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February 22 - 28, 2012

February 22 - 28, 2012



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6 Road Rage Jackson says the state should maintain state roads in the city. Will lawmakers buy it? FILE PHOTO

Cover photos of Rep. Steve Holland and Sen. Joey Fillingane by Virginia Schreiber


THIS ISSUE: Cutting Cable

Tired of paying a great big cable Internet and TV bill? Here’s one way around it. FILE PHOTO

bob gilchrist son giving out McDoubles to homeless people he encountered. He came across the Opportunity Center (845 W. Amite St., 601-9493540), where he spends time getting to know homeless people. He strongly believes that society should not value money as much as we do. “(Money is) really a game,” Gilchrist says. “If you take it too seriously, then you don’t take people seriously enough, and you lose your humanity. No one ‘deserves’ to be homeless just as no one ‘deserves’ a million dollars.” Wanting to know how it felt to live in poverty, Gilchrist lived in Johannesburg, South Africa’s slums during the summer before his senior year with the Methodist program, Comeback Mission. He helped take care of abused children, and two women tried to get him to take their babies back to America with him because he cared for them so well. Gilchrist spent his senior year of high school in Beijing. He attended Loyola for three months, where he studied opera and vocal performance. Now, he’s back in Jackson. “We are not less than perfect; we are beautiful,” Gilchrist says about the gay community. “We are just ordinary citizens who want to be accepted like everyone else.” Fondren’s March for Gay Equality is March 1 at 9 a.m. For more information, contact Bob Gilchrist at 601-573-1377 or chinabobg@, or visit the group’s Facebook page. —Whitney Menogan

28 Best Ever? 2011 could well be the best year in film since 1939. See why, and get our picks for the Oscars.

32 Thanks, Whit Whit Singer Whitney Houston influenced a generation of girls with her soaring voice and her style.

It wasn’t until he was at Loyola University New Orleans in fall 2011 that Bob Gilchrist finally became comfortable with the fact that he is gay. “I had never lived in a city where I could walk outside and not be immediately laughed at for wearing clothes that were weird,” Gilchrist says. He grew up in north Jackson where he still lives. “I was able to realize that I was 100 percent gay.” Although he only recently came out to his friends and family, Gilchrist has strong views on how gays should be treated. He thinks gays are regarded as second-class citizens in areas like Mississippi where gay couples are not allowed to marry or adopt children. To bring awareness and attention to the gay community, Gilchrist, 18, organized Fondren’s March for Gay Equality, which will go from the Rainbow Natural Grocery (2807 Old Canton Road) parking lot in Fondren to the Capitol building on March 1. “I want absolutely everyone in Mississippi to see the gay community as a strong, proud and active community of ordinary citizens who want and need equal rights,” Gilchrist says. The march, he says, may inconvenience people for a brief moment to get them to think about the bigger picture. Gilchrist’s activism isn’t just starting. During his sophomore year at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, he would drive around south Jack-


4 ..............Editor’s Note 4 ................... Slowpoke 6 .......................... Talks 10 ........................ Tech 12 ................... Editorial 12 .... Editorial Cartoon 13 ................. Opinion 26 .............. Diversions 28 ........................ Film 29 ...................... Books 30 .................... 8 Days 31 ............. JFP Events 32 ...................... Music 33 ......... Music Listing 35 ................ Astrology 36 ..................... Sports 38 ....................... Food 42 ......... Fly Shopping



R.L. Nave Reporter R.L. Nave grew up in St. Louis, graduated from Mizzou (the University of Missouri), and lived a bunch of other places before coming to Jackson. Contact him at 601-362-6121 ext. 12. He did the cover interviews.

Kristin Brenemen Art Director Kristin Brenemen is an otaku with a penchant for dystopianism. Her love of Zelda was rekindled when she got a new 3DS last week. She designed the cover and many pages in this issue.

Clay A. McCollum Clay A. McCollum recently graduated from the University of Mississippi with degrees in voice and in French. He plans to begin a master’s program in music history and criticism.

Callie Daniels Callie Daniels is a native Mississippian, although her accent sounds vaguely Lithuanian. Her crowning glory, her curly hair, identifies her. If you’ve got a story, tell her. She absolutely loves them. She wrote a music feature.

Whitney Menogan Editorial intern Whitney Menogan is from Madison and holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Tougaloo College. She enjoys reading, writing and having mind-blowing conversations with friends. She wrote the Jacksonian.

Virginia Schreiber Staff photographer Virginia Schreiber is a recent graduate of Millsaps College. When she’s not working, she spends her time watching films of the Peter Pan genre. She took many of the photos in this issue.

Jacob Fuller Reporter Jacob Fuller is a former student at Ole Miss. When not reporting, he likes to playmusic and photograph anything in sight. He now covers the city for the JFP. Reach him at 601362-6121 ext. 22 or jacob@

February 22 - 28, 2012

Marissa Lucas


JFP Sales Assistant Marissa Lucas is a Gulfport native who studied psychology at Mississippi State University. She loves her cat Martha, cooking and traveling. She’s still busy getting 2012 Best of Jackson awards out to winners.

by Donna Ladd, Editor-in-Chief

Living in Hell


just finished reading a chilling historical novel, “The Healing,” which resoundingly answered an oft-debated question: “What was the Civil War really about?” When the oddly apologist “it was about economics” crowd tries to downplay the fact that the war was fought to preserve (and spread) slavery, I trot out the Mississippi Articles of Secession, which explains the state’s decision to leave the union and join the Confederacy clearly: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—the greatest material interest of the world.” It then explains that their products “are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun.” Therefore, it said, “a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization.” I’m well aware of the routine rape of women slaves by white masters, but “The Healing” helped put it into jarring perspective. It is obvious, yet mind-blowing: It was imperative for plantation masters to keep reproducing the slaves who would, in turn, help them keep building their wealth. It was, thus, vital for slave women to repeatedly breed, and as this research-based novel by Mississippi native Jonathan Odell shows, the master would go to any length to make that happen, including regularly raping slave women they owned. No doubt, this rape was for the plantation masters’ personal enjoyment—shudder—but they also institutionalized rape of black women to ensure a robust output of babies who would help work the fields or assist in the big house as soon as they were big enough. When a slave woman birthed a new child (whether the master’s or not), it was often taken immediately from her, or it was sold later. In Odell’s book, slave woman Rubina was the master’s choice (and likely his daughter). Starting when she was barely a teenager, he visited her at night after she worked in the fields all day, keeping her pregnant. He then sold each of her babies as they were born. My epiphany, when finishing Odell’s book with tears streaming down my face, was just how rooted in history the economic battles to control women’s wombs really are. Margaret Atwood’s powerful “The Handmaid’s Tale” is another book about controlling women’s wombs. In that book—much better than the movie—we meet a previously independent, professional young white woman struggling for survival in a dystopian United States run by the radical right and its so-called “values.” The theocrats spout religion while “handmaids” are enslaved to be baby machines and their prostitutes while miserable wives take care of the home front (a similar dynamic to plantation life, which the white matriarch in Odell’s novel called living “in hell.”) I hadn’t thought much about Atwood’s book in years until all the recent posturing by white male conservatives across America not only against abortion rights—but against contraception. It’s about as surreal and frightening

as scenes in those two books to see these men stand up across America and in Mississippi and attack reproductive rights in nearly every form. Then, inevitably, many of the same ones start slamming “welfare mothers” and all the single women trying to raise children alone—while seldom calling for male responsibility. (I just Googled “teenage fathers” and got 182,000 results; “teenage mothers” brought 2,180,000.) Then, of course, the nonsensical personhood campaign is back, complete with man after man spouting about “life” and what’s right for women and family. (Leaving me to wonder just how many of them have ever paid for abortions themselves. My email address is, by the way.) My intense desire to out hypocrites aside, let’s break this illogical mess down: These guys don’t want the government to pay to help single mothers and needy children. They don’t want to provide either preventive health care or pay for emergency medical needs. They don’t want teenagers to learn to use a condom, or have access to other birth control methods (because we know all of these role models were disciplined virgins until they married and have only slept with one woman, ever). They don’t want to fund early children education, and Head Start is a source of ridicule for them (ahem, lobbyist Barbour) because it tends to help black kids. They don’t want a woman to choose whether to have a child, even if she and her husband are unemployed and have five kids, or regardless of whether she can afford to feed the child without public assistance after he bolted. Oh, and they want to ensure that rape victims must give birth to babies that might result from the crime, and that women who are likely to die from childbirth must give birth anyway, even if she’s the

sole breadwinner of her family, and even if she already has three children to feed and clothe. She just better not ask for public assistance because, if these guys have their way, that’s going the way of the IUD. The part I find the sickest is the bald greed that undergirds this war on half our population. Clearly, some Republican (or Tea Party) genius has decided that this kind of attack on women, our choices and our ability to keep loved ones fed, is a way to get votes. And what do they want votes for? In many cases, the corporations that are funding them want more lawsuit damage caps (so they can cut a certain number of people’s arms off before they have to fund expensive safety measures). Or they want to drill off the shore of a coast already devastated by a hurricane and an oil spill. Or they want to frack for natural gas without telling us what’s in the chemicals that might end up in our drinking water. Many of these men believe that womb politics are a way to deliver the goods. I suspect many of them are praying that the U.S. Supreme Court upholds Roe v. Wade (you know, just in case their friends get in “trouble”)—but they are going to play the sexual woman card until the “values” votes come rolling in on their (and their benefactors’) behalf, thus bolstering what they consider “commerce and civilization” for them and theirs. Fellas, you’ve chosen the wrong strategy. If you were shocked that 60 percent of Mississippians turned back the Personhood Initiative last fall, just wait to see what rains down on earth when women across America join together to fight your attempts to use our wombs to further the cause of naked greed. We are not your political toys, and we are not going back to living in hell.


news, culture & irreverence

Thursday, Feb. 16 Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, aka “The Underwear Bomber,� is sentenced to life in prison for sneaking a bomb onto a commercial airliner on Christmas Day 2009. ... Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves’ wife, Elee, gives birth to their third daughter, Madeline Tate, at 9:36 a.m. Friday, Feb. 17 A judge orders Bank of America to pay $3.3 million in damages to a man who it mistook for a robbery suspect and who was allegedly beaten by police when trying to deposit a $100 check. ... Two barges collide in the Mississippi River, about 50 miles upriver from New Orleans, spilling approximately 10,000 gallons of crude oil into the river. Saturday, Feb. 18 Pope Benedict XVI adds 22 new members to the College of Cardinals, including the archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan. ... Several thousand Jackson residents experience low water pressure as city workers replace a 100-foot section of distribution line. Sunday, Feb. 19 Three men are reported dead after an avalanche in Stevens Pass, Wash., buries skiers near a popular ski resort. ... No. 22-ranked Ole Miss falls 5-3 to No. 10 TCU to split the teams’ opening series of the baseball season.

February 22 - 28, 2012

Monday, Feb. 20 Two pilots narrowly escape death after a helicopter and a single-engine plane collide in the air over northern California. ... McWillie Elementary School’s Hope Pearson is named Jackson Public Schools Teacher of the Year.


Tuesday, Feb. 21 A 4.0-magnitude earthquake hits southeastern Missouri. Reports say tremors are felt in 13 states. ... U.S. Attorney John Dowdy and FBI Special Agent Daniel McMullen announce the arrest of three Jackson Police officers for accepting bribes. Get news updates at

Jackson MDOT to Take Back Roads


he city of Jackson has not been able to afford the maintenance on its roads for years. With government budgets facing cuts across the board, Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr., the City Council and state Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, are trying an old approach to an old problem. Blount has authored a bill that, if passed, will return control of state highways inside the corporate limits of Jackson to the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The bill, Senate Bill 2110, would free up a large portion of the city’s budget now slated for road repair and allow the city to direct those funds toward other infrastructure projects. A bond issue proposed by former Mayor Frank Melton and approved by the city council in 2008 has helped Jackson fund its infrastructure needs in recent years. “We just spent $20 million on road repair and, obviously, that’s not enough. That’s a drop in the bucket. We need more money,� Johnson said. “That $20 million is costing taxpayers about two and half million dollars a year. In 10 years, we’re not going to be through paying for that bond issue; but in 10 years, the roads are going to need to be repaired.� The bill specifically names two roads: Highway 49 from the northern corporate

by Jacob Fuller


Wednesday, Feb. 15 More than 100 people are killed when a fire sweeps through a jail in Comayagua, Honduras. ... Jackson-based smart-grid creator SmartSynch announces Itron Inc. has acquired the company in a $100 million deal.

Brandon Jones fights for library funding. p 10

The Republican Party holds the majority in both houses of the Mississippi Legislature as of the November 2011 elections. This is the first time since the 1870s that the GOP has held both the Senate and the House concurrently.

Jackson city workers make repairs to State Street on Tuesday. If Senate Bill 2110 passes, maintenance to this section of road will be MDOT’s responsibility.

limits of Jackson to its intersection with Woodrow Wilson Avenue, and Lakeland Drive from Interstate 55 to Old Canton Road. It also includes roads in Hinds County designated as state highways in Section 65-3-3 of the Mississippi Code, which includes portions of highways 18, 25, 51 (known as State Street within Jackson city limits) and Highway 80. State Street and Lakeland Drive are

two of the city’s busiest streets, and both border the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Highway 49 intersects Woodrow Wilson Avenue near the hospital. “There is a compelling interest on the part of the state that those roads be well maintained,� said Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson. “And I can see that there is some justification for it.� ROADS, see page 7




everal bills now before the Mississippi Legislature are designed to keep undocumented immigrants out of Mississippi, even though the supporters of these measures haven’t been able to quantify the problem. Better safe than sorry. Here are a few more legislative solutions looking for problems that don’t exist in our state—and probably won’t for a long time. • The Volcano Preparedness Act—Sets evacuation protocols in the event of a Vesuvius-style event. • The Magnolia State Team Spirit Act—Forbids the consolidation of the University of Mississippi with Mississippi State University. • The Sauron/Voldemort Terrorism Protection Act—States that no government entity shall be required to obey the commands of any dark wizards, dwarves, gollums, or hobbits from parallel or alternate dimensions. • The Zoo Animal Protection Act—Directs the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to establish rules for the protection of the state’s native lions, tigers and polar bears. • The Mountaintop Removal Prohibition Act—Prevents coal mining by mountaintop removal on peaks over 10,000 feet. • The Religious Freedom Act—Establishes Christianity as the state’s official religion.


news, culture & irreverence

ROADS, from page 6

The highways inside the city corporate limits were once under control of MDOT, but the city took them over in the mid-1980s. “It was at a time when the sense of the city was the state was not doing a very good job of maintenance of those roads,� Horhn said. “They thought that they could do a better job of maintaining these roads. So then-Mayor Dale Danks made the request to have those roads turned over to the city. The city was flush with cash at that time, and conventional wisdom was that the city of Jackson could do a better job of taking care of the roads.� Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. said the city has attempted to get MDOT to take back control of the roads in the past, but said the city cannot meet MDOT’s requirements. “Now, MDOT is saying, ‘We’ll take them back over if you get them back up to state A roads standards, which would cost millions and millions and millions of dollars,� Johnson said. MDOT had no comment for this story, but agreed to do an interview after this issue goes to press. Watch for updates to this story. At a special Legislative Committee meeting Feb. 16, City Council members did not sound optimistic that the state Legislature would successfully get maintenance

costs turned over to MDOT. “It looks like we’re not getting really what we should get from the (state) Department of Transportation,� Ward 4 Councilman Frank Bluntson said. “Is there some kind of process that we can appeal to the U.S. Department of Transportation to let them know that it looks like we’re being discriminated against down here in Jackson, Mississippi? Because it’s a shame what we get and what we don’t get.� Johnson echoed Bluntson’s skepticism that the Legislature will act. “We’ve gone through this for a number of years, trying to get the state to take over Highway 49 and the old state highways—51 and State Street,� Johnson said. “We expect that MDOT will come up with the same reasons they’ve come up with before, but we certainly want to be supportive of Senator Blount’s efforts. At the same time, we may want to look at some other ways of trying to deal with this maintenance issue.� If the Legislature passes the bill, the Senate and MDOT will then have to determine what roads qualify for state maintenance and which ones will remain in the control of the city. Until then, Jackson residents and visitors should not expect to see in-city highways improving any time soon. Comment at

Biz News: Fondren Preps for Parade by Jacob Fuller


The JFP float waits its turn to take part in the Zippity Doo Dah Parade last year.









