One of our biggest stories of 2013 was “The Environmental Disaster You’ve Never Heard Of: Albuquerque’s Kirtland Air Force Base jet fuel spill” (v.22, i.48). In it, author David Correia lays out a mountain of evidence about a fuel spill right here in ABQ that’s twice the size of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Correia recently appeared on KUNM’s The Spitz Report to discuss his Alibi article, just how big the ongoing hemorrhage of jet fuel has been, the impact on the aquifer and what’s most frustrating about Kirtland’s response. As he explains to host Stephen Spitz,
Garrett Flickinger, who taught Wills and Trusts at UNM School of Law, sternly lectured that gay marriage would never be legalized in our lifetime. And it made sense, to hear him tell it: There was far too much wrapped up in public policy, probate law, divorce case loads, health insurance premiums, political campaigns and general squeamishness of the hoi polloi for our culture to ever do the right thing until everyone had flying cars and food pills. Sadly, Professor Flickinger was right in terms of his own lifetime … but I imagine today’s turn of events would have made him very proud.
Passing the metro courthouse on my way to work this morning it was hard not to notice a dude, obviously heading for the courthouse, wearing the shirt pictured on the right. His had a cross on it, but otherwise the shirt was identical.
Was his message -obviously intended for whichever judge would be dealing with him- aligned with that of Lil' Wayne, whose lyrics to "Nightmares From the Bottom" include the line "Only God can judge me, I don't need a jury" and therefore a kind of anarcho-christian "fuck you" to America's legal system? Or was this court-appearance apparel an existential comment on the meaninglessness of earthly actions (and consequences) more along the lines of Tupac's "Only God Can Judge Me," which gained more meaning with the death of the song's lyricist?
My first task as an intern was to sort through a list of people that receive press releases from the Alibi. It's a bit of a monster. I remembered the title worn by the interns who have come before in these halls and did my best to muster up some sense of "fearless."
The list is a jumble of names and emails. Some of the emails from local blogs and zines were added recently. Others come from a time when email was still considered cutting edge. Many of the contacts have a name, title and publication attached, making my job easy. Others left me wandering the dust of barren corners of Internet to find some scrap of information.
Downtown’s Fourth Street Mall could be a nice place. It’s landscaped. It’s a pedestrian thoroughfare between bars, restaurants, hotels and even museums. Every time I stroll down it though, rather than enjoying the trees or the faint scent of Italian spices, I’m panhandled and/or sexually harassed by idle loiterers around the mall. What are the scores of them doing there at 2 p.m. on a Thursday? Why won’t they leave me alone when I’m trying to get a sandwich?
So far, she hasn’t been fired. She should absolutely be fired.
While walking down by the river this past weekend, watching my dog wade through plastic bottles, tarps, scum, and so much miscellaneous trash floating downstream, the timeless lyrics of The Fugs - Wide, Wide River AKA “River of Shit,” were called up from the jukebox of my soul. It appears that Travis Bickle’s prophecy has been fulfilled as the recent rains have come and washed all the scum off the streets. Into the Rio Grande.
I don’t want to complain but I can’t help but notice three things attached to the name John which bother me: people who patronize hookers, toilets and unidentified dead people. Not to mention John Stossel. (cringe.)
A friend of mine referred to tall hillbillies as Bojohns the other day. According to www.chasclifton.com, Bojohn is an ethnic slur that refers to people of Polish descent and is used mainly by older people in Pueblo, Colorado. It makes sense my friend would use this term as he hales from Colorado, even if he is using it incorrectly.
I think I speak for Johns everywhere when I say that the madness must end.
A little research was required on the topic so I went to the nearest thing humanity will ever have to god--Wikipedia.
Let us begin with toilets. Not a bad thing but I don’t like my name being associated with a feces disposal apparatus. I don’t care if they were invented thousands of years before I was born.
According to the ever reliable Wikipedia, a chap by the name of John Harington invented a precursor to the modern toilet in the 1500s. He wrote a book about it and was subsequently banned from the court of Queen Elizabeth I.
Next there is the practice of calling a person who frequents prostitutes “Johns.” According to my lord and savior, Wikipedia. This may have started when customers gave their name as “John” to remain anonymous. No further explanation is given. Why not Todd or Chad? In the United Kingdom they are called “punters.”
Finally there is the John Doe, not the bass player from X but the unidentified corpse in the morgue. Wiki/God tells me that John Doe can also be a placeholder name for an unidentified party in a law suit. Unidentified women and children are called Jane Does and Baby Does, respectively.
In any case, knock it off. I have enough problems without being equated with toilets, desperate men and dead people with no friends. Stossel is such a better word anyway.
It’s good to be me again.
My last employers didn’t allow freelancing, something about “owning” my brain. Their other reason was that I represented their paper with my name and would apparently besmirch their good name were I to write for other papers. Does the word “hubris” come to mind, anyone?
Since writing for the Weekly Alibi was and is an irresistible temptation, I resorted to pen names. Freedom of Expression, what a novel idea.