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Category Archives: Hedonism

Cozy up with 8 books by Bay Area authors this winter – 7×7

Posted: November 23, 2021 at 4:29 pm

This season, as always, we are grateful to Bay Area authors for giving us smart and inspiring reads.

From a memoir about the '90's East Bay rave scene to a portrait of a famed America painter to the latest cookbook from Tartine's expert bread bakers, there are plenty of riveting pages to kick back with over the holidays.

Happy reading.

Light on Fire: The Art and Life of Sam Francis / Gabrielle Selz

Drawing on exclusive interviews and private correspondence, Gabrielle Selz offers a revelatory biography of Sam Francis, one of the 20th century's most celebrated artists, and the American painter who brought the vocabulary of abstract expressionism to Paris. She traces the extraordinary life of this complex and charismatic artist who first learned to paint as a former air corps pilot encased for three years in a full-body cast. While still a young man, Francis saw his color-saturated paintings fetch the highest prices of any living artist. His restless desire resulted in five marriages and homes on three continents. His entrepreneurial spirit led to founding a museum, a publishing company, a reforestation program, and several nonprofits.

With settings from World War II San Francisco to post-war Paris, New York, Tokyo and Los Angeles, Selz writes an intimate portrait of a man who sought to resolve in art the contradictions he couldn't resolve in life. Ed Ruscha says, "I think of Sam as a modern-day Nijinsky with a big loaded brush. He would get onto a canvas and really clean house. Gabrielle Selz's book really captures his spirit."

// $35,

Raver Girl: Coming of Age in the 90s / Samantha Durbin

A '90s time capsule buried inside a coming-of-age memoir set against the neon backdrop of the SF Bay Area's rave scene, Raver Girl chronicles Durbin's double life as she teeters between hedonism and sobriety, chaos and calm, all while sneaking under the radar of her father. Through euphoric highs and dangerous lows, Samantha discovers she's someone who lives life to the fullest and learns best through alternative experience rather than mainstream ideals. She's a creative whose mind is limitless, whose quirks are charms, whose passion is inspirational. She's an independent woman whose inner strength is rooted in unwavering family ties. And if she can survive high school, she just might be okay. Pop Sugar says "Can you get high from reading a book? You'll swear Raver Girl is laced with something."

// $17,

Menergy: San Francisco's Gay Disco Sound / Louis Niebur

After a backlash against disco music in 1979, enterprising gay DJs, record producers, and musicians in the Castro District started their own small dance music record labels to make up for the lack of new, danceable music. Almost immediately this music reached far beyond the Bay, with Megatone Records, Moby Dick Records, and other labels achieving worldwide success, creating the world's first gay-owned, gay-produced music for a dancing audience. This music reflected a new way of life, a world apart and a culture of sexual liberation for gay men especially.

With Menergy, author Louis Niebur offers a project of reconstruction in order to restore these lost figures to their rightful place in the legacy of 20th century popular music. Menergy is the product of years of research, with dozens of personal interviews, archival research drawing upon hundreds of contemporary journals, photographs, bar rags, diaries, nightclub ephemera, and, most importantly, the recordings of the San Francisco artists themselves.

// $35, due out February 1, 2022;

Circle Way: A Daughter's Memoir, a Writer's Journey Home / Mary Ann Hogan

Circle Way is a bittersweet memoir of a father, daughter, and a prominent California family. Hogans father Bill was the well-known literary editor at the San Francisco Chronicle for 27 years. Sifting through her father's notebooks after his death, she discovers a man whose unrealized dreams echo her own.

Eager to learn more about her family even as she wrestles with terminal illness, Hogan explores the fascinating cast of characters who were her forebears. Including the author's great grandfather, an Oakland lumber baron who lost his fortune in the crash of '29 and a great uncle who was sent to San Quentin for two deaths some say he may not have caused.

The late Mary Ann Hogan was an award-winning journalist and teacher whose credits included The New York Times, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Tribune, and Mother Jones magazine. She also taught writing at San Francisco State University.

// $29, drops February 15, 2022;

Please Scream Inside Your Heart: Breaking News and Nervous Breakdowns in the Year that Wouldn't End / Dave Pell

Please Scream Inside Your Heart is a real-time ride through the maddening hell that was the 2020 news cyclewhen historic turmoil and media mania stretched American sanity, democracy, and toilet paper. Who better to examine this unhinged period in all of its twists and turns than news addict Dave Pell? Fueled by the wisdom and advice of his two Holocaust-surviving parents, for whom parts of this story were all too familiar, Pell puts the key stories of 2020 into context with pith and punchhighlighting turning points that widened America's divisions, deepened our obsession with a media-driven civil war, and nearly knocked the country off its tracks.

Marin County resident Pell has been writing about news, technology, and media since 1999. He writes NextDraft, a newsletter offering a quick and entertaining look at the day's most fascinating news. He's been news-obsessed since he was a child and is known to his readers as "the Internet's Managing Editor." He is a graduate of UC Berkeley, sits on the board of 826 Valencia and is a longtime advisor to the Center for Investigative Reporting.

// $29,

Mumbai Modern: Vegetarian Recipes Inspired by Indian Roots and California Cuisine / Amisha Dodhia Gurbani

In Mumbai Modern, Amisha Dodhia Gurbani delivers a marriage of traditional Gujarati cuisine, Mumbai street food, and modern innovation inspired by the bountiful fresh ingredients on offer in her adopted home of California. The book offers more than 100 vegetarian recipes complete with Gurbani's stunning photographs, including breakfasts (pear and chai masala cinnamon rolls); appetizers and salads (dahi papdi chaat); mains (ultimate Mumbai-California veggie burger); bread (wild mushroom and green garlic kulcha), and more.

Library Journal says, "In this debut collection, food blogger and recipe developer Gurbani (creator of The Jam Lab) makes fun, approachable Indian cuisine with a California flair For home cooks looking to get started recreating innovative Indian and Indian-American-fusion dishes, this accessible collection will set them well on their way."

// $35,

Bread Book: Ideas and Innovations from the Future of Grain, Flour, and Fermentation / Chad Robertson

Visionary baker Chad Robertson, of Tartine Bakery fame, unveils what's next in bread, drawing on a decade of innovation in grain farming, flour milling, and fermentation with all-new ground-breaking formulas and techniques for making his most nutrient-rich and sublime loaves, rolls, and moreplus recipes for nourishing meals that showcase them. In Bread Book, Robertson and Tartine's director of bread, Jennifer Latham, explain how high-quality, sustainable, locally sourced grain and flours respond to hydration and fermentation to make great bread even better. With 16 brilliant formulas for naturally leavened doughsincluding country bread (now reengineered), rustic baguettes, flatbreads, rolls, pizza, and vegan and gluten-free loaves, plus tortillas, crackers, and fermented pasta made with discarded sourdough starterBread Book is the wild-yeast baker's flight plan for a voyage into the future of exceptional bread.

