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S Love Affairs and Drug Busts: Watch the Jamaican Queens New Video, "Love Is Impossible"


We've been fans of Detroit-based three-piece Jamaican Queens since they first came by PAPER HQ to perform a set in our kitchen and, since then, the "self-proclaimed 'Detroit trap pop' group" has been busy recording follow-ups to their 2013 debut, Wormfood. Two months after their latest release, February's Bored + Lazy EP, they've got a new track and a new video, "Love Is Impossible." The clip features two cops caught up in an illicit S&M-laced affair in-between making drug busts and appeasing their unhappy wives or girlfriends.

"We wanted to create a visual representation of the song's meaning 'impossible love,'" group member Ryan Pressley says. His bandmate, songwriter/producer Ryan Spencer says, "I wrote this song in spring, after finally coming down from a brutal depression. My only real relationship had ended three months prior, but with spring's return, I felt hopeful. I realized that life isn't as horrible as I had convinced myself over the previous winter. I was still disenchanted with love and relationships in general, but discovered I could be happy alone, and as cliche as it sounds, time will eventually heal old wounds." The track will appear on the band's upcoming LP, Downers, out June 2, and you can catch them live at Brookyn's Palisades on June 20th. In the meantime, watch the video, which we're excited to exclusively premiere, above.

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These "Realistic Stock Photos" Of People Smoking Weed Are the Best

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 4.19.38 PM.pngPhoto by Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance

Besides offering a great excuse to cut out of work early and get high af, 4/20 is a good time to take stock of current debates happening around the legalization of marijuana and, more generally, how the drug -- and the people who use it -- is perceived in media and society. The Drug Policy Alliance decided all those stereotypical stock photos of zonked out stoners was a total buzzkill and is advocating for the use of "stock photos of real, everyday people who use marijuana." To that end, they're offering several open license and free to use pics of middle class suburbanites playing Jenga, gathering around a piano or enjoying the sunshine on the porch while toking some Hawaiian Purple Kush or Pineapple Haze. Take a look at some of our faves above and below and head over to Dangerous Minds for more.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 4.11.00 PM.pngPhoto by Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 4.10.50 PM.pngPhoto by Darrin Harris Frisby/Drug Policy Alliance

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Five Of Our Favorite Celebs on Their First Time Getting Stoned

papermag 420 demi lovato.png
(Photo via Instagram)

Earlier today, Demi Lovato posted a 4/20 appropriate throwback on Instagram featuring the "Disney High Class of '09." In that vein, we've dug up some more anecdotes from green-friendly celebs about the first time they got high. Read on, young traveler. 

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(Joe Jonas; photo via Instagram)

Joe Jonas: In a longwinded essay for Vulture in December of 2013, Jonas confessed that his first time smoking weed was with Demi and Miley (of which you can see very real photographic evidence above). "I must have been 17 or 18," he said. "They kept saying, 'Try it! Try it!' so I gave it a shot, and it was all right. I don't even smoke weed that often anymore."Sure, Jan

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(Drake; photo via Instagram)

Drake: Drizzy's first time smoking weed, he told Jimmy Fallon, was a "paranoid,""splashing-water-on-[his]-face" sort of high right before his Degrassi audition. Looks like it turned out alright, eh? 

papermag 420 drake.jpgAs Drake told Fallon: "It was like a real pivotal day in my life because it was the first audition I went on, so that's already a monumental thing. It was also the day that I got accepted by these like really cool Jewish kids at school, and they were finally like, 'Yo, come over,'" he explained. "I had this really tug-of-war moment where I actually did something that I probably shouldn't have done that starts with a 'W' and ends with 'eed.' That was my first time [smoking], and we did it out of a starts with a 'B' ends with a 'ong.' It was crazy because I started really getting paranoid. I thought I'd just completely ruined my life. I started splashing water on my face constantly -- it was like a Clearasil commercial! I showed up to the audition and got just a little less paranoid, went in and did what I could, was just devastated. I couldn't tell my mom." 

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(James Franco; photo via Instagram)

James Franco: Franco, who once put peanut butter in his mustache and made us a Selfie Calendar, was named "Stoner of the Year" in 2008 by High Times Magazine. Stoner-not-stoner Franco says, "The first time I was 13, 14... it was in eighth grade... I think we smoked it out of an apple in my friend's backyard, and then we went to an eighth-grade dance and had a pretty good time."

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 5.52.20 PM.png
Matt Damon: In a feat of both noble and intriguing parenting, Damon first tried weed with his parents. "The first time I smoked was at home with my mother and step-father," said Damon. "They were like, 'If you are going to do this, we'd rather you did this with us.'" 

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(Snoop Dogg; photo via Instagram)

Snoop Dogg: And in news that is surprising to no one, Snoop Dogg says he got high for the first time while still in his single digits. "The first time I got high off marijuana was in the seventies, with one of my uncles," says Snoop. "They had these little roaches on the table -- these part-way-smoked marijuana cigarettes -- and there was some Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull. I went in there and sipped the Schlitz, and my uncle asked me did I wanna hit that roach. And I was like, 'Yeah.' He put it on the roach clip for me and lit it up, and I hit that motherfucker. I was about eight or nine years old."

