Friday, May 30, 2008

TruTV vs. True TV

[Inside Baseball] What happens when the Turner Broadcasting-owned TruTV makes contact with City Weekly's own, less lawyered-up True TV for the first time since sorta-stealing the name? Find out here. It's not really all that earth-shattering; just a slow Friday afternoon. (Bill Frost)

The Imaginary Mitt-McCain Ticket


[Politics] If you checked out the dailies today you will have noticed how they both ran the same Boston Globe story about excited murmurings of Romney filling the VP spot for John McCain in the coming election. Sources in the story spoke of how Mitt's greatest contribution would be as "the rainmaker" or the guy who turns on the money faucet for McCain and the republican party.

Considering that Romney is already sitting on $46 million that he loaned his campaign, and that he once pulled off the feat of raising $6.5 million in one day, supporters are touting the Mitt-McCain duo as a very profitable dream ticket for '08.

And in a way it is a dream ticket...as in keep dreaming all you Mormon millionaires who paid $70,000 to use Mitt's Deer Valley toilet and get your picture taken high-fiving dubya. The truth is that Romney does rake in the cash, and that's why he was at the fundraiser and not McCain, what's also true is that the short con the GOP is playing on Utah's aristocrats is in teasing them to think that if they drop fat cash on the campaign that somehow their investment will buy Mitt a spot on the ticket.

Of course Romney is well aware that by taking one for the team and making that good Mormon money rain on McCain now, he will be all the more poised for his next run at the White House. In the meantime, Romney will have to play ball and continue to tease the cash out of his Utah backers, who will continue to drop sizable donations in a sad attempt at buying the ear of the man who would be veep (but not really).

And why not? Because the republicans need to clinch the south, especially with Obama standing to galvanize massive black voter turnout in the southern states McCain needs a southerner, not somebody southern evangelicals hate i.e. Mitt.

Oh and in case you Utah millionaires are wondering what the long con is just wait four years until Mitt makes another run at the house again and this whole process starts over again. (Eric S. Peterson)

Dear California ...

[Marriage Equity] Apparently, Utah has asked California not to gay-marry people.

Just a friendly request, because, you know Utah would just hate to inadvertently make gay couples feel bad by "forgetting" to send a blender.

Just so California knows: This entity calling itself "Utah" does not speak for all Utahns.

(Brandon Burt)

30 Years? That's Probably Long Enough, Doug

[Radio] We received a press release this week from KSL NewsRadio--apparently, morning talker/smarmy gameshow host/Sean Hannity warm-up act Doug Wright has been trying to form an opinion on something for 30 years now! Damn, it only seems like 50.

"His colleagues from around the country agree Doug is the voice of reason, an outlet for information and the place to come to 'talk,'" goes the release, which also cautions, "Although, Sunday, June 1, 2008 will mark 30 years in broadcast for Doug, KSL NewsRadio will host a 'Public Open House Anniversary' live broadcast during The Doug Wright Show at The Gateway fountain on Monday, June 2 from 9 a.m. to Noon. Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. will be on-site at 9 a.m. to declare this day as Doug Wright Day."

You can bathe your kids and watch Doug in "action"? A special day, indeed! (Bill Frost)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Eyeballs in a Baggie

[Homeland Obscurity] Remember, those eyeballs in a baggie that Tom Cruise schlepped around in Minority Report?

Well, now, if you have a pair of pre-screened eyeballs, plus an annual fee of $100 (and a $28 TSA "vetting" fee), you, too, can move quickly through airport security, thanks to Clear® Fast Pass Lane.

“We’re delighted that the Salt Lake City Airport has become one of the first airports in the West to offer this revolutionary service for travelers,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake chamber, in a press release sounding like freaky science fiction come to life.

Sad, sad, sad it has come to this—citizens willing to provide fingerprints and/or iris patterns (along with personal background information) to agents of the government in order to zip through the airport ... all in the name of convenience. Before long, screenings will probably become mandatory; no one will raise an "eye" brow simply because they'll be so used to it by then.

And of course, "Clear" (what a name!) will be there to cash in on it.

All I can say is: Keep an extra set of eyeballs in the freezer for those occasional "lost" weekends. (Jerre Wroble)

Apocalypse Bush: Another View

[Scenes from a Protest] Shouts of "liberty" echoed off the engraved concrete of the Salt Lake City and County Building as yesterday's Peace and Human Rights Rally dispersed from Washington Square Park. Revolutionary folk anthems boomed from giant speakers on the building's steps--Bob Dylan's "Blowin in the Wind" to Conor Oberst's "When the President Talks to God." Banners reading "THINK: It's Patriotic," "War is Not the Answer," and "Bring the Troops Home Now" slowly migrated toward cars parked up and down State Street.

The rally, organized by former Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson's High Road for Human Rights organization, brought some of Salt Lake's most disparate elements together with one collective war cry: "FUCK GEORGE BUSH."

Punk rockers, soccer moms, hipster students, tie-dye-clad dads and one adorable little kid who kept running in front of speakers in a Bush/Bullshit shirt gathered to give old GW a warm middle-finger welcome. Sadly, the president couldn't make it down as he was busy devouring a $30,000 plate of corporate schmooze and stealing Jamie Gadette's Avenues neighborhood parking spot.

From Guantanamo Bay to the Patriot Act, speakers (and chant leaders) took aim at the current administration's assault on the U.S. Constitution. And with all those hours of individual brooding slowly catharsisizing their way into the warm Salt Lake evening, the motley crowd proved that a couple of angry people, getting together with a couple more angry people, really can inspire hope for change.

"It's like Joe Hill, the great labor organizer, said before he was executed," counseled Anderson, still shaking hands and taking pictures with supporters 30 minutes after the event, "don't mourn, organize."

(Dan Fletcher)

Apocalypse Bush: The Protests

[Politics] Around noon on Wednesday, May 28, a handful of protesters gathered at 8th Avenue and B Street, across the street from a Republican fundraiser for John McCain, reportedly to be attended by President Bush, although we never did see him. The handful were vocal against the display of affluence as business-dressed attendees drove up in Mercedes and Lexus and upscale SUVs to the kids working valet parking, who ran their butts off to keep up with the demand. At times protesters and passengers comically exchanged peace signs, and at times more heated epithets thrown back and forth.

At this point I was still allowed to film from across the street as long I didn’t shoot directly into their “magnetometers” in the gated entrance to the host mansion, since they apparently didn’t want me to capture on film that their computer chip-laden ID badges actually read “666.” Bomb squad trucks drove by to add to the paranoia, although Secret Service agents hadn’t arrived yet. A FedEx truck stopped, and I joked that they were bringing W the “nuclear football.”

