Alibi Volume 16, Number 12
March 22, 2007
The Alibi's Fourth Annual Photography Contest
From beat-up cars to inappropriate costumes to what looked to us like possible criminal behavior (we've already notified the FBI), we saw a little bit of just about everything among this year's voluminous entries. To narrow it down, we sweated, we swore, we fought each other tooth and nail. Eventually, we reached some kind of consensus, however tense and grudging. The result is on these pages, with many more available for your viewing pleasure at alibi.com.
The Legislature’s stranger bills
Retired Cocks—It's nice to know the folks in our state Legislature maintain a sense of humor. Take, for instance, Rep. Thomas Taylor's memorial in support of good digs for feathered fighters out of the fray. He writes persuasively: "Whereas the lonely cluck of the warrior with no battle plucks at our heartstrings and stirs the very fabric of our compassionate souls." The cocks have probably not spent any time thinking about their golden years, Taylor laments, and it would be really unfair to cook them up and eat them. Therefore, the state should implement a retirement program "befitting the majesty" of the fighters. This would include "twice-weekly visits from the very best cage-free hens the state has to offer, one high-definition television for every six cocks and a subscription to ESPN, Animal Planet and CMT pure country, but not to the Food Network or FOX News." Amen.
In a world where television is all-consuming, we can turn it off
I mostly hate television, but ever since we got basic cable I watch it all the time. It pains me to see the parade of materialism and celebrity worship that dominates my chosen programming, but I can't help myself. Turning it on and checking out for a bit is easy. And that's one thing. Another thing entirely is being compelled to watch television in public. It's hard to impossible to find a place to eat, drink, shop, do your banking or travel without coming in contact with TV and being compelled to stare. And that's just frustrating. I am advertently and inadvertently wasting my time on something I despise, which is exactly what Mitch Altman was doing too, before he quit.
Why 60 days isn't enough
After the New Mexico Legislature had been in session for a couple of weeks this year, the Albuquerque Tribune ran an editorial suggesting New Mexicans would be better served by a 10-day session than by the “lengthy” 60-day session we were embarked upon.
The Alibi gives you the ups and downs of buzzword bills hashed out by the state’s Congress this session.
Politics are supposed to be about the people. We’re the intended deciders of the direction of our country and states, our counties and school districts. Our U.S. representatives are hired by us, and since we can’t all make the trek to Washington, they do it instead, taking with them our ideals and desires. “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Isn’t that right?
Dateline: Finland--A Finnish Member of Parliament is aiming for re-election by campaigning in Klingon. Jyrki Kasvi, a self-proclaimed Trekkie, is hoping to lure hip young voters by translating his website into Klingon. “Some have thought it is blasphemy to mix politics and Klingon,” said Kasvi. “Others say it is good for politicians to laugh at themselves.” Kasvi said his politics posed certain translation problems, since Klingon does not have words for matters such as tolerance, or for many colors, such as green--the party under whose banner Kasvi is running. Kasvi’s site (in English, Swedish, Finnish and Klingon) can be accessed at www.kasvi.org.
Love Bad Moves?--On April 6 and 7, the Alibi and Guild Cinema will present the first annual (we can only hope) “Worst Film Festival Ever.” This two-day cinematic stinkathon will feature a steaming pile of the absolute worst films with which the federal government will allow us to torture audiences.
The perfect New Age sci-fi film for kids who love cute bunnies and quantum physics
Ever have one of those “What the hell!?!” moments? You know, when you see or hear something that boggles the mind, beggars description and makes you wonder about the sanity of its source--something that just forces you to scream a rhetorical “What the hell!?!” to the heavens above? If you can’t recall the last time you did so, feel free to see The Last Mimzy, and the experience is sure to come flooding back.
Giant monster threatens Seoul! Enjoy!
What with all the torture-porn taking over American cineplexes (Saw, Hostel, Wolf Creek, Turistas, The Passion of the Christ), I’d almost forgotten what it’s like to have fun while watching a horror movie. Thankfully, the South Korean movie industry is either so far behind the trend or so far ahead of the curve that it’s managed to deliver The Host, a funny, scary, emotional, thrilling and occasionally bloody monster movie. You heard me right: This is a good, old-fashioned, B-grade monster movie--the kind with an honest-to-god monster in it, as opposed to a dirty psycho with a pair of wirecutters.
