Posts Tagged: Colonialism
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Fake Hawaii: Your American Jungle

Remember when Alec Baldwin quit public life? While others were dissecting the tone and psyche behind his alleged farewell, I got hung up in the piece’s intro, where he talked about phoning a gay-rights group in Hawaii and learning about their torment at growing up in "traditional Hawaiian families"—"Macho fathers. Religious mothers." Others wouldn't have stumbled there, but I was born and raised in Hawaii, and this is the kind of stuff that I notice.

Not to single out Alec, because nearly everyone makes this mistake, but a Hawaiian is a native Hawaiian, a descendant of the Polynesian people who first inhabited the Pacific island chain; generalizing all [...]

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The Lost Art Of Opium Smoking: An Interview With Author Steven Martin

Of all it has embraced, the booming artisanal movement has so far passed over one largely extinct 19th-century practice: opium smoking in the old manner.

But in a book out last year, one collector of antique opium-smoking paraphernalia documents how his fascination with a lost era's artifacts led to an attempt to recreate and live in a lost era of chandu, resulting in an opium addiction of "the traditional manner" that reached a peak of thirty pipes a day. I spoke with author Steven Martin about his book, Opium Fiend: A 21st Century Slave to a 19th Century Addiction, his Opium Museum project, and the cultural legacy of [...]

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Riding That Train, High On Terrain

With the writers abuzz with talk of securing Amtrak Residencies, Tom Zoellner's concisely titled Train comes at a good time. The Los Angeles writer rode the rails in six different countries on three continents to research his new book. He also traveled from New York to Los Angeles on our often-embattled national carrier.

Amtrak appears to have recently scored a rare PR win, after managing to turn an offhand remark from Awl-pal Alexander Chee into an as-yet-unnamed but perhaps-soon-to-be-formalized program aimed at giving writers free or low-cost rides. Writer Jessica Gross has already done such a rolling residency; Chee will take to the rails [...]

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Why Won't You Racists Let Us Talk During Movies?

They—and "they" is two people—are calling it "Social Theater." It all apparently started with some guy at The Wrap, who called for designating "screenings as either ‘texting’ or ‘non-texting.’" Fine, sure! Let's have some texting-friendly screenings in our multiplexes, why not. But really it got rolling with former Googler turned V.C. Hunter Walk asking, fairly reasonably if hilariously, for a new kind of movie theater altogether: One where you could talk, text, Google, Skype and online bank as much as you like. Cool! You're a venture capitalist, make it happen. See you there, sometimes. (He's clearly thought this out: "Maybe even improve attendance during the day since [...]