nicholas.
  • ArtWorks hosts its last Secret ArtWorks fundraiser ever. Buy a ticket, get a secret 5-by-7-inch artwork. (Plus food, alcohol and live music.)
  • In other shopping news, BuyCincy (formerly Unchained Cincinnati) supports a weekend shopping-local initiative with more than 200 Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati small businesses. Buy local and get entered to win prizes.
  • You can also catch Hansel and Gretel (the opera) at CCM or Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors at Cincy Shakes.
  • Jamaican Queens bring their imagining of an Electropop seance between Joy Division and Deadmau5 to MOTR Pub.
On Saturday:
  • Lots of sparkly holiday stuff. The Zoo illuminates with the annual Festival of Lights celebration (including the option to purchase hot chocolate with booze in it). Eden Park also lights up with Balluminaria — a dozen or so hot air balloons glow on Mirror Lake.
  • Northside hosts the Northside Record Fair. Find vinyl, cassettes, music memorabilia and more. Pay an extra $5 and get in an hour early.
  • Head to the Cincinnati Art Museum to check out some street art in curator Brian Sholis' Eyes on the Street.
  • If you miss the original Dusmesh, the former owners opened a new Indian restaurant called Swad in College Hill. Our reviewer tried it and the food tastes as good as you remember.  
On Sunday:
  • Go global. Before you overload on turkey next week, try a Taste of Lebanon. Lebanese food, desserts, music and more. 
  • The Victory of Light expo gets metaphysical with seminars on everything from tarot cards and past lives to astrology and meditation.
  • It's the last night for Jessimae Peluso, comedian and start of MTV's Girl Code, at Funny Bone on the Levee. 

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 11/14-11/16]]> If you're feeling super brave and think you can make it from your heated car into a heated venue, then, boy, do we have some events for you this weekend. 

Kicking off on Friday ...
  • Adorable and hilarious musical duo Garfunkel and Oates are at Bogart's tonight.
  • It also happens to be CityBeat's 20th birthday party tonight. Celebrate with us at happy hour at BLDG.
  • Grab your DD and trek yourself out to Jungle Jim's in Fairfield for their International Wine Festival. There's food, vino from around the world and private bathrooms (if you want to upgrade your ticket). It's on Saturday night, too.
  • Still have "Falling Slowly" from the 2006 film Once stuck in your head? Well, if you want to hear someone besides the film's lead Glen Hansard (from The Frames) singing it, you're in luck. Broadway in Cincinnati has brought the Broadway adaptation of Once to the Aronoff Center. Thirteen actors, one Irish pub and a lot of great music. (Through Nov. 23.)
  • It's also the last weekend to catch Into the Woods at the Covedale. (The film version, starring Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine and Emily Blunt, hits theaters in December.)
  • And beat the Black Friday crowd this weekend by buying up locally made and other crafty goods at the Greater Cincinnati Holiday Market. It goes all weekend, and coincides with the Cincy Specialty Food & Treats show. So if you want some ornaments, handmade soap or gourmet olives, the Duke Energy Center is the place to be Friday through Sunday.
  • If you just want to cuddle in a blanket all weekend and have food (pizza, Chinese take-out, etc.) delivered to you, here are Jac's TV recommendations.
Saturday? There's more stuff to do!
  • Local blistering Blues quartet The Whiskey Shambles release their new album at The Drinkery. The event also benefits Save the Animals Foundation.
  • Our film critic tt gave Birdman an 'A.' It's playing at the Esquire Theatre in Clifton.
  • Celebrate the warmth of Latin America at the Latin American Culture Fest at Union Terminal. There's a cultural market, dance, music and a Day of the Dead altar to open up the worlds of Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Cuba and Panama, right in Queensgate. 
  • Kaze is throwing a "Vogue to Rogue" dance party on Saturday to celebrate their split personality as a Japanese gastropub and an excellent party spot.
  • Something colder? How about on ice? It's Star Wars night with the Cincinnati Cyclones. First 1,500 kids through the door get a light saber. 
  • Krohn also kicks off its holiday floral show, Magic and Mistletoe. There's a tiny train chugging through the conservatory, running over bridges and replications of famous landmarks, all made out of willow and locally sourced natural material. 
Sunday…
And on Monday ...
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<![CDATA[Retro-culture Humorist Charles Phoenix Wants to Come to Cincinnati]]>

Charles Phoenix, the California pop culture humorist who came to Dayton Art Institute last night with his slide show of retro-Americana images, managed to find time to visit Cincinnati and take some photos in advance of his performance. He included them in his show.

