February 22 - 28, 2012
February 22 - 28, 2012
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contents VIRGINIA SCHREIBER
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@ gmail.com, 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@ jacksonfreepress.com.
February 22 - 28, 2012
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 â€œThe Underwear Bomber,â€? is sentenced to life in prison for sneaking a bomb onto a commercial airliner on Christmas Day 2009. ... Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reevesâ€™ 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 teamsâ€™ 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 Schoolâ€™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 jfpdaily.com
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 cityâ€™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. â€œWe just spent $20 million on road repair and, obviously, thatâ€™s not enough. Thatâ€™s a drop in the bucket. We need more money,â€? Johnson said. â€œThat $20 million is costing taxpayers about two and half million dollars a year. In 10 years, weâ€™re not going to be through paying for that bond issue; but in 10 years, the roads are going to need to be repaired.â€? 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 MDOTâ€™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 cityâ€™s busiest streets, and both border the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Highway 49 intersects Woodrow Wilson Avenue near the hospital. â€œThere is a compelling interest on the part of the state that those roads be well maintained,â€? said Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson. â€œAnd I can see that there is some justification for it.â€? ROADS, see page 7
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