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TUCSONWEEKLY.COM

JULY 15, 2021


JULY 15, 2021

JULY 15, 2021 | VOL. 36, NO. 28

TUCSONWEEKLY.COM

The Tucson Weekly is available free of charge in Pima County, limited to one copy per reader. Additional copies of the current issue of the Tucson Weekly may be purchased for $1, payable at the Tucson Weekly office in advance. To find out where you can pick up a free copy of the Tucson Weekly, please visit TucsonWeekly.com

STAFF

CONTENTS

CURRENTS

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University of Arizona breaks ground on an $85M science lab

THE SKINNY

8

How Arizona lawmakers served the ruling class this year

CHOW

Trouble’s brewing on java row

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ARTS & CULTURE

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Congrats!

EDITOR’S NOTE

I’M PLEASED TO SAY THAT TUCSON Weekly brought home three awards in the annual Arizona Press Club journalism competition. Tucson Salvage columnist Brian Smith won first place in personality profile category among medium publications for “He’s Having a Baby” (Jan. 16, 2020), a profile of trans man Cain Pierce, who got pregnant with his female trans partner, Frida Lucia. Judge Stephanie McCrummen of the Washington Post called Smith’s article “deeply reported, written with humanity while avoiding sentimentality.” Calendar editor Emily Dieckman won first place in the human interest writing category among medium publications for “New Nipples, New Outlook” (Oct. 8, 2020), which profiled local artists who specialize in creating 3D nipple tattoos for women who have had breast reconstruction following mastectomies. Judge Samantha Swindler of the Oregonian called Dieckman’s report a “well written and informative dive into an aspect of breast cancer recovery that many may not think about if they haven’t experienced it.” Longtime arts writer Margaret Regan—who tells us about the plan to restore downtown’s historic Teatro Carmen in this week’s issue— took home a third place award in the community arts reporting and criticism category. Congrats to Brian, Emily and Margaret!

Now they need to get back to work. In this week’s issue: Managing editor Jeff Gardner (with an assist from staff reporter Christina Duran) brings you the latest news on COVID, including a warning from health experts that the Arizona Legislature and Gov. Doug Ducey erred by blocking schools and universities from requiring mask usage on campus; Gardner also tells you about the super-lab that the University of Arizona is building; contributor Bryn Bailer previews the coffee war that’s unfolding on Speedway Boulevard as Dunkin’ moves in next door to scrappy local java joint Coffee Times; The Skinny looks at how some of Arizona lawmakers hosed the state this year; University of Arizona Journalism School intern Katya Mendoza introduces us to new UA softball coach Caitlin Lowe; movie critic Bob Grimm sniffs around Pig, the new Nicolas Cage movie; Tucson Weedly columnist David Abbott writes about the new laws that the Arizona Legislature passed regarding cannabis; and there’s more about how our local music venues are planning to reopen soon, your fortunes in the week ahead according to our astrologer; Dan Savage’s sex column focusing on terrible boyfriends; and plenty of cartoons, puzzles and other diversions to keep you busy until our next issue comes out. Jim Nintzel Executive Editor

RANDOM SHOTS By Rand Carlson

At long last, the historic Teatro Carmen is set to be restored

ADMINISTRATION Steve T. Strickbine, Publisher Michael Hiatt, Vice President Jaime Hood, General Manager, jaime@tucsonlocalmedia.com Tyler Vondrak, Associate Publisher, tyler@tucsonlocalmedia.com Claudine Sowards, Accounting, claudine@tucsonlocalmedia.com Sheryl Kocher, Receptionist, sheryl@tucsonlocalmedia.com EDITORIAL Jim Nintzel, Executive Editor, jimn@tucsonlocalmedia.com Jeff Gardner, Managing Editor, jeff@tucsonlocalmedia.com Mike Truelsen, Web Editor, mike@tucsonlocalmedia.com Christina Duran, Staff Reporter, christinad@tucsonlocalmedia.com Ireland Stevenson, Staff Reporter, istevenson@tucsonlocalmedia.com Contributors: David Abbott, Rob Brezsny, Max Cannon, Rand Carlson, Tom Danehy, Emily Dieckman, Bob Grimm, Andy Mosier, Linda Ray, Margaret Regan, Will Shortz, Jen Sorensen, Clay Jones, Dan Savage PRODUCTION Courtney Oldham, Production Manager, tucsonproduction@timespublications.com Ryan Dyson, Graphic Designer, ryand@tucsonlocalmedia.com Emily Filener, Graphic Designer, emilyf@tucsonlocalmedia.com CIRCULATION Alex Carrasco, Circulation, alexc@tucsonlocalmedia.com ADVERTISING TLMSales@TucsonLocalMedia.com Kristin Chester, Account Executive, kristin@tucsonlocalmedia.com Candace Murray, Account Executive, candace@tucsonlocalmedia.com Lisa Hopper, Account Executive, lisa@tucsonlocalmedia.com NATIONAL ADVERTISING VMG Advertising, (888) 278-9866 or (212) 475-2529 Tucson Weekly® is published every Thursday by Times Media Group at 7225 N. Mona Lisa Rd., Ste. 125, Tucson, Arizona. Address all editorial, business and production correspondence to: Tucson Weekly, 7225 N. Mona Lisa Rd., Ste. 125, Tucson, Arizona 85741. Phone: (520) 797-4384, FAX (520) 575-8891. First Class subscriptions, mailed in an envelope, cost $112 yearly/53 issues. Sorry, no refunds on subscriptions. Member of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN). The Tucson Weekly® and Best of Tucson® are registered trademarks of Times Media Group. Back issues of the Tucson Weekly are available for $1 each plus postage for the current year. Publisher has the right to refuse any advertisement at his or her discretion.

TUCSON WEEDLY

18

A few good cannabis bills passed into law this month

Cover design by Ryan Dyson

Copyright: The entire contents of Tucson Weekly are Copyright Times Media Group No portion may be reproduced in whole or part by any means without the express written permission of the Publisher, Tucson Weekly, 7225 N. Mona Lisa Rd., Ste. 125, Tucson, AZ 85741.

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CURRENTS

mutate, regroup, spread and sicken more of our neighbors.” Jacobs spoke during a conference with other public health professionals organized by the Committee to Protect Health Care, a national group of doctors and healthcare professionals. Unsurprisingly, all speakers at the talk spoke against the mask ban. “The decision to prohibit these schools from requiring masks be worn is quite reckless, dangerous and short-sighted. The decision is also not informed by science or evidence, and politicians are making this decision when Arizona just in the last 14 days saw a 16% jump in COVID-19 cases,” said Dr. Cadey Harrel, a family physician in Tucson and the president of Agave Community Health and Wellness. “What politicians have done by banning schools from implementing safety protocols like masks, is put people at risk and stifle local decision making with a one-size-fits-all, top-down approach. This GRAPHIC COURTESY OF THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES completely strips local municipalities Daily COVID cases in Arizona have remained relatively consistent since March, with a and governing bodies from implementslight uptick in recent days. ing their own policies that are rooted in actual science.” Harrel argues that because the law does not apply equally to private schools, it unfairly affects lower- and middle-class families who may now see Arizona legislature bans mask requirements in schools as Pima County hits 70% vax mark more COVID cases. She says the issue is a “social determinant of health” that will worsen the pandemic’s impacts on minority and working-class families By Jeff Gardner after the ban was enacted, the Centers who have already been hit hardest by jeff@tucsonlocalmedia.com for Disease Control and Prevention COVID. issued new guidelines stating that vacci“As both a parent and a physician, nated teachers and students do not need I’m incredibly concerned about this. ON JUNE 30, THE ARIZONA to wear masks inside the classroom. The first day this was implemented, Legislature approved the budget for next However, this leaves Arizona’s 600,000 I received an email from my child’s fiscal year, which bans public schools students between pre-school and 6th school, stating there have been a couple throughout the state from requiring grade who are ineligible for vaccination confirmed cases in her classroom,” Harmasks or COVID-19 testing. This ban in a gray area between national guiderel said. “This is not safe, and this is not comes a few weeks after Gov. Doug Du- lines and state legislation. evidence-based policy. This is putting cey signed an executive order banning “As a public health expert, I continue our children at risk, and for what?” state colleges and universities from to recommend mask use in schools. Vaccinations are currently only availdoing the same. The ban does not affect Recent research shows COVID spreads able for children 12 and older. According private schools, and has already taken less in schools where teachers and staff to the Arizona Department of Health effect. wear masks… It is no longer a matter of Services, only 13% of Arizonans under 20 Almost immediately after the budget debate: Masks work,” said Dr. Elizabeth have been vaccinated. A common point was approved, some doctors and public Jacobs, a professor of epidemiology of argument is that even if masks were health professionals weighed in on the at the University of Arizona. “When required in schools to protect unvaccisubject, arguing the ban makes “no politicians ignore science and evidence, nated students, would elementary-aged scientific or public health sense.” Shortly they’re only giving COVID-19 time to kids properly and consistently keep their