He called Cincinnati Museum Center’s Union Terminal one of the most magnificent Art Deco structures in America and expressed shock when he learned Hamilton County voters just passed a tax levy to save it. “Who would ever want to tear that down?” he asked.

He also showed slides of the American Sign Museum and asked the Dayton audience if any had ever visited it. Few had and he said that the museum was well-known and well-regarded in Los Angeles, where he lives. He also raved about lunch at Terry’s Turf Club and praised its abundant collection of neon signs — though he observed not all were politically correct.

Phoenix said he thought Ohio was a veritable ripe orchard of retromania, and he wants to do his show in other Buckeye State cities besides Dayton. Cincinnati Museum Center/Union Terminal would seem a pretty perfect place for him to appear next.

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<![CDATA[Something Wicked This Way Comes]]>

October is synonymous with Halloween, haunted houses, harvest festivals and more-sexy-than-scary costume balls. Whether you plan on being a slutty nurse, a moody John Snow, your basic zombie or Dracula, the Tristate offers more than enough events for you to get your freaky on all haunting season.

BAR EVENTS 
Arnold's Halloween Blackout — Arnold's hosts a Halloween Blackout party, tapping eight hard-to-find seasonal black stouts including Rivertown's Deateh, Southern Tier's Warlock, MadTree's Are You Ready for the Darkness, Bell's Java Stout, Bad Tom Smith's, 50 West, Listermann's Lateral Nitro Oatmeal Sweet Stout and Great Lakes Brewing aged black stout. Live music from the Hot Magnolias. Beers tapped at 4 p.m.; music at 9 p.m. Oct. 31. Free. Arnold's Bar and Grill, 210 E. Eighth St., Downtown, arnoldsbarandgrill.com.

Fear of the Dark — The bar’s fourth annual celebration of dark beers featuring Southern Tier’s Warlock, Great Divide’s Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti and more (while supplies last). 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Oct. 23-31. Free entry; beers cost money. The Lackman, 1237 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, lackmanbar.com

Halloween Concert at the Littlefield — Party for a good cause! Hiders and the Perfect Children will be performing, while the Littlefield serves you up food, beer and drink specials all night! There will be a costume contest as well, so dress to impress! Proceeds will benefit the Cincinnati Northside Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation. All night. Oct. 31. Free. The Littlefield, 3934 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, littlefieldns.com

Japp's Halloween Eve Dance Party — Ring in Halloween with a costume contest, dance party, "scary-delicious" cocktails and prizes. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Oct. 30. Free. Japp's, 1136 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, japps1879.com.

Neon's David Bowie's Labyrinth-Themed Halloween Party and Silent Disco — The Labyrinth will be on the TV all night, David Bowie and Halloween tunes with be on the juke and at the silent disco, you can grab a pair of headphones and dance around all night. 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Oct. 31. Free. 208 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/neonsunplugged.

Pick Your  Poison — People in costumes get $3 Dogfish Head Pumpkin, $4 call cocktails or $5 bombs. Oct. 31. The Righteous Room, 641 Walnut St., Downtown, therighteousroom.com.

Pavilion's 13th Annual Halloween Masquerade — Costume contest, cash prizes, and DJ Big Once. Nov. 1. Free. Mount Adams Pavilion, 949 Pavilion St., Mount Adams, 513-744-9200.

