"Blogging isn't journalism, it's graffiti with punctuation."

Posts tagged “Toronto

My latest essay in the @NYTimes: Taking Back My Eyebrows

So . . . this happened.

I sold an essay to The New York Times! They launched a new column in the Style section called Rites Of Passage, and I’m one of the first people to be published in it. I’ve been keeping a lid on this news for a while because, even after I sign a contract, I’m still never sure something will be published until I see it in print. Working with my editors at the Times was incredible, they were so kind and generous. This was a very quick process too, from submitting, to acceptance, to editing, to published. I’m so pleased with how it all turned out. Read it here!

One thing was edited out which I’ll share here: a behind the scenes look at some of things I wanted to say.

Well, I won’t tell you, I’ll show you:

I mean, it’s obvious why that wasn’t included in the final version, but as many of you already know, when it comes to my eyebrows, I GOT STORIES.

Thanks for the support, and if you want more, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com, where you can read in full all of my published work!

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Check out my interview in @Macleans Magazine

After the Toronto terrorist attack perpetrated by an Incel misogynist last month, I tweeted about the ludicrous male entitlement and fragility that make up “incels.” The tweet subsequently went viral and I received in response a deluge of obscene, disgraceful, inhuman, and sexually-harassing messages from angry white dudebros online. So I fought back and it was the sheer act of fighting back that made my original tweet go even farther online than I imagined. I gained 1000+ new Twitter followers in 24 hours, my tweet was liked over 5000 times, and it was screencapped & shared in FB groups all over the internet.  It was a crazy period.

As a result, Maclean’s Magazine published a piece about incels, misogyny, and the fight against targeted harassment of women. Friend Andray Domise interviewed me and others about fighting against online harassment, and the piece was published recently. It’s a really great piece, of which you should read in full, but here’s a section which contains a snipped of my interview:

With this in mind, I’ve recently sold two essay pitches to two different magazines, one of which will deal with the ongoing oppression and subjugation of women, and I can’t wait to share them with you when they’re published.

Check out more of my press interviews and media profiles on my official website Christine Estima dot com!


Read my latest essay published in @WalrusMagazine !

Here’s something I’ve been keeping a lid on for some months, but am super excited to finally share! I sold a story to The Walrus! For my international readers, The Walrus is a Canadian magazine that could easily be likened to The New Yorker – a highly-curated arts and culture magazine with some amazing critical thinkers writing for and creating the magazine. It’s a national magazine, available across the country.

My essay, published today, is about the time last year when I found a roll of film on the curb and set out to find the lost photographer. It’s a really quirky story that involves a lot of six-degrees-of-kevin-bacon but also about expectations v reality. I may or may not mention Amélie once or twice within this piece. Check it out and share it with your friends!

So here’s something funny about this process of being a freelance writer that is related to this story – last year, another magazine (which shall remain nameless) bought this story. They sat on this story for 7 months. They edited it so it stripped out all the colour, flare, style, and tone of my writing. They were absolutely unreachable at times, and it was a super frustrating experience working with them. Finally, a publication date for this past January was set. They paid me in full in anticipation of the publication date. Then, ON THE DAY it was set to be published, I received an email from the editor, saying that they were killing the story because it was “too local” and not something that would appeal to people across the country.

What the shizz?

Not once in the 7 months that they had the story was the concern that it was “too local” ever raised. Also, that’s a bullshit criticism, you guys have read the story, do you find this story unappealing to people outside of Toronto? Rhetorical question.

And worst of all, before that publication had bought the story, I had pitched it elsewhere, & some places only got back to me after said-publication bought it. So I had turned down other publications for them! For those of you outside of the publishing world, you should know this kind of behaviour and practice is all SUPER UNPROFESSIONAL. I’ve had stories killed before, but not on the DAY it was to be published, for such a lame excuse, after paying me in full. Most writers I know have had similar experiences with them, and warned me about them.  So in my reply, I told them exactly what I thought. May the bridges I burn light the way.

I subsequently erased ALL the edits they did on my piece, and went back to my true voice that they tried to strip from the piece. Sometimes editors try to “trim the fat” of a story, but any chef will tell you that the fat has all the flavour. Good writing requires a style and a voice, and I wasn’t going to let them convince me my voice needed to be trimmed.

Fast forward to this past autumn, The Walrus bought the story (and frankly, The Walrus is a much better publication, with a helluva lot more respect), and the process of fashioning and editing the piece with them has been light years ahead and beyond what said-shizz-publication was like. And I’m super proud of this end result. Because above all, I found a publication that nurtured and encouraged my voice and style.

