I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL SUMMER. . . | FEBRUARY 18 - 24, 2004 buzz
Your 2004 Oscar Picks Grand Prize: 52 admit two passes to Savoy 16 1st Prize: 52 admit one passes to Savoy 16 2nd Prize: 24 admit one passes to Savoy 16
z buz Feb. 19 - 25, 2004
Q & A w/ Boneyard Pottery owner (Page 4)
Best Leading Actor
Best Animated Feature
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean Ben Kingsley, House of Sand and Fog Jude Law, Cold Mountain Bill Murray, Lost in Translation Sean Penn, Mystic River
Brother Bear Finding Nemo The Triplets of Belleville
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Lost in Translation Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World Mystic River Seabiscuit
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Supporting Actor
Alec Baldwin, The Cooler Benicio Del Toro, 21 Grams Djimon Hounsou, In America Tim Robbins, Mystic River Ken Watanabe, The Last Samurai
City of God The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Lost in Translation Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World Mystic River
American Splendor City of God The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Mystic River Seabiscuit
Best Leading Actress
Best Original Song
Best Original Screenplay
Keisha Castle-Hughes, Whale Rider Diane Keaton, Something’s Gotta Give Samantha Morton, In America Charlize Theron, Monster Naomi Watts, 21 Grams
“Belleville Rendevous”, The Triplets of Belleville “Into the West”, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow” , A Mighty Wind “Scarlet Tide”, Cold Mountain “ You Will Be My Ain True Love”, Cold Mountain
The Barbarian Invasions Dirty Pretty Things Finding Nemo In America Lost in Translation
Best Supporting Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, House of Sand and Fog Patricia Clarkson, Pieces of April Marcia Gay Harden, Mystic River Holly Hunter, Thirteen Renee Zellweger, Cold Mountain
NAME: ADDRESS: PHONE: EMAIL: Send entries to DI Marketing, 57 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820 OR enter online at www.dailyillini.com Drop off entries at our 57 E. Green St. location, DI at the Y on 1001 Wright Street OR Savoy 16 Theatres, 232 W. Burwash, Savoy Deadline: Friday, February 27, 2004 by 5:00pm
Arts | Entertainment | Community
when romance met comedy:
The write stuff: a look at online journals (Page 7) MUSIC
Mendoza Music Line with DJ Bozak (Page 11) CALENDAR
Andre Williams at Cowboy Monkey (Page 14)
Only one entry per person. IMC employees are not elligible. Must be 18 to win. All prizes won through a random drawing. Prizes non transferable. The Daily Illini reserves the right to print winner’s names. Other restrictions may apply.
City of God review (Page 23)
four movies you can both agree on
STRONG MEN ALSO CRY. STRONG MEN ALSO CRY. | FEBRUARY 19 - 25, 2004
BY KATIE RICHARDSON | ARTS EDITOR
4 Q & A w/ local potter Boneyard Pottery Gallery owner Michael Schwegmann did not realize his interest...
6 The write stuff As a society, we are pinned as individualistic and materialistic...
Music 9 Bluegrass in C-U On February 25th, Yonder Mountain String Band comes to The Canopy...
