Monday, June 30, 2008

China's Stolen Children

[Free Movie Screening] Swing by the Rose Wagner theatre (138 W. 300 South) tonight at 7 pm to see a free advance screening of the HBO documentary China's Stolen Children. The documentary breaks investigative ground looking into how China's One Child Policy has led to a thriving black market for stolen children in the country, with the documentarians estimating 70,000 children kidnapped and sold every year.

Keep an eye out, the SLC film center is rolling out quite a lineup of summer films and documentaries for your viewing pleasure. Checking out the feature tonight will be a good warmup for more insightful and provocative flicks to come. (Eric S. Peterson)

Roller Derby Report: Housewives Discipline Nuns 75-55

[Sports] On a Saturday loaded with events (Utah Arts Festival, Vans Warped Tour, WestFest, Ted McDonough's Irish Shake n' Bake BBQ, etc.), the Salt City Derby Girls still drew a sizable crowd to their fourth home roller-derby bout of the season at the Utah Olympic Oval. Since neither the Leave It to Cleavers nor the Sisters of No Mercy had won a game yet this year, expectations were less Clash of the Titans, more Special Olympics: The fans would be happy to see anyone come out on top.

It was a defensive bout, with plenty of hits and "girls going down like prom night" all over the track for two tight periods. The Sisters pulled ahead briefly in the first, but the Cleavers shut them down in the second, eventually disciplining the naughty nuns with a 75-55 paddling.

Next SCDG bout: July 12, with the SLC all-star Shakers going up against Colorado's Fort Collins Girls Gone Derby at the Oly Oval. Below: Pics from Saturday's bout by Mark "Official Derby Photog & Beer Guy" Alston:
(Bill Frost)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Out of the Closet

[Gay Rights] The Sutherland Institute, Utah's conservative think tank famously known for explaining to conservatives what a conservative actually is, has just posted on their website a fascinating document.

The document is a compilation of correspondence between think tank captain Paul Mero and former legal director of the ACLU Stephen Clark, the discussions were during the summer of 2003, private correspondence, but the two have agreed now to publish them.

The debate is actually very civil, intellectual, well argued and sadly, likely to be ignored by many. But for anyone who would like to see how to engage gay rights issues from marriage to hate crimes to defining 'orientation' in a way that doesn't spiral into an incensed shouting match, this is one hell of a read. I'm quite impressed for example, the way Mero reduces the marriage issue to being a struggle of atomistic individualism vs the family, for which same-sex marriages are but a part of that assault.

In fact I'm always impressed by the communitarian tone of many of Mero's thoughts, but I also have to give Clark props on the rebuttal to that issue for pointing out that same sex couples seeking equality isn't really some 'selfish' manifestation of hyper individualism just as it wasn't selfish for individuals who bucked society by seeking interracial marriages in the past--or not to mention the actions of black Americans' cries for equality during the civil rights era.

Its very much a good read for anyone who is interested in such a polarizing issue but has also grown sick and tired of hearing the same debate barked out in a nauseating mix of extreme rhetoric and soundbite platitudes.(Eric S. Peterson)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Oh, Disney, how could you!

[Event Update] Due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL performances at Capitol Theatre will run for one week only, July 29-Aug. 3, 2008. All performances for the week of August 5-10 have been cancelled. The crestfallen should call ArtTix customer service at 355-ARTS (groups and Broadway Across America season ticket holders should call 355-5502).

That leaves just seven shows @ 1,875 seats = 13,125 spaces for High School Musical lovers. Will that do it? My hunch is there weren't enough of us to fill up two weeks' worth of seats, but who knows?

I mean, what does this musical mean to Salt Lakers? How about you East High grads? Does HSM do anything for you?

My daughter graduated from East, two years before Elizabeth Smart and 30-some years after Roseanne Barr dropped out. Truthfully, it was a bit arresting for me, as a proud attendee of parent-teacher nights, to see trailers for the Disney Channel movies (I confess, I haven't seen either of them all the way through) with East's red and white team uniforms and the school's asylum-white walls immortalized for time and all eternity.

But it must be even more disconcerting for alumni to see familiar hallways and gymnasiums that once housed their essences now filled with a frenetically dancing cast whose portrayal of high school is likely far removed from theirs. Odder yet must have been when the East High drama department performed the musical on its own stage last November. Talk about life imitating art imitating life. [Jerre Wroble]


[Kickin' it for Charity] This Saturday a charity soccer tournament will be held at the University of Utah north soccer field, for the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Sciences (SACNAS). The group is pleased to be hosting the first national SACNAS conference in Salt Lake City this coming October, and are hoping that Saturday's charity soccer tournament will help raise money for people to attend the conference.

SACNAS is an organization that strives to open doors in higher education to historically underrepresented communities such as Latinos and Native Americans, through fundraisers like this one with funds helping to support conferences, scholarships and mentoring programs.

Saturday's soccer battle running from 9 am to 5 pm will be a good one and for the tournament champion the reward won't just be the warm-fuzzy feeling of knowing they supported a worthwhile cause, they will also receive a $200 cash prize. Teams can have up to 8 members though only 6 will be on the field at a time. Registration is only $80 a team and teams can register ahead by phone or on the day of the tournament. The local SACNAS chapter could also use some volunteer refs if you'd like to help out but consider yourself athletically challenged. For more details you can give Ricardo Montenegro (801-808-8829) or Moises Terraza (801-598-4117) a call and they can get your team registered or give you more info. (Eric S. Peterson)

Free Pizza and Cupcakes!!

It's all yours if you show some love for the Gallivan Center (239 S. Main), celebrating 15 years on the downtown Salt Lake City block. Festivities, including kids games, balloons & dancing courtesy of Salt Lake Gyspy, runs today from 12-1:30 p.m. Hoorah
(Jamie Gadette)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Update: Private Clubs Closer to Death

[Booze News] Walking into a Utah bar without being stopped for membership fees and personal details came one step closer today at the end of the monthly UDABC Commission meeting.

Commissioner Mary Ann Mantes proposed adding a fifth classification to the current four-tier system. Class E would cover social clubs with no membership required. Would-be licensees would have to pay 25 percent more than the current initial license fee of $2,750 under Mantes’ proposal, which she issued as a first step “in beginning to structure a law that gains support of the legislature as well as a few groups opposed to non-membership.” Penalties on violations would also carry an additional 25 percent increase on fines.

Mantes wrote in an explanation of her proposal that the additional fee paid by licensees could be used for “increased scrutiny and oversight,” which might include hiring additional compliance officers. After the hearing, she said she proposed more oversight, “because MADD and others are concerned [no longer requiring membership] will cause more drinking.” Clubs who took the class E route, would, she added, be held to a slightly higher standard that membership bars.

She suggested a two-to-three year trial period for the new law to “allay fears of MADD, the Legislature, other “Anti” groups. That way, “if it turns out to be a disaster (which it won’t), the law change goes away,” she wrote.

