Alibi V.17 No.21 • May 22-28, 2008

Music to Your Ears

Daddy Long Loin—or Kevin Kinane, if you want to talk day jobs—is used to being by himself. Not socially, but categorically. He's the only local musician I know of who brings a 12-string Chapman Stick (a bass/guitar hybrid that somehow looks Thai to me) to all of his shows. He's just one guy, decked out in colors so bright he needs to wear shades, shuffling in harmonica, keys, foot-powered drums, loops and samples, and that arresting Chapman, like a many-armed Vishnu- Zappa incarnate.

feature

Three ... Two ... One ... Fight!

The National Video Game Championships boot up in Albuquerque

Ben Eberle is what you'd call a YouTube-made celebrity. In the past year, the video of Ben slaying Guitar Hero II's "Psychobilly Freakout" on expert level has attracted more than 8 million hits. Its appeal is immediate: Ben's fingers flying across the color-coded buttons of his video game guitar, his back turned to the television screen, playing from memory while bobbing his head in true rock-star fashion.

Emerge Remerge Demerge

Complex games yield unexpected results

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west; God's in his heaven, all's right with the world; video game designers design and video game players play. Except, that is, when the players come up with their own rules. Theorists call this "emergent play."

Ask Brenda!

Dear Brenda,

All of my friends enjoy playing video games, and so do I, but there's a problem. You see, I still play the games of my childhood—Frogger, BurgerTime, Tetris, Duck Hunt, Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, etc. The console doesn't matter; as long as it supports games made between the early '80s and the early '90s, I'm all for it. As is deducible, my friends' gaming concerns are more modern. They like LAN parties and play popular games like WoW, Halo, Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. To them, the vintage two-dimensional games I play are a novel joke compared to the superior graphics and gameplay embodied by their favorites. I like video games and I like my friends, but I fear that being stuck in the past is compromising my relationships. But I just like helping Peter Pepper make those burgers so much! Brenda, what should I do?

news

Needle Point

State sharpens rules for tattoo and piercing shops

Piercing and tattoo artists in New Mexico will have to do an apprenticeship before practicing, and a fresh batch of inspectors will make the rounds and evaluate parlors.

Answer Me This

Cops say they busted up what kind of illegal business? What are APS officials investigating? Bad Rail Runner news. And who met in Albuquerque to discuss climate change?

The Journey to Telluride

Athleticism and optimism lead amputee to a 215-mile bike ride

Brett Weitzel is uncomfortable with the idea that his physical abilities are in any way amazing. "It's not like I'm working out like crazy. It's just I'm going out and doing the stuff I used to do that I'm excited to be able to do again," he says. Weitzel, who skis, bikes and kayaks, lost his right leg to a third bout of cancer about eight months ago. "Anything's really possible if you're willing to figure it out," says Weitzel. Almost as an afterthought, he adds, "or if you're willing to do it at a slower pace than someone who has two legs."

Say "I Do" to Gay Marriage

Friday, May 16, was a good day to buy a newspaper.

You would have a souvenir to show to your descendants. Headlines declaring "California High Court Overturns Gay Marriage Ban" will be something to see, especially if the decision becomes one of many affording same-sex couples the right to marry—and to call it marriage. Because there may be a day when anything other than equality, regardless of sexual orientation, is unimaginable.

Domestic partnerships and civil unions aren't a fair substitute for marriage, the California Supreme Court decided on May 15. But don't throw rice at this thing yet. A coalition of conservatives is sending in an assassin: a ballot measure in November that would lodge a ban on gay marriage into the state's Constitution. That would trump the court's Thursday decision.

Astrology, Prejudice and Racism

Unlike astrologers, I don’t think people should be stereotyped and subjected to prejudice. (I use prejudice in its original meaning: forming an opinion about a person or group on the basis of generalizations, assumptions or stereotypes.)