14 Andre Williams Rhythm and blues has been a part of Andre Williamsâ€™s life since...
23 City of God review Certain stories are so intertwined with their setting that they essentially could not be told in any other part of the world ... PHOTO COURTESY OF | YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND
BUZZ STAFF Editor in chief Marissa Monson Art Directors Meaghan Dee & Carol Mudra Copy Chief Chris Ryan Music Jacob Dittmer Art Katie Richardson Film Paul Wagner Community Emily Wahlheim Calendar Maggie Dunphy Photography Editor Christine Litas Calendar Coordinators Lauren Smith, Cassie Conner, Erin Scottberg Photography Christine Litas, Adam Young, Roderick Gedey Copy Editors Chris Ryan, Jen Hubert, Erin Green Designers Adam Obendorf, Mark Hauge, Sue Janna Truscott, Chris Depa, Glenn Cochon Production Manager Theon Smith Sales Manager Jon Maly Marketing/Distribution Melissa Schleicher, Maria Erickson Publisher Mary Cory
Carlie Bruciaâ€™s murder has ignited the usual media coverage. Usual, that is, when the media is covering a childâ€™s murder. In the last few weekâ€™s weâ€™ve read of the familyâ€™s grief, heard the laundry list of reasons why Joseph P. Smith should have been in jail, and listened to attorneys and judges defend themselves when questioned as to why he was not. We have also seen the usual photographs of the little girl before her tragic abduction wherein she is smiling back at us, beautiful, happy, full of potential. What is different about this case is the one unusual photo we have: the photograph shown on every network of the video recording of her abduction. This is a disturbing image because it offers us some sort of synthetic hope, that we can somehow stop the tape and enter it and prevent the horrible thing that is about to happen. Itâ€™s a more serious version of when one becomes really excited about a ball game, thinking that somehow oneâ€™s cheering for one team over another will actually affect a game being played 500 miles away. TV brings a far-off realityâ€”whether because of time or physical distanceâ€” right into our own space. It makes events that have nothing to do with us our reality, although we cannot touch them or manipulate them. Watching Carlie being
odds & end
buzz FEBRUARY 19 - 25, 2004 | HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Volume 2, Number 6 COVER DESIGN | Chris Depa
WHITE MAN led away by her murderer gives us a tangible image to put with the word â€œabduction.â€? We can see that she was scared, and that she was resisting him. We are not only told of it. Whether this incites unnecessary rage in us, or gives a deeper understanding and empathy toward those who have been victims of crime is difficult to say. What can most certainly be assumed is that that video is horrible for her family to watch. The TV age, and especially the emerging â€œvideo camera on every street cornerâ€? age, has offered us substantial pluses: Because of the video, we know who most likely abducted Carlie. However, it has also offered us a disturbing look into actual reality, not the watered down version of reality we can see on shows like The Real World or The Bachelorette. What is painfully evident when watching that tape is that Carlie Brucia is dead. We canâ€™t call the network complaining about the indecency of the act, we canâ€™t vote off Joseph P. Smith, and we canâ€™t give her parents consolation prizes. Maybe, then, we arenâ€™t ready for the â€œreal world.â€? I, for one, donâ€™t ever want to witness another â€œreal abduction.â€? Iâ€™ll stick to quickie live weddings and conversation laden with sexual innuendos between people who are essentially scriptless actors looking for a little shallow, harmless fame.
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26odds & end ARIES (March 21-April 19): On February 1, six big-name entertainers took control of the Super Bowl halftime show. The result was a histrionically boring spectacle of robotic sexuality and fake emotion. If there was any saving grace amidst the monumental emptiness, it was Janet Jackson's climactic unveiling. In a New York Times article, Alessandra Stanley wrote, "The one moment of honesty in that coldly choreographed tableau was when the cup came off and out tumbled a normal middle-aged woman's breast instead of an idealized Playboy bunny implant." Your assignment in the coming week, Aries, is to be inspired by that moment of honesty. Strip away pretension and phoniness everywhere you find them, thereby exposing the raw humanity that lies beneath. One caveat: Do this ethically, and without breaking the law. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): The President of Belarus has issued a mandate to his country's athletes regarding their performance in the 2004 Summer Olympics. "You should have clear-cut plans for victory," Alyaksandr Lukashenka told them. "It is unacceptable for you to win fewer than 25 medals." That sounds a bit unrealistic to me, so I won't be that demanding in my decree to you, Taurus. But the astrological omens are on my side as I command you to pull off a feat that would be your equivalent of a gold medal between now and March 20. In addition, I order you to gather a new privilege, new perk, or new title. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): After years of occupation by the Soviet Union, Georgia became an independent republic in 1991. Its new leader was Eduard Shevardnadze, who over the next 12 years brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy and became the most hated man in public life. Last November he relinquished power in the face of a "revolution of roses," a bloodless insurrection led by protestors brandishing flowers. Two months later, one of the leading "rose revolutionaries," 36-yearold Mikhail Saakashvili, was elected Georgia's new president. I suggest that you Geminis make Saakashvili your role model for the next two months.You've got a lot of status quo to overthrow, and the best way to do it is with your version of flower power. CANCER (June 21-July 22): According to my analysis of the astrological omens, it's time for you to make two corrections. First, you are suffering from an exaggerated sense of what's possible to accomplish in the short term. I urge you to deflate your grandiosity a bit. Second, your expectations of what you can pull off in the long run are way too small. I authorize you to pump up them up. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Our subject this week, class, is the aphorism, "If at first you don't succeed, redefine the meaning of success." Your assignment is to make practical use of this principle. Judging from the current astrological omens, I think the best place to apply it might be in your love life. If you agree, here's a suggestion about how to proceed. First, figure out what it is
I HOPE MY HORISCOPE IS RIGHT | FEBRUARY 19 - 25, 2004
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY you've been doing wrong that has kept you from getting the xact kind of love you want. (One possibility is that your soul and ur ego are craving different things and therefore working at rosspurposes.) Second, revise your definition of the exact kind of love you want, incorporating a more realistic assessment of who you are. Third, forgive yourself for having previously had an inadequate definition. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I'm grateful for my years of psychotherapy.They've been crucial in helping me shed bad mental habits and master the art of being happy. How about you, Virgo? Have you ever met regularly with an empath whose primary purpose is to listen to you and enhance your life? It's a perfect time to start giving yourself this necessary luxury. Or, if you're one of the lucky few who already has a skilled wise person working in service to you, it's a favorable time to dive deeper into the work. The astrological omens suggest that you now have the power to get more help than you've received before -- but you have to ask for it. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is a bit stiff, but his Libran wife Teresa is just the opposite. "She can be as unbuttoned in her speech as Kerry is buttoned up in his," wrote Philip Gourevitch in "The New Yorker," "with the result that she is sometimes impolitic and always worth listening to." In Salon.com, Rebecca Traister said Teresa has complained that George W. Bush "is afraid to be Socratic" and that he entered his presidency "with a lack of curiosity about the job." She playfully told one interviewer that if John is elected, her main job as first lady will be to keep him humble. I urge you to make Teresa your role model in the coming week, Libra. Be unbuttoned, impolitic, Socratic, curious, and worth listening to. Use humor to keep yourself and everyone around you humble.
your mind. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): In his 1989 song, "Fight the Power," Public Enemy's lead rapper Chuck D expressed his opinion of Elvis Presley: "Elvis was a hero to most/ But he never meant sh*t to me, you see/ Straight up racist that sucker was, simple and plain." Thirteen years later, Chuck D presented a different story, telling Newsday he had "a great deal of respect" for Elvis. I suggest you follow Chuck D's example in the coming week, Capricorn. It takes courage to shift your position as radically as he did, and I hope you can do the same.It's a perfect moment to officially change your mind about at least two important issues. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The Pentagon could not account for $22 billion in expenditures last year, according to Harper's Index. How about you, Aquarius? Has your relationship with money been suffering from any ignorance or chaos? If so, the next seven months will be a favorable time to fix that. The cosmos will be conspiring to help you upgrade your financial savvy. To the degree that you co-conspire, you will get richer a lot quicker. Here's the best news: It all starts in earnest now. Respond aggressively to a hot tip that arrives this week. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): You will wake up one morning and realize you're more free than you've been in a long time. Nagging ghosts will have lost their power to bug you. Stale traditions will have faded. You will have made your last payment on an old karmic debt. Through an act of grace you don't fully understand, mind-forged manacles will have vanished. So what should you do next? I suggest you celebrate. Throw a "Get Out of Jail" party for yourself.Then run wild for a couple of days.When you're good and ready to harness your adorable new independence, ask yourself, "In what area of my life is it most important that I start fresh?"
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Love may not conquer all in the coming weeks, Scorpio, but it could conquer 60 percent, and even as much as 75. The key factor in determining love's power to accomplish wonders will be your knack for avoiding obsessive perfectionism and all-or-nothing thinking.You should work with love like a master politician who's skilled at compromise, not like a glory-seeking hero who thinks she can change everything overnight. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "The fishermen of the Colombian coast must be learned doctors of ethics and morality," writes Eduardo Galeano in The Book of Embraces, "for they invented the [Spanish] word sentipensante, or 'feeling-thinking,' to define language that speaks the truth." I advise you to make sentipensante, your word of power in the coming days, Sagittarius. It may help you synchronize your galloping emotions and your restless intellect. And that may be your best hope for solving the conundrums headed your way. Here's another way to describe your assignment: Think with your heart and feel with
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venue 5 Had an assignation 12 Tribune Company competitor 15 Have a tête-à-tête with 16 Store sign 17 Argues 18 Store sign 20 Matisse’s “La Tristesse du ___” 21 Initiation declaration 22 Elton John and others 23 Like some floor polish 24 Center 25 Benjamins 27 Some princesses 28 Phil Niekro and others 29 Dip into 30 Eye parts: Var. 31 Fair to middling
32 One giving the
silent treatment 33 “___ abed and daylight slumber / Were not meant for man alive”: Housman 34 Tabloid topic 35 Not-too-spicy cuisine 39 She’s a doll 40 In modern lingo, an urban male who devotes much time to his appearance and lifestyle 42 Provide a segue for 44 What’s left 45 Sign-up 46 Places for pilots 47 Perfume ingredient 48 Something to shoot through DOWN 1 ___ sum (Chinese flowering cabbage)
2 Spanish infants
Mefistofele, e.g. 4 CNN screen feature 5 Three-legged ornamental table 6 Fix, as a costume 7 [That is, like, so last week] 8 Driver’s caution 9 Superlatively hot 10 Check mate? 11 Stops 13 Teen party 14 House wreckers 15 Heads (off) 19 Feminine suffixes 22 ___ headache 24 Imbroglio 25 Ones in joint custody? 26 Candidate of 2000 27 Christmas carolers often get them 28 “Music for Airports” composer
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FEBRUARY 19 - 25, 2004 | COULTER CRACKS ME UP
FIRST THING’S FIRST...
Here’s a statistic: 100 percent of me is sick of statistics BY MICHAEL COULTER | CONTRIBUTING WRITER Mark Twain has been quoted as saying, “There are three kinds of lies. Lies, damned lies and statistics.” In the 1800s, there probably weren’t even that many statistics around and yet folks were already beginning to see them as a pain in the ass. It’s only gotten worse. USA Today can make any facet of life into a pie graph. The problem now isn’t gathering statistics; we seem to be very efficient at that. The real dilemma seems to lie in understanding what the statistics mean. That, and giving a shit either way. The 2003 Statistical Abstract came out last week like my friend Bob did at his junior prom: kind of messy and extremely shocking. The abstract is an attempt to hold America up to the light, pointing out everything we do, yet making no effort at all to explain why. Some stats jump right out at you. The average american ate two pounds of lard in 2002. That really seems like a lot of lard. What makes it worse is that it’s an average, meaning some among us are taking in more than two pounds of lard annually. Granted, the sensible people don’t eat all of this lard in one setting, but it’s still a big number. What does it mean? If you go by another statistic in the abstract, we’re a country of fat asses. 58 percent of us are considered overweight, 22.5 percent of us obese. That seems like an insanely high number when you see it. The number doesn’t really seem that big, however, if you spend a couple hours at the DMV waiting for a driver’s license, or take in a lunch buffet anywhere in town. “I’ll take a small Diet Coke and the all-you-caneat lard special, please!” It’s not like we aren’t trying, though. Seventy-one million of us walk for exercise. That seems reasonable until you read the rest of it. To qualify as an “exercise walker” you have to do it at least six times a year. Jesus Christ, six times a year is all it takes to qualify as exercise? My drunk ass has to walk home about six times a month and then walk back the next day to get my car and I don’t even slightly resemble someone who’s in shape. Who knew exercise could be so easy, and so ineffective? It’s not just walking; 449,000 people wind surf. That’s a lot of dudes, but not really that big of number, considering three million of us consider muzzleloading a sport. There’s nothing like a fine afternoon of muzzleloading to really kick that cardiovascular system into shape. I can’t understand why it never caught on as a televised sport, probably because Nike
never came out with an Air Muzzleloader shoe that costs $120. Looking at the geriatric set, for folks over 64 years of age, 83,000 of them claim to enjoy skateboarding. I’m just guessing, but I bet that calculates into roughly 83,000 broken hips a year. I gotta be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone over 64 on a skateboard, but if I ever do, I know what I’ll say. “Hey, check out that drunk old guy on the skateboard that’s about to break his God-damned hip.” Women are better than men at exercising by seven million a year. A whopping 775,000 of those women say they enjoy playing tackle football. Not surprisingly, 100 percent of all heterosexual men love watching these women play tackle football. Okay, I made that stat up, but I still stand behind it. There are some other fun items. Fifty-seven million households have cell phones. I believe that. I also believe every last one of those 57 million people are driving right in front of me every time I’m in a hurry. Some 36.6 million households have a large screen TV. That works out. A large TV and a large ass to sit on while you watch it. I’m surprised they aren’t counting television viewing as exercise. A little less than one-third of Kentucky residents are smokers. I’m sure this news is shocking to Kentucky and wholly expect them to begin a campaign to get that number up to around 50 percent by the time the next abstract comes out. It’s Kentucky, after all, and they know what I’ve known since high school. Smoking makes you look cool and older. North Dakota is in first place when it comes to per-capita binge drinking. I always drink when I’m bored off my ass, so who could blame North Dakotans? I bet if you manage to put down a case of beer a couple of times a week, it’s not even that bad a place to live. It’s a big-ass book and I just hit a few highlights, but the numbers are all in there. Just numbers, no explanations. Feel free to make them mean whatever you want because you know everyone else will. If you’d like to discuss them further, feel free to call me at home. Wait, I take that back. Three thousand people were arrested last year as a result of wiretaps and I’m sure I’ll say something that’ll get me in the pokey before it’s all over.
News of the weird ART COMES TO LIFE In a 1999 episode of TV’s “The Simpsons,” Homer became a temporary multibillionaire by accidentally inventing a “tomacco” plant that sprouted tobaccobred tomatoes that were hopelessly addictive from even a single bite. Inspired (and hoping to draw attention to the show’s anti-smoking message), Rob Baur of Lake Oswego, Ore., tried to grow such a plant and has somewhat succeeded, although a forensic researcher believes that only the plant itself, and not the fruit, contains nicotine. In February, he announced that he would auction off the golf-ball-sized fruit.
UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who is widely believed by United Nations officials and Far East experts to be tolerating the starvation deaths of perhaps millions of his countrymen, launched a nationwide campaign in January to improve national health by eradicating smoking, whose practitioners, said Kim, are one of the “three main fools of the 21st century”(along with people ignorant about music and computers).
Ariel Alonso, who lives near Roanoke, Va., was indignant when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration wrongly accused him of setting up a methamphetamine lab, and asked rhetorically, after the charges were dropped in January, “How do I get my ... dignity back?” The laboratory of Alonso (and his thenpartner Jonathan Conrad) was in reality mak-
ing the so-called “fluid of life,” which they goaded customers into buying (at $20 to $40 a dose) by claiming that it is the component of human cells and can cleanse people internally and build new tissue, even though it was just potassium chloride and white grape juice. (That, apparently, is the business plan that gave Alonso “dignity.”)
