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ESSENCE Dita Von Teese opens up about her fusion of glamour and seduction. On the cover: Photo by Sheryl Neilds.

departments 6 letter from the editor Some insider knowledge about the many faces of CULTURE. 8 NEWS NUGGETS Cannabis makes headlines here, there, everywhere—and we give you the scoop—PLUS our latest By the Numbers 20 DESTINATION UNKNOWN If you’ve never seen a literal oasis in the desert, visiting the northeast coast of Brazil should be quite a thrill.

features 10 GOOD DEFENSE Patients’ rights get some firm backing from the Michigan Supreme Court. 12 THE HEARTBREAK KIDS Some parents turn to cannabis to help treat their children’s ADHD and OCD. 14 THRASH AND BURN Anthrax; metal icon, then and now.

21 PROFILES IN COURAGE Our latest feature provides insight into the life—and struggle—of a medical marijuana patient near you. 22 COOL STUFF From Original Kind Caps to Hempcense, if it’s a cutting-edge product or cool lifestyle gear, we’re all over it. 24 RECIPES Our menu of crisp, cool poolside eats should help you chill out when it’s hot out. 26 Entertainment Reviews The latest films, books, music and more that define our culture! 28 | Events Calendar 29 | Guide to Advertisers 30 | News of the Weird



Letter from the Editor

Roberto C. Hernandez Editor-In-Chief


Vol 4 IssUE 1


Jeremy Zachary


Roberto C. Hernandez

Managing Editor Lynn Lieu

Editorial Contributors

Dennis Argenzia, Ashley Bennett, Jake Browne, David Burton, Michael Carlos, Grace Cayosa, Jasen T. Davis, Stacy Davies, Rev. Dr. Kymron de Cesare, Alex Distefano, David Downs, James P. Gray, Lillian Isley, David Jenison, Liquid Todd, Kevin Longrie, Meital Manzuri, Jane Mast, Sandra Moriarty, Assia Mortensen, Damian Nassiri, Keller O’Malley, Paul Rogers, Lanny Swerdlow, Arrissia Owen


Surprise, Surprise Full disclosure: I was pretty excited when I got word that we were granted an interview with Dita Von Teese for this issue’s cover story. After all, here was an opportunity to give our readers an up close and personal look at a world-renowned entertainer, author, actress, costume designer and self-made entrepreneur. Von Teese is someone that took something fringe (burlesque) and made it mainstream. She’s the child of humble beginnings who ended up hobnobbing with Louis Vuitton and George Clooney. To grab a line from our cover story, Von Teese overcame struggle and reinvented herself on her own terms. When I told my wife about the Von Teese cover story, she got pretty excited, too . . . then she did a double-take and asked, “Wait, what does Dita Von Teese have to do with medical marijuana? Does she have anything to say about it?” My response: Everyone we put on the cover has some sort of connection to MMJ. We wouldn’t have it any other way. I run into this situation from time to time. The No. 1 question that I get asked about CULTURE (after “How can I become one of your strain and edible reviewers?”) is: How do you decide who gets on the cover? Now before I get into that, I need to fess up: CULTURE’s been on a winning streak when it comes to our cover stories. Since we launched in June 2009, we’ve been highly successful in getting an amazingly diverse array of folks from all walks of life to grace our glossy face each and every month. From cultural icons known across the globe (Ziggy Marley) to political provocateurs (Bill Maher), from push-the-envelope comedians (Margaret Cho) to television personalities (Bob Saget), from

veteran cannabis figures (Ed Rosenthal and Cheech & Chong) to pop culture phenoms (Wiz Khalifa and Weeds actress Mary-Louise Parker) our covers are full of surprises. You never know who you’re going to get. During our creative brainstorming sessions, we’ve tossed around names like Harry Belafonte and Betty White (Betty White!). Like I said, we’re always cooking up a surprise. Our readers and patients deserve no less. Our readers deserve a cover story on someone who has something intelligent and compelling to say about themselves, our world . . . and medical marijuana. Sometimes the subject of our cover story uses medical marijuana (Melissa Etheridge turned to cannabis it to deal with her cancer and chemo). Sometimes, the people we interview approach cannabis from a political direction (Roseanne Barr is pushing for legalization). Sometimes we interview cannabis users who don’t know the difference between an indica and a sativa (Bill Maher, I’m looking at you!). Regardless, everyone is relevant to medical marijuana. They weren’t for cover stories, but CULTURE’s interviewed celebrities (Korn’s Jonathan Davis) and progressive activists who do not use cannabis . . . but they firmly believe that Americans have the right to use cannabis—Dita Von Teese is a perfect example—or they support states’ rights to enact compassionate legislation. White or black, young or old, male or female, left, or right, rapper or rocker—the diversity of CULTURE’s covers and our content echoes the diversity of our community, the diversity of our culture. Now, excuse me while I drop a line to Betty White’s publicist . . . c

Steve Baker, Kristopher Christensen, John Gilhooley, Amanda Holguin, Khai Le, David Elliot Lewis, Mark Malijan, Patrick Roddie, Michael Seto, Kim Sidwell


Joe Martone, Alina Muradyan

Art Director

Steven Myrdahl

Graphic Designers

Vidal Diaz, Tommy LaFleur

Director of Sales & Marketing Jim Saunders

Regional Manager John Parker

Office Manager Iris Norsworthy

Advertising Coordinator Amy Nottmeier

Online Marketing Jackie Moe

Account Executives

Joe Amador, Jon Bookatz, Gene Gorelik, Kristy Mamula, Dave Ruiz, Kim Slocum, April Tygart, Nick Villejo

IT Manager

Serg Muratov

Distribution Manager Cruz Bobadilla

Culture® Magazine is published every month and distributes 25,000 papers at over 500 locations throughout Michigan. No articles, illustrations, photographs, or other matter within may be reproduced without written permission. Culture® Magazine is a registered trademark of Southland Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. 700 S. Main St. | #119-124 Lapeer | Michigan | 48446 Phone 888.694.2046 | Fax 951.284.2596

CULTURE® Magazine is printed using post-recycled paper.



News Nuggets THE STATE

High court to Detroit: Go ahead with legalization vote

Michigan’s highest court has given the green light for Detroit residents to vote “yea” or “nay’ on legalizing cannabis in the city. The move by the state Supreme Court followed more than two years of legal wrangling over the referendum, which would allow possession and use of up to 1 ounce of marijuana on private property. The Detroit Election Commission had voted in August 2010 to block the measure, sparking a court challenge by referendum sponsor Coalition for a Safer Detroit. The legalization question will appear before Detroit voters on the Aug. 7 primary ballot.