Legislature: Week 7

By R.L. Nave

Rebels Without a Pause VIRGINIA SCHREIBER

more than 100 years, have more to complain about. The Legislature also quietly passed House Concurrent Resolution 33, which, broadly speaking, set the joint rules for both houses. It contains a provision for appropriation bills that forces members to offset spending increases in one area with an equal cut somewhere else in the budget. “You’re going to have these far-right conservative budgets with no way to leverage them at all,” said Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville. Sen. Kelvin Butler, D-McComb, acknowledged that although the change doesn’t limit lawmakers from spending money, it consolidates This week, the Mississippi House continued fighting over the role of AG Jim Hood’s office, while the Senate power into the hands of a few Reprepared for a battle over charter schools. publicans. “This change places important budget items into the hands of a few n the first floor of the Capitol last power brokers and effectively silences the voice Wednesday, a handful of Democrats of individual legislators who want to oppose assembled to enjoy a late lunch when deep cuts to education,” Butler said. a burly assistant sergeant-at-arms On Feb. 16, the Senate Education Comburst in to say that Speaker Pro Tem Greg mittee also held a hearing on a charter-schools Snowden, who presided that day, wanted all bill, which chairman Sen. Gray Tollison, Rthe members to return to the chamber. Oxford, and Sen. Nancy Collins, R-Tupelo, “We’re not going,” responded Rep. introduced. The bill creates a new agency, the Omeria Scott of Laurel, casually. “We’re Mississippi Public Charter School Authorizer in protest.” Board, to approve and regulate new charter For a moment, it appeared that House schools. Seven members, appointed by the Democrats would refuse to go back to the governor, lieutenant governor, state superinfloor so there wouldn’t be a quorum to tendent of education and commissioner of vote on the Sunshine Act, similar to how higher education, would make up the board. Democrats in Wisconsin responded to Gov. The ability to start a charter school would be Scott Walker’s dismantling of labor unions open to any person or organization. It would in that state. also require that the number of charter school Democrats had complained that, if students who qualify for free or reduced lunch passed, the new “sunshine” law would severely to be about the same as public schools in the hamstring Attorney General Jim Hood’s abil- area. As far as teachers that charters schools can ity to perform his duties as the state’s top legal hire, up to 50 percent of their teaching staffs eagle. This time around, Republicans got their can be noncertified. wish, and the bill passed 59-55. But with every The Senate Education Committee passed passing week, it seems Democrats, who are in the bill Tuesday. the minority in the House for the first time in Comment at

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(": Prohibit legislators from engaging in lobbying for four years after leaving office. (Rep. Henry Zuber III, R-Ocean Springs) (": Authorize carrying pistols or revolvers unless specifically prohibited by law. (Rep. Mark Formby, R-Picayune) (" : Prohibit gun buy-back programs. (Rep. Gary Chism, R-Columbus) 3" : Create a felony offense for voyeurism when the victim is under 16. (Sen. Brice Wiggins, R-Pascagoula) 3" : Authorize the Department of Finance and Administration to sell or lease the Robert E. Lee Building (239 N. Lamar St.). (Sen. John Hohrn, D-Jackson) 3" : Increase salaries of sheriffs. (Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson) 3": Revise the duty of the Mississippi Department of Corrections to maintain certain records for offenders. (Sen. Brice Wiggins, R-Pascagoula)


by Elizabeth Waibel

Personhood: Symbol or Substance? WARD SCHAEFER

not immediately available for comment. protection to every person,” Riley said in Elsewhere in the country, almost iden- the statement. tical personhood bills passed the Oklahoma The measure passed the Oklahoma Senate and the Virginia House of Delegates Senate 34-8. All the votes against the bill earlier this month. Both laws declare that “the life of each human being begins at conception,” and give unborn children the same rights, privileges and immunities available to other people. The Virginia bill contains a key difference, however. It subjects those rights to the U.S. Constitution “and decisional interpretations thereof by the United States Supreme Court,” which would make any new personhood rights unenforceable as long as Roe v. Wade guarantees a woman’s right to abortion. While it defines personhood as beginning at conception, like other personhood Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, doesn’t expect his measures, the Virginia bill personhood bill to go anywhere, but the debate over doesn’t share in the tactics of personhood and abortion continues. Personhood USA or others who want a personhood law that challenges the Supreme Court’s inter- came from Democrats. Riley’s statement pretation of the Constitution. It sounds like said they expect the bill to pass the House personhood, but unless Roe is overturned, as well. it’s essentially a useless, symbolic law. One senator who voted against the bill, Fillingane’s resolution to put person- Sen. Constance Johnson from Oklahoma hood back on Mississippi’s ballot suffers City, attempted to amend the Personhood from the same roadblock—it, too, “protects Act to require rapists to help pay to raise the life of every unborn child from concep- any offspring that result from rape. tion to birth,” but only to the extent the “In the spirit of shared responsibility U.S. Constitution permits. in issues of reproduction,” the amendment Oklahoma’s Personhood Act, however, reads, “if a woman declares that she is pregleaves out deference to federal law. It is more nant non-consensually, the sperm donor in line with what personhood supporters shall be required to undergo a statutorily have been trying to pass through initiatives mandated vasectomy, shall be fined $25,000 and referendums for several years. Person- and shall also be financially responsible for hood Mississippi President Les Riley sent the offspring of such pregnancy until the out a statement praising the Senate vote. age of 21.” “Just as the Oklahoma Senate has Johnson’s proposed amendment did done, our state will one day offer full legal not go to a vote.

Like many other anti-abortion attempts, all three bills declare that human life begins at conception, but fail to specify what “conception” means. This caused problems for anti-abortion advocates last year, when former Gov. Haley Barbour said he was uncertain about the Personhood Initiative because it said life began at fertilization, rather than conception. Personhood supporters quickly dismissed Barbour’s misgivings, insisting that conception and fertilization are the same thing, and Barbour later said he voted for the measure. Others, however, think of conception as when a fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall. Fillingane has also introduced a bill that would require people performing abortions to determine whether the fetus has a heartbeat. If a fetal heartbeat is detectable, the woman would have to sign a form acknowledging that her fetus does have a heartbeat before getting an abortion. The bill includes a section outlawing abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, but it also provides for sections of the bill to be set aside if they are deemed unconstitutional. The provision would presumably kick in if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. The bill includes exceptions if the woman’s life or “a major bodily function” is so endangered that the situation requires a speedy abortion. Although it does not specifically reference personhood, Fillingane’s bill incorporates some ideas personhood supporters advanced last fall, such as the idea that pregnancy begins at fertilization and that fetuses are “unborn human individuals” from fertilization until live birth. Like many personhood measures, the bill does not allow for abortions in the case of rape; it does, however, include an exception for abortions to save the mother’s life or to prevent “a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.” Comment at


lthough state Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, says it’s unlikely the Mississippi Legislature will take up the debate over personhood this year, efforts by state lawmakers in Mississippi and elsewhere in the country are gaining steam. Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, introduced House Concurrent Resolution 61 Monday to put personhood on the ballot again. The resolution defines “person” as applying to “all human beings from conception to natural death,” and, if passed, could go before voters on the November ballot. In response to confusion over whether last fall’s failed Initiative 26 would limit access to birth control, in vitro fertilization and abortions to save the mother’s life or health, Gipson’s resolution says it would not affect contraceptives “or other methods of birth control that do not kill a person,” in vitro fertilization, medical treatment for life-threatening physical conditions or miscarriages. The resolution also specifies that the state could still enforce the death penalty. It does not, however, define conception beyond saying it is “the earliest stage of development of a human being.” Like another personhood resolution introduced last week, Gipson’s legislation fails to specify whether “conception” means the point at which an egg is fertilized or when a fertilized egg implants in the uterine wall. Some abortion opponents, including Personhood Colorado, consider birth-control pills to be a form of abortion because they could prevent fertilized eggs from implanting, thus killing a person. The organization says the pill, Plan B and IUD birth control are not true contraceptives because they can prevent the implantation of a fertilized eggs. “Recognizing personhood has no effect on true contraceptives that only prevent fertilization, including spermicide, natural family planning and condoms,” Personhood Colorado’s website says. Gipson’s resolution now heads to the House Constitution Committee. He was



by Jacob Fuller

A Fire for Change


February 22 - 28, 2012


them the information that they need where they can just dial the number right up. A lot people can’t find the numbers they need in the telephone book. I think if there’s a way that we can get these numbers to them, (we should), even if they’re just passed on a little magnetic card so they can put them on their refrigerator.

If you are elected, what is the first thing on your agenda? First thing on my agenda is to look and see what do we have left in the budget, because the budget has already been set. How much money do we have left for this year and what was it allotted for? Then I would see what we have and what our needs are. I don’t know how many streets they’ve already decided that we need to fix. I know which streets need to be fixed, I just don’t know if these are already on the list or not. Then, meet with the people in the business sector to see what their needs are. One is protection and to feel comfortable when people come into their business without people being threatened.

One of the most pressing issues for the City Council is abandoned properties throughout the city. What can we do about that? I’ve thought about it a lot. I thought about it several ways. I thought about the houses. We should have something in place that has a really, really strong timeline. If the people that own that property don’t do anything about it, there should be some kind of way that the city can take this property, because they are not

There is a bill before the state Senate right now, Bill 2110, that would return maintenance of highways in Jackson to the Mississippi Department of Transportation. What are your thoughts on that? That would be a blessing, a real blessing. The funds that are allotted for the city, those funds could be going for the other streets that so badly need repair. Comment at

Joyce Jackson will face off against LaRita Cooper-Stokes in the runoff election for the Ward 3 City Council seat Feb. 28.

will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. A map of Ward 3 is available online at, and a list of Ward 3 poll locations is at ward3polls. In any community, senior citizens face threats that younger adults don’t. How do you plan to address those threats if elected? One of my strong points … is that I would support the law enforcement officers. I would meet with the commander, and I would meet with the sheriff and see if we could get more visibility into the community. And I think this would help a lot to get the police cruisers in there. And, for the people that live in that particular area, that they know who their patrol person is and, really, to know who their commander is, also—to be able to give

by R.L. Nave

ou know things are bad when librarians start protesting. In light of Gov. Phil Bryant’s executive budget recommendation that calls for a 15 percent funding reduction for the Mississippi Library Commission, bibliophiles are gearing for a battle to keep library cuts on par with those of other state departments. In January, Bryant proposed a state spending plan that called for 5.5 percent worth of cuts to most state agencies. He targeted some agencies, such as the MLC and the Mississippi Arts Commission, for cutbacks of 15 percent each. Sharman Bridges Smith, the MLC’s executive director, believes the governor and some lawmakers might have the false impression that MLC is just another state bureaucracy. “It’s important that people understand that not only are we a state agency but we

provide services statewide to libraries that provide services to their communities,” Smith said. “I don’t believe the governor had all the information in front of him.” Smith said the library commission received approximately $12 million in state aid in the current fiscal year, 81 percent of which the MLC passes on to local libraries. Of that money, about $5 million goes toward supplementing the salaries of library employees, while $3.5 million covers library employee health insurance, and $1 million helps pay for MAGNOLIA, a statewide system of electronic databases. In early February, Smith wrote Bryant a letter highlighting the role of libraries to the governor’s legislative agenda. Besides stressing libraries’ role in early childhood education and literacy, Smith noted their importance during an economic recovery. In Mississippi, 37 percent of the 2.7

million people who use the library every year are looking for jobs or filling out online application, and, increasingly, companies only accept online job applications. Brandon Jones, a former Democratic representative from Pascagoula who now heads the Mississippi Democratic Trust, which supports Democratic candidates and issues around the state, believes the library issue, though not sexy, is an opportunity to educate residents on the legislative budget process and has the potential to galvanize library users all over the state. “For some people, libraries are the only point of access for the Internet, the only place to access a printer. At the end of the day, there’s a certain value to our libraries, and to ask them to take a hit is a pretty big deal,” Jones said. Information from the MLC suggests the agency has already hit been pretty hard.



taking care of it. And then they will have the opportunity of getting rid of those dilapidated homes. Then they could use that property, since it would be city-owned, to offer it as a lot to the neighborhood, and let them plant gardens, which would be a beautiful thing. It could be whatever kind of gardens they want it to be, whether it’s vegetable gardens or a flower garden. That way, your vegetation would be taken care of.



pend just a couple of minutes with Joyce Jackson at Collins Funeral Home, where she works, and you will see why many members of her community asked her to run for City Council. A former school teacher who spent 33 years teaching mostly second grade in the Jackson Public Schools system, Jackson knows many of the neighborhood faces by name, and greets the ones she doesn’t with the same familiar smile and gentle voice. It’s that loving approach coupled with her fire for activism and change that helped Jackson, 72, earn honors such as the Outstanding Elementary Teacher of America and of Jackson in 1972 and the Rosa Parks Award, which then-Councilman Kenneth Stokes presented to her in 2008. Jackson was given the Rosa Parks Award for her leadership in preventing the planned destruction of the former Hood Furniture factory on Livingston Road, a demolition that had not received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency. The divorced mother of two and native of De Kalb, in Kemper County, earned her Bachelor of Science from Rust College and her master’s and specialist degrees in elementary education from Jackson State University. She has served on the Jackson Planning Board since 1999 and the Murrah High School Site Council since 2010. Jackson is running for the seat that Stokes vacated when he was elected to the Hinds County Board of Supervisors last November. LaRita Cooper-Stokes, Kenneth Stokes’ wife and Jackson’s opponent in the race, did not respond to multiple calls for an interview. The runoff election for the Ward 3 City Council seat, between Jackson and CooperStokes, will be held Tuesday, Feb. 28. The polls

In his new role as director of the Mississippi Democratic Trust, former Rep. Brandon Jones wants to halt public-library cuts proposed by Gov. Phil Bryant.

Over the last three years, its budget fell by 25 percent, or more than $3.4 million, forcing libraries to cut staff, scale back operating hours, and shrink what they spend on books and other library materials. Comment at

Weaning from Cable


he Cable Company and I have been fighting. Until recently, they’ve been winning. There was a brief stint where I dealt them a heavy blow when I opted for Internet via AT&T and went to satellite television. (Take that, Cable Company!) Sadly, when my family moved to Florence, we could not get AT&T. The local phone company offers something with speeds a trot faster than dial-up—which is still faster than what those satellite guys can give you. Enter the Cable Company once more with its super-fast Internet that I love and its horrendous cable options that I despise. The wife and I watch more TV than we like to admit, but we’re still not huge TV watchers. In fact, we watch only a few shows. Our media setup is no slouch, though. I’ve hacked a bit, here and there, to piece together a system to make us the least dependent on the Cable Company as possible. My latest run-in with the Cable Company got me thinking of how I can give them the boot—at least for TV—while at the same time enjoying their extremely nice Internet speeds. In doing so, I had to design a system that follows a few rules: • It has to be simple enough for nongeek family members (including children). • It can’t cost more than cable. • On-demand TV shows or DVR capability is a must. • Sports is essential. Here’s how I did it. The key components, besides the obvious TVs, are: • Apple TV for the living room • Mac Mini for the living room • Xbox for the office • Netflix streaming-only subscription • Hulu Plus subscription Apple TV ($99) allows you access to Netflix and the iTunes store. Movie rentals are $4 each, but you can always rent movies for less using Redbox. For a season of TV shows, the average cost is around $35. At $35 per season, we could buy up to 24 seasons for the same cost as our old annual cable bill. Thankfully, we don’t watch 24 seasons worth of shows. (Note: Not all shows are offered via iTunes, but most are.)

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Revealing Heaven On Earth 9:30 a.m. Sunday School for all ages 11:00 a.m. Worship Service Live Streaming at Televised on WAPT Children’s Church Ages 4-Kindegarten Nursery Available Ages 6 weeks-3 years

The Mac Mini ($600 new or around $200 used) allows me access to the Hulu Desktop app and a Web browser. At first, I thought this would be too complicated for the family, but it really isn’t. You can control it using the Rowmote Pro app ($5) for the iPhone or iPad. My wife took to it quickly, and she’s not a technologically advanced user. You could use any PC or Mac device, but I prefer the Mac Mini because of the small size. Likewise, remote apps exist for other smart phones, including Android-based phones. In the office, we use an Xbox 360 ($150) as a DVD player and to access Netflix and Hulu Plus. Those two online subscription services are $8 and $6 a month, respectively. Netflix is great for children’s programs, movies and even older TV shows, which my wife and I watch regularly. Hulu Plus gives us access to a large number of current TV shows that air on NBC, ABC, FOX and CW. Sadly, CBS is not included. That, along with watching most cable series, is where the iTunes store is important. (We buy seasons of “Big Bang Theory,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Walking Dead,” “Blue Bloods” and “Criminal Minds” via iTunes.) Sports gets tricky. With the Xbox, you can get a lot of your sports if you are an Xbox LIVE Gold member ($60 per year). You can also subscribe to NBA, NHL and MLB

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packages via Apple TV. And with a Mac Mini, you can get online access for NFL and college football. What about the big, bad Cable Company? I still pay them $17 a month for local channels. I could have purchased a digital antenna for local channels, but I didn’t want the hassle. In all, our setup costs approximately $50 a month. We had no upfront costs, but setting up a similar system from scratch would run in the neighborhood of $500, which averages just $40 a month for the first year. Of course, this setup is not without drawbacks. The obvious one is that it’s a little more complicated than just using one service, but I must say it’s not that complicated once you get it set up. It’s really no different than switching from the TV input to the DVD input and picking up another remote, which in some cases is your smart phone. It can require a bit of up-front money if you don’t have some of the equipment already. But in the long run, it will be cheaper for us. Finally, you may want some content you can’t get. That’s going to come down to a decision based on each individual’s preferences. Overall, this setup works well for us. The minor inconveniences are offset by the pleasure I get in knowing I’m one step closer to finally being completely rid of the Cable Company.