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Watch the Jurassic World Trailer, Feel Paranoid Contact-High

Because it's 4/20, and because it's become clear that Jeff Goldblum is happier as a knot store proprietor than a fast-talkin' quantum scientist, and because Chris Pratt seems to have stepped into the void as a hunky, chilled-out dinosaur whisperer... for all these reasons and more, it's a great time to watch the epic, stupor-inducing Jurassic World trailer, which appeared earlier today. Bonus points if you can count the number of brief silences followed by deafening WHOOMs.

Watch the trailer, above. The movie's out June 12.

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Director Brett Morgen on Betrayal, Grief and "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck"

There is no chronological neatness to the release of Brett Morgen's documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. It arrives 24 years after Nevermind, Nirvana's breakthrough album; 22 after In Utero, their last; and 21 after Cobain's death. So why now? That question is drowned out minutes into the film, a scabrous but minutely detailed and often heart-rending patchwork of Cobain's own home movies, drawings, writings and recordings. From a Super 8 clip of little Kurt playing house with his sister to fastidious practice schedules scrawled in his journals to camcorder footage of Cobain playing with his own child, the film is an antidote to the tired cliché that the Nirvana frontman was the figurehead of a cynical generation. It presents a man who's affectionate, insanely prolific and, most surprising of all, traditional. And with an obsessive, self-conscious need for self-documentation that would topple any of the blogging platforms he died too soon to encounter, he left a self-portrait that Morgen was able to complete -- ragged, passionate and timeless.

On the day the documentary's trailer appeared online, Morgen called us to talk about his spectral and intensely affectionate relationship with Kurt.

Much of this film is made out of the contents of a storage facility full of Kurt Cobain's stuff. Can you walk me through your first day in that place?

So I was first approached to do this film in 2007 by Courtney Love and due to several factors, mainly having to deal with rights, it took several years before we had acquired everything we needed to embark on the film, and during that entire time, I had heard about this storage facility. And so it was almost like a blind date -- but a blind date that you'd been hearing about for six or seven years. So in my mind, I had imagined this as sort of a scene out of Raiders of the Lost Ark or Citizen Kane or something: the final scene where you enter this massive warehouse and there's just crates and crates and crates of material. And so finally, after all the rights were settled, Courtney and Frances essentially gave me the keys to this storage facility. And when I arrived, the proprietor had told me that they had taken Kurt's possessions and moved them into this room that was, you know, maybe, you know, 40 by 20, low ceilings, fluorescent lights, industrial carpet... and in the center of the room were a number of about 22, 23 boxes. And on the outside of the room they had placed his paintings. All of his guitars were laid out in their guitar cases. I walked into this space and my immediate reaction was, "Is this everything?" Before I could look at the specifics of the paintings or the artwork, I was dealing with the totality of it, and I was a little underwhelmed. I was sort of like, "Did I buy some swampland here?" 


So I started to unpack the boxes. And very early on, I opened up a box that said, "Cassettes." And nobody had told me that there was any audio housed at this facility. And I opened a box and there's 108 cassettes in there. Double-sided, so that's about 200-plus hours of audio. And that was probably the greatest find in this whole journey, because within those tapes I would discover never-before-heard Cobain compositions, like Kurt's intimate cover of the Beatles'"And I Love Her." An audio autobiography that he had written and performed of his critical teenage years. Numerous soundscapes, one of which we derived the title of the film from, Montage of Heck. Tons of tapes of Kurt just sort of goofing off with a sound effects box, which revealed a more humorous side of Kurt than I'd ever seen. So a picture started to emerge. I opened up another box and there were dozens of home videos. Then I opened yet another box, and it's filled with journals, totaling four thousand pages. And yet you go further, and you open up the boxes of the toy monkeys, and the globes, and the artifacts, and there was a box that had all these 35-mm negatives of photography that Kurt took. With Kurt, we have a unique opportunity in that he worked in so many different forms of media that he probably left behind one of the most elaborate visual and oral autobiographies of anyone from my generation.

So the blueprint for the film emerged, that we can sort of allow Kurt to tell the story of his life not through interviews with him, but through the experience of his art. Kurt was never entirely comfortable doing interviews. And he would either practice a sort of self-mythology, he would be distant, he could be caustic, he could be overly eager, but he was rarely just himself. And I found that, to get to the heart of Kurt, we would need to build a film based on elements that were created not necessarily for public dissemination, but because he had to create them -- because that was the thing with Kurt: he didn't create art for a living. He created art because it had to come out of him.

We see a fair amount of Kurt looking, as you said, uncomfortable while giving interviews. Did you ever feel like you were sort of veering close to that territory when you were digging into this film? Or was there always a sort of a clear distinction in your mind with what you were doing? 

I felt a tremendous responsibility to Frances and to the fans and to public to get Kurt's story right. And for 20 years, Kurt has been mythologized and lionized and has grown into one of the more prominent cultural myths of our time, and I felt it was important to understand who the man was. And so, the role, the job wasn't to tear him down, or the job wasn't to build him up, the job was to look him in the eye in a very honest and unflinching manner. Look, to a certain extent, I was making the film for Frances. So to your point, within that context, nothing really could be exploitative. You see what I'm saying?

If that's your goal, yes.

I felt that if we can give her a couple hours with her father, and it worked on that level, then that experience would probably translate to the audience. Because Frances is in a unique position in that she's Kurt's daughter, and yet she also doesn't know him.

 Frances does not appear in the film except as a baby.

Did you ever consider that her experience of just living with his sort of memory and his genes would be worth exploring in the movie? 