Michigan bans synthetic marijuana & “bath salts” Declaring ersatz drugs to be “a very bad thing,” Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law a statewide ban on sales of so-called “synthetic marijuana” and the designer drug known as “bath salts.” Michigan is now one of at least 40 other states that have outlawed synthetic pot, a mix of herbs sold under names such as “K2” or “Spice.” State elected officials have only recently begun to address concerns over 8 CULTURE • JULY 2012

bath salts—a synthetic form of amphetamine alleged to cause violent and irrational behavior in users. Police investigators in Miami say bath salts may have played a role in the bizarre cannibal attack on a homeless man in late May, though the claim has not been verified. Many store owners in Detroit and other Michigan cities had already pulled the synthetic drugs from their shelves, heeding warnings from state officials about their alleged danger and in anticipation of the ban.

Legalization proposal faces “uphill battle”

A proposal that would legalize marijuana across Michigan still needs more signatures in order to make it to the November ballot, according to AnnArbor. com. The Committee for a Safer Michigan’s constitutional amendment needs more than 322,600 signatures from registered voters to make the ballot. So far, the campaign has gathered together about 40,000 signatures. “Realistically, we definitely have an uphill battle,” Matthew R. Abel, a campaign organizer and attorney, told Similar to alcohol regulations, the proposal would make cannabis legal for adults 21 and over. If the proposal fails, Abel says, the committee will try again at a later time.

THE NATION Decriminalization push in NYC hits GOP wall Opposition by Republican lawmakers to a bill that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in New York City will probably doom the proposal, Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned.

The bill—backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and the city’s five district attorneys—would allow public possession of up to 25 grams of marijuana. It was pushed forward after Bloomberg and others publicly lamented the city’s 50,000-plus marijuana arrests every year—most for simple possession and most involving Hispanic or black arrestees. Despite widespread support for the bill, many Republicans in the state’s GOP-dominated legislature have denounced the measure as de facto legalization. Without Republican support, Cuomo said, passage of the bill was “highly unlikely.”

Hemp amendment introduced in U.S. Senate

Federal prohibitions on growing industrial hemp would be lifted under a proposed amendment to a U.S. Senate farm bill. The proposal by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) would

replace the ban with a state-run permit system, The Hill reported. In a Senate floor speech, Wyden sought to educate his colleagues on the differences between marijuana and industrial hemp, which is in the cannabis sativa family but has extremely low THC levels. The measure is cosponsored by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). While previous congressional

efforts to lift the longstanding ban failed, Wyden said his amendment should gain support from fellow senators once they realize it isn’t aimed at legalizing cannabis, The Hill reported.

In a written report to the Home Affairs Select Committee, Professor Les Iversen told ministers that slapping teenagers with penalties such as driver’s license confiscation, fines and awareness courses for pot possession would better policy approach than current drug policy. Now, young marijuana offenders are saddled with criminal records that can result in them being barred from universities or buying a home years later. Iversen is not the first chairman of the advisory council to caution against draconian drug policy. In 2009, one of his predecessors was removed from the panel after saying horseback riding was more dangerous than taking Ecstasy.

THE WORLD Chairman of UK drug panel calls for reforming pot penalties

Saying cannabis prohibition often results in unintended negative consequences for young people, the chairman of the United Kingdom’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has called on the British Parliament to decriminalize marijuana.

By the Numbers marijuana for recreational use: 29 (Source: EPIC-MRA poll).


Percentage of American voters surveyed in May in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational use: 56 (Source: Rasmussen poll).


Maximum jail sentence (in years) in Michigan for possessing marijuana for nonmedical purposes: 1 (Source: Marijuana Policy Project).


Percentage of American voters surveyed in May opposed to legalizing marijuana for recreational use: 36 (Source: Rasmussen poll).


Maximum fine (in dollars) in Michigan for possessing marijuana for nonmedical purposes: 2,000 (Source: Marijuana Policy Project).

Number of U.S. states to pass legislation decriminalizing marijuana possession: 15 (Source: The Huffington Post).


Number of marijuana arrests in New York City in 2011: 50,684 (Source: Queens College study).


4 5


Percentage of Michigan Republican voters surveyed in January supporting legalizing


Percentage of 2011 marijuana arrests in New York City later revealed to be the result of illegal searches and false charges: 75 (Source: Queens College study).


Percentage of Michigan Democratic voters surveyed in January supporting legalizing marijuana for recreational use: 57 (Source: EPIC-MRA poll).

Ratio of double-blind, peer-reviewed studies reporting positive benefits of cannabis versus studies reporting negative effectives: 4 to 1 (Source:



Overall percentage of Michigan voters surveyed in January supporting legalizing marijuana for recreational use: 45 (Source: EPIC-MRA poll).


Membership of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an organization of law officers opposed to drug prohibition, in 2002: 5 (Source: The New York Times).

Membership of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition in 2012: 48,000 (Source: The New York Times).

Estimated cost (in dollars) of 2011 marijuana arrests to New York City taxpayers: 75 million (Source: Queens College study).

Kaskade live Everyone wants to listen to a real DJ. We don’t want some idiot who brought his iPod shuffle and hooked it up to some speakers or some hipster who just figured out his iTunes account. We want the real deal, and his name is Kaskade (okay, it’s actually Ryan Raddon but it’s the same guy). Kaskade is ready to set the night on fire (and ice) and will be spinning some of his biggest hits for your listening pleasure. It’s a rare feat to turn the dial up modem of the ’90s into a musical experience, and Kaskade has the rare ability to pull it off and not get sued by AOL. He’s collaborated with the likes of Skrillex, Deadmau5 (who I still pronounce “dead-mow-five”), and Tiësto so you know what kind of show you’re in for. Just light up the night and let the bass drop on your mind. Wub wub indeed . . . (Joe Martone)


What: Kaskade in concert. When/Where: Aug. 4 at The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Info: Tickets $25-$100. Go to or call (313) 961-5451.



Full Court Press The Michigan Supreme Court steps up for patients’ legal rights {By Jasen T. Davis}

10 CULTURE • JULY 2012

the defendants, not a sword.” Had it not been for this ruling, King would have been hit with criminal charges just as if he was a black-market grower and dealer. That all changed a few weeks ago after the court unanimously overturned the Michigan Court of Appeals, which had interpreted the MMMA narrowly. In addition, some judges had not allowed defendants who used medicinal cannabis to use an medical defense or even identify themselves as licensed patients—the scenario that King had been facing. Now, with the state Supreme Court’s ruling in place, patients who fall within Section 8 of the

Say What?

