Lots of tweets about carbs and dee
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Stop Twitting Yourself

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Six months ago I quit Twitter. It happened in a moment that combined the deepest loathing (both self- and other-directed) and the brightest clarity, and I have not looked back since. Apart from the actual quitting of Twitter, the thing I am most proud of is not having written an essay about it, so I am not going to make this into a whole narrative, but I have been fairly evangelical with friends (because there is nothing worse than watching the people you love destroy themselves by choice) and I want to share a couple of lessons I’ve learned. I know that many of you will defend your use of Twitter as something you are forced to endure for work (journalists, for example, use Twitter for the invaluable purposes of promoting their stories, showing how connected they are and finding out what other people are saying about them) so let me just tell you up front that if what you do for a living requires you to dip your head into a polluted stream twenty times a day and take a big sip before you personally defecate in the water you either need to find another career or admit to yourself that there is something about you that enjoys drinking from the same river where you shit. The other excuse I’ve heard is that it is important to stay on Twitter to know what is happening in the world, so this is where I want to pass along the valuable knowledge I’ve gained from avoiding it: 1) There is nothing important that happens on Twitter that you will not learn about eventually. 2) There is nothing you will eventually hear about from Twitter that will make you think, “Gosh, I wish I knew that earlier.” You are not missing anything. You do not need to march in the mediocrity parade of frustrated comedians trying to make the same stupid joke a fraction of a second before anyone else. Your image does not need curation, because all you are doing is broadcasting your desperation. No one is cool on Twitter. It is a giant assemblage of sad people trying too hard in real time. You do not need to do anything in front of an audience. Remember email? You probably don’t, because no one uses it anymore, but it was amazing because you could have a conversation with someone without either one of you trying to show off for a pitiable collection of the needy and hopeless, whose craving for validation would be comical if it weren’t as tragic as your own. Your desire to play to the crowd is both symptom and expression of the sickness unto death. All social media is poison, but Twitter is a particular type of toxin because it takes the lack of nuance that makes the Internet in general so abrasive and it dissolves it down to its ugliest essence. Everything that happens on Twitter is a nightmare, and every time you turn away from your screen and wonder why you feel like you want to die that’s why. Stop using Twitter. Here endeth the lesson.

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rocketo
25 days ago
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“if what you do for a living requires you to dip your head into a polluted stream twenty times a day and take a big sip before you personally defecate in the water you either need to find another career or admit to yourself that there is something about you that enjoys drinking from the same river where you shit.”
seattle, wa
jaimeshade
25 days ago
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Atlanta, GA
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2 public comments
lukeburrage
25 days ago
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I love Twitter. Does this author know that you choose who you follow and what you see? Of what you see is toxic, it’s because YOU decided to keep following toxic people. I follow friends, sportspeople, some podcasters, etc... and it’s great! Nothing toxic at all.
rocketo
22 days ago
It must be nice not having anyone target you for harassment on a site you can choose to use. Not everyone on Twitter has the luxury of enjoying it.
lukeburrage
22 days ago
Yes, harassment is a big issue, but that blog post isn't about harassment. It's not even mentioned. It's about self image and following unfunny comedians. The easiest thing: don't post much and only follow friends and small groups. I've blocked Donald Trump too, so he doesn't show up in retweets.
cjmcnamara
25 days ago
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nick carr shot, alex balk chaser

The Green Party Responds to Dan Savage, Says He's "Dead Wrong"

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by Ansel Herz

We’re willing to not only run for dog catcher but also go to the mat for a ballot position to do it.
"We’re willing to not only run for dog catcher but also go to the mat for a ballot position to do it." Green Party

Dan Savage, the other day:

Where are the Green Party candidates for city councils? For county councils? For state legislatures? For state assessor? For state insurance commissioner? For governor? For fucking dogcatcher? I would be SO willing to vote for Green Party candidates who are starting at the bottom, grassroots, bottom up, building a third party, a viable third party.

Green Party national co-chair The Green Party's national co-chair, Andrea Mérida Cuéllar, pictured above, responds:

Ansel Herz’s repost of Dan Savage’s comments about the Green Party on Tuesday slammed into my field of view when I was deluged by messages of outrage from fellow Greens from around the country. They considered Dan Savage an ally in many progressive causes and were shocked by his rhetoric and lack of knowledge about the Green Party of the United States.

