culture

A genuine REFLECTION OF THE human EXPERIENCE IN TODAY’S WORLD.

From Beneath the Southern Cross | An Irreverent Look at Cannabis Culture in South Africa

To set the background, I am a 63-year-old, white (if that makes a difference) South African. Rather than choose the way of invisible pensioner, I was conned into writing, and when this opportunity came along, felt calling to become vocal. Been smoking dope since about...

SEX WORK, SEX TRAFFICKING AND THE COMPLEX GRAY AREA IN BETWEEN

Sex trafficking is considered one of the most prominent modern plagues in our society. It's on television, it’s in newspapers and blogs, it’s on the nightly news. As a sex trafficking survivor myself, I have always felt caught in the middle between two movements that...

Here’s What the Death Clock Told Me That Changed My Life

Just minutes ago, the Death Clock told me I've got 6 years 3 days to live.  When I saw that forecast, I couldn't think straight. I have my Thermos flask near me. I rubbed my eyes, poured some of its coffee into its cup and sipped the coffee to jolt my mental juices:...

CONFESSION: WHY I TELL YOU TO SMOKE MARIJUANA WHILE I DON’T

“It's definitely worth doing every now and again or hell it's worth it every day if u can afford it and can function fine while high :)” -- Post from Quora correspondent Here’s my confession: I’ve spent more than a decade writing about the wonders of smoking or vaping...

The suffer-fest: a celebration

I never aimed to cultivate imperfection. Rather, it aimed for me. Aimed for me, mowed me down, plowed me under and seeded me well. I grow up again and again; imperfection won’t quit. It's a tough sell, imperfection. Hell, I get it, it’s a tough buy too. You’re more...

The Snake Said: A Meditative Essay on Loneliness

the snake said  | illustrations by sidney teles “‘Where are the men?’ the little prince at last took up the conversation again. ‘It is a little lonely in the desert. . . ‘ ‘It is also lonely among men,’ the snake said.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince...

Providing a place of connection through a free forum of discussion, opinion and analysis on the topics that affect us the most.

KEEP ON BURNING

KEEP ON BURNING

Call them siren’s songs or melodies from the muses. From a favorite perch, a wicker swing aloft in a metal frame, any given day it might be Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Donna Summer, Tina Turner whose voice spun from the record’s grooves. Their voices and songs became...

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IF YOU LOVE ME, You’ll Eat This

IF YOU LOVE ME, You’ll Eat This

In my family, food is how we say, “I love you.” The meal we cook is a valentine. Eating every bit of what’s served is a return kiss. And this lover’s dance passed down to me. If I care about you, I cook for you.     I learned this from my grandmother, “Nanny,” we...

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Tariq

Tariq

My first day in Kani on the southern Saharan fringe, I met Tariq. His skin was darker than the sand under my feet, but not quite the burnt brown of the dust that blew from the west every afternoon, darkening the sky and burnishing the mud- and stone-walls of the...

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Hidden Weeds | Buying Pot in Puerto Escondido

Hidden Weeds | Buying Pot in Puerto Escondido

"This weed is garbage." I say it aloud, even though there is no one to hear me. It's like my testament to the universe. I know that living in Vancouver, one of the very best places for high-quality cannabis on the planet has really spoiled me. However, the bag of weed...

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Where We Go One, We Go All: Subliminal Terror

Where We Go One, We Go All: Subliminal Terror

“Livius, if you listen very carefully, you can hear the gods laughing.” --Commodus, from Fall of the Roman Empire     For some, it is a portal to a horrific world, a black hole that tugs despite all gravitational and grounded forces. But not to me. Nothing beckons...

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Ground Girl

Ground Girl

My uniform is a box cutter and gloves. When I’m on the job, I wonder what else to wear. The men around me wear stained shorts and baggy tee shirts.     I laughed when I told people I was going to be an electrician. They laughed too. Well I’m not actually going to be...

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A Persistent History

A Persistent History

Fear has this funny way of abstracting itself. Of getting passed down, hand to hand, generation to generation. Whispering mouth to shivering ear. All kinds of forms and all kinds of modes, we’re wrapped up in it, us brave, pant suit-wearing, cellphone-toting animals...

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A COLLECTION OF THE BEST short STORIES FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

SUPER MAN

Once, there was a superhero who didn’t know how to fly. He was on his fourth drink, and his tie hung limply around his collar. His face was in shadow hiding the stubble on his chin. He was slumped back in his chair and swirled his drink. He absentmindedly tapped his...

Travel Trailers and Cold Coffee

illustrations by ana carolina maciel No one knows what to expect when going through a divorce. There is the financial burden, custody of the kids, and the question, “Who is going to get what?” Not to mention you are losing someone you thought you were going to spend...

mise en scene

illustrations by sidney teles The roaring in my ears got louder and louder until it was all I could hear. It was a strangely low, screaming sound when you listened closely, as few but I did. The roar was louder than the rushing water swirling around our ankles, louder...