Patients: the Michigan Supreme Court has your back. A recent ruling by this state’s highest court is a positive sign for medical cannabis patients concerned about overzealous law enforcement dropping the hammer with ruthless authority. The Michigan Supreme Court unanimously ruled that registered and unregistered patients and caregivers are entitled to a legal defense as long as they follow the provisions of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. The ruling comes just in time for Larry King of Shiawassee County, who faced charges of cultivation despite the fact he was a licensed patient. Because he had not kept all 12 of his plants in a “locked, enclosed facility” (King had six plants in his home and six outside in a padlocked dog kennel, as opposed to a garage or green house), prosecutors said he could not use what is called an “affirmative defense” to avoid prosecution. “The ruling is a positive one,” King’s attorney, Matthew R. Abel of Detroit-based Cannabis Counsel, tells CULTURE. “It’s a solid victory for patients throughout the state because the part about affirmative defense was not clear. It was intended to be a shield for

“Legalize marijuana.” —Presidential hopeful and actress Roseanne Barr

MMMA have legal protection. Section 8 reads “a patient and a patient’s primary caregiver, if any, may assert the medical purpose for using marihuana as a defense to any prosecution involving marihuana, and this defense shall be presumed valid.” Abel says the ruling will help protect medical cannabis patients from frivolous criminal charges by overreaching law enforcement. “It rewrites two years of bad rulings in the Michigan Court of Appeals that [were] only hurting patients,” Abel says. “People were getting prosecuted for wellintentioned behavior. By [July 4] we are going to have 200,000 medical cannabis patients in the state, so the Michigan Supreme Court has to recognize the importance of this.” The hope is also that the court’s ruling will have a chilling effect on police arresting patients, Abel suggests. “It could have an effect on getting cops to back off,” he says. “They used to be confident about arresting patients and asking questions later. In the past there were about 20 court orders that said a patient couldn’t even mention medical cannabis because it wasn’t a valid defense. Now it’s going to be up to the jury.” c ‘]œ

Ripple Effect

While the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling is great news, MMJ attorney Matthew R. Abel says there is still work to be done to protect patients’ rights in other states that have MMJ laws on the books. “This is a Michigan Supreme Court ruling, so it only affects Michigan law,” he says. It may just be a matter of time before other courts catch up. “The ruling could have a ripple effect because of the fact [that] it clarifies a lot of language that refers to medical cannabis patients and the right to an affirmative defense,” he says. “For instance, the MMMA [that] was drafted [was based] on Rhode Island’s law, so attorneys there might now use the Michigan Supreme Court ruling for the benefit of their own legal arguments.”

JULY 2012 • CULTURE 11


For the Sake of the Children Some local mothers turn to cannabis to help their kids’ OCD and ADHD {By Jasen T. Davis} Even the most diehard medical marijuana advocate can acknowledge that there are people out there that are deeply prejudiced against using cannabis. So if some mothers here in Michigan are using cannabis to treat their severely sick children, there must be a damn good reason for doing so. There is: it works, they say.

Rebecca Brown of Oakland County says she tried many different prescription drugs to treat Cooper, her 14-year-old son, for the frequent seizures he suffered due to autism, but nothing worked. And the prescription drugs Cooper’s doctor recommended caused kidney stones and harmed his pancreas. But ever since Cooper’s mother

At Attention

began using marijuana on him, seizures have become far and few between and the boy’s health as dramatically improved. Rebecca Brown’s story is not unique. More than 40 other children currently use medical cannabis here in Michigan—some as young as 7. According to Adam Macdonald, a spokesman for the National Patients Rights Association (NPRA), medical cannabis is also useful for treating other disorders common in children such as epilepsy, auto-immune diseases, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Obviously, this doesn’t mean a parent should start handing out prerolls to Little Johnny along with his lunch money. “The decision of whether or not to use marijuana—or any other medicine—should be left to the patient, the parents and their doctors,” Macdonald tells CULTURE. “If the child’s physician feels that it is an appropriate treatment, it should be regarded as any other medical procedure.” Since it was passed in 2008, Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Act has changed the opinions and lives of many individuals. While states like Delaware and Connecticut require that patients must be at least 18 years of age, Michigan does not. However, an MMJ patient who is underage must obtain two doctor’s signatures as well as parental consent before they are authorized to use medical cannabis. “The NPRA believes that all parents should be guided by the conclusions of their own research in partnership with a qualified medical professional regarding the health effects of any herb, drug or pharmaceutical—including cannabis—when deciding whether or

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can make life chaotic. Its symptoms include inattentiveness, impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, feelings of restlessness or agitation and disorganization. How does cannabis help? Marijuana has a calming effect on people suffering from ADHD and, in some cases, can help patients in focusing their concentration, according to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Certification Center.

12 CULTURE • JULY 2012

not to incorporate these substances in their treatment protocols,” Macdonald says. But since smoking cannabis is decidedly kid-unfriendly, parents have other options to turn to. Some mothers opt for tinctures (alcohol or glycerin infused with cannabis extract) or edibles, such as brownies, that are low in psychoactive THC, instead of vaporizers. Milk or Rice Krispies treats infused with cannabis are other more ageappropriate methods. Unfortunately, some parents turn to cannabis as a last resort, a desperate move made when all other recourses have proven ineffective—even if using marijuana might get them branded pariahs. “When people are concerned for the health of their children, they are willing to explore any possibility to help them live a normal life,” says Morgan Fox, communications manager for the Marijuana Police Project. “Parents should not be treated like criminals in the court of public opinion for using a medicine that is demonstrably safer than most pharmaceutical drugs.” Parents are warned to show caution, however, because the federal government (and some members of the law enforcement community) considers cannabis use illegal and as dangerous as using heroin. But with women across the country getting involved, the path for reform can be established. “Mothers tend to be the most powerful force for social and political change there is, once they get mobilized,” Fox says. “If enough parents come forward, share their stories and work with organizations that promote marijuana policy reform, they could very well be the catalyst that ends the war on marijuana.” c ]‘

JULY 2012 • CULTURE 13


The Devil in the Details Anthrax would love to thrash and burn—Mitt Romney! {By David Jenison}

Say What?

Twenty-one years ago, Anthrax joined Slayer and Megadeth on the epic Clash of the Titans tour, an arena-filling thrash metal fest that certainly clashed with the mainstream. The U.S. tour lasted two months, during which time Amy Grant, Extreme, Paula Abdul and the unforgettable Hi-Five all topped the charts. Fast forward to 2010, and the Titans trio joined Metallica for the “Big 4” festivals, which included a live broadcast “Everybody in the media world and the sports world knows NBA players do smoke marijuana.” —Josh Howard (as a player for the Dallas Mavericks in 2008)

from Bulgaria. The first tour established thrash metal and the next tour cemented its place in history, but none of the Four went full circle like Anthrax. Joey Belladonna, the voice behind the classic Anthrax era (1984 to 1992), was gone soon after the Titans tour. Two new vocalists attempted to fill his shoes, but Belladonna officially rejoined Anthrax just in time for the Big 4 concerts and the band’s latest release, Worship Music. “Even though we are all under the umbrella of thrash, the Big 4 bands don’t sound alike,” says Charlie Benante, drummer and co-songwriter for Anthrax. “This is what has been said in the past— we have a singer with Joey. I’m not saying the other bands don’t have singers, but we have a more traditional type of singer. He gave us more melody.” It had been eight years since the last Anthrax album, so did Worship Music qualify as a proper


comeback? Put it this way, its No. 12 debut is Anthrax’s highest chart position this side of Justin Bieber’s first diaper change, and it is a 110-spot improvement over their previous release. Following the Big 4 fests, the Clash of the Titans bands kept the ball rolling with the 2010 American Carnage Tour, and Slayer and Anthrax are together again for this summer’s Mayhem Festival tour. “We have a certain amount of time to hit as hard as we can with as much energy as we can, so we are going to go for it and blow it up,” says Benante of the Mayhem set. “We are going to hit with the songs fans know and recognize.” In addition to classics like “Caught in a Mosh” and “Madhouse,” Anthrax comes armed with several new songs the fans already love. In fact, one Worship Music single already has a dedication. “‘The Devil You Know’ is Mitt Romney,” the drummer declares.

