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In the News 03.06.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


In the News 03.06.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 03.06.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
In the News 03.06.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Is the ‘Digital Nomad’ Life as Good as It Sounds?

Nia Howard, a recent college graduate from California, seems comfortable living 8,000 miles from home with a group of complete strangers, many of them old enough to be her parents. Her daily existence near Canggu, Bali, which includes hikes through rice paddies, midday swims, and lots of tropical fruit, bears little relation to her job with an American proofreading service, where she teleworks 40 hours a week, improving the spelling, grammar, and syntax of legal documents, medical papers, and scientific-journal articles. Howard isn’t crazy about the work; her ambitions are more creative. “But I’ve always been trying to find ways to avoid having an office job,” she says. Reclined on an ultrasuede couch in the middle of a luxury villa, she gives a self-aware shrug.

The French doors are open, letting in the sounds of roosters, wind chimes, and neighbors shouting in Indonesian. It’s just past noon. People mill in and out of the living room and make vague plans to order lunch. Sara Pezzolesi, an Italian photographer and designer in her late thirties, fills a glass with water and adjusts her wrist brace, which I assumed was for carpal tunnel but turns out to be the result of an injury sustained while scrambling up a temple. Someone wanders in wearing swim trunks, polishes off the last of a pizza that had been sitting in the fridge for a few days, and carefully breaks down the box for recycling. Eventually, a Mexican restaurant is chosen and an iPhone passed around the room. A programmer orders tacos. A copywriter goes for quesadillas. A discussion about mole ensues. With the order placed and the wait time established—half an hour—everyone gets back to work.

Read the rest of this article at: Outside Magazine

Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump Dossier


In January, after a long day at his London office, Christopher Steele, the former spy turned private investigator, was stepping off a commuter train in Farnham, where he lives, when one of his two phones rang. He’d been looking forward to dinner at home with his wife, and perhaps a glass of wine. It had been their dream to live in Farnham, a town in Surrey with a beautiful Georgian high street, where they could afford a house big enough to accommodate their four children, on nearly an acre of land. Steele, who is fifty-three, looked much like the other businessmen heading home, except for the fact that he kept his phones in a Faraday bag—a pouch, of military-tested double-grade fabric, designed to block signal detection.

A friend in Washington, D.C., was calling with bad news: two Republican senators, Lindsey Graham and Charles Grassley, had just referred Steele’s name to the Department of Justice, for a possible criminal investigation. They were accusing Steele—the author of a secret dossier that helped trigger the current federal investigation into President Donald Trump’s possible ties to Russia—of having lied to the very F.B.I. officers he’d alerted about his findings. The details of the criminal referral were classified, so Steele could not know the nature of the allegations, let alone rebut them, but they had something to do with his having misled the Bureau about contacts that he’d had with the press. For nearly thirty years, Steele had worked as a close ally of the United States, and he couldn’t imagine why anyone would believe that he had been deceptive. But lying to an F.B.I. officer is a felony, an offense that can be punished by up to five years in prison.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

Shop the Tuscany Tote in Midnight
at Belgrave Crescent &

Show The Monster

In 1926, Forrest Ackerman, a nine-year-old misfit in Los Angeles, visited a newsstand and bought a copy of Amazing Stories—a new magazine about aliens, monsters, and other oddities. By the time he reached the final page, he had become America’s first fanboy. He started a group called the Boys’ Scientifiction Club; in 1939, he wore an outer-space outfit to a convention for fantasy aficionados, establishing a costuming ritual still followed by the hordes at Comic-Con. Ackerman founded a cult magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, and, more lucratively, became an agent for horror and science-fiction writers. He crammed an eighteen-room house in Los Feliz with genre memorabilia, including a vampire cape worn by Bela Lugosi and a model of the pteranodon that tried to abscond with Fay Wray in “King Kong.” Ackerman eventually sold off his collection to pay medical bills, and in 2008 he died. He had no children.

