No one would give Iran a nuclear congeniality award, but the Washington Post’s coverage of the Islamic republic is starting to look like an unhealthy fixation. After all, Iran isn’t the only Middle Eastern country with nuclear issues.
City councilors urged us to share our hearts, lungs, livers, kidneys and other body parts—and not just when our time on planet Earth is up. Councilor Dan Lewis introduced a proclamation supporting Donate Life, an organ donation organization. This is a family issue for Lewis, who gave a kidney to his brother. Tim Lewis spoke at the meeting along with a handful of other organ recipients. One woman talked about the miracle of her double lung transplant. Another woman said she received a heart and a new life from an 11-year old. There are around 960,000 people who’ve signed up to be organ donors in the state, though the population is about 1.9 million.
Dateline: Australia—A restaurant in a suburb of Adelaide has been ordered to pay a blind customer $1,500 restitution after refusing the man entry under the misguided impression that his guide dog was a “gay” dog. Adelaide’s The Advertiser reported that Ian Jolly, 57, was barred from dining at Thai Spice restaurant in May 2009 after a staff member mistook his guide dog Nudge for a homosexual canine. Restaurant owners Hong Hoa Thi To and Ahn Hoang Le said in an official statement to the Equal Opportunity Tribunal that Thai Spice waiters understood Mr. Jolly’s partner, Ms. Chris Lawrence, “to be saying she wanted to bring a gay dog into the restaurant.” Although the restaurant is required by law to accept guide dogs and even displays a sign to that effect, there is no government policy on gay dogs. So, the restaurant refused to seat Jolly, Lawrence and the dog. “The staff genuinely believed that Nudge was an ordinary pet dog which had been desexed to become a gay dog,” the owners’ statement went on to say. As a result of the Tribunal’s conciliation hearing, the restaurant owners agreed to provide Mr. Jolly with a written apology, pay him $1,500 and attend an Equal Opportunity education course.
Rallies and marches erupted across the country over May Day weekend in reaction to Arizona’s SB 1070. The measure makes illegal immigration a state crime and requires law enforcement to question people suspected of being in the United States illegally. Without legal challenges, it will become law by August. The Arizona Republic reported that demonstrations in other major cities brought in far greater numbers—50,000 in Los Angeles, for example—than Phoenix. Still, thousands attended a morning vigil and afternoon march in Arizona’s capital.
Registration has opened for the Albuquerque leg of the 48 Hour Film Project. In this annual filmmaking challenge, teams of eager moviemakers are given a few touchstones (a genre, a prop, a line of dialogue, a character) and have just 48 hours to write, shoot, edit and premiere their short films. Albuquerque has had fantastic participation in years past, and several local films have gone on to national and international glory. If you’re interested in getting a crew together and making a run at it, log on to 48hourfilm.com/
In his autobiography, Sam Cutler—tour manager for The Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead in their raucous heydays—seems coy about the path his life took after splitting with the Dead about 35 years ago. But it’s obvious that a lengthy hangover must’ve ensued. From snorting cocaine with Janis Joplin to dropping acid with Jimi Hendrix to chugging Southern Comfort with the Dead’s Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Cutler spent his time as “rock ‘n’ roll nanny” in the company of some seriously self-centered and out-of-control stars, nearly matching their risky behavior and living to tell the tale. Just be careful—you may not be a fan of some of your favorite classic rockers after reading this.
Despite having a name that might suggest Americana, Willy J and the Storytellers plays lively and cathartic alternative rock, and the members cite acts like Pearl Jam, Incubus, Rage Against the Machine and Oasis as influences—smells like '90s revival. The band’s front man, a shaggy-haired painter from Montana by way of Tennessee, says the name suits the quartet. "Our songs are stories,” says Willy J, “and the songs I like the most are the ones that do have a story behind them." Find out what it's all about on Friday, May 7, at Low Spirits when the band releases its first album, Chopping Trees. Listen and find out more on alibi.com. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Before it was a film featuring the cold, dead eyes of Julia Roberts, Closer was a wildly successful British play staged at the Royal National Theatre. Written by Patrick Marber, it follows failed writer Dan, doctor man Larry, photographer Anna and the professionally mysterious Alice as they fall in love, lust and hate with each other. Prepare your scorecards, because the betrayals are as constant as they are compelling. RyBan Productions and director Christy Lopez bring the play to The Filling Station (1024 Fourth Street SW) May 7 through May 23. Tickets are $16, or $12 for students, seniors and Albuquerque Theatre Guild members. Fridays are couples night ($10 for each half), and actors rush tickets for $10 are available on Sundays. Want more discounts off of the regular full price? Bring your own red or green apple (so, no rotten ones, kids) and get $2 off. Or follow in the footsteps of obituary writer Dan and bring your self-penned death notice. Grim? Maybe, but it'll get you $5 off. Call 507-0598 for reservations, and go to fillingstationabq.com for more details.
I can’t remember any of their names, but they are all my best friends. That’s how I regard the thousands of beer geeks who made the pilgrimage to Munster, Ind., for the annual Dark Lord Day. Not the Satanist convention it sounds like, Dark Lord Day is a holy grail trek for people like me. It’s the one-day release of Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout, a 13 percent ABV beer that ranks among the highest-rated and hardest to find beers in the craft world.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Hip-hop music definitely needs to include more tuba playing. I think that's what's missing from it. Likewise, the sport of skateboarding would benefit from having more dogs and monkeys that can master its complexities; the state of journalism could be improved by including more babies as reporters; and you Aries folks would significantly upgrade your life by learning how to play the game of cricket. (If you believe everything I just said, you'll be equally gullible when a little voice in your head tries to convince you to seek out things you don't really need or adopt behavior that doesn't suit you.)