Bronx native Charlie Benante (not to mention the Republican members of the New York legislature) is openly anti-drugs, and—unfortunately—this hard-headed conviction even extends to medical marijuana. “I am not for it,” he states. “I don’t care who says what, it is still marijuana . . . People also abuse alcohol, but at least you can tell when someone is drunk behind the wheel.” Benante might limit his highs to a coffee buzz, but right now the band needs all the energy it can get. Anthrax is once again marking its territory as one of thrash metal’s Big 4.

14 CULTURE • JULY 2012

“He is full of shit. Wait until the American people realize what Mormons believe. We have such a religious front in politics, and if you are up in arms about birth certificates and all that crap and don’t talk about the Mormon thing, you are a hypocrite.” “Fight ’Em ’Til You Can’t” is another standout single with a zombie-apocalypse theme readymade for the CDC’s recent (and serious) statement dismissing a zombie invasion. “We were like, ‘What the hell is going on?’” says Benante, an avid horror movie buff. “It all comes down to idiots doing drugs. I mean, what else would drive the zombie holocaust? A person snorts these ‘bath salts’ and says, ‘I think I am going to eat a homeless person’s face.’ It’s life imitating art.” c ]‘


Appearing July 22 at the DTE Energy Center in Detroit

JULY 2012 • CULTURE 15

Dita Von Teese is you and I. She’s you and I with a 22-inch waist, skin like manicured alabaster and a job that involves writhing around, next-to-naked, inside a giant martini glass. See, Dita Von Teese might be the glamorous queen of neo-burlesque, but this suburban gal still has the unremarkable upbringing, insecurities and relationship problems familiar to us everyday folks. Dita Von Teese wasn’t born (that was her pre-fame incarnation, Heather Sweet). Dita Von Teese was made—self-made. For all of her variety show’s larger-than-life glamour and pin-up sensuality, the abiding theme of almost everything she touches professionally is self-creation.

An Ordinary Looking Girl

“I always say, as much as sometimes people like to argue with me over it, I’m really, like, an ordinary looking girl,”Von Teese laughs, doll-like in the low light of the House of Blues, just hours before the opening night of her two-year (on-and-off) national trek. “I willed something on myself and worked hard to make something that doesn’t really exist.” Born in the farming town of West Branch, Michigan to a machinist father and manicurist mother, Von Teese says her family relocated, with her father’s job, to Southern California when she was “12 or 13.” “It was a big shock for me,” Von Teese recalls, visibly moved by the memory. “I was still playing with dolls, and my [new] friends were having sex and talking about how to give blow jobs. I was, like, ‘Whoa!’ “I had a lot of girls that made friends with me, but they didn’t really make friends with me—they just wanted me to babysit their sisters and brothers while they went and had fun.”

16 CULTURE • JULY 2012

Ingredients for Success

By age 15, Von Teese was spending most of her free time with her boyfriend (“I’ve always been a bit loner-ish” she recalls). Only she didn’t have much free time, what with school, ballet classes (which she paid for by cleaning the dance school’s bathrooms, she says), and—as soon as she possibly could—a part-time job. “I was a big worker from the minute I was legal to work,” she says. “I felt like financial independence is everything. No one can tell me what to do if they’re not paying for me, and I’ve always felt that way. I can be sometimes a problem in my relationships!” Von Teese’s first job was a foreshadowing—she worked at a lingerie store. She already had a fascination with Golden Age of Hollywood glamour and dressing-up (both encouraged by her mother), and was intrigued by the images of corset-clad models she’d glimpsed in her father’s Playboy magazines. Though she was still the blond Heather Sweet, the stimuli that

JULY 2012 • CULTURE 17

“I’m baring my soul up there.” would shape the raven-haired Dita Von Teese were circling. By the time she was 18, Von Teese had posed for her first glamour photographs (which she reportedly gave to her boyfriend). By the turn of the 1990s she was go-go dancing, and then stripping. She adopted the name Dita in tribute to German silent film star Dita Parlo (“Von Teese” was added by Playboy magazine later).

The Burlesque Way

But Von Teese wasn’t into stripping just for the money (though Showbiz Spy quoted her as saying she was making “a thousand or $1,500 a night” even back then). She was curious about the whole culture of erotica and the very nature of sexuality and how it is portrayed and conveyed. “I just wanted to know more about the history of why the strip club was there—like, what is that brass pole doing there?” she explains. “It’s kind of like all these things came together, between by love of dressing in vintage, and old movies, and vintage erotica, and striptease—I fell into [burlesque] in a way.” Von Teese says she began performing burlesque (which combines elements of striptease, modern dance, theatrical mini-dramas and light comedy) “around 1990, ‘91.” Her shows gradually became more elaborate and distinctive, often featuring props and characters inspired by movies of the 1930s and ‘40s. She even sought-out the advice veteran burlesque dancers Toni Alessandrini and Dixie Evans, curator of the Burlesque Hall of Fame museum in Las Vegas. 18 CULTURE • JULY 2012

“I like when the bad and the good come together—and changing peoples’ minds about what sexuality is,” she says. “Not making them believe it’s something dirty or wrong, but giving it to them in a different way.” Eventually, iconic men’s magazine Playboy ran Von Teese pictorials in 1999 and 2001, before she made the cover in 2002. Her high-profile relationship with shock-rocker Marilyn Manson further boosted Von Teese’s mainstream fame, and audiences for her burlesque performances swelled accordingly.