Quite how many of the current 244 license holders would switch from D to E if this proposal, or something similar, were to become law is hard to gauge. The two recent public hearings on the issue saw a minority of bar owners advocating for membership to continue. Mantes’ proposal includes that the class D social club with membership stay on the books.

For Mantes, such a change “is worth a try in the interest of economic development.” Her fellow commissioner, Gordon Strachan, asked where all this would leave tourists. In a class E social club, Mantes replied, “They’d just walk in.”

UDABC Regulatory director Earl Dorius quickly jumped in to point out his staff had already been brain-storming approaches to this issue in the wake of the public hearings.

“I’m presenting this today to see if we can get something going,” Mantes said. (Stephen Dark)

Wiccans are nicer than most people

[Wiccans] Being an intern at City Weekly affords me with many glorious opportunities to expand my horizons and meet amazing people. Case in point: meeting members of the Utah Wiccan Alliance. The group held a celebration in collaboration with the summer solstice this past Saturday and invited me along.

I was informed they would be in Liberty Park. (I wasn’t sure what to look for, it's a pretty huge park, but there was a big group standing in a circle holding hands and so I took a lucky guess.)

This motley crew of men and women, all circled together, joining hands to celebrate the Goddess was probably quite the sight for unknowing spectators. The smoke of a fire in the mid-day heat was also probably an oddity that was noticed as well. I asked around and met up with Dennis Hobson, co-chair of the UWA and subject of last week's 5 Spot. He invited me to join in on the rituals taking place.

Along with my friend Katey, who came along to calm my hesitancies of religion and magic in general, I held hands with members of the Wiccan Alliance and quietly contemplated my surroundings. The circle permeated incense and a large sword was swept around the perimeter of the circle in a slow moving fashion. The Wiccans were closing their eyes, in a prayer-like state, and in reverence for the Goddess and energy of the circle. One by one we exited the circle, passing through the two officiators in the center, and then through a break in the circle.

I am unsure of what this ritual was, or why it is significant in the Wiccan system of belief. However, I don’t really feel the need to understand it. I was much more impressed by the calm collectiveness of the people in the circle, of the trust and camaraderie that they gave to me, a perfect stranger, to share in such an intimate and most likely, very spiritual event to them. I don't think many groups would be as welcoming considering the circumstances, and for that, I am very happy to have met the Wiccans. Their group members were so full of hope and life that I was also inspired to be thus.

After the ceremony, I was introduced to the group and was thanked by many members of the UWA individually for writing the piece on Dennis, however small it may have been. But I feel as though I should be thanking them for having me at their celebration. (Jennie Nicholls)

Why I'll Miss Chris Cannon

[Politics] Last night, I have to admit, I gasped a little bit when I heard the reign of six-term incumbent Chris Cannon was coming down. Usurped by the likes of Jason Chaffetz, some young upstart who managed to pull off an incredible campaign that beat Cannon by twenty points. All the while being out spent by Cannon's money machine by almost 7- to- 1, and not even having a physical campaign headquarters.

But when I gasped, it wasn't just the shock of seeing such an upset occur, this gasp was accompanied by a pang.

Yes, a pang. Now if any of you has ever had a pang before, you know that they mean either you're hungry or remorseful. This one was the latter, believe it or not.

Don't get me wrong, I'm as much a good ol' dimmycrat as I ever was, and for being from Utah county I've voted against and campaigned against Cannon back in the day. If truth be told, there was even a time in my more impetuous youth when some "friends" of mine, terrorized suburban Utah county neighborhoods plucking pumpkins off people's porches and smashing them over Chris Cannon yard signs.

And now after all that I can't believe he's leaving us.

The truth is that when you're liberal in Utah and also a pragmatist you come to appreciate that some Republicans are better than others. And truth to be told, in the last year or so I've realized that Cannon has been one of few federal congressman who has truly got their head squarely on their shoulders when it comes to immigration.

He wasn't lazy enough to build a campaign in the extremity of either side of the issue: he wasn't any modern day "know-nothing" clamoring for mass deportations of illegals and at the same time he certainly wasn't gung ho for amnesty.

He advocated a thoughtful approach to immigration that recognized that border security is an imperative, but also that immigrants deserved to be treated as human beings (and ones for which have bolstered our economy in a myriad of ways).

Now I know people are claiming that Chaffetz, unlike previous Cannon opponents, did not win just on the immigration issue. That he rode dissatisfaction with $4 a gallon gas and a shaky economy all the way to victory along with criticizing Cannon for being too soft on immigration.

But if you ask me, it sounds like this election season was one bad enough for all incumbents, that for Cannon, the immigration issue was the coup de grace that finally put him away.
Oh well, we may have gained Chaffetz who has promised a hard line on undocumented immigrants, but on a happier note, we also lost Glenn Donnelson R-North Ogden, who has been as about as ornery an old fart when it comes to the immigration issue as there ever was.
You win some, you lose some I guess. (Eric S. Peterson)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dead Zephyr: Week 241

(Bill Frost)

Imaad Wasif & RTX: Tonight!

[Live Music] You might know Imaad Wasif from his work in Alaska!, Folk Implosion and, recently, backing the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Or you might just know him because you read City Weekly. Either way, you should get on down to Urban Lounge (241 S. 500 East) tonight to see the man with his band Two Part Beast. Here's a clip from the new album:

and here's an incredibly awkward interview with the Folk Implosion on MTV's 120 Minutes, a sort of how-NOT-to primer on intelligent band interviews

(Jamie Gadette)

Best of Utah, er, the Beehive

[Uncanny Fluff Cloning] We'll be the first to admit that this kind of adver-journalism isn't exactly rocket surgery, but Salt Lake Magazine's latest Best of the Beehive edition looks so suspiciously familiar that we're watching the mail for a residual check. Below are but 10 Salt Lake Magazine "Best" picks released this week, paired with increasingly similar City Weekly picks from back in April--plus a bonus lift from our Best of Utah 2007. Please to enjoy ...

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
Snug shorts welcome
If you don’t feel funny wearing lycra and a bike helmet in public, you’re the type who will appreciate Contender Bicycles. Seems like the entire staff—men and women alike—shave their legs (it’s a cyclist thing), and they’re a knowledgeable resource for the serious biker. But they’re not too cool to help fit a novice to a bike, either—even if there’s not a shred of lycra in your closet. 875 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-364-0344,

City Weekly April 2008
Contender Bicycles

All the old-time bike shop accoutrements are there: Cyrus and Leo, the shop dogs, the casual tone, the human-powered bias. But don’t expect the typical ratty old bike store. Contender is definitely hot. The male and female sales reps are not hard on the eyes, and they know what they’re talking about. All are serious road and mountain cyclists; some are or have been serious team competitors. The bike and accessory inventory sounds like reading off a European menu: brands include Orbea, Time, Pinarello and Serotta. Top-of-the-line Spanish clothing company Etxeondo is pricey but helps you look fine. The shop offers sound advice on what to buy and fits you carefully to your new bike. Co-owners Dan Colangelo and Ryan Littlefield are always tinkering with new and brighter ways to display the merchandise. 875 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 364-0344,

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
Edible what?