GERM LAWFARE

masks on? Harrel argues, for the most part, yes. “I have a 4-year-old who has been using one for the past year without any issues,” Harrel said. “If we teach our children to use masks, they will use masks. Just like we teach our children to be kind to others, use the toilet, or anything else. They will learn to do those things, but we need to lead by example.” Daily COVID cases in Arizona have remained at a relatively consistent low since the beginning of March, averaging around 700 new cases and a dozen deaths per day. Compare this to the peak in January, when the state saw more than 10,000 cases and 150 deaths per day. “I feel as though we’re sliding into a place where we’re only thinking about death as an undesirable endpoint of infection, which of course it is, but I do think that if we are seeing 70 or 80% of symptoms that are lasting 60 days and more after infection, then that makes me wonder what is going to happen with kids,” Jacobs said. “They’ve definitely exhibited having a less severe course of disease, there’s no question about that, but what we don’t know is what the potential long-term, downstream effects are going to be. And that is why I’m a strong advocate of using caution right now.” PIMA COUNTY HITS 70% VACCINATED THRESHOLD PIMA COUNTY REACHED THE goal of 70% vaccination for adults with at least one dose on Thursday, July 8. President Joe Biden in June set a national goal of vaccinating at least 70% of all U.S. adults with at least one dose by July 4. Although Pima County fell short by just four days, it is now one of four counties in Arizona that have reached the goal, including Santa Cruz County, which has vaccinated almost 100% of adults with at least one dose. As of Monday, July 12, the state of Arizona has vaccinated just over half of the total population with at least one dose. According to data from the CDC, Pima County had fully vaccinated 61.9% of adults ages 18 and older with two shots of the vaccine as of Monday, July


JULY 15, 2021

12 (for those vaccines that require two shots). For those 12 and older, 67.8% had received at least one dose and 93% of adults 65 and older has had at least one dose. “The science has become very clear – being vaccinated protects you from getting COVID,” said Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen. “COVID is a serious illness. People can end up with significant disease and even death. For those who are still unvaccinated, I want to reassure them that the vaccines are safe and we encourage them to seek vaccination.” The county has reported 401 breakthrough cases and 16 hospitalizations among the more than 535,000 fully vaccinated people in Pima County, about .07% of those fully vaccinated. Pima County is continuing its mobile vaccination efforts in order to reach traditionally underserved areas and census tracts with lower vaccination rates. For more information, go to pima. gov/covid19vaccine.

CLAYTOONZ By Clay Jones

COUNTY RESCINDS COVID-19 EMERGENCY RESOLUTION ON TUESDAY, THE PIMA COUNTY Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to rescind a resolution that declared a state of emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supervisors Sharon Bronson (D-District 3), Steve Christy (R-District 4) and Rex Scott (D-District 1) voted in favor of lifting the state of emergency, while Supervisors Matt Heinz (D-District 2) and Adelita Grijalva (D-District 5) voted against it. Since March 19, 2020, the emergency declaration allowed the Board of Supervisors to take immediate and urgent actions that included regulating businesses, limiting gatherings and requiring mask wearing in public as cases began to rise. Those restrictions had been lifted through state or local actions prior to the July 6 vote. “We have had substantial and sustained improvement in Pima County,” Pima County Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Francisco Garcia said. “I believe it would be safe to lift the emergency declaration. The cases that we’re seeing are cases among unvaccinated individuals, and we continue to work on that population very vigorously and we will continue to move that further. I’m not saying the pandemic is over.” The state’s highest single day of reported cases was at more than 12,000 on Jan. 4, but as more people have become vaccinated, the number of cases has declined. For the past two months, the state has fluctuated at around 50 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 individuals. County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry noted that the CDC reported last week that 99.5% of the COVID-19 deaths across the country in the past six months involved unvaccinated individuals. “I think the message is, if you’re not vaccinated, get vaccinated,” Huckelberry told the board on July 6. “The rate of infection is in the hands of those who are unvaccinated.” ■

TUCSONWEEKLY.COM

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Back to School: College Edition

AUGUST 2021

College 101: Students return to Tucson, so we’re giving out lessons on stretching a buck and life on & off campus

Reserve your space NOW! Call (520) 797-4384


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JULY 15, 2021

CURRENTS

STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE A new era in PAC 12 Softball as Caitlin Lowe becomes UA head coach

By Katya Mendoza tucsonweekly@tucsonlocalmedia.com FOLLOWING LONGTIME COACH Mike Candrea’s retirement announcement, the University of Arizona announced last month that Caitlin Lowe would become the next coach of the UA softball team. The legendary softball coach Candrea accrued an NCAA record of 1,674 overall wins, 11 Pac 10/12 conference titles, eight Women’s College World Series titles and two Olympic medals throughout his 36 years with Arizona Softball. Lowe said working with Candrea helped her feel confident in taking the reins. “I just think that he’s been preparing me for this,” Lowe said. A four-time All-American at the UA, Olympic silver medalist and hall-of-fame professional from the National Pro Fastpitch league, Lowe has spent the past nine seasons working various coaching and management roles for the local softball powerhouse, including spending the last three years as associate head coach. Lowe’s appointment comes among multiple women stepping up to leadership positions in UA sports in recent years, including assistant softball coaches Taryne Mowatt-McKinney and Lauren Lappin. Mowatt-McKinney, who has coached the team’s pitching for the past three seasons, was a second-team All-American and selected in the first round of the 2008 National Pro Fastpitch Draft. “I think that you’re seeing a bunch of roles being filled by female coaches,” Mowatt-McKinney said. “When we graduated from college, we were trying to find jobs in the fields where we got our degrees. I had seen female coaches, but it just didn’t cross my mind that that

could be a career for me because there wasn’t an abundance of powerful female coaches.” Candrea established a lasting legacy and his softball alumni are extraordinarily invested in the success of the program, Lowe said. “I always tell our recruits that we have 100 people or so come back for our alumni games, and that’s just madness,” Lowe said. “I think we have the highest return rate at our school, but that’s just Coach in the culture, the culture that he’s built here.” Those close to Candrea have often described the “culture of tradition,” “Candrea-isms,” or the “pillars of Candrea,” that have served as the foundation of the program and established that there’s more to the UA’s softball legacy than its NCAA championships. Hopeful Wildcat recruits in softball and other sports may find themselves looking to the female pioneers who have been champions under Candrea, both on and off the field. Erika Barnes, executive senior associate director of athletics who also serves as senior woman administrator and Title IX liaison, was also one of Candrea’s players. She played alongside softball legende Jennie Finch on the UA 2001 National Championship team. “I’ve been blessed to have a relationship with him in different walks of life,” Barnes said. “He likes having softball players around the university in Tucson and all that.” Barnes, who has served in numerous positions within the athletic department since 2005, is also a member of the NCAA softball selection committee and Pac 12 council. Lowe says Barnes has invaluable insight due to her experience as a former student athlete. “I think we can both say that she’s really enhanced the softball program at

Arizona way far after her playing days,” Lowe said. The UA is the final softball program within the Pac 12 conference to be led by a female head coach and is the sixth out of nine head coaches in the conference to return to their alma mater. Besides all the wins under Candrea, the legacy of the UA softball tradition has opened doors for those who have played in the program to enter leadership positions within collegiate athletics. While Title IX has made strides in collegiate sports for women, they still only make up approximately 40% of the head coaching positions and only 7% of the athletic administration positions. Lowe’s promotion has signified a step in the right direction, following suit of UA women’s basketball coach Adia Barnes and women’s golf coach Laura Ianello. As the industry of collegiate athletics continues to evolve, new opportunities such as recent legislative efforts for student athletes to capitalize on their “name, image and likeness” have been in the works. The UA has been developing the Arizona Edge program as a means for its student athletes to take advantage of both academic and athletic success. “It’s a new space that student athletes in schools can benefit from and I think it would be a great opportunity to see students and student athletes being able to capitalize truly on their name, their image, their likeness but also their personal development and growth,” Barnes said. Women often make financial sacrifices in the form of volunteering to gain coaching experience for these leadership opportunities. Additionally, they have to balance work and their personal lives

PHOTO COURTESY ARIZONA ATHLETICS

Caitlin Lowe

but many find a common support network that aids in their success despite these “unorthodox schedules.” “When we talk about Arizona athletics, it really is the people that keep us here, it’s the people that made us come back to Tucson and settle down here and start our adult life in our careers here, because we’re surrounded by great people that have been there for us since we were 17, 18 years old and they’ve kind of watched us grow up in the community here in Tucson,” Mowatt-McKinney said. “It doesn’t compare to anywhere else in the country when it comes to the softball community.” ■

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JULY 15, 2021

CURRENTS

ARCHITECTURAL MOCKUP COURTESY OF UA

An illustration of the Applied Research Building, which will contain a thermal vacuum chamber used to simulate space environments, an anechoic chamber designed to absorb reflections and electromagnetic waves for antenna testing, and a high bay lab for high altitude balloons.

