Wednesday, June 30, 2004

July 3rd Free Indie Music Concert in Lexington

:: Saturday, July 3 ::
CD Central
presents INDEPENDENT MUSIC ON INDEPENDENCE DAY featuring EMILY HAGIHARA, WHEELHORSE, SUMMER MELTS FASTER, ULYSSES, and THE ELEPHANTS @ Phoenix Park, corner of Limestone and Main 9:30am-5:30pm :: all ages :: FREE

The Fourth of July downtown has always been an iffy proposition for Lexington's hipsters. Sure, you can consistently count on MECCA to enliven the bland parade proceedings (last year they produced an Austin Powers dance routine complete with MANIC MICK JEFFRIES nearly passing out while portraying Powers and MARK SAVAGE 2K smoothly lip-crooning Burt Bacharach's "What the World Needs Now" from the back of a jeep). But, all in all, there's not usually much for those with an indie aesthetic to appreciate about the downtown J4 celebration.

That's changing. Last summer, CD CENTRAL had the simple-yet-brilliant idea to link the independent music they support in-store with the city's Independence Day celebration. The record store hosted its inaugural "Independent Music on Independence Day" stage in Phoenix Park with a full-day's worth of indie-artist performances by peeps including THE FEATURES (the lone out-of-towners, who in the intervening months
have been signed to Universal Records), BIG FRESH (anybody else remember Billy Petot clad in short shorts, tiny American flag in hand, doin that deliberate dance he do on the fringes of the bounce up-and-down party in the dry Phoenix Park fountain), and the late-great MAD SHADOWS.

This year, with help from co-sponsors THIRD STREET STUFF, FITZSIMMONS OFFICE OF ARCHITECTURE, THE DAME, and GUMBO YA YA, CD Central reprises the idea with an all-day, all-local lineup that runs the musical gamut and promises to carry us from (soon after) sun-up through sun-drunk to just plain drunk.

The music starts at 9:30am with last month's Nougat cover model, seductive folkster EMILY HAGIHARA, and continues with performances by WHEELHORSE (10:50-11:50am), the Apples in Stereo/Big Fresh spin-off ULYSSES (1:15-2pm), angular heroes of the all-ages scene SUMMER MELTS FASTER (3:30-4:30pm), and epic pop-throbs THE ELEPHANTS (who recently added Big Fresh's Jeremy Midkiff to their lineup 4:45-5:45pm).

A Closer Walk

** This Thursday, July 1 at 7:30 p.m. (TOMORROW!!!) at the Kentucky Theater, 214 E.Main, will be a free showing of Robert Bilheimer's "A Closer Walk," the first film to depict humankind's confrontation with the Global AIDS Pandemic. Shot over three years on four continents, the power of the film lies in the one-on-one connection it allows the viewer to make with people living with HIV and AIDS, their families, and the dedicated health care workers who attempt to treat them. AIDS is now the leading cause of death for adults under 60 years of age worldwide; approximately forty million adults and children have already been infected. Please come learn what you can do to join the fight against the worst public health crisis in history.

A Closer Walk

For a good website dedicated to expanding knowledge of the stories of people with AIDs:

Voices of the Virus

Kentucky's First Workers' Rights Board Hearing

COME STAND WITH OUR COMMUNITY TO WIN JUSTICE at QUEBECOR. The more warm bodies we have at this meeting, the better our chances.

WHAT: KY’s First Workers’ Rights Board Hearing

WHO: Workers of Quebecor World, Versailles, KY Jobs With Justice Graphic Communications International Union

- Panelists Include: Stewart Acuff, Organizing Director of the AFL-CIO
- State Representative Joni Jenkins
- State Representative Charlie Hoffman
- Father John Rausch, Peace and Justice Minister for the Archdiocese of Lexington
- Heather Roe Mahoney and Jason Bailey, Democracy Resource Center
- Cynthia Cain, Minister Unitarian Universalist Church
- Ted McCormick, Retired Labor Educator
And more!

WHEN: Thursday, July 1, 2004, 6 – 8 pm

WHERE: Falling Springs Arts and Recreation Center, 258 Beasley Dr. Versailles, KY 40383

OTHER INFORMATION: Free Food will be provided by Kessler’s BBQ of Versailles, and free child care and transportation will be provided. Please bring family and friends!

RSVP if at all possible to let us know that you are coming. Also, to arrange transportation or for more information, contact Kristin Todd, Organizer
Graphic Communications International Union 859-771-5337

BACKGROUND: With 160 plants in 17 countries, Quebecor World is the second largest printing corporation in the world. Recently, Quebecor World has raised the
workers’ insurance premiums, stopped matching their 401K, and ignored serious safety issues inside the plant.

For the last year, the workers have been trying to organize a union in order to have a voice at work to address these issues. In response, workers say that the company has conducted anti-union meetings and threatened to close the plant in order to scare and intimidate the workers in hopes they will give up their fight.

The workers are now reaching out to their community to have their voice heard and gain support in their struggle for worker justice. They have organized Kentucky’s first Workers’ Rights Board hearing with the help of the Graphic Communications International Union (GCIU) and KY Jobs With Justice in order to tell their story to and ask for support from their community. Please join with Quebecor World workers to
show that the community stands with them as they strive for better lives.

I Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident: One Type of Reflective Patriotism

I Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident
By Donna Ladd, Jackson Free Press

“How is everybody?” legendary civil rights activist Bob Moses asked the congregation in his famous whisper. He paused and then added, “Say these words with me.”

“I hold these truths to be self-evident …”

On Sunday, June 22, I was tucked in a corner at Mt. Zion Methodist Church several miles east of my hometown in the Longdale community of Neshoba County. This was the church that had to be rebuilt after the Ku Klux Klan burned it in 1964. It had risen from the ashes that James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner had poked through on Father’s Day, exactly 39 years ago that Sunday. It was the last place they visited before Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price pulled them over, arrested them and hid them in the city jail until the lynch mob could gather and kill them.

The church was overflowing with Longdale residents, legendary civil-rights activists, black and white politicians from Neshoba County and Jackson and beyond, more reporters than last year. We were there to honor the memory of three men who helped pave the way for black Americans to get a piece of the American dream.

“… that all men are created equal …”

I’ve struggled with the idea of patriotism my entire life. As a child growing up in Neshoba County, a place that I then believed sucked more than anywhere on the planet, I openly scorned patriotism, especially in my rebellious, angry high school years. After I learned about the three murders when I was 14 — although they’d happened 11 years before; which says something about the ability of a community to clam up — the whole idea of pride in where I was from seemed to be squelched forever. Everyone knew who those murderers were. How could they be free among us, pumping gas, repairing birthstone rings, joining the country club? How could a people, a state, a country that claimed that it believed in justice allow those men their freedom?

I wore this burden of where I was born like a backpack filled with rocks. I wanted out of Neshoba County, out of Mississippi, never to look back. I wanted freedom, and I wanted to live somewhere where I could be proud. I wanted to be where people believed in the “justice for all” part.

So I went in search of my piece of the American puzzle, taking Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner along with me.

“... that they are endowed by their Creator ...”

Indeed, I found a lot. I learned that bigotry could take many different forms, including intense prejudice against the South. I learned that the rest of America had only paid attention to the black Mississippian Chaney because white New Yorkers Goodman and Schwerner died by his side. I also learned much more about Mississippi history than I ever had in Mississippi — including the absolute fact that our institutionalized racism, enforced by every level of our society, was indeed worse than anywhere else. In effect, both the North and the South were right, and wrong, about each other.

I learned just enough to be really damned confused about the idea of patriotism. Hoping from afar for nearly 20 years after I left that my state and county would someday criminally prosecute at least one of that lynch mob, I continued to believe passionately in the American constitutional system. As I learned more about the Red Scare, and union-busting, and spying on protesters during the Vietnam era (including the staff of the Kudzu newspaper in Jackson), my belief grew stronger that the ideals that the United States is built on, even if we have not always honored them, can weather any storm.

Along the way, even as I faced squarely the painful honesty of the dark moments of U.S. history that I didn’t learn or read about at Neshoba Central, my pride started to grow. And not only my pride in the constitutional principles of the country, but in where I came from, and how far it had come, despite its reticence to convict its own.

I returned two years ago in search of a home I could love. And I found it.

“… with certain unalienable Rights …”

The last two years have been interesting. It has felt almost surreal to watch so many of our civil liberties go under the knife, and to hear some frustrated Americans say they’d leave the country if they had somewhere else to go. I used to say that, too. Just as I couldn’t wait to leave Mississippi in 1983, I used to romanticize the idea of being an expatriate somewhere like the Scott Fitzgerald crowd in Paris during the 1920s. I always thought that if the freedom tide ever turned, and our civil liberties were at stake again, that I’d be outta here in a snap.

The tide has turned, though, and I’m still here. Not only in the United States, but back home in Mississippi, and loving it, near the place where they’ve never prosecuted that lynch mob and where state elected officials fear losing votes so much that they won’t mothball a symbol of hatred and shame. Since Sept. 11, I’ve felt no need to publicly display a flag, any flag. Right now, that flag would say to most people that I publicly support military decisions that I believe in my heart are unwise. I can't do that.

