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Jul 31st
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The Online Identity Crisis

The Online Identity Crisis

One man’s cyber trip into the land of Facebook spawns a slew of existential questions

I HATE YOU, FACEBOOK. I CAN’T QUIT— a female student who e-mailed Facebook

I think that understanding that there might not be any difference between what people are doing online and offline is something really important— Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook

In the past few months I seem to have either lost or gained a digital identity. Like puberty and its ensuing formative years, I now find myself wondering who I am—digitally, and, of course, punctuated by a tad bit of confusion about being-ness. The question of “who am I?” is not so easily explained on a couch, or even the well-touted History of Consciousness program at UC Santa Cruz, much less helped along by what has been variously called Social Networking Websites.

 

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The Film Issue 08, SoWat TV

The Film Issue 08, SoWat TV

Chip & Jeff Dinnell/SoWat TV

Who needs SNL when we have two local guys with a serious manbrows poking fun at Santa Cruz politics—and more—under the guise of hosting a show about the arts in Santa Cruz County? When it first debuted on Community Television back in 2004, the bi-monthly talk show—and, really some would just call it, plain ol’ bi—known as “SoWat” spotlighted locals making a difference in the arts community. It still does that, but in the course of three years, the popular show has added a number of curious elements. It’s now morphed into a modern day “Late Night with David Letterman” by way of a more youthful—or is it euphemized?—“John Stewart.” Hosts Jeff Dinnell (a local actor with delicious wit) and Chip (an über supporter of local arts) work off each other with such a graceful splash of inventiveness, you can’t but be taken in by their

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LOVE (the new sex)

LOVE (the new sex)

Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens head to the altar for the fourth time in one unforgettable—and eco-tinged—performance art wedding

Annie Sprinkle hands me a plate of farm-fresh eggs and sits down at the kitchen table in the rustic Boulder Creek home she shares with her life and art partner Elizabeth Stephens. Sprinkle bites into a piece of whole wheat toast, chews it a few times, looks over at me with calm eyes and says. “Love is the new ‘sex.’”

It’s not your typical breakfast condiment but I take in the verbal seasoning, use my fork to break open the egg yoke on my plate and silently recite the Sprinkle-ism back to myself, each time placing emphases on a different word: Love is the new sex. Love is the new sex. Love is the new sex.

Love is the new … sex.

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The Film Issue 08

The Film Issue 08

Santa Cruzan Robin Janiszeufski Hesson of the documentary Surfin’ Thru, leads the way in our annual film issue, in which we salute the season’s most memorable celluloid players.

Editor's note: GT's annual film issue is loaded with plenty of cinematic fodder to keep you busy for quite some time. Here, we spotlight some of the locals that have been making a difference in the film world at home, beginning with ... Robin Janiszeufski Hesson, The Rising Star. (Read more film stories here.)

We don’t come into the world with a movie script that tells us what we’re supposed to do or how we’re supposed to act. But, the more conscious we become, the deeper we look within ourselves for answers, we do realize we have the extreme pleasure of casting anybody we want to be the main star in the moving picture known as our life. We can take on the lead role, but sometimes, try as we might, our “co-stars” still want to steal the show.

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Can Art Save Humanity?

Can Art Save Humanity?Inside an ocean catastrophe, the local art project that rocks the senses and why it could provoke change

There’s a howling wind outside but I have to take out the garbage. I grab three bags, two overflowing with recyclables, and the third full of trash. The icy, sharp rain stings as I trudge through puddles to the garbage and recycling bins at the end of my long driveway. By the time I get there, I’m already soaked, the result of one of those winter storms. I’m so eager to get back to my cozy fire indoors and shed the wet layers of clothing that I do the unthinkable. I fling open the trash can lid and throw everything inside. The lid slams shut and I rush back to the house. Then a twinge of guilt sets in. But what difference does it make if I don’t take a minute to separate the recyclables into their respective bins? I’m only one person. I can’t possibly make a difference, right? Well …

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Cross of Change

Cross of Change

For centuries, only men have been allowed to wear the big spiritual pants in the Catholic family. Not any more. Victoria Rue and a growing number of other ordained Roman Catholic womenpriests and bishops are suddenly paving the way for a bold new priestly ministry. And the Vatican isn’t amused.

