The kingdom of Kim Kardashian has been denounced more frequently and more publicly than any other celebrity name in recent history. There’s something about this family — their wholly public lives played out on screen like a strange, awkwardly scripted melodrama? Their unrepentant groveling for fame and media attention? The sex tape reportedly executed to the very hilt by mom? — that coaxes other people into the belief that they are simply fodder for negativity, as if any and all malice and disapproval has been well-earned. Forget turning a blind eye and the tired adage of “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” (what a bore), because what else can we come to expect as a general reaction to a family, converging upon one woman, at once grossly infantilized and boorishly sexualized, who has made fame itself its trade? Keep reading »
Kids can be awful to each other. And kids who haven’t been taught right can even be awful to adults. Bus monitor Karen Klein, of Greece, New York, rides the bus everyday with the kids, and was verbally abused by a band of screaming Jerkus Maximuses while she was just doing her job. A video that was leaked today shows poor Karen experiencing an array of verbal abuse so intense that I refuse to even post it (go here if you want to see a crew of dickwads threatening to stab her in the stomach). In an interview after the incident, Karen said, “It was like ‘wow, I can’t believe it happened … It was just plain mean. Nobody should have to put up with that.” She also noted that, the kids “weren’t always that bad.” Suffice it to say, this is not what this lady signed up for when she took the job.
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Lepidopterists, take note: if you live toward the north, you may have noticed an exceptional amount of orange and black butterflies taking to the skies. These are the Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) series, which literature nerds (holler!) will recognize as Vladimir Nabokov’s favorite, to which he penned an ode in his 999-line poem Pale Fire. I haven’t seen one yet, but apparently there’s tons of them, especially here in New York City where they’ll actually end up settling. This is hardly the first time they’ve been seen — the butterflies migrate upward from the South come spring — but they’re early this year and have arrived in mass quantities. According to upstate New York paper The Daily News, “[the Red Admiral] typically arrives at the end of May, but to see it in such numbers and so early in the season is not common.” Experts agree that the phenomenon has occurred about 4-5 weeks earlier than average, most likely caused by our unseasonably warm spring. Keep reading »
“Hitler was pro-choice. He chose to send the Jews to Auschwitz. That was not their choice that was Hitler’s choice. Murderers, assassins and criminals are pro-choice. They choose to put a gun to your head and take your life. That is not your choice. That is their choice.”
— This is New York State Senator Ruben Diaz is a email newsletter, keeping the level of debate rational and not at all racheting up emotions for political gain. Sen. Diaz’s newsletter went out in response to the NY governor’s support of the Reproductive Health Act, which will allow women to get rare late-term abortions if the woman’s health is at risk or if the fetus has a fatal medical issue. Currently, late-term abortions are only legal if the life of the mother is at risk.
Of course, Sen. Diaz isn’t the first politician to invoke the Holocaust on the subject of abortion; slavery is also a popular comparison made by anti-abortion protesters. Alas, that doesn’t make doing so any more tasteful. [Politicker, Village Voice]
As both a New Yorker and a bonafide Francophile, I am a madly adoring fan of the brilliant graphic designer Vahram Muratyan’s website, Paris versus New York. He compares the City of Lights to the Big Apple in a way that isn’t snarky, or biased toward one or the other — rather, they read more like romantic odes to both cities. His modern designs and prints have gained something of a following since his blog’s debut in 2010, and last week he released a 224-page book of his contrast-and-compare illustrations. If you’re a fan of Paris vs. NYC, or Paris, or NYC, or all of the above, you must get this book. It’s simple and lovely and makes me want to book a trip to La Ville-Lumière, dès que possible. Equally charming: this Blackbook interview with the artist. [$20, in Anthropologie stores and online]
Last month, New York group Improv Everywhere held the 11th Annual No Pants Subway Ride, a day to ride around mass transportation with your undies waving in the wind. This year, thousands of people in 59 cities across 27 countries participated in the NPSR, sharing their Hello Kitty thongs with the world. Here’s a glimpse of the New York festivities. [YouTube]