Archive for the culture Category

Discovery what?

Posted in culture, general, local linkage on April 18, 2007 by resistinginertia

File under: Reasons why I don’t live anywhere NEAR my hometown…

According to Shakesville (by way of Bilerico), Ligonier is going to be home to Indiana’s premier creationist science museum, Discovery Express. Yes, folks, that’s right– the sleepy little villa of racial disharmony up in Noble County that’s home to the annual Marshmallow Festival (fitting, eh?) is now cementing its reputation as a repository for idiocy under the guise of science. And to think, I used to live there!

My heart’s all aflutter with anticipation. Perhaps they’ll have a big diorama showing cavemen and dinosaurs living in harmony! I can’t wait to read about how plants are proof that there is a God. Will they give a discount for anyone arriving with an In God We Trust license plate? Maybe I can hold my secular humanist meetings in their spacious third floor conference room!

But seriously… the sheer enormity of the volume of ridiculousness is frightening. Are public school children going to be forced to take field trips to this place? Proselytizing to a captive audience, how lovely! It wouldn’t surprise me, seeing as how there are public school teachers involved in running this thing. Brian Shidler is the West Noble HS Band director and Kellie Shidler works with the color guard.

The other thing that disturbs me greatly is the apparent amount of community involvement and support for this place. It would be one thing if a couple of loonies were putting this out in the woods somewhere, but it’s listed on the front page of the Visitors Bureau website. It’s a good thing I no longer bank with (or work for) Lake City Bank. I’d be pulling my accounts if they’re financially supporting this sham, which it seems that they are.

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s a great thing to teach science to kids, and wholeheartedly support innovative teaching methods and nature education. But to do it under a fraudulent umbrella of creationism is shameful, and it makes me embarrassed to admit that I’m from that neck of the woods. Discovery, indeed.

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from the concert to your wall

Posted in culture, musical mayhem on January 4, 2007 by resistinginertia

The unique (and incredibly talented) live music photographer Jeff Bedel has issued his first-ever calendar, featuring the best bands in the city as witnessed through his lens.  If you’re a fan of local, independent music, this calendar is a must-have! 

Some of the many bands/artists featured include Rev. Payton’s Big Damn Band, Kit Malone, Everthus the Deadbeats, Little Voice, This Story, The Tecumseh Flyers, Stockwell Road, Dorsey, Arrah + The Ferns, The Born Again Floozies, Gentleman Caller, and Margot and the Nuclear So & Sos. 

Quantities are very limited, so order one through the website today or find Jeff at an upcoming local music show (like the Little Voice/Bigbigcar show this Friday at Locals Only!)  Even if you weren’t at the shows featured, Jeff has an absolutely uncanny ability to capture the essence of the musicians on stage in moments of greatness (and in some cases, not-so-greatness). 

It beats pictures of kittens or dumb quotations, that’s for sure.   Pick yours up today!

all you need is an entourage

Posted in culture, derby love, general, musical mayhem on December 28, 2006 by resistinginertia

So you’ve eaten the last bit of leftover turkey, cleaned out all the peppermint Hershey Kisses from the candy bowl, and played with all your new holiday gadgets?   You’re looking for something fun to do with your time before work/school/life beckons again next week?  Let me give you a few ideas for the upcoming weekend.

Friday, December 29, come out to Locals Only for a Naptown Roller Girls benefit!  The gals are gearing up for their first bout on January 13, and they need your help to make sure it goes off without a hitch!  Find out more about the team, sign up to volunteer, watch rockers Devil to Pay, The Dockers and Her0, follow your favorite rollergirl in a game of full-contact musical chairs, and take advantage of Locals Only’s great food and excellent beer selection. (Might I recommend the vanilla porter?  It’s fantastic!)  Seriously, these ladies are near and dear to my heart, and while I’m not skating right now, I love each and every kickass lady on that team and can’t wait to be back with them soon.  So go show them some love, hard rockin’ roller derby style! 

Saturday, December 30, hometown rockers Margot and the Nuclear So & Sos will be tearing up the Irving Theater in an all-ages homecoming show.  You all know I adore the Irving (see here for some previous love), so it should come as no surprise that I am EXTREMELY excited for this show.  If you’ve never seen Margot and company live, this is your chance to catch them in a fairly intimate setting, among friends, at a venue that’s trying to do some genuinely excellent things for the Indianapolis music scene.   This is going to be one of the most-talked-about shows of the season, for sure.  The Irving is, as I said above, all-ages, so get your libations prior to (or after) the show. I’ll be hitting J. Clyde’s for a pre-Margot drink if anyone would like to join me.
 


And finally… as if you need any more ideas for the debauchery-laced evening of sin and consumption that is New Year’s Eve, but might I suggest spending it at Big Car Gallery?  It’s not flashy or elegant, there’s no four-course buffet or pricey Chablis included, but you’ll get a night of eclectic music, quiet conversation, open dance floors, cheap drinks, interesting surroundings and hands-on art making opportunities… all for the low price of $12 each or $20 a couple.  The best part? The money will help Big Car stay open for business and exhibits in 2007.  The gallery has quickly become one of Indy’s best cultural destinations, making artistic and creative endeavors accessible to everyone.   S
kip the half-hearted game of Trivial Pursuit, the tasteless cheese dip, and the bad 80’s cover bands this year.  You’ll be glad you did.

If I did what?

Posted in culture, general on November 22, 2006 by resistinginertia

A lot has been said about the latest waste of paper that OJ Simpson was trying to peddle. As a bookseller, my primary concern when it comes to controversial titles is making sure they’re available at the store for whoever wants to purchase them, and taking pains not to over-represent either side of the issue. Even in political season, when the voluminous, bile-filled titles come flying faster than we can stock them, I will put out balanced displays and choke back my own viewpoints in order to let someone else display theirs. But this (thankfully cancelled) shocking and disgusting attempted literary smash-and-grab sets a new low… and I thought I had seen everything.

Now, I feel very strongly that this book is an abhorrent, sophomoric, blatant attempt at milking the seedy side of the celebrity cash cow, but in my opinion, the fact that OJ tried to do this is secondary. Instead, my interest lies more with the publisher, ReganBooks, and their history of publicity manipulation.

The President of ReganBooks, Judith Regan, is a former Fox News commentator whose first successes in the literary market were (of course) celebrity memoirs, most notably that of Kathie Lee Gifford. She’s also the woman who had the much-publicized affair with Bernard Kerik that came to light when Bush wanted to nominate him as the head of the Dept of Homeland Security. (Funny enough, his 2001 memoir “The Lost Son” was put out by none other than ReganBooks. Heh.)

ReganBooks dabbles in many subjects, and does none of them well: fad-chasing diet and appearance books; the most vitriolic titles on both ends of the political spectrum (Sean Hannity, Michael Moore); insipid self-help books; and plenty of books that we, to put it nicely, shelve away from children. ReganBooks is an imprint of HarperCollins, and they certainly aren’t above publishing ghostwritten celebrity tell-alls in an attempt to make an end run around the Bestseller list… problem being, they’re usually desperate B-list celebs, lukewarm pundits, or flash-in-a-pan zeitgeist hunters.

In other words, this latest attempt by the imprint to make a few bucks off of someone else’s sorrow is admittedly egregious, but I’m hardly surprised, given Judith Regan’s track record for gutter-scraping. As a fellow bookseller said on a Livejournal forum a few days ago, some people are born with hearts, and some have cash registers where their hearts should be. I’m just glad that particular cash register’s going to sit silently this time.

VOTE, suckas!

Posted in culture, Politics on November 7, 2006 by resistinginertia

I’m holed up at the coffeeshop making calls between volunteer rounds, so I’m telling you all to VOTE!!!!!  I don’t care what your political affiliation is– if you don’t cast your ballot, you forfeit the right to bitch about politics.  Period.

Go to http://www.indianavoters.com if you need help finding your polling place or have questions about your voter registration.  And be prepared– there’s a lot of crazy malfunctioning going on with the touch screen machines and a lot of scrambling to make paper ballots available.   Forewarned is forearmed, or something like that.

I read banned books.

Posted in culture on September 13, 2006 by resistinginertia

No, really, I do.

And what better way to celebrate than Banned Books Week? The American Library Association does a great job at bringing this campaign to libraries and schools, and I usually try to re-read a classic this week as a gesture of literary solidarity. This week, I’m choosing “Tropic of Cancer” by Henry Miller. Scandalous!

You can browse through the list of historically banned books here. I’m sad to see Indiana school districts on the list several times, but not surprised. As much as I tend to bad mouth my former McBookstore, at least censorship was never an issue.

Also, from Consuming Indy via Indyscribe:  The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library will be having a discussion at the Brightwood Branch, where you can place a vote for your favorite banned book.