// $40, drops December 2021;

Maybe This Will Help: How to Feel Better When Things Stay the Same / Michelle Rial

Maybe This Will Help is one part the funny and relatable graphs that fans of Am I Overthinking This? and of Michelle Rial know and love, and one part the honest stories behind what makes those graphs so poignant. Rial brings to light her struggles with chronic pain, grief, and creative uncertainty in a way that reflects the universality of dealing with the unthinkable. This book delves into the more serious side of things, finding levity and collective experience in the invisible difficulties that so many of us face. Through humorous charts and intimate peeks into the author's life, it explores the big things that can feel unmanageable and the everyday humor that keeps us moving forward. Named by Vulture as one of nine Funniest Cartoonists and Illustrators on Instagram, Rial and her work have been featured by The New Yorker, Fast Company, USA Today, WIRED, and more.

// $15,

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Cozy up with 8 books by Bay Area authors this winter - 7x7

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Posted: November 21, 2021 at 9:35 pm

21 Nov 2021 | 05:29am IST

Alexandre Moniz Barbosa

This year itself, two articles on Goa tourism one on an international website the other on a national portal had some ugly truths served rather harshly about the State as a tourism destination. These are truths that we in Goa would be happy to ignore but when confronted with it at the international level have to wake up to the reality that surrounds us. The articles described Goa as hedonistic, an adjective that is definitely not a pleasant one to be used to illustrate what we want the world to believe is a paradise and an unrivalled tourism destination.

Lets begin with the dictionary meaning of hedonistic. The Cambridge dictionary gives this meaning of the word: living and behaving in ways that mean you have as much pleasure as possible, according to the belief that the most important thing in life is to enjoy yourself. Essentially it means partying with booze and drugs and all the possible pleasures.

The first report was on the CNN website and was headlined Reinventing Goa, Indias hedonistic beach hideaway. This article, that has the editors note stating that the series often carries sponsorship, asks whether this destination once associated with untrammeled hedonism and rampant commercial tourism reverted to its old ways, with no thought to the negative economic, environmental and social impact? This was written with a post-pandemic perspective and hence the question worded in that manner. It goes on to profile a few business ventures that are making efforts to reinvent Goa by offering tourists something other than hedonism, but also drives home the point that the State has not changed its focus despite getting the opportunity bestowed by the slowdown due to the pandemic to alter the course.

The other article was on the site The Better India that profiles a couple that has started a tourism business in Goa, and states, their eco-friendly travel venture was launched in 2012 as an answer to Goas hedonistic tourism culture. Essentially, both articles, are promoting business ventures set up in Goa by persons who have recently settled in the State, and make an attempt to convince the reader that these ventures are trying to change the tourism image of the State. Who then is responsible for the term hedonism or hedonist being used to describe Goa? Or what is it that makes Goa be described as such? Is it the rave parties, the drug availability? Or is it just the lackadaisical attitude of the Tourism Department in branding Goa?

Interestingly, hedonism is not a term that has been used to describe Goa Tourism for the first time or only recently. In the 2000s, an article that appeared in the magazine section of the national daily Indian Express had described Goa stating, If there is a hedonists haven in India, it is Goa. Prettier than a postcard, Indias tiniest State remains the vacationers hottest spot. And post-millennium, Goas become a hip international destination for trance-heads and rave-cravers.

To a large section of the world, the silver sands of Goa that we Goans take pride in, is not a beachside paradise, but a place associated with hedonism and a destination for trance-heads and rave-cravers. Reading something like this, makes one wonder whether we Goans are seeing a different Goa and the rest of the world another one. Goa has for long been associated with narcotics and psychotropic drugs and rave parties take place throughout the tourist season, even as successive governments resolutely deny this. So it was but a corollary of this for the State to be described as a hedonist haven.

Curiously, a search of the words Goa and hedonism on an internet search engine threw up many more examples of such articles. A 2015 article in The Independent titled Take it easy in Goa, a different sort of India: The Hedonist, has in its first paragraph this sentence: Tinged as it is with leftover Sixties bohemianism, flea market psychedelia and recent waves of chic, Goa remains a lush, tropical enclave where sossegade take it easy is the order of the day.

And theres more. The Guardian in a 2013 article states, Goa is Indias good-time state, the hedonistic hippy haven whose promises of sun, sand, cheap beer and drugs transformed it into a magnet for backpackers and budget tourists... The hippy era ended long ago, but it somehow never gets erased from memory.

While the State government and the tourism industry take pride in the fact that together they have taken brand Goa to different corners of the globe, the image of Goa appears to be in dire need of a complete and immediate makeover in the light of these descriptions. A forceful branding exercise should be undertaken to change the way many see Goa.

Goa has compromised with its identity in trying to be charmingly seductive to the traveller. That strategy has boomeranged horribly, as it allowed the guests to take unlimited advantage of its hospitable nature and convert Goa into their idea of what a tourist haven should be and not what the Goan believes that it should be. Brand Goa needs to be reinvented, not merely reworked, to meet the local aspirations and ideals so as to not send out the wrong messages to visitors.

For the ordinary Goan, tourism signifies travellers domestic and foreign coming to Goa and enjoying the natural beauty of the land, primarily its beaches, while also soaking up the culture with a day trip to the heritage sites, and then sampling the cuisine in the night, as Goan musicians serenade them at the dinner table.

Thats the untainted idea of a Goa most Goans have in our minds. That is also the very myopic idea of tourism that many in Goa have and view it as merely a commercial activity that keeps the economic wheels of many families turning. The underbelly of tourism, which makes up the broader picture, is not often seen and when noticed, is quickly glossed over.

Brand Goa should not and cannot be associated with hedonism. If, as the websites that termed Goa as a hedonistic destination found private players who are working to change this image, shouldnt the government agencies do the same? Are crores of rupees of the taxpayers money being spent on sending out a false image of Goa? Thats a thought to mull over, especially after earlier this year the term liberal tourism was used by the government in relation to opening up the State for travellers.

Alexandre Moniz Barbosa is Editor, Herald. He tweets at @monizbarbosa

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Will The Matrix Resurrections (Drops December 22) Break the Mold? – Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Posted: at 9:35 pm

The Matrix trilogy is famous for starting strong, then falling apart by the end. Will this happen again? Well see. After eleven years, the Matrix Resurrections comes out December 22, 2021. Now is the perfect time to look back at the original trilogy, starting with the first film, The Matrix (1999).

