Review of Theater Grottesco’s “WENOMADMEN”
Jim Terr – KUNM - August 06
There’s no theater
company around here, that I know of, any more political than Santa Fe’s
Their past two plays,
including the new one, “WENOMADMEN,” are both post-Apocalyptic. And
what’s more political and more relevant than looking at where we’ll
be in 50 years or 250 years, after the Apocalypse has occurred, whether
with a bang or a whimper – which I personally think is likely to happen
unless we change direction drastically.
greatest gift – besides their obvious skill and discipline – is their
daring, their willingness to try to create something out of nothing,
at the risk of a small portion of the audience simply not getting it
– which is sometimes the case, and has sometimes been the case for me,
In the new production,
WENOMADMEN, we’re instantly thrown into a brave new world with a fearful,
subjugated class of slaves and craftsmen, lorded over by a futuristic,
stylized clique of bureaucrats. Everything in this production is stylized,
exaggerated, minimalist, but the echoes of our own society and its anxieties
The tinny propaganda,
the calls to heroism, the evocation of legend and of fear – it’s all
there, but it’s all hanging by a thread in this primitive future where
there’s not enough of anything to go around, where survival depends
on a mad and probably hopeless voyage of discovery. And discovering
what? Do we still think a place doesn’t exist til we “discover” it?
In this stark world,
as a jury-rigged but sturdy ship sets sail to find a habitable land,
drinking water is all that matters. And is there anything WE pay less
attention to now, with water tables falling, and water supplies being
polluted -- and privatized to boot!
The social order
among the crew is quickly turned upside down. Rod Harrison, a Grottesco
regular, gets a great chance to stretch out in his role as the fugitive,
the stowaway whose past is finally revealed, but only after it has become
“Every 65 years
a culling,” he says. “Why not make a holiday of it? Who doesn’t want
to be a hero?” Why are these words so chilling, so resonant? What sort
of culling are we in the midst of now? Why does this play remind me
so much why SURVIVOR-type TV shows are so popular these days?
This is Grottesco
at its best, creating a frightening, elegant scenario out of a deceptively
simple, imaginative set; wonderfully original and evocative dance and
movement, dedicated actors, a brilliant soundscape by J.A. Deane, and
a finely-honed script.
Don’t miss Theater
Grottesco’s WENOMADMEN, resuming tomorrow, Thursday, for its last two
weekends at the Armory for the Arts in Santa Fe, call 474-8400.
This is Jim Terr.
- KUNM - Jim Terr July '06
The use of the term, "the first hundred days" -- the practice of evaluating
a president by what he's able to accomplish in that period of time,
in his honeymoon period with the Congress and the people who elected
him -- began with President Franklin Roosevelt's first hundred days
I read "The
Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope",
by Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter, I didn't fully appreciate what
deep doo-doo the US was in in the years and months before FDR assumed
the presidency in 1933.
Great Depression was on and people were out of work, banks were closing
- big banks in big cities - and Alter paints the scene so vividly that
we have no problem understanding why a great portion of the American
public - perhaps a majority - and many major public figures - would
have been fine with Roosevelt assuming dictatorial powers to bring things
In probing FDR's upbringing and political history prior to his run for
the presidency, Alter gives us insight into why Roosevelt resisted becoming
a dictator when the role was probably available to him. He gives us
a sense that FDR's essence is not easy to tease out, since the views
of even those people who knew him and worked with him very closely,
were sometimes contradictory.
be sure, FDR was a politician at heart, a showman, devious and evasive
when it suited him, but his policies reflected a deep faith and a sense
of self-security instilled, probably most strongly, by a fiercely protective
and self-confident mother, Sara. The story is told that when Franklin
was a small boy, on a voyage that turned into a ship wreck, his parents
kept their cool and sheltered Franklin from the chaos around him, determined
that the family would continue to stick together and play happily even
if the ship were going to sink.
cheerful personality and self-confidence rubbed many the wrong way in
college and in his early years as a bureaucrat, giving him a reputation
as a dilettante and a lightweight - which in some ways he may have been.
As fate would have it, this vibrant, social, theatrical, somewhat vain
man-about-town was stricken by polio, losing the use of virtually his
entire body below his arms.
time spent in therapy, much of it among the super-poor rural folk in
Warm Springs, Georgia, had a humbling and deepening effect on him, and
created a sense of empathy which, most simply, characterized his term
I also didn't know that he was almost assassinated during his first
presidential run. The mayor of Chicago was shot instead, and eventually
died, and this, too, evidently had a profound effect on Roosevelt.