But I’ve been thinking a lot about patriotism lately: It seems that love of your country matters more when other people try to take it away from you.

“… that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Maybe I finally understood my brand of patriotism last Sunday listening to the quiet voice of Bob Moses recite from the Declaration of Independence behind the pulpit at Mount Zion. We live in a country built messily on amazing principles of equality formulated by slaveholders and apologists. It is a country with a foundation of freedom so strong that Mr. Moses, a black man beaten in Mississippi for trying to register blacks to vote, would move his family here to help the next generation, and the next, continue to fight for the freedom and education that our founding fathers promised us, even though they weren’t ready to give it to us all. I now believe that the American ideals of equality, justice, pluralism, tolerance, freedom of and from religion and opportunity are worth staying here — in the state and in the United States — and fighting for.

Mr. Moses said Sunday, “One of the best things about this country is that you can live a life in struggle.” The American dream is just that: a struggle. We must continue to fight to preserve our right to be patriotic, even in dissent, and to ensure that more and more of us, not fewer, can experience what is so special about the American way. That is, after all, the point.

Donna Ladd is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of the Jackson Free Press.

© 2004 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
Article Link

Eagles of Death Metal

While writing tonight I caught in the background noise of Conan O'Brien this original sounding/looking band called the Eagles of Death Metal...

I searched for their video of "I Want You" and found it at this site put together by musical video editor Russell Richter:

Russell Richter's archive

His colleagues have some videos up at their sites:

Bill Pollack's Archive

Jeff Selis's Archive

Sonic Youth

Inspired by my students writings about the meanings of their favorite tunes... I sought out info on one of my favorite bands and lo and behold I found out that they have a new CD called Sonic Nurse and a new retrospective DVD Corporate Ghost. Even better they have this new streaming braodband mixtape of their music available at their website so that I can blast their music while writing!

Mixtape Volume 1 and Other Sonic Youth Stuff

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Las Mujeres de Juarez (The Women of Juarez)

Los Tigres del Norte
Pacto de Sangre
Reposted at Milwaukee Sentinel Journal

This veteran norteno band, which practically invented the narco-corrido 30 years ago, has never shied from social issues in its songs. With "Pacto de Sangre (Blood Pact)," Tigers of the North becomes one of the few top acts to confront one of the most horrifying realities of life along the U.S.-Mexico border: the kidnapping and killing of hundreds of young Mexican women in Ciudad Juarez.

In the blunt and jolting "Las Mujeres de Juarez (The Women of Juarez)," the band takes a swipe at police corruption in Mexico and cries out for justice to the point of inciting vigilantism "if the law does not resolve it."

The song anchors the middle of a 14-track album that gracefully weaves through diverse styles and themes.

- Agustin Gurza, Los Angeles Times
Review Link

More sources:

Bibliography about the Murders of Women of Ciudad Juarez

NPR: Who's Killing the Women of Juarez

Senorita Extraviada, Missing Young Woman

Revolutionary Worker: The Disappearing Women of Juarez

Amnesty International: Intolerable Killings

This Modern World and A Guide to the Memos on Torture

Bill over at Thoughts on the Eve of the Apocalypse has posted a massive collection of current news links which include this great comic questioning of our military policies:

This Modern World

and the New York Times guide to mapping out the events that let to our government's sanctioning of the use of torture on prisoners.

A Guide to the Memos on Torture

The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have disclosed memorandums that show a pattern in which Bush administration lawyers set about devising arguments to avoid constraints against mistreatment and torture of detainees. Administration officials responded by releasing hundreds of pages of previously classified documents related to the development of a policy on detainees.

Guide to the Memos on Torture

The Dangerous Myth of Journalistic Objectivity

"What Time Is It In Political Journalism?"
Jay Rosen
Press Think


This is a rhetorical and visual stance, but also a favorite job description: the professional crap-detector, de-illusioned and well informed, sifting out the half truths, calling out the evasions, sizing up the scene in an analytical way, asking tough, necessary, cagey, impolite and just newsworthy questions. It's the self-image of choice for a great many who do political journalism today. It's what Tim Russert, Jody Wilgoren and Howard Fineman would probably say they're about. And it provides an easy answer to:

Dear Journalist: who are you, politically speaking?
Within politics, what kind of work do you do?
And which side are you on, if not your own?
The consensus reply--the one most commonly repeated, readily defended, roundly believed in by journalists--is in serious trouble these days. It says:

Our politics? We're professionals who have no partisan role. We are neutral toward all parties, factions, candidates. We're on the public's side. We supply vital news, a context for understanding it, analysis and interpretation where needed. Beyond that we play the roles of crap-detector, truthteller, probing questioner of politicians and other players. Here, as everywhere, we are contrained by the journalist's imperatives of fairness, accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and equal treatment. And we try not to bore you. Those are our principles, those are our politics. Is that what you meant?
Well, no. It isn't. And that is why this belief system is in serious trouble. It answers a political question with an evacuation of politics, toward which professional correctness in journalism allows only neutrality and its endless equivalents-- one of which is equal opportunity aggression in the watchdog role. Gopnik saw this attitude not as undesirable, but strangely non-descript.

For it fails to say anything meaningful about the journalist's role in the American political system as it stands. It is also relentlessly ahistorical, defeating thought about changes in public life that might present new problems or require new ideas. As the press scholar Michael Schudson once wrote, "The news media necessarily incorporate into their work a certain view of politics, and they will either do so intelligently and critically or unconsciously and routinely."

Entire Story

The Language of the War on Terror: Take 3

Bill at Thoughts on the Eve of the Apocalypse points out a well-reasoned, passionate and reconstructive look at the language of the War on Terror

It reminds me of the series of essays by the linguist George Lakoff at Alternet that looks at the metaphors of the War on Terror.

Dion Dennis over at CTheory has been similarly examining the imagistic language of the current regime.

Bill, after my first posting of this piece, also suggested that the interested reader consult a pair of essays by Renana Brooks, PhD, who according to a Nation bio, is a "clinical psychologist practicing in Washington, DC. She heads the Sommet Institute for the Study of Power and Persuasion and is completing a book on the virtue myth and the conservative culture of domination." The essays, The Character Myth and A Nation of Victims, examine the carefully constructed myth of George Bush as the "moral" hero and Bush's mastery of "emotional language as a political tool."

This gross manipulation of language and symbols for political ends has become so blatant that many staunch defenders of America have abandoned the Bush cause because they realize that this position only further radicalizes groups of people to oppose the U.S.

Independent Media in a Time of War

Check out this excellent questioning of whether we have a free, democratic media. This is a powerful documentary and is very disturbing/painful to think about.

(Website description) Part scathing critique, part call to action, "Independent Media In A Time Of War" is a hard-hitting new documentary by the Hudson Mohawk Independent Media Center. This film is composed of a speech given by Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now! illustrated by clips of mainstream media juxtaposed with rare footage from independent reporters in Iraq. The documentary argues that dialogue is vital to a healthy democracy. "Independent media has a crucial responsibility to go to where the silence is," says Amy Goodman, "to represent the diverse voices of people engaged in dissent." She makes
a compelling argument that the commercial news media have failed to represent the "true face of war."

Watch Independent Media in a Time of War

Watch other Democracy Now Videos

Similar questionings of the media can be seen in Spin (1995) by Brian Springer

The cumulative effect of this video is startling... we know this is how the mediatized world is produced and reproduced, but it is surreal and disturbing to step behind Oz's screen and see how the machine operates.

Video Data Bank description:
Pirated satellite feeds revealing U.S. media personalities’ contempt for their viewers come full circle in Spin. TV out-takes appropriated from network satellite feeds unravel the tightly-spun fabric of television—a system that silences public debate and enforces the exclusion of anyone outside the pack of journalists, politicians, spin doctors, and televangelists who manufacture the news. Spin moves through the L.A. riots and the floating TV talk-show called the 1992 U.S. presidential election.

Illegal Art description:
Using the 1992 presidential election as his springboard, documentary filmmaker Brian Springer captures the behind-the-scenes maneuverings of politicians and newscasters in the early 1990s. Pat Robertson banters about "homos," Al Gore learns how to avoid abortion questions, George Bush talks to Larry King about halcyon -- all presuming they're off camera. Composed of 100% unauthorized satellite footage, Spin is a surreal expose of media-constructed reality.

Watch Brian Springer's documentary "Spin":

Stream Real Video



So then what we have to ask is do we have to become Propaganda Critics and Disinformation Experts in order to understand anything about the world?

For more information, opportunities and critiques check out the Indy Media Movement


Chris Hedges is a veteran war correspondent who wrote a very important book called War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning (2003). It is a passionate call for us to reconsider the roots of the human addiction to war through a careful consideration of the realities of warfare and our necrophiliac relationship with the symbols, rituals and displays of military culture.

Chris Hedges later gave a commencement speech at Rockford college that was disrupted and caused a nationwide controversy. Hedges showed great courage in sticking to his beliefs and not backing down. He is no simple-minded pundit attempting to manipulate the masses for profit and power, but a considerate, thoughtful, former divinity student, shocked by the violence he has seen in the world, but hopeful that we may still change.

Chris Hedges' controversial May graduation speech at Rockford college:


AlterNet now has an interview with Hedges online: The Silencing of Dissent on Graduation Day.


Democracy Now interview:


Excerpts from “War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning”:


More writings by Chris Hedges:

Hedges' Writings

1 Hour audio lecture on “The Mythology of War”:

Audio Lecture interview:


Chris Hedges and “Enforced Conformity”:

Enforced Conformity

Interview a month before the speech on “Dangerous Citizen”:

Dangerous Citizen

PBS interview about “War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning”, includes streaming video of the interview:

PBS Interview

Further sources:

Barbara Ehrenreich's Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passion of War (1998)
Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism (1973)
Erich Fromm's The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (1992)
Carolyn Marvin's and David Ingle's Blood Sacrifice and the Nation: Totem Rituals and the American Flag (1999)
Alexander Laban Hinton's edited collection Annhilating Difference: The Anthropology of Genocide (2002)
Rubenstein, Richard L. The Cunning of History: The Holocaust and the American Future. NY: Harper Colophon, 1978.

{Thivai—pages 12-21 examine the judicial process that led to the development of the death camps and mass extermination. Important in this legalistic development was the designation of “apatrides or stateless persons” (12) at the end of WW1. These were people who had been denied any official standing in the nation and thus could be prosecuted or jailed at any time for no reason at all. Also the process of denaturalization or denationalization was increasingly used during and after the 1920s to deal with unwanted minority groups within the European states. This was an effective stripping of any rights whatsoever. Concentration camps first appeared across Europe to deal with apatrides (or refugees).}

The concentration camps for the apatrides served much the same purpose as did the original Nazi camps in 1933 and 1934. In the popular mind, the first Nazi camps conjure up images of wild sadism by brutal brown-shirted storm troopers. The images are, of course, well deserved, but they tend to hinder precise understanding of the development of the camps as a legal and political institution. (Rubenstein, 15)

Initially, the concentration camps were established to accommodate detainees who had been placed under “protective custody” (Schützhaft) by the Nazi regime. Those arrested were whom the regime wished to detain although there were no clear legal justification for so doing. Almost all of the original detainees were German communists, not Jews. Had the Nazis’ political prisoners been brought before a German court in the first year or two of Hitler’ regime, the judiciary would have been compelled to dismiss the case. This was not because the German judiciary was anti-Nazi, but because it was bureaucratic in structure. In the early stages of the Nazi regime, there was no formula in law to cover all the political prisoners the Nazis wanted to arrest. This problem was solved by holding them under “protective custody” and setting up camps outside of the regular prison system to receive them. Incidentally, the American government did something very similar when it interned Japanese-American citizens during World War II. They had committed no crime. No court would have convicted them. Prison was not the place to detain them. Happily, as bad as were the American concentration camps, they were infinitely better than the German counterparts. (15-16)

One of the least helpful ways of understanding the Holocaust is to regard the destruction process as the work of a small group of irresponsible criminals who were atypical of normal statesmen and who somehow gained control of the German people, forcing them by terror and the deliberate stimulation of religious and ethnic hatred to pursue a barbaric and retrograde policy that was thoroughly at odds with the great traditions of Western civilization.
On the contrary, we are more likely to understand the Holocaust if we regard it as the expression of some of the most profound tendencies of Western civilization in the twentieth century. (Rubenstein, 21)

In order to understand more fully the connection between bureaucracy and mass death, it will be necessary to return to the apatrides. They were the first modern Europeans who had become politically and legally superfluous and for whom the most “rational” way of dealing with them was ultimately murder. A majority of the apatrides had lost their political status by a process of bureaucratic definition, denationalization. (Rubenstein, 31)

Men without political acts are superfluous men. They have lost all right to life and human dignity. Political rights are neither God-given, autonomous nor self-validating. The Germans understood that no person has any rights unless they are guaranteed by an organized community with the power to defend such rights. They were perfectly consistent in demanding that the deportees be made stateless before being transported to the camps. They also understood that by exterminating stateless men and women, they violated no law because such people were covered by no law. Even those who were committed by religious faith to belief in natural law, such as the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church, did not see fit to challenge the Nazi actions publicly at the time. (Rubenstein, 33)

The Strange and Tragic Case of Sherman Austin

Sherman Austin was the webmaster of an anarchist website called Raise the Fist which had a link to various writings, one of which included an amateurish description of how to build a bomb. Sherman didn't write the essay, but he was sentenced to a year in Federal prison--why?

San Diego Imdymedia Notice About the Case

Free Sherman Austin

Legal Resources for the Right to Water

The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) Right to Water Programme recently released a new publication: Legal Resources for the Right to Water: International and National Standards. This publication surveys international and national level provisions and case law giving effect to the right to water. It draws on standards from the human rights, humanitarian, environment and development systems. The document is available in PDF Format. To order a hard copy, please contact

The guide demonstrates the solid basis for the right to water in international law and the manner in which this right has been implemented in several national legal systems. It provides a user-friendly commentary on the implications of legal standards on the right to water and on the means to implement these standards. This publication is the 8th volume in COHRE’s Sources series, which set out the legal basis for key aspects of housing rights. The guide was developed by Malcolm Langford, Ashfaq Khalfan, Carolina Fairstein and Hayley Jones.

In 2004, the COHRE Right to Water Programme will also release a Manual on the Right to Water which will provide practical information on how to integrate the right to water into water governance. The Manual is being produced with the World Health Organization and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Those who wish to suggest items for consideration or provide comments on the draft are invited to contact The Programme has previously produced a user-friendly introductory booklet entitled The Right to Water in collaboration with WHO, OHCHR, CESR and Water Aid, which is also available at Right to Water.

New Earth Mud

Caught their performance tonight on David Letterman. Passionate, energetic, hard and soulful... I hope they come this way on their tour! The singer/guitarist is Chris Robinson of Black Crowes fame.

New Earth Mud

Robinson on the new CD:

"I want to find a common ground where thought, action and soulfulness meet emotion and experience--that was kind of the motivating factor behind the whole album," says Chris Robinson about This Magnificent Distance. This Magnificent Distance is a work that draws on the vast panorama of American music--rock, blues, folk, country, soul and elements of jazz--and Robinson personalizes it with his compelling vocals, free-spirited melodies and vivid lyrics in which he looks inwards and at the world around him. Released June 29, it's the debut album with his band The New Earth Mud for Vector Recordings and marks the follow-up to 2002's solo New Earth Mud disc.

Glide Magazine review of This Magnificent Distance

Monday, June 28, 2004

Philosophy Now

I found a copy of this magazine when I was in a small town bookstore in Northern Minnesota last week (there is a great independent bookstore scene in this region--I was especially bowled-over by Sister Wolf in the small town of Dorsett, MN). Philosophy Now does an admirable job of presenting philosophical ideas for the layman while fulfilling the needs of practicing philosophers (of course, are we not all philosophers in some way or the other?). In this issue, 45#, they provided the first English translations of the Norwegian philosopher/mountaineer, Peter Zapfe. I also enjoyed Nancy Bunge's essay Love & Logic on how John Dewey's love for Alice Chipman impacted the development of his book Psychology. Lastly, I was very excited to read a news blurb in the magazine that mentioned a new philosophical-themed radio show, Philosophy Talk, being broadcast and archived on the Internet

Check out Philosophy Now

The Three Big US Hikes

Went hiking in Northern Minnesota last week and now I'm dreaming of an extended hike--have to start training!

Three Big Hikes

"Life After Torture" by John Kaplan

Life after torture
Written and photographed by John Kaplan / Gainesville, Florida
In the Fray


Investing the time to learn about the horrors of torture is in no way pleasant. In recent times, the world has endured terrorist attacks in the United States, merciless bloodshed in the Middle East, and continued instability across the globe. Why now pay attention to yet another crisis, that of torture survivors languishing in refugee camps in Africa, when we have real problems at home? In an era when our duty of compassion has been tested over and over again, why should we be willing to look at truly horrific photos, an offense to the senses, documenting the worst horrors of human existence?

