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THIS WEEK in this issue

DEC. 5 - 12, 2012

VOL. 23 ISSUE 38 ISSUE #1082

cover story



Andy and Lyndsey Mundell are storytellers. And the story of their 36-day honeymoon canoe trip down the Mississippi River is one they love to tell. BY SUSANNAH SHARPLESS ON THE COVER: LYNDSEY AND ANDY MUNDELL; PHOTO BY MICHELLE CRAIG




Chris Edwards, a social studies teacher at Fishers High School, will talk about his new book, Teaching Genius: Redefining Education with Lessons from Science and Philosophy , at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library on Friday.

15 36 12 21 39 06 08 03 23 24 09 37





The post-rock, psychedelicly rooted solo project of guitarist Ben Chasny called Six Organs of Admittance has continued to shift sounds. He’ll be at the Bishop on Friday. BY JORDAN MARTICH

from the readers


Enjoying Bicycle Diaries:

In our Shopping Guides, we misstated the Nora Plaza address of Global Gifts; the correct address is 1300 E. 86th St., Ste. 17.

OOOHHHHH - I just started commuting last week. New to downtown I am LOVING riding to work. I, too, love my lights. And the moon and lights render me awestruck some nights. Now I need some boots.

— Shelly Williams


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Angels, porn, good deeds and karma

Making amends for a guilty conscience



he weather was unseasonably warm during the first few days of December, with high temperatures reaching into the upper ‘60s and hovering there through the night. Great weather to do some holiday shopping, for enjoying a walk through the neighborhood, for putting up Christmas trees and lights. The grocery stores are filled with tantalizing holiday treats. However, the squirrels aren’t taking any chances. They’re not betting on a mild winter. A few extra days of gathering and feeding is an unexpected bonus to them and they seem uneasy with such a gift. They quarreled with each other as I walked the sidewalks of southern Meridian-Kessler, my home base. The city has replaced many of the old, crumbling sidewalks in our neighborhood

HAMMER with brand new ones, painted brightly white and now gradually browning under dirt. My tax dollars were well-spent on this project. The other day, I was walking north on Meridian Street near 48th Street at twilight and saw something flash in the leaves. It was a phone, a nice Samsung Galaxy, still powered on and unlocked. Someone had obviously lost it here very recently; the battery was almost fully charged. They needed this phone back so I tried to think of ways of getting it back to the stranger who had lost it. I was unfamiliar with how to work the phone so it took me five minutes or so before I could pull up a list of recently dialed numbers. The last call on the phone had been made about 45 minutes prior, to someone listed as “My Forever Angel Baby.” I called the number. “Hi,” I said, “you don’t know me, but I found this phone on the ground near 48th and Meridian and figured you might know who lost it.” “Praise Jesus,” she said. “I was hoping someone would find it and call. It belongs to my husband and he’s been looking for it since he got home 20 minutes ago.” I told her where I was and she said she was on her way. I ended the call and stared at the home screen of the phone. I wanted to see a picture of My Forever Angel Baby. What does someone have to do to earn an address book description such as that?

Feeling slightly bad at the invasion of privacy, I pulled up the photo menu on the phone. There she was, a pretty woman in her early 40s smiling shyly at the camera from what appeared to be the dining room of a Red Lobster. There she was at the Circle Centre Mall, rushing ahead of the photographer, turning her head back and smiling. There she was with some older people who might be her grandparents. I swiped the screen for the next page of photos. And there she was, in about 30 or 40 photos and videos, fully naked, performing sexual acts in interesting and unusual positions. I wasn’t titillated as much as I was surprised and suddenly uneasy. I exited the photo menu and put the phone in sleep mode. Approximately 30 seconds later, a car pulled up and idled near me. The phone rang. “We’re here,” My Forever Angel Baby said. “We just want to thank you so much for returning the phone to us. Not everyone would have given it back. You are a real angel.” “You’re so welcome,” I said. “If I lost my phone, I’d want someone to give it back to me.” Then a man, also in his early 40s, exited the car and approached me for the phone, smiling sheepishly. “Thanks,” he said. “It must have slipped out of my pocket as I was walking. I feel so dumb. You did a good deed for me.”

I handed him the phone, wondering if he was worrying about whether I was a lecherous busybody who’d immediately skipped to his gallery of homemade porn with My Forever Angel Baby. People didn’t believe me when I told them the story. It sounded too much like a tall tale. But I wasn’t telling them the story to boast about seeing a few thumbnail photographs and a few seconds of cell-phone sex for free. I was wondering about something a little more metaphysical than that. I kept wondering if the benevolence of returning a lost item was somehow canceled out by the wicked, sinful deed of looking at someone else’s private sex photos. Is it a case where the good outweighs the bad or the other way around? Is it a wash, meaning the kindness of returning it created exactly the amount of good karma that looking at the porn pics created bad karma? Hopefully, the husband of My Forever Angel Baby isn’t a NUVO reader or, if he is, at least a very inattentive one. I’ve changed a few of the minor details just in case. And if he is, I think I apologize to him for violating his privacy. „

“I wasn’t titillated as much as I was surprised and suddenly uneasy.”

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Did you know that Indiana law does not provide legal protection for same-sex and unmarried couples? We can help put legal safeguards in place to protect you. Contact us today about a Co-Habitation Agreement, Health Care Power of Attorney, Will and for all your other legal needs.





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HOPPE Many used bookstores at risk

The copyright trap



’ve been trying to lighten my load lately, getting rid of some excess baggage. In my case, this means books. I’ve got piles of the beloved things, a few going back to my high school days. If you’re like me, you understand a book is like a lucky charm. It has an aura. Just seeing it can be enough to give me an idea, bring back a memory, provide a missing beat. I realize how this sounds. My high school English teacher, Mrs. Lewkowicz, didn’t buy it either. She insisted I actually read the things. I’ve managed to haul several carloads of books downtown to the Indy Reads used bookstore on Massachusetts Avenue. Just because these volumes no longer cast a spell on me doesn’t mean they can’t get to somebody else. Besides, I like the fact that by donating books to the Indy Reads store’s inventory, I am also supporting efforts to help adults learn to read. But a case that recently went before the U.S. Supreme Court could make it harder for book nuts like me to share what’s on our shelves; worse, it could put a used bookstore like Indy Reads out of business. Kirtsaeng v. Wiley pits a former graduate student named Supap Kirtsaeng against textbook publisher John Wiley & Sons. Kirtsaeng is a Thai citizen who, while studying at Cornell University, discovered that the exorbitantly expensive textbooks he was required to purchase for his coursework were available in much cheaper editions back home. Kirtsaeng had his parents send him the cheaper foreign editions and then he got the bright idea to sell them for a profit to other American students. Kirtsaeng figures he made about $900,000 this way. He also managed to attract the attention of John Wiley & Sons, who took him to court. Wiley was able to sue Kirtsaeng thanks to a wrinkle in U.S, copyright law. Before we look at that wrinkle, here’s a little background. In 1908, the U.S. Supreme Court adopted an idea called the “first-sale doctrine.” First-sale holds that once a copyright holder sells a copy of their work — like a book or a CD — whoever buys that copy is free to resell it or, as in my case with the books I brought to Indy Reads, give it away. That’s what Kirtsaeng thought he was doing. Here’s the wrinkle: Section 602(a)(1) of the copyright law makes it illegal for anyone

to import copyrighted material made for foreign markets and sold overseas for resale in the United States. These materials are called gray-market goods. Wiley invoked this section in its suit against Kirtsaeng. So far, two courts have ruled in Wiley’s favor, awarding the publisher $600,000 in statutory damages. But Kirtsaeng has appealed, which is why the case is now before the highest court in the land. On the surface, the case seems cut-anddried. But the court has only ruled once, in 2010, on the subject of gray-market goods, and then it was split, in a 4-4 tie. No precedent was set. This time, interest groups, from eBay to Goodwill Industries, not to mention bookstore owners and librarians, have come forward, urging the court to rule in favor of Kirtsaeng. They fear that a time-honored way of exchange in this country could be at risk. “Even cherished American traditions, such as flea markets, garage sales, and swapping dog-eared books are vulnerable to copyright challenge,” said Kirtsaeng’s attorney, Josh Rosenkranz. And while other legal observers say such fears are overblown, they concede a ruling in Wiley’s favor could blow holes in the business models of large on-line players like eBay and craigslist. It appears we will have to wait until June for the court to deliver its verdict in this case. In the meantime, we are left with a world in which the ability of creative people to make a living from their works and the ways in which those works are distributed and consumed are increasingly out of whack. Although the implications of Kirtsaeng v. Wiley could be profound, it is hard not to see this case as anything but a rear-guard action in the world of intellectual property. This is a fight over books, after all. What could be more retro? These days, when I walk into a bookstore, I have to remind myself I’m not in a museum of printed things, or an antique shop. Books themselves are on the way out. According to the Association of American Publishers, adult eBooks outsold hardcovers $282.3 million to $229.6 million in the first quarter of 2012. This only underscores the fact that our understanding of intellectual property is, as Wired writer John Perry Barlow has pointed out, evolving. Laws created to protect objects like books, sound recordings, movies and the like have been overwhelmed by the rise of ones and zeroes, the digitization of ideas and information. Wiley, to paraphrase Barlow, is trying to protect a bottle when what is really at issue is the wine that bottle once contained. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Wiley, it will prolong the bottle business a while longer. Thirsty people, though, are bound to find refreshment. Just don’t ask me where to take an old copy of Gulliver’s Travels. „

A case … before the U.S. Supreme Court could put a used bookstore like Indy Reads out of business.


by Wayne Bertsch

An innovative contest to connect your ideas with leading researchers • The winning idea launches a research study by the renowned Regenstrief Institute, Inc. and the Indiana University School of Medicine! • The winner will receive $1,000 cash and an invitation to attend the study kick-off in Indianapolis, Indiana • This contest is sponsored by Regenstrief Institute, Inc.

• To enter, go to

HAIKU NEWS by Jim Poyser

UN gets real and recognizes Palestine as bona fide state US birth rate falls to new low — poor Mother Earth is catching a break! how did we get to the point where we are run by a dude named Grover sea level rising faster than expected; so why aren’t you fleeing? Doha a daily dose of apocalyptic tipping pointlessness tobacco ordered to spend own money to tell the truth that they lied fast food workers strike demand customers have some sophistication state police chief tells lawmakers that pot should be legal; was he high??? Hoosier man comes to his senses and will have the Mitt tattoo removed gasification cost spikes give Duke customers nothing but heartburn


Climate, coal ash and clean energy, or “the three Cs,” as the Hoosier Environmental Council’s Jesse Kharbanda called them last Saturday at the HEC’s 5th annual Greening the Statehouse Forum, will be a central focus of environmental advocates’ efforts in 2013. Kharbanda encouraged his fellow advocates to acknowledge “really great improvements in (Indiana’s) air quality,” as it pertains to EPA attainment standards, but also noted “a troubling lack of moral urgency at the state level; Indiana does not have a climate action plan.” Another area of concern: Indiana may be the 15th most populated state and 38th in terms of geographical area, but it is No. 1 in the nation for the number of coal ash sludge lagoons. Kharbanda advised the audience to keep an eye on Congress, where movements “to derail future federal safeguards to protect drinking water from coal ash” are underway. Finally, state lawmakers can expect to hear some idea about how the state can do more to foster clean energy given the enormous untapped economic potential of wind, solar and geothermal in Indiana.


City sidewalks dressed in holiday style? Who can resist? A carriage ride around the Circle all decked out in lights? What fun! Seeing Jimmy Stewart and company in It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screen at the Circle Centre Mall’s United Artists Theatre? And all the proceeds go to a good cause — furthering downtown beautification efforts? Well, that might provide the warmest, enriching holiday feeling of all. Give it a try Thursday, Dec. 6. A silent auction, beginning at 5:15 p.m., will precede the screening, which is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. Organizers with Indianapolis Downtown Inc. promise the auction will feature plenty of opportune shopping, so attendees may manage to hit a holiday trifecta: contributing to the greater good, having fun and picking notching some lines off their gift lists.

13 41




Follow @jimpoyser on Twitter for more Haiku News.

Hoosiers, overall, are no model of civic engagement. Almost half, or 2.7 million of the state’s 4.5 million registered voters did not bother to turn out to the polls in the November election — 58 percent. Marion County, with its 56 percent turnout (or 361,278 of 640,525 registered voters voting), mirrored the majority of the state; most counties’ turnout rates were in the range of 50-60 percent. Congratulations to Adams and Well County for breaking the glass ceiling into the 70s. One wonders how mad we’d have to be at government to get into the 80s.

THOUGHT BITE By Andy Jacobs Jr. Wild Bore. I’ve known a lot of bores and not one is even funny. So where does the “wild” come from?