Forgetting the Fans

But before long Von Teese found herself, as she puts it, “collecting all kinds of money” for performing at private and corporate events— but all the while losing touch with her now worldwide legion of fans. “I spent a few years—like from 2003 for five years—constantly doing all these big VIP parties,” she says. “Like Louis Vuitton would fly me out to do their openings in Paris. I was doing all these lavish VIP parties, like, ‘Catherine Deneuve’s in the audience’; ‘Sophia Loren’s in the audience’; and ‘George Clooney’s here.’ “But I felt really sad that I couldn’t do a show for real fans that bought tickets—the girls that would come to my signings to meet me, wait in line—they couldn’t see my show.” In 2006 she became the first guest star to perform at the legendary Parisian Crazy Horse cabaret but, as she points out, “not everybody can go to Paris.” And though her sporadic gigs at glitzy invite-only functions were what she calls “easy work,” Von Teese began to lose sight of (and validation for) why she’d even created her remarkable shows, she says. So she came up with a substantial U.S. tour that would be accessible and affordable for her true fans and elevate her on-stage achievements to new heights. Her “Strip Strip Hooray Tour!” features four of her most famous routines: the latest version of her signature martini glass act; her

emergence from a giant powder compact; an act where she rides a Swarovski-encrusted bull (a show originally created for a Mac “Viva Glam” campaign when Von Teese was that company’s spokesperson); and her closing “Opium Den” routine (“My best production number,” she says).

The Real Show

But for all of the supporting talent gracing “Strip Strip Hooray Tour!,” Dita Von Teese is the show. A self-confessed perfectionist and control freak when it comes to her work (she twice admonishes members of her staff for distracting her during our interview),

No G-Strings

Attached The queen of burlesque also knows a thing or two about medical cannabis, as she related to CULTURE: “I’m all for it,” she says. “I think it’s great. Personally, I don’t use it because it makes me want to eat, like, carnival food— [which] doesn’t really jive with the G-strings!” No, Dita, we understand that scarfing down cotton candy and deep-fried Twinkies doesn’t help your girlish figure. Her fear of the munchies aside, Dita isn’t shy about supporting patients’ rights and the idea of cannabis as medicine. “I don’t find that everyone who wants to smoke, that wants to get high, is just getting high. I feel like it’s kind of leveled-off and it’s not a big deal. So I’m all for it; I think people should have access to it.”

Von Teese—herself flawless, even at conversational quarters—is also Strip Strip’s producer and director, she says. “I’m baring my soul up there,” she insists. “I’m not just a girl that they give the steps to and the costume to and the cue music to . . . I’m doing all of it!” The idea of accessible glamour is central to everything Von Teese does, from her show and her books (she’s working on her third, a beauty guide), to her lingerie collection and perfume line. “Affordable, attainable glamour—that’s been my goal. To make really chic things that make sense for me . . . that my fans can still afford,” she says. “Beauty and glamour have nothing to do with each other . . . It’s like an art—it’s the art of self-creation.

People Who Transcend

Predictably, Von Teese says she gravitates towards people who, like herself, have reinvented themselves on their own terms. “I like people that you can see that they overcame their struggle,” she says. “I like the people that they say, ‘Oh, she’s not a very good dancer; she’s not that good of a singer . . . the people that you watch transcend.” There’s every indication that “Strip Strip Hooray Tour!” may be the pinnacle of Dita Von Teese’s career as a touring performer. But this venture shouldn’t be taken as some sort of swan-song—far from it. Von Teese explains that her future projects will include more books, the continuation of her many product lines, and possibly further exploration of the holographic technology that created her virtual performance for the London Design Museum’s current Christian Louboutin exhibition. “I’m 39. I don’t know how long I want to be up there in a G-string bouncing around riding a mechanical bull,” Von Teese concludes. “Let’s be real—a lady knows when to bow out gracefully, OK?” c ]‘

JULY 2012 • CULTURE 19

Destination Unknown

Story and photos by David Jenison

Dunestruck The northeast coast of Brazil transforms into a desert of 1,000 oases There are places on Earth you must see to believe, and Lençóis Maranhenses is near the top of the list. Located on the northeast coast of Brazil, this natural phenomenon boasts 383,000 acres of sweeping white sand dunes that stretch 31 miles inland and across 27 miles of coastline. At the start of each year, heavy rains fill the valleys between the dunes to create gorgeous, crystalline lagoons. By April or May, the place transforms into the desert of a 1,000 oases. There are three main ways to experience Lençóis Maranhenses. First, ubiquitous tours depart for the dunes each morning and afternoon and typically include the largest pools, Laguna Bonita and Lagoa Azul. Everyone walks barefoot on the sand to protect the ecology, but the rainwater pools are open for all to bathe and swim. Likewise, the guides often bring a sandboard for those willing to brave a steep ride into a watery finish. Skilled snowboarders can attempt this

20 CULTURE • JULY 2012

standing up, but most rookies ride the board like a sled. Another popular option is to plop down $120 a head for a 30-minute flyover. Sailing across the sky in a small plane, passengers see a stark white desert with hundreds of watery ribbons cutting through the beautifully rounded dunes. The plane also heads to the coast for a different view of the sandy playground, and some daredevil pilots will skim right above the waves as if Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” was blasting in their headsets. The other main tour is the daily ferryboat ride downstream to Atins or Caburé on the coast. This trip includes bird watching, mischievous monkeys, climbing the Preguiças lighthouse and relaxing on the beach. Beyond these three common excursions, there are quad tours, tubing in the Formiga River and hitting lesser-seen spots like Pequenos Lençóis, Lagoa Tropical and Lagoa da Gaivota. The latter body of water, which translates “Seagull Lagoon,” is prominently featured in the Brazilian film

House of Sand. The Seven Wonders Foundation recently concluded a multiyear global campaign to pick the next seven world wonders, and Lençóis Maranhenses was originally a nominee. Why did this private enterprise pull the plug? That would be because the park didn’t pay the “nominal” registration fee. While this sounds very Alan Freed-ish, it’s for the best as this ecological marvel is more sustainable under the radar. Plus, eco-issues aside, a few people chilling in a lagoon is far more pleasant than a throng of

pasty-white tourists making like a public pool on Labor Day. Barreirinhas is the main gateway town with the best infrastructure, the most tours and even a pink bubble gum soda called Jesus. São Luís, the reggae capital of Brazil, is a few hours north and features the closest major airport. The local music of choice naturally makes smoke more accessible, but the country is surprisingly intolerant of marijuana. For the latest information, however, we turn to cannabis crusader Sergio Vidal, author of Brazil’s very first grow book, Medicinal Cannabis: An Introduction to Indoor Growing. “Despite the crackdown, the use and trade is still large, and there are many changes and advances happening,” explains

Vidal. “In general, it is very easy to buy marijuana in all parts of Brazil in spite of repression, but the marijuana is bad quality with many seeds and is often deteriorated or unfit for medicinal use. Eighty percent of the marijuana consumed in Brazil comes from Paraguay and is compressed before being sent here. The rest is grown in northern and northeastern Brazil, in rural, remote regions.” In other words, Lençóis is in a good location for securing local product, but be prepared to pay a premium for quality. c

Profiles in Courage

Are you an MMJ patient from Michigan with a compelling story to tell? If so, we want to hear from you. Email your name, contact information and details about your experiences with medical cannabis to courage@

WHY DID YOU START USING MEDICAL MARIJUANA? My HIV meds cause extreme nausea and make it difficult to eat. Cannabis increases my appetite. And [it] eases my pain and depression.

