Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Laughing Stock: Lewis Black's Favorite Tucson Ranter

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2019 at 3:00 PM

Lewis Black rants incidentally in the CATcomedy520 LOL Crawl Jan. 27 through Feb. 2. - LEWIS BLACK
  • Lewis Black
  • Lewis Black rants incidentally in the CATcomedy520 LOL Crawl Jan. 27 through Feb. 2.
Tucson’s first CATcomedy520

LOL Crawl features one of the best known and most beloved comedians in the U.S., entirely coincidentally. The boon puts the venerable Lewis Black at the Fox Theatre at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1. Tickets are $39.50 to $65 via

Black is known as “America’s angriest man” but he encourages fans to challenge him by sharing their own rants and observations. Submissions range from the grossness of pickles to serious environmental concerns. He shares submissions that tickle him in his live sets.

“What’s been truly amazing,” Black says in a recent YouTube video, “is that the quality of writing I’m getting is astonishing, and it’s written by just regular folks.”

In the video he continues by reading a brilliant essay about Thanksgiving by Tucsonan and frequent contributor Mildred Ellison. Astonishing mainly for its number of context-perfect f-bombs, Ellison’s essay somehow retains a relatable essence of family traditions.

Black invited her to meet last year and Ellison says it was a “terrific experience.” She says she finds writing comedy invigorating and fun, but although she tried stand-up at an Estrogen Hour benefit for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, she says, “I’ll stick to churning out the rants and enjoying the spectacle of him performing them.” And a spectacle it is, rife with yelling and energized finger-pointing about the mundane absurdities of modern American life.

Black and his longtime opener, John Bowman, welcome stories and suggestions from locals along the tour route. send “Road Suggestions” to and “Rants” to

Black is a prodigious author, producer and director for live theater and television projects for which he has won countless awards. The Daily Show increased his exposure to the public and resulted in his first stand-up record in 2000. Eight more records followed. He’s won two Grammy awards and a Sports Emmy for his turn in “Inside the NFL.” He’s written 40 plays and three best-selling books and co-starred with Robin Williams in Man of the Year.

Steve Gillespie at Laffs

Steve Gillespie was ten years in the grind as a touring standup artist, then his second record, Alive on State, hit number one on iTunes. Nothing changed. His pushy, coarse persona and improbably cheery outlook keeps generating laughs about a self-destructive life.

Gillespie performs at Laffs Comedy Caffe at 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1; and 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2. Tickets are $12.50 and $17.50 via There is a two-item minimum. 

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Hanson Film Institute Hosts Premiere Screening of Native American-made Documentary

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2019 at 2:48 PM

The University of Arizona’s Hanson Film/TV Institute is presenting the premiere screening of Waaki, the new documentary from Hopi photographer and filmmaker Victor Masayesva.

The documentary, partially funded by the Hanson Film/TV Institute, celebrates the connection several indigenous peoples, including the Hopi in the U.S. and the Nahuatl, Maya and Otomi communities in Mexico, have with corn. This relationship and mutual-dependence comes through in songs, displays and ritual practices.

A still from Waaki
  • A still from Waaki

“Interdependencies are a vital part of our known history and future existence on this green planet.” Masayesva said. “The seen and unseen together. Recognizing these interdependencies, identifying and accepting our neighbors, this is our future.”

The documentary is also partly animated, and contains illustrations by Masayesva, Carl Onsae, Ronyk and Marcial Ayala.

Victor Masayesva
  • Victor Masayesva

A Q&A of Waaki (meaning “Sanctuary”) with Masayesva and co-producer Mariano Estrada Aguilar, a Tzeltal filmmaker and indigenous rights activist will follow the screening.

The screening, presented in partnership with the UA School of Anthropology, will take place at 6:00pm on Jan. 31 at the Center for Creative Photography. Admission is free.

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Claytoon of the Day: RAMa Lama Ding Dongs

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2019 at 9:01 AM

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Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Wednesday Jan. 23

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2019 at 1:00 AM

The Presidio District Experience: A Food Heritage & History Tour. We all know Tucson has one of the richest food histories around the country. But have you truly experienced it? On this tour, you can get in deep with the City of Gastronomy and learn about the old and new ingredients that make Tucson’s food what it is today. It’s a history lesson and a meal all in one! Hosted by the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson. 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23. 196 N. Court Ave., corner of Court Avenue and Washington Street. $75. Details here.

