Alibi Volume 17, Number 38
September 18, 2008
In search of the mesa
Seventy-year-old Mike Mabry sits next to his front door in full reach of the blazing sun’s penetrating rays. The weather challenges the fact that only two nights before, patches of crystalline snow had been surreptitiously deposited throughout the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that stand silently before us. As Mike looks out toward those sentinel peaks standing guard around the mesa, I watch little sweat pearls form above his deeply tanned brow. They bead up and then slowly journey down his intensely focused face, traveling along well-worn lines before disappearing into his scraggly, gray-and-white beard. “Those mountains change every gazilla-second," he says. "They’re either growing or melting; I haven’t figured it out and I’ve been watching them forever.”
Albuquerque's water supply is about to change
Turn on a faucet. Any faucet. If the faucet you've chosen is in Albuquerque, the water that surges out of your hose, into your kitchen sink, onto your head or down your toilet is older than Christianity. Older than the Roman Empire. At least as old as the end of the last Ice Age. This 10,000-year-old water is pumped from beneath your feet and forced to the earth's surface from a fractured network of vessels that make up the city's aquifer.
How long is the world's longest chile ristra? After a scuffle with a news cameraman, what happened to one APD officer? Who is Bill Richardson talking about but not endorsing for governor in 2010? Where's the armor on a Typothorax?
Some carnies are surly, but others are just trying to make a living
The assignment was simple: Interview someone operating a game booth or running a ride at the State Fair.
Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign prodded a drowsy, sharp-tongued beast.
Throughout the Republican National Convention, politicians, including McCain, derided the press for playing sides in the presidential race. They mocked what they said was the media's unfair treatment of McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and accused the media of being covertly sexist.
But, as the Boston Phoenix’s Adam Reilly points out, McCain’s war with the media started before he selected Palin as his vice president. In July, McCain’s campaign decided to limit reporters’ access to the senator. The man who pioneered the “Straight Talk Express” is keeping journalists at arm’s length. Never mind that the campaign has refused to allow the press to ask Palin any questions at all, save for an interview with ABC’s Charles Gibson last week.
The presidential and vice presidential debates that will take place in the next few weeks hold enormous potential dangers for the Democrats. They are almost in a perilous no-win situation.
Dateline: Congo—A herd of “wrongfully imprisoned” goats have been freed from jail thanks to the intervention of a Congolese minister. According to the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper, Deputy Justice Minister Claude Nyamugabo spotted the herd of goats crammed into a cell during a routine prison visit. The animals were apparently charged with being sold illegally by the roadside. The goats were scheduled to appear in court, alongside their owner, in the capital city of Kinshasa. Nyamugabo said the mistake had arisen because police officers had gaps in their knowledge of the law and would be sent for retraining.
Do you love movies? Of course you do, or you wouldn’t be reading this section of the paper. A better question might be: How much do you love movies? If you’re a dedicated cinematic fanatic with a serious need to show off your love of all things theatrical, you might want to consider stopping by Louie’s Rock-N-Reels. For years, Louie’s has been the place to pick up movie posters, banners, lobby cards, collectable press kits and more from movies both classic and modern, foreign and domestic. The problem has always been fighting your way through Louie’s massive collection, most of which never even made it onto the crowded floor of the store at 105 Harvard SE. Just last week, however, owner Louie Torres took over the space next door, formerly occupied by We Buy Music. This has effectively doubled the size of Louie’s Rock-N-Reels. Now you can leisurely stroll the aisles, digging your way though movie history in search of a prized piece of memorabilia. Stop by now for the grand reopening and tell ’em the Alibi sent ya.