Before the main guests were to arrive, around 2 pm, we were hustled off the sidewalk by police, who explained that it was “public property.” Relegated to the grass of residents who offered their privately owned lawns for freedom of expression, we realized we would have to cross the sidewalk to gain access to our cars to leave, and fearing subsequent arrest we left while we could, also worrying our nearby vehicles might be impounded to make room for members of the more well-heeled donor fleet. I’d never been to a protest before, and hoped maybe I’d get shot by rubber bullets or hosed with a water cannon. Oh well. But I got an OK interview with local resident protesting.

At 5:30 pm the rally organized by former Salt Lake mayor Rocky Anderson congregated on the west steps of the City & County building on Washington Square, welcomed by music from local pianist Rich Wyman, with an Iraq Veterans Against the War banner in front of his keyboard. First a woman who had lost a son serving in the war spoke of the war’s futility, then a soldier who had served decried the war and especially the use of torture, which was a fitting overture to the main acts’ agenda. Vocal and emotional support from the crowd made up in intensity what it lacked in numbers, with something shy of 1,000 people on hand.

It was a monumental occasion to hear someone like Daniel Ellsberg speak, someone who actually helped change the course of history by releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971, which stuck one of the nails in the coffin of Richard Nixon’s presidency. Ellsberg drew parallels between Nixon’s “imperial presidency” and the Bush administration’s abuses of the constitution, citing Nixon’s defense: “If the President does it, it isn’t illegal.” He also railed at length against the use of torture in interrogating prisoners. He proclaimed “many of us would give our lives to have the Constitution back.”

He noted the hypocrisy of people like Scott McClellan, whom if he had realized the illegitimacy of the war when serving in the Bush administration, “how many lives could have been saved, but then he wouldn’t be on a book tour now.” He even more pointedly called out the Democratic congress for not taking on Bush more effectively.

Rocky took much the same tack, asking “what has happened to our democracy, rule of law, and moral principles,” even appealing to “the highest moral values of religion,” a point that made me consider the pious faith of many of the attendees of the earlier event. He ended to vociferous applause, encouraging protestors “to never be silenced. Let us exercise our moral agency in every way we can to build a safer, more peaceful, and compassionate world together.”

It was the Rocky we knew and loved in office: passionate, combative and liberal to a fault. I find myself wary of the touchy-feely rhetoric of left-wing politicos, but the idealism was refreshing. The Democratic party has really lost that in its move to the center. Both sides of the political coin exposed themselves that day, and the compassion of the protestors seemed a lot more attractive than the cold, acquisitive self-interest of the silver spoon crowd. Especially when lives are being lost in a futile war, and on the other side of the ideological fence careers and profits are being made.







(Brian Staker)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Small World, Big Screen


Tonight, come down to the Tower Theatre for a screening of the documentary Planet Earth. Proceeds from door sales--and purchase of on-hand baked goods--will support local do-gooder Edith Welker who is trying to raise enough money to travel to Madagascar where she'll participate in conservation efforts through Azafady. Welker needs about $3000 to complete the fund-raising process that includes donations to the nonprofit organization. Basically, Welker--who launched Save Sugar House before the destruction--is getting off of her tush and doing something to change the world. So if you have a free moment tonight, maybe plop your tush down at the Tower. Wish Welker good luck.

(Jamie Gadette)

Apocalypse Bush!

[Aerial Politics] Ever since last weekend, gigantic military helicopters have been flying over my neighborhood (and yours too, I've learned). I saw them hovering over downtown yesterday, too. It was all a bit mysterious and even foreboding--very Apocalypse Now.

I thought they were from Hill Air Force Base, doing maneuvers or some other military transport.

And then I learned the choppers were merely facsimiles of Military One, the official helicopter of the U.S. President. The helicopters have been scoping out the route George W. Bush will be taking during his big fund-raising visit in Salt Lake City and Deer Valley today for his kinda-sorta buddy (mostly behind closed doors), John McCain.

Wonderful. It isn't enough my tax dollars have propped up a hopeless war the worst president in U.S. history started for no good reason. Now I have to help pay for presidential security while Bush stumps for McCain at Mitt Romney's mountain mansion to the tune of $30,000 a plate from well-heeled Repub donors. The rest of us will eat cake. Our tax dollars at work.

(Holly Mullen)

DABC To Ponder Private Club Membership

[Liquor Laws] If members of the Utah Hospitality Association thought Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.’s endorsement of their plan to see an end to private club memberships in Utah meant DABC commissioners would rubber stamp it, they were sadly disillusioned.

This morning, the five-member DABC took up the issue at its monthly board meeting. The liquor control czars heard how well the state’s liquor stores were doing – sales and profits are up more than 11 percent. Then commissioner Bobbie Coray motioned for “a thorough analysis” of the requirement that bars charge private club membership. She said she had long sought to eliminate laws “that had no compelling reason.”

Commissioner Kathryn Balmforth, however, rose in stout defense of the private club restriction on bars, anchoring her position in the rights of what she termed the "non-drinking majority of Utah." She argued there appeared to be an attempt to “create an impression of a public groundswell” in favor of doing away with forcing bars to label themselves clubs and charge a $5 cover fee. “Maybe there is,” she said, “I just missed it.”

While some might sneer at Utah’s liquor laws for being different, she continued, those who wanted a drink could get one. “There’s nothing small-minded about the majority not being forced to pay for the costs of the societal abuse of alcohol.” Part of the DABC’s mandate, Balmforth reminded the audience of mostly bar owners, was to be aware of those who didn’t want liquor.

After complaining that only one side of the issue was being explored, Balmforth cited one reason why private club status was of value: record keeping. If a drunk left a bar and hit someone with his or her car, there would be a record of where and what that offender drank.

While Coray pointed out that private club membership was an issue she had long been concerned with, Balmforth appeared to find some back-door politicking going on. “We were all appointed by the governor but this is a legislative question,” she said. “I don’t think we have to carry his water on this particular debate.”

The commission voted, with the exception of Balmforth, to address the issue, including holding several public hearings. One commissioner noted, “This is the beginning of a long process.”
A number of unhappy UHA members walked out after the vote, one muttering about moralizing.

But UHA spokeswoman Lisa March McGarry said significant progress had been made. She said the UHA had been told that, for the first time, the Legislature and the DABC were willing to receive information from bar owners, the UHA, and other interested parties.

McGarry's concern, however, was that if and when private clubs were eliminated, additional elements might be added to the bill. One she described as a worrying “long shot” would require converting the entire penalty code currently used by the DABC to a criminal one, which “would be outrageous.” The main thing, she added, was the majority of commissioners had listened to tavern owners’ concerns.