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Japan--A suicidal man who had doused himself with kerosene in front of police burned to death after asking officers for a smoke his during interrogation. Hifumi Kubota, 45, was taken for questioning to a police station in Nagoya last Saturday after a woman who was living with him told police he was acting violently. When officers arrived at the house, “he poured kerosene over himself in front of police,” a police spokesperson said. Kubota refused to change out of his kerosene-soaked clothes at the police station and asked to smoke during questioning, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper and other Japanese media. Despite a no-smoking rule in the building (and the presence of kerosene-soaked clothing), a police official provided the flammable felon with a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. After bursting into flames, Kubota was rushed to a hospital where he died the next day from burns over a major portion of his body.

film

Reel World

I bet you didn’t know May is National Masturbation Month. Well, it is, and to help celebrate, Self Serve in Nob Hill is bringing the documentary Passion and Power: The Technology of Orgasm to the Guild Cinema this Friday, May 23, and Saturday, May 24. Self Serve has offered the Alibi two free single passes (masturbation being a solo activity and all) to give away. The Technology of Orgasm, chronicling the history of the vibrator, is based on the book of the same name. The first two Alibi readers to e-mail me (devin@alibi.com) and identify the author of that book will snag those free passes, good for either day. Be sure to include “Orgasm” as your subject line--I’m sure our spam filter won’t mind that.

Son of Rambow

Nostalgic indie tries to impart the power of movies

The term, in case you haven’t heard it, is “sweding.” It comes from Michel Gondry’s mostly ignored film Be Kind, Rewind. It refers to the act of remaking something from scratch and in a ridiculously inexpensive manner with whatever is at hand. The Internet is rife with sweded films (Star Wars re-shot in someone’s garage, Raiders of the Lost Ark re-done with Legos, Night of the Living Dead re-animated with stick figures).

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Jonesing for Indiana Jones

You can’t keep a good man down. So, nearly 20 years after his last outing, Indiana Jones is out of mothballs and back in search of high adventure. With the Hollywood triumverate of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford back on board, viewers can rest relatively assured of some serious summer movie fun.

Viral Video

The Andromeda Strain on A&E

As a kid, I remember rushing home from school to catch The Andromeda Strain on TV. KOAT split it in half and showed it on successive days of “Dialing for Dollars.” That was a good couple of days.

music

Life is No Cabaret

The Dresden Dolls duo invites you anyway

Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione met at a costume party—a fitting beginning for a band that's sprouted stage makeup, painted-on eyebrows, thick eyeliner, striped stockings and a black bowler hat. More than that, the Dresden Dolls cultivated tendrils of thorny but beautiful lyrics and shoots of surprising and precise rhythmic sensibilities.

Steel Tigers of Death

Lighten up or go see Godsmack

It plots a course, cranks the speed to “skate-punk," finds the straightaway and drives. It's rowdy, trashy and nasty, but if you can't take a few wisecracks with your aggression, Seattle's Steel Tigers of Death says look elsewhere.

Flyer on the Wall

The Agency (111 Fourth Street NW) presents The Governors of War Simulvision (co-starring Freddy Mercury) this Friday and Saturday, May 23 and 24, at 9 p.m. As best as we can tell, "simulvision" is kind of like a mulitmedia rock opera-rave hybrid. Or something. $15 tickets (each night) at www.the-agency.org. (LM)

art

Culture Shock

There are three criteria for a great video game: story line, game play and graphics. It's the trifecta of gaming brilliance all designers must perfect if they want their fish to dominate in a highly populated ocean. But in the world of webgames, a designer can hone one or two of these elements to create a successful product. In honor of our video game issue, here are a few casual games that have mastered the interactive art inherent in the genre.

The Sound of June

Chamber Music Albuquerque broadens its audience by diversifying its talent

It began with a small group of volunteers bringing world-class musicians to their hometown 67 years ago. Since then, Chamber Music Albuquerque has watched classical music shrink from the consciousness of mainstream America. As the organization gradually expanded its season, the folks at Chamber Music Albuquerque felt the need to stem the tide of the nationwide trend. To this end, they brought in Executive Director Joseph Franklin and gave him a mission: Put new faces in the seats.

Seeking Voices

An interview with Louise Erdrich

A glance at the “E” section of your local bookstore would probably not give the impression that Louise Erdrich is a woman willing to wait.

food

Sahara Middle Eastern Eatery

An oasis without the trek

Some foods are just as fun to say. Take baba ghanouj; when I say it I start in a low voice for "baba" and swing up high for "ghanouj." I always say shawarma with a “Sopranos” New Jersey accent, while falafel becomes “full-awful” because I heard it that way in some movie. And I love putting a northern-Illinois/Wisconsin twist on shish kebab, coming out something like “sheesh-ki-BAB.”

