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Sleep Paralysis: In the Style of Demons

Via Motherboard: ‘Your body is capable of simulating suffocation in one highly bizarre and accidental circumstance known usually as sleep paralysis. It’s a sensation-slash-circumstance potent enough to generate enough folklore throughout human history to fill volumes, most of it gravitating towards the victim being tortured by witches or demons. In a human history full of flayings, scaphism, and other wildly creative ways to induce misery in others, sleep paralysis remains even beyond our reach: the realm of demons.

For whatever reason, the witch or demon left me alone for about 10 years. Between 2000 and 2003, they were after me every night, sometimes several times before morning, and I thought for sure that eventually I’d wake up once just in time to die for real. The distance between what sleep paralysis felt like most times and actual death felt to be about three or four heartbeats and one terrifyingly labored breath. Although that’s not totally accurate.

The distance often didn’t feel like anything at all. Sleep paralysis itself feels like just-death or the crux of the dying process, or what you might imagine it to feel like when you’re being afraid of dying….’

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Nina Simone’s Time Is Now, Again

Via NYTimes ‘The feminist writer Germaine Greer once declared: “Every generation has to discover Nina Simone. She is evidence that female genius is real.” This year, that just might happen for good.

Nina Simone is striking posthumous gold as the inspiration for three films and a star-studded tribute album, and she was name-dropped in John Legend’s Oscar acceptance speech for best song. This flurry comes on the heels of a decade-long resurgence: two biographies, a poetry collection, several plays, and the sampling of her signature haunting contralto by hip-hop performers including Jay Z, the Roots and, most relentlessly, Kanye West.’