Cheap Thrills

GLOBAL TRADE-OFF: Like latter-day crusaders, corporations are spreading the religion of planetary consumerism throughout the land. They spend big bucks to control governments, from the national to the local, and increasingly export jobs overseas. For better or worse, our little patch of paradise is on the front lines of this planetary juggernaut as NAFTA continues unfolding.

Get the latest on globalization with Multinational Corporate Threats to the Sonoran Region and How We Can Resist Them.

Moderated by County Supervisor Raul Grijalva, the panel discussion includes Kathy Campbell of Teamsters Local 104, Hermosillo activist Rosa Maria O'Leary, and local anti-WTO activists.

Free discussion begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 25, in the Northwest Neighborhood Center, 2160 N. Sixth Ave. For information, call 908-9269.

PULLING STRINGS: FantasyMakers revives the timeless art of puppetry on Thursday, March 23, with Let's Create A Magical, Musical, Mini-Marionette Circus.

Started by Genii Townsend in 1958, this delightful, fourth-generation troupe of puppeteers and marionette masters was born as Geniiland Puppet Theater. Genii's mother, Marion "Bubbles" Zollars, handled the bookings. Today the tradition continues in the hands of Genii's daughter, Starr-Light Taylor. "I literally grew up in this theater," Taylor says. "We did birthday parties, mainly for the movie stars' children, 12 parties per weekend through Geniiland's closing in 1977."

Now back on the scene as FantasyMakers, the company creates all of its puppets, including such notable characters as Yummy the Tummy Dragon and Kristen the Wizard, along with the Char Woman puppet, which became a regular on the Carol Burnett Show.

Show time is 10 a.m. in the Richard B. Wilson School, 2330 W. Glover Road; and 12:50 p.m. in Copper Creek Elementary, 11620 N. Copper Spring Trail. Admission is free. For information, call 744-7422.

TIMELINE: Geography, travel, dancing and history combine on Thursday, March 23, when Bookman's presents an evening with Richard D. Fisher, author of The Best of Mexico's Copper Canyon 2000: Chihuahua: Where History Meets the Future.

Founder of the nonprofit Wilderness Research Expeditions and author of several books about the Tarahumara and their mountainous region, Fisher discusses his latest project, the history of the stunning canyon and its ancient native people. Accompanying him will be the colorful Tarahumara Matachine Dance Group.

Free lecture is from 7 to 9 p.m. in Bookman's Used Books, 1930 E. Grant Road. For details, call 325-5767.

CODE BUSTERS: As the genetic revolution advances, how can we be sure of gaining benefits and avoiding risks? After all, our track record in the Brave New World ain't all that great. Remember Three Mile Island?

And what are the moral implications of cloning, producing designer children, or altering our genetic makeup? These and other sticky bioethical questions are hashed out in a discussion led by Allen Buchanan, a UA professor of philosophy.

Free lecture begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, at St. Gregory College Preparatory School, 3231 N. Craycroft Road. For details, call 327-6395.

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