Alibi Volume 16, Number 49
December 6, 2007
How we became a nation of debtors, and how we can find our way out
When it's in the mailbox, ornamenting the roadside and drenching most of our entertainment, it doesn't take long to recognize a labyrinthine media barrage promoting endless and conspicuous consumption. We are what we buy, and in a free market society where business doesn't always live by the golden rule, when others win when you lose, it's easy to find yourself burned. Often that burn comes by way of incinerating little pieces of hologram-emblazed plastic--using fake money like it's real.
Pornotopia purveyors face no penalty but are slapped with a zoning violation for festival
Friday was a stressful day for Guild Cinema co-owner Peter Conheim. About two hours before adult film festival "Pornotopia" opened, a code enforcement officer showed up with a warning notice.
Richardson opts out of taking the Political Courage Test
Could your red-light camera tickets be refunded? Why are New Mexico thieves acting like fools? Santa Fe police were suspicious of what object? Highland High School is proud to present...
Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?
--William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 1, Act 3
The Kyoto Accord began the race to halt global warming. On its 10th anniversary, why are we barely past the starting gate?
I remember so well the final morning hours of the Kyoto conference. The negotiations had gone on long past their scheduled evening close, and the convention center management was frantic. A trade show for children’s clothing was about to begin, and every corner of the vast hall was still littered with the carcasses of the sleeping diplomats who had gathered in Japan to draw up a first-ever global treaty to curb greenhouse gas emissions. But when word finally came that an agreement had been reached, people roused themselves with real enthusiasm—lots of backslapping and hugs.
Transgendered people have never received much media attention in the U.S., but according to a new study, that’s starting to change.
Dateline: England--A springer spaniel was rushed to the hospital after eating what his owners say is his 40th pair of underwear. Taffy, owned by Eubie and Sharon Saayman of Tamworth, Staffs, has also wolfed down 300 socks and destroyed 15 pairs of shoes. He even once ate the keys to their Mercedes, reports London’s Daily Mirror. Normally, everything Taffy devours comes out the other end, but this last pair of underpants wouldn't budge. Fortunately, 34-year-old Eubie Saayman is a veterinarian, who operated on his family’s pet after noticing the animal was in pain. “He didn’t touch his food for two days and lay in his bed looking sorry for himself. I knew straight away what had happened so I didn’t need an X-ray to see the problem,” Saayman told the newspaper. “His stomach was swollen and, during the operation, just as I thought, there was a pair of my son’s Bob the Builder pants that had got stuck.” Sharon, 44, manager of Eubie’s vet’s practice, said they have spent nearly $1,000 replacing items the 18-month-old spaniel has swallowed. “I guess this is just his vice,” said Mrs. Saayman.
Big congratulations are in order for Albuquerque-based filmmaker Billy Garberina, his cast and his crew on Necroville. The low-budget horror comedy captured the Tamalewood Award for Best New Mexico-Made Film at last weekend’s mega-successful Santa Fe Film Festival. The film had some stiff competition as this year’s SFFF featured more than 60 shorts, features and documentaries in the New Mexico Film Expo program. Also taking home top honors were Persepolis for Best of the Fest, Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez for Best Documentary, Miss Navajo for Best Indigenous and Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa for Best of the Southwest. Kudos are also reserved for the festival itself, which sold more than 20,000 tickets during its five-day run, making 2007’s eighth annual fest the most successful to date. See you next year!
Latitude Zero (1969)
If you’ve been reading this column for a while, you’ll know by now that I have a full-on love affair with Japanese-American co-productions. Flicks like The Green Slime, The Manster and Terror Beneath The Sea all hold a special place in my cold, callous heart. So it is with great pleasure and schoolgirl giddiness that I present to you the long sought-after Latitude Zero, which is set to hit our shores in a pimped-out two-disc edition courtesy of the fine people at Tokyo Shock. What’s that, you say? You’ve never heard of Latitude Zero? Well then, have I got a treat for you.
Canadian Guy Maddin doses audiences with another mad vision of yesteryear
Experimental Canadian fantasist Guy Maddin (The Saddest Music in the World, Dracula: Pages From a Virgin’s Diary, Tales From the Gimli Hospital) continues his somewhat prolific career of weirdness with Brand Upon the Brain!, a curiously anachronistic horror-mystery the filmmaker describes as “semi-autobiographical” (with, we’ll assume, a heavy emphasis on the “semi”).