RAD SCIENCE

University of Arizona Breaks Ground on $85M Science Lab

By Jeff Gardner jeff@tucsonlocalmedia.com THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA IS strengthening its focus on engineering, space science and optics with a new Applied Research Building just off Speedway Boulevard. Construction on the three-story, $85 million building broke ground on Tuesday, June 29, and the university expects the building to open for occupants by spring 2023. The 89,000-square-foot facility will be devoted to advancing research, and will contain a number of unique scientific tools. These include a thermal vacuum chamber used to simulate space environments, an anechoic chamber designed to absorb reflections and electromagnetic waves for antenna testing, a high bay lab for high altitude balloons, and a dynamic testing lab for large objects. The ARB is located at the southeast

corner of Helen Street and Highland Avenue, next to the university’s Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Building, serving as a confluence for advanced manufacturing and technology. “When you think about advanced materials, you may think about advanced manufacturing and advanced manufacturing methods like 3D printing. However, advanced materials are also key to almost all of our advanced energy technologies,” said Betsy Cantwell, UA’s senior vice president for research and innovation. “They are created in the laboratory, but this building will allow us to translate those scientific developments and advanced materials into products that can be built in the real world and turned into companies.” As with many scientific developments at UA, administration highlighted the building’s role in the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” which involves the ongoing automation of manufacturing processes, smart technologies, and the internet.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is all about the world increasing our interconnectivity, and I can’t emphasize that enough,” said UA president Robert C. Robbins. “I think of the juxtaposition of this building right along Speedway. This is the merging that makes science and engineering work with business and law and medicine and pharmacy and nursing.” Research in the ARB will include work on CubeSats (or nanosatellites) that reduce the cost of access to space; additional space for UA’s Imaging Technology Laboratory with advanced sensors for astronomy, satellite imagery and laboratory chemical analysis; 3D printing of aerospace parts; and stratospheric balloons potentially for observation, military sensor testing, and preparation for balloons on other planets. “From the College of Engineering’s perspective, the timing of this building is ideal,” said College of Engineering dean David Hahn. “As we compete with other top universities for talent, like faculty talent and student talent, it’s this type of facility that will allow us to improve those efforts and in fact beat out other universities for the very students and the very best faculty.” The ARB was built with the university’s strategic plan in mind, which includes five “pillars” of focus. Specifically, the ARB is dedicated to research programs related to the “Grand Challenges” pillar, which deals with pressing issues for humanity like space access, artificial intelligence, health care technology and the environment. “These are areas that drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution. And that revolution and change in how the world builds things, delivers them out into the real world, and recognizes economic impact is a core to the principles of the university going forward,” Cantwell said. “We will not build new buildings at the university without some version of innovation space somewhere in that building.” The strategic plan’s four other pillars are the Wildcat journey, Arizona Global, institutional excellence, and the benefits of Arizona. “Beyond attracting and reinforcing our industry partners with companies including Honeywell, Raytheon and

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Lockheed Martin, research conducted in the ARB will translate into major societal impacts, from the development of wearables and noninvasive imaging for better health care outcomes to the construction of advanced sensors for modern autonomy, robotics and AI applications,” Cantwell said. In total, the ARB will connect faculty across four colleges and eight departments: the College of Engineering (which includes the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering); the College of Science (which includes the Department of Astronomy and the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory); the College of Optical Sciences; and the College of Medicine. The building was made possible through nearly $30 million in annual funding from the State of Arizona’s Technology and Research Initiative Fund, which increased the state’s sales tax via Prop 301 to promote university research, development and technology. “There are less than 20 universities in this nation who have $1 billion in research expenditures. We’re creeping up on $800 million… and we believe in the coming decade we will be one of those universities,” Robbins said. “That’s a tremendous asset, not only to the students, faculty and staff, but to the region of Southern Arizona. You can track economic development directly to the amount of research expenditure a university has.” The building will be constructed on what is now a parking lot, being designed and constructed by the McCarthy and SmithGroup construction firms. The building’s construction will also involve realignment of the popular Highland Underpass, which students and faculty use to cross beneath Speedway. “We have no idea what the next emerging world challenge will be, but buildings like this and this infrastructure will help us be prepared for whatever the future brings,” Robbins said. ■


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THE SKINNY JULY 15, 2021

MODEST PROPOSALS

The Arizona Legislature delivers for the ruling class, again Jim Nintzel jnintzel@tucsonweekly.com

TIMES HAVE BEEN TOUGH FOR many of us, but Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona Legislature really came through with the recently completed legislative session. Let’s talk about some of the winners! • If you’ve been scraping by on just a million bucks a year (after taking advantage of all those loopholes to lower your income), you’re in luck! Ducey pushed through a tax cut aimed right at you! Those who earn more than a million a year will be bringing home, on average, an extra $46,625 a year, according to estimates from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. And if you’re really struggling—earning between $500,000 and a million bucks—you still get, on average, $12,134. (Lawmakers would love to give you more but that would be rewarding you for not making that seven-figure income—and we look out for the real go-getters in this state!) Earn the median income of $53,000 in Pima County? Don’t worry, we’ll give you an extra $96. That’s like two Big Gulps a week! (Yeah, yeah— education groups are preparing to launch a referendum to send this one to the ballot to see if voters will reject it, but lawmakers have put all kinds of hurdles in the way of petition drives in recent years, so hopefully the lawyers will keep that happening.) • If you’ve been worried about Arizona’s schoolchildren learning about all these “woke” theories that

suggest that the nation has a long history of white supremacy, don’t fret! Lawmakers passed a bill making it illegal to teach anything that might make kids think systemic racism had anything to do with slavery, laws against mixed-race marriages and the freedom to stop Black and Mexicans from staying in hotels or eating in restaurants alongside their betters. There’s nothing like white folks telling people of color that some knowledge is illegal to prove that systemic racism is a thing of the past. • On a similar topic: If you were worried that some lefty no-nothing might be on a civilian review board and start second-guessing cops, lawmakers took care of that problem! Now, the only people who can serve on civilian review boards are cops or ex-cops, thanks to a new law that requires anyone on a review board to have undergone 80 hours of police training. And, as the Arizona Mirror reported, that training is only available to someone who is in law enforcement. Now that’s right kind of accountability! • Speaking of law and order: Were you worried that Arizona might get some kind of sentencing reform through the Legislature? Arizona’s tough-on-crime laws still stand after Senate President Karen Fann killed a proposal to allow early release for non-violent offenders who definitely belong behind bars. • Concerned that some school board might make kids who are too young to get the COVID vaccine wear masks in the classroom? Well, now that’s a choice for kids to make,

not some dumb adult! State lawmakers made it illegal for school boards to require those dumb masks. And they made it illegal for schools to require the COVID vaccine because— let’s face it—when your number’s up, your number’s up. Taking precautions to prevent the spread of a disease is just un-American. Take that, Fauci! • Think that the owners of professional sports teams don’t get enough from the public with their taxpayer-funded stadiums? Well, now they get to profit from sports gambling within those hallowed walls as part of a deal Ducey cut with the tribes to let them expand their own gambling operations. What do you want to bet those sports owners will be happy to invest some of their ill-gotten gains into Ducey’s next political project? That’s what we call rewarding your friends and punishing your enemies. • If you’ve been worried that a legislative record like this might result in more people voting for Democrats,

SORENSEN

don’t worry! While they didn’t succeed in every effort, lawmakers came up with a few new hurdles in the path of would-be voters, including a new law that kicks people off what used to be called the Permanent Early Voter List. (Now it’s the Active Early Voter List—because unless you’re active in sending back your ballot, you can’t be on it anymore!) • After doing such an amazing job, lawmakers who live outside of Maricopa County are getting a raise! Sure, voters have to approve a pay raise—but lawmakers can increase their own per diem, the money they get for the expenses they incur while serving the ruling class. Now, instead of $60 a day, lawmakers will get nearly $200 a day based on the federal per diem. This was the dream of state Sen. David Gowan, who is always on the lookout for how he can pad his own wallet in his service to the ruling class while cutting back on programs for the freeloaders. ■


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MICHAEL CARSON

Multinational coffee company Dunkin’ is moving in just a bit too close for comfort for local drive-thru Coffee Times.