Tiny tidbits about proposed pilots
Drop Dead Funny--Have you ever thought to yourself, “What this here TV show needs is more zombies!” Lord knows I have. It would certainly spice things up on Wisteria Lane for “Desperate Housewives” and might actually cut down on all the whining over at “Grey’s Anatomy.” CBS apparently agrees with us and has just cast former “Picket Fences” star Kathy Baker for one of the lead roles in the network’s new comedy/drama “Babylon Fields.” The show focuses on the trials and tribulations of a small town dealing with a persistent outbreak of the living dead. According to industry trade publications, Baker and Amber Tamblyn (“Joan of Arcadia”) will play a mother and daughter who have to deal with the abusive husband/father they recently dispatched with an ax.
The Week in Sloth
A Gingerbread Homecoming—It's been less than a year since the Gingerbread Patriots dusted our desert from their keyboards and moved to Portland, Ore. But since they're so gosh darn sentimental, they couldn't stay away for long. Bless their little indie-pop hearts.
Some of the fine print says: "That's right. RollerCon, the international all-female roller derby convention, is looking for certified EMTs to volunteer their time and talents this summer, Aug. 8-12, in fabulous Las Vegas, Nev.!" Perks include undying gratitude and a nice little vacation in Vegas (paid for by you, but nice nonetheless). For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (LM)
Say "chick rock" and you die
If there’s one thing The Ettes aren’t, it’s a chick band. While both their lead vocalist and drummer are of the female gender, that doesn’t fit them squarely into the “chick” category, and they’d like you to know it.
You would not believe how many bands have named themselves A Murder of Crows. But only one lived in my Walkman throughout early high school until the tape, thin and weary from overplaying, snapped apart one time too many. No amount of scotch tape could aid its redemption. Little did I know this was an early Albuquerque band, around in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
Young band mines innovation from inexperience
The guys in The Fertile Crescent don't know they're kind of geniuses. Or maybe they're in disguise as four shy 20-year-olds who mumble a little and say "like" too much. It's almost a shame to let them in on the secret that the music they're making is more innovative and well-constructed than a lot of what's put out by bands who've been on the scene for years and years. Sure hope they won't let it go to their heads.
Double Think—Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could leave 1984 in the past where it belongs? George Orwell's ever-timely novel gets the stage treatment this week when the Actor's Gang brings it to UNM's Popejoy Hall. War as peace? Ignorance as strength? Hey, some things never go out of style. The production occurs Tuesday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m. The show contains partial nudity and strong language. You can purchase tickets by calling 925-5858.
Tuesdays With Morrie at Albuquerque Little Theatre
Tuesdays With Morrie is not a surprising play. Writers Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom chart a predictable course and rigidly stick to it. The message: Live. Give of yourself. Nothing new there, either.
The season's most notable releases
April comes like an idiot, Edna St. Millay wrote, babbling and strewing flowers. If she were alive today, Edna might add: books, too. The publishing lists are overflowing with titles. Mohsin Hamid, however, seems to get the wisdom of the less-is-more ideology. His streamlined second novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Harcourt, April 3), fights well above its weight of 192 pages. Set in Lahore, and fashioned after Camus’ The Fall, it recounts a young Pakistani man’s tale of falling in and out of love with the U.S. after 9/11.
We anticipate each one of Stone Brewery’s seasonal releases like a high schooler with a joint in their pocket anticipates the final minutes of Algebra II. Just when we’re getting over the bummer of the end the previous special release (we miss you already, Double Bastard), a new conception of an old favorite hits the shelves. This review is late in coming, as the official release date for Stone’s 2007 Old Guardian Barley Wine was Jan. 22, but you’ll be able to swill this beauty for another month … hopefully.
I’ve got hai shen in my tummy
Yummi House is owned by Carol Chiang, a former Chopstix waitress who struck out on her own with one of Albuquerque’s newest Chinese restaurants. Inside, the restaurant is clean and sunny, with buttercup yellow walls accented by red, knotted string creations. Charming plum booths are embossed with black and beige Chinese symbols. The kitchen is partially revealed by a window and, from the vantage point I had at the time of my visit, looked clean as a whistle.