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April 28 - May 4, 2021 YES! WEEKLY





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APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2021 VOLUME 17, NUMBER 17

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Last year, the bad news was that the 22nd annual RIVERRUN International Film Festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The good news this year is that the 23rd annual RiverRun Film Festival will go on as scheduled, offering a combination of safety-distanced, in-person outdoor or drive-in screenings and virtual screenings via Elevant, the virtual screening system employed by the festival.






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APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2021


Greensboro residents and shoppers now have a new PUBLIC ART attraction to flock to this summer when they visit The Shops at Friendly. On Friday, Friendly Center hosted a ribbon-cutting, along with the Greensboro Chamber, debuting the new 15’ by 7’ mural installations in the Gathering Area and Art Yard at The Shops behind Ben and Jerry’s. 5 Variety, the entertainment industry trade paper often cited as “the show-biz bible,” has once again published its list of the top 50 film-school programs in the world for 2021. And, once again, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) School of Filmmaking has made that list. 6 Growing up a poor kid in East WinstonSalem, eating RAMEN didn’t require a night out on the town, but instead, we simply grabbed a pack of “Oodles of Noodles” out of the pantry. 7 There’s good news and bad news in the war on COVID-19. The good news is that millions of adults have already been VACCINATED (about 26% of the population), while many others in just about every

demographic category plan to do so. 13 A proposed policy on technology use by the Guilford County Board of Education may require its members to explicitly state their SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS reflect only their personal views and not those of the board. Proposed policy code 2127 is titled Board Member Technology Use. An April 13 media release states that the policy “directs Board members to use district technology in a manner that is ethical, respectful and supportive of the Board’s duty to provide students with the opportunity to receive a sound, basic education.” 14 Winston-Salem folk duo, the BROWN MOUNTAIN LIGHTNING BUGS, are busy booking shows, making videos, and reflecting on the musical journey they’ve taken so far. Named for the way Kendra and Zack Harding sum up their sound, Folk(ish) provides a description befitting both the album and the band itself. “We’re somewhere between traditional and trippy,” Kendra noted. “But, as children of Appalachia, those more traditional timbres are always going to find their way into our material.”

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DISTRIBUTION JANICE GANTT KYLE MUNRO SHANE MERRIMAN ANDREW WOMACK We at YES! Weekly realize that the interest of our readers goes well beyond the boundaries of the Piedmont Triad. Therefore we are dedicated to informing and entertaining with thought-provoking, debate-spurring, in-depth investigative news stories and features of local, national and international scope, and opinion grounded in reason, as well as providing the most comprehensive entertainment and arts coverage in the Triad. YES! Weekly welcomes submissions of all kinds. Efforts will be made to return those with a self-addressed stamped envelope; however YES! Weekly assumes no responsibility for unsolicited submissions. YES! Weekly is published every Wednesday by Womack Newspapers, Inc. No portion may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. First copy is free, all additional copies are $1.00. Copyright 2021 Womack Newspapers, Inc.




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APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2021






Friendly Center debuts new public art space


reensboro residents and shoppers now have a new public art attraction to flock to this summer when they visit The Shops at Friendly. Chanel Davis On Friday, Friendly Center hosted a ribbon-cutting, along Editor with the Greensboro Chamber, debuting the new 15’ by 7’ mural installations in the Gathering Area and Art Yard at The Shops behind Ben and Jerry’s. Sarah Kotelnicki, Marketing Director for Friendly Center, said that initially, the shopping center was looking to jump on the brick mural trend blazing throughout the country but, after some brainstorming, decided on something a little more versatile, which is how the courtyard came to be. With the help of a local manufacturer, the panels that would hold the artwork, printed on outdoor-safe fabric, were engineered. “Obviously, last year was a really challenging year for retail, and we needed that lightness and that joy more than ever,” Kotelnicki said. The ribbon-cutting included free scoops of ice cream, pictures with and postcards prints of the new murals, and a chance to speak with the Greensboro artist who cre-


APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2021


ated them, Gina Elizabeth Franco. The mural installation includes four art pieces, with one specifically highlighting historic moments and landmarks in Friendly Center’s history. Franco turned to social media for ideas, which is how the mural highlighting historic moments and landmarks at Friendly Center was created. She said it was important to incorporate the memories of local residents. Those memories included residents getting their first job there, the waving Santa, the trolley, and first dates. “My work depends on community involvement, and it’s not activated unless someone comes and spends time in the space, takes pictures, and can actually interact with it. I’m a public artist. It’s all about the public,” Franco said. “People were really excited to share their memories. You could compare the different generations, and there were certain elements that were generational which is really exciting.” Kotelnicki said it felt good hearing how many traditions were started and memories people had of Friendly Center. “That really made us feel much more rejuvenated, motivated, inspired, and encouraged to keep doing the work during a year that was incredibly deflating for the retail industry.” Franco said she was excited about the opportunity, having spent so much time in the shopping center herself. She spent a little more than a month doing research and said the process was fun.

Gina Franco “For me, it was an opportunity to take a trip down memory lane and dig in to try to figure out what elements I want to highlight in the pieces,” she said. “I think the pieces are immediately eye-catching. I love that they printed them on the outside and the inside so you can have two different experiences. You can drive past and look at them, or you can come, sit and have a more intimate experience.” Kotelnicki said that while Friendly Center has no definite plans or schedule as to when they will update the installation, she hopes that it will reflect cultural, seasonal, and local changes in the area. She said they would be connecting with the Arts Coalition and other nonprofits thru the Chamber to reach local artists. “That’s what art is all about, reflecting the community that you live in. We want to be fresh, modern, and be able to keep this a true living installation,” she said. “My vision is to work with other local artists and students. I think it would be a really fun opportunity to see the world and community through their eyes.” Franco encourages other artists that

get the opportunity to display their works to “have fun with it and understand what your personal connection is to the subject you’re working on and how others can connect to the art.” “I always feel like public art is more fun and more successful when people can connect with it,” she said. Billed as a lifestyle shopping center, Friendly Center, owned by Tennesseebased CBL Properties, features more than 120 stores anchored by big-name retailers like Belk, Macy’s, and Sears while highlighting smaller retailers such as Kendra Scott, Dry Goods, and Anthropologie. The shopping center encourages shoppers and residents to enjoy the murals at the Friendly’s Art Yard during shopping center hours and to interact with them via photos on social media. All photos tagged with center’s hashtag, #ShopFriendlyCenter, will be entered into a monthly gift card drawing. Franco wants residents to interact with the space and tag her in their photos, noting that she wanted the space to be accessible to everyone. “I hope that people who didn’t know that this space existed now know. People can interact with art safety, and this encourages people to be outside and gather. It’s definitely not meant to be here, and no one interacts with it.” Kotelnicki said that the surrounding shops and their employees enjoy the new space. “We have over 1,500 employees that work in this shopping center and come here to enjoy lunch, after work, to enjoy dinner and just relax,” she said. “It spills right into Ben and Jerry’s, so as we kick off their summer music series in May, it will just be an enhanced attraction and a really Instagramable moment for kids and families. Hopefully, this will become a tradition for the next generation to come out, enjoy some ice cream and check out the art. ! CHANEL DAVIS is the current editor of YES! Weekly and graduated from N.C. A&T S.U. in 2011 with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She’s worked at daily and weekly newspapers in the Triad region.