Enter the Visual Essay

Colorful Eating

More Color, More Health

Berries and Beans

State of the World's Children 2004

UNICEF has issued its 2004 State of the World's Children report with a special emphasis on education and girls. The site also includes responses from youths around the globe about issues they face:


Friday, June 18, 2004

Harper's Index for June

(courtesy of Mason)

Harper's Index for May 2004:

Chance that an American adult believes that "politics and government are too
complicated to understand" : 1 in 3 [National Home Education Research Institute
(Salem, Oregon) ]

Chance that an American who was home-schooled feels this way : 1 in 25 [National
Home Education Research Institute (Salem, Oregon) ]

Number of blank votes recorded by touchscreen machines in a January election for
Florida's House of Representatives : 137 [Florida Department of State
(Tallahassee) ]

Votes by which the race was won : 12 [Florida Department of State (Tallahassee)

Number of Haiti's elections since 1994 called "bogus electoral exercises" by the
State Department's Roger Noriega : 3 [U.S. State Department ]

Last year in which one of these elections took place under President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide : 1995 [Harper's research ]

Percentage of Western Hemisphere countries besides Cuba whose leaders Noriega
believes have been "freely elected" : 100 [U.S. State Department ]

Federal funds given last September to a group organizing the recall of
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez : $53,400 [National Endowment for Democracy
(Washington) ]

Minimum number of misleading statements on Iraq made by the Bush
Administration's top officials since March 2002 : 237 [Committee on Government
Reform (Washington, D.C.) ]

Percentage of these that contradicted, made selective use of, or
mischaracterized existing government intelligence : 100 [Committee on Government
Reform (Washington, D.C.) ]

Days before last year's invasion of Iraq that Osama bin Laden called Saddam
Hussein a "socialist infidel" : 36 [Al Jazeera (Doha, Qatar)/BBC Monitoring
Service (Caversham Park, U.K.) ]

Days into the 1999 NATO bombing of Kosovo that candidate George W. Bush
observed, "Victory means exit strategy" : 17 [Houston Chronicle/NATO (Brussels)

Months into the war in Iraq that all U.S. personnel there were equipped with
antiballistic body armor : 11 (see page 67) [U.S. Central Command (Tampa) ]

Months into the war that Britain confirmed that all its troops were outfitted
with desert clothing : 9 [Liberal Democrat Whips Office, House of Commons
(London) ]

Estimated percentage of French schoolgirls who wore an Islamic head scarf to
school last fall : 0.02 [Ministere de la Jeunesse, de l'Education Nationale et
de la Recherche (Paris)/Assembl'ee Nationale de France transcript, 12/4/03 ]

Number of Holsteins disqualified from the Ohio State Fair last August because
they were wearing a hair piece : 2 [Ohio Department of Agriculture
(Reynoldsburg) ]

Number of suspensions a Dallas-area high school handed out last fall for
dress-code violations : 1,116 [Duncanville Independent School District (Tex.) ]

Acreage of a Christian nudist colony under development in Florida : 240
[Continuing Care, Inc. (Venice, Fla.) ]

Minimum number of Italian men accused of paying for a "sexual anxieties"
diagnosis to avoid military service last winter : 150 [Sophie Arie, Guardian
(London) ]

Number of times that Everglades saw grass switches gender during a week of
flowering : 2 [Jennifer Richards, Florida International University (Miami) ]

Percentage of the 958 same-sex unions granted to Vermont residents since July
2000 that have since been dissolved : 3 [Vermont Department of Health
(Burlington) ]

Percentage of U.S. heterosexual marriages that are dissolved within five years :
20 [National Center for Health Statistics (Hyattsville, Md.) ]

Median household income a pair of U.S. single mothers would have if they married
each other : $40,568 [U.S. Census Bureau (Washington)/Harper's research ]

Median household income of a U.S. heterosexual couple with children : $59,461
[U.S. Census Bureau ]

Percentage of senior management positions in medium-size Russian companies that
are held by women : 42 [Grant Thornton International (London) ]

Percentage of senior management positions at equivalent U.S. companies that are
: 20 [Grant Thornton International (London) ]

Percentage of U.S. companies that threaten to close the work site when faced
with a unionization effort : 51 [Kate Bronfenbrenner, Cornell University
(Ithaca, N.Y.) ]

Factor by which the unemployment rate of African-American college graduates
exceeds that of white graduates : 1.9 [Bureau of Labor Statistics
(Washington)/Harper's research ]

Average percentage of African-American men age 16 to 64 in New York City who
were employed each month last year : 52 [Community Service Society of New York
(N.Y.C.) ]

Minimum number of Tennesseans who have ordered new license plates bearing the
Confederate flag : 3,000 [Tennessee Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans
(Brentwood) ]

Minimum revenue the Sons of Confederate Veterans stands to collect through such
sales : $20,000 [Tennessee Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans (Brentwood) ]

Amount the federal Individual Indian Trust cannot account for, per Native
American it serves : $26,000 [Native American Rights Fund (Boulder, Colo.) ]

Total overruns at Boston's "Big Dig" attributed to mistakes and mismanagement by
the Bechtel Corporation : $1,100,000,000 [Boston Globe ]

Percentage of the 13,129 varieties of dirt in the United States that are
endangered : 4 [Ronald Amundson, College of Natural Resources, University of
California, Berkeley ]

Amount that Tom DeLay's political action committee spent at the Washington,
D.C., Hooters last November : $117.19 [Federal Election Commission (Washington)

Years in prison to which two ex-Pentagon officials were sentenced last year for
taking bribes of money and prostitutes : 24 [U.S. Department of Justice
(Alexandria, Va.) ]

Number of years a North Carolina man has been in prison for stealing a
television : 33 [Rich Rosen, UNC School of Law (Chapel Hill) ]

Days after Smith & Wesson Holding appointed a chairman last winter that he
resigned over old armed-robbery convictions : 38 [Smith & Wesson Holding Corp.
(Scottsdale, Ariz.)/Michigan Dept. of Corrections (Lansing) ]

Caliber of his first gun, a Smith & Wesson used for armed robbery : .38 [James
Minder (Scottsdale) ]

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Collective Amnesia?

Collective Amnesia or Collective Alzheimer's:
America 'Remembers' Ronald Reagan
by Paul Douglas Newman
Common Dreams

To remember Ronald Reagan as one of the greatest Presidents of the twentieth century, to replace FDR on the dime with Reagan's profile as Republicans wish to do, we are being asked to forget too much.

We are asked to forget Lebanon, where Reagan decided to "cut and run" after hundreds of Marines perished when a suicide bomber invaded their compound.

We are asked to forget the arms for hostages deal.

We are asked to forget El Salvador, where the right wing ARENA, armed with Reagan money, Reagan weapons, and Reagan military training from the School of the America's at Fort Benning, Georgia slaughtered more than 80,000 civilians in the "War on Communism."

We are asked to forget the Iran-Contra Scandal, an event that he evidently "could not recall" in response to more than one hundred questions during the Congressional hearings.

We are asked to forget the groundwork laid for nuclear disarmament by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Nixon.

We are asked to forget the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaties I and II.

We are asked to forget the re-freezing of the Cold War following the Nixon thaw, when Reagan bellicosely denounced the Soviets as the "Evil Empire," and then joked on his weekly radio address that our missiles were ready to launch.

We are asked to forget the silly invasion of Grenada following the Lebanon disaster, and the reversal of goodwill gestures made to the Caribbean made by previous administrations, including the return of the Panama Canal.

We are asked to forget the Soviet Union's internal move to Perestroika, a groundswell that occurred over decades resulting in a generation of new Communists by 1985 who were not manufactured by Reagan's bravado, but were products of the "Evil Empire."

We are asked to forget that Reagan presided over the worst recession since the Great Depression.

We are asked to forget the enormous cuts to social welfare programs and the Veterans Administration, moves that led to such an enormous rise in the homeless population, especially evident on the streets of Washington, D.C., that even comedians felt that they had to do something to stop the bleeding with "Comic Relief."

We are asked to forget the policies that enriched agri-business at the expense of small farmers, continuing the decline of the family farm to the point that recording artists were the only ones left to uphold the Populists' mantle with "Farm-Aid."

We are asked to forget that he slashed taxes for the wealthiest, raised taxes on the poor, and then bailed out the corrupt Savings and Loan industry at taxpayer expense.

We are asked to forget that his SEC presided over such a corrupt and over-inflated stock market that the Dow saw the largest one-day crash in its history, greater than in 1929.

We are asked to forget that Reagan's economic policies effected a reversal in the trend toward greater distribution of wealth begun by Progressive Republican, Democratic, and Socialist politicians in the early twentieth centuries, and have led us to the greatest concentration of wealth today since the days of Andrew Carnegie and James Pierpont Morgan.

We are asked to forget the enormous and outrageous military contracts, for which American taxpayers paid hundreds of dollars for nuts, bolts, and toilet seats, and the nation saw defense-spending rise to astronomical heights.

We are asked to forget the Reagan Administration's opposition to the Civil Rights movement, their blocking of busing programs and cuts to Head Start meant to bring equality of opportunity to American education.

We are asked to forget that Reagan considered ketchup to be a vegetable in federal school lunch programs.

We are asked to forget "government cheese."

We are asked to forget jelly beans, splitting wood, bad b-movies, McCarthy-ite participation in Hollywood blacklisting.

We are asked to forget our history.

We are asked to forget, and forget, and forget.

And by the looks of the New York Times and Washington Post's memorials to the "Great Communicator," it appears that what historian Studs Terkel has referred to as "America's collective amnesia" is still acute.

Perhaps it is more serious than that.

Perhaps we have a national case of Alzheimer's Disease.

Perhaps our ability to remember relatively recent events has eroded, and our capacity for rational thought has diminished as well.

Perhaps we are becoming a danger to ourselves and others.

Perhaps we need admittance into a managed care facility for nations.

Perhaps we are "riding off into the sunset." How else do we explain our descent into Bushism?: our quick repetition of past economic and foreign policy blunders, our re-visitation of failed policies to solve current problems, our persistent dementia that results in trying the same things and expecting different results? As of now, there is no cure for Alzheimer's Disease, only management of the symptoms and provision of comfort until death.

Hopefully Studs Terkel is right, and we've just suffered another blow to the head from which the American people will recover, and remember, and remember, and remember.

Paul Douglas Newman ( is Associate Professor of American History at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, PA

Article Link

Things to Do In Lexington this Weekend (and some reviews of movies/music)

First three Gallery Hop-related announcements?