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jfp op/ed

opining, grousing & pontificating


Stop Obstructing and Get to Work


epublicans in the Mississippi Legislature seem to be dealing with a lot of pent-up demand. Every day, we hear of another piece of legislation that is a virtual rehash of a bill that could not be passed without a Republican majority in both houses of the Legislature. And despite the cute names given to some of the bills—the “sunshine” act for example—Republicans seem hell bent on disenfranchising their colleagues across the aisle while at the same time wasting taxpayers’ time and money. In recent weeks, the so-called “sunshine act” was a bald-faced attack on the lone Democrat in statewide office, Attorney General Jim Hood. There is no “sunshine” whatsoever in the bill. Instead, barely heard above the bluster are accusations of Rep. Philip Gunn’s apparent cronyism, shifting legal cases from the attorney general’s office to private litigators. We have seen no evidence that such a shift will save taxpayer dollars or provide better service to state agencies. Another bill that Republicans have seemingly snuck in under the nose of taxpayers is House Concurrent Resolution 33, which mandates that all spending bills must define where to reduce the state budget in another area to finance it. The same resolution adds that members can only amend bills while they are in committee, effectively neutering any legislator who could provide input once the bill is on the chamber floor. And who runs the committees? Republicans, of course. So while eliminating the need to actually hear opposing viewpoints on any piece of legislation, the party has relieved itself of the need to work to find funds in a stretched thin budget. You know, what taxpayers pay you to do. And then there’s the whole personhood debacle. Instead of listening to voters who soundly defeated the Personhood Initiative last year, Republican legislators have taken it upon themselves to correct what they see is an obvious flaw in their constituents’ logic. In their infinite paternal wisdom, no fewer then eight bills related to personhood or restricting abortion are on the lawmaker’s docket, despite the fact that few actual laws passed will escape legal challenges for years to come. Mississippi, it seems, has become a microcosm of the dysfunctional Congress in Washington, D.C., the one with possibly the lowest approval rating in Gallup’s history. The only difference is that Congress still has some semblance of balance with a Democratic-led Senate. The GOP in Mississippi is blinded by its own power. The party has not only forgotten who elected them and why, they have also collectively forgotten their Civics 101 lessons and the purpose of the two-party system. While far from perfect, our parties act as checks and balances for each other—or they should. Riding roughshod over your colleagues across the aisle is worse than simply being obstructionist; at least the latter leaves a little space for negotiation. The former is just bullying.


Save the Libraries


February 22 - 28, 2012

n his FY 2013 Budget Recommendation, Gov. Phil Bryant stated that libraries are not an “appropriate government function” and are a “non-core area.” Consistent with these beliefs, the Republican budget calls for a 15 percent cut to Mississippi’s public libraries. This proposed cut would be particularly painful to our local libraries, as the Mississippi Library Commission has been cut by more than $3.4 million, or 24 percent, over the last three years. In a letter to Bryant dated Feb. 3, Sharman Bridges Smith, the executive director of the Mississippi Library Commission, expressed an understanding of the difficult challenges facing budget writers: “Librarians understand that these are difficult times and we expect to take cuts along with all other public entities.” Even so, Smith noted, “These cuts have and continue to severely impact citizen access to the very priorities of your administration—jobs, early childhood literacy and reading.” To illustrate her point, Ms. Smith listed several services provided by Mississippi’s public libraries including: • More than 37 percent of 2.7 million people using computers in public libraries each year do job searches or complete employment applications. • Many local public libraries serve as WIN Job Centers. • More than 400,000 Mississippi children participate in 13,000 children’s programs each year. Brandon Jones Executive Director, Mississippi Democratic Trust 12 View a copy of the Mississippi Library Commission’s letter at


Fix the System


he recent flap over Haley Barbour’s 200 pardons and commutations has highlighted problems in our current gubernatorial clemency processes. At my request, the staff of the legislative Performance and Expenditure Review Committee reviewed the files of those who were pardoned. The files for five of those who were pardoned could not be located. The files for 10 of those pardoned contained no application for pardon. (Such an application is required by parole-board rules.) Barbour granted pardons to 16 applicants in spite of negative recommendations by the parole board. Thirteen of those 16 received a unanimous “no” vote by the board. The 16 whose applications received no votes by the board had been convicted of crimes ranging from murder to the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine. It is important to note the report was from PEER staff pursuant to a legislative request and is not part of an official PEER committee report. Because of the public interest in the Karen Irby matter, I also asked the staff to review her file. The governor’s office, the parole board and the Department of Corrections all reported that they could not locate a file for Irby. It seems to have disappeared. If such a file exists, the parole board should have a copy because it would have collected much of the information in such a file in fulfillment of the board’s statutory duty. Barbour has maintained that in granting pardons and commutations he relied on the parole board recommendations. In at least 16

cases, that appears to not be true. Unfortunately, whatever recommendations the parole board has made are not reflected in its minutes, probably a violation of state law. In addition, the board keeps no record of what files they have transmitted to the governor for review. Therefore, it is almost impossible to track individual recommendations from the board to the governor’s office, and control over the files, which are official government documents, cannot be maintained. Finally, there is no record of where the requests for clemency originated. Did the governor send a list of individuals to the parole board, or did the board send a list to the governor? There is no answer to that question in the records. I will be introducing legislation to correct these problems in the current legislative session. I support the governor’s right to grant clemency. It is an important tool to serve justice when properly executed. However, there should be a process in place to insure that there is proper documentation of all the relevant facts. All official actions of the parole board should be spread upon their minutes, and those minutes and all public documents should be preserved, tracked and available for public review. It is unconscionable that the parole board has handled such an important matter in such an off-handed manner. —Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson

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his is how to have worthwhile dialogue with me: I expect an opportunity to speak and an open-minded willingness to listen. Let what I say stir around in your head. If it makes sense, great; if it doesn’t, convince me that it has no merit. I don’t need your sympathy, and I don’t speak to have you agree with me. I’ll venture to say that most women’s expectations of verbal communication don’t vary much from mine. I’ve had my share of conversations with men that left me feeling that what I said was insignificant to them. I’m sure many women have been in the midst of conversations with men and found that the men were talking to each other, allowing the woman to chime in here and there, just to be nice. Damn being nice! Talk to me, and allow me to talk to you. Recently, I sat with two men having a conversation about politics. Now, I’ll be the first to say they were more informed on the topic than I. But these men talked for hours and never noticed that I was not participating. I heard everything they said, and I watched them closely. But I could see that they were so heavily involved in the conversation that they didn’t even notice me. Many questions came into my head, but few had anything to do with what they were talking about: If I were a man, would they turn to me for input, or would I be just as overlooked? If I were a man, how important would it be for me to participate in the conversation? If I were a man, how much time would have passed before they noticed that I wasn’t included in their conversation? Men go far today to portray the “I love women and respect women� line. Most learned it from their mothers. But, deep down, I believe many still suffer from the same male superiority complex that has plagued women consistently throughout history. I realize that’s not something a man wants to own up to, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s true for most men. It gets worse when you are dating or married to a man with a public voice—one people hear often. Some of my husband’s ex-colleagues intimated that I should be seen and not heard. I suppose they meant that my husband should be the only one who speaks for our family. I wondered about that. I never want to make my husband look bad, and I don’t want anyone to judge him based on something I’ve said. Besides, when I was growing up, my

father always had the strong voice, not my mother. I took my concerns to my husband who quickly reminded me that he didn’t want a puppet or a trophy wife. If he did, he said, he wouldn’t have married me. With his blessing, to those people I say, “Get the (expletive deleted) out of here!� As a black woman in one of the most racist states in the nation, I have my own struggles. I have fought just as many battles, if not more, as my husband. The same validity that you find in his strong, powerful voice, you can rest assured resides comfortably in mine as well—my voice is just a little softer. But listen close, because I might be more detailed than my husband, so you might understand me a little better. My journey isn’t any less valuable because I was born into this wonderfully curvaceous, feminine body. As a matter of fact, I believe women deserve greater respect just based on our physiology. I don’t know a man who would survive monthly menstrual cycles or childbirth. I honor my husband. I love him, and I stand beside him, not behind him. I honor him because he honors me. Men, this is not the 1920s. But women hear you screaming even though you do it in subtler ways now—like the way you try to keep us “in line� in the workplace by not paying us the same as men, not promoting us as you do men and not selecting us to supervise men. You even try slapping us around legally, now and then, to see if we’re paying attention (e.g. the Personhood Initiative). Today, women are writing checks and calling names. We will no longer stand for you dismissing us. We are just as capable and ready for battle as any man—whatever that battle is. We will no longer be silent while you scream and order us around. Enough is enough. So, to those who wish to put a muzzle on the Queen, hear this: I was born to shine, and I will do so. I will never ease off into the sunset because you think I am not womanly. I am as much a woman as you are a man, and I’m happy to be so. I am not who I am today because I am someone’s wife. Funmi Franklin, aka Queen, is a word lover and poet. She’s a reality-show fanatic and is awaiting an opportunity to star in her own show to be titled, “The Queen & I.�

We are just as capable and ready for battle as any man—whatever that battle is.

CORRECTIONS: In the Best of Jackson photo gallery (Vol. 10, Issue 22), we misspelled the names of musician Johnny Hubbart and photographer Virginia Schreiber. In “Ouch! What a Pain� (Vol. 10, Issue 19) we misspelled the name of writer Mimi Abadie. The Jackson Free Press apologizes for the errors.



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JFP interview: The Gulf of Holland by R.L. Nave


February 22 - 28, 2012

n a matter of 24 hours, Steve Holland went from seemingly being the director of “Punk’d: Mississippi Edition” to directing funerals. On Feb. 8, Holland set the Internet afire when news broke of his bill to stop calling the large body of water to our south the Gulf of Mexico and start calling it the Gulf of America. Legions of angry bloggers, Twitter users, news organizations and a Republican Latino-rights group assumed that the bill was just another example of Mississippi’s racism and immediately lashed out at Holland and the Magnolia State, while bigots embraced the move. By mid-day, Mississippians familiar with Holland’s history of antics let the rest of the country in on the joke: The Democratic state representative from Tupelo was poking fun at Republicans for offering a slew of antiimmigration (aka anti-Mexican) bills. For a brief moment, Holland seemed to be a media darling. Then, over the course of the next three days, Holland directed eight funerals. Even Holland, who has a reputation for being a cut-up, remarked that the rapid mood shift was surreal. But that’s Steve Holland. In his nearly 30 years in the Mississippi Legislature, he’s often been on the side of earnestness in fighting for 14 people he calls the “least, last and most vul-

nerable,” but then he’ll do something wacky like satirically call for an end to abortions in the state or author a bill to permit hunting of wild hogs year-round. Lately, though, Holland is the hunted one, so to speak. With the Republican takeover of the House, Holland feels that he’s been shut down and can no longer be an effective legislator. After the session ends in May, Holland says he will hang up his voting stick and retire. “I’m looking forward to getting out,” Holland said. “If it wouldn’t cost my people a special election, I’d just get up and go home today. I just don’t like being here now.” That doesn’t mean he’s getting out of politics. His 85-year-old mother, Sadie, is a Justice Court judge in Tupelo, and he may be interested in running for her seat if she decides to retire. He’s also working on a book called “Tales of a Southern Undertaker” and wants to start a leadership institute for kids in rural Lee County. “When this one is over, sayonara for me,” Holland said. “I’m gonna sit at home and laugh at these sons of bitches and throw darts at ’em.

I really did not think it would have that kind of attention. And of course, as I began to explain my position, I think it subsided some. But the initial reaction was absolutely astronomical. People went ballistic all over the world. I did about 30-something interviews in the course of three or four days, including the BBC and some far-right prick on Houston far-right talk radio, and I finally told him to go to hell right in the middle of the interview. I didn’t care what the people of Houston, Texas, thought about anything.

When somebody told you that the Gulf of America was trending on Twitter, what did you think?

What about when people started saying that this is kind of a sensitive issue, and you shouldn’t be joking about it?

Some of the reaction came from people who thought you were on their side. You had some of them sending me emails saying, “Yeah, we’re for you. Get rid of the Hispanics.” Well, that’s exactly what I was opposite of. I did it as a spoof, a tongue-incheek, to show how silly I thought it was that the movement around here is to devoid our society of anyone who’s not Aryan and white and fairly wealthy. The least, last and most vulnerable haven’t got a chance with this crowd. And they’ve always been my people, and their voice has been greatly diminished with this majority taking over.

I would say to them, “Get a life.” I got a lot of people saying I was wasting the taxpayers’ time and money—tons of emails said that I should be removed from office. I’ve been getting those now for 28 years. I have 70 percent of the people that would whip your ass over me and 30 percent that wouldn’t piss on me if I were on fire. That’s pretty damn good odds in this world. That’s the best odds I ever heard of, quite frankly, and I can live with that. People who know me know my personality, they know what I really stand for, what I’ve always stood for, and I don’t sense that I’m going to change too much at this point. People in this building even said you were wasting time and money. Well, hell. We’re in our seventh week, and we’ve had four bills. Look who’s wasting money—the Republican leadership’s who’s wasting money. You’re talking about wasting money, we have been here, and we’ve passed four bills in this House of Representatives. That is almost treason, and certainly, we ought to be charged with loitering on public property. They’re feeding the bills one at a time on these worthless mediocre subjects. No meat-and-taters stuff that’s come out, yet, and I don’t sense it is going to come out. HOLLAND see page 16


JFP interview: The Mystery of Joey by R.L. Nave

That bill stalled in the House but has re-emerged this year, along with several other items aimed at tamping down the presence of undocumented immigrants. Fillingane was also behind last fall’s successful effort to require voters to show stateissued photo identification at the polls. Groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People protested the ballot initiative, saying it would suppress minority votes. After the resounding defeat of the Personhood Initiative in the same election, it seemed a foregone conclusion that the issue would come back at some point during the legislative session. And the conventional wisdom was that someone with Joey Fillingane’s track record was a likely candidate to introduce a personhood bill. Fillingane, however, is doubtful that the Legislature will tread into personhood’s waters this legislative session. “I don’t know that we’re quite ready yet to dive off into the whole discussion and debate over proposition 26 that we just recently came off,” Fillingane said. “But I know that people feel very strongly about that issue. Based on the conversations I’ve had, I don’t believe we’ll take that up this year.”

Let’s start with big news this week. There’s been a lot of attention on the role of the attorney general and on transparency. You have a couple bills on the subject: the Transparency in Private Attorney Contracts Act and the Sunshine Act. Could you explain how those two bills differ? Those were two versions of the same bill that I guess got filed a couple years apart from each other. And at the start of this year, before I knew where I would be as far as committee assignments, I went through my old list of filed bills that never became law and re-filed a whole bunch of them. So I think there’s not a huge difference between those two versions of the bill, but there are just two bills that deal with the same issue, and that’s transparency and sunshine over in the AG’s office.

But the Sunshine Act (as proposed) doesn’t give agencies direction on how to go about that process, either. Right now, they have to go through the attorney general’s office. So they have that level of regulation already. The AG’s office does not. They just go hire whoever they want to.

Why is it framed as a transparency issue? Well the transparency aspect of it comes in right now when there’s a reason to go out and hire outside counsel, someone other than your own state attorneys. The AG’s office has absolutely no regulations as to whom they can hire or for what. They just say :“We’re not going to use inhouse attorneys, we’re going to find a law firm and oh, by the way, we’re not going to bid that work out. We’re going to go pick somebody, and give them the business.”

So the argument that it’s going to cost the state more money—you don’t buy that? No.

Do agencies have lump-sum budget authority? No. I do know that if an agency goes and tries to hire an attorney other than the AG’s office, they can hire one, but can’t pay them. They have to get sign off from the AG’s office before the invoice can be paid. They still control, in essence, who they hire and who they don’t hire.

The attorney general says at least $11 million extra, which make sense because private firms charge more than the government for services. Okaaaay ... FILLINGANE see page 19


t’s Valentine’s Day, and everyone seems to be courting Sen. Joey Fillingane. Just two days before Mississippi’s Feb. 16 legislation draft deadline, his secretary and gatekeeper has to run interference on an unending parade of lobbyists who all want just a few moments of the state senator’s time. Earlier in the day, Fillingane had filed an anti-abortion “personhood” bill that had Capitol reporters darting in and out to chat with him as well. If you didn’t know he was chairman of the Mississippi Senate Finance Committee, you’d swear the boyish-looking lawmaker belonged on a liberal-arts college’s quad serenading coeds with his guitar. But at age 38, Fillingane, an attorney from Sumrall, is a veteran lawmaker of 13 years who has championed some marquis Republican causes in recent years. “I’m a very conservative person, and I represent a very conservative area of the state,” he said during a late-afternoon meeting in his office. During last year’s session, Fillingane authored an immigration bill that closely mirrored controversial laws in Arizona and Alabama, requiring police to arrest people they suspect are in the United States without proper documentation.



I talked to Sen. Fillingane about some of the immigration bills. One is to restrict undocumented workers from getting state financial aid, but there’s no evidence that’s a problem. They’re continuing to throw red meat to their base. I wish they would realize that they have a majority, and they ought to try to govern. Even with their wrongheaded attitude about governing, they ought to try to make it work as they see it instead of trying to throw this kind of superfluous legislation at us. It’s really, in 29 years, the most mediocre session I’ve ever served in by far. What was it like going from the Gulf of America frenzy to working at your funeral home in Tupelo? I had a lot of funerals that weekend, and I was working in my real job in the private sector, and I kept getting interrupted by these reporters who were fairly impatient. I had to tell them, “I have a funeral starting in 10 minutes,” and that’s my livelihood. I’m a Thomas Jefferson legislator. That’s an avocation, at best, to me. Something I do out of civic citizen responsibility. So you can call me back or leave me your number so I can call you back after I get this dearly departed in the ground, but until then, hell no; I’m not going to talk to you about anything.

