Dateline: England—A pub owner in Southampton has found a sneaky political way around England’s new antismoking law. Landlord Bob Beech is hoping to get around the cigarette ban, which went into effect last Sunday, by turning his bar into a foreign embassy. Beech says the Wellington Arms tavern will now be the U.K. base for the tiny, uninhabited island of Redonda—located some 35 miles off the Caribbean nation of Antigua. Earlier last month, Redonda’s official cardinal Edward Elder—a regular at the pub—granted the business consulate status. Redonda’s current ruler is King Robert the Bald, 60, who lives on Antigua. King Robert recently bestowed a knighthood on Beech. As a Redonda embassy, Beech’s pub would be classified as “foreign soil” and would not be subject to British laws. “I have a legal team looking into the legalities at the moment,” Beech told The Sun. “But I am confident.”
With Canada Day on July 1 come and gone with little fanfare, we thought it appropriate to get the good word out: Canada is a great nation, full of wonder to be found in its majestic national parks, its superior national policy, its magnificent natural resources and its myriad funny accents. So let us take a little trip north, eh?
On a recent trip to Edmonton, I pounced on the chance to ask real, live Canadians about their homeland. What's more, these aren't any regular old Canadians, they're improvisers; comedians contributing to one of the finest traditions and exports of the nation. All four Canucks were asked, "What does Canada mean to you?" Find out what they say below, eh?
iHate Front-Page Advertising—No, I'm not talking about those nasty bars that have been creeping onto the bottom of A1s across the country for years. Someone should give an award to Apple's marketing team. They scored an above-the-fold white-
Shootout Shooters—Organizers of the Duke City Shootout Digital Filmmaking Festival, have anounced their 2007 script winners. The winning scripts will be produced and premiered in Albuquerque from July 20-28. The selected filmmakers will be given a cast, high-definition digital camera and lighting equipment, a production crew, post-production facilities, transportation and even a professional mentor - everything they will need to bring their short script to life in just seven days. This year’s winners are: Lisa Marks from Marina del Rey, Calif., for the black comedy “Maconie’s List;” Scott and Paula Merrow from Albuquerque, N. M., for the family film “The Spider Experience;” Dina Chapman from West Hollywood, Calif., for the sci-fi comedy “So Five Minutes Ago;” Jason Kendall from Spring Hill, Fla., for the comedy “Young Gun;” Richard Dargan from Albuquerque, N.M., for the comedy “The Pitch;” and Joachim Jung from Los Angeles, Calif., for the comedy “The Dream Girl.” Best of luck to all this year’s Shootout participants and a special congratulations to our local fimmakers. A full schedule of events for the 2007 Shootout will be available soon. For more information and updates, visit www.dukecityshootout.org.
Music on the Strip—Further cementing the sacred bond between musicians and strip clubs (as the memoirs of any aging buttrocker with teased hair will attest), you can get live music at the Spearmint Rhino Gentleman's Club (1645 University NE) every week now. The California-based strip club started booking Albuquerque bands back in April of this year, and the music has held up every Monday night since. British punkers The Geezers even popped in for a May 7 show. What the hell?
The great things about Canadian treasure Bryan Adams are too numerous to describe.
Freedom Rock—My eternal gratitude to everyone who came out for the Alibi's Festival of Opinions last Saturday on the Fourth Street mall. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, it was hotter than a crotch out there, so the folks that participated truly showed their dedication to free speech and the First Amendment. I lost four pounds in sweat, one pound for each hour in the heat, but the music was especially fantastic. Thanks to Selsun Blue, Fast Heart Mart and Daddy Long Loin for the tunes. And a big burlap sack stuffed with gratitude for the drummer from Selsun Blue who climbed up the light pole to plug in the extension cord. That was impressive. As you all know, freedom without electricity really isn't worth celebrating.