:: The Amazing Fantasy Life of the Brothers Minter! Friday, June 18th
at Mecca: Live Studio & Gallery, 209 N. Limestone ::

Matt and Kenn Minter, brought together as brothers through a bizarre
series of mating and birthing rituals, let you, the allegedly
privileged, glimpse a segment of their Amazing Fantasy Life -(should be
announced as if yelled from within an echo chamber) in this, what we
like to call an art opening entitled, "The Amazing Fantasy Life of the
Brothers Minter". One girl asked, "what can I expect to find?" The
reply came simply, "expect creepy creatures and sexy superheroes."
Gallery Hop, Friday June 18th from 6-8pm * proper attire suggested: it
is requested that guests clothe thyselves in superhero gear. So please
come as your favorite superhero real or imagined. If you can't imagine
any The Brothers Minter have a slew to choose from. Seek counsel from
the experts.

The ?Re:Arrangements? performance art series follows at 8pm. This
popular after-Hop activity has entertained slews since its debut in
September 1999. Come see what's the hubbub, bub. For more information
call 859/254-9790 or visit

:: Gallerie Soleil, 363 W.Short St, presents ?Gypsies, Tramps, and
Thievies? ::

Four Kentucky Historical roadside markers mention Sue Mundy aka Jerome
Clarke but none tell the whole story. A native of Franklin County
Kentucky, Clarke joined the Confederate Army at age 17. He eventually
became one of General John Hunt Morgan's Men. After General Morgan's
death the Confederate raider became notorious as woman marauder Sue
Mundy. Executed by hanging before a crowd of several thousand in
Louisville in 1865 at age 20, Sue Mundy is only a footnote in history
but her outrageous life serves as the earliest reference in GYPSIES,
TRAMPS AND THIEVES A one hundred year history of the naked sailor,
hustler, drag queen and wild child as muse in the underground Lexington
art scene.

Morgan (Robert, not John Hunt), has assembled the show which features
approximately 80 pieces, photographs, drawings, paintings, films and
assorted strange stuff gathered from private collections, archives and
anonymous sources, some never seen before.

Lexington Madame Belle Brezing, Sweet Evening Breeze aka James Herndon,
and artist Henry Faulkner all appear as sources of inspiration for
underground artists in Lexington. Morgan has been at the heart of
Lexington's underground art scene since serving as Faulkner's studio
assistant while a student at the University of Kentucky in the late

Rare photographs of Belle Brezing and her "girls" segue into images of
Elvis-like motorcycle guys and fresh faced sailors including one
intriguing shot of a "sailor wedding", many from Faulkner's personal
collection. Never before seen snapshots of Sweet Evening Breeze add to
the mythology surrounding one of Lexington's most colorful characters.

The 70s and 80s come into vivid focus in portraits of the legendary
Pagan Babies, a loosely defined pack of artists known for their
over-the-top appearance and behavior that gave rise to a golden age of
underground activity. Their spontaneous public hi-jinks gave Lexington
its first glimpse of guerilla theater and what would later be known as
performance art. Elaborate costumes that were the Pagan Babies'
signature are showcased in photographs by John Ashley. The Pagan Babies
spawned a number of artists, musicians and actors, some active today
including Morgan himself made Theater Downunder, in the basement of
Leva's restaurant, a center of the 80s underground scene. The group
helped give birth to The Red Interiors and The Thrusters, two
regionally popular punk rock bands. Pagan Baby alumni presided over the
scene at Club A-Go-Go and later at Club LMNOP.

Traditionally ignored and scorned by the arts establishment, the
underground functions as an incubator. Morgan likens the underground to
the fecund world that thrives under a rock where white tendrils of
vegetation and unrecognized creatures grow unbridled...decay and
deconstruction. It's a fertile bed for restating and rethinking the
whole artistic experience. And that's why it's scary.

Underground movements eventually surface and become the accepted fare
for that same establishment. And it's happening at a faster rate. The
street doesn't stay in the street long anymore. Bottom line, a lot of
the underground is unexplainable. Where do people come from? Where do
they go? They encourage each other in their eccentricity and creativity
no matter how bizarre or insignificant when there is no encouragement
from any legitimate source.

Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves features vintage works by John Ashley, Frank
During, Laura Evans, Henry Faulkner, Guy Mendes, Robert Morgan, and
John Warner. The show also includes new works by Sammy Beam, J. Todd
Dockery Jimmy Gordon, John Ridener, and Michael Shaver. Gypsies, Tramps
& Thieves opens with a Gallery Hop reception Friday, June 18, 4-9 PM
and runs through July 4 at GALLERIE SOLEIL, 363 W. Short St. in
Lexington. Appointment: 233-0890 and 255-0019.

:: Cerlan Gallery: Contemporary Fine Art and Folk Art, 522 West Short
Street, Lexington, presents works by Georgia Henkel and Bill Santen -
June 18th - July 17th Gallery Hop Reception Friday, June 18, 5pm-8pm
Upstairs Gallery: group show of gallery artists, folk art, sculpture,
paintings, ceramics, photography and prints Hours: Thursday -
Saturday, 11am-5pm and by appointment. For more info, phone
859-361-1801 or 859-576-7990 and/or visit,

:: The Louisville Assembly of Vanguard Art invites you to a June
Pavanet Party on Saturday, June 19th ::

For those unfamiliar, the Pavanet is a huge monthly party that travels
from home to home and is well attended by many artists of all kinds.
The party starts at 8pm and will run through the night. It's also a
potluck and a BYOB event, so come prepared to share, eat, and drink
plentifully. There will probably also be a showing of the feature
length film "The Mural: The Liberation of Women", produced by Tiberino
and Roea. For directions, go to or email us

:: The Center for Women, Children & Families presents 'Party on the
Green' - Benefit for the Center for Women, Children & Families ?
Saturday, June 19th ::

Saturday, June 19 - 8 pm to midnight

Kearney Hills Golf Links (off Georgetown Road)

Tickets are $ 40 per person or $ 300 per table of 8
Tickets are available at all Fifth Third Banks. Beer, Wine & Soft
Drinks are included in the price of the ticket.

Casual attire for a relaxed evening of food, music, and silent auction.

The Center for Women, Children & Families is located at 530 North
Limestone Street. The Center is a non-profit social service Agency
providing a safe, accessible and healing environment for Children,
while developing the strength and self-sufficiency of Women and
Families through education, support and advocacy.

Event Chairperson - Judy Bakehorn, ph. 231-7676

:: Gay/Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) 11th Annual Pride Picnic -
Sun, June 20 ::

The Gay/Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) presents its 11th Annual
Pride Picnic, Sunday, June 20 - 12 to 4 pm @ Windy Knoll Horse Farm,
3263 Cleveland Road North, Lexington. (Rain or shine-there is a large
indoor arena in case of inclement weather)
FREE & open to the public.

All progressive and supportive organizations are cordially invited to
attend and/or set up informational/vendor booths at this event. Please
call The Pride Center at 859-253-3233 if your group would like to be
put on the roster for an informational/vendor table.

Entertainment will be provided by singer/songwriter Lori O'Connor, the
group LIP Candy, DJ Mr. Motown and the Squash Beetle Morris Dancers.

There will be games, vendors, prizes, a silent auction, and a raffle
for a gently used Chevy Cavalier Convertible. Due to insurance
restrictions, please NO ALCOHOL. Soft drinks and bottled water will be
sold at the picnic to help offset costs.

Thomas Collins - 859-253-3233

:: Urban League Young Professionals presents AIDS awareness events ::

Speaker: Annette Brooks
Monday, June 21 - 5:30 pm
Lexington Central Library
* Followed by candlelight vigil in Phoenix Park *

Video: It Can't Happen to Me
Monday, June 23 - 6:00 pm
Lexington Central Library

Softball tournament and FREE HIV screenings
Friday & Saturday, June 25+26
Carver Center

As a part of the National Urban League Young Professionals National
HIV/AIDS Awareness & Education Program, the Lexington Urban League
Young Professionals will host a series of information sessions and a
candlelight vigil to bring awareness to the Lexington community.

On Wednesday, at 6:00pm at the library, general information will be
shared and panelists will be available to answer questions, and a
15-minute video called "It Can't Happen to Me" will be shown to further
educate attendees.

On Friday and Saturday, the Young Professionals will be hosting a
softball tournament and will be providing FREE HIV screenings at the
Carver Center. Free screenings will also be conducted on Monday and
Wednesday during the evening activities at the Lexington Public

The Faces of AIDS exhibit will be on display at the library as well.

Charles Hobbs, President
Lexington Urban League Young Professionals
859/233-1561 ext. 29

:: And, finally ? HEADS-UP!/SAVE THE DATE Don?t miss the documentary
film "A CLOSER WALK," a powerful, very personal look at what is to come
in the AIDS crisis if more is not done NOW, at the Kentucky Theater on
THURSDAY, JULY 1st! More information in the next issue of The Lexington

:::::::::::::::::::::: THE PICKS :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
::::::::: Wednesday, June 16 through Wednesday, June 30

:: Thursday, June 17 ::
9pm :: ages 21+ :: $3

Pop Pop POP! Expect a full range of pop from joyous bounce (Big Fresh
will release a special cdr version of their ?Joybombs? ep at the show)
to heart-wrenching (Ulysses) to powerful and catchy (Lipkandy, aka The
Melissas, former owners of Smack!, making their first Lexington
appearance in a very very long time). Unca? Bill wrote an undoubtedly
witty preview for this show. It?s currently floating somewhere in
cyberspace between his computer and mine. If it shows up soon, it may
make it to your inbox as an addendum.