Bike-Friendly XXX Vegan Cookies

Our friend Meghan's been busy baking cookies to raise money for a nutso bike tour she's doing for an AIDS services donation. Last time we hung with Meghan, she was building her first road bike and still getting used to riding next to cars. Now she's placing in Wolfpack biker races and riding upwards of 50 miles a day to train for her upcoming mission. We include her super-moist recipe for vegan chocolate death cookies as a gift to you all. Break a leg, Meghan; show those Wolfpack bastards how to bake!

Gil’s Thrilling Interview

What’s eating Gil Garduño?

Food critics have their work cut out for them in Albuquerque. With more than 1,000 restaurants, several opening and closing almost daily, just keeping them straight can be hard work. Add in editors (mine’s lovely, of course), deadlines and bathroom scales that refuse to lie, and we’ve got a lot on our plates. On the plus-side, we do eat for free (good food or bad) and even receive an occasional paycheck.

Alibi V.17 No.20 • May 15-21, 2008

Indy Cinema

The Six Degrees of Indiana Jones Summer Film Guide

Way back in 1999, the Alibi dedicated its entire Summer Film Guide to the release of Star Wars: Episode 1—The Phantom Menace. In a fit of fanboy enthusiasm, Film Editor Devin D. O’Leary created the now-legendary “Six Degrees of Luke Skywalker Summer Film Guide” in which he linked every single film released that summer to actor Mark Hamill through six actors or less.

news

Defender in Chief

Gov. Richardson appoints a new public defense boss

It's not a title that's on the lips of New Mexicans every day. Many may not even know it exists. But New Mexico's Chief Public Defender (CPD) is in charge of a government agency that handles about 90 percent of the criminal defense work in the state. The department has a $42 million operating budget and close to 300 lawyers who represent 60,000 people a year. The CPD must work closely with the governor to ensure the department has enough resources to represent all of its clients and must maintain a good relationship with New Mexico's district attorney's office and the state courts.

Derby Seeks a Home

DCD leaves the longtime shelter of Midnight Rodeo

Albuquerque's derby athletes got good enough that it wasn't safe for them to be playing at Midnight Rodeo any longer, says Nan Morningstar, a derby founder. And the derby has yet to find a permanent residence or set up a schedule as a result.

Berg Goes to the Ball

VA nurse accused of sedition honored two-and-a-half years later

Laura Berg is not a black-tie kind of person. But she found herself in nice clothes at a PEN American gala in New York City getting a First Amendment award. She says she felt a little like "Cinderella tapped to go to the ball" on April 28, sitting alongside the likes of Salman Rushdie and Toni Morrison. The PEN American Center counts among its literary missions the defense of free expression.

Answer Me This

Mayor Martin Chavez wants to pass ... Which ex-New Mexico politician is in the clink? Big things poppin' for a New Mexico-based electronics store. Was a state employee up to no good?

Thin Line

Eileen Welsome says reporters in Albuquerque should look more closely at large projects funded by the taxpayers "and why these projects end up being three to four to five times what the original estimates were." Welsome published the results of weeks of investigation and six public records requests at ClearlyNewMexico.com last week.

Out, Out, Little Green Spot

Anti-smoking activists showed up at the May 5 meeting to support Councilor Michael Cadigan's anti-smoking bill even though it was not on the agenda. Cadigan said a great deal of misinformation had been spread about the bill, which adopts state law as city law and eliminates an exemption allowing smoking in retail tobacco stores.

Well, Excuuuuuse Me ...

Miley’s sorry. Really sorry.

Miley Cyrus, star of the “Hannah Montana” series, is sorry because, um—well ... it’s not really clear what she’s sorry for, but whatever it is, it has to do with a series of photos taken by Annie Leibovitz for the June 2008 issue of Vanity Fair. One photo shows Cyrus’ bare back and shoulders; in another, she’s draped across her father, Billy Ray “Achy Breaky Heart” Cyrus.