For prints and more work from Franco, visit @ginaelizabethfranco on Instagram.


UNCSA School of Filmmaking scores big Variety, the entertainment industry trade paper often cited as “the show-biz bible,” has once again published its list of the top 50 film-school programs in the world for 2021. And, once again, the Mark Burger University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) Contributor School of Filmmaking has made that list. Each year, Variety examines the attributes that set film schools above the rest, noting that “students at these schools will likely emerge to become the superstar creators of the TV series’, indie films, and tentpole movies of tomorrow.” Among said attributes are UNCSA’s ongoing relationship with the RiverRun International Film Festival, and because “students are firmly connected to the entertainment industry” via the annual trip to Los Angeles for fourth-year students, “setting them up for life, postgraduation.” “We are thrilled to again be included in Variety’s list of top film programs around the world,” said Dale Pollock, interim dean of the School of Filmmaking and, years before his academic career, a reporter for Variety. “With our all-star faculty, top-of-the-line facilities, industry connections, and tremendous value with both lower tuition than other top programs and complete financing for all student films, UNCSA should be at the top of any prospective film student’s list.” UNCSA chancellor Brian Cole seconded Pollock’s sentiments. “Important rankings like this one from Variety show how valuable UNCSA is to our state as well as to the world,” he said. “Accolades from leading publications read by industry insiders are a great validation of the hard work by our faculty, staff, and students – particularly this year when they were forced to be more creative than over amid limitations of COVID-19.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Filmmaking maintained inperson instruction and has continued producing student films using industrystandard safety protocols and employing safety monitors. The film students were still able to make more than 130 films. The recognition by Variety is not the WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM

only reason for celebration at the UNCSA School of Filmmaking, as three students swept the Student Eddie awards, sponsored by American Cinema Editors (ACE), and two School of Filmmaking alumni worked on films that won best-in-category awards. Sam Bailey of the United Kingdom won the coveted Anne V. Coates award for Student Editing, having been a finalist last year. The other finalists were Kendall Best of Kernersville and Conor Callahan, who hails from Juno Beach, FL. All three are third-year students in the School of Filmmaking’s Picture Editing and Sound Design program. The UNCSA School of Filmmaking earned its first Eddie nomination in 2015 and became the first school to sweep the nominations the very next year. This year marks its second sweep. “The School of Filmmaking has a strong history at the ACE Student Editing awards, which is an important benchmark for our students and their faculty mentors,” said Pollock. “It is no small fear to have your work judged alongside that of your peers across the nation. We congratulate Sam, Kendall, and Conor for their best-in-class work.” Student competitors were asked to edit a scene with footage (dailies) and script notes from a professionally produced film or television project. The Eddies were presented last Saturday in a virtual awards ceremony, which took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Noted writer/producer/director Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7, The Social Network, TV’s The West Wing) presented the student award. Two School of Filmmaking alumni were also acknowledged in acceptance remarks for their work on winning films: Kaitlyn Ali (Class of ‘18) was an editorial production assistant on The Trial of the Chicago 7, which won best-edited feature film, and Eric Barker (Class of ‘11) was an assistant editor on Soul, winner of the best-edited animated film. “Alumni of the School of Filmmaking, in all disciplines, are working on projects that are celebrated by industry insiders, critics, and the public,” Pollock said. “We’re proud to have our editing program so well represented at the ACE Awards.” The official UNCSA website is https:// www.uncsa.edu/. ! See MARK BURGER’s reviews of current movies on Burgervideo.com. © 2021, Mark Burger.





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Ramen 101: Local chefs use Japanese style comfort food to attract foodies BY ALGENON CASH


rowing up a poor kid in East Winston-Salem, eating ramen didn’t require a night out on the town, but instead, we simply grabbed a pack of “Oodles of Noodles” out of the pantry. If we desired to get fancy with it, we’d crunch up a bag of chips, pour in cooked ramen, shake the bag, and then eat the mixed contents from the bag. My uncle learned the recipe in jail. So last year, I started hearing about numerous ramen pop-up events featuring the popular noodles, but my limited understanding caused me not to give it a shot. Honestly, the Japanese terminology and wide-ranging ingredients intimidated me. But it also inspired me to search for more light to the shadowy world of ramen cuisine and seek to better educate other would-be foodies interested in exploring Japanese comfort food. White Tiger Noodle Shop One of the many pop-ups that caught my attention is the White Tiger Noodle Shop – a seasonal event featuring ramen hosted by Chef Tim Grandinetti at Spring House Restaurant, Kitchen & Bar. Grandinetti, a former Executive Chef at Marriott International, is well-known locally for his authentic Italian dishes and BBQ, making a brief appearance on Food Network’s Chopped: Grill Masters Challenge. The White Tiger menu features six appetizers and four actual ramen bowls. Grandinetti started me off with Okonomiyaki ($11) – a sweet potato, shrimp, pork belly, and scallion pancake with sweet chili aioli. He then moved to the chicken fried chicken buns ($9) – the breading on the chicken


APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2021

was light and sweet combined with a bit of spice from the gochujang chili miso. The ramen bowls include chicken or pork, but vegetarians have an option with the Vegetarian Miso Ramen ($16), which features dashi vegetable broth, greens, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, cabbage, and sweet peppers. I decided to sample the WHITE TIGER Ramen ($17) – it’s a double broth with pork and chicken that includes shredded pork shoulder, pork meatball, shiitake mushrooms, and cabbage. Mission Pizza Mission Pizza, located in the Arts District of Downtown Winston-Salem, is a nationally recognized Napoletana pizzeria. Undoubtedly foodies travel far and wide to partake of their old-world approach to pizza. But I was shocked to learn they were selling out a local pop-up event focused on dishing out noodles – Shokunin Ramen. Josh Trusler and his wife Nina are the energy behind Shokunin – which in Japan, signifies “craftsmanship” or “artisan.” The husband and wife look at the name as a mission statement. Trusler’s interest in food is rooted in his childhood, growing up with his grandmother in the hills of Kentucky. “I’m all about the passion – can’t teach you how to love the food,” Trusler shared. Trusler started his first culinary job at the age of 15 at Milners, completed a degree at Johnson & Wales University, and worked various jobs in Charlotte before returning to Winston-Salem. Trusler believes the secret to any bowl of Ramen is the broth. Most often, the broth is tied to a certain region of Japan. Trusler prefers Kumamoto ramen, invented in Kurume Fukuoka Prefecture, the origin of

tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen. Peyton Smith, owner and operator of Mission Pizza, is intense about food quality, and his restaurant has a history of focusing on creativity. After sampling Trusler’s noodles, Smith agreed to provide a home for the pop-up events. Trusler hopes to move his fledgling ramen concept into a brick-and-mortar restaurant someday. Right now, he is between culinary gigs while promoting his pop-ups. He rightfully acknowledges his vision will require lots of capital to bring it to fruition. “Cook jobs at most restaurants don’t always match passion and compensation,” Trusler said. “It can be hard to work multiple jobs and still focus on your dream.” Burger Batch One local restaurateur decided to go all-in with ramen. Tim Walker, owner and operator of Small Batch, a microbrewery in Downtown Winston-Salem, also started Burger Batch – a niche gourmet burger and milkshake restaurant. I initially met Walker when he launched Small Batch and was blown away by his dedication to quality and details. He constructed all the tables and completed much of the interior in the establishment. He later took the space next to the brewery and developed Burger Batch. Customers and revenues followed soon after. Increased traffic caused some operational growing pains as Walker, and his team struggled to keep up with demand. “I literally couldn’t sleep at night and just didn’t even want to come in the next day,” said Walker. “I wanted to go after what’s cool again.”

Walker, who was introduced to Japanese comfort food while living in San Francisco, wanted to create a fun and engaging restaurant environment centered on ramen but more so around the dining experience. His menu is easy to read, with no complex Japanese terms. In fact, the restaurant has no name and no real branding. It does have an expansive sake menu to match its ramen-only servings. One Walker believes is the “best in the region.” “It’s all about drinking, eating, and having fun,” Walker gleefully shared. “The sake truly drives the menu.” The restaurant, located at 237 W. Fifth St., has no signage. Just a small OPEN light ushering you inside a noticeably dark venue with music playing. The ambiance is by design, according to Walker, who wanted to discourage guests from taking pictures. “I don’t want guests on their phones and posting to social media,” Walker said. “They should be focused on their food, friends, and just enjoying the moment.” Walker offers five bowls with different base options – duck, pork, beef, chicken, and veggie. I tried the duck ($18) and beef ($16) - both coming with green onion, noodles, and a marinated egg. He uses a Maple Leaf Farms seared duck breast with delicious pickled radish and marinated flank steak with tempura veggies. “Ramen allows for immense creativity, and so I just freestyle with it,” said Walker. “I’m doing it my way.” ! ALGENON CASH is a nationally recognized speaker and the managing director of Wharton Gladden & Company, an investment banking firm. Reach him at acash@ algenoncash.com



Vaccines, passports, and the herd


here’s good news and bad news in the war on COVID-19. The good news is that millions of adults have already been vaccinated (about Jim Longworth 26% of the population), while many others in just about Longworth every demographic at Large category plan to do so. A Pew Research Center study published on March 10 revealed that, of those in the latter group, 91% of Asian Americans say they will either definitely or probably get the vaccination, while 70% of Hispanics, 69% of Whites, and 61% of Blacks say the same thing. The bad news is that percentages can be misleading. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 11% of Hispanics and 9% of Blacks have been fully or partially vaccinated thus far, and the Pew Center reported that over 37% of total respondents to its study say they will never get vaccinated. If that number holds, we may never reach herd immunity. The two main reasons cited for not getting a shot are fear of side effects (84%) and distrust of the vaccine development process (74%). Of course, after the Johnson & Johnson debacle, who could blame anyone for not trusting vaccines? Last month, the Biden administration announced it would spend $3 billion on “fact-based messaging,” meanwhile healthcare companies like Novant have produced a number of YouTube videos to encourage people to get vaccinated, and that includes their partnership with NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace who is trying to inspire people of color to get on board and get a shot. Hopefully, these and other efforts will convince the holdouts to roll up their sleeves. Yet as we study and report on the numbers of people who are voluntarily getting vaccinated, the nation is also caught up in a debate over who can be forced to get a shot. Businesses, hospitals, and municipal governments are struggling with how and when to require that their employees be vaccinated or else forfeit their job. In fact, by some estimates, over 40% of healthcare workers refuse to be vaccinated, but so long as the various COVID vaccines are WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM

only approved for “emergency use,” then those numbers may not change. Still, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency that enforces laws against discrimination in the workplace, says that employers have the right to require workers to be vaccinated, but with an important caveat. Writing for pcma.org’s CONVENE magazine, author Curt Wagner warns that in requiring employees to be vaccinated against COVID, the employer must not violate conditions set forth in the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act which precludes any type of medical examination that might reveal private information about the employee. And then there’s employee morale to be considered. Last month, Forbes columnist Kristin Stoller reported on a recent survey by the Edelman Trust Barometer, which revealed that “69% of survey respondents believe the decision to get vaccinated should be a personal one, not to be made by the employer.” Their conclusion was that employers should “work with your employees as much as you can, rather than coming across as strictly dictating.” Again though, I don’t think it’s asking too much to want the people who are serving me or caring for me to have been fully vaccinated, and the only way we’re going to have that assurance is if we know that their employer has mandated compliance. Whether voluntary or mandatory, it’s one thing to get vaccinated, but it’s quite another to be required to show proof that you did so. And that brings me to the debate over so-called vaccine passports. Some elected representatives and Administration officials suggest that every vaccinated person should carry and be prepared to show their vaccination card, but critics say this is a violation of our privacy rights. One right-wing lawmaker even said that having to show proof of being vaccinated is like something out of Nazi Germany. But there’s a precedent for those kinds of identifications and verifications. In the early 1900s, for example, the United States required proof of smallpox vaccination before you could enter the country. No matter, though, because a number of Governors have already denounced the idea of a Vaccine Passport, including Florida chief executive Ron DeSantis. But as Yahoo News correspondent David Knowles noted in last month’s report, Florida public schools and daycare centers have always required proof of vaccination

against a number of diseases, so what’s the big deal? Besides, Vaccine Passports do not have to divulge confidential health information. In fact, the State of Hawaii may soon approve an app that would show proof of a COVID shot, but nothing else. Despite all of the doubts and fears about the COVID vaccine, as well as concerns about privacy, passports, and

mandates, the fact is that the longer folks wait to be vaccinated, the longer it will take for the nation as a whole to return to normal, and that’s a place I’m ready to get to. ! JIM LONGWORTH is the host of Triad Today, airing on Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. on ABC45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 11 a.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).