The first annual Santa Fe Metaphysical Film Festival
The fact that Santa Fe is launching its first-ever Metaphysical Film Festival probably comes as little surprise. “What with Santa Fe Being the vortex of everything metaphysical, this seems like the perfect place for it,” offers Lexie Shabel, assistant director of the event. The bigger surprise may simply be that it took this long for someone to come up with the idea. “There is no other metaphysical film festival in existence,” says Shabel. “There are spiritual film festivals and the like.” Asked to spell out the difference, Shabel--a filmmaker herself and founder of Tesuque’s Gringa Productions--gets philosophical: “I guess this is more esoteric and encompasses that much more because of it.”
Coens assault our intelligence (in a good way)
Anyone who thinks the Coen brothers consciously alternate their more serious films with wackier, palate-cleansing comedies hasn’t been paying much attention. Sure, their new film Burn After Reading is a slapstick romp compared to the angsty bloodletting of their Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men. But even the bros’ most slate-faced thrillers (Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink) are filled with sneaky black humor. By the same token, their most screwball comedies (The Big Lebowski, The Hudsucker Proxy) are lined with grim moments that in other hands would be the stuff of horror films. Steve Buscemi being fed into a wood chipper in Fargo: Is that the Coens being funny or grisly? The answer is simple: Both, baby.
Five shows to watch before the new season begins
Reruns are for sissies. These days, we rent boxed sets of TV shows and gobble an entire season in a single weekend marathon. With the new fall TV schedule getting underway, now’s the perfect time to play catch-up, renting “Complete First Season” DVDs for shows you might have missed on the first go-around. Here are our top choices to get you prepped for premiere week.
The Week in Sloth
We just launched a music interface over at Alibi.com called Earwig. It's a place for sound worshippers to create and share their favorite playlists with other amateur mixologists. Sound like you?
Unclassifiably original band merges East and West in dance grooves galore
When you slide Heimlich, the latest CD from 17 Hippies, into the computer, the disc obligingly gives up the expected data: album name, track titles, artist, etc. It’s all pretty straightforward until you get to “genre.”
Somebody needs to sing me awake
Hi,Ani DiFranco. How's it going? That would have been my first question. Interesting people don't just say, "good."
The New York Times review of Christopher Paolini's dragon-loving Eragon perhaps describes it best: "For all its flaws, is an authentic work of great talent." Paolini, for all his nearly 25 years, is an arguably talented fantasy writer whose skills, we can hope, are refined in his upcoming book, Brisingr. The third installment of the Inheritance Cycle—which was originally billed as a trilogy but is now a four-parter—releases on Saturday, Sept. 20, and two Albuquerque Barnes and Noble locations (600 Menaul NE and 3701-A Ellison NW) are celebrating with dragon-related events. Both gatherings start at 10 a.m.
Cosmic Maintenance and Executions and Democracy at [AC]2 Gallery, and Metropolis 3 at MOV-iN Gallery
I’ve always been fascinated with artist biographies—poring over who did what, when and at what age. Like how Joseph Kosuth wrote Art After Philosophy and After when he was 24 or how Gordon Matta-Clark did his amazing architectural cuts before dying at the age of 35. This historical research matters when you make art. It’s barometric; using the lives of the artists you admire as a way to put your own career (or lack thereof) in context. If you’re 25 and you read that Picasso painted Les Demoiselles d’Avignon when he was 26, it creates a kind of historical chip on your shoulder and you grumble back into the studio to try to one-up the bastard.
A brief and wondrous interview with Junot Díaz
Junot Díaz is the “It Kid” in literature today. The author of the 1996 short story collection Drown, he was awarded this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead). The novel chronicles the journey of an overweight, sci-fi loving, Lord of the Rings-obsessed, first-generation Dominican-American whose hopes as a writer are crushed by his inability to find love (or even a little action).
Far from home, food truly comforts
I travel a lot for work. It usually involves trekking back and forth between Albuquerque and Las Cruces in search of good eats. Recently I headed to Taos and Arroyo Seco to work on a story that had nothing to do with food (see this week's feature, "A Road Less Traveled"). But, as with everything else I do, food came to play a significant role in my trip.