Talking Tough

I’m not sure how it got started, but the last man standing in the Republican Party’s nominating process circular firing squad, Sen. John McCain, has developed a reputation for “straight talk.” It's not deserved.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: New York--A rude motorcyclist who flipped the bird at a police cruiser and then popped a wheelie is recovering from injuries after crashing. Suffolk County Police said Frank Patti, 26, of West Islip, rode by the police car at a service station in Copiague at 7:30 p.m. last Sunday. Police say Patti made an obscene gesture to two officers in the car, popped a wheelie and then sped away. Police gave chase and, shortly thereafter, Patti turned into a parking lot and crashed into another police car that had joined the chase. Patti was treated for minor injuries at Southside Hospital. He’s charged with fleeing police, resisting arrest and several traffic violations.

music

Music to Your Ears

It's been one hell of a year for The Old Main. After releasing its first album in November, Rod Lacy's project won Best New/Emerging Band in this year’s Best of Burque poll. Lacy also co-organized Rock the 9, the first all-Native rock showcase held over Gathering of Nations weekend at the Sunshine Theater [featured in the April 24-30 Alibi]. But for all his band's accomplished, Lacy must realize—wisely—that he couldn't have come this far without his fans.

When the Lights Go Out

cobra//group and friends release Brujas

The concept is straightforward, if a bit unusual. For its latest release, Brujas, Albuquerque noise emitters cobra//group and countless other musicians recorded 10 hours of music in the dark. They went to a handful of abandoned buildings in Albuquerque and Corrales, turned out the lights and played. The group invited friends to participate in the sessions, but no one knows how many people showed up. People were allowed to enter quietly and leave whenever they wanted to.

film

Reel World

The Center for Contemporary Arts Cinematheque’s successful annual African Effect film festival starts again this Thursday, May 15, and runs through Sunday, May 18. This sixth annual outing features films, discussions and presentations about African culture and Africa in diaspora. Samba Gadjigo, one of the world’s foremost scholars of African cinema, returns as co-curator. Among the 2008 programming will be a focus on African-American comedy and a tribute to Ousemane Sembene, the father of African cinema. For a complete list of films and events, log on to www.ccasantafe.org. The CCA is located at 1050 Old Pecos Trail in Santa Fe.

Young@Heart

Age-defying documentary evokes a menagerie of emotion ... and it rocks

In the world of documentary filmmaking, it’s rare to come across a story containing more than mere topical analysis tinged with one or more of the following: hip music, activism, wacky narratives, gratuitously artistic shots, dry humor and cool graphics (like star wipes). Absorbing human drama tends to be more elusive and reserved for works of fiction, while the reality captured within the nonfiction genre’s actuality, continuity and imagery is often void of grand emotions. Stephen Walker, director of Young@Heart, is either very talented or very lucky. His film manages to cross a threshold, capturing to the fullest potential a tragicomic slice-of-life story about usual people doing unusual things.  

Speed Racer

High-speed, color-saturated action film out-cartoons the cartoon

In their first writing/directing effort since the conclusion of the epic Matrix trilogy, the Wachowski brothers grab the steering wheel of Speed Racer, a live-action adaptation of the classic Japanese cartoon from the ’60s. Given the groundbreaking, if audience-splitting work the Wachowskis did on the techno-mythical Matrix films, Speed Racer seems like a somewhat junior-grade assignment. Despite the subdued expectations, this kiddie flick freak-out looks like it was shot not with a camera lens, but with a kaleidoscope. Watching it is roughly akin to taking LSD at Disneyland. (My God, the colors!) The result is a 10,000 RPM action movie that is somehow more cartoony than an actual cartoon.

You Go Squish!

“1000 Ways to Die” on Spike

Spike TV’s new two-part micro-series event “1000 Ways to Die” bills itself as a documentary that “combines the science of living and the randomness of death with a dash of Darwinism.” What the show really does, however, is combine the notorious (and mostly fake) snuff footage of Faces of Death with the “at least it wasn’t me” snarkiness of the Darwin Awards, and paints the whole shebang with a thin veneer of “CSI”-style forensic info.

art

Culture Shock

The National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) has been banging out weekend after weekend of events. This Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17, New Mexico Arts brings the first-ever gathering of Matachines groups from the Southwest to the NHCC for two days of dances and panel discussions that are free and open to the public. Matachines dancers, known for their large masks with beads usually covering the eyes, will perform the story of El Monarca Montezuma and the triumph of good over evil. Matachines groups can be found in Mexico, as well as Northern New Mexico and border towns. This weekend's event marks the first time groups from all over the state will meet and perform at the same location. Dances take place every hour from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Plaza Mayor both days. For more info, visit www.nhccnm.org.

