Culture

Pay to Play (In the Comments Section)

If you look in one direction, webmasters are erecting pay walls; if you look in the other, the same kind of folks are scrambling to tear them down.

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Keeping the Junk

I found myself stuck at home with a bad ankle this weekend, so I did what I normally do when I’m stuck at home: I cleaned.

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Friends With Venmo

Venmo is most widely used by millennials. Like other topics once known for being verboten at a dinner party, we’re known for being more open than our parents about money. So it’s fitting that Venmo, unlike its predecessor PayPal, includes a social networking aspect: I log in and can see that Alex paid Sara $13 for movie tickets. But we’re also still navigating a time in our lives when careers and financial milestones move at varying paces among peer groups, breeding those awkward bill-splitting moments that so often end in temporary annoyance (“Did you see the way Pat stiffed the bartender on the tip?” “Those girls John brought last night ordered like, three pitchers of margaritas that they didn’t pay for, dude.”)

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The Cost of Things: Museums

The new Kehinde Wiley exhibit opens at the Brooklyn Museum in a few days and I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek. (The “Press” sticker is still attached to my sweater, so that I get to feel momentarily better-than-garbage when I glance at myself in a mirror.) The show is breathtaking, full of everything from sculpture to stained glass. Highly recommend.

The Brooklyn Museum is a 10-15 walk from my house, next to the equally awesome Botanical Gardens. I have lots of fondness for both institutions. Do I belong to either? No.

It’s dumb! Or, more specifically, I guess, it’s penny wise, pound foolish. But it’s so hard to know what to buy memberships to. If I could I would buy memberships to every cultural institution I like to spend time at: the Brooklyn Museum, the Botanical Gardens, BAM for sure. Maybe the zoo in Prospect Park? Maybe the Brooklyn Children’s Museum? Both are great places to take a toddler with endless amounts of energy. The aquarium?

Too many choices! I close down and do nothing. 

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Where Is It Still Illegal To Buy Sex Toys

The film version of Fifty Shades of Grey has broken all sorts of February box office records. It has made $93 million, which means it now holds the title of President’s Day Weekend champion. (Washington and Lincoln must be so proud.) It also tops a list called “Widest Opening” which sounds so dirty and is, thus, perfectly appropriate. Funniest of all, it surpassed Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ for the biggest February opening ever. Jesus wept.

Or did he? My understanding of Jesus is that he was a pretty cool, feminist-y guy. He didn’t ignore ladies or mansplain to them; he hung out with prostitutes and adulterers and seemed as comfortable with them as with anyone. He wasn’t a sex-negative fundy. Maybe he’d be proud that a movie starring a woman, directed by a woman, written by a woman based on material by a woman and inspired by other material by and about a woman has caused such a stir.

Though I haven’t contributed to its gross, and I think the book is breathless, poorly written, and almost laughably bad on a sentence-to-sentence level, I am on record as a supporter of the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon. Once upon a time, before I even tried to read the book, I defended its right to exist and the right of women to get off on it, if they liked. Because of that piece, I got interviewed by Geraldo, who asked me, on the radio, “What’s a butt plug?” Just like Ana Steele asks in the movie

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Working According to Our Circadian Rhythms

Here’s my ideal work schedule: Wake up at 6:30 a.m., and start reading the news while having a cup of coffee.

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Cheap v. Frugal

There is a difference between Cheap and Frugal.

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Profit and Authenticity in a Racing Community

Late last year, Facebook-for-runners was abuzz with the announcement that the San Diego-based Competitor Group will be putting on a Rock and Roll half marathon in Brooklyn in October.

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The Way We Spend: In The Winter Vs. Warmer Times

We buy our way out of inconvenience and discomfort, as long as we can afford to and sometimes even when we can’t, because the need feels so pressing. How do we get out of this cycle? Do we even want or need to?

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