Impropriety

illustrations by sidney teles “I’ll just take a walk to the store.  It will only take five minutes.” I watched my husband leave the dinner to purchase a bottle of brandy, his boss’s, Rachel, favorite.  The dinner party celebrating her promotion into John’s division...

The Adventures of Butch and the Holy Brigade

Butch kissed an alien today; a goddess that would leave her changed for a lifetime. The stranger’s cat-like amber eyes shimmered with fire as the early autumn sun reflected their beautiful aura, her beautiful aura. It pulled Butch closer and closer until she could no...

When Your Girlfriend Owns a Rooster

illustrations by ana carolina maciel Your girlfriend, Rosa, has brought a rooster home. It’s squawking between her slender fingers. If Rosa weren’t a woman, you might feel like an old-timey wife. She’s like a breadwinner bearing fresh meat. You consider, for a moment,...

Suited

illustrations by ana carolina maciel A woman walked down a sidewalk as she pushed a stroller with her nine-month-old child twisting uncomfortably inside. The baby released an unsettling cry causing the woman to stop the stroller. She knelt to hand the baby his...

Taxista

illustrations by ana carolina maciel "¡Sigue, sigue!" a pedestrian shouted, laughing, as I chased after the bus that wasn't going to stop. I gave up after only a few yards, breathing heavily from the stress of having missed it more than the physical exertion of...

The Riller

illustrations by sidney teles The following events mark an attempt to contain the condition prevalent amongst the young, an inherited infection known as RILS: Rebel Insurgent Legacy Syndrome: those infected are commonly known as Rillers. The containment was only...

Paper Cuts from the Pages of Leviticus

paper cuts from the pages of leviticus | illustrations by ana carolina maciel   "Sundays make me bleed. It hurts more now than it used to, but I still rub the tender skin between my fingers to try to remember what topical pain feels like. Physical pain shouldn’t make...

Whatever shape reality takes is often a reflection of the world around us. Through the art of storytelling, we are able to understand our society, our culture, and ourselves better.

A genuine REFLECTION OF THE human EXPERIENCE IN TODAY’S WORLD.

From Beneath the Southern Cross | An Irreverent Look at Cannabis Culture in South Africa

To set the background, I am a 63-year-old, white (if that makes a difference) South African. Rather than choose the way of invisible pensioner, I was conned into writing, and when this opportunity came along, felt calling to become vocal. Been smoking dope since about...

SEX WORK, SEX TRAFFICKING AND THE COMPLEX GRAY AREA IN BETWEEN

Sex trafficking is considered one of the most prominent modern plagues in our society. It's on television, it’s in newspapers and blogs, it’s on the nightly news. As a sex trafficking survivor myself, I have always felt caught in the middle between two movements that...

Here’s What the Death Clock Told Me That Changed My Life

Just minutes ago, the Death Clock told me I've got 6 years 3 days to live.  When I saw that forecast, I couldn't think straight. I have my Thermos flask near me. I rubbed my eyes, poured some of its coffee into its cup and sipped the coffee to jolt my mental juices:...

CONFESSION: WHY I TELL YOU TO SMOKE MARIJUANA WHILE I DON’T

“It's definitely worth doing every now and again or hell it's worth it every day if u can afford it and can function fine while high :)” -- Post from Quora correspondent Here’s my confession: I’ve spent more than a decade writing about the wonders of smoking or vaping...

The suffer-fest: a celebration

I never aimed to cultivate imperfection. Rather, it aimed for me. Aimed for me, mowed me down, plowed me under and seeded me well. I grow up again and again; imperfection won’t quit. It's a tough sell, imperfection. Hell, I get it, it’s a tough buy too. You’re more...

The Snake Said: A Meditative Essay on Loneliness

the snake said  | illustrations by sidney teles “‘Where are the men?’ the little prince at last took up the conversation again. ‘It is a little lonely in the desert. . . ‘ ‘It is also lonely among men,’ the snake said.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince...

Providing a place of connection through a free forum of discussion, opinion and analysis on the topics that affect us the most.

Unlovable Things

Unlovable Things

I could only watch in horror as he grabbed anything to stop her from moving.  I wonder if someone else saw me struggling like I was seeing her but wasn’t sure whether to stop it.  This thought alone made me hesitate next to the glass, stomach in a knot.  Was he...

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The Scent of Sun

The Scent of Sun

scent of sun | photography by katherine cart So, who are you? What do terpenes and trichomes mean to you? Do you shiver and scowl when a kid walks by, stinking of last night’s joint? Or do you take a second whiff, then a third, trying to remember the last time you...

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What Did I Lose?

What Did I Lose?

You meet at a bar. He’s an inch shorter with kind eyes and a voice made from silk. He buys you two beers despite the fact you think beer tastes like rotting water and only sold to please the lightweights. He interviews you on your favorite past time—reading, your...