 And I get the sense that that wasn't something that Frances was interested in either.

It was something she was interested in. I mean, this is a movie built on primary sources and on eyewitness testimony of people who were most intimate with Kurt. Whatever Frances could testify to would be experiences that happened after Kurt died. The movie isn't about Frances; the movie's about Kurt.

Do you feel like there's any sort of meaning to this movie coming out in 2015, or if this is just as long as it took you to make it?

Oh man, I insisted on this film coming out on the eve of Nevermind's twentieth anniversary in 2011. There was a part of me at one point that wanted to movie to come out by 2009 for 20 years from the introduction of Bleach. I do think that there was a lot of divine intervention involved in this film on every level.

Like what?

It was meant to happen when it happened. You know, it's supposed to come out now and it's supposed to be called Montage of Heck. What is it that feels right about it coming out right now? 

I just think that there's a massive appetite, as has been exhibited by the reaction to the film from fans and critics around the world, to have a better understanding of Kurt and to spend a few hours with Kurt. 

In other interviews, you've talked about the end of Kurt's story, when he died, and you described it as "betrayal and deceit" and raised the possibility that it might have just been a question of heartbreak in those last days. Can you elaborate on that a bit?

You know, the popular myth related to Kurt revolves heavily around heroin and fame, and his feelings about his fame and his ambivalence about it or his ambition. And I kind of felt that there was a very surface narrative, and the underlining theme of Kurt's life was a sort of pursuit of family, and a search for acceptance, and acceptance primarily through family. He was kind of searching for that lost childhood, if you will. And so when he met Courtney, within weeks he had asked her to have a child and to get married. This was in I think November, maybe less than two months after they started dating. And so he obviously had a deep-felt need to start a family and to have a companion, to feel loved. And at the height of his fame, when Nirvana was selling 600,000 albums a week, he cancelled all of his obligations and he moved into an apartment with Courtney and he basically started a family. And he was really happy then, really content, and I think it was a very special period in his life. And as Kurt got deeper into celebrity and his addictions and his own family life, he kind of alienated himself a little bit from those he was intimate with. And he sort of put all of his eggs in one basket with Frances and Courtney, almost as if he had determined that, This is what I need: my art, my family, and I'm all set. More than the art, though, the family was for Kurt possibly the greatest achievement. And he was an absolutely doting, loving father and had no problems immediately connecting to his newborn.

As we learn in the film, a situation arose in '94 where Kurt felt that Courtney had been unfaithful. And in his mind, that was the greatest act of betrayal, that it was almost like everything he had believed in was turned upside down, and it clearly triggered feelings of rejection and failure that he had amassed throughout his life that were given birth at his own childhood. And so, that night in Rome, when Kurt went to take his life, it was very much spurred on by Courtney's perceived infidelity. 

Doesn't she say that he must have sort of known that through mental telepathy or something?

I think her exact words were, "He must have been psychic." It's not really my investigation to question how he learned or... you know, I think what was important for me was Kurt experiencing rejection and shame and humiliation on an epic level. That everything he had bought into and invested in was tainted. And he died three weeks later.


The only other time I'm aware of in Kurt's life where he consciously and actively tried to commit suicide -- and I'm making a distinction between using heroin and having an accidental overdose, or actually trying to end your life, because of course being a heroin addict is a form of suicide, one can say -- but if we're going to be very literal about it, the one other instance where Kurt overtly tried to take his life we learn about in the movie from the audio tape where he loses his virginity to the girl in Aberdeen. And there's a line in that story in which he says, "I couldn't handle the ridicule, so I decided to end my life." And if one is looking for an immediate clue as to understanding the latter part, what happened to Kurt in the end, I think that you cannot ignore that story, that statement and that particular experience. When Kurt talked about his parents' divorce, he would talk about the shame, the humiliation. A lot of kids, when their parents get divorced, they'll talk about the loneliness, how they blamed themselves, feeling of abandonment, but I rarely hear it phrased as something humiliating and shameful.

You've now done Hollywood, rock 'n' roll, politics, and sports... is there a throughline here that connects this all to Kurt? How you see him fitting into your body of work?

The one link with all my movies is, you know, I'm a nonconformist by nature, I always have been, and I like to challenge myself and the audience in terms of pushing the boundaries of nonfiction. You know, I've been doing this for several years, and from the time I entered this field back in the early '90s, my goal was not to be a sort of traditional documentarian as it was known at that time, but was to be a sort of filmmaker that applied the tools and the techniques of cinema to nonfiction and create sort of more experiential films. I think a lot -- most documentaries are about a subject. My films tend to be the subject. They're the experience of the subject. So you don't hear people telling you what happened, you experience what happened. I think that in Cobain: Montage of Heck, we get closer to Kurt than any author will achieve in a long-form publication, because I don't see how one can arrive that same place with just the written word. I think you need to experience the art. You need to experience the sounds. And that's what makes Kurt such a significant figure for me as a subject, because, as we discussed earlier, he left all these materials.

You had asked earlier if I ever got a point where I felt I was trespassing, but, you know, Kurt saved everything. And one of his journal entries that we show in the film says, "I'm leaving for work now. When I'm gone, look through my stuff. Try to figure me out." So, he had a very conscious eye towards history, and towards documenting his life. He in effect was documenting his life from the moment he was born, or from the moment he could hold a paintbrush in his hand. And I feel that those were sort of, when we talked about divine intervention or whatever, there's a reason that my life experiences led me to that storage facility. And that if they had employed a more traditional filmmaker, we would have arrived at very different results. But if you're doing a film on Kurt Cobain, above all else, it should be honest. And it should be creative. And inevitably it's going to be haunting, because there's this sense of inevitability that permeates every frame in the film. 

