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V.22 No.30 | 7/25/2013
courtesy of Warehouse 508

Arts Education

Mentoring Young Artists

Xpression Sessions give the youth of Albuquerque a free outlet for their artistic impulses by pairing them with artistic mentors.
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opinion

Why So Stupid?

On Justin Bieber and the lost youth culture

The Biebs havin’ a brew in South Africa, courtesy of his Instagram account.
The Biebs havin’ a brew in South Africa, courtesy of his Instagram account.

News publications went haywire over the news that Justin Bieber (you know that Bieber fever is an actual sickness) peed in a bucket before cursing former president, Bill Clinton. It was a landmark day in the career of the former tween pop star who made his mark offering slick rhymes over processed beats and landed straight in the hearts of young girls worldwide, like a wayward arrow from Cupid himself. Now I should admit here and now, before I continue further, that I've never listened to a full Justin Bieber song. I've heard snippets here and there, said “That's enough!” and changed the station without a moment's hesitation. But if you like his music, more power to you. Maybe you can explain it to me. I'd love to hear it.

Moving along … after hearing this story, I became even more intrigued with the idea of youth culture. Granted my generation was only a decade ago, I find myself sympathizing and coming up with excuses for our nation's youth all the time. And I think that's just an adult mentality in general. You witness people like Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan and the like, and find yourself either not paying attention (like me) or you find yourself constantly perusing the headlines, trying to see what trainwreck has blow-torched its carcass across the fine print of the day. And for those that don't pay attention, you simply say “Where the hell are the parents?” Because back in our day … they were the answer, if not the reason. So I ask, where are the parents? Where are those people that protect their children against the tyranny and selfishness of the world and raise them to be little warriors that think and feel and make good decisions?

People act as if this lapse in youth judgment is a recent tip of the scale. Has the trainwreck/stupid phenomena not been going on for generations? Was the late Corey Haim not going to clubs and bars, getting loaded and having his image splashed in every tabloid that had enough space to welcome it? So, why are people so critical of today's pop stars and young actors? What makes them so special in regard to past generations in terms of who did it worse? By the time I was a teenager, Macaulay Culkin (who I revered as the coolest, loudest, weirdest child to fend off burglars) was already having his mug shot taken. I didn't fret because I figured if you're going to be interested in celebrity, you should read the tell-tale signs, if not follow the comebacks. Robert Downey Jr. anyone?

And the only sane words of advice I've heard being given to these young Hollywood dilettantes were from Helen Mirren, who simply said, “Don't be up your own bum.” Simple as that. Get your heads out of your asses, get to work, cash your checks, rank up those vacation days and go about your business in a calm, leisurely manner. Unless it is your ultimate goal to look like a buffoon every time the cameras are rolling and there's a tartini to sip. Or maybe it's just a teen angst-inspired rhythm that keeps them dancing the dance of dangerous paths only to find solace in the American courtroom while hearing a judge tell them they've had it all wrong. To them, maybe authority is the answerbut also the cause. One can only wonder. But it's like that saying goes … youth is wasted on the young. Maybe there is some truth to it.

But like any grown-up just barely skimming the headlines, you can't help but feel some sort of pity for these lost Barbies and Kens who think convertibles, clothes and coke make for one hefty recipe of a good time. Don't get me wrong, clothes are nice (and essential at times), but where's the weight of such extravagances? And who does it fall on? Everyone else, unless these celebs get better tax people to straighten out the numbers. But as long as these youngsters keep doling out good tabloid headlines, selling issues of papers that usually get the facts wrong, and still make time for red carpet appearances to promote that B-movie that almost went straight to video but managed to find decent distribution, then I'm sure we have even more spicy headlines coming our way. Who knows? Justin Bieber may poop on Mt. Rushmore and say he did it all for the nookie. Or was it the cookie?

V.22 No.21 | 5/23/2013
From left: Sheridan Johnson, an Aux Dog student and Holly Adams
Victoria Liberatori

Arts Feature

Theater Training Ground

Students give Shakespeare full treatment this summer

The Aux Dog Theatre’s youth summer program promises to empower and enlighten students with a range of sophisticated skills.
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V.22 No.18 | 5/2/2013
communityproject.me

Art Preview

From the Ground Up

Two brothers hype community

Warehouse 508 has seen a spike in participation. They have the same number of events and the same facilities as always, but more and more youth are showing up. The difference may be Noah and Simon Kessler de St. Croix, two brothers who work hard to improve their community.

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News

The Daily Word in bendy straws, storm and indefinite detention

Kid hauled off to juvy for burping in class, according to civil rights lawsuit.

New Mexico 10th worst-run state in the union, says finance pub.

Occupy evictions in LA were fraught with violence and arrests, and only certain media were allowed to observe.

Big storm headed our way. Is the gas company ready this time?

Senate considers a bill that could allow terrorism suspectsincluding Americansto be held indefinitely without trial.

Horses may be killed for their meat after Congress lifts a ban on funding for inspections.

Man imbued with the holiday spirit freaks people out.

Superman comic sold for more than $2 million.

APD chief and mayor want you to vote on the look of the new police cars.

The history of the bendy straw.

V.20 No.32 | 8/11/2011
Jake Foreman (fifth from left) and students from the Native American Community Academy
Elise Kaplan

News Feature

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Native youth group bikes 200 miles on the Trail of the Ancients

Jake Foreman, a member of the Absentee Shawnee tribe of Oklahoma, says riding along the trail is a step toward healing historical traumas. “We’re retracing that route on bicycle and learning from spiritual leaders at every stop,” he says.

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V.19 No.21 | 5/27/2010

Council Bite

Budget Wounds

A standing-room-only crowd showed up to the Monday, May 24 meeting to remind the Council that cuts are losses to essential services for real people.

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V.19 No.12 | 3/25/2010
La Plazita staff (from left) Kathryn Neal, Angelina Lopez, Tomas Martinez, Katrina Coker, Susie Reyes and founder Albino Garcia
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com

Tech

Narrowing the Digital Divide

Intel engineers, volunteers and high-risk youth build a tech center

It cost La Plazita almost nothing to engineer a computer lab in the South Valley. Donated machines, elbow grease from volunteers and open source software built the lab, which opened its doors earlier this month.

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V.18 No.40 | 10/1/2009
Nathan Clements—a musician, promoter and senior at Los Lunas High School—debuts his DJing skills at the dedication on Thursday, Sept. 24.
[click to enlarge]
Eric Williams

Photo Essay

Warehouse 508 is Finally Here

The project started as Mayor Martin Chavez’ response to the argument that there isn’t a lot for teens to do in Albuquerque. That point was raised repeatedly as the mayor put the hurt on all-ages shows happening in venues where alcohol was servedoften in separate rooms or gated areasto people over 21.

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Today's Events

The New Mexico Edit at CCA Cinematheque

A collection of short clips from filmmakers all over the state. Part of the "Life in New Mexico" collaborative media project.

¡Globalquerque!: Oumar Konaté • The Cowboy Way • Lo'Jo • Golem • Gaby Moreno and more at National Hispanic Cultural Center

Breakfast with Tim Keller at Abuelita’s

More Recommented Events ››
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