Q&A

Monday, June 13, 2016

Transgender Emory law student to star in new HBO documentary 'Suited'

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 2:45 PM

click image SUIT UP: Emory law student Everett Arthur is one of six subjects in the new HBO documentary, Suited. - MAARTEN DE BOER
  • Maarten de Boer
  • SUIT UP: Emory law student Everett Arthur is one of six subjects in the new HBO documentary, Suited.

When Everett Arthur, 24, put on a bespoke suit, he says it was the first time he ever fully saw himself. As a transgender man currently in his rising third year at the Emory University School of Law, what to wear in the courtroom (especially those in the conservative South) became a point of contention for him — he didn’t want his choice of dress to affect his employment, but he also didn’t want to keep hiding who he is.

Arthur is one of six subjects featured in the upcoming HBO documentary Suited, produced in part by Lena Dunham and airing Mon., June 20, at 9 p.m., which revolves around Bindle & Keep, a bespoke clothing company out of NYC that focuses on making tailored suits for the LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming communities. In the wake of the LGBT-targeted mass shooting in his hometown of Orlando, Arthur took the time to talk with CL about the documentary, the issues he faces practicing law as a transgender man in the South, and finding community.

How long have you lived in Atlanta and how did you end up here?
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure where the time went. I moved to Atlanta for school two years ago, but I am from Orlando, Florida. I just want to take the time to send my love to all the Latinx queer and transgender people that were slaughtered this past week. It is an act of revolutionary self love to embrace your truth and live it openly. To all the queer, transgender, and gender nonconforming siblings that were stolen from us, thank you for loving bravely. Thank you for celebrating your truth. From an Orlando-raised kid that thought he would be closeted forever, it was your revolutionary love self-love that lead me to accept myself. Rest in Power.


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Monday, June 6, 2016

Write Club Atlanta celebrates five years of literary bloodshed

Posted By on Mon, Jun 6, 2016 at 10:17 AM

BOOK CLUB: Nicholas Tecosky (left) and Myke Johns, co-creators of Write Club Atlanta, as seen plotting while surrounded by beers and condiments. - JASON HALES
  • jason hales
  • BOOK CLUB: Nicholas Tecosky (left) and Myke Johns, co-creators of Write Club Atlanta, as seen plotting while surrounded by beers and condiments.
Write Club Atlanta has risen as a local fav — hell, we deemed it the city's best bookish bloodsport in last year's Best of Atlanta awards. In its five years of pitting terrified people ("writers") against each other under Highland Ballroom Lounge's hot stage lights, co-creators Nicholas Tecosky and Myke Johns (also a CL contributor) say they've learned a lot. Now, the two prep for a big ole celebration at the Highland Ballroom Wed., June 8, 9 p.m. CL catches up with the two over email to chat optimism, the challenges of keeping a fresh bill, and shooting whiskey.

Five years! Congrats, guys. When you first started Write Club, did you foresee a go this long? Or such popularity?
Myke Johns: Oh hell no. Doing a monthly show kind of keeps you thinking of the more immediate future—next month's show, maybe the month after that. That said, the first show in June 2011 had a really great turnout, complete with a thunderstorm that briefly took out the power in the theater in the middle of Suehyla El-Attar's piece. It was punk rock and it was exciting and people seemed to really get into the spirit of the show. So while we probably weren't thinking, "Oh yeah, this thing's gonna go forever," we were pretty optimistic that we'd at least make it for maybe a year.

Nicholas Tecosky: Honestly, in the hour leading up to the first show, I was pretty certain that we were going to really screw this one up. And be asked to not come back. Not because we had actually done anything wrong, per se, but because the audience would get a good look at us and ask us who the hell we thought we were to be yelling at them. And I didn't really have an answer for that. I'm still kind of waiting for someone to ask. It makes my neck sweat.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Comingle, that beloved DIY dildo startup, is having a funeral and everybody's invited!

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2016 at 3:45 PM

VIBRATE HIGHER: Comingle co-founder Andrew Quitmeyer celebrates the success of their Indiegogo campaign in early 2015. - JOEFF DAVIS
  • Joeff Davis
  • VIBRATE HIGHER: Comingle co-founder Andrew Quitmeyer celebrates the success of their Indiegogo campaign in early 2015.