Afterward, Coray said she didn’t think there was opposition from her own board to eliminate private club status. Rather, she said, “The concern is that we do it right.” (Stephen Dark)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Breeders: Recap

I didn't expect a huge turnout at The Depot tonight for The Breeders first SLC appearance in several years, and the crowd that did show was probably big enough to pack the Urban Lounge. Perhaps next time they'll scoot the seminal rockers into a smaller, more intimate club. The Deal twins certainly acted in a manner appropriate for a cozy house party, trading witty--and just plain sisterly--banter with each other and with the audience members who walked right up to the front of the stage and stared mouths agape at their down-to-earth heroes. The turnout was mixed, but mostly a throwback to the 90s. I even saw a dude with a flannel tied round his waist--and it made me smile with nostalgia, not cynical, mean-spirited derision. Yes, we music dorks came out in full force for a taste of Pod, Last Splash, Title TK and the new Mountain Battles. Kim proudly announced to covers from fellow Dayton neighbors Guided By Voices and the Tasty's. When Kelley took over the mic, Kim and a temporary guitarist (whose name I can't recall but she rocked with her bright red dreadlocks out) jumped off the stage and into the audience to "silently judge" the typically back-up vocalist. It was all fun and games and serious reverb. The wall of Marshall stacks lining the wall helped us to sufficiently "feel the noise." Sure, The Breeders are a little bit older and a little bit wiser, but they obviously reap every bit of joy out of playing pure rock and roll as they have from the day Kim started her "Pixies side-project." As much as I hate to sound like the guy in the back of the room who kept shouting incessantly, "I love you Kim!!!" (we got it the first time, dude), I have a serious crush on both of them.
Oh, and kudos to local openers Future of the Ghost, now featuring Sean Jones on bass and recurring touring member Scotty Fetzer joining Will Sartain and Cathy Foy who is absolutely fierce on the drums. You go girl! Did I just say that? Oh man.

(Jamie Gadette)

Dead Zephyr: Week 237

(Bill Frost)

Meet Your Unfriendly Private Club Bouncer--The Church

[Religion+Politics] Momentum is picking up behind the move to abolish our fair state's archaic private club membership law, now that Huntsman has upped the ante and promised to move forward on it in the next session along with Liquor Board commissioners Coray and Granato agreeing that its time has come.

But one thing that continues to bother me is the obligatory reference in all these articles to the LDS church, which of course always respectfully declines weighing in on the issue. But that doesn't mean people aren't listening, and waiting to see what the word from on high might be. Like from this article in the D-news last Friday, for example, where Huntsman graciously says in reference to the church and the private club issue:

"I think every body's entitled to weigh in if they have a stake in this discussion," Huntsman said.

Huntsman is no fool of course and knows that engaging the issue without talking to the church would be a grave political faux paux. But for the rest of us, lets just step outside of our Utah bubble for a second and honestly ask ourselves: What stake does the church have in this?

I am being absolutely serious here. Lets meditate on this some more, why would a church have a stake in a discussion revolving around something that it's members don't partake of (ostensibly)?

Is it the fear that maddening debauchery will ensue if people don't have to pay for memberships? That anarchy will reign in Utah because bar hoppers will be able to walk into a bar without paying a membership and then finding it dead or not to their liking, have the ability to walk into another bar without paying entry?

Of course there are easy answers to this question, the frustrating part is just that the answer never quite fits the question when it comes to Utah's awkward marriage of politics and religion.

For example:

Q:Why would a conservative state that is vehemently opposed to government meddling in private business allow restrictive private memberships in the first place?

A: Because this is Utah and this is the LDS church.

Q: Why would a church even that espouses free agency and encourages temperament amongst its members care about the drinking habits of non-members?

A: Because this is Utah and this is the LDS church.

Q: But couldn't the church see that drinking in bars where there is a fully trained staff on hand to make sure that patrons who drink too much get water, food and a cab if they need it, much better than driving people to go and buy cheap liquor and throw house parties where there is nobody really stopping them from binging and driving home later? Why hasn't this been factored into the debate?


A. Because this is Utah and this is the LDS church...etc....etc...(Eric S. Peterson)

Twilight Concert Series: YES!

Are you sitting down? The Salt Lake City Arts Council just released a list of confirmed performers (certain dates are still pending) for the 2008 Twilight Concert Series!!! I knew the organizers would cook up something stellar for this year's lineup, but no way did I predict they'd score BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE!!! The Canadian super-collective spawned Feist, Kevin Drew, Jason Collett, Amy Milan and Stars, Emily Haines and Metric... they are awesome and absolutely killer live. I saw them at Sundance in 2006, the same year they scored the soundtrack to Half Nelson. Back then, the lame industry crowd paid them little attention. I'm sure SLC locals can show them the love they deserve. Here's the rest of the top notch lineup as it stands:

July 10
The Roots
TBD

July 17
Andrew Bird
Josh Ritter

July 24
De La Soul
TBD

July 31
Keller Williams
Yonder Mountain String Band

August 7
Nada Surf
Tim Fite

August 14
TBD

August 21
Broken Social Scene
TBD

August 28
Neko Case
Crooked Fingers

Stay tuned for more info as it develops

And here's some Broken Social Scene:



(Jamie Gadette)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Roller Derby Report: Ninjas Beat Nuns

[Sports] How packed was the second official bout of Salt City Derby Girls' 2008 roller derby season Saturday night, May 24? The Bayou's brew van ran out of beer by halftime. Yeah, scary.

The crowd--possibly 800, eyeballing it--didn't seem to mind, cheering the Sisters of No Mercy (bad nuns in black) and the Death Dealers (bad ninjas in purple) on through two hours of skating action that relied more on defensive strategy and blocking than offensive scoring. The Dealers widened the gap in the second half, finally disciplining the Sisters with a 68-39 win.

Game MVPs: Death Dealer Lady Octane (skating with a severely injured wrist) and misleadingly named Sister of No Mercy Toots Sweet (skating with a severely exposed ass--see pics below).

A sampling of Saturday night's action shots by Wild Bill Hill:

(Bill Frost)

Money...Morality...It's All the Same

[Utah Politics] It's come to this in Utah politics--where the GOP rules so unchecked and audaciously, that even the Republican race for state treasurer for god's sake, has been reduced to smarmy measurements of "traditional family values."

Cathy McKitrick reports in today's Salt Lake Tribune about the upcoming primary runoff between Repubs Mark Walker and Richard Ellis. Both, it appears, have decent enough cred at accounting, money management and the wearing of dark blue suits and white shirts--all skills you would expect a state treasurer candidate to have mastered.