A NEW GRIND Trouble’s Brewing on Java Row

By Bryn Bailer tucsonweekly@tucsonlocalmedia.com

ANYONE CRUISING DOWN BUSY Speedway roughly between Country Club and Alvernon Way has seen the deluge of espresso entrepreneurs lining the boulevard: On the west end sits villainous caffeine overlord Starbucks, and on the east, the laid-back, loft-like Black Crown Coffee Co. Fighting it out in the middle are a new-ish Dutch Bros chain venture, a java-and-juice bar inside upscale grocery store syndicate Whole Foods Market—and plucky joe-on-the-go vendor Coffee Times Drive-Thru. During its impressive 20 years in business, locally owned Coffee Times has weathered all manner of business climates and restaurant trends. But now, the Little Kiosk That Could is going up against Big Coffee in a hot-blooded battle of the beans: International caffeine-and-doughnut conglomerate Dunkin’ has chosen to build its newest drive-thru immediately

next door—just a stale-donut-hole toss away. “Corporate invaders, or whatever you want to call them … we’re just surrounded by them at this point,” said Dave Mannell, a native Chicagoan who bought the microbusiness from his brother nearly 15 years ago. “But right next door? They’re not usually quite as obvious about it.” Native Tucsonan Scott Hinsch, who has run cozy Black Crown coffeehouse east of Alvernon Way for nearly a decade, didn’t mince words when standing up for a fellow small business owner. “It’s just a despicable, evil move,” he said. “It’s one thing to open a business, and a whole other approach to purposely try to put someone out of business. Whoever owns it has so little foresight that they had to say, ‘Hey, here’s a little mom and pop drive thru. They’re successful. Let’s steal their hard work.’ It’s crazy.” Dunkin’s global media relations office did not respond to Tucson Weekly’s

request for comment. With some 56,000 vehicles using that section of Speedway daily, it’s a particularly hot property for retailers trying to cash in on traffic headed to or from downtown, area hospitals, surrounding historic neighborhoods, Catalina Magnet High School and the University of Arizona. “For corporations, the community are just numbers—but we have relationships,” insisted Coffee Times co-owner Michael Cripps, who is Mannell’s nephew and business partner. “I’ve been here long enough to see customers graduate from high school, get their first car, go to college and get married. These people have seen my kids grow up. They know me. I know them. And I love ’em to death.” When the Dunkin’ shop is built on the dirt lot next door—currently empty, save for two spindly saguaros, piles of scrap cardboard, and for some reason, a mattress—its drive-thru lane will likely wrap around to the west side of the building, where motorists will have a close-up view of … Coffee Times’ bustling kiosk, and its surprisingly speedy lines. The diminutive venture—run out of a 336-square-foot, cream-and-burgundy-colored modular building at the intersection of Speedway and Jones Boulevard—is an efficient operation, built for fast turnaround. It boasts two drive-thru windows on opposite sides, two more walkup windows in front, and when needed, a back door that baristas use to run orders out to motorists waiting in lines that sometimes stretch around the corner onto residential streets. On a good day, Mannell said, eight workers can serve up to 800 vehicles. Over the years, the business has expanded its original coffee, tea and espresso drink menu to include fruit and veggie protein smoothies; kids’ beverages and snacks; and sweet, flavored frappés that still pack a bold java punch. Unlike most corporate competitors, it also offers cannabidiol (CBD) infused brews and healthy wraps, as well as a host of vegan, gluten-free and keto-friendly pastries. Featured artisanal breads come from

homegrown bakeries like Grounded Sweets, Village Bakehouse, Houlden’s Rise Above and Wholesale Bagels, Inc. Gourmet coffee beans come from California’s F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc., but also from Tucson faves like Black Standard Coffee, Blessed Grounds, Mission Coffee Imports and Tucson Coffee Roasters. “We’re promoting local bakers and coffee roasters right and left,” Mannell said. “That’s how I sleep easily at night: knowing that we did our part to try and help Tucson remain a strong, vibrant economy, by spending as much money locally as we can.” The owners also take time to focus on local philanthropic causes by donating coffee or other items to a variety of neighborhood associations, churches, school districts and organizations like Tucson COVID Healthcare Workers’ Meal Fund, Casa de los Niños, Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation and Gospel Rescue Mission. Mannell and Cripps acknowledge that some of those charitable relationships are intensely personal. Cripps—an amiable guy who at one point dropped out of college in Tennessee and became a singer for a hardcore punk band—faced serious substance abuse issues before cleaning up, starting a family and purchasing Coffee Times with his brother Jeremy and their uncle. Mannell has also battled addictions, which left him homeless for a time. And he still deeply grieves the loss of his brother, Tom, who died of AIDS in the late 1980s. “Some of those people that we’re helping are exactly where my family was, or I was, or my friends were years ago,” he noted. “My problems today, including the pandemic, are luxury problems. I’m glad to be alive.” Mannell, a self-described “eternal optimist who has a cynical side,” takes a pragmatic view of the uncertainty surrounding corporate raider Dunkin’: “The downside is we might lose our business. The upside: We have a business to lose.” Like many other restaurants, Coffee Times was hard hit by the COVID pandemic. Unlike some, it managed to ride it out, mainly due to owners’ personal


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financial contributions and two federal Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, which enabled owners to meet payroll and pay utility bills. When the first transmissible cases of COVID hit Pima County in March 2020, Coffee Times’ 16 employees were considered “essential workers,” enabling the kiosk to stay open even during citywide lockdown. Before COVID, it operated seven days a week, essentially 4:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Afterward, operations were slashed to five hours daily, Tuesday through Saturday. Baristas are now back to serving up java daily. Employees fearful of serving the public at the beginning of the pandemic were allowed to stay home for a while—and during that job-protected leave, owners also continued to pay their medical insurance premiums. Front-line workers were compensated with extra hazard pay, routinely tested for COVID exposure, given time off to get vaccinated, and required to wear masks while on the job. Customers were asked to mask up for transactions, too—and while most cheerfully complied, Mannell noted that a few took the time to issue “veiled threats” along with their coffee order. In the end, and despite some testing scares that shuttered the shop temporarily for deep cleaning, no COVID infections were traced to Coffee Times workers or customers. Businesses has continued to pick up, so more workers have been hired—and employees’ regular wages have been boosted from the Arizona minimum-wage rate of $12.15 an hour, up to $15 hourly.

“That’s not to say that we’re more profitable than we ever were, because we’re not,” Cripps cautioned. “We actually made zero money during the pandemic. But we paid so much in wages to show our appreciation to our employees.” That led the Pima County Small Business Commission to name Coffee Times its 2020 Small Business of the Year. It was an unexpected honor—but with a streetside hot-pink-and-neonorange “Dunkin’ Coming Soon” sign clearly visible to workers inside the tiny kiosk, big corporate competitors are seldom far from mind. Competition isn’t inherently evil, noted fellow local business owner Doug Levy, executive chef of Feast, a chic dining establishment that also survived the pandemic, thanks to PPP loans, customer loyalty, and charitable good works for healthcare workers and others in need. “I think any business—be it a corporate monster or a small independent business run by a literal mom and pop—has the right to set up shop, hang out their shingle and see who comes,” he said. “The important thing is building a relationship with your guests that makes people want to come back. Maybe you build it through familiarity of product, or through advertising—that’s what Dunkin’ Donuts does. Maybe you build it through the quality of your product, or through knowing customers’ names and what they always get. That is what Coffee Times does.” ■

TUCSONWEEKLY.COM 11

BRYN BAILER

(Left to right) Coffee Times co-owners Dave Mannell and Michael Cripps. “For corporations, the community are just numbers—but we have relationships. I’ve been here long enough to see customers graduate from high school, get their first car, go to college and get married,” Cripps said.

Freelance writer Bryn Bailer is a “Classic Mocha Frappe, 16 oz., with whipped cream on top” kinda gal.

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SHEPHERD HILLS SENIOR LIVING

by Emily Dieckman

Guiding Tranquility in the Old Pueblo

Residents at Shepherd Hills enjoy our gardens filled with a variety of fruit trees and flowering plants. During the warmer seasons, birds and butterflies are a common sight in our tranquil oasis. Residents can participate in the Shepherd Hills Gardening Program at any level they are comfortable with. Whether you still enjoy planting and tending the garden or simply enjoy a quiet stroll along the garden pathways, Shepherd Hills is full with beautiful outdoor spaces.

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Queen of the Night. She’s also called La Reina de La Noche, or the Night Blooming Cereus, or in Latin, Peniocereus greggii. This cactus looks like a sad, dead stick all year long, and then bursts into beautiful bloom in the early months of summer. With 400 of them onsite, Tohono Chul possesses the largest private collection of this plant in the world—some of which were growing in the area already and some which were donated over the years. And they’re part of such a cool little ecosystem, too, sustained by tuberous roots below and pollinated by Hawk Moths above. Tohono Chul’s current entry gallery is focused completely an artwork related to this gorgeous little lady. On display through July 25, so don’t miss it! Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily. Tohono Chul, 7366 Paseo del Norte. $15 adults, with discounts for seniors, military, students and children. Discovery Night at the Children’s Museum. Seeing a kid’s face light up at the Children’s Museum is one of the great joys of summer. The fact that kiddos get the summer off while many grownups need to keep working is not one of the great joys of summer. So we’re glad the Children’s Museum Tucson offers these monthly events,

featuring extended hours, half-price admission, bilingual programming and cooler weather. Head downtown to check out the hands-on STEM activities, the miniature indoor tour of Tucson and an exhibit where kids can paint on the wall. Best to get that out of their systems here, right? 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 15. Children’s Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave. $4.50. The Things We Keep. What are some of the things you keep? The objects that have made it through spring cleaning, moves, you reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and everything in-between? The newest exhibit at the Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art features selections from Swiss-born, Tucson-based artist Olivier Mosset. Artworks, books and other ephemera from his globetrotting career invite us to think about the emotional reasons behind the items we hold onto. The North Galleries hold books, brochures, invitations and posters, while the South Gallery features monochrome paintings and prints. Audio pieces play throughout. On display through Sept. 5 at MOCA, 265 S. Church Ave. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Admission is currently free!


