The Beatles on Drugs; Kanye Raps McDonald’s; Dutch Sex Ed (Sept. 4–5, 2016)

From: Rolling Stone

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds 
Considering how influential acid was to two of the Beatles’ most revered albums — Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band ­- the four lads from Liverpool were first introduced to the drug as unsuspecting victims of a spiked drink.

John and George were at a party with their wives, finishing up a round of coffee, when the host urged them to finish their cups. They obliged only to be told the host had slipped in some acid cubes. Oops.

At first it was terrifying.

“It was if we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a horror film,” John’s wife Cynthia said.

Later, however, George said he began to see God “in every blade of grass. It was like gaining hundreds of years of experience in 12 hours.” The other day-trippers had similar reactions: “It was fantastic,” Lennon said.

He and George realized what the experience could mean for the Beatles’ music and went about convincing Paul and Ringo to get in on the action. Ringo didn’t hesitate, but Paul declined: “It alters your life and you never think the same again,” he said. “I was rather frightened by that prospect.”

No matter, because the other Beatles were experimenting enough with psychedelics and the foreign ideas the drugs spawned that they probably needed one level-headed dude in the mix. Lennon wrote “Tomorrow Never Knows” during this time, an ode to the beauty of an acid trip, and what the author of the article calls “an eerie and credible rendition of what taking LSD might sound like.”

As time passed, however, Paul witnessed what his comrades were creating with inspiration from LSD and, according to John, felt a bit like an outsider. He finally broke down and tried it, and saw what his friends saw: “It was truly a religious experience,” he said in 1976. “It started to find its way into everything we did.”

Hence, Sgt. Pepper’s, which, without LSD, may have never come into being, and “Strawberry Fields Forever,” which the Beatles sought to make “the strangest pop song ever.”

So if anyone ever asks you why you’re talking to that tree, just say you’re taking a page from the greatest band of all time, and trying to get your creative juices flowing.

Not your best work, Yeezy.

From: Wired

We should all teach sex like they do in the Netherlands. 
Dutch children are taught at a very young age to recognize their feelings through “desexualized” exercises. For example, they’re given objects to feel, like pieces of clay, just to see what feels good to them. Self-knowledge — what you want, what you don’t want — is embedded in lessons from sexual anatomy to relationship-building.

The key is to get away from the over-dramatization of teen sexuality, where fear, conflict and danger are the overriding motifs. 76.3% of U.S. teens are taught about abstinence, but only 35.3% about how to use a condom correctly.

Time to get real, America.

Bore your kids. 
According to Tovah P. Klein, the director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and author of How Toddlers Thrive, parents should dispense of fancy and elaborate playthings in favor of simple toys kids can enhance by using their own imagination.

Michael Rich, the director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Harvard, agrees: “Boredom is where creativity is born. Boredom is not the enemy. Boredom is the friend.”

So give your kid that cardboard box, except this time feel free to put nothing in it.

From: The New York Times

Long live paper. 
In a Pew study based on a telephone survey of 1,520 adults in the country, 65% of those surveyed said they had read a printed book in the last year, the same percentage who said so in 2013. Thirty-eight percent said they read books exclusively in print.

Of course the survey was conducted over the phone, which likely means landlines, which likely means old people, but I’ll choose to ignore that.

Hard to ignore, however, is the prognostication of Michael J. Klingensmith, the publisher and chief executive of The Star Tribune of Minneapolis. When asked what he thought about the Newspaper Association of America changing its name to the News Media Alliance in recognition of waning presence of a “newspaper” in a media organization’s portfolio — including NYT — he said he figured Sunday newspapers would only be around for at least another 20 years anyway, and the rest of the week is up for grabs.


A trigger warning about trigger warnings. 
A letter-to-the-editor from a “queer rape survivor” from San Francisco may make you think twice about whether today’s college students have an insatiable and infantile need to be coddled in “safe spaces” or if they are just more enlightened and hyper-cognizant of their peers’ life experiences than colleges students of yesteryear.

Amelia Roskin-Frazee attends Columbia University and attests to the benefit of “trigger warnings.” When she is warned in class about a sensitive topic about to be discussed, it “give me time to ground myself in my surroundings” and “is the difference between being able to discuss Toni Morrison’s novel “The Bluest Eye” and silently spending hours reliving my rapes.” She claims students who request trigger warnings are not advocating censorship but instead want to engage with the sensitive material, but just need time to “ground ourselves first .”

Hard to argue with that.

I had to Google “decoupage.” Now you will, too.

The Cheap Seats

  • Goldman Sachs expects total revenue from the Virtual Reality industry to hit $95 billion in 2025, of which over $5 billion could come from medical applications (TIME, “Can Virtual Reality Help People Manage Pain?,” 9/5/16)
  • A study from the University of Connecticut, which analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics data, found that acting as the primary breadwinner in a family has a negative impact on the mental and physical health of men. For women, however, there was a positive psychological effect. (TIME, “Data: This Just In,” 9/5/16)
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