There are a lot of shady things publications try to do to freelance writers  . . . and most of the time, they get away with it. Being freelance means you don’t get the support of HR and you’re in this legal gray area most of the time. So I’ve learned that you have to be your best advocate in this business . . .  because the world doesn’t owe you any favours. Hustle and work hard, and it will all sort itself out in the end.

And maybe, if you’re really lucky, you’ll get paid twice for the same story 😉

(Yes that was tacky of me, but I’m not deleting it.)

Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published essays, stories, and more!


Listen to my story on the @RaconteursStory podcast!

As many of you know, I’ve been doing live storytelling and spoken word for about 4 years now and I’ve been really lucky with all the places I’ve been invited to speak – London UK, NYC, and all over Toronto. You can watch many of my performances on my YouTube and also listen to the rest on my Soundcloud! Anyway, one of the places I’ve performed at twice Raconteurs Storytelling, has just relaunched their podcast and I appear in episode 3 “Appearances,” where I tell my story of my ethnicity and the mild racism that comes with being othered and “exotic.”

Click here to listen! You can also subscribe to their podcast on iTunes!

And don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my Spoken Word, published writing, and more!


Other-Worldly and Vaguely Threatening: Part 2

It seems like at least once a year, I do a photoshoot. A couple of times, it’s been for magazines, but mostly it’s for photog friends who think I give good face, as it were. My friend Graham Isador, who’s a fellow in many ways (we both do the thee-ahh-tah, we both do Live Storytelling, we both freelance the snot out of VICE), has taken up the fine art of photog’ing and we met up earlier this week on the West Toronto Rail Path to werrrrk, shashay, chantez.

Last year I said that, you know, since I’m a professional writer, I’m not interested in looking “pretty.” I want to look “other-worldly and vaguely threatening.” This shoot is kind of an extension of that idea.

But then Graham said I was “ridiculously photogenic” so of course I had to A) giggle like a twee dickhead, and B) tell all of you people.

Ah yes, one of my typewriters made an appearance. ‘Natch. Those things are my babies.

I like doing these fun little activities every once in a while considering that my daily life is super unglamorous. I spend eight hours a day banging away at my laptop, whilst still wearing yesterday’s yoga pants and rocking a mad case of boob sweat. So when this opportunity came up, I was like, “an excuse to pluck my unibrow and wear deodorant!”

But before you comment to say I look like a rain cloud of doom…..

 

Many thanks to Graham for these wonderful shots!

Don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot com for more from my previous photoshoots and press coverage!

 


How Men Can Stop Street Harassment: my latest article in @VICE

Earlier this week I endured yet again an incident of street harassment. It happens almost every day. So much so, that it’s almost normalized as part of my daily routine. Get up, take a shower, grab a cuppa from Timmies, and tell some douchenozzle to go fuck himself.

This incident was different because a nice young couple came to my aid. I started thinking about all the ways men can be an ally to women to women when they observe street harassment. So many men, supposedly “nice guys,” will just ignore it and pretend it isn’t happening. BUT IT IS HAPPENING, and we need your support and solidarity.

Do you nice guys call out harassment when you see it? Or do you just stand there and watch whilst thinking about how nice you are?

So, with some encouragement from my editor, I wrote about it for VICE. Read it in full here. Enjoy!

And as always, you can visit the official Christine Estima dot com to read more of my published essays, op-eds, columns, short stories, travel writing, and much much more.



Listen to “Spray It, Don’t Say It” – my latest Spoken Word performance

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A couple weeks ago I performed a Spoken Word piece at The Spoke, a live storytelling event here in Toronto, which I blogged about here. The organizers recorded the audio of my piece for their podcast, and you can now listen to it here below! It deals with street art, graffiti, heartbeats, heartbreak, mourning, healing, hope…all the good stuff. Enjoy!

My Soundcloud also has other audio clips from some of my previous Spoken Word performances, so please check it out!

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Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more on my Spoken Word performances, my published articles, essays, short stories, and more!

 


“I’m On My Knees But I’m Not Praying”: my latest short story published in Matrix Magazine

FAIR WARNING this is a rather racy story that deal with some full-on topics. For the record, I’m not trying to say anything about the political issues associated with the themes in this story, I’m just exploring an idea and seeing where it goes. This piece is more about complicated emotions and feelings that are in direct conflict with each other, rather than the politicizing of bodies.

