((it took us a minute but eeeeyyyy it’s out now!))

–>TODDLERS ON TOUCHSCREENS CAUSE THEIR FINGERS WAS BORN WITH IT — DRONE SURVEILLANCE OVER ALL YR BODEGAS — SUPERBACTERIA TALKIN BOUT FUCK YR PENICILLIN — SCI FI IS NO LONGER ONLY FOR THE FUTURE — SCI FI IS HERE ON YOUR FRONT PORCH — WE WANT YOUR FUTURE PRESENT — YOUR SCI FI REALITIES — THE FUTURE IS NOW <-- COLLAB ZINE W/ WORK FROM:::::::::: + IT IS OKAY by Laura Pollard + SPONSORED MESSAGES from grey nebraska + comments from Azeem Hill, Fred Pinguel, n Carolyn Lazard + BATTLEFIELD REPLICA SYMMETRY RETROSPECTA by Moor Mother Goddess + THE 40TH ST. CON by Skribbly LaCroix + CONSTANTEMIEDOCONSTANTE by Natis + DISTRICTS by Aja Beech + FLYBOYS by Billie Blazer + G.P.S. by Althea Baird + LIFE ONLINE WORKSHEET by Eighteen & Ras + PORTRAIT OF THE ACTIVIST AS A YOUNG SUPER-HERO by Alex Smith + BLACK QUANTUM FUTURISM by Rasheedah Phillips + A YOUNG THUG CONFRONTS HIS OWN FUTURE by Ras Mashramani AND SOME OTHER JAWNS <3333
PICK IT UP IN THE ZINE SHOP OR AT OUR EVENTS IRL.

And as our 2013 Archive Zine approaches being sold out, we’ll continue to post its contents on the site here (maybe even a dang PDF if someone in the crew has the fortitude to format the thing).

zine orders get urs

)))Metropolarity is a Philly-based sci-fi arts collective comprised of city queers of color, cyborgs, time travelers, aliens, non-specifics, and gratuitous stardust.(((

AS A CULTURAL NEONATE, THE METROPOLARITY CREW DISCUSSES ITS INTENTIONS, SCIENCE-FICTION, AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO ‘THE POLITICAL.’ NOTE THE POINTS OF OVERLAP AND POINTS OF DIVERGENCE. RELISH IN IT ALL! WE ENJOY URBAN PARADOX. IT’S IN OUR NAME, IN FACT.

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R.Phillips of the AfroFuturist Affair and founding Metropolarity member says:

The Institution that is Western Science was born of the politics of the 17th century, bifurcating itself as a practice and institution of empirical thought separate and distinct from philosophical thought. It is essential to note that the scientific institution’s development coincided with the emergence of the TransAtlantic enslavement system, used as a justification for subjugation. Its development was also impacted significantly by the Roman Inquisitions The Inquisition had condemned Galileo for teaching that the Earth moved; Descartes delayed publishing, and likely tweaked his philosophical theories on heliocentrism, due to the Inquisitions’s belief in the Earth as the center of the Universe. Newton conducted his experiments in an effort to prove Descartes wrong, and many of his theories have failed to stand the test of ‚time‛ (whose own scientific history is convoluted, in the realm of thermodynamics and relativity). Science is the ultimate political body, the mind-body split, the dualism that persists into present times, the reason why classical physics and quantum physics seemingly contradict.blinded by its own so-called enlightenment and thusly setting light and dark as opposites/eternally at odds inside of the cascading, chaotic universe. Science is really the resulting end of a negotiation; the laws and principles we hold to be commonly true about the universe and world were all shaped by the hands of a privileged few.