The Matrix series begins by following a computer hacker named Neo, who is led by a beautiful stranger into a forbidding underworld. There, he discovers the shocking truth the life he knows is the elaborate deception of an evil cyber-intelligence. He had been searching for the mysterious Morpheus who defends a human civilization from attack by machines. Neo is horrified to discover from him that not only is the world he knows a false reality but that the AI entities have taken over the planet and are using humans as their source of energy.

Morpheus also tells him that it is his destiny to destroy the AIs Matrix and restore humanity. He is given a choice between a red and a blue pill

The film popularized the term redpilled to mean discovery of uncomfortable facts. A bluepill is one of the vast majority of humans who comfortably doesnt realize the deception whereas a redpill is a rare one that has accepted the red pill (as opposed to the blue one), thus consenting to know the awful truth.

The idea that we are living in a false reality goes as far back as Plato and his famous Cave. The movie develops that idea as science fiction, featuring evolutionary and religious undertones.

The machines believe that they are the Next Step in Evolution. In fact, Agent Smith, the main antagonist in the story, tells Morpheus during an interrogation, Evolution, Morpheus, Evolution. He compares humans to a virus, a virus for which he is the cure.

But the core of the story is about belief. Morpheus, believing that Neo is the one who will save them all, sacrifices himself to save him. And Neo believes the words of the Oracle who tells him that he must sacrifice himself to save Morpheus. A journey convinces Neo that he is indeed the appointed one, causing him to rise from the dead in a death-and-resurrection metaphor (The Passion of Neo) that is about as subtle a religious reference as an oncoming train

But the movie is by no mean religious in a recognizable sense. There is distinct hint of hedonism: In order to be free, we must follow our impulses. As one of the crew members, Mouse, says, To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human.

Mouses idea is ridiculous when one thinks about it. Why do so many of these movies tell us that if we would just listen to what drives us in the physical world wed transcend into a new reality?

Wouldnt that merely keep us in the physical? Does it ever occur to these writers that our ability to resist our impulses is one of the things that makes us human? Who ever heard of a dog resisting its impulses without training? Mans best friend can barely manage to keep from peeing on the rug.

And this is the trap that The Matrix series falls into in the later movies as well. The themes of faith and of a world outside our own all but vanish. By the time we reach the conclusion of the story, the hedonism morphs into outright nihilism.

In the end, The Matrix (1999) asks us to see that the false reality is authority, in general. That is a departure from Platos cave analogy. His idea was that our senses do not tell us the whole story. Instead, the movie conflates individual freedom with instinct, thereby telling us that our senses are all that really exist, a theme which conflicts internally with the ideas of the need for faith and of a world beyond our own.

Heres the trailer for The Matrix: The Resurrections:

You may also wish to read: How can we be sure we are not just an ETs simulation? A number of books and films are based on this Planetarium hypothesis. Should we believe it? We make a faith-based decision that logic and evidence together are reasonable guides to what is true. Logical possibility alone does not make an idea true.

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Will The Matrix Resurrections (Drops December 22) Break the Mold? - Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence

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Could We Gene Hack Ourselves to Be Blissed Out Sex Maniacs, Like Our Distant Cousins the Bonobos? – Futurism

Posted: November 19, 2021 at 5:20 pm

This week, were pleased to bring you a different version of Futurism, containing stories from the horizon of hedonism. Welcome toThe Science of Pleasure.In collaboration with our friends over atMEL Magazine, this week, well be bringing you stories from both publications about the pleasures of tomorrow, today.

Bonobos are a species of primate believed to be humankinds second-closest living ancestor. Thats intriguing, because zoologists have long observed that these distant cousins of ours are driven by a syrupy mixture of empathy and hedonism, lounging in simian cuddle puddles, caressing one another, kissing with tongue, and engaging in an awe-inspiring variety of bisexual encounters, sometimes with multiple partners, and often while screaming in pleasure.

Sounds pretty fun, doesnt it? Sure, party drugs like MDMA can temporarily flood your brain with oceans of empathy and euphoria, but they can be terrible for you if you take them too much, and the hangovers can be brutal. In other words, theres no drug thats gonna give you bonobo-brain safely and long term.

Relentless progress in the science of genetic engineering raises an interesting alternative, though: what if scientists gene-hacked humans, who already share around 98 percent of their genetic material with bonobos, so that wed be more affectionate, amorous and generally happy? What if you could take a CRISPR-like brain injection that permanently altered your cognition so that you could experience bonobo-like bliss?

If such a thing is theoretically possible, geneticists told us, its far beyond todays biotech capabilities. But eventually, if research continues to barrel ahead, those types of profound alterations to the human mind may well become a reality and if so, theyre likely to raise profound questions about what it means to be human.

I like to think that everything is in the realm of scientific possibility, said Esmerelda Casas-Silva, a biomedical researcher at the National Institutes of Health who cautioned that her musings on our strange question did not reflect the views of her employer. Its really just a matter of us figuring out how to do it.

Overall, she said, she believes that the idea would be tricky yet certainly possible.

If so, what a life it would be. A greater genetic propensity for peace and promiscuity, like that of the bonobos, doesnt sound so bad.

Famed scientist Carl Sagan and his spouse, Cosmos cocreator Ann Duyan, wrote extensively about bonobos in the 1993 book Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search for Who We Are.

Bonobos use sexual stimulation in everyday life for many purposes besides mere satisfaction of the erotic impulse, they wrote, including in exchange for food, as a way to resolve conflicts among same sex adults, and as a generic, all-purpose approach to social bonding and community organization.

Were we humans to become more like bonobos, militarism and excess aggression could become obsolete, as less authoritarian social structures characteristic of bonobo societies came to predominate. Socioeconomically, a bonobo way of life could embody the ethic of solidarity and cooperative decision-making over competition, domination or exploitation.

The kind of pleasures that bonobos enjoy are not decadent, said Susan Block, a sex therapist and the author of the 2014 book The Bonobo Way: The Evolution of Peace Through Pleasure. They dont spend any money. Maybe a few bananas, but they share those bananas.

Whether gene hacking ourselves to be as guileless and empathic as bonobos would be ethical, of course, is a different question entirely.

For one thing, the whole hypothetical smacks of eugenics. For another, even though the goal of gene therapy to make humans more like bonobos might nominally be to encourage a more equitable society, the ironic reality is that our actual world is rife with inequality, hierarchies, and unfair institutional arrangements.

In other words, itd probably be the wealthy and powerful who would seize the treatment for themselves or, chillingly, foist it on others in order to create a more obedient workforce, sort of similar to how in the 2018 satire film Sorry to Bother You, a parody of contemporary entrepreneurs named Steve Lift tries to use gene-modifying powder to create Equisapien human-horse hybrids capable of laboring harder and longer than people already do today.

