When I have exhausted the offerings of my television and can pat my belly no longer in idle contentment, I indulge a rare reflection upon world affairs. In recent weeks I have thought about Haiti seven times. The last time was when American missionaries got into trouble for kidnapping Haitian children. At that point, confident that the right people were concerned with the situation, I felt justified in turning my attention to other matters, such as whether we should pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Dateline: Sweden—A high-profile member of Sweden’s parliament brushed off ethics complaints, saying he did not accept an all-expense paid trip to Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. Instead, he blamed it all on his transvestite alter ego. Centre Party member Fredrick Federley admitted to the newspaper Aftonbladet that his trip in January was paid for by 10 different companies, including budget airline Norwegian. Asked by the newspaper why he accepted the gift, despite claims he generally refuses such offers, Federley said, “Well, this was pretty much tied to my drag personality, Ursula. It’s not me as a member of Parliament doing this; it’s more a case of me traveling as my drag personality.” Federley has not made any secret of his cross-dressing and recently arrived as Ursula at the Swedish Mr. Gay competition. So far, Federley seems unconcerned about the allegations of political impropriety. “Maybe this will mean more publicity for Ursula, which in turn will lead to more work,” wrote Federley on a gay community blog recently.
Are you considering getting into the film biz as a producer? If your answer is yes, then you’re probably crazy. But if you’re OK with that assessment, you might want to check out the upcoming Pre-Production Management for Television & Digital Media class from Film Apprenticeship Programs Inc. The class meets February 20, 21, 27 and 28—that’s Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Class fee is a none-too-cheap $450, but you’re gonna be a producer, so what do you care? Class will take place at Spirit Productions in Santa Fe. John Muir, educator and owner of The Muir Studio, will lead this four-day seminar. After successfully completing all four sessions and projects, each student should have acquired “a basic understanding of script breakdown, budget development and the use of selected industry tools.” For information, log on to filmapprentice.org.
Peace Talks Radio, a nonprofit organization devoted to bringing the world peaceful dialog is, like many of us, having a hard go of it in this economy. To continue his good work, producer Paul Ingles found a rocking way to gather funds—hold a raffle featuring a covetable “Peace Guitar” as its grand prize. The acoustic cherry wood instrument up for grabs is autographed by Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, Roberta Flack, Taj Mahal, Leo Kottke and others, with additional John Hancocks to come. Raffle tickets go for $20, and there are 20 other prizes up for grabs including autographed color lithographs and CDs. Plus, even if you don’t win, you’ll be rewarded with the satisfaction of being altruistic and promoting altruism, too. For more on Peace Talks Radio and the raffle, visit goodradioshows.org.
Nice wallpaper! Or is that a flyer? Find out on Friday, Feb. 19, when La Junta, Zoology and Shamani share funky hip-hop and decorating tips at the Launchpad. Show starts at 9 p.m. and $5 gets you in the door. Sorry, kids; this one is 21-and-over (it’s not like you guys could afford to damask your Student Ghetto apartments anyway). (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Itchy trigger finger? That can only mean one thing: It's time for the Alibi's seventh annual Photo Contest! This year, we're doing things a little differently. First, we're harkening back to the early days of this contest and bringing back categories, including ¡Que Albuquerque!, Things Are Not What They Seem, People Are People, Land Ho, Miscellaneous and Animals, and This Modern Life. Second, all entries must be submitted digitally by Sunday, March 14 (no snail mail this year; sorry daguerreotype enthusiasts). For all the rules, guidelines and a truly exhausting amount of information, go to alibi.com and click on Photo Contest 2010. The issue hits stands on Mar. 25. Good luck, and get snapping.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): I personally don't believe we're living in the worst of times, although I know many people who do. While there are indeed reasons to despair, our current state of affairs is actually in many ways quite glorious. And our struggles are puny compared to those of the generation that lived through the two World Wars and the Great Depression. Having said that, I think it's fine to believe that civilization is in a terrible mess if it motivates you to shed all your trivial distractions and inessential wishes so as to dedicate yourself to living an exciting, generous life that's rich with love and meaning. Now is a prime time for you, Aries, to dedicate yourself to such a path.