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JANUARY ‘09


PHOTOGRAPH BY APRIL HEDING

13

THE FLIPS JANUARY ‘09 VOLUME 1 I ISSUE 2 5 7

EDITOR’S PAGE CONTRIBUTORS

FEATURE

8

LUV UNLIMITED

ALT- DINE AND DASH

10 BROCACH

CONT. CLOSET ARTIST

FEATURE

COVER STORY

INVISIBLE FRIENDS

FEATURE

FEATURE

20 KIM HALLER

22 GREG LUTSKA 24 SASS

34 BITCH 36 BLIND DATE 37 TESLA

13 THE FLIPS

28 CHINESE NEW YEAR

FEATURE

FEATURE

14 DJ HOT BROTT JOHNSON

FEATURE

30 PRESIDENT ELECT

COVER: GREG LUTSKA

FEATURE

PHOTOGRAPH PROVIDED BY GREG LUTSKA

LOCAL BOOTLEG 15 JOHNNY’S GOING HEAVY

FEATURE

16 POLY WANTS A CRACKER

CLOSET ARTIST 18 KERRI CLARK

32 FINDING MS. PAC MAN

38 A VERY PALPABLE HIT


JANUARY ‘09 CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER hanna swanson l hswanson@altdash.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR e. gallagher l egallagher@altdash.com CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER eric back l eback@altdash.com CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER jason altobelli l jaltobelli@altdash.com SENIOR COPY EDITOR sheri simpson l ssimpson@altdash.com CONTRIBUTORS lyndzi miller jenna raymond micah kranz tea krulos andrea jenels thomas calkins III

david swanson matt borden bryan dove steve formel adam weird

PHOTOGRAPHER: april heding ARTIST bryan dove l bryan_altdash@bdovinci.com www.bdovinci.com SALES/ADVERTISING INFORMATION sales@altdash.com GENERAL INFORMATION info@altdash.com LEGAL legal@altdash.com WEBSITE www.altdash.com Alt- , Inc. made every effort to present all information accurately, however Alt- , Inc. accepts no liability for any inclusions or advice given or for omissions from the publication. Rights and Permissions for the use of Alt- , Inc. Content Please note that it is necessary to obtain permission prior to the use of any material Alt- , Inc. published online and/or print editions, including material digitized and made available via the Alt- , Inc. website. All materials contained on the site (including, but not limited to text, photographs, video and audio) and in the print edition are protected by copyright as a collective work or compilation under U.S. copyright and other laws, and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published, or broadcast without the prior consent of Alt- , Inc.


LETTER

FROM THE

EDITOR

Like most people do at the beginning of a new year, I look back on the last and think to myself, “What have I done?” This large question covers the scope of where I went, who I met and what I succeeded and failed at, but the aspects that tend to stick out are always what were new to me. What had I seen, learned, loved or hated that I had never before? Sadly, there are years that I can say I sought out less new experiences than the years prior. And in those moments, I have felt

that time got the better of me and this year would be different. There were always many reasons why I didn’t do what I dreamed, hoped or just thought about doing over the year. Money, time, availability, fear, support, my job, my significant other, my parents—the list was endless. And yet when I look back and think on the things I did do despite the reasons not to do it, I never regretted my actions. Like road tripping to Florida with 6 people in the car and $300 on a credit card, flying out to Vegas on a spur of the moment to celebrate my birthday, hiking an hour through the woods to go jump off a cliff. Those will be the memories that define the years of my life. Of course there are world events as well that differentiate the years like 9/11, Katrina and our recent presidential election. Yet even in those moments, people tend to self evaluate and ask themselves, “Where was I?” and “What did I do to make a difference?” In 2009, Alt- would like you to step back and challenge yourself to fill this New Year with chances you never dreamed of taking. You may succeed or you may fail but you can look back and say, “That was a year I remember.”

CONTRIBUTORS}

MICAH KRANZ, accomplished manager of a Division BMX stunt team. Over 15 years of experience on the road performing BMX demonstrations and riding various contests. Management responsibilities at Torque Center and Ride Sports in New Berlin WI. Announcer on Various national tours and Harley Davidson enthusiast. micahkranz@ gmail.com

ADAM WEIRD is a rare creature. Born under a bad sign with a plastic spoon stuck his mouth. When he’s not busy catching up on piling schoolwork, he can often be found piecing together his own arts and music zine, Plastique Pop as well as writing his own graphic design citical manual entitled, The Conceptual Age.

STEVE FORMEL is traveling around the globe, outrunning a dark, evil past. Home is a magic couch that flies between Puerto Rico and Brooklyn. He also plays makes music in the band Jodienda.

Cont. page 6 CONTRIBUTORS l JANUARY 2009 l 5


CONTRIBUTORS} ANDREA JENELS, a Chicago native Andrea brings unique insight to the cream city music scene. Having been a reviewer for concertlivewire.com for two years, she has seen the likes of monumental acts such as The New York Dolls, Nikka Costa, and The Black Keys. ajenels@altdash.com

THOMAS CALKINS III, graduated from UWM with a degree in sociology, and has a strong interest in Celtic history, music and culture. He has plans for pursuing his Masters next year in Ireland and is also a singer/guitar player in the Milwaukee based band The Reckless Hearts.

MATT BORDEN is a professor of Modern Languages at Carthage College in Kenosha, WI. He resides in Illinois with his wofe and beautiful daughter.

TEA KRULOS is a Milwaukee freelance writer and former editor of UnderCurrents. He is also a local comic art advocate. You can see archived material at www.teakrulos.blogspot.com and e-mail him at teakrulos@gmail.com.

BRYAN DOVE was born, raised and bred in Milwaukee most my life with 3 lovely daughters Megan, Lisa and Marina. Still single after all these years. Either I haven’t found miss right or I must be Mr. Wrong. bryan_altdash@bdovinci.com

6 l JANUARY 2009 l CONTRIBUTORS


{CONTRIBUTORS LYNDZI MILLER is a student majoring in Creative Writing and hopes that’s not going to bite her in the ass for years to come. In her free time she knits and when she’s not knitting, she’s thinking about or drawing what she plans to knit in the near future. She’s a newbie to Milwaukee and always looking for something new to discover about the city. Lyndzi is also obsessed with Pin-Up girls and fully intends on being one “when she grows up”.

DAVID SWANSON is the author of the upcoming book “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union” by Seven Stories Press and of the introduction to “The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush” published by Feral House and available at Amazon.com.

JENNA RAYMOND used to be an ultra active and enthusiastic gal. But then she found herself 24 years of age and still not graduated from college. It’s been down hill since then. Currently, she spends most of her free time in her pajamas writing about her own apathy hoping it’ll spark a wave of productiveness. Still waiting. raymondjenna@gmail.com

APRIL HEDING grew up in a boring suburban town of South Eastern Wisconsin where people had too much money, too many children, and not enough fun. When her imagination would not suffice, she traveled to far off places in order to escape the pure monotony of her hometown. Now she is in yet another monotonous phase in her life, college, and soon hopes to escape that too. In the mean time, she takes photographs, listens to music, reads books, drinks way too much, and spends money she does not have.

CONTRIBUTORS l JANUARY 2009 l 7


FUN FACTS l OCTOBER 2008 l 7

LUV UNLIMITED F

ueled by Milwaukee’s love of all things vintage, Luv Unlimited in Bayview caters to fashion worshippers from all style genres. An eclectic mix of goods including shoes, handmade jewelry, uniquely reworked fashions, accessories, and even records can be found within the trading company’s confines. (Yep, you heard right, you can also sell and trade gently worn goods for in-store credit by appointment). The shop seems to have found a permanent home on KK with its colorful storefront complete with hand-painted horseshoes & sacred hearts, and crafty window displays draw in passersby on the sheer eye-candy factor alone. Upon entering you will no doubt be greeted by Sage Schwarm or Becky Heck, owners of Luv and the

8 l JANUARY 2009 l LUV UNLIMITED

shops only two employees. The former owners of HiFi Café (located just across the street) have proven they know just what fashionable Milwaukeeans want, with almost 5 years of business experience. The knowledgeable pair can tell you just about anything pertaining to merchandise in the store. Every piece has a story from the vintage necklaces and broaches, to the collection of handcrafted dolls, to reworked vintage tees often boasting Becky’s unique touches such as a lace trim or an altered neckline. Becky also features her own line, Hex Designs, which includes clothing, feather earrings, and wrist cuffs fashioned from men’s neck ties. Luv Unlimited also has an iron-on station where you can create designs of your own, including the beloved cheesy slogans of


the 80’s to more trendy designs such as birds, guns, and even a glittering Virgin Mary. Schwarm recently took on a new endeavor of his own, with Luv’s now offering wholesale screenprinting services with orders of 50 or more. This is an answered prayer for local bands and businesses looking to get some quality merch without the hassle of shipping fees and questionable companies found online. Schwarm also boasts musical knowledge, as he is 1/2 of the creative genius behind Milwaukee’s own Codebreaker. His musical expertise is helpful for answering questions while sifting through the rows of vinyl for sale. He can often be found changing up the music heard throughout the store at the back turntable station.

