The Alibi has just learned that Albuquerque police arrested the man they say is street artist Nese. He's been charged with vandalism in connection with several rainbows painted on Downtown buildings.
Early last month, after one of the rainbows appeared on the Anasazi building at Sixth and Central, APD began to search for the artist.
Keep an eye out for next week's Alibi. We've been investigating this art for a few weeks and just might have some surprises for you. We'll also keep following it and keep you updated as new information becomes available.
By now, pretty much all of us who are going to read the Rolling Stone article that caused General McCrystal to resign his post at the helm of the Afghanistan war have done so. The writer, Michael Hastings, is unlikely to write another piece like it for some time. He's just been denied an embed by the Department of Defense.
Luckily, journalists Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger (the guy who wrote The Perfect Storm) had a 10 month embed in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley back in 2008. They took with them video equipment and have directed a powerful war documentary, Restrepo.
I realize, a lot of people head to the movies to escape and Restrepo doesn't allow for that. Sure, it's in an unfamiliar world and about experiences that aren't, for most of us, everyday. But its story of a small group of soldiers who engage in gunfights every day and who, on more than one occasion, lose a member of their team is too real to ignore. One could easily say that of course it's too real, it's a documentary, but so was The King of Kong, and that sucker doesn't feel real at all. What makes Restrepo so powerful is that the filmmakers don't judge their subjects from a healthy distance. Instead, they climb into the foxhole with them as the same bullets whizz by their rolling cameras.
Restrepo opens tonight at the Century 14 Downtown and, because it's the downer flick of the year, probably won't be around all that long. That's a damn shame though. This movie is amazing and demonstrates, through a first hand account, of just how many resources are being wasted in Afghanistan. Despite having spent more than a trillion dollars on the almost decade old war, the troops in Restrepo don't have a lot of resources. (By the way, they're also not being paid all that great either.)
Whether you're for the war or against it, Restrepo, named after the base at which the troops are stationed (which, in turn, was named for one of those killed in the valley), gives a view of war most of us wouldn't want to see first hand.
This Friday marks the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, with the anniversary of Nagasaki's bombing on Monday. To protest the continued procurement of nuclear weapons, Think Outside the Bomb are camping near Los Alamos. Their website, thinkoutsidethebomb.org has directions to the camp if anyone out there is looking to make their weekend in the woods more politically active.
If you're not real outdoorsy, check out John Hersey's Hiroshima. It's an amazing book, which appeared as an article in the New Yorker's August 31, 1946 issue. In fact, it was such a powerful story, editors dedicated the entire issue to it, forgoing their cartoons or any other articles.
Another of my faves about the aftermath of World War II is John W. Dower's Embracing Defeat. It's not an uplifting book but it creates a vivid post-war world in your mind.
Of course, 65 is often cited as retirement age (though that's not exactly true these days), which gives Think Outside the Bomb's protest a little more of a "Happy Retirement Fat Man and Little Boy" feel.
Yesterday, I heard on the radio that Gov. Richardson might issue a pardon for Billy the Kid. Yes, that Billy, the one who murdered a few people back in the 1880s and became a legend. My first instinct was to ignore it. But I can't, it keeps coming up. Today, KOB has a whole, long article about the history of the conflict. It's good, read it. I don't want to rehash it.
My point is, SERIOUSLY? The governor of New Mexico actually has time to sit around and think about this? Clearly, the answer is yes. He also, in 2003, let the Lincoln County sheriff to reopen the case as to whether Billy the Kid was actually shot by Pat Garrett or whether Garrett shot someone else and Billy escaped.
If I was 8-years-old, I would totally want the outlaw to win, even a hundred years later. But I'm a grownup now, and wish lawmakers would spend their time more productively, say helping victims of domestic violence or issuing pardons to people who are alive and jailed wrongfully.
But, I'm optimistic and probably a cranky-pants. Please, if you think the Kid should have his name cleared, explain to me why in the comments. I really do want to understand why anyone cares.
First, let me just expound, briefly, on the sweetness of this movie. It was totally sweet. And this comes from someone who is tired of hearing about Shepard Fairey and hopes the AP takes him down for lying about which Obama image he culture jammed. So, when I saw Fairey come on the screen, I let out a tiny groan. But it was cool, because he turned out to be less of a tool than I thought, but not rad enough to change my mind about the guy. The flick mostly revolves around Mr. Brainwash, who is clearly, at least in some aspect, made up. Anyway, read Devin D. O'Leary's review of the movie if you want more.
I wasn't even going to bring Exit up until I saw these fantastic murals that are coving Bangalore, India. From the Telegraph, "authorities say they plan to extend the scheme to cover virtually every city wall." They're sick of graffiti and are doing something about it. Check out the elephant on roller skates, he's my favorite.
So, the point is: Street art kicks-ass, if it's art and not just some nickname you made up for yourself. If you're sporting a spray can, do something beautiful, please.
Oh, and if anyone knows who did those killer rainbows downtown, tell them I'm looking for them. It's all on the down low, of course.