There’s no arguing with longevity, and while other stores have tried to replicate Blue Boutique’s mix of lingerie, shoes, jewelry, hipster duds and “adult toys” for the 18 and older crowd (and, yes, they do ID), no one has come close to surviving the 20 years Blue Boutique has. This year, the original store moved east along 2100 South after developers knocked down its previous location, but the spacious new location is even sweeter than the original. 1400 E. 2100 South, SLC, 801-485-2072,

City Weekly April 2008
Blue Boutique

After being nestled comfortably in the Sugar House district for many years, the Blue Boutique suddenly became a menace when it moved four blocks east, near Highland High School (1383 E. 2100 South). What parents don’t recognize, however, is that any exposure to sex information is probably better than the abstinence-emphasis lessons in our Utah schools. For, as bawdy as some of the items may be, their mere presence helps kids answer a few questions. Plus, the store sells safe-sex products lines and provides information about them. And have dildos really ever hurt anyone? (Not unless they’re used as a weapon … which is pretty hilarious.) Multiple locations,

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
And the music when on

The digital age hasn’t been kind to indie record stores, but Slowtrain is an exception. Owners Chris and Anna Brozek keep the shop rollin’; besides the usual racks of music, you can pick up concert tickets, buy original, local art or catch one of their free in-store concerts. A tip: sign up for the Slowtrain e-newsletter and they’ll keep you wired on what’s going down around town, and what music you need to add to your collection. 221 E. Broadway, SLC, 801-364-2611,

City Weekly April 2008

As any music fanatic knows, Tuesday is not just any other day. Tuesday means new CDs, DVDs and vinyl releases. Only at Slowtrain, customers don’t expect to find the latest Rolling Stones collection or Rhianna single. Now in its second year, the compact Broadway record store has established itself as the place to score material by more obscure artists including Panda Bear, No Age and Thao Nguyen, not to mention one-of-a-kind rareties. We asked owners Anna and Chris Brozek to order in several EPs by then largely unknown White Denim and they happily complied. Now the Austin group is all over the place, but Utah, you heard them at Slowtrain first. 221 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-364-2611,

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
Let’s go to the movies

Yeah, you could rent City of God from Netflix. But why not pick it up from the Tower Theater’s video store, where a friendly and hip clerk will take your cash, and where pictures from magazines—with handwritten ironic taglines—line the walls? When it comes to foreign films, cult classics and long-forgotten masterpieces, including local gems you can’t find anywhere else, this is the place. 876 E. 900 South, SLC, 801-321-0310,

City Weekly April 2008

Tower Theatre The Tower Theatre is, of course, known for debuting independent and eclectic movies. It also has a unique film-rental concept. The theater has video collections with films organized by director as well as American and world cinema genres, so you can expand your horizons when it comes to less than mainstream films. The directors section is especially great. For example, you’re a Sam Peckinpah fan, but you’ve only seen The Wild Bunch and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid? Well, peruse the Peckinpah section, and you’ll be pleased to pick up his more obscure works like Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Collections run the gamut from Coppola’s gangster noir to the classic samurai films of Akira Kurasowa. 876 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-321-0310,

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
Dog lover’s dream

There are two kinds of dog owners: Those who take their pets to Dogmode day care and those who don’t. And according to the first group, the second group obviously must hate their dogs. Dogmode’s customers are not ambivalent about their passion for this deluxe doggie day-care service. It must be the live webcams that allow them to watch Fluffy frolic live from their desk at work. 4030 S. 210 West, SLC, 801-261-2665,

City Weekly April 2008

Pet owners, we know you worry about leaving your special companion with just anyone, just like a parent wouldn’t trust a random babysitter. So wouldn’t you like to peek in on your pooch while taking that trip? This boarding spot offers all the amenities and a big off-leash common area. But it also provides a Webcam so you can check out that area and feel just a little closer to your animal friend in absentia. 4030 S. 210 West, Murray, 801-261-2665,

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
Smoke up, Johnny
Far be it for us to encourage smoking; we’ll leave that to the hookah bars that popped up around Utah just in time for the Legislature to ban lighting up inside private clubs and taverns. But there is something about the smell of all the fine tobacco in Jeanie’s Smoke Shop that makes us want to sit down with one of granddad’s pipes and puff the night away. 156 S. State Street, SLC, 801-322-2817

City Weekly April 2008
Jeanie’s Smoke Shop

Jeanie’s might not be the best smoke shop if you’re looking to buy an ornate dragon-shaped crystal bong to smoke your “flavored” tobacco in—but if you are looking for a fine cigar or pouch of pipe tobacco, Jeanie’s Smoke Shop is your best bet. This downtown tobacco institution has been around since the 1940s purveying the city’s largest supply of fine cigars. From Romeo y Julietas to Retro Fuentes, Jeanie’s has something for every palette. Don’t be intimidated by the sprawling humidor, staff members are more than happy to match you with a cigar to fit your taste and budget. 156 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-322-2817

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
The Viral Marketer, Tom Dickson, Blendtec

Will it blend? That is the burning question posed in a series of YouTube videos starring Tom Dickson of Orem’s Blendtec. Will an iPhone blend? Yes. Golf balls, marbles and cubic zirconia? Yes, yes, yes. Raspberries, orange juice and ice cream? Duh, yes, but where’s the fun in that?

City Weekly April 2008
Tom Dickson’s Blendtec Blender
The Orem-based Blendtec corporation markets upscale blenders—and, by upscale, we mean that a home model can run from $400-$1,200. (Commercial models seem to be in the “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” category.) Still, before we saw Dickson cheerfully puréeing an iPhone on his Website, we had never wanted any blender so much. If Dickson’s high-powered machine can purée golf balls, glow-sticks, video cameras and Chuck Norris action figures, imagine what it could do for a banana daiquiri!

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
The Comedienne, Deena Marie Manzanares

If you saw Deena Marie Manzanares in her brave portrayal of a sexually abused young mother in Salt Lake Acting Company’s Skin in Flames earlier this year, you might not expect the actress’s comic streak. Check out her YouTube channel, The Deena Show, which is filled with sketches written, directed and performed by the Salt Laker.,

City Weekly April 2008
Deena Marie Manzanares

At the current rate of exchange in entertainment, 15 minutes could actually be considered a long career in the biz. Thankfully, local actress Deena Marie Manzanares has only used up a portion of her allotted minutes with her short clip “The Joke,” a two-minute ditty that made the front page of YouTube and has since garnered about 250,000 views. Compared to most things that make it onto the Internet these days, Manzanares’ video is very well put-together and darkly comical. (For those who haven’t seen it, it involves cat humor.) Hopefully, Manzanares will continue to crank out her gems so she doesn’t go the way of the “don’t tase me, bro!” guy.

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
The Underground Historian
Angela Brown, SLUG Magazine

It’s natural that Angela Brown—owner/editor of the music- and sports-oriented SLUG Magazine and a talented photographer—would focus her eye and ear on moving pictures. This year marked the release of SLUG Magazine Presents: Making a Scene, a film about Salt Lake’s underground rock scene as documented by SLUG since 1989, and an important artifact for the SLC punks who are still standing.