After 29 years in the Mississippi Legislature, Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, says he plans to retire after this year’s session. And he’s taking no prisoners in the meantime.


February 22 - 28, 2012

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Your funeral home is handling the arrangements for Billy Sutton, a soldier who died in Afghanistan. It’s hard to juxtapose that. I flew up yesterday morning real early with (Adjutant Brig. Gen. Augustus Leon) Collins on a helicopter for the arrival of his body from Dover Air Force Base, and, oh my God, such a poignant moment. … I have to flip-flop from the seriousness of a moment like that to the silliness of this legislative session. It’s draining. I live in two different worlds that are equally taxing and equally time-consuming and emotionally stressful. And it makes for an interesting commentary on life, but I’ve done it for a long time and, obviously, I enjoy it. I meant to retire last year, and the

people literally begged—now, nobody held a gun to my head—but they said, “Please go one more term,” and I did, and that’s all I’m gonna do is one more term. When this one is over, sayonara for me. I’m gonna sit at home and laugh at these sons of bitches and throw darts at ’em. Before the session started, you said you were going to be as conciliatory as you possibly could. But they’re not being very kind. I voted for the speaker. I voted for his rules change, and they screwed me to the wall. I got nothing for it. All’s fair, now. As long as they’re nice, I’ll be nice. But if they’re going to be a smart-ass, I’m smart-assing back to ’em. They’re not gonna run over me just because they’re in the majority. And they’re going to operate by the rules of the House. I’ve been here a long time; I know those rules. I’ve had a lot of exposure to those rules, and that’s all I ask—nothing magical, nothing above and beyond general fairness. I didn’t get called yesterday (to make) a fiscal note. If Snowden didn’t hear me, I’ll bring him a spare hearing aid I got … left from a corpse last weekend, so maybe he can hear better. Or better yet, I’ll start standing up on my desk and jumping up and down, and I believe he’ll see and hear me then. I’m going to get recognized. So what is it? Is it just philosophical differences? Do Republicans want your seat? They can’t get my seat. What they’ll do with my seat in reapportionment is make it about 60 percent African American and get rid of me, but I’ve announced my retirement. I’m not coming back. I’m through. I’m positive of that. I don’t know what it is they want. They just don’t like anybody that’s not like them. And they don’t like anybody that’s smart or who’s had exposure. They’re not transparent; there’s not much sunshine as I see it. I thought Democrats might not go back to the chamber yesterday so there wouldn’t be a quorum to vote on the Sunshine Act.

The sunshine bill was the biggest fight so far this year. The Ryan Petit Child Protection bill was a pretty big fight. I guess what I’m getting at is if Mississippi is going to get where Wisconsin was, when Democrats left the state in protest of the governor’s union-busting reforms? I doubt if we’ll get quite there, but we’re gonna get close. That’s what they want. They want a pure divide. They don’t want to walk hand-in-hand with anybody; they want it all, and they want everybody else to be subservient to them. Mississippi is such a poor state, and I don’t care if they did get the majority. People have so many needs for the government it’s unbelievable, probably more so than any of the 50 states in the United States. We can’t dismantle the government as we know it, and they’re trying with their joint rules change—they’ve done a pretty good job. What am I going to do? They have completely hamstrung me. I’ve been on appropriations all my life; now I’m on ways and means. I love the assignment. It’s OK by me. It’s not my where my passion was nor where my expertise is, but I’m not too old to learn. But this rules change is just consolidating power in fewer and fewer (hands). I was part of the crew that did away with former Speaker Buddy Newman and his Delta regime and his tight-fisted control of the budget process. Why should the average Mississippian care about the rules of the House? You’re going to have these far-right conservative budgets with no way to leverage them at all. … The committee process is brilliant, but ultimately, legislation is made on the floor of the House and the Senate where all the representatives and senators of the state are jointly responsible for mending and molding that legislation. We have now

had most of that ability taken away from us. We can’t jack an appropriation up without saying where it’s coming from. And they’ve taken the rainy day fund off the table. Well, that’s where the money is. They’re just going to keep building a bank for the state of Mississippi, which is what the Republicans want to do. I’ve always held the philosophy that a government and a church that has money in the bank is really not fulfilling its mission. Short of having bills read, how are you going to exert yourselves? Just keep fighting. Seek recognition and do a lot of exposing of the other side to their limited-government attitude and try to build grassroots efforts from the people. I think a majority of the people in Mississippi thinks the government pays a good role in their lives, not a bad role. You got a few who don’t like public schools, but this state cannot progress in any area—economic development, quality of life—without a strong public-education system, and I think we’re seeing a complete assault on the publiceducation system. When have you seen the chairman of education in this House mention public schools? All their press conferences have been about charter schools. Their argument would be that public schools aren’t working. So you’re just gonna turn your back because they’re not working? You’re going to defund further? We’ll listen to the charterschool debate, but it’s not a cure-all. It’s certainly not for everybody. It’s not a mass solution to what our problem is. Early childhood education is probably the best thing to do for dropout prevention, increasing readiness for the K-12 experience, bring up ACT scores. How much does school consolidation have to do with it? Consolidation is like peeing in the Pearl River to get the Gulf of Mexico to rise.

HOLLAND see page 18


The floor is our marketplace. A lot of us have been relegated to the marketplace. We have no committees. I’ve dealt in health and Medicaid most of my life, and I was banished from those committees, so the only marketplace I have is the floor of the house.

Name: D. Stephen Holland Age: 57 Born: Tupelo Residence: Plantersville Family: Wife, Gloria Holland Education: Mississippi State University, Northwest Community College, University of Mississippi Employment: Funeral Director; Congressional Aide; Farmer; Mississippi House (1984-present)


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GULF OF HOLLAND, from page 17

The Gulf of America. The Gulf of America, excuse me. Yeah, some districts probably should be consolidated. There’s nothing on the books now to prevent any school district from consolidating if they wanted to. Certainly it’s the right of the Legislature to consolidate schools, but locals should be involved in that.

I wish (Republicans) would realize that they have a majority, and they ought to try to govern. – Rep. Holland

February 22 - 28, 2012

What about the state’s colleges and universities? They’re returning to the issue of consolidating HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities). It’s so sad. I travel our college campuses, and I live education. I get so invigorated when I go on any of our college campuses. And it’s so sad that we’ve seen tuition go up for 13 years now. It’s an assault on the middle class. Thank God we’ve had so much public fundraising, and our people have come to the aid of our colleges, but our percentage of contribution in the last 20 years has continually gone down. And that is when we had leadership. We are somehow continuing year after year to de-emphasize the value of our institutions of higher learning.


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Are they doing it just to be able to say that they put austerity measures in place? I’ve lived with these conservative types for years, and it’s just government-light. Cut their feet off, cut ’em off at the knees, and let ’em wobble around and see if they’ll make it. Very little sensitivity, very limited vision. It’s just philosophical. But hell, I got Republican friends, and they’re poor as hell, and they have to depend on the public-school system to get their kids educated. They just don’t get excited about that kind of stuff. I see no passion from them. I cannot remember the last time I have seen a Republican go to the well of the House and speak passionately in favor of any govern-

mental service of any nature. They’ll always speak against. They’ll always tell you what’s wrong with it. It’s really incumbent on them to defend. Not me anymore; I’m in the minority. They’ve got to come out in full force and say, “We’re slashing 5 percent from (Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning),” and say, “God bless you; do the best you can.” And they’ll suffer the consequences for that more than I am. It’s going to pit brother against brother up here, agency against agency. How much do you buy into the idea that there’s a desire to create a permanent Republican majority? I think that’s what they’d like to have. And they’ll probably have that the next 10 years. I don’t see it going much beyond 10 years unless the people rise up at the end of this four-year term and come back to the mother’s milk. The people are going to see firsthand what’s going to happen with the dismantling of government. To say that the government of Mississippi—to say it is too big and too large is the biggest understatement I’ve ever seen in me life. It is not. You give me one agency that’s too big and too large, that’s too much for the citizens based on the needs that we have. Why the hostility to online sales tax when Haley Barbour gave the cover to do it before he left? You’ll have to ask one of them about that. I don’t understand that. Of all the things that could bring in $300 million to the state, that’s as good as a casino. If you could secret ballot that in the state of Mississippi, 80 percent of the public would support a tax on Internet sales. How are you going to spend the rest of the legislative session? Just doing stuff to amuse yourself? I’m writing on my book and writing love notes to all the widow women I’ve loved over the years, drinking a little at night and carousing around a little bit. It’s a sh*tty session, and I’m looking forward to getting out. I’m the most optimistic, happy fella you’ll ever meet, but this is a pile of sh*t on my life. It is a pure albatross around my neck. If it wouldn’t cost my people a special election I’d just get up and go home today. I just don’t like being here now. I have a tendency to trade a barb for a barb, and I’ll probably keep doing that. I have a pretty damned trashy mouth, and I’ll probably still keep cussing, and I hope I don’t get so angry (that) I have another stroke. I am the only Democrat left in Lee County. I got all the African Americans in the county, and (Republicans) got all the Aryan whites. My opinion is not worth a cuss to anyone, but I’m gonna keep sharing my opinion. Comment at



Name: Joseph E. Fillingane Age: 38 Born: Hattiesburg Residence: Sumrall Family: Single Education: University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi College School Of Law Employment: Fillingane Law Firm, PLLC; Mississippi House (2000-2006); Mississippi Senate (2007-present)

increase? We’d be collecting taxes already owed to the state. We’re waiting on the federal government, obviously, to change the policy that would allow states (to collect Internet sales taxes). Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, for example, has said he’s not amenable to raising peoples’ taxes. I haven’t talked with him about that particular issue. All I know is right now it’s sort of a moot point because we have so many issues that are facing us that we can deal with. Why go out and look for issues that are not ripe yet? It’s not come (to) me because the federal government has not yet changed its policy allowing states to open up and do that. If they don’t change their policy, there’s nothing we can do about it anyway.

an attorney. Obviously, when you have one that’s provided for you, you’re going to use that one. But only where there is a difference of opinion about how something should be handled do you go outside. Is some of this gearing up for possible legal challenges to voter ID or any of the immigration stuff that might be coming down the pike, where the attorney general might be involved? No. If that were the case, why have we been filing this bill for six, seven, eight years? Those are just very recent issues that you’re bringing up. So, no. Switching gears: I hear that about $135 million is needed for maintenance of state buildings. Is that going to be a priority this budget session? In this economy and given the state’s finances, what you’ll probably find is that there will be a real serious look at prioritization. Obviously, we don’t have the kind of money to go out and fix all the state-owned buildings or even the leased buildings.

So you’ll just bring in buckets if it starts pouring down in here? What we’ll do is we have the Department of Finance and Administration—who goes out and monitors the status of all the buildings—and they would bring us a report saying, “These are your most severe needs dealing with state-owned buildings. These are things that need to be done but with a little maintenance can be avoided for another year, and these are our wish list if we had all the money in the world, we’d be able to fix all these things.” It’s just like your budget at your house. If you’ve got an appliance that goes out, then the decision is: Do I have the money to replace the appliance, or do I need to spend a fraction of that cost to fix it and take it to the appliance-repair shop? It depends on if it’s my coffeemaker. See, it just depends on the priority you give it. Why is there so much hostility to the idea of charging taxes on purchases made online, given what Gov. Barbour said when he left office—that it wouldn’t be a tax

There’s that famous story about Barack Obama’s political godfather who said, “I’m gonna make me a U.S. senator.” A lot of your bills have been red-meat conservative-type issues. Is somebody trying to make something out of you? I hope not. (laughs) Because I can tell you that those bills that I’ve filed have not come to me. I’ve filed them, and they’ve gone to other committees, some of which I don’t even serve on. A lot of my bills have gone to public health and welfare, but I don’t sit on that committee. There’s little I can do to control the fate of those bills like any other legislator. There are 52 of us, and we all file as many bills as we want, but the truth is unless you’re the chairman of the committee that bill is going to go to, you have very little control over whether it ever sees the light of day or not. I’m a very conservative person and I represent a very conservative area of the state. I’m just the chairman of finance, and that’s enough for me to say grace over now. Also, I don’t try to go behind other committee chairmen and get them to do anything with my bills. FILLINGANE see page 20

If an agency head isn’t a lawyer, they’re not going to know how much something costs. It’s like when I go to the mechanic, and they tell me I need a new whatever. I don’t know any better. Typically, what you’ll find is in 99 percent of the cases, they do use their assigned attorney that is assigned to them by the AG’s office for all their in-house stuff. The only time this issue comes—I mean, they don’t want to spend money that they don’t really have, that they don’t need to be allocating for attorneys’ fees. It’s only when they and the attorney general’s office have a difference of opinion about how the agency should be represented on a particular issue or matter and the AG’s office says, “We’re not going to represent you in that way.” Well, then should the agency head not have the opportunity to say, “Well, if you won’t represent me, then I’ll use some of my funds, if I have any to hire someone who will represent the agency the way we feel we should be represented in this matter.” That’s the only time you have this issue come up. It’s certainly not every time that a legal issue arises that they want to run out and hire

from page 15




Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, is in his 13th year in the Legislature. During that time, he has championed conservative efforts to put voter identification in place, to limit abortions and to crack down on undocumented immigration. He says “Gulf of America” was a waste of time.

Are these things that are near and dear to Joey Fillingane’s heart? Or, are they by request? This is my 13th year. I’ve championed certain types of bills—pro-life bills, things of that nature—but the last four years, I was chairman of the Judiciary A Committee. I dealt with a lot of court-related issues. By virtue of being in a certain place, you get certain requests that you wouldn’t get otherwise. By and large, the non-finance ones are things that I care personally about.

February 22 - 28, 2012

I’ll tell what I heard about you when I first came here—that Joey Fillingane is one of the nicest guys in the Legislature. I don’t know if that’s true or not. But I’m not offended.


But on the other hand, I’ve heard the word “hateful” applied to some of the pro-life stuff, the immigration stuff, the voter ID stuff. (Winces) I don’t worry about perception as much as I worry about the policy, and I believe strongly in the right to life, because I do believe that life does begin at conception. When you terminate that, you’re ending one of God’s creations prematurely, and if that makes me a hateful person, then I’m willing to take that. On immigration policy, I’m not the chairman of Judiciary A, so I’m not handling those issues. But I feel strongly that our borders ought to be recognized, and they ought to be secure, and that people who have broken the law ought to abide by the law. I don’t see how that makes a hateful person. And I forget the other issue you brought up.

Just that you’re really nice. Well, I hope that’s case. I try to be nice to everyone whether they agree with me or not. But I understand. This is a deliberative body; everyone comes here with their own background and their own upbringing and their life experiences, and I certainly don’t claim to be right on everything that I do or every bill that I file. I just bring my own set of beliefs to the table, and I try to advocate for those, and I expect everyone to do the same. You just don’t strike me as a rabid partisan. And I’ve seen them on both sides. I try not to be, because I understand that I’m human. I’m not all knowing, I don’t get it right all the time. I just know that at the end of the day, I just try to do the best I can, and I think everybody else up here is trying to do the best they can to represent their background and their constituents, and I respect that. We all have to represent who sent us here. You have a couple immigration bills this year. One prohibits unauthorized aliens from receiving financial aid from state universities or colleges. Is there evidence that this is endemic here? We’ve asked that question of some of our colleges and universities, and all they can tell us is that they don’t try to figure out if that’s happening or not. So there’s no reason for them to dig into that, to waste their time trying flesh that out. Where I come from on that is if we have Mississippi residents who need that financial aid, and they’re not getting it because someFILLINGANE see page 22

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MYSTERY OF FILLINGANE, from page 20 one who is here illegally is getting it, that’s a concern I have. Does the bill direct colleges and universities to collect this information? They would have to at that point. If it’s illegal for them to receive that assistance, then you would have to put implementation procedures in place. There are some other immigration bills that aren’t yours, and it seems like they all have language to punish the undocumented immigrant. Is there anything that looks at the employers? For the past couple years, we’ve been doing E-Verify for employers. And there are penalties if they are hiring illegal workers, and they are not E-Verifying their citizenship and not verifying their legal ability to work here in the state. So there are penalties for both sides, and I think you have to have a balanced approach. It’s not fair just to target one segment and not target the community that is employing undocumented workers. If you’re going to be successful, I think you have to have a very balanced approach.