I respect Savage, having first become acquainted with his activism through the “It Gets Better” project and its advocacy for teen LGBTQIA+, as your readers already know. But his commentary begs correction of various inaccuracies in what he understands about the Green Party. I should state for the record that as the only Latina in national political party leadership today, I am decidedly not “pasty white,” as he accuses in his commentary. Neither are Cynthia McKinney or Rosa Clemente, our presidential and VP candidates from 2008, nor Cheri Honkala, Jill Stein’s running mate in 2012, nor Winona LaDuke, Ralph Nader’s running mate in 2000...none are “pasty white,” either.

First, the Green Party actually does run candidates from dog catcher on up.

Here are just a few of our currently seated elected officials around the country:

Bruce Delgado, mayor in Marina, CA
Avito Miranda, school district trustee in Marin County, CA
Hector Lopez, constable in New Canaan, CT
Mirna Martinez, board of education, New London, CT
Gayle McLaughlin, councilmember (and former mayor) in Richmond, CA
Cam Gordon, councilmember in Minneapolis, MN
Becky Elder, councilmember in Manitou Springs, CO
Merrily Mazza, councilmember in Lafayette, CO

Some former elected officials include Michael Feinstein (mayor, Santa Monica, CA) and myself, Denver’s first Green-registered elected official (Board of Education, Denver, CO).

Your readers can find even more at our database, here. These names and offices may not impress Dan Savage, but we each have way more skin in the electoral game than he has shown to date.

We’re running candidates for all levels of state and federal government too, and some of our featured candidates are here, the list of which include Dr. Margaret Flowers, who activists will recognize as a fighter for single-payer healthcare, against the TPP and the editor of PopularResistance.org. In my home state of Colorado, we are proud to support our U.S. Senate candidate, Arn Menconi, a former elected county commissioner from the area around Vail.

So, you see, Savage’s assertion that we only run presidential candidates is incorrect, and perhaps he didn’t notice the 2014 campaigns for congress, state representative, public utility district and charter review commission in Washington state.

It doesn’t appear that Savage is aware of the incredible advantage that the duopoly parties have in automatic ballot access, as opposed to the massive injustice that third parties face. In states like Illinois, having a presidential candidate is a requirement for winning major-party status, without which an alternative party has no future. In other states, the cachet of a presidential campaign helps fuel the party signature requirements for all other Green candidates, because they face nearly insurmountable required numbers; for example:

North Carolina: 89,366 signatures
Tennessee: 33, 816 signatures
Georgia: 51,912 signatures
Oklahoma: 24, 745 signatures
Texas: 47,086 signatures

Keep in mind that these are raw numbers to get any Green party candidate on the ballot and do not include the buffer signatures of at least 50 percent more to insulate against challenges. When a Green Party presidential candidate runs, they carry the weight of a whole lot of other down-ticket races on their coattails, by necessity, and have to run huge ballot access campaigns simultaneous to their presidential campaign. Ralph Nader’s campaign manager has spelled it out. This is decidedly NOT what democracy looks like.

I am pleased to point out that Jill Stein will be on the ballot for Washington state this November.

With regard to Ralph Nader’s campaign for president in 2000, Jim Hightower documented back then that “Nader only drew 24,000 Democrats to his cause, yet 308,000 Democrats voted for Bush.” Therefore, Al Gore’s problem was not Ralph Nader, but rather a Democrat turnout problem. There were other mitigating issues too, such as the whole hanging chad controversy and SCOTUS’ upholding of Katherine Harris’ certification of George Bush’s victory in Florida, as well as the fact that Gore lost his home state of Tennessee.

When we in the Green Party hear about “spoiler candidates,” it usually comes from people who believe that the Democratic Party is entitled to votes without actually doing the work of the people, especially people of color like me, the LGBTQIA+ community, students and others. We are expected to faithfully fall in line without any perceivable return on investment. And yet, Seattle has shown that they’re not satisfied with that status quo, as shown in the re-election of Kshama Sawant, massive support for Bernie Sanders’ agenda, for the fight for $15 an hour and the robust presence of #blacklivesmatter.

We Greens are also well acquainted with Savage’s own rhetoric of entitlement regarding Democratic candidacies, for example his violent remarks aimed at Green Pennsylvania congressional candidate Carl Romanelli in 2006, also challenging Rick Santorum. At that time, Savage said about Romanelli, “The idiot Green? . . . Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there's nothing left but the rope." He apparently knew about our non-presidential candidates even in 2006. Perhaps he forgot in May 2016.