RECURRING THEMES In January, doctors at the Selian Hospital, Arusha, Tanzania, removed a toothbrush from the stomach of a 54-year-old man who had become the latest person to swallow one while brushing his teeth.
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letterstotheeditor T.I.F. tax “diversion” Officials are considering extending the T.I.F. (tax increment financing) tax “diversion” district for downtown Champaign. For those without children or commitment to the long-term residents in UN-gated subdivisions, this may sound like a good thing. “Oh goody, another bar and restaurant. Finally, civilization!” It is nice to have as many choices of where to spend an evening as in the Chicago suburbs, however bringing in the driving nightmares is not as appealing. I understand Champaign does need a bar on every corner, but did you know this detracts money from the school system? According to Bruce Knight, the Champaign planning director, “it is still cheaper to build in a cornfield.” Mr. Knight, I think of you often; every Saturday.
Michael Coulter is a videographer at Parkland College. He writes a weekly e-mail column, “This Sporting Life” and has hosted several local comedy shows.
COPYRIGHT 2004 CHUCK SHEPHERD
While I attempt to maneuver the Town center/Prospect driver obstacle course—
since the area has been designed without walking or biking as an option—perhaps Mr. Knight should focus more energy on ordinance codes, making building on a cornfield require a great deal more forethought to detail, subsequently making it more costly than the type of development called “inbuilding” of downtown. The area of Bradley and Bloomington had flooding last spring that long-time residents have not experienced before? Perhaps drainage for the area, not just the particular site, should be a study issue for amending the comprehensive plan as well. In fact, as an encouragement to Mr. Knight, I propose we rename Moreland Avenue to Knight Drive. It is, after all, devoid of streetlights. Andrea Antulov Find “Life in Hell” on Page 19. It will return to Intro next week.
FEBRUARY 19 - 25, 2004
In the midst of controversy A look into the life of an abortion nurse
FEBRUARY 19 - 25, 2004 | WHERE, OH WHERE, IS SCARLETT JOHANSSON??
CONCERT FOR GEORGE â˜…â˜…â˜…
BY LISA SCHENCKER | STAFF WRITER
Sharon Johnson* doesnâ€™t tell people what she does for a living anymore. The last time she mentioned it was a couple years ago to a member of her church who sneered at her and walked away in disgust. She doesnâ€™t reveal her last name, even on her business cards, for fear of what might happen to her.
* The names in this article have been changed to protect sourcesâ€™ identities.
Four days a week, Johnson is the smiling, friendly, blond nurse behind a desk, dispensing medical advice, condoms and counseling. It is on the fifth day that Johnson must hide. It is then that she wakes at 6 a.m., takes a shower, does her hair and makeup, and then drives to the nearest city. There, she shops for about an hour before work. By 9 a.m. she is at work. By 1 or 2 p.m., Johnson has usually assisted in terminating between 15 and 25 pregnancies. When Johnson leaves work in the early afternoon, she shops for about another hour to calm herself. She then drives back to the small Central Illinois town where she has lived almost all of the 35 years of her life. It is a town of roughly 2,000 people where everyone knows everyone and secrets are hard to keep. In this small town, Johnson, a registered nurse, must mask what she does from acquaintances. Her face and voice must remain even when she sees people sheâ€™s known her whole life enter the clinic to get abortions. She must remain stolid when she sees them in public. Few people in the town know exactly what she does that fifth day of the week. When people ask her, she says she works in a doctorâ€™s office. If they press further, she says she works at a womenâ€™s clinic. â€œItâ€™s a touchy subject and I donâ€™t like to go there,â€? Johnson says. â€œYou never know when youâ€™re standing in some checkout line, there could (be) some insane person standing next to you. You just never know.