Alibi Volume 19, Number 05
February 4, 2010
Sneaky politicians, torch-wielding vigilantes and the embattled future of Albuquerque—will history repeat itself?
There seems little possibility that Valle de Atrisco will rise from the ashes of January’s catastrophic election day. Residents of the unincorporated portion of Bernalillo County known as the South Valley were given the opportunity to vote on whether their largely rural community should form a new town known as Valle de Atrisco. The proposal was soundly defeated by 93 percent.
Will New Mexico offer drug users treatment instead of jail time?
There might be some good news on the horizon for those caught in the revolving criminal door of drug addiction. Proposed state legislation would give judges the discretion to offer people with drug-possession charges a chance to participate in a treatment program instead of spending time in jail.
Remember paying all those red-light camera tickets? The City Council spent most of the fine money collected since 2005 at the Monday, Feb. 1 meeting. Those dollars were allocated for upgrades to three fire stations, protective equipment for firefighters, 200 police cars and beefing up the party patrol.
Fellow investigators talk UFOs in Aztec, N.M.
New Mexico, land of two national laboratories, is home to lots of scientists. Whether employed developing supercomputers, testing explosives or doing autopsies on extraterrestrial crash victims, there are plenty of PhDs walking around.
Dateline: China—Desperate to cash in on the popularity of James Cameron’s smash hit film Avatar, tourism officials in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park held an official ceremony last Monday to change the name of Nan Tian Yi Zhu Mountain, which means Southern Sky Column Mountain, to Avatar Hallelujah Mountain. The towering land formation, which juts nearly vertically up from a sea of mist, was reportedly a major inspiration for the film’s floating Hallelujah Mountains. The Zhangjiajie government website says Hollywood photographer Scott Hansen spent time shooting there in 2008 for the movie. “Many pictures he took then become prototypes for various elements in the Avatar movie,” noted the website. The park is now offering package visits to tourists, including a “magical tour to Avatar-Pandora” and a “miracle tour to Avatar’s floating mountain.”
The third annual Taos Shortz Film Festival takes place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 5 through 7, at the Best Western Kachina Lodge up in Taos. There are five separate short film blocks screening Friday and Saturday. The weekend gets topped off by an awards ceremony on Sunday. More than 50 short films from New Mexico and beyond will be featured. There’s no overriding theme to the shorts blocks, but they are helpfully separated into ones reserved for mature audiences, ones in which parental guidance is suggested and ones to which kids of all ages are welcome. Individual tickets and all-event passes are available through the festival’s website at taosshortz.com.
The end is nigh! Maybe. Probably. Possibly. ... Or not.
Lurking somewhere between the far-from-overlapping worlds of mesmerizing monologuist Spalding Gray and nutty Internet conspiracy monger Jeff Rense is Michael Ruppert. The retired-police-officer-turned-radical-thinker is the subject of a new documentary by Chris Smith, who has made his career focusing on amusing, out-of-the-mainstream oddballs in films like American Job, American Movie, Home Movie and The Yes Men.
“Super Bowl XLIV” on CBS
If you’re any sort of sports fan, you know that this Sunday, Drew Brees and the NFC Champion New Orleans Saints will make the first Super Bowl appearance in team history as they take on Peyton Manning and the AFC Champion Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. If you’re not a sports fan, you probably don’t care. But you should.
The Week in Sloth
It would stand to reason that the New Orleans Saints, a team named after a song, might inspire more songs. Being one of the most defeated teams in American Football, this season The Saints captivated their musical hometown, the football-watching masses and even some of those who tend to loathe the sport (that would be me).
Poet, journalist, activist and mouth musician Hakim Bellamy is a Philadelphia native who has lived in the Land of Enchantment for five years. Bellamy, who is also the social and community programs coordinator at the New Mexico State Office of African American Affairs, took time out of his busy Black History Month schedule to identify, via electronic mail, Albuquerque’s very own hip-hop supergroup.
Venus Bogardus releases a new album
In 2008, after five years living in Bath, England, James Reich and Hannah Levbarg decided to relocate. The married couple and founders of post-punk group Venus Bogardus fled the bloody British economy of Reich’s homeland and returned to Levbarg's roots. They now live in Santa Fe.
To help it, of course. On Friday, Feb. 5, DJs Losack, Denise, Maris, Dave 12, Pablo 77 and Burnt Reynolds will mix beats to raise money for Haiti. The charitable action takes place from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW). All proceeds and donations go to Yéle Haitia. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Though the official holiday is still a bit down the road, there's no denying that Valentine's Day is in the air. Retailers have broken out their sign-holding cupids, romantics are making reservations and the cynical are busy thinking about the perfect counterpoint to V-Day's saccharine saturation (my fave activity is watching a Leprechaun marathon and eating vegetarian pigs in a blanket while wearing sackcloth). But Valentine's Day also provides us with a perfect opportunity to demonstrate a larger kind of love for all humans. OK, most humans; let's not get carried away.
Man Ray, African Art and the Modernist Lens
Waxing philosophical on 516 ARTS’ Form & Function
There’s a puzzling distinction made between art and design. It seems to be based on the often unstated assumptions that: 1) Artists and designers do different things; 2) both the processes and the outputs of each are inherently different; 3) beauty of form and utility of function cannot exist equally in a single object, which means that one must always eclipse the other (so when beauty is dominant, the object is art, and when utility is dominant, the object is design). But fundamentally, both artists and designers are responsible for an object’s creation; both utility and beauty are equally present in most everything around us—and are mutually reinforcing, at that.
Josh MacPhee’s Paper Politics: Socially Engaged Printmaking Today
If Talin Market is the center of Albuquerque’s galaxy of Vietnamese restaurants, May Hong is a far-flung planet. It's tucked into a strip mall on the southeast corner of Eubank and Montgomery, next to a tattoo parlor.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): "Those who know how to win are much more numerous than those who know how to make proper use of their victories." So said the ancient Greek historian Polybius, and now I'm conveying the message to you. I hope it will serve as a spur in the wake of your recent triumph. Will you be content with merely basking in the glow, frittering away the provocative potentials? Or will you get down to business and use your new advantages to upgrade your destiny to what we might refer to as Aries 2.0?