Recent additions to the store include authentic arcade style video games of Ms. Pac Man and Space Invaders— in working condition by the way, so be sure to bring plenty of quarters. Whether you are a stylish guy or girl looking for something unique, or searching for that perfect gift, give Luv’s Unlimited a try with their array of one-of-kind goodies and unique fashion flair. Luv Unlimited 2649 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53207 414-744-2540 www.myspace.com/luvunltd

WORDS BY ANDREA JENELS I PHOTOGRAPHS BY APRIL HEDING

LUV UNLIMITED l JANUARY 2009 l 9


DINE AND DASH}

BROCAC M

ilwaukee is a great city for the Irish Diaspora. We’ve got the Irish Cultural Heritage Center, the Milwaukee Hurling Club, and of course, Irish Fest. Along with these fixtures, the city also has some top tier Irish pubs. Granted almost every city in America probably has a pub claiming to be “Irish,” it doesn’t take long for even the most casual observer to notice which ones are actually working at authenticity hint: have real Irish whiskey). But for the past year since their opening, few pubs in Milwaukee can compete with the truly authentic Irish pub and restaurant, Brocach.

ATMOSPHERE

Brocach is the sister pub to its relative in Madison (Brocach is Gaelic for badgers den, of course). Nestled along a sleepy stretch of Water Street (yes, there actually IS a sleepy end to it), Brocach’s exterior is adorned in lush red wood trim on the familiar and inviting cream city brick. The look of the place advertises both a comfortable and spirited atmosphere, which the team at Brocach has expertly created. Inside the pub customers will find the handy work of Anne Brown of Bar None Designs out of Ottawa, Canada. An expert pub designer, Brown focused on creating both a very urban and Victorian look to the place. The dark woodwork contrasts with the warm exposed brick and faux finish paint job, which suggests that Brocach is 10 l JANUARY 2009 l DINE AND DASH

older than its years. Random bric-a-brac, including old typewriters and medicine bottles, are found throughout the pub, which lends itself to the worn-out look.

FOOD

The food at Brocach is kind of metaphorical of the Republic of Ireland itself right now, both steeped in wellworn tradition, and inventively new. To be less cerebral, what one can find on the menu is time-honored classics like bangers and mash, but with a modern touch, such as roasted apple and fried leeks. In a way it elevates traditional Irish food and makes the statement that although these dishes are essentially comfort food, it doesn’t mean they are doomed to be uninteresting. With that being said, for those who don’t wish to tread down adventure lane, there are plenty of Irish and American standards, which the cooks at Brocach definitely execute well, such as the Dublin City Burger and Corned Beef and Cabbage.

DRINK

Although being far more of a light-weight than my Irish genetics should reasonably allow, I do enjoy good whiskey served neat, which Brocach has no shortage of. In fact, if one were to count (and consequently one did), the pub boasts not only 22 different flavors of Irish whiskey, but also more than double that in Scotch. In the


ACH Irish whiskey category, I recommend either Bushmills 10yr or Red Breast. These spirits are priced low enough for us in the “new economy,” but still have the power to make you feel like the cool dude with the glass of pure whiskey. If you are really broke, but somehow feel entitled to drink single malt whiskey, Brocach has come to your rescue. Every weekday from 3-6 pm. is happy hour at Brocach, where even the most downtrodden can drink top shelf for half price. It’s a good way to explore the world of whiskey without borrowing against your house (never a wise financial decision). If a shot and a beer is all your looking for after work, happy hour also boasts a “Guiness and shot of Bushmills” special for six measly bucks. In addition to the Irish standards, Brocach has a stable of its own specialty cocktails, including Mai Thai’s, Cucumber Mojitios and the like, for when you feel like easing into the night. As everyone knows, any Irish pub worth its salt manages to focus on three main points: warm atmosphere, comforting food, and good booze. Brocach handles all three seemingly effortlessly, plus they’ve got Gaelic printed on the bathroom doors, which means they’re more Irish than your bar. Regardless of your ethnic heritage, if you’re looking for a relaxing joint that is also lively, then Brocach is your place. Brocach 1850 North Water Street Milwaukee Wi 53202 414-431-9009 I www.brocach.com/milwaukee 11am-2am WORDS BY THOMAS CALKINS III I PHOTOGRAPH BY JACK ROEPKE

CONVERSATIONS WITH

ALT-MAGAZINE

SALES STAFF: Bob: So how have ad sales been with the declining market we are in? Alt-: Well, it hasn’t been easy. While going door to door with our pamphlets, some people think we are Jehovah Witnesses and ask us a lot of questions about religion. This then freaks out Timmy, one of our sales associates, with flashbacks of his stint in a cult. Bob: If say, I own a small start up business out of my house and want to advertise in your magazine, can I? Alt-: Absolutely. Granny get-togethers, auctions to get rid of your roommate’s stuff, doggy dance school—we’ll make an awesome ad for you. Bob: Is it expensive to advertise in Alt-Magazine or on your website (www.altdash.com)? Alt-: No. We take extreme pride in our cheapness. Where else in town can you get a full color ad for under $90? Of course you have to sign away the mortgage to your house and your two kids. Just kidding, just kidding—you can keep your kids. But the house we want. Seriously. Bob: I have always found advertising confusing and with a lot of small print “extras.” Do you guys do that? Alt-: We have a flat fee for the ad with no additional cost for your ad design. If you keep harping on our graphic designer to change the ad over and over though, he has a tendency to hold his breath till he passes out so our only additional charge is to modify the ad more than two times. Bob: How do I get started? Alt-: Contact us at sales@altdash.com. Please put in the subject line “holla back yo,” or “dig it,” or something so we know you are serious and in need of immediate attention.


SHANK HALL CALENDAR

january Fri. January 2, 10pm Pat McCurdy-$6

Thur. January 22, 8pm Trampled By Turtles-$15

Sat. January 3, 8pm Chopper Box-$8

Fri. January 23, 8pm Fever Marlene-$10

Fri. January 9, 5:30pm Revolush, Chief-$6

Sat. January 24, 8 pm ReverendRaven and the Chainsmoking Alter Boys, Hounds Tooth-$7

Sat. January 10, 8pm The Blacktop Kings, Robert Allen Jr-$8 Fri. January 16, Douglas Acres, The Shepherds-$10 Sat. January 17, 8pm The Wigs, The Dare-$10

Fri. January 30, 8pm Greg Koch Nation Sack featuring Malford Milligan-$15-smoke free Sat. January 31, 8pm-Animationa tribute to RUSH-$13

february Fri. February 6, 10pm Pat McCurdy $6

Mon.February 16, 8pm The Godfathers-$20

Sat. February 7, 8pm Chapman Party of Five, Jayme Dawicki, Weber Band-$8adv/$10 door

Sat. February 21, 9pm Twentyfourroses, Outhaus Poets, Sanstereo-$8

Fri. February 13, 8pm ZOSO-Led Zeppelin Tribute-$12

Sun. February 22, 8pm Steppin’ in it, The Wiyos-$12

Sat. February 14, 8pm Poi Dog Pondering, Scotland Yard Gospel Choir-$16

march Sun. March 1, 8pm That 1 Guy-$15

Wed. March 4, 8pm Antoine Dufour, Pino Forastiere, Craig D’Andrea-$15 smoke free Thur. March12, 8pm 40oz to Freedom - Sublime Tribute, Clayton Senne-$10 adv $12 door