â€? CHOICES Johnson finds such fear and hidingâ€”and the job itselfâ€”emotionally draining. To relieve stress, she shops before and after assisting with the abortions. When she gets home from shopping around 5 or 6 p.m., she takes a nap or relaxes on the couch for the rest of the night. Her live-in boyfriend and his son know to leave her alone. â€œUsually, when I get home, Iâ€™m tired and grouchy,â€? Johnson said. â€œThereâ€™s no reason I should feel like Iâ€™ve been run over by a truck after three hours of work, but sometimes I do.â€? Johnsonâ€™s job involves setting up equipment, handing instruments to the doctor during the procedure, printing out sonograms and carrying a large glass jar containing the aborted embryo to the clinicâ€™s lab for analysis. She first started assisting with surgical abortions about six years ago. Previously, she worked as a nurse in a nursing home, but got tired of working holidays and weekends. She was ready for a change. A friend of hers began
working at the abortion clinic and recommended that the clinic hire Johnson as well. The job was Monday through Friday, and best of all, Johnson would get to spend four of those days running a womenâ€™s health clinic. The catch was that one day a week she would assist a doctor with surgical abortions. The four days a week of being her own boss and working with friendly, small-town people was a dream job she could not pass up. It was a package deal, so she took it. At first, she did not mind assisting with abortions one day a week. She believed, as she still does, in a womanâ€™s right to choose. As a teenager, Johnson spent a few years running wildâ€”hanging out with older friends, drinking and partyingâ€”and the thought had crossed her mind before: â€œWhat would I do?â€? â€œTo be perfectly honest, I always thought if I did get pregnant, I would have an abortion,â€? Johnson said. â€œItâ€™s every single personâ€™s choice and I do believe itâ€™s your right. Iâ€™m just really losing my taste for it. Thereâ€™s no way I would do that now. And I canâ€™t even tell you why.â€? Johnson doesnâ€™t know why she hates handing the doctor instruments, why she hates carrying the embryo across the operating room floor. Itâ€™s not because of her religion. She was raised Methodist but isnâ€™t very religious now and never has been. She believes people get whatâ€™s coming to them in an afterlife but doesnâ€™t believe in any conventional form of heaven or hell. No one at Johnsonâ€™s childhood church ever told her she would go to hell. It wasnâ€™t until she started working at an abortion clinic that she heard that. â€œYou know Iâ€™ve had people tell me when I drove into the parking lot,â€™Youâ€™re going to burn in hell for this,â€™ and you kind of ask yourself, youâ€™ve got to wonder if youâ€™re going to end up paying for this some way or another,â€? Johnson said. Itâ€™s not the procedure that disturbs Johnson either. Each abortion takes less than five minutes to perform and can be relatively painless. Itâ€™s the images on the sonogram that bother Johnson. Up to seven weeks into a pregnancy, most features of the embryo are not yet recognizable. After seven or eight weeks, it starts to resemble a person. Much of the abortion debate questions when a life begins. At what point is a person a person? Johnson isnâ€™t sure, but when the embryo or fetus begins to resemble a human being, Johnson begins to have issues. â€œWhen you go to the sonogram of a person who is much farther along and I can see fingers, toes and I can see the spinal column and
BY ANDREW VECELAS | STAFF WRITER
eorge Harrison, long known as the most reserved and aloof member of the Beatles, died in November 2001 after a prolonged battle with cancer. Based on the evidence seen in Concert for George, being the â€œsilent Beatleâ€? did not prevent Harrison from lingering long after his death in the hearts of those who knew him best. The film captures the concert given in Harrisonâ€™s memory at Londonâ€™s Royal Albert Hall exactly one year after his death. Eric Clapton heads up the concert, which also features such performers as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Harrisonâ€™s own son Dhani. With the rosy atmosphere in the hall and so many of Harrisonâ€™s friends and loved ones on stage, the mood is more like a reunion of sorts than a true