Photo by Kristopher Christensen

Patient: Rory Murray

Condition/ Illness:

HIV, depression, nausea and arthritis

Using medical cannabis since: 2009

DID YOU TRY OTHER METHODS OR TREATMENTS BEFORE MARIJUANA? Yes. I took Prozac, Zoloft and Seroquel for my depression. They gave me suicidal thoughts and made me feel like a zombie! WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE OR PROBLEM FACING MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENTS TODAY? Federal intrusion into states’ rights! I could’ve got my cannabis [recommendation] 15 years ago. It was only after President Obama said the Feds would not prosecute in states that already had medical marijuana laws on the books. Why did he lie to us? WHAT DO YOU SAY TO FOLKS THAT ARE SKEPTICAL ABOUT MARIJUANA AS MEDICINE? Marijuana has been used as medicine for over 5,000 years. Before Harry Anslinger’s Reefer Madness hysteria began 75 years ago, cannabis was in every medicine cabinet in the United States. Without it, I would waste away. My depression would be unbearable. c

JULY 2012 • CULTURE 21

Cool Stuff HempCense

When medicine and incense collide . . . beautiful things happen. Meet Hempcense, quality hand-rolled incense infused with cannabis oils, kief and other fragrant ingredients (available in lavender, chamomile, eucalyptus, etc.) that’ll kick your next aromatherapy session up a notch. Just light the end, blow out the flame and let the meditation begin—without the worry of marijuana odor. ($10 10-pack)

Aunt Sandy’s Merch

Photo by Amanda Holguin

If you’re a fan of CULTURE recipe writer Sandra Moriarty, then you’ll love her new line of apparel and cooking gear that reflects her passion for potency and sheer deliciousness. Items—each declaring, “The proof is in the butter”—include golf shirts, T-shirts, denim jackets, golf towels as well as aprons and chef coats. ($22 golf towel, $30 apron, $35 T-shirt, $55 golf shirt, $60 chef coat, denim jacket)

Kind Medicine Mini Caps

Kind Medicine’s product line has already wowed patients with its selection of capsules, salves and roll-ons—but now the company has come out with Mini Caps, half-dose cannabis capsules (250mg cannabis, 15mg THC) designed to better help patients calibrate the dosing they need, depending on alertness needed and tolerance. Flexible dosing is finally at your fingertips. ($24 12-pack, $10 4-pack)

22 CULTURE • JULY 2012

JULY 2012 • CULTURE 23

CULTURE Recipes By Aunt Sandy

Summer’s here and it’s glorious. To keep your cool, turn to this chill-inducing menu of sweet and savory eats that will turn up the heat on your backyard or poolside plans.

Sandy Moriarty is the author of Aunt’ Sandy’s Medical Marijuana Cookbook: Comfort Food for Body & Mind and a Professor of Culinary Arts at Oaksterdam University in Oakland. She is also the co-founder of Oaksterdam’s Bakery.


Stuffed Artichokes

Grilled Summer Vegetables DIPPING PLATTER OF GOODIES

Legal Disclaimer

Publishers of this publication are not making any representations with respect to the safety or legality of the use of medical marijuana. The recipes listed here are for general entertainment purposes only, and are intended for use only where medical marijuana is not a violation of state law. Edibles can vary in potency while a consumers’ weight, metabolism and eating habits may affect effectiveness and safety. Ingredient management is important when cooking with cannabis for proper dosage. Please consume responsibly and check with your doctor before consumption to make sure that it is safe to do so.

24 CULTURE • JULY 2012

For our complete recipes go to

Stuffed Artichokes Makes two servings.

2 artichokes 3 tablespoons Cannabis-Infused Olive Oil* Stuffing: 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs 2 tablespoons chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped celery 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 2 beaten eggs 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon 2 tablespoons capers 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 cup Canna Butter** Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Clean, trim and blanch artichokes. Cut the stem and trim off the tough bottom row of leaves by bending them back from the core. Place artichokes in boiling water for 45 minutes or until tender. Drain well and set aside. For the stuffing, mix all the ingredients together. To stuff, turn each artichoke upside down, press hard to force the leaves apart. Reverse and insert a curved knife to cut out and remove the inner portion of purple-tipped leaves, or the choke. Fill the center with stuffing. Pour oil over the whole artichokes. Place them on a rack in a baking dish and cover the bottom with 1 inch of boiling water. Bake covered for 1 hour.

Grilled Summer Vegetables

Dipping Platter of Goodies

Marshmallow Sauce: 3/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon light corn syrup 1/4 cup milk 1/2 pound marshmallows 2 tablespoons water 3 tablespoons Canna Butter**

Cut into bite-size pieces: • Pineapple • Banana • Orange sections • Small squares of angel food cake • Strawberries • Whole walnuts • Apricots • Peaches • Mangos • Pears • Raspberries • Honeydew • Cantaloupe • Cherries • Kiwi fruit

Stir the sugar, corn syrup and milk over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Pour into the top part of a double boiler and add the marshmallows, water and Canna Butter. Beat well and serve hot or cold as a dipping sauce for the cut-up fruit and angel food cake.

1 small egg plant, halved lengthwise 1 zucchini, halved lengthwise 1 yellow squash, halved lengthwise 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and quartered lengthwise Salt Black pepper 1 clove of garlic 3 tablespoons Cannabis-Infused Olive Oil* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar) 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, chopped 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped Dipping Sauce: 1/2 cup mayonnaise 3 tablespoons Canna Butter** 1/4 teaspoon dill spice Arrange vegetables, cut sides up, in one layer in a large shallow baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Mince and mash garlic with a heavy knife. Mix garlic paste with infused oil, vinegar, oregano and thyme in a bowl and pour over vegetables. Cover and marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Lightly oil your grill rack. Grill vegetables, turning once until tender, about 20 minutes total. Cut zucchini, eggplant and squash crosswise in half. Mix all the dipping sauce ingredients together. Serve vegetables cold, accompanied by the sauce. JULY 2012 • CULTURE 25

Entertainment Reviews Willie Nelson Heroes Legacy Not everything a legend does is legendary, but even when he’s off a little bit, Willie Nelson shows why he actually deserves the overused title. With a recording career stretching back to the second Ice Age, 80-year-old Willie has nothing left to prove . . . and his latest release, Heroes, kind of reflects that—though it’s by no means a stinker. That said, one gets the feeling only diehards and collectors are going to care very much for this (Willie’s son, Lukas, shows up on more than half of the album’s 14 tracks). There are a slew of songs done with big name guests, honky-tonk tunes, some lush ballads, a fair amount of western swing and some borderline gratuitous covers of artists and bands not normally associated with country. Some of the saving graces are Willie’s slow jams and western swing. With “Home in San Antone” and “My Window Faces South,” Willie shows his swing chops haven’t weakened yet. (Keller O’Malley)