Also, creative writing is rarely sensical haha.

You can read this piece in full online right now and it will also appear in print soon, and I will of course update you when that happens! Enjoy at your own discretion, my munchkins.

 

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A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to perform some of my Spoken Word/Live Storytelling at The Spoke.*

The theme of this night was Heartbeats, so I figured I could speak for 5-10 minutes about that!

I was the first storyteller of the night and it went very well. People came up to me afterwards to hold my hand and tell me they enjoyed my lovely little story. It’s so great connecting with people by just telling some of the fubar stories from my clusterfuck life, haha.


It was such a great night and I’m grateful to the organizers for asking me to participate. They recorded audio of the night so as soon as I have that, I will share it with you. It may also appear on their curated podcast soon.

Speaking of which, if you visit my Soundcloud, you can hear in their entirety some of the audio from my previous Spoken Word performances. I also have on there an Ambient Playlist that I’ve specially curated that is becoming quite popular on there. It’s a great playlist for writing and doing creative endeavours.

Don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot com for more of my published works that you can read in full, and also all of the media attention and press my work has garnered!

*fanks to Caron for the pics!


You Will Lose All Your Friends in your 30s: my latest @VICE essay

I’ve had an absolute bonkers week (more on that in a sec) so I’m slow to report that earlier this week, my latest misanthropic, bitchy essay was published in VICE. Once you get on the wrong side of 30, it’s like a plague of locusts descends upon your friendships. You better lock up your besties and buddies in your basement now and make sure they can’t chisel their way out, because your 30s are a barren wasteland.

So, uh, enjoy?

Enjoy!

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The reason this week has been absolutely bonkers is because I took part in an indie theatre fest called Operation 24! Run by Parkdale theatre darlings Unit 102, Operation 24 is a 24-hour theatre challenge where plays are written, rehearsed and performed professionally all within 24 hours! “Each writer stays up until the wee hours of the morning to craft a ten-minute play. The actors and directors take that play and rehearse it all day, preparing to show it to you, our audience at 8pm the next night. 24 hours from beginning to end resulting in a dynamite night of theatre.” As you may have guessed, I was one of the writers!

At 8pm on Tuesday night, each playwright started writing a 10 minute play on our own. After LOTS of coffee and pizza, I finished my play around 3am. I sent it to my director and two actors around 3:30am and was absolutely wrecked.


Some of the other playwrights finished around 5am (and one completely rewrote his play at 7am!). At 10am, the director and actors began to rehearse. Then at 8pm and 10pm, the actors nailed 2 performances of it, memorized, staged, blocked, cued, costumed, and lit!!

It was an absolutely thrilling and brilliant experience. Longtime readers of this blog know that in my past life I was a playwright with quite a few productions under my belt, but this was the first time something of mine had been staged since 2010. I had such a great (albeit sleep-deprived) time and I’d definitely do it again, and recommend it to all the playwrights, directors, and actors in Toronto who want a challenge!

Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my theatrical productions, performances, and more!

 

 


Check me out on @CBC’s show Podcast Playlist!

Last year I performed at GRTTWaK, reading an entry from my 1996 diary which was hilarious and cringeworthy at the same time. It was a great experience where I ended up being included on GRTTWaK’s curated podcast. Well, the CBC show Podcast Playlist got wind of my performance and included it in this week’s edition, “As Seen On TV!”

 

If you want to give’r a listen, click here and fast forward to time index 48:00!

And if you want to watch this performance in full, including me trying to stifle a giggle as the audience laughs, you can watch it below!

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Last week I mentioned that I’d be reading at the Toronto launch of Room Magazine’s 40th Anniversary Anthology. Well it went great! A lot of people in the Canadian literary community showed up and I got to talk books, creativity, and the business with some incredibly talented and accomplished peers!

I’m so pleased that they included me in the anthology. There are more good things like this to come, things are happening and it’s all very exciting. I love being a writer, espesh a respected member of the Can. Lit. community!

As always, don’t forget to visit the official Christine Estima dot com to check out all of my published works, and all of the media attention I’ve garnered!



The #friendzone & dudebros: my latest essay in @Vice

So this is a funny story. Last week I got into a Twitter spat with some jabroni who was going on about the “friend zone.” I was frankly shocked to see it coming from a so-called “gentleman,” (he uses that word in his twitter handle like all gentlemen do, ‘natch) because in the circles I run in, using that term is a laughable offence. Forgot that there actually are people who think that’s a perfectly acceptable term (and the word for those people is ‘nimrod’).

