The first friend I made in Elizabeth, New Jersey was a white kid named Billy. As a New York transplant my Dominicano look wasn’t too popular with Jersey folk. I had an afro, wore dress pants, a collared shirt, and black leather shoes with little gold buckles. Most of the kids just wanted to know what my thing was. Billy and I couldn’t have been more different, but we got close pretty quickly. Despite the fact that Billy’s parents wouldn’t allow him over my house, my grandmother allowed me over his. She took one look at Billy’s blonde hair and blue eyes, and at his mother’s middle class American manners, and pronounced their household safe. “Where are you from?” Billy’s mother asked, referring to my grandmother’s heavy accent. “I thought you were black.” On that day I couldn’t have imagined how many times I’d have to answer that question in my lifetime. “We’re Dominican.”
Halfway through the trailer for Ben Stiller's remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the title daydreamer—stuck in the rat race with boring men in boring suits at Life magazine— lifts his eyes from his desk toward a photograph on a bulletin board. Now here's the payoff, when staid reality breaks into excitement, and the nebbishy lead is drawn into the world of fantasy and adventure that Fox is betting will win our $12 and two hours come Christmas. It's a photo of Sean Penn.
Here's an ad created by DDB New York for WaterIsLife, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing clean drinking water to people in developing countries. The ad features a bunch of poor Haitian people reading a bunch of #FirstWorldProblems tweets out loud: "I hate when my phone charger won't reach my bed," "I hate it when I tell them no pickles, and they still give me pickles," etc. The message of the spot is clear: You're an asshole for whining about your problems when you have clean drinking water. Now here is why this spot is fucking terrible:
Gawker's favorite New Jersey humanitarian, Wyclef Jean, was shot in the hand at a political rally for Haitian presidential candidate, musician Michel Martelly last night. But he's okay! According to Wyclef's spokesperson, "He was shot in the hand last night. He was released from the hospital. He's fine now. It happened late yesterday night and he was released after a couple hours." She added that the bullet "just grazed his hand."
With a backlash brewing against the incessant media coverage of Charlie Sheen's breakdown, Sheen has made an uncannily savvy move: He's announced he's going to Haiti on a humanitarian mission with his buddy Sean Penn, who has practically been living there since the earthquake struck more than a year ago: