Saturday, October 31, 2009

Go Psycho this Monday

Posted By on Sat, Oct 31, 2009 at 11:59 PM


The Main Library’s fall film series, “The Master of Suspense: Alfred Hitchcock Classics,” continues Monday, Nov. 2, with a screening of the legendary director’s best picture. For better or worse, 1960’s Psycho (**** out of four) is considered in many circles to be the granddaddy of the modern slasher flick. But whereas the contemporary crop revels in death and dismemberment, Hitchcock’s audacious masterpiece preferred to explore the recesses of the mind rather than the excesses of the flesh, and in doing so gave us one of the screen’s all-time great characters. That would of course be Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), the shy hotel manager and part-time taxidermist who explains to the aptly named Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) that “Mother’s not herself today.” Hitchcock broke so many established rules back in 1960 that it’s no wonder the film itself became a cause celebre. As for Bernard Herrmann’s nerve-jangling score, it’s easily one of the best soundtracks to ever accompany a motion picture.

Psycho will be screened at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, at ImaginOn, 300 E. 7th St. Admission is free. For more info, call 704-416-0252.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

A message to the gang rape voyeurs

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Let me just say that if you ever stand by and watch a young woman get gang-raped by multiple people and don't do anything, you're a fucked up individual who should burn in hell. I'm not trying to mince words at all. I don't care if you're a teenager or not a police officer, the failure to do something to stop this travesty gives the entire world a black eye.  I'm so tired of hearing all of the excuses, so please go somewhere and curl up and die.

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Reverse trick or treating family

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 4:10 PM

Shannon Ward knows that what she buys for her family effects other people.

That's why she and her three kids are participating Reverse Trick or Treating this Halloween.

Seven year old Glynis, 11-year-old Nathan and 13-year-old Thomas will be handing out cards attached to a fair trade piece of chocolate to people in Ward's father's Huntersville neighborhood.

"I noticed that with Sameritain's Purse, the group that sends the shoe boxes, a lot of them go to countries where a lot of chocolate and coffee comes from and I wondered how many of those families are farmers who are getting taken advantage of?" Ward said.

Global Exchange, a global human rights protection agency based out of San Francisco created this program. The organization has been around for over 20 years. 2009 marks the 3rd year of the Reverse Trick-or-Treating program.

This is the first year that the Ward family has had a chance to participate.

"Fair trade is really important to my family and we only buy fair trade chocolate and coffee. There is such an enormous amount of chocolate consumed around this time of year and Valentine's Day that I just wanted to let people know about it. I think if more people knew about what fair trade is and what it means when they don't buy fair trade that it would sway them to make different decisions or at least think about the decisions that they're making."

So, what is fair trade?

It is a social movement to get higher payment to the farmers in developing countries that produce things like coffee, chocolate and sugar to name a few items.

Ward said that she and her family try to expose as many people to fair trade items. Whenever there is a chance to share things at her kids' school, The Community School of Davidson, she makes a handcrafted hot chocolate made with fair trade ingredients to get the conversation rolling.

Where does Ward find fair trade coffee and chocolate. The coffee, she said, is easy.

"You can find fair trade coffee any where. Even Wal-Mart and Food Lion sell it now," she said.

But the chocolate, you have to search for. Here's a hint -- it ain't Hershey's. Ward said stores like Earth Fare and Healthy Home Market have fair trade chocolate.

She also said she buys some fair trade chocolate online at Sweet Earth Organic Chocolate.

Ward said she hopes that more people will start paying attention to fair trade and think about the choices they make.

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Reverse Trick-or-Treating: Be smart about your sweets

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 2:50 PM

Imagine giving a handful of little chocolates to trick-or-treaters . They thank you.  Then they give you a treat, too! Your treat: a flyer stating that the chocolate you gave them may have been produced by child slaves.  The flyer probably won’t put a smile on your face.  But it might, just might, have you think about how your chocolates were produced.

The flyer is part of a program titled Reverse Trick-or-Treating aimed to build awareness of child labor abuse and move people to think about the source of their cocoa products. Global Exchange, a global human rights protection agency based out of San Francisco created this program. The organization has been around for over 20 years. 2009 marks the 3rd year of the Reverse Trick-or-Treating program.  In addition to passing out the awareness flyers, kids are asked to give adults chocolates that are certified fair trade.

The fair trade certification come from The Fair Trade Federation, an international monitoring and certification system that guarantees a minimum price under direct contracts, prohibits abusive child labor, and promoted environmental sustainability. Farmers receive a minimum or floor price of at least $.80 per pound for non-organic cocoa and $0.89 per pound for organic cocoa.

The U.S. Department of Labor includes cocoa as one of the most common of the goods on its  “List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor” yet Americans spend over $13 million a year on chocolate.

I’m not saying to boycott chocolate.  Just be concerned about how it was produced, under what conditions and by whom.   Ask your coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants and grocery stores to carry cocoa goods that are certified fair trade.  We, as consumers, can drive the growth of a product through our voice and our wallet. Demand creates supply.