Alter, the author, is an openly liberal, Democratic columnist, and he
must have worked hard to resist the temptation to compare FDR to the
current president - which he does little to none of in this book. But
one key difference appears repeatedly:
insider stories have appeared of a current president who does not question,
does not explore and does not read. But Roosevelt was unique at that
point in history for assembling a vast group of advisors, experts from
academia, from business and government - his "Brain Trust", it was called
-- , soaking up tons of often-conflicting advice, asking lots of questions,
and being willing to try something and if it didn't work, trying something
FDR made many of the right choices. He was accused of being a socialist,
a rich guy who betrayed The Club, for his bold moves to put the country
back to work with an incredible array of government programs, resulting
in many buildings and landmarks we still see today - and perhaps his
most radical and lasting achievement, Social Security.
ability to hide his crippled body from the public, his relationship
with Eleanor, and her interesting relationships, and her role in bringing
invaluable input from the street to Roosevelt - many fascinating threads
are included in this book but Alter repeatedly re-focuses on the mysterious
core of FDR and his sense of mission and his determination to make the
country whole again, against all odds.
Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope"
by Jonathan Alter is a fascinating read, with more than a little relevance
to our own perilous time.
is Jim Terr.
Dip into Utopia -- KUNM -- written July 5, 2006 ©
It's an old debate
- or is it? - whether listening to the news causes depression, or whether
being already depressed and listening to the news is -- like drinking
and driving - almost certain to result in disaster.
In any case, I knew
I was well into the despair zone when I heard the other morning that
the subway crash in Valencia, Spain, resulting in the deaths of over
40 people, was due not to sabotage but to good old human error - and
found myself feeling a little bit elated.
Yeah, the news is
not good, as you've probably noticed. And for some of us, who haven't
totally given up hope for a better outcome - and even for some of us
who HAVE given up - the strangest things can provide a glimmer of optimism.
Or at least a little manic uptick.
Perhaps this is
why I was strangely moved by a preview performance of an original time
travel comedy opening this Friday at Warehouse 21 in Santa Fe, called
"It's About Time." Locally-written, and performed by a fine group of
teen actors, the play is genuinely funny, clever and surprising. But
it was the theme that got me, rather unexpectedly.
story involves a future without conflict. I can remember when just hearing
such a Utopian idea would have put me to sleep. And in fact I've probably
seen and read a few things on this topic which HAVE put me to sleep.
But I'm older now,
truly worn down by what I see going on in the world, and mercilessly
immersing myself in the hopelessness of it all on a daily basis. So
perhaps it was just seeing this play at the right time, hearing newly
- for the first time in a long time - the suggestion of a world without
war, without violence, that was so surprising and refreshing and moving.
The fact that it was presented in a light, funny, almost innocent context,
certainly didn't hurt. I recommend it.
Fe's treasured author, commentator and former human rights attorney
Craig Barnes gave a talk the other night in connection with the release
of his new book, "In
Search of the Lost Feminine: Decoding the Myths that Radically Reshaped
scoured the surviving art of the Minoan culture for anything glorifying
war or violence against women so common in subsequent times - and, dare
I say it, even today - and found none. His thesis is that this advanced
culture somehow existed without war, and he traces exactly when and
why and how war and the subjugation of women began to climb the charts.
He insists that
he's not projecting peacenik values backward, but simply putting on
his attorney's hat and looking for evidence. Again, the idea of a world
without war, without glorification of violence, celebrating nature,
unexpectedly struck me like a runaway beer truck -- no doubt because
of how deeply I've bought in to the current darkness, myself.
I recommend you
take a dip into the Utopian and see if it doesn't help revive you as
This is Jim Terr
The Attack Industry, National and Local
Terr © 06-06 KUNM
INTRO: For some people, the current state of political debate has become
confusing and frustrating, and has left them longing for some real substantive
discussion of issues rather than posturing. KUNM commentator Jim Terr
says if anyone is benefiting from the confusion, they're benefiting
greatly at this moment.
