Thursday, April 30, 2009

Weekender

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Check out these events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area this weekend— as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

Fri., May 1

Art: You don’t have to go to Elm Street for a nightmare. Instead, visit Green Rice Gallery for the opening reception of Persistent Nightmares. The exhibition features black and white abstract drawings inspired by artist Andrea Worley’s bad dreams.

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Music: Head to the Neighborhood Theatre tonight for the Fools Brigade benefit, which will feature an array of local musicians and their take on Rolling Stones classics. All proceeds go to Jacob’s Ladder Job Center.

Theater: It’s one big striptease, when unemployed steel workers take their booties to the stage in performances of The Full Monty at Theatre Charlotte.

Continue reading »

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Broadway revival of Waiting for Godot

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Anthony Page, the director of the Broadway revival of Waiting for Godot, discusses the production and the late Samuel Beckett in The New York Times article below.

Playing Six Degrees of Samuel Beckett with Anthony Page, the director of the Broadway revival of “Waiting for Godot,” doesn’t take very long.

As the artistic director at the Royal Court Theater in London at various times from 1964 through 1973, Mr. Page worked with Beckett on the first British revival of “Godot.” Talk about source material.

“He was full of humor,” Mr. Page said of that time, when Beckett was nearing 60 and Mr. Page was about 30. “We enjoyed working on it with him.”

The new “Godot” revival, a production of the Roundabout Theater Company, opens Thursday at Studio 54 with Nathan Lane and Bill Irwin as the tramps Estragon and Vladimir, John Goodman as the blowhard Pozzo and John Glover as his slave, Lucky.

Mr. Page sat down last week to discuss what it’s like to direct the classic play and to narrate an audio slide show about working with Beckett. Read more here.

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Digital aging to be used in Harry Potter flick

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 3:36 PM

The article in Paste Magazine (below), states that the actors of the Harry Potter film series will be aged digitally for the final scene of the upcoming movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Is making them look older really necessary?

The young stars of the Harry Potter series are going to be digitally aged by the crew behind The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for the final scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Deathly Hallows, which is going to be split into two films, will culminate in Rowling's famous last scene, which takes place several decades in the future, when the Hogwarts students are in their thirties. But instead of casting older actors in the parts of Harry, Hermione, Ron and Ginny, producer David Heyman decided to have the crew that worked on Brad Pitt cast their magic on the Potter actors. "I'd feel terrible about having other people take those parts at the last gasp," he said.

Daniel Radcliffe, who portrays Potter, is less optimistic about the process than Heyman. "If it's good I'll be really pleased," he said, "but I'm just nervous about the idea. If it's not good and that's what people are left with that would be awful."

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Are Republicans a national party anymore?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 3:15 PM

There's big, big trouble in the Republican party. That's no secret, and Sen. Arlen Specter's defection to the Democrats was merely one symptom of the GOP's unraveling. How bad has it gotten for the elephant party? Sen. John Cornyn, a mega-conservative from Texas, who is also chairman of the Republican Senatorial Committee, declared that he's interested in having the GOP "regain our status as a national party." As opposed to a mere angry faction, I suppose, since that's what the party has become since its massive losses in the past two national elections. The bottom line of Cornyn's statements was that his party is going to have to recruit people who aren't bugged-eyed rightwingers in order to gain enough respect to become a more relevant voice again. If someone like Cornyn is throwing in the towel and admitting that the GOP has become too identified with the far right, then you can take it to the bank that the party is in seriously deep shit. I hope his comments didn't make Glenn Beck cry again.

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Do this tonight: Multicultural Night at Apostrophe Lounge

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Tonight, check out this cool event (info on flyer below) and help out a good cause while having fun:

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Ooops. Sorry for that little deportation snafu

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 2:02 PM

What's worse? Being deported and bounced around Latin American countries for months or almost being deported again when you're only a few hours from home?

File this under dumb-ass legislation, which is, of course, fully backed our own Sue Myrick — because no one hates immigrants like her.

Mark Lyttle expected to return home after serving a few months in prison for inappropriately touching a woman's backside.

Instead, he says, the U.S. government deported him to Mexico, Mexican officials deported him to Honduras, and Honduras deported him to Guatemala - even though he is a North Carolina-born U.S. citizen who speaks no Spanish.