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MAY 6 – 16, 2021

Police in Naples, Florida, are looking for a woman identified only as “Rosalia,” a self-described witch who is suspected of swindling more than $100,000 from at least 10 Chuck Shepherd victims. Authorities were first alerted to the scam on March 14 when a man called to report that Rosalia had disappeared with $29,500 of his money, according to a police report. The man said he had responded to a flyer advertising Rosalia’s “witchcraft services,” WBBH-TV reported. She allegedly told the man she saw something “dark” in his future and gave him three eggs to put under his bed as he slept. When he brought them back the next day, she waved the eggs over his head and face, then opened them to reveal one filled with blood, one with needles and a third with worms, according to the report. She instructed the man to bring her all the money he had so she could bless it and multiply it at her temple in Fort Myers, promising to return it the next day, police said, but Rosalia hasn’t been seen since. Police have identified more victims in the course of their ongoing investigation.


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Mourners at Phil McLean’s funeral in Wellington, New Zealand, first gasped, then laughed as his coffin, shaped like a giant cream doughnut, was brought into the chapel, the Associated Press reported on April 15. McLean had designed the special coffin with his cousin, Ross Hall, owner of Dying Art, a business in Auckland specializing in custom coffins. Over the last 15 years, Hall has fashioned a sailboat, a firetruck, a chocolate bar and Legos, among others. McLean’s widow, Debra, said her husband had considered himself a connoisseur of cream doughnuts, and the coffin “overshadowed the sadness. ... The final memory in everyone’s mind was of that doughnut and Phil’s sense of humor.” For himself, Hall said he had planned a red box with flames on it, but he changed his mind to a clear coffin, with him wearing nothing but a leopard-patterned G-string. “The kids say they’re not going,” he said.


Edward and Cheryl Patton of Lake View, New York, tried for three years to identify who was throwing used paper coffee cups — some with cigarette butts inside — on their front yard nearly every night, but they could never get a good

look at the minivan as it drove by. Edward began keeping records of the littering and collecting the cups, eventually filling 10 garbage bags, reported The Buffalo News. They even installed a surveillance camera, but it wasn’t until neighbors set up a stakeout and captured the license plate number that the mystery was solved. On April 18, police set up their own stakeout and pulled over Larry Pope, 76, a former co-worker of Cheryl’s whom she had had disagreements with. Pope was charged with harassment and throwing refuse onto a roadway. The Pattons said the littering has stopped since his arrest.


Bearsun is the name Jesse Larios, 33, of Los Angeles gave to the teddy bear character he created in 2016 and fashioned into a human-sized Bearsun suit. On April 12, Larios decided to have a fun adventure walking from Los Angeles to San Francisco dressed as Bearsun, a journey of more than 400 miles. Mountain passes and road construction have made the trip slower than he expected, reported CNN Travel, and it’s no luxury excursion: Bearsun sleeps wherever he finds himself at the end of the day and gets food at gas stations. “I’m like a puppy, I guess,” Larios said. “I just see something and I chase after it.”


Nathan Finkel called 911 on April 17 to report that Courtney Wilson and another person showed up at the gate of his expansive mansion in suburban Fort Lauderdale, Florida, claiming that they were having a wedding there that day. “I have people trespassing on my property,” Finkel said. “They say they’re having a wedding here and it’s God’s message. I don’t know what’s going on.” According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Wilson, the groom, had inquired about buying the estate, listed for $5.7 million, several weeks ago, then asked Finkel if he could use the backyard for his wedding. Finkel said no, but Wilson and his betrothed, Shenita Jones, sent out online invitations anyway, with festivities beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and continuing through brunch on Sunday at what they called “the Wilson estate.” “The guy figured it was a vacant house and didn’t realize (Finkel) lived on the property in a different home,” explained Town Attorney Keith Poliakoff. Wilson was told to vacate the property and was not charged with a crime. !

© 2021 Chuck Shepherd. Universal Press Syndicate. Send your weird news items with subject line WEIRD NEWS to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.


[KING Crossword]

[weeKly sudoKu]



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ast year, the bad news was that the 22nd annual RiverRun International Film Festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The good news this Mark Burger year is that the 23rd annual RiverRun Film Festival will go on as Contributor scheduled, offering a combination of safety-distanced, inperson outdoor or drive-in screenings and virtual screenings via Elevant, the virtual screening system employed by the festival. This year’s festival, which runs May 6-16, boasts a total of 132 films (41 features, 91 shorts), representing 24 different countries. This year, the Master of Cinema award recipients are actor/filmmakers Lee Grant and Alan Cumming, with actor/ filmmaker Finnerty Steeves receiving the Emerging Master award. There’s only one place to go for a complete schedule of events and to purchase advance tickets: https://riverrunfilm.com/. “This year’s festival is totally different for both the RiverRun team and our audiences, as all films are either virtual screenings and/or outdoor and drive-in screenings,” explained Rob Davis, the festival’s executive director. “While we’ve had practice with both formats over the past year, this hybrid approach promises to be a unique festival format, but it’s one that has been successful in other parts of the country.” Whether this will be the format RiverRun will adopt for future festivals is anybody’s guess. Right now, the singular focus is on making this year’s event the best ever, both for the audiences and the filmmakers. The success of the earlier drive-in and virtual screenings indicated that the RiverRun audience is out there, and Davis confirmed that advance ticket sales have been good. “Just as we were among the first Triad arts events to have to cancel in response to the pandemic, we are pleased to be among the first to re-emerge, albeit in a different format!” What’s interesting with regard to virtual screenings is that they cannot sell out. “We can accommodate more viewers virtually than when confined by seat numbers,” Davis said. “In terms of the upcoming festival, we’ve already seen ticket sales out of the immediate area, including YES! WEEKLY

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Lee Grant directing

New York and other locales, so this hybrid model is actually making RiverRun more accessible this year than when we only featured in-person screenings.” This year’s outdoor screening venues include the Marketplace Drive-In, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), the Kilpatrick Townsend campus on Fourth Street, the Winston Cup Museum, the Ramkat, and Bailey Park in Winston-Salem, with one outdoor screening at RED Cinemas in Greensboro. “We are honored to be one of the primary venues for RiverRun 2021,” said Zack Fox, general manager of Marketplace Cinemas. “Rob Davis and his team have done an amazing job updating and adapting the festival to the new world. Our relationship with them has only strengthened in the past year with the challenges that COVID-19 handed all of us. Although the 2020 festival was canceled, we ended up offering 10 highly successful RiverRun screenings at our new drive-in. We are looking forward to the 10 nights of drive-in screenings during the 2021 festival and possibly even more throughout the year.” The Legend There are those who ponder what kind of career Lee Grant would have had were it not for the Hollywood Blacklist, which derailed her career shortly after making her screen debut in Detective Story (1951). Nevertheless, despite a 12-year gap, she forged a career that can only be called triumphant. She came back stronger than ever.

