john bear


V.22 No.3 |

news

The Daily Word in legislators, chemists, engineers, men of God and The Hulk

The Daily Word

Another detail about one of the victims in the South Valley Griego shooting.

Will NM lawmakers follow the trend of blaming gun violence on mental illness, or will they really do something to curb America's gun culture?

Here's a great photo taken at yesterday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade in Alamogordo.

A chemist at a Massachusetts state lab was caught with her hand in the cookie jar.

Engineers are cold and dead inside.

New film about the Hemingway clan.

This lady volunteered to conceive a Neanderthal through artificial insemination of an artificially created embryo. Really?

ALL 131 reasons David Banner got mad on T.V.'s The Hulk.

Obama referred to Stonewall in his inauguration speech.

Life on Mars, now more than ever.

V.21 No.30 | 7/26/2012
A bender to end all benders ... or bend all enders

Arts

A toast to the end of the world

Or why getting drunk in the postapocalyptic landscape is the thing to do

John Bear reviewed Peter Heller's postapocalyptic novel The Dog Stars in this week's issue. It got me thinking about what life would be like if everything went to shit. Actually, it got me thinking about all the things I would enjoy doing if there were some sort of cataclysmic event that wiped out most of the population—be it the coming zombie apocalypse, the also-plausible vampire apocalypse, or any of the doomsday scenarios that religious zealots spew forth every year.

To answer this question, I decided to consult a few of my favorite films and novels that deal in such grim matter.

And the realization that I came to is this: I'd get drunk.

That's right, if the world ended, everyone I knew and cared about was wiped out, and I had to spend my days raiding zombie-infested grocery stores with eerily flickering fluorescent lights, armed with a sawed-off—all in the name of scrounging up some Chef Boyardee and Twinkies—I'd probably come home in the evening to a nice fifth of $500 bourbon.

If you need proof that this is probably what you would do too, let us turn to a couple primary sources.

First off, there's Richard Matheson's brilliant 1954 novel, I Am Legend. You are most likely familiar with this work via the Charlton Heston flick or that Will Smith one that included some of the worst CGI of the 21st century.

If you haven't read Matheson's book, I advise you to do so. The protagonist, Robert Neville, basically goes around killing the shit out of vampires and then ... you guessed it, getting hammered. It's one of the most entertaining books I've ever read.

Moving on, there's that great scene in George Romero's Dawn of the Dead where some folks hole-up in a shopping mall to get away from the zombie hordes. And what do they do? Raid the mall's liquor store and get schnockered on high-end booze.

Exhibit C: When the world is ravaged by crazies infected with some sort of ape rabies in 28 Days Later, Brendan Gleeson's character grabs as much fine Scotch as his shopping cart can handle whilst on a scavenging run. He then proceeds to drink it.

Getting back to Peter Heller's book, all I know about its protagonist's tastes for liquids is that he drinks Coke. I already don't trust him.

Book Review

Piloting the Apocalypse

Peter Heller navigates a grim future in The Dog Stars

The Dog Stars

The future is miserable in the pages of post-apocalyptic fiction. The Dog Stars, author Peter Heller's scenario of what nightmares may come, is no exception. Heller's vision is utterly terrible; that grinding-monotony-of-loneliness-punctuated-with-violence kind of terrible.

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V.20 No.52 | 12/29/2011
“Aw shucks, Christmas is over.”

Holidays

Post-Christmas blues

For those of us with the Christmas spirit, it’s funny how much time and effort we put into an event that comes and goes in the blink of an eye. Big-box stores start pushing Christmas miscellany in September, for Chrissakes. And I know people who put up their trees before Thanksgiving. It all leads up to two days of festivities and then, poof, it’s gone. A lot of folks are probably suffering post-partum depression in the wake of Baby Jesus’ birthday. Fortunately for entertainment’s sake, Alibi columnist John Bear is not one of those folks. Read his devilish Christmas column on India Knight’s novel Comfort & Joy here.

Culture Shock

My Farewell Column

It is time once again for me to bid you, my fair reader, adieu.

I am moving back to Oklahoma, a state apparently bent on my destruction. I had some great tornado jokes lined up for this column—real grade-A material.