‘Stache Bash at The Stand — In partnership with Movember Cincinnati, The Stand invites you to boogie down on Halloween night! Anyone wearing a mustache (real or fake) gets $3 Yuengling Brewery’s Black & Tan all night! There will also be a costume contest starting at midnight. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Oct. 31. Free. The Stand, 3195 Linwood Ave., Mount Lookout, thestandcincy.com

Wicked Wine Tasting — A costume contest, snacks, door prizes, wine tastings and live music. 4 p.m. Oct. 25. $10. Meier’s Wine Cellars, 6955 Plainfield Road, Silverton, meierswinecellars.com

Zombie Pub Crawl — A spooky slow Covington pub crawl starting at the Cock & Bull Public House then to Pachinko, Zola and finally the Strasse Haus at 11:30 p.m. Awards for best scary and sexy zombie costumes. 10 p.m. Oct. 25. Free. Cock & Bull English Pub, 601 Main St., Covington, Ky., candbpublichouse.com

MASQUERADE AND COSTUME BALLS 
A Wicked Affair — Drinks, dancing and a costume contest in support of organ donation, benefiting the National Kidney Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. 7 p.m. Oct 25. $40. Receptions Banquet and Conference Center, 4450 Eastgate South Drive, Eastgate, 937-763-0474, 513-265-8530, facebook.com/ awickedaffair

Children’s Dyslexia Centers of Cincinnati Halloween Gala — Support the Children’s Dyslexia Centers of Cincinnati by attending a Halloween Gala where guests will be treated to a performance by the Naked Karate Girls while enjoying an evening of dancing, food and drinks. Guests are also invited to help sponsor the event with Gold, Platinum and Diamond packages. 7 p.m. Oct. 25. $30 in advance; $40 at the door; $500 VIP tables. Cincinnati Masonic Center, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, cdcoc.org/halloween

Fashion Angels: The Masquerade — Dress to impress in your best masquerade disguise, all for a great cause. This charitable fashion event benefits the American Cancer Society, Freestore Foodbank, Aubrey Rose Foundation and more while showcasing local designers, singers, dancers and hair and makeup stylists. Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishables for the Freestore Foodbank. 6-11 p.m. Oct. 31. $25. Kings Island Resort & Conference Center, 5691 Kings Island Drive, Mason, fashionangels.org

Pop Art Costume Party — Grab your most vibrant, colorful costume and head to this Art After Dark event. Join the Cincinnati Art Museum in celebration of all things Pop with the opening of Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective. Tours of the special exhibition will meet in the Great Hall at 5:30 p.m. (members only), 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. (public tours). Drinks and appetizers available for purchase. 5-9 p.m. Oct. 31. Free admission; $4 parking; free for Art Museum members. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, cincinnatiartmuseum.org

Scream Acres Haunted House Dance Party — It’s not every day (or even every Halloween) you get to listen to live zombified music in one of the area’s largest and most terrifying haunted houses. But Scream Acres is pulling out all the stops to make this a fright night to remember: it’s opening its doors to a ghoulishly impressive lineup of bands to create a night of costumes, dancing, monsters, and screams. All ages are welcome … if they dare. 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Oct. 31. $14. Scream Acres Ct., 4399 Boron Drive, Covington, Ky., cincyscreams.com

The Malice Ball — Dance the night away in a spectacular masquerade ball while being served by bartender’s from Bakersfield OTR, the Eagle and other OTR favorites. The Malice Ball will also feature light snacks from OTR restaurants, makeup and styling by Rebel Face Makeup, a photo booth and more! DJ Matt Joy will be providing the tunes for the night. All proceeds benefit the Over-the-Rhine Chamber’s Business First Grant Program. Must be 21 years of age or older. 8-12:30 p.m. Oct. 31. $25 advance; $35 at the door. Christian Moerlein Brewing Company, 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine, otrchamber.com

Boogie to Death — Dance Halloween away in Hollywood Casino's Boogie Nights, with 600 feet of lighted dance floor, a haunted maze of horror and costume contest. $1,000 for best overall costume. 9 p.m. Oct. 31. $10. 777 Hollywood Blvd., Lawrenceburg, Ind., hollywoodindiana.com.

For more events, like family-friendly frights, scary movie screenings and haunted tours, click here.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 10/17-10/19]]>

A little bit of this and a little bit of that. 