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Is Senate Concurrent Resolution 555 (personhood) modeled after Initiative 26? Basically what 555 is, in my opinion, is a vehicle that if, in fact, the Legislature as a whole is of a mind to try to take up the issue of personhood this year, (they can), and I kind of doubt that. We’re not, based on the conversations with colleagues. But if we were of a mind to, I simply didn’t want the deadline to come and go without some kind of legislative vehicle for that conversation to take place under. It’s my belief that probably what you’ll see this legislative session is smaller bills that deal (with) regulations of abortion providers and clinics—dealing with the qualifications (of) doctors performing those procedures, admitting privileges to hospitals, things like that. I don’t know that we’re quite ready yet to dive off into the whole discussion and debate over proposition 26 that we just recently

came off. But I know that people feel very strongly about that issue. Based on the conversations I’ve had, I don’t believe we’ll take that up this year. Does taking a piecemeal approach provide some cover for the fact that voters overwhelmingly rejected 26 and are wondering why the Legislature is going there again? The Legislature hasn’t dived into the issue, yet. Filing a bill doesn’t equate to diving off into the debate. Is this something that would go back to the ballot? (Nods yes) Is there a waiting period (since Initiative 26 failed in the fall)? There’s not a waiting period, but I think we would all agree that there has to be a lot of questions answered. The reason that the proposition failed last year was not because Mississippi is not a very strongly pro-life state. I think everyone concedes that we are. But there were some legitimate concerns raised about in-vitro fertilization, birth control. The impact on those items that the language in Prop 26 had—(those questions) have to be answered, and they haven’t been answered yet. And I don’t know that this is the year to try to bite all that off—probably not. I think there’d probably have to be an education period to answer those kinds of questions and come up with answers to them before you would have that different result. What are the chances we’ll see a Gulf of America bill in the Senate? I don’t know the chances of seeing a bill. But the likelihood of it passing would be very slim. What did you make of all that? I think it’s very interesting, but I don’t necessarily think it’s very productive. I think we have some real issues, financial and otherwise, that need our time and attention. Comment at

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A Magic Deeper Still

by Clay A. McCollum


February 22 - 28, 2012



eter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie accidentally leave their mundane lives for the wonder and adventure that an enchanted wardrobe grants. In C.S. Lewis’ celebrated “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” set in the 1940s during World War II in England, the courageous children escape the atrocities of that period in British history, exchanging their anxieties for mythical Narnia and its magical creatures. While in Narnia, the Pevensies meet characters such as Tumnus, a selfless faun; Aslan, the great and powerful lion; and the evil and cunningly beautiful White Witch. The story is familiar to many who read the books or saw Andrew Adamson’s 2005 cinematic production of the same name. Joseph Robinette’s stage adaptation of the classic story opens at New Stage Theatre Feb. 28. Chris Roebuck, director of education at New Stage, directs the play in an already successful season for the theatre. It is a retelling of one his favorite childhood stories. “I want them to feel like they’re actually there … to use the Lashunda Thomas, Quintin Lewis and Scott Gaines (left to right) rehearse a scene in “The Lion,The Witch and The Wardrobe.” story with special effects,” Roebuck says. He wants the audience to leave the theater feeling transa two-week camp for child actors. At the end of camp, the ported to the magic of Narnia. young actors launch a four-performance run to show off In “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” look what they learned. for Lewis’ less-than-covert use of religious symbolism, a The cast of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” staple for the 20th-century writer. A particularly remark- includes Scott D. Gaines as Peter/Tumnus, Brent Hearn as able appearance of these Christian motifs is seen in Aslan, Father Christmas/Aslan, Neill Kelly as Mr. Beaver/Dwarf, the great and powerful lion who allows himself to suffer Nakia Lawrence as Lucy/Unicorn, Quintin Lewis as Edhumiliation and murder. mund/Elf, Kerri Courtney Sanders as Susan, Lashunda Aslan, although certainly capable of overcoming those Thomas as Centaur/Fenris Ulf and Jessica Wilkinson as who defame and brutalize him, gives himself up for the greater Mrs. Beaver/White Witch. good of his cause. He wants to restore peace to his realm, NarThe director likes the idea that local actors will delve nia. The implication is that Aslan represents Christ. Lewis’ use into this classic piece of literature. Having the same actors of Christian symbols is evident throughout his prolific output portray multiple characters will not only help make the and, while not understated, Lewis dealt with theology tactfully production a financial success for the company, it will add for the most part, exposing social injustices. to the fanciful, dream-like nature inherent to the piece, he The New Stage production will not be cast with child said. Costumed in gorgeous pieces pulled from New Stage actors but is geared toward child audiences. For more than stock, actors will reappear in differing dress to play difnine years, New Stage has produced annual children’s fea- ferent parts. This fantastic epic, like the 1939 film classic tures as a goodwill offering to the community, Roebuck “The Wizard of Oz,” will feel almost plausible. says. The bulk of the play’s performances consist of eight Public performances of “The Lion, the Witch and the matinees for grammar-school students with only three Wardrobe” are Feb. 28 through March 12 at New Stage weekend performances open to the general public. Theatre (1100 Carlisle St., 601-948-3533). For times and 26 Roebuck says that each summer, New Stage conducts ticket prices, visit

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Picks for Oscar


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South of Walmart in Madison

ALL STADIUM SEATING Listings for Fri. Feb. 24- Thurs. Mar. 1 2012 Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds PG13

Journey 2 (non 3-D)

Act of Valor


Safe House



The Vow



3-D Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance PG13 This Means War PG13 The Secret World Of Arrietty G 3-D Journey 2 PG


3-D Star Wars: Episode I PG Chronicle


by Anita Modak-Truran Best Picture Even though “Hugo” has the most nominations with 11, the favorite is “The “The Artist” won hearts and might pick up the Best Artist.” The enchanting Picture Oscar. black-and-white, silent film moved fast to the top, and it will likely reign supreme on Oscar Sunday. losing steam in this final stretch. Jean DujarThe sentimental favorite for Mississippi- din will probably win Best Actor for his specans is “The Help,” is based on Kathryn Stock- tacular performance in “The Artist.” (Clooney ett’s best-selling novel about black women who still rocks. He can write, direct and act.) worked for white families in Jackson during the Civil Rights Movement. If you meander Best Actress over to the Academy Awards website (oscar. I said it when I first saw “The Help” at, the Best Picture listing credits native the Mississippi premiere, and I’ll say it again: Jacksonian Brunson Green as one of the film’s Viola Davis will win Best Actress. She centered producers, along with Christopher Columbus the entire movie. And while we all love Meryl and Michael Barnathan. Streep, who is nominated for her lacquered The last film I was this excited about and tough performance in “The Iron Lady,” was “Ballast,” which Jackson’s Nina Parikh does anyone really want Margaret Thatcher to produced. We are proud of “The Help,” but overshadow the Mississippi worker? it will require more than a Hail Mary for the film to win. Before the end of the year, the Best Supporting Actor battle was between “The Artist” and “The So many superb actors are in this catDescendants.” Having already won the Pro- egory. I’m going with the experienced screen ducers Guild Award for Best Picture, “The veteran Christopher Plummer for his role in Artist” has unstoppable momentum and will “Beginners.” probably snatch the prize. Best Supporting Actress Best Directing If there is any category that defies preWhile nine films are nominated for Best diction every year, it’s this one. But this year, Picture, the nominees for Best Directing are the winner seems more concrete. I have been cut almost in half. The nominees are Mi- a longtime fan of Octavia Spencer, and after chel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”), Alexander her gracious win at the Screen Actors Guild Payne (“The Descendants”), Martin Scorsese ceremony, she will probably add an Oscar to (“Hugo”), Woody Allen (“Midnight in Paris”) her collection for her spunky performance in and Terrence Malick (“The Tree of Life”). I “The Help.” predict Hazanavicius will win Best Directing. “The Artist” is a masterpiece of storytelling, Best Original Screenplay acting and cinematography. Hazanavicius also I loved the scripts for “The Artist,” won the Directors Guild of America award, “Bridesmaids” and “Midnight in Paris,” three which is another predictor of the Oscar prize. of the five contenders in this category. The Academy will want to reward Woody Allen Best Actor for his long and successful career. Allen is a I loved Gary Oldman’s performance in prolific writer-director (turning out a new “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” and Brad Pitt is, movie nearly every year), and he will—or at well, Brad Pitt; he charges up any film he is the very least should—take the prize for Best in. George Clooney was a front-runner for his Original Screenplay for “Midnight in Paris.” work in “The Descendants,” but Clooney is Do you agree? Comment at

The Woman In Black PG13 The Grey The Iron Lady Red Tails

R PG13 PG13

GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE February 22 - 28, 2012

ost cinema scholars revere 1939 as the ultimate year in motion pictures. The slate of films up for the Academy Award for what was then called “Outstanding Production” included “Gone With the Wind” (the winner), “Of Mice and Men,” “Stagecoach,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Goodbye, Mr. Chips,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Ninotchka,” “Wuthering Heights” and “Dark Victory.” Nothing since the new millennium comes remotely close to the majestic heights reached in 1939 or even the peaks of the early 1940s or mid-1970s. That is, until 2011. Shameless recycling marred my overall impression of 2011’s movie worthiness. “The Hangover Part II,” “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” “Conan the Barbarian,” “Johnny English Reborn” and a bunch of comedies that seemed taken from a cardboard cutout diminished the year. But buried within the trash and swill were some cinematic treasures. While I am not saying that 2011 is of the same caliber as 1939, many of this year’s Oscar-nominated films are remarkable because of great performances (“The Help,” “The Artist” and “The Descendants”), epic vision (“War Horse”), nostalgic and off-beat charm (“Midnight in Paris” and “Hugo”), or a compilation of abstraction and philosophical thought (“The Tree of Life”). All these films slice human experience in different ways, and each allows us to understand the meaning of art in a way our middle-school art teachers could not (bless their hearts). This year has nine nominees for Best Picture. It’s an odd number. Why not 10 or, say, a dozen, which was a common enough number back in the early Academy days? The list for top films in 2011 could have easily included “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” the raunchy comedy “Bridesmaids” (although comedies almost always get the shaft) or “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” Academy voters also missed the mark by failing to include Tate Taylor (“The Help”) in the Best Directing and Best Adapted Screenplay races. But we can’t change what’s been done, and the race for cinematic glory is on.



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by Tom Head


Nine out of Ten Experts Agree

“If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.” —Henry David Thoreau


or me, the pivotal scene in Kerry Cohen’s “Seeing Ezra: A Mother’s Story of Autism, Unconditional Love, and the Meaning of Normal” (Seal Press, 2011, $25) is her session with Shannon, a professional Tarot card reader. Cohen asks Shannon whether she and her husband will stay together, and—most urgently—whether her 4-year-old son Ezra, who is autistic and has by this point only recently begun speaking in sentences, is going to be OK. The psychic’s answers to both questions are positive but not cloying, exactly the sort of words that Cohen needs to hear at the time. She leaves the session feeling validated. Cohen, who by this point in the book does not strike me as somebody who especially believes in psychic phenomena, seems like an unlikely sort of client. Tarot does not come up again, and it’s clear that she does not put any special stock in it. But what she has been told about Ezra has brought her to a point where, in a spirit of prayerful desperation, it makes sense to consult a Tarot reader. She has, after all, already consulted numerous doctors, psychologists, occupational and speech therapists, fringe nutritionists, and other purported and unpurported experts in hopes of hearing something helpful. Most of what she hears is that she’s an unworthy, dysfunctional mother and Ezra an unworthy, dysfunctional child. They have both been judged, and found guilty, by the casual judgments of busy and emotionally unengaged authority figures. The psychic, at least, acknowledges her humanity. Not long afterward, Cohen pulls Ezra

out of school based on a strong gut instinct: “He walks along the edge of the sandbox, wearing his backpack. Ezra can’t put on his own backpack. He’s never done so in his life. None of the other children wears their backpack. Can you see this? Can you picture what I saw that day? They put his backpack on him, as if he were a coat rack, a thing, so it wouldn’t be forgotten. ... I take him by the hand, I put him in the car and we never, ever go back.” This is a heroic moment—rare in a book where Cohen seems to work hard to make sure not to play up her own heroism. Her descriptions of a near-affair with Frank, an old flame (who also happens to be married), reach Hitchcock-level suspense. Nothing especially happens in these scenes, but what almost happens, time after time, shows how close Cohen comes to making a decision that would have been disastrous for her and her family. These tense moments, interspersed with scenes that describe her husband Michael as depressed and overwhelmed but otherwise near saintly, are uncomfortable to read. You might get the sense from my review that “Seeing Ezra” isn’t really just about Ezra, and you’d be right, but the way his life illuminates his mother’s, and the way her life illuminates his, tells us things that we would not have been able to learn in a saccharine, pseudo-inspirational account of an unfailingly heroic mother and her struggling child. Ezra knows who he is and, as Cohen often reminds us, his autism means that he often needs less from other people, not more. He is happy, driven and focused. And Cohen, for her part, makes it clear that she is entirely capable of addressing her own needs—and is at times baffled by people who won’t take responsibility for their own emotional lives, a problem that Ezra does not have to deal with. “Seeing Ezra” is also a critique of how we judge people and why. Cohen is scientifically literate enough to know as well as anyone can what the autism spectrum is, but pragmatic enough to realize that credentials are no substitute for unconditional love (“I’m pretty sure this is the only rule for parenting,” she writes). Nothing in the book makes her angrier, or angry more often, than other people’s presumption that Ezra’s position on the autism spectrum gives strangers the authority to demonstrate their own incompetence by pitying him or otherwise attempting to dictate how he should spend his life. Her strength, and his, is educational and contagious. Freelance writer Tom Head is a Jackson native. He has written or co-written 24 nonfiction books, is a civil liberties writer for About. com and is a grassroots progressive activist.

Mississippi Gem & Mineral Society Announces its 53rd Annual

Gem, Mineral, Fossil and Jewelry Show Featuring: The Pattillos Rock Food Table State Fairgrounds Jackson, Mississippi Trade Mart Building Saturday February 25, 9 am – 6 pm Sunday February 26, 10 am – 5 pm Adults $5.00 | Students $3.00 24 Dealers of Gems, Minerals, Fossils, Jewelry, Beads, Lapidary Tools and More MGMS Demonstrations of all Lapidary Art including Cabochon Cutting, Faceting, Flint Knapping, Wire Wrapping, and much more

• Junior Demonstration Table • Exhibits • Touch and See with Braille Labels • Colleges and Groups BRING A FRIEND AND SPEND THE DAY!

Patty Peck Oscars Pick’em Join us on Facebook at

to choose who you think will win at this year’s Academy Awards! Prizes include dinner at amazing local restaurants: Parlor Market, Fatsumo Sushi and The Parker House.



BEST BETS February 22 - 29, 2012 by Latasha Willis Fax: 601-510-9019 Daily updates at


The “Tranquility” art exhibit at the Mississippi Library Commission (3881 Eastwood Drive) is up through Feb. 27. Free; call 601-432-4056. … Historian Stuart Rockoff talks about the history of the Beth Israel Congregation during History Is Lunch at noon at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Bring lunch; call 601-576-6998. … The “Animal Secrets” interactive exhibit at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science (2148 Riverside Drive) is open through May 6. $4-$6, children under 3 and members free; call 601-576-6000. … Baby Jan and All That Chazz performs at Underground 119. … Dreamz JXN hosts Wasted Wednesday. … Jason Turner is at Fenian’s. … The Med Grill hosts the Battle of the Bands at 9 p.m. … Club Magoo’s has Open-mic Night at 8 p.m. … The Boardwalk has Live DJ Night.

ployees; call 601-974-1372. … The play “The Mayfair Affair” is at 7:30 p.m. at Belhaven University Center for the Arts (835 Riverside Drive); runs through March 3. $10, $5 seniors, students and children; call 601-965-7026. … Luckenbach is at Shucker’s. … Dreamz JXN hosts Centric Thursday.


Jackson Bike Advocates hosts the Mardi Gras Community Bike Ride at 6 p.m. at Rainbow Grocery (2807 Old Canton Road). Free; visit … The musical “Little Shop of Horrors” is at 7:30 p.m. at Actor’s Playhouse (121 Paul Truit Lane, Pearl). $15, $10 students; call 601-664-0930. … T-Bird and the Breaks play at Martin’s. … John Paul Keith is at Ole Tavern. … The Southern Komfort Brass Band plays at Underground 119.



At Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.), Walk for a Wish is at 8 a.m. and benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation ($15 in advance, $20 day of event, children 5 and under free; email and Youth Organizers United’s Zumbathon Fundraiser is at 3 p.m. at the Bowl ($4, $2 students; email … The American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb 5K is at 9 a.m. at Trustmark Park (1 Braves Way. Pearl). $25 registration fee; call 601-206-5810. … The Gem, Mineral, Fossil and Jewelry Show is from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Mississippi Trade Mart (1207 Mississippi St.) and continues Feb. 26 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $5, $3 students; call 601-706-4629 or 601-8636535. … The opening reception for the exhibit “Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow” is at 6 p.m. at Tougaloo College (500 W. County Line Road, Tougaloo) at the Bennie G. Thompson Center; show hangs through May 13. RSVP by Feb. 22. $5; free for students with ID and children; call 601-977-7213. … The “Cancer Unmasked” Cancer League Gala is at 6:30 p.m. at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.) and benefits the American Cancer Society. $250 sponsorship, $400 for two; email … J. Lee Productions’ film “Black Love II” shows at 7 p.m. at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). $10, $15 for two; call 601208-0965. … The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra presents Dmitri Hvorostovsky portrays Don Carlo in the opera simulcast of “Ernani” Feb 25 at 11:55 a.m. at Tinseltown.

February 22 - 28, 2012

At F. Jones Corner, Norman Clark performs during the blues lunch, and the Bailey Brothers play at midnight. … The fundraiser for business owner Jeremy Polk’s medical expenses is at 5 p.m. at Swell-O-Phonic (Fondren Corner, 2906 N. State St.). Call 601-366-9955. … See the film “Beer Wars” at 6 p.m. at CS’s Restaurant. $10 cover; call 262-391-9265. … Steven Curtis Chapman performs at 7 p.m. at Broadmoor Baptist Church (1531 Highland Colony Parkway, Madison). $20 and up; call 800-965-9324. … At Hal & Mal’s, Scott Albert Johnson performs in the restaurant (free), and Chris Knight is in the Red Room at 7:30 p.m. ($15). … The play “No Exit” debuts at 7:30 p.m. at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.) in Olin Hall 30 and runs through Feb. 26. $10, $5 seniors, students and em-


Art House Cinema Downtown at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.) features Oscar-nominated short action films at 2 p.m. and animated films at 5 p.m. $7 per film block; visit … Kats Wine hosts a wine social at 4 p.m. at Julep (Highland Village, 4500 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road). $45, $40 each for two or more tickets; visit … The GenerationNXT Indie Concert Series with Gutta Boy, Trap Girl, Jay Lotto and more is at 6 p.m. at Dreamz JXN. … Glen Campbell performs at 6:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall. $39-$59; call 800-745-3000.