In any case, one of the staff writers at VICE saw my tweets and told me I should definitely turn this into a piece.

See? NEVER SHY AWAY FROM HAVING FIGHTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

I WILL HAVE ALL THE FIGHTS WITH STRANGERS ON THE INTERNETZZZZZZZ.

Kidding! (Not kidding)

Click here to read the piece in full.

As always, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published essays, stories, travel writing, interviews, and more.

 

 


The Lovertine: Watch my TV interview on TFO!

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Life is strange and unpredictable. You never know what’s coming for ya. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. A few months ago, you’ll remember I was interviewed and photographed for a Toronto Life feature , which itself was a lot of fun. Well, more people saw that interview than I bargained for.

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I was contacted by the good folks over at TFO 24.7, the Franco-Ontarian TV station here in Canada.  They noticed that I speak French, and that many of my love letters are in French, and they asked if they could come over and film me for a Valentine’s Day segment.

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They came over and interviewed me for 5 hours. The finished TV segment is less than 4 minutes, it’s a lot of work that goes into making a mere 4 minutes!  They filmed me in my bedroom here in Toronto, which I have decorated with the letters, old photographs, antique furniture and typewriters, and then they filmed me at an antique shop and a café.

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I really like the way this came out. The music they use is super sweet and it makes my 9 x 15 bedroom look much larger than it actually is! I’m also a little embarrassed, just because this is my bedroom and I’m inviting all of you strangers into my tiny little corner of the world, but hey…. I WOULD DOOOOO ANYTHING FOR LOVVVVVVVE. Har har.

 

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I think this is my favourite shot in the entire segment.

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Anyway, watch the entire segment below! It’s in French, of course, but you will probably still get the gist of it even if you don’t speak French. Enjoy! Savourez-le!


Video: Watch me perform @RaconteursTO!

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Recently I performed at Raconteurs, a live storytelling event that happens monthly here in Toronto. I’ve performed at Raconteurs before, and as many of you know, lots of other Spoken Word events around the world like The Moth, Spark London, GRTTWaK, and Pressgang. I feel like these events bridge a nice gap between writing and performance. I don’t like to act much, I prefer to be vulnerable on the page, rather than on the stage, but Spoken Word and Live Storytelling are a nice way to meld the two.

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I told a story about trying to become the Canadian Amélie with a little help from the Bunz Trading Zone. It’s a crazy story of trying to connect with other people — complete strangers, really — and all the foibles and follies therein. You can watch it below! Enjoy!

In this new year, I have lots of things on my plate! So many upcoming publications, performances, and more! I can’t wait to share the news with you. Even though 2016 was a dumpster fire for everyone, I made some huge advances in my career and I’m so pleased with the direction in which everything is going. Small positive steps everyday lead to big things!

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Also, I have a new adventure on the horizon! On Valentine’s Day, I head to Helsingborg, Sweden for the first time! I’ve never been (even though I lived in Europe for years and years), so when a housesitting opportunity arose, so I had to take it. After Sweden, I’ll be swinging through London, Brussels, and Amsterdam to visit my friends (and celebrate my birfday! What a crazy 3 weeks this is going to be….), so if you’re in Helsingborg and want to show this wee Canadian lass around, hit me up!

As always, don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot CALM (har har) to read all of my published articles, watch my performances, and check out my media coverage.

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Check me out in Toronto Life!

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Recently, Toronto Life, an upmarket magazine here in the 6ix, asked if they could come over to my place and interview and photograph me for a series they’re doing on people who collect weird/wonderful things. So naturally my large collection of old love letters and photographs that I bought form European flea markets had to go into the fold. If you’re a longtime reader of ye olde’ blog, you know all about my flea-marketing-proclivities. This old post from 3 years ago details one of the very first love letters I ever bought at a European flea market. I’ve also sold an article to VICE about the things I collect from flea markets.

Anyway, I really like the write-up they’ve done here on me and the pictures turned out great! Click on the image above or click here to read the article in full!

And don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot com for all of the press coverage I have received over the years, I’ve been featured in everything from CBC Newsworld, The Toronto Star, BBC Radio, and more! Click this image!NewWEbSite!


Check out my @VICE interview with #TIFF16 film director Alice Lowe

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The Toronto International Film Festival was amazing this year, I saw so many films (as documented by this round-up I wrote for VICE last week), and the fest is always such an electric time to be on the streets of Toronto. Everything is alive.