Traditional sci-fi, a more imaginative retelling of science history and an anticipation of its trajectory, is steeped in the dark age from which it emerged, reinforcing the narratives of white superiority. Because we know science-fiction to be social commentary on the (d-)evolution of society through the use of parable, it is easy to see where the lines split between the Science of the haves and the have nots, and thusly where the lines split between traditional and DIY sci-fi. People on the edges/intersections/margins of society can no longer continue to try to rectify their lack of representation and their lack of survival in traditional science fictional worlds; it no longer computes for our program of living. We are here and we are many and we are political. We are political because skin color is political, because body parts are political, because gender is political, because who you like to hump is political, because breathing clean air and drinking clean water is political. And in order to disavow the political, to challenge the political, to break-down the political, you must first understand how it already has you confined, then proceed to unravel it from the inside. Out of the dust of the crumbling institutions of science divorced from imagination (what they call the hyphenated science-fiction) comes science and speculative possibility in the form of Metropolarity. A nu science for a nu world of our own shaping. Here, with Science left in our care, the thermodynamic arrow shoots out into all possible directions. Here at Metropolarity, there is no difference between the Experimental and the Theoretical. Science-fiction is the dying remnant of the old ways of living. We are Science’s proposal to imagination for a happy, lifelong union, we are time = space. ∞

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M Eighteen Téllez of All That’s Left series and founding MP member says:

Politics is just a reference word to describe the obscene and greedy fight for power dominance and all its selfish machinations used to exploit one’s community and achieve ideological supremacy. I dislike words that compress and obfuscate the vastness of insidious control mechanisms like that, especially in this centuries-long era of white-supremacist colonialist patriarchal capitalism… But humans began utilizing the language tool to be able to communicate quickly. So for brevity’s sake in an informal setting I would chance suggesting that awareness of “politics” is important, that sci-fi is political, or that I am political in certain ways. But really I’m a cyborg (the Haraway kind), and I think the world has many more lenses than “politics” to be seen through.

Science fiction is a lens. It’s a conceptual tool in a paradigm still woefully clinging on to old technologies like Progress, Men, Money, and God. The word-phrase-concept “science fiction”, or sci-fi, is really a shorthand piece of reference language that has since morphed from its originally intended use, much like the word-concepts gender and mestizo. Like a cyborg, science fiction is not merely the joining of science and fiction (or human and machine), but something much more complex, fluid, and contradictory.

Is sci-fi political? I think “political” is another cloudy word, successfully wielded by mass media and its gatekeepers of dominant culture to devalue and mock those who express ideals that would disrupt the well-oiled exploitative power dynamics at play. Situated within dominant paradigms, sci-fi is inherently political because it provides vision outside of those very paradigms. Let’s not front though–the very phrase “being political” is a divisive control mechanism, particularly one that’s been polarized as aggressive/active and mired in Left/Right ethical ideologies. But sci-fi doesn’t operate on Left/Right being/not being aggressive/passive dominant/submissive binaries. It operates on desire, hope, despair. Ultimately, sci-fi is a tool, a feedback mechanism, just another piece of cyborg technology to get us beyond this oppressive existence and connected to the universe.

[Metropolarity] is a brand. We’re the ghost of 1990s Internet come back to remind you what it was like to live adventurously without the trappings of your pre-signified body. We’re a time travel start-up. We’re spirit ritual from a world without money. Connect with us. ∞

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Alex Smith, founder of Laser Life queer sci-fi reading series, the Afterverse, and MP OG says:

SCI-FI is psychotropic super-spiritual revelation, a futuristic dream and sigil ritual. It’s both surreality and reality. It has, like magic and religion, been used as a political tool, but it’s true manifestations are not political in the most overwrought sense of the word. I don’t believe sci-fi has any political aspirations outside of complete liberation. To me, liberation can not be found through the machinations of politics. From Proudhon to Ginsberg to Rammellzee, all of these visionaries brought liberation technology to the masses.

Quickly, I will say that psychotropics refers to sci-fi’s ability to induce dream like trance in the writer and the reader, the participant. It’s similar to psychotropic hallucinogens in that the quality of the fiction appears to be both real (possible) and wholly surreal (impossible). The affects of the best sci-fi is like the effects of the best drugs. While the participant “sees things” many of us still without sci-fi in our lives can’t see, the participant also engages in these “things” they see; they act and behave as if being chemically induced. This is a simplification of it, because all things that sci-fi are working in conjunction to produce the effects and spiritual continuity of sci-fi.