To participate in the Reverse Trick-or-Treating program, print a card or flyer from

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Requiem for a theater lover

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 2:34 PM

If you’re a regular theatergoer in Charlotte, chances are that you received more than a handful of playbills from Nathan Frenkel. I’ve seen him and his wife, photographer Marilyn Frenkel, at Theatre Charlotte, Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, and Carolina Actors Studio Theatre on innumerable opening nights. Just before Rosh Hashana, I saw the Frenkels among a sparse crowd at an open North Carolina Dance Theatre rehearsal at Belk Theater. More recently, we had exchanged greetings at the

Just Do It season opener at Theatre Charlotte on Oct. 16.

Nathan Frenkel
  • Nathan Frenkel

So it was quite a shock to learn that Nathan Frenkel had died at Carolinas Medical Center on Oct. 22. Nate was beloved throughout the Charlotte theater community, and a memorial will be held at Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, 650 E. Stonewall St., at 3 p.m. this Sunday. Marilyn Frenkel has asked that any donations be made to local theaters.

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Runway for the Ballet: Project Runway meets So You Think You Can Dance

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 12:43 PM


When it comes to The Third Annual Runway for the Ballet, think Project Runway meets So You Think You Can Dance, but for a good cause. This event, going down Sunday, Nov. 8, is a fashion and dance affair benefiting North Carolina Dance Theatre and will exclusively feature fashions from boutiques Black & Blue, eMartini, Scout and Molly’s, and ChezElle on the runway. Varied in with the fashion, excerpts from one of NC Dance Theatre’s signature performances, Innovative Works, will be showcased. This year is extra special due to the show only featuring smaller businesses, which provides exposure for them as it supports the NC Dance Theatre. In the words of the beloved (yet heavily accented) Heidi Klum: “You’re either in or you’re OUT.” For tickets or more information, visit $20-$65. Nov. 8. 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Booth Playhouse, 130 N. Tryon St. 704-372-1000.

— Marian Drayton

Want to know more? Check out this video from last year's Runway For Ballet.

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Citizen input trumps public servants' convenience

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Someone – make that anyone – in local government needs to get the message that he or she is working for the  people. You know, as in “democracy”? I bring this up because of recent reactions to calls received by the county court system. Some background: My colleague Tara Servatius, during her WBT show, told listeners about violent repeat offender Matthew Morgan, whose bond was recently cut by Judge Donnie Hoover from $150K to $15K. Servatius urged listeners to call the Community Outreach office of the county court system about the matter. (FYI, on Wednesday, Morgan’s bond was raised to $75K by a superior court judge.)  The Community Access and Community Outreach Administrator for the Mecklenburg County Court System (whew!), Charles Keller, tore into Servatius on her show, telling her that “it’s obscene or out of the ordinary to take up court time with your complaints about Judge Hoover letting Matthew Morgan out. . . . asking listeners to call and complain was inappropriate. What you have done is tie up staff time listening to messages that can’t be forwarded.”

Nothing like a public servant in a snit, is there? Now, think what you want about Tara’s call for listeners to contact the court system; in fact, think what you will about the whole Judge Hoover/bond issue, as well as defendants’ rights, dealing with violent crime, and so forth. But, here’s the deal, Mr. Keller: since when is it not OK in the U.S. for pissed off citizens, from the right or the left or the middle, to let their government know how they feel? Frankly, if any government agency isn’t prepared to deal with public comments — even what it considers “excessive” public comments – then it needs to get prepared. To put it in the simplest terms, the ability of the public to have input into government goings-on is a much higher priority than the convenience of the public servants who have to listen to the input. Keller needs to be reminded of that by county administrators.

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So-Stupid-It’s-Scary Thing of the Week

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 11:10 AM

This week, in honor of Halloween, we’re presenting a Stupid Thing of the Week that’s so stupid, it’s scary. At first, we were going to give the coveted award to two genius burglars in Iowa who wore “masks” that consisted of designs they drew on their faces with a black, permanent Magic Marker.



In the end, though, even those two dolts weren’t stupid enough to outdo one Kimberly Daniels, a Jacksonville, Fla., pastor, conference speaker, and, according to her web site,  “a recognized prophetic voice.”  Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network posted a blog by Daniels that warns Christians against celebrating Halloween because the holiday is pure evil and . . . we’re not kidding . . . demons are at work on your candy! "During this period, demons are assigned against those who participate in the rituals and festivities,” says Daniels. “These demons are automatically drawn to the fetishes that open doors for them to come into the lives of human beings. For example, most of the candy sold during this season has been dedicated and prayed over by witches."

You heard it hear first, ladies and gentlemen: Halloween candy has been dedicated and prayed over by witches. And that’s not all! "Curses are sent through the tricks and treats of the innocent whether they get it by going door to door or by purchasing it from the local grocery store. The demons cannot tell the difference." Jeez, those demons kill all the fun. The scariest thing? In 21st century America, there are people who really believe in this brand of insanity.

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Today's Top 5: Friday

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 8:00 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Oct. 30, 2009 — as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

The Haunted Mill at 6325 Wilkinson Blvd.


Dr. Cornel West at Knight Theater

Stand-up comedian Johnny Gemini at Alive

80’s Fab-O-Ween at Apostrophe Lounge

Halloween Creep-A-Thon at Scorpio's

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Light turnout in early voting

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Remember the long lines for early voting last year?

Well, you won't find any of those this year.


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