We really shouldnt be in a hurry to make designer babies right now, Casas-Silva said. We have very incomplete information, and even if we do know exactly whats going to happen, whos to say what we should decide and what characteristics are best or not?

That point is larger than just the bonobo thought experiment, of course, and its also something the world is likely going to need to confront soon. A Chinese scientist named He Jiankui sparked a global controversy in 2018 when he announced that he had altered the genetic makeup of twin girls, using CRISPR to attempt to make them immune to HIV while they were still embryos and it later emerged that he had been involved in discussions to open a designer baby clinic as well.

If those types of clinics become a reality, itll likely only be affluent parents who can afford them, deepening existing social and economic divides.

Are we going to create even more disparities in health and different populations that are suffering because they dont have access to the same technologies as, you know, other people who might have enough funds to make superhuman babies? Casas-Silva asked. And we could make very dangerous, in my opinion, very dangerous future humans.

And, on a practical level, our anxious human brains keep the power plants running and the industrial agriculture machinery feeding everybody. If we spent all day lounging around and engaging in bacchanalia, that could easily fall apart, for better or worse.

In fact, Block points out that bonobos are a good case study in why giving yourself over to pleasure entirely might not be a great survival strategy.

Block told Futurism about an incident involving bonobos and common chimpanzees our closest living ancestors, for those keeping score in a German zoo during the bombing of Dresden. The zoo wasnt bombed, but the apes could hear the detonations and possibly felt some of the impact.

All the bonobos died of heart attacks, and all the common chimps didnt care, the sexologist said, adding that the zoo kept the former separated in captivity, meaning they werent together to calm each other down.

When youre empathetic, thats a double edged sword, isnt it? she said. Empathy can feel so good, but it also means that when you hear bombs dropping, even if theyre not dropping on you, you freak out. Its like its happening to you. Or if you see someone being hurt, you freak out.

If we do go wild with CRISPR, or whatever advanced tool it takes, to turn human beings into overly peaceable and amorous creatures, Casas-Silva cautions that we could end up falling in love incessantly, with everyone or everything. It might even preclude the intense and exclusionary monogamous love thats often the social norm.

I mean, that could be pretty devastating, Casas-Silva said. Theres a reason that our bodies and our minds decrease our feelings and our memories. Thats a safety measure for anyone whos fallen in love and had it not work out. You know, its a blessing that we can diminish those feelings of hurt and anxiety and everything that comes with a breakup over time.

But, even if we refrain from hacking away at our genes in the hopes of bonoboizing ourselves, Block maintains we still have a lot to learn from our sex positive comrades, including lessons in revaluing our natural bodies and pursuing mutual pleasure without guilt.

The idea that our natural self is Satan is killing us, she said. [The belief] that we are somehow superior, that we are angels, that we are not part of nature, that we are not part of this earth, that we can fly away, like angels maybe a couple people can, you know? Captain Kirk went up there, right? Ninety years old, okay. But most of us are here, and Im looking to improve the lives of those of us that are here on this beautiful, wild sexual planet Earth.

More on CRISPR:WHO Says Gene-Hacking Superhumans Should Be Illegal

Care about supporting clean energy adoption? Find out how much money (and planet!) you could save by switching to solar power at By signing up through this link, may receive a small commission.

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Could We Gene Hack Ourselves to Be Blissed Out Sex Maniacs, Like Our Distant Cousins the Bonobos? - Futurism

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The Wheel of Time Recap: On the Run – Vulture

Posted: at 5:20 pm

The Wheel of Time

Shadows Waiting

Season 1 Episode 2

Editors Rating 3 stars ***

Photo: Jan Thijs/Amazon Prime Video

Its not always the case no piece of Hollywood visual shorthand is truly universal but in general, a close-up on a characters mouth as they eat with gusto is shorthand for evil. Its a way to communicate a characters acquisitiveness or hedonism. (Sometimes its just plain old fatphobia.) In the case of Eamon Valda (Abdul Solis), the Whitecloak questioner who gives this episode of The Wheel of Time its cold open, its intended to show his indifference to human suffering.

As he tucks into what is, for all intents and purposes, the Billions/Succession/Hannibal forbidden delicacy ortolan, a woman dies in front of him. Her hand has been chopped off, and shes being slowly burned at the stake. Her crime? Membership in the Aes Sedai, the powerful order of magic-wielding women whose representative Moiraine is leading our heroes off into the unknown. Clearly, theyve got some dangerous rivals in the do-gooding department; the collection of stolen Aes Sedai rings Eamon wears on his belt indicates that hes been down this bloody road many times before.

Soliss chillingly cheery portrayal of this Captain of the Whitecloaks appropriately introduces Wheels second episode. Much more so than its predecessor, its concerned with the question of what it really means to be one of the good guys. In the war against the dark that both the Aes Sedai and the Whitecloaks consider themselves waging, are good guys even a thing?

Egwene, Rand, Mat, and Perrin, our runaway foursome from the Two Rivers village, are given plenty of reason to ask this exact question. Just steps ahead of a small army of Trollocs and its lamprey-mouthed fade captain, they enlist a ferryman to help them cross a river since Trollocs cant swim and fear the water. But while she bribes him and promises more cash when theyre safely across, Moiraine neglects to mention the evil at their heels until the ferryman has already realized his family is stranded at the Trollocs mercy. Once they reach the opposite riverbank, Moiraine sinks the ferry in a whirlpool; the ferryman leaps into the water in a desperate attempt to rescue his son and succumbs to the whirlpool himself.

Once the danger has passed, Moiraine is quick to point out to Egwene that the oaths sworn by the Aes Sedai theyre kind of like Asimovs laws of robotics prevent her from killing anyone except in immediate defense of herself, her warder Lan, or another Aes Sedai. If the ferryman died in the whirlpool she created, that means he put himself in danger and paid the price, not that she killed him. Some further tutelage in the ways of the Aes Sedai seems to put Egwene at ease, but to the rest of us, this looks a lot like Moiraine weaseling her way out of culpability for the death of the ferryman, not to mention his family.

Things only get worse from there. Rand is deeply resentful of Egwenes decision to become a celibate Wisdom; even though that avenue appears to be closed to her now, her willingness to listen to Moiraine is a bridge too far to him. She repeatedly blows his erstwhile girlfriend off.

His reward? A dream in which he vomits up a dead bat, a dream apparently shared by the rest of the group, who all wake up to a campsite littered with the corpses of flying rodents. Also present in the dreams, a dark man with flaming embers for eyes. Probably nothing to worry about!