Sat. March14-Uptown Savages Tue. March17, 8pm Pat McCurdy $8 Sun.March 29, 8pm Walter Trout and the Radicals-$20

Street Parking Available · All shows 21 and older · For more information www.shankhall.com ·Tickets available at the Shank Hall box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com by phone 414.276.4545. 1434 N Farwell Ave · Milwaukee, WI 53202 · 414.276.7288


{LOCAL BOOTLEG

THE FLIPS

EVERYTHING’S JAYK

TEXT BY BRIAN MCCOMB I PHOTOGRAPH BY APRIL HEDING

Born from an idea between Wendy Norton (Plexi 3, Kryptonite Records, The Monitors) and Natalie Clark (The Tears, Tuff Bananas) The Flips, an all-girl Jangle pop group composed of local female talent, is a welcome addition to Milwaukee’s already thriving Mod/Powerpop scene. Originally conceived to be a fun recording project on the side, the idea quickly turned into a full-on collaboration between Norton and Clark. Betsy Heibler (Sugar Stems) on lead vocals, Feraim Albano on percussion (The Riveters, My Underwear), Fran Switalski on organ (Jane Doe and The Cop Haters) and Steph Swinney on bass guitar (Sugar Stems, The Nice Outfit). With Norton and Clark on guitar & vox, the all girl 60’s pop throwback group was officially formed. Combining sunshine pop nostalgia with simple rhythms and catchy lyrics, the Flips execute a formula that has been proven many times over in the past…simple fun. With an EP in the works scheduled for release in early 2009, the group is anticipating many shows to follow. If you are a fan of the all-girl pop revival then keep your eyes peeled for this culmination of Milwaukee’s best female talent. www.myspace.com/theflipsmilwaukee WORDS BY ANDREA JENELS I PHOTOGRAPHS BY APRIL HEDING

LOCAL BOOTLEG l JANUARY 2009 l 13


LOCAL BOOTLEG}


 
 actually,
 tons
 of
 80’s
 pop
 shit
 is
 getting
way
too
much
play
right
now,
 but
 that’s
 because
 people
 are
 stupid
 and
have
shitty
taste.
C’est
la vie!

a

Attending his first concert (Dolly Parton) at the age of 4, this Milwaukee native finds inspiration in all genres of music and says it is impossible to pin down one artist in particular that has shaped his diverse musical palette. Formerly playing bass in one of Milwaukee’s most recognizable bands, The Mistreaters, David Gregorski (35) aka DJ Hot Brott Johnson, got the notion to put his dormant collection of vinyl to good use by becoming a local DJ. He brings about constant surprises in his ever changing line-up, by spinning anything from Soul, Hip-Hop, to Rockn-Roll classics. He can also be heard live every once in a while on WMSE as a fill-in radio host. On his nights off, this local DJ can be found at any given Milwaukee hot spot catching live shows and chatting up other emcees and music lovers. We caught up with DJ Hot Brott Johnson to find out his music motives and thoughts on the local music scene in Milwaukee. WHO: David Gregorski aka Uncle David, aka DJ Hot Brott Johnson, aka Stoshu Koznowski WHEN AND WHERE: Burnheart’s located (2599 S Logan Ave, Bayview) Every other Thursday from 10pm –

14 l JANUARY 2009 l LOCAL BOOTLEG

close. The Cactus Club every other Wednesday 9pm – close (2496 S Wentworth Ave, Bayview). Gregorski also bartends at River Horse (701 E Center St, Riverwest) and The Y-Knot III (1854 E. Kenilworth St, Milwaukee). ALT: HOW DID YOU GET INTO SPINNING? DG: One day, I noticed I had thousands and thousands of records lying around my house, and I decided to use them to get some free drinks. ALT: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GENRE TO PLAY? DG: Hip-Hop, Funk or Soul, because then you find out who in the crowd is racist. ALT: WHAT MAKES MILWAUKEE’S MUSIC SCENE UNIQUE COMPARED OTHER “LITTLE BIG CITIES”? DG: More alcoholics per capita. ALT: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BAR/CLUB TO FREQUENT WHEN YOU’RE NOT BUSY BARTENDING OR DJING? DG: Burnheart’s, Cactus Club or Club Garibaldi. All those places love me, and I love them right back.


{LOCAL BOOTLEG

DJ HOT BROTT JOHNSON ALT: FAVORITE LATE NIGHT DINING ESTABLISHMENT? DG: I recently scored a key to the dumpsters behind Whole Foods. Ka-Ching! ALT: TOP 5 FAVORITE RECORDS IN YOUR COLLECTION RIGHT NOW: DG: 1. “Black Bastards” by KMD 2. “The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In” by Thee Oh Sees 3. “Rated XXX” by Kool G Rap 4. “Where It All Began” by Bo Diddley 5. “Hair And Thangs” by The Dennis Coffey Trio

ALT: TOP 5 OVERRATED SONGS MILWAUKEE DJ’S PLAY: DG: I can think of way more than five, but people need to stop playing “Rapture” by Blondie (Worst. Song. Ever.) Or anything off of “Thriller,” the thrill is gone, people! Actually, tons of 80’s pop shit is getting way too much play right now, but that’s because people are stupid and have shitty taste. C’est la vie! www.cdbaby.com/cd/darkhorseproject www.myspace.com/thedarkhorseproject WORDS BY ANDREA JENELS I PHOTOGRAPHS BY APRIL HEDING

JOHNNY’S GOING HEAVY With only two members and the most basic rhythm section you can get away with (drum & bass), Johnny’s Going Heavy, may seem like just another duo hiding behind the well worn “less is more” aesthetic. But Danny Walkowiak (drums) and Robbie Schroeder (bass) are determined to challenge the limitations anticipated of most two-man combos. The songs available on the group’s Myspace page (part of a soon to be released full length CD) could almost be mistaken for the long lost rhythm tracks of a Bad Brains record. Although the material is heavy and tightly wound, it’s also intrinsically melodic, if you can believe that. Heavy influences of jazz, hardcore, and metal can be found laced throughout the tracks. But make no mistake; when they reference jazz it’s in the Greg Ginn kind-of way, as opposed to the Steely Dan kind-of way. The Johnny’s Going Heavy boys pride themselves on a strong live show, with Walkowiak stating, “I challenge people to top our stage presence… you can be a terrible band (to an extent) and get away with an amazing show—all on how you

present yourself.” Although this position comes straight from the punk rock play book (ahem… The Germs…etc.) it shouldn’t be an indication that the boys are sloppy on the execution, in fact it’s quite the opposite. The Johnny’s Going Heavy material imposes a couple of questions out of the listener. First, when is the vocal track coming in (which they intend to work in later)? The second is: do we need it? Can the rhythm section of a hardcore band actually be interesting and melodic enough to keep our attention? Amazingly, these guys prove that it can. www.myspace.com/wattamess WORDS BY ANDREA JENELS I PHOTOGRAPHS BY APRIL HEDING

LOCAL BOOTLEG l JANUARY 2009 l 15


a

new age is upon us. An age of freedom, choice, and change. An age where you can access nearly anything at the touch of a button. An age where information flows unbound into the homes of almost every American. An age where love is accepted of all kinds and is accepted universally . . . well, not quite. Make way, homosexuals, because people have found a whole new way to discriminate. Ever hear of that slippery-slope theory in which if gays marry, then what’s next? “Bestiality,” they say, “necrophilia, or worse, polyamory might be accepted. Children will be murdered in the streets, and chaos will surely dominate the nation. Oh, the horror!” The act of loving two or more individuals, polyamory (or “poly” as we young folk like to call it), is considered, among a lot of the population, a bad thing – if they ever consider it at all. The fact that it commonly gets confused with swinging, forced (and sometimes underage) polygamy, cheating, or just plain sluttery propagates the negative connotation with “many loves.” Poly people are not freaks (not the majority of them, anyway), though the media would like you to believe differently. In fact, poly relationships are quite normal. We sit at home and eat pizza. We go to school, hang out in coffee shops, we Twitter, and we’re obsessed with finding the right music and social networking just like everyone else. We get in fights, we argue, we make up, it’s all pretty normal. The only difference is that I do that with two people on a weekly basis, not just one. I have two boyfriends. I am poly. Hear me roar.