City Weekly April 2008
Making a Scene, SLUG Magazine

The roots of Salt Lake City’s current music scene aren’t completely gone, much less forgotten. SLUG Magazine went the extra mile to ensure that the next generation of punks, rockers and free thinkers recognizes its predecessors with Making a Scene, a 30-minute documentary which only failed in its brevity. The film, shot around SLUG’s 18th anniversary show featuring four reunited SLC legends—Clear, Iceburn, The Stench, The Corleones—includes trips down memory lane with local musicians, fans, members of the media, and of course Brad Collins of now-defunct Raunch Records. Scene also features cool footage from old concerts and the Club Vegas reunion gig. It’s one lesson you don’t want to

Salt Lake Magazine June 2008
What’s that name again?

The space has changed names more often than the Legislature has tweaked the liquor laws. It’s been Ichabod’s, Shaggy’s Living Room, Ego’s and Shaggy’s Living Room again, all in recent memory. Now it’s Bar Deluxe, and we dig it for the live music, cheap PBR, resident burlesque troupe the Slippery Kittens and especially for keeping the killer, classy sign out front. 666 S. State St., SLC, 801-521-5255,

City Weekly April 2007
Bar Deluxe

Back in the day, there was The Annex. Then Club Six, The Green Guinea, Ichabob’s—none really left a mark on 666 S. State. Shaggy’s Livin’ Room (with the modified and less Satan-y 668 address) finally made a success of the place before moving downtown, and Ego’s enjoyed a storied run as an excellent live music venue before shutting down last year. Then came another Shaggy’s, which opened and closed before anyone could even dispute the name. As of last month, Bar Deluxe is the latest resident, and we’re happy to report that the owners (Big Deluxe Tattoo and Slippery Kittens Burlesque people—a good sign already) plan on restoring the joint to its rock & roll glory. Good luck to ’em—but will the address be evil again? 666 or 668 S. State, 521-5255

(Bill Frost)

Faking It

Park City TV shot some nice footage of last Friday's US National Air Guitar Championships. City Weekly jack of all trades Bill Frost, X96's Portia Early, SLUG's Jon "JP" Paxton and myself judged the action, with points awarded on a scale of 4.0-6.0 (gymnastics-style). SLC inspired a lot of impromptu wild cards to strut their stuff and, in some cases, at least partially strip down (including PCTV's Ori Hoffer!!).

Apparently, things get way more nuts in other cities. Of course, every other city held the event in a bar, not a dry venue. Next time you book a Cuervo-sponsored show, try holding it at one of our state's fine watering holes. Check it:

(Jamie Gadette)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ani DiFranco Concert Review

Saturday, June 21: traditionally the longest day of the year, but perhaps a little too long for Ani DiFranco. After her bus was egged in, of all places, Telluride, DiFranco blew two tires on the way to Salt Lake City. But even after arriving an hour later than expected, she put on a fierce, personal, fun performance. At one point, she even led her fans in “Happy Birthday” for an adoring audience member named Sarah. Here and there the chatting between songs turned to politics and the state of the world, but DiFranco also shared details about her life, her young daughter and her “baby daddy,” as she called him. It made the whole evening feel like an intimate evening in a friend’s backyard. The show closed with an encore of three songs, the last of which was “32 Flavors.” “You wanna sing?” She asked the audience as she plucked the first few notes. The crowd joined in, swaying and singing every word. DiFranco encouraged them to keep singing as she sang the underlying chorus. In those moments, you realize why her fans love her: she truly hasn’t forgotten them.

(Tawnya Cazier)

Shameless Utah Arts Festival Plug #2: Melissa Bond

Fans of the spoken word should make sure to catch Melissa Bond’s reading on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Big Mouth stage.

Bond, who is ready to give birth any day, says that, baby situation permitting, she will read selections she has previously done for a live show at Ken Sanders last month called “Blood, Fertility & Magic,” about the process of being pregnant and giving birth, which she did with other pregnant Utah artists (including photographer Cat Palmer—see video).

Bond, who founded the Salt Lake Poetry Slam, and is the literary arts coordinator for the festival, says she’s a big proponent of performance, and of people reading their own work because she was so afraid of that experience.

“I was a hard core closet poet for a long time,” said Bond. “It’s beautiful to share, to connect with the community,” she added.

Bond, who describes herself as an “unrequited doctor,” says she loves the human body and almost went to medical school.

“What the cosmos are to a physicist, the body is to me,” said Bond. “Being pregnant demonstrates the mysteries of its infinite landscape.”

Bond says she’s interested in the definition of ecstasy as being “outside of oneself,” and has written articles about the artist’s state of ecstasy, as well as on evolutionary biology and beauty.

Bond has previously published “Hush” a collection of poems about addiction and ecstatic states, which is available at Ken Sanders Rare Books.

Bond says her interest in addiction began with a family history of the disease. Then when Bond was teaching creative writing at substance abuse facilities, she saw patterns. “[Addicts] are searching for something beyond themselves,” said Bond.

Bond is a lifelong writer, and says she was always journaling and writing poetry. “I used to write on my mattress as a kid,” she says, and she branched out to short stories and essays in her 20s. Bond’s work has also been featured in Catalyst and in the Wasatch Journal, where she works as an associate editor/poetry editor. (Esther Pomeroy)

Edd Kalehoff: Super Stud of the Moog

[Music] The 1970s were a golden era for TV game-show theme music, and Edd Kalehoff is one of the greats. His composition credits include The Price Is Right theme--which has probably been subject to more techno remixes than Tito Puente--and many of its most catchy cues and showcase themes.

Turns out Kalehoff was no corporate drone or pocket-protector propellerhead. He had a hot 'stache, an even hotter unbuttoned polyester shirt, and ... well, frankly, I want to be Edd Kalehoff.

Unfortunately, respect for synth keyboardists seems to have peaked right before they stopped using oscilloscopes. So, even if you're a pro using your arpeggiator and you program all your own patches, maybe it's time to invest in an oscilloscope, baby--show those hot-stuff guitarists what some barely-portable equipment can do!

(Brandon Burt)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Shameless Utah Arts Festival Plug #1: Cat Palmer

Check out local artist Cat Palmer, a 2007 invited artist, who will be creating and selling her mixed media photography-and-metal work at the Utah Art Festival (booth 101).--Esther Pomeroy

Art & Air & Ferocious Fire Breathing Frou Frous

There's a LOT going on tonight, not the least of which is Downtown Gallery Stroll. If you haven't heard about Present Tense yet, there's still time to read all about it right here. Art abounds all over the stroll, from Leia Bell's new Signed & Numbered shop, to Ken Sander's one-night-only Miscellany event feat. music by local guitarist Gentry Densely and even the Guthrie Studios' folks are opening their doors for a rare glimpse behind the curtain.
Me, I'll be learning all about the magical world of faux rock at the U.S. National Air Guitar Championships at Avalon. Myself, Bill Frost, X96's Portia Early and SLUG's Jason Paxtin will be judging the performances. Competition starts at 7 p.m.