Those of us who live outside of privileged circles know that voting for either lobe of the corporate party brings us more of the same: massive student debt, low-paying jobs, more deportations, more wars for oil, more destruction of the environment, more police militarization and even more waffling over the safety and security of the LGBTQIA+ community on the job or at home, or most notably the safety of transgender youth of color anywhere. Neither Democratic nor Republican party shelters us from those storms, and the rhetoric and track record of the presidential candidates of both parties sounds like the other. What’s the difference between violent and racist rhetoric and violent and racist past rhetoric and current actions?

Instead, we need true progressives fighting for all of us, who are unafraid to take on corporate interest for the good of the people. For example, in Richmond, California, Gayle McLaughlin served two terms as a Green mayor and accomplished what no Democrat would ever dare: She held the local Chevron oil refinery accountable for violations and enraged big banks by saving residents facing foreclosure from eviction.

We simply cannot wait for the duopoly to save us. We are willing to take matters into our own hands, and the demise of the campaigns of Sen. Sanders, Rep. Kucinich, Gov. Dean and more show us that we cannot do it within the Democratic Party. We are willing to build a strong third-party alternative within the Green Party that centers people, peace and planet over profit and truly sees each person of color...each gender expression...each citizenship status...each socioeconomic level as equally worthy of enfranchisement. We believe in democracy and that every person has a voice, and we’re willing to not only run for dog catcher but also go to the mat for a ballot position to do it. And we'll carry that sign in a protest march too.

Finally, a vote for Jill Stein is simply that: a vote for Jill Stein. While Savage decries the Green Party for our supposed Hail Mary pass of a presidential electoral campaign, he fails to recognize that we run candidates all up and down the ballot all over the country. Perhaps now that he has seen our work of nearly 40 years, he will see fit to send us a donation and support us, instead of sniping from behind a laptop and spinning falsehoods with a petulant sense of entitlement.

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jaimeshade
576 days ago
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Atlanta, GA
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Seattle's Scariest Up-and-Coming Drag Queens

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Seattle's Scariest Up-and-Coming Drag Queens by Matt Baume

Cucci Binaca

Across from me on the sofa sat a former navy officer in a bright floral dress, frizzy pink wig, and green contacts with stars around the pupils, watching me struggle to find the right words to describe his style of drag.

"You're kind of... a demon-Muppet?" I tried. Cucci Binaca seemed pleased with that.

"Creature-monster," he said. "A lot of people would say, 'Oh, you're not a drag queen.' But I AM a drag queen. I have lots of makeup on, I have eyelashes, I wear heels. I'm a drag queen. My makeup is definitely goblin, 100 percent."

Tyler Lane had been waiting for his time in the spotlight ever since his parents bought him a radio in the third grade. He'd lock himself in the bathroom for hours with the shower on cold so no one would know that he was living in front of the mirror, blasting music and lip-synching at himself.

But it wasn't until he joined the navy and was serving on a base in Bremerton that the lure of drag finally caught up with him. It was a risky time to put on high heels: Don't ask don't tell was still in effect, and even today you can be discharged for cross-dressing.

"It was very, very, very scary," he said. "My friends, when I first joined the navy, didn't know I was gay. They'd be like, 'Where are you going at night? What are you doing?' I can't tell them, 'I'm going to the gay bars to go suck dick.'"

So why jump into drag?

"I felt like there was something missing," he said, batting long pink eyelashes. "I had all this structure, but I didn't have any way to express myself. I had been dancing alone in mirrors for my whole entire life, and finally I'm like, 'I'm getting older.' This is something I'd always wanted to do, but I had a fear of really liking it and not having everybody like me do it. So I said 'Fuck it,' and I'm happy."

Tyler created Cucci as a defiant challenge not only to the navy but to drag conventions. She's an utterly frightful character, with the kind of scary-clown makeup that you'd expect to see on an ax-wielding maniac. But underneath the monster, Tyler is at his most vulnerable when he's in front of an audience.

"The first time I went out onstage, I was wearing a 1970s vintage dress from my grandma," he said. "My grandma, when I was a kid, would put a little bit of lipstick on me and let me wear jewelry. So it was very special for me to go out onstage in all of that great stuff."

