Saturday, May 30, 2009

Changing Places at the Levine Museum

Posted By on Sat, May 30, 2009 at 8:17 AM

Chink, queen, ape, yankee, trash, banana, redneck, oreo — not words you typically see posted in a museum in Uptown Charlotte. But these and other nouns and adjectives are part of the Levine Museum’s Changing Places: From Black and White to Technicolor®, a year-long exhibit that explores cultural traditions and stereotypes.

At Changing Places, you are challenged to imagine changing places with someone different from you.  Written questions posed throughout the exhibit force you to consider how you see others and how others might see you: “Who judges you without knowing you?” “Who do you judge?”  “When does us and them begin?”

The exhibit is educational and interactive. Visitor's are invited to watch videos, record your own story, try on a saree and smell spices in an Indian makeshift kitchen, among other things.  What I like most about the exhibit is that is forces introspection. As an immigrant, I found myself emotional and nostalgic as I wandered through.

The Hindu altar with a colorful Ganesh Krishna, Parvati, prayer vessels and incense on display reminded me of the lavish altars my grandmother builds. I keep an altar in my home, although the deities are Catholic: La Virgen de San Juan de Los Lagos and La Virgen de Guadalupe.

Walking through the Mexican grocery store — another feature of the exhibit — with festive papel picado hanging from the ceiling, Norteño music blaring from speakers and a quinceañera cake displayed in the case really took me home. I’m from the northern part of Mexico and growing up, my siblings and I heard some Mexican pop and ballads but lots of Norteño. The cake reminded me of my oldest sister’s quinceañera , a celebration of a girl turning fifteen. Parents consider it an honor to be able to throw such a celebration.

And as I listened to an Indian girl in a video discuss her struggle with fitting in here in America , wondering if she’s  Indian or American, I also felt a connection.

I’m a Texan. I’m a Mexican. And I’m an American. But I’ve traveled a lot and each place I’ve visited has also shaped me. Interestingly, Mexicans often tell me I’m not Mexican because I grew up in the United States.  “You’re not really Mexican” or “You’re not Mexican anymore.”  At what point did I stop being Mexican?

We all judge. We all separate ourselves from others. Changing Places forces you to ask yourself just how often you do so.

Note: Changing Places will be on exhibit at the Levine Museum of the New South through Feb. 28, 2010.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Swiftboating health care

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 4:01 PM

Sign the petition to stop NBC from swiftboating universal health care. From CREDO:

Americans' lives depend on whether we pass the right kind of health care reform. So why is NBC News airing an infomercial that will spread dangerous misinformation?

President Obama is committed to health care reform*, but some Democrats in Congress are already wavering on an extremely important provision - basically, without a public option, the health insurance industry gets to keep getting richer while Americans languish without the care they need.

We need to tell the truth about health care. But NBC is preparing to put lies on the air this Sunday.

Rick Scott is the Chairman of a group called Conservatives for Patients' Rights, and he has a history of disseminating lies and misinformation.

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Charlotte Symphony announces music director

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Read the press release below for information on the Charlotte Symphony's next music director, Christopher Warren-Green.

The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra (CSO) announced today the appointment of Christopher Warren-Green as its next Music Director. Mr. Warren-Green begins his tenure in September 2010 and succeeds Christof Perick, who has served as Music Director since 2001.

Over the course of the past two seasons, the Charlotte Symphony evaluated eight Music Director candidates. A search committee, led by CSO Board member Andrew Adair, began deliberations in February following the final candidate’s visit.

“The Charlotte Symphony is thrilled that our two-year search has culminated in the appointment of Christopher Warren-Green as our next Music Director,” says Executive Director Jonathan Martin. “Christopher's extraordinary musicianship, combined with his grace and charm, has already inspired the Charlotte Symphony family and our city. We look forward to a close partnership with him as we work together to build a stronger, more resilient orchestra for a growing Charlotte.”

A native of Gloucestershire, UK, Christopher Warren-Green has held the position of Music Director of the London Chamber Orchestra since 1988. In 2004 he succeeded Sir Neville Marriner as Principal Conductor of the Camerata Resident Orchestra of the Megaron Athens. From 1998 to 2005 he was Chief Conductor of the Nordic Chamber Orchestra, and from 1998 to 2001 was Chief Conductor of the Joenkoeping Sinfonietta. He has conducted orchestras in the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, Central America, Asia, and Australia.

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We're fat

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

I'm fat. Our editor, Carlton admits he's fat, too, and that his beer consumption makes him fatter.

We're not pointing fingers or feeling sorry for ourselves, we're just stating the obvious: We're fat. And, according to this Charlotte Observer article, there's a good chance you're fat, too.

Carlton and I are both doing something about the size of our lard collection: He recently tortured himself with the help of Operation Bootcamp and I'm keeping up with my intake and output on You'll have to ask Carlton about his lard-melting success, but I'm happy to say I've lost 7 pounds since May 6, the day after my very last final exam (ever).

