Slate’s editorial director John Swansburg was on Reddit today, answering readers’ questions, which the counterintuitive webmag handily made into an easily digestible post.
What did we learn? Good question! Well, if given the choice between fighting one panda-sized David Plotz and 100 David Plotz-sized pandas, Mr. Swansburg would choose the latter. In the event of a Zombie attack, Mr. Swansburg “would surrender immediately and throw [himself] on the mercy of the undead,” he wrote. But then again, he is “not a zombie guy, never have been.” Sometimes, his own writing can be a powerful tool for social change. For example, ever since he wrote about how much he hates birthday dinners in 2008, Mr. Swansburg hasn’t been invited to a single one. He views this accomplishment as a direct result of his seminal piece.
Slade Sohmer, the 33-year-old founder of the blog network HyperVocal, lives in Brooklyn and loves Liverpool Football Club. He was dismayed when the team sold its star player Fernando Torres to a rival, partly because Mr. Sohmer had a most unhooligan-like crush on the blond-haired striker.
His sports fandom was one of the reasons Mr. Sohmer waited to come out until he was 27. “I just never identified with the community,” he said. “There was nothing in my life that said you can play fantasy football and be gay. That didn’t exist in my world.”
Swing Low Sweet Sadomasochistics
On Reddit today, an angry letter was posted as a .jpeg regarding “Taste,” a “Swingers/Sex Club Illegally Operating at 45 East 34th Street #3.” The anonymous Samaritan who hung up the sign encouraged others to call 311 in an effort to shut down the “BDSM (bondage/discipline/sadism/masochism) events” that have been going on after dark, every other night of the week.
“During the day,” the letter reads, “various other businesses are run out of Suite 3, including “Basha Gallery,” “Bienvenue Ballroom Dance Center” and something called the “Dragonfly Body Workshop.” (We tried to contact all three “day businesses” at the location, as well as the people behind Taste, but have yet to hear a response.)
We don’t like to assume here at The Observer (it makes an ass out of you and your gimp slave), but it seems awfully naive of the note-writer … sounds like Taste is running a sex operation during the day as well.
But look at how legitimate Taste is! For a sex/swingers club, but still. They’ve got a pretty classy website going on.
Celebrities on Reddit
Arnold Schwarzenegger, apropos of nothing except his new film The Last Stand co-starring Johnny Knoxville (in theaters Friday!), showed up on Reddit’s IAmA (Ask Me Anything) subforum today to answer questions in beautiful cursive handwriting on his iPad, which he then uploaded onto the site. Adorable!
Let’s look at some of the better responses.
off the media
I’ll be the bearer of bad news: the press that most publicists chase for clients isn’t really worth anything. There’s a good chance no one will actually see it. Except the client, that is. The flack will make damn sure of that.
But other than that, the assumptions of publicists, clients and journalists—that being featured Read More
Big Apple Idolatry
– Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo, has resigned from his role on Sesame Street after a second young man stepped forward to accuse the Academy Award-nominated documentary subject of being a sexual predator. 24-year-old Cecil Singleton is asking for $5 million from Mr. Clash, after claiming he met the voice actor on a phone sex line when he was 15. Then he made a pretty large leap in logic, claiming that Clash spent his days at Sesame “preying on teenage boys to satisfy his depraved sexual interests.”
– So in addition to bringing new chapters of Trapped in the Closet to IFC, R. Kelly is now bringing his hip-hopera to the Great White Way. Hey, it can’t be any worse than Ghost: The Musical.
We all know how this will end. A Korean woman who lives with her Caucasian fiancé needs to borrow an apartment with female roommates to trick her visiting brother, who’s been sent by the family back home to make sure little sis is doing okay in the big city. And not, you know, living in sin with a white guy whom she plans to marry. And definitely not dreaming up intricate ruses to deceive her overprotective family about the fact that she is living with a white guy whom she plans to marry.
The woman posted her quandary on Reddit “Offering $100 (or more) for help with a weird request,” where it was thankfully spotted by Gothamist. Apparently this woman has never seen The Wedding Banquet. But, as anyone who has ever created a multifaceted lie to cover up the most basic realities of his or her life (or anyone who has ever watched a romantic comedy) knows, these things have a way of spiraling out of control.
SLUGS AND THE CITY
In light of the three very recent, very public shootings involving the New York Police Department—including the most recent one at the Empire State Building, where the majority of the injured were hit by bullets that came from NYPD guns—New Yorkers may be curious about the level of proficiency our city’s “finest” have when it comes to firing guns in the middle of the most populous city in America. Enter a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread, this time featuring a six-year veteran of the city’s police force, answering questions about our cops and the guns they carry on their belts.
Zooey Deschanel orders tomato soup. John Malkovich demands a joke. Samuel L. Jackson makes his own tomato soup (Hot-spacho!)
The iPhone 4S ads have drawn some A-list names to promote its new feature: indentured robotic servant Siri. Because Apple won’t rest until the singularity is here and everything Isaac Asimov predicted comes true.
The latest spot, released yesterday, stars director Martin Scorsese in the back of a taxi cab. In 1976′s Taxi Driver, it was Mr. Scorsese himself who made the cameo as a creepy backseat passenger. Now, he’s returning the favor.
See if you can spot the Taxi Driver shout-out in the iconic director’s commercial.
JOBS THAT ARE HARDER THAN YOURS
You may know Reddit as that wonderful social media community that yields things like AMA, or “Ask Me Anything” threads, wherein people who have had life experiences (like surviving being shot in the head) or jobs (like being a celebrity, or an investment banker) get asked by the public what it’s really like out there. But today, a thread like this appeared not in the AMA section of Reddit, but in one of the New York City-specific threads, wherein a paramedic moving to the city was looking for information about jobs.
The help they got from Reddit was practical, sure. On the whole, though, for the general public, it’s fairly enlightening.