Speaking of life, the film PREVENGE is about a pregnant woman whose fetus tells her to kill people. So OF COURSE I had to interview the director/writer/performer Alice Lowe. Check out what she had to tell me about women in the film industry and pregnancy stigmas over here on VICE.

Fun fact: I had first seen Alice Lowe in an episode of Sherlock (season 3 episode “Sign of Three“) and the whole time we were talking, her voice was just reminding me of one of her lines from Sherlock, “A GHOST, MR HOLMES!” and then a drunk Watson saying to her, “He’s clueing for looks.”

I am a gigantic nerd.

Check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my VICE essays and articles, and much more.

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Otherworldly and Vaguely-Threatening

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A couple months ago, I was asked by a longtime photographer collaborator friend of mine to pose for some thematic photographs. We had previously worked together in 2012 for a street art photo series, and last year for a typewriter-beach series, and it’s always nice to work with someone who you’re comfortable with and trust. I like to call this series, “I don’t want to look pretty, I want to look otherworldly and vaguely-threatening,” à la Sue Edworthy.

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I’m not much of a model, if I’m being honest. I can’t say I’m 100% comfortable being in front of a camera. Modelling, despite the hubris and vanity involved, also requires a large degree of vulnerability. I prefer to be vulnerable in my writing and leave everything I have out on the page, not on the stage. Even PP, whom I’m super comfortable with, noticed me squirming and scrunching up my face at the idea of revealing too much of myself. I didn’t have that many inhibitions in my 20s, but now that I’m mid-30s, I’m just not interested in giving all of myself away. You want to see all of me? You gotta earn it.

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I think these photographs are provocative, but also tasteful. That’s also a balance I try to strike in my writing, so as a writer, I can live with these shots 😉

Also, I did all my own hair and makeup. I even put on the fake eyelashes myself! I think I’m ready for my Ph.D. in astrophysics now. Yeesh.

 are you actually reading these things?

Make sure you follow Preacher_photography on Instagram. He has some super cool photo series in there where he works with actual models who know their shit, and not hacks like me, har har har.

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Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for all of my recent publications, performances…. annnnnnnd maybe a few photos.

 


Check out my interview + photo shoot in She Does The City

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Recently I was interviewed and photographed by She Does The City on the topic of Love & Loss. They selected people from across Toronto to speak about great love, great loss, and what happens when these two opposites collide. I really like what everyone had to say, and I think my section came out nicely. The peeps at She Does The City are super cool and awesome. Shout out to Jen and Becca.

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You can read the entire piece here. Thanks for all the support munchkins, and hope you enjoy!

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Trade safely, wastoids: my latest essay for @ViceCanada

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Check out my latest essay in VICE about potential profiteering, race and gender discrimination, and drug trafficking occurring in the Bunz Trading Zone, Toronto’s rapidly-expanding online bartering flea market where no cash is allowed.

TL;DR – if you think coppers can’t decipher “420” or “smokeables,” think again. Don’t wake ‘n bake in the middle of a trade.

Don’t forget to check back here often, I have many more pieces (both fiction and on-fiction) set to be published soon (in fact, just yesterday I received another acceptance letter from a magazine!)! Yay writing! Yay publishing!

For more of my work with VICE, click on my VICE category, OR visit the official Christine Estima dot com for all of my VICE essays and more of my published work. Enjoy!

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Check out my latest essay in @VICE: Nicole Arbour’s lack of satire

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My latest essay has been published in VICE, about the ragebait videos of Toronto cheerleader Nicole Arbour: we all know she’s racist, misogynist, and a fat-shamer, but she also loves to hide behind the banner of “satire” to get away with her bullshit. This piece is about her lack of understanding of what constitutes satire, and also, why comedy is so important and relevant when done right.

Also, I get to talk about her asshole.

 

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It’s also one of the more popular pieces on the VICE network as of right now, so that’s pretty rad.

Some new details about her have emerged since publishing this piece (which I won’t get into on ye olde blog), and I’m getting a lot of private messages from people who have worked with her and know her, who say they can confirm some allegedly criminal behaviour on her part. Toronto is a massive metropolis but it’s small enough that everybody knows everybody somehow, and if your shit smells, people are gonna talk about it. I don’t address this controversy in my piece, but it’s interesting to note and keep in mind.

Anyway, enjoy!

Don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot com if you want to read more of my published works, included many more of my VICE essays.

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