Leave it to the founders of Comingle, the Atlanta-based sex-tech startup, to turn the company's premature death into a cause for celebration. In case you don't recall, we covered their launch last year and awarded their creation, the Mod, a Best of Atlanta award for DIY sex-tech toy. The hacker-friendly vibrator built on an open-source platform they called the Dilduino harnessed their advocacy for DIY culture and sex-positive community building. 

But lo and behold, haters gon' hate.

After raising close to $60,000 via crowd funding and turning their Candler Park basement into a makeshift dildo manufacturing hub, the patent trolls came out of the woodworks. Unable to fund a costly legal defense, the Georgia Tech alumni officially closed up shop earlier this year. In a February post on the startup's website titled "Sorry, the Mod is cancelled" co-founder Andrew Quitmeyer and the team outline the many obstacles they were up against: expensive international lawsuits, a squeeze on capital, and conservative business practices that made it hard out here for a sex-tech startup. Comingle was even kicked out of two startup incubators and an art exhibition after being invited.


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Monday, May 2, 2016

Democracy Now! CL talks with Amy Goodman

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2016 at 11:38 AM

Amy Goodman - DEMOCRACY NOW!
  • Democracy Now!
  • Amy Goodman
"I’m in Flagstaff. We just finished our broadcast, did an event here last night. In a few minutes, we race off to ...." As Amy Goodman runs off a stream of American cities where she will appear in the next few days as part of her 100-city book tour, she sounds surprised that she even remembers them all.

Goodman, the host and executive producer of "Democracy Now!" a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,400 public television and radio stations worldwide, is a force of nature and superhero of progressive journalism. Her current whirlwind schedule involves book events, nightly lectures, and morning productions of her daily newscast "Democracy Now!" 

We caught up with her last Thursday on the phone while she was in Arizona to discuss her work schedule, bias in journalism, and the state of American democracy. Some 15 minutes later Goodman broke in mid-question: “I'm going to have to go,” she said. "I'm incredibly sorry, because they're pounding at the door to say I have to move on." And with that, my phone clicked and she was gone.

Goodman comes to Atlanta on Tuesday for a benefit for Atlanta’s other progressive superheroes WRFG (89.3-FM), which broadcasts "Democracy Now!" weekdays from 5 to 6 pm. She will give a talk followed by a book signing ($10. The event goes from 7- 9 p.m. Tues., May 3. First Iconium Baptist Church, 542 Moreland Avenue SE.) Or buy Goodman's new book Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America and hang out with her and co-authors Denis Moynihan and David Goodman at the VIP reception from 5-6:30 p.m. for $50. Why not? She is a legend and it benefits a good cause.

If you have never listened to "Democracy Now!," give it a listen. Your idea of media and journalism might be forever changed. An edited and condensed transcript of our conversation is below.

Joeff: What is a day in your life like when you're on the road?
Amy Goodman: It's actually very interesting, because everyday we are traveling we're also broadcasting the show from wherever we are. Today, it was at Northern Arizona University and the students were our crew. The show began at 5 [a.m.] because it's 8 eastern standard time, and we not only talk about global issues but also what's happening locally. It so happens, this week eight students were arrested as they occupied an administration building calling for the university to divest from fossil fuels and that protest is ongoing. We just bring out the issues wherever we are.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Meet the guy behind Ads From Future

Posted By on Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 2:14 PM

click image COURTESY CHAMSSEDDINE ABDELHAFIDH/ADS FROM FUTURE
  • courtesy Chamsseddine Abdelhafidh/Ads from future

The old adage advises writers to write what they know. San Francisco-based copywriter Chamsseddine Abdelhafidh applied the same logic in new Tumblr Ads From Future. The blog features Future Hendrix lyrics paired with familiar branding and the result, well, this shit gettin' colossal. CL caught up with Abdelhafidh (who also goes simply by "Chams") to chat via email about the nuances of commercial writing, What A Time To Be Alive, and the art of fucking up commas.

OK — so why Future as a copywriter?
Brands are usually very politically correct in their advertising. They never use explicit language or references to drugs and sex. Future's lyrics on the other hand are all about that. That's what makes having Future as an advertising copywriter a funny idea. It's just an unusual partnership.