I see say super-spiritual in that sci-fi is the teachings, experiences and being of Thor, Buddha, Einstein, Jesus, Mohammed, Athena, orishas, lwa and shamans throughout the course of time, but turned into something grander in our own, post-modern world. They are all reimagined through a futurist lens but in the hands and hearts of those who are sci-fi, they are made EVEN MORE POWERFUL! because their true natures are ALL that is siphoned. We’ve abandoned all of the clutter, the dogma, the messiness and focused on the now. Like, Neo in the Matrix takes the red pill; this is the complete, purified form of spiritual thought made into a pill! He has absorbed ALL through the means of futuristic imaginings. It’s not that he has somehow bypassed all of the Mecca pilgrimages, all of the baptisms, the hail mary’s, the sitting under trees in a Himalayan forest meditating; he’s done more by simply imagining all of those things and super-focusing it into a vast technology of the will.

And so, you can see how these descriptions all collude to form the basis of real sci-fi; you can understand the futuristic dream and the sigil ritual working together to inform, build, and create the other. The dream is the machine, the ritual is the fuel; the sigil (a symbol in ritual magic) is the on/off switch. Since this is all powered by the individual where only the imagination limits them, the idea of the introduction of politics fails miserably. This is where Ayn Rand and her ilk have misstepped, as rightists often do; combining overwrought political metaphor in an attempt to simulate freedom is completely useless. The meaning is derived from our psycho-spiritual reaction to the dream, not the dream itself.

I hesitate to say that a polemic can be built for the left from strands of sci-fi, because sci-fi is an end in and of itself. sci-fi is diametrically opposed to systems- even when systems are implied in the telling of the tales; eventually, in most of these tales, the system fails anyway! From Dhalgren to the Fall of the Towers to the Deathstar to the Tyrell Corporation; they all fucking DIE in the end. As revolutionaries, radicals, shamans and visionaries, we are wise to understand this. Replacing one system with another results in that system falling. However, when I’m staring at another cop trying to fuck with me on the streets of Philadelphia, I see the image of Goggles from Cyber City Oedo 808 smashing through a robot that’s clearly representative of the machine, of man’s nature to make himself extinct, a robot that’s pure hyperbole for “the system”, and in my mind as the metal rains down from Goggles’ final strike, i meditate on that image and I’m strengthen. But that’s not political, that’s sigil. That’s liberation.

Listen, I’m not utopianist really. I sometimes cringe at the sloganeering and sort of simplistic banality that we’re all over here guilty of, even Metropolarity and Laser Life at times. But I mean, sometimes, yes, “There IS a fucking tree under this concrete” and nearly every time, “Silence DOES equal death”. I just prefer to use sci-fi to express the beauty of things long held sacred now rotting, decaying. This transformation is what powers me. ∞

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Ras Mashramani, glorious founding MP member and purveyor of the Nightspace says:

For me, Metropolarity is an expressly political endeavor. No I’m not concerned with politics–with rubbing elbows with old white men, or lobbying for marginal legal successes–fuck all that noise. Marginalized populations are politicized not because we want to be, but because it’s a political act to express the uneven distribution of power in our country. As blacks and queers and women and working poor, we carry generations and generations of fragmented stories, ones created out of anger, fear, disconnection, isolation.

But now we live in a newborn world of information, increasingly co-dependent with that resilient, inclusive, mostly free, anarchic machine: the Internet. And culture and change can be generated by the internet. Voices that are commonly disenfranchised can build their own spaces on the Internet. My own identity has been formed in large part by the internet | memories, stories, and identities I have created and interacted with through AOL chats, multi-user dungeons, forums, and personal web pages. Queer kids coming up now are experimenting with identities in places where they are protected from our country’s religions and popular kids.

I truly believe that we are living in a science-fiction reality, and if science-fiction has taught us anything, it’s that a mastery of technology is integral to survival in a plugged-in world. Today, the digital divide is real and tangible! And our identities hinge on our ability to create and manipulate data in the cybersphere to affect change in real life.