But he had an heir. In 1971, Guillermo del Toro, the film director, was a seven-year-old misfit in Guadalajara, Mexico. He liked to troll the city sewers and dissolve slugs with salt. One day, in the magazine aisle of a supermarket, he came upon a copy of Famous Monsters of Filmland. He bought it, and was so determined to decode Ackerman’s pun-strewed prose—the letters section was called Fang Mail—that he quickly became bilingual.

Read the rest of this article at: The New Yorker


Under the Hollywood Gaslight

Rose McGowan, an actress who monopolized all the best lines as a post-apocalyptic semi-goth in Gregg Araki’s The Doom Generation and found fame as a tart-tongued vixen-slash-victim in the horror film Scream, confirmed her own death as January 1997, during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. She was twenty-three. “[M]y body might be alive, but who I was is dead,” she writes in her 2018 memoir, Brave. “I’m now a live body carrying a deadened spirit around.”

Rose McGowan was betrayed by her body, though at first, she didn’t have one. As a child, she has said she was a mind alone. In the cult in Italy in which she was raised, she remembers no mirrors. Then America showed her her reflection. Now, she was a body alone. Men saw her tits, saw her ass, saw her lips, so she saw her tits, saw her ass, saw her lips. She was trapped. And when her body, reduced to sex, was taken, so was she. “That’s murder,” she said. “You’re killing somebody.”

Rape was a theme in her life, but also in her films—The Doom Generation, Scream, Jawbreaker, Planet Terror. So, she found a new life, with new work, work in which she could distill her mind—directing a film, Dawn, writing a book, Brave, producing a series, “Citizen Rose,” recording an album, Planet 9—assembling an “army of thought” to disrupt male dominance. It was a disembodied roar and it was messy. Siphoned through respected institutions—The New York Times, The New Yorker—and bolstered by others, it became fit for public consumption. In Vanity Fair this year, reflecting on her relationships with powerful men, McGowan said, “as brutal as it was, it was all gathering data. Unfortunately, I am the data. It was a sacrifice.”

Read the rest of this article at: Hazlitt

The Poison We Pick


It is a beautiful, hardy flower, Papaver somniferum, a poppy that grows up to four feet in height and arrives in a multitude of colors. It thrives in temperate climates, needs no fertilizer, attracts few pests, and is as tough as many weeds. The blooms last only a few days and then the petals fall, revealing a matte, greenish-gray pod fringed with flutes. The seeds are nutritious and have no psychotropic effects. No one knows when the first curious human learned to crush this bulblike pod and mix it with water, creating a substance that has an oddly calming and euphoric effect on the human brain. Nor do we know who first found out that if you cut the pod with a small knife, capture its milky sap, and leave that to harden in the air, you’ll get a smokable nugget that provides an even more intense experience. We do know, from Neolithic ruins in Europe, that the cultivation of this plant goes back as far as 6,000 years, probably farther. Homer called it a “wondrous substance.” Those who consumed it, he marveled, “did not shed a tear all day long, even if their mother or father had died, even if a brother or beloved son was killed before their own eyes.” For millennia, it has salved pain, suspended grief, and seduced humans with its intimations of the divine. It was a medicine before there was such a thing as medicine. Every attempt to banish it, destroy it, or prohibit it has failed.

The poppy’s power, in fact, is greater than ever. The molecules derived from it have effectively conquered contemporary America. Opium, heroin, morphine, and a universe of synthetic opioids, including the superpowerful painkiller fentanyl, are its proliferating offspring. More than 2 million Americans are now hooked on some kind of opioid, and drug overdoses — from heroin and fentanyl in particular — claimed more American lives last year than were lost in the entire Vietnam War. Overdose deaths are higher than in the peak year of AIDS and far higher than fatalities from car crashes. The poppy, through its many offshoots, has now been responsible for a decline in life spans in America for two years in a row, a decline that isn’t happening in any other developed nation. According to the best estimates, opioids will kill another 52,000 Americans this year alone — and up to half a million in the next decade.

Read the rest of this article at: New York Magazine

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

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