A friend sent me
this morning – strictly for my amusement and amazement, I hope – a ten-minute
clip of right-wing pundit Ann Coulter reading from her best-selling
I made it exactly
one minute and nineteen seconds into the reading before my curiosity
was overwhelmed by disgust. She was painting some grotesque, exaggerated
and unrecognizable portrait of liberals – of whom I know quite a few
and probably am one – for the benefit of those who don’t get out much,
and don’t know any liberals personally. Except as they are caricatured
by Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and others in what I can only see as The
Later the same morning,
I turned on the radio and immediately heard a caller accuse liberals
of funding – not supporting or cheering but FUNDING – the insurgency
in Iraq, to make George Bush look bad! This sort of wackiness can only
flourish by a systematic idolizing of those who proclaim themselves
most Godly – no matter how vicious they show themselves to be --, by
demonizing those of us who question them, and by dismissing and demonizing
the professional news media as either “liberal” or “corporate-controlled.”
media reporters can’t be counted on to ask obvious questions like
“Excuse me, what did you say the war in Iraq has to do with avenging
or preventing another 9-11, again?” – but they are constrained to
bring a degree of balance and verifiable reality to what they report.
I know a few Republicans
and conservatives, all nice people on a personal level, wanting the
best for everyone as far as I can tell, and it frankly amazes me how
they can buy into what I see as the obvious lies, fear-mongering and
hate-mongering of the current administration and their many spokespeople.
And they probably think I’m equally deluded.
The divide between
what I see and what conservatives see has grown so large, the willingness
to listen has grown so small, that this polarization, this hostility,
is now a bigger problem than almost any of the other issues that we
face. Perhaps we can all agree that none of our major issues are truly
being addressed because most of the energy and focus are on the mutual
hate and suspicion -- fighting each other instead of addressing our
real problems – and I don’t meant the mostly phony “culture war.” Yes,
I can get away with anything – including sabotaging your best interests
– if you think I’m protecting you from THOSE guys.
It’s a situation
that promotes the horrors and absurdities we read about every day –
and our resulting impotence, confusion and frustration – which can only
benefit up-and-coming demagogues and dictators, and Big Business. And
I frankly have no clue how to attack the problem, except for an occasional
salvo of satire.
Looking at this
on a local level, our new Republican gubernatorial candidate, John Dendahl,
has just let us know explicitly that we will be getting no discussion
of anything substantive or risky during his gubernatorial run, but only
attacks. At least he's honest about what we can look forward to, but
isn't this exactly what Republicans are always pretending to complain
about Democrats for -- all criticism and no solutions?
And the current
Governor has let us know through his spokesman that he will not commit
to debating Dendahl. If the Governor doesn't have the self-confidence
to rebut Dendahl's attacks in person, in real time, and doesn't have
enough respect for us voters to favor us with a public debate, I would
never vote for him again.
The fact that I
have to worry about whether that statement will bring down the Governor's
wrath -- as so many others evidently do worry -- shows what a banana
republic we've become. Fortunately I don't think I've asked or been
given any favors by the Governor, so hopefully don't have much to lose.
Finally, the fact
that the Governor and Senator Bingaman are so bloated with campaign
funds that they're already battering us with warm, fuzzy ads about how
great and benevolent they are, speaks volumes about how corrupt the
system is and how badly public campaign financing is needed. That’s
an issue that we will NOT be hearing anything about from these three
Boy, I can't wait
to vote in this exciting process!
This is Jim Terr.
Support locally-written feature films
Terr - KUNM-FM 6-6-06 (c) LISTEN
NOTE: I regret
that I didn't mention the Governor's Cup competition as fostering New
Mexico creativity/filmmaking. I didn't mean to slight it -- I simply
forgot to mention it.
Commentator and reviewer Jim Terr has watched a lot of Hollywood films
which were produced in New Mexico -- and he's directed and acted in
a few films himself. He has some thoughts on feature films that are
WRITTEN here as well.
If case you haven’t
noticed, New Mexico is in the midst of a movie boom. We’ve got more
Hollywood movies shooting in the state at this moment than we’ve had
in an entire year at times in recent decades. There are three separate
Hollywood feature films shooting at one movie ranch near Santa Fe right
This can only be
considered a good thing, bringing lots of money and employment to the
state, and credit should go to the many forward-thinking politicians
and private citizens who brought about the incentives that have resulted
in this boom.
But there’s another
side of feature film making that could be just as profitable for the
state, and even more exciting. And that is the production of home-grown,
locally-written feature films.
Think about it:
We have the crews to pull off a good-looking, good-sounding film – which
is no small feat. We have the varied locales to create virtually any
look, including small-town Midwestern. We have more creative talent
– good writers and good actors – than we know what to do with.
