Desert Companion
Enter the photo contest
 
Subscribe now
Current Issue
APRIL 2014
Click the cover to read the complete digital edition
Features
Best of the City

Departments
All things to all people
Culture
Dining
Editor's Note
End Note
Essay
History
Notes and letters
Science
Take 5
the guide
upcoming events
Take 5
April 24. 7p. A reenactment of combative public testimony adapted from the Missoula City Council hearing to add anti-discrimination protection for...   
April 24. 7p. Singer, recording artist and award-winning songwriter, Taylor and her talented group of musicians will perform a mixture of favorite...   
April 26. 7a. Presented by Rebuilding Together Southern Nevada, this daylong event unites more than 1,200 volunteers and community partners to...   
  0


Getting into the 'eco-sexual' position
by Heidi Kyser | posted April 23, 2014

As Elizabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle wrapped their arms and legs around a tree in UNLV’s Xeric Garden this afternoon and Sprinkle quipped, “We often have treesomes,” it all came together — sexology and ecology, lighthearted lasciviousness and serious activism. The pair of self-described sexecologists was, literally, hugging a tree. And yet, it felt more pornographic than environmental.

I’d been struggling to wrap my own mind around their concept since Tuesday evening’s lecture, “Assuming the Ecosexual Position,” an installment of UNLV’s University Forum series and the first of four Las Vegas events Stephens and Sprinkle are doing in celebration of Earth Day. There, they told a jam-packed room how they met, collaborated as artists, fell in love and — over the course of a 7-year performance project called the Love Art Laboratory — came to be the spokespeople for the erotic environmental movement.

The couple was far more entertaining than the lecture series status quo. Narrating a slide from the day they became domestic partners at San Francisco City Hall, Sprinkle said it happened because “we fell madly, deeply in love.” “Also, I had health insurance at my job,” Stephens added, without missing a beat. The full meaning of the statement would come later in the presentation — during the part about Sprinkle’s experience with breast cancer, which, true to form, she and her partner turned into an art project and meticulously documented on film.

Despite the engaging balance of levity and gravity, though, I didn’t get the point of what they were doing. The art was rich and provocative, but their description of it suggested it was meant to elicit more than shock or introspection; there was a hint of activism — but to what end? I started to grasp the answer during the Q&A following the lecture, when one student asked how their work confronted class issues, something they’d mentioned earlier, in passing.

“We’re trying to involve people who don’t usually get involved,” Stephens said. “Annie (a former prostitute and porn star who has advocated for such workers’ rights) has a whole sex-worker contingent that doesn’t usually get involved in environmental issues. I’m really interested in opening up the conversation to queers. And then there’s artists … Rachel Carson brought her message to housewives who were giving their children milk. Anybody can touch the communities they belong to.”

The message they’re bringing to their community may have come to life during event No. 2: a moonlight wedding ceremony following the lecture in which Stephens and Sprinkle enacted their Vows for Marrying the Earth (e.g., “Every day we promise to taste you and be moved”). Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for that. So, it wasn’t until the “treesome” that I saw, firsthand, what they were all about. And I realized why it wasn’t for me.

Sprinkle and Stephens provide an alternative entrée to environmentalism for people who otherwise might not respect the Earth or lift a finger to protect it – specifically, people who relate to the world through glamour and sex and titillation. I don’t need this entrée, already being someone who respects and works to protect the Earth. The fact that I see it more as a sister than a lover means their approach wouldn’t have drawn me in anyway, but kudos to them for looping in a huge population that the traditional environmental movement has missed. The way things are going, Earth needs all the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and lovers it can get.

The final event of Stephens and Sprinkle’s Las Vegas visit is a screening of their film, “Goodbye Gauley Mountain,” a documentary about mountain top removal mining in Stephens’ home state of West Virgina. It takes place this evening (April 23), 7-9 p.m., at The Center.



Comments




An eco-nerd reflects on Earth Day
by Heidi Kyser | posted April 22, 2014

Earth Day in Clark County started with a warning from the Department of Air Quality: 25-35 mps winds are stirring up dust and ozone, making time outdoors a bad idea for “sensitive groups.” It fits with my mood this April 22.

Scanning the press releases I’ve received about Earth Day events, I grow as ill-humored as the weather. Most encourage some type of consumerism, and a couple blatantly capitalize on the holiday with no apparent environmental benefit at all.

If you really must shop, it’s obviously best to use the Clean Energy Project’s “Buy Green List,” released today with 50 purveyors of coffee, insurance, antiques and other stuff by eco-friendly businesses. Or, you could go to Town Square this weekend and learn how to replace disposable products with reusable ones.

Some events – such as the University Forum Lecture this evening at UNLV, “Assuming the Ecosexual Position: Making the Environmental Movement More Sexy, Fun and Diverse” — are at least educational. And a BOGO ticket promotion at the Monorail could entice some Strip visitors to park their cars and try the lower-carbon option of public transportation.

