Saturday, February 28, 2009

420!!!!!!!!

Grad school at Berkeley must happen.

-Jess

This is Not an Invitation to Rape Me

This is Not an Invitation to Rape Me is a well-designed, informative website that deconstructs the myths surrounding rape in an attempt to eradicate victim blaming. Categories include dress, intimacy, drinking and relationships. It's a great way to parse the entrenched beliefs that lead to victim blaming, i.e., just because my skirt is short does not mean you get to grab my ass (believe it or not!). Please check it out and encourage others to do so as well.

-Jess

Talented Friends

Last night some friends came over to play Mario Kart/hang out. NYU Local City Editor and all around awesome person Nicole He came with her ukulele and sang for us; her voice is devastating. She makes singing sound so effortless. Check out her MySpace, plz.

-Jess

The Alternative to a Boob Job

My roommate and I are currently watching shitty Lifetime movies because I really can't think any more about this horrible paper. We were lucky enough to witness a commercial for Easy Curves. It apparently firms and lifts your breasts and all you have to do is simulate jerking off a giant double-sided dildo! Click the link to check out a gif of this wonderful apparatus in action.

-Jess

The Votes Are In


It was 5 against 2 so I went ahead and got a Twitter.

I'm already kind of annoyed with it though so we'll see how long this lasts.

-Jess

California: Land of Stoners, Disgruntled Gays

Alright, California. I'm still really pissed at you over the whole Prop 8 thing (I know, I know, it's those backwards people in the country who supported it, you and your friends were against it), but here's your chance to start making it up to me. Billions in state revenue, smart policies about weed, redirecting police forces to more serious crimes: everything about this proposed bill makes sense and sounds awesome. So...make it happen!

Don't fuck up again.

-Josh

Friday, February 27, 2009

Lol I'm a loser


WOO FRIDAY NIGHT.

-Jess

Party Stylez

The party last night was a success! Lots of fun, lots of booze, lots of dancing, lots of fun. I took pictures and they're here. Antwan took photos too, so check them out when they're up.

Thanks for coming, everyone! We'll let you know if/when we host the next one.

-Josh

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Except I Will Make This One Decision

Before I give up on men entirely, I have decided that I am going to try to date a nice guy because I never have before. So... who knows one? Or wait maybe this belongs on Craigslist.

-Jess

PREACH IT SISTAH

More on this when I decide I'm ready to admit it too.

-Jess

Ya See the Thing About Twitter

is that I swore I would never, ever get one. I believe I'm on record as saying "I will never get a fucking Twitter ever in my life," potentially in front of my entire New Media class.

But then I used it last week to keep students up to date on the TBNYU fiasco.

And then I realized that all of my friends have them and I kind of feel like I'm missing out on something; like they all got invited to Marcus Schwartz's birthday party and their parents took them to KB Toys to get him a birthday present and in school on Monday they all talked about the awesome decorations and how good the Superman cake was. And I spent my Saturday like, at the Allentown Public Library in the Young Adult Fiction section. But this is not about that!

What this is about is you people deciding for me if I should get a Twitter. I have become so mind-blowingly horrible when it comes to judging people and situations recently, floating around from poor choice to poor choice, that I have basically decided to abstain from making any choices at all. So let's lend this one to democratic process. I will give you some pros and cons to help with your decision.

PROS
1) I don't have to feel left out anymore =/
2) I can stop updating my Facebook status as often
3) I am studying New Media and look kind of like a jerk being so anti-Twitter.

CONS
1) I will be (more of) a hypocrite.
2) I hate the basic platform of Twitter: not everyone needs to know your thoughts as soon as you think them. It's the ultimate form of voyeurism and oversharing, two things that I am quite buddy-buddy with but two things I am not so enamored with that I would fuck them on the first date.
3) Less of myself will be mine. Even less than already is. All those thoughts I keep to myself will suddenly feel like they need to be peeled from my skull and reworded in witty and appropriate ways. So much pressure!

Your votes will decide. This is probably the most important decision you will ever have to make so THINK HARD. And remember if you say I should get a Twitter you have to become one of my followers so think good and long if you want my annoyingness to continue to pervade your internet existence.

-Jess

Why the New York Post May Benefit from the Cartoon Scandal

So the NAACP is still planning widespread protests over the New York Post cartoon that allegedly compares Barack Obama to a monkey--a monkey who's been shot dead by police.

Obviously, the Post is facing a PR nightmare. Whichever editor was responsible for running the cartoon clearly shouldn't have done so, and now the paper is rightly paying the price for its indiscretion. And no media organization wishes to face charges of racism--both for those charges' moral implication as well as the negative press coverage that inevitably follows. But this thing has received a lot of press coverage; practically every news outlet, both paper and blog, has given it attention, and that may not be an entirely terrible thing for the Post.

Why? Well, they say that no press is bad press; as long as you're receiving any sort of press attention, this line of thinking goes, then you've already at least somewhat succeeded. And this Post scandal, despite the boycotts and vitriol it has caused, has brought talk of the newspaper back to the water cooler. And since the only thing people have to say about newspapers anymore is that they're dying, it must be validating to the Post on some level that what it runs in its print edition can still generate so much discussion. The paper may be beleaguered right now, but with all this blog and press coverage, one can hardly consider it irrelevant or obsolete, charges that right now are (unfortunately) more dangerous than that of racism.

In other words, people are talking about the newspaper--in a different vein than the "it's going to fold soon" one--more than they have in recent memory. And while I'm not saying that the solution to newspapers' imminent death is blatant racism, I am saying that whatever circulation lost due to the NAACP protests will be made up for by the headlines into which the paper will continue to enter. Especially since the Post has recently been forced to drop longtime gossip columnist Liz Smith--due to "economic gales"--I'm sure the paper needs a reassurance that even during tough times it can still get people talking, and for better or for worse, this cartoon scandal proved just that. Maybe editor-in-chief Col Allen foresaw this media attention when the time came to run or squelch the cartoon, and maybe he was willing to accept any outrage as collateral damage in the ongoing war to save print.

-Josh

The Real TBNYU

Tonight on the Real World, the conflict between the sexes at the end of the episode was a sadly apt analogy for the recent TBNYU occupation.

The guys (though really J.D., who decided to speak for his entire so-called team's opinion, a sadly familiar theme) were, on one level, right: if the girls were really neglecting doing basic chores, then they should have started. (I can see not vacuuming the floors every week, since they're only at the house for what must be four more months, but the dishes and trash at least seem reasonable.)

But then they went all crazy. A chores list? Hiding the car keys? Smashing the fucking glass table and then throwing the house phone over the balcony? Those are analogous to the property damage and other shenanigans perpetrated by the student occupiers--the very same shenanigans that nullified their reasons for committing them in the first place.

Maybe those students should've gotten a sneak peak at this episode before deciding to go through with their occupation.

-Josh

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Video Game Glorifies Rape

Selena over at Pitter Patter alerted me to one of the most fucked up things I have honestly witness in my short, young life.

It is a game called Rapelay, that functions much like the Sims, that basically allows for you to play an angry, violent rapist whose main objective is to rape a mother and her two virgin daughters. I... wish I was kidding.

As the rapist you essentially stalk the women-- on the subway, in parks-- until they become physically turned on (because of course, deep down all women want it, right?) and yet still (NSFW!) cry and scream as you fuck them. One of the girls (NSFW!) appears to be about ten years old.