The free for all who can access it, open-source, information-sharing nature of the Internet is a model for our real life. Cities like Philadelphia are hurting for a space to discuss the future of our communities. Fragmented histories and fictions have exhausted their reactionary, grieving, angry stories. The advent of the information age can also mean the beginning of new stories for us freaks and outcasts, whose existences are politicized by overpowering mainstream media that tries it’s best to distract the masses with golums like Jennifer Aniston and google images of Kim Kardashian’s vampire face bath. Metropolarity is the real life answer to this void of critical, future oriented stories for the urban have-nots. I intend that we become a space where we can examine our world speculatively while sharing skills to control the media in the cybersphere, where ideas | solutions | hope can spread like a virus globally.

When we began forming and developing Metropolarity, I had in my head science-informed consciousness raising. I was thinking about the democratic power of the internet–of perfecting the art of coercion by digital means in the name of justice and education, art and expression. I was praying desperately for a space, as populations with difficult and fragmented inter-generational stories to tell, to explore, and critique our increasingly globalized and complex world, while learning to master the technologies that we have been blesses with in our science-fiction age.

Let’s create memes with more substance than feisty kitty cats and babies eating lemons. Let’s take hold of our representations and worm our way into the mainstream.

MEME BE A MEME!! ∞

At the close of 2013, we decided not to reprint our pilot and season premier episode zines. However, we saw the need to make them available, and thus the 2013 Archive was born. 69 pages of ≈Ω≠¡.

This zine encapsulates
1) the is sci-fi political/debut zine
3) the weapons of perception (media literacy jawn from our brochure)
2) the gentrification/space/community zine
4) our 2013 media dump/selections/reading list
5) bonus story from Alex Smith

Pick it up from our shop & our upcoming events <3 And thanks for the continued love, universe! ;-; SONY DSC

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2013 archive zine with neon cover!?

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Philly Feminist Zine Fest is:
– a fundraiser for Project Safe!
– an event about amplifying the voices of female-identified people!
– a really good opportunity to learn things at skillshares and workshops!
– a fun fest about reading zines, celebrating community and making new friends!

“The Fest showcases local artists and zinesters, as well as zine distros, bringing DIY, radical, whimsical, and artistic small press publications to the public. Ranging from bike repair to poetry to crafts, the Zine Fest is a great place to go to learn new things, connect with local writers, and get involved with creating new forms of accessible media.”

This is the 11th annual Philly Zine Fest. This year it will be extending its hours and include evening performances.

Metropolarity will be tabling and performing. Aw shucks.

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Metropolarity’s Journal of Speculative Vision + Critical Liberation Technologies

presents

(((((Season One Episode Two :: The Gentrification x Community Issue :: July 2013)))))

featuring cover art & design by
KELLYANNE MIFFLIN OF STITCH PRISM
and
PRECOLUMBIANA OF CUTN PASTEAZUCARHEY QUEEN

and work from

SUZY SUBWAYS
PATROKOLOS
MELISSA MOORE
SHAWN ALLEYNE
JOHN THE LIBERATOR
DANIEL RICHTER
AND THE METROPOLARITY CORE CREW

AVAILABLE AT OUR HUMBLE SHOP, WOODEN SHOE BOOKS IN PHILADELPHIA, AND ALL OF OUR UPCOMING EVENTS.

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METROPOLARITY ZINES

For past issues and other work from our members, please visit our humble online shops here and here. Or email us to work out other arrangements.

WANT TO APPEAR IN THE NEXT EPISODE? WE’RE CURRENTLY CASTING!

::in blaring sports announcer voice::

WELCOME TO MEDIA BLACKOUT, WHERE WE REVIEW THE ZINES & OTHER MEDIA CLUTTERING UP OUR BAGS AND BEDSIDES. GAME ONE FEATURES THREE REVIEWS. LET’S GET IT ON!