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ly know it to be a top-notch experience, but there’s something extra special about knowing your money is going to such a good, local cause. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 17. 1010 S. Wilmot Road. Free. Summer Safari Nights. Speaking of animals, don’t forget about this week’s opportunity to hang out with some at the Reid Park Zoo. This week’s theme? Rad Reptiles! Snakes, lizards, turtles and alligators might have cold blood, but learning about how neat they are will warm your heart. Councilman Steve Kozachik is this evening’s musical guest, and Dusty from the Tucson Roadrunners will also be making a special appearance from 6 to 7 p.m. This evening also features a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., featuring the Moderna, Pfizer and J&J vaccines. As always, games, food and carousel rides abound. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 17. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Court. $10.50 adults, $8.50 seniors, $6.50 for kids 2 to 14. Once Upon This Time. So, fairy tales are unrealistic for a lot of reasons, right? Like, how did Rapunzel’s hair get that long when her mean witch guardian probably wasn’t even providing her with any sulfate-free shampoo or leave-in conditioner? Cinderella seriously had no qualms about wearing a shoe made of GLASS to a late-night dance party? But what if fairy tales took place in the modern world of cellphones and social media? They’d likely be even more untenable. That’s the premise of this show at Live Theatre Workshop, the first show for children and children at heart to open in the new dedicated indoor Children’s Theatre! You’ll be cracking up at this tale, featuring six actors playing more than 40 roles. 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays from July 16 to Aug. 1. Live Theatre Workshop, 3322 E. Fort Lowell Road. $12 adults, $10 kids. Doodle With Me. Also at MOCA this week is this event with artists Ryan Hill, Mark Mitchell and Sara Hubbs. Doodle with Me is a social art project designed to give people a low-risk space to express themselves and have a nice chat. Draw with other artists, talk with other artists, and defy your capitalist conditioning by making something just for the sake of making it (not for being productive or generating economic gain). Basic drawing materials are provided, but you can bring your own if you want! Masks are required. 5 to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 17. MOCA, 265 S. Church Ave. Free. Si Charro Summer Celebrations. Did you know that our beloved El Charro Café is celebrating 99 years in business this summer? To celebrate, they’re offering a special summer menu that is sure to get your mouth watering. The charros and camarones

specials—just $9.99 each—include the shrimp poblano enchilada, grilled shrimp fajita lettuce cups, and mojo de ajo shrimp tamales (gluten free). They’ve also got a beautiful selection of “Margs and Ritas,” including sips like Watermelon Fresca, Charro Island Tropical and Mangopeño. And, just in case you’ve forgotten or didn’t know, El Charro also has an extensive vegan menu. Plus so much more. Go, and bring everyone you know. Just writing about it is making me hungry. Summer menu is available through Aug. 15 at all three locations: 311 N. Court, 7725 N. Oracle Road #101, and 6910 E. Sunrise Drive. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. See you there!

Cupcake Decorating Class for Children. Got a young aspiring baker in your life? They will love this class hosted by Tamara from Chantilly Tea. (I, personally, would have killed for this class as a child.) It’s an hour of creating fondant flowers and leaves to decorate cupcakes, specifically geared toward 8-to-12-year-olds. Each child learns how to do it, then gets five cupcakes to frost and decorate with their creations. Then your kid brings you home cupcakes! Sounds like a win-win to us. Masks are required. 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. Saturday, July 17. SAACA Kitchen in Tucson Mall (first floor, by Sears), 4500 N. Oracle Road, suite 110. $35 per child. ■

Tucson Metaphysics Fair. Are you looking for a sign? Or something new? Or are you specifically looking for a crystal intuitive, a tarot reader or a shaman? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you should stop by the Tucson Metaphysics Fair over on Oracle—which is great, because the group calls themselves the “Oracles on Oracle.” From Reiki sessions, palmistry and astrodice to dream interpretation, lyra qyantuc healing and candle readings… there are so many different ways to dive into a spiritual journey, or to just get a handful of insight into the great beyond. At the very least, you will have an interesting time, right? 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 18. Best Western, 6201 N. Oracle Road. Humane Society of Southern Arizona Thrift Store Grand Opening Event. Oh, bless the abundance of thrift stores in Tucson. We’re very excited for the HSSA thrift store, which is moving to its permanent home this weekend! Head over for a day full of games, giveaways, mariachi music, adorable animals and (obviously) shopping! Those who thrift regular-

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Despite these efforts, Teatro Carmen failed by 1922. It was sold in 1926 and morphed into a range of uses, including an adult school and, some say, a car repair shop. Soto died in 1934, and eventually the building was sold to an African American group, the Pilgrim Rest Elks Lodge No. 601. The Elks used it as a clubhouse for almost 50 years. A few times, the old place was used again for performances. Borderlands Theater Company, specializing in Latino plays, mounted dramas there in 1987-1988—until the roof collapsed. Later, scenes in the star-studded 1995 movie Boys on the Side, featuring Whoopi Goldberg and Drew Barrymore, were shot inside and outside the theater. But around 1996, the theater was bought by the Rolling real estate family, who own more than 20 buildings in Barrio Viejo. Soto’s dream was reduced to a storage repository.

wanted to sell, and he was looking for someone with experience in theater and an ability to get grants. Stratford fit the bill. This past June, the two parties sealed the deal, with nonprofit Stratford Art Works, Inc., paying $940,000, to Bacon Industries, Inc. The 106-year-old building, easily visible with its cheerful yellow façade, is at 380 S. Meyer Ave., just south of the Tucson Convention Center. In an interview on a sweltering summer day, Stratford showed me around. The inside has been swept clean—unlike the Fox, where in its abandoned days pigeons ruled and trash prevailed. But the Teatro needs plenty of work. Adobe and brick still grace the façade, but the door will be remade to mirror the original entry. The sheet metal roof must be replaced and the MARGARET REGAN indoor walls need attention. The Teatro Carmen is one of the oldest theatres in Arizona (opening its doors in 1915). After actual stage was unfortunately torn exchanging hands and services over the decades, Teatro Carmen is ready for refurbishing. NOW, TEATRO CARMEN IS SET TO down in the ’40s or ’50s, Stratford says. “We will build a new stage.” return to its theater roots. Herb But the proscenium, possibly from Stratford, who spearheaded the rehabilitation of the Fox Tucson Theatre, 1915, is still there and so is the tin At Long Last, the Historic Theater Is Set To Be Restored now intends to bring back Carmen’s ceiling. And two prized 1920s “skytheater to its original glory. scraper” lights still dangle down “It’s pretty cool,” he says enthusifrom above. By Margaret Regan ous theater. On May 20, 1915, Teatro A big room the Elks added on to tucsonweekly@tucsonlocalmedia.com Carmen opened its doors to a packed astically: The theater is one of the oldest in Arizona. (Only the 1881 Bird the south end of the building also audience, decked out in their finest to watch “Cerebro y Corazon” (Head Cage in Tombstone is believed to be needs a roof replacement. Stratford hopes to turn the space into a restauolder.) IN 1914, A DETERMINED TUCSON and Heart). Notably, Soto chose a Stratford’s involvement started rant and bar; he plans to add photos woman by the name of Carmen Soto play by female playwright, Teresa almost two years ago, when Demion and memorabilia that celebrate its de Vásquez set out to create a theater Farías de Isassi, for the inaugural Clinco of the Tucson Historic Preser- Black origins. An empty lot outside that would showcase Mexican performance. vation Foundation called him up out will be transformed into a patio, culture. A critic in the El Tucsonense, a which could be used for outside of the blue. The Old Pueblo was small in those Spanish language newspaper, gave events. “I have your next project,” Clinco days, with about 15,000 residents. it a rave review, writing that the As for the theater itself, Stratford said. More than half were Spanish speak“comfortable, roomy seating, good plans for just 300 seats. Stratford rolled his eyes. Since he ers, but only a few of the town’s 10 or lighting and magnificent artistic “None of the existing theaters nearso theaters showed Mexican plays décor accompanied by the high level left the Fox, he’s been, among other things, a consultant for historic by hit that number,” he points out. or movies, and they did so only in of artistic performance with which it The Cabaret at The Temple has fewer between English language offerings. was inaugurated provides a new note theaters across the country and the director of the annual Film Festival than 100 seats and Leo Rich has 500. Soto was eager to bring sophistito our art and society.” “There’s nothing else downtown at cated Spanish and Latin American A new note of art was exactly what Tucson. Busy as he was, he said, “I the 300 sweet spot.” And to make plays to Tucson, performed entirely Soto wanted, but she was also a good can’t take anything on.” Then Clinco said the magic words. the Teatro Carmen more flexible, the in Spanish by traveling troupes from businesswoman. She paired serious seats won’t be nailed down. Mexico. plays with short comedies and music, “Teatro Carmen.” What arts loving theater maven The programming will feature Soto owned a plot of land on Meyer and she quickly added the newfancould say no? genres from live theater to movies Street, a bustling thoroughfare of gled movies that were capturing the “I started talking with Don Rolland music and dance, performed by the Mexican community, and she nation. She even put a boxing ring both touring and local artists. Local ings,” Stratford recalls. Rolling hired a mason to build her glamorinside her elegant theater.