I won’t go and say that polyamory is for everyone and it’s the right thing to do. As normal as my boyfriends and I are, what we are doing is far from the norm. Monogamy has been the leading form for relationships for centuries. So I’m never surprised at the faces I get when I “come out” to them. I get a lot of “Wow’s” and “I-could-never-do-that.” You really don’t know if it will work until you’ve tried, and there’s really a lot to think about before ever deciding to try. No, it’s not a no-rule/free-zone to sleep with whomever you’d like. There are rules to every relationship and probably about 50 more to any poly one. The rule, “Don’t sleep with anyone else,” is standard Rule # 1 for the average relationship. Poly Rule # 1 is usually something around, “Always be honest,” and somewhere down the line is, “You can sleep with someone else, as long as I know about it.” Poly relationships are essentially all different, and their rules and limits differ dramatically from one to another. Some polys believe it’s ok for their partners to sleep with other people as long as they don’t know about it, while others share absolutely everything right down to, “How were they in bed?” One of the main topics everyone is interested in when polyamory comes up is jealousy. “Don’t you get insanely jealous knowing your boyfriend is sleeping with someone else?” In my case, one of my boyfriends is seeing another woman, his wife. The fact that I know her, I’m good friends with her, and we have more things in common than even my significant other and I do, helps. There’s a little word we like to use in our

Poly wants a cracker, oh, and

two boyfriends, kthaxbia

sleep with someone else, as long as I know about it.”

you can

16 l JANUARY 2009 l POLY WANTS A CRACKER

c f p B h t m b r s b a

j n c i r o l f m o r

k t n


community called “compersion.” What it means is to feel happy, or get pleasure, from knowing that your partner is happy – even if it’s caused by someone else. Because I love my boyfriend, it makes me happy to see him happy. And since his wife does that, I’m on good terms with her being in our lives, and the feeling is mutual. It is not a feeling that one develops overnight, but neither is the trust one gets in a monogamous relationship. It’s something that builds with time and love. We all get jealous, poly or not, it’s just how couples deal with it that makes the relationship work or fail. If you ever get the pleasure of meeting a poly person (and I’ll tell you how you can later), you’ll find most of them love to talk. This comes from an open and honest relationship in which communication is key. Poly individuals thrive on talking out their problems, it is in fact one of the only ways the relationships succeed. You may already know a poly person and not even know it. Because there isn’t much tolerance for it in the world, or people just don’t think it’s anyone’s business but their own, most poly folk do stay closeted.

Family, how other people will view them, religion, even the law can come into play, and some people would rather just hedge around the issue than ever have to go into the amount of detail I just went in (and believe me – this is the tip of the iceberg) to explain why they live the way they do. Lovely poly enthusiast, Cunning Minx, who does podcasts and blog posts on the issue at PolyWeekly. com, said in the Chicago SunTimes, “Think back. Was there ever an ‘aunt’ or ‘uncle’ who visited your grandparents all the time? Or a couple they spent a lot of time with, or a ‘good friend of the family?” It’s probably more prevalent than people let on, so think about that when you look at family pictures and remember that close, single friend that your parents always hung out with. If any of the issues here have interested you, or you’re intrigued by the notion of loving more, you should visit the new “Coming Out Poly” Milwaukee group that will have it’s first meeting at the Tool Shed, January 21st at 7 pm, and/or visit the blog Comingoutpoly.com for more information. WORDS BY LYNDZI MILLER

don’t you get insanely jealous knowing your boyfriend is sleeping with someone else


CLOSET ARTIST} I’ve been modeling/acting for twenty-five years and am represented by the Ford agency. The photography came to me through sheer osmosis. I just soaked it in, completely obsessed with bringing out the best of a person’s interior by showing a beautiful image of the exterior. I studied make up, hair, light, costumes and poses while working on sets all over the world. From Hollywood to Tokyo all I’ve ever loved was the camera-behind it or in front of it-I didn’t care as long as it was present. I am currently doing a lot of actor’s headshots. THE ART: Medium: Portrait Photographer/Model Five words to describe your work: It’s all about the eyes Prices: A session with me is $300.00 for two looks and hair and make up is included. What era do you compare your work to: Old School Hollywood- New School Marketing. BACKGROUND: School: Self-taught What got you into it: Senior High school photos –the photographer sent me to an agency- I was signed for a two-year contract. Years doing what you do: Twenty-five

[KERRI CLARK]

CURRENT: Projects: I recently art directed a film for the Milwaukee film festival. I also did the lead hair and make up. The film was called” The Waiting Room.“ It won the audience’s choice award. I worked on a film last year as well. I really like keeping my fingers in the film community’s pie. Shows: I’ve returned to modeling and signed with Ford models. They keep me super busy and it’s been pretty cool to be in front of the camera again. Obsession: Currently I’m obsessed with my friend’s Fuji camera. I usually shoot all Nikon. FUTURE: Dreams: I want to do a book of every face I’ve ever loved. To work in Hollywood again soon. What is success to you: Being happy. LOVES: Favorite artist: Olivia (pin up artist) and Salvador DaliI tend to combine their influences. Favorite hang out: The Social Shout out To: All my friends and family YOU: Name: Kerrie Clark Web address/myspace page: myspace.com/kerriedaway and I’ve recently been converted to Facebook.

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{CLOSET ARTIST

CLOSET ARTIST l JANUARY 2009 l 19


CLOSET ARTIST}

[KIM HALLER]

THE ART: Medium: Mixed, assorted pens, surfaces, fabrics, digital, Mac, paint and glitter Visions: I spend a lot of time making notes of things that my family says and does. We have post-its everywhere in our house to document this. I also have a collection of them in my head. These floating phrases and pictures inspire most of my work. I like to build them into the characters and patterns that I create, mixed with little bits and pieces of my own various collections, obsessions, quirks, and childhood stories. I hope when people look at my work they can find a sort of familiarity, whether it be in a particular character illustration itself, a pattern, texture or color that I used or a relatable environment that I created. Maybe it can take them to a “post-it” happening of their own. Five words to describe your work: Began with za-za and bud Prices: Prints are available from my esty site www.kilsook. etsy.com for usually about $20 each plus shipping. Originals range from about $200 and up. “S o o k” earrings (my line of handmade wearable art) are available wholesale for $25 and up from me, or from Majolie footgear stores locally as well. What era do you compare your work to: Two eras. Pre and post “mama” BACKGROUND: School: Graduated and still learning. What got you into it: I’ve been encouraged to do art all my 20 l JANUARY 2009 l CLOSET ARTIST

life. I would get lost in the process and I knew there was something to it. My husband is an artist as well as my best friend and her husband. We have a close network of friends and artists in the area who constantly inspire and motivate us. My husband started the Milwaukee Drink & Draw chapter which started me doodling again. I also realized after I started teaching high school art that I needed to give just as much to my own ideas and creativity as I did to my students. To be a good teacher I needed to be actively involved. When I started working on my own stuff again it made my role as an artist and a teacher whole. Now I had something to give. With each new illustration and new pair of earrings I get motivation and ideas for other creations. That helps to keep me in it. Years doing what you do: I’ve been creating since I could hold a red crayon. I’ve been teaching for 13 years. I’ve been working on my portfolio forever. I’ve had my s o o k jewelry line for 5 years. Mentors: My parents, who always encouraged me and everyone else who did along the way. CURRENT: Projects: Right now I am working on some bigger mixed media pieces. I am trying to create some different complex surfaces to reveal interesting characters on. I’m trying to get dirty again. Shows: I would love to show my work. Please contact me if you have an interest in showing my work Obsession: Warmth, scarves, patterns, collecting things, mementos, sparkly stuff, and tiny little things, stale gummy bears… FUTURE: Dreams: To open up a studio/gallery/knitting/appetizer/ bar with a huge wall size HDTV that plays big screen worth movies, good TV shows and UFC pay-per-view fights. It would have a fireplace, various funky patterned pillows, big comfy

