Bizarro Briefs: Foxy Lady of Fortune
Dec11

Bizarro Briefs: Foxy Lady of Fortune

For more than 40 years, Mumtaz Begum has been reading the fortunes of visitors from within the cage of a Pakistani zoo. With a body of a fox and a head of a woman, Begum is one of the oddest attractions at the zoo. However, the fortune teller is actually played by performer Murad Ali, who inherited the role from his father. Every day, Ali cakes his face with a thick layer of makeup and bright red lipstick, and then crawls into a box...

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Stagestruck: Diversifying Nostalgia in Western Mass Theater
Dec11

Stagestruck: Diversifying Nostalgia in Western Mass Theater

In this season of holiday entertainments that cater to our appetite for cozy tradition (I’m talking about you, Nutcracker, Messiah, and Christmas Carol), two shows this weekend hit the nostalgia nerve from contrary angles. In the Berkshires, a new play adds a “What next?” sequel to a classic love story. And in the Valley, a variety show takes inspiration from old-time vaudeville. Wholly Communion Following on from its annual series of...

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Stream Queen: Distract Your Family with These Jolly Seasonal Picks
Dec11

Stream Queen: Distract Your Family with These Jolly Seasonal Picks

If you’ve turned on a radio recently or gone into any store, you may have noticed that the holidays are approaching — some faster than others, as Hanukkah began this week. For most of us, that means that it’s time to prepare for family gatherings, gift exchanges, and overeating. We had our warm-up during Thanksgiving, but the winter holidays are when capitalism goes full bonkers, constantly reminding us that this is a time to be with...

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The V-Spot: Help! I’m Too F*&%$ng Nice
Dec11

The V-Spot: Help! I’m Too F*&%$ng Nice

Hi Yana, So, I was recently dumped. Woo! During “the conversation,” my now-ex told me a lot of confusing reasons as to why he thought we should break up, but the one that I can’t stop thinking about: “You’re too nice.” He said that he didn’t know how to be in a relationship with someone who wasn’t mean to him, or how to navigate a relationship with someone who wanted to provide and care for him and take his feelings seriously. This is...

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Down to Earth: The Assault on Knowledge
Dec11

Down to Earth: The Assault on Knowledge

Well, Congressional Republicans have passed the tax bill. The only thing remaining before it becomes law is reconciliation between the House and Senate versions of the bill. I’m not the columnist to describe the full span of ways this bill will hurt the middle class. If you haven’t read about that yet, you should — I recommend a great piece written by historian Robert S. McElvaine in the Washington Post...

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