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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Atlantans pledge to 'Miss. Nina.' with tribute party and middle finger to Hollywood

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 3:21 PM

miss_nina.jpg
When the long-delayed biopic Nina hits big screens this Friday in Atlanta, plenty of people who love and identify with the deceased icon promise to drop nary a dollar at the box office. 

Among them are Bea Free, Zahra Ala, and Jas Cornell, who partnered with the LOW Museum to organize a local tribute event "in lieu of watching the trifling Nina Simone biopic," as the description reads for an event they're calling Miss. Nina. (Get it: miss Nina.

Their event comes in direct response to a request from the estate of Nina Simone that fans hold listening parties instead of attending theaters to support the movie. While the writer/director Cynthia Mort's script, casting choices, and her decision to blacken up lead Zoe Saldana using heavy makeup provoked controversy well in advance of the film's debut, critics are confirming the worst this week. And the problems are more than skin-deep, according to the Guardian and Variety. My own 1200-word WTF! review posted on CL Monday. 

Attendees and organizers of the Miss. Nina. tribute will celebrate Simone's artistic legacy with her musical catalogue and a screening of the 2015 Liz Garbus-directed Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?, which Simone's daughter Lisa Simone Kelly participated in and executive produced. In a chat with Free, Ala, and the LOW Museum Executive Director Pastiche Lumumba via Facebook Messenger, they talked about the inspiration behind this Friday's free event and their desire to help spark an artistic response to Hollywood's whitewashed depiction of Nina Simone. 

Well, I got to see an advance screening of the movie last week and it made me really sad/mad. I'm assuming similar feelings inspired the event?
Bea Free: Yes. I wrote this: "Put It Down: Outrage Over Miscasting of Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone." Those are my thoughts and response to the film. And in the event invite is the family and friends request for events like what we're doing.

Zahra Ala: For me it's was about fining a way to lift up and honor Nina. Not wanting to bash another black women, Zoe, but absolutely having all kinds of feelings about the biopic
and yes responding to the request of her family and friends.


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Monday, April 4, 2016

Side Hustle: Sarah Lawrence

Posted By on Mon, Apr 4, 2016 at 11:52 AM

click image SHE'S CRAFTY: Sarah Lawrence with one of her many Atlanta-based art projects at Root City Market. - BY JESS WINCHESTER
  • by Jess Winchester
  • SHE'S CRAFTY: Sarah Lawrence with one of her many Atlanta-based art projects at Root City Market.

Locals tell us how they juggle multiple jobs, aka “get that paper.” This time we pick the brain of Sarah Lawrence, an artist, designer, teacher, and blogger. 

How long have you lived in Atlanta, and how did you end up here?
Sarah Lawrence:
I’m from here! I grew up in Virginia-Highland and attended Grady High School. I was super lucky to go to a school so centrally-located and supportive of the arts. I left for a few years to attend UGA but ended up finding myself back in Atlanta after school. I’ve traveled a ton over the past few years, and I haven’t found a city I’ve liked as much as this one.

Tell me about your various hustles. Which one came first?
S.L.:
Side hustles are what I live for — I love being able to experiment and go off on weird side projects/rabbit holes. Currently, my favorite project is Atlanta Trading Co., a trading card game for Atlanta. So far I have about 12 cards made, and I’m planning to try to feature as many people, places, and things in the city as I can. I even bought a heat-sealer and all these crazy packaging tools so I can make everything besides the cards in-house. The point of these is for people to collect them, especially when places (like the Georgia Archives Building) are torn down forever.

I have two newsletters—one is called design club, and its purpose is to collect and spread the word about cool new design tools, features, and resources I find every week. The other is basically a fake newsletter designed to break all of the rules they tell you when managing an email list. I guess I should tell you not to sign up for it.


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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Side Hustle: Krystal Visions

Posted By on Thu, Mar 24, 2016 at 3:43 PM

click image KRYSTAL CLEAR: Kaylene Joy Campbell aka Krystal Visions is a server, swap-meet organizer, tarot card reader, business owner and DJ. - ADRIAN BARRERA
  • Adrian Barrera
  • KRYSTAL CLEAR: Kaylene Joy Campbell aka Krystal Visions is a server, swap-meet organizer, tarot card reader, business owner and DJ.