Grant received Academy Award nominations as Best Supporting Actress for Detective Story, The Landlord (1970), Voyage of the Damned (1976), and Shampoo (1975), winning for the latter. She earned seven Emmy nominations, winning in 1964 for Peyton Place (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series) and 1971 for The Neon Ceiling (Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role), the latter a personal favorite of hers. The same year, she earned a second Emmy nod – in the same category, no less – for Ransom for a Dead Man, the second pilot for the classic NBC mystery series Columbo, in which she played the murderous Leslie Williams. “What a great character,” she said. “She was so glamorous and deadly and sexy!” As any fan of the series can attest, it’s the “guest murderer” who undergoes the dramatic arc in each episode. Peter Falk’s Columbo remains his same, dogged self, while the culprit’s emotional facade eventually crumbles. “I know – how delicious, how delicious,” she said. “Peter made that character. He made that show.” Grant’s versatility is evident in the wide range of characters she has played, in so many genres: In the Heat of the Night (1967), Valley of the Dolls (also ‘67), There Was a Crooked Man … (1970), Plaza Suite (1971), Airport ’77 (1977), Damien – Omen II (1978), Defending Your Life (1991), and Citizen Cohn (1992), which earned her another Emmy nomination.

That versatility extends to her successful transition to a director in the mid-’70s, helming both documentaries (When Women Kill, Battered, Women on Trial) and narrative features (Tell Me a Riddle, Staying Together). She was the first female director to win a DGA (Director’s Guild of America) award for Best Director for the 1986 television film Nobody’s Child, and she is the author of the best-selling 2014 memoir I Said Yes to Everything, detailing her life and career in honest, heartfelt terms. And, now she’s a Master of Cinema, her award presented her by noted author and film historian Foster Hirsch (also a member of RiverRun’s advisory board) in a filmed interview that will be shown following the screening of Down and Out in America on May 10. What’s more, she didn’t have to leave her home in New York to receive it. “Isn’t Zoom amazing?” she laughed. “It has been such a bizarre time,” she observed. “Some wonderful things have happened, and other times it seems like the world’s falling apart. I feel lucky. I feel like we’ve all been very lucky to have survived so much.”


Simply put, “Lee Grant stands alone in the film industry,” hails Davis. “After winning the Best Actress award at Cannes for her very first film, Detective Story, and being nominated for the Academy Award, she was blacklisted and worked very little in film and television over the next 12 years. When she finally resumed her career, her acting résumé was filled with phenomenal performances in a number of films, not the least of which is In the Heat of the Night. It wasn’t too long before she began a second career as a director of note for both documentary and narrative features. She is truly a trailblazer in the motion picture industry.” “Lee Grant will always be remembered as a gifted and versatile actress, but she is also an outstanding filmmaker – mostly notably for her acutely sensitive, indeed pioneering, documentary on transvestites and transgenders, What Sex Am I?” added Kevin Thomas, long-time film critic for the Los Angeles Times. Down and Out in America, which will be screened May 10 at Marketplace Cinemas Drive-In, won the 1986 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature (tying with Artie Shaw: Time is All You’ve Got), marking the first Oscar won by HBO, and taking one of the earliest, in-depth looks at homelessness in America. In retrospect, it’s also a potent prophecy of how much worse the problems could, and indeed would, become. “They’re worse,” she said simply. “I got to it when it was just happening, when it was just starting out. Now it’s a dump. All you could do is hold a mirror up: Look at these people. They’re losing everything.” Despite having worked with such illustrious directors as William Wyler, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Norman Jewison, Hal Ashby, John Sturges, Robert Altman, Arthur Hiller, and even Irwin Allen, she never gave a thought to stepping behind the camera. “They were like the Dads, and I was Daddy’s Little Girl. They took care of me. They had my back. But I just thought it was the most boring thing.” Shortly after completing Voyage of the Damned and her Oscar win for Shampoo, Grant was approached by the AFI (American Film Institute) about participating in a new program, a women’s directing workshop. Her initial thought? “Boring,” she said with a laugh. She admitted she could not have been more wrong. “It was a door unto heaven. I couldn’t get enough of it. It was thrilling. It was the most magical thing. It was like sliding down a mountain of delicious ice cream!” “It is a great honor for RiverRun to award her a Master of Cinema, and we are delighted to be screening her Oscarwinning documentary Down and Out in WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM

America, along with a special interview for RiverRun she recently filmed with Foster Hirsch, which culminates in the presentation of her Master of Cinema award,” Davis said. “I have been involved in a number of awards presentations at film festivals in Florida and at RiverRun, and this is the one I’m most proud to have been part of.” -Down and Out in America will be screened at 8:30 p.m., May 10, at Marketplace Drive-In, 2095 Peters Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, followed by the Lee Grant/Foster Hirsch interview. The Newcomer When actor Finnerty Stevens decided to take the plunge into writing and producing an independent feature, she didn’t have to look far for inspiration: before/during/ after follows Jennie Lonergan (Steeves), a classically trained actress of a certain age whose marriage collapses, sending her into an emotional tailspin. “I had a story to tell, and it was about my first 16-year marriage falling apart,” she said. “Every divorce is different, and they’re all painful, but I wanted it to be about moving on, and I wanted it also to have humor. It’s a memory piece, and I’m so proud of it – our little indie!” Although remarried with a young daughter, she did reconnect with her ex-husband to discuss her cinematic intent. “It was an interesting meeting,” she laughed, “but it was a good meeting because enough time had passed between us. We were looking forward to seeing each other again. I don’t think he’s seen the film (yet), but he said he was very proud of me.” In addition to receiving a nomination in the Vision Independent Feature Competition at last year’s RiverRun festival, the film has won awards at the 2020 Dances With Film, the 2020 Grand Point Film Festival, and the 2020 San Diego International Film Festival. The film will be screened May 14 at RED Cinemas in Greensboro, with Steeves herself in attendance. “We are thrilled to be showing Finnerty’s film before/during/after in-person in Greensboro during this year’s festival after we hosted its Southeastern premiere last year at Marketplace Drive-In,” Davis said. “Finnerty is driving down from New York to join us for the screening, and we’re