And he found that the more time he spent scaring audiences as Cucci, the less tense he felt when he went back to being Tyler. "I suffered with depression and being very anxious inside for a majority of my life," he said. "But once I started doing drag, it all went away."

That's when the navy presented him with a choice: either ship off to Okinawa, where a midnight curfew would put a stop to Cucci's nightlife appearances, or leave the service.

He chose Cucci.

"I like to play with that element of fear," he said, dabbing at his black lipstick. "'Cause people are going to pay attention to me. We're all monsters. Humans suck. I just happen to LOOK like a monster."

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Arson Nicki

When Arson Nicki stepped out onstage at the Seattle Public Library's Banned! Books in Drag show last month, it was with black tape over her nipples, a ski mask over her face, and spiked sleeves of zip ties running along her arms like those of a Tim Burton creature. Halfway through her act, she chugged a bottle of stage blood and then drooled over herself while rubbing blood across her clearly male chest.

It was a tribute to the children's book Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and the audience of a thousand book-lovers roared with approval.

Michael Joseph Hanley gave birth to Arson Nicki one night last February. Throughout college, friends had been pressuring him to do drag, but he was too scared to give it a try. "I was afraid," he told me, "afraid of people thinking I wanted to be a woman. I thought I was going to look really stupid, and people were going to laugh at me for looking stupid. But the surprising part was I felt very powerful."

His first night performing in drag, he strutted across the stage in a bra and tights and pig nose, lip-synching to "All Men Are Pigs" by the Studio Killers, and something came over him. "In my past, people would always shit on me for being feminine. And so to take that effeminate quality and turn it around—that is an extremely empowering feeling. To take what people think should be a negative thing and make it positive, it was the greatest feeling in the world."

Michael had stumbled upon an unexpected muse: fear. His own anxieties, he discovered, could illuminate his performances. "When people ask me, 'How do you choose projects?' the first thing I ask myself is 'What am I afraid of?' And whatever that is, it is going to be the next focus," he said. Instead of shrinking from things that frighten him, he could draw power from them.

Afraid that he'd compare unfavorably to the feminine performers with whom he'd be sharing the stage at the Banned! Books show, he leaned into his anxiety with a persona that attacked a symbol of traditional drag: fake boobs. Baring a bloody boy-chest, he tore strips of tape from his nipples that left painful-looking red lines of irritation across his torso.

Fright, anxiety, and discomfort are Michael's motifs, even in his more lighthearted acts: He recently performed as an undead Marie Antoinette, complete with slit throat, handing out cupcakes before lip-synching to "Heads Will Roll."

It's maybe a mixed blessing that he has so many anxieties from which to draw. "I'm afraid of talking about my alcoholism," he told me. "I'm afraid of getting naked in front of large amounts of people. I'm afraid that I'm going to die alone. I'm afraid that people are going to find out that I don't really know anything. I'm afraid that people aren't going to love me for who I am. I feel like I've confronted half of those things already—and fears develop over time, so there's going to be new material to work with."

Here's hoping!

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Amoania

Do not bother asking Amoania to describe her performances to you. Believe me, I tried.

"You should just come see them," she told me, repeatedly. "As a creative, I prefer to not reveal all of those things in an interview." She took a sip of water. "If you want to see the art, you need to be there."

Amoania's performance has entered a space that I think I'm going to have to describe as "post-fright." She's moved on from spooky drag to something new—and whatever it is, it defies all description.

Amoania started performing about six years ago, and back then she says her sole focus was on "being a freaky bloody scary drag queen. That's all that it was."

For her first act, she strutted into the War Room covered in googly eyes and a mouth full of fake blood. Accompanied by "Supa Doopa" by Les Georges Leningrad, a song that sounds like a woman arguing with an angle grinder, Amoania stalked around the room and grabbed preselected audience members to make out with. They, too, had mouths full of fake blood. After kissing, they'd vomit red goo and "die."

"It seemed really sexy to me at the time," Amoania said, "but also really scary."

It's no surprise that her acts were angry and confrontational. After growing up on Bainbridge Island, and then living in Seattle for five years, she'd grown bored with the scene.

"Same music," she sighed. "Same parties. Same bars. Same people. Same outfits. Same jobs. Everything the same. Same boys. Tired of it."

She shook things up a bit with grotesque, aggressive drag acts, and then moved to San Francisco. But with that city converting itself into corporate housing for Facebook, there wasn't much use for an up-and-coming drag monster. Before long, she was back in Seattle with a renewed sense of purpose.

