postmodern tucson

Friday, April 07, 2006

walk like a warrior

Monday's gonna be huge. If you're reading this from Tucson, I hope to see you there.

The deets:

April 10, 9 AM: yes to safe, humane and just borders, yes to permanent residency... and NO to h.r. 4437!

Meet at NW corner of Ajo Way and S. 12th Ave
Peaceful march to Armory Park
S. 6th Ave & 13th St
Rally 12:30-3:30

Wear white t-shirts and bring water. For more information, contact the Border Action Network @ (520) 623-4944 or

Friday, March 24, 2006

oh, dick... let's do it again sometime: a tragic missed connection

Speaking of demanding hotel stays, our beloved Dick Cheney was in town yesterday, speaking at a $500-a-plate Republican fundraiser for Arizona senator Jon Kyl. Apparently he didn't spend a night at the Westin La Paloma Resort, where the fundraiser was held... the veep was only in town for a few hours. Understandably, a great deal of Cheney's time was spent shuttling between La Paloma and Davis-Monthan AFB, where, naturally, Air Force One was parked.

As if that weren't exciting enough for postmodern tucson, it gets better.

'Missed connections,' arguably the greatest feature of the already fabulous craigslist, takes public interaction (or lack thereof) to new heights. 'Missed connections' is a bulletin board of just that-- missed possibilities for local human interaction. Catch a hot little number down at Congress last weekend? Anti-semitic cowboy tickle your fancy at the Borat Bar? Too shy to speak up? 'Missed connections' entertains the possibility of getting a second chance for communication. Granted, the idea of a second chance happening is slim at best-- the idea that a desparate invitation a la "you took my order at Beyond Bread... I was wearing a yellow t and pigtails... let's do coffee sometime!??" requires that that server is as desparate as you! So desparate, in fact, that he/she is wandering archived missed connections to see if someone "cared." Obviously, this oddly distanced form of interaction is largely one-way, and allows for a lot of role-playing and joking (and all around entertainment for many who read but choose not to post)... but there's nothing insincere about a posting I came across this morning. What can I say? He was only here for a few hours, but left a trail of broken hearts.

missed connection - dick cheney - m4m - 24
Reply to:
Date: 2006-03-24, 7:17AM MST

as i toted my spry little ass to work today, i was surprised when an officer of the law cut me off at the top of the entrance ramp. "to what do i owe the pleasure of your company this morning," i inquired. "it's cheney's motorcade... should be 'bout ten minutes." so there i sat, watching helicopters, motorcylces, trucks, etc, drive by.

in the midst of deep calculations of the cost of said motorcade (in addition to his fundraising trip at a five-star golf resort), i saw two armored limos approaching within the mass of flashing authority. i waved with my right hand, gawd blass america, and concurrently delivered, perhaps, the finest mid-digital salute i have ever performed with my left. if only one could put hand signs in a bold font...

we made eye contact.

i smiled and continued to wave emphatically with both hands.

you stared at me.

i stared back- you looked restless, ill, deceitful, opportunistic, pale, and wicked. i know there was a real connection there.

i waved more... you shifted your gorgeous, beady, lying eyes away, and likely ordered my death to your cronies.

a special magic hung in the morning air.

call me if you'd like to do it again sometime!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

strokes in mesa, for better or worse... but mostly better

No matter how bad Phoenix seems, there's always Mesa.

(Begin essentializing rant here:) Mesa is the epitome of the ugliness and wastefulness that is urban sprawl. It puts the San Fernando Valley to absolute shame. Once a modest town, Mesa is now a SuperWalmart-sized suburb which doubles as the second largest city in Arizona. It's a one-two punch of 'back to basics' middle America: Mesa boasts a legacy of religious conservatism (the town itself was founded by Mormon pioneers in the mid-19th century) and neo-nuclear families fresh off the latest white flight.

That said, apparently The Strokes prefer Mesa folk over those of us here in postmodern Tucson. Or maybe our music venues were overbooked for March 21. After all, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah was playing Solar Culture on the same night. Maybe their booking agent was a little more ambitious. Or just a little more in tune with Tucson audiences.