And finally, we
have an extraordinary number of people for whom a quarter-million-dollar
investment in a feature film would be no big deal, no catastrophic risk.
Even Los Alamos, a town you don’t usually think of as particularly wealthy,
has a greater proportion of millionaires than any city in the country
– according to recent news reports.
dollars is one one-hundredth of what a relatively low-budget Hollywood
film costs, but enough to pay cast and crew and get a good-looking,
good-sounding movie out of a first-time feature film director looking
for a chance.
And what would
an investor get for his or her quarter-million dollars, potentially?
Well, we all know about “The Blair Witch Project”, which cost only $25,000
to shoot and which made a quarter-BILLION dollars worldwide. That may
be the exception, but it’s possible. There are hundreds of ways to market
and profit from a good, low-budget film, especially with the emergence
of so-called new media.
New Mexico had
one of the first on-the-spot filmmaking festivals, “Flicks on 66”, at
which I had the privilege of writing and directing the first
runner-up film in 2001. It was a tremendous opportunity for all
of us, and the opportunity continues with this summer’s Duke City Shootout
I dare say I’ve
seen short films written and produced in New Mexico that are more entertaining
than many of the Hollywood feature films that have been shot here –with
all due respect. Hell, I’ve got scripts that are more interesting –
and I’ll write in your wife, daughter or any other would-be star, and
make ‘em look good, too. A regular HollywoodMe
right here in New Mexico!
Tomorrow night at
the Albuquerque Academy, some serious young filmmakers will be pitching
for funding for a feature film. And Sunday night at the Hispanic Cultural
Center, some serious documentary filmmakers will be pitching as well.
Hey, how about liquidating
some of that Wal-Mart stock and taking a chance on New Mexico filmmakers?
This is Jim Terr.
Details on the two upcoming filmmaker presentations mentioned in the
preceding story are at www.LasVegasNMFilm.com
also see www.HollywoodMe.com
"Sophie Scholl: The Final Days"
4-06 Jim Terr
"compelling," "transfixing," "devastating" - these are the sort of adjectives
commonly thrown around by reviewers. Sometimes, perhaps, the shock and
the devastation recede a bit in the weeks and months following the writing
of a review, making the reviewer wish he or she had chosen words a little
been over four months since I saw "Sophie Scholl: The Final Days", at
the Santa Fe film festival, and that feeling of shock and awe that I
felt at the time has not diminished in the least.
Oscar-nominated film is starting its run at The Screen in Santa Fe,
and I'd like to recommend that you go get shocked and awed for yourself.
If you saw the unusual documentary, "Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary,"
you may remember that right near the end, Traudl Junge, the secretary,
says that it was many years after her service to Hitler, as she walked
one day past a statue of Sophie Scholl, of the short-lived White Rose
Society resistance movement, that she finally realized the horror of
what she'd been a part of. "It was no excuse to be young," she says,
"It would have been possible to find things out."
Scholl: The Final Days" recounts the crime that got young Sophie and
her brother arrested - leafleting an empty university building with
anti-Nazi fliers - and the days of interrogation leading up to their
film utilizes transcripts of her interrogation which were discovered
only recently, and the producers evidently felt no need to spice up
the narrative with romance, comedy or car chases. All the drama you
could ever need - yes, "Shocking", "compelling," "transfixing" and "devastating"-
unfolds as Sophie tries at first to evade prosecution, then faces up
proudly to what she's done.
even given a chance to avoid execution in the process, but she goes
bravely to her fate, and gives the Nazi kangaroo court an earful while
she's at it.
Jentsch gives a brilliant, slightly understated performance as Sophie
Scholl - sweet, almost innocent but totally resolute -- that will burn
itself into your soul.
the movie's website, www.SophieSchollMovie.com
- manages to capture some of the tension of the film, and there you
can read the text of the leaflet that led, ultimately, to the execution
of this small band of heroes, The White Rose Society. That text, reproduced
on the website, will surprise you.
Scholl: The Final Days," is playing at the Screen in Santa Fe, and I
truly hope it will be booked soon in Albuquerque as well.
is Jim Terr
Hot Not to Handle"
documentary review © Jim Terr 4-06
HBO's new documentary,
"Too Hot Not to Handle," illustrates in excruciating, frightening detail
the great increase in the frequency and severity of killer storms, killer
heat waves, droughts, and other symptoms of a long-term warming trend.