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{CLOSET ARTIST couches, wooly and down blankets, lots of pen varieties, clipboards a plenty, and many varieties of gummy candies. Basically just a place to work on my stuff. What is success to you: Success is being home with a happy family, having time to laugh and play and talk to the ones you love. It’s also allowing yourself the time to get lost in what you love to create. Being able to share and communicate to others what you are influenced by and knowing that you have inspired someone. Success is a smile of appreciation, a pat on the back, a good laugh, a good night and a great hug. Projects: Continue building my portfolio and experiment with a different media along the way. I would love to do more commission and freelance work. LOVES: Favorite artists: Julie West, Samuel Flores, Jams Jean, Yoshitomo Nara Favorite hang out: My house, my couch, in front of my TV. Favorite subject: Not math. Shout out to: My husband, my kids, za-za and bud, my parents and my Auntie Anya family. Final Word: Thank you. YOU: Name: Kim Haller Web address: www.kilsook.etsy.com for prints Wholesale earring orders, commissions, freelance requests via email. Sook earring lines available at Majolie/footgear stores locally. Full web-site coming soon Email: sook@wi.rr.com

CLOSET ARTIST l JANUARY 2009 l 21


y t r a p 
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k s lut

Action sport athletes are synonymous with sunny skies and lackadaisical attitudes. Yet buried deep within the cloudy skies of the Brew City is a man who has made a living and a business off of skateboarding. Greg Lutzka recently placed 4th overall in the AST Dew Tour, the biggest annual contest series in skateboarding and is at the height of his profession. With a gradual push for actions sports in the Olympics, could Greg go from being chased off college campuses by security to shoe contracts, to possible Olympic athlete? The life of a professional skateboarder is one to be admired. Explain yourself to the people: I’m originally from Milwaukee Wisconsin. Basically I’m having good times, and getting to travel and do things I’ve always wanted to do. I moved to southern California five years ago and now do a lot of different things other than skateboarding. I get to move into the music world with Lil’ Jon, he’s using me in his music video’s, and I’m bringing him into my video parts, and got to do a few movies; “Acceptance” was one of them. It’s good to be in the hometown now and with my homies and it’s how we do it. Your whole career stemmed from skateboarding. What is the progression from being a little boy on the streets jumping off stairs to contest to being in music videos? To keep a long story short, I grew up in Milwaukee, got sponsored by (local companies) Beer City Skateboards and Phase II. They flew me down to the Tampa Am contests where I got third place. I got on (sponsor) Illennium and basically traveled the world with them. Winning pro contests, going to Australia, Europe. I was world champion of 2004. Got on (sponsor)“almost” and got to become part of globe. Kind of went from there. I’ve been winning a lot of Dew tours tops. I got 2nd at X games and 1st at X games Mexico, Won the Maloof Cup, and winning best tricks. Now I just try to make good video parts with different styles of skateboarding. I live my skateboard life by not trying to beat other people in skateboarding, just trying beat myself from the day before. Competing against yourself is very important. Helps keep me motivated…Superfuture hahaha… What were you into before you had a skateboard? I was really into hockey. My dad was a big hockey player and he had me on skates at age 3. I started skateboarding around 22 l JANUARY 2009 l GREG LUTSKA


10. Snowboarding was definitely fun. Now I live in Southern California and get to surf a lot and hang out with my friends. In skateboarding you can make a living with video parts or contest placing. What is more important to you? I love events, winning or losing is not my strategy; it’s just going out there and having fun. I like checking out a new place, someplace I’ve never been and usually you are with all of your friends because they are competing too. We have a lot of fun going out at clubs and checking places out. But what keeps me on point is doing stuff in the magazines and I think having a video part and keeping up with core skateboarding is more important than winning a contest. Winning a contest is one day of fame, having a video part shows passion and creates history because people can look back at your old part and see how far you’ve progressed from one video to another. What video part are you most proud of? Every video part I’ve ever come out with has been totally different. The Oakley video was all about Milwaukee because it’s the hometown. Did “Almost” and it helped make my name. Working with Rodney Mullen, Daewon Song, and Ryan Sheckler and it turned out really well. That’s the one I put my hardest work into. I was 18 and coming up into the scene. My new video part has more lifestyle, I have lil’ Jon in the scene and did a bunch of skits. Check it out at greglutzka.tv or globe.tv. It’s just more natural living and how it goes outside of skateboarding. What places has skateboarding taken you too? Australia, Japan, China, Europe, Brazil, Africa. Traveling is awesome because I’ve gone to school, and you don’t learn about the culture until you go to the races. You read about them but once you’re there, you see what they eat, how they dress, the language, and you’re like “Wow, this is such a culture shock to me.” What are your future plans? I’m trying to bring up underground kids. My website is greglutzka.tv and it’s kind of like a myspace where you can create a profile and upload video and show the world your talent. ’m bringing up the next generation of skateboarders. I’m picking 5 kids out of skate shops and bring them to L.A. and they get a year sponsorship through my main sponsors. Someone brought me up, and I want to bring the world up. P.U.P.I.L.: People Uplifting People in Life, and that’s where it’s at. What is Born to Roll? Born to Roll is a city of fucking angels or of drunks. I got the best and the worst friends in the industry, so this is how we do it; it’s all the boys I grew up with here in my hometown and we did it right. We put everyone in it, whether they were really good or really bad at skateboarding, they all have true love for skateboarding and that’s important. It was showing people that Milwaukee has just as much talent as New York and L.A. We did cool premieres and it’s showing underground kids to the industry. Who is the next big Milwaukee skateboarder? Shane Browning, Rob Owens, Marcus Devon, and Micah. Backflips Mid Demo with no Warm up. Hahaha. But I respect all action sports or anything people have passion for really. Any final words? Live your life and have fun. Progress at what you do and find something you love to do. Be humble and live life to the fullest. Thank you to mom and dad and my brother. All my friends and sponsors, thank you for your support. Who are those sponsors? Globe, Almost, Ricta Wheels, Mob, FKD, Independent Trucks, Krew Clothing, San Diego Board shop, Toyota, Monster Energy Drinks, Oakley, New Era. WORDS BY MICAH KRANZ I PHOTOGRAPHS CONTRIBUTED BY GREG LUTSKA GREG LUTSKA l JANUARY 2009 l 23


w o n S a c i r e h Am ina

SoiuonstCarves up the Mountains of Argent Sess

t

o most people who live in Wisconsin, the cold and snow are unwelcome nuisances we have learned to cope with. But to avid skiers and snowboarders, there just isn’t enough winter to go around. Don’t you worry snow bunnies, now there is a solution for the other four months of the year when most people are at Bradford Beach.

South America Snow Sessions provides a ski and snowboard camp that takes travelers to the Andes Mountains of Argentina, June–September. The camp allows skiers and snowboarders to improve their skills with experienced coaches and also get a flavor of the culture. Packages are tailored to age groups. The under 18 camp includes coaching, transportation in Argentina, lodging, meals, lift passes, Spanish classes, tours, special events and peace of mind for your parents (round the clock supervision). The over 18 package includes mostly the same but without the supervision of course. Our favorite is the college package (over 18) that cuts out the extra and drops the cost.

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We caught up with John Sang Wilbur, founder and director of South America Snow Sessions (SASS) to see how the whole operation runs. Q. SASS offers people an amazing opportunity to snowboard and ski in the Andes of Argentina. How did you decide that this was the ideal place to take people to? SASS: In 2002 I visited a friend who was from Buenos Aires. We destroyed it for about 2 months and the place hasn’t been the same

since. The experience completely blew my mind and changed my life. The next year I returned and stayed for a whole year, mostly learning the language. I got an internship and when that was over I decided to create SASS. Argentina is a very unique country. There are lots of things there that don’t make sense to people coming from the USA but if they have an open mind the experience can have a meaningful impact. The physical stuff in the country (food, girls, nightlife & mountains) is all so amazing that it can’t be denied.

SOUTH AMERICA SNOW SESSIONS l JANUARY 2009 l 25


cont. from page 25

Q. You were fairly young when you started up SASS (25) in 2004. What was your inspiration for creating this experience for others? SASS: I wanted people to have the chance to experience a new culture, but not in the traditional method. I thought that the dorky tour group style of travel was not cool for travelers because they miss the raw experience. I created an original experience for people that included the things I thought were cool about snowboarding and skiing (travel, riding the best conditions and having the most fun).

our biggest asset. We have some of the best riders in the world and everybody is genuinely excited to be there. They all know that at the end of the day, no matter what, it’s all about the campers - that’s the number one thing for us.

