Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cannabis growing nuns answer to a higher power 🌱

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From: "The Huffington Post" <dailybrief@huffingtonpost.com>
Date: Apr 8, 2016 7:37 PM
Subject: These cannabis growing nuns answer to a higher power 🌱
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Culture Shift is a weekly newsletter curated by the HuffPost Culture writers and editors.

This week we're talking about cannabis "nuns," when satire goes wrong, contemporary performance art, sex education, and the nonfiction books you should read right now.


These Cannabis Growing Nuns Answer To A Higher Power

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When photographers Shaughn Crawford and John DuBois heard about two feminist nuns growing cannabis, they knew they wanted to get it on camera. The photographers tracked down Sister Kate and Sister Darcy, who graciously invited them to their central California "abbey" to watch the magic in action.

Before we say anything else, Sister Kate and Sister Darcy are self-ordained nuns who created their own order. So, although they wear white robes and call themselves highly spiritual, they are not Catholic, nor are they abstinent or subordinate to any priest. Rather, they are vegan, feminist Bernie Sanders supporters who believe in every human's god-given right to cannabis. (Read more here)


PSA: If You Have To Tell Everyone It's Satire, You're Bad At Satire

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Have we run out of would-be satirists yet?

Venerable food writer Calvin Trillin, in the latest issue of The New Yorker, poses the question to us all once again, in the form of a humorous poem entitled "Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?"

If they haven't, we've reason to fret. Long ago, there was just Cantonese. (Long ago, we were easy to please.) But then food from Szechuan came our way, Making Cantonese strictly passé.

The poem concludes with nostalgia for long-past days "When we never were faced with the threat / Of more provinces we hadn't met."

The oddly tone-deaf poem faced sharp backlash on Twitter, with many Asian writers voicing dismay with the doggerel verse's undertones of yellow panic and xenophobia. But of course, Trillin and various defenders made a common reply for those who run afoul of social justice activists these days: The poem was satire, and therefore the outrage was misdirected. As author Celeste Ng pointed out, the label of satire is all too often used as a retroactive excuse for simple bigotry. (Read more here)


Trans Performance Artist Fights An Invisible Oppressor, But Who?

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On Saturday evening, gallery guides at Los Angeles museum The Broad ushered visitors, in groups of 15, down a set of stairs to the empty museum parking lot, where they were met with piercing darkness. The crowd sat in a quickly evolving circle surrounding a black mat, its corners marked by four large cars, headlights on, doors open. "It looks like we're about to see a rumble," my friend whispered.

The crowd was settled, with most people hunched on the floor, save for a few sitting inside the parked cars, radios on, each booming a mixture of music, static, talk radio and advertisements. The various snippets all enmeshed and fought to overpower each other, creating a jarring blanket of noise above the seated audience. A Beatles song, the words "black lives matter," Yo Gotti's "Down in the DM," an advertisement for teeth whitener — chopped and mixed and layered on top of each other, yielding the cacophonous tune of being caught in traffic with your windows down.

Then Cassils emerged. The performance artist was fully naked, and though no one else was visible, their body was quivering, their eyes were panicked. Their hands were tightly crossed in an "X" shape over their chest, painfully still as if being held there against their will or warding off an impending assailant. In a flash, Cassils' body was flung downward by an unseen entity, their flesh crashing to the mat below with the cruel force of someone not treated with human decency. They breathed heavily, heaving, shaking, with twitching muscles and bulging veins creating abstract patterns on the skin that soon faded away to be replaced with new ones. Soon after, another hit. And then another. (Read more here)


We Need Better Sex Education, Author And Mother Argues. Here's Why.

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Shedding a light on the murky waters of consent, journalist Peggy Orenstein interviewed scores of young women about their sexual experiences. The result is compiled in her book Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape, which explores not only assault but also the hairy, often paradoxical hook-up culture that in some ways contributes to it.

"Media-fueled sex panics tend to prey on parental fears about girls' promiscuity or victimizations; the backlash dismisses both as overblown. Rarely does anyone ask the girls themselves what they think," Orenstein writes.

The women she interviewed seemed to feel both empowered and powerless — sexuality was, for many of them, at once a confidence booster and an ego-destroyer. To pinpoint why, Orenstein dug into the paradox created by sexuality-as-performance rather than a felt experience. While pleasure is at the forefront of sexual encounters for many men, women are less likely to have their physical needs met. Orenstein draws a connection between this and a heightened increase in feeling wanted; being desired has, for some young women, replaced feeling desire. (Read more here)


12 New And Upcoming Nonfiction Books For Your Very Specific Interests

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James Brown, pit bulls, the postal service, black holes, music feuds, war and more.

1. A Burglar's Guide to the City by Geoff Manaugh
2. Kill 'Em and Leave by James McBride
3. Neither Snow Nor Rain by Devin Leonard
4. Pit Bull by Bronwen Dickey
5. The Lonely City by Olivia Laing
6. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
7. Black Hole Blues and Other Songs From Outer Space by Janna Levin
8. Hunger by Roxane Gay
9. Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum
10. Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach
11. Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me by Steven Hyden
12. The Most Perfect Thing by Tim Birkhead

(Read more here)


Artist's 'Nude Laughing' Exposes Much More Than Skin

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We heard her before we saw her. The sound of Oakland-based performance artist Xandra Ibarra's laughter echoed from the other side of the Broad Museum while I roamed around with a friend. At first, I wondered: what could be making someone laugh in here? That Jeff Koons sculpture of Michael Jackson and Bubbles isn't that funny.

There's something jarring about loud, boisterous laughter in a museum, a place that seems to demand whispers and hushed tones. Following the sounds, we found Ibarra walking around in tall yellow heels, nude except for a tan breast plate complete with nipples, carrying a long nylon sack filled with paradigmatic "white lady accoutrements," furs, blond wigs, pearls, ballet shoes and fake breasts. Her voice oscillated between high-pitched giggles and orgasmic whimpers as she made a couple loops around the museum's second floor, the audience entranced. Large-scale artworks by the likes of Koons, Christopher Wool and El Anatsui were rendered stagnant and dead when juxtaposed with Ibarra's lively presence, fleshy body and hysterical laughter. (Read more here)


Book of the Week!

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Elizabeth Crane's novel The History of Great Things is narrated by a girl and her mother. (Read more here)

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