ARTS & CULTURE

TEATRO CARMEN RISING


JULY 15, 2021

MARGARET REGAN

“This is a multimillion dollar project,” says Herb Stratford, who also spearheaded the rehabilitation of the Fox Tucson Theatre. “It’s probably a two to three year project. It will be six to nine months before we begin.”

organizations will also be welcomed, Stratford says, and a new advisory committee is charged with “connecting with the with the neighborhood, future audiences and the Latino performing arts community.” The committee already includes Dan Guerrero, son of Lalo Guerrero, and an entertainer in his own right. Stratford also plans to invite people in to tell their memories of the building, a place he believes is “unique in its ties to both Hispanic and African American communities.” Likely there are very few people still living who will remember the theatre in action, but he’s hoping that African-Americans who had ties to the Elks lodge will contribute their own stories. The theater won’t be up and run-

ning any time soon. “This is a multimillion dollar project,” he says, with an estimated price tag of $5.5 million. “It’s probably a two to three year project. It will be six to nine months before we begin” working on the building. The group has already reached out to federal and state officials for possible grants, and now that the nonprofit owns the building, the team will stage fundraising campaigns. Stratford hopes the public will be excited by an enterprise that blends the arts with culture and history. As he has written, “Teatro Carmen is the last remaining unrestored cultural asset in the community, and the one with the richest, oldest and most diverse history.” ■

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CINEMA

PHOTO BY NEON FILM COMPANY

A SWINE MESS

Nicolas Cage hunts down a pignapper in a film that’s not for everyone

By Bob Grimm tucsonweekly@tucsonlocalmedia.com

HAVE YOU SEEN THE TRAILER FOR Pig, the new Nicolas Cage movie that’s seemingly about a hermit (Cage) seeking bloody revenge for the kidnapping of his beloved truffle pig? If you are thinking it’s just a John Wick rehash with a mushroom-sniffing swine replacing a precocious beagle, you wouldn’t be alone. The trailer is a bit deceptive. The film is actually a real slow burner about a dude—and some other dude—dealing with loss and death and trying to appreciate fine cuisine at the same time. Is it weird? Hell yeah, it is. Is it ultraviolent? No, not really. Does Nicolas Cage’s character get revenge? That depends upon your definition of revenge.

Cage plays Rob, a mysterious, grubby truffle farmer living somewhere in the woods near Portland, Oregon. He eschews showers in favor of brooding, and his time with his cute little brown furry truffle pig is his only source of moderate joy. Amir (Alex Wolff of Hereditary), a Camaro-driving truffle dealer, shows up once a week to buy truffles from him and make a few wisecracks about how weird Rob is. Rob takes it all in stride and sort of drifts through life. The beloved pet is violently kidnapped amidst loud squealing and a blunt force blow to Rob’s head. When he awakes, his pig—and only true family—is gone. In his quiet, restrained, and still caked in blood on his head ways, he recruits Amir to help him search for his little piggy. The search doesn’t involve shotguns,

handguns, zip guns, ray guns, bicep guns or caulk guns. It consists of a bunch of conversations, some animated and some not, until the kidnapper is located and dealt with. There is one odd, semi-violent Fight Club type scene along the way that really doesn’t belong in the movie. Rob’s usual investigative tactics are the ultimate in restraint and vulnerability. He’s not an outwardly violent guy, and his character’s true origins are slowly revealed. While Cage does get a couple of opportunities to shout, the script mostly calls for him to barely mumble. Like he did in the amazing Mandy, his character is searching for something he has lost, but he doesn’t chug vodka and wear a cool tiger shirt. This might be the most restrained Cage performance on record, more in line with his work in Joe than, say, Color out of Space. For me, it’s refreshing to see Cage get slow, somber and moody as opposed to screaming his head off and disemboweling people. Granted, I sort of love it when he screams his head off and disembowels people, but seeing him switch gears and access different facets of his talent is one of the joys of watching this guy over the years. He’s made his share of stinkers, but he’s always going for something different in the way he approaches material. It’s become natural to expect Cage to go gonzo with his acting. He actually doesn’t take the “Gonzo” award in Pig. That distinction goes to David Knell as a pompous chef who shares the film’s best scene with Cage. Knell is one of those recognizable actors you

might not know by name, but he’s been around (Total Recall, Alf, the guy who said, “We’re not twins!” in Splash). He unravels before our eyes in a scene that is both unnerving and hilarious, while Cage remains even keeled. Their conversation about restaurants is clearly meant as a parallel for Cage’s acting career, and it’s the best writing in the movie. Wolff (who apparently counts Cage as his favorite actor) is fun as his wingman, while Adam Arkin has a couple of powerful scenes as Amir’s stoic father. The material here is good, but it is spare and mostly soft, even sweet, in its presentation. This is the very definition of art film. It’s deliberately paced, it has a stirring, evocative soundtrack, and it has lots of talk about fine wine and truffles. This film is not for everyone. It’s not even going to rank as a cult fave. For Cage fans, Pig will fall somewhere in the middle of the pack. It’s not on par with Raising Arizona, Mandy or Leaving Las Vegas, but it’s a shit ton better than Ghost Rider and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. This one ranks with his performances in films like Birdy, Joe and the mellower moments of Matchstick Men. Fans will appreciate it. Non-fans might find themselves wishing Rob would stop talking, whip out a machete, and exact some Mandy/John Wick-like revenge on his pig’s kidnappers. ■


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MUSIC

CHRISTINA DURAN

ROCK REBORN

Tucson’s downtown theaters have received federal grants and are set to reopen with lots of live music

By Jim Nintzel jnintzel@tucsonlocalmedia.com

DOWNTOWN’S RIALTO AND FOX theaters have landed major grants from the federal government’s relief programs and will soon be reopening with a slew of shows on the horizon. The Fox received $1,448,389 Shuttered Venue Operator’s Grant from the Small Business Administration’s program. “Having just revealed our 2021-2022 Return to the Fox season of 50+ shows, this comes at a time when long-awaited relief is much needed,” said Bonnie Schock, Fox Tucson Theatre executive director. “With our first live performance since March of 2020 just a few months away, these funds allow us to move forward boldly toward full recovery and a triumphant return to the Fox.” Congressman Raul Grijalva cheered the news. “Live venues are an integral part of Tucson’s vibrant culture and economy, and I’m pleased SBA has finally awarded

the Fox Theatre an SVOG grant,” Grijalva said in a prepared statement. “The need for this funding has been clear for some time, and that’s why I pushed so hard for this program from the beginning. I am happy to see the results coming to fruition and our local businesses getting the aid they need and deserve. With the funding Congress provided, they can now move forward to hire, book talent, begin marketing, and ultimately come back into operation stronger than before. Our small venues have waited long enough for relief, and I will continue fighting for any resources they need to ensure a full economic recovery from the pandemic.” The Rialto has also been approved for a grant, although Rialto Theater Executive Director Cathy Rivers declined to reveal the precise amount. Rivers said the Rialto had received “enough to pay back our creditors, hire staff, fix stuff and open the Theatre.” The grants come after an initial disastrous rollout of the program in April, when a rush to submit applications from venue operators crashed the online system. The SBA reported that as of July

12, the agency had awarded 6,610 grants worth a total of $5 billion, with an average grant of $758,000. A total of $3.3 billion had been disbursed. In Arizona, the SBA had awarded just under $118 million in grants. Venues were eligible for grants based on 45% of the organization’s 2019 earned revenues and the monies can be used for business expenses dating back to March 2020 and to cover expenses through the end of this year. Both the Fox and the Rialto have already begun booking shows for the year ahead. The Fox schedule includes The Mavericks on Aug. 19, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on Sept. 11, Chris Issak on Sept. 25, Rickie Lee Jones on Sept. 26, Pat Metheny with James Francies & Joe Dyson on Oct. 5, Asleep at the Wheel on Oct. 8, Amy Grant on Oct. 24, Paula Poundstone on Oct. 28, Atlanta Rhythm Section and Firefall on Nov. 5, Tommy Emmanuel on Nov. 6 and Boney James on Nov. 7. The Rialto will showcase an amateur kickboxing event, Rise of the Prospects, with local fighters on July 31, before hosting an 18+ DJ-based Electric Feels dance

party on Friday, Aug. 6, and a Gasolina Reggaeton Dance Party on Saturday, Aug. 7. Live music returns with Andrew Schulz on Wednesday, Aug. 18, followed by Amigo the Devil on Friday, Aug. 20. On Saturday, Aug. 21, the Rialto will host Dia de las Luchas, a wrestling extravaganza that will also feature Los Nawdy Dogs. Neko Case will perform on Monday, Aug. 23; the Flaming Lips are scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 24; Old Blind Dogs play on Friday, Sept. 4; Gogol Bordello returns on Saturday Sept. 4; Modest Mouse comes to town on Monday, Sept. 20; Jack Russell’s Great White is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 24; and hometown favorite Calexico will perform on Saturday, Sept. 25. The Rialto will also reopen its sister venue, 191 Toole, with performances scheduled by the likes of Ramirez (Aug. 3), Your Money’s Worth (Aug. 7), Miss Olivia and the Interlopers (Aug. 14), Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears (Aug. 20), Sian (Aug. 21), Nanpa Básico (Aug. 27) and the Residents (Sept. 14). ■ For more information on these shows and more, visit rialtotheatre.com and foxtucson.com.