Seeing is Believing

Cowboys Are My Weakness at Rodey Theatre

There’s a common adage among writers: Show, don't tell. The goal is to give the audience just enough description to draw the lines, and let them color it in.

Across Sonora

The release of New Mexican comic Dead in Desemboque

E. Robert Arellano recalls the arrival of the bookstore in Desemboque, Mexico, with clarity. Once a week, a road-worn pickup truck would drive up the road, he says, and the townsfolk would trumpet: "The bookstore's here! The bookstore's here!" The truck stopped and the back opened, revealing stacks of ratty little books called historietas—popular Mexican comics read by millions each month.

food

Le Crêpe Pierre

Je suis enchanté, Chef Gozard

Pardon my French—mostly because it sucks—but zut, zut et zut! And by that I mean Chef Jean-Pierre Gozard is making damn fine crêpes over on Candelaria and San Pedro. (Not an exact translation, but you get the idea.)

Chef Schmef

Back in March, Food Network chef Robert Irvine, from "Dinner: Impossible," was exposed for embellishing his résumé. From start to finish, his credentials turned out to be more fantasy than reality.

Meat the 21 st Century

A delinquent vegetarian's victory tale

In March, after a fine afternoon in San Francisco, I was riding a train back to Alameda when I started feeling sick. At first I thought it was the maiden stage of a migraine, but later when the headache subsided and the nausea surfaced, I knew it was something else. I had dined at a vegan restaurant before boarding the train, where my red curry dish was tainted with fake chicken I didn't order. I scornfully ate around the mystery “meat”: What resulted wasn’t pretty.

Alibi V.17 No.19 • May 8-14, 2008

Music to Your Ears

The city's all-ages music and performing arts space planned for 508 First Street NE is set to open in December. The old Ice House building has architectural plans drawn up for 14,000 square feet of multiuse main floor space, a 10,000 square-foot basement (with a small movie theater, among other things) and a built-out roof area. It even has a name: Warehouse 508. Now all it needs is you.

feature

Alibi Summer Guide

100 things to do before summer is over

There's an unfortunate sentiment perpetuated in Albuquerque that there's nothing to do in this town. Obviously, such a claim is baseless and only spouted by the lazy and uncreative (after all, the same idea's regurgitated in every Burgville, U.S.A.). But we here at the Alibi took it to heart. That's why we came up with 100 things that should be on your summer to-do list—to challenge those who would rather spend the next three months propped up on a couch nursing a bag of peanuts.

Such a Thing as a Free Lunch ($0)

Do you ever wish boozing could make you smarter? Well, it probably can't, but the next best thing is the Geeks Who Drink Pub Quiz that happens three days a week throughout the city. Test your trivia knowledge at Burt's Tiki Lounge on Monday's, O'Niell's Pub on Wednesdays and Gecko's (Academy) on Thursdays. www.geekswhodrink.com. Free.

Less Than a Double Sawbuck ($20 or Less)

The Tinkertown Museum, brimming with kitschy Americana, is open seven days a week from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m., and tickets are just $3 for adults, $1 for kids. 281-5233, www.tinkertown.com.

If You've Got a Job ($21 and Up)

Buy a New Mexico CulturePass and visit New Mexico's 14 state museums and monuments at a 50 percent savings. Admission is good for one trip to each location in a 12-month period. www.newmexicoculture.org. $25.

music

Strung Out

A band and its army

Strung Out, based in Simi Valley, Calif., has been making punk music for more than 15 years. Since its inception in the early ’90s, the band has cultivated a rabid fan base that’s stayed loyal to the group as it flirted with gutterpunk, danced with thrash and constantly tinkered with a signature sound that flutters in the breeze, resting somewhere between horror-punk and hardcore metal.

The Empty Orchestra

Seven Days of Karaoke

What started in Japan in the ’80s has, over the years, come to practically infest our fair city with poor renditions of yesterday’s hits. And why not? Everyone loves to watch other people make fools of themselves. See, I’ve found that for maximum entertainment, the trick with karaoke is not to sing as well as you possibly can, but with as much tuneless and tone-deaf harmony as you can muster, being sure to botch the lyrics with swear words and humorous twists. Of course, there are those who take it seriously, but that's probably not you.

