Remembering the Ziegfeld Theater, Rome’s Modest Statues, and More: Today’s Recommended Reading

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Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the Internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘Net are doing, too. Today we’ve got snack food mascots rebelling against/embracing the furry community, Italians revolting against the censorship of public art, memorials of the famous, now-shuttered Ziegfeld Theater, and more.

Over at the Guardian, they’ve done some real fine work in summing up the Twitter controversy concerning cereal mascots and the furry community. The short of it? Tony the Tiger does not think furries are grrreat, but Chester Cheetah does.

The definition of the term “furry” is contested, even among furries themselves, but it usually refers to the fandom of people who identify with, roleplay as, and usually wear fursuits to mimic, anthropomorphised cartoon animals. It’s not a sex thing. At least, it’s not always a sex thing. Basically, if the suave Disney version of Robin Hood – who is a literal fox – spoke to you on a romantic level, you may appreciate where they’re coming from.

Over at ArtNet, news of the Italian media’s takedown of the government’s decision to censor public art ahead of a visit from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Italian political and cultural commentators have come out in droves to bash the Italian government’s censorship of nude classical Roman statues; reportedly to avoid offending Iranian president Hassan Rouhani during a state visit. Rouhani was visiting Rome as part of his tour to meet European leaders to discuss various international business deals, after economic sanctions against Iran were lifted. The two leaders met at the Capitoline Museum for a joint press conference on Monday, where many member of the press in attendance noted that the nude statues on view in the museum had been encased in white, wooden boxes. Perhaps predictably there were a number of different reactions to this.

New York City’s cherished Ziegfeld Theater is closing, against all hopes, and IndieWire has gathered some thoughts and remembrances from some very big players in the movie industry. Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, and Ava DuVernay all contribute.

From Scorsese:

Well, this really is the end of an era of moviegoing. It’s a question of scale. When I was young, there were so many theatres in the city that were on the scale of the Ziegfeld. One by one, they disappeared. The multiplexes – it’s just not the same thing, even if stadium seating is more comfortable.

Lastly, over at NPR a sad, brief feature with Bob Ebeling, one of the engineers behind the Challenger, which exploded on takeoff 30 years ago. He still blames himself for the Challenger’s failure.

“I think that was one of the mistakes that God made,” Ebeling says softly. “He shouldn’t have picked me for the job. But next time I talk to him, I’m gonna ask him, ‘Why me. You picked a loser.’ ”