Medical Marijuana 101 By Mickey Martin with Ed Rosenthal and Gregory T. Carter Quick American Publishing Wouldn’t it be great if—for folks considering becoming patients— there was some kind of guide or instruction manual to give you the straightforward basics about cannabis; how it can promote wellness and how to navigate the highways and byways of this herbal remedy? Wish no more as Quick American Publishing (home of Ed Rosenthal’s legendary The Big Book of Buds series) has done exactly that. In one slim volume (barely over 100 pages), author Mickey Martin (with help from Rosenthal himself) answers the questions many of us take for granted: What conditions can marijuana treat? What are the chemical compounds in cannabis that make it effective medicine? Where can I obtain this medicine? What are my legal rights? The book also comes with testimonials from real-life patients who used pot to treat Crohn’s disease and those who realized that marijuana was superior to Oxycontin and Vicodin. This book lives up to its name . . . and more. (Matt Tapia)

The Story of Rock ’N‘ Roll Comics Wild Eye Dir. Ilko Davidov Todd Loren was an outgoing young comic book publisher who never fell short of fighting for his rights to produce unauthorized comics based on rock ’n‘ roll groups. The company motto? “Unauthorized and proud of it.” The use of old video footage and interviews, which can be dated by bad quality (I guess I should say “old” quality) as well as the presence of thick computer screens and white computer towers behind the interviewees leaves me wondering why this wasn’t released on DVD sooner. However, June marks the 20-year anniversary of Loren’s brutal murder back in 1992 so with a nod to Loren, the story of Rock ’N‘ Roll/Revolutionary Comics is unveiled through interviews with both company employees as well as people who straight up didn’t like Loren. If you fit into the comic/rock ’n‘ roll niche and remember a time when Loren was creating hell in the comic book world, it’s an enjoyable piece of work. If not, don’t watch it. They won’t care. (Ashley Bennett) 26 CULTURE • JULY 2012

Tenacious D in concert Awesome guitar riffs. Piss your pants humor. Lyrics that could have only been summoned from the depths of two demented minds shattered by the power of pure rock. All of this and more can be found in the music of Tenacious D. Really, what else were you expecting? The combination of superstar man-child Jack Black and long time friend Kyle Gass is one that, when truly synthesized, leads to greatness. Who can forget such epics like “Tribute,” “Classico” and the beautiful ballad of “F—k her Gently?” Where else are you going to find music with the epic style of Meatloaf with the humor of Stephen Lynch? That’s right: only with the D. You know that seeing them live in concert can only lead you into a purple haze of glory and deliciousness. (Fun fact: the first movie I ever saw while medicated was The Pick of Destiny. Good times) Plus, they’ll be showing off new tracks from their latest album Rise of the Fenix. Seriously, need we add anything else? They are the D! (Joe Martone)


What: Tenacious D in concert. When/Where: July 6 at The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit.  Info: Tickets $25-$49.50. Go to or call (313) 961-5451.

JULY 2012 • CULTURE 27

Events Calendar July 2 What: Grandma’s Boy screening. When/Where: 9pm at Ann Arbor Wellness Collective, 321 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor. Info: Go to or call (734) 929-2602. July 6 What: Stevie Nicks in concert. When/Where: 7:30pm at Fox Theatre Detroit, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Info: Tickets $45.50-$125. Go to www. or call (313) 471-3200. July 6 What: Tenacious D in concert. When/Where: 7 pm at The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Info: Tickets $25-$49.50. Go to or call (313) 961-5451. July 6 What: Flosstradamus in concert. When/Where: 9pm at The Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac.

28 CULTURE • JULY 2012


Info: Tickets $15. Go to thecrofoot. com or call (248) 858-9333. July 6 What: The Chop Tops, Danny B. Harvey, The Strikers and Radio Threat in concert. When/Where: 8pm at Small’s, 10339 Conant St., Detroit. Info: Go to smallsbardetroit. com or call (313) 873-1117. July 7 What: Fiona Apple in concert. When/Where: 7pm at The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Info: Tickets $29.50$69.50. Go to thefillmoredetroit. com or call (313) 961-5451. July 7 What: Tycho with Onuinu and Benthos in concert. When/ Where: 8pm at The Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Info: Tickets $15. Go to or call (248) 858-9333.

Send Listings to

Thru July 7 What: Michael McDaniel. When/Where: Various times at Comedy Castle, 310 S. Troy St., Royal Oak. Info: Tickets $10-$15. Go to www. or call (248) 542-9900. July 12 What: Right Away, Great Captain! in concert. When/Where: 7pm at The Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Info: Tickets $13. Go to or call (248) 858-9333. July 12-14 What: Kevin McCaffrey. When/Where: Various times at Comedy Castle, 310 S. Troy St., Royal Oak. Info: Tickets $15. Go to www.comedycastle. com or call (248) 542-9900. July 13 What: Youth Lagoon with Father John Misty in concert. When/Where: 8pm at The Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw

St., Pontiac. Info: Tickets $13 advance, $15 at the door. Go to or call (248) 858-9333. July 14 What: The Airborne Toxic Event and Minus the Bear in concert. When/Where: 7pm at The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Info: Tickets $25-$35. Go to thefillmoredetroit. com or call (313) 961-5451. July 14 What: Brae with Flashing Blue Lights in concert. When/Where: 7pm at The Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Info: Tickets $10. Go to or call (248) 858-9333. July 16 What: Super Troopers screening. When/Where: 9pm at Ann Arbor Wellness Collective, 321 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor. Info: Go to or call (734) 929-2602.

July 17 What: Nicki Minaj in concert. When/Where: 8pm at Fox Theatre Detroit, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Info: Tickets $39.75-$69.75. Go to www. or call (313) 471-3200.

July 25 What: Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, Velvet Elvis and Cosmic Light Shapes in concert. When/Where: 8pm at Small’s, 10339 Conant St., Detroit. Info: Tickets $6; $10 ages 20-18. Go to or call (313) 873-1117.

July 17 What: Purity Ring in concert. When/Where: 8pm at The Pike Room 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Info: Tickets $12 advance, $15 at the door. Go to thecrofoot. com or call (248) 858-9333.

July 26 What: Fang Island in concert. When/Where: 8pm at The Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Info: Tickets $12. Go to thecrofoot. com or call (248) 858-9333.

July 18 What: Beach House and Wild Nothing in concert. When/ Where: 8pm at The Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Info: Tickets $18 advance, $20 at the door. Go to or call (248) 858-9333.

July 26 What: Rip the Runway. When/Where: 8 pm at The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Info: Tickets $35-$50. Go to or call (313) 961-5451.

July 19-21 What: Mike Baldwin. When/Where: Various times at Comedy Castle, 310 S. Troy St., Royal Oak. Info: Tickets $15. Go to or call (248) 542-9900.