U.S. immigration officials confirmed this week that they wrongly deported Lyttle, 31, who his family says is mentally ill and suffers from mild retardation, in December after finding him in a North Carolina prison. He and his lawyer say he spent four months bouncing among Latin American prisons and homeless shelters before ending up this month at a U.S. embassy in Guatemala, where officials confirmed his citizenship.

Lyttle returned to his family on Friday, but only after immigration officials at the Atlanta airport tried to deport him again.

Read the rest of this Raleigh News and Observer article here.

The Pinky Show explains how to solve the immigration issue:

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Swine flu hits South Carolina

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 1:59 PM

But, still, lets not panic. Check out the full story at counton2.com.

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Biden: Blahblahblahblahblah

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 12:59 PM

The White House is scrambling to clarify Vice President Biden's verbal diarrhea on NBC's "Today" show this morning, stirring swine flu mania.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Thursday he would tell his family to stay off planes or subways to avoid swine flu, prompting his office to go into damage control and the travel industry to complain.

Asked on NBC's "Today" show what he would tell members of his family if they asked him whether they should get on a commercial airliner to Mexico in the next week, Biden said:

"I would tell members of my family -- and I have -- I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now."

He said the problem is that "when one person sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft."

Read the rest of this Reuters article here.

Again, swine flu is something to take seriously, but put it in perspective: At the moment, 109 people in the United States have swine flu and the only death was a child (yes; tragic) from Mexico who likely contracted the disease from his or her father.

It's estimated there are more than 304 million people in the States. That means 0.000036 percent of the population has swine flu. Zero point zero zero zero zero three six.

If the news is freaking you out about swine flu, here's a tip: turn it off.

If you look no further than the latest headlines, you might think a worldwide flu pandemic was already underway with a very real threat to millions of lives.

While there are many unanswered questions early on in the outbreak of flu from Mexico, it is crucial to remember that the number of deaths and reported infections remain small -- even if its spread across the globe has proved worryingly rapid.

While the infected need access to medical care and anti-viral drugs, the rest of the world needs an inoculation against scary statistics and misinformation.

However, influenza is a big killer every year, with or without a pandemic.

WHO estimates flu kills upward of 250,000 to 500,000 people year after year. "Normal" flu epidemics infect 3 to 5 million a year. Statistics are complicated by inconsistent reporting. Flu often leads to other ailments that end up being listed as the ultimate cause of death.

Flu's typical victims are the elderly, the infirm or the young. The difference with swine flu outbreak in Mexico is that otherwise healthy adults aged 20-50 are vulnerable.

Read the rest of this Guardian article here.

Here's some swine flu propaganda from the 1970s:

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Shocker: I 485 stalled (again)

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Rookie mistake? Bad economy? Both?

Internal correspondence from the N.C. Department of Transportation raises doubts about the state's ability to fast-track construction on the last piece of Charlotte's outerbelt – something Gov. Bev Perdue pledged in late February.

A month after Perdue said Interstate 485 construction would begin in 2009, a DOT official wrote that the state couldn't afford to start the last outerbelt segment this year. The only way to finish I-485 ahead of schedule would be to take money from other Charlotte projects, such as the widening of Independence Boulevard or the widening I-85 in Cabarrus County, the report said.

Read the rest of this Charlotte Observer article here.

Watch Gov. Perdue's promise from February:

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Banks’ strategy: Screw other people who need federal help

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Ken Lewis may be half-down for the count — most CEOs whose board chairmanships are taken from them rarely last long afterward — but that doesn’t mean the banking industry isn’t working just as hard as ever to screw regular Americans. Here’s the latest: a bankruptcy reform bill that zoomed through the House weeks ago will probably be gutted today by the Senate because of intense pressure from investment banking lobbyists, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. One of the main purposes of the bill is to give bankruptcy judges the power to reduce, or “cramdown,” a homeowner's mortgage payment as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who has led the fight for bankruptcy reform in the Senate, assessed Wall Street and the banking industry’s opposition to the bill by saying, “The very same banks that are saying these people have to pay a price for bad decisions ... were in line to receive billions of federal dollars ... when they made a business mistake.” Durbin pretty much summed up the situation on a Chicago radio show this week by admitting that when it comes to the banking industry and Congress, “They frankly own the place."

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