Alas, I woke up the other morning and the damn things had laid waste to most of Alabama. Severe weather humor is horribly inappropriate at this particular juncture.

So we’ll skip the tornado jokes.

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V.20 No.16 | 4/21/2011

Culture Shock

Erf Day

To paraphrase Jimmy, the drunken misanthrope from the film Art School Confidential, I've been postponing suicide on the off chance I’ll witness some glorious plague inflict unfathomable suffering on my hateful species.

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V.20 No.15 | 4/14/2011

Culture Shock

Kurt Vonnegut Is Still Dead

Monday, April 11, marked four years since the passing of the greatest American ever to pick up a pen and write down his thoughts— Mr. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

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V.20 No.13 | 3/31/2011

Where the Wild Things Are

Virginia Maria Romero designed the first conservation stamp aimed at the wolf. Wolves are dog-like creatures that ranchers like to shoot. Romero will be on hand at Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW) on Thursday, March 31, at 7 p.m. to sign special copies of the stamp for $20. The same night, Craig Chapman from the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance will discuss service opportunities found in the 2011 Wild Guide, a book that features information on guided hikes in remote places in New Mexico. The book can help you find environmental volunteer work, be it restoring trout habitats or planting native vegetation. It’s nice to live in such a beautiful state. Help keep it that way.

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Arts

A dish best served cold

Four revenge ideas

Revenge.

I've been thinking about it a lot lately. There is no one in particular I am seeking vengeance against, but it's good to have a list of ideas. Here are four for your consideration.

1. Go to northern New Mexico, find some sheep herders and bring them to wherever the person against whom you seek satisfaction works. Have a sheep shearing party. Sheep are smelly loud beasts and the person will soon regret whatever it is they have done. Afterward you can make sweaters and have a matanza.

2. Purchase one hundred boxes of allergy pills, five gallons of pool cleaner, vinyl hosing and assorted coffee filters and camp stove fuel. Place items in trash bags and deposit in enemy's back yard. Call drug task force and report clandestine methamphetamine lab. Don't get caught transporting these items, lest ye be charged with manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance. [I wouldn’t do this; it’s probably construed as a felony in most courts.]

3. Buy a cow. Place cow in enemy's office. Feed cow. Smacking of cow lips will soon drive them mad. Large amount of cow dung will also have crazing effect. Note, this does not work if you share an office.

4. Hijack space ship by placing mind controlling bugs in ears of crew members. Threaten to use planet building Genesis device as weapon. Quote Melville. I saw it in a movie once. It didn't work out to well but the principle is sound.

V.20 No.12 | 3/24/2011

Poetry News

Write Like Plath

The results of the Alibi’s first annual and probably last ever Villanelle Contest

The Villanelle Contest has been a complete success. We received more than 20 entries, and so far no one has stuck their head in an oven.
V.20 No.10 | 3/10/2011

Culture Shock

Literature Once Again Provides Employment Opportunities

The economy is in bad shape. Collective bargaining is under attack. Unemployment is high. The country appears to be headed for another Great Depression.

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John Bear

Art News

It’s Sew Easy

New store continues where Panda Robot left off

The Octopus and the Fox is the brainchild of four women who wanted a place for Albuquerque shoppers to be able to buy handmade goods.

Clocks made out of old Grateful Dead records adorn the walls along with paintings, mosaics and other visual art. Blown glass pieces sit in a display case alongside belt buckles. Velociraptors in love grace a pillow. ...
V.20 No.9 | 3/3/2011

Culture Shock

Why Do Haiku? Villanelle Is Swell.

Haiku is fun. The haiku contests at the Alibi are a big hit (look for the 2011 edition in September). It's a chance to show off one's 5-7-5 chops. Until then, why not give villanelle a try?

Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead

Book Review

Dead Celebrities

Rolling Stone writer compiles greatest hits (and misses)

Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys Into Fame and Madness

Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead is not only a mostly true statement (it worked for Michael Jackson, maybe not as much for Hitler) but also a new book from journalist Neil Strauss.

It reads like the inner workings of a celebrity reporter's mind.