  1. Cincy Shakes gets a little spooky with a stage adaptation of The BirdsSherman Fracher channels Tippi Hedren. 
  2. Fort Thomas' Village Players tackle Sam Raimi's cult classic, Evil Dead, but in musical form and sans Bruce Campbell. The front row is a designated splatter zone and there will be blood.
  3. Less Halloweeny but with better costumes, Cirque du Soleil is at the Bank of Kentucky Center until Sunday with their Varekai production.
  4. Off stage, the Cincinnati Chocolate Festival heads to the Cintas Center for a day of chocolate tastings, demos, and wine. 
  5. For more wine, head to MainStrasse Village Saturday for the Northern Kentucky Wine Festival. Admission includes a souvenir wine glass and four tasting tickets for the plethora of Bluegrass wines on hand.
  6. Musically, Iceland-based composer Ben Frost brings his album A U R O R A to life at the Contemporary Arts Center. The blend of Electronica and Ambient noise paints an aural landscape that's been compared to Blade Runner
  7. And Sunday, support the de Cavel Family SIDS Foundation by eating an excellent Friends and Family Brunch at the Midwest Culinary Institute. For just $65, you can get fed by some of the best chefs in town. Kids encouraged.
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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 10/10-10/12]]>

 It's the weekend, y'all. 

And as it approaches 5 p.m. on a Friday, you're probably thinking to yourself, "What should I do this weekend?" Why not try one of these …

  1. Watch the all-OTR episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Vine Street turns into Flavortown as Guy Fieri eats his way from Taste of Belgium to Senate and Bakersfield. Airs 10 p.m. Friday on the Food Network (and a bunch of other times.)
  2. See John Waters. The iconic, mustachioed Mr. Waters presents his randy and raunchy one-man monologue, This Filthy World, at Memorial Hall on Saturday at part of FotoFocus. “‘Filthy’ is a word I use as a compliment. To me, it still has a punk edge. It is a joyous word to me." - John Waters.
  3. Make some really effing good pasta. Chef Danny Combs from Sotto reveals how to make restaurant-worthy cacio e pepe (butter, spaghetti, Pecorino cheese and black pepper) at home.  
  4. Tackle the great white wale at Know Theatre. The theater presents Herman Melville’s classic 1851 novel, Moby Dick, adapted for stage Julian Rad.  Co-directed by new artistic director Andrew Hungerford and veteran avant-garde theater artist Michael Burnham, the script has been stripped to its essence and reimagined for Know’s intimate space. 
  5. Trick-or-Treat at the Zoo (or, if you don't have kids, grab a beer and watch different zoo animals try to figure out how to eat a pumpkin). Every Saturday and Sunday in October, the Cincinnati Zoo hosts HallZOOween with trick-or-treat stations, a variety of special pumpkin-themed animal activities with bears, cats, elephants and more and Hogwart’s Express Train Ride. 
  6. Eat some award-winning barbecueCincinnati Parks hosts the city’s first-ever sanctioned State Championship Kansas City Barbeque Competition, where guests can watch pro teams compete to make the perfect barbecue in categories based on meat type — and then taste the results. 
  7. Pick your own pumpkin. Or apples.
  8. Remember how cool books are Books by the Banks (and see Cincinnati native David Bell discuss his latest thriller.)
  9. Celebrate fermented cabbage at the 45th Ohio Sauerkraut Festival. This weekend, visitors to Waynesville, Ohio will eat more than seven tons of SnowFloss Kraut. If you want to tackle the crowd of 350,000, the Waynesville Chamber of Commerce gave us a game plan of some must-try sauerkraut dishes. (And a recipe to make at home in case you don't.) Festgoers must try:

  • Sauerkraut Pizza. Made by the Order of the Eastern Star Masons, the handmade pizzas come in whole pies or slices and are topped with tomato sauce, cheese, green peppers, onions and sauerkraut.
  • Cabbage Rolls. For more than 30 years, St. Augustine's Church has cooked cabbage rolls for the festival — recently, more than 10,000 per weekend. Cooked cabbage leaves are filled with ground beef, rice and spices and covered in tomato sauce.
  • Sauerkraut desserts. The Waynesville Chamber of Commerce will be serving up sauerkraut pie, sauerkraut fudge, sauerkraut brownies and sauerkraut cookies.
  • Sauerkraut Balls. A classic: breaded and fried sauerkraut and bacon, served by the Waynesville fire department.
  • German Sundae. This is a pile of potatoes, topped with kraut, sour cream, cheese, bacon and green olive. (Recipe below.)
Recipe for Sauerkraut German Sundae
Provided by the Sons of the American Legion Post 615, Waynesville

