A hurricane is coming. Rita is in the Gulf of Mexico and is approaching Houston at a slow but steady pace of nine miles an hour. I don’t have many, or any, illusions that God and Jesus will see us through....more
Today I write on the longest day of the year, the summer solstice. As someone who has been influenced by not a few pagan practitioners and Wiccan wonder workers, along with more conventional priests and monks of various religious varieties, I am attuned to the turning of our planet in the cosmos. Striving to be rational, I nevertheless carry a torch for the romance of astrology that informed my youth, and still celebrate the joys of shamanic practice, divination, chant, and just all around cosmic grooviness. No matter how much I am persuaded to be a child of the enlightenment, in my heart of hearts I remain a child of the occult revival of the 1960s, and secretly believe deep down that everybody must get stoned. Not literally, anymore, in my case. Recovery from alcoholism has necessarily shut that door of perception for the past twenty five years, but it can never be completely closed once opened, and there are other ways and means. (more…)
Isabel Greenberg is a London-based illustrator and writer. She studied illustration at the University of Brighton and has written for a variety of outlets including the Guardian, Nobrow Press, The National Trust, Seven Stories Press, and the New York Times. In 2011 she won the Observer/Jonathan Cape/Comica graphic short story prize. Her first graphic novel, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, was published in 2013.
We talked through email about her second book, The One Hundred Nights of Hero, the premise of which is loosely based on Scheherazade’s One Thousand and One Nights. It starts with, “In the beginning was the world. And it was weird.” (more…)
Welcome to This Week in Trumplandia. Check in with us every Thursday for a weekly roundup of the most pertinent content on our country, which is currently spiraling down a crappy toilet drain. You owe it to yourself, your community, and your humanity to contribute whatever you can, even if it is just awareness of the truth.
Fascist-bro Paul Ryan has his first challenger for the 2018 House Speaker election—and he’s a Democrat, which may or may not mean much. We’ll have to wait and see.
Our next Letter in the Mail comes from Jia Tolentino! Jia writes about a letter she received from a stranger in response to a piece she wrote, why she has yet to respond, why feeling like she’s not enough can be a useful feeling, and that maybe she’s always wanted to write an advice column.
Wednesday 6/21: Cuban writer Achy Obejas (The Tower of the Antilles—our June book club pick!), currently Distinguished Visiting Writer at Mills College, reads from her forthcoming story collection. Free, 7 p.m., City Lights.
Charif Shanahan, Nancy Patrice Davenport, André Le Mont Wilson, Andrew J. Thomas, and Nick Johnson are the featured readers for the June edition of popular reading series Lyrics and Dirges, curated by MK Chavez and Sharon Coleman. Free, 7:30 p.m., Pegasus Bookstore, Downtown Berkeley.
After rising to fame a decade ago with her band Gossip, and following a five-year silence, Beth Ditto is back on the scene with her first solo album, Fake Sugar, out now via Virgin.
Ditto’s charming pop performances find a new awakening in the twelve tracks of the album, on which she sings again about love, relationships (with her wife of four years, in particular), friendship, and human rights. Ditto’s iconic glamour goes side by side with her Southern roots, and without ever turning away from her devotion to human rights and LGBTQ+ rights. (more…)