Oh my God, from that little voice saying, "I'm Kurt Cobain." 

There's a point where, as we were cutting the film... I probably consciously started making shots a little bit longer in the final five minutes or 10 minutes because I didn't want it to end. The last day I had on the color stage, when we were color grading the film, it was about two in the morning, it was two or three days before the premiere, and we got to the last scene, and I had to excuse myself. I went in the bathroom and I had one of the most guttural cries I've ever had. And I sort of collapsed on the floor. And in that moment, I was consciously trying to reflect on why I was feeling this way -- was it because the film was finally over? Because I did feel, at that moment, I had nothing left to give. I'd given everything I had to this movie. I worked 140 days straight to get to Sundance, including Thanksgiving, Christmas. I really wanted to get this right. But what ultimately I realized was that I wasn't crying from exhaustion; that might have contributed to it, but I was crying because I wasn't going to be with Kurt every day. Because my job for the past couple years has been to come to work alongside Kurt and to experience Kurt. And I really liked being with Kurt. And I felt closer to Kurt than anyone else out of my family. And it's strange to say because I never met Kurt, but then again, I'd never had access to someone's private expression the way that I had with Kurt.

Yeah. Well, it's a powerful film. I hope you feel some closure now, if that's what you're after.

Well, going to where you started, when you were asking me how my day was going. See, I had final cut on this movie. Every director wants final cut on their films, but there was a reason it was so critical on this film because of the 20 years of infighting over Kurt's legacy, and who owned it and who controlled it. I felt that if Courtney had final cut of the film, it would have alienated a number of people. And if Kurt's mother and father had made the film, I think people might have been suspect of that as well. Not that there's anything nefarious, just that each person sees things in... you know, we all felt mythologized. And so I felt that it was essential that I had final cut, and that is a rare opportunity and a special privilege. So when I served as the writer, director, producer, editor -- I mean, I put everything I had into this. Someone came up to me at the Berlin Film Festival and said, "Oh, man, I've been reading your reviews, you must be so psyched." And I looked at them, ashen-faced, and I said, "Do I look psyched?" Because there's nothing to celebrate. I mean, we can celebrate Kurt's life and his art. But there's a cloud and a sadness, and in many ways the film is like meeting an old friend for the first time. And when you meet him again, you like him so much more than you thought you ever would, yet at the moment of clarity, the moment you realize that, of who this man really was, it's gone.

Montage of Heck is in theaters on April 24th and premieres on HBO May 4th.

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Here's the Trailer For the New Documentary On Martin Margiela


"By not showing his identity, I think that Martin Margiela became more exciting," fashion critic Suzy Menkes says in the trailer for The Artist Is Absent: A Short Film On Martin Margiela. "People wondered what he was like. There was a mystery that surrounded him." One of the main themes of the new documentary about the famously anonymous designer looks at the ways in which his mystique and concealment have enhanced his undeniable talent. In an age where designers have become celebrities in their own right, the film is an interesting exploration of an artist who prefers to let his creations speak for themselves. Not surprisingly, the film, which was directed by Alison Chernick and produced by the YOOX Group, doesn't feature any interviews with the Margiela himself but instead includes little-seen archival footage from previous runway shows and conversations with fashion designers and critics like Menkes, Jean Paul Gaultier, Raf Simons and Patrick Scallon, the former Director of Communications for the label who currently holds that role at Dries van Noten. And although he's not shown in the doc, Chernick told the The Cut that she was able to get Margiela's participation and approval -- the designer hand-selected several of the people speaking on-camera. There will be several screenings of the short in NYC this week as part of the Tribeca Film Fest and it'll get a wider release on April 27th.

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Hear Kurt Cobain Cover the Beatles'"And I Love Her"

One of the most poignant discoveries Brett Morgan made as he excavated a storage facility full of Kurt Cobain's stuff -- stuff that would become the building blocks of his brutal and beautiful documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck -- is a line from one of Cobain's many, many journals (total page count: over 4,000). Morgen recalls the line in his PAPERMAG interview: "I'm leaving for work now. When I'm gone, look through my stuff. Try to figure me out."

This recording, never heard before Morgen found it, might help anyone who's still invested in trying to figure Cobain out. Judging by the excitement and emotion surrounding the documentary, that's a lot of us.

Hear Cobain's "And I Love Her," above, and read our full interview with Brett Morgen here.

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Waka Flocka Flame Has Officially Declared His Candidacy For President


Watch your back, Hillary -- Waka Flocka Flame is joining the 2016 presidential race. Appropriately, the Atlanta rapper released his official campaign video on 4/20 and it looks like he's up for the challenge. With DJ Whoo Kid as his VP running mate, Waka is attempting to make some real changes in DC. Some of his campaign promises include legalizing marijuana, banning dogs from restaurants, raising minimum wage to $15 (shout out to In-N-Out Burger!), and implementing restrictions on big-footed people [Ed. note: uh...what?]. Education is also a priority as he proposes all students learn his lyrics or face punishment. As for his thoughts on the competition? "Hillary is my only competition right now because the women love her and she's honest and her husband is Bill so it's a tough one," he says. "I hope I make it." This isn't the first time Waka has announced his interest in politics. Two years ago, he revealed his plans to run for office in 2016 via Twitter. #WakaforAmerica

Watch his exclusive campaign video above. 