:: Thursday, June 17 ::
10pm :: ages 21+ :: $8

By all accounts I?ve heard, PAUL ?WINE? JONES was the highlight of the
recent FAT POSSUM JUKE JOINT CARAVAN that made a recent stop at The
Dame. Jones is a Mississippi bluesman whose style is ?deeply rooted in
the rural juke joint tradition of the Delta?, ?totally original, a
combination of synchronized guitar and vocal phrasings and electric
country blues.? (from Recommended to fans of SON HOUSE,

:: Friday, June 18 ::
GALLERY HOP! @ numerous spots all over downtown Lexington
5-8pm :: all ages :: FREE
Peep some new art, sampler numerous varieties of box and jug wine, and
enjoy downtown Lexington with several thousand of your closest friends.

:: Saturday, June 19 ::
THE VANDERMARK 5 w/ATOMIC @ Mecca, 209 N.Limestone
8pm :: all ages :: $5

By now, you'd think Ken Vandermark would be able to stroll through
downtown Lexington's streets, garnering friendly "hello's" from
passersby, recognizing him as just another familiar face on the
sidewalk. Perhaps this is the case. If so, he's certainly earned it,
and Lexington would be a lucky town indeed, as his recently perennial
visits to the Bluegrass (at times, twice a year), bring a breath of
fresh air and excitement to fans of jazz and avant-garde music, as well
as bolstering the ever-expanding and successful Outside The Spotlight
series. But perhaps, the quiet, affable Chicago musician is better
known once he takes the stage with one of his many musical
incarnations, speaking volumes with the tones and vibrations passing
through his arsenal of reed instruments.

This month, Lexington again plays host to the 1999 winner of the
prestigious MacArthur Fellowship "genius grant", when Ken brings his
exciting and highly volatile Vandermark 5 quintet to Mecca, where they
will be sharing the bill with Swedish avant-jazz supergroup, Atomic.
Touring the U.S. and Canada in support of their upcoming album (their
8th release for the Atavistic imprint), "Elements of Style, Exercises
in Surprise", The V5 continues their tradition of combining an eclectic
mix of musical styles - free jazz, rock, funk, bop, punk, avant-garde,
and traditional jazz - into compositions that are interpreted onstage
by the talented cast of musicians involved. Since 1996, the V5 has
honed its skills and built it's reputation as a fiery live act by
playing a continuous series of weekly Tuesday night shows at Chicago's
Empty Bottle. Members Kent Kessler (bass), Dave Rempis (alto/tenor
saxes), Jeb Bishop (trombone), and Tim Daisy (drums) comprise the
current lineup that has remained since last year's breakthrough album,
"Airports for Light".

This anticipated Lexington show should prove to be as exciting and
rewarding as last year's visit to the Downtown Arts Center, and as
those who attended that show can attest, music fans of all genres are
in for an amazing experience. As an added bonus to this show, each
group will play one set each, then combine as a tentet for a special
encore final set. Who knows what will happen when you pack this many
amazing talents together on one stage... let's hope Mecca has fire
-brian turner

The concert is sponsored by WRFL 88.1FM and the Lexington Action Arts
Collective. For more information call 335-8881 or email

:: Monday, June 21 ::
CD CENTRAL presents a WILCO listening party @ The Dame
8pm :: ages 21+ :: $3

CD CENTRAL, Lexington?s great independent music store, presents a
listening party preview of the new WILCO record, A Ghost Is Born. The
night promises free food from GUMBO YA YA, cheap KENTUCKY ALE, music by
SLO-FI (ex-Blueberries) and the DEEHAWKS, and a chance to purchase the
new WILCO record as soon as it goes on sale at midnight. NOTE: Anyone
buying the Wilco record will have their $3 admission fully refunded.
For more info call CD Central at 233-3472 or visit

:: Saturday, June 26 ::
THE LAY ALL OVER ITS @ The Ice House, 412 Cross St
9pm :: all ages :: $3-5 suggested donation

THE LAY ALL OVER ITS = an out-jazz, free-form folk hybrid featuring
drummer NORI TAKANA and bassist JASON AJEMIAN, whom some of you will
remember as a member of the Chicago jazz ensembles TRIAGE and DRAGONS
1976 (both of which have performed in Lexington recently as part of the
Outside the Spotlight series) and the avant-folk duo BORN HELLER (whose
March performance at the Ice House was reviewed by Dave Cobb for Nougat
? - you?ll need to
scroll down a bit to find it). Jason?s an amazing charismatic
performer. You don?t want to miss the chance to see him live. [FULL
DISCLOSURE: I helped organize this concert.]

:: Also worthwhile in the June 16-June 30 timeframe ::
Every Monday OPEN MIC w/CHARLIE WHITTINGTON @ High on Rose
Every Monday THE SOULSONICS @ The Dame
Every Tuesday CLUB DUB @ High on Rose
Every Wednesday BIG MARACAS @ High on Rose
Wed/June 16 JESSE MALIN w/SQUADFIVE-O @ Uncle Plesants (Louisville)
Fri/June 18 'LEBOWSKI FEST 2004' with MY MORNING JACKET, BARE JR., and
a screening of 'The Big Lebowski' @ Brown Forman Amphitheater
(Louisville -
Fri/June 18 G-FUNK @ The Dame
Sat/June 19 'Is This It' (Strokes covers) @ High on Rose
Tues/June 22 !!! @ Uncle Pleasants (Louisville) - ages 18+
Thur/June 24 GLASS HARP featuring PHIL KEAGGY w/JERRY BELSAK @ The Dame
Fri/June 25 BIG MARACAS w/THE SWELLS @ The Dame
Sat/June 26 OVER THE RHINE w/VIENNA TENG @ The Dame ? early show, 7pm
Sat/June 26 ROBBIE FULKS @ The Dame ? late show, 10pm
Sat/June 26 SPOON w/THEE SHAMS and THE PINE CLUB @ Headliners
Sun/June 27 THERAPOSA (ex-Autumn Rising) @ Southgate House (Newport,
BLOOM @ Headliners (Louisville)
Tues/June 29 DEEP 13 w/RADIO KINGS @ The Dame

:: Soon Soon ::
Thur/July 1 VON HEMMLING w/ELEPHANT MICAH @ High on Rose
Sat/July 3 IRON AND WINE w/AZITA @ Headliners (Louisville)
Sun/July 4 AL GREEN @ Waterfront Park (Louisville)
Wed/July 7 OLD 97's @ Southgate House (Newport, KY)
Sat/July 10 THE MOONEY SUZUKI @ Southgate House (Newport, KY)
Wed/July 14 URGE OVERKILL @ The Dame
Thur/July 15 BUGS EAT BOOKS @ High on Rose
Thur/July 22 THE WOGGLES @ The Dame
Fri/July 23 IRIS DEMENT @ The Dame
Brown Theatre (Louisville) - tickets on sale Sat, June 19 at
TicketMaster or via the KCA Box Office 502/584-7777

:: Pertinent resources ::
THE DAME, 156 W.Main St, Lexington -
HIGH ON ROSE, corner of High and Rose Sts, Lexington -
MECCA studio/gallery, 209 N.Limestone -
NATASHA'S CAFE, 112 Esplanade -
ARTSPLACE, 161 N.Mill St, Lexington
THE ICEHOUSE, 412 Cross St (off W.Maxwell), Lexington (all ages show listings) -
CRICKET PRESS (amazing local poster art) -
WRFL 88.1FM (UK's student-run radio station)- http:://

LAVA (Louisville Assembly of Vanguard Artists) HOUSE - 927 Shelby
Parkway, Louisville -
UNCLE PLEASANTS, 2120 S. Preston, Louisville - p.502/634-4147
THE RUDYARD KIPLING, 422 West Oak Street, Louisville -

__Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky__
THE COMET, 4579 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH -
BOGART'S, 2621 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH -
THE MOCKBEE (formerly SS NOVA), 2260 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH -

Know of an upcoming event that others should get hip to? Let us know -

:::::::::::::::::::::: CD REVIEW :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Vandermark 5
Elements of Style, Exercises in Surprise
Atavistic, 2004

Another strong release from one of Chicago's most exciting free-jazz
outfits, 'Elements of Style' follows hot on the heels of last year's
acclaimed "Airports for Light" album, and continues in the same mode of
attack that has been leading up to the bold style of the V5 in recent
years. For those not familiar, the style of jazz the V5 serves up, is a
uniquely powerful mix of experimental free-jazz, traditional jazz
composition, rock, funk, post-bop and blues. The lineup of musicians
remains the same as on the last album, and includes some of the most
prolific and seasoned veterans of the Chicago jazz scene, allowing for
a broad range of textures as well as interpretations.