Q. How long have you been skiing/ snowboarding? What got you into it? What is your favorite thing about it? SASS: I’ve been snowboarding since I was 18. My favorite part is that you can have fun on a snowboard almost anywhere. I also remember the first time I went riding in Switzerland, the scope of the mountains was endless and I was completely free, that was amazing.

Q. And what do you do when you are not running the camps (besides the obvious skiing and snowboarding)? Do most of the staff have second jobs or go to school? SASS: Most of the staff ski or snowboard during the regular season: as coaches, guides, pros or bums. When I am not running the camp I’m usually reading, watching movies or hanging with friends.

Q. How many members and coaches do you have on the team currently? SASS: This year we will have about 28 employees on staff. That includes management, logistics, coaches, guides, photographers, camera guys, media, interns and counselors. Most of them are friends of current employees or staff – it’s like a big family. We get lots of applications but I don’t think we ever had the chance to hire any of those guys. These days we are hiring local people because they know the mountain and the language and it adds to the experience for the campers. Our staff is

Q. Maybe this is a rumor, but can people really get college credits for going to SASS? SASS: Yes, you can get credit from Eastern Washington University in History, Sports or Photography. In 2009 we are going to offer college credits in Spanish.

Q. What level of skier or snowboarder do you recommend for the trip? SASS: Intermediate and up. Q. How do you view the snowboarding, skiing world as it is right now? What would like to see changed? SASS: Have you been to a ski town lately? More hoes, less bros. You can check out pricing and dates at www.sasnow.com. WORDS BY ALT- CONTRIBUTOR I PHOTOGRAPHS CONTRIBUTED BY SASS

26 l JANUARY 2009 l SOUTH AMERICA SNOW SESSIONS


I wanted people to have the chance to experience a new culture, but not in the traditional method.

SOUTH AMERICA SNOW l JANUARY 2009 l 27


New Year

Happy Chinese 28 l JANUARY 2009 l

CHINESE NEW YEAR

The Chinese Zodiac’s year of the Ox begins anew on January 26th, 2009. Until then we must suffer through the last days of the rat (i.e. George W. Bush), whose appointment finally expires on January 20th, 2009—five days before that of his Chinese astrological counterpart this year. You probably know that in the Chinese Zodiac there are twelve animals, each one corresponding to a different year in a repeating 12-year cycle. So, to determine which animal you are, somehow you must try to recall the exact year of your birth. But remember: if your birthday falls between January 1st and February 21st, you will need to visit your local Chinatown shaman to verify which animal you are since there is a significant variance in the starting date of the Chinese New Year. Tradition dictates that each of the twelve animals possesses certain character traits and these are supposedly transferred to anyone born under the sign of that particular creature. Also, keep in mind that there are five basic elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) and these correspond to various planets (Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus and Mercury). Do not concern yourself about Uranus and Neptune since the first of these bodies was discovered only in 1781 (thank you very much Sir Frederick William Herschel). Finally do not ignore the influential role played on your sign by the seasons, the senses, the cardinal directions, the colors of the rainbow, Yin and Yang, Feng Shui, and your various body parts (it might be funny if I were joking about all this). Here then, with a wink and a nod to our friends at The Onion, is your updated Alt- Chinese horoscope for the new year:


TIGER

(birth years 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938, 1926, 1914) Honorable Tiger, after horrible, false accusations are leveled against you, expect to receive complete and utter vindication this year as police, prosecutors, and the press all extol the virtues of your person and your spotless character at a beautiful, posthumous ceremony. Your lucky letters: R-I-P.

RABBIt

(birth years 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939, 1927, 1915) Cautious Rabbit, you will find true love this year and all the happiness associated therewith. PETA, and the courts, will see things differently however, in their tireless vigilance and protection of animal rights. Your lucky numbers: 5 to 10.

DRAGON

(birth years 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928, 1916) Outspoken Dragon, the stars will send you tangible proof of their existence and provide you with worldwide fame in May this year as dozens of specialists and researchers, together with representatives from Guinness, congregate at your home to confirm your place in history as only the second person ever to have been hit by a meteorite. Your lucky element: fire.

SNAKE

(birth years 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929, 1917) Philosophical Snake, a confluence of two contradictory elements, fire and water, will help you find religion this year, as you finally reach out in an attempt to make a personal connection with God. This profound experience will be rather short-lived however, as your doomed jumbo jet spirals

downward over the Pacific. Your lucky number: 747.

HORSE

(birth years 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930, 1918) Restless Horse, you will play a prominent part in a medical breakthrough in October as your unconscious fidgeting and spasms knock the scalpel from the surgeon’s hand causing it to fly high in the air and “break through” three of your vital organs during its descent. Your lucky color: code blue.

SHEEP

(birth years 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931, 1919) Artistic Sheep, yours will be a household name throughout the country as you receive top billing for six straight weeks on a hit TV show. Then America’s Most Wanted will finally catch fugitive number 1,062. Your lucky number: 1,062 of course.

MONKEY

(birth years 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932, 1920) Spirited Monkey, this year you’ll finally read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People in an effort to improve your ability to get people to believe you, all thanks to your thoroughly unexpected, and absolutely unverifiable, alien abduction. Your lucky number: Area 51.

ROOSTER

(birth years 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921) Flashy Rooster, this year you will reach the top, wielding power like never before. In a related event, multiple film crews will capture live your unauthorized climb up a local TV tower and the dramatic, high-voltage conclusion. Your lucky letters: C-N-N.

DOG

(birth years 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934, 1922 Vigilant Dog, during the Thanksgiving holiday this year you will become closer than ever to your loved ones as you rekindle your family ties and bond with all your nearest relatives over the course of a 36-hour home invasion. Your lucky Feng Shui zone: the basement closet.

BOAR

(birth years 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935, 1923) Meticulous Boar, this year you will reach your goal of shedding exactly 10 pounds in lighteningquick fashion. Of course losing both your feet to a thunderbolt strike is not a viable weight-loss method for most people. Your lucky numbers: 9-1-1.

RAT

(birth years 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936, 1924) Talkative Rat, linguistically challenged your entire life, you will amaze yourself at how quickly you manage to pick up a new language during a trip to the Amazon jungle. The thrill will diminish as you come to understand more clearly your central role in satisfying the culinary proclivities of your captors. Your lucky body parts: pretty much everything.

OX

(birth years 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937, 1925) Hard-working Ox, this year you will reap huge financial gains, reversing recent trends in the market. All that extra cash will come in very handy in the summer months to pay for your emergency bone marrow transplant. Your lucky color: blood-red. WORDS BY MATT BORDEN

CHINESE NEW YEAR l JANUARY 2009 l 29


I

n response to an email advocating lobbying the new Congress and president-elect for complete withdrawal from Iraq and other goals, I received mostly positive responses, but a sizable minority sent replies like this one: “Can’t you wait a minute? Give the President-Elect a moment to breathe, to catch his breath, to exhale? Stop this uber anti-militant stance to pause for the appreciation of what has been accomplished. Have a little mercy! Time enough for all this sturm and drang. Snap out of it!” In response to a post on a progressive website supporting some of Obama’s possible appointments and opposing others, most of the comments were positive, but some took the position exemplified by this one: “...so tired of the endless drama queens. The only appointments made to date have been Podesta and perhaps Emanuel. And at least as many ‘good’ appointments as ‘bad’, have been rumored. That said, Kennedy would be an excellent choice. But, Jeebus, the hysterical crap about Obama- less than 2 days after he won, is such a predictable bore.” For the record, there had been nothing hysterical or anything demonstrably crappy about the original post, and there is something very important that I think a lot of us are failing to fully grasp right now.