Comedy on the Web
The news last week that NBC would be picking up the episodic Web-only series “Quarterlife” as a midseason replacement show for early 2008 told us one of two things: Either the month-old Writers’ Guild strike is having a much more devastating effect on the industry as a whole, or we’ve been looking in the wrong place for our entertainment. After all, “Quarterlife” is produced by TV vets Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick (“thirtysomething,” “My So-Called Life”). The show, about six twentysomething artists coming of age in the digital generation, airs on MySpace, where the first episode has been viewed more than 190,000 times. Maybe it’s time to start ignoring television altogether and dig into this digital realm of Internet-only webisodes.
The Week in Sloth
It's gotten awfully quiet over at the city's proposed teen music space, which will occupy the former Ice House building Downtown. But the project hasn't gone away. On the contrary, it's having an open house this Saturday, Dec. 8.
Suspended thrashes Burque's masses
The most promising metal act in town is not staffed by tattooed, beer-guzzling, sweaty men in their late 20s/early 30s. Amanda Castillo, Channing Concho and Melynda Montaño draw their inspiration from the ’80s metal that infected their childhoods.
And Arthur & Yu, all together this week
It's unfortunate that Iron & Wine—Florida native, former film and cinematography professor, and Austin resident whose real name is Sam Beam, that is—is best recognized for his quiet cover of The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights." His original work tops any cover by far. Not-quite-folk, yet not-quite-rock ’n’ roll, not fully characterizable at all, Beam seems to have accomplished the impossible task of forging his own style. This is especially true of his overwhelmingly lovely late-September release, The Shepherd's Dog. His most recent collection, which is aided by Calexico (á la their 2005 collaborative release In The Reins), hangs on to the absorbing melancholy of Beam's previous recordings, yet twists it into something more mature and slightly happier. Try tracks No. 1, "Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car," and No. 9, "Boy with a Coin" (where flamenco fans may note a nice use of palmas).
Iron & Wine, along with Beam's majestic indie-beard, will perform with Seattle's Arthur & Yu this Sunday, Dec. 9, at The El Rey Theater (622 Central SW).
Mei love you Long time
When psychedelic mod-rock outfit Mei Long decided to go electric, the growing pains ached enough to make the band question whether the transition would work at all.
A litany of Solid State/ Rise Records bands— My Children My Bride, Every Bridge Burned and Oh, Sleeper—feel emotional, then enraged, then emotional again this Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Compound (all-ages, $10). With locals Death of a Legend and Last Fifteen, who generally feel peeved. (LM)
Look, I tried to come up with some quirky, cute way to say the holidays are imminent and shopping days are numbered, but it's all been done before so I'll just cut straight to the holiday jugular: You've got two weeks and it's really hard to shop for Aunt Betty. Consult the “Alibi Picks” this week for a multitude of shopping and strolling events, but if your taste and the taste of those on your list leans on the artsy side, there are a few more events to consider. On Saturday, Dec. 8, the New Mexico Book Co-op and Footprints From the Bible are sponsoring the Holiday Book and Craft Fair at St. John's Cathedral (318 Silver SW) starting at 10 a.m. The event features more than 50 local authors, artists and craftspeople, and book signings with Dave DeWitt (Avenging Victorio), Don Bullis (New Mexico: A Biographical Dictionary) and Robert Torrez (New Mexico in 1876-1877). Of course, many of the authors will be promoting their publications and I'm sure they'll be happy to slap a signature on your copy. After checking the bibliophile(s) off your list, visit Regalos at La Tiendita Museum Store at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) also on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Artisans from around New Mexico will be offering their wares, including paintings, sculpture, santeros, literature and glass art. Beyond the shopping, Regalos features carolers, storytelling (at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.) and refreshments.
The Imaginative Mind of Bruce Lowney at Artspace 116
The fine art medium of lithography is a mysterious process to some and unknown to many more. Like daguerreotypes and woodcuts—two other kinds of image replication with far-reaching influence to modern expression—the lithograph has been relegated to niche status, the stuff of dusty museum archives. Yet many artists still prefer this rigorous, technical process. Bruce Lowney is one of them, having used the lithograph press to create beautiful, compelling works for more than 30 years.
Dessert first, questions later
Last week was colder than a well digger's nether regions, and I was not at all inclined to leave the warmth under my stack of comforters. Still, I donned my thermal underwear and drove to the corner of Louisiana and Central, hoping like hell I’d find a good Vietnamese sandwich.
Five wine websites that let your fingers do the shopping
There are some people that are just a pain in the ass to shop for: Your boss who’s having a midlife crisis, the Stepford-like neighbor who just invited you to a politically correct “holiday” party, or a second cousin, twice removed, whose presence is gracing yours out of the blue. Some already have everything, some don’t like anything and some you really don’t know that well. Too bad. You still have to get them something. And the gift for casual acquaintances or for that special wino in your life is just a mouse click away.