Later, check out Purr Bats at Urban with Andale! and Starmy. Or, Pink Lightnin will be tearing it up at Monk's, Reverend Horton Heat will be preaching rockabilly at The Depot...
Summer is here! Dust off your bikes if you haven't already and get out there. SLC has a lot to offer

Tomorrow, head to the Farmer's Market. One of the highlights: Tommy Nguyen and another Takashi chef will be slicing up fresh sushi in the Northeast corner.

(Jamie Gadette)

It's the Piano, Man

[Film] It's not often outside of Sundance time that Salt Lake City audiences get a chance to see the star of a movie they've just watched. So should we sniff at the opportunity if the star in question just happens to be an inanimate object?

The documentary Note by Note -- following the year-long process of creating a single Steinway & Sons concert grand piano (this one designated L1037) -- opens today at the Broadway Centre Cinemas. And once viewers have had a chance to watch the artisans put the instrument together, they'll get to see and hear the fruits of their labors, as Daynes Music sponsors special performance/Q&A sessions featuring the one and only L1037 piano itself. Utah Symphony principal keyboardist Jason Hardink and Gina Bachauer competitor Song Choi will be featured at the 7 p.m. performances of Note by Note tonight (June 20) and tomorrow (June 21). Sorry, but the L1037 doesn't do autographs. (Scott Renshaw)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's Not Easy Bein' Green

[Consumer Alert] Raise your hand if you're a fan of CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs, for the uninitiated). The EPA propaganda, I mean, lowdown, on its Website, goes like this:
If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.
But wait jest a minute there, partner. Texas Republican Congressman Ted Poe claims the bulbs are bad, bad, bad. They're filled with mercury and therefore shouldn't be thrown away in the trash but dropped off at a recycling center. Plus, there's quite a scary ritual that must be gone through if/when they break in your home.

And how many know that incandescent bulbs will be banned by January 2014 (per the Clean Energy Act of 2007)?

Here to shed light on the badness is Mr. Poe (whom, from the sounds of his outrage, I'm guessing has a soon-to-be-defunct light-bulb plant in his district). [Jerre Wroble]

Why not ask: R U a Member?

[Housing Hell] The search for housing in Provo is an extreme bitch.

I have been house and/or apartment hunting for over a month now in the Utah County bubble and have been disappointed by the lack of housing that is up to standard, not for married couples, and isn’t significantly overpriced.

Now the possibility of a whole new restriction on renters in Happy Valley should just about seal Utah County’s reputation as a conservative bubble of religious bias against non-members of the LDS Church.

The Provo City Council has stepped in with its own solution to opening up Provo/Orem area housing to the "right" kinds of tenants. The prescription? According to the Associated Press in The Daily Herald, criminal background checks could be mandated for all students and anyone else who rents a place in Provo…unless the perspective tenant is a registered student at BYU.

Some landlords do practice this activity by screening possible candidates with background checks before living in their properties. The Provo City Council is making an exception based on the fact that BYU has an honor code which students are “required” to follow on and off campus (and all BYU students do follow the honor code, 100 percent of the time, right?).

City Council attorney Neil Lindberg says the ordinance doesn't favor BYU because students at other schools could avoid the background check if their schools implemented a code of conduct.

I guess Mr. Lindberg forgot that not everyone wants to go to a school that keeps you thinking inside of the box. (Jennie Nicholls)

Big Love in 4 Minutes

[Polyg TV] No, not a $50 "business" transaction on State Street: HBO has summarized two seasons of the SLC-set polygamy drama Big Love (Season 3 coming in 2009) in 4 minutes. You now have no excuses left for not knowing what the heck is going on ...

(Bill Frost)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Eight Nights at Five Mile Pass

[Zion's Finer Sides] My life as a City Weekly intern is a busy one. Between grueling treks down to Coffee Garden and hours of eavesdropping on the receptionist from my desk in the hallway (Don't worry Chelsie, I think my friends get a little obnoxious at Sages on Sundays too), free time has become a precious commodity.

Last week I pried the bars and spent 8 nights moonlighting as a movie set security guard on a barren, ATV-abused stretch of Tooele desert dubbed Five Mile Pass.

(To quell speculation, it wasn't for one of those infamous Utah filmings like the new Donnie Darko sequel or Legally Blonde 3 or High School Musical 17. No, I had the honor of overseeing the grounds of a Baptist-funded flick on responsible financial managment. There were more celebrities working steps at the nearby Happy Valley rehab center than working lines on set.)

It was a rough gig. When I'd arrive at dusk, the place buzzed like, well, a movie set. Bodies flew across exhausted shotgun shells and motorcycle trails, hopped up on deadlines and energy drinks, applying make-up, hauling camera equipment and shouting obscenities. The final cut rang out each night around 9 and my shift began: 12 hours of hiking the hills by flashlight, fending off coyotes, drinking stale coffee and strumming Woody Guthrie tunes, alone, beside the campfire. Rough business.

The tire tracks, cracked truck axles, shattered liquor bottles and mounds of discarded Tooele trash disappeared with the sinking sun. Wouldn't have thunk it from my time in the city but you can actually see the stars at night in northern Utah--if you're in the right place. If I were allowed to sleep, I might have finally gotten a sound night's sleep without the car alarms and raging neighbors that plague my downtown apartment.

At sunrise, the coyotes would quit their hunting howls, the birds would sing, prairie dogs would unearth for another long day of chasing each other through the junipers and I'd kick back my last mug of coffee to make it home in one piece.

Wasn't the most exciting job of my life, none of the bells and whistles of the CW. But all that time alone, really alone, without the inversion or noise or construction or people made me appreciate something about our fine state that I think I've taken sorely for granted.

Anyone of us at anytime can set out into the sunset and end up smack dab in the middle of nowhere in no time. That's pretty special. Don't take it from me. Find out for yourself. All I know is that those 8 nights of the simple life did this busy life a whole lot of good.

(Dan Fletcher)

Slippery Kittens Meet The Hoff

[Locals on the TV Box 2] In case you missed America's Got Talent last night (KSL News obviously did, as we predicted), here are the ladies of SLC's Slippery Kittens Burlesque giving the country and David Hasslehoff an eyeful:

(Bill Frost)

Another Rollicking Night at the DABC

[Liquor Laws] Last night’s second DABC hearing on whether to junk private club membership at bars saw overwhelming support for an end to the 40-year-old law. Except, that is, from a few bar owners.

Although the hearing started with one citizen loudly insisting the liquor laws needed tightening rather than loosening--“and that if people don’t like it they can go elsewhere”--much of the evening was given over to a parade of tourist-related associations and bar owners and managers extolling the virtue of a world where out-of-towners wouldn’t have to scratch their heads in confusion or dismay over being asked for a cover charge and their private information when all they wanted was a beer.

Utah Tourism Industry Coalition’s Joel Racker said the elimination of private club membership would make Utah more hospitable. Utah Restaurant Association’s Hans Fuigi said it was painful for the state not to be able to provide visitors with the experience they deserve.