Locals tell us how they juggle multiple jobs, aka “get that paper.” This time we pick the brain of Kaylene Joy Campbell aka Krystal Visions, a Canada-born server, swap-meet organizer, tarot card reader, business owner, and DJ. 

How long have you lived in Atlanta, and how did you end up here? 
Krystal Visions:
I've lived in Atlanta now for two years now, and I ended up here by the power of love. My boyfriend and I were dating long distance and I decided to make the move to Atlanta to be with him.

Tell me about your various jobs. Which one came first? 
KV:
Right now I have a bunch of jobs — my main hustle is Gaja restaurant in East Atlanta Village. I've worked there for about five months now. I also work at Argosy, which is also in the Village. On top of that I run the Swap @ Argosy, which is a monthly swap meet showcasing local vendors, where I read tarot [cards]. I've been reading tarot for about four years now, and I've had an amazing response to my readings here in Atlanta. I also run Psychic Joy which is my shop where I sell pins, patches, shirts, altar cloths, all sorts of things. I do all my own screen printing at Odditees Screen Printing on Cheshire Bridge for my goods as well. I also DJ from time to time — I have a gig in Nashville at Duke's on April 13. I usually play rock 'n' roll and a bunch of '70s stuff. Currently I'm experimenting with making my own incense and oil blends.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Side Hustle: Jonny Warren

Posted By on Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 1:17 PM

click image INK AND THE INTERNET: Artist and UI developer Jonny Warren - PHOTO BY JESS SMITH
  • photo by Jess Smith
  • INK AND THE INTERNET: Artist and UI developer Jonny Warren


Locals tell us how they juggle multiple jobs, aka “get that paper.” This time we pick the brain of Jonny Warren, an artist who's shown his work at places like Kai Lin Art, MINT and ABV Gallery, and a UI developer at Thingtech in the Atlanta Tech Village.

How long have you lived in Atlanta, and how did you end up here?
Jonny Warren:
It will be six years this summer. After my wife and I graduated from FSU, we decided we wanted to leave Florida and come to Atlanta. We used to drive up for concerts and weekend trips and always enjoyed the city.

Tell me about your various jobs. Which one came first?
J.W.:
My senior year of art school, I worked part time as a custom picture framer. I continued framing in Atlanta and worked as an artist developing my craft and creating work for galleries and freelance jobs. I decided I wanted a career change but to remain creative, so I took the front-end engineering course at The Iron Yard last fall. Now I'm a UI [user interface] developer for Thingtech at the Atlanta Tech Village while finding time to create art on the side.

What do you think has been the key to your side-hustle success?
J.W.:
Time management. I try to dedicate at least a couple of hours after work and weekends for art and personal projects.


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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Side Hustle: Sonny Charles

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 9:33 AM

click image DEPP IN THOUGHT: One of Sonny Charles' many gigs is working as a Jack Sparrow impersonator from the Johnny Depp film "Pirates of the Caribbean." - COURTESY OF SONNY CHARLES
  • courtesy of Sonny Charles
  • DEPP IN THOUGHT: One of Sonny Charles' many gigs is working as a Jack Sparrow impersonator from the Johnny Depp film "Pirates of the Caribbean."

Locals tell us how they juggle multiple jobs, aka “get that paper.” This time we pick the brain of Sonny Charles, a professional actor, private sushi chef and class instructor, children's entertainer and Jack Sparrow impersonator.


You juggle several professions. Which came first?
Sonny Charles: I have a BA in Theater from the University of Florida, so you would think that impersonations and cosplaying came first, but when I graduated in 1996, there wasn't quite the market for it as there is today. So, I dabbled in various opportunities such as hardware and software technology sales for EMC, Borland, and Atlanta-based AppForge, as well as being an award-winning realtor and a restaurateur with Sushi House Buckhead. Currently, I'm starting a new venture providing services such as 3-D animation, crash data retrieval, and aerial photography to the transportation forensics industry. My brother — I'm one of six boys — is one of our country's foremost accident re-constructionist and has seen on CNN giving his opinion on the accident that took the life of actor Paul Walker. 

What has been the key to your side-hustle success?
S.C.: My family is the best, especially my wife, Kester. Since we've been together, the lines between work and play have blurred so much that I have coined a new phrase, "I cosplay to cause play."


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