Author Archive | DJ Pangburn

Dispatch from the Blacked-Out Anti-World of Manhattan

Picture: David Shankbone (CC)

Walking the Williamsburg Bridge from Brooklyn into Lower Manhattan is like trespassing from the realm of matter into anti-matter—this visible world into a hidden anti-world. I’ve not experienced anything quite like it in my life.

The Brooklyn half of the bridge is illuminated. The Manhattan half submerged in gloom, save for the automobile lights below. Across the bridge, the usually gleaming architecture of projects and other buildings now resemble three-dimensional silhouettes, faintly lit by moonlight and the aggregate glow of cars. Upper Manhattan’s lights, including the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building, are a glittering cloud—the bright frosting to Lower Manhattan’s dark layer cake. Freedom Tower bursts out of the Lower Manhattan shadow skyline, as if city leaders were desperate to provide something symbolic to New York City’s inhabitants—a totem to resurrection and re-electrification.

The impression of walking across the bridge seems normal, until one stands underneath the structure’s matrix of metal arches.… Read the rest

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Marijuana Could Kill Your Balls, Cocaine May Save Them

Picture: Mansueto77 (PD)

Any time a new study comes out claiming this substance or that substance, whether it’s food, liquid or drug, is harmful or beneficial to one’s health, look on it with suspicion. Ask the question: Cui bono (“Who benefits?”). One such study comes from USC researchers, who claim to have “found a link between recreational marijuana use and an increased risk of developing subtypes of testicular cancer that tend to carry a somewhat worse prognosis.”

Who is funding the study at USC? The country’s national police lobby? The prison-industrial complex? The pharmaceutical industry? The alcohol and tobacco lobbies? Right-wing Christian forces who want everyone to have a miserable and boring Earthly existence? Is it any surprise that this study comes out just as the nation is seriously beginning to consider ending marijuana prohibition?

Keep in mind what former National Cancer Institute Director Samuel Broder said: “The NCI has become what amounts to a government pharmaceutical company.” And, as detailed in a Los Angeles Times article, Dr.… Read the rest

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