But for Three Alarm saloon owner Jack Carlton, private club membership is a blessing he doesn’t want to see taken away. He recounted a recent episode where his 100-pound female bouncer wrestled to the ground a drunk trying to get into the bar. A witness took a gun from his car and discharged it into the ground to stop the melee, according to Carlton. Resulting richochets hurt several bystanders, one seriously, he added. For Carlton the point was clear: checking for membership keeps the unwanted out. “If I don’t like him, I don’t have to sell membership,” he says. For another bar owner, membership meant a cozy social atmosphere, where bar and wait staff know their regulars. But another barman recalled his bar-hopping youth. He pointed out that club membership was not a deterrent to bar crawls, since each of his friends would have a membership to a different club.

Several speakers expressed concern about the social costs of liberalizing the liquor laws. Citizens for Families’ Valerie Mills spoke about the alcohol landscape and how Governor Jon Huntsman Jr.’s support of dismantling the private club law effectively sent a message to young people that alcohol had somehow “changed, that it was more benign.”

Former compliance officer Rick Golden, now a lawyer, closed the evening with a laugh. “Please don’t get rid of private club membership,” he told the commission. “We lawyers can’t take the cut in pay.” (Stephen Dark)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Shake Those Ta-Ta-Talents

[Locals on the TV Box] We hear tonight's 8 p.m. season premiere of NBC's America's Got Talent (which more often then not actually proves the opposite) will feature an appearance by Salt Lake City's own Slippery Kittens Burlesque--not that you'd read it in the "more local-er than you" daily.

How far the ladies--who will be hosting a viewing party tonight at Bar Deluxe at 666 S. State--will or won't advance on the freak, er, talent show remains mystery, as does the fate of SLC comic Marcus on NBC's Last Comic Standing. Even more cloudy, will affiliate KSL 5 even acknowledge the progress of the locals on these reality shows (almost mandatory anymore--just ask American Idol 'hos Fox 13)? Or will the tats and tits prove too much for Eyewitness News to bear?

More importantly, how did David Hasslehoff vote? Tune in tonight, or go to Bar Deluxe for the full 3-D (if not double-D) experience. (Bill Frost)

Girl Cave

Looking for something fun to do tonight? Shake the ants right out of your pants and onto the Urban Lounge dance floor with Girl Cave. Local ladies Ruby, Niki and Sara will kick out the guilty pleasure jams all night long--or until beer o'clock is over, starting at 10 (when the Italian restaurant closes down). Expect to hear at least one song by Wings.

(Jamie Gadette)

Dead Zephyr: Week 240

(Bill Frost)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Iowa is not so very far away

Keith Moore knows. Keith Moore is a familiar curmudgeon known by most media outlets around town. He regularly tunes us up for our tedious typos, grammatical gaffs and nonsensical non sequiturs. Also, for agonizing alliteration.

Moore's pet peeve (luckily something we can't be blamed for): numbered street names. He hates "900 South" and loudly champions "9th South." And I can sorta see his point when driving to Herriman. I mean, the Smith's there is at 5560 West and 13400 South. (Lots of hundreds and thousands in that mouthful.)

An added downside to receiving a Keith Moore comeuppance is that he copies his remarks to everyone in town. (Oops, I'm exaggerating. "Moore" on this later.) Sometimes an exchange develops where the recipient gets worked up and tells Moore to go screw himself, and of course, that message gets forwarded as well.

So today, it's KSL 5's Amanda Butterfield's turn. I pass it along only to enlighten us all.
Subject: Objects in Iowa are closer than they appear

Amanda: Iowa isn't "thousands" of miles from here. "Hundreds" would be more accurate in that report. You said "thousands" because journalists exaggerate by reflex, the way they call cities of 5 and 10 thousand "tiny towns" (it's the alliteration and quaint-seemingness and fairy-tale flavor of that phrase they're addicted to, even when they're dead wrong, such as the journalist who called Brigham City--pop. 40,000 or so--a "tiny town in northern Utah." Wow!

Reporters like to say New York is 3,000 miles from here, and I once heard a broadcastress call Atlanta "more than two thousand miles from us." They like to call Washington, D.C., 2,000 miles from here, too. New York is 2,200 from SLC, Atlanta is about 1,850, and Washington is something like 1,750 to 1,850.

The scientific fact is that the Iowa state line is 900 miles from here! Cedar Rapids isn't much more than ONE thousand miles from here, it's about 1,200 miles.
Keith Moore
Salt Lake City
[Jerre Wroble]

Monday Mid-Day Perk-Up

Floods in Iowa got you down? Still blown away by Tim Russert's death and subsequent conspiracy theories (see below)? Heard Larry Miller's evil karma, er, diet caught up to him?
Maybe this will brighten your day. I want to go dance in the streets!

(Jamie Gadette)

The Tim Russert Conspiracy

[News-ish] Former Utah radio personality Clyde Lewis, who now hosts an Internet version of his Ground Zero show from Portland, Ore., has a Tim Russert death conspiracy theory--actually several, as he always did back in the day.

First, Russert died on Friday the 13th at the age of 58. The numbers 5 and 8 add up to 13. Resident City Weekly numerologist Jerre Wroble has confirmed the math.

Second, the Skull & Bones Society--which has counted previously Russert-grilled guests like George W. Bush and John Kerry as members--is into numerology. You ask 'em about the number 322 and see how long you're still sucking oxygen.

Third, Russert brought up the existence of UFOs during the 2007-08 Democratic debates. Everbody had, like, forgotten about UFOs until he did this.

Fourth, Russert met with Pope Benedict XVI days before he died. Oh, he's in on it ... (Bill Frost)

Sock Monkey Obama 86'd

[Spank the Monkey] Last week, City Weekly's own Brandon Burt got way out in front of the rest of the Salt Lake media on the saga of the The Sock Obama. Brandon got the first word about the racist variation on the classic old sock monkey doll from the Daily Kos, but Kos didn't handle it with the deft touch that BB did.

Well, the West Jordan Lawsons--creators of the monkey--have now announced the creepy little doll is no longer available. They still won't cop to charges of racism, though. Instead, the couple has offered the typical passive-aggressive "apology" we all know so well in Utah. You know--they're sorry not for what they did, but for the way what they did made you feel. (Holly Mullen)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Letters Round-Up (Friday Edition)

  • Is Barack Obama a liberal, pro-choice, pro-gay socialist who is also a scary fundamentalist Muslim, or is he Grandma abuser? Hey, in Wingnutland, everything's possible!
  • HAFB didn't do it! It was those damn Okies. And, even if it were us, would it kill you to say something nice once in awhile?

(Brandon Burt)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sock Monkey Update

[When Sock Monkeys Attack] The Park City David Lawson says he's not, repeat, not the same person marketing the allegedly racist sock monkeys. Apparently, the blogosphere (ulp, that word again) has come down hard on the poor guy. What with being a Mitt Romney supporter and a real-estate agent, he's had enough trouble this year already, so I hope the blogosphere goes easy on him.

