From The Archives

Is It The Duty of Every Enlightened Female To Put Out?

And now let us bring Sex Offender Week to a close. Did you enjoy talking about manhood and TV and the music and the bros? Well, don't run off yet, here is one parting thought on the matter of contemporary gender relations!

"The last few decades have left us so profoundly disoriented about the most urgent personal matters–gender roles, sexual norms, the possibility of creating lasting romantic relationships, not to mention absolutely everything to do with family structure–that it's no surprise to find people embracing a theory that promises to restore order." -William Deresiewicz, "Adaptation: On Literary Darwinism," The Nation, May [...]


'Times' City Room Swallows Own Tail, Explodes

Here is the bizarre story of a time that a second-guessing, hyper-cautious newspaper blog ate itself and then pooped itself out.


Magical Nasal Spray To Fix Gender Divide

In a just-released study from the University of Bonn, a nasal spray containing the neurotransmitter oxytocin made 24 "healthy males" confronted with photos of children crying and hugging cats reach "significantly higher emotional empathy levels" than their 24 placebo-snorting brethren. The study recommends the spray for use in treating schizophrenia and other diseases, but you just know that some sort of self-proclaimed dating expert is going to start marketing the stuff for her own capitalistic devices. Or at the very least a screenplay.


Tales from Brooklyn: Short Stories About Love (Actually Sex): Part 4

"Coffee or tea?" Dree is standing in my kitchen. Her yellow sundress is wrinkled. The ruffle at the hemline form an unruly wave, making the dress look even shorter than it is. Her hair is loosely braided into two pigtails. The heavy makeup she wore last night has been washed off. Her skin-a shade darker than cream-looks fresh.


Vanishing Point (Your Memes Reviewed): The Joseph Ducreux Self-Portrait

In 1793, France's revolutionary government decreed that the Louvre Palace, a much-remodeled Parisian fortress, should serve as a museum to house and exhibit the nation's 537 greatest available works of art-mainly stuff ripped from the clutches of kings and clergy on their way out of power and up the blood-slicked steps to headlessness. Circa that same year, also in Paris, an aging portrait painter named Joseph Ducreux completed the 18th-century equivalent of a charmingly douchey Facebook profile picture, Portrait de l'artiste sous les traits d'un moqueur. The piece would later become part of the Musée du Louvre's vaunted collection… and so much more.


Irate "Wall Street" Will Trim Its Own Hedges

The supposed e-mail from an angry Wall Street (it speaks with one voice, you know) which New York reports is "allegedly" making the rounds today, seems almost too good to be true. One might even be tempted to suggest that it was made up to inspire further animus toward the financial services sector that took such careless risks with our economy. Still, genuine or not, the entitled tone is pretty accurate. And threatening!


Arizona Legislature Thinks If You Stop Learning About Mexicans They Will Go Away

You know what they hate in Arizona? Mexicans.


Half Baked: Kentucky Derby Bourbon Balls!

Before I begin, let's get something out of the way before you all start howling "Dixie" in the comments: I'm not Southern. Not even close. But I do love bourbon and wearing fanciful hats designed to match colorful sundresses and sporting events that only take up three minutes of my actual time (three minutes? Is that correct, sporty ladies? Hoof over here and explain to your batty auntie how these horse races happen!) and therefore I go wild for the Kentucky Derby. And every year I get to trot out one of my signature recipes, which I would be tempted to describe as The Best Thing I Make [...]


Broadway Plays Now As Unrealistic About New York Real Estate As 'Friends'

From a Times piece on the really nice real estate on display in many plays of recent vintage, despite the characters maybe not being of the means to afford said spreads: "Several of the set designers for these productions said that they did not aspire to reflect precise reality in their rendering of Manhattan and Brooklyn homes, but rather achieve exactly the sort of jealous stirring that New Yorkers can feel about the digs of their friends and neighbors." Weren't we all supposed to be done with the age of ire-stoking aspirationalism by now?


Akon Fans Go Crazy For Akon In Sierra Leone

Wow! You know who is Huge #1 Worldwide Pop Star? Akon. This is sort of a shame, since he bears a lot of responsibility for the radio-ruining plague that is Autotune's popularity. I liked "Locked Up," with Styles P, all those years ago. And "Soul Survivor" with Young Jeezy. But since then, Akon has done much more harm than good. Check out his recent cover of Shuggie Otis' 1975 classic "Strawberry Letter 23," and compare it the Brothers Johnson hit 1977 version and, even better, the original. Still, it's always pretty cool to see this kind of Elvis-has-left-the-building, Beatlemania craziness take hold of [...]