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news The last copy editor Roxanne Morgan is gone, and nobody knows what to do



here she sat, on the passenger side of a souped-up Mini Cooper, going 140 mph through the Illinois night. She liked to go fast, and her Steve was obliging. A friendly trucker — adept like Steve at the light-dimming, hand-gesturing language of the highway — was acting as lookout. Steve had open road. Though cut short, it had been a long trip out West. Maybe Steve didn’t care about the danger, or maybe he just didn’t feel it. She was at his side, as she had been for 32 years, keeping him on the road and on kilter, as best she could. They hadn’t made it to the Pacific, and unthinkable circumstances had them returning to Indiana early, but damned if they weren’t going to enjoy this little rocket, their first brand-new car. Steve eased up, slowed down. They had made it this far from Ely, Nev., and he really had to get her home. He didn’t know where home ultimately would be, though. Maybe Indy. Maybe Florida. Maybe somewhere back out West, where they had dreamed of retiring. Like all the other decisions cruelly heaped on those grieving the most, this one would be his. He looked at the urn sitting in the passenger seat, bewildered about where to take it. Sorry, but this story couldn’t avoid the ashes-to-ashes part very long. The numbing reality is that she is gone. And so many folks just can’t handle it. Like Steve, they don’t know what to do. Roxanne Morgan meant that much to so many people — and they just don’t know what to do.

There she sat, for 31 years, keeping The Indianapolis Star copy desk on kilter and saving the ass of reporter after reporter after reporter, not to mention protecting the suits from libel suits. She came to The Star without much professional experience; she had served short stints as a copy messenger and copy editor in Florida, and she had done a little writing there. Though quiet and shy, she didn’t need long to establish a reputation at The Star. They quickly noticed this unassuming little gal could edit. Yep, back then, in the early ’80s, there were still a few old-school guys who called women “girls” and “gals” and “honey.” Rox, or Roxanne (people at The Star called her both with equal endearment), didn’t care what some old guy called her. She knew all kinds of people in all kinds of places. She just figured people are who they are. Besides, there were stories to edit, headlines to write, and deadlines to meet. No time for P.C. She always came to work in jeans — don’t even think designer — and a plain long T-shirt, most of them with a little 8

pocket. (One time, a long time ago, a coworker or two allegedly saw her in a dress at a wedding.) Her blondish hair was long and straight, parted in the middle, never, ever styled. She was short, really short, fireplug stocky, and had a cute pug nose. Her eyes were blue, misty and mesmerizing. God, was she beautiful. She always came to work — to work. Back when the Pulliam family owned The Star, and in the early days of Gannett Company ownership, when newsrooms were bustling instead of hunkering down, animated journalists were everywhere. Lots of reporters. Lots of editors. Lots of simultaneous conversations. With the shifts of day and night journalists overlapping, Rox would walk stealthily past the chatter to her desk and start editing local, national and international news. And when she edited, she did it better than anyone ever. Soon, she was a “slot editor,” a person who reads everything that goes into the newspaper. Individual “rim editors” send their work to the slot editor. That slot editor is the last line of defense. Soon again, she


„ Beyond Coal delivers 2000 petitions to IPL by Angela Leisure

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On deadline and in life, Roxanne Morgan was contemplative but incredibly efficient, practical but always compassionate.

was assistant copy chief of the entire news desk. And soon again, in the mid-1990s, she was named news copy desk chief. The copy chief — who doubles as a slot editor — gets a lot of crap when there are problems, but little glory when things go smoothly. ••• There she sat, training copy editor after copy editor, fixing their mistakes and their psyches. The little girl from Tarpon Springs, Fla., head filled with facts and wonderment from reading all those books, was now an important woman, chief of the news copy desk, but certainly not a Boss. (Rox could never be a Boss — she wasn’t from their tribe.) Though she’d hate a war analogy and remove it from a story every time, she was “in the trenches.” Her nighttime co-workers appreciated that. They revered her for her talent and her steely, steady resolve on deadline. She handled the biggest workload of anyone, and she did it better than anyone. “From time to time, I would go up to her with questions about grammar or punctuation or sentence structure, and she’d quietly give me an answer,” recounts Brett Halbleib, a former member of Roxanne’s copy desk and now a copywriter at a Carmel-based marketing firm. “When I was new at The Star, I’d look at a rule book after hearing her answer, and every time, she was right. But there’d be no know-it-all in her response. It’d always be, ‘Well, I think the rule is this.’ The amazing thing is, even though people would come up to her continually with questions and she’d always answer them, she did


„ Report highlights Duke’s cost overruns by Tim Grimes „ INDOT highlights funding drop by Lesley Weidenbener

way more actual editing than anyone.” Thrust into her copy chief role because of her talent, she was thrust into the role of therapist because of her compassion. As much as Roxanne avoided crowds and parties and speaking at meetings, she could handle one-on-one. Co-workers at The Star saw that, and they approached her. With editing concerns. With funny and sad stories of family and pets. With petty disputes. As much as she wanted to concentrate on her editing, she never turned people away. “I always felt I could have gone to her with anything,” says Star copy editor Bill Huddleston, long regarded by Rox as a kindred spirit and one of the best copy editors she ever supervised. “I knew whatever it was, she would always have my back, and I think almost anybody who worked for her knew that, too. Her compassion made you do your best work, and her talent put you in awe. I never feared her disapproval, but I always tried to earn her respect.” Rox, who attended a year of college before running out of money, had no degree. But she indeed was the resident psychologist on The Star’s copy desk. She always spoke softly; that’s the only tone she had. And since one-on-one was her thing, that’s all she needed. She soothed feelings. She solved problems. She settled those petty disputes — and her decisions were accepted as final. She was the Don Corleone of the nighttime newsroom, except she sent people home to sleep with smiles, not the fishes. She also had folks smiling, sometimes laughing riotously, at her irreverent quips and sometimes bawdy sense of humor. A „ It’s easy being green by Abdul-Hakim Shabazz „ HEC outlines 2013 green agenda by Rebecca Townsend

The best copy editor, shown above in the hands of her father, Ronald Clark, was born in 1958. Roxanne cared for many dogs throughout her life, but Snoopy (left) was one of her favorites.

few years ago, a manager had some serious business to discuss. She stood by Rox’s desk, blouse unexpectedly opened by a couple of rebellious buttons. A lot was exposed — and the manager was oblivious. After the manager walked away, Rox quipped to a red-faced male co-worker: “Talk about a wardrobe malfunction.” And back to work. If you wanted to get her goat, you could say something nice about W. She didn’t like Bush. She called him “Shrub” when she wanted to use a nice name for him. If you wanted to make her glow, you could say something nice about Bill Clinton. She loved him. The Monica stuff, the inquiry stuff … it really pissed her off. She believed in Bill Clinton and wanted him left alone — by Republicans and the media — to do his business. She sent money to his legal defense fund. (Always the professional, her political leanings never affected her editing.) And if you wanted to make her glow a passionate red, you could mention George Clooney, or the Aerosmith guys, or dogs. She thought Clooney was so handsome. She thought Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were so sexy. She thought dogs were God’s greatest creatures. She never completely got over the loss of her beloved Jumbo … or Snoopy … or Squirt, Jumbo’s sister. They died many years ago. ••• There she sat, a little girl in a little house in Tarpon Springs, getting lots of love and reading lots of books. Her brother and

sister were 13 and 11 years older than she, so her upbringing was much like an only child’s. Roxanne Clark’s mom and dad had misgivings about how they had raised the first two — though they grew into fine adults — so her parents treated her differently, ensuring she had a steady diet of love and nurturing. To that end, Roxanne’s mother was always there for her, teaching compassion and life’s lessons. Her stay-at-home mother read to her, almost from the day she was born. When Rox was 3, she could read to herself. And read she did — everything she could get her hands on. Steve thinks 3 also was the age when Roxanne’s special connection with dogs began. As Clark family history has it, the toddler was reaching for a coral snake in her yard when Sarge, the family’s boxer, pounced in the way, taking the bite and quite possibly saving her life. Sarge died from the bite. Heroism and hard work were staples in the Clark household. Roxanne’s father, who had been a pilot in World War II, was a bowling alley mechanic who never cheated a day’s work. He didn’t earn much, so he moonlighted, doing lettering on offices and vehicles. To make up for the time he didn’t see Roxanne during the week, he took her to the bowling alley on weekends. While he worked, she loved keeping score for the adult bowlers — it was done on paper in those days. And they loved having her do it. The little girl was cute, but more importantly, she could do it fast and she never made mistakes. The Clark family had far less money than most folks in their little Gulf Coast town, known for the sponge trade and ostentatious Greek-style houses. But the Clarks had Roxanne, who read and got all A’s … who played the drums and the piano … who hardly ever caused them grief … who would grow up to be the

best copy editor ever. Rox spoke only fondly of her childhood and early adult years. She remembered everyone from school as nice. She wasn’t in the Cool Crowd, but she was cool with its members. “The cheerleaders were like the Queens of the School,” she said, not resentfully, but in admiration. Roxanne was the Queen of the Go-Getters. She helped start her high school’s first newspaper, where she held the title of News and Exchange Editor. After graduation, she worked for The Clearwater Sun newspaper, first as a copy messenger (newsroom gopher), and then as a writer, an editor, or any job they’d let her do. Once, she finagled the assignment of interviewing the guys in KISS. With her childhood best friend, Sue, posing as her photographer (it was their scam to get Sue in), the two 19-year-olds met and interviewed the band members — who weren’t wearing their signature makeup! Sue, whose husband was a childhood friend of Steve Morgan, who lived in Indianapolis, introduced Roxanne to Steve in Florida. “Rox walked into Sue’s wedding reception with her close friend Barb, who was tall, thin and glamorous,” recalls Steve, tall himself, burly, and talkative, when the grief allows. “Rox was really short, and had this cuteness. I like cute.” After a reflective pause, Steve continues: “We sat on the beach that night after we met, and we talked for hours. I opened up right away. I told her about my bad childhood, all the bad things I had done, and I tried my hardest to convince her I was a bad person. She listened, but she wouldn’t believe me. She was so caring and understanding. … She was the only person in the world who ever really understood me.” ••• There she sat, drinking sweet red wine with lots of ice. That was her favorite. She

could down ’em fast, but most of the time, you wouldn’t notice her buzz. She liked bars, but certainly not crowded ones. She wasn’t a Mass Ave type, but she could end up there if a friend persisted. It was right by The Star building. She was more comfortable in a dark, nondescript Westside or Eastside bar. She knew pool sharks. She knew bikers — posers and hardcore alike. She knew a couple of dancers. She didn’t watch them dance, but she didn’t care that they danced. She loved music, and she loved listening to local bands with Steve. When it came to drinking, home was her favorite watering hole. In recent years, she thought she was drinking too much. But she’d come home so stressed out; it was a warm release. The newspaper industry was in a tailspin. Gannett, having purchased The Star in 2000 when the industry was still rockin’ and rollin’, was implementing round-after-round of newsroom layoffs. (She didn’t, and wouldn’t, help compose the hit lists. She’d have no part of it.) It tore Rox up to see friends laid off. She never had kids, and both of her parents had been gone for years. She loved her co-workers like family. They were her family. She was sad to lose promising young talent, but she liked to think the young ones could land on their feet outside of newspapers. She was devastated to see older coworkers’ careers cut short before the finish line. She knew the toll ahead. She knew that people her age, and even younger, wouldn’t be able to find a newspaper job anything like they had at The Star. Maybe they wouldn’t find a job at all. She knew that this digital age was a young person’s age. Amid the personnel losses, which she took so personally, Roxanne worked even harder — while continuing to nurture her dwindling staff. Bill Huddleston, in a daze but grinding away as if Roxanne’s respect still were at stake, is quiet and soft-spoken like Rox. And like Rox, he doesn’t complain openly. Still, if the workload was daunting when Rox was there, it’s something far worse now that his good friend and mentor is gone. “She always tried to shield all of us from the shit as best she could,” he says. “If that meant her working 10 straight nights, she’d do it. She wouldn’t let anyone else pick up the slack.” Rox didn’t hate the Bosses. In fact, she liked all but a couple of them over the years. And a couple of others were among her close friends; if Rox knew she had a tribe, she would have considered them members. It wasn’t in Roxanne’s nature to dislike anyone. She knew that plummeting readership was a problem with no easy solution. She was depressed, though, about the rapidly decreasing size of the copy desk, and about management’s decision not to replenish it. As person after person was laid off and not replaced, operations were consolidated and remaining copy editors had more and more to do. As bodies disappeared, the Bosses “reorganized” the newsroom, again and again. Sports and business and features — now she often had to juggle their lineups, coordinate their duties, console their survivors … in addition to her news responsibilities. On many nights, a single copy editor now had a workload once handled by three or four people. And since Rox always edited more copy than anyone, that meant her workload was beyond unbearable, whatever that word is. (She’d know the word.) Working in another industry wasn’t really an option. Rox wasn’t a tech person; she

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Because Ideas Matter-

She had style

Recommended Readings by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University

When it came to editing, Roxanne Morgan, The Indianapolis Star copy desk chief, seemed to know it all, but she never acted like a know-it-all. While others relied on stylebooks and fellow editors for answers, she knew hundreds of rules by heart. Here’s a sampling:

Philoponus and the Rejection of Aristotelian Science, Second Edition

Subjunctive mood — The milkman in “Fiddler on the Roof”* had it right when he sang “If I were a rich man …” As Rox would point out, you use the subjunctive form of a verb when conditions are contrary to fact. (*Roxanne loved musicals.)

Richard Sorabji Institute of Classical Studies 2010 Reviewed by Tiberiu Popa Richard Sorabji is the editor of a vast and growing number of translations of ancient commentaries on Aristotle and the editor of several excellent collections of studies on the Aristotelian tradition. Philoponus, a sixth-century Christian thinker who was originally trained as a Neoplatonist, is best remembered today for his attack on Aristotle’s “physics”; his influence on later philosophers and scientists, and his role in the reevaluation of Aristotelian science and natural philosophy are indeed remarkable. The second edition of Philoponus and the Rejection of Aristotelian Science includes a new two-part introduction which offers a survey of the rapidly expanding scholarship on Philoponus and of recent archeological discoveries (such as the lecture rooms of the sixth-century Alexandrian school) as well as new insights into the interaction between Greek paganism and Christianity in connection with Philoponus and his milieu. The 12 chapters included in this collection are written by very prominent scholars and tackle topics such as Philoponus’ corollaries on space and time, the differences between his theological views (e.g. on the three hypostases) and the prevailing dogmas of the time, the relation between his theory about impetus and later treatments of impetus and related concepts in a number of Arab thinkers and in Galileo. This collection is one of the most reliable and wide-ranging introductions to Philoponus’ views and influence, and those interested in late ancient philosophy and its interactions with Christian thought will find this to be a most valuable resource. — Tiberiu Popa is associate professor of philosophy at Butler University.

Go to for more recommendations by the faculty and staff of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University.

Roxanne Morgan, shown here in her early 20s.

Garnish vs. Garnishee — The first one is all about decorating and sprucing up. The second one isn’t so nice; it’s all about paying up: As a verb, grabbing someone’s salary or property to settle the person’s debt. As a noun, to identify the garnisheed individual.

Trustee vs. Trusty — The first one is a person watching over someone else’s property, money or other assets. The second one is a person being watched, but not so closely, as he or she is a jail or prison inmate who enjoys special privileges due to good behavior. Far out, man — While other editors would trip up and trip out about the newspaper’s rules for identifying Indianapolis areas, Rox knew the map (in The Star stylebook) by heart. For instance, she knew that if you were at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church on West 86th Street, you’d be on the Far Northside, not the Westside, not the Northside, not the Northwestside — and certainly not the Far Northwestside (that one doesn’t exist). Misplaced modifiers — It happens all the time, but it didn’t under her watch. She wouldn’t let a story say: “The Pacers only scored 80 points.” She’d have it say: “The Pacers scored only 80 points.” Know when to break ’em — She was a stickler, but she wasn’t stuffy. If it made for good reading, her style allowed sentences and even paragraphs to begin with “And” or “But.” But some rules of grammar just could not be broken. never even owned a home computer. She used one at work, so why stare at one when she was at home? She worked for the newspaper, that thing people read at the table with their coffee and breakfast, and out on the porch, and in bed on a lazy Sunday. Perhaps Rox could have busted a move to work for The Star’s online operation. That could have meant day hours for the first time in decades. But she now was old school, and besides, she still had a few night desk people to protect. On top of everything else, she was concerned about her health. She had been experiencing shortness of breath and saw a doctor a few months ago, Steve says. More tests were to be done. Meanwhile, she was trying to get healthy. Rox had cut out a lot of the crappy food and lost 30 pounds. She downplayed it as just a start, but she was confident she’d lose much more, and she noticed a new spring in her step. She vowed not to sit so much. For her health, she had hope. For her copy desk, she had resignation. Her despair was not a bitter one, but a beleaguered one. The once-busy newsroom had become a depressing ghost town, not exactly an inspirational setting for herculean challenges. And still, she stealthily walked through the oft-reorganized newsroom each night to her desk. And still, she was the best copy editor ever. ••• There Steve sat, home in Greenwood, or at least in a house in Greenwood, the house they inherited a year ago after his mother died. They no longer had to be renters. Finally, they had a brand-new car. They were thinking about fencing the spacious backyard, and getting a dog. Rox had gotten over Jumbo and Snoopy and the other dogs, mostly. Steve, who has built homes and rebuilt cars in the past, hasn’t been able to work much over the past decade. A deteriorating back imposes physical limitations and causes extreme pain. He’s OK, financially, with what his mother and Rox left him. He’s far from rich, but he’s got just enough.


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He’s not sure about the rest. Any of it. For years, their late-summer/early-fall trip had been to Montana. They always drove, in whichever of their two or three old cars was running best. More than once, his mechanic’s skill saved them along a mountain road or in some desolate parking lot. This year’s trip was supposed to be different. Rox emailed a longtime friend: “Going to California! We’ve never been, and I can’t wait. We’re taking our new Mini Clubman S, which flies like the wind, and are looking forward to getting it up in the Rockies.” They made it up into the Rockies, but not to California. The shortness of breath, which had subsided for the past few weeks, returned during the trip. They both thought getting to a lower elevation might help. Briefly, it did. But then in Ely, Nev., while checking into a hotel, Rox had to sit down in the lobby. Steve, waiting outside in the car, saw her through the window and rushed in. The rest happened so quickly. Roxanne Morgan, the best copy editor ever, died on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, at the age of 53. The folks in Ely were incredible to Steve. The hotel people. The people at the hospital. The chaplain who sat with him by her body for five hours. The funeral home people. So compassionate. So kind. They were from Roxanne’s tribe. Steve thought seriously about laying her to rest there, and maybe moving there. They had always dreamed of moving out West. But after a few days, he hit the road, Roxanne’s remains at his side. Steve has found his way home, but he is lost. He’s not even sure it’s really home. He doesn’t know what to do. Roxanne’s people at The Star don’t know what to do. Her people who’ve left The Star don’t know what to do. Everybody loved her so much — and they just don’t know what to do. „ Pete Scott worked with Roxanne Morgan from 1992 to 2004, when he left The Star voluntarily. Today he writes ad copy and manages projects for Scott Design.


them as they began to wrap their minds ndy and Lyndsey Mundell are storytellers. around the idea. “The whole theme of And the story of their 36-day canoe trip that movie is adventure and getting out down the Mississippi River is one they there,” Lyndsey explains. love to tell. “They’re saving up to go to Paradise Andy, 27, is a physics and math teacher at Falls, but they just get so caught up in Bishop Chatard High School who calls himlife and everything goes by and finally self a facts man. He is the guru of details, they never get to go,” Andy adds. “But meticulous and organized. Lyndsey, 24, we’re at the beginning, we just got marin school for social work, is the free spirit, ried, and we had those ambitions, too. full of energy, quick to love and trust. They This was the time to do something.” laugh a lot and talk a lot, peppering their They buy a canoe off Craigslist and sentences with “likes” and “you knows.” name it “The Spirit of Adventure” I can tell they’ve become really good (inspired by UP), get some dried foods, a at telling this story. They were telling it portable stove and a huge tank for water. even as they were living it — when they On May 27, 2012, before either of them set up camp along the river, when they can really believe it, they’re off. came ashore for food or water, when they reached their final destination of New Orleans. Each day was a new chapThe rising action ter, each night the end. As they posted There’s something inherently their GPS coordinates to Twitter, they American about this story. The United counted their records, their milestones, States is a land massive with resources what they had done. We spent this many and thick with beauty, connecting two nights in a tent, they could say, we padoceans — and it’s all ours. Americans dled this many miles, we saw this many are always setting out for a place a sunrises. They think about how they will little farther away, looking for a life a tell the story to their friends, their parlittle brighter. We are raised on stories ents, their future children. of exploration, adventure and discovLyndsey, joking one morning, calls ery; this is the home of the brave, after behind her to Andy: “This is what memall. It’s an old joke, though, that the ories are made of!” It makes them laugh, Midwest was settled by those who gave because it’s so cheesy, but it’s true too: up on the idea of gold and settled right they are just beginning a where their weary feet life together that will go paused for a moment. on for a long time, and At the same time, it is for all of it, they will have this region that is most this story to tell. American, easiest to put They know the funny on a postcard: buffalo parts, the sad parts, the and prairie grasses, flat details that warm the listenearth and empty horier’s heart. They finish each zon, and it is this part of other’s sentences and interAmerica the Mundells rupt each other. They’re in choose, traveling south sync as they tell their tale, instead of across, down to in agreement about what a different sea. happened to them and “People are always really whether it was good or bad. all about going internaEven when they tell me Lyndsey says, “but — Lyndsey Mundell tional,” about arguments — “Things there are things that are heat up really quickly and right here in our own counalso dissipate really quickly try that we haven’t seen.” on the river,” Lyndsey says — neither of Andy and Lyndsey did have some them claims to have won or lost. It’s clear experience with canoe trips. This, their relationship is about storytelling, too, though, is a whole other story, a fiveexplaining to each other how they feel, each week long odyssey, with the goal being of them settled on a way to be themselves to try to travel 40 miles a day. The farthat the other one loves. thest they ever get in a day is 62 miles downstream, but one day they only hit 13. They usually camp on the side of Exposition the river, sometimes on sandbars that It begins in the summer of 2011. the Mississippi’s historically low water Andy sits in the backyard of their home levels leave uncovered. They cook all and watches a small creek burble past, their meals on the portable stove, somewondering where it leads. He discovtimes going into town to get some water ers that it flows into the White River, and stopping to eat something other and that the White River connects with than prepackaged chicken and rice, Ritz the Wabash, the Wabash to the Ohio, crackers with peanut butter. They bring and the Ohio to the Mississippi. He is no electronics except Andy’s iPhone, enchanted by the idea that his little which he keeps off during the day and stream is part of a huge national landuses to post their GPS coordinates when mark — and just as quickly as those they set up camp each night. Before thoughts come together, another idea they sleep, they read aloud to each other floats into his head: Is it navigable? from The Adventures of Huckleberry This is the kind of wild spontaneity Finn, which proves to sync with their normally reserved for Lyndsey — who trip almost perfectly. picks up hitchhikers and joins roller derby Though the days are hot and long and teams on a whim — and it is her support they have to adjust their schedules so that really makes the idea seem feasible. that they awake around 4 in the morning, “I wasn’t expecting so much enthusibefore sunrise, dawn on the Mississippi is asm,” Andy says of Lyndsey’s reaction. “It so beautiful that this early rising becomes was my idea, but it was she who made sure one of their favorite parts of the trip. it wasn’t something we just talked about.” Andy sets the scene: “It’s dark outside. UP, one of their favorite movies, was There’s still some stars up in the sky, an inspirational and cautionary tale for

“People are always really all about going international, but there are things that are right here in our own country that we haven’t seen.”


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maybe a barge going by with its lights on. It’s quiet and we eat our oatmeal, make a little coffee. We start canoeing just while the horizon is getting just bright enough that you can see it. The sun’s not even up yet, and then it’s just rising while you’re going.” Though sometimes they talk, more often they just look, at the towns they pass and the ships that pass them, watching as one state slowly shifts into another. “The same river did change so much just going down stream,” Andy says. “It was so slow you hardly noticed it, but at a certain point you looked around and realized, ‘Wow, this is really different than Arkansas or the bayou areas of Louisiana or Indiana, which was so wooded.’ ” The Mundells say Indiana was the loveliest area they traveled through. The landscape was thick with wildlife, trees growing close to the river and dappling their passage with shade and sunlight. On the bigger, wilder Mississippi, years of human engineering have corralled the river’s natural power into channels and dikes. The trees are far away, the sun hot, the river murky. Save for the shipping barges that would chug past the Mundells on their mission to keep America running, they didn’t see much activity, human or animal. It was off the river that the most memorable conversations happened, when they pulled their canoe to the side and ventured into small towns for food or water. They visit Cairo, Ill., famed from Huck Finn as the place Jim would finally be free, but it sounds like Jim and Huck didn’t miss much. The Mundells expected a hustling, bustling river town, but the reality was different than the fiction. “It was a ghost town,” Andy says. “There were these amazing cool buildings and old factories, but they were all empty or boarded up. We didn’t see anybody for a couple blocks.”

“It was sad to think about the potential of this town,” Lyndsey says. “Last year it flooded really badly, so possibly it took out a lot of stuff that they just didn’t have enough money to build back up.” The entire city was evacuated in May 2011, after a few weeks of rainfall at least four times heavier than usual, a wet summer entirely different than this year’s dry heat. The Army Corps of Engineers destroyed a levee in the surrounding countryside to spare the town from flooding, a move that proved hugely problematic for the area’s farmers. After decades of economic decline and racial turbulence, it’s possible many who fled this flooding chose not to return. Cairo wasn’t the only ghost town the Mundells saw along the river. With shipping moving largely away from boats — and onto planes, trains and trucks, river towns have little and less from which they can make a livelihood. This dependence on the river means the smallest changes in the physical environment of a town can reroute the flow of their entire history, and in a year when the water levels of the Mississippi are so low that the ships bearing the nation’s corn and soybeans cannot even travel down it, the economic threat is a severe one. Among the emptiness of Cairo, though, the Mundells notice another canoe. As they wait for its owner to return, an old man approaches them. Interested in the Mundells, he asks what brings them to Cairo, and when they explain their trip, his face becomes grave. “I’m going to have to beg you reconsider what you’re about to do,” the old man says. The Mundells say nothing as the man warns them against continuing their voyage, citing dangerous currents, dis-

missing life vests (“they just make it easier to find the body,” he explains) and expressing his hope they’ve made peace with their souls and their parents. The Mundells, already disappointed in Cairo, are shaken by this warning and the early dawn magic of the day fades fast. “It was a little bit of a bummer,” Lyndsey says. “I want to know what the most exciting thing that older guy’s done in his life is,” Andy says, reconsidering the conversation. “ When I’m his age, I’m not going to be doing crazy things, necessarily, but I’ll be content to sit back and relax — maybe with my grandkids — because I got those things done while I could.” When the man finally leaves, the owner of the other canoe appears. His ANDY Mundell name is Tim and he has canoed from Detroit, alone. He and the Mundells talk for hours and end up camping together that night. “It was a really huge morale boost for both of us,” remembers Lyndsey about the encounter, which was especially important after the hit their spirits took while talking with the older man. “It was just one of those moments where you could really connect with someone, and isn’t that what life is all about, making connections with other people?”

“… a canoe will either make or break a relationship.”


About halfway through their trip, Lyndsey reaches a breaking point. Fairskinned and sensitive to sunlight, she’s broken out in a rash. Her hands fall asleep at night, ironically keeping her awake. She doesn’t share any of this with Andy. “I was all about equality the whole trip,” she explains, and insisted on doing all that Andy did. One night is especially bad. Lyndsey

gets no sleep and realizes she needs a break — a hotel and a hot shower — and she also knows that Andy, oblivious to her struggle, is not going to be happy about the idea. He’s committed to continue camping outside, looking forward to telling his friends he spent five weeks in a tent. When Lyndsey, deceptively nonchalant, broaches the subject, it takes Andy a few minutes to realize how serious she is. He isn’t thrilled, but when he sees that Lyndsey needs this break, he consents. “It was one of those moments where the marriage part of our relationship had to kick in,” Lyndsey says of the conversation they had. “He had to be like, ‘OK, this is what she needs, even though it’s not exactly what I want or need.’ ” They go ashore in Helena, Ark., which looks as deserted as Cairo had. Lyndsey, always the optimist, is confident they’ll find something. As they wander the empty streets, seeing no one, they hear — of all things — their names. “Andy and Lyndsey!” Shocked, they look around and see Tim. He had befriended a man named Alcorn, an older man who had a pick-up truck, to the Mundells’ delight. Impressed with the Mundells’ spirit, Alcorn takes them to the grocery store, then buys them ice cream. “Wow, people are really good,” Lyndsey remembers thinking. “This day started out so awful for me, and here’s this dude, a random stranger, buying me ice cream for no reason.” The day continues to improve when they find an inn, which Lyndsey describes as the most beautiful house she had ever seen. “I was like, ‘I must have done something right,’ ” she says. “The generosity of these people was so overwhelming, because it was my breaking point, and something came through for me.” The proprietors were impressed with their story, which pleased Andy. “It was reafPHOTOS BY THE MUNDELLS

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firming of the feelings I had when we talked to that older guy who said we shouldn’t be doing it, these older couples saying, ‘That’s awesome, for the rest of your life you’re gonna just hold on to that.’ ” “The common response to us was, ‘If only I were 20 years younger.’ If anything, sharing this trip with other people is like giving them a little spark to light their own crazy idea,” Lindsey says.


The Mundells don’t know what the moral of the story is. When their trip ends they don’t even realize it. It isn’t the climactic storybook ending they envisioned, a cinematic finale to share with their friends: their canoe bursting triumphant into the Gulf of Mexico, their hair streaming in the wind and ocean spray. They were planning to stop when they reach salt water, but they are just outside of New Orleans in a town called St. Bernard, when they literally hit a wall. There is a small opening where boats can go through, but one of the supervisors of the construction strongly advises them not to, due to dangerous currents. They aren’t exactly prepared for it, but there it is: the end. “I wasn’t ready,” Andy says. “You know when you’re watching a movie and the credits just roll? There was too much that all came together: There’s literally a giant wall in front of us. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is telling me we shouldn’t go. The water tastes salty. OK.” “We did it,” Lyndsey says. “Then we’re like, ‘yay!’ It was shocking.” They store their canoe, check into a Holiday Inn, shower, sleep in a bed, and enjoy the July Fourth weekend in New Orleans.


“You can only imagine when you’re planning this how hot the days are going to be, how tired you’re going to be and how much you’re really going to be able

to deal with this other person all the time,” Lyndsey says, unintentionally describing marriage as much as their canoe trip. “And we’re married and we love each other, but still the reality of it was a little bit unknown. And I was scared about it. But our marriage is definitely stronger for it.” “I think they say a canoe will either make or break a relationship,” Andy says with a laugh. “There were a lot of people like, if you guys aren’t divorced by the end you’re going to be together forever.” The story of their future may be the

This dependence on the river means the smallest changes in the physical environment of a town can reroute the flow of their entire history. one story they can’t tell. Their biggest adventure is just beginning, a lifetime together founded on an adventure. They’re still unsure what the moral of this story is. “The reason we did it wasn’t really clear when we started,” Andy admits. “Is it about nature and how we’re all connected via the river? Is it about humans and how people genuinely are good and how great it is when somebody is willing to step up and help you? Is it about getting up and doing something you wanted to do and never thought you would? Is it about marriage and being a new couple and learning so much about each other?” He pauses. “I don’t know.” “It all goes hand in hand to make one big giant experience,” Lyndsey says. “It’s

really kind of indescribable, but as well as we can describe it, that’s true.” As I listen, it’s almost impossible to not to envision the river as a metaphor for the course a marriage takes. It’s a cute lens through which to view a human tale, but I am wary of using nature as a mirror whose main purpose is to show us ourselves. It’s another form of environmental exploitation, another method of mining nature for the things we can use, another way to own an ownerless planet. When we decide nature is like us, and of us, we delude ourselves into thinking we can control it. Though the Mundells had their little spats and various bodily pains to deal with, the more significant crises were coping with historically low water levels, record-breaking heat, and drought. The towns that once bustled along a booming river were empty and deserted. And so, though it would be easy for me to wax poetic about how love is like a river and marriage is like an ocean, and the entire natural world is just one convenient metaphor for the most important of all stories — that of human occupation of it — the Mundells’ story is not about how to understand ourselves better, but as how to connect that self with the non-self: a spouse, a river, the outside world. “Granted, we’re in a nice position, where I’m a schoolteacher with the summer off and she was in her last year of college,” Andy says. “But it shouldn’t keep you from doing the stuff you want just because your schedule’s tight and whatnot.” It’s easy to get wrapped up in schedules, jobs and obligations. It’s a different kind of river to float down, ending not in a sea but in — as in UP!, as with the old man in Cairo — an old age full of regret. “It’s easy to do the same thing every day,” Andy says. But that’s a story we all already know. „

Eco-dispatch Water levels were 30-50 feet lower than they were last year during flooding that neared the records of the Great Flood in 1927, according to the National Weather Service. Source:

A record drought hit the Midwest hard, with June making the first six months of 2012 the warmest on record, with the average temperature of 52.9 degrees almost five degrees higher than normal. June 2012 was the 10th driest June on record. 56 percent of the country was in drought condition during the Mundells’ trip, the largest percentage in the 12-year record of the U.S. Drought Monitor. By the end of June, 5 percent of the Midwest was experiencing “Extreme Drought.” Source:

The water levels are currently nearing the record lows of 1988, where shipping was actually stopped. PHOTOS BY THE MUNDELLS

Lyndsey and Andy were happy to return to Indy. Their dog, Bosco, was happy to see them.


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THANK YOU! The Movember Indy Local Committee thank you for another record breaking campaign!

• Tickets to see Yuletide at the ISO • A Gift Certificate to Evan Todd • Dinner for Two at Colt's Grille • … and more!

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For comprehensive event listings, go to


Indianapolis Opera’s Amahl and the Night Visitors @ Basile Opera Center Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors was the first opera written for television, premiering in 1951 and thereafter broadcast annually until 1966, right around the time when PBS lifted the burden of broadcasting enlightening, high-brow fare from the for-profit networks. Its story of a physically handicapped boy who encounters the Magi gestures toward both Biblical parables and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Joachim Schamberger, who created the projection-heavy sets for this year’s production of Faust and was recently appointed an Affiliate Artist of the Indianapolis Opera for the 2012-13 season, returns to direct. The opera runs under an hour and is performed in English. Dec. 7-9, 14-16 @ 4011 N. Pennsylvania Ave.; $25-50 (family discounts available);


Clockwise from top left: Alma Levia at SpaceCamp Microgallery, Sara McCracken at Wug Laku’s Studio and Garage, Aaron Thornburg at Gallery 924, Gavin Rouille at Gallery 924, Roland Flexner at IMA.



First Friday There’s a vein of magical thinking running through this month’s First Friday; in this season of the worship of elves and corn, our art scene turns playful, childlike, mischievous. And what would a December First Friday be without Toys, Primary Colours’s annual showcase of toyinspired work, now in its tenth year of inspiring merriment, delight and other such emotions? Among this year’s artists creating work for the Primary Gallery show are Mike Altman, Chris Fry, Stacey Holloway and Benny Sanders; beer (Tuxedo Park) and Cajun food (B’s Po Boy) will be provided; and donations of new or gently used books for United Way’s ReadUp program will be accepted. The headline show over at the Harrison Center for the Arts this month is Nottingham Forest: The Hanging of the

Green, featuring work by over 50 artists inspired by the color green, and titled to reflect the involvement of Nottingham Realty Group, which recently refurbished and moved into the Herron School of Art’s long-decrepit former Foundry Building, across the street from the Harrison. That office will feature part of the Nottingham Forest show, with the bulk of the work located in the Harrison Gallery and Annex. Also on tap at the Harrison: Borshoff’s annual gallery and awards show, this year featuring work by Herron students inspired by words with more than one meaning; an Indianan Handicraft Exchange mini-mart in the gym; Barb Knuckles in the City Gallery; and Nevada Buckley in Hank and Dolly’s Gallery. Down the street at Gallery 924 is a show nicely suited to those afflicted the shopping virus: TINY, a collection of more than 250 pieces by more than 100 Indy artists, each piece sized under 216 square inches, including the adorable “Pussies for Peace,” a set of catnip toys bearing the hand-stitched portraits of Nazis.


„ First Friday reviews by Dan Grossman and Charles Fox

Upstairs at the Murphy, SpaceCamp MicroGallery has Celdas (Prison Cells) by the Miami-based Alma Leiva. In her series of staged photographs of bedrooms, the Miami-based Leiva reflects upon the lives of Central Americans whose lives are compromised and limned in by violence. Some photos show a self-contained world where, in an absurd twist, recreational activities traditionally conducted outdoors are moved inside, seemingly by those afraid to leave their room. One photo shows a tiny dirt soccer field sitting before a couch; another, a sandy beach with umbrella and chair abutting an end table. Also of note: iPhonography by Sara McCracken at Wug Laku’s Studio and Garage, whose work was recently including in a show in Verona, Italy, based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. And the Carmel Arts and Design District Gallery Association’s annual Gallery Walk, taking place Saturday, Dec. 8 from 5-10 p.m., and featuring work by glass artist Ben Johnson (veteran designer of our Cultural Vision Awards) at the ArtSplash Gallery.

„ Holiday reviews by Rita Kohn

There are options aplenty for those looking for holiday music, both pop and otherwise. We’ll start with Rejoice! (Dec. 7-8, 8 p.m. @ Clowes Memorial Hall), billed as Butler’s “annual musical gift to the community” and featuring the Butler Chorale and Butler University Choir, with a few other student groups to boot. A tricky Bach cantata is on the program, as well as holiday carols from Latvia, Kenya and Spain. There are plenty of chances to catch the ISO’s Yuletide Celebration, which runs through Dec. 23, but only one to see the orchestra’s Classical Christmas program (Dec. 8, 5:30 p.m. @ Scottish Rite Cathedral) , conducted, as usual, by Conductor Laureate Raymond Leppard and featuring Concertmaster Zach de Pue as soloist. Another tradition around this time is the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra’s performance of Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 9, 3 p.m. @ Tabernacle Presbyterian Church), with support this time around from Encore Vocal Arts and the Sanctuary Choirs of Tabernacle and Fairview Presbyterian Church. And the Ronen Chamber Ensemble kicks off its season Monday with a program titled Echoes and Resonances: Songs of the Past, Sounds of Today (Dec. 10, 7 p.m. @ Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation) including Prokofiev’s Overture on Hebrew Themes music from Schiff’s opera Gimpel the Fool.

„ Diary of a Big Girl: Winter biking observations by Katelyn Coyne

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Marta Blades and her cat, Savannah; “Nie kann ah Herr — ich dauben Dir genug,” (Oh Lord, I can never thank you enough)


Marta Blades @ The Arch at Chatham Marta Blades painted Indiana barns early on in her career. But Blades, 82, isn’t your typical Hoosier artist. She was born in Hungary, from which she fled with her parents at age 14 after the Russians invaded. She moved first to Germany, then found her way to the U.S. via a scholarship to Marian College (now Marian University). She raised three children in Indianapolis, and worked as the Director of Editions Limited Gallery, now located in Broad Ripple, for over 30 years. She currently lives in Winston-Salem, N.C., where she continues to paint. Blades will return to town Dec. 7 for a show, Back Home in Indiana, at the Arch at Chatham including 40 paintings, most of which were completed over the last year and a half. About her early work painting Indiana barns, she says, “I always thought they were nice barns, but my heart has always pulled me towards the contemporary.” By the time she started showing her work around 1980, her work was largely abstract. Yet there are some representational touches in her current work. In a painting entitled “Nie kann ah Herr - ich daubeu Dir genug” (Oh Lord, I can never thank you enough) you see this text, the first line of a prayer, painted on a deep blue canvas awash with thick painterly strokes, flecked here and there with yellow and red. “The German prayer dates back to after World War II, when we were refugees — my parents and I — in Germany,” says Blades. “It stuck with me, and reflects my feelings of what I consider miracles: of my survival, through, and after the war, and through 2 bouts with cancer. It’s a Thanksgiving prayer.” The painting features the bare silhouette of a street lamp: a metaphor, perhaps, for the spiritual force leading her through the darkness. But Blades is quick to point out that painting for her is an intuitive process. “I don’t start with a theme,” she says. “I don’t sit down and think now I’m going to do this about a play or about something. I just do it. Then after it’s done I pour a glass of wine and I sit and I look at it. Then I christen it.”