Moiraine and the crew manage to safely bullshit their way past Eamon Valda and a squad of Whitecloaks by sticking as close to the truth as they can without revealing their true identities and purpose. But we discover that both Moiraine and Perrin are hiding wounds from the battle with the Trollocs. In Moiraines case, coupled with her repeated use of the One Power, the wound is quite severe. We learn shes incapable of healing herself, too. As for Perrin, he communes with a pack of wolves, one of whom licks his open wound before trotting off. Its not clear if this is helpful or not.

After a little Aes Sedai story time, in which Moiraine explains that their village was once part of a great kingdom that stood alone against the forces of darkness during the Trolloc Wars, the group winds up fleeing through a crack in an enormous shield wall into a city where even the Trollocs and Fades fear to tread: Shadar Logoth, which translates to Shadows Waiting.

Indeed it is. It turns out Shadar Logoth is the city that refused to come to the Mountain Homes aid in the story Moiraine told; as punishment, the place was consumed from within by evil, leaving no living thing behind. Fortunately, the extremely cool-looking ruins were left alone.

For a while, the group minds its own business: Lan tends to Moiraine, sicker than ever, while Mat gives Perrin a knife made for him by Perrins late wife, Laila. Mat then goes off on his own and finds a jeweled dagger hidden in some debris. Probably nothing to worry about!

Then the shit, or the shadow, hits the fan. Darkness itself rises up and devours one of their horses, sending the group in three separate directions. Rand (who has effected a rapprochement between himself and Egwene) and Mat flee the darkness-swallowed city by slipping through the wall. Perrin and Egwene climb one of its shield walls and jump into the water beyond. Lan and Moiraine escape on horseback and are quickly waylaid by Nynaeve, the Two Rivers village Wisdom, reports of whose death have been greatly exaggerated. Roll credits.

As a work of dark(ish) fantasy, this episode has a lot to recommend it. Eamon and the Whitecloaks are instantly memorable enemies, diametrically opposed to the Fade and his Trollocs but worse to contemplate because of their very humanity. Shadar Logoth, like the rest of the computerized ruins the group passes on their journey, is duly impressive, evoking the untold centuries over which the story of light and dark has so far unfolded.

Meanwhile, its easy to see both why Rand (angrily) and Mat (sarcastically) reject Moiraine and Lan as guides and why Egwene would cling to anything that gives the chaos of her current life some kind of meaning and direction. And its actually pretty impressive for the show to chronicle Moiraines behavior toward the ferryman in such a way that you might think, Hey, these witch-burners have a point. The entire narrative hinges on whether the foursome should trust their guide; giving us reasons not to do so is a gutsy play this early on.

It all leaves you wondering: Is the Dragon Reborn a person youd actually want to find? Or does their legacy of world destruction threaten to carry over to the present, potentially drowning the world just as Moiraines Aes Sedai powers accidentally but not quite drowned that poor ferryman and doomed his family to death at the Trollocs hands? In this war, whos expendable?

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Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Oasis Knebworth 1996’ on Paramount+, A Chronicle Of The Quartets Finest Live Moment – Decider

Posted: at 5:20 pm

Liam and Noel Gallagher serve as executive producers for director Jake Scotts Oasis Knebworth 1996 (Paramount+), a chronicle of the Britpop rockers record-setting two-night stand at the historic open-air venue, a previous host to legendary sets from the likes of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. In 1996, Oasis were quite possibly the worlds biggest thing, and this doc aims to capture the euphoria of 250,000 fans getting to see their favorite band at its performative zenith.

The Gist: After taking the UK charts by storm in 1994 with Definitely Maybe, their Creation Records debut, Oasis had stomped all over the worlds consciousness with their sweeping 1995 follow-up, the multi-Platinum seller (Whats the Story) Morning Glory? and its representative singles: Wonderwall, Some Might Say, Dont Look Back in Anger, Some Might Say, and the epically faded psychedelic pop of Champagne Supernova. Led by the combative Gallagher brothers, vocalist Liam and guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Noel, Oasis combined four-chord rock music hedonism with a lifestyle to match, and spun up a spat with their fellow Britpoppers and perfect stylistic rivals in Blur just to keep things interesting. Britpop itself was having its moment in mid-1990s Great Britain, alongside the hit film Trainspotting, the rise of Tony Blair and New Labour, and UEFA Euro 96 overtaking the countrys sports venues, and its into that environment that Oasis announced its biggest concerts ever. Oasis Knebworth 1996 chronicles the announcement, the ticket scramble, the preparation, the expectation, and ultimately the cathartic release of the quartets record-setting two-night stand before 250,000 fans.

As directed by filmmaker and veteran music video helmer Jake Scott, Knebworth 1996 weaves an oral history told exclusively in voiceover by fans who were there together with archival photos and footage from attendees, prime access to the professionally shot performances, and re-enactments tinged with the aesthetic of the era. (Noel Gallagher and Oasis rhythm guitarist Paul Bonehead Arthurs reflect on the Knebworth shows, too, but theres no input from Liam.) An early segment centers around the band bashing out a ripping soundcheck version of Its Getting Better (Man!) to a collection of roadies, concert techs, and a smattering of early arrivals, but soon enough the vast green of Knebworth is churning with concertgoers, and Oasis starts cranking out the classics: Supersonic and Roll With It, Some Might Say and Cigarettes & Alcohol. Its not a straight, as-it-happened playlist, and some numbers fade out midway through. And as such, Oasis Knebworth 1996 isnt a straight concert film. It instead offers a snapshot of a particularly important moment in time, seen from many perspectives and soundtracked by some of its most iconic music.

What Movies Will It Remind You Of? Pulp and its fearless leader, Jarvis Cocker, offered a wholly different take on Britpop than Oasis ever did. But just as Knebworth 1996 celebrates those landmark concerts 25th anniversary, Pulp: A Film About Life, Death, and Supermarkets took Cocker and his band back to their hometown of Sheffield for a final sonic goodbye, 25 years after it all began. Meanwhile, the 2003 doc Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop offers a sound overview of the genre along with the interviews of all the heavy hitters, Liam and Noel included. Oasis superfans have likely already seen the 2016 doc Supersonic, which chronicles the same period of world domination that this film revels in.

Performance Worth Watching: Liam Gallagher, the loutish geezer who always gets the last word, has his whole bag of tricks handy in Knebworth 1996: bucket hats and goofy walks galore, clown prince crowd toasting, roguish brotherly bickering, and every bit of the live vocal power and onstage magnetism that made him the rock n roll frontman his brother Noel knew Oasis needed in order to be the biggest band in the world.

Memorable Dialogue: My favorite song ever, Acquiesce, was number two, a fan recalls in voiceover of Oasiss Saturday night performance at Knebworth. Life couldntve gotten better. Your arms are waving, Ive got my boyfriend to my left, a lukewarm semi-flat plastic beaker full of lager, and Im singing my heart out. Rawk and fookin roll!