So, what's your excuse? If we can do it, you can do it. Get off your ass, get moving, put that damn cookie down and go get a carrot.

Obesity rates are rising faster in North Carolina than nationally, and physical activity lags, giving the state a D in those subjects on its annual health report card.

But there is progress, according to N.C. Prevention Partners, which has been grading the state on its health habits since 1998.

The state improved to a C+ from a C on its tobacco use. That score could soon rise to a B as a result of actions taken this year by the state legislature, which passed a law to ban smoking in bars and restaurants.

Get off your ass:

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Up: Yet another Pixar winner

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 12:33 PM


By Matt Brunson




STARS Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer

Ranking Pixar’s feature-length gems in order is akin to ranking the 10 best Beatles singles or the five best martini cocktails — to each his or her emphatic own — so let’s just say that the studio’s 10th effort, Up, won’t be leaving viewers feeling down. It’s merely one more winner for an outfit that refuses to compromise its high level of quality, to say nothing of its artistic integrity.

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Drag Me to Hell: Fiery fun

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 12:33 PM


By Matt Brunson



STARS Alison Lohman, Justin Long

The face of horror in modern cinema is, sad to say, torture porn, where sadism is exhibited with alarming regularity (most notably by the filmmakers) and imagination is only employed when the scripter conjures up gruesome new ways for characters to die. Because of this lamentable trend, it's an effortless task to sing the praises of Drag Me to Hell, a funhouse freak show that's more interested in delivering old-fashioned chills (it's even rated PG-13 rather than the expected R) than in wallowing in misogyny, masochism and mutilation. The story is so thin that the entire screenplay could have been written on a bubble gum wrapper, yet the end result is so delirious in its desire to delight that moviegoers willing to be jerked around won't mind.

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Sugar: More raw than sweet

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 12:33 PM


By Matt Brunson


DIRECTED BY Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck

STARS Algenis Perez Soto, Rayniel Rufino

What's this? An inspirational sports flick whose every step doesn't lead up to the climactic Big Game in which the underdog hero must score that touchdown/hit that home run/kick that goal/deck that opponent? Is such a movie even allowed anymore?

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Joseph Northington: one seriously stupid S.O.B.

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Three years ago, a couple of friends and I, for some reason, decided to determine the best personal insult in the English language. We finally set aside more outlandish, complicated forms of name-calling and verbal abuse and opted for one of the immortals: "You stupid son of a bitch." Simple. To the point. Clean and classic. Now, three years later, a man has finally stepped forward to claim the title of Most Deserving of the Best Personal Insult. Our winner is one Joseph Northington of Roanoke, Va., a man who was not only enough of a son of a bitch to rob a bank, but was also stupid enough to brag about it ... wait for it ... on his MySpace page. Yep, the 27-year-old Northington robbed a bank in South Carolina of $4,000. Soon enough, our genius robber posted a message on MySpace reading, "On tha run for robbin a bank Love all of yall." They caught him, of course. Yesterday he confessed to the crime, and now faces seven years to life in prison. So, to Joseph Northington of Roanoke, if you're reading this, Congratulations, you stupid son of a bitch.

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New Orleans-themed Party at the Mint Museum of Art

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 11:07 AM

As the final weeks for Mint Museum of Arts' Masterworks from the New Orleans Museum of Art approach, be sure you make your way to check out the exhibition, which features works by giants in the art world like Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Jackson Pollock and more. The Young Affiliates of the Mint will also host a New Orleans-themed party on the exhibition's closing weekend. See the press release below for more details.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 28, 2009) – Experience works by some of the world’s greatest artists in Masterworks from the New Orleans Museum of Art, now in its final weeks at the Mint Museum of Art. The national traveling exhibition, featuring European and American masterpieces from the late 17th through the mid-20th centuries, closes June 21, 2009.

When the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the New Orleans Museum of Art building and adjacent sculpture garden sustained more than $6 million in damage. The museum organized Masterworks from the New Orleans Museum of Art to benefit its Katrina Recovery Fund. Particularly rich in French and American art, the exhibition includes paintings and sculptures by some of the world’s greatest artists, including Cezanne, Degas, Miro, Monet, O’Keeffe, Picasso, Pollock, Renoir and Rodin.

To coincide with the exhibition’s closing weekend, the Young Affiliates of the Mint will host Big Easy on the Lawn, an outdoor party on the Mint’s front lawn featuring live entertainment, New Orleans-inspired fare, exhibition tours and souvenirs for sale. The event will take place Friday, June 19 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Mint Museum of Art. Tickets are available in advance at or at the door for $20/member or $30/non-member.

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Fairfax High's prom queen is a guy

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 10:58 AM

It'd suck to be a female candidate in this prom queen race. To get beat out by a guy for the crown would hurt.


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