Monthly archive January, 2010

American education: Down the drains?

Super expensive college tuition, public  high schools operating like drop-out factories, and students struggling to complete high school. The American education system has been in the news recently for its failures. But still, why would thousands of students from around the world do anything to get a chance to attend an American university? Something to think about.

Love and marriage, Filipino-style

Growing up in New York City, there were a number of things that a teenage girl could count on. There was the inescapable culture of sex, the certainty of cat calls and whistles as you walked down the street, the melting pot of steamy escapades waiting to happen, and the knowledge that after you were done sowing your wild oats, there was the possibility of a white-picket-fence life, complete with a supportive, loving, and respectful husband and as many (or as few) children as you wanted to have.

Haiti media coverage: Too emotional?

Have you noticed that media coverage (U.S. media) of the Haiti disaster is getting a bit too emotional for comfort? I mean, the reporters on the ground are focusing so much on personal stories and getting personally invested in the story that they are failing to maintain journalistic balance.

Hope for Haiti

As you know Haiti has been devastated by a massive earthquake. Already poor and lacking infrastructure and financial means, Haiti is in no way capable of dealing with this disaster on its own.

We need to help.


Boxers or briefs?

Yesterday marked the "Ninth Annual No Pants Subway Ride," wherein thousands of exhibitionist New Yorkers got down to their skivvies and boarded the subway.

Best of In The Fray 2009

Best of In The Fray 2009

It is somehow fitting that the new year begins in the dead of winter. The silence of the snowy landscape, the frozen lakes and the darkness all seem to reinforce a single depressing message: the world is dead. Give up. There is nothing more to hope for. For the last week, overnight lows here along the north shore of Lake Superior have reached -25°F, which, for those who use a temperature scale that makes sense, is awfully, miserably cold. Still, with the dawning of a new year, I am reminded that the world is not dead, that spring will come again and that life is a circle, endlessly repeating.

It is in the tradition of this time of year to take stock of what has come to pass in the previous year, and we at In The Fray do not feel the urge to stray from that tradition. It is with this in mind that we look back over the previous year and select some of our favorite pieces.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year: Chinese government style

Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo was sentenced to eleven years in prison for "subverting state authority." The verdict was issued on Christmas Day.


Internet opens doors to…old and forgotten favorites

As these mild Midwest winter days navy into the blistering, chapped-nose days of January, I find myself increasingly inside: curling away from the common walking and bar hobnobbing of the summer and fall, away from the holiday festivities of November and December, and stubbornly slipping into a sort of self-induced hibernation to ring in the new year. Fortunately for me, in addition to stacks of books and bottomless cups of peppermint tea, there are always the infamous interwebs, which led me the other day to rediscover an old musician friend: Roy Orbinson. 

The only thing we have to fear…

New Yorkers have very specific fears that don’t necessarily translate to other parts of the country. But for some people, the paranoia gets the better of them.