I mean, let's face it... the Strokes could have easily sold out Tucson's largest (yet still refreshingly intimate) venues, either the Rialto Theatre or TCC Music Hall. Instead, the band parked at the Mesa Amphitheatre where they played their first US tour date that hasn't sold out. Let me put it this way: Amanda, Miguel and I arrived at the venue a half hour after doors open, and the parking lot is fucking empty. I could have thrown a rock (or Miguel) from my car to the security check-in.

All things considered, the Strokes' set was stellar. After waiting out a bunch of hot air from the Eagles of Death Metal, the boys stepped up and played that stage like it was the goddamn Fillmore. If it weren't for a rather stiff crowd, I'd consider it to be the best show I've seen them play... but nothing beats the energy a Bay Area audience.

The setlist went a little something like this:
You Only Live Once
Red Light
The End Has No End
Life's a Gas
I Can't Win
Heart In a Cage
Last Nite
Hard To Explain
Ize of the World
Trying Your Luck
Barely Legal
Ask Me Anything
Vision of Division

NYC Cops
Take It Or Leave It

First Impressions of Earth might not be the band's strongest album, but its work makes for the best live performaces. "Ize of the World" and "Vision of Division" were guitar-heavy, bar-none standouts, "You Only Live Once" a swooning kick-off, and the stripped-down simplicity of "Ask Me Anything" eerily emotional.

The band spiced things up with "Life's a Gas," a cover of the Ramones' later work, which was delivered flawlessly. Apparently the song is the B-side to the Strokes's second single off of FIOE, "Heart in a Cage."

I was definitely missing three key Strokes tracks here: "Alone, Together," "The Modern Age," and "15 Minutes," the latter possibly the best off of FIOE, but perhaps too difficult to pull off well live. Amanda was a little upset she didn't get "Razor Blade." In any event, we were hardly left unsatisfied.

I'll always have an obvious bias for the Strokes, but 5 years after the release of The Modern Age EP, the band is undeniably at their best. For one, Julian's sobered up, finally comfortable and grown into his place at the mic. But the longevity of the band as a whole has been most impressive. In 2001, the idea of the Strokes putting out a halfway-decent third album would have been incomprehensible. Now, in 2006, the other bands once credited for ushering in a new, supposed Rock revolution alongside the Strokes-- the Vines, the White Stripes (certainly debatable...), etc.-- have faded/and or if not already been deemed extinct. This can't be a coincidence.

Keep it coming, boys.

(More pics and vid coming soon, courtesy Miguel)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

note from the manager: power washing


Upstairs Residents:

Saturday morning beginning at 8:00 a.m. I will be doing some power washing. In particular I will be washing the screen doors. To do this I will open them, pressure wash it off, and let it dry for 10 minutes, then lock it back up.

(manager, Brentwood Apartments)

channeling the unremembered 70s

Davis, California, 2003: (L to R) yours truly, Asfala, Pablo "el Diablo"

Pablo just sent me this photo, an old gem from the Davis yearbook. While, for obvious reasons, this looks much more dated than it actually is, I think this was taken during my first visit back to Davis in the fall after my graduation. I had just started my MA at SUSE and was itching to bond with my dear old roommie Crepeville-style. I remember Pabs seeing Asfala walking by, across the street, and so I ran after her so that she could join in on the reunion. Thankfully I had my trusty disposable camera on me at the time, and as result our historic snapshot ensued.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

lil' abner's arguably 'greatest restaurant of all time,' lucio boldly displays his testicles on dining room table

MARANA, ARIZONA-- Lil' Abner's may have just surpassed Crepeville as the greatest restaurant of all time, sources (read: Adam, Amanda, Karin, Lauren, Lucio, Jeff, Laura) report.

No, really, I'm quite serious. This shit was amazing.

Now, I'm not much of a red meat eater, but exceptions must be made in cases like these. I had been hearing about Lil' Abner's for several years now, ever since my buddy Eric started at the UA as an undergrad.

Lil' Abner's is way out of town. Way out of town, a good ten miles northwest of Tucson. It's a little smokehouse in the middle of the Arizona desert. Eerily enough, you can SMELL Lil' Abner's before you see it.

