Alibi Volume 18, Number 28
July 9, 2009
Will chain stores kill or stimulate the buy-local movement?
HSBC, one of the biggest banks on the planet, has taken to calling itself "The world's local bank." Winn-Dixie, a 500-outlet supermarket chain, recently launched an ad campaign under the tagline "Local flavor since 1956." The International Council of Shopping Centers, a global consortium of mall owners and developers, is pouring millions of dollars into television ads urging people to "Shop Local"—at their nearest mall. Even Wal-Mart is getting in on the act, hanging bright green banners over its produce aisles that simply say, "Local."
How did some Albuquerque residents mark this Fourth of July? Where are farmers turning for help with their nut trees? What was the fate of a burglar in Belen? How are Boys & Girls Clubs looking out for students?
Geologist points to holes in the thinking—and the landscape—around waste burial in Southern New Mexico
For years, Richard Hayes Phillips has carried in his mind awful visions of what it would be like to see the Pecos River contaminated with radioactive material. "People fish there, and it flows into the Rio Grande at Amistad Reservoir, which is actually the Spanish word for 'friendship,' ” he says.
Congress is fumbling its chances at real health care reform
The country is desperate for major reforms to our non-system of health care. Our people can no longer afford to spend twice as much per capita on health care as any other country—while receiving health outcomes that don’t even make the top 25 list from around the globe.
Dateline: Mexico—On June 29, two professional midget wrestlers were found dead in a seedy motel room in Mexico City. Local police believe that La Parkita and Espectrito Jr.—identified in police records as brothers Alberto and Alejandro Jiménez—were drugged and robbed by prostitutes. Reports say the wrestlers, both aged 35, picked up two prostitutes and took them to the hotel room, not far from the famous Arena México wrestling venue. Several hours later, the women allegedly left alone. When a hotel worker came to clean the room, the bodies of the wresters were discovered. Autopsies are being carried out, but investigators close to the case believe the pint-sized grapplers overdosed after being given eyedrops combined with alcohol. It is believed the brothers’ size make them more susceptible to alcohol poisoning. In Mexico, it is a common crime for gangs of prostitutes to rob their clients after they pass out from ingesting tainted drinks.
Don’t be startled if you see an inordinate number of film crews racing around town this weekend. The 48 Hour Film Project returns to Albuquerque this Friday, July 10. Ours is one of more than 80 cities around the world hosting an initial leg of the two-day filmmaking competition. Handpicked crews of writers, directors, cinematographers, editors, actors and more will gather at Imbibe (3101 Central NE) at 6 p.m. on Friday. There, organizers will inform the crews of the line, prop, character and genre each must incorporate into their films. They’ll have just 48 hours—start to finish—to complete their efforts. There will be a wrap-up party on Sunday, July 12, back at Imbibe with drink specials and snacks. A grand total of 43 local film crews are signed up to participate, making this the busiest year since Albuquerque signed on to host the 48 Hour Film Project. The Premiere Screening for all the Albuquerque films takes place Wednesday, July 15, from 6:45 to 9:15 p.m. at the KiMo Theatre in Downtown Albuquerque. Tickets for this event are $9 at the door. The top film at Wednesday’s screening will go on to compete against all the winning films from around the globe. Log on to 48hourfilm.com/albuquerque for more info.
Michael Mann and Johnny Depp get all dressed up to play cops and robbers
Not to cast aspersions against either Michael Mann’s obvious manliness or his well-established filmmaking skills, but I bet he spent his childhood playing with dolls. From the new-wave Nazi chic of The Keep to the infamous peppermint-striped suits of “Miami Vice” to Daniel Day-Lewis’ slo-mo buckskin fringe in The Last of the Mohicans, Mann has made decisions that often seem more sartorial than directorial. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Mann’s obsessive attention to visual accoutrement—James Caan’s badass welding goggles in Thief, Dennis Farina’s perfect fedora in “Crime Story,” Tom Cruise’s disconcertingly frosted tips in Collateral—has given the director a distinctive and successful style.
Satisfying sci-fi miniature gets Spacey ... and Rockwell, too
In a year that’s featured the likes of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (ugh), Terminator Salvation (meh) and Star Trek (eh ... ), it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a science-fiction film you can proudly call science fiction. Happily, Moon—the intriguing directing debut by Duncan Jones—fits the bill. Filled with profound sadness, deep humanism and aching beauty, Moon would fit comfortably on the DVD shelf alongside such tonally similar sci-fi hallmarks as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Solaris and Silent Running.
“Michael & Michael Have Issues” on Comedy Central
For a couple of decades now, Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter have been comedic collaborators in a variety of sketch comedy troupes (starting at NYU in 1988), TV shows (“The State,” “Stella”) and movies (Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter). Obviously inseparable for extended periods, the Michaels have joined forces once again for Comedy Central’s self-referential new skitcom “Michael & Michael Have Issues.”
The Week in Sloth
The importance of going backwards
Injuring his hand might have been just what Richie James Follin's band needed.
Vocalist and pianist dive headfirst into new projects
Arriving for the sound check before her first appearance at the Women’s Voices Concerts a few weeks back, vocalist Susan Abod wasn’t sure what to expect. She’d never played with the band for her set, led by pianist John Rangel.
The Doggfather answers our questions
Every member of the Alibi's editorial staff receives about a hundred e-mails a day. Most of them are interoffice communications about coffee filters or a kitchen spill that needs mopping up.
Put on your broomstick skirt and take out a loan to buy dinner—in honor of the International Folk Art Market, it's Culture Shock, Santa Fe-style.
Santa Fe International Folk Art Market
Ousmane Macina has been making jewelry since he was 7 years old.
Unlike American students who decide what careers they'd like to pursue, Macina says he was destined to be a goldsmith. "I didn't have a choice," Macina explains. "I had to do it because it's tradition, and I'm glad I'm doing it."
Macina was born in Nioro, Mali. The men in Macina's family have been designing gold jewelry for more than 10 generations. People wear his creations at traditional ceremonies and during the holy month of Ramadan. Macina keeps his familial legacy alive by selling his work at functions like the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. The event draws crowds of 20,000 people and, in its sixth year, the market will feature 136 artists from 46 countries.
An interview with newly crowned Slam Poet Laureate Danny Solis
On Saturday, June 13, some of Albuquerque's top slam poets met at the KiMo to battle it out for the title of Albuquerque Slam Poet Laureate. Danny Solis, longtime slammer and dreadlock connoisseur, emerged as the winner. Solis talked with me over expensive coffees at Flying Star about what the future holds for this newly made-up position.
True Old Town
Monica’s El Portal may be the answer to the quest common among Old Town visitors for some real New Mexican food without tourist trappings. Lurking on the edge of Old Town and partially hidden by trees (which also shade the patio), this is a place where the state question—red or green?—applies to nearly every menu option.
Rosemary, olive oil and sea salt make pecans a big hit. Vanilla-honey and fresh nutmeg turn cashews into crack cocaine. But the real powerhouse of our most recent beer bust was an improvised recipe—stumbled upon while ransacking Alex's spice shelves—for spicy smoked peanuts. A touch of brown sugar, coarse salt, a kiss of cayenne, wallops of bright red Aleppo pepper and, crucially, smoked black pepper helped plenty of people brave the line for another bomber.