But Walker has apparently decided to turn the race into a yardstick for measuring right-wing morality.

Ellis, currently chief deputy state treasurer, says of his opponent, Walker:

"Walker's applause lines at the [state GOP] convention came after references to gay marriage, unborn children and tax cuts. You had a crowd there where that really resonates," Ellis continued. "But that has nothing to do with the role of state treasurer."

Except in Utah, of course, where no doubt even a Republican race for dog catcher could be reduced to a pro-life/pro-choice argument around neutering. (Holly Mullen)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Me, too, kid. Me, too.

[Meme] It's the turtle kid:


It's Bill O'Reilly interviewing the turtle kid:


It's the turtle kid—remixed!


A "where is Jonathan now?" investigative piece from the future:


Aww, this is just too cute to pass up:

(Brandon Burt)

Buzz Kill

[Crimewatch] Yeah, those yellowjackets distributing Media One's Trib-lite "commuter daily" the Buzz are still annoying, albeit a little less so since management forced them to use their indoor voices and stop dumping their papers on car windshields.

But my heart goes out to the girl posted on our cruel section of Main Street near the Gallivan TRAX station. The yellowjackets are issued handtrucks for carting their bundles around and, yesterday, some downtown ne'er-do-well swiped hers. (The thief was thoughtful enough to leave the stack of papers behind, though, which meant no knocking off early for her.)

Today, when I saw an unfamiliar yellowjacket in the area, I feared the worst--could some heartless suit at Media One have sacked her? It's not like it was her fault.

Well, those fears were not borne out; she's back on main street hawking her issues--sans handtruck. I wonder when they'll get around to issuing her a new one?

Most interestingly, what in the world could somebody have wanted with one to begin with? Did somebody have stacks of papers laying around that they wanted to move? If you're the culprit, let us know (even anonymously). I'm curious.
(Brandon Burt)

DMT: The Most Complicated Hallucinogen

[Drugs & Rec] Here's a no-nonsense video from a woman who has found a way of taking dimethyltriptamine (DMT) without first having to go on a pesky weeklong vegan/MAO-inhibitor diet.

It's a simple enough technique, with only a couple drawbacks.

Some people worry that the media glamorizes the drug culture, making drugs seem like a hip, fun thing to do. Well, I don't see them worrying now.


(Brandon Burt) [Via SLOG]

He's Still In Office, Folks


With all the high drama surrounding the battle of the Dems, it's easy to forget that Idiot Bush still occupies the White House. He's been plenty busy, too, zipping around the world, refusing to back troop withdrawal, getting dissed by Congress on attempts to veto the GI bill ... basically being a weasal. Oh, and he's coming to Utah to nosh with Mitt Romney at the Massachusset's Gov.'s private Park City abode. It's the perfect opportunity to tell him what for:

On Wednesday, May 28, former SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson's new project High Road for Human Rights will hold a Peace & Human Rights Rally, "a gathering of active citizens saying 'No More' to disastrous war, deceit, domestic spying ... and crimes against humanity." Guest speakers will include Danny Ellsberg, legendary voice of conscience who disclosed the lies that led to the Vietnam War, and Kathy Snyder, mother of a serviceman who was killed in Iraq.

Troy Williams will emcee and Rich Wyman will play some tunes. Rally starts at 5:30 p.m. at the City & County Building, 451 S. State.

Bush ain't out of here yet--let's show him the door.

(Jamie Gadette)

Your Local Media Is a Joke

[News-ish] After weeks and weeks of relentless, ass-pounding David Archuleta/American Idol coverage ("Archie's first zit! Tonight at 10!"), you'd think the local media would be ready to hitch onto the next Utahn-does-reality-TV wagon, right?

Today, not a Single. Damn. Word. about Salt Lake City comedian Marcus (just Marcus, he dropped the "Man of 1,000 Voices" suffix) making the first cut and moving onto the next round of NBC's Last Comic Standing last night. Nothing. Guess working on the road for years and actually writing your own material is no dues-paid match for being a cute Mormon high-schooler with a squeaky voice.

Not that last night's LCS footage reflected Marcus' comedy material; NBC went with his impressive menagerie of voices. Not everyone can do a conversation between the entire Family Guy cast in a single breath, but those of us who've seen Marcus' entire act know there's more to him than that. Let's hope he survives on the series long enough show it.

Here's NBC's 2-minute recap of last night; that's Marcus toward the end in Phoenix, with the tats and Captain America T-shirt:



(Bill Frost)

Calico On The Road


Local experimental sound manufacturers Calico are currently on a mini Northwest tour and gearing up to release the anticipated follow-up to their self-titled debut scheduled for release June 6 at Slowtrain. You can track their progress here. And if you happen to be on their tour route, check 'em out! The boys will play KRCL's Live at Five on June 4 and try their hand at Urban Outfitter's new, somewhat erratic local concert series July 12.

(Jamie Gadette)

Babies, Please Stop Pooping

[Price Gouging] Many economists are saying the higher gas prices go, the more likely we are to actually conserve resources or to get serious about alternative energy sources.

Can the same be said of disposable diapers?

Kimberly-Clark, producer of Huggies, has announced a big price increase in diapers and Kleenex tissue, come July.

Could it make a dent in Utah's super-sized families? Oh, how we wish... (Holly Mullen)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Quartered & Dollared to Death



[Cost of Living] When I notice a business starting to price gouge, I tend to think, “That’s it, I’m done patronizing that place.” And I stay away.

But it’s getting harder to do that.

For example, a while back, Utah Transit Authority raised its monthly pass to $50, the same amount we City Weekly plebes paid to park our cars each month. So I said, “Up yours, UTA. I’m now driving my car to work.” With gas, and wear and tear, I paid more to do so, but it gave me pleasure not to drop my coins into UTA coffers.

But then the parking lot—let me be clear: the Diamond Parking lot—behind the old Zephyr Club raised its rates to $90 (!) in January 2008. So I said, “Up yours, you thieves at Diamond Parking. I am migrating with the rest of City Weekly to the more reasonably priced Ampco lot east of Squatters.

In the meantime, prices at the pumps began their breathtaking ascent. And I wanted to show my outrage at Big Oil, but to do so, I had to come crawling back to UTA. Only now, a monthly pass costs $58.50. And if UTA gets its proposed “surcharge,” it will go to $66.50 in July.

So where does that leave those of us who vote with our pocketbooks? It leaves us to save up for a decent pair of walking shoes and to get real interested in alternatives to the internal-combustion engine.