Like nearly all previous V5 releases, the tunes on this album offer a
nice variation of moods, making for an extremely fun listen; from the
sultry, mid-tempo ("Outside Ticket"), the groove heavy rock of "Knock
Yourself Out", textural sketches ("Intagliamento"), the up-tempo swing
of "Telefon", to the gorgeous balladry of "Gyllene". The album ends
with an epic 20 min. piece, "Six of One", which take some time to build
before kicking into high gear, but pays off ultimately - featuring
perhaps some of the finest solo trading seen by the V5 yet. What I find
most enjoyable about this album is that it seems to fully expose the
talents of Jeb Bishop (trombone), who in my opinion, could be the
Vandermark 5's secret weapon. His playing on this release is beyond
exceptional, and he really steps up to the plate on tracks such as
"Strata" and "Six of One", holding his own with his solos as well as
trading riffs with Vandermark and Dave Rempis (saxes).

Recorded by Bob Weston (of Volcano Suns / Shellac fame), the album has
a clean, powerful sound that suits the intensity of this band nicely,
as seeing them perform live is nothing short of blowing you away. The
Vandermark 5 excel at putting out consistently great jazz albums while
still maintaining their avant-garde edge that pushes the boundaries of
contemporary jazz; "Elements of Style" is just another step in the
realization of a great, contemporary jazz band.

:::::::::::::::::::::: DRINK RECIPE

Mojito (From Jessica Kepler, NYC)

* cuban rum
* many limes, approx. 4 slices squeezed per glass
* lime juice
* mint sprigs
* soda water - but i like to use welch's pineapple peach juice with
the lime
a presto, thats a mojito, they look really dirty when I make them, with
the limes and mints and all.

:::::::::::::::::::::: FILM REVIEW

The Magdalene Sisters (2002)
Written and directed by Peter Mullan
Available on VHS and DVD

The Magdalene Sisters opens with an Irish Catholic wedding, the
sacrament that makes a woman respectable. However, the bulk of the
movie takes place in a convent-cum-asylum for so-called loose women.

Beautifully shot, remarkably quiet, and composed primarily of medium
shots and close-ups, The Magdalene Sisters is a difficult movie to
watch. Difficult because it tells the story of three young Irish
women?one raped, one beautiful, and one who gives birth out of
wedlock?who are stripped of their freedom because they are young women
and because the men around them have transgressed Catholic morality .
Difficult because the claustrophobia, the frustration the young women
feel is painfully present in every shot. Difficult because women, the
girls' mothers, the nuns, the women of the community, are complicit in
the incarceration.

The women who end up in the Magdalene asylum are there to do penance
for men's violence, men's weakness, as well as their own. In the cases
of Margaret and Rose, two of the main characters, they have been
consigned to the asylum because their families are more concerned with
their own shame at having a "soiled" daughter than with their
daughters' well being.

It might be tempting to distance oneself from the violence of the
asylum and the horror of illegal confinement the film depicts by
dismissing it as having happened in another country, in another time.
Unfortunately, The Magdalene Sisters is based on true events that
happened as recently as the 1960s and 1970s in Ireland. The last
laundry closed in 1996. While the women?s movement was at a fever
pitch, especially in the United States, in the Magdalene asylums women
were being committed against their will. These asylums relied on their
enforced labor for financial viability. As the film quietly but
unmistakably suggests, the laundry mat/asylums were driven by economics
as much as, if not more than, religious fervor for the reformation of
"wayward" girls.

Historical Research on Magdalene asylums: Do Penance or Parish:
Magdalen Asylums in Ireland by Frances Finnegan; Suffer the Little
Children; "Sex in a Cold Climate," a documentary by Steve Humphries;
"Dear Daughter," tv documentary; "States of Fear," tv documentary.

Beth Connors Manke


The Privatization for Profit of Public Information

The government is increasingly relying on private contractors to handle
Freedom of Information requests.
By Christopher Lee, Washington Post

Long publicly available, a database detailing federal contracts has
been outsourced ... to a federal contractor.
By Michael Scherer, Mother Jones

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Americans for (Universal) Healthcare

March on June 19 for Universal Healthcare:

Find a March Near You

9/11 Panel Says Iraq Rebuffed Bin Laden: NO CONNECTION BETWEEN IRAQ AND 9/11!

9/11 Panel Says Iraq Rebuffed bin Laden
By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks reported Wednesday that Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) met with a top Iraqi official in 1994 but found "no credible evidence" of a link between Iraq (news - web sites) and al-Qaida in attacks against the United States.

In a report based on research and interviews by the commission staff, the panel said that bin Laden explored possible cooperation with Saddam even though he opposed the Iraqi leader's secular regime.

A senior Iraqi intelligence official reportedly met with bin Laden in 1994 in Sudan, the panel found, and bin Laden "is said to have requested space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but Iraq apparently never responded."

"There have been reports that contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida also occurred after bin Laden had returned to Afghanistan (news - web sites), but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship," the report said. "Two senior Bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al-Qaida and Iraq."

The panel's findings appear to contradict Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites)'s assertion Monday that Saddam had "long-established ties" with al-Qaida.

In making the case for war in Iraq, Bush administration officials frequently cited what they said were Saddam's decade-long contacts with al-Qaida operatives. They stopped short of claiming that Iraq was directly involved in the Sept. 11 attacks but critics say Bush officials left that impression with the American public.

The commission's report was released at the beginning of the panel's final two-day hearing on the development of the Sept. 11 plot and the emergency response by the Federal Aviation Administration (news - web sites) and U.S. air defenses.

"We're going to talk about the evolution of al-Qaida and how they moved from one type of organization in the late 1980s to a more fast-acting, poisonous organization in the 1990s, more spread out and dispersed," Democratic commissioner Timothy Roemer said before the hearing.

"We'll be looking at the timeline as to whether or not we had an opportunity to deflect any of the airliners, and how decisions were made by the highest people in government," he said.

In its report, the commission reiterated an oft-repeated warning by the Bush administration, saying al-Qaida remains poised to attack the United States in a devastating chemical, biological or "dirty bomb" attack.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the terror group has become much more dispersed, with less funding following the arrests or deaths of key financiers. But the group has learned to operate on much smaller sums than the estimated $30 million spent annually prior to Sept. 11, 2001, the report said.

"Al-Qaida is actively striving to attack the United States and inflict mass casualties," the report said. The report noted in particular the group's "ambitious" biological weapons program and efforts in 1994 to purchase uranium.

"Al-Qaida and other extremist groups will likely continue to exploit leaks of national security information in the media, open-source information on techniques such as mixing explosives, and advances in electronics," it said.

In the preliminary report, the commission points to a series of attacks on the United States or its allies as early as 1992 that U.S. intelligence would determine by the late 1990s were linked to bin Laden or his terror group.

They included a December 1992 explosion outside two hotels in Aden, Yemen; the October 1993 killing of 18 U.S. soldiers in Mogadishu, Somalia; a November 1995 car bombing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and the June 1995 explosion at the Khobar Towers apartment complex in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Bin Laden's ties to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a failed plot to blow up commercial aircraft in 1994 in Manila, Philippines, are unclear, but they offered significant warning signs that Islamic terrorists were intent on demolishing American symbols and inflicting mass casualties, the panel said.

"What is clear is that these plots were major benchmarks in the evolving Islamist threat to the United States and foreshadowed later attacks that were indisputably carried out by al Qaeda under bin Laden's direction," the report stated.

Scheduled to testify Wednesday were field agents from the FBI (news - web sites) and CIA (news - web sites), as well as Patrick Fitzgerald, a former attorney in New York who prosecuted alleged terrorists in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

Other key findings from the commission:

_A month after the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole (news - web sites) that killed 17 sailors, U.S. investigators learned that two senior al-Qaida operatives were involved. The one detail that could not be clearly determined at the time was whether bin Laden directly ordered the attack; that was not ascertained until April 2003.

_No convincing evidence shows that al-Qaida received state-sponsored financial support, although some governments such as Saudi Arabia may have "turned a blind eye" to the group's fund-raising activities.

_Bin Laden decided he wanted to attack the United States by 1992, and worked meticulously in building an organizational structure of senior operatives and a broader Islamic army from terror groups throughout Africa and the Mideast.

The commission, facing a July 26 deadline for a final report, is winding down its 1 1/2-year investigation after interviewing more than 1,000 witnesses, including President Bush (news - web sites) and Cheney, and reviewing more than 2 million documents.

Several commissioners have told The Associated Press that drafts of the final report detail the many communication gaps and missteps by FBI and intelligence officials in detecting the plot. But they said the drafts refrain from placing blame on individuals in the Bush and Clinton administrations to avoid charges of partisanship.
On the Net:

9-11 Panel

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Notes on "Community of Truths"

“Community of Truths” by Parker Palmer
Notes by Michael Benton

(definition from Merriam-Webster online)
Main Entry: truth
Pronunciation: 'trüth
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural truths /'trü[th]z, 'trüths/
Etymology: Middle English trewthe, from Old English trEowth fidelity; akin to Old English trEowe faithful -- more at TRUE
1 a archaic : FIDELITY, CONSTANCY b : sincerity in action, character, and utterance
2 a (1) : the state of being the case : FACT (2) : the body of real things, events, and facts : ACTUALITY (3) often capitalized : a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality b : a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true c : the body of true statements and propositions
3 a : the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality b chiefly British : TRUE 2 c : fidelity to an original or to a standard
4 capitalized, Christian Science : GOD
- in truth : in accordance with fact : ACTUALLY

1) Why is Truth “not a word much spoken in educational circles these days.” And why would it signify an earlier “naïve era when people were confident they could know the truth”? (99) Explain the difference between Truth (universal and absolute) and truth/s (provisional, relational and mutable).