Various stills of before/during/after

thrilled to welcome a good friend back!” Steeves, whose big-screen credits include The Great New Wonderful (2005), Away We Go (2009), Frances Ha (2012), the Emmy-winning 2019 HBO film Bad Education, and – yes – The Smurfs (2011), also starred in the comedy series Half-Life and is perhaps best known for her role as Beth Hoefler, imprisoned for murdering her three young children, in seasons six and seven of the award-

winning Netflix drama series Orange Is the New Black. Having heard how filmmaker-friendly the RiverRun festival is, Steeves submitted the film last year and didn’t have to wait long for a response. “It was our first ‘yes,’ and I just felt a connection to RiverRun,” she said. “It’s so strange. I can’t explain it. It just felt right.” But, with the cancellation of the festival, “it seemed like the finish line kept APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2021




Lily Topples the World scooting away,” she said. Nevertheless, she remained in close contact with RiverRun. “From the beginning, they were so professional and so enthusiastic,” and although the festival couldn’t present the world premiere of before/during/after, how about presenting the southeastern premiere at the Marketplace Drive-In in Winston-Salem? That screening, which took place last August, went “unbelievably well – I was very relieved,” Steeves laughed. “Working with Rob and (senior programmer) Chris Holmes and Zack Fox, they are incredible people, and so good to their filmmakers.” The film comes replete with several nods to Steeves’s own life, including characters named after family and friends, and many of Jennie’s personal belongings are her own. Shooting took a mere 20 days, and although Steeves briefly considered directing (which she would like to do eventually), “I needed other pairs of eyes,” she said. Thus, she tapped friends Jack Lewars and Stephen Kunkel to co-direct before/ during/after. The latter is making his feature directorial debut and also appears in the film. “People told me it was a huge risk to work with two directors – especially on a film with a limited schedule and a limited budget, but I loved collaborating with Jack and Steve,” she said. “I learned so much, and it was really fun,” she said. “It was an incredible experience, and I’m so glad I did it. I’m just so proud and relieved, and now I’m having fun just sharing it.” -before/during/after will be screened YES! WEEKLY

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at 8:30 p.m., May 14, in the parking lot of RED Cinemas, 1305 Battleground Ave., Greensboro, with Steeves in attendance. (Rain date: May 16) The Veteran As Davis will attest, Jeremy Workman is a friend of RiverRun. Twice he served on the jury, in 2017 and 2020, and his documentary feature The World at Your Feet screened at the 2018 festival. In addition, his father, Oscar-winning filmmaker Chuck Workman (Precious Images), was the recipient of a Master of Cinema award in 2017. Workman’s latest documentary, Lily Topples the World, offers an in-depth profile of Lily Hevesh, the world’s greatest domino-toppling artist and the only woman in her field. It’s a coming-of-age story that combines artistry, passion, and unlikely triumph – and it recently won the Audience Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival. “I first met Jeremy Workman almost 10 years ago when we showed his film Magical Universe at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival,” recalled Davis. “He initially came to RiverRun during my first year when he served as one of the judges for ‘Pitch Fest,’ our program spotlighting college and university students and their documentary film projects. Later he returned to RiverRun with his documentary The World Before Your Feet, a sell-out and a crowd-pleaser in 2018.” On a personal note, yours truly first met Workman at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival over 20 years

ago (!), when his comedy short Claire Makes It Big screened there, and we’ve been “festival friends” ever since, catching up every few years. “I’ve talked with Jeremy about Lily Topples the World, and his enthusiasm was boundless,” Davis said. “I was not surprised when it won the Grand Jury Award for Documentary Feature at the SXSW Festival earlier this year as Jeremy has a gift for selecting subjects that audiences find intriguing. We’re happy to have father and son as good friends of RiverRun.” “I was super-eager for the film to play RiverRun, and there were a lot of moving parts,” Workman said. “Our sales partners have been asking to limit the film’s festival exhibition as we finalize our distribution, but since I had such a great relationship with RiverRun, it was superimportant for me to play here. I really am so thrilled to be bringing the film, and everyone in the film community knows the high quality and high standards of RiverRun. I also love the audiences at RiverRun. They are so excited by the films and so eager to come out and support them. It makes for such a great experience.” Workman isn’t certain he’ll be attending the festival in person. However, he’d like to bring Matt Green – the subject of his earlier documentary The World Between Your Feet – along with him. Still, there will be a filmed Q&A with Workman and Hevesh following the Marketplace DriveIn screening on May 14 and its subsequent virtual availability. In 2018, while attending the festival with that film, Workman took a day to

interview Nathan Heck, one of Hevesh’s collaborators and a noted domino artist in his own right, who lives nearby. “I filmed a whole day with Nathan, I even hired production assistants from UNCSA, and then managed to race back to the festival and introduce The World Before Your Feet!” In addition to his filmmaking career, Workman is also the creative director of Wheelhouse Creative, a New York-based operation that creates trailers and coming attractions for feature films, the majority of which are independents. “We’re still going strong,” he said. “We’ve pivoted a bit because of the pandemic and how so much of film exhibition moved to the streaming sites, but we’re still working on a ton of movies, including lots that have played at RiverRun over the years.” Indeed, Workman considers those at RiverRun to be his friends, too. “I’ve been able to come to the festival multiple times and to get to know a lot of people involved, including Rob Davis, (program manager) Mary Dossinger, and Chris Holmes. So it’s very cool to be coming back and bringing Lily Topples the World to the festival.” - Lily Topples the World will be screened at 8:30 p.m., May 14, at Marketplace Cinemas Drive-In, 2095 Peters Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, and will be available May 15-17 via RiverRun Virtual Theater. All screenings feature a filmed Q&A with Jeremy Workman and Lily Hevesh. ! See MARK BURGER’s reviews of current movies on Burgervideo.com. © 2021, Mark Burger.


