What a year.
As 2014 comes to a close, Daily RFT thought we'd take our readers on a tour of the year's biggest stories -- the good, the bad and the blackface. It's been a good year if you like to read about racism and a bad year if you wanted to wear a sleeveless shirt to Ballpark Village.
Here, in reverse order, are the ten most read stories on the Riverfront Times news blog, Daily RFT, for 2014:
The senior girls at Sullivan High School played their annual powder-puff football game in full blackface just as St. Louis braced for the grand jury's decision on the fatal shooting of black teen Michael Brown. Principal Jennifer Schmidt told the Riverfront Times the senior team often wears black and gold facepaint to intimidate their opponents, the junior class, and that there was "nothing racial about it."
Seventeen-year-old Matt Perry worked two jobs to save up for his dream car, a 1965 cream-and-green Ford F100. But his subdivision in Wildwood has rules against trucks, so he faced a $25-per-day, or $9,000-per-year fine for parking it in his own driveway. One neighbor even threatened to call the police on him.
Barely 24 hours after then-Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson killed eighteen-year-old Michael Brown, his family wanted people to know two things: First, they wanted everyone online, including celebrities like Souljaboy, to stop sharing photos of his lifeless body laying in the middle of Canfield Drive. The second was that Brown was a shy, nonviolent kid who loved music and wanted to go to college.
Meth-o-potamia, Tom-and-Huck-istan, Lil' Dixie. There's nuance to Missouri (or should we say Missouriah?) than the Yankee vs. Confederate, urban vs. rural, Blue state vs. Red divides. So Riverfront Times created a scientific breakdown of the true states of Missouri based on geography, culture, politics, demographics and a heavy sprinkling of stereotyping.
Are you a twentysomething fresh out of college, spending your days at Whole Foods and your nights at Bar Napoli, always surrounded by a group of loud, crazy friends? Coolfire Studio -- the St. Louis-based group that brought us Salvage City -- was casting for a new reality-television series here in St. Louis earlier this year, and their casting wish list describes just about every midcounty douchebag in town.
The top five stories of the year, on page two!