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BACK FROM THE DEAD A few good cannabis bills passed into law this month By David Abbott tucsonweekly@tucsonlocalmedia.com STATE LAWMAKERS HAVE finally wrapped the 171-day legislative session—one of the longest in history— and at first blush, the news wasn’t all bad for legalized cannabis. A few of the bills actually do some good. It looked like several weed-related bills had died after Gov. Ducey vetoed nearly two dozen bills to strongarm state lawmakers into cutting income taxes for his rich pals, but some legislation came back from the dead and made a second trip to the governor’s desk. The biggest winner for Big Weed was

Ducey’s signature on HB 2298, which will devote $25 million to marijuana research over the course of five years. The bill allocates $5 million annually for clinical research on the efficacy of cannabis to treat pain and a myriad of other ailments. Dr. Sue Sisley of the Scottsdale Research Institute said the bill’s passage could make Arizona a top-tier center for cannabis research. “HB 2298 makes Arizona the first in the nation to require medical cannabis funds be allocated only for FDA-controlled trials, objectively studying cannabis as a potential medicine for treating pain, autism, PTSD and other intractable illnesses,” she told Tucson Weedly.

“There are other states [that] give medical marijuana money to research but none who have actually required FDA randomized controlled trials: Arizona will be the first state to require this kind of rigorous research, which is the only research that will really move the needle and help change public policy.” Sisley added that results of this research would have “high credibility with the medical community and public health departments” to sway lawmakers’ opinions. “Arizona could help generate a renaissance of cannabis research that could help answer some of the most crucial clinical questions patients have about how cannabis works and doesn’t work,” she said. “HB2298 will catapult Arizona to the forefront of some of the most important cannabis clinical trials in the world.” Research will focus on epilepsy, autism, PTSD and pain but other areas of research are open as well. “This is huge for the state of Arizona,” Arizona NORML Director Mike Robinette said. “This is a clean bill not vitiated by Speaker Bowers’ desire to prove that everyone who ever was consumed marijuana has gone crazy and is axing

people and bludgeoning them to death on the highways.” On the other side of the coin though, is the passage of SB 1847, formerly SB 1408, Bowers’ pet bill that will devote $250,000 of the MMJ fund to finding a link between cannabis use and various horrible outcomes, including but not limited to psychoses, violence and mental illnesses. Bowers has devoted other efforts to restrict the devil’s lettuce, including this year’s attempt to place a THC cap of 2% on legal cannabis products. In 2020, he pushed a book titled, “Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence,” written by former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson and completely discredited by the scientific (read: sane) community. (Berenson was seen last weekend at CPAC Texas, where he won cheers with a rant against the COVID-19 vaccine.) Bowers said that cannabis use leads to “violent violence: Not just somebody punching you in the face, but very horrendous insanity violence.” Bowers did concede there were “limited” benefits to medical marijuana, but threw shade on the idea that there was much data to support the idea.


JULY 15, 2021

The scientific community disagrees with the foundational tenets of the book Bowers has been pushing like a heroin dealer on a playground. In February 2019, a group of 100 scientists and clinicians published an open letter condemning the book for erroneous conclusions, cherry picking data and “selection bias.” They also criticized Berenson’s suggestion that marijuana made Black people crazy. “In one of his book’s most disturbing passages, Berenson suggests that one of the reasons that police so disproportionately arrest black people ... for marijuana use is that marijuana makes young black people mentally ill and violent. Conveniently, Berenson ignores the fact that Black and white people use marijuana at the same rates and that the reason for the higher rate of arrests is over-policing of communities of color, based on prohibition. Berenson’s irresponsible and inaccurate statement reeks of the crack baby and super-predator myths of the ‘90s. And though the scientific evidence clearly refutes both theories, we are still working to roll back draconian policies based on those myths today. Tell Your Children race-baits with its pictures of Black marijuana-fueled aggressors, while simultaneously perpetuating uninformed stigma about schizophrenia.” Robinette said money from the medical marijuana fund shouldn’t be wasted on such silliness. “We opposed that on the principle that we do not want to set a precedent of raiding that fund to fund things unrelated to marijuana,” Robinette said. Rep. Randall Friese, a Tucson Democrat who recently announced he was running for Congress next year, sponsored a number of bills, the worst of which died. One of Friese’s good bills, SB 1833,

passed after the legislation was taken up by Republican Sen. Nancy Barto. The bill allows DHS to provide proficiency testing and remediate problems with third-party testing labs. Arizona was the last medical marijuana state to mandate testing for medical cannabis with 2019’s omnibus SB 1484. Testing was required beginning in November 2020 and with the onset of recreational sales in January 2021, there have been many problems with the system that led to shortages and several skirmishes between the dispensaries and the testing facilities. Last month, cannabis tested by OnPoint Laboratories in Snowflake was recalled following test results that showed salmonella and mold. The contamination was discovered after the facility failed to detect either contaminate, but a verification of the test results uncovered the issue. While no one suffered any ill effects from the weed and OnPoint took full responsibility, SB 1833 gives the Arizona Department of Health Services more oversight. “It is important that the DHS has that capacity, to be able to monitor and remediate where there are problems with testing,” Robinette said. Friese’s HB 2414, which evolved into SB 1834, allows for unannounced dispensary inspections and requires that every dispensary gets at least one unannounced visit a year. SB 1834 also has a clause that states that a third-party testing company cannot be in a “familial or financial relationship” with any kind of dispensary or other marijuana business. Thankfully, our vaunted leaders have the rest of the year off to recuperate before the next lousy batch of bills comes down the pike. ■

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FREE WILL ASTROLOGY

By Rob Brezsny. Go to RealAstrology.com to check out Rob Brezsny’s EXPANDED WEEKLY HOROSCOPE 1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700 $1.99 per minute. 18 and over. Touchtone phone required.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In his poem “Litany,” Aries poet Billy Collins testifies that he is “the sound of rain on the roof.” He also claims to be “the moon in the trees, the paper blowing down an alley, the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table, and the shooting star.” He does make it clear, however, that he is not “the bread and the knife” on the table, nor the “crystal goblet and the wine.” What about you, Aries? What are all the earthy and fiery phenomena that you are? Are you, as Billy Collins suggests, “the dew on the morning grass and the burning wheel of the sun and the marsh birds suddenly in flight”? Now would be an excellent time to dream up your own version of such colorful biographical details. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “Why else keep a journal, if not to examine your own filth?” wrote poet Anne Sexton. And yes, Sexton did have a lot of filth to explore, including the physical abuse of her daughters. But most of us don’t need to focus so obsessively on our unlovely aspects. Keeping a journal can also be about identifying our ripening potentials and unused riches. This approach would be especially fun and wise for you Tauruses right now. The coming weeks will be an auspicious time for deep introspection that frees capacities and powers you have only partially activated up until now. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Journalist Sam Anderson marvels at his young daughter’s project: a small plastic dome-like structure that houses a community of ladybugs. All they need to consume, for weeks at a time, are “two water-soaked raisins.” I don’t think you’ll need to be forever as efficient and hardy as those ladybugs, Gemini, but you may have to be like that temporarily. My advice? Don’t regard it as a hardship. Instead, see it as an opportunity to find out how exquisitely resourceful and resilient you can be. The skills you learn and refine now will be priceless in the long run.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Cancerian poet Linda Hogan says she doesn’t like to be parched. She wants to be like “a tree drinking the rain.” I think every Cancerian has similar dreams: to be steadily immersed in engrossing feelings, awash with intimate longings, flowing along in rhythm with the soul’s songs. The coming weeks will be prime time for you to relish these primal pleasures. It’s probably best to avoid an outright flood, but I think it’s wise to invite a cascade. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Actor Lupita Nyong’o had a starring role in Steve McQueen’s film 12 Years a Slave. She praised his directorial skills. She loved the fact that he told her, “Fail, and then fail better.” Why? “That kind of environment, where failure is an option, is magical,” she said. It allowed her to experiment freely, push herself beyond her previous limits, and focus on being true to the character she was playing rather than trying to be a “good actor.” I think these are excellent principles for you to keep in mind during the coming weeks. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Virgo-born Wayne Shorter is a legendary jazz composer and saxophonist. He has been making music for over 60 years, often with other legendary creators like Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. The New York Times described Shorter as “jazz’s greatest living small-group composer and a contender for greatest living improviser.” Bass prodigy Tal Wilkenfeld, who is 53 years younger than Shorter, tells the story of a show she performed with him. Just before going on stage, Shorter came up to her, sensing she was nervous, and whispered some advice: “Play eternity.” Now I’m offering that same counsel to you as you carry out your tasks in the coming days. Be as timeless as you dare to be. Immerse yourself in the most expansive feelings you can imagine. Authorize your immortal soul to be in charge of everything you do.