No snowpack, no water, dying crops, greater transmissibility of tropical
disease, longer allergy seasons, 185 mph hurricanes, hundreds dying
from heat waves in Chicago, thousands in Europe - it's all happening,
with more to come.
Evidently no scientists
except those whose research is sponsored by the fossil fuel industry,
question that this is likely due to the greenhouse effect, caused by
the millions of tons of gases and particles from fossil fuels we've
been burning over the past century. Glaciers are receding. The film
shows many side-by-side, before-and-after photos of identical locations
in Alaska, Greenland and in the Arctic, taken 30 or 50 or 100 years
ago, huge glaciers then and fragrant meadows now.
When all the glaciers
in Alaska melt, sea level will rise one foot; Greenland twenty feet;
when all ice caps melt - 200 feet! That will indeed make a few beachfront
properties and major cities and countries uninhabitable.
But wait - those
unfrozen ports, that unfrozen land will make it so much easier for oil
companies to drill for new oil in those formerly-ice-locked regions.
And we'll gladly use that oil - isn't that convenient for everyone?
"Too Hot Not to
Handle" doesn't explore the world view of those who willingly deny this
trend and the imperative to do something about it. Do these people not
have children and grandchildren? Do they expect to live in colonies
on Mars, or elsewhere in heaven, when things get even worse, when their
beachfront properties are submerged? But that isn't within the purview
of this documentary; it's just one of those little things I wonder about.
job - and it does it well - is to interview several scientists about
what's going on, just how bad it is, and how incredibly long it will
take to reverse this trend - even if we start now, if it's not already
scaring the crap out of you, "Too Hot Not to Handle" offers a few solutions,
a few examples of businesses, cities and other entities who find it
makes sense to pitch in and save our planet as a habitat for human life.
add up, I suppose: conservation, alternative energy, hybrid cars, biodiesel
trucks, ethanol. Now there's one I never understood: growing corn and
depleting the water table to make fuel for cars. But the documentary
claims that a significant source is the silage that's otherwise thrown
away, so that makes a little more sense anyhow.
Albuquerque is one
of a handful of US cities committed to a comprehensive energy policy
to address this problem. Mayor Martin Chavez explains why:
(MAYOR audio:) "As
the mayor of a major city, it is frustrating to watch the federal government
dicker when the reality of global warming is here. America's mayors
don't intend to let federal inaction deter us from doing the right thing
for our planet."
Get outraged, get
informed, get hopeful (but as for me, not TOO hopeful!); see "Too Hot
Not to Handle," during the next few weeks on HBO.
This is Jim Terr.
TRUE WEST theater
review Jim Terr 4-06 ©
something thrilling about watching great craftsmen at work, seeing someone
doing something really well - whether building a house, fixing a car,
teaching a class, or creating live theater.
Santa Fe's fine small theater company, Ironweed productions, has put
together a production of Sam Shepard's "True West" which grabs you from
the first moment, and pretty much never lets loose.
the performance I saw, in a beautiful small corner set carved out of
El Museo Cultural in Santa Fe's railyard, Scott Harrison plays the good
brother, screenwriter Austin, hanging out at his mom's house outside
Los Angeles while she's on vacation, so he can finish up a screenplay
and have a meeting with his agent, named… Saul! (Thanks for the subtle
touch there, Mr. Shepard!)
around and making Austin mighty nervous is his black-sheep brother,
stringy-haired, psycho petty thief, Lee, played perfectly by Eric Kaiser.
High-strung, violent, blaming everyone but himself, just in from the
desert where he hides out, Lee would make anyone nervous.
Austin is trying to get some serious work done in preparation for a
meeting with his agent the next day, and he gives Lee the keys to his
car only very reluctantly in order to get him out of the house so as
not to interrupt.
course it doesn't work out quite that way. Well…it doesn't work out
anything near that way. In fact, things take such a bizarre turn that
you know you're not in the so-called real world any more, you're in
theater-land. Who's the good guy, who's the bad guy, who's nuts and
who's not, who's going to succeed in Hollywood and who's going to succeed
in the world of crime - everything spins out of control as True West
enters phase two.
to the suspense and interest is trying to imagine each actor playing
the other role. Because in addition to the role reversal that occurs
in the story, in Ironweed's production the actors actually do switch
roles at various points in the show's run, so for a discount price you
can see the play a second time, with the lead actors swapping roles
to play the other brother!
keeping with a great tradition in Santa Fe theater, there is no phone
number or website listed on the program to make it easy to recommend
the play to friends you'd like to see it, but I've got the inside information:
660-2379 for play dates for this very fine performance of True West
at El Museo Cultural, and try to go a second time, another evening,
to see the reverse casting. That's 660-2379.
is Jim Terr.
Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise"
(review - HBO) Jim Terr April 5, 2006 ©
It's often said
that support for gay rights and gay unions and gay adoptions increases
as people who are opposed, simply get to know some living examples,
rather than living with their worst fantasies and stereotypes.
A new HBO documentary
should go a long way in advancing the real-life experience over the
stereotypes and fantasies.
A couple years ago
Rosie O'Donnell and her partner organized a one-week Caribbean cruise
on one of the world's largest cruise ships, for 1,500 people - gay,
straight, families, young and old. The documentary about the cruise,
despite the un-promising title, "All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise,"
is moving and eye-opening.
As a viewer, I had
to set aside my ideas about how the only thing more boring than a cruise
would be a film about a cruise, but my own pre-conceptions quickly fell
away as I got drawn into the many intimate portraits of loving couples
and their beautiful, happy, and sometimes startlingly articulate children.
I always think
it's hilarious that gay people are sometimes described as "sissies"
- as happened when this group disembarked in the Bahamas and ran into
an anti-gay demonstration - when in fact it obviously takes unusual
courage to be gay if you're gay, and for you and your children to put
up with the inevitable harassment. Rosie O'Donnell isn't the only tough
cookie on this cruise.
One of the most
moving sequences was hearing from former NFL defensive lineman Esera
Tuaolo about having lived a secret gay life while he was competing,
and coming out for the benefit of his children, whom he adopted from
within his family. Like anything new, getting to know these families
as they enjoyed this week in a safe environment, was a real revelation.
I guess I, too, needed to meet more gay people - particularly families.
Director Shari Cookson
says it was an eye-opener for her, as well. A straight women, she returned
with her husband and family for the next cruise, a year later: (audio…)
"All Aboard! Rosie's
Family Cruise" will play on HBO for the next several weeks. This is
TO COME UP WITH A DOMAIN NAME
(Broadcast by KUNM-FM
03-28-06) © 2006 LISTEN
If you’ve never
thought about it, or tried it, finding a good name for a website is
a fascinating exercise. There are websites which sell these domain names,
as they’re called, and which can instantly look up any names you have
in mind, to see if they’re taken.
For every name that
someone has purchased to use for an actual website, there are probably
five that have been bought to speculate with, to try to sell to someone
else who comes along later and might actually need it and will pay top
dollar for it. So when you're trying to find an original, catchy, memorable
domain name at this point, the pickings are slim because most names
you're likely to think of, have been taken.
What’s fun about
it, though, is that as you tear through the possibilities to see what
might still be available, you get the feeling you’re matching wits with
other would-be marketing geniuses out there, almost like you’re playing
a real-time, on-line chess game.
I recently looked
for a name for a website I was putting together for my radio jingles,
and the first one I tried, the most obvious one for me, JingleJim (dot-com),
was of course taken. JTJingles and JimJingles were available, but not
too compelling. So I checked out a few others, all of which were taken:
SingleJingle, Jingler, RadioJingles, JingleJungle, and Jumpin Jingles.
A few which WERE available were Jingle-Minded, JingleJive, and Jingular.com
– which made the final cut which I later put out to my friends for a
OK, now I’m really
getting into it. I thought of names that are puns or references to other
things and other phrases. JingleFever, JingleBells and JinglesAllTheWay
were taken, but JingleFile, JingleHanded, JinglesWild, JingleBook, and
Jingleheimer were available. As were TinyJingles, -- get it? (sing:
“TinyJingles…”), JinglePiper (a reference to Peter Piper – I think),
JinglesMalone (referring to Potatoes O’Brien), and JingleWeed (a reference
to – well, I’m not sure). JingleShot, JinglesAway, WholeLottaJingles,
and JingleBoogie WERE available, and also made it to the final nine
for voting. At this point I sent a preliminary poll out to friends,
and a friend of mine, a pretty big radio talk show host, suggested It’sAJingleOutThere,
perhaps a little too cute for me, but which I did include in the final
Then there’s the
sort of generic category, little added-on phrases that you could apply
to anything you’re selling – gift cards, kitchenware, pet supplies.