A R K D U S T by our own Alex Smith
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Alex writes fiction that reads like an absurd reality show super hero comic with the emotional weight of the last really good movie you saw, combined with total “crazier things have happened” subway riding plausibility. Ever since starting the queer sci-fi/fantasy reading series, Laser Life, we’ve all begged and begged Alex for some take-home print form of the arresting stories he would diplomatically drop on us lowly commoners. So when he announced he would be making a zine to debut at the April 2013 Laser Life, we all counted our pocket change and patiently held our breath till the appointed day.

A R K D U S T is a fangirl dream. It contains five short stories by Alex, plus an excellent bonus story and interview from his partner, Shane Jenkins of Razed By Wolves, another mainstay of Laser Life, whose stories touch on the surreal fantasy vapors that always start to creep up from behind our spines when watching Princess Mononoke alone in the dark. All this in an old-school Kinkos xerox 8.5″ x 11″ format!

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“Wow. Wow, really? Look, Wondra could snap your wanna be Ricky Martin ass in half and mail your spleen to Hook if she wanted to, so why not keep all the “bitch” comments tucked away into that turd brain of yours. I mean seriously, you’re the shittiest stool pigeon ever, how do you even find out any of this underworld shit you’re always reporting to Hook with as high a profile as you keep? I feel like Hook’s just too lazy to use Google on any one of his many goddamn smartphones because your information can’t be too insider. Like, every fucking wanna-be carjacker and armed insurrectionist knows who you are!” – A Little Light

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The air outside was crisper, a refreshing spray of April breeze tickling at his flesh. He pulled his Harrington jacket a little tighter. The street was alive with drag queens and leather daddies and kids voguing in knock-off Yves St. Laurent, punks with spikey pink hair and Camaros with their trunks rattling under the weight of anthemic bass. Henry kept his eyes trained on the misshapen sidewalk, at the crack vials and used condom wrappers crackling under his Doc Martens. He was busy thinking about nothing, letting the wild night’s conversations slip over and through him, so much so that he’d walked a bit past his bus stop and had turned to go back when he saw the boy of velvet standing in front of TRINITY, under an awning, patting his pockets, shaking nervously, his muscles rippling out of his thin green shirt. He looked like a shadow. When the boy found his pack of cigarettes, the boy cursed to himself that he’d lost his lighter. A kind of ghostly sadness crept over Henry when he saw the boy standing there without a light, and this sadness grew as he watched wave after wave of clubgoers pass the boy, and though the boy’d ask, none of them had a light for him. Henry quickly patter himself, but remembered he’d stopped smoking a year ago. – Clones

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Get a copy of A R K D U S T by contacting Alex at theyarebirds @ gmail. com or follow Alex’s new queer superhero tumblr, the A\terv3/rz3.


BETA DECAY by Andrew Jackson King
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Maybe it’s because I started to read Beta Decay #4 while luxuriating on my roof in the hot Philly sun, but the short fiction pieces inside Andrew’s zine remind me of all the random pulp novels I used to bring with me on the week-long family vacation down the shore. Except stranger and more ominous, and neatly within the treatment one could imagine given to summer Hollywood movie releases, but the kind you leave the theater feeling strangely bereft and wondering if a milkshake at the diner after is really going to bring you back to earth. Beta Decay #4’s assortment of unrelated(?) short stories gives the reader glimpses of the incomprehensible world as it reveals itself to mundane human perception. Shit is creepy yo (but I’m not trying to spoil it here!).

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Frances closed her eyes. Her mind pulled out from the building, out from the town, out from the metropolitan agglomeration, out from the continents and sea and hemisphere, out of the earth completely. Against the deep black, she saw the planet as a red, pulsing dot, emitting a see of radio waves, microwaves, gamma rays, a nearly infinite spectrum.

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Spread out before Jeremiah was a monolith of coral, splashes of orange and red and yellow. Jeremiah always thought someday he would be able to make out patterns, that after a while, he’d be able to understand the exact way that the organisms grew and deviated from geometrical perfection, but this information had eluded him ever since he was a boy pouring over the dusty picturebooks on his mother’s shelf

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Get MOAR BETA DECAY here (for free!).