Sex and Skin: A drunk lad moons the camera, and there are one or two blurry shots of topless women on shoulders. But compared to something like the debauched Woodstock 99, Knebworth 96 is utterly tame.

Our Take: We were a pretty decent band the night before I wrote Live Forever, muses Noel Gallagher about an hour into Oasis Knebworth 1996. But we were indie music. The day after I wrote Live Forever, we were gonna be the biggest band in the world. I knew it. And Noels usual self-congratulatory tone aside, Knebworth goes a long way toward proving his assertion. The quartet was at its creative and performative height in 96, their infamous boozing and drugging and bickering having not yet broken the bands back, and appropriately, numbers like Live Forever, Masterplan, Columbia, Acquiesce, and all of those huge singles put into sharp focus the Marshall Stack-propelled crunch, the soaring kiss-off choruses, and distinct vocal bray of the Gallagher boys combined voices. It all sounds so vital, its easy to hear these emblematic Oasis moments anew. Noel goes on to say the band was at its peak because Liam was at his peak. The way he sounds, the way he looks a band is only as good as its frontperson, and Oasis had the pick of the litter in Liam.

Its also valuable to hear the experiential side of Knebworth 1996, a concert stand from a bygone era. Fans recall how they even heard about the gig in a pre-Internet, pre-mobile phone age from a newspaper clipping, or radio live read, or archaic listserv announcement. When tickets went on sale on a Saturday morning, 2.7% of Englands total population flooded the nations phone lines in a mad dash for access. Knebworth also details the strain on motor coach service to the show area. As for the members of Oasis themselves, the band is captured from inside the helicopter that ferried them to the site, gazing down at the hundreds of thousands gathered, and later Liam careens around soundcheck in a golf cart. The doc is full of access moments like this that help color in the margins around what Oasis was accomplishing on stage. And when John Squire from the then just recently broken-up Stone Roses joins the quartet on stage for an epic reading of Champagne Supernova, the fan voiceovers and recollections of Noel merge in communion with the torch of rock n roll being passed.

Our Call: STREAM IT. Its been 25 years since Oasis was the biggest band in the world. But Knebworth 1996 puts the ringing of the amps and resounding of those choruses right back into the rock consciousness.

Watch Oasis Knebworth 1996 on Paramount+

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New Sex Toy Aims to Emulate the Experience of Having a Penis – Futurism

Posted: at 5:20 pm

This week, were pleased to bring you a different version of Futurism, containing stories from the horizon of hedonism. Welcome toThe Science of Pleasure.In collaboration with our friends over atMEL Magazine, this week, well be bringing you stories from both publications about the pleasures of tomorrow, today.

Earlier this year, UK-based dominatrix and model Adreena Angela became a beta tester for an intriguing new sex toy.

The gadget is called a SEN, made by a company called Zveotec. Physically its much like a regular strap-on dildo, except that it contains sensors, clitoris and g-spot vibrators, and a small computer that hooks the two together. Algorithms translate input from the SENs sensors into proportionate, and hopefully pleasurable, vibrations. In other words, the idea is that you could strap it on, engage in sexual activity with somebody, and actually feel what the SENs bionic dick does a tantalizing attempt at emulating the experience of having a penis for someone who wishes to explore their sexual or gender expression.

I use strap-ons a lot and whilst I psychologically find it stimulating, even with most insertable strap-ons, I dont feel much myself, Angela told Futurism. Being able to feel response to the toy means that you feel more engaged with your play partner, making the experience more intimate and connected, rather than there being a passive and an active partner.

A sex toy that attempts to mimic a biological penis, even if this first attempt isnt perfect, has the potential to chart fascinating new frontiers in the future of pleasure.

Im used to strap-ons being something thats more for [my partners], and something you almost do to them rather than with them, Angela said of the device, which is scheduled to hit the market later this year and is now available for preorder starting at $169. Most peoples pleasure comes predominantly from seeing their partners response, so I know my clients love that Im more actively involved and am part of the experience too.

Others remarked on the same intriguing dynamic the possibility that a high tech sex toy could bring people closer to together.

In these systems like arousal its all about positive feedback, sex educator Calandra Balfour told Futurism. When were having sex or being intimate with somebody else, theres this constant unconscious feedback that were getting from the things were doing with them or to them. So slight moans, squirming in the body, etc are all nonverbal communications that let us know that the person is enjoying it. And so this toy fits quite nicely in that process.

Its worth noting that the cofounder of Zveotec was almost comically secretive about the project, declining to tell us specifically what sensors it contained or even his last name, citing connections in the medical technology industry, and asking to go just by James.

However, James did show us a prototype of the device in action, even providing a brief glimpse inside the SEN, where an array of wires and microchips peeked out from underneath its sleek exterior. As he rubbed the gadget in a videocall, its vibrators reacted with increasing degrees of stimuli, seemingly matching the intensity as a lover might.

This is the phenomenon where the brain incorporates a prosthesis as part of the body so long as there is intuitive feedback, he told us. Its hard to describe, but its the sense of feeling like youve been touched as opposed to feeling when something is touched.

The SEN also raises the interesting possibility, for those who are trans or gender nonconforming, of being able to experience sex in new, and perhaps gender affirming, ways. It might even be a rudimentary step in the direction toward a genderfluid future in which, if you were so inclined, you could choose which genitals you wanted on any given day or situation.

At the same time, of course, gender identity is as unique as each persons relationship with their body. Something thats gender affirming for one person could cause dysphoria for another, and the SEN is no exception.

If were looking at the trans and gender affirming aspects of this choice, or having a strap-on, you would think it would be incredibly gender affirming for a trans guy or a trans masculine non binary person, trans sex blogger Quinn Rhodes told Futurism. But I think theres definitely a subset of trans guys who would feel dysphoric by putting something in their vagina, even if its to get the sensation that they have a dick.

You can tell its not a trans person developing this toy, because I think that would have come up, Rhodes added.

Although James did confirm that no trans people were consulted or involved in the SENs design, he did stress that it was designed with both male and female anatomy in mind.

The goal is biomimicry, to mimic the experience of an orgasm through male sexuality, he said. In that sense, and by pursuing that goal, SEN is perfectly designed for a trans male, as much as it is for a cis woman in bridging the gap between male and female sexual experience.

However, while a lot of thought has gone into the adaptability of this toy, the language its creators use still deal in binary absolutes, which again seems to reflect that lack of queer input in its creation.

Of course, the gadgets potential market is much larger than just people who are trans, although James said the device had made a bit of a buzz in some online trans forums.

And, to be fair, some trans people are indeed excited about the device. Isabell, for instance, told us that shed already preordered the SEN for use by her partner, a non-binary individual who leans towards transmasculine.

Basically this is a way for them to fuck me in a way that is a much better approximation of penis in person sex than what silicon can offer, said Isabell, who is herself a trans woman. Weve toyed around with strapless strapons before and have had, mixed, results. I orgasm really easily, they do not. So just relying on pitifully weak vibrations on their clit while the more intense vibrations are going off inside of me is, pardon the pun, sub-optimal.

Being able to more accurately simulate sex as a penis owner for someone who doesnt have their own home grown penis is kind of a big deal, she continued. The transmasc men that Ive been with have had a constant annoyance of never feeling like they have a cis penis. This [the SEN] is a step in that direction. As well as it being able to genuinely answer the question of if I had a dick and fucked someone, would it be a good time?

Obviously, the SEN hasnt shipped yet. Hardware development is notoriously challenging, and its perfectly possible that itll be underwhelming, just one more failed adult product in a crowded market. And its creators secrecy about their identities and the devices technical details feels strange, almost as though theyre equating sex with shame, or promising too much.

But at the same time, the concept behind it is unquestionably intriguing. It raises canny questions about the future of gender and pleasure not to mention the potential, in an era of ubiquitous connectivity, for technology to serve as an intermediary between people that enriches the relationship rather than driving it apart.

And, just maybe, itll be the next big thing: either a commercial success, an indie hit, or an influential concept that paves the way for more mind-bending experiments in the future of humans, machines, and everything in between.

More on sex:Unsettling Sex Robot Looks Almost Exactly Like a Real Person

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The wildest party destinations to escape to for a weekend – Evening Standard

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Favourite of A-gays from LA and NYC, the Mexican mega-capital is the next step on from Tulum for escape with a side of party. Cheap and chic, Roma Norte and Condesa provide tree-lined streets, a mass of bars and restaurants, and boutiques for daytime mooching. One of our number called the club Bon Bon one of the best nights theyve ever been to, Domingo Santo Rooftop Bar is best for a bougie mezcal, Fifty Mils at the Four Seasons for cocktails and club institution Patrick Miller for disco balls and out-out dancing. You know what they say: first come the gays, then the girls, then the industry

According to locals, the party never really stopped for Miami: pandemic or no pandemic. But now Bungalow 8 founder Amy Sacco who for more than two decades was literally the key to NYC says its having a moment. Miami is a vibe, she says, and the Faena Hotel is a scene in itself. Superclub Space has also been spinning tunes for over 20 years, Soho House Miami is still serving a scene and for pool party fans, Nikki Beach says its Miami club has the brands most elite party scene with A-listers dropping in regularly. Time to drink all day, play all night, Miami style.

French fancy: La Parouse

The city is alive again and it feels so good, a Parisian told me recently. And when even Parisians are excitable about Paris, its time to follow their lead. For decades the French capital has felt very much establishment, only post-pandemic theres a fresh wind blowing through the city. New It hotspots include multifaceted-caf-cum-club-space Bambino; Forest, a restaurant or post-modern refuge at the Museum of Modern Art; and quayside landmark La Perouse, opened in 1766 and now suddenly white-hot again. Hotel-wise theres a lot on, too: from Madame Rve and Mimosa at Hotel de la Marine to the old-school Parisian grandeur of Maison Russe and the new Soho House.


The snow-capped scene of many a Royal ski photo-call is dusting off the establishment fust in favour of some pure luxe hedonism. Alpine ski resort Experimental Chalet as well as Farm Club reopen this winter perfect for hot Eurospotting as well as the launch of 67 Pall Mall Verbier, which will be the first European opening of the members club founded by wine lovers for wine lovers. It will feature over 5,000 wines, making it the biggest selection in the Alps. The resort also hosts the very cool Polaris Festival, plus theres always the chance to bag an invite to dins at James Blunts or the Branson gaffs. Good luck skiing home from that one

The party destination for the festive season? According to travel and lifestyle specialist Urban Junkies its Joshua Tree. Its proximity to Palm Springs and LA means you have a diverse crowd, they say, and theres something about the contrast of a night out at the Wild West-style Pappy & Harriets an open-air saloon in Pioneertown with live acts and then staying in one of the contemporary architectural rentals from Homestead Modern that feels so right at the moment. Add to that outdoor dinner and dancing (Kitchen in the Desert is a must-visit), sound baths, hot springs, hikes and star-gazing and youve got something approaching peak haute hippy in the high dez.

Medellin Metro

Travel concierge company Remote Year, which takes care of your vacation arrangements and curates community-based travel programmes including remote workspaces, has identified Medelln in Colombia as the new hipster party haven. Known for having fun with a capital F, locals head to main party district Parque Lleras for its notoriously hedonistic nightlife and famous rooftop bars. Taxi to El Poblados Barrio Provenza for a one-stop street filled with live music, a relaxed atmosphere and a perfect balance of locals and tourists. Other party hubs are disco spot Barrio Colombia, and local favourite La 33, one street west of the river where tourists are few and far between. Yes, Medelln has its Escobar history; these days its a long way from Time magazine calling it the most dangerous city on earth 30-odd years ago.

Hungarys capital is currently the go-to filming spot for Hollywood blockbusters (Dune, Midsommar and Black Widow to name but a few), while Covid rules mean many actors have three or four days break between scenes. Luckily there are more than a few options to fill the time. Try lingering over a signature cocktail at Muzsa bar within the Four Seasons, before upping the tempo at an iconic ruin bar. Meanwhile Sparty, the EDM night at Budapests oldest thermal baths, is ideal for visitors looking to get wet n wild. Head to Alter Ego Club for a spot of Hungarian drag, then on to bar Mazel Tov for a nightcap. And, if you see Timothe Chalamet sipping on Grey Goose in the corner, just act cool.

Eduardo VII Park in LIsbon

The Portuguese capital is the perfect party destination for those in middle youth. A city of rooftop bars (Entretanto at Hotel do Chiado is the best), foodie destinations and interiors shopping make it a go-to for those who need a bit of time off in between nights on the tiles. Nuno Mendes (of Chiltern Firehouse fame) has returned to re-open the Bairro Alto Hotel restaurant, Sky Bar at Tivoli Avenida Liberdade is sleek and chic, while Praia no Parque, a beach-themed bar overlooking the lake in Eduardo VII Park, is one of the citys hottest spots. The opening of Mama Shelter Lisbon in December promises to be quite a sceney spot, but for now Casa Independente has east London club vibes and Lux Fragil, co-owned by John Malkovich (yes), is the place to go for proper out-out dancing the clubs rooftop terrace is a fine place to watch the sun come up. Hello.