Sharon Williams’ fiber exhibit at the Mississippi Craft Center (950 Rice Road, Ridgeland) hangs through Feb. 29. Free; call 601-856-7546. … The Central Mississippi Blues Society Jam is at 7 p.m. at Hal & Mal’s. $5.


M.L. Harrell’s art exhibit at Cups on County Line closes today. Free; call 601-956-4711. … Mississippi Murder Mysteries presents “Dying to be Married” at 7 p.m. at Rossini Cucina Italiana (207 W. Jackson St., Ridgeland). $39.50; call 601-856-9696. … Time Out has Open-mic Night.


MDAH archivist Clarence Hunter speaks during History Is Lunch at noon at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Bring lunch; call 601-576-6998. … Ice for Eagles performs at Fenian’s. More at and

The Southern Komfort Brass Band performs at Underground 119 Feb. 24. DANE CARNEY


“Bravo IV: Exotic, Eclectic and Electric” at 7:30 p.m. at Thalia Mara Hall. $20 and up; call 601-960-1565. … E.C. Puffin’s Heartbreaker’s Ball burlesque show is at 8 p.m. at Alamo Theater. $20; call 601-376-9005.

jfpevents Jackson 2000 Dialogue Circles Program. Jackson 2000 is the sponsor. The program includes six two-hour sessions of dialogue and problem solving to encourage racial harmony and community involvement. Upcoming sessions are Feb. 25-March 31, March 6-April 17 and May 5-June 9. Six-week commitment required. Free; email Jackson 2000 Friendship Ball March 3, 7 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St.). Civil rights veteran Owen Brooks and Voice of Calvary Ministries President Phil Reed are honored for their racial reconciliation efforts and their contributions to Jackson. Proceeds benefit Parents for Public Schools and Students With A Goal (S.W.A.G.). Wear casual attire. $20, $10 with student ID; call 601-3626121, ext. 17.

COMMUNITY Events at Jackson State University (1400 John R. Lynch St.). • Tour for Diversity in Medicine Feb. 24, 8 a.m. College students learn more about the process of becoming a physician. Registration required; limited seating. Free; visit • Free Income Tax Return Preparation Feb. 25, 10 a.m., at the Student Center, suite 2241. Call 601-979-2029 or 601-979-2699. • Mississippi Early Childhood Alliance (MECA) Conference Feb. 25, 7:30 a.m., at the Student Center. Learn ways to create and facilitate learning centers. $25; call 601-979-1475. Events at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.) • Public Lecture Feb. 23, 7 p.m., in the recital hall. Author Bart Ehrman speaks on the topic “The Greatest Stories Rarely Told: Forgeries in the New Testament.” Free; call 601-974-1328. • Black History Lecture Feb. 24, 12:30 p.m., in room 215. Historian and author Jason Ward examines the pre-civil rights years in Mississippi. Free; call 601-974-1305. “History Is Lunch” Feb. 22, noon, at William F. Winter Archives and History Building (200 North St.). Historian Stuart Rockoff presents “A House of Israel: 150 Years of Jackson’s Jewish Congregation.” Bring lunch; call 601-576-6998. Two-day Grant Proposal Workshop Feb. 23-24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at Mississippi Center for Nonprofits (201 W. Capitol St., Suite 700). Registration required. $179, $89 members for one day); $359, $179 members for both days; call 601-968-0061. Precinct 4 COPS Meeting Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m., at Redeemer Church (640 E. Northside Drive). These monthly forums are designed to help resolve community issues. Call 601-960-0004. “Back in the Day” Black History Program Feb. 23, 6 p.m., at New Hope Baptist Church (5202 Watkins Drive). Flonzie Brown Wright and the Jim Hill High School choir perform. Also enjoy poetry from a surprise guest. Free; call 601-366-7002. Cobby Williams Meet and Greet Feb. 23, 7 p.m., at New Hope Baptist Church (5202 Watkins Drive), at The Penguin Restaurant and Bar (1100 John R. Lynch St.). Williams is a candidate for U.S. Congress, Second Congressional District. RSVP. Free; email Clef Notes Luncheon Feb. 24, 11:30 a.m., at Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St.). The Jackson Symphony League hosts the event. Reservations required. $26.50; call 601-981-5195. Public Humanities Awards Dinner Feb. 24, 6 p.m., at Hilton Jackson (1001 E. County Line Road). The Mississippi Humanities Council is the host. $45, $340 table of eight; call 601-432-6752. Mardi Gras Community Bike Ride Feb. 24,

6 p.m., at Rainbow Natural Grocery Cooperative (2807 Old Canton Road). Visit jacksonbikeadvocates. LGBT Support Group for Youth/Young Adults Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m., at A Brave New Day (Fondren Corner, 2906 N. State St., Suite 204). For ages 1424. Free; call 601-922-4968. Mississippi Sustainable Living Conference Feb. 25, 8 a.m., at Eagle Ridge Conference Center (1500 Raymond Lake Road, Raymond). Registration required. Free for children under 17 and veterans. $73, $45 GGSIM members, $25 Farm-to-Food Summit only, $15 student; call 662694-0124; visir Homebuyer Education Class Feb. 25, 9 a.m., at Jackson Housing Authority (2747 Livingston Road). Registration required. Free; call 601-3620885, ext. 115. Black History Month African Marketplace Expo Feb. 25, 10 a.m., at Farish Street Missionary Baptist Church (619 N. Farish St.), in the fellowship hall. Free; call 601-355-0636 or 601-355-3889.

BE THE CHANGE Events at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.). • Walk for a Wish Feb. 25, 8 a.m., at the north entrance on Riverside Drive. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. The event includes a walk and a one-mile fun run. Proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. $15 in advance, $20 day of event, children 5 and under free; email xo.walk.for.a.wish@ • Zumbathon Fundraiser Feb. 25, 3 p.m., at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.), at The Bowl. Youth Organizers United hosts the event to raise awareness about immigrants’ rights and raise funds for the Walk Against Fear in March. $4, $2 students; email Two Thumbs Up for Jeremy Polk Feb. 23, 5 p.m., at Swell-O-Phonic (Fondren Corner, 2906 N. State St.). 20 percent of sales go toward medical expenses for Jeremy Polk, owner of Revolution Mobile Bicycle Service. Call 601-366-9955. Fight for Air Climb 5K Feb. 25, 9 a.m., at Trustmark Park (1 Braves Way, Pearl). Check-in is at 8 a.m. Proceeds benefit the American Lung Association. Participants must raise at least $100 to enter the race. $25 registration fee; call 601-206-5810. “Cancer Unmasked” Cancer League Gala Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m., at Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Enjoy live and silent auctions, and music by Faze 4. Wear formal attire. Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. $250 sponsorship, $400 sponsorship for two; email Rape Crisis Center Call for Volunteers through Feb. 29, at Catholic Charities (200 N. Congress St., Suite 100). Catholic Charities seeks volunteers to counsel victims. Call 601-366-0750.

Jackson Zoo Job Fair Feb. 25, 11 a.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.), in the Community Center. Applicants must be 18 or older and have a high school diploma. Bring ID. Call 601-352-2580.

ter for the Arts (835 Riverside Drive), in Blackbox Theatre. $10, $5 seniors, students and children; call 601-965-7026.

Ducks Unlimited’s 75th Anniversary Celebration Feb. 25, 6 p.m., at Hinds Community College, Raymond Campus (501 E. Main St., Raymond), at the McKenzie Livestock Arena. $25-$45, donations welcome; call 601-857-2710 or 601-672-9193.

“Little Shop of Horrors” Feb. 24-March 4, at Actor’s Playhouse (121 Paul Truitt Lane, Pearl). Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. $15, $10 students; call 601664-0930.

Wine Social Feb. 26, 4 p.m., at Julep (4500 Interstate 55 N.). Kats Wine is the host. $45, $40 each for two or more; visit

“Ernani” Feb. 25, 11:55 a.m., at Tinseltown (411 Riverwind Drive, Pearl). The Metropolitan Opera presents the opera simulcast. $22, $20 seniors, $15 children; call 601-936-5856.

Higher Education Appreciation Day-Working for Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) Feb. 28, 11:45 a.m., at Mississippi State Capitol (400 High St.). Call 601-432-6422. Mississippi College and Career Readiness Summit Feb. 29, 8:30 a.m., at Hinds Community College, Rankin Campus (3805 Highway 80 E., Pearl), at the Clyde Muse Center. $30; visit mississippisummit2012.

WELLNESS NAMI Mississippi Connection Support Group Facilitator Training Feb. 25-26. Facilitators must have a mental illness diagnosis, cannot be a mental health professional and must agree to lead a support group for 12 months. Call 601-899-9058 for location. “Help and Healing on the Spiritual Path” Introductory Lecture Feb. 25, 1 p.m., at Quisenberry Library (605 E. Northside Drive, Clinton). Free, donations appreciated; call 225-570-8170.

STAGE AND SCREEN Events at Black Rose Community Theatre (103 Black St., Brandon). Call 601-825-1293. • “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” through Feb. 26. Shows are Feb. 23-25 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. Reservations recommended. $15, $10 students, seniors and Sunday matinees. • “The Ponder Heart” Auditions Feb. 27-29, 6:30 p.m. Productions dates are April 12-15 and April 19-22. “Beer Wars” Movie Screening Feb. 23, 6 p.m., at CS’s Restaurant (1359 1/2 N. West St.). Admission includes free beer and a can holder. Refreshments sold. $10 cover; call 262-391-9265. “No Exit” Feb. 23-26, 7:30 p.m., at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.), in Olin Hall. Limited seating. $10, $5 seniors, students and employees; call 601974-1372. “The Mayfair Affair,” Feb. 23-25, Feb. 29 and March 1-3, 7:30 p.m., at Belhaven University Cen-

ebration Feb. 26, 3 p.m., at True Light Missionary Baptist Church (224 E. Bell St.). Free; call 601353-7364.


“Black Love II” Documentary Screening Feb. 25, 7 p.m., at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). J. Lee Productions’ film is an indepth look at African-American relationships. $10, $15 for two; call 601-208-0965.

Events at Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N.). Call 601-366-7619. • “Gathering of Waters” Feb. 23, 5 p.m. Bernice L. McFadden signs books. $24.95 book. • Lemuria Story Time Feb. 25, 11 a.m., This week’s story is Jeanette Winter’s “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” • “Dreams of Joy” Feb. 28, 5 p.m. Lisa See signs books. $15 book. • “The Sisters Brothers” Feb. 29, 5 p.m. Patrick DeWitt signs books. $14.99 book.

E.C. Puffin’s Heartbreaker’s Ball Feb. 25, 8 p.m., at Alamo Theatre (333 N. Farish St.). The Magick City Sirens perform burlesque, cabaret and vaudeville. $20; call 601-376-9005.

Millsaps Visiting Writers Series: Tom Sleigh Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.), in room 215. Free; call 601-974-1305.

“Monster Bash” Dinner Theater Feb. 28, 7 p.m., at Two Rivers Restaurant (1537 W. Peace St., Canton). The Detectives perform. $45; call 601291-7444.

William Faulkner and Eudora Welty Teacher Training Feb. 24, 8:30 a.m., at Eudora Welty House (1119 Pinehurst Place), in the Education and Visitors Center. $35; call 601-974-1133.

“Dying to Be Married” Dinner Theater Feb. 28, 7 p.m., at Rossini Cucina Italiana (207 W. Jackson St., Suite A, Ridgeland). Mississippi Murder Mysteries performs. RSVP. $39.50; call 601-856-9696.

Brown Bag Luncheon Feb. 24, noon, at Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road, Pearl). Bruce Sullivan discusses his book “Up from the Ruins.” Bring lunch; call 601-932-3535.

Senior Dance Concerts Feb. 29, 7:30 p.m., at Belhaven University, Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center (1500 Peachtree St.). $10, $5 seniors and students; call 601-965-7026.

MUSIC Events at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). • Bravo IV: Exotic, Eclectic and Electric Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m. The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra performs with violinist Stephanie Chase. $20 and up; call 601-960-1565. • Glen Campbell Feb. 26, 6:30 p.m. $39-$59; call 800-745-3000. Vine-yl Night Feb. 25, 5:30 p.m., at North Midtown Arts Center (121 Millsaps Ave.). Play, sell and swap records. Free; call 601-376-9404. Steven Curtis Chapman Feb. 23, 7 p.m., at Broadmoor Baptist Church (531 Highland Colony Parkway, Madison). Andrew Peterson and Josh Wilson also perform. $20 and up; call 800-965-9324. Chris Knight Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 S. Commerce St.). $15; call 601-292-7121 or 800-745-3000. Walls Inspirational Choir 53rd Anniversary Cel-

CREATIVE CLASSES Events at Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road, Pearl). Free; call 601-932-2562. • Creation Station Feb. 28, 4 p.m. Children ages 9-12 enjoy crafts, cooking and games. • Mississippi Magnolia Tatters Feb. 28, 6 p.m. Learn the art of lace making. No materials fee.

EXHIBITS AND OPENINGS Family Safari Slumber Party Feb. 24, 7 p.m., at Jackson Zoo (2918 W. Capitol St.). For ages 7 and up. Reservations required. $30 per person, $25 members; call 601-352-2580. Gem, Mineral, Fossil and Jewelry Show Feb. 25-26, at Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.). $5, $3 students; call 601-706-4629 Check for updates and more listings. To add an event, email all details (phone number, start and end date, and time, street address, cost, URL, etc.) to or fax to 601510-9019. The deadline is noon the Thursday prior to the week of publication. Or add the event online yourself; check out for instructions.



DIVERSIONS|music by Callie Daniels


Brawley’s Blues

Virgil Brawley comes by his blues honestly.


ississippi Blues Marathon runners crossed the finish line to blues pumping from The Juvenators in front of the Old Capitol Museum. The local blues band, fronted by Virgil Brawley, congratulated early finishers with continuous music at the intersection of State and Capitol streets.

Natalie’s Notes by Natalie Long

Virgil “Big Juv” Brawley, 63, the band’s lead singer and guitarist, is a Renaissance man with a storied past as a decorated Army sniper, a carpenter, a butcher and a horse whisperer. Brawley has been playing the blues ever since he was able to pick at the guitar strings. His life can be heard in his albums: “Golden Hearts,” “Live From Mercury Room,” “Mojo Burning” and “Bottle Tree.” In his earthy, jazzy blues, you can almost hear his days of carpentry, butchering deer and training horses. As a teenager in Brookhaven, Brawley performed in his hometown with a local rock band until the end of the 1960s when he enlisted in the Army. After spending a year at Fort Benning in Georgia, Brawley was crawling on his belly in grass tall enough to hide grown men. He spent all of 1971 in Vietnam as a sniper. He returned to the states as a wizened 22-year-old with a Bronze Star. He enrolled in the University of Southern Mississippi where he studied television, movies and creative writing. After graduating in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in communication, he moved to Texas and married. In 1985 he welcomed a son, Travis, who is now an aspiring musician following in his father’s footsteps and who works for a record company in New York City. Brawley gave up music for 11 years after Travis was born; he wanted to be a hands-on father. During his break from music, Brawley was a carpenter and a butcher in Texas who also worked as a horse trainer from 1981 to 1996. “I got paid to build old buildings—vintage buildings,” he said. Brawley worked in Texas on western saloons and posh Victorian houses His butcher apprenticeship in a deer camp in Texas

We All Loved Her

February 22 - 28, 2012




n the last couple of months, the music industry has taken quite a hit when it comes to obituaries. Hubert Smith, Howlin Wolf’s guitarist, passed. We lost rapper Heavy D not too long ago, as well as Jimmy Castor, an American funk R&B saxophonist, and “Soul Train” emcee Don Cornelius. (I’m telling you, at my house growing up, we knew Saturday cartoons were over once we heard the “Soul Train” theme song.) As if to add salt to the wound, the Lord called my beloved Etta James and Dobie Gray home. (“Drift Away” is one of my all-time favorite songs, as well as “Tell Mama” by Ms. James.) Amy Winehouse left us all too soon, as did Dick Kniss (Peter, Paul and Mary’s bassist), the legendary Johnny Otis and heavy-metal band Riot’s Mark Reale. And then, Feb. 11, Whitney Houston died—my much-loved “Whit Whit,” as I’ve always called her. When I was growing up in a small, rural town, we had three types of music— country, western and gospel. Anything that strayed from that was few and far between.

happened when he offered to trim a close friend’s $120 worth of meat and save her from spending an extra $60 at the Kroger butcher counter. She called to tell him about a Christmas party and mentioned the meat. “Hell, bring it up, and I’ll trim it,” he said. In 1996, he moved back to Mississippi as a single man, and he married Anne Sullivan. Brawley started playing at local venues like Hal & Mal’s and met up with kindred spirits. Bob “Byrd” Lovell, George Vance and Guy Wade began The Juvenators in 1998. (T.J. Hall replaced Wade in 2010.) The band adopted the motto “the blues, the whole blues and nothing but the blues.” Brawley is the lead singer, plays guitar, slide guitar and resonator; Lovell also sings, plays guitar and slide guitar; Vance plays bass and sings; and Hall plays drums. Fifteen years later, Brawley and his wife live in Belhaven just behind New Stage Theatre. Brawley made an identity for himself in the local music scene. In the 2003 documentary, “Last of the Mississippi Jukes,” Brawley appears vamping guitars onstage with the music director of the film, David Hughes, at the beloved Subway Lounge in Jackson. They call for Jimmy King, proprietor of the Subway Lounge (now closed), who hops up on the stage, and the band jams –––an old song, “Next Time You See Me,” by Little Junior Parker. Brawley can thump out hot and cool songs. Listen for his booming southern voice and when you do, sit back and enjoy because the chances are he brought along his guitar and some blues friends to play along. For information and to sample The Juvenators music, visit and the band’s Facebook page.