2) What is the mythical objectivist model of truth? (99) Discuss the two visual models that Palmer supplies in the essay (100 and 102). Refer to the notion of “objectivist knowledge” as the only method to “uncover” the truth. This is a belief that “Truth” is out there waiting for us to discover it. Objectivity insists that facts can be separated from values, and that the proper role of the expert (media, journalist, scientist, historian, teacher, leader, conqueror) is to sort, verify, and deliver those "unbiased" facts to readers. A critical function of the ideology of objectivity is to render invisible (or as Palmer states “unconscious”) the expert’s power to shape and reinforce public opinion and cultural standards. Furthermore, the objectivist model relies upon the production of passive consumers who absorb knowledge without questioning instead of active citizens who search out their own meanings and understandings of the truth/s. For Palmer and others the notion of an objective “Truth” waiting to be discovered is a “myth.” This is because they realize that we produce our subjective understandings of truth/s through a dialogical/dialectical process of interaction, comparison, discussion and conflict between:
knower <--> subject, subject <--> community, community <--> knower,
knower <--> subject <--> time/space, and so on… For a critique of the “Dangerous Myth of Objectivity” in journalism visit this: Myth of Journalistic Objectivity

3) What does Palmer mean when he says “The community of truth is, in fact, many communities, far-flung across space and ever-changing through time” (101).

4) Why is this distinction so important: “a subject is available for relationship; an object is not” (102).

5) Key quote: “As we try to understand the subject in the community of truth, we enter into complex patterns of communication—sharing observations and interpretations, correcting and complementing each other, torn by conflict in this moment and joined by consensus in the next. The community of truth, far from being linear and static and hierarchical, is circular, interactive, and dynamic. At its best, the community of truth advances our knowledge through conflict, not competition. … Competition is the antithesis of community, an acid that can dissolve the fabric of relationships. Conflict is the dynamic by which we test ideas in the open, in a communal effort to stretch each other and make better sense of the world. (103)

6) Now at this point someone will probably ask “isn’t this just a slide into extreme relativism in which there is the impossibility of knowing the Truth?” Now we know that there will always be Truth in the sense that if you cut my arm off with a sword there is no denying that my arm has been cut off, BUT, what I am saying here, is that your “reason” for cutting off my arm is debatable and our understanding of the “truth” of your motivations/reasons for the act depends on the interpretative community that resolves the situation. This is why in our society if someone did cut my arm off in front of witnesses, there may still be a trial to decide guilt or innocence (or degrees of guilt).

7) This brings us to another key quote: “This communal dynamic is governed by rules of observation and interpretation that help define us as a community by bringing focus and discipline to our discourse. To be in the community of truth, we must abide by its norms and procedures, which differ from one field to another… . These standards are strong but not chiseled in stone: they evolve even as our understanding of a subject evolves. We can challenge and change the norms, but we must be able to justify any deviation from them in a public and compelling way” (103-104)

8) Why is it important to Parker Palmer that we recognize and participate in the production of truth/s. Is this important to a democratic society?

9) Why does Palmer state that: “truth is an eternal conversation about things that matter, conducted with passion and discipline” (104).

10) Another key quote: “We need to know the current conclusions in order to get in on the conversation. But it is not our knowledge of conclusions that keeps us in the truth. It is our commitment to the conversation itself, our willingness to put forward our observations and interpretations for testing by the community and to return the favor to others. To be in the truth, we must know how to observe and reflect and speak and listen, with passion and with discipline, in the circle gathered around a given subject.” (104)

"How Do You Reach the Truth if Lying Has Become a Habit" by Ariel Dorfman

Excerpt from the afterword to his play "Death and the Maiden":

"It was then and is now more than ever my belief that a fragile democracy is strengthened by expressing for all to see the deep dramas and sorrows and hopes that underlie its existence and that it is not by hiding the damage we have inflicted on ourselves that we will avoid its repetition.

As I began to write I found the characters trying to figure out the sort of questions that so many Chileans were asking themselves privately, but that hardly anyone seemed interested in posing in public. How can those who tortured and those who were tortured co-exist in the same land? How to heal a country that has been traumatised by repression if the fear to speak out is still omnipresent everywhere? And how do you reach the truth if lying has become a habit? How do we keep the past alive without becoming its prisoner? How do we forget it without risking its repetition in the future? Is it legitimate to sacrifice the truth to ensure peace? And what are the consequences of suppressing that past and the truth it is whispering or howling to us? Are people free to search for justice and equality if the threat of a military intervention haunts them? And given these circumstances, can violence be avoided? And how guilty are we all of what happened to those who suffered most? And perhaps the greatest dilemma of them all: how to confront these issues without destroying the national consensus, which creates democratic stability?
Three weeks later, Death and the Maiden was ready."

Entire Afterword

More about Ariel Dorfman:

Ariel Dorfman

"Death and the Maiden" was also made into a powerful film by Roman Polanski:

Review of the Film

Dorfman on "Memory and Truth":

Memory and Truth

Monday, June 14, 2004

Quality Manifesto

Tim Porter's First Draft seeks to investigate the current state of newspaper journalism, or, as the weblog subtitle states, the weblog is concerned with "Newspapering, Readership & Relevance." Below is aan excerpt and link to his "The Quality Manifesto" which can be found at his weblog:

"Newspapers are killing themselves with clichéd writing, formulaic stories, hackneyed photographs and adherence to a self-destructive, journalistic form that emphasizes breadth of news coverage over depth. To break this cycle, newsrooms must recreate an atmosphere of excellence that counters the pervasive belief that 'good enough' is good enough. It is not."

Read the Manifesto


(courtesy of Andie Miller)

Save This
Patton Dodd
The Revealer

Evangelicals on film occupy an odd if unsurprising position: they are almost always represented as aggressors. Consider Robert Duvall’s conflicted evangelist in The Apostle,

Overly-aggressive evangelism?

John Swanbeck’s belligerent Baptist salesman in The Big Kahuna, and Robert Mitchum's evil preacher in Night of the Hunter—three characters who could not be more different save for the fact of their evangelical confidence. Opinionated, self-assured, and willfully subversive of the (im)moral status quo, aggressive evangelicals like these are out to make converts—to Jesus, sure, but moreover to a robust and strident conservatism. They thump their Bibles and beat their chests, roaring about the way things should be, the way things used to be. They seek not merely to convince, but to compel, by force if necessary.

Adding to this representation of evangelicals is this summer’s Saved!, the only recent movie outside of evangelicalism’s own filmmaking industry to be entirely concerned with evangelicalism. Saved!, as many reviewers have noted, is Mean Girls in Evangelicaldom, which means it is about what happens when you take typically addled teenagers and add Christian rock and prayer groups. It is also about evangelical aggression—the problem of noisy, nosy Jesus freaks in a live-and-let-live world.

Having played thus far only on in large markets and at film festivals (wider release begins this weekend), Saved! has nonetheless garnered a great deal of attention in anticipation of the attention it could garner. With rumors of the film’s parodies of evangelical culture abounding, Christianity Today noted last week that Christian groups have been nervously awaiting the film for an entire year (the converse, perhaps, to the eager anticipation of Mel Gibson’s Passion Play).

Read Entire Essay

A Hypertextual Review of City of God

A Hypertextual Review of City of God by E.L. Doctorow (NY: Random House, 2000)

City of God may have an experimental beginning that can be frustrating for some readers... don't worry though as you travel into the narrative landscape it slowly pulls together threads of meaning that create an evolving state of awareness, by page 50 you are recognizing clear patterns and by pages 80-90 you have the names of the main characters down. Don't let this frustrate you, this book is not a Bic Mac designed to be hastily gobbled down, rather, it is a sumptous feast for the senses and soul, a fulfilling meal designed to feed the spirit.

It tackles the big issues of the 20th Century and creates a dazzling array of voices to bring this historical moment of the century's end to dramatic life. It is so searing when it hits on all engines, the descriptions of the city are very powerful bringing a sense of the majestic aliveness of urban life and its chaotic sensory effect. The portrayals of the past through a World War II Jewish ghetto and a young boy's experiences are soul-shattering. The relationship of the main characters in the New York present are vivid and real...

The last 100 pages are a powerful literary experience of the continuing importance of religion in our society, while also providing a no holds barred critique of the reactionary traditions that try to stop us from evolving as humans and as spiritual beings (in a very subtle storytelling manner).

If this sounds interesting you might also be interested in Black Elk Speaks, Nothing Sacred by Douglas Rushkoff, The Concept of the Foreign by Rebecca Saunders, The Infinite Conversation by Maurice Blanchot, and The Cunning of History by Richard Rubenstein ... I read these books near the time I was reading "City of God" and they all speak to the need for new modes of interpersonal human relations or a new spirituality for a changing world.

Michael Benton