Susan v. Deborah, Opera Startups v. The Met, and More: Today’s Recommended Reading

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Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the Internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘Net are doing, too. Today we have Whoopi Goldberg going in depth about her line of weed-based products for menstrual cramps, historical figures that would have had miserable Twitter presences, and a very lengthy impromptu presidential debate… between Deborah Messing and Susan Sarandon.

Earlier today, Flavorwire reported on the initial announcement that Whoopi Goldberg and weed entrepreneur Maya Elisabeth were working together to launch Whoopi & Maya — their line of products that aim to ease menstrual cramps via nature’s best, still-dumbly-illegal-in-many-states, painkiller — marijuana. Goldberg very fittingly spoke with Vice’s food blog called Munchies about the line. When asked if she thinks the cannabis industry is male dominated, Goldberg responded:

I feel that it might be a male dominated industry right now, only because I’ve talked to so many people about this idea who used that same word, “niche.” What I’m really hoping is that if enough women find relief through cannabis, they will become more empathetic to other medical marijuana users, including families who are moving their children to places where it’s legal so they can get what they need to feel better.

In the New Yorker, Alex Ross writes about NYC’s opera startups and the ways they position themselves as edgy alternatives to The Met, focusing particularly on new companies like Brooklyn’s LoftOpera:

Anyone tired of the disdainful clichés lobbed at classical institutions might initially look askance at LoftOpera, one of a number of small-scale New York companies that advertise themselves as alternatives to a decrepit establishment. Loft’s Web site declares, “Opera is not just for the rich and the aging. Opera is for the young, the edgy, and the emerging creative class.” Inevitably, Loft has won media attention with its us-against-them attitude, its hipster vibe, its habit of blasting pop songs during intermissions, its drink-as-you-listen policy. A typical headline: “WHILE LARGE OPERAS FLOUNDER, SMALL COMPANIES FLOURISH.”

Esquire speaks with Adam Goldman, the creator of the hit web series The Outs, which was initially only meant to last one season but was revived when it was picked up by Vimeo as part of their mini-Netflix-y original content initiative. When asked what The Outs “offers that other [similar] series don’t,” Goldman replies:

I don’t know if it’s about any show not being able to offer something, but it’s about having diversity. You have Girls, which is about the specific experience of those young women in New York. Then you have Master of None, which is about Aziz’s specific experience and specifically looking at that as a comedian and a member of a minority [group]. Our show is about the experience of gay men of a certain age in New York City. Goals are really important, and it’s about what each of those products have set out to do. The queer community and the gay community are horrendously underserved communities in the media. And the truth of the matter, to be as cynical as possible, is that there’s gold in them hills. That’s obviously not my motivation to making this show, but why the hell are people not noticing that there’s an audience for this stuff? It’s just shocking and disappointing that we’re in 2016, and I was just trying to name characters on TV who are gay. You can get to, like, four, and they’re all supporting characters. And I’m like, fuck off already, this is not where we should be. So maybe we’re offering that.

During election time, and honestly during any time, everyone’s social media presences tend to seem amplified to match mounting tensions that exist offline; if you’ve been having a particularly difficult time not getting frustrated on social media lately, The Daily Dot’s list of historical figures that would have been just as bad as some you may be seeing online — if not worse — may put things into perspective. Luke Winkie writes, before launching into his list:

Let’s be clear: Twitter isn’t corrupting us. It’s simply revealing the selfish, egomaniacal cowardice that’s always always been there. It got me thinking about certain figures from cultural history, and how I’d never want to see their Twitter accounts, because I’d never ever want to see them as their worst selves. We’re so grateful that these people never logged in.

Speaking of escalating social media tensions, Vulture drew attention to Deborah Messing’s and Susan Sarandon’s long Twitter debate, which began when Messing responded to Sarandon’s speculation that by being so horrible “Donald Trump [could] bring the revolution immediately,” and that she probably wouldn’t vote for Hillary (she’s since clarified on Twitter that she wouldn’t vote for Trump either) if it came down to Hillary v. Trump. Below are Messing’s Tweets that started the debate of Deborah v. Susan, which Vulture lays out in full: