Back at ewe sheep dip show 54 see arts&Culture, page 12
Endless military spending drags down the United States— and Nevada
EmAiL LETTErS To rENoLETTErS@NEWSrEviEW.Com.
Title to women
Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review. One of the things I love about living in Reno is the culture clash. There’s the Old West side of things around here—ranching, mining, gambling, drinking—longstanding traditions, well established. And then there’s the more recent influx of California-style modernity—fancy food, fancy drinks, fancy art, fancy music, cutting-edge technology, progressive social values like tolerance and equality. It’s like Wyoming and San Francisco all mixed up with just a pinch of Monte Carlo. For those of us who appreciate both sides, it’s a win-win: We get good beef and good avocados. And I’m well aware that many locals probably see this newspaper as an emblem of the Cali influx. Probably less so now, since the paper has been a local institution for a couple of decades, but, sure, our sister papers are based in California cities, and alternative news entities like ours tend to arise in cosmopolitan burgs. Despite the presence of our libertarian columnist and our happy willingness to publish letters and guest comments from right-wing thinkers, we’ve been known to take clear editorial positions espousing progressive policies. But every once in a while the culture clash will reach some boiling point that makes my skin crawl. The recent coyote hunting contest in Lemmon Valley is one. I was tipped off about the contest by a reader who was organizing a protest outside of the Wayside Bar, which promoted the contest. (This is Reno published some good photos of the protest.) On the one hand, I grew up in Virginia Foothills, which in those days was fairly rural, and our backyard abutted the hills. We lost a lot of cats and rabbits to coyotes. I understand that coyotes are predators that need some population control. On the other hand, they are smart, beautiful animals, and the idea of some yahoo killing them for fun makes my blood boil.
Re “Leader” (15 Minutes, Jan. 4): Let’s not forget that deep in English law, and then U.S. law, women and children were predominantly considered chattel, human property of their husbands or fathers, almost always without rights. Since not addressed in the U.S. Constitution, customarily the resultant situations and quandries fell to the states. A study of property/individual rights state by state is very instructive but too long for this space. Suffice it to say that Mississippi enacted the first Married Women’s Property Act in 1839, and the chronicle to obtain additional rights mirrors that of indentured servants, slaves and other unempowered groups for the next 180 years. The concept that “all men are created equal” is still not gender/color/race neutral. Religious theories have been allowed to mix with civil law, despite a constitutional prohibition. Perhaps when we truly return history and civics to what is left of our public schools we will be able to have cogent conversations and leadership to craft law and policies that not only reflect the times, but enable each citizen to “secure the blessings of liberty” by actualizing their special potential. Shayne del Cohen Reno
—Brad Bynum bradb@ ne wsrev i ew . com
It’s Trump’s fault I’ve noticed with growing annoyance how paying with a credit or debit card is so much slower than cash. Customers too often swipe their card the wrong way, forget their pin number, fumble with the stylus to sign, dig for another card when the first one is declined, and wait for electronic approval of the transaction, if the connection is even working. I once pivoted impatiently on my heels for 15 minutes behind a man who kept trying different pin numbers in a futile attempt to remember. He never did. Another time, someone was flummoxed by the machine and handed the card to the
Our Mission: To publish great newspapers that are successful and enduring. To create a quality work environment that encourages employees to grow professionally while respecting personal welfare. To have a positive impact on our communities and make them better places to live. Editor Brad Bynum News Editor Dennis Myers Special Projects Editor Jeri Chadwell Arts Editor Kris Vagner Calendar Editor Kelley Lang Contributors Amy Alkon, Matt Bieker, Bob Grimm, Andrea Heerdt, Shaun Hunter, Holly
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januaRy 11, 2018 | Vol. 23, Issue 48
clerk, who had to rotate the device around to her side and ask, “Ma’am, what is your pin number?” I swear, paying via card takes five times longer than cash. It’s especially irksome when the purchase is a small amount. Charging one item at the dollar store? Come on, people! Technology isn’t always the quicker way. Cash is faster! April Pedersen Reno
Trump vs. Mueller Today I sent the a letter to five congressmen—Devin Nunes, Trey Gowdy, Louie Gohmert, Andy Biggs and Matt Gaetz. These House members are part of a cabal—secret political clique—to discredit and fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who took up the investigation into Russian meddling to influence our electoral process and to destroy democracy after FBI director James Comey was fired by the president. The president stated on national television to Lester Holt that he fired Mr. Comey because of the Russia investigation. Mr. Mueller is a highly respected prosecutor, who has worked for both Republican and Democratic administrations, a Marine Corp veteran and a Republican. His job is to uncover the truth and to aid in bringing any criminal activity related to the Russia probe to justice. Lew Dawg Cloninger Plantation, Florida
Consent matters Re “Sexist climate” (news, Jan. 4): Your little paper never disappoints. After reading your article, it seemed in some small way that you were concerned with improving the often hostile sexual climate that has existed for too long in too many casinos. Silly me. I immediately thought of your “Best of” poll that includes Best Strip Clubs. Thanks for the two faces of RN&R. You seem to be comfortable promoting both the continuing objectification of women and correcting
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sophomoric, inappropriate behavior of the wild, male beast. Thom Waters Reno
Correction Re “Leader” (15 Minutes, Jan. 4): We quoted former lieutenant governor Sue Wagner this way: “I think that hopefully this is a turning point where now women will not tolerate [sexual harassment].” The term she used was not “turning point.” It was “tipping point,” the error was made in transcribing the taped interview. We regret the mistake.
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by JERI CHADWELL
File your own taxes or pay someone? asKed at too soUl tea co., 541 1/2 PlUmas st. Zach Ulleseit Medical sales professional
To be completely honest, I don’t know much about taxes at all. What I mainly do anyways is hire somebody. So that’s probably the route I’m going to continue to go, because—especially now with the new tax plan coming in, as well, in the following years. I have a buddy who’s in tax accounting. Kim trimble MRI technician
I’ll do my own—because I get more money back. We did have somebody in the past, and then that person actually refused to research the new publication, at the time. That was almost 13 years ago. They refused to research the publication. On our return, it gave us an extra 700 or 800 dollars back.
ma x he y wood Barista
Get busy, BLM—fast In the armed standoff at Bunkerville in 2014, only one of the many players came out looking better when it was over. That was Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, who kept talking sense while loons, other public officials and employees of the Bureau of Land Management dropped the ball repeatedly. Although Cliven Bundy and his cronies and family members talked about principles and noble causes, the standoff had no such admirable issues. It was simply a case of a man who would not pay his bills. The BLM was there to take his cattle in lieu of the million-plus dollars he owed the public for using the public’s lands for grazing. Though Bundy kept offering cockamamie legal theories, the courts had long since knocked all of them down. He was just a deadbeat like anybody else who won’t pay his bills or drives without insurance or shoplifts. He had run out of court appeals and drew naive citizens into a dangerous situation they did not understand rather than pay his bills. The BLM had dithered for years in bringing the matter to resolution and was not ready for the army of poorly informed people who thought they were there for some high-flown battle instead of the government equivalent of a collection agency dunning a debtor. Politicians chose sides, also without knowing much about the issues, much less about Bundy. Nevada’s naifish governor for some reason took offense at the press section set up where the various players could safely be interviewed and decided to take Bundy’s side. Since calling out the national guard was always a
possibility, Gov. Sandoval—putative commander of the guard—had complicated the situation for the feds on the scene, because he had given them no reason to trust him. “No drop of human blood is worth spilling over any cow, in my opinion,” Gillespie said on March 27. When the BLM was forced to choose withdrawal over blood, it was the best ending to a lousy situation. But the public was entitled to see those who flaunted the law called to account. “If you step over that line, there are consequences to those actions,” Gillespie told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “And I believe they stepped over that line. No doubt about it. They need to be held accountable for it.” Thanks to devious federal prosecutors who failed to respect the law and played games with due process, that will now not be possible. The public will have to settle for the half-dozen convictions of peripheral figures around the Bundys, who are very good at putting others in legal harm’s way. The federal agency that caused this entire dispute by its laggard behavior must now accomplish the original cause of the dispute—collecting the public’s money. And it would be nice if the BLM not only acted for once with great dispatch and got the job done fast, but also converted its operations to greater transparency. For years, no local BLM officials—the ones who know the Bundy issues best—have been allowed to comment on them. Instead, only D.C. agency officials were allowed to speak on it. That should end. And so should the Bundys’ free ride. Fast. Ω
I’m going to have my mom do them—because she’s mom. I’ll learn from her.
K ayl a ward College student
I won’t be filing them. I’m a dependent because I’m in school still. My mom works for Intuit, so she does taxes all day. … I still live with her. She kind of helps me. I help her, you know? It helps her taxes a little bit, and, on my end, I don’t have to pay in too much.
monica olmos Admissions and records coordinator
I’ll be filing my own taxes, just because it’s in the comfort of my own home—so I can do it online. I’m going to do it through TurboTax. ... And I’ve been doing it for, like, five years, at least.
01.11.18 | RN&R | 3
by SHEILA LESLIE
The state of troubled minds Members of the Nevada Legislature are fond of saying “Thank God for Mississippi” at budget time. That’s because often we find our state ranked almost dead last in human services, with only Mississippi keeping us from the bottom of the heap. I thought of that line when I read a recent piece by Pro Publica on the deplorable status of mental health care in Mississippi, leading to its last place ranking in access to care in the 2018 Mental Health America state scorecard. The statistic drew my attention because last year Nevada was ranked 51st in access to care, and I was relieved to see that Mississippi managed to take over our place of shame. Curious about Nevada’s gain and Mississippi’s loss, I checked out the latest report where, indeed, Nevada improved its access ranking, moving from 51st to 47th. States that scored lower than Nevada were all Southern states whose governors refused to accept Medicaid expansion, unlike Gov. Sandoval, the first
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Republican governor to take the Federal assistance. Looking deeper into the report, my optimism about Nevada’s improvement in mental health care faded. We are still 51st in the country for the prevalence of untreated adults with mental illness, with a disturbing rate of 66 percent going without care. And I imagine legislators in Mississippi will breathe a sigh of relief when they see that once again Nevada ranked lower than their state in the Overall Ranking in mental health, at 51st in the nation. After all the work done in the last few decades, under Governors Guinn and Sandoval, and many sessions of the Legislature, we’re still the worst. The latest suicide data is also disheartening. Advocates celebrated last year when Nevada moved out of the top 10 states for suicide after decades of ranking as the state with one of the highest percentage of suicides. When the 2015 suicide rankings moved Nevada to the 11th worst, a status that would embarrass
most states, human services professionals here applauded our movement in the right direction. The 2016 suicide data was recently released, revealing the celebration was premature as we are now tied with Colorado as the fifth worst state. In 2016, 650 people chose to end their lives in Nevada, a huge increase over 2015, when 558 people died by suicide in our state. Many mental health professionals expect 2017 suicide data to intensify the trend in the wrong direction. Nevadans who end their lives by their own volition do so for their own reasons, making it difficult to know what might have made a difference in preventing the tragedy. Nevada has spent millions to improve mental health care, dramatically improving the inpatient reimbursement rate and adding innovative new programs, familiar in other states, like Assisted Outpatient Treatment and Assertive Community Treatment. Medicaid expansion theoretically provided thousands of Nevadans with new behavioral health
benefits, but finding a willing provider is difficult for many, especially for severely mentally ill people forced into a managed care system they don’t understand. Nevada’s poor rankings in behavioral health stem from a complex set of factors, including an historical tendency to underfund human services and a libertarian outlook that shuns government services in favor of personal responsibility. Combine a high rate of addiction and a constantly struggling treatment system with high levels of transiency and low wages, and it’s easy to see how depression can lead someone to the cliff’s edge. Gun shows nearly every weekend and easy access to prescription drugs offer the means to ending it all, especially if family ties have weakened due to time and distance. Mental Health America suggests policy solutions encompassing prevention, early identification and intervention, integrated care and treatment, all with the goal of recovery. Our situation is dire, but giving up is not an option. Ω
by Brendan Trainor
The trail is cold During 2017, 120 peer-reviewed papers published in scientific journals linked historical and modern climate change to variations in solar activity and related cosmic rays. The computer models linking carbon emissions to climate change continue to be challenged despite the threats and arrogant dismissals of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) establishment. The solar irradiance theory of climate change holds that climate cools when there is less solar activity, i.e. sunspots and flares. It warms up when that activity increases. Furthermore, there are long measurable periods defining centuries as solar maximums or solar minimums. Scientists who subscribe to the solar irradiance theory dismiss carbon dioxide as the principle driver of climate change. They point to inconsistent correlation between historical carbon dioxide levels and actual warmth. Earth’s climate tends toward cold. There have been far more periods of
solar minimums than solar maximums. We could be facing a Little Ice Age, a period of substantially cooler climate that lasts several centuries. We are now approaching the end of what is called the Modern Maximum, which reached its peak from 1940-2000. Before this relatively rare period of high solar activity, with cosmic rays contributing to powerful, warm El Ninos, the planet emerged from the last great Grand Minima, the Little Ice Age (LIA), which lasted from approximately 1500-1860. The Maunder Minimum of 1640-1720 was the period of least solar activity. The Dalton Minimum, 1790-1820, was the last distinct minimum. The LIA was so powerful that 1816 is called the Year Without a Summer, as Europe stayed cold the entire year. This cool climate changed history. Why was Valley Forge so cold, and the Delaware River full of ice floes when Washington crossed it? Little Ice Age. Why did Marie Antoinette have to tell
the peasants they could eat cake? LIA destroyed the grain crops. Why the potato famine in Ireland? LIA caused the blight. The Medieval Warm Period (approximately 1100 to 1640 AD) that preceded the LIA was the warmest in modern history but had very low levels of carbon dioxide (+/-270 PPM). Before that, the Dark Ages were cool, but the Roman Empire was hot. Cyclical solar activity is measured from the present day to 12,000 years before. The first cycle, the Epic Holocene Maximum, is what birthed human civilization. All of human history is contained in the present Holocene Era which will last until the next deep Ice Age. Solar irradiance proponents predict we are heading into a pronounced cold cycle, with temperatures decreasing by 0.5C-0.7C. As solar activity in the Modern Maximum slows down, it is expected that a yet unnamed Minima will direct climate change. We should notice measurable cooling by 2030, and
it will last through most of the rest of the 21st century, perhaps longer. Climate change is a very new science. The proponents of AGW quickly politicized their thesis and promoted AGW as the only correct analysis. Their main strategy was an anti-growth policy of relentless but pointless sustainability. Continued wealth creation for adaptability and infrastructure development is a superior strategy to sustainable austerity. Scientific theories should be falsifiable, but climate science can’t be because the scale is so vast. Until now. If the Earth continues to warm this century, AGW is more correct. If the Earth cools, however, solar irradiance will take its place as the primary theory of climate change. We should start thinking about how to prepare for the possibility of a colder planet. Cold weather is actually more dangerous to human flourishing than hot weather is. The science is definitely not settled. Ω
01.11.18 | RN&R | 5
by Dennis Myers
Trump vs. marijuana Most states have approved medical use of marijuana, and eight states plus D.C. have made the plant legal outright. All this was fostered by a 2013 document called the Cole Memorandum issued by the Obama administration that set marijuana priorities for federal prosecutors. It discouraged the use of federal resources to enforce cannabis prohibition in jurisdictions whose own laws conflicted with federal law and encouraged a hands-off approach. On Jan 4, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo and replaced it with a new, harsher policy memo. That flies in the face of Donald Trump’s own policy. Former Reno reporter Brandon Rittiman, now a Colorado journalist, asked Trump during the campaign about the chance that his attorney general might try to crack down on marijuana. “I wouldn’t do that, no,” Trump said. “I think it should be up to the states, absolutely.” But he has not reeled in Sessions. When asked if the Nevada Legislature would have an appetite for ordering an end to in-state law enforcement cooperation with federal enforcement of marijuana law, Clark County Sen. Richard “Tick” Segerblom said, “If Sessions is still attorney general in 2019, I think it would have a good chance.” The state lawmakers will not meet again until 2019. Also last week, Sessions announced the appointment of Dayle Elieson of Texas to come to Nevada to serve as interim U.S. attorney. A Sessions statement accompanying the appointment suggests he wants her to step up anti-drug enforcement. “United States Attorneys lead federal prosecutions across this country, taking deadly drugs and criminals off of our streets and protecting the safety of law-abiding people, as well as representing the United States in civil litigation,” Sessions said in a prepared statement on Elieson’s appointment. No explanation was given for why Sessions imported a non-Nevadan to serve in the interim spot until a permanent replacement is found, but it may signal that he does not trust a Nevada-based appointee to carry out his policies. During the second Bush administration, Republican appointee David Bogden was removed as Nevada’s U.S. attorney for unstated reasons. It may have had something to do with the fact that Bogden and his aides were unable to locate the voter fraud that senior political figures in the administration insisted must be present. Sessions is not well informed on effects of marijuana, comparing it to heroin and blaming it for violence. Marijuana impedes violent impulses. The frequency of violence committed by someone under the influence of marijuana is normally far below that of legal alcohol. Nevada officials have roundly denounced Sessions’ action, though he is correct that cannabis use remains illegal under federal law. The Obama administration preferred to duck a fight with state governments, while the Trump administration seems to be courting one. “It’s not so much the attorney general’s job to decide what laws to enforce,” Sessions said. “We should do our job and enforce laws effectively as we’re able.” He said further, the Cole Memo “was interpreted as a safe harbor for individuals,” Sessions said. “This [new] memo does not have safe harbors in it.”
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Former lieutenant governor Sue Wagner at a meeting of the Nevada Women’s Lobby. PHOTO/DENNIS MYERS
Harassment It’s common in politics about three decades ago, a nevada Legislature secretary opened the door to her assemblymember’s inner office, walked in, and gasped. The legislator was standing behind his intern, who was leaning against the desk. They were having sex. The story raced around the building at the speed of sound. On another occasion, a legislative intern who rebuffed the advances of her legislator was in danger of being dropped from the intern program after the legislator complained about her. Legislative internships in Nevada are a college course, and she would not only have lost the internship but the college credit as well. Fortunately, Assm. Robert Price, a Clark County Democrat, stepped in and asked that the intern be switched to him. To this day, she speaks of him with admiration. All of this was part and parcel of a notion that women could be treated differently in the legislative building.
threatened to hold up one of her pieces of legislation. Manendo denied the accusations but refused to discuss the charges. “You have my statement,” he said. “Now leave me alone.” Manendo survived that probe, in which a second intern was also questioned by Malkiewich. But last year, Manendo—by then a state senator—resigned from the legislature after the finding of a law firm hired to investigate again. The firm issued this conclusion: “The investigator concluded that Senator Manendo violated the legislature’s anti-harassment policy; had engaged in multiple and repeated instances of inappropriate, offensive, and unacceptable behavior towards female staffers and lobbyists; and had attempted to interfere with the subsequent investigation into his conduct.” The statement said the probe turned up “at least 14 incidents of inappropriate conduct during the 2017 legislative session, as well as instances of misconduct from prior sessions.”
second ThoughTs At one legislative session, women employees expressed the desire to wear pants to work. It was the dead of winter. Permission was denied. At the Nevada Legislature in 2003, the behavior of Assm. Mark Manendo became a public issue. Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins asked staff director Lorne Malkiewich to investigate sexual harassment charges against Manendo. It was not the greatest way to go about an investigation. Legislative staffers have few of the job protections state agency employees enjoy. Legislative workers walk on eggshells constantly in concern over whether they may offend the wrong legislator. In the 2003 case, Manendo was accused by an intern to Assm. Dawn Gibbons of using vulgar, threatening language to her. Gibbons herself supported that account, saying that Manendo asked her to help him arrange to date the intern. When Gibbons refused, she said Manendo
The fact that the Manendo problem all but disappeared from the public’s radar for more than a decade, allowing him to move from the Assembly to the Senate, now troubles some women, who wonder whether they let the matter die too easily. Former lieutenant governor and gambling regulator Sue Wagner said last week, “I know it goes on in Carson City. … regardless of the age of the male senator and the intern or the staffer … because I know of particular incidents in Carson City that I am not going to disclose but made [me] very aware of tragedies that occurred.” Lobbyists, meanwhile, had interns of their own to look out for as well as commercial clients to protect. “Were some of us just as guilty here in Nevada about Mark Manendo?” one of them asked in a reference to movie producer Harvey Weinstein. “While I took care of the problem directly with him and
did inform [legislative leaders], most of Women’s March and grassroots organizus protected our interns and warned all ing like I have never seen before. Maybe females in the building. So many don’t the confluence of events and an absolute want to ‘rock the boat’ and get embroiled boiling point for how women have been in a very public fight with a legislator treated, and what many have endured or someone who has the power for years, emboldened the lesser that Weinstein did. He also knowns to come forward?” used his wealth and power Wagner also said she to quiet women and thought public figures settle. What woman have a role that they wants her life invesshould handle respontigated, no matter sibly. She pointed your star power or to former Las Vegas prominence?” mayor Oscar Goodman Both Wagner and as a poor role model. Sue Wagner the lobbyist used a “I keep thinking of Former Nevada lieutenant governor term that suggests they Oscar Goodman hauling hope the time has passed around those two showwhen harassers could girls with his martini and count on discomfort and short promoting Las Vegas when he memories. was mayor,” she said. “Even when “I think that hopefully this is a he’s not mayor, when his wife [is] mayor, tipping point where now women will not he was still out gallivanting around, haultolerate [sexual harassment], and men will ing those two—always had two, one on understand that they should not do it,” each side.” Wagner said. “I don’t know. I’m hopeful.” A Google image search turned up “It made [me] think that perhaps the hundreds of photos of Goodman flanked advent of Trump and his arrogance and lies by two show “girls,” frequently with a about women may have been the tipping cocktail glass in hand. Ω point,” the lobbyist said. “It spawned the
“I know it goes on in Carson City.”
A message from 2017
In the Hallmark store at Redfield Promenade shopping center, Superman ornaments are still available from this holiday season. Wonder Woman, however, is sold out in two different versions. PHOTO/DENNIS MYERS
01.11.18 | RN&R | 7
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8 | RN&R | 01.11.18
by Dennis myers
Endless military spending drags down the United States— and Nevada
ast month, Donald Trump said, in signing the annual military expenditures bill, “In recent years, our military has undergone a series of deep budget cuts that have severely impacted our readiness, shrunk our capabilities, and placed substantial burdens on our warfighters. ... Today, with the signing of this defense bill, we accelerate the process of fully restoring America’s military might.” The military might of the U.S. had shrunk so much that it was only about three times that of China, only about six times that of Russia. In fact, it took the total combined spending of the next six largest national military budgets (France, Britain, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Russia) to even equal the profligacy of the poor United States. In any other nation, comments by a national executive like that of Trump on such a budget would be considered delusional. In the United States, spendthrift extravagance on the military is so engrained in the culture that few give it any thought. And Trump thinks of the military budget as the plight of the Pentagon.
Why are We there? Maggie Jordan: “Can you think of anything about Africa that’s relevant to Americans?” Jerry Dantana: “It’s the next place U.S. soldiers are going to go to die.” —Newsroom Season Two, Episode Two, “The Genoa Tip” by Aaron Sorkin On Oct. 4, 25-year-old Sgt. La David Johnson was on patrol in Niger when his patrol was attacked. He was killed, along with Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright. The attack made front page news across the United States, where most citizens likely could not find Niger on a map and did not know the U.S. had men in harm’s way there. For those who tried to make sense of the incident, the facts are startling. Though there are competing figures, and the Pentagon tries to obscure the truth, there are more than a thousand U.S. military installations encircling a planet that has only 200 countries. In Africa alone, besides Niger, there’s a U.S. military presence in places like Algeria, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Namibia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, the Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia. By most counts, though the
U.S. government is cagey about its doings, there are U.S. troops in most African nations, and there are 47 of them. More than once in our history, U.S. officials have put U.S. servicepeople in harm’s way and then seized on the killing of a U.S. serviceperson to launch a major war. In his book, Base Nation, David Vine wrote, “While there are no freestanding foreign bases on U.S. soil, today there are around eight hundred U.S. bases in foreign countries, occupied by hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops. … Although few U.S. citizens realize it, we probably have more bases in other people’s lands than any other people, nation, or empire in world history. And yet the subject is barely discussed in the media.” As best I can tell after weeks of searching, there is not one reporter in journalism, anywhere among publications covering international affairs in any nation, assigned to cover solely this empire of U.S. military installations. That heralds a mighty lack of curiosity in an industry supposedly built on curiosity. “Temporary” bases are not counted by the Pentagon, but once in, rarely out. It has been a quarter-century since the Kuwait war, but there are still six U.S. bases there. This reporter was stationed in the 1970s at Panzer Kaserne, a U.S. base in Germany outside Stuttgart. Any reason for the base had long since disappeared—Germany was a powerful country with an industrial economy that could take care
of itself. But today, Panzer is one of several bases around Stuttgart serving the Army, Navy and Marines—in their Africa needs.
CompetenCe It would be nice if all this money was being used wisely and prudently. “I know there are always some people who feel that Americans are always young and inexperienced, and foreigners are always able and tough, and great negotiators,” President Kennedy once said. “But I don’t think that the United States acquired its present position of leadership in the free world if that view were correct.” One can only wonder what Kennedy would think today. In the last half century, the U.S. has had a history of blundering into regions, walking into walls and setting off unintended consequences in every corner of the globe, always while missing more serious threats. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told West Point cadets in 2011, “And I must tell you, when it comes to predicting the nature and location of our next military engagements, since Vietnam, our record has been perfect. We have never once gotten it right, from the Mayaguez to Grenada, Panama, Somalia, the Balkans, Haiti, Kuwait, Iraq and more. We had no idea a year before any of these missions that we would be so engaged.” “bloat” When the United continued on page 10 States invented the
01.11.18 | RN&R | 9
continued from page 9
“nation” of South Vietnam during the Eisenhower administration, it cut the north off from its food supply in the Mekong Delta. No nation could tolerate such a thing. Yet there is little evidence in the Pentagon Papers or other early records that U.S. policymakers understood what they were doing to Vietnam’s food system. Since the United States helped invent the nation of South Sudan in 2011, that unfortunate “nation” has had two civil wars. Private armies roam the land. There is not a lot of progress indicated by those two inventions separated by 57 years. Nick Turse of TomDispatch, a website that has carefully tracked the growing U.S. military empire, reported in 2014 on the bungling of U.S. policymakers in various nations: “A U.S.backed uprising in Libya, for instance, helped spawn hundreds of militias that have increasingly caused chaos in that country, leading to repeated attacks on Western interests and the killing of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. Tunisia has become ever more destabilized, according to a top U.S. commander in the region. Kenya and Algeria were hit by spectacular, large-scale terrorist attacks that left Americans dead or wounded. South Sudan, a fledgling nation Washington recently midwifed into being that has been slipping into civil war, now has more than 870,000 displaced persons, is facing an imminent hunger crisis, and has recently been the site of mass atrocities, including rapes and killings. Meanwhile, the U.S.-backed military of Mali was repeatedly defeated by insurgent forces after managing to overthrow the elected government, and the U.S.-supported forces of the Central African Republic (CAR) failed to stop a ragtag rebel group from ousting the president.”
How we got tHe system
There are U.S. troops in most African nations
Nevadans have paid
U.S. House District Two residents have paid
Washoe County residents have paid
Reno residents have paid
Sparks residents have paid
These figures, from the National Priorities Project, are current to noon on Jan. 1, 2018
Washoe residents voted—in this case, at Raley’s grocery in Sparks—for a 2016 sales tax hike to raise $271 million for school capital needs.
tHe system reacHes a peak Saving this kind of money from foreign ratholes like Iraq would seem to be a popular notion. But Eisenhower reckoned without the Democrats. He had taken office during McCarthyism and as his term of office passed, Democrats realized that one of the ways they could protect themselves from red-baiting was by taking aggressively belligerent positions on the military. Figures in the Senate like Stuart Symington, Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy and Henry Jackson began complaining loud and long about the restraint Eisenhower imposed on acquisition of hardware and buildup of the military. The tension between Democrats and the president at times became very angry, with Eisenhower on one occasion calling the criticism despicable.
10 | RN&R | 01.11.18
The non-human cost
After the Great War, as World War I was originally called, the United States disassembled its military back to a 100,000person force, and the nation enjoyed a peace dividend. “We were proud of our small standing army,” Kurt Vonnegut wrote. But after World War II, there was no such stand-down. In 1951, President Truman signed a secret U.S. policy paper, NSC 68, that planned a cold war, militarized its goals, and created a global-involvement rationale allowing U.S. intervention around the world. A peacetime draft was imposed in 1948, freeing presidents from needing congressional action. Congress approved the “Truman Doctrine” allowing the president to aid “free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” And GOP congressional leaders overrode the Republicans who objected when Truman took the nation to war in Korea without permission from Congress. With Democrats in thrall to a strong presidency and Republicans too cowardly to buck the patriotism police, three elements—a draft, a “doctrine,” and unaccountable authority—had been assembled, the elements needed for decades of tragedy and endless war. It also signified that the war profits that accompanied World War II would continue. That bothered few, but in 1953, a military man became president. Dwight Eisenhower had no need to prove his “defense” credentials to anyone. (Preparing for years in which the U.S. would intrude in every corner of the world without being
threatened, Congress had changed the name of the War Department to the Defense Department.) He had commanded Allied forces in the largest land theater of war in history. He had watched the consequences of NSC 68 and the Truman Doctrine. In his first state of the union, he cautioned, “To amass military power without regard to economic capacity would be to defend ourselves against one kind of disaster by inviting another.” Three months after he became president, he gave a broader and more detailed warning about the evolving war economy in remarks to the American Society of Newspaper Editors that were carried live to the nation on television and radio. “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this—a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. ... Is there no other way the world may live?” Last year’s Washoe County ballot measure, WC-1, which permanently raised the sales tax to one of the highest in the nation, was designed initially to raise $271,000,000. That is 20.98 percent of the $1,291,354,152 Washoe County taxpayers had paid by Jan. 1 for the Iraq war—and the meter is still running on that war that has supposedly ended. Each hour, county residents pay another $184 for that war that was sold to the public with a pack of lies. Let’s look at a state program—Nevada’s Department of Public Safety. That includes corrections, DMV, Highway Patrol, officer training, the fire marshal’s office, and other related functions. In fiscal year 2017, it’s all budgeted at $652,372,680. That would be 9.75 percent of the $6,688,520,183 Nevadans have paid for the Iraq war. The state’s residents are still paying $953 each hour on the war. In Sparks, a new McCarran/Pyramid interchange has just been finished. It’s entirely inside Sparks, and the $73 million it cost is a little more than half the $131,945,341 Sparks residents have paid so far for Iraq. Fortunately, there was federal money available, so Sparks did not have to foot the bill. But how might that $132 million have been better spent—particularly since it is still being spent, $18 in Sparks money every hour.
The $73 million McCarran/Pyramid interchange construction.
Democratic Sen. Mike Monroney of Oklahoma: “The administration put a balanced budget ahead of a balanced national defense.” All this was prelude to Kennedy’s claim in the 1960 presidential campaign of a missile gap between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R—at a time when British and U.S. overflights of the Soviet Union showed not a single ICBM, IRBM or MRBM site. After the election, JFK’s administration admitted there was no gap, but that did not stop it from recommending to Congress that the military spending faucet be turned on. Eisenhower did not like criticizing his successor, but in June 1962, he took on both JFK and Congress: “I personally believe—with, I am sure, very little company in either party—that the defense budget should be substantially reduced.” If Eisenhower felt isolated in his own Republican Party, his views had the support of a similarly solitary Democrat. U.S Food for Peace director George McGovern, a war hero from South Dakota, went to the Senate in 1963 and quickly took up the cause of weaning the country off military spending. He believed it could not be done abruptly, for fear of throwing the economy into a downturn, so dependent had the nation become on military spending. But he said then was the time to begin planning for the inevitable end of the cold war and introduced an Economic Conversion Act requiring military industries to prepare plans for converting military economic activities to civilian works. It died repeatedly. According to McGovern’s biographer, after President Kennedy’s murder, McGovern asked JFK aide Ted Sorensen what Kennedy had thought of the measure. “He thought it was naïve,” Sorensen said. “He didn’t think you realized the tremendous pressures there
are in this country to keep defense spending high—the industries, the unions, the Pentagon, and all the other special interests.” Of course, Kennedy had helped create that pressure. McGovern was not dissuaded and plugged away. When he took the issue into his 1972 presidential campaign, Republicans sneered at the notion of McGovern being an ally of the sainted Eisenhower. When the end of the cold war came, the government was not ready and instead cast about for new enemies to keep military spending high—the drug war after the fall of the Berlin wall, then terrorism after September 11. A few figures floated other ideas. Bill Clinton proposed cutting operations at the Nevada nuclear test site and converting it and its workforce to high speed train technology. Little was heard of the idea after Clinton became president. Today, figures like Eisenhower and McGovern who speak up against the bloat are just as rare. U.S. Sen. John McCain: “In fact, the military-industrial complex has become much worse than President Eisenhower originally envisioned: it’s evolved to capture Congress. So, the phenomenon should now rightly be called, the ‘military-industrial-congressional’ complex. ... Those words describe root causes of why big programs fail—aggressive promises for ‘revolutionary’ capablity; poorly understood or fluid requirements; unrealistic initial cost estimates; overly optimistic schedules and assumptions; unreliable manufacturing and integration risk assessments; starting major production with an immature design or unproven critical technologies; and poorly performing government and industry teams.” Finding ways to cut is not difficult. The Atlantic Monthly on why the U.S. Fifth Fleet should be disbanded: “There
No reporter covers the beat of U.S. military empire
3 DOORS DOWN ACOUSTIC JANUARY 20
THE PIANO GUYS
is no shortage of American military and even naval facilities outside the Gulf that are capable of providing a quick military response if necessary. After all, we survived just fine before the Fifth Fleet was recreated in 1995. With the Iraq war winding down, it is time to draw down the overall U.S. presence.” It’s difficult to know how many installations the U.S. military has around the world because it plays games with terms like bases, facilities, outposts, installations, and so on. If it chose to be clear and definitive, it would find the correct words. Few entities are more skilled than the Pentagon at using language to conceal instead of disclose. All six members of the Nevada congressional delegation voted for the 2018 military authorization bill late in 2017.
Does it matter? All this is dangerous enough. There is also this: For the first time since the American Revolution, the United States of America is not paying for its wars. They are being fought on debt. With Republicans in thrall to no-new-taxes and Democrats too cowardly to buck the patriotism police after September 11, the Congress launched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on credit. Debt from the Bush bailouts and the Bush wars have been piling up ever since. There are some who predict that the time is nearing when war debt will equal the cost of the wars themselves. Who knows what that will mean for the U.S. economy? Hedrick Smith wrote a book titled Who Stole the American Dream? Toward the end of it, he identified three obstacles to the U.S. regaining its economic strength. One was endless, unaccountable military spending. And, finally, there is this: To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Ω
BILL BURR FEBRUARY 2
01.11.18 | RN&R | 11
by Jeri Chadwell j er i firstname.lastname@example.org om
Sheep thrills The Sheep Dip Show has been roasting locals for more than half a century
Sheep dip Show 53 lampooned pub crawls, sexual harassment at city hall, and more.
It has been called a parody for charity and a roast of the town. For more than half a century, the annual Sheep Dip Show has brought locals together for a satirical look at the year in review through skits, videos and songs. The name Sheep Dip is a reference to a liquid solution used to cleanse sheep of parasites and preserve their wool—a nod to Basque heritage in western Nevada. The idea behind the Sheep Dip Show is to “dip” local politicians and newsmakers in satire—a kind of annual, metaphorical cleansing for the deeds with which they made headlines during the previous year. The first Sheep Dip Show was organized by the Reno Advertising Club. It took place on March 21, 1965 in what was then the Circus Room at the Nugget in Sparks. The Ad Club used the proceeds to set up a foundation to fund scholarships for advertising students at the University of Nevada, Reno. A few days after the show, the Reno Evening Gazette reported 525 tickets had been sold, and a total of $1,066 was raised to fund scholarships. The Sheep Dip Show has happened every year since and raised a total of more than $500,000. For 12 | RN&R | 01.11.18
the first three and a half decades, the funds went to advertising scholarships and the university’s Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism. In 2001, however, a 501 (c)3 nonprofit was formed—Sheep Dip, Inc.—and the show’s organizers began donating it’s yearly proceeds to various charities. The printed show programs from years past contain thank you letters from recipients, including Care Chest, the Nevada Diabetes Association, Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation and Honor Flight Nevada. The Sheep Dip Show programs from past years are actually something to see—and an important part of the show’s tradition of irreverence. The Reno Evening Gazette article published after the first show in ’65 noted the, “Sheep Dip’s wild, wild, wild, show program” had already become a collector’s item. In addition to lists and photos of cast, crew and volunteers, the past programs contain lyrics to the satirical songs and lampooning advertisements created for show sponsors. The program for the 50th Sheep Dip Show is a retrospective, with stories and photos of participants—“the Dippers,” as they call
themselves. They also call one another the “Sheep Dip Family.” Many of them have been involved in the show for years, some of them as families across generations.
DyeD in The wool Linda Lott, the executive producer of this year’s show, got her start with Sheep Dip 29 years ago. After seeing a friend dance in the 24th annual show, Lott decided she wanted in, too. She had another friend named Jim Mooers who was involved and decided to approach him about it. “I said, ‘Jim, I’m a dancer. I want to dance in the show,’” Lott recalled. “And he said, ‘Well, Linda, to dance in the show, you have to sell 20 ads.’ And I believed him, so I went out and sold 20 ads so I could be a dancer in the show.” It was, in fact, a joke, but she took in stride. That year, she received the “Rookie of the Year” award, one of many the Sheep Dip crew hands out during post-show celebrations. This year is Lott’s sixth as the show’s executive producer. But, like many Dippers, she’s filled a lot
of roles—from choreography to ad sales to being president of the board. The current president, Kevin Cralle, has also worked on a variety of things for Sheep Dip over the years. He’s been involved since his father, Don Cralle—an original member of the Reno Ad Club—brought him in to volunteer backstage when he was 12. Neither Lott nor Cralle are old enough to remember when former Gov. Grant Sawyer appeared onstage alongside other state and local lawmakers for a skit in ’66. But, over the decades, both of them have been witnesses to the show’s evolution. It has been many years since legislators participated onstage in Sheep Dip. Lott recalled the last time was a skit featuring Sparks Mayor Geno Martini and then Reno Mayor Bob Cashell, around a decade ago. And while the governor has traditionally helped produce an introductory video each year—this year included—perhaps
According to Lott, the majority of recipients have fun with it. “I remember I was working at the phone company, and we shafted Nevada Bell for the Yellow Pages, because the print was too small,” Lott recalled. “And they came with magnifying glasses to accept the award.” That was in 1989—the same year former Gov. Grant returned for another skit in which he lamented not having nipped Sheep Dip in the bud. But, by then, Sheep Dip was in some ways milder than it had it been. Whereas the 1976 show had been criticized by a writer in the RG-J for its overabundance of sexual jokes, a review by Michael Sion in 1991 noted that year’s show conscientiously avoided sexist humor. Sion wrote that “perhaps the biggest groaner of the evening” was Nevada Bell’s Bob Chez quipping that “removing sexism meant it’d have a broad appeal.” Lott and Cralle said the show has become
ALL DAY. EVERY DAY.
1 2 3 $
BLACKJACK it’s not surprising that onstage participation isn’t the norm. The Sheep Dip can be pretty acerbic, after all. Take, for example “the shaft” awards. Since 1973, the organizers of the show have annually presented this series of awards to individuals and institutions they deem to have “thoroughly and prominently screwed up” during the previous year. Receiving “the shaft” might sting. In 1987, when then Harrah’s CEO Phil Satre received it for his role in the selling of the Harrah’s car collection and the laying off of employees, it sparked an editorial in the Reno Gazette-Journal. The author of the piece wrote that all of the public ire Satre had received in recent months had surely left him hurting inside. Recalling the 1940 Western novel The Ox-Bow Incident— whose protagonists were hanged for a crime they didn’t commit—he wrote, “I hope the public sees that Satre is about as guilty.” But Cralle and Lott are quick to point out that this is the nature of the beast—and all in good fun. “It’s a roast,” Cralle said. “It’s not malicious. It’s a spoof.”
more politically correct in some ways. They view it as in keeping with the times. It’s reflected in recent year’s programs, too. Sheep Dip organizers used to determine the content of the lampooning advertisements they created. Now, advertisers are given a naughtiness scale of one to five to choose from. “It’s up to the advertiser now, how risqué or not they want their ad,” Cralle said. “It doesn’t fall on us any longer, whereas the whole program—it was in line with Playboy Magazine, really, when I was a kid.” Nonetheless, both are quick to point out that Sheep Dip isn’t family-friendly—not by a long shot—and, as the forward to the program has noted for years, the show’s level of political correctness is “deliberate but not malicious.” They just want “the spirit of Sheep Dip to be with ewe.” Ω
Sheep Dip Show 54 takes place at the Eldorado Resort Casino, 345 N. Virginia St., Jan. 12-13. For ticket information, visit bit.ly/2lTlm2W or call 786-5700
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by JOSIE GLASSBERG
Bolivian artist Sonia Falcone’s “Campo de Color (Color Field)” features hundreds of clay bowls filled with spices and pigments. PHOTO/JOSIE GLASSBERG
The no frontier Unsettled Right now, a small painting by Ed Ruscha hangs in the Nevada Museum of Art. It depicts a curving piece of earth set against a deep sunset with the words “intense curiosity” on the far left side of the canvas and the phrase “gross neglect” on the right. It could be the timeline for humanity. It could be a trajectory of the frontier. It could be an endless horizon. It’s probably all of these things, but in the context of Unsettled—the NMA’s 200-piece exhibition spanning four continents and two millennia—it is also a reminder that the view from where we stand is very limited. Curator Joanne Northrup aims to widen this perspective by giving museumgoers a metaphorical You-Are-Here sticker for this seemingly endless frontier, reorienting onlookers to the land we really belong to, a place called the Greater West. “When Pangaea was a single landmass, [the Greater West] was all the coast,” said Northrup. “It’s split up, but we still have things in common.” This newly conceived territory reaches from the top of Alaska to the tip of Antarctica and curves around to Australia and Papua New Guinea. And these regions do have some things in common—the tectonic activity that makes the once-coast of Pangaea resource-rich, histories of colonization, and art-making traditions that draw on wide-open spaces. It also has a less hierarchical idea of history than simple Westward expansion. Director of the Center for Art +
Environment William L. Fox likens it to a rhizomatic root system. “The spread of culture can be conceived as if it were an underground series of roots that were all connected, and things sort of popped up in different places almost at the same time,” said Fox. Trading in the model of east-to-west movement and single-stalk roots for spreading, leaking routes of passage and connection, we end up with an exhibition that looks, on the surface, like a mashup of disparate artwork. Soft, curving paintings by Georgia O’Keefe and Agnes Pelton vibrate next to Graciela Iturbide’s 1979 photograph of a Seri woman holding a boombox. An installation of 625 cardboard submarines by Chris Burden, coupled with Trevor Paglen’s investigative photography on government surveillance, provide a backdrop for 2,100 years worth of indigenous pottery. Brian Jungen’s totem poles— constructed from primary-colored golf bags—keep watch over a blurry cowboy painting by Ruscha, Bruce Conner’s film on nuclear testing in Bikini Atoll, and a time lapse video of Ana Teresa Fernandez’ performance “Erasing the Border.” Throughout the exhibition, Ruscha— also a co-curator for Unsettled—displays his saturated canvases as a backbeat for discordant works, touchstones for what it means to live with the faults and faultlines of the Greater West.
In a piece titled “Atomic Princess,” Ruscha captures the state of dissonance we all experience living under nuclear threat. The white lettering of the words “Atomic Princess” float on a blurry blue and red background that brings the look—but not the feel—of inspirational quotes from an Instagram feed. From his vantage point as a veritable art star, Ruscha exchanges with other, older and younger, arguably less-famous artists around the museum about topics ranging from nuclear anxiety to cultural erasure. Perhaps nowhere is Ruscha’s dialogue more apparent than between his and conceptual Tlinget artist Nicholas Galanin’s work. In “Lost Empires, Living Tribes,” Ruscha’s large-format oil spells its titular text onto a blurred blue and gold ombre colorfield. To the right, Galanin’s two photographs depict roadside signs in Sitka, Alaska. One bears the words “No Name Creek” in big letters over the smaller “Watlacheix’k’i Heen,” the creek’s indigenous name. The second sign, which reads “Indian River,” has been spray painted to say “Indian Land,” a small gesture of defiance that makes Ruscha’s point and then some. Galanin’s exhibition-fronting photograph, “Things are Looking Native, Native’s Looking Whiter” also hits on this topic of invisibility, as an image of Princess Leia is split-screened with a historical photograph of a Hopi-Tewa woman. Both look out with similar expressions and squash-blossom hairstyles, making the viewer wonder where Star Wars got its inspiration. But it’s the backstory that really stings. Commissioned in the early 1900s by J.P. Morgan to document “dying” indigenous culture, photographer Edward Curtis took the original shot of the young Hopi-Tewa woman. When the tribes didn’t die out, however, the removal of their culture continued, prompting native artists to remind people of the fact that they still exist. “Portraying culture that’s still alive and well and resilient as vanishing fits the narrative that goes along with the rest of genocide and the removal of this people,” said Galanin. “It forces that idea. ... But we’re still telling stories. We’re still documenting. We’re still sharing. We’re still engaging.” Reclaiming culture is the theme of another contemporary indigenous artist’s work, Apsáalooke photographer Wendy Redstar. In four highly stylized self-portraits collectively titled, “Four Seasons,” Redstar assumes the role of
romantic Indian maiden as she poses in front of fake-looking Technicolor landscapes with cardboard cut-out props, blowup deer and plastic skulls. Each season is two-dimensional by design, with the artist more often than not making eye contact with the viewer, letting you know that she knows that you know how popular culture consumes people who look like her.
All Consuming Appropriation is not limited to bodies in Unsettled. The struggle for resources—and specifically the imperialistic nature of trade—is on full display throughout the exhibition. In a map commissioned for the show, Los Angeles-based artist Frohawk Two Feathers illustrates how the colonization of the Greater West may have played out— with native gods fighting back incoming ships in a mythical, magical Pacific battle. On the floor below, Bolivian artist Sonia Falcone lays out hundreds of clay bowls filled with spices of trade—cinnamon, cayenne, turmeric, achiote, cocoa—and brightly colored pigments that stand in for minerals in “Campo de Color (Color Field)”. Ruscha’s “Chocolate Room”—which used 800 bars of Hershey’s milk chocolate from Costco as a silk-screen “ink”—also references the cacao trade but can absolutely be enjoyed in its own right. It is a room lined with chocolate-coated paper. “You don’t have to know anything about art to walk into the ‘Chocolate Room,’” said Northrup. “You ask, ‘What is this? What am I looking at? What am I smelling?’ It just ignites your curiosity.” The fact that Unsettled kicks up a constant stream of questions is what ultimately keeps the exhibition from replacing old boundaries with new. Nothing is fixed in the Greater West. The Mexican border disintegrates with sky blue paint, stories about cowboys and Indians are revealed to be self-reflexive, and myths about dying indigenous cultures clap back with enough force to make you listen. Just make sure you visit before next Sunday when Unsettled will go on tour to other areas of the Greater West. Ω
Unsettled is open through Jan. 21 at the Nevada Museum of Art. A panel discussion with artist Justin Favela titled “Views on Velasco: The Politics of Mexican National Landscape” takes place Jan. 12, 12-1 p.m. Talks from the Center for Art + Environment conference in September are now available online on the “Nevada Art” channel on YouTube. For more information, visit www.nevadaart.org.
01.11.18 | RN&R | 15
by BoB Grimm
b g ri m m @ne w s re v i e w . c o m
“i’m sorry all your scenes were cut from The Big Chill.”
All in Jessica Chastain takes the role of Molly Bloom, real-life, infamous poker game organizer and former championship skier, and nails it. Molly’s Game takes a true story that seems too crazy to be real and makes it into a great movie about a woman’s struggle against the justice system and the perils of gambling outside the already dangerous realm of a casino. This is a great actress firing on all cylinders with an extra rocket booster on her back. Making the experience all the more enjoyable is screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) making a stylish, snappy directorial debut that shows he has a big future beyond the keyboard. Bloom was a top-notch athlete, shepherded by her domineering father (an excellent Kevin Costner), who had all of her plans laid out before her. She was going to medal at the Olympics, go to law school, and graduate to entrepreneur status. Her plans started to hit a snag when it was discovered she had spinal issues. Major surgeries later, she managed to get back on the slopes, only to be done in by a pine branch, followed by a colossal crash. After the slope disaster, Bloom found herself working high-stakes poker games populated by big gamblers and celebrities. Michael Cera shows up in the movie as one of the players, allegedly based upon notorious card player Tobey Maguire. Cera is great in the role, but it would’ve been very interesting if they could’ve gotten Maguire to play himself. That would’ve been fantastically weird. Bloom graduates from working the games to organizing them. She works up to having the highest stakes game in New York before things go awry, eventually leading to massive legal problems. That’s where Idris Elba, playing Bloom’s lawyer, enters into the fray and scorches the screen alongside Chastain. Both benefit from precisely written, fiery dialogue courtesy of Sorkin. The screenplay and direction are so good, the courtroom scenes in this film actually stand as some of the movie’s greater moments. That’s coming from a guy whose eyes often glaze over during courtroom dramas. 16 | RN&R | 01.11.18
The film also manages to take the usual stigma of a narrator (in this case Chastain), and make that exemplary too. Narrators often signify a storytelling weakness, a way to clarify things in a messy film. In this case, the narration takes the excitement of the story to another level. And, quite honestly, given the complexity of Bloom’s story and its intricacies, some nice notes from the narrator along the way don’t hurt. The whole movie has the snap reminiscent of the great Ray Liotta narration in Goodfellas. It gives the overall proceedings a slight vibe of being unoriginal in some ways, but who cares. The thing is fun to watch. Cera, whose official role name is Player X, gets a good chance to go a little darker and dramatic here, and it pays off. Cera is one of the more underrated, reliable comedic actors around right now, and his work shows he’s capable of so much more. Basically, if you need to cast a major prick, go ahead and put Cera on your list. Costner’s resurgence continues in this film after his triumph last year in Hidden Figures. He’s making a name for himself as one of those elder statesmen who seems like a bastard but actually has a heart of gold. The cast is rounded out by strong, colorful characters around the poker tables and inhabiting the courtroom. In Molly’s Game, Sorkin’s dialogue, adapted from Bloom’s autobiography, has the kinetic energy of the best David Mamet scripts. While there are quiet moments, the movie generally fires along at a high energy level that never becomes overbearing. That’s where Sorkin gets big kudos for his directing chops. He keeps a heavily worded, constantly moving movie tremendously entertaining and remarkably coherent. In the end, the overriding victory is that this is another shining moment for Chastain. There were many great awards worthy performances by actresses in 2017, and this is one of them. Ω
In what amounts to a much wordier companion piece to Dunkirk, Gary Oldman disappears into the role of Winston Churchill. The movie starts shortly before Churchill takes over as prime minister, with Churchill a controversial choice to lead and having much opposition, including a skeptical King George VI (brilliantly played by Ben Mendelsohn). The film chronicles Churchill’s speeches (transcribed by personal secretary Elizabeth Layton, played winningly by Lily James) and strategizing, leading up to his finally winning over Parliament’s support in not seeking peace with Hitler and pledging all-out war. Director Joe Wright (Atonement, Hanna) always makes a great-looking movie, and this is no exception. Oldman is virtually guaranteed an Oscar nomination as Churchill, a role you wouldn’t think he was born to play, but excellent makeup prosthetics help to make his transformation completely convincing. And this isn’t just a gig with a guy working through a bunch of stuff on his face; he inhabits the role in a way that makes you forget that makeup. Kristin Scott Thomas does career-best work in the small but pivotal role of Clemmie, Churchill’s extremely tolerant wife. It’s one of the better-acted films of 2017. Much of the running time deals with behind-the-scenes maneuvering regarding the events at Dunkirk. It’s because of this that Darkest Hour plays great in a double feature with Christopher Nolan’s action pic take on the same event.
