“South Park”: Life In A Drone

Last night, on “South Park,” Cartman and Butters got their hands on a drone. Of course, they use it to spy on people, including a woman getting undressed. The pranks were harmless enough, but the subtext was clear: we live in a drone world, where the contraptions are used not just for spying but for killing people that the U.S. government deems unacceptable. Even American citizens abroad, deemed dangerous and not fit for due process. I hear a lot of people saying: don’t blame Obama for all the drone use — if the Read more »

13-Year-Olds Have Hottest Metal Band

Unlocking the Truth are three very young African-American boys from Flatbush, the working-class neighborhood of Brooklyn where Busta Rhymes, Talib Kweli and Joey Bada$$ were born. Hip-hop is ingrained in the place, or the place is ingrained in hip-hop, but Malcolm Brickhouse, 13, Jarad Dawkins, 12, and Alec Atkins, 13, have been into metal since they were seven years old. For a long time, their playing was limited to Brickhouse’s mother’s basement, where tolerant neighbors didn’t mind them practising. Now, they’ve become the youngest ever band to sign to Sony. These teen metal sensations spill here.

Battle At Harvard Over Museum Project

When Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum opened in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1895, museums were far less popular than they are today. But even in recent decades, as other institutions pulled in crowds, the Harvard art collections had a somewhat secluded feel. “There was a sense of those things being locked away,” says Harvard Art Museums chief curator Deborah Martin Kao. All that will change on November 16, when Harvard opens an ambitious renovation and expansion by Italian architect Renzo Piano. But not everyone is happy about how the project turned out. Details. Pictured are the Harvard Art Museums, with the new addition.

Apple CEO Comes Out As Gay

That Tim Cook (pictured), CEO of Apple, is gay has long been an open secret: Gawker reported the fact in 2011, before Cook succeeded Steve Jobs. But now Cook himself has acknowledged it, in a Businessweek essay. Cook writes: ‘Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day.’ So why is this coming-out significant? Well, in case you didn’t know, Apple is the most valuable corporation in the world, capitalized at $463 billion, and a gay man sits at the top of it. We rule, bitches, get used to it!

New Aretha Bio Dishes The Dirt

“Respect,” a new biography of Aretha Franklin by David Ritz (who has also written an earlier, more sanitized bio of the Queen of Soul), has just been published. Janet Maslin’s review makes it sound pretty juicy: ‘As Mr. Ritz shows, she remained a fearful, secretive woman of few words throughout her career, though there was one realm in which she was always eager to verbalize. She earned her diva reputation by seldom missing a chance to insult a female rival, even if — especially if — that rival was one of her ever-envious sisters.’

Graffiti Increase: Return To Dark Days?

The New York Police Department is reporting that graffiti complaints had jumped 24% in the past year, as of October 12. Citywide complaints are said to have increased from 6,947 to 8,635. Though insiders are skeptical of the 24% jump in complaints, it is clear that globally and citywide, graffiti is becoming increasingly mainstream – leading more people to notice it, and perhaps report it. (Pictured is graffiti under the Manhattan Bridge.) “Thirty or Read more »

“Klinghoffer” Is Selling Tickets — Now

Despite protests, interruptions, and all the other mishegas, the John Adams opera “The Death of Klinghoffer” has sold more tickets than any other opera currently at the Met. General manager Peter Gelb “expects the opera ultimately to earn 70 to 75 percent of its potential ticket revenue, about average for recent seasons.” It’s important to keep in mind that the opera wasn’t selling well before all the media coverage of the controversy boosted its numbers, so its recent, deserved surge won’t get its numbers to “Boheme” levels. So what? It’s great that the Met does contemporary work, and even greater that Gelb didn’t bow to protesters and cancel the production. (He did nix the broadcast.)