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Blades came to Indy at a time when artists and galleries were few and far between. “In the early ‘60s, I think there was maybe one art gallery in Indy,” says Blades, who was part of a cultural shift that led both to an acceptance of more contemporary forms of art in the Midwest. “It didn’t happen overnight.” She mentions Mark Ruschman — whose Ruschman Gallery mounted consistently innovative shows until its closing in 2009 — as an early pioneer, alongside Joanne Chappell, the founder of Editions Limited. About her own approach to directing an art gallery, she says, “I have never advocated buying art to match the couch.” “There were young couples who would start with maybe a $200 piece,” she says. “But they would buy something original rather than hang up a poster or an edition. Once they started, it was a very exciting thing.” Meeting John Mallon was a watershed. “A friend of mine and I opened a little boutique called the Emporium in the 70s,” says Blades. “There was a frame shop next door. John Mallon and a partner owned it. So they were my next-door neighbors for seven years, and we became very good friends.” After the Emporium closed, Mallon asked Blades to run his frame shop (Frame Designs at 49th Street), and thereafter enlisted her to open a gallery downtown. And when Mallon bought Editions Limited, Blades was asked to be director, a job from which she retired in 2006. In addition to her day job, Blades has served on numerous boards, including those of the Phoenix Theatre and the Riley Area Revitalization Program. This year she also served on the jury of the Skip McKinney Faculty of the Year Fellowship, awarded by the Indianapolis Art Center, an institution she loves. Blades still feels right at home in Indianapolis. At the same time, she still feels the pull of her birthplace. “For my 80th birthday I went and rented an apartment in Budapest and spent a month there,” says Blades. “It’s a beautiful language, and you walk around the street and little kids are talking in Hungarian. It’s amazing how smart these kids are.” — DAN GROSSMAN

Back Home in Indiana: New Work by Marta Blades will run Dec. 7, 5-9 p.m., and Dec. 8, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. at The Arch at Chatham (617 E. North St.,



Jasper Ellings, “Sharing a Beautiful Sunset,” from Global Space


Global Space @ iMOCA iMOCA’s December show, Global Space, will bring together work by artists from around the world to explore what it means to be a global citizen in the Internet era. Ben Valentine curated, and participants include Art404, a new media duo intrigued by branding and identity; and Clement Valla, who’s into algorithms and considering the status of the work of art in the age of mechanical (and/or digital) reproduction. Global citizens are invited to interact with An Xiao’s piece “We Meme,” which employs two panels, one bearing GIFs and memes popular in China’s microblogging world, the other shows GIFs and memes from Tumblr in the U.S. Xiao will supply the initial batch of images, but participants are invited to create their own meme, in a sense, by sending images throughout the course of the show, up through Jan. 19. Valentine, an Indy native and Earlham grad who has since lived in Brooklyn and Berkeley, and has curated shows at Christopher West Presents and Greencastle’s Low Road Gallery, tells us more about An Xiao’s work. BEN VALENTINE: An Xiao is an artist, designer and writer whose practice deals so much with online identity and social media, she was perfect for the show. We first met when she had organized a brunch with a close group of NYC art and tech people at a dim sum place in Chinatown. She struck me as someone who is extremely committed to being very present both in real life and online. When I asked her, instead of her telling me everything she was thinking about, she started grilling me about Indiana and Indianapolis. She wanted to know about the specific location, what growing up as a Hoosier meant, what Hoosier itself means, important things about Fountain

Square or Indianapolis, etc. Her research led her to become interested in the phrase “crossroads of America,” and we talked about the saying for a while. This whole process was interesting because I had to recall what I knew of Indiana for someone who had never been. An thought that for this show she wanted to take that phrase and apply it to the Internet. She thought she could reveal some of the physical specificity of the internet, by thinking of its visual culture online, and how that changes and intersects on platforms like Tumblr or Sina Weibo [Tumblr’s Chinese equivalent]. These two platforms are both “of the internet,” but they both have a visual vocabulary that has some culture and geopolitical specificity to them. Much like a train can span an entire continent, that doesn’t mean the towns it passes are no longer unique. Figuring out a way to show examples of content that is online but locationally specific had many iterations, but An really settled on a very interesting installation. NUVO: Do you think the show — taken as a whole or through one individual piece or another — makes an explicit (or implicit) argument concerning this state of the world? Say, is a world of consumers united by pop culture better than one of landed gentry united by high culture? VALENTINE: The show is all about common interactions online — with our computers, overseas or with corporations — that we never real think about. The show doesn’t provide, or attempt, a moral statement about how these new technologies are changing us, only that these changes must be investigated. We often vilify what we don’t understand. I hope this show helps the viewer start to think about how culture is changing and what technologies are causing the changes. I guess my personal belief for the show is that technology and globalization is neither bad nor good, but it can be awfully dehumanizing if we let it. — SCOTT SHOGER

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Mon-Sat 11am-8pm · Sun 12pm-5pm


GO&DO 07


Chris Edwards @ Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Start with one dot. Say, the fact that, unlike most mammals, humans can sweat through their skin in a remarkable display of effective cooling. Then add a few more data points: The fact that humans can rotate their shoulders. That, unlike extinct hominoids, we have a nuchal ligament linking head to spine so that our heads remain steady while running. That human anatomy includes large muscles in the thighs and rear end, and that we boast Achilles tendons and big knee joints. Now, try to draw connections, convergences, similarities. And thus you have, in action, the Connecting the Dots teaching method, which lays the framework for “eureka” moments for students charged with connecting one dot of information to another. It’s the brainchild of Chris Edwards, a social studies teacher at Fishers High School, and is the basis of his new book, Teaching Genius: Redefining Education with Lessons from Science and Philosophy. Edwards, 35, who will speak about his book Friday at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, was a renowned essayist and successful teacher long before his toddler son, Ben, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. But he credits the doctors who saved Ben’s life with refocusing his own life. His new book is dedicated to the specialists that saved Ben’s brain, and it’s targeted to those who recognize that teachers can save brains, too. Ben is alive, according to Edwards, because brain scientists built upon each others’ findings — in neurosurgery and physics and oncology — until they could zap tumors without destroying cognition and personality. Edwards is utterly convinced that the future of education also depends on piggybacking ideas from various disciplines. The result would be schools full of research-based bridge builders (teachers) and future geniuses (students). The first step in that process, he humbly suggests, is reading his book. At Fishers High School, where the faculty book club is reading his book, he requires students to link research from math, physics, and history, so that they might better understand Isaac Newton’s work on gravity and what he meant with his famous “shoulders of giants” principle: “If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Newton and other mental giants of yesteryear provide Edwards with dots of data that become the bridges his students need to think deeply. “Interconnectedness of knowledge is key,” Edwards explained from his classroom last week. Heraclitus said it this way 2,500 years ago: “Those who love wisdom must be inquirers into many things indeed.” For Michael Shermer, editor of the magazine Skeptic, which has published work by Edwards, new knowledge requires “patternicity,” finding constellations in the informational sky. According to Shermer, Edwards has written “wonderful articles for us, and he’s a leader in the skeptics movement.”


Chris Edwards relaxes at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.

Abe Lincoln is one of Edwards’s favorite dot connectors (and he recommends Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln film). So are Stephen Hawking, the theoretical physicist/cosmologist, and Jared Diamond, the scientist best known for his book Guns, Germs, and Steel. Edwards has delved deeply in the informational sky, as the 74 references at the back of Teaching Genius attest, and he firmly believes that all secondary teachers should likewise immerse in research, putting aside coaching and the myriad distractions that overburden today’s educators. Not that Edwards fits the stereotype of a head-in-the-clouds thinker. As a teenager, he played basketball for Tri-West High School in Hendricks County and can recall games against Brad Stevens, now Butler University’s coach. Edwards graduated as an education major from Indiana University, where he wrote for the Indiana Daily Student and met his wife. Their older son, Blake, is in first grade, making his dad proud by immersing in reading. During the time that Ben’s prognosis was sketchy, Edwards threw himself into writing Teaching Genius, consolidating ideas from the 10 essays he published in academic journals and two books on philosophy. Edwards, who holds a doctorate degree in education, currently writes a blog for Riley Hospital. Links to his other publications can be found at Confessing that he gets obsessive about research, writing, and teaching, Edwards says he thrives on reading about the “really cool stuff that really intelligent people are doing” and then figuring out how to present such stuff to teenagers. The dots that he asks students to connect don’t often come from “dry” social studies textbooks, but from 1,200 pages of his own research. He

knows that tomorrow’s geniuses will emerge from schools that focus not on test data, but on critical thinking. “How do we get those interesting insights into the classroom?” Edwards asked. “The only way is to redefine the teacher and what a teacher does.” Teachers should make kids feel confused, make them read, make them open to the ways that minds are changed, Edwards said. He loves to rock teenage worlds by introducing students to 1950s research on indigenous people in Brazil to whom memory — those pictures in our brains that represent what has already occurred — represents not the past, but the future. To these isolated Brazilians, life ends after people get tired of chasing the opposite sex and only want to play until they can’t speak or hardly do anything anymore. According to tribal culture, people die peacefully after shrinking so small that they fit into their mother’s abdomens. Then they dissolve. Once students try to wrap their minds around that, Edwards said, they have more insight into other paradigm shifts that make social studies so much fun to teach. Edwards asks teenagers to figure out why ancient Rome produced so few mathematicians (answer: “lousy Roman numerals”) and why the Muslim system of algebra revolutionized the field of math. “The future belongs to people who can bring information together from various disciplines in a way that makes sense,” Edwards said. For the crowd that he’ll address Friday night, Edwards will likely open with the dotconnecting curriculum he offers on Parent Night at Fishers High School. He might introduce the origin of explosives in China as a method of producing fireworks, not weaponry. Edwards will lead his audience through dot after dot until they understand that vari-

ous influences, from Galileo’s research on ballistics to the design of church bells, combined with fireworks to revolutionize warfare. Can you connect the dots to see how an inverted church bell became a weapon of mass destruction? Linking such connections across disciplines is called consilience, and Edwards is sure that consilience is key to teaching genius. Ready to test your consilience? Simply connect the dots supplied at the beginning of this article. Sweat allows humans to endure in a foot race after other mammals overheat and stop running. A steady head and strong legs also helped early humans keep up with prey. Rotating shoulders allowed them to throw rocks, darts, and spears with great accuracy at exhausted, overheated animals. If you’ve connected the dots, you’ll understand why mammoths and massive prehistoric animals vanished from North America shortly after humans migrated here. “Education is literally the process of civilizing the hunter-gatherer brain,” said Edwards. Infuse enough high schools with research into the history of philosophy and the history of science, Edwards predicted, and geniuses will inevitably connect the dots. Educators will no longer be asked to coach. Instead, they will be encouraged to read widely and seek patterns so that their students will do the same. — MAUREEN DOBIE

Edwards is a featured speaker Friday, Dec. 7, from 6-9 p.m., at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library (340 N. Senate Ave.) Attendance is free, and copies of Teaching Genius will be available.