UP AGAINST THE WALL: A History of Resistance to Policing in Philadelphia by Arturo Castillion
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I picked up this zine while at a punk/noise/thrash? show at LAVA Space in West Philly, an autonomous organizing space on Lancaster Ave. (Ever since this new show organizer, Zu, rolled up to town there’s been a #brosfallback no racist/colonialist/misogynist/phobic bullshit atmosphere at their shows that’s been a breath of fresh air, especially for someone that stopped going to shows because they were full of violent man babies. Another novel aspect of the shows they organize is the provision for zines & hang-out discussion space, which is embarrassing to find novel because it should be normal if we’re having radical bands play radical spaces. ¬__¬;) Anyway, Arturo was there, and intrigued that someone had made a zine summarizing local black resistance to police, I bought a copy.

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This zine is essentially an academic-feeling summary of racism and power relations surrounding the Philadelphia police, its formation, and how the black communities being terrorized by them resisted in the forms of mass uprisings. Appropriately, it feels like reading from a history text book from middle school, and is easy to digest. And similar to most every classroom history textbook, its author provides no personal bio or reasoning for compiling this particular history of resistance. So while it’s very intriguing and useful to read about black Philly resistance to cops, I couldn’t help but feel displaced by the bodiless and unsituated voice of the narrator (despite having shook their hand!).

In Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America Kristian Williams describes how policing has historically functioned to enforce a white dominated racial order. In the city once the nation’s capital, the predecessor of the modern day Philadelphia police was the civilian-run “night watch,” which monitored the populace from the time of the early eighteenth century. The watch, which developed in Boston as well, was the Northern equivalent of the Southern slave patrols. In 1837 the mayor of Philadelphia declared, “Every colored person found in the street after (the posting of) watch should be closely supervised by the officers of the night.” Whether it was the night watch or the slave patrol, the white population as whole was expected to police black people.

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The introduction of the first black officers reflected the growing size of the black population. In the Philadelphia Negro W.E.B. Dubois described how in 1884 Mayor Samuel G. King appointed the first sixty black officers to the police department, a move that was opposed by whites. These police were put on duty exclusively in black neighborhoods and only permitted to arrest black people. Dubois also noted that none of the original black policemen would ever receive any promotions. Thus, the incorporation of black police was not a sign of racial progress, but instead a means to control the rising black populous.

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Despite the voice behind the curtain vibe, the zine served as a solid reminder that many other histories and conflicts have occurred in this city. It compiles historical facts to demonstrate just how real and tangible white supremacy and racist power dynamics are and how they contributed to the current status quo. What I found most useful and intriguing were the recounts of several street incidents throughout the 50s and 60s where police beatings & other open abuses of power were confronted and stopped by suddenly forming crowds of black Philadelphians. It closes by summarizing the actual tactics and methods used to confront police violence, namely that there is power in quickly gathering groups of people. Useful to read if only to remember, since those in power would love to have us forget. . .

You can probably get your own copy of this and Arturo’s other police resistance zines at LAVA Space shows and Wooden Shoe books, or you can definitely read an updated text-only version of it here.

THANKS 4 READING! ^_~v

COMING SOON TO AN IRL LOCATION NEAR YOU: OUR FIRST PHYSICAL ENDEAVOR FEATURING FICCION, POLITIX, PIXELS, AND THE BEST PRINT IMAGING TECHNOLOGIES.

WITH APPEARANCES BY: SHANE JENKINS, C. RENEE STEPHENS, WARREN LONGMIRE, DANIEL RICHTER, AND THE METROPOLARITY CREW.

AVAILABLE AT OUR HUMBLE SHOP, WOODEN SHOE BOOKS (philly), BLUESTOCKINGS (nyc), & ALL OF OUR UPCOMING EVENTS

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WANT TO APPEAR IN THE NEXT EPISODE? WE’RE CURRENTLY CASTING!