I can safely say that it’s a rarity for me to get halfway into a movie thinking “Say, this could be one of the year’s best films!” only to have it become one of the year’s worst films in its second half. That’s what happened when I watched the latest Matt Damon vehicle, director Alexander Payne’s (Election, Sideways) punishably off-balanced Downsizing. The film starts as brilliant satire mixed with science fiction. Scientists have discovered a way to reduce resource consumption on our planet by shrinking people and putting them into miniature utopian communities. Not only do humans generate less trash, but their finances improve in the downsized communities. A standard bank account goes from being worth thousands to millions. Damon plays Paul, an occupational therapist at Omaha Steaks living a humdrum life from paycheck to paycheck. He and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) are tantalized by the idea of being millionaires in a new world, getting out of their crowded house and into something a little roomier with a nice pool. They decide to take the plunge and get small. Paul completes the process and miniaturizes, but Audrey has some complications during the head-shaving part. So, Paul winds up all alone in a newly shrunken world, and he’s completely pissed off. Up until this point, the film is everything you want out of this kind of movie. It’s clever, with Damon tapping into his laidback comic charms, with a screenplay that’s full of interesting insights. Visually, it can even be called a triumph. Scenes of full-sized adults chatting with mini people are seamless. To say that I was impressed would be an understatement. This movie was racing up my Best Of 2017 list. Then, it takes an epic dump—a giant, King Kong shit on the screen. After maintaining a respectable level of charm until its halfway point, Downsizing rapidly disintegrates into utter boredom and nonsense.
Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri
This marks the third film—and the third masterpiece—for writer-director Martin McDonagh. It also marks another astonishing film achievement for Frances McDormand, who will bore into your chest cavity and do all kinds of crazy shit to your heart as Mildred, a justifiably pissed off mother who has a few issues with the cops in her town. It’s been five years since Mildred’s young daughter was raped and killed by unknown murderers, who finished their awful deed by burning her body. Mildred, who isn’t even close to getting over the tragedy, spies some old, dilapidated billboards on the way home and gets an idea. One meeting
with a sloppy advertising agent (Caleb Landry Jones) later, and some guys are commissioned to put some alarmingly provocative signs up on those billboards. Woody Harrelson is first rate as the man being called out in those billboards for not finding the killers. Harrelson’s 2017 has been astoundingly good. Sam Rockwell gets the high-profile acting showcase he deserves as racist deputy Dixon. Rockwell’s Dixon, the town drunk and racist homophobe who has a thing for throwing people out of windows, undergoes a transformation that is a kind of movie miracle. McDonagh knows how to write a script that keeps you in it for every line. While the film is somewhat a murder mystery, the solving of the crime takes a back seat to watching these folks play off each other. There are scenes in this movie that will knock you on the floor.
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Leave it to Guillermo del Toro to direct 2017’s weirdest mainstream movie. The Shape of Water, for which he also co-wrote the screenplay, reminds us that this guy is a genius. He’s sick and twisted, but a genius nonetheless. The story, set in the 1960s, is—in some strange, backwards way—as close to a Disney movie as del Toro has gotten. It has a lot of violence, inter-species sex, nudity and cuss words in it, and yet it has a Disney kind of vibe to it. That del Toro—he’s a nut. Sally Hawkins plays mute cleaning woman Elisa Esposito. She lives in an old movie theater next to eccentric artist Giles (Richard Jenkins) and mostly keeps to herself. Elisa and Zelda (Octavia Spencer) clean for a freaky research facility that gets a new arrival—an Amphibian Man (Doug Jones, wonderfully obscured in practical and CGI makeup) to be housed in a water tank. The Amphibian Man, who looks an awfully lot like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, is accompanied by his keeper, Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon), a menacing man brandishing a cattle prod. Shannon is his usual incredible self as the film’s baddie, a freaky narcissist who gets off on torturing his prisoner. The film goes into romance territory after Elisa facilitates the Amphibian Man’s escape. OK, I know there’s a good faction of you readers who draw the line at human characters getting down with alien/god-like/Creature from the Black Lagoon characters, so this is your warning. It all happens off screen but, still, this goes against the grain for more than a few religions, so there you go. Overall, this is one of 2017’s great visual wonders, and a terrific showcase for Hawkins, Spencer, Jenkins and Shannon.
In this film, we get our older Luke and Leia movie. Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher get to do what Harrison Ford did in The Force Awakens by spending a little more time— in the case of Hamill, a lot more time—in their iconic roles. Both stars shine in their frankly incredible opportunity to play in the Star Wars sandbox 40 years after the original’s release. When this film focuses on the saga of Luke and Rey (Daisy Ridley), it is nothing short of epic. When the camera is fixed on the late Carrie Fisher, who gets more quality screen time than her glorified cameo in Force Awakens, it’s heartwarming and, yes, sad. The Leia stuff gets a little kooky at times, but I’m trying to make this a spoiler-free zone. When writer-director Rian Johnson takes the action to the characters of Poe (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega) and a new character named Rose (Kelly Marie Tran), the film falters. Poe, so engaging in Force Awakens, seems underdeveloped here. While the Resistance fights an oddly prolonged and bizarre space battle against the First Order, Poe just whines a lot—to the point where you are actually happy when Leia smacks him across his head. So, in short, this movie is part really good and part kind of bad. Johnson (Looper) seems determined to mess with the Star Wars formula —basically the opposite of what J.J. Abrams did when he rebooted the franchise with The Force Awakens. While some of his attempts at comedy are actually quite successful, his constant attempts to pull the rug out from under our expectations start to grate. The movie is still enjoyable overall, but it lacks a consistent tone.
flavors came through. I ate more of it than I should have and later paid dearly for the decision. I double dog dare you to try it. For something completely different, my friend ordered a dish of clam pasta vongole ($16). It included a variety of steamed clams served with fettuccine, garlic, olive oil, romano pecorino cheese and a large slice of Kalamata garlic bread. Other than an alfalfa sprout garnish, the dish was pretty much straight-up Italian. The crusty, olive-laden toast was a nice touch. Moving more into East-West fusion, a crock of kimchi gratin ($11) with kimchi risotto, bulgogi beef, mozzarella, pecorino, cheddar and scallion was something else—cheesy, a little spicy, a whole lot of tasty. The one classic Korean dish we ordered—hot pot bibimbap with beef ($12)—was a bowl of fried rice topped with carrot, cabbage, scallion, seaweed, mushroom and a barely fried egg, served with spicy gochujang sauce on the side. It was, surprisingly, a little bland once mixed together, but the gochujang and a dose of shoyu helped. My wife tried adding saucy potatoes from the firecracker, and wow. The rice absorbed a lot of the heat, and the resulting combination was delicious. My entree of whole squid salad ($14) featured a foot-long, grilled sea monster astride a sautee of baby spinach, arugula, long bean, sweet corn, cherry tomato, romano pecorino cheese, chimichurri sauce and balsamic glaze. The veggies reminded me of a sweet and sour succotash, and the squid was nicely done. It looked spectacular and otherworldly, just the sort of thing to order if you’re trying to either impress—or freak out—your dining companion. Ω
777 S. Center St., 870-8202
Arario is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday.
Fusion cuisine—the combining of different culinary traditions—has become a popular trend with chefs looking to flex their creative muscles. Recently opened Arario in midtown blends traditional Korean fare with some interesting twists. We began with a few small plates. An order of potstickers ($7) was dressed with spiralized scallion, thin sliced radish, arugula and a dusting of spices and came with dipping sauce. The lightly crisped dumplings went well with the veggies, with or without the sauce. Two large patties of fried crab tofu ($10) were both crispy and smooth, topped with crispy crab meat, bonito flake, veggies and miso aioli. Those plates were followed by a pair of potato dishes, the star being kimchi fries ($8)—topped with bulgogi beef, kimchi, teriyaki sauce, spicy mayo, cheese sauce and shredded cheddar, jack and romano pecorino cheeses. You may not feel like sharing. I picture someone jokingly asking for chili cheese fries, with the chef meeting the bluff and cranking out this elevated interpretation. These are the cheese fries I want served at my funeral. Coming off that high, I pushed it too far with the “firecracker” ($9). When the server warns, “Are you sure? It’s very, very spicy,” you had better damn well believe her. I have eaten nitro hot wings for breakfast, and often ask for “level five” spiciness at Thai, Indian and Vietnamese joints. Mexican food is my comfort zone. But folks, this bowl’s mix of breaded chicken, fried potato cubes, mozzarella, ghost pepper jack cheese and “secret chili sauce” might be the hottest dish in Reno. And—shockingly—they said it was prepared at “half strength” from the original recipe. I literally shed tears with each bite. But, through all that fire, a collection of well-executed
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The whole squid salad at Arario features squid served atop baby spinach, arugula, long beans, sweet corn and cherry tomatoes.
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by Todd SouTh
01.11.18 01.11.18 | RN&R | RN&R | 17 | 17
by MaRc TiaR
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Server Hanna Jones and manager/bartender Sarah Russell behind one of the two bars in Brasserie Saint James.
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The final Saturday of 2017 gave me a chance to take my family out to lunch and get some beers at a place that had sort of fallen off my radar lately. I was awed in 2012, seeing the historic Crystal Springs Ice Company building on Center Street transformed into a rustic, old world-style brasserie. (“Brasserie” actually means “brewery” in French.) I was amazed and impressed in 2014 when Brasserie Saint James was awarded Midsize Brewpub of the Year and a gold medal for their saison, Daily Wages, at the Great American Beer Festival. I’ve enjoyed happy hour and shot pool there on a few occasions. I don’t hear much about Brasserie Saint James these days—no new bottles at local stores, no social media about new beers on draft—and places can easily be forgotten when we’re always looking for something new and exciting. I think I’d started to consider it more restaurant than brewery, and one that’s a little out of my price range. Going occasionally turned into never going. I dusted those thoughts aside and looked forward to revisiting the place I was once so excited by—a brewery focused on classic European styles of beer with little concern for whatever trend other craft breweries were clamoring to follow. We found Brasserie Saint James still a charming place—antiques, breweriana, and a sense of old Europe felt inviting before I’d even taken a seat. We were seated promptly in the dining room at one of the slightly uncomfortable wooden booths. A central bar serves this room as well as the opposite, more pub-like side of the main hall. A game room and rooftop deck complete the grand facility. The food appeals to my inner Frenchman, a mix of slightly foreign and universal comfort food like roasted tomato soup or a house burger.
Grumpy, indecisive kids struggled with the food options while I wrestled with beer choices. The eight year-round beers—four of them noted as gold medal winners—were familiar, and I enjoy most of them. All are well made, I just don’t love all of the styles. Turning to the chalkboard of seasonal releases, another seven or eight choices made things challenging. I wish a detailed beer menu was available, as a name on the chalkboard is meaningless sometimes, and I hate to be that guy asking the server about each one to decide on six choices for a flight. My wife went for her easy choice, a Hopalong Cassidy, Brasserie’s only current nod to IPA’s popularity. I chose five unfamiliar seasonals and one style I enjoy, a Belgian style tripel. The first three choices were my favorites of the day—the Fall Saison, the annual holiday release, Noel, and a pineapple version of the funky 1904, fermented with the provocative Brettanomyces yeast strain. I didn’t care for the London Lager, but the Oktoberfest was decent. Overall, it was a nice variety of beers. Aside from the impressive beer selection, there’s a great wine list and handcrafted house cocktails, but at $11 each (“keg wine” is $9), I’ll happily stick with beer. I imagine pricing doesn’t raise an eyebrow at Brasserie’s San Francisco location, but it remains among the higher end for midtown Reno and my budget. We enjoyed lunch, and I was reminded of how much I used to enjoy the beers and Brasserie itself. Too many local breweries is a good problem to have, but I need to put Brasserie back into my rotation. Ω
Brasserie Saint James 901 S. Center St. 348-8888
For more information, visit www.brasseriesaintjames.com.
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by Holly HuTCHinGs
The Coney Dogs—Gary Kephart, Richard Washburn and Ken Pierson—are somewhere between a cover band and a reinterpretation band.
The Coney Dogs’ next few shows are Jan. 6, Jan, 20, Feb. 10 and Feb. 20 at Midtown Wine Bar, 1527 S. Virginia St.
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The Coney Dogs were reworking Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” at a recent rehearsal. The version they started with, with twangy guitar strums and an adultcontemporary vibe, led bass guitarist Gary Kephart to jokingly start dozing off. Drummer Richard Washburn took the hint and suggested a livelier punk rock version based on Social Distortion’s cover of the hit. The band began to jam with that in mind, and the grittier sound came together, more to their liking. Coney Dogs is primarily a cover band—and the bandmates call their music “covers of covers.” They play songs by the likes of Violent Femmes, the Beatles, America and the Rolling Stones, and they stay mostly true to the original lyrics, but the sound is something very different. Songs that were once full of horns and multiple backup singers get stripped down, then the bandmates add in bass and guitar solos and funky beats. Kephart built his drums and likes to experiment with the 400 sounds on the electronic set. Although the band has been in existence for over 20 years, its three members have only played one gig in their current iteration. Washburn and Kephart joined vocalist/guitar player Ken Pierson just a few months ago, when two previous members left the group. Pierson has bestowed on himself the title, “Keeper of the Coney Dogs,” since he has seen the band through every previous mix of members. Twelve men have come and gone over the years, but Pierson is the constant Coney. And something about the current configuration of his beloved Dogs makes him feel like they’ve got a winning recipe.