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The Strange Allure of Empty Film Posters

What do you get when you remove all of the recognizable branding and stars from a movie poster? Delightful weirdness. The work of French artist Madani Bendjellal, by way of Its Nice That, these empty film posters highlight both the banality of movie poster art and the power of branding and text, for better or worse. Without its logo, the poster for Jaws looks like one of those gradient-color default wallpapers for iPhones and Forrest Gump is a park bench stock photo. Still, they're unmistakable. Posters with taglines, but no corresponding central image, are our favorites. Alien is much more chilling with its "in space, no one can hear you scream" ensconced in darkness and a Marty McFly-less Back to the Future is equally eerie with its disembodied "then one day... he wasn't in his time at all." Check them out below and see more here.




emptyfilmposters-itsnicethat-Forrest-Gump.pngForrest Gump

emptyfilmposters-itsnicethat-Back-to-The-Future.pngBack to the Future

emptyfilmposters-itsnicethat-The-Lion-King.pngLion King

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Inside the Hot Pink Barbie Bungalow of Artists, "Cyberfeminists" and Real-Life Couple Signe Pierce and Alli Coates

Artist couple Signe Pierce and Alli Coates first caught our attention with their performance art film American Reflexxx, which has been screening at art shows throughout the country for the past year, and made its online debut this week. The piece conducts a social experiment in which Signe struts around the bro-clogged, neon-lit promenades of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, wearing platform heels, a mini-dress, and an outerworldly silver mask that completely obscures her face, silently roaming among pedestrians as Alli shoots video. The resulting footage of her encounters is a fascinating, poignant and disturbing exploration of mob mentality and contemporary attitudes about gender and sexuality.

The blonde duo consider their work to be part of a cyberfeminist social and aesthetic movement, in which the Internet has enabled the rise of the feminine perspective via social media and online publishing. They met three years ago in New York, but recently made the move to LA and live together in a pink-filled Barbie bungalow, where their cyberfemme aesthetic unfolds in full force. We recently had the chance to visit them at home and take a look at their signature lifestyle. Photos, below.

Alli Coates and Signe Pierce at home in LA’s Echo Park

"In our home we have artwork by a few artists that work with cyberfeminist themes, such as graphic design duo Sarah Faith & Nicole Killian and photographer Elizabeth Renstrom. Pam Anderson is the centerpiece of our shrine. The female form is beautiful and should be celebrated rather than shamed, and Pam is a great representation of unapologetic, unabashed femininity.” -- Signe and Alli

"We fell in love in cyberspace, which is rather fitting." -- Signe and Alli

The couple met on Tumblr and OkCupid. Signe found Alli's photography on Tumblr, and a week later by coincidence (or algorithms), Alli messaged Signe on OKCupid.

A donut-turned-décor, leftover from Valentine’s Day

"We have an elaborate collection of LEDs, black lights, and neon lights that we have amassed over the years, as well as some really great prisms and crystals." -- Signe and Alli

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Rihanna Shares New Music for 4/20

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 3.54.11 PM.pngPhoto via Instagram.

You'll have to forgive Rihanna for being a day late posting this dreamy new track off her upcoming for 4/20 -- it's just that she was acting as as bridesmaid in her beloved assistant's weed wedding and further cementing her status as the zenith of Bad Gal-ness.

"In celebration of 420, here's an interlude from my 8th studio album that I call James Joint," Rihanna posted on her site -- which crashed when she tweeted a link to the song. 

Listen over at Rihannanow.com and revisit our tribute to the ultimate #stonergirlhere.


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See Miley, Beyoncé and Leo Transformed Into Figures From Art Masterpieces


Taking a page from Kehinde Wiley, the web has been obsessed lately with mashing up modern celebs and historical paintings. Previously, we introduced you to a Tumblr that points out the *eerie* similarities between contemporary rappers and classical art subjects along with a project that inserts magazine covers into the same sorts of historical artworks. Today we found a French artist whose work riffs on a similar theme, replacing the figures in art masterpieces with the faces of celebrities. Voyages dans les tempsis the brainchild of Rennes-based graphic artist Bénédicte Lacroix and includes stars like Miley, Ryan Gosling, Jack Nicholson, Madonna, Beyoncé and more transformed into military heroes, Dutch maidens or in Leonardo DiCaprio's case, Vincent Van Gogh himself. We hear that Lacroix works as a retoucher and it shows -- her precision when it comes to inserting Miley's scowl into a Henri-Guillaume Schlesinger painting or Madonna's gaze into a piece by Vittorio Corcos is impressive. Take a look at some of our favorites and head to Lacroix's Tumblr to see the rest.


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Update: The Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan Museum Is Up and Running


Last month we wrote about a new museum coming to Williamsburg that's dedicated to the demented saga of Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan and, after much fanfare, Brooklyn's newest cultural institution has finally opened its doors! The museum, which is inside the apartment of friends and roommates Matt Harkins and Viviana Olen, features photos and other artifacts from the 1994 incident. And in case you don't live in NYC, Viviana and Matt have filmed this informative video that gives you a guided tour of the pieces on display. Go for gold, Matt and Viviana!