Reflections About Bears Ears: An Evening in Honor of Karen Strom. In 2015 and 2016, the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition in southern Utah advocated for the establishment of Bears Ears National Monument, and in 2017, it already had to respond to a downsizing of the monument. At this event, Keynote speaker Carleton Bowekaty, member of both the coalition and the Pueblo of Zuni Tribal Council, will speak. Also on the lineup is astronomer and photographer Stephen Strom, who made a recent gift of Native American art to the Arizona State Museum in memory of his late wife. He’ll be talking about his project documenting Bears Ears, and will be signing copies of his new books, Bears Ears: Views from a Sacred Land and Voices from Bears Ears (which he wrote with Rebecca Robinson). 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23. Center for English as a Second Language, 1100 James E. Rogers Way, room 103. Reception and book signing to follow program. Free. Details here.

  • Courtesy of Arizona State Museum

School of Art’s Letterpress Lab. You probably didn’t know that the UA has a letterpress lab, just like you probably didn’t know how many different kinds of printing methods and practices there are in this great big world: letterpress printing, experimental printing, paper techniques, binding and a booker. And in terms of the technology: board shears, paper cutters, book presses, guillotines, wire-o-binder, a laser cutter, a photopolymer plate maker and an industrial sewing machine. The School of Art’s Letterpress lab has it all! Go check it out at this special tour. 10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23. School of Art Graduate Studios, 1231 N. Fremont Ave. Free, but reservations required. Details here. Events compiled by Briannon Wilfong, Emily Dieckman, B.S. Eliot and Jeff Gardner.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Trumpy See, Trumpy Do: School Bullying In the Age Of Trump

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2019 at 3:26 PM

  • Courtesy of BigStock

Saturday, a group of high school students appeared to be taunting and harassing a Native American near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. It looks pretty bad, but in this case, it may not be as bad as it looks at first glance.

In a video taken after the Indigenous People’s March in D.C., a Native American man is seen chanting and drumming. Male high school students, some wearing MAGA hats, most of whom are Kentucky students attending the anti-abortion event March for Life, are gathered around him.  Some students are making tomahawk chops in the air, and others are clapping in rhythm to the drum beat and jumping up and down. One student is standing directly in front of the Native American man with a smile that looks both derisive and intimidating.

However, as more video surfaced, the nature of the incident itself and the intentions of the students became less clear. It could have been an act of vile racist bullying on the part of the students, but it also could have more to do with boisterous adolescents acting up while acting out Native American stereotypes. That would make their actions on a par with the adults at Atlanta Braves games chanting and chopping in the stands, making the students' actions less about bullying and more a display of their ignorance encouraged by a society which fails to teach them respect for cultures different from their own. (Here's a thoughtful, careful analysis of the events where the writer neither condemns nor excuses the students' actions.)

But there is no gray area in another incident which took place last week. During a high school basketball game, front row fans from a predominantly white Minnesota school displayed a large Trump 2020 banner while their team was playing a predominantly black school. Their racist intent was unmistakable. For these students, the Trump banner was the new Confederate flag.

And during two other high school games, one during the 2016 campaign and another during 2017, students from predominantly white schools shouted "Build the Wall!" at their predominantly Latino opponents. Their use of Trump's racist slogan was a deliberate attempt to bully and intimidate the other schools' Latino students.

But examples are only examples. They don't necessarily indicate a trend. The question remains, has race-based bullying increased among high school students who are Trump supporters? A few studies make it look like that is the case.

Continue reading »

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Former Arizona Assistant Emanuel 'Book' Richardson Pleads Guilty to Bribery Charge

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2019 at 2:05 PM

  • Logan Burtch-Buus
Former University of Arizona assistant basketball coach Emanuel 'Book' Richardson pled guilty to a bribery charge on Tuesday, in relation to an agreement he reached earlier this month, according to USA Today:

Richardson, 46, wiped tears from his eyes after telling the judge he accepted $20,000 in 2017 in exchange for a promise to steer student athletes potentially headed to the NBA to an aspiring business manager, Christian Dawkins. Prosecutors said Richardson planned to use $15,000 of the money to entice one prized recruit to attend Arizona.