SAVAGE LOVE EMOTIONAL ARSONISTS

By Dan Savage, mail@savagelove.net

I’m a 19-year-old girl who was dumped few months ago. My partner found out he didn’t like my body when we were having sex for the first time and he told me right after. We were actually still in bed naked when he told me. He kept cuddling me to make me feel a bit better but it still hurt to hear. Other than slight doubts about genitals and my face (I have Asian features and having my face and living in a western country isn’t always easy), I didn’t go into that experience expecting to be rejected. We had talked about all the sexual stuff we wanted to do and he had previously told me I was attractive and thicc and

paid me other compliments. Undressing for someone and then being rejected was devastating and I don’t have other experiences to weigh this one against and take reassurance from. My self-esteem dropped. I know his tastes and preferences shouldn’t be a problem for me now, since we are no longer together, but I can’t stop thinking about them. I’ve known him for five years. He means a lot to me and we want to continue to be friends. I wish someone had told me that having sex with someone isn’t a guarantee that everything will always work out. (Having sex with them being sexually open and generous and having nice tits

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libran author Paula McLain says the word “paradise” is derived from the ancient Persian word pairidaeza, meaning “walled garden.” For her, this association suggests that making promises and being faithful to our intentions are keys to creating happiness with those we care for. Paradise requires walls! To scrupulously cultivate freedom, we need discipline. If we hope to thrive in joyous self-expression, we must focus on specific goals. I bring these thoughts to your attention because now is a pivotal time to work on building, refining, and bolstering your own personal version of paradise. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Thousands of 28-pound bars of 24-carat gold are stored in the Bank of England’s underground vault. To gain entry to the treasure trove, bankers use metal keys that are three feet long. They must also utter a secret password into a microphone. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you Scorpios can now gain access to a more metaphorical but nevertheless substantial source of riches. How? The key is a particular scene in your imagination that has recently begun to coalesce. It is an emblem of a future triumph or breakthrough that you will accomplish. As for the password, which you will also need, it’s vigorous rigor. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Somehow, I have lived all these years without ever coming across the rare English word “selcouth.” Today, as I meditated on the exotic astrological portents coming up for you, that word appeared—arriving on my phone via text message from my Sagittarius friend Lila. She told me, “I have a feeling that life is about to get intensely SELCOUTH for us Sagittarians.” I looked up the unfamiliar word and found these synonyms: unusual, marvelous, strange, magnificent, scarce, wondrous, weird, rare, and exotic. Those terms do indeed coincide with my interpretation of your immediate future. So Happy Selcouth to you, dear Centaur! Celebrate with awed appreciation! CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Lexicographer Jonathon Green provides us with the following

too!) I started therapy but I also wanted some advice from you. —Babe Only Desires Intuitive Emotional Support “People who are brutally honest generally enjoy the brutality more than the honesty.” The late Canadian humorist and newspaper columnist Richard Needham wasn’t talking about your exwhatever-he-was when he made that observation, BODIES, but he could’ve been. Yeah, yeah: Sometimes we only realize we aren’t as attracted to someone as we thought until after we’ve slept with that person. That’s sadly the case sometimes. But your ex-whatever’s comments were so gratuitously cruel, BODIES, that it’s hard to avoid

19th-century slang words for the sex act: horizontal refreshment, strumming, playing at romps, cully-shangie, taking a turn at Mount Pleasant, dancing the blanket hornpipe, honeyfugle, giving a hot poultice for the Irish toothache, and—my favorite—fandango de pokum. In accordance with astrological potentials, I recommend that you consider trying them all out in the next four weeks. In other words, experiment with shifting your approach to belly-bumping and libido-gratifying. If you don’t have a human partner, do it alone or with an angel or in your fantasy life. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): If a lover or spouse is perpetually churning out fantasies of you in their imagination, they may be less than totally tuned in to the real you. Instead, they may be focused on the images they have of you—maybe so much so that they lose sight of who you genuinely are and what you are actually doing. The same possibility exists for other allies, not only lovers and spouses. They may be so entranced by their stories about you that they are out of touch with the ever-changing marvel that you are always evolving. That’s the bad news, Aquarius. Here’s the good news: The coming weeks will be a decisive time to correct such distortions—and revel in the raw truth about you. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Here’s how art critic Walter Pater characterized the work of Piscean artist Michelangelo: “sweetness and strength, pleasure with surprise, an energy of conception which seems to break through all the conditions of comely form, recovering, touch by touch, a loveliness found usually only in the simplest natural things.” I’ve been waiting for the arrival of astrological aspects that would mean you’d be an embodiment of that description. And now they are here. Congrats! For the next 13 days, I will visualize you as a fount of ever-refreshing grace—as a fluid treasure that emanates refined beauty and wild innocence. ■ Homework: Tell me how you like it the best. Write to Newsletter@FreeWillAstrology.com

concluding (if I may borrow a phrase) that cruelty was the point. He could’ve and should’ve given you a million other reasons why he didn’t want to sleep with you again—this may be one of those rare instances where ghosting would’ve been kinder. At the very least he should’ve given you a chance to get dressed before he let you know he wasn’t interested in having sex with you again. That your very first sex partner chose to brutalize you like this—that he didn’t make the slightest effort to spare your feelings—is an almost unforgivable betrayal. Unless this boy is somewhere on the spectrum and has difficultly anticipating how a direct statement might hurt another person’s feelings, BODIES, there’s no excuse for what he did. Stick-


JULY 15, 2021

ing around to cuddle after saying that shit isn’t proof he’s a good person. The arsonist who sticks around to piss on your house after setting it on fire isn’t being kind, BODIES, he’s warming his dick by the fire and enjoying the blaze. Please know that being rejected by someone doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your body, BODIES, or with your genitals or your face or your race or your features. Swiping right on someone who didn’t swipe right on you or sleeping with someone who doesn’t want to sleep with you again isn’t proof you’re flawed or unattractive. It just means you’re not right for that particular person, BODIES, and for reasons particular to that person. Rejection sucks and it always hurts and for that reason we should strive to be as considerate as possible when we have to reject someone. Considerate but clear, considerate but unambiguous, but always considerate. And what this guy did to you—not even letting you get dressed first—was as inconsiderate as possible and you have every right to be angry with him. If you had to get a therapist after sleeping with someone, it’s a pretty good indication that person should have no place in your life—as a lover or a friend—going forward. Keep seeing your shrink, BODIES, and stop talking to this asshole. I’ve gone through many variations of relationships, from monogamous to open. My new partner is incredibly smart, open-minded, loving, GGG—all the things, right? So, I find myself a bit perplexed and troubled by a statement she made. She was in a relationship prior to the one with me and the person she was with wanted to be free to do as he wished sexually. She told him that was “fine” so long as he used protection and she didn’t know about it. Apparently that worked so well for her that she made me the same offer after we decided to become sexually exclusive: she told me to use protection if I should ever cheat and not to tell her about it. At first I was like, “Cool, but I’m not going

to cheat,” but now I find myself thinking about it. And if I do cheat I will use protection and keep it to myself, per her request. So why am I writing to you? I have a high sex drive and a history of parental neglect and abuse. I find that I seek validation from women and I have a fairly good idea that it’s due to what I endured from my mother. We’ve only been seeing each other for a few months since we have been dating and I do love her. I know people often get caught—even with a hall pass—and I don’t want to lose her because of this. I want to make peace with never being with another person or with using the “hall pass” I’ve been given. How do I do that? —Hesitant About Lying Lest Partner’s Anger Sabotages Situation You can make all the peace you want with being monogamous, HALLPASS, but that won’t make being monogamous any easier for you. Zooming out for a second: Your desire to have sex with more than one person might have something to do with the trauma you suffered in childhood… or it might not. A lot of people have high sex drives and risk-taking personalities and a desire for variety and not all of them were neglected or abused as children. But the culture encourages people who don’t wanna be monogamous (that’s a lot of people) or who find monogamy difficult (that’s everybody else) to see themselves as damaged. And yet we’re told that monogamy is always easy for people who are emotionally healthy—which is a lie—and then we waste time digging through our childhood histories for something that might explain why this thing that’s supposed to be easy—monogamy—is so hard for us. (Spoiler: it’s hard for almost everyone.) It’s a waste of time, HALLPASS. You can and should see a therapist to help you work through the trauma you suffered as a child, of course, but don’t waste your time with a therapist who pathologizes your relatively normal desires or seeks to assign blame for them.

So what do you do about your girlfriend? How about you… maybe… talk to her? Your new girlfriend has been perfectly clear—she doesn’t care if you cheat so long as you use protection and she doesn’t find out about it—but you need additional clarity. If you were to sleep with someone else and she found out about it despite your best efforts to prevent her from finding out about it… what then? If finding out you used the hall pass she gave you is something she couldn’t forgive, HALLPASS, then you obviously can’t use it without risking the relationship. (You’re right: people get caught.) Additionally, if that’s really how she feels, then your girlfriend shouldn’t be handing out hall passes in the first place. But if cheating is something she could tolerate—so long as protection was used and some consideration was shown for her feelings, i.e. you at least attempted to be discreet/keep it from her—then you don’t have to hand in that hall pass. mail@savagelove.net Follow Dan on Twitter @FakeDanSavage. savagelovecast.com

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