July 26-28 What: Andy Woodhull. When/Where: Various times at Comedy Castle, 310 S. Troy St., Royal Oak. Info: Tickets $15. Go to or call (248) 542-9900.

July 20 What: Identity Festival. When/Where: 2pm at Elektricity Festival Grounds, 10 Water St., Pontiac. Info: Tickets starting $25. Go to or call (248) 858-9333.

July 27 What: The Drive Tour. When/Where: 8pm at The Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Info: Tickets $15. Go to or call (248) 858-9333.

July 20 What: Official Identity Festival After Party. When/ Where: 11pm at The Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Info: Tickets $10. Go to or call (248) 858-9333.

July 31 What: Florence and the Machine in concert. When/ Where: 7:30pm at Fox Theatre Detroit, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Info: Tickets $45-$65. Go to www.olympiaentertainment. com or call (313) 471-3200.

July 21 What: D-Man Hollywood Night. When/Where: 6pm at The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Info: Tickets $50. Go to or call (313) 961-5451.

July 31 What: Oberhofer in concert. When/Where: 7pm at The Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Info: Tickets $10 advance, $12 at the door. Go to thecrofoot. com or call (248) 858-9333.

July 21 What: Black Glasses in concert. When/Where: 8pm at The Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Info: Tickets $10. Go to or call (248) 858-9333.

Aug. 2-4 What: Sheng Wang. When/Where: Various times at Comedy Castle, 310 S. Troy St., Royal Oak. Info: Tickets $15. Go to or call (248) 542-9900.

Thru July 22 What: “Haroon Mirza.” When/Where: Various times at The University of Michigan Museum of Art, 525 S. State St., Ann Arbor. Info: Go to www. or call (734) 764-0395.

Aug. 3 What: Childish Gambino in concert. When/Where: 6:30pm at The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Info: Tickets $25-$35. Go to or call (313) 961-5451.

Guide to our Advertisers ANN ARBOR

Ann Arbor Wellness Collective. 734-929-2602 Arborside Compassion. 734-213-1420 Green Bee Collective. 734-929-2553 OM of Medicine. 734-369-8255 BURTON

Hemphill Wellness Center. 810-820-3812 DETROIT

Nature’s Alternative. 313-885-0000 FLINT

The Green Bean. 810-232-4400 We Grow. 209-200-1849 MONTROSE


CannaCure. 734-484-1990 PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Committee For A Safer Michigan. Cones. Discount Garden Supply. Iron Laboratories. JD Lightings Hydroponics. Kush Bottles. LA Medical Marijuana Supplies. MedHead. Northern Lights. Madison Heights. 248-439-6269 Targowski & Grow. THC Jobs.

Your Choice Meds. 989-717-3962 PHYSICIANS Greenlite Clinic. Troy. 248-390-0574 MT. MORRIS Michigan Organic Solutions. Mt. Morris Collective. Flint. 810-820-8953 810-686-4900

JULY 2012 • CULTURE 29

Chuck Shepherd

News of the


; Chinese media reported that on May 4, at the Xiaogan Middle School in Hubei province, high school students studying for the all-important national college entrance exam worked through the evening while hooked up to intravenous drips of amino acids to fight fatigue. A director of the school’s Office of Academic Affairs reasoned that before the IVs were hung, weary students complained of losing too much time running back and forth to the school’s infirmary for energy injections. After the media reports, there was

a public backlash, but less against the notion that China was placing too much importance on the exams than against reports that the government was subsidizing the cost of the injections.


; Desmond Hatchett, 33, was summoned to court in Knoxville, Tenn., in May so that a judge could chastise him for again failing to make child-support payments. Official records show that Hatchett has at least 30 children (ages 14 down to “toddler”) by at least 11 women. He said at a 2009

court appearance that he was “through” siring children and apparently has taken proper precautions since then. (In Milwaukee, Wis., in April, Sean Patrick was sentenced to 30 years in prison for owing more than $146,000 for 12 children by 10 mothers, and the city’s Journal Sentinel newspaper reported that, before being locked up, two convicted pimps, Derrick Avery and Todd Carter, had fathered, respectively, 15 kids by seven women and 16 children with “several” mothers.)

the journal I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society (summarized in an April post on the blog found that if typical consumers bothered to read all of the detailed privacy policies they encountered, it would take from 181 to 304 hours per year (22-38 workdays), depending on shopping habits. (If every consumer in America did it, it would take from 40 billion to 67 billion hours a year, or 5 billion to 8.3 billion workdays a year.)

; The Associated Press reported in May that Kentucky prison officials were working behind the scenes to resolve the thorny question of whether inmate Robert Foley deserves a hip replacement. Normally, a prisoner in such extreme pain would qualify. However, Foley, 55, is on death row for killing six people in 1989 and 1991, and since he has exhausted his appeals, he is still alive only because a court has halted all executions while the state reconsiders its lethal-injection procedure. Furthermore, all local hospitals queried by the prison to perform the procedure have declined to take Foley because the prison considers him dangerous.



; In April, police in Newtown Township, Pa., searched (unsuccessfully, it turns out) for a “skinny” black male, between ages 35 and 45, wearing a black tracksuit. He had indecently exposed himself at a place of business—the offices of the Bucks County Association for the Blind (although, obviously, at least one sighted person reported his description).

; In May, the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled, 3-0, that it is not necessarily improper under federal law for Minute Maid to name a beverage “Pomegranate Blueberry” even though those two ingredients constitute only 0.5 percent of the contents. A competing seller of pomegranate juices had sued in 2008, pointing out that 99.4 percent of the Minute Maid beverage was merely apple and grape juices. Minute Maid’s owner, Coca-Cola, called the competitor’s complaint “baseless.” ; Almost all companies that collect customer data publish their policies on how they keep the data “private” (even though those “privacy” policies almost always explain just precisely the ways they intend not to keep the data “private”—and are not required to by law). Researchers writing in 30 CULTURE • JULY 2012

; In April, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it was fining Google for deliberately impeding the agency’s investigation into the company’s collection of wireless data by its roaming Street View vehicles and that the agency had decided, based on Google’s “ability to pay,” that it needed to double its staffproposed fine in order to “deter future misconduct.” Hence, it raised Google’s fine from $12,000 to $25,000. (As pointed out by, during the previous quarter year, Google made profits of $2.89 billion, or $25,000 every 68 seconds.)

; District of Columbia Councilman Marion Barry initially was scorned in May for criticizing the influx of “Asian” shopkeepers into the ward that he represents. “They got to go. I’ll say that right now.” Later, after re-thinking the issue, Barry announced that his ward should be “the model of diversity,” and issued an apology to AsianAmericans. But, he lamented, America has always been tough on immigrants. “The Irish caught hell, the Jews caught hell, the Polacks caught hell.” (The preferred terms are “Polish” or “Poles.”)

JULY 2012 • CULTURE 31