Wednesday, March 25, 2009

'Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do, Whatcha Gonna Do ...'

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 9:13 AM

The Pima County Sheriff's Department has a fancy new Web site worth checking out.

Sure, the changes make the site user friendly, but what's worth the look-see is the video that plays at the top of the page. A friend noted it's like the TV show Cops, but without the victims and the perps. The clip is enough to make you 1) cringe wondering about the economy and the sad state of the Pima County budget, 2) get charged up watching those guys do their thing (I didn't see any recognizable female officers; maybe they don't have any working for Pima County), or 3) have a little chuckle after you see the commando-style scene at the end, and then the tag line: Keeping the Peace and Serving the Community Since 1865.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Karl Marx: The Musical?

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 11:14 PM


Karl Marx was no Hitler or Stalin, but when I read that a Chinese director is creating a Karl Marx musical in Shanghai, I couldn't help but think of The Producers, with Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder, and the lovely ditty, "Springtime for Hitler." Mostly, because I was wondering how in the world you write a musical about Marx and his philosophies outlined in his book "Das Kapital"?

Director He Nian says he will combine elements from animation, Broadway musicals, and Las Vegas stage shows to bring Marx's economic theories to life as a trendy, interesting, and educational play.

From the Chinese press:

Laughing at the doubters, Yang Shaolin said that more than a decade ago, when the stage was dominated by the classical unities and the Stanislavsky system, it certainly would have been difficult to imagine Das Kapital adapted into a play with "main characters, major dramatic elements, and profound educational meaning." However, as drama has flourished in many different forms that make use of a variety of different ideas, the stage has opened up to the point that turning a profound theoretic work like Das Kapital into a play is no longer an intractable problem.

In the BBC story. the director points to the economic crisis as a great reason to do a musical on Marx--a reminder of the problems with capitalism, but in a way that doesn't make any waves with the country's own embrace of capitalism. It's this embrace I keep thinking about and what they've received in return: Many Chinese no longer have free health coverage, but they do have an astronomical amount of industrial waste and pollution from making all of our stuff, and continued censorship. What would Marx really think?

Free Stuff: One Man's Shit Is Another Dude's Cool Stuff

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 4:38 PM

I'm always inspired by people who have figured out the whole barter world. For our cover story coming out in this week's issue, I talked to an artist who has bartered a few of her prints for things she needs. For her, it makes environmental sense--and makes sense to me, too.

Lots of swapping and free stuff Web sites are a big deal right now. But take a look at the Craigslist Tucson page under free and barter. The area has some pretty good finds that I imagine you'd have to move on fast. It seems like excellent place to give out stuff, like if you're going through a divorce and want to get rid of your husband's baseball caps or T-shirts.

The barter area, however, is most interesting. It seems that lots of people in our dear city wouldn't mind bartering things like bikes, go-carts and such--for GUNS. So if any of our Libertarian friends out there have some extra guns they want to get rid of, I did indeed see an ad for bikes, a go-cart and an iPhone; the owners want to trade for a handgun or two. Let's make a deal.

All this bartering stuff reminded me of this cool program I remembered from Seattle. Fremont Time is a group that is still around and coordinates the bartering of skills. You're an attorney that can do a divorce, but you need someone to landscape your yard? Well, there might be a landscaper who needs a divorce. No guns involved, just some paperwork and topsoil.

Seems like something we could use here in Saguaro Land.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pressed Out

Posted By on Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 2:04 PM

In this week's Skinny, we meant to say that Republican lawmakers had decided there was no other space for reporters to rent for their press room. I screwed up and the column ended up saying that there was another space for the media to rent. My apologies for the mistake.

Hank Stephenson has more on the Sunshine Week follies in this week's TW.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hail and Farewell

Posted By on Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 10:59 AM

So that's it for Battlestar Galactica. The space porn was beautiful to watch, but I'm left unsatisfied. Not in a "I want more BSG" way, but in a "I don't feel like they answered enough of the questions they raised" kind of way. Angels? Really? WTF?

Oh, well. The first two seasons were among the finest bits of television I've ever seen, and the rest kept me enthralled, even when it disappointed.

I'd say that Jacob over at Television Without Pity summed up my feelings pretty well. Money quote:

So if this poor showing is the end of the marathon, I'm grateful they paced themselves as well as they did, for as long as they were able. I don't think we'll see a story this wonderful again in our lifetimes, and we are privileged to have taken part. And that's really what matters.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Benefit Show for Plato T. Jones

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Hey, folks. We messed up and forgot to include info (other than a listing) in this week's issue on a very important benefit show coming up on Sunday:

Here are the details, from Cathy Warner at the Boondocks:

This is to inform you of a very important benefit coming up at the Boondocks for local musician Plato T. Jones, the iconic percussionist extraordinaire of Tucson’s favorite reggae band, Neon Prophet.

Plato is fighting cancer and has been unable to work.

Sunday, March 22 at 6 p.m. at the Boondocks, many local bands and friends are having a musical celebration/benefit for Plato.

We are asking a $10 donation, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds!

His contributions over the years to music in this country and Europe are numerous. In 1967, Plato started playing with Baby Huey and the Babysitters in Chicago. They played on the Merv Griffin Show and at the Apollo Theatre with their classic R&B and soul sound. Curtis Mayfield was the producer of their LP.

Continuing his relationship with Mayfield, Plato played in 1970 with Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions in the Chicago area.

He moved on to play in Aspen, Colo., with the Black Pearl Band. They played concerts with the up-and-coming Eagles.

He then moved on to Palm Springs, Calif., to play with Mr. Clean.

In 1977, Plato played with Redbone on live albums in L.A. and Texas, moving on in the late ’70s to play with Bobby Womack from L.A. After that, he played six European tours with Veronique Sanson, the wife of Stephen Stills, ending in 1981.

Along the way, Plato played with Freddie King, Richie Havens and numerous others.

After 1981, he joined Walt Richardson and the Morning Star Band in Phoenix. During his time in Phoenix, he played backup many times for arizona fave Hans Olson.

In 1986, he joined David Dean and Neon Prophet for an unprecedented longevity of reggae-plus for Tucson.

The bands involved in Plato’s benefit are Bad News Blues, 22 black, the Rowdies, 80’s and Gentlemen (formerly the Mockingbirds) and numerous others to be announced!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Etta James Rescheduled

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 4:12 PM

The Etta James and the Roots Band performance scheduled for tonight at 7:30 at Centennial Hall has been rescheduled to Tuesday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit

New! Issue! New! Issue

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2009 at 3:37 PM

The all-new edition of the Weekly is online! Feel free to comment on its contents here.

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Conversations on Privacy

This fall, join the UA College of Social & Behavioral Sciences for a series of discussions with… More

@ Fox Tucson Theatre Wednesdays, 6:30-8 p.m. Continues through Nov. 16 17 W. Congress St.

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