Sharpe question: How will the proposed social media policy impact GCS school board members? A proposed policy on technology use by the Guilford County Board of Education may require its members to explicitly state their social media posts reflect only their personal views and not those of the board. Proposed policy code 2127 is titled Board Member Technology Use. An April 13 media release states that the policy “directs Board members to Ian McDowell use district technology in a manner that is ethical, respectful and supContributor portive of the Board’s duty to provide students with the opportunity to receive a sound, basic education.” In subsection 3a of Section C of the policy code, titled Board Member Use of Personal Social Media, the policy states: When presenting information on personal social media, Board members should clearly indicate that the information posted reflects the views of the individual Board member and is neither endorsed by the Board nor necessarily reflective of the views of the Board or of an official Board policy. This is one of five proposed policies the Board released for a 30-day public comment period before voting on whether or not to approve them. The other four are described in the following summaries: 2325 – Board Meeting News Coverage – “Policy 2325 – Board Meeting News Coverage” reiterates the Board’s willingness for transparency. It states that all meetings of the Board of Education, except closed sessions, will be open to representatives of the news media. It also notes that news agencies will be on the hook if they request a larger venue. 2340 – Parliamentary Procedures – This policy notes which parliamentary procedures the Board will use for its meetings. The “Suggested Rules of Procedure for Small Local Government Board, 2nd ed.,” will be used. 2341 -- Quorum – “Policy 2341 – Quorum” defines what a quorum is and how it affects the ability of the Board to conduct a meeting. The policy says a quorum is defined as a majority of the members of the Board. It also says if a quorum is not present, the meeting cannot move forward. 2342 – Voting Methods – This policy dictates how voting will be handled and what counts as a vote. It also declares that no secret ballots are permitted. All votes and who cast them will be shown in the meeting minutes. At the April 13 meeting, District 2 Board member Anita Sharpe raised several questions about proposed policy 2127. She complained of the other Board members using Zoom’s chat function to send her links during virtual meetings and questioned if those chat messages were public information, to which Chairperson Deena Hayes-Green replied that they were. Sharpe stated, “I am unable to raise my hand,” meaning the Zoom “Raise Your Hand’ command was not working for her, and that the links other members were allegedly sending her in Zoom chat were “irritating” because they distracted her when she was trying to get the Chair’s attention. No one has acknowledged that the policy was drafted in response to a controversial January Facebook post by WWW.YESWEEKLY.COM

District 2 representative Anita Sharpe. However, it appears aimed at curbing the kind of social media activity that inspired Sharpe’s critics to call for her resignation. On January 10, Sharpe publicly shared a video by retired U.S. Airforce Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney, in which McInerney falsely claimed that US Special Forces had infiltrated the “Antifa” mob storming the Capitol and seized Nancy Pelosi’s laptop. McInerney alleged that the laptop contained potentially damaging information about Pelosi, which was why the House speaker was pushing for the president’s impeachment. Sharpe’s post, which Facebook removed for containing false information, caused an uproar in the county and for many to call for her resignation or removal. When asked about her unapologetic sharing of the video, Sharpe responded to YES! Weekly: “I am not a fact-checker.” Last week, this writer asked Sharpe about one of her old Facebook posts in a new comment under that post. On Feb. 11, Sharpe shared a meme that stated [sic] “LET’S STOP CALLING ‘FACT-CHECKED’ BY ITS REAL NAME. CENSORSHIP.” I commented: “Do you believe that school board members have an obligation to determine the veracity of claims before they share them, particularly if those claims are alarming, hyperbolic, or conspiratorial?” As of Monday, Sharpe had not responded. On March 14, Sharpe created a Facebook fundraiser for The Pregnancy Network, located on Fulton Street in

Greensboro, which describes itself as “a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Christian organization.” According to Greensboro City Council Members Tammi Thurm and Michelle Kennedy, staff and volunteers from the Pregnancy Network have parked the organization’s ultrasound van outside of A Woman’s Choice of Greensboro and take part in antiabortion demonstrations there. Thurm and Kennedy have also described demonstrators obstructing patient cars and “bullying” women seeking the clinic’s services. Last Wednesday, I sent Sharpe a question via Facebook Messenger, the medium she has used to respond to YES! Weekly in the past. The message asked, “If the proposed technology use policy passes, will you add a disclaimer to your fundraiser for the Pregnancy Network that this is only a statement of your belief and does not reflect the position of the board?” Facebook has marked the message as having been read by Sharpe, but she has not responded. YES! Weekly has also asked school board Chair Deena Hayes-Greene and Attorney Jill Wilson if the proposed policy would apply to posts such as Sharpe’s, whether the member was holding a fundraiser for a controversial organization or sharing inflammatory or contra-factual statements from a third party. As of press time, neither had responded. ! IAN MCDOWELL is the author of two published novels, numerous anthologized short stories, and a whole lot of nonfiction and journalism, some of which he’s proud of and none of which he’s ashamed of. APRIL 28 - MAY 4, 2021






Brown Mountain Lightning Bugs are aglow


instonSalem folk duo, the Brown Mountain Lightning Bugs, are busy booking shows, making videos, and reflecting on the musical journey they’ve taken so far. Katei Cranford Named for the way Kendra and Zack Contributor Harding sum up their sound, Folk(ish) provides a description befitting both the album and the band itself. “We’re somewhere between traditional and trippy,” Kendra noted. “But, as children of Appalachia, those more traditional timbres are always going to find their way into our material.” Settling on a sandwich “between some Dead and some kind of 90s rock like Spin Doctors,” the duo explores both “folk” and “ish,” separately, over 16-tracks. “We thought it would be fun to explore the two

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sides of our sound: the folky side and the less folky ‘ish,’” they explained, with the first half highlighting their traditional duo set-up, hanging heavy-on guitar, banjo, and mandolin. The second half is notably fuller, adding electric guitar and bass with keys and a complete drum kit. The intention is to take listeners on “a kind of journey, sonically, that mirrors how we’ve changed over the years,” the duo noted, “going from more subdued and folky, to more rock-infused.” Following their own journey, the pair married in 2015; and solidified as a band the following year, releasing their first fulllength in 2018. Referring to Zack as “the riff master,” Kendra praised the benefit of “having a trusted second pair of ears and eyes” in their development as songwriters. “I often noodle along with whatever he’s doing, write some lyrics, noodle some more, and then we kick stuff back and forth,” she explained of their complementary natures. “We’re both curious people,” she added, “so we’re always trying to push ahead into different sounds and trying

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new things, and that motivates us to keep doing things to keep it interesting.” Their influences range from Kendra’s love for Jon Foreman and Regina Spektor to Zack following the folksier side from Joni Mitchell. And while their “collective obsession” with Tom Waits and Justin Townes Earle has rubbed off on their latest batch of songs, the Folk(ish) album was mostly inspired by Neil Young, particularly his “Hawks and Doves” record. “We may not be Neil,” they said,” but we love that he’s never been afraid to show multiple facets of his art and craft at once. And in that intrepid spirit, we decided to take a stab at doing something similar.” The result is remarkably old-school in its own way, a mixture of acoustic-driven folk and “face-melting rock,” over 16 tracks-double-album style--filled with murder ballads, songs of money woes, road reflections, thoughts of love, home, and dogs. Based on the pair’s pooches, Joni and Moon Moon, the lyrics on “Alabaster,” the album’s first single, seemingly cover pretty serious ground. Though after a deeper listen, the dog references ring clear. “It started as an inside joke with myself,” Kendra explained of the song’s intentionally dark double-entendre. “Then I sent the lyrics to my mom and best friend, and they were like ‘Oh, it’s about your dogs.’” “I tried to keep it secret and leave it open to interpretation, but we love dogs too much,” she added. While the pups aren’t featured in the accompanying video, they do appear regularly over the BMLB content streams and played supporting roles in the video for the latest single, “Shoestring Budget.”