Perhaps this is not that much different from some Hentai porn which uses its animated quality to hide behind the fact that what it is promoting is essentially the degradation and sexualization of a crime that is in fact inherently VIOLENT. I'm not sure how long it will take for people to realize that rape is not a sexual crime; just because it involves sexual organs and sexual acts does not make the rapist or their victim in any way tied to sexual behavior. It is a violent crime, committed by an aggressor, that renders the victim physically and emotionally wounded in a way that disallows for sexuality to even become a factor. But the difference between this video game and Hentai porn is that, while watching porn is a passive act that renders you a 3rd party observing both the aggressor and the victim, Rapelay allows for you to actually become the rapist. Not only does it glorify and strip away the violent aspects of rape in an attempt to make it sexual and gratifying for the viewers, but Rapelay also seems to communicate the idea that "rape is easy." And not only is it easy and okay, but it is also in some ways natural: that women want it, even if they cry, even if they run, even if they say no a million times, they still want you to hold them down and fuck them against their will. And as the man, you deserve to get what you came for.

While those into S&M may say that they do want that (indeed there is nothing wrong with pinning someone's hands to the bed), there is absolutely nothing sexual about a violent crime like rape. And to confuse those two, to inject even a modicum of pleasure gaining into a video game, a 3D incredibly lifelike cartoon that kids anywhere can access (like age limits will really do anything) should be considered a serious blight on the work of all anti-rape activists and on the victims of such a horrendously violent crime.

I feel slightly nauseous now.

-Jess

I Agree with Everything In This Comic



Achewood does it again.

-Josh

Advice From My Faux Uncle

Life is full of steps (high school, college, 20's, mid-life, retirement, etc), and you should not date guys on the next step - they are at a new stage in life. Once a guy hits a step, he only dips down because he is damaged or can't convince women in his own step to date him. This is why its creepy for a college guy to date a high schooler, and why a 30 year old should not be dating a college student. It may sounds condescending to the lower stepper, but it is absolutely true and time-proven through empirical evidence.
http://blog.lib.umn.edu/richlee/Thoughts/woody%20allen.jpg

He makes a fair point, and insists I should date a nice bio major I'd meet in Downstein, but there are no nice bio majors here, no straight ones, at least, and even if there were they'd maintain my interest for approximately three days. This is New York. There are no nice, uncomplicated college boys in New York. There are no uncomplicated people in New York. Every one of us came to New York because we are all fundamentally broken in some profound way and we thought moving to the city would fix us. It actually just made us worse, more depressed and anxious and self-conscious, so we are all fumbling around yes, doing normal things like eating Chinese food and watching the Oscars, but also hurting each other in these irreparable, obscene ways because we are all at our cores atypically flimsy. 21 is really not all that different from 15. So we fuck and fuck up and nothing good comes out of it except a tenous film of warm, glowing memories that sit in the pit of your stomach at 3am when you are reading Philip Levine.

And then there is the cliched, oft-discussed problem of how NYU is 70% girls, and of those 30% boys, the grand majority of them are gay. And so that tiny sliver of straight boys becomes so driven by their own narcissism, so aroused by the concept of themselves and the fact that they can--and usually do--sleep with any straight NYU female they want, regardless of the fact that she is "out of their league" or "fucking bangin'" when indeed they are "just your average joe," gets so frustrating to the female population that we just give up and resign ourselves to a cat-filled existence. We know this. We are reminded of this every day. I'm pretty sure WSN has even written about this but I wonder if it ever gets any less frustrating?

The alternative to this exaggerated strife is that we become determined to explore the city at large, that vast expanse of douche bags and assholes, the sexually stunted and the emotionally bankrupt; and eventually we end up settling, because what young woman hasn't settled at one point in her life? And we finally relax into our paralyzing masochism, dating guys too old or too mean or too drunk for us, and convincing ourselves that we are happy, we are so happy to not be alone that it doesn't matter that he'd rather make you cry than make you cum. It doesn't matter because girl, you are in love.

...or is that just me?

-Jess

Being Ill Not so Ill

So I think my vicious cold from last week has officially morphed into a sinus infection. It has gotten to the point where I feel like my head exploding is a very viable outcome. I am illogically afraid of doctors considering I used to date one, but I finally gave in and decided to call NYU's Student Health Center.

God, they fucking suck.

You can't make appointments in advance for sick visits at the Primary Care Center. You have to call between 8am and 9am and hope that they can squeeze you in that day. If you call after 9am they won't have any appointments available. You can also do walk-in appointments but that means you have to basically miss all class/work obligations and spend the day sitting on the 3rd floor of 726 Broadway.