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Graphite @ Indianapolis Museum of Art Carl Andre, Karl Haendel, Kim Jones, Robert Longo and Geof Oppenheimer are among the artists included in Graphite, an exhibition exploring recent, innovative use of graphite in sculptures, drawings and installations. Pieces will include Andre’s Graphite Sum of Numbers, comprised of 164 units of machined graphite arranged in a geometric progression on the gallery’s floor; Jones’ War Drawing, created for the exhibition and featuring a diagram of drawn graphite x’s vs. o’s, with erasures marking where an “x” took down an “o,” and vice versa; and selections from Longo’s Heritage series, a collection of graphite on paper reproductions of iconic artworks. Graphite opens Dec. 6 with a free reception from 6-9 p.m. featuring hip-hop MCs Mr. Kinetik, Tony Styxx and aLLEN IMAGERY. We caught up yesterday with IMA Associate Curator of Contemporary Art Sarah Urist Green, who curated Graphite and wrote an essay about the use of graphite in art since the 1960s for the exhibition’s digital catalog, which will be released in January. NUVO: How’d you happen upon the idea of mounting the “first major museum exhibition to explore graphite as a medium in work beyond drawings,” as your press release puts it? SARAH GREEN: I saw more and more artists using the material in unexpected and new ways. My thinking behind the exhibition was it was a way to show this very traditional and common material but used in novel, unusual, inventive ways. NUVO: And there are some drawings, but also plenty of installations... GREEN: Installations, sculpture; machined graphite, cast graphite, liquid graphite; powdered graphite pushed through a silkscreen. Even the drawings that are included are conceptually pushing drawing in a new direction. Even if they’re using graphite in an expected way, the content is pushing in a new direction. Several artists have been working here to create new work. Kim Jones, a New York artist, is creating this sort of elaborate battlefield drawing that depicts the movement of two armies — one army of x’s and one army of dots — who move this through fictional space. He started with a drawing that was pinned to the wall, and he’s been expanding it for the last week and a half on to the surrounding walls. We’ve commissioned Karl Haendel to create a new arrangement of his work, remixing his drawings into installations. Judith Braun is creating what she calls a “fingering,” which is a wall drawing where she covers the walls in layers of vinyl and then she dips her


Michael Kaiser


Kim Jones is creating a site-specific piece for Graphite not dissimilar to the one seen here (“Escape from Flatland,” created in 2004 for Pierogi 2000).

fingers in powdered graphite to create marks on the wall. NUVO: What have you learned about graphite and the way it’s been used over time? GREEN: What I’ve found is that it’s a shifty material. It’s literally slippery and is used as a lubricant and industrial applications, and it’s also figuratively slippery and can be used in vastly different ways. The artist Joyce Hinterding, in the show, harnesses the conductive properties of graphite. She created a graphite drawing and then connected it to a circuit, and then you as a visitor are encouraged to touch the drawing, and when you do it interrupts the sound field and creates noise. Other artists are thinking about graphite because it’s an allotrope of carbon. So they’re using it conceptually to consider what graphite means when you include it in a sculpture. There’s one piece by Geof Oppenheimer that’s a cast graphite sculpture next to a neon sign. Graphite is a near black body absorber of energy and light, so in this instance, it’s functioning as kind of the opposite of light. NUVO: And, in general, what’s the state of the contemporary art side of things at the IMA following the recent turnover in leadership? The department has been very ambitious over the past few years, between 100 Acres and the Venice Biennale. GREEN: The contemporary curatorial staff is all here — everyone who made those past projects. We really loved working with Max Anderson, and are enjoying getting to know Charles [Venable, the museum’s new CEO]. The framework for all those projects is here: We have 100 Acres and wonderful exhibition spaces and lots of plans. From my perspective very little has changed.


Joyce Hinterding’s “Aura” (above) and Dan Fischer’s “Evan Hesse,” both featured in Graphite.



Why Arts? Why Indy? @ UIndy

To those questions we answer: “Why not?” A bunch of local arts experts and one national featured guest — Michael Kaiser, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington — will entertain the above questions Monday at the University of Indianapolis, engaging in a public discussion led by Dennis Ryerson, communications consultant and former editor of The Indianapolis Star. You may have heard Kaiser’s name recently in local press; while negotiating their contract with Indiana Symphony Society board, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians suggested that he might be brought in as a consultant, a proposal which the board didn’t go for at the time. The locals on the bill are David Hochoy, artistic director of Dance Kaleidoscope; Glen Kwok, executive director of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis; Beth Perdue Outland, vice president of Community Engagement and Strategic Innovation of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Steven Stolen, managing director of the Indianapolis Repertory Theatre; and Jim Walker, executive director of Big Car. The event, subtitled “Exploring the Future of the Creative Culture in Indianapolis,” was organized by Kathleen Hacker, chair of the university’s Department of Music, and questions for the event may submitted via a Facebook page (UindyArts), Twitter (#whyartswhyindy) or E-mail ( 7:30 p.m. @ Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center (1400 E. Hanna Ave.), free and open to the public

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A&E REVIEWS THEATER INDIANAPOLIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: DUKE ENERGY YULETIDE CELEBRATION HILBERT CIRCLE THEATRE, THROUGH DEC. 23 r “Come All Ye Faithful” opens this something-for-everyone Yuletide Celebration - and based on the intergenerational full house on opening night, Nov. 29, the faithful keep coming year after year, rewarded with return favorites as well as new segments that are classy, touching and laughter-inducing. At the center of it all are the ISO musicians under Jack Everly’s baton, but be aware they might be upstaged by the endearing diva Angela Brown and her co-host Ben Crawford, of Broadway fame. In addition to the spirited singing and dancing by the supporting cast you’ll meet the Grinch in a new light, catch up with the whiz-bang acts of an old-time radio show featuring harmonica virtuoso Mike Runyon and be enchanted by The Toy Shoppe stocked Cirque de la Symphonie and the ISO Company of Living Toys. The costumes are dazzling; the scenic design for the closing number is spectacular. Come early for events in the lobby, including holiday favorites played on the organ, the art exhibit around the Oval Promenade and to see live reindeer at the entrance. The show is a celebration of the spirit of the holidays on a variety of levels. — RITA KOHN


A VERY PHOENIX X-MAS 7: GETTING FIGGY WITH IT PHOENIX THEATRE, THROUGH DEC. 23 e Christmas traditions, for me, are about combining the old with the new. In Getting Figgy With It the Phoenix Theatre does this by gleefully gathering old familiar friends (Charles Goad, Rob Johansen, Scot Greenwell) and bringing in new ones (actress Ryan O’Shea, hybrid instrumental performance art group The Fourth Wall Ensemble. Greenwell hilariously emcees the show as a Montessori school principal determined to host the holiday pageant on political correct terms. Luckily the skits and songs disobey his mandate, including “Love on a Winter’s Wind,” a send up of a Christmas light display, Toy Story-style; “Donde Esta Santa Claus?” a tune by a cheeky Christmas mariachi band; “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,“ as done by live action sock puppets; and “Fairytale of New York,” an Irish drinking song both dark and lovely. I expected little more than bits of music between the show’s skits from the Fourth Wall Ensemble (Hilary Abigana on flute, Greg Jukes on percussion/accordion and C. Neil Parsons on brass), but the multitalented group blended in easily, playing instruments while “ice skating” or dancing, and even taking a role in a skit or two. But perhaps the highlight for Indy theatre regulars comes in seeing Indianapolis Christmas icons Goad and Johansen irreverently reunited as oversized elfs, Honey Boo Boo impersonators and more. And you get to see them revive a little A Christmas Carol magic (both have starred in the IRT’s production of the Carol) when the cast reenacts the holiday classic in three minutes flat. — JUSTIN BRADY

Beef & Boards’s intimate space allows for a more spiritual connection with the holidays, even if the variety of musical numbers and skits tend toward the frothy side — from Alvin’s antics in “The Chipmunk Song”; to the campy “All I Want for Christmas is a Real Good Tan,” played to the hilt by John Vessels; to the down-country “Tennessee Christmas.” Courtney M. Cleveland, the newest featured singer to the annual holiday show, brings warmth to gospel and whimsy to pop. Eight-year-old Olivia McKenna and ten-year-old Ethan Halford Holder, too professional to steal the show, earn applause for delightful duets and company numbers. Kenny Shepard and Deb Wims return as co-hosts whose dancing is consistently spectacular. This 20th annual Christmas show again includes a special tribute to military personnel serving our nation, along with Indiana Christmas, a video of landscapes and architecture. Doug King’s choreography demands precision, and the corps of dancers deliver with spirit. Eddie Curry creates a heartwarming and humorous mix of musical numbers for a family show and directs with brisk timing. The singing is fine, the costumes shimmer and glitter and Santa appears as himself when he’s not taking on the persona of Mark Fishback. — RITA KOHN

IU BALLET: THE NUTCRACKER MUSICAL ARTS CENTER, NOV. 30-DEC. 2 e Enchanting through subtlety, IU Ballet’s Nutcracker was in a class of its own. We sat and listened to the layerings of Tchaikovsky’s music, entrancing us after our rush to get to the theatre and our move through the chatter and hubbub in the lobby. Andrea Quinn’s introspective conducting melded with Vernon’s story set in 19th century Vienna. There was a stark difference between the cold outside and cozy inside with time-stop vignettes of preparation to greet guests followed by a whirl of activity culminating in the time-to-go-home dance. Michael Vernon’s choreography spun into each succeeding scene as a tumbleweed moves across the plain; it may pick up stuff and speed, but it’s essentially true to itself. Staying true to the ballet’s origins, Vernon’s emphasis was on a streamlined Nutcracker with fine acting, dancing, live orchestra, and production values, where nuances and small details commanded attention. Of particular interest for us at Friday’s opening was Christopher Lingner as a flirty Harlequin Doll and then in the high jumping Trepak, and Michelle Meltzer as a sensuous, sultry Arabian. Each Indianapolis native danced other roles at succeeding performances. — RITA KOHN


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The Choirs of Christ Church Cathedral Present

Handel’s Messiah With Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra

Enjoy this holiday favorite in Indy’s only period-instrument performance.





S. S MERIDIAN ST. DDOWNTOWN OW WNTOWN 247317-63 317-631-3536

Sunday, December 16 at 3:30 pm

Christ Church Cathedral 125 Monument Circle Tickets: $10, $20 priority seating available at





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Nick Offerman in Smashed

Smashed t Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul) live in a fashion that will be familiar to many. She’s a first-grade teacher, he’s sort of a music writer (his parents have money, which allows the “sort of.”) After school, Kate comes home and usually finds Charlie and two or three of his buddies hanging out, playing video game and maintaining a light buzz. After a bit, Kate joins them for an evening of partying. For Charlie, this is just the way he lives. Kate, however, comes to realize that matters are getting out of hand for her. After drinking at school, she abruptly vomits in front of her six-year-old students. After the obligatory “eews!,” one kid asks the teacher if she’s pregnant. Kate, flummoxed by the situation and looking for a way to end the mortifying incident, says “yes” and the lie quickly spreads around school, reaching the very empathic principal (Megan Mullally) and the vice principal (Nick Offerman, Mullally’s real-life husband), who saw Kate drinking and recognizes the scam. In a low-key, warm manner, he lets Kate know he’s an AA

member and offers to accompany her to a meeting if she wishes. Imagine being Kate, dealing with your increasingly out of control drinking, the big fat lie at work, the prospect of entering the 12-step world, and the probable change in dynamics with your partner. Eew. Smashed is a slight, but highly relatable feature by director James Ponsoldt, written by Ponsoldt and Susan Burke. There are numerous other films dealing with alcoholism and recovery with more depth and finesse, but the advantage of Smashed is the ordinary setting. There are crazy incidents – including a tantrum that culminates in Kate taking a pee on the floor of a convenience store – but the film generally avoids operatic melodrama in favor of everyday buzzes and Xbox ennui. The movie belongs to Mary Elizabeth Winstead, best known for Scott Pilgrim vs. the Word. Winstead gets everything right in the lead role. Her credibility elevates the familiar story arc. Alas, Aaron Pau does not get the same opportunity to shine. The extraordinary co-star of Breaking Bad gives the role his all, but the screenplay is focused squarely on Kate, relegating Charlie to second-place status. Offerman, the amazing Ron “Effing” Swanson on Parks and Recreation, sets a dignified tone for his supportive character, which makes it all the more shocking when he makes a truly cringe-inducing remark to Kate. As the principal, Mullaly offers borderline sitcommy comic relief, while the hugely-talented Octavia Spencer (The Help) is constricted by her limited role as an AA member/sponsor. Mary Kay Place turns up briefly as Kate’s mother in a needless stereotype-reinforcing segment. Smashed isn’t helped by a jangly score that sounds like it was lifted from an Indie Film 101 class. And is it really necessary to play the same happy road trip music every time anybody goes for a drive, regardless of the mood of the scene? As a study of a human being dealing with destructive behavior, Smashed doesn’t dig deep. But as a showcase for Winstead, it works nicely. And who knows, it may change some lives. — ED JOHNSON-OTT


Rahmat takes out his boat on a quest to collect the tears of the bereft in this highly allegorical Iranian film. Mohammad Rasoulof directed and Jafar Panahi edited; both are currently serving out six-year prison sentences in Iran for their work. Dec. 8, 1 p.m. @ DeBoest Lecture Hall, Indianapolis Museum of Art; part of the New Cinema from the Middle East series; $5 public, $3 member


Eric Grayson screens another one from his archives. This time it’s special effects expert George Pal’s first feature film, starring Jimmy Durante and a squirrel. Dec. 8, 7 p.m. @ Garfield Park Arts Center, $3 (free popcorn)



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The Maldives, one of the lowest-lying countries in the world, would be rendered essentially uninhabitable by a three foot rise in sea levels. This documentary chronicles attempts by President Mohamed Nasheed to address the problem, concluding with his 2009 trip to the Copenhagen Climate Summit. Nasheed was overthrown this February in a military coup d’etat. Dec. 10, 5 and 7 p.m. @ Hamilton 16 IMAX, Noblesville

FOOD Nein in my backyard

Developers eye SoBro property for biergarten BY K A T Y CA R T E R E DI T O RS @N U V O . N E T Breweries seem to pop up daily around town, but biergartens remain scarce — at least in the classic sense, meaning brewery/ restaurants with large areas of outdoor seating attached. But if all goes well at a zoning hearing on December 13, that will change as the Bent Rail Brewery and Coffee House breaks ground on a now-blighted spot in south Broad Ripple: the old Monon Fitness Center at 53rd Street and Winthrop Avenue. The project is the newest venture of Derek Means and Craig Baker, the talent behind The Local Eatery & Pub in Westfield. Before starting The Local two years ago, the pair had extensive restaurant and brewery experience. Baker worked as a brewer at McMenamins in Portland, Ore., then started a restaurant, Echo, in the same city. He sold Echo back to his business partner before moving back to the Midwest. The plans for Bent Rail first took shape when Means and Baker explored the possibility of adding a brewing component to The Local, but found they didn’t have the space. Moving forward, the pair came across the abandoned, graffitied former fitness center, which was before a commercial dry cleaner. With its ample acreage and proximity to the Monon, it seemed the perfect spot. “There are a lot of families in that area and young professionals aged 28-45, which is our core demographic for crafted ales,” explained Means, who would be Bent Rail’s general manager. “That along with access to the Monon, it just seemed a great match. That area is really growing and changing, and we feel we could be a great part of that.” The plans for the property involve extensive renovation, including demolition of three buildings to provide parking spaces (adding up to a total of 133 off-street parking spaces). But it’s the outdoor music space and capacity of the restaurant that has some neighbors in the area concerned. “Everyone seemed very comfortable with the idea of a brewery and restaurant [in that area], but the element of having an outdoor biergarten and live music is what’s concerning many of the residents,” explained Mary Owens, land use director for the MeridianKessler Neighborhood Association. “We want to make sure that this new venture can peacefully coexist with many residents who have called that area home for several years.” At issue for many residents along Carrollton and Guilford are noise levels and parking. While the capacity for the indoor restaurant would be 350 occupants, the plan currently allows for a maximum of 1500 attendees for an outdoor concert. This capacity would undoubtedly require street parking, even with a planned bike garage that would hold 150 bicycles for Monon Trail travelers. “None of the restaurants along College


Bent Rail Brewery and Coffee House would occupy the site of the former Monon Fitness Center. The developers’ plan calls for dem olition of some existing square footage, as well as construction of additional elements, including a bike garage and stage.