Whitney Houston influenced a generation of girls with her style and voice.

But even Whitney seemed to make her way down Interstate 55 to my house, and I just adored her from the very beginning. I

mean, we all remember cute, fresh-faced, Seventeen magazine Whitney, right? The world couldn’t get enough of her back in the 1980s when she made her debut. And that voice of hers—when she opened her mouth to hit the first note, everyone knew she would make it big. Growing up, I wanted to be Whitney Houston. She seemed to have it all— looks, talent, radiance—all the things that I wanted to be when I grew up. Hell, I still want those things. I remember bringing my Whitney Houston tapes to school and was chastised for listening to that “n****r music.” But I didn’t care. I loved Whitney. She influenced all young ladies of all colors with her music and style, and most definitely some gay men. What artists around now can you say that about? With all the media hoopla, rumors, and speculation surrounding Houston’s death, it saddens me that so many fans and non-fans forget her legacy as a singer and entertainer, but never as much as when I read that Westboro Baptist Church was planning a protest at her funeral.

No matter what she did—whether it was winning a multitude of Grammys, hooking up with New Edition bad boy Bobby Brown or showing signs of erratic behavior, she still kept her fan base. And we all still loved her, for the most part. As “The Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin said, “You can’t define a person on one aspect of their character.” We shouldn’t judge Houston for her past or her past mistakes. We should remember her—and the many others who died this year—for what they brought to the table. Houston had the voice that brought down the house, even during her “rough time.” Record producer Clive Davis worked for years to revive Houston’s music career, as well as other veteran musicians, but sadly, she never got to make her comeback. To Miss Houston, let me just say “thank you” for being such an awesome entertainer. You were feisty, talented, beautiful, unpredictable and most definitely unforgettable. I know you have made a great addition to heaven’s angel band. Comment at




















Open for dinner Sat. 4-10pm Thursday

February 23


w/ DJ Stache


John Paul Keith





February 25

Bronze Radio

T BIRD and the Breaks SATURDAY


with the Bailey Brothers Monday

February 20

PUB QUIZ 2-for-1 Drafts

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February 21

2-for-1 Beer Specials Highlife, Highlife Lite, PBR, Schlitz, Fatty Natty


February 22


Open Mon-Sat, Restaurant open Mon-Fri 11 am-10 pm & Sat 4-10 pm

601-960-2700 Tavern



New Blue Plate Special




New Bourbon St. Jazz Band (DR)

Wednesday,February 22nd

live music february 15 - 21


(Jazz) 8-11, No Cover

wed | feb 22 Jessie “Guitar“ Smith 5:30-9:30p

Scott Albert Johnson (DR) Chris Knight (RR)


CHALMERS & BABY JAN Thursday, February 23rd


Lucky Hand Blues Band (DR)

(Jazz) 8-11, No Cover


Friday, February 24th

Blues Monday with Central MS Blues Society (restaurant)



Coming Soon SAT 3.03: Friendship Ball SAT 3.10: YARN (RR) WED 3.14 - 3.17: St. Paddy’s Events ... Stay Tuned! SAT 3.17: Mal’s St. Paddy’s Parade

(Blues) 9-1, $5 Cover before 8:30 $10 Cover after 8:30

Fridays: Catfish Plates are $9.75

February 22 - 28, 2012

$4.00 Happy Hour Well Drinks! visit for a full menu and concert schedule


200 S. Commerce St. Downtown Jackson, Mississippi

sun | feb 26 Chris Gill 3:00 - 7:00p

1060 E County Line Rd. in Ridgeland Open Sun-Thurs 11am-10pm Fri-Sat 11am-Midnight | 601-899-0038


(Blues) 9-1, $5 Cover before 8:30 $10 Cover after 8:30

Tuesday, February 28th




with corn bread and tea or coffee


sat | feb 25 South of 20 6:30-10:30p

Saturday, February 25th

Blue Plate Lunch

As well as the usual favorites! Seafood Gumbo, Red Beans and Rice, Burgers, Fried Pickles, Onion Rings and Homemade Soups made daily.

fri | feb 24 Chris Gill & The Soul Shakers 6:30-10:30p

tue | feb 28 Jesse “Guitar” Smith 5:30-9:30p

Monday - Friday


thu | feb 23 Fraiser & Shane 5:30-9:30p

mon | feb 27 Karaoke

PUB QUIZ w/ Erin & friends (restaurant) James McMurtry (RR)


1 Meat, 3 Veggies, Bread and Drink


(Blues) 6-11, $5 Cover


Wednesday,February 29th


VIRGIL BRAWLEY & STEVE CHESTER (Acoustic Blues) 8-11, No Cover

Coming in March: Bret Mosley, Big Al & Heavyweights, Eden Brent, Lisa Mills, PIneross, Houserockers, Trampled Under Foot and Opera Underground on March 13.

119 S. President Street 601.352.2322





Wednesday - February 22 ROCK KARAOKE

Thursday - February 23 Ladies Night: Ladies Drink Free No Cover, With

FLASH POINT Friday & Saturday February 24 & 25

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Sunday - February 26 9 Ball Tournament 7:00 pm 601-961-4747



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by Bryan Flynn by Bryan Flynn

Rebuilding the Saints ASIM BHARWANI

If the New York Knicks could sign Tim Tebow and pair him with Jeremy Lin, it would shut the country down, because the Internet would explode. THURSDAY, FEB. 23 College basketball (6-8 p.m. ESPN): Florida State beat Duke on a three-point shot at the buzzer the first time these team met Jan. 21. Hopefully, this game will be just as good. FRIDAY, FEB. 24 NBA (8-10 p.m. TNT): BBVA Rising Stars Challenge kicks off the NBAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s All-Star weekend. Charles Barkley and Shaquille Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Neil coach the teams of rookies and second-year players for this game. SATURDAY, FEB. 25 College basketball (5-9 p.m. ESPN and CSS): Mississippi State faces Alabama (ESPN at 5 p.m.), and Southern Miss takes on Rice (CSS at 7p.m.). The Bulldogs and Eagles look to raise their NCAA Tournament stock with wins before the season ends. SUNDAY, FEB. 26 NASCAR (noon-4 p.m. Fox): Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the super bowl of auto racing as the 2012 NASCAR season kicks off with the Dayton 500. â&#x20AC;Ś NBA (5-9 p.m. TNT): No defense but plenty of offense will be on display as the East meets the West in the 2012 NBA All-Star Game. MONDAY, FEB. 27 College basketball (TBA ESPN U): Mississippi Valley State travels to the capital city to take on Jackson State, as the Delta Devils look to lock up the regular season SWAC Championship. TUESDAY, FEB. 28 College basketball (6-8 p.m. ESPN U): Ole Miss travels to Arkansas in a game that features two teams hoping to improve their post-season hopes with a win. WEDNESDAY, FEB. 29 NHL (6:30-9:30 p.m. NBCSN): Two potential Stanley Cup playoff teams meet in Texas when the Pittsburgh Penguins travel to Dallas to take on the Stars. Follow Bryan Flynn at, @jfpsports and at

How the New Orleans Saints build their team during the offseason will determine whether they have a championship-winning team next season.


he 2011-2012 season for the New Orleans Saints might be remembered as â&#x20AC;&#x153;the season that might have been.â&#x20AC;? New Orleans would have won its first road playoff game and hosted the NFC Championship game, but the Saints were unable to hold a lead late against the San Francisco 49ers Jan. 14. Now that the NFL season is over and the New York Giants are world champions again, football teamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; attentions will shift to the draft and free agency. Every team has needs, but my focus here is on the Saints. First order of business will be re-signing free-agent quarterback Drew Brees. Saints fans should not worry about Brees leaving, to paraphrase head coach Sean Payton. At age 33, Brees has few places to go that have a chance to win a title. New Orleans is the best place for him to win another championship. Brees might play for a maximum of seven more years. That would make him 40 years old. Brees needs to take less money and help the team keep key free agents. Peyton Manning will also be on the market, and several teams will line up to get him. It would be interesting if Manning came to New Orleans and led his hometown team to the Super Bowl next year when New Orleans hosts it, but that will never happen. The Saints will re-sign Breesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;no need for them to get into the Manning raceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;but Manningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s availability will have a negative effect on Breesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; potential free-agency moves. The biggest free-agent opportunity for

the Saints is guard Carl Nicks. Since free agency started in 1992, some of biggest jumps in salaries have gone to offensive linemen. Nicks is a Pro Bowl guard, and teams will be salivating to add him to their roster. Brees is able to break records and put up incredible numbers because he has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Getting Nicks should be the Saintsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; main goal right now. If the Saints canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sign Nicks, the team might use the franchise tag on him. Salary cap restrictions will be the only reason New Orleans lets Nicks walk out the door. New Orleans also will have to think long and hard about keeping free agent wide receiver Marques Colston, who can sign anywhere. But Colston would be wise to remember that, historically, wide receivers do not do well after leaving their original team. Randy Moss disappeared in Oakland after leaving Minnesota before New England revived his career. The list of wide receivers who underperform with new teams includes Chad Ochocinco, Deion Branch, Santonio Holmes and more. New Orleans might have to choose between keeping Colston and Robert Meachem. Both are free agents, and it might be hard for the Saints to keep both players. The free-agent market includes a ton of wide receivers including several big names like Vincent Jackson, DeSean Jackson and Reggie Wayne. It may be that a player or two would take less money for a chance to win a title. Defensively, New Orleans has several

tough decisions to make with six players entering free agency. The biggest names here are cornerback Tracy Porter and linebacker Jonathan Casillas. The Saints need to rework their defensive line because first-round draft pick Cam Jordan underperformed with just 31 tackles and one sack his rookie season. Jordan was supposed to be a pass-rushing defensive end, but one sack is not getting the job done. Even as a rookie, Jordan should have done more to make his first-round selection worthwhile. The New Orleans defense is also aging at linebacker and needs to find a replacement for Jonathan Vilma. It is no secret that Vilma is the heart and soul of the Saintsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; defense, but he canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t play forever. The Saints also need to retool their secondary. New Orleans will be in good hands on defense with Steve Spagnuolo taking over for the departing Greg Williams. In fact, I believe the Saints will be better on defense with Spagnuolo. The Saints will be just as aggressive but also will play sound defense. In the draft, New Orleans wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a first-round pick this year, having traded their first-round pick to the New England Patriots for running back Mark Ingram. I said after the draft last season that if teams trade in the draft, their pick or picks need to hit. Prime examples are the Atlanta Falcons and the Saints. The Saints hit with Ingram until he was hurt (that is, if he can come back healthy) but whiffed on Jordan. Atlanta traded its whole draft to get Julio Jones and failed to score a point against the New York Giants on offense. Jones was supposed to be a big-play wide receiver, but he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make big plays when it counted mostâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; in the playoffs. New Orleans will not make a draft selection until the 59th overall pick in the second round. The Saints have six picks overall and will need to use most of those picks on defense. Or, the Saints might find the next undrafted free-agent sensation like the Giantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Victor Cruz. The offseason is where championships are won and lost. What do you think the Saints should do? Tell me at Follow Bryan Flynn at, @jfpsports and at

february 22 - 28, 2012

Bryanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rant â&#x20AC;˘ Where Will Manning Land?







Grab ya beads and come on out!

*E Q M P ] ) R X I V X E M R Q I R X ' I R X I V

February 25


9:00pm | $5.00 Cover -Best Of Jackson 20121st: Best Hangover Food in Jackson

2nd: Best Place to Shoot Pool & Best Place to Drink Cheap 3rd: Best Dive Bar â&#x20AC;˘ Good Showing: Best Plate Lunch, Best Red Beans & Rice, & Best Jukebox


1410 Old Square Road â&#x20AC;˘ Jackson

Lunch 11am - 2pm Monday-Saturday Feb. 17: Goatees 9pm, $5 Cover


Feb. 18: 6550


9pm, $10 Cover New Orleans Lunch

with Poâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;boys,Burgers, Philly Cheesesteaks, appetizers.


Tuesday: Taco Tuesday with Jason Turner


$5 All You Can Eat Taco Bar During Happy Hour

$10 Daily Lunch Specials Happy Hour Everyday 4p-7p

Late Night Happy Hour Sun - Thur, 10p - 12a

Daily Lunch Specials â&#x20AC;˘ Feb. 20 - 24

Includes: Dessert, Iced Tea, & tax. Take Out Orders are welcomed.

Mon | Shrimp Etouffee or Meatloaf Pie Tue | Pepper Steak over Rice or Shrimp Scampi Served over Linguini Wed | Smoked Pork Loin or Country Fried Steak Thu | Chicken & Bowtie Pasta or Ham & Asparagus Lasagna Fri | Catfish Parmesan or Beef Brisket


$1 Drafts | $2 Margaritas


Every Thursday:


Ladies Night & Men are Pigs Night featuring Snazz Ladies Get In Free Ladies Win Prizes


'SQMRKWSSRXS786-/) Bourbon St. in the Quarter (Formely Poets) 1855 Lakeland Drive Jackson, MS


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Every Wednesday: Karaoke | 7:00pm



DINING|food by Brandi Katherine Herrera


So 2012: Value, Mini-Bites Trending


n Mississippi and around the country, 2011 was the year of the artisan eater. Folks skeptical of government and globalization turned their attention away from big banks and toward a growing rural nostalgia and selfreliance. For the first time in more than 40 years, pickling and preserving re-emerged as household standbys, “heirloom” produce entered the mainstream lexicon and we saw a steady rise in urban farming. Vegetable gardens, backyard chickens and beekeeping became common sights in cities and suburbs across the United States. The growing popularity of voluntary simplicity— in which practicing individuals aim to reduce commercial consumption and become more self-reliant—also seems unmistakably tied to our collective concerns about the environment and sustainability. It’s just not responsible anymore to consume food shipped halfway around the world before it ends up on your dinner plate when you can easily grow it on your windowsill and front porch, or in the backyard. Kara Neilson, “trendologist” at the Center for Culinary Development in San Francisco, argues that while

some food trends seem completely arbitrary, if they meet a consumer need in some way, they become in demand. “I always find it interesting what people are calling trends and try to match it up with what I see,” Neilson said in an interview with “Like with minidesserts: We’ve been talking about them for a long time, but what is it about minis again, and why do we crave them? What’s pushing the mini trend of 2011 versus the mini trend of 2009? ... Sometimes it’s portion control; this time, it seems more about price points.” Food trends in 2012 most likely will pick up where they left off last year, by placing value in upholding food-production standards with an emphasis on handcrafted, artisan, small-batch and locally sourced ingredients sold at small-scale markets. Shops no longer just sell food—they sell a story. Provenance and transparency will continue to play important roles in relating to consumers where an animal comes from and how it’s raised, or how a particular food was grown and processed. Savvy foodies will continue to sharpen their knives (meat preservation and DIY butchery, anyone?), honing the time-honored methods our grandmothers would have considered mere cook’s essentials. We’ll also see a rise in family-friendly fine dining, communal eateries and Scandinavian comfort food. We’ll go one step further with wine packaging, where bulk will replace the box, and craft beers won’t just be available in cans but will graduate to 16 ounces of micro-brewed bliss. Sushi bars and Thai restaurants will make way for Filipino and Korean eateries. Micro-mini desserts will make a big show over the already diminutive cupcake trend—a response perhaps to the “Alice in Wonderland Effect,” whereby small quantities of alluring foods evoke childhood and abundance.



ere’s a look at the kinds of things we began eating and drinking in 2011 and what’s in store for 2012:

2011 • Aged cocktails • Boxed wine • Bourbon • Cupcakes • Molecular gastronomy • Tasting menus • Southern cuisine • Austrian and Hungarian comfort food • Sushi • Artisanal cheddar • Preserves and pickled vegetables • DIY and boutique butchery • Processed school lunches • Beef and lamb tongue

2012 • Spritzers and carbonated cocktails • Bulk wine • Canned craft beers • Micro-mini desserts • Gastropubs and Nouveau diners • Family-friendly fine dining • Communal-style meals • Peruvian • Filipino • Scandinavian comfort food • Artisanal Gouda • Charcuterie • “Let’s Move!” campaign school lunches


be achieved by providing kids with kid-friendly alternatives to pre-packaged and processed foods. Here’s how.