Ingredients:
5 to 6 lbs. sliced or diced potatoes
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
¼ lb butter

Instructions: Seal and bake in 13x9x2 inch baking pan for 1 hour and 45 minutes at 350. Place approximately 8 oz. in bowl and top with the following: 1 Tbsp. cooked sauerkraut; 1 tsp sour cream; and melted cheddar cheese (as desired). Sprinkle with bacon bits, top with green olive.  Makes 10-15 servings. 

For more ideas of things to do, see our staff picks


 

 

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<![CDATA[Cincinnati Ranked No. 3 U.S. Staycation Destination]]> Cincinnati has finally been released from its icy prison, and the citizens have thawed out and are ready to start rebuilding their relationship with the sun. Time to buy a plane ticket for California, right? Nope. Time to explore our own beautiful city. 

A study done by WalletHub, an online personal finance resource, compared the 100 largest U.S. cities using 20 key metrics based on cost expenses and public attractions to find the best place to have a “staycation.” (A staycation is a break from working, but not traveling outside of your city.) Cincinnati was ranked third, officially winning the battle of Ohio for best city; Cleveland was ranked 13th and Columbus can be found on the latter half of the list — specifically at No. 66. 

Here are just a few of the ratings that went toward our third place win (as computed by the site): 
  • 1st: Public golf courses per capita 
  • 2nd: Swimming pools per capita 
  • 5th: Tennis courts per capita 
  • 14th: Museums per capita 
  • 19th: Spas per capita 
  • 63rd: Cost of a movie ticket 
  • 53rd: Cost of a maid service 
  • 1st: Number of parks per capita 
Can’t argue with the facts, especially the fact that Cincinnati has the most public golf courses per capita in the nation. We’ve got public golf courses by airports — Reeves golf course at the Lunken Airport Playfield, where you can play 18 for less than $40 — and we even have golf courses in our amusement parks — The Golf Center at Kings Island, where $41 gets you 18 holes and a cart. 

If golf isn’t your thing — after all, Cincinnati’s summers are hot and damp (Wallethub ranked Cincinnati weather at 33rd) — not to fret, Cincinnati is second in the nation for swimming pools per capita, so staycationers should pack a bathing suit. (Cleveland received the No. 1 rank for swimming pools, a small victory … but also one that opens up a world of jokes involving the Browns and pools.)

It is not a joke, however, to say Cincinnati has myriad beautiful parks, and now we have the statistics to prove it: We’re No. 1. Ault Park, Eden Park, Bellevue Park, Washington Park, Sawyer Point & Yeatman’s Cove, Burnet Woods — wherever you are in Cincinnati there’s a park. Sit on a bench and enjoy them. 

This study serves as an embodiment of what most Cincy natives say about the city: it’s up and coming. People that don’t even live here are telling us how good we have it. Put in a time request at work today and start planning a Cincinnati staycation. 

See the results for yourself here.
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<![CDATA[I Just Can't Get Enough]]>

Cincinnati is now a temporary home for Cate Blanchett (this year’s winner of the Best Actress Oscar for Blue Jasmine), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Side Effects, Her), Sarah Paulson (The American Horror Story anthology, 12 Years a Slave) and Kyle Chandler (The Wolf of Wall Street, Zero Dark Thirty, the Friday Night Lights series) as filming for Todd Haynes’ upcoming movie Carol is in full swing! Some of the stars (and a giant movie crew) were spotted filming at their first location, Eden Park, as well as along US 52 in New Richmond and Spare Time Grill in Alexandria, Ky. The Enquirer’s Glenn Hartong was able to catch a glimpse at Mara and Paulson looking straight out of the '50s filming a scene at the now-closed diner.

Photo: The Enquirer/Glenn Harton. See more photos here.