Oh, I hear you, bike people! Yes, I could pedal and have done so. But bikes aren’t an everyday mode of transport in light of the riotous Wasatch Front weather we live at the mercy of. Plus, we all have appointments across town, trips to the grocery store and children to schlep around. It’s nice when it works out to ride but you can’t depend on it.

Thus, we’re waking up to thrilling and freaky times. Since everything we consume is highly oil-dependent, everything we consume will soon cost a lot more than it does today. And since it’s not practical or meaningful to boycott all businesses, it might just be time to take that wild leap and figure out how we’re going to live in a post-$5/gallon world. Any suggestions? (Jerre Wroble)

Giddyup

Hey all ya'll cowboys and cowgirls, Langhorne Slim is riding into town tonight to strut his stuff at the Urban Lounge! I saw this young guitarist perform in the blazin' Austin sun at South By Southwest and was impressed by the natural born storyteller's dynamic stage presence. Slim will also be playing on KRCL today at 5 p.m., so if you're not quite convinced of his appeal, be sure to tune in. Yee Haw and all that

Friday Letters Round-Up (Thursday Edition)

  • How can there be global warming when it's raining outside? How can something that feels so right be so wrong? If God is good and omniscient, how can there be suffering in the world? Why do people ask how you are if they don't really want to know?
  • Maybe this time, if we ask nicely, the Legislature won't divert our Commie public-transportation tax toward good, old-fashioned, red-blooded American road construction.
  • The judiciary should butt out of this "determining whether or not laws are constitutional" business and stick to what it's good at: selecting Republican presidents.

(Brandon Burt)

Soundtrack To Our Teeny Bopper Lives

I was researching an album released in 2001 when I came across a list of hits from the same year. This made me curious: what provided the soundtrack to my senior year of high school. As a graduate of the class of '99, of course Prince reigned omnipresent over every house party and school dance, along with Nena's "99 Luft Balloons," a ditty about the nuclear holocaust which we sang at graduation. I'm not joking. That's just a sample of the numerically themed songs that colored my life. What about the hits that were actually released that year? Click here to see the sad state of affairs of 1999's pop charts. Was your senior year any better or worse?

(Jamie Gadette)

Southwest Suburbs Stripped of City Weekly

[Suburban Scrub] City Weekly circulation manager Larry Carter is on a fact-finding mission today, trying to determine who would have stripped more than 20 of our distribution stands of this week's issue in long stretches of West Valley City, Kearns and Taylorsville.

Could it have been, oh I dunno, maybe someone incensed over Stephen Dark's cover story, Taylorsville 911!? Just because Dark delved into a case that started with the theft of a Boston terrier, then drew Taylorsville police ire because one of the players in the drama is a fellow cop (on the Midvale force) and is now headed to U.S. District Court alleging civil rights violations--well, is that any reason to go (again, allegedly) stealing more than 1,000 copies of City Weekly?

Maybe it's the cover photo illustration that bugs the alleged thief or thieves the most. Just sayin.'

Circulation manager Carter says the entire inventory of newspapers disappeared overnight from boxes from 1300 West to 4000 West along the busy artery of 3500 South. Boxes in key locations in Kearns and along 5400 South in the heart of the Taylorsville business district have been emptied, as well.

Drivers filled the boxes in question late yesterday afternoon. As proud as we are of our newspaper, the idea that every copy would get picked up overnight is a bit of a stretch.

A person is legally allowed one free copy of City Weekly. A sticker stating such is affixed to all of our racks for public view.

Carter plans to spend the afternoon visiting grocery stores along the routes in question, saying "it would take someone with a lot of nerve to walk into Harmon's or Albertson's, scoop up a whole stack of papers and walk away."

And of course, there's always the possibility that some business along the route(s) caught the action on video. Don't people realize that nothing escapes a video camera anymore? Not even alleged newspaper theft. (Holly Mullen)

Jesus Trucking Christ

[Roadside Attraction] Spotted today at 8:28 a.m. on westbound Interstate 80 and the Bangerter Highway exit: A semi-trailer truck with the company name "Husky Transport" on the cab doors. Emblazoned in bright red, 2-foot-high letters on the sides and back of the trailer was this message:

JESUS CHRIST IS LORD
NOT A SWEAR WORD!

(I doubt Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan got the memo.)

**Above: Another crazed truck owner for Jesus. (Holly Mullen)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Free Concert Free All Ages Free

Did I mention it's free? And local! Salt Lake City's own Glinting Gems will be performing tonight at the Main Library. I'll be onstage with the adorable trio prodding them with insightful questions, a la VH1 Storytellers (without the drama). All you Gems fans, take note: Leena is back in the band, replacing Terry who replaced Leena when she left to tend to the twins (watch for future Von Trapp Family-style performances). The action starts at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium. Woot!


(Jamie Gadette)

Sabre Rattling

[Liquor Laws] At last night's Utah Hospitality Association's emergency meeting, both the successes and the problems of the group dedicated to making drinking a more pleasant and more profitable experience for bar owners and public alike were evident.

Legal spitfire Lisa McGarry, who has represented Clearfield-based bar, Bogeys, in its struggles with Utah's liquor czars, the DABC, told the less than packed meeting room at the downtown Salt Lake City Peery Hotel about the UHA's much-publicized plans for an initiative petition to end clubs having to demand membership when you fancy hoisting a brew. Ideas of how to solicit votes were swapped, ranging from vote boxes in the booze aisles of supermarkets to putting leaflets in publications such as City Weekly.

Bar owners also heard how the UHA had almost expired for lack of interest from the bar industry. One UHA official said of the 300 bars in Utah, only 25 are fee-paying members of the UHA. A bar owner suggested his competitors were suspicious of his motives when he rang up to encourage them to attend last night's meeting.

"What we've done up to now hasn't been working," another official opined. But recent media interest in the UHA's cause, support for the private club member bill even from Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., suggests at least that if not a turning tide there just might be the beginning of a groundswell for change. (Stephen Dark)

Beluga? Beluga!

[Animals] Hump Day got you down? Well, nothing will perk you up like a tricky Beluga!

Meet Nana-chan, a whale residing at Nagoya Public Aquarium in Japan, entertaining herself by blowing air-bubble rings underwater.

That's right: "air-bubble rings." I know, I didn't think it was possible, either. Now I'm intrigued. (By the way, if you see a weird guy at Steiner blowing bubbles. that'll be me practicing.)