I want to die. I am very close to just going home to Philly to see my own doctor. I have so much work and I can barely stare at the computer screen without recoiling in pain. :( How on earth am I going to write all about Baudelaire when my brain feels like it is pushing out my ears????

-Jess

12 Hours of Sleep in the Past 3 Days

I am having similar school issues as Josh. I have an 8 page paper on Baudelaire/Dandyism due on Monday, about 400 pages of reading to do by 2pm/tomorrow, and Local editing/article-writing for Thursday. Exciting stuff. Fuck school. I don't remember it ever being this hard. Or maybe I just didn't ever do extra-curriculars/stay up until 2 a.m. with notorious internetty folks drinking in my bedroom? (Potentially more on that to follow though probably not; in any case I am kind of making out with The Internet.)

But yeah. Come tomorrow. Also check out this sweet piece Joe wrote on Tao Lin/Hipster Run-off. Tao is highly self-promotional, but he is really only incorporating big company marketing campaigns to drive his little business. It's actually pretty impressive. I think Tao is cool, though I am biased because he has sent me free copies of his books before so obviously he is pretty awesome.

-Jess

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hi Blog

Yo blog readers I gotta brb for a couple days. My life is one big case of the crazies, and assignments up the wazoo aren't helping. Talk to ya Thursday, both on here and (hopefully) in person at Le Poisson Rouge. Gonna be so crazy can't wait to see you there.


-Josh

Worst. Pun. Ever.


Screenshot from delivery.com. Click to enlarge.

-Jess

Brighten Up Your Day (Heh)

This is the best thing I've seen on the internet in awhile. Jezebel had sex-positive feminist Susie Bright and her daughter Aretha answer sex questions. The answers are honest, informative and relevant. Check 'em out. If we're not going to get comprehensive sex ed instituted everywhere, may as well have people on the internetz read stuff by Susie Bright.

-Jess

Monday, February 23, 2009

J&J Hosting Party at Le Poisson Rouge on Thursday

This is a picture of our last party. It was fun.

Someone asked Josh and I to host a party at the Gallery Bar at Le Poisson Rouge on Thursday. We are flattered, especially me since, you know, I am pretty much the opposite of a NYC Nightlife party princess. Flyer to come, but here are some details:

Charlie Eisenhood
, friend and fellow NYU Localite, as well as famed TBNYU liveblogger, has graciously agreed to DJ the party since if I tried it would just be "Juicy" by Biggie on repeat.

$3 Rolling Rock 9-11pm
$6 Rolling Rock/Jack shot all night
The music will be: "80s, 90s, electro, new wave, glam, old school hip hop, soul, etc."

Photos by birthday boy Antwan Duncan of I Think You're Swell (see above pic).

Everyone should come! Josh and I get a free bottle of Svedka so free drinks will abound. It's super close to campus: 158 Bleecker between Sullivan and Thompson. And it'll be fun. And cool. So come. Yeah.

-Jess

Fuck Mondays

Let's giggle at this:
http://twitpic.com/1faqu/full
-Jess

Maybe the Revolution Will Be Workshopped Too

Why didn't I live-blog the Oscars along with my fellow Localites? I had to submit a story for my creative writing workshop by midnight. I had a fiction-y evening! Anyway, my story isn't too long so I thought I'd post it here, for the hell of it.


KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT

One morning, he woke up only to realize he'd lost his voice. He tried to speak, then speak again, then scream, but no sound came out--only a low buzzing.

He took the day off work (via e-mail, since he couldn't use the phone) and rushed to the walk-in clinic. The physician thought he was pulling a prank and threw him out of his office.

He went to the hospital. Nobody could see him if it wasn't an emergency, but a passing nurse recommended tea with lemon. He cursed her out in his head.