Little-Known Facts

.... about Ant Farmers, Dixie Deer and migrating bands from El Paso

Jon Forrest Little says he writes "kinda cheesy piano show tunes." All told, he has almost 80 spaced-out, two-minute jingles in the style of Daniel Johnston (replace Jesus with nature and you'll be close). Each song started on an $80 Wal-Mart keyboard. "I don't like expensive things because when they break, you get really sad," he says. His vehicle for the songs is a solo project called Church Camp.

Flyer on the Wall

Find out what, exactly, that sounds like with the Gregg Daigle Trio this Friday, May 9, and again on Wednesday, May 28, at Garduño’s on the Green. 6 to 9 p.m. (LM)

food

Lotus Café

Even Buddha eats here

No Burqueño with a penchant for dining out can deny that Albuquerque is home to more than its share of Asian restaurants. I once considered creating a review template just so I could cut back on typing "rice," "noodles" and "pad Thai." But that wouldn’t be fair. Or ethical. So here I go again …

The Women of Wine

Changing the world one glass at a time

For too long, oenology (een-ology, the study of wine) was considered off-limits to the average American consumer. Wine knowledge was a carefully guarded male stronghold of stuffy sommeliers, grumpy English professors with big, red noses and the wealthy. But in the late ’80s and early ’90s, the wine industry began selling its products in the United States with a more inclusive approach. A methodical marketing scheme began with easily understood White Zinfandel. Wineries started selling people on Chardonnay and then Merlot, varietals that were easy to drink, whose names had a ring of sophistication. People took notice. It was a one-two punch, and consumers were knocked out by wine and its mystique.

Mini Port Cherry Pie

Tonight we buckled down with some fresh groceries and even fresher ideas for the May wedding we’re catering for our friends. It’s the first training session of many, and the results were kickin’. So kickin’, in fact, that we’re humming that Warrant song. (Cold drink of water, such a sweet surprise, put a smile to your face 10-miles wide.) All night, swing it!

news

Pull No Punches

Native Americans respond to the Alibi's interview with Charles Langley

After publication of last week's feature, " Good Medicine," the e-mails started rolling in, then comments on the story online, then phone calls. Some Native Americans who read the story were angered by its contents, by its presentation and because they said it furthered stereotypes.

Tardy Taxpayers

Some New Mexico companies owe the state hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid dues

New Mexico is shining the spotlight on businesses and some individuals who owe big money in state taxes.

UNM Faculty Calls Out Schmidly

Money troubles and staff relations come to a head at a charged meeting

History professor Jane Slaughter is concerned about the University of New Mexico's ability to keep faculty and offer the necessary menu of courses to students. "The fact that our faculty are being wooed by others is only half of the story," she says. "Besides receiving the offers, faculty are also accepting them."

Answer Me This

Why was the sect leader arrested? How much cash can you make bagging on Darwinism? Why is one man saying the County Clerk's Office is a hostile work environment? Who did the governor leave out of the loop on his vacation plans?

Thin Line

A Senate committee is making the first steps to do battle with the Federal Communications Commission's decision to relax media ownership regulations. The commission voted in late December to lift the rules that banned the same company from owning newspapers and TV stations in the top 20 markets. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin was accused of rushing the vote on lifting the cross-ownership rules.

Confessions of a Rehab Republican

Working the steps with the GOP

Hello, my name is Jim, and I’m a Rehab Republican.”

I didn’t do anything to become a Rehab Republican. That’s the termed used by Rick Davis, John McCain’s campaign manager, to describe voters like myself who have turned away from the GOP. I left in 2004. Davis says McCain must win four of every five of us Rehab Republicans. That means they have to be very nice to us.

We Rehab Republicans are now GOP targets. Not in the Rovian sense, meaning they’re out to destroy us. No, they’re reaching for our hand and whispering sweet somethings in our ear.

Bad Medicine?

The Alibi has always prided itself in serving as a megaphone to those who don't usually have the opportunity to project their voices. The underrepresented. The misrepresented. The too often forgotten. It's an important function of alternative media, and although we don't always do it perfectly, we do always try. That's why the response to the feature article we printed last week came as such a shock to me.

