Alibi Volume 17, Number 01
January 3, 2008
The Alibi’s year in review
There's often more bad than good in the news and on the Alibi's year-end list. After searching and debating, we found this year there were a fair number of successes for our state, like publicly financed elections and the surprisingly rational decision by the Legislature to legalize medical marijuana.
Resetting the default
What if white history and white people were excluded from society's consciousness except for a handful of days? White History Week is an effective way to ask that question, says Jered Ebenreck, one of the event's planners. "How would you feel if you had just a month for your history? It's kind of a silly notion. We have the whole year for white people."
What has workers at abortion clinics citywide on high alert? Why was a fire department dispatcher arrested for? How did Albuquerque make a national list? Why is a Santa Fe County sheriff’s sergeant suing?
There were plenty of reasons to grit your teeth, cringe and curse this year thanks to Albuquerque's often lousy local media. Here is a look at a few of our favorite media snafus from 2007.
Forget looking back. What lies ahead?
Last year was so totally 2007. More important is what’s ahead in Aught Eight. Let’s peek around January at some of the coming year’s big stories.
Many journalists qualified for the annual P.U.-litzer Prizes, but only a few were able to win recognition for turning in one of the truly stinkiest media performances of the year. As the judges for this un-coveted award, we have done our best to confer this honor on the most deserving.
Dateline: New Zealand--On the weekend before Christmas, a rampaging gang of 50 or so drunken Santas plowed through a movie theater on New Zealand’s South Island. The Santas molested customers, yelled obscenities, ripped down posters and participated in other decidedly un-jolly behavior at the Hoyts Cinema complex in Christchurch. Despite video footage of the incident, police believe it will be impossible to identify participants due to their identical beards, hats and fuzzy red suits. Speculation says the Santas were a group of university students involved in a holiday prank.
Bratz: The Movie--Normally, movies based on toys are brilliant (see He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Transformers and The Care Bears Movie for reference). Not so with this dim, mixed-message “comedy” based on the whore-like prepubescent doll line.
The top 10 films of 2007
When is a romance not a romance? When it has more on its mind than simple liplocks. This vigorous, visually poetic adaptation of Ian McEwan’s “unfilmable” World War II-era novel sets the bar high for period dramas. Not only does it feature love, betrayal, bloodshed and genuine passion (a rare element in most romances), it ponders long and hard on the power of imagination as a force both positive and negative. A great many films could be benefit from such self-reflection.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Bullets, ballots and booze
“Laws are like sausages,” states the famous aphorism by Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck. “It is better not to see them being made.” It's an appropriate quote to start off a review of the new poli-sci parody Charlie Wilson’s War, as the film spends an awful lot of time inside America's biggest sausage factory.
Best TV of 2007
Battlestar Galactica: Razor (Sci-Fi)--I could just list “Battlestar Galactica.” It’s still one of the best-written, most topical series on TV. Instead, I’ll single out this movie event as a perfect example of why: gripping drama, startling plot development, powerful characters and some of the juiciest political debate you’ll find on the idiot box. ... Plus, there are spaceships.
The Week in Sloth
After throwing them at the wall, these are the albums that stuck
Top 10 lists are intimidating. What if I miss something good? What if I don't agree with the critics? There's no way I could have heard every single disc last year. How can I be an authority?
Whether it was rock, pop or rap, it all sucked in ’07
If it makes Reel Big Fish happy to cling to the dream of a third-wave ska revolution, then more power to them. Still, making ska for the sake of keeping the genre alive doesn't produce the best results. Even though their songs are still upbeat as ever, I can't help but think there were some tears shed behind the scenes for a genre that once was.
Bogeymen of nightmares past compel you to rock this Sunday, Jan. 6, with Calling Kevorkian, Anonymous Victims, Scarless, Into the Ocean and Brokencyde. All-ages at the Launchpad ($5/$7), doors open at 7 p.m. (LM)
Pop music for artsy fuckers, inspired by robbery
After an ugly breakup and several robberies, Khaled Tabarra had a wealth of song-writing material.
The top 10 of 2007
In preparation for the end of 2007, former Arts Editor Steven Robert Allen and I sat down to talk art over hot bowls of phở. Between slurps, we traded memories of our favorite events from the past year—gallery openings, theater productions, book launches and poetry readings. After chewing on hot noodles and waning memories, we narrowed our picks down to 10. Here they are, the Alibi's top 10 art happenings for 2007, in no particular order.
The top 10 titles of 2007
2007 was a grim year for the book industry, but not for the books themselves. As newspapers took deep cuts out of their literary sections in a mad dash to save their business model, and the publishing industry got its last dose of Potter, a pack of terrific books traveled just below the radar. Here is a subjective list of the very best of those books (in no particular order), by my yardstick the must-reads of 2007.
Food stories of 2007 that amount to more than a hill of beans
A rash of recalls, high drama in the health food isles and corporate ecology wrestled in a battle royale—with cheese—for spots at the media table. Chances are it’s not the last we’ll see of them. The top food stories of 2007 are served!