After sitting down and contemplating an extensive, detailed menu (one page, single sided), I ordered a 7 oz. filet, a modest yet exquisitely flavorful (dare I say 'tangy'?) cut of beef, which was lovingly accompanied by a salad, baked beans, baked potato and garlic toast. Amanda's a vegetarian, but she swears she had the best damn baked potato of her life... right, Amanda? Important to note here that sour cream for the potatoes was dispensed in these clever fortune-cookie shaped packages. Thanks, Rod!

Lucio really laid his manhood out on the table when he proceeded to order "The Cowboy" (see pictured), the crown jewel of the Lil' Abner's menu-- bar none the most expensive and largest cut of meat sold: a 2 LB. T-Bone steak. No exaggeration.

After we voraciously extinguished our fiery, carniverous urges, Jeff, Lucio and I extinguished not one-- but two!!-- pint-sized ice cream sundaes. As if that weren't enough, the crew hopped back in our cars and paid a long-awaited visit to the Branding Iron Bar, (formerly known as 'Country Western Bar,' affectionarely known as 'The Borat Bar') which, incidentally, was not that far away from Lil' Abners. Borat himself was no where to be found, and I, consequentially, was saved from any well-throwing.

Friday, February 24, 2006

wait til I tell suj-fan about this...

Reason #542 why I'm another #1 fan of "Big Dan" Nieman: AZIZ f***n' ANSARI. Here's Aziz's latest masterpiece:

white men under attack!

Found this little gem in today's DAILY WILDCAT. Now, I haven't met Mr. Wilson, and perhaps I'm jumping the gun here, but something tells me our beloved alumnus is a very, very angry white man who feels his heterosexual freedoms are being threatened by Mexicans and lesbians, among others. I'm inclined to believe he doesn't appreciate the mentally disabled, either.

Where Wilson really shines-- and maybe this is just me-- is when he tips his hat to the turkey baster. Well-chosen, breathtakingly vivid imagery to conclude a highly compelling manifesto.

Without further ado:


Liberalism the true 'mental disorder'

I found Gabriel Leake and Aaron Finke's letters pertaining to social illness quite amusing. However, both failed to hit the bull's-eye on what liberalism really is. Michael Savage said it best: Liberalism is a mental disorder. If not all, most liberals I have met are the most delusional, illogical, unrealistic people in the world. The self-proclaimed champions of open-mindedness and compassion are nothing more than the champions of double standards and hypocrisy. In the end, liberals are nothing more than the very same things they accuse conservatives of being day-in and day-out: racist, closed-minded, homophobic, etc. Here are some examples that further illustrate how serious of a mental disorder liberalism really is, especially from some of the professors I have had in sociology and women's studies classes at the UA:

Sensitivity is more important than truth, and feelings are more important than facts.

White people are only capable of being racist, while every other race is only capable of being the victim of racism.

Men are only capable of being sexist and rapists while women are only capable of being the victims of sexism and rape.

Minorities in general are never capable of achieving anything on their own without special treatment from the government.

A true minority is not determined by skin color or number, but rather by the stereotypical images seen in American pop culture.

Cigarettes are bad, but illegal drugs are good for you.

A true man is determined not by the size of his balls and ability to take responsibility, but by the ability to get in touch with his feminine side.

America is the enemy and not the terrorists in the Middle East.

Poverty and not a lack of self-control is the reason why people commit crimes.

Gays should not have to be open-minded towards having straight sex but straight people should be open-minded towards having gay sex.

The only acceptable way for a woman to become pregnant is to insert herself with a turkey baster and not a man's penis.

After seeing how messed up liberals are, thank goodness America is leaning more to the right.

Donald Wilson
UA alumnus

Thursday, February 23, 2006

topanga plaza: let's get retro

I recently fell in love with a hidden gem of a blog called Malls of America, a site that advertises itself as a treasure trove of "vintage photos of lost shopping malls of the '60s and '70s." And boy, does this site deliver.

For instance, look what we dug up here:

A significant portion of my childhood was spent here, although I don't recall the Topanga Mall looking quite as marvelous as this. Those cyllindrical tubes must have been taken out before I first cruised through in a stroller. What a fine display of Brady Bunch-era chic. More on Topanga can be found here.