Just check it out:



(Brandon Burt)

Wooden Indian Burial Ground


[Music] Last night's show by Wooden Indian Burial Ground made for one of the most haunting, disturbing and overall pleasant shows I been to in a while. The duo rocked Burt's Tiki Lounge last night, employing banjos, marimbas and tambourines, in a show that in another time and place could have been mistaken for some backwoods medicine show/revival. The lead vocals, Justin sat with a banjo propped on his knee and a tambourine lashed to his foot that he would stomp furiously, wailing a hoarse howl as cohort Judy slowly rocked back and forth pounding her bass drum.

The duo seemed so enmeshed in their own music it was like they were hypnotized. It was one of those great performance where its not that the band doesn't know there's an audience in front of them, but you almost get the impression that if no one would have showed up they would still have played the same tense and simultaneously slow and pulsing set to a dark and empty bar. It wasn't until halfway through someone in the crowd barked out: "Who are you guys?!" To which Justin, shook from his reverie announced: "Oh we're Wooden Indian Burial Ground, oh and we got some stuff over there for sale if you want," then lowered his eyes to the ground and began playing again.

All and all a fantastic show, I must admit as it was the first I'd heard of them, a lot of lyrics just washed over me, but when they closed with a cover of Rolling Stones "Dead Flowers" I was quite happy to see them render it with more rock and roll than the stones did and with an as equal of a helping of soul and angst as the Townes Van Zandt version. (Eric S. Peterson)

Becker Names New Captain of Economic Development

[Politics] Today at Tony Caputo's Deli, Mayor Ralph Becker called together a press conference that only hinted at a soon to be announced major economic development. From a podium set in front of a wall of olive oil Becker announced that Bob Farrington, Executive Director of the Downtown Alliance for the past 16 years, would be the city's Director of Economic Development.

Among other credits, Farrington has also been heading up the downtown rising project and has successfully overseen the growth of the downtown farmer's market, and been likewise heavily involved in the city's efforts to create a year round public market.

When questioned on what Farrington's new duties would be Becker said to "take advantage of our [city's] assets and capital so Salt Lake City can grow to its economic potential."

More specifically Farrington said that Salt Lake City was unique as capital of the state, region, and major research interests, and because of that, his job would be largely multidimensional. Farrington spoke of moving forward on trax extensions, the new public market and fixing problem spots like maximizing hotel infrastructure for travelling conventions and increasing green space downtown.

He described his duties as being more of a "conductor that will orchestrate the great organizations and talents," the city already has, says Farrington. Emphasizing collaboration with all possible stakeholders.

"Once I get a phone and an office, my door will always be open," joked Farrington. (Eric S. Peterson)

What's Next: RoPa? WeJo? WTF?


I'm as proud of this town as any died-in-the-wool Salt Laker, but I'm sorry: for better or worse we are not the kind of place that can affix various burgs with funky nicknames like NoHo or SoHo. That's just me, of course. Folks over at Elite Model Management must know something I don't. We recently received invites to the agency's grand opening in South Salt Lake, or as Elite dubs it, SoSaLa.

Good news for all the pretty people, I suppose. Padding your resume with tenure in SoSaLa is sure to get you places, right? SoSaLa is, after all, home to the world's first KFC. Ya hear that Tyra?!


(Jamie Gadette)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oh David, Oh David

[Archuletta Idolatry] In honor of the week that is all David Archuletta, all the time, here is a thoughtful piece on the topic by the New Yorker's pop music critic. Um, if you're under 25, don't bother. (Holly Mullen)

Dead Zephyr: Week 236

(Bill Frost)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Skirting the Subject

[Fashion, Sorta] This being the hottest day of the year, City Weekly music and listings editor Jamie Gadette took advantage of it and wore an adorable pastel plaid sundress to work.

This made me think in general about summer fashion choices. Which made me think of the only fashion worth contemplating for the triple-digit days to come.

Skirts.

We'll be seeing plenty of shorts in the next few months, but really, skirts are such a smarter choice. All that air rushing through and around your legs and such. Hey, do I have to draw you a picture? Wise women know it: Skirts simply make sense.

I'll be wearing plenty of them this summer. We all should. (Holly Mullen)

America, the Mutated

[Random Pix] Any idea what the hell this is supposed to be? We'd love to know ...

(Bill Frost)

Male Slut

[Opera] Last weekend saw Utah Opera's season draw to a close with Don Giovanni. Despite a lackluster performance from Christopher Schaldenbrand as the male-whore of the title, there was much pleasure to be found in the show. Along with a muted grey-green color scheme and sets that gave both space and a certain claustrophobic limitation to the rampant sexual ego of the at best ambiguous hero, the drive of the piece was much helped by Mark Schnaible's witty man servant Leporello and Susana Phillips as Donna Anna, determined to bring Giovanni, who raped her at the beginning of the opera, to some kind of justice. That Schaldenbrand was oddly hollow in a role that demanded cool charisma and wolf-like charm threatened at times to undo the piece. But the overall quality of the production held sway.
Inevitably with a story about freedom, morality and sexual desire, it was tempting during the intermission to ponder how Don Giovanni was being digested by the local audience, as ever decked out in their curious idea of what one should wear to the opera circa 1956. Whatever the reasons for the muted final applause, the true glory of Utah Opera is that it continues to mount intelligent, gorgeous productions that help make life in Salt Lake City just a little more bearable. (Stephen Dark)

Eponymity

[Entertainment] The Organ Loft silent film series is always worth the price of admission (if you haven't been, the audience is treated to a pre-talkie Hollywood movie screened directly above the organist accompanist at the console of the loft's see-it-to-believe-it Wurlitzer--great fun).

The last movie of the season is scheduled for May 29-30, and it sounds like a doozy. Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! features funnyman Harry Langdon and scarywoman Joan Crawford in her dewiest youth.

I had never heard of it before, but Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! is now my favorite title for a Joan Crawford movie, followed by this one. No wonder poor Joan went nuts with the wire hangers; producers were always making fun of her through her films' titles.

For your viewing pleasure, überbrat Veda says things to Joan Crawford we all wish we could, including that other word that ends in -mp: "You think just because you've made a little money, you can get a new hairdo and some expensive clothes and turn yourself into a lady. But you can't, because you'll never be anything but a common frump!"

Sure Veda, but Crawford's name lives even today. I don't remember Blue Öyster Cult rockin' a tune about how Ann Blyth Has Risen From the Grave, do you? (Bandon Burt)




Tired Of David Archuleta?


