Alibi Volume 19, Number 34
August 26, 2010
Oil, fear and disappointment rise to the surface
When the sun sets in Grand Isle, La., it casts a fiery glow around the marshland. It sinks slowly, igniting long, wispy clouds. Orange light stretches along Louisiana Highway 1. The large amounts of oil stuck to the rims of the area’s thousands of marshes turn green stalks of grass into yellow kindling. Despite the abundant fuel, the ocean swallows the blood-red disc and begins to reflect the cool night sky.
Mission not accomplished
There's a U.S. Air Force Base in the middle of Seoul, South Korea. If the myths of the American expatriate community are to be believed, they've got a Taco Bell in there. After three or four months of nothing but gim, bap and gimbap, I’ve witnessed otherwise-reasonable American civilians so thirsty for Fire Sauce they start to plan insurrections and armed raids. While I was in Seoul, my craving for Enchiritos never reached such a fever pitch, but I finally understood that urge to overthrow the government this morning when I went to ride my bike out by Kirtland Air Force Base.
Dateline: Switzerland—A motorist has been slapped with the largest speeding ticket in his country’s history after being clocked going two-and-a-half times the posted speed limit. The 37-year-old man was driving a $200,000 Mercedes SLS when he was pulled over by traffic police. The driver apparently evaded a number of stationary radar detectors located along the A12 highway between Bern and Lausanne because he was going too fast. The stationary detectors are only capable of clocking speeds up to 200 km/h (125 mph). Eventually, he was snapped by a speed camera hitting 300 km/h (186 mph). “We have no record of anyone being caught traveling faster in the country,” a police spokesperson was quoted as saying in the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper. The driver was traveling so fast, in fact, that it took him more than half a mile to come to a stop when police tried to pull him over. He told officers his speedometer was faulty. Speeding fines in Switzerland are calculated by taking into consideration both the severity of the infraction and the income of the motorist. As a result, the unnamed speed demon will be forking over $1 million in fines.
And we interview guest of honor Monte Hellman
The second annual Albuquerque Film Festival is about to open the floodgates, letting loose five days’ worth of films, panels, workshops and parties. Throughout the weekend, there will be feature films, both local (Rod McCall’s coming-of-age drama Becoming Eduardo, Andrew Lauer’s kiddie fantasy Adventures of a Teenage Dragon Slayer) and national (the Iraq War drama The Dry Land starring America Ferrera, the low-budget indie dramedy Fanny, Annie & Danny).
The 42nd annual Bubonicon science-fiction and fantasy convention will take place this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Albuquerque Grand Airport Hotel. This year’s guest of honor is writer Peter David. David is best known for his work at Marvel Comics (where he helped revive “The Incredible Hulk” in the ’80s). He also penned a few movies for Charles Band back in the Full Moon glory days. Trancers 4: Jack of Swords, Trancers 5: Sudden Deth, Oblivion and Oblivion 2: Backlash are all his work. They’re kind of crummy and kind of fun, and Oblivion does actually predate Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” as a sci-fi Western—so be sure and ask him about that. In other film-related events, the convention will screen the 2005 version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (this being Bubonicon 42) beginning at 9 p.m. on Saturday. There will also be a late-night screening of the locally shot horror thriller Fugue State at 11 p.m. If you don’t have a day pass to Bubonicon (available online at bubonicon.com) you can get into the movie screenings for $3. Bubonicon
Food Network vs. Cooking Channel
Today, many cable networks seem to be chafing at their self-imposed genres and trying to “expand their programming” (read: “add a bunch of cheap reality shows”) beyond what would appear to be dictated by their very name. (Syfy, for example. Or the Game Show Network.) Remember when G4, the video game channel, actually had programming dedicated to video games? Good luck finding any of that these days.
The Week in Sloth
The Parson Red Heads on showmanship and style
At performances by The Parson Red Heads, audiences can expect upbeat, folksy, multi-harmony rock and roll with psychedelic traces, and, most likely, special treatment. It is a major concern of the band’s to make sure you get your money’s worth and possibly participate in the show.
DJ Matty discusses his favorite Louisiana music
By day, Matt Uhlman creates dramatic replicas of flaming swords and bloody severed heads as prop master for the New Orleans Opera—one of, if not the oldest opera in the U.S. By night, when not playing guitar with his garage punk band the Royal Pendletons, Matty can be found in any number of bars making people dance to selections from his vast record collection. He co-hosts both the Alligator Chomp! Chomp!, which specializes in Louisiana music, and the Mod Dance Party, an evening of ’60s worship that this week celebrates 10 years of hot and sweaty all-nighters.
This summer, bestie bands Little Gold (country psych from New York) and Lovey Dovies (hardcore pop from New Orleans) are on tour together. See them play on Monday, Aug. 30, at Burt’s Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW) with local Lake Of Wire—read the pick in this week’s calendars for more. The free show begins at 9 p.m. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Despite Sarah Palin and New Mexico’s dueling female gubernatorial candidates, not that many women run for office, according to Jennifer Lawless. Why the heck not? Lawless, a professor of government at the American University, argues in her book It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don’t Run for Office that there are many reasons, including that women don’t feel as qualified as men—even the ones who are at the height of their professions. She also believes women are less likely than men to be encouraged to run in the first place. For example, in Congress, the House has 357 men and only 78 women, while the Senate has 82 men and 18 women. That’s a huge difference. Find out why and what can be done to even the numbers out a bit when Lawless speaks at Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 26. bkwrks.com/event/lawless has more info on the event.
No need to shhh! when you’re downloading from home
The news sent shock waves through the publishing industry: In the second fiscal quarter, amazon.com—the world’s largest online book retailer—had sold more electronic books than hardbacks for the very first time.
My first husband and I drove through New Orleans in 1974, moving from Florida to the Land of Enchantment. We searched the French Quarter for lunch and stopped at a well-lit, noisy place. What I remember most was the shrimp étoufée—a spicy, tomatoey stew dished over a generous pile of rice. It was terrific, though I had no basis for comparison, being a novice in the world of Louisiana cooking. That was long before Katrina, Rita and BP heaped their misfortunes on the Gulf. Despite the challenges of rebuilding, the city maintains a robust attitude when it comes to living well—especially when it comes to food.
Tips on ordering right from the Alibi’s restaurant critic
When dining out, sharing food at the table is fun. Passing dishes around or eating “family-style” are a beautiful ways to eat together. Except, it turns out, when you order better than your companions.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Why should you work harder than everyone else? Why is it up to you to pick up the slack when others are suffering from outbreaks of laziness and incompetence? And why should you be the fearless leader who is focused on fixing the glitches and smoothing over the rough patches when no one else seems to care whether things fall apart? I'll tell you why, Aries: because it's the Karmic Correction phase of your long-term cycle—a time when you can atone for past mistakes, pay off old debts and make up for less-than-conscientious moves you got away with once upon a time.