Avenue have sufficient parking according to the city ordinance standards — everyone seems to need a parking variance if you’re going to open a new restaurant. The Bent Rail project has more parking, based on occupancy, than any existing restaurant in the area — but it’s the scale that worries people,” continued Owens. Part of the negotiations currently include plans for controlling the noise on concert nights. Means and Baker are making efforts to address the concerns of residents. “We’ve changed our capacity numbers, redesigned our outside area, and are working with an acoustic engineer to control the sound from the start. We understand the concerns surrounding noise and parking, and are doing everything we can to minimize the impact on the area,” said Means, adding that the music planned for the outdoor space would tend more toward bluegrass — no Top 40 or hip hop. If the city approves the variances, the owners hope to be up and running by June. The brewery would offer eight regular beers and two to three seasonals on tap under their own label, with limited bottled brands as well. The food would be French peasant, i.e. simple and gratifying comfort food, meat-heavy with charcuterie and a pizza oven. The coffee shop component, located within the existing building, according to blueprints, would open at 7 a.m. and offer house coffee and bakery items. From at least one neighborhood association perspective, Mary Owens is hopeful that agreements can be reached. “It’s a strong project from an economic development standpoint. We want to be known as a welcoming community to new businesses, and this is a substantial investment in an area that’s been long overdue.” „


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music Hot fuzz

Six Organs of Admittance at the Bishop B Y JO RDA N M A R TIC H M U S I C@N U V O .N E T


he post-rock solo project of guitarist Ben Chasny called Six Organs of Admittance has electrified. Literally. Ascent, released this year by Drag City Records, is as dense and complex as Six Organ’s other 20 plus albums, but adds an electric fuzz and heaviness to the artist’s avant-garde folk rock. Hallucinatory guitar compositions are layered over sparse vocals and steady, complex psych-grooves, creating the fiery sci-fi narrative of Ascent. Chasny recruited members from his long-time group, Comets on Fire, to fill out the sound on the album. It was a project that started with two skeletons of songs written around ten years ago. The songs and larger themes were set aside to focus on separate musical ambitions, but after a cosmic dream, Chasny found reason and time to recollect his ideas on the project. He expanded the sound from his normal solo, acoustic set to include the psych-folk context for his eclectic, white-noise guitar soloing. In addition to Six Organs and Comets on Fire, Chasny associates his talents with Rangda, Badgerlore, Double Leopards, Current 93 and Magik Markers. NUVO: How were the songs shaped [on this album]? Did you kind of use the ones from ten years ago as a kind of model or did the other ones just come to you? BEN CHASNY: Let’s see. A little bit, because I kind of knew what the sound was going to be like. I kind of just wrote the whole record when I knew that everyone was going to be able to get together, just trying to keep in mind what it would sound like with a bunch of drunk dudes wailing all day.

NUVO: Do you find that your creativity is more product-based or processbased? Do you get more satisfaction from the process of creating music or from the product like this piece that you’ve finished?


CHASNY: I haven’t been to Indianapolis in a long time it feels like. I think it was like years ago. Last time I played there I think that I was really sick. So I expect to not be sick this next time! „


CHASNY: Oh okay. That’s a good question. I think probably process. Once something’s done it’s just like, time to get started on a new project. It’s always a little sad to have something totally wrapped up. Yeah, I’m always more happy working on the middle of something.

e This band is just fun. Every second of this tape takes me back to days spent skipping class in high school, skateboarding with five of my best friends. These are goofy, enormous sounding skate-rock songs that a trio of less gnarly dudes could never pull off. Jeff Mather, Dan Varnau and Steve Schuster pump these garage-punk jams out of West Lafayette, IN. with precision and persistence. They continue to experiment within their own subgenre, combining garage-rock with hardcore punk aesthetics, and surf-pop with skate-rock. As with their previous self-titled release, the band continues to sing about skating, girls and beer, simplifying the frustrations of life into tangible aspects of adolescence. From the pedal-to-the-metal raw drive of “Castroneves” to the delicate, reverb-twinged adoration of “Cannonball,” Dino DNA are the beer-for-breakfast garage band that will party with you through the harsh cold this winter. This EP is released on cassette through Jurassic Pop, the same label that released their debut album on recycled vinyl.

NUVO: Where does this album fit into the largest context of other Six Organs albums for you? CHASNY: I don’t really think about in terms of what records mean or where they sit. I try not to think about it like that. That’s kind of other people’s thing or whatever. I just kind of get to work on stuff. That’s kind of where other people come in. NUVO: What kind of things can people expect from this new sound, the electric vibe on the new Six Organs album? Is there going to be a different kind of live show going on as well? CHASNY: Well, live it’s pretty true to the record. I just toured Europe and I don’t know if the word got out as much that the shows were going to be as electric. A lot of people thought that it was going to be just an acoustic tour, which is what I did last time. All last year I was doing an acoustic tour. I think some people might have been bummed out, but yeah, it’s pretty loud. I mean every show, the sound guy was like, “Turn your guitar amp down.” And I was like, “No.”



e Mad Monk’s songs “My Wild Life” and “Double Shot of Brandy” illustrate the singer-songwriter’s distance from being John Terrill, the drummer of ‘70s no-wave band Dancing Cigarettes. Monk, veteran of the Bloomington underground music scene, offers sage wisdom on attitudes and lifestyles through a retrospective lens, carried by a tumbling, gritty, pop-rock song on “My Wild Life.” Apache Dropout follows by backing Mad Monk’s vocals on “I’m Not A Young Man Anymore” with fuzzed-out rhythms and an upbeat tempo. The two creative forces merge to become a sonically brilliant collaboration for a wide range of genres. This follows Apache Dropout’s Bubblegum Graveyard, released earlier this year –– the album established a following within the resurgent popularity of lo-fi basement bands and psych-rock revisitations. This newest release from Apache Dropout and Mad Monk combines the most talented aspects of Apache Dropout’s psych-garage twists with Terrill’s expert alt-song crafting.

NUVO: Do you have any memories of experiences in Indianapolis?

NUVO: Right. Did working with Comets on Fire again change the writing process that you use for Six Organs at all?

SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE The Bishop, 123 S. Walnut St. (Bloomington) Friday, Dec. 7 8:30 p.m., $10, 18+

CHASNY: No, actually. Not really. I kind of just wrote with one acoustic guitar like I normally would. I just try to keep in mind like when everybody starts playing, because we used to play together so much. I mean it changed a little bit. I was writing for a band, not solo. It’s a pretty similar process actually.



Ben Chasny


„Bye, bye Let Go, Churchill’s High Five, Imagine Dragons in Studio 92, Moody Blues at Old National Centre


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Kyle Long’s music, which features off-the-radar rhythms from around the world, has brought an international flavor to the local dance music scene.

Chuck D, raw Ring, ring. “Hello, this is Chuck D,” the booming, resonant voice on the other line answered. He hardly needed to identify himself. As the driving force behind the incendiary Public Enemy, Chuck’s trademark vocals have become a hip-hop institution and a significant force in American popular culture. I spoke with the MC via phone a few days ahead of Public Enemy’s appearance at the Vogue to discuss how the group has used music as a powerful tool in the struggle for social justice. NUVO: Years ago, you had a famous quote labeling hip-hop as the “black CNN.” Do you still feel hip-hop fills that role?

The Bishops DEC 08 Meatball Band DEC 14 Sour Mash DEC 15 Big Daddy Caddy DEC 07


Public Enemy

believed had great aspects of leadership. So that’s the artist’s responsibility, to point to something beyond themselves that’s beneficial to their audience.

CHUCK D: Hip-hop is now a worldwide cult religion. I’ve been saying that since the turn of the century. It’s woven into society. The listeners aren’t just the youth anymore –– we have a range of listeners from age zero to fifty. That’s a big range of people who say they identify with hiphop and respect it as a culture.

NUVO: Looking back at your career as an artist, can you see places where your work influenced social change in the United States?

NUVO: Do you feel hip-hop is still an important voice of rebellion?

NUVO: In 1991 you recorded “By the Time I Get to Arizona” about Arizona governor Evan Mecham’s refusal to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth–– Chuck D day as a national holiday. Recently this song has taken on a different meaning to a new generation of activists fighting Arizona’s implementation of racist anti-immigrant laws. What are your thoughts on the struggle of undocumented people?

DEC 31

NUVO: Is that what your Occupy the Airwaves project is about?

CHUCK D: I can see that I participated in things that brought change. I believe you can participate in growth, or you can participate in demise. I try to leave decay alone.

CHUCK D: Yes, I believe that local artists should be heard on their local airwaves. Instead the stations spend all their time playing music from artists who are not from that area. I believe 40 percent of the airwaves should support local artists and local activities … so they can make a living in their own community. NUVO: Do you think artists have a responsibility to address social justice issues? CHUCK D: I think the media has a responsibility to show the positive side of what artists are bringing to the table, instead of just trying to capitalize on making profits. But I think if an artist doesn’t want to say anything about anything, they should at least have the accountability to appoint someone who does. They don’t have to deliver the message themselves, they can point their audience to people who do. That’s what I did on my records. I always thought Minister Louis Farrakhan did a lot of great things for black people, so I always pointed my audience to him. I pointed to many other figures, some historical, that I

CHUCK D: I actually wrote about that on our new album The Evil Empire of Everything. We did a song called “Icebreaker,” which addresses I.C.E., the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Quotes lyrics) “I know a silent nation in dislocation / Frustration from legislation led to a demographic in isolation / Another participation in decapitation / Antiimmigration against brown skin ...”

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“Hip-hop is now a worldwide cult religion.”

CHUCK D: Yes, of course. You got to write songs about something and hip-hop goes right to the point on topics that are relevant. The level of exposure is different now though, because radio and television are so coroporatized. That’s a topic I want to open up even further.


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NUVO: In 1989 Public Enemy came under scrutiny for comments made regarding the IsraeliPalestinian conflict and Professor Griff left the group over the ensuing controversy. What are your thoughts on the current situation? CHUCK D: This struggle has been going on so long it’s ridiculous for rappers not to talk about it. Because U.S. politicians have avoided having a precise conversation about it and the media has always steered clear of being balanced in their conversations of this issue. So there needs to be dialogue. „

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Public Enemy performed at The Vogue on Tuesday.

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t The two tracks on this release emphasize the raucous mixture of stoner-rock and contemporary hard-rock licks. “This Train Won’t Stop,” carries the listener along for a trip through the paranoia surrounding the end of the world. Singer and guitarist Steve Janiak ignites the anxiety over a fast riff laid down by bassist Matt Stokes, drummer Chad Prifogle and guitarist Rob Hough. The magic of Devil To Pay is that they don’t excel at pumping out cheap leads or catchy grooves. They build

a song with care and devotion, and then warp it into a whiskey-fueled blast. These songs have the heart, soul, and passion that many modern heavy musicians lack. The other side of this release is titled “Tie One On,” and it finds the band in a more blues influenced state of mind, like if Blue Cheer wrote a pop song or if Sleep wrote a song without hitting the bong. It’s not stripped down of anything raw or complex, but instead sounds more developed than their peers in the hard-rock genre. Check out Devil To Pay at their upcoming release party at Radio Radio on Dec. 8, put on by GloryHole Records. –– JORDAN MARTICH




Wednesday SINGER-SONGWRITER MELISSA FERRICK, ANNE HEATON The Irving, 5505 E. Washington St. 8 p.m., $17 advance, $20 at door, all-ages

Formally trained singer-songwriter and road warrior, Melissa Ferrick’s a self-sufficient gal. She accompanies herself on guitar during her live show; releases records on her own imprint and raises money to record her own releases. She won’t be a lone wolf at this show, however. Pianist and singer Anne Heaton will join her at the Irving. ROCK DEAD BEAT DEAD WEEK The Bishop Bar, 123 S. Walnut St. 9:30 p.m., $3, 18+

It’s the dreaded time before Finals Week for college students; the unholy period of caffeineinduced insomnia and sugar-high study sessions called Dead Week. Shake it off, guys. Shake it off with Dead Beat Dead Week featuring sets from indie rockers The Broderick, surfy trio Triptides and the kinetic, frenzied Fluffer. You’ll make it through Dead Week, students. We promise.


