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V.23 No.10 | 3/6/2014

Book Review

Resistance Is Futile

The Resistance Man

French farmhouses? Fine wines? Erudite mystery? At first blush, this novel seemed right up reviewer Suzanne Buck’s alley. So why was it such a clunker?

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PHOTOS

An Education Without Borders

Winning photograph speaks volumes

Winning photo by UNM art education graduate student Junfu Han
Winning photo by UNM art education graduate student Junfu Han

An older Latina woman stands clutching a telephone pole painted with colors of the American flag in a border town of the Southwestern United States. She’s expressionless except for a squinting of her dark eyes during the midday sun. Her gaze is slightly off camera and a silver cross is half hidden under her blouse. Her left wrist is bandaged, yet she doesn’t seem broken. Rather, she's solid and stoic with an unassuming strength. The author of this photograph is Junfu Han, a UNM Art Education graduate student and the winner of the 1st Annual International Education Week photo contest.

During the week of Nov. 11, UNM’s Global Education Office hosted International Education Week, and unlike previous years, this year’s event included the photo contest. The week focuses on the benefits of studying abroad and celebrates the diversity of UNM students. Photographers entered the contest, whose theme was “International Experiences,” with portraits, landscapes, architecture, street photography, abstract or experimental pictures. Han’s striking composition of the Latina woman in the Chihuahuita community in El Paso, TX was declared the winner with its portrayal of American mythos and Mexican experiences on the border.

V.21 No.11 | 3/15/2012

Ask Kat Curious

World Travel With Friends

The Alibi’s advice columnist has a few tips on finding your adventure companion.

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blog

Could You At Least Buy Me Dinner First?

(AP Photo/Jack Plunkett)

I think it was when the Wal-Mart manager said, “I just can’t help you, because I have no idea how that works”, and then walked away from me, that I really started to get ticked off. Bad customer service has been the theme for several of my blogs. I am pretty good at turning the other cheek, picking my battles and so on when it comes to a horrifying experience with a corporate giant. Westley Trellis, well, not so much. Trellis took a baseball bat and smashed to bits twenty-nine flat screen televisions, causing over $22,000 in damages in a Wal-mart electronics department. One commentator opined that perhaps Trellis was “simply slashing prices?”

Another time I wanted to lash out at corporate America, government agencies, was the Summer I was, well, nabbed for not being “entirely” forthcoming on some tax information. I had “forgotten” to report something, and well, I got in trouble with the IRS. They sent letters, of course I didn’t respond to them, and eventually received a default judgment and was ordered to pay some money back to the IRS. Well, I didn’t, and so they garnished wages from me that fall. I basically worked at this job I had for free in order to pay back my debt. I wanted to get angry, and I wanted to tell them off, ask them if they would consider dinner first before just jamming their you know what in my you know where, but I didn’t.

Joe Stack had a different approach to his IRS experience. He took his Piper Cherokee airplane and flew it right into the Echelon Building in Austin, TX. An online article tears Stack apart, calling him a man “with a serious grudge”, and “left a lot of innocent people in his wake”. Well I don’t know if I would put IRS and innocent in the same sentence, and while I am saddened for the injured parties, I share some empathy for Stack’s ordeal. Eventually people succumb to the rage in their heads when they are not listened to, or treated badly, and they end up doing things like Trellis, and Stack did. Wal-mart and the IRS may consider taking some responsibility themselves instead of writing off Stack, a software engineer and musician, who was handled badly, ignored, and stuck in a Web of poorly handled consumer relationships by corporations and government agencies. Stack has a 6-page, 3000 word manifesto online that you can draw your own conclusions from.

How do we communicate to these corporate bears, and government gorillas in a way that gets our point across without crashing planes, and busting up televisions? Is it possible? There are many ways to handle bad service, and avoid the caveat emptor mind-set; I don’t know if one is better than another. I have managed to avoid suicidal tendencies from bad service, and batting practice in the Wal-mart electronics department, but there are times when I cheer silently for the ones that make such grand gestures. I don’t think they actually believe their cries of injustice will be heard, but their actions will not be forgotten.

When are we going to demand that they put customer relationships at the front of the line again, and keep the “bottom line” from towing the whole ship down to the bottom of the ocean? Now we just have to find the middle line between bats, and planes; and the ability to make changes, and communicate just a little bit better with each other, perhaps even listen a little more. I have hope, even if while I write this, phone pressed desperately to my ear, my expected hold time is 32 minutes. Don’t worry I don’t even like baseball and flying makes me nauseous.

V.19 No.2 | 1/14/2010

Feature

Long Live the Revolution

The 10th annual Revolutions International Theatre Festival

The mark of brilliance may just be that it stays with you. It affects the way you think about something or, perhaps, the way you look at everything. You contemplate it after you’ve engaged with it. Your future actions and interactions are, in some regard, altered by having experienced it. As it so happens, this is also the mark of revolution. Coincidence? Certainly not in the case of the Revolutions International Theatre Festival.

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Feature

Week One

Pollock

If you want to see probable greatness, you should probably see Pollock. Joe Peracchio, founding artistic director of Tricklock Company and Revolutions, stars in this one-man show inspired by the frenetic genius of artist Jackson Pollock. Written by David D’Agostino, directed by Broadway veteran Moni Yakim and set to the brilliant jazz compositions of Ornette Coleman, this multimedia performance aims to illuminate the complex evolution of America’s pre-eminent abstract expressionist painter. And, in case that’s not profound enough, it examines the role and status of art and expression in American life. Long story short: Pollock is poised to take your breath away.

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Feature

Week Three

It’s Hell In Here

A prodigy named Max, the Secret Service, parallel universes, car chases, apologia, J.D. Salinger and Sen. Larry Craig. This is the fantastic stuff of It’s Hell In Here, a play written and directed by Tricklock (when Tricklock was still Riverside Ensemble) alum Abigail Browde, who developed the work during her present residency at Brooklyn Art Exchange in New York. Fusing elements of dance and theater to invent a curiously potent, seemingly allegorical reality, It’s Hell In Here provides an examination of modern uncertainty and, says Browde, a “meditation” on the blur between public and private. Talk about timely.

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