The song itself was also inspired by true events involving a friend using a shoestring for a guitar strap. “We thought it would be funny to take that idea and warp it into something absurd,” Kendra explained of the concept: a corny 1960s sitcom universe wherein “shoestring insanity ensues.” The video highlights the couple’s “dad-ish” sense of humor, which they’ve fully embraced in their “Bug Funnies” online series. “It’s challenging being both behind and in front of the camera,” Kendra noted, “but it took us back to making goofy home movies with our friends as kids, and it was loads of fun.” While acting chops have been helpful for content, the pair is most excited to get back on stage. Most of their May calendar is already booked, and the couple is hunting a new ride and eyeing a national tour. “We’ve got some Matt Foley aspirations,” they said. “So if anyone is selling a solid cargo van with low miles, email us.” With two new music videos “in the pipeline,” and an online album release show in the works, the Brown Mountain Lightning Bugs are busy. Catch them buzzing around the Carolinas throughout May, with Triad shows at Brown Truck Brewing in High Point on May 8th and with Caleb Caudle at the Arts Place in Danbury on May 15th. Their new album, Folk(ish), is out now. ! KATEI CRANFORD Is a Triad music nerd who hosts the Tuesday Tour Report, a radio show that runs like a mixtape of bands touring NC the following week, 5:307pm on WUAG 103.1fm.


last call

[THE ADVICE GODDESS] love • sex • dating • marriage • questions


I’m dating an awesome woman I see a future with. However, there’s a hurdle: She doesn’t want to have sex until we’re committed, but I don’t feel right about committing without Amy Alkon knowing we have sexual chemistry. A Advice previous relationship ended because the Goddess sex was subpar, and I don’t want to go through that again. —Conflicted Sexual chemistry is pretty important. You don’t want to get all emotionally attached and then find that sexually, you go together like peanut butter and a repeating saw. Men and women are alike in countless ways. (Both have two legs; men don’t randomly have six like an insect.) However, we differ psychologically per the physical differences we do have; namely, how sex can leave a woman “with child” and a man “with a teaspoon less sperm.” These differences drive men’s and women’s conflicting “sexual strategies,” explains evolutionary psychologist David Buss. For men, a casual sex-centric “shortterm sexual strategy” — hit and run...sex and shun — has the most “reproductive benefits,” increasing men’s chances of passing on their genes. Women benefit most from a commitment-centric “longterm sexual strategy” and look for signs a man is emotionally attached, making him

more likely to stick around and provide for any, um, sex biscuits they might create. Where there are deep-seated desires, there’s often deception. Buss calls this “strategic interference,” describing sneaky tactics used to get the opposite sex to go against their evolutionary best interest. Men, for example, feign commitment to get sex, while women feign sexual interest to get commitment — either long-term or enough to enjoy an evening of free fine dining. However, we have a defense against this: “negative” emotions — like a woman’s fear of getting humptied and dumptied and a man’s fear that all a woman really wants to “ride like a pony” is his American Express black card. As for what you should do, Buss’ research might be helpful. Buss finds that men will shift to a “long-term sexual strategy” when that’s what it takes to land a woman of especially high “mate value.” If she doesn’t seem worth the risk of waiting for, it’s probably breakup o’clock. No, sex isn’t everything in a relationship. However, if you like to have sex twice a day and your partner’s up for twice every never, it’s a little hard to meet in the middle — though the less libidinous partner might come up with some, uh, helpful ideas, such as: “Do we really have to have sex when I’m conscious?”

Love can be transformative — turning men into emotional marshmallows — which can lead a 20-something lovestruck dudebro to want to make it known to his posse: “I will not be waking up on Tuesday all Harry Styles in a dress on the cover of Vogue.” Your boyfriend’s loutish behavior — talking about other girls and farting in front of you — sounds like a “costly signal,” a form of advertising used by both animals and humans. A costly signal is a trait or behavior that’s so wasteful, extravagant, and threatening to one’s evolutionary interests (mating and survival) that it’s likely to be a truthful indicator of an organism’s financial, social, or physical mojo. The peacock’s tail is an example. As evolutionary psychologist Steve Stewart-Williams points out, it’s like “a giant billboard”: a huge electric blue and green yoohoo! to peacock-eating predators. This big bunch of buttfeathers also seriously slows the peacock’s escape. However, the larger and more lush a Mr. Peacock’s tail, the more the peahens (the lady peacocks) go for him. (The fact that he avoids becoming lunch while lugging around this massive feathery impediment suggests he must be a particu-

larly buff and genetically superior example of peacockhood.) Chances are your boyfriend is rudevertising to the guys: Sure, he has love in his life, but he hasn’t gone all bought, sold, and girlfriend-controlled. The costly signal in this? He’s so secure in his sexual magnetism (like, the hot chicks are lined up and begging) that he can afford to act like a turd to his girlfriend. Um, no. Or at least, that’s what you need to put out there. In words, not hints. Tell him it’s humiliating when he comments on other women when you’re right there, plus the farting thing is a sexual turnoff. In short, he’s transforming you into an unhappy girlfriend who won’t want to have sex. Assuming he cares about you, you should see an abrupt end to the show he’s been putting on for his dudebros: “No, I Haven’t Become A Love Muppet Colonized By The Enemy.” ! GOT A PROBLEM? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com). Follow her on Twitter @amyalkon. Order her latest “science-help” book, Unf*ckology: A Field Guide to Living with Guts and Confidence. ©2021 Amy Alkon. Distributed by Creators.Com.


I’m dating a new guy. When we’re alone, he’s sweet and a complete gentleman. However, whenever we’re around his guy friends, he comments about how attractive he finds other women, rants about sports, and farts in front of me. I’ve hinted that this makes me unhappy, but nothing changes. —Upset

answers [CROSSWORD] crossword on page 9


[WEEKLY SUDOKU] sudoku on page 9

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YES! Weekly - April 28, 2021  

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