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Author Johann Hari Knows How to End the War On Drugs

johann-hari-680x1024.jpgEighty percent of Americans agree that the war on drugs has failed. And Johann Hari has done something about it.

Johann Hari has written an important and powerful  book that reads like a thriller and gives us all we need to know to make the case for repeal. Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs exposes the failed policy that has ruined millions of lives and wasted billions of dollars in its misguided approach, including its unfair targeting of African Americans and its role in creating the largest prison-industrial complex in the world. Hari also finds heroes with remarkable stories, at once humanizing his argument and making it clear that prohibition policy is flawed and ineffective. He looks at the science, challenges our assumptions about addiction and uses case studies of countries like Switzerland, Portugal and Uruguay where enlightened legalization has shown dramatic results. As we see in Colorado and Washington, marijuana legalization is on the rise because the people, not the politicians, are applying pressure and leading the way.

"One of reasons I was motivated to write this book is that I have drug addiction in my family," Hari told me over Skype from his home in London. "I wanted to understand what causes addiction. And what can be done to help people."

Humanizing addiction, he says, is the best place to start.

"We've dehumanized so many people at the heart of this, whether it's drug users, drug addicts, drug dealers, cops or the people who live in the supply-route countries," Hari says. "I honestly think if most people in America or Britain could see [the people in the book] as human beings like them, with hopes and dreams and fears, they wouldn't support the continuation of this war. No one wants to read a 400-page argument. I think the way to change people's minds abut this is through stories, not arguments."

Indeed, America's ethos of individualism doesn't allow much sympathy for the homeless or down-and-out. We tend to view addiction and substance abuse as a self-created problem, when it's more complex than that.

"It's very natural to be irritated by drug users," he says. "I think one of the reasons the debates over the drug wars are so charged is because it runs through the heart of each of us. Everyone has a prohibitionist in their head someplace and, at other points, a compassionate and loving person."

Hari found that America did not embrace drug prohibition when Henry Anslinger, commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, first imposed it in 1914. "One thing that struck me was that when drug prohibition was introduced 100 years ago, it was massively contested in the US. There is a huge fight back from doctors who continued to prescribe heroin and cocaine to drug addicts because they didn't want them to go to dealers. 17,000 doctors were arrested -- as far as I know, it's the biggest roundup of doctors by law enforcement ever in US history. The drug war was born in America and imposed on the rest of the world by America, but the most powerful and eloquent voices against the drug war also come from America."

If a notoriously conservative country like Switzerland can reach the right conclusion, there's hope. "They voted twice in referenda to legalize heroin by huge majority," Hari says. "And Switzerland is an exceptionally right-wing country. Women got the vote in 1978. This is like Utah legalizing heroin. The argument that won in Switzerland is really important: that the drug war means anarchy. It means unknown dealers selling unknown chemicals to unknown people all in the dark. They do it in our public places, they spread disease and they are unsafe. Legalization is a way of restoring order to the chaos. What we do is take those addicts out of our parks we put them in nice clean clinics. The way it works is you turn up, you go to clinic, they give you heroin. You inject it there. You can't take it out with you. And you go off to work. Overwhelmingly, once the chaos of the street addicts ends and they are given some support to get housing and so on, they get jobs. They saw a massive fall in street crime, car theft, muggings and prostitution. What you saw is a restoration of order."

johannhariwarondrug.jpgThat is the way Hari proposes to cut through the cultural divide's pro- and anti-drug positions.
"What we need to communicate to people is that you can be anti-drugs but still be against marijuana prohibition because that causes even more problems than the drug itself. We've transferred one of the biggest industries in America to armed criminal gangs who are fucking up our society in all sorts of ways, and we can actually bankrupt them if we choose a different approach. That's the argument that can win."

He says the baby steps the United States has taken towards ending the war aren't to be discounted. "All political change happens incrementally," he says. Fears that legalization would cause massive societal issues, he says, mostly become unfounded when compared to the success other countries. "The things that people are most afraid of do not come to pass," he says. "We now know what will happen."

An important component of reform in Portugal, for example, is diverting the money previously earmarked for enforcement into rehabilitation, to reconnect addicts to society in an enlightened, progressive way. "It's the opposite of what we do," he says. "We take addicts and cut them off."

Hari says the most destructive part of the drug war is violence. "If you and I go rob a local liquor store, they could call the cops. And the cops would take us away. So that liquor store doesn't have to be violent and intimidating. If we went to the local weed and coke dealer and tried to steal their product they couldn't call the cops. They would have to be violent. If you're a dealer you don't want to have a fight every day so what you have to do is establish a reputation for being so terrifying that no one would dare to fuck with you. The war on drugs creates a culture of terror: you have to be terrifying for it to work because that's how you protect your product. The war on drugs creates a war for drugs. Al Capone didn't kill people because he was drunk, but because alcohol was prohibited."

Drug-related deaths, he says, are mostly a misnomer, a form of double speak. "Overwhelmingly," he says, they are "prohibition-related, not drug-related. If they banned milk, we would have a war for milk. That's what happens when you have a prohibited market."

One of Hari's major revelations is his revisionist views on the nature of addiction itself. "If isolation and pain cause drug addiction, the idea of imposing more isolation and pain is obviously wrong," he says.

Politicians know this, but few act. "The reason why although Clinton, Bush and Obama all had been drug users in their younger days, and all had disgraceful drug policies, is because there isn't a big enough movement exerting pressure."