"When I moved to San Francisco, I saw people bringing performance art into clubs. Something you'd typically have to see in a gallery," she said. I pressed her for examples, and she described a performer who lit the stage solely with candles, and another who lip-synched to slowed-down pop songs.

Upon her return to Seattle, she found her appetite for strangeness whetted, but was unable to find anything as outré as candlelight and slowed pop. And so she created Cathedral, a monthly drag night now held at Cockpit where performers are free to stray as far as possible from conventional drag.

She still sees herself as striking a blow against the mundane. But now, instead of just angrily gargling blood and resenting her own boredom, she's creating the scene she wants to see.

"My goal is not to be a fright anymore, necessarily," she told me. "Not just going up onstage in drag for the sake of being shocking. Because that's boring to me now."

So what exactly is post-fright drag? I looked up Amoania on Vimeo and found a clip of her in a darkened room with a pig nose on her face. She listlessly disemboweled a tied-up man under a strobe light, smeared blood all over her slip, and then wandered into the screaming crowd.

But in person, Amoania demurred when I pressed her on the details of her show.

"I could describe these performances to you," she said, stretching her arms up above her head. "I could totally do that." recommended

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jaimeshade
847 days ago
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The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle & Rolling Stone’s Christopher Weingarten Made A Noise Cassette

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tcot tapeJohn Darnielle is the frontman of the Mountain Goats, one of the greatest bands in the world. He's also a great writer, and you should really read Wolf In White Van, the novel he published last year. Christopher R. Weingarten is a writer, specifically a music critic, by trade. He works at Rolling Stone now, … More »








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jaimeshade
859 days ago
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Grace Jones Criticizes 'Middle of the Road' Pop Stars Beyoncé, Rihanna, Nicki, Miley in Memoir Excerpt

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Grace Jones Criticizes 'Middle of the Road' Pop Stars Beyoncé, Rihanna, Nicki, Miley in Memoir Excerpt

Photo by Erez Avissar

On September 29, Grace Jonesis releasing her memoirI'll Never Write My Memoirs. A new excerpt of the book published in Time Outshows Jones criticizing some of the biggest pop stars in the world. 

The excerpt begins with Jones saying that she's "never comfortable in the middle of the stream, flowing in the same direction as everyone else" and says her instinct is "to resist the pull of the obvious". She also writes of her experience being copied Then, she writes that she's been "copied" by several major stars.

Trends come along and people say, ‘Follow that trend’. There’s a lot of that around at the moment: ‘Be like Sasha Fierce. Be like Miley Cyrus. Be like Rihanna. Be like Lady Gaga. Be like Rita Ora and Sia. Be like Madonna.’ I cannot be like them – except to the extent that they are already being like me.

Jones writes that she was offered to collaborate with an unnamed singer "on the list of those who came after me," but declined despite those around her insisting people insisting that it would be good for her career. "No! It will be good for her; she will draw from everything I have built and add it to her brand, and I will get nothing back except for a little temporary attention."

This led to her discussion that "the Nicki Minajes and Mileys" of the pop world have "no long-term vision." vision". 

...They forget that once you get into that whirlpool then you have to fight the system that solidifies around you in order to keep being the outsider you claim you represent. There will always be a replacement coming along very soon—a newer version, a crazier version, a louder version. So if you haven’t got a long-term plan, then you are merely a passing phase, the latest trend, yesterday’s event.

They dress up as though they are challenging the status quo, but by now, wearing those clothes, pulling those faces, revealing those tattoos and breasts, singing to those fractured, spastic, melting beats – that is the status quo. You are not off the beaten track, pushing through the thorny undergrowth, finding treasure no one has come across before. You are in the middle of the road.

She ends the piece by saying that she's a teacher and naming teacher, and she names a few of her pupils: "pupils", including Kanye West, FKA twigs, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Annie Lennox, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Cyrus. 

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jaimeshade
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Lana Del Rey Announces Honeymoon Tracklist

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Lana Del Rey Honeymoon TracklistLana Del Rey has been steadily feeding us info about her new album Honeymoon, mostly via Instagram. We know that it's out 9/18 and we've heard the gloaming title track along with the muted chiller "High By The Beach." Today she's officially shared the tracklist, which you can check out below. She … More »








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jaimeshade
915 days ago
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