But that’s as far outside our comfort zone as we’re expected to go, apparently. Few of the week’s events and promotions require a truly meaningful effort on the part of participants. And none captures the essence of the original 1970 manifestation, for which millions of Americans, of all political stripes, took to the streets to raise awareness of pollution.  

That’s the kind of agitation I’d expect in reaction to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s March 31 report bearing this cheery news: “The world, in many cases, is ill-prepared for risks from a changing climate… There are opportunities to respond to such risks, though the risks will be difficult to manage with high levels of warming.” Simply replacing your light bulbs, in other words, isn’t going to do the trick.

And we’re capable of much more, as was proven recently in Southern Nevada. For Earth Day 2012, the Moapa Band of Paiutes led a group of Native Americans in a three-day Cultural Healing Walk to protest coal pollution in their community. Just a couple weeks earlier, NV Energy had announced plans to begin closing its coal-fired plants in favor of renewable energy. That’s what I call an Earth Day!

But there’s plenty more work to be done; it’s obvious from the fact that our malls still feel they have to teach shoppers the difference between disposable and reusable products. I’m afraid anyone who hasn’t figured that out yet is a long way from joining the green revolution that today was intended to be.



Comments




Recent news topics that also make good band names
by Andrew Kiraly & Scott Dickensheets | posted April 21, 2014
UPDATED APRIL 21:
 
AirTran
 
Parking Lot Suicide Kings
 
Bundy Clash
 
UPDATED APRIL 15:
 
The Federal Backdown
("Smooth — even placating — jazz for the don't-tread-on-me crowd." — Horton Veal, Jazz Hands magazine)
 
Duck! the Shoe
(Cryptic protest folk from an exciting new one-woman band. "More than just music, it's a diagnosis!" — George Will, Pithfork)
 
Blood Moon Rising
(Credence Clearwater Revisited cover band. "Sounds like a copy of a copy, and that's good enough for us!" — Sherwood Applejack, music booker, Fremont Street Experience
 
UPDATED APRIL 7:
 
Broke Rear Ends
 
UPDATED APRIL 5:
 
The Drones
 
Gloria Lee and the Octogenarian Priest High-Roller Murder Cult
 
Face of Deficit
 
UPDATED APRIL 3:
 
Dark Money
 
UPDATED APRIL 2:
 
Sex with Inmates
 
Arson Puppies
 
Marijuana Suckers
 
Pangolin Traffic
 
Massive Buildup
 
The Donors
 
Dissenting Judge
 
Return to Fukushima
 
The Finalists
 
High-Level Administrators
 
Misuse of Funds
 
The Quintuplets
 
The Million Dollar Tarps
 
Lockdown
 
Simulator
 
Sheldon’s Campaign
 
Trespass Cattle
 
 
 
 


Comments


{back to top...}
{more posts...}



















































 
Call the Las Vegas bankruptcy attorneys who stop foreclosures. 702-818-3888
Family
Play the desert companion video

DC Scene
Recent Posts
4/23/14  
Getting into the 'eco-sexual' position
4/22/14  
An eco-nerd reflects on Earth Day
4/21/14  
Recent news topics that also make good band names
{more posts...}


Archives
Archives

Newstand Locations
Pick up your Desert Companion today at one of these Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or Jamba Juice locations.
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf LAKE MEAD & TENAYA
7291 W Lake Mead
Directions


PALMS CASINO
4321 W Flamingo Rd
Directions


UNLV
4550 W Maryland Pkwy Suite A
Directions


CARNIVALE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian Food Court
Directions


THE LAKES
9091 W Sahara Ave
Directions


THE DISTRICT
2220 Village Walk Dr Suite 140
Directions


MIRACLE MILE
3663 Las Vegas Blvd S Suite 45
Directions


CANYON POINT
10834 W Charleston Blvd Suite 200
Directions


TOWN CENTER
3645 S Town Center Dr Suite 101
Directions


PATRICK
6115 S Rainbow Blvd Suite 101
Directions


PALAZZO
3265 Las Vegas Blvd, Suite 1600
Directions


TOWN SQUARE
6599 Las Vegas Blvd, South #P-8149
Directions


BRIDGE
3377 Las Vegas Blvd
The Venetian
Directions


BOULDER CITY
Boulder Dam Credit Union
530 Avenue G
Boulder City NV
Directions

Jumba Juice

PEBBLE
1500 N. Green Valley Pkwy Suite 240
Directions


SAHARA & EASTERN
2675 S. Eastern Ave Suite 400
Directions


MCCARRAN MARKETPLACE
5905 S Eastern Ave Suite 108
Directions
NORTH MESA PLAZA
1829 W. Craig Road Unit 3
Directions


CANNERY CORNER
2546 E. Craig Road Suite 135
Directions


WESTLAND FAIR
1121 S. Decatur Blvd
Directions



Also available at Clark County and Henderson libraries.
Emerald City Smoothie

ST GEORGE
2376 East Red Cliffs Drive #502
St. George, UT 84790
Directions


Desert Companion