This Week in Alts: The road to 2030, 'Hands Up,' and more

Houston Press, "The Road to 2030: Self-driving Cars, Big Data and the Future of TexasRobotic exoskeletons! Self-driving cars! A healthy bioengineered human lung that lives in a bottle! The future is coming, and it's approaching at a faster rate than ever before. Not in the space-time-continuum sense, of course: "'The pace at which you can go from the almost lunatic fringe to the mainstream is a lot faster than it used to be,' says Dr. Andrew Hines, program coordinator of the University of Houston's graduate program in foresight. 'Something can accelerate up that curve a lot faster than has been possible because of social media, making it much less predictable.' . . . So what will be the shape of this new world we're staring down? We're not soothsayers, so we asked some of Texas's best thinkers and scholars to bend their minds toward how our world might change along the road to 2030."


Indy Week, "Hands Up: 6 Playwrights, 6 Testaments holds a space for hard discussions about race and police brutalityHere at City Paper, we've written about how difficult it can be to focus on art when something like Ferguson happens, but also how art can be used as a means of protest against injustice. Down in North Carolina, a group of local theater companies is banding together to put on "Hands Up," a collection of six monologues about "the African-American experience of police brutality," with the hope that theater can inspire conversation about these injustices: "'We're not talking about white supremacy at the water cooler or at church,' [the director Monet Marshall] says. 'And even if we were, our houses of worship are very segregated. Theater is a space where diverse people can come together to have those hard conversations.'

"Marshall especially wants to reach people who perpetuate and are affected by systemic racism in less direct ways—people like me. 'Talking about race, people sometimes feel that it is not their issue, but that in itself is a privilege,' she says in her usual friendly way, as we part with a hug. 'Lean into that privilege and come anyway. You do have something to do with it, and you have a responsibility to change it.'"


Indy Week, "John Waters discusses his one-man show 'This Filthy World,' his iconic films and his ongoing obsession with the outréI know, Indy Week gets two articles featured, how unfair—but it's an interview with John Waters, and he talks about Baltimore, so how could we not include it? "I think Baltimore was a perfect mix for me because it was very diverse, racially: All the white kids listened to black radio, even though it was a town that was racist in many ways," Waters says. "All the weird taste and bad taste, I think it always went a little more extreme and crazy [in Baltimore]." He also touches on a point that CP art writer Michael Farley made a few weeks ago, which is that, in a profanity-saturated world, it's hard for someone like Waters to shock in the same way he used to. "Nobody gets mad at what I'm doing anymore, and I still say the same kind of stuff" as 40 years ago, Waters says in the interview. "I think if people come to see me, they expect me to take them into a zone of a little discomfort, but with me as a guide, they feel comfortable."

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