Park Record reporter Patrick Parkinson tells me he's requested an interview with the real-estate agent, and it looks like the story might end up in the paper's Saturday edition.

A whois registry search for the domain returns the name of a Canada-based custom plush toys manufacturer:

owner-name: Binkley Custom Products
owner-address: 163 Beach Rd.
owner-address: L8L4A4

owner-address: Hamilton
owner-address: Ontario
owner-address: Canada
admin-c: RB306-GANDI

tech-c: RB306-GANDI
bill-c: RB306-GANDI
reg_created: 2008-04-16 15:40:19
expires: 2009-04-16 15:40:19
created: 2008-04-16 17:36:03
changed: 2008-04-16 17:36:03
person: Robert Bishop
nic-hdl: RB306-GANDI

address: Binkley Custom Products
address: 163 Beach Rd.
address: L8L4A4
address: Hamilton

address: Ontario
address: Canada
phone: +00.19053128962
fax: +00.19055474245
lastupdated: 2006-09-19 17:11:13

(Brandon Burt)

Obama Sock Monkeys: Racist or Just Cuddly?

[Campaign '08] So, are the Barack Obama sock monkeys marketed by David J. and Elizabeth A. Lawson of West Jordan racist or just cuddly? [Update: The Mr. T sock monkey at right is not the sock monkey in question.]

They're causing quite a stir in the blogosphere. (Ulp. Excuse me. That word "blogosphere" always makes me throw up a little.)

But the answer all depends on the Lawsons, doesn't it? They'd be crazy to fess up and unlikely to anyway, since bigots in Utah tend to have that "kinder, gentler" form of passive-aggressive "Golly, it's really too bad Heavenly Father made you people inferior, isn't it?" bullshit racism.

And, if it's some kind of reverse-psychology "wind up the liberals and watch their guilt instincts kick in!" trick, it won't pay to invest too much emotional energy in it anyway.

Evidence That the Sock Monkeys Might Be Racist:

  • They're from Utah. Duh.
  • They're from West Jordan. Duh.
  • A Park City real-estate agent named David J. Lawson donated money to the Mitt Romney campaign. If this turns out to be the same David J. Lawson as the one selling sock monkeys, bzzt! Gotcha!
  • If there are any Democrats in West Jordan, they have too much white guilt to do something like this.
  • Republicans are incapable of subtle irony.
  • The Website reads that the monkey stays "true to his root," an obvious reference to reconstruction-era "lock up the womenfolk!" stereotypes.
  • It also reads "Fall in love with your chosen candidate all over again" [emphasis added], not "our chosen candidate," as it would if the authors were Obama fans.

Evidence That the Sock Monkeys Are Just Cuddly:

  • The Lawsons say so.
  • Sock monkeys are adorable.
  • So are Democrats.
  • So what could be more cuddly than a Democratic sock monkey?

My money's on racism, but split 50-50 on "ignorance" and "malice" as motives. (Brandon Burt)

Is RefereeGate Upon Us?

[Sports] It was just about last month, when the Lakers did in the Jazz in the playoff series and our fair state hunched it's hopeful shoulders in despair.
Some said 'oh well' and some cried conspiracy. Now I'm not one to say that it was a complete conspiracy, that the calls made by the refs were totally arbitrary and meant to design a more profitable playoffs match up by forcing the Jazz out by technical fouls and free throws. But I appreciate the healing nature of being able to assuage your anger and pain by cursing those damn refs, and promising violence to them if you ever saw one on the street.

Which is why I was taken aback when Trib sports columnist Gordon Monson quickly decided to harangue Jazz conspiracy theorists in a May 16 article (I'd provide a link, but its archived now which means they'd make you pay to read it) writing:

"To all the Jazz fans who are crying . . . and crying . . . and crying about the refereeing in the Jazz-Lakers playoff series, how about this idea: Give it a rest. It's old and it's tired and it's predictable and it's embarrassing and it's unfounded. Drop the persecution complex."

Then came Donaghy. Donaghy who is being tried for gambling charges, made a plea to get his sentence lowered by revealing that indeed referees had been persuaded to make calls to influence key games as a measure of boosting ticket sales and TV ratings, Donaghy pointed out the extension of the 2002 Western Conference between the Lakers and the Kings as proof.

Now, admittedly, this still is likely to be just a desperate attempt at shortening his sentence. Most likely...but the bigger point it illustrates is that you know sure, Monson made a good point that everybody always cries conspiracy when their preferred team loses. The problem I have is where Monson says that if there would have been a conspiracy it would have come out by now.

Here's the thing: Maybe this is the beginning of an expose and maybe it's not, but even if it's not, is it really so hard to believe that some kind of game manipulation is going on?

We live in an era where industry regulation doesn't mean much. When you have a former pony judge put in charge of FEMA during our nation's worst ever natural disaster or when you have a corporate shill put in charge of mine safety regulation prior to Crandall Canyon, is it really so hard to believe that a franchise as profitable as the NBA wouldn't be up to a few shenanigans every now and then?

First off, people get pissed by ref's calls, but do they get pissed off enough to form a watchdog group, or petition legislators to look at these things?
No, if refs rig games, the result may be millions of pissed off fans, but it doesn't mean people die or get maimed. If anyone loses out on it besides the fans it's probably just the players and economically speaking, these are probably not some of the most vulnerable or at risk people in our country. So why would serious regulation exist for the NBA when we can't even get competent people regulating industries where people are actually dying because of corporate greed?

Most people in the NBA are denying Donaghy's claims including Sloan and the Jazz, but really, is it that much of a stretch to imagine? (Eric S. Peterson)

Twilight Concert Series Finalized

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Delta Spirit have been added to the 2008 outdoor summer concert series. The two indie-rific groups will hit town August 14. Another batch of fine musicians performing for free, brought to you by the Salt Lake City Arts Council. Bring some cash for tasty beverages, food and other items at the Twilight market. Here's a bit of CYHSY and DS:

(Jamie Gadette)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Subliminal Testimony

[Gooey News] This just in: KSL 5 Eyewitness News' Randall Jeppesen must be bucking for celestial bonus points with his "Woman finds money she threw away in trash truck" story.

It's about a "Provo woman" (too important/compromised/ humiliated/whatever to be ID'd) who was late to the bank and had to take her company's deposit of $200K home with her where she accidentally threw it away. She realized her misstep only after garbage trucks carried off the week's trash.

Here's where it gets good: She caught up with the garbage truck and convinced the driver (tell me how anyone without a warrant can do this) to empty the truck's contents so she could dig through them.

She was quoted as saying: "I said to my friend, ‘We just need to say a prayer.'" (Apparently, no swearing allowed.) Blessed be, the magic happened. After searching for only a few minutes, she found the checks with just "a little bit of goo on them," KSL reports on its Website.

KSL summarizes with: "She calls it one of those faith-building moments."

Yes, Virginia, it was a faith-building moment for faithful viewers but a faith-destroying moment for anyone depending on KSL for real news.