“Sometimes you just stumble on meeting great people,” Pierson said. “We got a rehearsal together to see if the three of us would fit. That night I thought, ‘Wow, this is really fun. There are two other guys who like to play and are super talented and very humble.’ We all give input and listen to each other, and we seem to know where each other are going with a song mid-stream.” These guys have each been playing music since their childhood days. Although two of the members are now essentially retired, the band is not. The band is part poker-night bonding and part putting on a show. As the bandmates play, they “read” the crowd, scanning the room for bobbing heads and tapping feet. When they notice that people are responding to a style or song, they “throw another log on the fire” and keep playing what the people are into. When not with the Coney Dogs, Kephart shares his music with a different crowd. He plays for Alzheimer’s patients as a side project, and he said he’s seen the power of music in their lives. “I see what the music does to these people, and it just brings them out,” he said. “People that you’ve never heard speak, they’ll speak or sing. Then they’ll sink back into their other world that they live in. Music is a beautiful thing.” The Coney Dogs’ shows have had good turnouts—and Pierson feels that local musicians are a valuable part of local culture. “There’s all these little bands, and you just gotta go see them,” Pierson said. “They’re not on labels. They’re not on YouTube, probably. They’re just out playing, enjoying themselves. You gotta get out there and listen.” Ω
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01.11.18 | RN&R | 19
THURSDAY 1/11 3rd Street Bar
Frank Perry Jazz Combo, 8pm, no cover
5 Star SaLOON
Karaoke, 9pm, no cover
125 W. Third St., (775) 323-5005
DG Kicks Big Band Jazz Orchestra, 8pm, Tu, no cover
Jo Mama, 9:30pm, no cover
Jo Mama, 9:30pm, no cover
ceOL IrISh PuB
Keith Shannon, 9pm, no cover
Cole Adams, 9pm, no cover
Traditional Irish Session, 7pm, Tu, no cover
Live music, 9pm, no cover
Karaoke with Nightsong Productions, 8:30pm, Tu, no cover
538 S. Virginia St., (775) 329-5558
cOttONwOOd reStauraNt & Bar
David Beck, 7pm, no cover
Jenn Rogar Duo, 7pm, no cover Kindred Souls, 9:30pm, no cover
275 E. Fourth St., (775) 324-1917
fat cat Bar & GrILL
599 N. Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, (530) 587-2626
6300 Mae Anne Ave., (775) 787-6300
Open Mic Night with Lucas Arizu, 9pm, Tu, no cover
Karaoke, 9pm, no cover Reno Classical Music Open Mic, 7pm, no cover
Donnie Le Qui, 7pm, no cover
3372 S. McCarran Blvd., (775) 825-1988
the hOLLaNd PrOject
Lo Adams Album Release/Art Show, 7pm, $5
140 Vesta St., (775) 742-1858
Open Mic with Lenny El Bajo, 7pm, Tu, no cover
Snakeboy Johnson Band, 9pm, no cover
DJ Trivia, 7pm, W, no cover
Dark Black, Blue Shirt, Late for Rent, 8pm, $5
Spoken Views Open Mic/Poetry Slam, 6pm, W, $3-$5
LauGhING PLaNet cafe
Ed Corey Trio, 7:30pm, W, no cover
941 N. Virginia St., (775) 870-9633
LIVING the GOOd LIfe NIGhtcLuB
Canyon Jam/Open Mic, 6:30pm, Tu, no cover
1480 N. Carson St., Carson City, (775) 841-4663
January 12-14 | atlantis casino resort & spa early bird discount | save $200 by purchasing tickets before dec. 22 | tickets available at AscendTheEvent.com 20 | RN&R | 01.11.18
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Dennis Hunter, 7pm, no cover
Strange & Unusual with DJ eroticbuddha, DJ 1334, 9pm, no cover
246 W. First St., (775) 329-4484
Are you reAdy to
Karaoke, 9pm, W, no cover
Sonic Mass with DJ Tigerbunny, 9pm, no cover
10042 Donner Pass Rd., Truckee, (530) 587-2626
10142 Rue Hilltop, Truckee, (530) 587-5711
3rd Street Bar, 125 W. Third St. (775) 323-5005: Open Mic Comedy Competition with host with host Sam Corbin, Wed, 9:30pm, no cover The Improv at Harveys Lake Tahoe, 15 Highway 50, Stateline, (775) 5886611: Chris Franjola, Jesus Trejo, Thu-Fri, Sun, 9pm, $25; Sat, 9pm, $30; Ben Gleib, Joe Praino, Wed, 9pm, $25 Laugh Factory, Silver Legacy Resort Casino, 407 N. Virginia St., (775) 3257401: Quinn Dahle, Thu, Sun, 7:30pm, $21.95; Fri-Sat, 7:30pm, 9:30pm, $27.45; J. Chris Newberg, Tue-Wed, 7:30pm, $21.45 Pioneer Underground, 100 S. Virginia St., (775) 322-5233: Jessica Michelle Singleton, Thu, 8pm, $10-$15; DC Ervin, Fri, 9pm, $13$18; Sat, 6:30pm, 9:30pm, $13-$18
Bar Of aMerIca
1495 S. Virginia St., (775) 323-1877
Dance party, 10pm, $5
40 MILe SaLOON
Jan. 12, 9 p.m. Studio on 4th 432 E. Fourth St. 737-9776
Dance party, 10pm, $5
132 West St., (775) 329-2878
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BOOK SIGNING JANUARY 20 • 1PM BARNES & NOBLE 5555 S. VIRGINIA ST.
Magic Fusion, 7pm, 9pm, $21-$46
Magic Fusion, 7pm, $21-$46 Magic After Dark, 7pm, $31-$46
Magic Fusion, 7pm, 9pm, $21-$46 219 Boys feat. Roger That!, 10pm, $10
Magic Fusion, 4:30pm, 7pm, $21-$46
Magic Fusion, 7pm, 9pm, M, Tu, W, $16.80-$46
MidTown wine Bar
DJ Trivia, 7pm, no cover
Pawn Shop, 8:30pm, no cover
Wunderlust, 8:30pm, no cover
1021 Heavenly Village Way, S.L. Tahoe, (530) 523-8024 1527 S. Virginia St., (775) 800-1960
Grupo Escolta, Banda Salvaje, 10pm, $TBA
2100 Victorian Ave., Sparks, (775) 772-6637
MoodY’S BiSTro Bar & BeaTS 10007 Bridge St., Truckee, (530) 587-8688
Live music, 8pm, no cover
PaddY & irene’S iriSh PuB
Acoustic Wonderland Sessions, 8pm, no cover
Pignic PuB & PaTio
Billy Don Burns, Huckleberry Road, 8pm, no cover
960-A Victorian Ave., Sparks, (775) 358-5484 235 Flint St., (775) 376-1948
Live music, 8:30pm, no cover
Live music, 8:30pm, no cover Apothic, 9pm, no cover
Bingo with T-N-Keys, 4:30pm, Tu, no cover T-N-Keys, 7:30pm, W, no cover
Post shows online by registerin g at www.newsrev iew.com/ren o. Deadline is th e Friday before public ation.
red dog SaLoon
Open mic, 7pm, W, no cover
76 N. C St., Virginia City, (775) 847-7474 Demond Dialect Dowdy, 9pm, no cover
Basement Tapes, Vague Choir, Grimtones, 9pm, no cover Active Minds, Black Plague Wolves, Donkey Jaw, Uncle Angry, 8pm, $5-$6
715 S. Virginia St., (775) 786-4774
Trivia Night, 8pm, no cover
Nigel’s Acoustic Madness Jam, 8pm, Tu, Electric Spark Jam, 8pm, W, no cover
1237 Baring Blvd., Sparks, (775) 409-3340
ST. JaMeS infirMarY
Guest DJs, 9pm, no cover
STudio on 4Th
Zepparella, 9pm, $20-$25
445 California Ave., (775) 657-8484 432 E. Fourth St., (775) 737-9776
whiSkeY dick’S SaLoon
2660 Lake Tahoe Blvd., S.L. Tahoe, (530) 544-3425
Jan. 13, 10 p.m. Peppermill 2707 S. Virginia St. 826-2121
Sessions, 8pm, M, no cover Steve DiNicola, 7pm, W, no cover
T-N-Keys, DJ Bobby G, 8pm, no cover
1559 S. Virginia St., (775) 322-8864
761 S. Virginia St., (775) 221-7451
Wednesday Night Jam, 8pm, W, no cover Chris Fox & John Underwood, 8pm, W, no cover
The PoLo Lounge
Saturday Dance Party, 9pm, no cover
Natural Revolution, 9pm, no cover
Open Mic Clinic, 8pm, W, no cover
Andre Nickatina, TIP-C & DEEDAY, DJ (R) Styles, 9pm, $20-$25
Andre Nickatina Jan. 14, 9 p.m. Whiskey Dick’s Saloon 2660 Lake Tahoe Blvd. South Lake Tahoe (530) 544-3425
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01.11.18 | RN&R | 21
THURSDAY 1/11 AtlAntis CAsino ResoRt spA 3800 S. Virginia St., (775) 825-4700 1) Grand Ballroom 2) Cabaret
2100 Garson Road, Verdi, (775) 345-6000 1) Events Center 2) Guitar Bar
CARson VAlley inn
1627 Hwy. 395, Minden, (775) 782-9711 1) Valley Ballroom 2) Cabaret Lounge
Orgone Jan. 13, 9 p.m. Crystal Bay Club 14 Highway 28 Crystal Bay 833-6333
Karaoke The Point, 1601 S. Virginia St., (775) 3223001: Karaoke, Thu-Sat, 8:30pm, no cover Spiro’s Sports Bar & Grille, 1475 E. Prater Way, Ste. 103, Sparks, (775) 356-6000: Karaoke, Fri-Sat, 9pm, no cover West 2nd Street Bar, 118 W. Second St., (775) 348-7976: Karaoke, Mon-Sun, 9pm, no cover
2) All In, 8pm, no cover
2) All In, 8pm, no cover Kick, 10pm, no cover
1) Kalimba, The Spirit of Earth, Wind & Fire, 8pm, $35-$45 2) All In, 8pm, no cover
2) Kick, 8pm, no cover
2) Melissa Dru, 8pm, M, no cover
2) Jason King, 6pm, no cover
2) John Palmore, 5pm, no cover Rebekah Chase, 9pm, no cover
2) John Palmore, 5pm, no cover Rebekah Chase, 9pm, no cover
2) Gary Douglas, 6pm, no cover
2) Tandymonium, 6pm, M, no cover The Deputys, 6pm, Tu, no cover Michael Furlong, 6pm, W, no cover
2) Just Us, 7pm, no cover
2) Just Us, 8pm, no cover
2) Just Us, 8pm, no cover
2) DJ Rusty B & Funksalot, 10pm, no cover
1) Orgone, Con Brio, 9pm, $25-$28
1) Sheep Dip 2018, 8pm, $40 2) Left of Centre, 10pm, no cover 3) DJ Roni V, 10pm, no cover
1) Sheep Dip 2018, 8pm, $40 2) Left of Centre, 10pm, no cover 3) DJ Roni V, 10pm, no cover
CRystAl BAy CluB
14 Hwy. 28, Crystal Bay, (775) 833-6333 1) Crown Room 2) Red Room
eldoRAdo ResoRt CAsino 345 N. Virginia St., (775) 786-5700 1) Theater 2) Brew Brothers 3) NoVi
GRAnd sieRRA ResoRt
2500 E. Second St., (775) 789-2000 1) Grand Theatre 2) LEX 3) Race & Sports Bar
1) The Magic of Eli Kerr, 7:30pm, $32-$42
1) The Magic of Eli Kerr, 7:30pm, $32-$42 1) The Magic of Eli Kerr, 7:30pm, $32-$42 Essence, 10pm, $30 Essence, 10pm, $30 2) Reckless Gypsy, 8:30pm, no cover 2) Reckless Gypsy, 8:30pm, no cover
montBleu ResoRt CAsino & spA
1) Tracy Morgan, 8pm, $45-$65
55 Hwy. 50, Stateline, (800) 648-3353 1) Showroom 2) Opal Ultra-Lounge 3) BLU
peppeRmill ResoRt spA CAsino
2707 S. Virginia St., (775) 826-2121 1) Tuscany Ballroom 2) Terrace Lounge 3) Edge
silVeR leGACy ResoRt CAsino
407 N. Virginia St., (775) 325-7401 1) Grand Exposition Hall 2) Rum Bullions Island Bar 3) Aura Ultra Lounge 4) Silver Baron Lounge
if you have a business and would like to carry the paper for free, call 775.324.4440
2) Live Band Karaoke, 10pm, M, no cover
3) Buddy Emmer and guest, 8pm, Tu, no cover
1) Tainted Love, 7:30pm, $27-$60
15 Hwy. 50, Stateline, (775) 588-6611 1) South Shore Room 2) Casino Center Stage 219 N. Center St., (775) 786-3232 1) Showroom 2) Sapphire Lounge
2) Left of Centre, 10pm, no cover
2) DC Ervin, 8pm, $15 1) G3: Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, 3) Grand Country Nights with DJ Jeremy, 3) Grand Country Nights with DJ Jeremy, Phil Collen, 7pm, $35-$75 10pm, no cover 10pm, no cover 3) Grand Country Nights, 10pm, no cover
HARRAH’s lAke tAHoe HARRAH’s Reno
2) Tyler Stafford, 6pm, Tu, W, no cover
2) Sly Buford, 7pm, no cover
2) The Blues Assault, 8pm, no cover
2) The Blues Assault, 8pm, no cover 3) DJ Spryte, 10pm, $20
2) Max Minardi, 6pm, no cover
2) Rock ’N’ Roll Experience, 9pm, no cover 4) Halie O’Ryan, 9pm, no cover
2) Rock ’N’ Roll Experience, 9pm, no cover 3) Seduction Saturdays, 9pm, $5 4) Halie O’Ryan, 9pm, no cover
4) Clint “DJ Kronik” Davidson, 9pm, no cover
2) Max Minardi, 6pm, M, Tu, W, no cover
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22 | RN&R | 01.11.18
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FOR THE WEEK OF januaRy 11, 2018 For a complete listing of this week’s events or to post events to our online calendar, visit www.newsreview.com. ART AFTERNOON WORKSHOP AND SOCIAL FOR SENIORS: Enjoy a guided tour and a studio art class along with light refreshments. Monthly tours and projects are designed for participants of all levels of experience. These monthly sessions are held on the second Friday of each month. Advance registration recommended. Fri, 1/12, 1pm. $6-$7. Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St., (775) 329-3333.