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Greece--Three residents of the Aegean Sea island of Lesbos are suing a gay rights group for using the word “lesbian.” One of the plaintiffs told the Associated Press last week that the Homosexual and Lesbian Community of Greece “insults the identity” of the people of Lesbos. “Our geographical designation has been usurped by certain ladies who have no connection whatsoever with Lesbos,” said Dimitris Lambrou. The plaintiffs’ lawsuit, filed on April 10, asks the Greek court to bar the same-sex association from using “lesbian” in its name. Lesbos is famed as the birthplace of Sappho, a late-seventh century poet who famously praised love between women. According to the plaintiffs, their Lesbian lawsuit singled out the one group because it is the only officially registered gay organization in Greece to use the word “lesbian” in its name. The case will be heard in an Athens court on June 10.

film

Reel World

According to New Mexico Women in Film, everything you need to make a movie is in your own backyard. What resources and opportunities are available to the local independent filmmaker and actor? Find out at the May meeting of NMWF. On Thursday, May 8, there will be a Q&A with Ann Lerner of the ABQ Film Office followed by a networking mixer with filmmakers, actors and other members of the local film community. Anne Stirling of Friends of Film and Video, filmmaker Gloria Martinez and writer/director Scotty Milder (both of whom have shorts going to this year’s Cannes Film Festival) will also be in attendance. The meeting/mixer will begin at 6:30 p.m. at The Orpheum Arts Space (500 Second Street SW). NMWF members are free, guests are $15.

Iron Man

Entertaining origin story proves heroes are built, not born

The problem with introducing moviegoing audiences to a new superhero franchise (something you can expect to be subjected to once or twice every summer for the foreseeable future) is that filmmakers are obliged to spend the first outing recounting the age-old “origin” myth. This introductory tale serves to inform viewers how our chosen hero became so damn super in the first place, and why he (or, in rare cases, she) felt obliged to pull on a pair of latex-enhanced tights and fight crime. Bruce Wayne watched his parents get killed, Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, Bruce Banner built some big nuclear doohickey ... and so on. Detractors of the genre, and even the occasional imdb.com-message-board-trolling fanboy with a DSL connection, tend to denounce these “first in the trilogy” films as a necessary evil. Since so much time must be spent on backstory and character-building, there's not much left for what people came to the theater for in the first place: bulging dudes in Spandex beating the crud out of sneering villains over a CGI recreation of the New York City skyline. All you can do is hope the film performs well enough at the box office that somebody greenlights a second one and you get your recommended daily allowance of superhero action. (See for reference: Spider-Man 2, X2: X-Men United, etc.)

Redbelt

Highbrow takes a pounding in Mamet’s martial arts drama

Oh, great, just what we need: another cheap action film to exploit the sudden popularity of mixed martial arts. Wasn’t Never Back Down enough shirtless teenage beefcake for one season? Do we really need another MTV-sanctioned martial arts film that ... wait a second. Was that David Mamet’s name on the credits? The David Mamet? And what’s up with this cast? Award-winning British actors Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things) and Emily Mortimer (Lovely & Amazing)? A who’s-who of New York stage actors (Joe Mantegna, David Paymer, Rebecca Pidgeon)? A busload of real-life fighters (Randy Couture, Ray Mancini, Jean Jacques Machado)? And ... did that just say Tim Allen? What the hell’s going on here?

TV Makes Fun of Itself ... Badly

“Not Just Another Cable News Show” on CNN

CNN’s “Not Just Another Cable News Show” stands alongside FOX Sports Net’s “The Best Damn Sports Show Period” as the most bluntly declarative TV show title of the 21st century. Whether either is factually correct is open to debate.

art

Culture Shock

I only have 119 words to announce our Ridiculously Short Fiction Contest (including the title) and I've already used 22, so I'll keep this brief. You: Send in an incredibly short story or three (max) using only 119 words via e-mail to amy@alibi.com or via snail mail to The Alibi's Ridiculously Short Fiction Contest, 2118 Central SE, PMB #151, Albuquerque, N.M., 87106. All entries must be received by Friday, May 23, at noon. Me: I'll read ’em (and count up the precious words) then publish the best in our June 19 issue. You: Pick up your hefty prize pack (if you story’s a winner). It's that simple, and I still have one left. Word.

Devils Beware

As It Is in Heaven at the Desert Rose Playhouse

"Do your work as though you had a thousand years to live and as if you were to die tomorrow."—Shaker saying

Salem and Osama

The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century by Steve Coll

The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in American Century