30 l JANUARY 2009 l HOW TO TREAT A PRESIDENT ELECT

In a democratic republic, the people are in charge and their role is to make their wishes known to those who represent them. When we lose any semblance of democratic representation, as during the past eight years for example, it becomes easy to think that we can best solve our problems by replacing a bad dictator with a good one, when in reality it is far more important in the long run that we cease having a dictator at all. The only respectful way to treat a president elect or a president is to behave, as a democratic citizen should, as a democratic president should want us to. Failing to make our will known amounts to an accusation against our elected officials. We thereby accuse Obama of being like Bush. There is no such thing as giving a democratic president a chance by leaving him alone. Precisely the way you give him a chance is by lobbying him to do what you want to see done. Anything else is an insult to him and to us. During the past eight years, we could have built the most powerful citizens’ movements ever seen and never influenced our government’s policy in the slightest. A powerful movement for peace and justice was simply ignored. Now suddenly we have a government that might listen, and now is the moment in which we should go silent? What sort of an awful antidemocratic sense of timing is that? All power has been moved from Congress, where the Constitution put it, to the White House. Suddenly we’ve placed in the White House a president who


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might respect the rule of law, and we are supposed to choose precisely this moment to go silent and accept the placement of dictatorial power in one man because it’s momentarily a better man? And how will this not guarantee the creation of a president even more criminal than Bush down the road? It is not an insult to Obama to propose restoring power to Congress, but the highest of praise. The best-elected official in a democracy is one who listens to the changing opinion of constituents. The worst is the principled superior creature who scorns polls and prefers not to be called or faxed or Emailed or visited because he knows better than you what’s good for you, and he can get more done if you leave him alone. We have to decide which kind of president we want to have come January. It is only because I respect Obama that I urge him to move forward with Robert Kennedy Jr. or to abandon the idea of keeping Robert Gates in his administration. Making such suggestions to George W. Bush was like

talking to a brick wall, only with less intelligent give and take. Sometimes we made appeals to Bush, but always as gimmicks to influence the media or Congress or someone else, never because we thought Bush could possibly care what any citizens of his nation thought. Obama might care what we think, especially if enough of us get together and say it in a very powerful way. He might, on some occasions, even think the same thing already but act on it because of our efforts. He might, on other occasions, take up a new idea because of us. In either case, we do him a disservice by failing to live up to our end of the bargain we made when we elected him. We’ve so often criticized the callers to right-wing radio who, in recent years, have objected to anyone disagreeing with their commander in chief. Surely our criticism was not merely due to our disapproval of the current president, was it? WORDS BY DAVID SWANSON


FINDING

ms.pac MAN You know, I have a theory on why you generally see so many Ms. Pac Man machines in so many places. They’re everywhere! You know what I’m talking about. It seems that wherever you are, you can always depend on seeing that clunky blue, pink, and yellow contraption sitting in some dank corner. Whether it is some neighborhood tavern, a bowling alley, or even that gas station by your house, the company responsible for massproducing these things got a little too ambitious. I bet these machines were rolling off the assembly line by the thousands by the time the 80’s came to a close. Geez, it’s not like this game is relevant in our culture that much anymore. “Why is there such an overabundance of them?” I thought to myself. Well, we’re going to get to the bottom of where in Milwaukee are the number one hot spots for taking on a barrage of multicolored ghosts with only a pocketful of quarters. Before we dive in head first, let me give you a brief synopsis on this 20th century marvel. 32 l JANUARY 2009 l FINDING MS. PAC MAN

Ms. Pac Man has become synonymous with the video game world ever since it’s conception in the early 1980’s. Anybody that has anything to do with pop culture within the last 30 years knows a thing or two about this phenomenon. The interesting thing about how it was conceived was that it had nothing to do with the original Pac-man. It was developed by an entirely different company yet it had all the same elements as the original gaming outline. Strangely enough, it became far more popular and eventually gained an entire worldwide following. It was only years later after its initial commercial blow up that lawsuits started creeping in. And even then, the two companies responsible for creating the two gaming giants just merged to release more Pac-man related games. There were barrages of merchandise options for this entity throughout the early to mid-eighties. You name it, and Ms. Pac Man or anything related to it has probably done it. Remember the Pac

Man Chef Boyardee pasta? Yeah, good stuff. But with the advent of technology, the franchise began to bow out to make way for more futuristic games and consoles. By the mid 90’s, video games were being pushed to the limit and Ms. Pac Man was kind of left in the dust. It’s cult status, however, thrives as the retro gaming community continues to grow. Let’s start off by taking a trip to the laundromat. The laundromat? Yeah! Just Add Soap located on KK in Bayview is well equipped with a primo Ms. Pac Man machine and when it comes to waiting for your clothes to dry, a quick jaunt around a technicolor maze chasing ghosts is a great way to kill some time. The laundromat has been a Bayview staple for quite some time and is located right next to the library. Many times, I’ve found myself venturing next door to check out a book or surf the web in their computer labs, but more times than none, that Ms. Pac Man machine beckons loud and clear. I’ve


got it timed to a T too. By the time I can get a load washed and dried, I can usually make it to level 14-16. The game has been known to harbour 256 different levels. Hey, I never said I was good at it or anything! Now, if you’re in the mood to grab a bite to eat while scoring yourself a healthy dose of Pac pellets, then there are two notable places that I would recommend. Anyone who’s anyone can contest that the newest, bestest pizza in Milwaukee is the recently founded Classic Slice, located at 2797 S. Kinnickinnic. But guess what? They have a Ms. Pac Man machine too! Here, you can gorge yourself on heavenly slices of some of the best pizza known to man while racking up high score after high score. Their signature “Baconizer pizza” will have you stuffing your face in no time while the grease is perfect for lubing your hands to the joystick. It’s gotten me out some sticky situations before and I highly recommend getting your gaming fingers nice and slick for this particular game. Those ghosts can be mighty tricky. Plus, another great thing about these old gaming instruments is that you can generally play with only one hand. One hand playing Ms. Pac Man and another holding a slice of pizza. Whoa, now that’s LIVING!

Another great place to get your game and your grub on is Bella’s Fat Cat located on 2737 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Bella’s Fat Cat, by far is one of the most recognizable Milwaukee food institutions and boasts an impressive burger menu. For all you herbivores out there, I dare you to find a tastier veggie burger. The correct Ms. Pac Man stance is often one hand on the joy stick, with the other hand placed beside it with your head down and your eyes focused. But very much like I had mentioned earlier with Classic Slice, there is much opportunity to partake in the many wonders that Bellas Fat Cat offers. I prefer slurping down a marshmallow milkshake while working in and out of a neon maze of death. A side of fries is often a nice compliment as well. One place that I think deserves a mentioning is Luv Unlimited. Luv Unlimited is a great little second hand store specializing in vintage, retro, and all around hip merchandise. They’ve got a little bit of everything in this store. Handcrafted jewelry, records, art, clothes, shoes, accessories, and……yep you guessed it. If your ever finding yourself in need of some bell bottoms or a Marvin Gaye 12” single, then this may be your one stop shop. And hey, why you’re at it, why not kick back a few quarters and

enjoy a few levels on their Ms. Pac Man machine. This place may have more pride for their machine than any other business mentioned here. The machine fits so nicely in this store as it epitomizes everything that they stand for. Retro, cool, and all around enjoyable for all walks of hipsterdom. I could spend all day taking the Milwaukee Ms. Pac Man tour and giving you the ultimate low down on where’s where and what’s what, but I primarily wanted to showcase a few places around my neck of the woods that’s prime for taking on a few levels of America’s favorite gaming past time. I‘d be willing to bet that many more businesses around town have their own Ms. Pac Man Machine ticked away in some corner ready for an onslaught of patrons to try their hand at garnering the elusive high score unmatched by anyone that has come before. Where’s you favorite Ms. Pac Man spot?

WORDS BY ADAM WEIRD

FINDING MS.PAC MAN l JANUARY 2009 l 33


BITCH,

WHERE’S MY TALL BOY AT?