COME IN FROM THE COLD FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT SERIES: The winter
Take Five: Making Art in Reno
Brüka Theatre presents this two-day event in celebration of the theater company’s 25th anniversary and Reno’s transformation to an internationally recognized arts destination. During this program, 36 artists invited by Brüka will demonstrate in five-minute presentations how they create their work. Speakers include “The Space Whale” (pictured above) creator Matt Schultz, Burning Man co-founder Michael “Danger Ranger” Mikel, musician Cami Thompson, muralist Joe C. Rock, found objects artist Philo Northrup, and David Holman, executive chef of Campo Foods, among other poets, painters, actors, musicians, dancers and improv comics. Proceeds from the Take Five event benefit Brüka Theatre’s programming and operating costs for its 25th season. The shows begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 12, and Saturday, Jan. 13, at Brüka Theatre, 99 N. Virginia St. Tickets are $25 for one show and $40 for both shows. Call 323-3221 or visit www.bruka.org.
entertainment series kicks off this week with a program by Northern Nevada Bluegrass Association’s Monday Night Volunteers. Seating will be limited to 200 people with doors opening at 5:30pm. The program will begin at 7pm. Sat, 1/13, 7pm. $3 suggested donation. Western Heritage Interpretive Center, Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road, (775) 828-6612.
CONTRA DANCE: The Sierra Nevada Contra Dance Society holds its monthly event with live music and a caller. Come at 7:15pm for a beginner’s walk-through. No partner necessary. Sat, 1/13, 7:30pm. $8 members, $10 non-members. Southside Cultural Center, 190 E. Liberty St., (509) 595-1136, www.sierracontra.org.
CROCHET CONECTION: Crochet enthusiasts of all levels are invited join this group, which meets every Thursday. Bring your own project or start a new one. Thu, 1/11, 3pm. Free. Spanish Springs Library, 7100 Pyramid Way, Sparks, (775) 424-1800.
EARTHQUAKE SEQUENCES IN NORTHERN NEVADA: Join seismologist Annie Kell for an update on earthquake conditions in our area. Sat, 1/13, 2pm. Free. Galena Creek Visitor Center, 18250 Mount Rose Highway, (775) 849-4948, galenacreekvisitorcenter.org.
ECLECTIC EVENING BOOK CLUB: The club meets to discuss The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. Wed, 1/17, 5pm. Free. Northwest Reno Library, 2325 Robb Drive, (775) 787-4100.
FAMILIES OF HILLSIDE CEMETERY: As part of Historic Reno Preservation Society’s Reno 150 series, Fran Tryon will take the audience on a virtual tour of Hillside Cemetery. The program will feature stories about the founding families of Reno and their connections to the history of our community, country and world. She will briefly touch on the importance of saving historic cemeteries for future generations and their importance in understanding the past, present and the journey into the future. Wed 1/17, 6pm. Free. Northwest Reno Library, 2325 Robb Drive, (775) 747-4478, historicreno.org.
HANDS ON! SECOND SATURDAYS: The
ADULT COLORING: No skills are required for this program geared toward adults. Bring your colored pencils and coloring pages or use supplies at the library. Wed, 1/17, 6pm. Free. South Valleys Library, 15650-A Wedge Parkway, (775) 851-5190.
24 | RN&R | 01.11.18
monthly program offers free admission, hands-on art activities, storytelling, a docent-guided tour, live performances and community collaborations. Sat, 1/13, 10am-6pm. Free. Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St., (775) 329-3333.
HIGH SIERRA WRITERS: This writers group meets every Wednesday night in the cafe at Barnes & Noble. Bring your written work for critiquing with published and unpublished writers. Wed, 1/17, 7pm. Free. Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 5555 S. Virginia St., www.highsierrawriters.org.
KIDS CAFE DINNER PROGRAM: Free meals will be served to children ages 1-18 during the Washoe County School District winter break at three locations, including the Evelyn Mount Northeast Community Center, 1301 Valley Road; Plumas Gym, 475 Monroe St.; and Lemelson Elementary School, 2001 Soaring Eagle Drive. Lunch is served at noon at each of these locations through Jan. 12. Children do not need to be enrolled in any program to eat these meals. Thu, 1/11-Fri 1/12, noon. Free. Evelyn Mount Northeast Community Center, 1301 Valley Road, and other locations, (775) 331-3663, fbnn.org.
LIFESCAPES: In this program, seniors are given an opportunity to write and share their memoirs. New members are always welcome. Lifescapes is a project sponsored by the Washoe County Library System, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the Department of English at the University of Nevada, Reno. Thu, 1/11, 1pm. Free. South Valleys Library, 15650 Wedge Parkway, (775) 851-5190.
MIND-BODY WELLNESS WORKSHOPS FOR ADULTS: Instructor Colleen Caminesch leads this one-hour workshop that will help attendees understand what mindfulness is and how it can be cultivated. Wed, 1/17, 6pm. Free. South Valleys Library, 15650-A Wedge Parkway, (775) 851-5190.
NEIGHBORHOOD ORGANIZING WORKSHOP: Join members of the Democratic Party of Washoe County to learn how you can gain the skills and confidence to reach out effectively to your friends and neighbors and increase voter participation. Tue, 1/16, 5pm. Free. Democratic Party of Washoe County, 1465 Terminal Way, (775) 323-8683, www.washoedems.org.
PAWS 2 READ: A reading program for children of all ages presented by Paws 4 Love. Friendly dogs lend a loving, nonjudgmental ear to beginning readers. After reading to a gentle dog, children receive a free book. The event takes place on the second Thursday of the month. Thu, 1/11, 4pm. Free. Incline Village Library, 845 Alder Ave., Incline Village, (775) 832-4130.
RADON AWARENESS: The Nevada Radon Education Program of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension will offer an informational presentation and free radon test kits. Wed, 1/17, 4pm. Free. Verdi Community Library & Nature Center, 270 Bridge St., Verdi, (775) 345-8104.
SHEEP DIP 2018: The 54th annual show exposes the foibles and follies of the Truckee Meadows with laughter, skits, songs and dance. The event raises funds that support charities in the Reno-Sparks area. Fri, 1/12-Sat, 1/13, 8pm. Eldorado Resort Casino, 345 N. Virginia St., (775) 786-5700, sheepdipshow.org.
SPARKLE YOGA GRAND OPENING: The event includes food and drinks, prizes, rescue pets to adopt and Doga (doggie yoga) at 11am. Bring a mat and your small dog. Every donation that is received will go to the SPCA, but the giver will receive a free yoga class. Sat, 1/13, 10am. Free. Sparkle Yoga South Reno, Double Diamond Town Center, 465 S. Meadows Parkway, (760) 505-0952, www.sparkleyogareno.com.
VIEWS ON VELASCO—THE POLITICS OF MEXICAN NATIONAL LANDSCAPE: Join Babelito (Emmanuel Ortega) and FavyFav (Justin Favela) from the podcast Latinos Who Lunch for a lecture on one of Mexico’s most important 19th century painters, Jose Maria Velasco. In this talk, Ortego and Favela will deconstruct the myth of the nation as it pertains to academic painting in the 19th and 20th centuries and address the romanticism of Velasco’s landscapes, which Favela re-contextualizes in his own work, now on view in the exhibition Unsettled. Thu, 1/11, noon. $10 general admission, free for NMA members. Nevada Museum of Art, 160 W. Liberty St., (775) 329-3333.
WINTER BREAK ACTIVITIES CRAFTING FUN: Come to the library for a variety of free activities that will help keep boredom at bay during the Washoe County School District’s winter break. Fri, 1/12, 2pm. Free. Northwest Reno Library, 2325 Robb Drive, (775) 787-4100.
WINTER BREAK ART ACTIVITY WEEK: Kids can drop in and explore a hands-on activity. Thu, 1/11-Fri, 1/12, 11am3pm. Free. South Valleys Library, 15650-A Wedge Parkway, (775) 851-5190.
aRT BLUE WHALE COFFEE COMPANY: Midtown Mural Tour. This is a docent-led tour of more than 40 of the 70 murals Midtown District Reno has to offer. Local, national and international artists are represented. Tickets are available at the door. Sat, 1/13, 11am. $10. Blue Whale Coffee Company, 32 Cheney St., artspotreno.com/midtown-mural-tour/.
THE HOLLAND PROJECT GALLERY: Authentic Aliens. The group show features work by eight artists from the University of Nevada, Reno Fine Arts Department who set out to articulate and create a conversation about their shared sense of alienation, but ultimately find authentication and affirmation in their positions as both connected yet separate, unique beings. Gallery hours are Tuesday–Friday, 3-6pm. The reception is on Jan. 11, 6-8pm, and will include a live performance piece by Nikki Bracco in the show space. Thu, 1/11-Fri, 1/12, Tue, 1/16-Wed, 1/17. Free. The Holland, 140 Vesta St., (775) 742-1858.
MCKINLEY ARTS & CULTURE CENTER: Empty Frontier. Jessica Gengenbach’s drawings wrestle with an idealized perception of the American West instilled by popular culture and the harm that was caused in its settling. The show runs through Jan. 26. Thu, 1/11-Fri, 1/12, Mon, 1/15-Wed, 1/17, 9am-5pm. Free. McKinley Arts & Culture Center, 925 Riverside Drive, (775) 3346264, renoculture.com.
MuSIC BLARNEY MAN: Keith Shannon spins musical tales of love and heartache, crime and
justice, and living life to the fullest. Sat, 1/13, 8pm. $12-$20. Brewery Arts Center, 449 W. King St., Carson City, (775) 883-1976.
CLASSIX THREE—BEETHOVEN’S EMPEROR CONCERTO: The Reno Philharmonic’s third concert in the Classix series features Richard Wagner’s Overture to Tannhäuser, Pierre Jalbert’s In Aeternam and Ludwig von Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto featuring guest pianist Joyce Yang. Music Director Laura Jackson conducts the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus and offers a preconcert talk one hour before the concert on Sunday and one half-hour before the concert on Tuesday. In this preview, she discusses the works and composers in the evening’s concert, giving attendees a background and historical context for the music they will hear. The preview talk starts at 3pm on Sunday in the concert hall and at 7pm on Tuesday in the exhibition hall. Seating for the preview is general admission, first-come first served. Sun, 1/14, 4pm; Tue, 1/16, 7:30pm. $29-$89. Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, 100 S. Virginia St., (775) 323-6393, renophil.com.
OnSTaGE SMALL ENGINE REPAIR: Restless Artists Theatre Company presents this dark comedy written by John Pollono. Former high school buddies Frank, Swaino and Packie—now past their prime—meet off-hours one night in Frank’s outof-the-way repair shop under cloudy circumstances that only Frank seems to have a handle on. Enter Chad, a pluggedin, preppy college jock, whose arrival ignites a long-simmering resentment that sets this taut, twisty, comic thriller on its breathless course. The show runs Thursday-Sunday, through Jan. 21. Thu, 1/11-Sat, 1/13, 7:30pm; Sun, 1/14, 2pm. $12$15. Restless Artists Theatre Company, 295 20th St., Sparks, (775) 525-3074, rattheatre.org.
URBAN JAZZ DANCE: Founded in 2007 by pioneering deaf dancer/choreographer Antoine Hunter, the dance company consists of a mix of professional deaf and hearing dancers. The company’s mission is to show the world that no matter who you are, your dreams are possible. ASL Interpreters provided. Fri, 1/12, 7pm. $5-$30. Truckee High School, 11725 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, (530) 582-8278 www.artsfortheschools.org.
SPORTS & FITnESS CYCLOCROSS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: The most skilled cyclocross competitors in America are tested in the high altitudes and difficult terrain of Rancho San Rafael Park during the 44th annual event, which takes place through Jan. 14. Thu, 1/11-Sun, 1/14. Rancho San Rafael Park, 1595 N. Sierra St., www.renocx.com.
by AMY ALKON
Sleep actually My husband and I have been married for eight years. We have a 5-year-old son, and we both work full time. We used to have these amazing, crazy sex marathons, but now we’re too tired from our jobs and parenthood. We have sex about once a month, if that. I’m worried that this isn’t healthy for our marriage. The good news: You two are still like animals in bed. The bad news: They’re the sort on the road that have been flattened by speeding cars. This is something to try to change, because sex seems to be a kind of gym for a healthy relationship. Clinical psychologist Anik Debrot and her colleagues note that beyond how sex “promotes a stronger and more positive connection” between partners, there’s “strong support” in the research literature for a link between “an active and satisfying sexual life and individual well-being.” Of course, it’s possible that individuals who are happy get it on more often than those who hate their lives and each other. Also, rather obviously, having an orgasm tends to be more day-brightening than, say, having a flat tire. However, when Debrot and her colleagues surveyed couples to narrow down what makes these people having regular sex happier, their results suggested it wasn’t “merely due to pleasure experienced during sex itself.” It seems it was the affection and loving touch in bed that led couples to report increased “positive emotions and wellbeing”—and not just right afterward but for hours afterward and even into the next day. The researchers found a longerlasting effect, too. In a survey of 106 couples (all parents with at least one child younger than 8), the more these partners had sex over a 10-day period, the greater their relationship satisfaction six months down the road. The researchers did report a caveat: For the bump in relationship satisfaction, the sex had to be “affectionate”—as opposed to, I guess, angry sex, breakup sex, or “You don’t mind if I tweet while we’re doing it?” sex. My prescription for you? Have sex once a week—a frequency that research by social psychologist Amy Muise finds, for couples, is associated with greater happiness.