Something snapped and he went all crazy for a while. He ran down the streets, clearing his throat every few steps until it burned. He shook the arms of strangers, hysterical, crying without making a sound, wiping his runny mucus on his shirtsleeve. He ran up to a mother who yelled at him for frightening her children. He entered a convenience store and downed a cup of hot coffee, but when that didn't do anything but burn his throat some more, he ran out without paying. He visited a fortune teller, a seller of herbal remedies, and the crazy man who sometimes prophesied the end of times by the bus station. He thought of a thousand things to say but all that he could produce was that same buzzing noise. The crazy man was the most patient.

"Cat got your tongue?"

"BZZZZZZZZZ."

"Speak up, I can't hear ya."

"BZZZZZZZZZZZZ."

"Look man, I don't know what you're saying, but you got any change?"

"BZZZZZZZZZ BZZZZZZ."

Someone who'd been following him for a couple blocks called the police. The policeman showed up and took him to the hospital, where they finally admitted him. The doctor gave him a pill that made him throw up lots of times, but couldn't get him talking again.

He slept for a while. He woke up to the sound of a heart monitor and the scuffling of feet. A nurse was refilling his IV.

"I hear you can't speak," she said with a warm smile.

He didn't even try to say anything back. He sat up, half-smiled, and shrugged.

"Are you scared?" She looked more concerned now.

He began to shake his head no, but he meant to say more than that, so he looked around for a pen and paper.

"What do you need?"

He pantomimed scribbling.

"Ah, just a second." She smiled and left the room.

He was thinking of what he wanted to write--guess it depended on the amount of paper he received--but then he realized how odd it was that nobody had sent him a get-well card. The sun was just above the horizon now, almost sunset. They'd had all day to hear the news.

And then he thought about who would send him a card in the first place. The sadness he felt at the answer to this question was greater than the sadness he felt about losing his voice. Nobody would send him a card. His parents were dead and he wasn't close to the rest of his family. He had no friends. He lived on the sixth floor of a walk-up apartment in a miserable neighborhood in Queens; he didn't know his neighbors' names. He'd had a fiancee once, but she left him for her rabbi's son. His heart felt a little heavier, and he laid back down.

The nurse came back in with a thick legal pad and a basket of pencils. "Take all you need," she said.

He looked at her for a moment, noticing the way some of her bangs curled up at the tips, and the tiny two freckles beneath her right eye.

"We'll figure out what's wrong with you soon enough," she said. "And sorry about that stupid pill before. The doctor thought you had something caught in your larynx."

She turned to leave, but he held up his finger. He jotted something down in big letters. He held up his sign: STAY.

She paused, looked out into the hallway, looked back at him, looked at the empty dresser where cards and flowers usually go, smiled, and said okay, she could stay for a few minutes.

She sat. He wrote something down.

WHAT'S YOUR NAME

"My name's Shirley."

MY NAME'S MIKE.

"Hi, Mike."

SORRY I DIDN'T BRING ID. I MUST HAVE LEFT MY WALLET AT HOME.

Shirley laughed. "It's alright, we would have figured that out sooner or later."

DO YOU LIKE BEING A NURSE

"I do." She was still smiling. "It's the one thing I'm good at."

He was too tired to smile back with much effort. I DOUBT THAT.

She laughed again. "Thanks for that."

He looked at her for a moment, then wrote something down. I LIKE THE WAY YOU LAUGH. He wrote it in script.

Shirley blushed and glanced at the floor. "Like I've never heard that one before."

WHAT CAN I SAY IT'S BEEN A LONG DAY

Shirley laughed again. He had never been so charming; nor had he ever felt so confident. He'd also never paid such close attention to someone's laugh before.

I DON'T HAVE A FEVER OR ANYTHING DO I

"Nope. Other than your voice, everything checks out okay."

DO I SOUND LIKE A DOORBELL

"You sound like TV static."

They talked all night, and it was the best conversation he ever had.


-Josh

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Revolution Will Be Tumblrized Pt. 2


The Local staff liveblogged The Oscars tonight. This picture captures what millennial/new media dorks we are.


-Jess

Oh, Ned