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’m writing this article because I decided to appoint the editor of Alt- Magazine my official beer holder at a party this past summer. Although I had just met her, I was at a state in my life of not caring what happened or who I offended. So to ask a beautiful woman “Bitch, where’s my tall boy at?” wasn’t that hard. To live like you’ll live forever, or die tomorrow is the same idea, one which propogated the epic tales of Jack London, Zorba the Greek, or Neal Cassady and friends. Milwaukee was right in the middle of my epic journey, which was kick-started by a failed romance and a miserable job. This journey led me to getting my ass beat twice, hiking glaciers and handling sled dogs, meeting my newborn niece and nephew, diving with sharks in kelp forests, driving a rig across the country and most importantly, seeing the beginnings of Harley Davidson. I’d like to say that an epic journey is something that one can and should do at any point in their life. To some extent this is true. But I also think that if it wasn’t for the misery and worthlessness I felt beforehand, I never would have appreciated quite so much the grizzlies catching salmon in Alaska, or the girl who made out with me when I was an 8’ tall 34 l JANUARY 2009 l BITCH, WHERE’S MY TALL BOY AT?

parrot in California. If I wasn’t living on a limb, would I have been able to do these things? I don’t know. Yet, everywhere I went I met people who had vigorously seized life not with abandon, but rather with zeal. People who made up their own reasons to live, not waiting for life, or shitty girlfriends and jobs to make reasons for them. So to my friends in Rochester who make music out of pots, pans and sheer love; to the river gods who stole my glasses; the housing impresarios of Milwaukee; my brother-in-law the B-1 pilot; Lars the musher in Fairbanks; Starks the schooner captain in Catalina; and John who writes long analyses of punk rock lyrics; thank you for your positivity. To grab life because it’s your life and no one else’s, this is how one should live. You don’t have to be chasing freight trains around the country (which requires a lot of patience). You don’t have to have lots of money, or have no money. Just some cojones and a refusal not to enjoy yourself. Even if you believe in reincarnation you’ll only get to live this particular life once, so put your beer into someone else’s hands and dig the party. WORDS BY STEVE FORMEL


Marijuana laws waste billions of taxpayer dollars to lock up non-violent Americans. You can help. Visit us at www.mpp.org 877-JOIN-MPP (564-6677)

CRY BULLSHIT l JANUARY 2009 l 35


INVISIBLE FRIENDS}

T W T W

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36 l JANUARY 2009 l INVISIBLE FRIENDS


THE MAN WHO MADE THE MODERN WORLD I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything -Nikola Tesla

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orn to a poor family in Croatia, Nikola Tesla envisioned the modern world in the 1800’s. Despite limited means, he pioneered technology that our lives now revolve around. He invented the AC electrical system, established wireless communication, fluorescent and neon lighting, x-ray technology, and even laser weapons. He harnessed the power of Niagara Falls and lit up Colorado Springs with an incredible display of generated lightning. Throughout his life, his theories were viewed as impossible and unbelievable. His eccentric behavior made him the prototype of the “mad scientist.” He had obsessive compulsive disorder, was afraid of germs and claimed to be celibate. He did things in threes and disliked touching hair or round objects. He was extremely fond of a childhood cat, the “Magnificent Macak,” and would often fondly tell anecdotes about the feline. He was also a genius, and those who did believe him tried to blatantly steal his ideas and pass them off as their own. Thomas Edison tried to discredit Tesla’s Alternating Currents system as unsafe, although he knew it was superior to his own Direct Current system. Tesla died in 1943. He was destitute, but had connected the world with electrical and communication technology. Sixty five years after his death, Discovery World celebrates the innovative genius of Tesla in a new stage show demonstration titled “Tesla Lives!” The show is a crash course in Tesla’s powerful vision of the future of electricity. I attended the opening of the show on November 1, and spoke to some of the key players of the production. “Tesla saw a bigger world view which is something we encourage at Discovery World,” Paul Krajniak, executive director of Discovery World said. He continued, “The show is meant to create a climate to look at bigger questions. Many people believe we’re all invented out, but the age of innovation is still ahead of us.” Heidi Heistad is the stage director of the show. Heistad worked with Krajniak and a staff writer to develop “Tesla Lives!” The show evolved from short twenty minute sneak

peeks into the forty five minute long show it is today. Heistad agrees with Krajniak that the show’s goal is to motivate new thought. “We’re hoping the show will inspire the audience to investigate more,” Heistad said. Andy North gives the tongue in cheek performance as “Professor North,” who demonstrates several electrical experiments. For one part of the show he does a quick change and slips into the personage of Nikola Tesla, recreating demonstrations Tesla performed at the Chicago’s World Fair of 1893. North said his favorite part of the show is the audience interaction and that the most difficult is speaking in Tesla’s Croatian accent. North said the most admirable thing about Tesla is his devotion to his work. “He wasn’t upset that others profited from his work. The science was more important than the money,” North said. Another star of the show is a pair of 10 million volt producing Tesla coils. These giant mushroom-shaped machines, designed by Tesla, fill the stage with lightning for a finale to the show. The Tesla coils, along with other devices used in the show, such as the Jacob’s ladder and the Geissler tube, seem to be something out of a black and white B movie. “A lot of it seems like science fiction,” Krajniak said. “We want to show that there’s a way of looking at science that isn’t just a guy with a lab coat and a pocket protector.” Tesla Lives! Will be featured at Discovery World’s Innovation Theater indefinitely. You can find show times at discoveryworld.org. WORDS BY TEA KRULOS l PHOTOGRAPHS CONTRIBUTED BY DISCOVER WORLD

THE MAN WHO MADE THE MODERN WORLD l JANUARY 2009 l 37


i

n Hamlet, Osric describes the seemingly innocent fencing match between the title character and a deceiving Laertes as a “palpable hit.” Laertes has conspired to kill Hamlet by a single hit with his poisoned foil. Even though many of the city’s theatre reported increased ticket sales in the past few years, the recession that the government recently admitted to has cost at least one Milwaukee theatre its life with a single hit. On October 28, Milwaukee Shakespeare announced that it was shutting its doors, effective immediately. Most theatres strive to operate on a budget consisting of approximately fifty percent revenue from ticket sales and fifty percent from contributions. Kelly Gauthier, the Development Director at Next Act Theatre describes this revenue breakdown as a “pretty healthy way to function.” Contributions for theatre companies are usually either from an arts foundation like the United Performing Arts Fund or from individuals. Milwaukee Shakespeare received the bulk of its funding from a single entity call the Argosy Foundation. Argosy donated money using the gains from investments. Making the decision to withdraw all funding from Milwaukee Shakespeare, Argosy caused the abrupt silence of The Bard in Milwaukee. Most theatre companies do not depend so heavily on a single donor. Gauthier of Next Act says they recognize and are prepared for their contribution funding to decrease over the next couple years, as are all arts groups. This leaves theatres looking for ways to cut costs and at the same time increase earned revenue in the hopes of simply breaking even. Next Act is expanding by renting the Off-Broadway Theatre out to other arts groups like Theatre Gigante as well as smaller, transitory groups. This generates extra income as well as exposing more people to the OffBroadway Theatre.

Mark Bucher, the Artistic Director of the Boulevard Theatre admits that securing funding can be a “staggering effort [that] deflects time from creating the art.” As a long time Bay View business, the Boulevard has built itself a very loyal fan base by producing new or seldom seen plays each season and by using emerging talent and atypical casting. Keeping a close eye on the economy and also what audiences are enjoying, Bucher decided to remove As You Like It from the 2008-2009 season. Citing staffing changes, funds, patron preference and rehearsal time, Bucher is spontaneously adapting to the climate and continuing to create without missing a step. Next Act is also actively striving to render shows that audiences appreciate. Next Act will once again produce a holiday themed John McGivern show running through January 4 as well as a concert featuring the songs of Paul Robeson, sung by audience favorite Paul A Mabon, Sr. beginning February 24. Most Milwaukee theatres should weather our economic recession just fine. Certainly they will suffer depleted funds. However, our theatre community is tight and cooperative. Sharing of costumes, props and set pieces has always been part of the culture and is part of what will help theatre in Milwaukee to survive. Supporting each other is what will ultimately get our live theatre companies through this down turn. Most companies offer a pay-what-you-can performance, discounted tickets for students and seniors and group discounts. The best thing you can do to support any art is to simply show up. For information on Next Act Theatre, visit their website: www.nextact.org. For information about The Boulevard Theatre visit their website at: www. boulevardtheatre.com.

A V er y P a l p a b l e H i t

38 l JANUARY 2009 l A VERY PALPABLE HIT

WORDS BY JENNA RAYMOND



Alt- Magazine - Issue 2 - January 2009