Root for another homegrown hero! Utah comedian Marcus, "Man of 1,000 Voices," will appear on NBC's Last Comic Standing this Thursday, May 22! We love Marcus, and not just because he emceed our SLAMMys celebration a couple years back. Talented and brilliantly tattooed, the comic book/Star Wars-loving funnyman is a welcome break from the norm. Here's a preview of the show (half of Marcus flashes onscreen toward the end):



(Jamie Gadette)

Almost South Africa

[Xenophobia] When I read the racist posts on sltrib.com and desnews.com and ksl.com story comment boards about anything or anyone Latino (illegal or not--it doesn't seem to matter), I think we are not too far from this mentality. If you want more of the best of the world at its ugliest, just Google "South Africa riots." Last I checked, there were 884+ related stories. (Holly Mullen)

M.I.A. = A.W.E.S.O.M.E.



I spent the weekend in San Francisco, rounding out the trip with my first taste of Bay to Breakers. The annual race/parade/"celebration of the human spirit" is 7.46 miles of pure insanity. A sight to behold, B2B attracts both serious athletes and serious exhibitionists who don costumes and begin drinking heavily, sometimes as early as 6 a.m. Picture your craziest Halloween, cross it with Pride and you're one step closer to understanding B2B.

I suggest everyone who attended M.I.A. last night plan a trip to B2B 2009 because ya'll proved you can go nuts too (or as Bill Frost complained, channel your inner raver). As one of the "idiots" who hopped onstage when the Sri Lankan electro-dance-rapper invited all the ladies up for an impromptu dance party, I feel qualified to declare the evening a success on par with last year's Peaches show. From the moment she stepped onstage (after an opening set by the Egyptian Lover) until the obvious "Paper Planes" encore, M.I.A. threw herself into a set of pulsating hits off Arular and Kala--and the crowd responded in suit. Gonna make you sweat til you bleed, indeed.

Soooooo awesome to see SLC music fans show enough love to actually give touring acts a reason to return.

Anyone have any footage from the show?

Oh, and P.S., not everyone onstage was wasted. I was stone cold sober. Sorry all you party poopers who wanted to just sit and watch M.I.A. Maybe next time she'll play Kingsbury Hall and we can all be well behaved.

(Jamie Gadette)

Sad. Wheels Off

[Wheeling/Dealing] Two weeks ago, City Weekly staff writer Eric Peterson wrote a story about the Salt Lake City Council considering a "bike share" program for residents. It would be modeled on successful programs in Paris, Barcelona and other European cities. Washington D.C. recently started up its own program, which allows people to pay a small fee to borrow a bike for short hops around town, then return it for another user.

Above: A bike sharing station in Seville, Spain. Note the debit-card unit next to each bike, where people slide a card to pay for the use of two wheels.

Eric blogged last week about Westminster College already doing something similar, on a smaller scale.

Yesterday, The Salt Lake Tribune hopped on with its own story about bicycle sharing networks and examined if one could take off in SLC. Reporter Derek Jensen pretty much focused on the notion that it wouldn't work. Based on past experience, naysayers said all the bikes would either fall apart for lack of maintenance or get stolen.

Sad. I don't mean to go all Commie on you here, but that story illustrates the vast difference between American and European sensibilities on public transportation and private ownership. Thanks to our ingrained sensibility of private ownership of everything in the U.S. we'll likely see a good idea worth testing fall flat. I'm convinced that one of the reasons bike sharing works so well in Europe is due to the general idea that societies work best when people accept a certain level of collective concern and ownership. It means we can all take a little chip out of air pollution and high gas prices by borrowing a bike, then returning it for others to share.

Europeans, whose cultures have evolved around shortages and difficulties (think Britain and France in World War II), as well as necessity for sophisticated mass transit (gasoline is around $8 a gallon in Switzerland right now) understand this.

We really don't have to horde or own everything ourselves in this country, do we? People with big vision could make this work, and it seems like a decent experiment in communal mentality, albeit on a very small scale. Wouldn't you love to see the bike sharing idea take hold here, just to prove it could succeed? (Holly Mullen)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Got Any Change?

[Politics] Much has been said about how the Republicans' new slogan, "The Change You Deserve," hilariously turned out to be identical to that of a pharmaceutical drug.

OK, the Republicans didn't know that. Who can be bothered to check such details when the very sanctity of marriage is at stake, and terrorists are closing in at every moment?

If you think about it, this whole attitude that slogans must belong solely to one company or organization can only lead to a state of affairs where every conceivable English phrase will eventually be copyrighted. And then there will be no more slogans, buster--except for silly, made-up words like "transfrabulistic!" And who could live in a world like that?

But is it just me, or is there a vague implied threat contained in those words? "The change you deserve." It doesn't stipulate that it will be a change for the better--only that the change will depend on how Republicans judge our behavior over the next six months. A vote for the GOP is a vote for no change at all--so what else could this be than an ultimatum, a demand that the electorate prove its loyalty once and for all to the neocon Final Solution?

The future is uncertain, and the GOP has demonstrated that it has loads of talent for turning even the brightest of situations into a scary, hopeless and depressing nightmare. They might as well be saying, "Vote for us, or we'll tear down your homes, build McMansions and send you all to Guantanamo Bay. And don't think we won't do it." (Brandon Burt)

... And Now, for the Good News

[The Gays, Again] Yes, I know the regressives are salivating at yet another opportunity to grind their bootheels into the faces of gays and lesbians.

And The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is so eager to shift the subject away from those awful, fake-Mormon plygs in Texas, it wasted no time in casting its jaundiced eye on the "unfortunate" state of judicial affairs in California (right after releasing its fun David Archuleta tie-in feature about all those famous Mormons).

And some readers are all too eager to rain on my little personal Pride parade since, apparently, no faggot deserves to be that happy about a court decision in another state.

How depressing.

Still, after skimming the Cal Supremes' in re Marriage Cases decision [PDF], I've found that hope springs eternal. In fact, the most momentous and groundbreaking part of this decision doesn't have anything to do with whether gay and lesbian Californians are allowed to be "married" or must instead make do with "domestic partnerships."

It has to do with the court's breathtaking proclamation that the state has an interest in prohibiting anti-gay discrimination not simply on the basis of sex-discrimination laws, but because gays and lesbians are themselves worthy of full inclusion in society.

The naysayers who have kept themselves so busy organizing their anti-marriage referendum--likely to appear on California's November ballot--can only hope to block marriage equity temporarily since homophobes are dying off and, in less than a generation, they'll constitute a dwindling minority.

But, even if the anti-marriage referendum were to succeed--far from a done deal in this year of such strong anti-Republican sentiment, "the decision banning discrimination based on sexual orientation would remain in place."

This means that, even though the Gay Cabal should have fought for antidiscrimination before seeking equal marriage rights, we have irrevocably won the real prize, and may even still take the jackpot. Now that's cause for celebration.

(Brandon Burt)

OK, my last several posts have been about this one subject. And, OK, I've been kind of an asshole to some of the people who comment. Many people have heartfelt reasons for opposing gay marriage, and I'm glad that they, like me, are free to speak their minds.

