Wandering Eye: Young Moose, Baltimore's best drugs, Energy Answers' incinerator, and more

Sometimes, it sucks when you get beat to the punch. We'd been talking about the arrest of rapper Young Moose right before the Lil Boosie show for a while. We were planning a big story looking at his music, his life, and the way that the police used a rap video as evidence against him. He's a hell of an artist and it is a fascinating angle into life in Baltimore right now. Justin Fenton and Ian Duncan at the Sun beat us to the story of Moose's arrest with their piece on the East Baltimore rapper, who was arrested by Det. Daniel Hersl, who wrote in paperwork that Young Moose "raps about distributing narcotics, violence and using a firearm to commit violence." Fenton and Duncan did a good job dealing with the legal aspects, but there is still need of a piece that deals with the music. Their surface level reading of Moose's raps, in which they accept the "he writes what he knows" interpretation, doesn't give Moose's toughminded, confessional raps the credit they deserve. (Baynard Woods/Brandon Soderberg)

 

The innocuously terrible "friends" and family members on your Facebook Timeline have probably already shared this one with you, it's about a week old, but if you get a chance, check out "Ascend Baltimore," a hammy video of Federal Hill, the Inner Harbor, Canton, Patterson Park, and Mount Vernon shot from a helicopter (or something?) that intends to capture Baltimore's beauty from above. Occasionally, Ascend's camera starts closer to the ground and um, ascends on a location like the Bromo Seltzer Tower and it's all set to this like sub-U2 kind of dork-pop build-up that's supposed to communicate wide-eyed beauty or something? I don't know. These types of videos show up every once in a while and people get excited because it's "their city," but if you see this video and think this represents your city, you need to get out more. The way it focuses on the same old neighborhoods that everybody focuses on (you'd think they'd at least be hip to Hampden or Station North or Druid Hill Park, right?) and then tries to contrive this sense that it's showing big scary old Baltimore as "beautiful" by way of the places everybody already considers "beautiful" (and nice and safe and all that) lacks visual imagination and exhibits no empathy for the city as it actually exists. Everything looks beautiful from above, why not take this weird helicopter thing with a camera mounted on it (maybe it's a drone even?) and venture outside of the most played out and comfortable places in the city and afford them some shabby nobility as well? (Brandon Soderberg)

 

Speaking of Vimeo, the folks opposing the proposed Energy Answers trash-to-energy incinerator in Curtis Bay recently posted a short video in which residents say why they don't want it built. If "Ascend Baltimore" fails to convey Charm City's real beauty, this one does just that simply by letting regular folks share their views on a massive, polluting project in their backyard, including this gem: "I think it sucks." (Van Smith)

 

The Downtown Partnership has been sponsoring a lot of content on Buzzfeed lately. We responded with surprise to the first of these listicles. But they seem to keep getting worse. On Friday, the list-y site published "The 10 Best Drugs Coming Out of Baltimore." Yes, seriously. With the subhead "Wait, let us elaborate." It's a weirdly cheeky move from the booster organization, sort of acknowledging while also combatting the view of the city presented by "The Wire" and recent documentaries which depict Baltimore as the nation's heroin capital. But the conceit is inherently goofy and perfectly Buzzfeed-y. It's not one of those things that should cause social media outrage, it's just that it won't accomplish anything. How much do they pay Buzzfeed to run this junk? Maybe they should actually spend that money in Baltimore. (Baynard Woods)

 

McSweeney's Internet Tendency, the website for Dave Eggers' magazine, published a piece called "Vignettes from Season 6 of 'The Wire,' in which West Baltimore is gentrified." It's a slightly funny piece, but, like so much that comes from New York, it is more about New York than it is about Baltimore. In fact, the whole piece reads like the kind of takedowns of "hipsters" that plague the internet. The kind of gentrification that Marti Trgovich, the author of the vignettes, spoofs not only has not come to West Baltimore, it hasn't even come to fucking Hampden. We still don't have any beer gardens anywhere in town. It's a shame, because Trgovich had a sort of interesting premise with which something interesting could have been done. Instead, proving that New Yorkers are truly the most provincial people on Earth, and Brooklynites are even worse than those from other boroughs,  Trgovich went the lazy route and made a couple jokes about yoga and vintage Mario Brothers games and ecofriendly bamboo floors and barmen in suspenders—all the things she sees in Brooklyn. Har har. (Baynard Woods)

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