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THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MURDER

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MURDER

Fear can be good when you're walking past an alley at night or when you need to check the locks on your doors before you go to bed, but it's not good when you have a goal and you're fearful of obstacles. We often get trapped by our fears, but anyone who has had...

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Outside the Fortress Walls

Outside the Fortress Walls

“If you believe you are a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere.”...Teresa May Clichés and proverbs hover at the surface of our reactions and spring off our tongues because they have withstood the test of time, and tend to be showstoppers. “You can’t go...

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A COLLECTION OF THE BEST short STORIES FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

SUPER MAN

Once, there was a superhero who didn’t know how to fly. He was on his fourth drink, and his tie hung limply around his collar. His face was in shadow hiding the stubble on his chin. He was slumped back in his chair and swirled his drink. He absentmindedly tapped his...

Travel Trailers and Cold Coffee

illustrations by ana carolina maciel No one knows what to expect when going through a divorce. There is the financial burden, custody of the kids, and the question, “Who is going to get what?” Not to mention you are losing someone you thought you were going to spend...

mise en scene

illustrations by sidney teles The roaring in my ears got louder and louder until it was all I could hear. It was a strangely low, screaming sound when you listened closely, as few but I did. The roar was louder than the rushing water swirling around our ankles, louder...

Impropriety

illustrations by sidney teles “I’ll just take a walk to the store.  It will only take five minutes.” I watched my husband leave the dinner to purchase a bottle of brandy, his boss’s, Rachel, favorite.  The dinner party celebrating her promotion into John’s division...

The Adventures of Butch and the Holy Brigade

Butch kissed an alien today; a goddess that would leave her changed for a lifetime. The stranger’s cat-like amber eyes shimmered with fire as the early autumn sun reflected their beautiful aura, her beautiful aura. It pulled Butch closer and closer until she could no...

When Your Girlfriend Owns a Rooster

illustrations by ana carolina maciel Your girlfriend, Rosa, has brought a rooster home. It’s squawking between her slender fingers. If Rosa weren’t a woman, you might feel like an old-timey wife. She’s like a breadwinner bearing fresh meat. You consider, for a moment,...

Suited

illustrations by ana carolina maciel A woman walked down a sidewalk as she pushed a stroller with her nine-month-old child twisting uncomfortably inside. The baby released an unsettling cry causing the woman to stop the stroller. She knelt to hand the baby his...

Taxista

illustrations by ana carolina maciel "¡Sigue, sigue!" a pedestrian shouted, laughing, as I chased after the bus that wasn't going to stop. I gave up after only a few yards, breathing heavily from the stress of having missed it more than the physical exertion of...

The Riller

illustrations by sidney teles The following events mark an attempt to contain the condition prevalent amongst the young, an inherited infection known as RILS: Rebel Insurgent Legacy Syndrome: those infected are commonly known as Rillers. The containment was only...

Paper Cuts from the Pages of Leviticus

paper cuts from the pages of leviticus | illustrations by ana carolina maciel   "Sundays make me bleed. It hurts more now than it used to, but I still rub the tender skin between my fingers to try to remember what topical pain feels like. Physical pain shouldn’t make...
Pig Boy!

Pig Boy!

pig boy | illustrations by sidney teles The call came late in the night. Eyes wide, unable to sleep, I accepted the call. My stepmother wept on the other end. “Did he pass?” I asked, my voice a whisper that cut through the dark. “Yes, a few days ago.” “Why didn’t you...

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White Space

White Space

Melody had written a scene about a pregnant teenager who is fucking her father, and for that reason—not to mention the fact that the piece was very good and she was his brightest student and he liked her a great deal—Mark wanted to talk with her.  She’d given him her...

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Bound by Blood

Bound by Blood

Condensation dripped off the walls of the sewer tunnel. A rat scurried by the pale man with the spiky black hair. Squeaking loudly, it ventured off into the gloom. Erasmus Zain was tall and muscular. He wore a black leather cloak with a silver mink lining, black...

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Jell-O

Jell-O

Jell-O | illustrations by sidney teles I opened the refrigerator door. Wow. Incredible. There was nothing but plastic racks and a winters breeze. I did a prostate examination of the fridge’s interior. Up. Down. Side to side. Twisting. Turning. Clamping. Squeezing....

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The Champ

The Champ

the champ | illustrations by ana carolina maciel When I was little, I got dressed with my Mom in the ladies’ locker room at the country club. I liked it in there, with the pink, furry carpet and all the women walking around in white towels, wrapped tightly under their...

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Movies that spoke to us in 2019

Movies that spoke to us in 2019

As 2019 crawls to a close, a reflection on some of the more noteworthy cinematic achievements offers a glance at a handful of films that appear to be very dissimilar. At least, that seems to be the case initially.  Think of the sicko, demented plunges of Joker, a...

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