Victoria Rue remembers the moment it hit her. She was kneeling down on the deck of a boat sailing Canada’s St. Lawrence Seaway in the summer of 2005 when she felt as if every cell in her body was being rearranged. As three Roman Catholic bishops laid their hands over her and several other women, the moment she had long been waiting for was about to become more than just spiritual fodder for the history books.

Four women, including Rue, were ordained as priests that day. Performing the ordinations were three Roman Catholic female bishops.

The Catholic Church wasn’t totally surprised by the news. Thanks to a landmark event that took place on the River Danube in 2002—bodies of water are technically considered outside the jurisdiction of the
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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

There’s nothing like a post-modern Punk’d-ish estrogen parade to liven up summer.

Learn why the locals behind TV’s ‘Rad Girls’ are about to make the season sizzle.

 

First came John Waters, the King of Shock. Chicken love, eating dog crap—jaws dropped in 1972 after the release of the director’s Pink Flamingoes. Then came Madonna with her in-your-face sexual frolicking and irreverent punches at authority and religion. Next? Howard Stern. His pitchfork-like tongue pierced the airwaves. By the time MTV’s Johnny Knoxville hit the air with Jackass, it was hard to imagine anything surpassing the prankster’s outlandish humor.

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Save The Ocean, Save The World

Save The Ocean, Save The World

Man of the 'hour,' local marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, delivers a sobering message about the state of the world’s oceans: ‘Really, no kidding—this is our 11th hour’

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) recently released its Red List. Using the mental manna from a group of global authorities, the renowned list assesses the risk of extinction on various forms of ocean life.

Polar bears are listed as “threatened.” It’s not necessarily “good” news, but it does sit somewhere north of “endangered.” That’s the spot reserved for the right whale, the black-footed albatross, the blue whale and, something that will turn heads locally, sea otters.

But the future looks far more daunting for other forms of life, such as the pacific leatherback turtle, the vaquita marina (a harbor porpoise in the Gulf), the southern bluefin tuna, the angel shark, black grouper and black abalone. They are all considered “critically endangered.”

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Six Degrees of Eleanor

Six Degrees of Eleanor

You’re closer to her than you think. Meet the local treasure who you’re already connected to.

Santa Cruz Mayor Emily Reilly leans in close, as if she’s going to tell me a secret. And she does. It’s a secret to living a long life; living a happy life; a healthy life. It’s one of the secrets that makes Reilly such a favorable politician.

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Sign Language

Sign Language

A local skeptic goes on a cosmic quest for a reason to believe in astrology

Look, before we get into this, let me put one thing on the table: I’m the last person on Earth who has the right to judge anyone for being “out there.” I mean, I’m named after a freaking constellation—all by itself, that qualifies me as a full-fledged frosted flake in a lot of people’s minds. I couldn’t count the times I’ve seen that sardonic little twinkle in someone’s eyes when I’ve introduced myself: the one that says, “So very nice to meet you, Mr. Orion. I’m Hawkfart Thunderbunny, and this is my beloved, Moonclover Space Omelette. Listen, I’ve got a magic unicorn out back—wanna fly to Care-a-Lot Forest with us?”

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Picture of Health

Santa Cruz just received a high ranking among California counties. But it may be hiding some of the biggest health dangers facing our area

 

Mars Enters Scorpio: The Nine Tests

Over the years I’ve mentioned the nine tests of Mars and Scorpio. The tests are given to everyone—unawakened, beginning to awaken, and the awakened. The purpose is to test our strength, courage, ability to adapt, discriminate and have discernment. To see if we are deceived by illusion or are “warriors triumphant, emerging from the battle.”

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Time Capsule

Actors age in real time in audacious, mesmerizing ‘Boyhood’
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Foodie File: Maharaja

Chef Didar Singh on Royal Taj’s reincarnation as Maharaja

 

I remember Santa Cruz when…

Santa Cruz | Librarian

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Muns Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir

This vivacious cherry-pink Rosé is a simply beautiful summer wine.