Make time for it, the way you would if your kid needed to go to the dentist. Also, go easy on yourselves. Consider that some sex is better than, well, “sex marathon or nuthin’!” And then, seeing as affection and loving touch—not sexual pleasure—led to the improved mood in individuals and increased relationship satisfaction in couples, basically be handsy and cuddly with each other in daily life. Act loving and you should find yourself feeling loving.
Head over heals My boyfriend broke up with me last month. We still talk and text almost every day. We’re still connected on social media. We’ve even had dinner twice. I feel better that he’s still in my life, even just as a friend. Is this healthy, or am I prolonging some sort of grief I’m going to have to feel down the road? Note the keyword—“break”—in breakup. As painful as it is to stare into a boyfriend-shaped void in your life, continued contact is the land of false hopes—fooling you into thinking that nothing’s really changed. In fact, research by social psychologist David Sbarra finds that contact offline after a breakup amps up feelings of both love and sadness, stalling the healing process. Staying in touch online—or just snooping on your ex’s social media doings—appears to be even worse. For example, social psychologist Tara Marshall found that “engaging in surveillance of the ex-partner’s Facebook page inhibited postbreakup adjustment and growth above and beyond offline contact.” This makes sense—as your brain needs to be retrained to stop pointing you toward your now-ex-boyfriend whenever you need love, attention or comforting. Tell your ex you need a real break, and stick to it. Drawbridge up. No contact of any kind—no matter how much you long to hear, “Hey whatcha up to tonight? How ’bout I come over and slow down your healing process?” Ω
Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., No. 280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com).
01.11.18 | RN&R | 25
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FRee will astRology
by ROb bRezsny
For the week oF January 11, 2018 ARIES (March 21-April 19): I’m happy to inform
you that life is giving you permission to be extra demanding in the coming weeks—as long as you’re not petty, brusque, or unreasonable. Here are a few examples that will pass the test: “I demand that you join me in getting drunk on the truth;” “I demand to receive rewards commensurate with my contributions;” “I demand that we collaborate to outsmart and escape the karmic conundrums we’ve gotten ourselves mixed up in.” On the other hand, Aries, ultimatums like these are not admissible: “I demand treasure and tribute, you fools;” “I demand the right to cheat in order to get my way;” “I demand that the river flow backwards.”
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Are you familiar with
the phrase “Open sesame?” In the old folk tale, “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” it’s a magical command that the hero uses to open a blocked cave where treasure is hidden. I invite you to try it out. It just may work to give you entrance to an off-limits or previously inaccessible place where you want and need to go. At the very least, speaking those words will put you in a playful, experimental frame of mind as you contemplate the strategies you could use to gain entrance. And that alone may provide just the leverage you need.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): While thumping
around the internet, I came across pointed counsel from an anonymous source. “Don’t enter into a long-term connection with someone until you’ve seen them stuck in traffic,” it declared. “Don’t get too deeply involved with them until you’ve witnessed them drunk, waiting for food in a restaurant for entirely too long, or searching for their phone or car keys in a panic. Before you say yes to a deeper bond, make sure you see them angry, stressed, or scared.” I recommend that you take this advice in the coming weeks. It’ll be a good time to deepen your commitment to people who express their challenging emotions in non-abusive, non-psychotic ways.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): My high school history
teacher Marjorie Margolies is now Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law. She shares two grandchildren with Hillary Clinton. Is that something I should brag about? Does it add to my cachet or my happiness? Will it influence you to love me more? No, nah, and nope. In the big scheme of things, it’s mildly interesting but utterly irrelevant. The coming weeks will be a good time for Cancerians like you and me to renounce any desire we might have to capitalize on fake ego points like this. We Crabs should be honing our identity and self-image so they’re free of superficial measures of worth. What’s authentically valuable about you?
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): If I were your mentor or
your guide, I’d declare this the Leo Makeover Season. First I’d hire a masseuse or masseur to knead you firmly and tenderly. I’d send you to the nutritionist, stylist, dream interpreter, trainer and life coach. I’d brainstorm with the people who know you best to come up with suggestions for how to help free you from your illusions and infuse your daily rhythm with twenty percent more happiness. I’d try to talk you out of continuing your association with anyone or anything that’s no damn good for you. In conclusion, I’d be thorough as I worked to get you unlocked, debugged and retooled.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “It takes an extraor-
dinary person to carry themselves as if they do not live in hell,” says writer D. Bunyavong. In accordance with the astrological omens, I nominate you Virgos to fit that description in the coming weeks. You are, in my estimation, as far away from hell as you’ve been in a long time. If anyone can seduce, coax or compel heaven to come all the way down to earth for a while, it’s you. Here’s a good way to get the party started: Gaze into the mirror until you spy the eternal part of yourself.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In accordance with the astrological omens, I encourage you to move the furniture around. If you feel inspired, you might even want to move some of that old stuff right out the door and haul it to the dump or the thrift store. Hopefully, this will get you in the mood to launch a sweeping purge of anything else that lowers the morale
and élan around the house: dusty mementos, unflattering mirrors, threadbare rugs, chipped dishes and numbing symbols. The time is ripe, my dear homies, to free your home of deadweight.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): When he was 16
years old and living in New York, Ralph Lifshitz changed his name to Ralph Lauren. That was probably an important factor in his success. Would he have eventually become a famous fashion designer worth $5.8 billion dollars if he had retained a name with “shitz” in it? The rebranding made it easier for clients and customers to take him seriously. With Ralph’s foresight as your inspiration, Scorpio, consider making a change in yourself that will enhance your ability to get what you want.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In 1956, the pro-
lific Spanish poet Juan Ramón Jiménez was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. The award committee praised his “high spirit and artistic purity.” The honor was based on his last 13 books, however, and not on his first two. Waterlilies and Souls of Violet were works he wrote while young and still ripening. As he aged, he grew so embarrassed by their sentimentality that he ultimately tried to track down and eradicate every copy. I bring this to your attention, Sagittarius, because I think it’s a favorable time for you to purge or renounce or atone for anything from your past that you no longer want to be defined by.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Three centuries
ago, Capricorn genius Isaac Newton formulated principles that have ever since been fundamental to scientists’ understanding of the physical universe. He was also a pioneer in mathematics, optics and astronomy. And yet he also expended huge amounts of time and energy on the fruitless attempt to employ alchemy to transform base metals into solid gold. Those efforts may have been interesting to him, but they yielded no lasting benefits. You Capricorns face a comparable split. In 2018, you could bless us with extraordinary gifts or else you could get consumed in projects that aren’t the most productive use of your energy. The coming weeks may be crucial in determining which way you’ll go.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): A rite of passage
lies ahead. It could and should usher you into a more soulful way of living. I’m pleased to report that this transition won’t require you to endure torment, confusion or passiveaggressive manipulation. In fact, I suspect it could turn out to be among the most graceful ordeals you’ve ever experienced—and a prototype for the type of breakthrough that I hope will become standard in the months and years to come. Imagine being able to learn valuable lessons and make crucial transitions without the prod of woe and gloom. Imagine being able to say, as musician P.J. Harvey said about herself, “When I’m contented, I’m more open to receiving inspiration. I’m most creative when I feel safe and happy.”
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): The Kalevala is a
19th-century book of poetry that conveys the important mythology and folklore of the Finnish people. It was a wellspring of inspiration for English writer J.R.R. Tolkien as he composed his epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. To enhance his ability to steal ideas from The Kalevala, Tolkien even studied the Finnish language. He said it was like “entering a complete wine-cellar filled with bottles of an amazing wine of a kind and flavor never tasted before.” According to my reading of the astrological omens, Pisces, in 2018 you will have the potential of discovering a source that’s as rich for you as Finnish and The Kalevala were for Tolkien.
You can call Rob Brezsny for your Expanded Weekly Horoscope: (900) 950-7700. $1.99 per minute. Must be 18+. Touchtone phone required. Customer service (612) 373-9785. And don’t forget to check out Rob’s website at www.realastrology.com.
by BRAD BYNUm
T.J. Pitts is co-owner of Omega Frog Comics, 1180 Scheels Drive, Sparks, 470-8081. It’s the friendly neighborhood comic book store with the prime location across from the IMAX movie theater in Sparks’ Legends shopping mall. For more information, visit omegafrog.com.
How long have you been in business here? This store opened at the end of June, so a little over six months now. ... This is my third comic shop. I opened my first one back in the late ’90s in San Antonio, and then I had one in the early 2000s in Oregon. Then I went and sold my soul to corporate America for about a decade. Accomplished a lot of good while I was there, but ultimately wanted to get back to being an entrepreneur again.
Omega Frog—what’s it mean? I’ve had an almost life-long fascination with frogs. You know how it is, you offhandedly mention to one relative that you like something, and then you never get gifts that are anything else ever again? ... I kind of went that way with frogs about three decades ago. When I was looking for a name for the store, I was looking for something with a good comic book ring to it, and the word “omega” gets used in so many comics, whether you’re talking about omega level mutants in the Marvel Universe or
DC has Darkseid’s Omega Beams. It’s a good comic book word. And the domain name was available.
This is a great location—right across from a movie theater. Thank you. It was very intentional. ... I would not be surprised if I’m the only comic shop in the country that’s 50 feet away from an IMAX theater. Most movie theaters have their own parking lots sprawling a quarter mile in every direction.
Are you focused primarily on superhero books? All sorts of comics. The superhero stuff. Image is currently putting out a lot of great horror titles. We carry all-ages titles like My Little Pony. You name it. A little bit of everything. Slightly over half of the comics we carry our superhero, but it isn’t 90
percent like a lot of people might think. … Digital has actually helped save the pamphlet form of the comic books. You have a lot of people who fall in love with a particular title initially in digital form, and then they decide they want to collect the paper editions, collect the hardcovers, the trade paperbacks. It helps drive the sales of the printed form. And publishers are more willing to embrace titles they might not have been willing to greenlight before, because if they can sell 8,000 or 10,000 copies a month digitally, there’s virtually no overhead for that, and it helps to prop up the minimum threshold that they need to justify printing a book. So they’re more willing to take chances on titles—which is part of why you’re seeing more horror titles, more adventure titles, occasional Westerns, steam punk—all sorts of things. … It might come as a bit of a surprise, but our customer base is about 45 percent female. Our walk-in traffic is over half female. One thing that has disappointed me about the comic book industry nation-wide is there are still an awful lot of comic book stores around the country where [The Simpsons character] Comic Book Guy is still the real person behind the counter. It’s unfortunate. There’s a lot of misogyny. There’s a lot of condescension behind the counter. … We make every effort to make the store friendly and welcoming for everyone. Ω
by BRUCE VAN DYKE
Enabling a fake president So when Twitler tweeted on Jan. 6 that “my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart,” my first thought was, “Is he serious? He can’t be! Right?” Second thought—of course he’s serious. He possesses all the ironic/sarcastic subtlety of The Hulk. Which means he has no clue that that “like” basically broadcasts to all that he’s the opposite of smart. Just marvel at this for a second. He didn’t say “like, really smart,” he wrote it out. He tweeted it. Wow. This means he (1) wrote this bizarre garbage, then (2) looked at it, and (3) amazingly—hit the send button! Third thought—every genuinely smart person on Earth who read that tweet undoubtedly had the same instant reaction: “OMG” (followed by cliché single tragic teardrop rolling down cheek). Of course, Fire and Fury is essential reading. For those harping
on the poor editing (lots of typos), I say don’t get too hung up. Yes, the book could have benefited from another spin through the editing cycle, it’s true, but criticizing it on this level doesn’t mean that the gist of the book is wrong or inaccurate. It means there are some typos and, OK, get over it, and, yes, they’re annoying but Jesus Christ there’s a jerkoff goon cretin madman in the White House and he’s surrounded by a bunch of malicious dipshits and this, folks, is what this outrageous book is all about. One thing author Mike Wolff reminds us—on the very first day of Trump’s administration, when he went to the CIA and blustered his way through a disturbing and bizarre ghoulash of disassociated jibberish while standing in front of the Wall honoring the agents who’ve been killed, our brand new Moron-In-Chief told the assembled crowd, “I’m, like, really smart.”
The overriding important thing to remember now is not about Trump. It’s about the ReTrumplican Party. It’s now obvious as dirt in the desert that every GOP congressperson and senator in DC—every stinkin’ one—is now covering for and enabling this farce of a fake presidency to survive. Indeed, many ReTrumplickins are now actively thwarting legitimate investigations in order to prop up this pitiful fucking sham. Think Grassley, Graham and Nunes. Their mutinous monkey-wrenching reminds us all that there is really only one thing to be done. Vote all of these treasonous fiends out in November—every last one of them. They’re truly dangerous to America and truly party over country. Only a Democratic House can restore some sanity to a rapidly deteriorating situation. Ω
01.11.18 | RN&R | 27
Published on Jan 11, 2018