Richardson said he "knew this conduct was wrong."

"Did you know it was against the law?" Judge Edgardo Ramos asked.

"Yes, your honor," Richardson answered.

Richardson, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, was among 10 college basketball figures arrested in September 2017 in a scandal that exposed a network of personal managers and advisers who paid bribes to coaches and parents of highly touted recruits to steer top athletes to schools.

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Claytoon of the Day: Bully Of A Good Time

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2019 at 9:46 AM

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Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Tuesday Jan. 22

Posted By on Tue, Jan 22, 2019 at 1:00 AM

Teaching in Arizona. The Loft Cinema is screening a documentary about the current state of Arizona educators, filmed by the Tucson Values Teachers initiative. The screening also includes a talk by members of the Arizona teaching community, including teachers from local elementary and high schools, the Pima County school superintendent and the filmmakers. 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Free. Details here.

Planet What. Planet What mixes surf, garage and singsong punk to cook up some bittersweet, modern grrl birthday cake. For years this trio has been central to the Tulsa indie scene—in bands The Daddyo’s, Who and the Fucks and The Girls Room, and contributions to zines, bookings, and multi-genre art shows. Planet What is the evolution of these experiences. Surf tones contrast haunting, Breeder-like melodies on tunes like “Kelly 33” while “Lemon Lime Looker” plays up potential energy, a sparse-fuzz guitar lick gives to trashy symbols, killer monodynamic vocals and scathing words directed a phone-loving phony. Fuzzed-up and noisy, the recent Maggie Fingers EP alludes to Kim Deal’s work, continues past ’90s nostalgia towards a wistful mix of anger, hurt and longing. In short, and without getting political, Planet What’s sonic stew well-reflects the frustrations and desires of being a kickass woman in Donald Trump’s America. With Alien Jacket, Vasectomy and Sauced Up! 2448 N. Estrella Ave. Tuesday, Jan. 22. 7:30 p.m. All ages. Donations encouraged. Details here.

Flor de Toloache - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Flor de Toloache
Flor de Toloache. Four New York women of varying musical and ethnic backgrounds may be the preeminent mariachi quartet working today. That’s saying something, man. In 2017, Flor scored the Latin Grammy for best Ranchero album, but that ain’t really shit because this is about the music, not the hype. Soaring vocals over traditional and modern arrangements reveal a nuanced understanding of not only the history of mariachi but their place in it. Like Susana Baca or Lila Downs, these women celebrate their feminismo without ever sacrificing their vulnerable, nurturing sides. As brazen and confident as any dude player, these flores infuse the genre’s already rich emotional palette of romance, nostalgia and longing with delicate strengths of a woman. If Ranchero ballads are a workingman’s blues, then Flor de Toloache is the love letter back, filled with sweet recuerdos, fierce loyalty and the pain of raising a family across the border from the one you love.These “Mariachi Femininos” combine powerful instrumental jams with honey-sweet vocal melodies. The four members play their respective guitar, violin, trumpet and guitarrón, and fuse in four-part harmonies to make music that is at once authentic, traditional and innovative. Their first album got them a Latin Grammy nomination, their second album scored them the prize. Flor de Toloache is recommended listening for anyone in the borderlands region, or anyone looking for proof the ranchero/mariachi music genre is alive and constantly reinventing itself. See Flor de Toloache at 191 Toole. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22. $14-16. 21+. Details here.

Events compiled by Briannon Wilfong, Emily Dieckman, B.S. Eliot and Jeff Gardner.

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Staff Pick

Carnival of Illusion: Magic, Mystery & Oooh La La!

This top-rated illusion show is "Revitalizing Magic" by blending an international travel theme with all the charms… More

@ Scottish Rite Grand Parlour Saturdays, 7:30-9 p.m. Continues through April 27 160 South Scott Ave

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