The Chatterbox | March 21
File under: “Buzzing”
- A petition to downgrade the rating on a new documentary about bullying has been picking up steam. Bully, which follows three kids who are being bullied and the parents of two kids who committed suicide, received an R rating for including the f-word six times, in essence blocking it from the very audience it aims to reach. Now attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson, who helped overturn Proposition 8 in California, and celebs such as Meryl Streep have joined the charge to get the rating changed to PG-13. We spoke with Bully director Lee Hirsch about the film and the rating controversy for our new issue; read our interview here.
- Since March 12, a two-minute video of a fourth-grade girl’s first ski jump has garnered over a million views. Why? Because it’s totally awesome and inspiring.
- A Maryland college student recently received a double dose of excitement during a chance encounter March 15 with President Obama. When 26-year-old Stephon, whose first language is American Sign Language, said “I’m proud of you” to the president, Obama instinctively signed back “thank you.” Watch a video of the exchange here.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the scooter-riding killer in southwest France who took the lives of seven people—including three children—claims he did it to avenge Palestinian children killed in the Israeli conflict. Over the course of his spree, which began in Toulouse on March 11, the 24-year-old gunman, who claims to have links to al Qaeda, killed three French soldiers as well as a teacher and three kids.
File under: “School matters”
- As the city celebrated St. Patrick with a parade and a green river, the Sun-Times reported a proposal that days to honor Casimir Pulaski and Christopher Columbus be eliminated from the list of CPS holidays. Polish and Italian groups complained, but Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn counters that St. Patrick’s Day proves it’s possible to celebrate heritage without taking a day off.
- A referendum to build a new elementary school in Evanston’s 5th Ward was rejected by voters this week. Proponents of the project are vowing to keep up the fight.
Here’s a Chicago Tribune headline that made us want to skip lunch: “Safeway axes ‘pink slime’ in new blow to ground beef filler.” According the Reuters story, word got out recently via The Daily that seven million pounds of ammonia-treated beef filler would end up in school lunches this spring. In response to public outcry, the USDA will allow school districts to opt out of using the fleshy goo—next school year. Grounds for a letter-writing campaign to school boards if we’ve ever heard one.
File under: “Fun for everyone”
- The puck stops here: For 13 large, you can get bunk beds tricked out with Zamboni realness custom-made to honor any team. Now you know.