The film is based on is based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel (published as both Carol and The Price of Salt) about Carol (Blanchett), a wife in a loveless marriage on the brink of divorce who falls in love with a young woman, Therese (Mara). The book was revolutionary at the time for portraying a lesbian relationship, and doing so in a non-stereotypical light. Chandler will portray the titular character’s husband while Paulson plays Abby, Carol’s best friend.

Filming continues this week at a home on Grandin Avenue in Hyde Park. Retro Westside institution Maury’s Tiny Cove will be closed April 1 for a day of filming Blanchett and Mara’s characters’ first date. Cincy Magazine tweeted  that the Cincinnati Club, where the mag’s office is located, will also be used to shoot the film at an unspecified date. We’ll keep an eye out — the building is right across the street from CityBeat’s HQ. Search #carolmovie on Twitter for the latest dish on the movie and its local filming and tweet us if you have a run-in with any of the stars!

Even if Carol wasn’t filmed exclusively in Cincinnati, the adaptation sounds like a great premise for a film. Unfortunately the same can’t be said about most of the recent movies based on books and other, previous movies. This week in remake fuckery, we have Rosemary’s Baby and The Birds — two classic ‘60s horror films undergoing contemporary reworkings. Zoe Saldana will take on Mia Farrow’s iconic role in a made-for-TV version of Rosemary coming to NBC; Transformers director Michael Bay is apparently producing the remake of Hitchcock’s feathery flick. We can only guess that Bay will replace said birds with laser-shooting Velociraptors. 

Now and forever:

Speaking of dinosaurs, paleontologists in Alaska last week discovered a miniature species of tyrannosaurs about half the size of its close relative, the T. rex — essentially, what the prehistoric Paris Hiltons were carrying around in their designer mammoth skin handbags. Teacup-Rex!  

A post I found recently on Imgur (because Reddit still confuses/scares me) recalls the story of when the United Way decided to release 1.5 million helium balloons into the air in Cleveland in 1986, breaking the world record. The photos of the event are stunning, but — as anyone with a tiny bit of foresight could tell you — the mega-balloon launch totally backfired. Not only did this result in more than 1.5 million pieces of plastic trash around the region and as north as Ontario, but also reportedly hindered a missing person search on Lake Erie.

Peep this less dismal, totally ‘80s news segment about the event:

Kermit the Frog rang in the New York Stock Exchange Monday. Muppets Most Wanted opens in theaters Friday.

Everyone’s talking about “Strangers Kissing,” a viral video of 20 strangers making out for the first time that’s actually (somehow) an ad for women’s clothing label Wren. A bit contrived, I suppose, but definitely intriguing and pretty hot.

Jimmy Fallon put his own twist on the vid…with puppies and kitties.

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<![CDATA[Trending Topics]]>

Each week our intern Amber will be exploring what Cincinnatians are interested in by scouring the local Twitter trends and reporting on what she’s found. From serious tweets to goofy hashtags, she’ll highlight what Cincy’s been buzzing about. So get to tweeting, folks.

#RAW
This is a wrestling reference hashtag. I’m sorry, but how was this trending and not Bates Motel? I am ashamed of you, Cincinnati. I know they are both scripted, but at least Bates has good acting and an awesome plot. FYI: Norma Bates did start trending though, thank god. In this week’s episode, Norman visits Ms. Watson’s grave way too much, Norma makes a scene at a city hall meeting and Bradley blasts some guy’s head off and ends up in Norman’s bedroom asking for his help. Poor Norman, surrounded by all these crazy bitches. All you WWE fans better get hip to Bates Motel.

Xavier
Muskie fans were blowing up their newsfeeds expressing their frustration after Monday night’s game when they lost to Seton Hall 71-62. Monday’s upset left many fans complaining about wasting their last Hopslam and chugging too much wine. On top of all the frustration, Matt Stainbrook went down with a knee injury and left the locker room on crutches. Better luck next year? Maybe.

#PLL
I actually watched some of this show, Pretty Little Liars, for once. Awkward used to be my Tuesday night show (don’t judge me), but since Jenna and the crew are AWOL until next season, I figured I’d give this show a shot since I was apparently the only female in Cincy not watching it. I am a few seasons behind, so I don’t really get all the drama and who I should love/hate yet, but not a bad show from what I’ve seen so far. The season finale is Tuesday, March 18 at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.

#19HSHysteria
If this just isn’t confirmation that Cincinnatians are obsessed with their alma maters, then I don’t know what else is. Fox 19 set up a March Madness style bracket of all the high schools in the area and launched a Twitter competition. I’m reppin’ the Newport Wildcats, who already lost in the first round to Simon Kenton. Voting for the North bracket is going on now until midnight tonight.

Ukraine
I saved this one for last for a reason. Ukraine was trending all week. I haven’t been keeping this blog for very long, but nothing has ever stayed trending for an entire week before, as long as I’ve been keeping track. I also saved it for last because honestly, I don’t know what to say about the crisis in Ukraine. I guess it’s good that people are taking to social media for such a serious matter, but most of the people tweeting about it seem more clueless than me. I do know that most Americans want our government to mind their own damn business and do something about those crazy fucking Russians.

Also trending: Oscars, World Cup, #LiesToldByFemales, WCW (can this one just die already,) Taco Bell, #Scandal and The Lakers.

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<![CDATA[Trending Topics]]>

Each week our intern Amber will be exploring what Cincinnatians are interested in by scouring the local Twitter trends and reporting on what she’s found. From serious tweets to goofy hashtags, she’ll highlight what Cincy’s been buzzing about. So get to tweeting, folks. 

#SK2K

Sean Kilpatrick became the second player to score 2,000 career points at UC during the Bearcats’ game against Louisville on Feb. 22. The only other Bearcat who tops his record is Oscar Robertson, "The Big O," whose career points totaled 2,973 by 1960. Fans from Cincinnati and beyond were showing their love for Kilpatrick all over Twitter on Sunday.

#DaleJr

As in Dale Earnhardt Jr., the superstar of NASCAR. Earnhardt won the Daytona 500 for the second year in a row and as part of his celebration, he finally decided to create a Twitter. In 10 hours, the racecar driver accumulated over 450,000 followers — 515,000 by Wednesday and 526,000 by Friday. I’ve had my Twitter for years and I’m barely pushing 200 followers. Anyway, who says NASCAR is only for the Southern folk? 

Texas 

A judge in Texas voided the ban on gay marriage in the state this week. An outpour of support for the judge’s decision was evident throughout the nation. Following suit in equality, an Arizona judge vetoed a bill that would allow businesses to refuse service to the LGBT community due to their “religious rights” being violated. Of course, Cincinnati also made moves toward a more equal community when announcements of a domestic partner registry for same-sex couples were made. 

#Reds

Thursday was the start of spring training for the Reds. The boys took the win, 8-3 over the Indians, in the Cactus League Opener. It doesn't matter if you think Homer Bailey's extension is a total waste or that Joey Votto should have won the Face of MLB competition, one thing we can all enjoy is the sweet sound of Marty Brennaman’s voice and the memories of warm weather it has brought with it for the past 50 years. 

#NewOscarCategories

You know I had to do at least one funny trend. People just made up categories that should be in the Oscars:

@Weinheimerandy: Tyler Perry presents the Tyler Perry Oscar for best performance by Tyler Perry.
@startpuking: Movies so bad you yell, Sharkeisha! No!
@MnightShelton: Best Seth Rogan film in a non-Apatow production

Also trending: Stiles, #WatchingTop13, Taco Bell, #Scandal, Penn State, Son of God and #BBN.

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<![CDATA[Cincinnati Featured in National Geographic Traveler]]>

"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.

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<![CDATA[I Just Can't Get Enough]]>

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.

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<![CDATA[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.

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<![CDATA[Penis Sighting at Nippert Stadium ]]> 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.
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<![CDATA[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.
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<![CDATA[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?

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<![CDATA[Cincinnati's Trivia Nights ]]> 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.
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<![CDATA[Three-Year-Old Talks to His Poop (Viral Video)]]> 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.


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<![CDATA[I Just Can't Get Enough]]>

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!).

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<![CDATA['Blurred Lines': Styled vs. Sensationalized, or Why 'We Can’t Stop']]> 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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