Floyd Mayweather As The Great Black Villain

"Shane Mosley says ‘Floyd Mayweather fights for money.' You fuckin' dummy; I'm a prizefighter. That's what I'm supposed to fight for: a prize. Duh!"Floyd ‘Money' Mayweather.

People say that Floyd Mayweather is arrogant, that he doesn't care about "boxing" in the abstract, only himself. This is the opposite of the truth.


Smokers Being Blamed For EVERYTHING

Awwww! Look at the adorable puppy! So, so cute! Why, I just want to-OH MY GOD! (Those of you who are unmoved by puppies can find a kitty version here.) Maybe I should rethink this whole smoking thing. (UPDATE: Nah, I'm still gonna stick with it.)


Saturday Will Bring Brief Respite From Miserable World Of Pain And Sorrow

The bottom half of the United States is about to be eaten by a giant clump of oil, the third horrific attack against schoolchildren in three days was committed in China earlier today, and a suicidal college student was discovered wandering around a subway tunnel under the East River with a backpack full of cyanide this morning. Still, it's going to be warm and sunny tomorrow, so, you know, there's that.


The Best New Thing You Haven't Heard Of This Week: Seth Colter Walls and Maura Johnston On The New Newness, Strange Jazz, And The Semi-Return Of Hole

Seth Colter Walls: Maura, has it been a good first third of 2010, music-wise? What were the highlights? And what depressed the shit out of you? Maura Johnston: 2010 has actually been a great year for music. So far! And there's more to come!! Seth: Really? Because I've felt slightly… underwhelmed. (Though I'm glad you are confirming that the rest of calendar year 2010 is still to come.) Maura: Well, I know the whole existence of the future has been a cause for worry recently. But I am optimistic!


Goldman Sachs Way Down On News of Everyone's Investigations Everywhere

You know how we like to make fun of finance pages for always saying "stocks are down because of [X random thing]"? Well this time, it's true! The GS plunge started because of the SEC referral to the Justice Dept., and continued on news that the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office has been investigating for ages. Everyone out of the pool! Everyone's got political points to score (and maybe someone will actually come up with a case!).


Mario: The Early Years

In case you missed it, here's the story of the Tukwila, WA real estate developer who provided the inspiration for Nintendo's Mario character. It includes a high school year book photo.


Ciudad Juarez: Why the Press Declared a Cartel Win

Just a few weeks after the AP declared that the Sinaloa cartel had won the drug war in Juarez, the city saw one of its bloodiest days in recent memory. On Wednesday, 20 murders were recorded in a 24-hour span. The first murders of the day set the tone for the brutality to follow, as gunmen burst into a bar in the early morning and dragged eight people out into a nearby lot, lined them up against the wall, and executed them.


Leslie Buck, 1922-2010

The Times bids farewell to Leslie Buck, the Holocaust survivor who designed the classic Grencian-style coffee cup that stood as proxy for this city until we all went out of our minds and started shelling out five bucks a pop for coffee-style ice cream floats. Buck was 87. I am trying to think of what commonplace New York City items of today will become the go-to props when future generations want to reference our era, but all I can come up with is the MetroCard, or maybe a Foursquare badge. Sad.


Horror Chick: ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ Isn't the 80s (But It’s Great!)

I've been getting flack for not "rating" movies. "How many stars does it get?" people ask. "Should I see it or not?" The problem with this last question is that my answer will always be "yes," since I watch horror movies no matter how bad they are. It's like asking a crackhead if you should spring for that double rock laced with motor oil. But since this is a big mainstream release and a lot of people are considering shelling out cash for tickets, here's your answer: See this movie. It's great. Now that we've gotten all that useful information out of the way, let's talk about something more [...]


The Making of Friskies "Adventureland": "Where Do They Go In Their Minds?"

You know how we're obsessed with the Friskies "Adventureland" cat food ads? It turns out that there is a BEHIND-THE-SCENES video about it, starring the ad exec hottie who "concepted" it, and then covers from the "script" (!) to early digital renderings to green screen cat work. Plus an interview with the cat wrangler! They explain how they get the cat to jump through the "portal"! Every minute of this is hilarious and wonderful.