And I am also glad that they are free to
not marry anybody they choose. Unfortunately, in 48 states, gay and lesbian Americans do not have that same freedom. I really do think the California decision is a momentous event in the history of the American gay equal-rights movement.

Also on the plus side, I got a lot of reader reaction and more participation in Salt Blog, which is always my goal. Turns out assholism works!

Why a Democrat Must Win

[Campaign 2008] The best headline yet to prove John McCain would be four more years of Bush. (Holly Mullen)

Happy "Gentile" in Brigham City

[Homer Report] Just pulled up an e-mail from a p.r. firm hawking the Web site divinecaroline.com

It's a chick site, but different than ivillage.com, says the e-mail. The site for women "combines real voices, content from partners and professional editorial."

Whatever. But there is a Utah angle. A writer by the online name of "Meg Mo" has contributed an
essay on why she and her husband moved from Chicago to Brigham City in 2005. It's part of a regular feature called "Why I Live Here."

No surprise here, I guess, that much of Meg's essay focuses on religion:

Brigham City is the only place I’ve ever lived where religion is actually an issue. In other places, the topic might come up eventually in conversation, but here it’s always one of the first things to pop up. Within a week of moving in to our home, Mormon missionaries came to our door with pamphlets about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (or “LDS” as it’s called here).

If you don’t practice some sort of religion, you are definitely in the minority. And my husband and I fall into that category—at least for now.

"At least for now?" I'd call that a big, wide opening for another visit from the elders, Meg!

(Holly Mullen)

Pump Up The Volume


[Music Review/Preview] Man oh man, did Dead Meadow kill last night or what?! I must have looked like a burned-out lunatic closing my eyes and rocking back and forth against the window where I could best feel the vibrations. It helps that the Los Angeles-based stoner/psych-rock trio brought no less than 10 Orange Amplifiers to kick out their heavier-than-hell jams. The ragtag virtuosos played an ear-splitting mix of new material off their latest release Old Growth (Matador) and older jams, including one of the first tracks they ever wrote. They dedicated the latter song to Iota's Oz, their SLC brother in arms who cozied up against the giant Orange stack, banging his head in appreciation. The crowd--which included a lot of super young hippie chicks gyrating in not-always rhythmic motion--rushed the stage before the show and remained there with giant grins and blissed-out expressions til the bitter end. Bitter only because Dead Meadow had to keep on rollin.

All that after two killer sets by Pink Lightnin (who offered to play more all-ages shows if the kids want them) and the Furs, who are tighter than ever. If you're reading this and feel like a road trip, the Furs are hitting the road today and heading to Vegas. Maybe you can tag along.

For those who'd rather stay in the city, this weekend is crazy packed with awesome shows. White Denim and Tapes 'N Tapes play one side of In the Venue while Atmosphere drops new material on the other side. Brilliant booking guys!

Also tonight, Destroyer plays The Urban Lounge and Cavedoll joins Simple Shelter for a multi-media extravaganza at Trapp Door.

Tomorrow, check out Matt Hopper and The Roman Candles, also at Urban with Drew Grow and Dead Horse Point.

And last but not least, motherfucking M.I.A. at The Depot, Sunday!! This show has not sold out ... yet. Get in while the getting is good.


(Jamie Gadette)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sock Puppets Speak Out!


[The Gays] Apparently, some people are a bit miffed about the California Supreme Court's momentous decision overturning the state's ban on gay marriage. Comments on other message boards have run the gamut from the predictable to the weird:
  • Oh, those judicial activists! There they go again!
  • Those crazy West Coasters need more legislators like Chris Buttars.
  • California isn't the largest state, at least not in square miles.
The LDS Church lost no time in chiming in, saying the way the U.S. legal system works is "unfortunate."

My blog entry even generated a couple comments like this somewhat mean-spirited one from (natch) "anonymous.":
No Problem

Plenty more where that came from, it's no sacrifice at all, we won once and expect to do so again.

Not interested in marriage for time and eternity?

How bout a 10 month long California hitch.

(Wouldn't waste my time changing the monogram on the towels, tho)
And this one, from somebody who could at least be bothered to make up a name (if not a URL or e-mail address):
I agree, anonymous. This court will get either be overturned, or the Constitution will be amended in November. Supporters already have the signatures to get the issue on the ballot.

It's nice to know that mocking the fact that I give 10 percent of my income to my church is totally not below the dignity of City Weekly to mock. It's also nice to know that for all your arrogant preening and elitism, your paper is still supported by escort services and 1-900 numbers.

Carry on.
Well, Jeff James, I'm not the one with the holier-than-thou moral objection to 1-900 numbers and escort services. You are. So what are you doing reading such a pornographic publication?

And, why should I not object to the fact that you donate 10 percent of your income to fund a permanent war against my family and people like me? Are you offended that I do not respect the "sacred" nature of your blood money?

If you were donating 10 percent of your income to do something Christlike--like, for instance, helping the poor--then I might be impressed. But until that day comes, you can dismount from your high horse and stop pretending that your church meddles in out-of-state political matters for any other reason than the fact that it's run by homophobic old men.

While most members of the LDS Church are wonderful and loving people, it only takes a few like you, Jeff James and "anonymous," to perpetuate the myth that the church is filled with intolerant bigots who are willing to go far out of their way to make sure others can't get a fair break.

(Brandon Burt)

Friday Letters Round-Up (Thursday Edition)

  • Also, Benjamin Franklin said global warming was a scam dreamed up by Al Gore, and Abe Lincoln loathed Prius-driving, latte-sipping liberal elitists.
  • I see you're listening to crappy pop music. Apparently you've forgotten about a little thing we real Americans call ... 9/11!
  • And not only that, it's also your fault that I think Belgrade is in Northern Ireland. Thanks a lot, newspaper.
(Brandon Burt)

We're Here, We Like Big-Box Chain Stores, Get Used to It

[Emily Littella Moment] What's this I hear about Sandy Pride Day? I think it's nice that our neighbors down south are getting a jump on the gay festivities a whole month early! And it's about time, too!

Of course, Sandy pride is about pride in the bland sameness that is Sandy, not about queer diversity. But still! Wouldn't it be fun to show up and plant trees carrying rainbow flags?

Imagine the raised eyebrows that would cause! If anybody does this, please send photos.

(Tip o' the hat to Trib commenter stiny_bring_me_a_danish, who wrote: "I don't have a problem with people who choose to live in Sandy, I just don't want them pushing their lifestyle on me or my children or thinking they deserve special treatment.")

(Brandon Burt)