February 22 - 28, 2012

Kids love to make and enjoy their own snacks.



n 2010, first lady Michelle Obama initiated the “Let’s Move!” program to encourage healthy lifestyle behaviors for children. The initiative focuses on eating healthy and being active. The goal is to encourage the whole family to make small changes to achieve an overall healthy lifestyle. Now is a great time to evaluate the eating habits of our own families and encourage our kids to eat healthier. This can

Provide kid-friendly meals and snacks to encourage children to eat more fruits and vegetables. • Some good ideas are apple slices and yogurt dip, raisins, or carrot sticks and celery with low-fat ranch dressing. • Kids can make their own trail mix by combining their favorite dried fruits, nuts and pretzels in a small Ziploc bag. • Add vegetables such as broccoli florets or bell pepper slices to pasta dishes like spaghetti or macaroni and cheese. • Save candy and sugary snack bars for special treats and not as everyday snacks. • Top whole-wheat frozen waffles with low-fat yogurt or cream cheese and fresh fruit to make breakfast pizzas. Whole fruits and vegetables are healthier than juices and sugary drinks. • Choose juices with no sugar added, and limit the number of juice drinks your children are allowed to drink during the day. • Encourage the kids to drink water during snack time.

Parents can reduce fat in their children’s diet in a variety of ways. • Serve kid-friendly chicken fingers baked, instead of fried, with homemade dipping sauces. • Use lean ground beef for hamburgers. • Serve fruit-based desserts like sorbet and mini fruit tarts instead of cookies and pre-packaged snack cakes. Get the kids involved. • Go shopping together and let the kids help pick out fresh produce. • Kids are great at snapping green beans, tearing up lettuce or measuring frozen vegetables. • Kids can also stir in seasonings and herbs to add their own special touch to homemade applesauce or mashed potatoes. Websites with kid-friendly recipes and healthy snacks: • • •

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Bourbon Street in the Quarter (1855 Lakeland Drive, 601-987-0808) Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hot new spot for great New Orleans cuisine, live entertainment and libations from the bar featuring daily lunch specials and happy hour in the landmark Poetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location. Reed Pierceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (6791 Siwell Rd., Byram, 601-376-0777) Eat, Drink, Play! Burgers, Po-Boys, pub fare and dinner specialties including ribeye, filet, fried shrimp and more. 9-Ball lounge features tourney tables, full bar, live entertainment. Hal and Malâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (200 S. Commerce St. 601-948-0888) Pub favorites meet Gulf Coast and Cajun specialties like red beans and rice, the Oyster Platter or each dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blackboard special. Best of Jackson winner for Live Music Venue for multiple years running. Burgers and Blues (1060 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland 601-899-0038) Al Stamps (of Cool Alâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fame) does it again with his signature approach to burgers, chicken, wraps, seasoned fries and so much more. Plus live music and entertainment! Cherokee Inn (960 Briarfield Rd. 601-362-6388) Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Hole in the Wall,â&#x20AC;? has a great jukebox, great bar and a great burger. Plate lunches, cheesy fries and tons more, including a full bar and friendly favorites. Cool Alâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (4654 McWillie, 601-713-3020) A Best of Jackson fixture, Cool Alâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature stacked, messy, decadent, creative burgers defy adjectives. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget the fries! Fenianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pub (901 E. Fortification St. 601-948-0055) Classic Irish pub featuring a menu of traditional food, pub sandwiches and beers such as Guinness and Harp on tap. Last Call (3716 I-55 N. Frontage Road 601-713-2700) Burgers, sandwiches and po-boys, plus sports-bar appetizers and specialities. Pay-per-view sporting events, live bands. Martinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Restaurant and Lounge (214 South State Street 601-354-9712) Lunch specials, pub appetizers (jalapeno poppers, cheezsticks, fried pickles) or order from the full menu of po-boys and entrees. Full bar, massive beer selection and live music most nights. Time Out Sports CafĂŠ (6720 Old Canton Road 601-978-1839) 14 TVs, 1 projector and two big-screens. Daily $9 lunch specials, pub-style appetizers, burgers, seafood and catfish po-boys, salads, and hot entrees including fish, steak and pasta. Ole Tavern on George Street (416 George St. 601-960-2700) Pub food with a southern flair: beer-battered onion rings, chicken & sausage gumbo, salads, sandwiches and weekly lunch specials. Plus, happy hour 4-7pm Monday through Friday. Sportsmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lodge (1120 E Northside Dr. in Maywood Mart 601-366-5441) Voted Best Sports Bar in 2010, Sportmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t disappoint with plenty of gut-pleasing sandwiches, fried seafood baskets, sandwiches and specialty appetizers. Underground 119 (119 South President St. 601-352-2322) Jumbo lump crabcakes, crab quesadillas, beef tenderloin parfaits, orange-garlic shrimp, even â&#x20AC;&#x153;lollipopâ&#x20AC;? lamb chops. Add a full bar and mix in great music. Opens 4 p.m.-until, Wed-Sat. Wing Stop (952 North State Street, 601-969-6400) Saucing and tossing in a choice of nine flavors, Wing Stop wings are made with care and served up piping hot. Every order is made fresh to order; check out the fresh cut seasoned fries!


Pan Asia (720 Harbor Pines Dr, Ridgeland 601-956-2958) Beautiful ambiance in this popular Ridgeland eatery accompanies signature asian fusion dishes and build-your-own stir-frys using fresh ingredients and great sauces. Fusion Japanese and Thai Cuisine (1002 Treetop Blvd, Flowood 601-664-7588) Specializing in fresh Japanese and Thai cuisine, Fusion has an extensive menu featuring everything from curries to fresh sushi.


Another Broken Egg (1000 Highland Colony #1009 in Renaissance, 601.790.9170) Open Daily 7am-2pm for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Egg, benedict and omelet dishes, pancakes, waffles, specialties, burgers, salads and sandwiches. Mimosas, coffees and more! Two Sisters Kitchen (707 N. Congress St. 601-353-1180) Frequent Best of Jackson winner for fried chicken offers a buffet of your choice of veggies, a salad bar, iced tea & one of four homemade desserts. Lunch only. Mon-Friday, Sun.

Best of Jackson 2008 - 2011 Dinner: Tues. -Sat. | 5pm-9pm

601-919-2829 5417 Lakeland Drive ~ Flowood, MS 39232

Voted Best Veggie Burger -Best of Jackson 2010-2012-

4654 McWillie Dr., Jackson|Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 10AM-9PM Friday & Saturday 10AM-10PM, Sunday CLOSED

Best Fried Chicken In Town & Best Fried Chicken in the USA Drop In For Our

Early Bird Special

-Best of Jackson 2003-2011-Food & Wine Magazine-

M-Th from 5-7

2481 Lakeland Dr Flowood, MS 39232

601-932-4070 tel 601-933-1077 fax

Try The

707 N Congress St., Jackson | 601-353-1180 Open 11am-2pm, Sunday thru Friday

(a very high-class pig stand)

Come Try the Best Bar-B-Que In Madison 856 Main Street â&#x20AC;˘ Madison, MS â&#x20AC;˘ 601.853.8538






Babalu (622 Duling Ave., 601-366-5757) Fresh guacamole at the table, fish tacos, empanada, smoked pork sholders, Mexican street cornâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Mexicanâ&#x20AC;? specialties mix extremely well with their â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best of Jackson 2012â&#x20AC;? magaritas.



February 22 - 28, 2012

Paid advertising section.


Broad Street Bakery (4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-362-2900) Hot breakfast,coffee espresso drinks, fresh breads and pastries, gourmet deli sandwiches, quiches, soups, pizzas and dessert. For Heaven’s Cakes (4950 Old Canton Road 601-991-2253) Cakes and cupcakes for all occasions including weddings, parties, catered events. Beagle Bagel (4500 I-55 North, Suite 145, Highland Village 769-251-1892) Fresh bagels in tons of different styles with a variety of toppings including cream cheese, lox, eggs, cheese, meats and or as full sandwiches for lunch. Paninis, wraps and much more!

Lunch Specials are listed daily at


High Noon Café (2807 Old Canton Road in Rainbow Plaza 601-366-1513) Fresh, gourmet, tasty and healthy defines the lunch options at Jackson’s own strict vegetarian (and very-vegan-friendly) restaurant.


Hickory Pit Barbeque (1491 Canton Mart Rd. 601-956-7079) The “Best Butts in Town” features BBQ chicken, beef and pork sandwiches along with burgers and po’boys. Haute Pig (1856 Main Street, 601-853-8538) A “very high class pig stand,” Haute Pig offers Madison diners BBQ plates, sandwiches, poboys, salads, and their famous Hershey bar pie. Lumpkins BBQ (182 Raymond Rd. Jackson 866-906-0942) Specializing in smoked barbeque, Lumpkin’s offers all your favorites for on-site family dining or for catered events, including reunions, office events, annivesaries, weddings and more.

Awesomeness served fresh daily.


The Pizza Shack (1220 N State St. 601-352-2001) 2009 and 2010 and 2011’s winner of Best Pizza offers the perfect pizza-and-a-beer joint. Creative pizza options abound along with sandwiches, wings, salads and even BBQ. Sal & Mookie’s (565 Taylor St. 601-368-1919) Pizzas of all kinds plus pasta, eggplant parmesan and the fried ravioli. Best Kid’s Menu & Best Ice Cream in the 2011 Best of Jackson. Plus, Pi(e) Lounge in front offers great drinks and a fun atmosphere for catching up with friends.

125 South Congress St. Capital Towers T: 601.969.1119 F: 601.969.7058 Follow us on facebook


BRAVO! (4500 Interstate 55 N., Jackson, 601-982-8111) Wood-fired pizzas, vegetarian fare, plus creative pastas, beef, and seafood specials. Awardwinning wine list, Jackson’s see-and-be-seen casual/upscale dining. Cerami’s (5417 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 601-919-28298) Southern-style Italian cuisine features their signature Shrimp Cerami (white wine sauce, capers artichokes) along with veal, tilapia, crawfish, chicken and pasta dishes. Now with liquor license! Fratesi’s (910 Lake Harbour, Ridgeland, 601-956-2929) “Authentic, homey, unpretentious” that’s how the regulars describe Fratesi’s, a staple in Jackson for years, offering great Italian favorites with loving care. The tiramisu is a must-have!

STEAK, SEAFOOD & FINE DINING Crawdad Hole (1150 Lakeland Drive., 601-982-9299) Serving up fresh seasonal crawfish, shrimp and crab legs the Crawdad is Jackson’s crawfish destination. You’ll also want to try their delicious gumbo while enjoying Friday night karaoke! Crab’s (6954 Old Canton Rd., Ridgeland, 601-956-5040) Crab’s Seafood Shack offers a wide variety of southern favorites such as fried catfish and boiled shrimp. Full bar complete with multiple televisions for all of your favorite sporting events. Eslava’s Grille (2481 Lakeland Drive, 601-932-4070) Danny Eslava’s namesake feature Latin-influenced dishes like ceviche in addition to pastas, steaks, salads and other signature seafood dishes. Rocky’s (1046 Warrington Road, Vicksburg 601-634-0100) Enjoy choice steaks, fresh seafood, great salads, hearty sandwiches and much more in the “polished casual” dining room. Open 24/7 in the Riverwalk Casino.


Mediterranean Fish & Grill (The Med- 6550 Old Canton Rd./601-956-0082) Serving a fabulous selection of fish, gyros, and heart-healthy vegetarian food for over 10 years. Now serving fried catfish & bone-in pan trout. Aladdin Mediterranean Grill (730 Lakeland Drive 601-366-6033) Delicious authentic dishes including lamb dishes, hummus, falafel, kababs, shwarma and much more. Consistent award winner, great for takeout or for long evenings with friends. Mezza (1896 Main St., Suite A, Madison 601-853-0876) Mediterranean cuisine and wood fired brick oven pizzas. Come experience the beautiful patio, Hookahs, and delicious food. Beer is offered and you are welcome to bring your own wine.


What Happened to Winter? by Meredith W. Sullivan


t seems that winter almost completely passed us by this year, which means our local stores still have stock. Lucky for us, most fall and winter merchandise is marked down, making now a perfect time to scoop up some basics for next year. While I was out around town, I found some excellent things that will be great to work into next winter’s wardrobe. Dolce Vita Marcel loafers, Arco Avenue, was $68, now $50

Running Jacket, Fleet Feet Sports, was $65, now $52

Neon Long Sleeve Top, Fleet Feet Sports, was $40, now $32

Steven Alan blazer, Blithe & Vine, was $275, now $68.25

Frye Harlow Campus bootie, Arco Avenue, was $275, now $225

Twenty Funnel Neck Top, Blithe & Vine, was $92, now $46


Arco Avenue, 1107 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 107, Ridgeland, 601-790-9662; Blithe and Vine, 2906 N. State St., 601-427-3322; Fleet Feet Sports, 500 Highway

51, Ridgeland, 601-899-9696

SHOPPING SPECIALS Red Square Clothing Co. (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 9004, Ridgeland, 601-853-8960) Build your

Monogram Express (131 Gateway Drive, Suite A, Brandon, 601-825-1248)

Beanfruit Coffee Company ( A new micro-lot

Some of the new TOMS spring collection has arrived. They will go fast, so stop in early for your size!

with hints of dates, lemon and pomegranate is now available. But quantities are limited!

The Rug Place (2315 Lakeland Drive, Suite A, Flowood, 601-4200784) Text “RUG” to 601-812-

5859 and receive 25 percent off on a rug pad.

Campbell’s Bakery (3013 N. State St., 601-362-4628) Stop by on

Fridays to try one of Campbell’s Gluten-Free Friday creations.

February 22 - 28, 2012

spring wardrobe with a stylist, and enjoy appetizers and Champagne,

Send sale info to


Check out for information about other sales around the city, trends and various things fly people should know.

For All Your Battery Needs

10% OFF on any cell phone or camera battery

Expires 3/14/12

We now have battery packs for Dewalt, Milwaukee & Makita cordless tools.


4220 Lakeland Dr. Flowood, MS 39232 located at the intersection of Airport Rd. & Lakeland Dr.

Plato’s Closet in Ridgeland has tons of gently used brand name jeans, tees, tanks, hoodies and shoes to fill your closet at up 70% off regular retail. Don’t forget - we pay $$$ on the spot for your gently used apparel and accessories - Check us out today!

1260 East County Line Road Ridgeland, MS 39157 | 601.487.8207


& Events

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Want to learn more about Marketing and Events Production in a fast-paced environment? Need college credit* or marketing experience? Jackson Free Press is looking for dynamic marketing/event interns. Interested? Send an e-mail to:, telling us why you want to intern with us and what makes you the ideal candidate.

*College credit available to currently enrolled college students in select disciplines.

Come see our new inventory! 398 Hwy. 51 • Ridgeland, MS (601) 853-3299 •

or aiser f A fundr ritan Center od Sama The Go


Interns Wanted

The Countdown to Spring Break Has Begun!

You won’t believe what you can make at


getaway! •Open 7 days a week at both locations

Bring in this ad and get $10 off any tanning or airbrush package Fondren 601-366-5811 Ridgeland 601-957-7502 Follow us on Facebook


Voted the metro’s #1 consignment store in the Best of Jackson 2012. Voted state’s best consignment/resale by Mississippi Magazine. Ridgeland Location: 626 Ridgewood Road | 601.605.9393 REVOLUTION Starkville: 327A Hwy 12 West | 662.324.2641 Like Us: Facebook:Repeat Street Metro Jackson | Twitter: @RepeatSt |


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1000’s of batteries for everything in the world…

Want to INTERN for the JFP and BOOM?



Security Cameras â&#x20AC;˘ Attendant On Duty Drop Off Service â&#x20AC;˘ Free Wi-Fi

1046 Greymont Ave. (behind La Cazuela) M-F 8am-9pm â&#x20AC;˘ Sat & Sun 7am-7pm CALL US AT 601-397-6223!

Over 36,000 sq ft of antiques, collectibles, jewelry, furniture, crafts, glassware, & architectural salvage. 1325 Flowood Dr. â&#x20AC;˘ www.ďŹ&#x201A; Sat: 9am-5pm â&#x20AC;˘ Sun: 12pm-5pm â&#x20AC;˘ $1 Admission

Mention This Ad For Free Admission!

Mediterranean Fish & Grill presents

Eddie Cotton Friday & Saturday â&#x20AC;˘ 9:00pm with King Edward

Sunday â&#x20AC;˘ 6:00pm Open Mic Night Every Thursday â&#x20AC;˘ 8:30pm -Live Music Every WednesdayFish Special $10.99 with two sides M-F until 6:30


Interested in interviewing musicians, reviewing albums and networking within Jacksonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s music community? The Jackson Free Press is looking for freelance writers interested in covering the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s music scene. Please e-mail inquiries to

6550 Old Canton Rd, Ridgeland, Ms â&#x20AC;˘ 601--956-0082

FOOD WRITER WANTED Looking for lovers of all things food and drink to take up pen and fork to write original food features. Can you describe a meal without using the word â&#x20AC;&#x153;deliciousâ&#x20AC;?? Do you have an adventurous palate? Then you might be up for the task! The right person should be able to to come up with creative pitches, original recipes and photographs to complement your copy. Interested? Send cover letter and writing samples to:

Music Writing

Love the Arts?

If you know and love fine arts, books, theater, dance, music or nightlife, you may be the arts writer weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for. Send samples and story ideas to And if you have passion for Jackson arts and are willing to learn, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll train you in creative non-fiction workshops.

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