To that end, Hari has created chasingthescream.com, a repository of all his interviews as well as a primer for taking up the cause.

"What we need is a huge and broad-based movement demanding change which will outweigh the voices on the other side," says Hari. "The ones that are frightened of what legalization means."

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See Photos from Our "Iris" Screening Last Night with Kate Spade New York and BAM

_N2A2153.jpgLast night Paper hosted a screening of the upcoming Albert Maysles documentary Iris with Kate Spade New York, BAMCinematek and the film's legendary style-icon subject herself, Iris Apfel. Wearing a cow-skin coat, Apfel held court on a panel discussion moderated by our very own Kim Hastreiter as well as Mickey Boardman and the film's producers. Among various bon mots shared by the 93-year-old, Apfel said she thinks the last great designer was Cristobal Balenciaga and departed the following wisdom on the audience, which was something her father said to her growing up:  "Never expect anything from people. Then, if they do something nice for you, you're happily surprised. And if they don't, well, you're not upset." You can't argue with that.

The film was shown as part of Kate Spade New York's ongoing "Interesting Women, Interesting Lives " series at BAM. Take a look at photos from the evening below.

_N2A2349.jpgDeborah Lloyd, President and Chief Creative Officer of Kate Spade New York, and Iris Apfel

_N2A2364.jpgMickey Boardman and Kim Hastreiter


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Watch Kanye Perform at the Time 100 Party, Stare Blankly at Amy Schumer


Our current cover star Kanye West performed last night at the TIME 100 party, surrounded on stage by partially-clothed black men covered in chalk and tattered clothing. West, who's also on TIME's cover, performed several songs, including "Gold Digger,""New Slaves,""Black Skinhead" and "Only One," a clip from which is above.

amy-schumer-kim-kanye.jpgEarlier in the night, BAMF Supreme Amy Schumer found herself next to Kimye on the red carpet and threw herself on the ground in front of them. Schumer told TIME, "I saw them and said to my publicist, 'Can I pretend to fall?' and she said, 'I can't stop you."

Kanye just glanced at her and kept walking. But, hey, it looks like Kim's bodyguard thought it was funny! And he seems like a tough crowd.

Here's a video of the stunt below. As well as more clips from Kanye's performance.


New Slaves

Black Skinhead

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A Lana Del Rey Song Pops Up In the Age of Adaline Trailer


After contributing music to the soundtracks for Big Eyes and Maleficent, Lana Del Rey has once again lent her signature dream gloom to another film, The Age of Adaline. The movie stars Blake Lively in the titular role as an immortal young woman who doesn't age past 29 (how awful). We get our first taste of LDR's new song, "Life Is Beautiful," in the movie's trailer, which shows Lively in lots of pretty period hairstyles while La Lana's delicate crooning plays in the background. Give the clip a watch, above, before the movie comes out this Friday.

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John Waters' Greatest Paper Quotes

John Waters_Earth Day.jpgIn honor of the one and only cinema legend and pope of trash John Waters' birthday today, we've rounded up all of our favorite Waters'Paper soundbites from over the years. A three-time Paper cover star, Waters is one of our biggest heroes. Below, our favorite Watersisms from the archives.  

From an April 1990 interview about Cry-Baby.

Kim Hastreiter: You pick a variety of people [to be in your films]: old, young, pretty, homely.

John Waters:
They're definitely all beautiful to me. It's all kinds of beauty. To me, nobody's ugly.

On casting Iggy Pop: Iggy's the godfather of everything I believe in. I've only been to three rock concerts in my life, and Iggy was one of them and one of the only ones I ever liked. I love the fact that Iggy is completely clean now. I think he's a good actor. He should play a Bond villain. He's got a face like no one else.

On casting Traci Lords: I've never seen her early movies. I know about them, but for god's sake, we don't judge. To me, any kind of past that you've changed around is a kind of plus. I knew the girl was smart when she told me she wanted to play Hatchet Face. [Kim McGuire was given the role of Hatchet Face, Lords was cast as Wanda Woodward.] She didn't even want to look pretty. I think she came to the film with an ounce of Traci Lords left in her and she left a teenager, which is nice.
Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 3.11.32 PM.png
In April 1994, Ann Magnuson and Waters discuss his new film, Serial Mom

Ann Magnuson:"I love when L7 portrayed the band Camel Lips in those specially designed, camel-lipped crotch trousers -- hysterical."

JW: Well we looked at Mick Jagger's dick for years, so why not this?

AM: You've said Middle America hates camp and surrealism.

John Waters: Unfortunately, I learned in my career that they do. It doesn't work. They don't like camp because they don't think anything so bad is good.  They don't even have good yet. They're like, "What's that mean? That's not real. Life isn't like that. That's stupid." Camp's over. I don't hear anybody say that word. Maybe older gentlemen in an antique shop talking about a Betty Grable calendar -- that's camp. Or a Tiffany shade is camp.

AM: You know, sometimes people will refer to the stuff I do as camp, and it just annoys me.

JW: Don't ever print that or they''ll say it to you all the time, to get on your nerves. Never let the critics know the one thing they say that you hate, or they'll say it over and over.

AM: I know, but like with feminism, people aren't defining these terms properly, so I don't know what they mean by them. They just become meaningless after a while.

JW: I don't think you should ever say that you're not a feminist, because I would never say I'm not.