Often called the hidden gem of the South, the small Texan town of Marfa (population 1,831) is well-known within the art scene, and an alt party go-to for the super chic and rich. Put on the map by the acclaimed artist Donald Judd, who headed west from New York and founded the Chinati Foundation art museum in 1979, the town has subsequently become a haven for magnate minimalists, with more millionaires making homes there per square mile than Mustique. Rumour has it that one of their favourite pastimes is to take shrooms and gaze upon one anothers art collections, but if that doesnt tickle your fancy theres always Marfan stalwart The Hotel Paisano (an old James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson favourite), a meal at LaVenture at chic Hotel Saint George, bar Capri and its killer hibiscus Margaritas, or classic Texan watering hole Planet Marfa. Cowboy cool, and then some.

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Is Peter in The Great Based on a Real Person? – The Cinemaholic

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Hedonism, alcoholism, feminism, and political radicalism a combination of these enables The Great to humorously explore the life of Catherine the Great. Created by Tony McNamara, the show is a colorful examination of how Catherine takes the throne from her vain, violent, and villainous husband, Peter III. The series stars Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult, Phoebe Fox, Sacha Dhawan, and Douglas Hodge in central roles.

Featuring fabulous costumes, lavish sets, and a fantastic cast, the historical drama is lauded for its boldly absurdist take on the royals and common folk of 18th Century Russia. Catherines burning desire to bring the Enlightenment to Russia is inspirational and emerges as the focal point in part due to her husbands horrifyingly idiotic behavior. Peter, with his immense ego, constant debauchery, and all-consuming indifference, is the exact opposite of Catherine. However, despite it all, he manages to be endearing as well. Understandably, fans are curious about whether Peter is based on a real person. Lets find out!

Yes, Peter is based on a real person. However, the show, which calls itself an occasionally true story, generously mixes fact and fiction in order to exaggerate Peters initially repulsive and ultimately complex nature. In the series, Peter is shown as the son of Peter the Great. However, the real-life Peter III was the son of Charles Frederick, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, and Anna Petrovna making him the grandson of Peter the Great.

Despite its heavy use of imagination, the show does base Peters ludicrous behavior on some historical truths. The real Catherines memoirs tell us that Peter was an idiot and a drunkard. Hers was a loveless marriage; Catherine even hinted that Peter was impotent. Thus, the pair may not have consummated their marriage after all. This contrasts with the plotlines in the show, wherein Peter has an enormous sexual appetite and is obviously the father of Paul.

Additionally, the real Peter was not the ruler when Catherine first landed in Russia; it was his aunt Elizabeth who sat on the throne. According to the annals of history, Peter ascended the throne after his aunts death, ruling for six months. When he threatened to divorce Catherine and lock her away in a convent, she, with the help of her supporters, organized a military coup to seize control. On July 10 (June 29 in the Julian calendar), 1762, Peter formally abdicated the throne. He was imprisoned and died a few days later. Some reports claim that he killed himself, whilst others suggest that Catherines supporters did away with him.

Unlike the shows Peter, whose essence is aggressively Russian, the real Peter was pro-Prussian and quite scornful of Russian institutions and traditions. The country didnt like him either and, thus, he was massively unpopular. His inability to govern was noticed by Catherine, who quickly realized that she should be the ruler instead. On that note, however, the show does accurately capture Peters infamy and bad leadership, creatively blowing up his flaws. Thus, we see Hoults Peter focusing solely on sex, food, mindless violence, and narcissistic tendencies whilst those around him suffer at hands of his impulsive nature. However, the real Peter did not keep his mothers mummified corpse in the palace.

In the true spirit of absurdist satire, the show conjures up fascinating little quirks to make Peter repulsive and strangely pitiable. He is violent but madly in love with Catherine. He kills men for fun but also forgives them in an instant when his mood is cheerful. He [Peter] is horrible on so many levels but I think he still has to be fun to be around. You start off thinking, what a tyrant, what a monster and then you see all the clues of what its like trying to rule a country in your fathers shadow, stated Hoult. Having all these people around you who you dont trust, and who never say no to you, and the effect of being able to do whatever you want. It has created this monster.

Peters character is deliberately larger-than-life, as it is a satirical exploration of powerful men seen in both historical and contemporary times. I created Peter to be a good antagonist to Catherine and to let me talk about men who inherit power and dont know quite what to do with it, revealed McNamara. I was interested in how she responded to the fact that she had married the wrong man. Now she has to decide whether to kill him. Additionally, his character attains depth when he tries (weakly, but it counts!) to become a better man for his wife and confronts his traumatic childhood.

Peter III is based on a real person, but the historical dramedy amps up his flaws and tones down the duller facts in order to consciously bring forth an anti-historical caricature of Catherines husband. Through his character, we see the perils of unchecked power and the damaging effects of cruel parenting.

Read More: Is Marial in The Great Based on a Real Person?

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Astroworld tragedy exposes cultural shift in the music industry – The Ticker

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Job insecurity, student debt and political polarization are also contributing factors to Gen Zs chronic stress.

Additionally, the slew of traumatic historical events that have unfolded in the short lifetime of Gen Zers, like 9/11, mass shootings and the coronavirus pandemic have rendered young people incurably nihilistic.

Scott is just one of the many artists that rose to stardom by capitalizing on this disillusionment and aligning himself with anti-establishment, anti-traditional and anti-lawfulness. His songs resonate with so many people because they offer an escape from the drudgery of school or a nine-to-five.

Listeners dont have to strain their imagination to picture the utopia Scotts music temporarily transports them to, as his latest album concept does it for them.

Astroworld, named after a Houston-based theme park the rap artist would frequent in his youth, conjures images of an alternate dimension, rampant with sex, drugs and money. In this dimension life is a carnival of chaos and hedonism.

Lyrics such as, And it aint a mosh pit if aint no injuries/ I got em stage divin out the nosebleeds, which can be heard in Scotts 2018 single called STARGAZING. also reinforce the notion that violence is necessary to disrupt the quotidian, a symptom of social conformity.

Scotts music preaches hyper-materialism, anarchy and substance abuse as essential to a life worth living. Attending his concert is sitting one pew from the pulpit.

Its not unimaginable that seeing their idol in the flesh, reciting a gospel thats fed to them in their daily life, would incite a crazed reaction from radicalized fans and cause inappropriate, oftentimes barbaric, festival conduct.

A similar phenomenon has occurred at the concerts of artists such as Tyler the Creator, Playboi Carti and XXXTentacion, all of whom experienced rioting during their performances in recent years.

In 2015, the University of Queensland conducted a study that concluded listening to extreme music, or chaotic, loud and energetic vocals that contained themes such as anger and depression, might soothe listeners by giving them a healthy, nonviolent outlet to process complex emotions.

Thus, the practice of extreme moshing, which is one aspect of raging, might have become normalized among the younger generation because it allows them to physically express the anger they feel toward society.

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