Stacey-Nguyen-full

Feeling and connecting through art

“I don’t like looking at art,” my friend told me as we listlessly lazed in my apartment, discussing summer plans. “I prefer hands-on exhibits.” Rather than taking offense, I was curious at her comment. It made me think about not only how we engage with art, but also what we Read More…

Robin Williams and mental health

Within minutes after its announcement, the general reaction to Robin Williams’ death on Facebook was surprise. How could a comedian commit suicide? How could a man who smiled all the time be mentally ill? How can anyone rich and famous want to end his life? Our culture seemed to have Read More…

straus

Identity Crisis

Two Steps Forward

The American dream may end up being the end of the world. Roughly equivalent to the first-world dream, the American one can be summarized as having a lot of things you didn’t make. In order to fulfill it, one needs a house, a car, processed food, factory-made clothes and on Read More…

straus

A Transhuman Primer

Two Steps Forward

By the end of my lifetime, I want to be part machine. Transhumanism is the ideal of bettering the human condition by joining our bodies with our technology. We have been moving toward it since a proto-human in sub-Saharan Africa discovered that sharp rocks were better than fingernails for gutting Read More…

Stacey-Nguyen-full

Express bus ride

Theoretical Titillation

I felt as though I was embarking a journey with complete strangers, like we shared something in common that was often overlooked in our rushed daily lives, which we conduct by creating walls of difference rather than bridges of community. For a moment, the anxiety of interacting with strangers was gone. Read More…

HelenWongOnline

Cannibals and Hannibal

Growing Pains

The show raises questions about cannibalism actually being evil; there are a lot of not-so-subtle rationalizations that Hannibal Lecter thinks up to justify his decision to murder and then eat people like it’s no big deal. Eat the rude. Why? Because they’re pigs, apparently, and the best way to deal with the rude is to turn them into filet mignon or chateaubriand or whatever other near-unpronounceable dish that Hannibal feels the need to eat, because he’s clearly incapable of preparing anything that can’t be categorized as high-class food porn. Read More…

SophieLee

Nothingness is a hard drug

Safe, Sane and Consensual

I found myself lying in a shallow pool of warm water about 10 inches deep and 10 times more buoyant than seawater. If I moved, the water tickling my arms reminded me that I wasn’t hopelessly adrift on the Dead Sea at night. Read More…

We stand with Ferguson

Michael Brown’s death is not an isolated incident of institutionalized racism run amok; it exists in a continuum of slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow and the almost ageless stereotype of the violent black man. It exists in an ascendant culture of totalitarian police who were armed by an ever-growing military industrial complex by a country that strives to be always profiting at war. To the people of Ferguson, it exists in a timeline of tension wherein a mostly black town is occupied by an almost all-white police force. To the people of Berkeley, it exists as oppression that cannot be borne if any of us is to feel safe or free. Read More…

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Piracy and morality

I wanted to watch “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” but none of the local theaters were playing it anymore, I couldn’t buy the Blu-Ray because I don’t have that kind of money, Amazon was empty, and there were no other legitimate channels I could go through. I started going through Read More…

Insects are the future of food

Safe, Sane and Consensual

I stared into its black, beady, little eyes. Then I popped it in my mouth, expecting the worst, but it was crunchy and tasted like garlic, lime and chili. I was in a market in Oaxaca, Mexico, and mounds of fried grasshoppers, called chapulines, are a common sight. They’re addictive Read More…