Like JingleCity, JingleWorks, JustJingles, JingleJoint, JingleThing,
JingleHound, JinglePie, MisterJingles, DoctorJingles, BigJingles, and
JingleBarn – yech!! -- all taken – and the following which WERE available
but also too insipid to use: JingleJar, JingleJug, JuicyJingles, UncleJingles
Finally those that
were just plain stupid and don’t ask me why I even considered them:
JingleJuice, JingleJustice, JingleSprings, JingleSwings, JinglesWithHam,
JinglesWithFries, JingleBoat and EternalJingles.
When I put the finalists
out to friends for a vote, it was pretty much a tie between JingleBoogie,
It’sAJingleOutThere, and Jingular – dot com.
As is my prerogative,
I broke the tie, and the winner is..., let’s see... opening the envelope
here... – www.Jingular.com! A
singular choice, I’m so honored, and I’d like to thank my… oh well,
This is Jim Terr.
documentary review for KUNM, 3-15-06,
Like Jesus' Sermon
on the Mount, or the Ten Commandments, most of us have heard President
Eisenhower's dire warning in his 1961 presidential farewell address,
about the emergence of a "military-industrial complex." He invented
the term to describe a monster with a life of its own, feeding itself,
corrupting the political process and generating a state of permanent
warfare to keep itself alive. But like those other famous speeches,
how many of us have paid attention or really done anything about it?
As the Supreme Allied
Commander in World War Two, Eisenhower saw it coming even then, as the
country built up to fight that war, and as president he was in a unique
position to observe and understand - as he said - the politics of the
defense industry and how it seduces politicians and the public for its
own ends. And it gave him the credibility to make this unexpected charge
during his farewell address.
The new documentary,
WHY WE FIGHT, examines what has developed in the 45 years since Eisenhower
gave his startling warning, which obviously went unheeded. The US's
military budget dwarfs that of the next eight countries combined. (What
ever happened to the peace dividend that was supposed to result from
the collapse of the Soviet Union, by the way?) When a new weapons system
is approved, the contractor often makes sure that components are manufactured
in all 50 states, so every senator and congressperson has a stake in
supporting it, to bring home the bacon and ensure their re-election.
Did you know that
the accepted equation is that 100 jobs equal 500 votes?
WHY WE FIGHT effectively
follows several individuals through time, as the film lays out its case
in a relatively balanced manner. Two are American bomber pilots who
tried to take out Saddam and his leadership early in the current war.
One is a young man
who sees no alternative but to join the military. One is a father, a
hard-boiled New York City cop, who lost a son in the 9-11 attacks and
who wants revenge, who even asked that his son's name be written on
a bomb to be dropped during the current war, and who was startled and
sickened to hear President Bush admit later that Iraq had nothing to
do with 9-11. Why he didn't figure this out earlier is another story,
and an important one, but is not the subject of WHY WE FIGHT. One of
the interviewees points out that war profits are up 25% in just one
year, and when profits go up - surprise! - war becomes more likely.
A bumper sticker I saw yesterday, that said "I'm against the NEXT war,"
becomes more relevant and less funny in this context.
WHY WE FIGHT lays
out plainly Dick Cheney's lifelong career as an industrialist and hawk,
now in the frightening position of creating policy exactly as he would
like it. Dan Rather makes the obvious but chilling observation that
one hallmark of a fascist state is a chorus of government officials
and senators singing in unison the praises of the great leader. Sound
The most effective
ongoing interview in my opinion is with Lt. Gen. Karen Kwiatowski, who
served for years in the military and the Pentagon and finally quit in
disgust when it became clear to her how the defense industry dictated
policy to the Pentagon, and how the Pentagon - especially in the run-up
to the current war - blatantly manipulated the available intelligence
to sell a bogus war that was in the making long before 9-11.
Right up there with
Lt. Kwiatowski is CIA veteran Chalmers Johnson, who provides the most
extensive narrative, coldly explaining HOW the defense industry, the
military and the Congress got in bed together and will evidently be
unable to get out, short of a general uprising in the country. WHY WE
FIGHT stands a fair chance of generating that uprising, and should be
seen by everyone - liberal, conservative or simply concerned about where
all the money and lives are going.
FIGHT is playing at the CCA in Santa Fe. This is Jim Terr.