On Serial Mom's famous dog feet-licking scene: Dog-shrimping, right. "Shrimping" is sucking feet -- it's an old term. Y'know, little shrimps? You suck 'em. It's a theme that has recurred in my movies because it's safe sex, certainly. I figured that there are people who watch television alone and let the dog shrimp them.

Johnny Depp hearts Patty Hearst: Johnny Depp said in an Us magazine interview that he had a crush on Patty Hearst when he made Cry-Baby. She said, "I'm going to to show it to everybody in high school who was mean to me."

On taking the bus from Baltimore to New York City as a teenager: I was angry and alienated. I used to make my way to New York all the time. I pierced my ear at 16 on the Trailways bush. With just a needle -- blood was pouring out, and people were like "Eeeek!" and moving away from me. And I wore the earring one day. It got septic and turned green, and then I took it out and never wore an earring again. That was in 1963.

I wanted to be a beatnik. I would go right to Greenwich Village, and think "God! It's like Life magazine. There they are, what I want to be!" And I looked like the most white-bread suburban Baltimore boy, which I was.

Waters rhapsodizes about Comme Des Garcons designer Rei Kawakubo in "Rei Kawakubo, I'm Your Biggest Fan," September 1998.

I'm scared of her because I respect her so much. She never smiles. She always looks like she's been sitting in a cell thinking about hemlines for two years like a Catholic saint who gave up everything to think about how to deconstruct clothes. You don't see her sense of humor when you meet her --  she always wears leather and black and seems to be surrounded by bald-headed women. I think, of course, she has a great sense of humor. No one could design clothes that witty who didn't. I think you can be very serious about your work and have a sense of humor, too. I am very serious about my work and I try to make good trash.

John Waters2004.jpgWaters tells us about his dreams for a record label in our September 2004 20th anniversary issue.

Can you imagine -- a John Waters record label? I was going to call it "Rimmer Records" and have the logo be an asshole, but we're not doing that.

In an interview with Waters about his 2010 memoir Role Models, he tells us there are no good dive bars in New York City. But Baltimore has plenty.  

[New York dives] are infected by irony and fashion. Everyone comes to New York to be a version of something. For the people in these Baltimore bars, there's no irony. They're the opposite of trendy. People in Baltimore always say to me, 'Whydid you get an apartment in New York?'  Everyone in New York participates in irony. But no one in these Baltimore bars participates in it. It makes for a very different climate and one, for me, as a writer, that's a much more important one. These are the kinds of people who I make movies about. I love going to all the new clubs in New York; I try out all the new restaurants. I like it all. It's just not my material.

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 3.12.43 PM.pngIn a 2012 interview, Waters tells us about going to midnight mass with Divine.

We used to have to go to midnight mass, which I hated. Divine would come to midnight mass, too, but in drag. He'd pass with the adults, but the children knew.

In 2013, it's what he finds funniest about Christmas.

I think one of the funniest things about Christmas is a living crèche or a living nativity scene. They're frightening. I find them scarier than any Diane Arbus photo. I go to them like people go to haunted houses at Halloween, but I scrunch down in the crowd because I don't want people to see me. Then I'd feel as perverted as they are. 

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A Hooters-Esque Dick-Centric Restaurant Is Coming to Dallas


Are you ready for the male version of Hooters? Apparently they are down in Texas. An "open call" for a new restaurant in Dallas called Tallywackers posted last week on Craigslist drew lots of prospective "bartenders, servers, cooks, bus boys and hosts" and, judging from their Facebook page, they've found some good ones. The Dallas Voice reports that servers "will be hot young men clad in towels, undies, etc." The new spot is set to open on Lemmon Avenue in the city's Oak Lawn "gayborhood" and, who knows, it may be coming to your hood any day now. Gotta admit that we've never heard the word "tallywacker" before today, but the Free Dictionary has it pegged (pun intended): "The male organ of copulation in higher vertebrates."

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Artist Alejandro Duran Creates Stunning, Site-Specific Sculptures From Trash

Derrame.jpgDerrame (Spill), 2010

While on vacation in Mexico in February, we decided to drive from Tulum down to Punta Allen at the end of Highway 109.  After an hour we stopped for a swim, but, sadly, couldn't even get close to the water due to the incredible amount of plastic crap that covered every square inch of sand. Of course up in Tulum, they clean the beaches every day so the tourists can pose in beautiful sunrise selfies.  A few miles away -- and ironically in an area called the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve -- there are no regular clean-up crews, so you get a glimpse of the sad reality of ocean pollution.

Mexico City-born artist Alejandro Duran has documented this huge depository of trash with a series of photographs called "Washed Up."  He uses the trash to create and photograph color-based, site-specific sculptures and hopes that the works "mirror the reality of our current environmental predicament."

On Wednesday, April 22nd, from 6 to 8 p.m., there's an opening for an exhibition of photos from Duran's "Washed Up" series along with a screening of a short film directed by Stefanie Duran at Habana Outpost (757 Fulton Street, Brooklyn), near their current home in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.  Next month, there's a "beach clean" scheduled for May 2nd in the Sian Ka'an Reserve and another photo exhibit on May 11th, nearby in Punta Allen, Mexico.

And, yes, today is Earth Day.

Take a look at some more of Duran's works, below.

Algas (Algae), 2013

Brotes (Shoots), 2014

Atardecer (Sunset), 2013

Mar (Sea), 2013

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