Conversations
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The "Liquid Sky" Sequel Is Coming: A Chat With The Director Of The Best Film About New York

A terrific update to this interview: After publication, director Slava Tsukerman clarified that, in Liquid Sky 2, the brilliant Anne Carlisle will return in the role of Margaret.

Liquid Sky is one of the most visually ambitious films ever made about fashion, heroin, New Wave clubs, UFO saucers, ordering Chinese food and having them put it on your tab, the Empire State Building, androgyny, neon and tin foil. The 1982 cult classic may be the perfect embodiment of camp. Unlike contemporary low-budget cinema, which prizes an aesthetic of apathy, Liquid Sky makes its efforts visible. Judgmental fashion reporters cackle straight into the camera. Catwalk scenes take place [...]

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Maybe Sex Is The Least Fun Thing Two People Can Do

Kirin McCrory is 25, lives in New York, and doesn't like sex. At least, not that much. She's normal insomuch as any of us is normal; she happens to like boys and she likes dating, but as for sex? "I'd rather analyze a good book," she said to me one night at a bar. Kirin is my friend, and when she said this I thought she was out of her fucking mind. Or that she had a weird hormonal imbalance or was living a PTSD-crippled life. The sky is blue, water is wet, and everyone likes sex.

Kirin isn't traumatized, isn't ill, and isn't asexual. Asexuality is a [...]

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"Bet Raise Fold": How To Make A Modern Poker Doc

The documentary Bet Raise Fold tells the story of three online poker players, the companies who make online poker possible, and online poker's Black Friday—the day in 2011 that the government seized the domains and froze the bank accounts of three of the largest online poker operations.

The movie's genesis is wholly of the modern day too. This is an independently produced and distributed documentary, funded by a group of 12 online poker players. No big studios were involved. The production spanned three years. Distribution is being supported by direct-to-consumer distribution platform VHX. A Kickstarter campaign provided the funds for music [...]

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The U.S. Open Is Here! Let's Talk Tennis

We gathered some tennis experts and pals to talk tennis—please do join us. The question before us: is this going to be the greatest U.S. Open of all time? EVERYONE AGREES: YES. (Wait, even without Rafael Nadal???)

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The Tiny Newspaper In North Carolina That Scooped Up Journalism's Big Prizes

Yancey County is located in the mountainous western stretch of North Carolina, about 45 minutes from Asheville. The county's population is less than 18,000, and yet it has two local papers to serve it: the Yancey Common Times Journal, which has been in publication more than a hundred years, and the "other" newspaper, the Yancey County News, founded in 2011. The paper's masthead lists only two people—husband and wife Jonathan and Susan Austin—but nevertheless, its first year out, the Yancey County News has won two major journalism awards, the E.W. Scripps Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment and the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism.

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What Can China Teach London About a "Harmonious Society"?

Tonight, at PowerHouse Arena, it is the Brooklyn Launch Party for Tom Scocca's Beijing Welcomes You, a nonfiction chronicle of what Beijing has so recently become. As China is now (well, as usual) so much in the news, we asked him some questions!

Choire Sicha: Tom Scocca, as you have written a book called Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future, which is brand new and good and also a book I have read, you are the only expert on China.* (*That I personally know.) Is this a great week for China or what?

Tom Scocca: If you set aside the fact that all [...]

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"Essential Transgression": New Fiction Writers In Afghanistan

The Gifts of the State and Other Stories: New Writing from Afghanistan is available by any means in which you might prefer to receive books.

From the publisher

McNally Jackson

Amazon and Kindle

Indiebound

Adam Klein has the kind of life that many of us, chained to our desks, might envy. A wanderer and frequent expatriate, he has lived and taught in places as disparate as Bangladesh, India, Beirut and Kabul. He is the singer and co-songwriter for San Francisco-based band The Size Queens, as well as the author of the Lambda Book Award-nominated short story collection The Medicine [...]

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Bodies, Commerce, Complicity: Porn Star Dale Cooper

I can’t remember just how I stumbled across Dale Cooper, but I doubt it was while googling a French verb or cheap flights. But beyond the naked pictures, an interesting character began to reveal itself. Here was a Tumblr photo of Cooper and his friend and fellow performer Colby Keller, wearing nerdy glasses, checkered aprons and carrying a tray of cupcakes. There a porn-site profile, professing he likes the Times crossword and crackers. On the Huffington Post, he wrote a series of columns dealing with subjects ranging from gay suicide to the sociological implications of digital closeness on Grindr. On finding his blog, I finally had to abandon [...]

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One Of The Best Rock Albums Of All Time Returns Tomorrow

Tomorrow Matador Records is reissuing Come's "11:11." If you don't remember the 90s, and really why would you, it's one of the great rock records of… all time? Yup, absolutely. Come toured with Pavement and Nirvana, considered their major label options, and put out three more albums in the 90s, even as half the lineup left. And then… everyone sort of drifted away. Now the original four-some is on tour in Europe; they'll wend their way to America in mid-June. Over the weekend, we Skyped with Come's Thalia Zedek about getting the band back together. She was in Berlin, getting lost; she also has a new album [...]

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How Do You Like Barack Obama Now? A Conversation

New York Times political reporter Jodi Kantor's The Obamas arrived in paperback yesterday, so we gathered some people to talk about Barack Obama: the man, the president, the person, the dog enthusiast, the man who kills people with drones.

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An Interview with Hanksy

Hanksy is a street artist who puts Tom Hanks’ face on copies of Banksy’s art. His first show, which just closed at the Krause Gallery on the Lower East Side, and where the menu offered boxes of chocolates and Dr. Pepper, nearly sold out completely, according to the dealer. “I think what made it such a success is the genuine honesty in it,” gallery owner Ben Krause told me. “Hanksy really is a huge Tom Hanks fan and a huge Banksy fan.”

Images of Hanksy’s pieces, pasted and sprayed over walls in both New York and Chicago, gained momentum over corners of the internet, not just those [...]

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A Conversation with Misha Angrist, Publisher of His Genome

Misha Angrist, otherwise known as member four of the Personal Genome Project, has—along with Stephen Pinker and some other science-world luminaries—given permission for his entire genome to be published online. As a trained geneticist, he's more equipped to predict the direction and effects of DNA research than the rest of us. His new book, Here is a Human Being, ponders the implications of this kind of bioforensics for our culture at large, and also for those of us, like me, who've already opened this Pandora's box by subscribing to 23andme or one of the other personal genomics outlets. Will our information be kept private? [...]

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All The Drunk Dudes: The Parodic Manliness Of The Alcoholic Writer

It’s difficult not to romanticize a link between writing and drinking. Wisdom hurts, so the more wisdom a writer has, the harder the writer will try to drown it with alcohol. Or maybe it isn’t wisdom that needs to be drowned; it’s the inner editor. Or maybe the great passion that leads to great writing also leads to great drinking. Or maybe… anyway, there must be some connection, so can we please put down our horrible manuscripts and pour ourselves some bourbon already?

There is no romanticizing in The Trip to Echo Spring, British journalist Olivia Laing’s new group biography of six alcoholic writers—Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams, [...]

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Stoya on Sex, Sexing, Sexism, Sexuality And Cleaning The Cat Box

At the 2013 Adult Video Awards, I had the good fortune to meet the woman who calls herself Stoya. She’s mercurial, striking, and staggeringly smart—by turns a writer, lyra acrobat, and wildly successful adult performer. She’s also a busy bee. The other day we talked about privacy, sexuality, the Internet, feminism, pizza delivery guys and doing porn when she’s 50. Her Instagram is entirely cat-related.

The Awl: So, how long have you worked in the industry?

Stoya: Mm…since late 2007. So, six years?

The Awl: What are you doing in LA right now? Are you shooting stuff or just visiting or…?

Stoya: Well, it’s gonna be [...]

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How To Write About Tragedy And/Or Lindsay Lohan: Advice From Stephen Rodrick

Stephen Rodrick, a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, of late best known for the single best story on Lindsay Lohan ever, has a new book out today called The Magical Stranger: A Son’s Journey Into His Father’s Life. His father, Commander Peter Rodrick, died in 1979 when his Prowler crashed into the ocean. The book traces the aftermath of his father’s death for his young family, and its ripple effects in Rodrick’s adult life—but is also a book documenting military life today. It's also really good, particularly in the way it calibrates the telling of such an openly emotional story. It’s not easy [...]

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The Bike Rides Around Baltimore That Become GPS Art

Godzilla vs Mothra 22.61 miles => 3 Hours 43 minutes 32 Seconds

Michael Wallace is a middle-school science teacher who lives in Baltimore. When he’s not teaching his kids about the Mesozoic Era (remember, “meso” means “between”), Wallace rides his bike around the city. Only, while he’s riding his bike, he’s also drawing something, using GPS tracking to trace his routes throughout Baltimore and forming them into different shapes, symbols that become fully detailed pictures. There’s “Jellyfish Invasion,” a giant jellyfish created over 16-plus miles and nearly three hours of riding, and “Gat,” a massive gun that took less than an hour over about 5.5 [...]

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A Q&A with a 'Daily News' Crime Reporter

For almost a decade straight, Kerry Burke has been reporting on crime for the New York Daily News, primarily homicides—or "murder and mayhem," as he tends to call it. Burke was one of the reporters featured in Bravo's short-lived 2006 reality series "Tabloid Wars," which documented how writers and editors at the Daily News manage to put a great deal of the day's activities into a newspaper that's ready for sale the next morning. It got him a good bit of attention back then; now it's 2012, and he's still at it, contributing stories from all over the city, from waiting for Beyoncé to Occupy Wall Street [...]