PS: In other happy news, the woman was able to keep her job with her company (also unnamed). [Jerre Wroble]

When Updates Go Bad

[Marketing] Apparently, orthopedic shoes, bonnets and bloomers are considered sooo 1980s.

Yes, I'm serious. Now, I remember the '80s as being high-tech, progressive (at least in my own little world, if not on a national front) and with a visual sensibility that was almost futuristic in its geometry.

But no. We were such clodhoppers back then; ridin' Bessie the ol' mule each morning to our one-room schoolhouses, careful not to spill the pint of buttermilk we carried in our lunch pails. Why else would a marketing concept like Strawberry Shortcake resonate so much with the young girls of the time? Obviously, they identified with her countrified ways. (The fact that the 1980s also introduced the modern concept of baldfaced, content-free marketing to children was just another sign of our golly-gee yokel gullibility, I guess.)

Those girls were so hopeless compared to today's sophisticated 8-year-olds. That's why Strawberry Shortcake needs an updated look.

Now, I don't really care enough about Strawberry Shortcake to mourn its redesign. It was a cartoon so obviously designed by committee from its inception as a marketing engine that I hated it instantly. I just find it distasteful that every cartoon now has to be done in exactly the same, bland style--one influenced by the worst aspects of both Japanese animation and Disney.

(Interestingly, it turns out that Holly Hobby--who, to my knowledge, lived in an entirely different universe than Strawberry Shortcake--moved off the prairie and became a hippie chick.)

Fortunately, parents loathed Warner Bros.' horrifying re-imagination of the beloved Loony Toons characters, and the so-called "Loonatics" have been relegated to the dustbin of humanity.

Just looking at that last one hurt. WB deserved to be slapped over Space Jam way back when, but at least that was just one ill-conceived movie. But, if they ever again attempt to defile Bugs Bunny & Pals with something so terrible as "Loonatics," its executives should be imprisoned.

do not own those characters; Mel Blanc, Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng and the other artists who created them do. We who grew up with them own that legacy in the sense.

Damn you, kids, get off my lawn! (Brandon Burt)

What Are You Doing On Thursday, June 12?

Due to space issue related to the production of this week's fabulous Summer Guide, we cut our weekly Get Active section and as a result our print readers missed out on some pretty cool events. Lucky for you online reader (or "user" as techies prefer), you've come to the right place for community-based partying. Tomorrow, you have a couple of options:
Neighborhood House, a Salt Lake City nonprofit providing affordable daycare services for adults and children, will throw a block party in honor of its 114th birthday! Free festivities include carnival games, a climbing wall, art barn, community booths, Utah Grizzlies Shoot a Puck, & more. 4-6:30 p.m. 1050 W. 500 South

Also free: Jazz at the Lounge, an annual donor recognition party for Volunteers of America, Utah. There will be, of course, live jazz music, food & a silent auction. 5 p.m. at Pierpont Place, 163 W. Pierpont.

Here's the Clash playing Jimmy Jazz

(Jamie Gadette)

Gary & Me

[Petty Politicians] In the spirit of filmmaker Michael Moore's Roger & Me, came a spoofy report earlier today by KSL radio's Tom Callan. Utah Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert kept avoiding Callan, who was trying to land a comment from the LG about his decision not to investigate a bribery allegation in the Republican state treasurer race.

When Herbert saw Callan coming his way, he deftly walked the other way--several times--at the state Capitol. Callan tried to dig up Herbert's public daily schedule, but had trouble getting it.

So he did what any reporter worth his/her salt would do: He reported it.

Pretty hilarious stuff. Now, KSL is reporting that Herbert finally talked to Callan. As you might expect, the public official--whom you pay with your tax dollars to avoid press scrutiny--gave Callan a little scold for his tenacious behavior. (Holly Mullen)

Damn Those Faustian Bargains!

[Mormon Movie Icons] It seems Kirby Heyborne, one-time Sandy resident and beloved star of LDS pop films, was on the horns of a dilemma.

Trying to make a film career in Los Angeles, the devout Mormon also had to pay the bills. And so it came to this: Struggle on, stressed out over when the next check might roll in, or...make a commercial for Miller Lite beer?

Feel Kirby's pain and anguish, here.

SLC Newspapers and the Plyg Wars

[Media] It's been some time since Salt Lake City's two daily newspapers have fought a legitimate war over a breaking story. Truth is, there are many days when neither the Deseret News nor The Salt Lake Tribune is distinguishable in written content or even photos and graphics.

Best example of this: The LDS Church's twice-yearly General Conference. The Tribune often covers the event with every bit of vigor and yes, pandering, as the DN, and it can't even claim ownership by the Mormon Church.

The two papers' coverage of the ongoing mess-o-polygamy in Texas is a shining example of cutthroat competition at its best. In today's coverage of the FLDS child custody saga, the DN got a big scoop over the Trib. By securing copies of e-mails from Washington County officials, the DN was able to publish details of government "dossiers" on certain creepy FLDS leaders, who get a kick out of stalking their perceived enemies and think nothing of threatening them with a little thing called "blood atonement."

The Trib could only follow meekly, with a tepid version of the Associated Press story, which is a rewrite of the DN. In the next few hours news junkies can count on a piece on the Trib Web site with the byline of resident plyg expert, Brooke Adams. Today's morning news budget meeting at the Tribune office would have been a lively exchange among editors. Probably went something like this:

Editor 1: "How did we miss that story?"
Editor 2: "Uh, dunno. But Brooke says we'll have our own story soon. And it will be better than theirs."

Both papers have had at least one full-time reporter and photographer encamped in and around El Dorado, Texas since the initial raid of the YFZ ranch in early April. The DN has gotten the lion's share of periodic scoops, including exclusive photos of the first reunions last week between polygamous mothers and their children. Trent Nelson, an excellent Trib photographer, got downright depressed about missing those pictures. He wrote from the gut about losing to the DN on his Tribune blog, Fly on the Wall. Actually, Nelson has been doing the best documentation all along of back story to the FLDS drama. He captures the adrenaline rush of covering breaking news, while blending in the moments of sheer boredom and frustration of waiting for the next news conference or lucky break. And if nothing else, there's always a comment or two, with photos, of West Texas culture or horrible diner food.

It hasn't been this interesting watching the mainstream media lose bladder control over a story since Elizabeth Smart went missing in 2002. (Holly Mullen)

The Word is Getting Out

[Hit and Run Part II] A couple of hours after I posted this entry yesterday on Salt Blog for City Weekly, I e-mailed several news outlets in town telling them about bicyclist Edith (Dede) Welker and the bastard who plowed into her with his/her van Sunday night, then took off.

KSL radio has been running a shorter version of our blog post on its news breaks all morning.

Typically, my news hound instincts would keep me from sharing any of our stories with the competition. But we need to find this hit and run criminal while the trail is still warm. Remember: white van with a red stripe, and probably some damage to the right front end. Call Salt Lake City Police at (801)799-3000 with any information. (Holly Mullen)

Update: Fox 13 has interviewed Dede and her family today, as well.