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Thursday ROCK CHURCHILL, FOREIGN LANDS Radio Radio, 1119 Prospect St.

Log on to to read Churchill’s High Five. BLUES THE MOODY BLUES

Murat Theatre at Old National Centre, 502 N. New Jersey St. 7:30 p.m., prices vary, all-ages

Log on to to read our interview with the Moody Blues EDM DIGITAL TAPE MACHINE Vogue Theatre 8 p.m.,$10 advance, $12 door, 21+

Chicago’s Digital Tape Machine has a roster with teeth. Claiming members from Umphrey’s McGee, Liquid Soul, Strange Arrangement, The Hue and Land of Atlantis, the six-piece can’t really be pinned down to a specific EDM sub-genre –– but look at those members, would you? We guess

SOUNDCHECK We’re intrigued by anything Kelley Deal (of The Breeders) chooses to participate in, and R. Ring is no exception. Stripped-down twosome featuring Deal and audio engineer and Audioline member Mike Montgomery, it’s just “two guitars and two voices,” Deal laughs in an interview with Cincy’s alt-weekly. They’re relaxed about what the band actually means –– they’re not planning long tours, or printing T-shirts. Just doing what feels right musically –– and when it’s two people that talented, that’s worth paying attention to.


The Ragbirds at The Mousetrap Twenty One Pilots at Old National Centre with Come Wind and Don’t Call It a Comeback Gambling Christmas, Shiny and the Spoon at the Melody Inn SUBMITTED PHOTO

Reignwolf you’ll just have to see for yourself. They’ll play with Cosby Sweater and Dexterous Roy.


Strictly Business at Social College Night at Sensu Altered Thurzdaze at The Mousetrap


Saturday ALBUM RELEASE DEVIL TO PAY RECORD RELEASE Radio Radio, 1119 Prospect St. 9 p.m., $5, 21+

Releasing their new 7’’ “This Train Won’t Stop,” this winner of Best of Indy Metal will perform with No Coast and Goliathon this Saturday at Radio Radio. Their new album is being released by GloryHole Records, the reigning king of 7’’s around these parts. Read our review above.


DO317, Murphy Arts Building 6 p.m., free, all-ages

Ridiculous one-man rock explosion Reignwolf will more than fill the smallish DO317 Lounge all by himself. But we bet some fans can squeeze in too. He sings and plays guitar (sometimes while sitting at a drum set, which he also plays). It’s crazy blues rock nonsense, and we love it. Take note: This First Friday show is free and starts early! ROCK SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE, THEE OPEN SEX The Bishop, 123 S. Walnut St. 8:30 p.m., $10, 18+

Straight No Chaser at Old National Centre Skybar Saturday at 247 Sky Bar Chin Up, Bleach Drinker, Marital Roles at Hoosier Domes Pavel and Direct Contact Latin Jazz Band at Jazz Kitchen


Mat Kearney at the Bluebird (Bloomington) Oreo Jones, DMA at LUNA Music Empire Brass, Elisebeth Von Trapp at Centre for the Performing Arts

See our interview on page 29. ROCK R. RING

Radio Radio, 1119 Prospect St. 9 p.m., $7, 21+


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NEWS OF THE WEIRD shot him in the jaw and then pulled the trigger point-blank at Leone’s head, but was out of bullets. Leone then shot Cutrufelli several times, which Cutrufelli apparently felt was entirely unnecessary. • In October, the former captain of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia (on which 32 people died after it ran aground in January 2012) filed a lawsuit against Costa Cruises for “wrongfully” firing him. Francesco Schettino is awaiting trial for manslaughter, accused of sending the ship dangerously close to shore on a personal lark, and was also charged with abandoning ship, since he was spotted in a lifeboat in the midst of passengers’ escape. (Schettino said he wound up in the lifeboat only because he “slipped” and fell in.) • China’s legal system apparently is growing to resemble America’s. A wellcovered (but incompletely sourced) story from Chinese media in October reported that Mr. Jian Feng won the equivalent of $120,000 in a lawsuit against his wellto-do wife for deceiving him and subsequently giving birth to what Feng thought was an ugly baby. Feng discovered that his wife had had cosmetic surgery -- and thus was not, genetically, the beauty that he married but, in reality, plain-looking.


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conviction of a City of Chicago zoning inspector -- on the grounds that the bribes he was convicted of taking were too small to be covered by federal law. Dominick Owens, 46, was convicted of taking two bribes of $600 each to issue certificates of occupancy, but the law applies only to bribes of $5,000 or more. (Also in October, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel disbanded the city’s ethics board after a 25-year run in which it never found an alderman in violation -even though, during that time, 20 aldermen were convicted of felonies.) • The government’s Health Canada agency announced in October that Avmor Ltd. had agreed to recall one lot of its Antimicrobial Foaming Hand Soap -- because it was contaminated with microbes. (The recall did not disclose whether the danger was due to too many microbes overwhelming the soap or due to the inability of the antimicrobial soap to kill any microbes at all.) • Karma: (1) Tyller Myers, 19, was killed in a collision near Norwalk, Ohio, in September when he ran a stop sign and was rammed by a tractor-trailer. Afterward, police found three stolen stop signs in Myers’ truck. (2) A 21-year-old man was killed crossing a highway at 5 a.m. in Athens, Ga., in September. Police said he had just dined-and-dashed out of a Waffle House restaurant and into the path of a pickup truck. • The Will of God: Devoted Catholic David Jimenez, 45, had been praying regu-

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larly to a large crucifix outside the Church of St. Patrick in Newburgh, N.Y., having become convinced that it was responsible for eradicating his wife’s ovarian cancer. He even got permission from the church to spruce up the structure, as befit its power. Then, during a cleaning in May 2010, the 600-pound crucifix came loose and fell on Jimenez’s leg, which had to be amputated. From a holy object of worship to precipitator of a lawsuit: Jimenez’s $3 million litigation against the archdiocese goes to trial in January.

Compelling Explanations

• Not Mine! (1) James White, 30, was arrested in Grove City, Fla., after being stopped by police patrolling a high-burglary neighborhood, and in a consensual search of his pants, officers found a packet of Oxycodone pills for which White did not have a prescription. However, according to the police report, White suddenly exclaimed, “Oh, wait! These aren’t my pants!” (2) Ms. Vida Golac, 18, was arrested in Naples, Fla., in October, and charged with possessing marijuana, which police discovered in her genitals as she was being strip-searched. According to the police report, Golac denied that the drugs were hers and explained that she was just hiding them there for friends.

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• As a service to taxpayers, the IRS’s longtime policy is to pay tax refund claims promptly and only later to refer the refund files for possible audits and collection, in the event of overpayments or fraud. This policy, though, means that ordinary taxpayers are treated better than the nation’s wounded warriors who file disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA’s assumption seems to be that wounded veterans are cheating -- and thus most veterans receive at least five evaluations, and each one reviewed over a several-year period, before full benefits can be awarded. (Even though some temporary financial relief is available before final determination, veterans complain that the amount is almost never enough for complicated rehabilitation programs and other support.)


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TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The axolotl is a kind of salamander that has an extraordinary capacity for regenerating itself. If it loses a leg in an accident, it will grow a new one in its place. It can even fix its damaged organs, including eyes, heart, and brain. And get this: There’s never any scar tissue left behind when its work is done. Its power to heal itself is pretty much perfect. I nominate the axolotl to be your power animal in the coming weeks, Taurus. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you now have an extraordinary ability to restore any part of your soul that got hurt or stolen or lost. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In the coming months, I hope that you will get sweet revenge. In fact, I predict that you will get sweet revenge. Keep in mind that I’m not talking about angry, roaring vindication. I don’t mean you will destroy the reputations of your adversaries or reduce them to humiliating poverty or laugh at them as they grovel for mercy while lying in a muddy gutter. No, Gemini. The kind of revenge I foresee is that you will achieve a ringing triumph by mastering a challenge they all believed would defeat you. And your ascent to victory starts now. CANCER (June 21-July 22): I would love to speak with you about your hesitancy to fully confront your difficulties. But I will not speak forthrightly, since I’m pretty sure that would irritate you. It might even motivate you to procrastinate even further. So instead I will make a lame joke about how if you don’t stop avoiding the obvious, you will probably get bitten in the butt by a spider. I will try to subtly guilt-trip you into taking action by implying that I’ll be annoyed at you if you don’t. I will wax sarcastic and suggest that maybe just this once, ignorance is bliss. Hopefully that will nudge you into dealing straightforwardly with the unrest that’s burbling. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “Drama is life with all the boring parts cut out of it,” said Leo filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. By that criterion, I’m guessing that your experience in the coming week will have a high concentration of magic and stimulation. You should be free from having to slog through stale details and prosaic storylines. Your word of power will be succulence. For best results, I suggest you take active control of the unfolding adventures. Be the director and lead actor in your drama, not a passive participant who merely reacts to what the other actors are doing. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): One of my spiritual teachers once told me that a good spiritual teacher makes an effort not to seem too perfect. She said some teachers even cultivate odd quirks and harmless failings on purpose. Why? To get the best learning experience, students must be discouraged from over-idealizing the wise advisors they look up to. It’s crucial they understand that achieving utter purity is impossible and unrealistic. Being perceived as an infallible expert is dangerous for teachers, too; it makes them prone to egotistical grandiosity. I bring this up, Virgo, because it’s an excellent time to reduce the likelihood that you’ll be seduced by the illusion of perfection.

time to start. And I do mean that you should spea k the words out loud. Actually address yourself with passionate, humorous, ironic, sincere, insightful comments, as you would any person you care about. Why am I suggesting this? Because according to my interpretation of the astrological omens, you would benefit from the shock of literally hearing how your mind works. Even more importantly: The cheerleading you do, the encouragement you deliver, and the motivational speeches you give would have an unusually powerful impact if they were audibly articulated. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast,” a grotesque human-like creature hosts the heroine in his home, treating her like a queen. She accepts his hospitality but rejects his constant requests to marry him. Eventually, he collapses from heartache. Moved by the depth of his suffering, she breaks into tears and confesses her deep affection for him. This shatters the spell and magically transforms the Beast back into the handsome prince he originally was. Your life may have parallels to this story in the coming months, Scorpio. You might be tested. Can you discern the truth about a valuable resource that doesn’t look very sexy? Will you be able to see beauty embedded in a rough or shabby form? SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): If you thoroughly shuffle a deck of cards, the novel arrangement you create is probably unique in all of human history; its specific order has never before occurred. I suspect the same principle applies to our lives: Each new day brings a singular set of circumstances that neither you nor anyone else in the last 10,000 years has ever had the pleasure of being challenged and intrigued by. There is always some fresh opportunity, however small, that is being offered you for the first time. I think it’s important for you to keep this perspective in mind during the coming week. Be alert for what you have never seen or experienced before. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I wish I could do more than just fantasize about helping you achieve greater freedom. In my dreams, I am obliterating delusions that keep you moored to false idols. I am setting fire to the unnecessary burdens you lug around. And I am tearing you away from the galling compromises you made once upon a time in order to please people who don’t deserve to have so much power over you. But it’s actually a good thing I can’t just wave a magic wand to make all this happen. Here’s a much better solution: You will clarify your analysis of the binds you’re in, supercharge your willpower, and liberate yourself. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In his book Even Cowgirls Get the Blues , Tom Robbins talks about a gourmet who “gave up everything, traveled thousands of miles and spent his last dime to get to the highest lamasery in the Himalayas to taste the dish he’d longed for his whole life, Tibetan peach pie. When he got there . . . the lamas said they were all out of peach. ‘Okay,’ said the gourmet, ‘make it apple.’” I suspect you’ll be having a comparable experience sometime soon, Aquarius. You may not get the exact treat you wanted, but what you’ll receive in its place is something that’s pretty damn good. I urge you to accept the gift as is! PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “Having ‘a sense of self’ means possessing a set of stories about who we are,” according to William Kittredge in his book The Nature of Generosity. He says there are two basic types of stories: The first is “cautionary tales, which warn us” and therefore protect us. The second consists of “celebratory” tales, which we use to heal and calm ourselves. I believe that you Pisceans are now in a phase when you primarily need celebratory stories. It’s time to define yourself with accounts of what you love and value and regard as precious .

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): This would be a good week to talk to yourself far more than you usually do. If you’re the type of person who never talks to yourself, this is a perfect

Homework: Write a parable or fairy tale that captures what your life has been like in 2012.

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The Spirit of Adventure: A honeymoon canoe trip from Indy to the gulf of Mexico