concert. In between the songs, short interviews with the artists are shown, and they share their memories of Harrison. When everyone shares the stage at the end, itâ€™s pretty obvious how much they are enjoying themselves. The DVD contains extra interviews and performances that round out the event. McCartney does a touching version of â€œSomething,â€? beginning the song on a ukulele, one of Harrisonâ€™s favorite instruments to play in his free time. Keyboardist Billy Preston is all over â€œMy Sweet Lord,â€? bringing a heavy dose of soul to the vocals. The showstopper here is â€œIsnâ€™t It a Pity,â€? which has Clapton and Preston at the top of their respective games. The band really knocks it out of the park, and brings the audience to a standing ovation at the conclusion of the song. A few of the songs do fall flat; partially because Harrisonâ€™s solo material was pretty uneven to begin with. Ringo Starrâ€™s singing has never been his strong point, and Tom Pettyâ€™s vocals on â€œTaxmanâ€? could bring the audience to tears, and not in a sympathetic way. And then thereâ€™s Dhani Harrison on guitar, looking so much like his father in his younger years that it borders on eerie. He may not belong on the stage with everyone else in terms of talent, but for sentimental value alone, he deserves his spot up there. Though it hits more often than it misses musically, Concert for George makes its biggest impact spiritually. The performers put their best effort into making a tribute to a man they knew and loved. Everyone else can just sit back and watch their love be displayed on screenâ€” and thereâ€™s nothing wrong with that.
BARBERSHOP 2: BACK IN BUSINESS â˜…â˜…â˜… ICE CUBE AND CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER Todayâ€™s sequel has prompted the average moviegoer to dread a second edition. Itâ€™s a relief to see a sequel that doesnâ€™t completely flop and tarnish the image of the first. Barbershop 2 accomplishes all it set out to do. The audience laughs, has a good time and leaves the theater with a big, goofy smile on their faces. (Andrew Crewell) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy BIG FISH â˜…â˜…â˜… EWAN MCGREGOR AND ALBERT FINNEY Many critics have claimed that Big Fish is too literary for people to understand, and that the masses will grow inpatient with it. However, itâ€™s the films inability to make the characters worthy of compassion that grows irksome. Big Fish will serve as one of 2003â€™s most imaginary films, but it falls short of its potential to also be one of 2003â€™s best. (Jason Cantone) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy CONCERT FOR GEORGE â˜…â˜…â˜… Various Artists Though it hits more often than it misses musically, Concert for George makes its biggest impact spiritually. The performers put their best effort into making a tribute to a man they knew and loved. Everyone else can just sit back and watch their love be displayedâ€”and thereâ€™s nothing wrong with that. (Andrew Vecelas) Midnight this weekend at Boardmanâ€™s Art Theatre LOST IN TRANSLATION â˜…â˜…â˜…â˜… BILL MURRAY AND SCARLETT JOHANSSON Sofia Coppolaâ€™s latest work embodies the importance of a familiar face in a country full of strangers. Throughout the subtle, stupendous Lost in Translation, Bob and Charlotte discover in each other not just a friendly face but an ally in the universal game of lost and found. (Matt Pais) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy MASTER AND COMMANDER
RUSSELL CROWE AND PAUL BETTANY Peter Weir buffs will get a kick out of watching this film and remembering The Truman Show. While Trumanâ€™s aquatic-oriented scenes introduced the directorâ€™s ability to craft stimulating scenes of sea-swept peril, Master and Commander achieves a far higher degree of oceanic fanfare. Itâ€™s a glorious tale of adventure on the high seas sure to put wind in any landlubberâ€™s sails. (Matt Pais) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy
MIRACLE â˜…â˜…â˜… KURT RUSSELL AND PATRICIA CLARKSON Americaâ€™s victory may not have actually been a miracle in the spiritual sense of the word, but what Miracle gets right is the feeling of national desperation that was extinguished by the unpredictable triumph of 20 college-aged hockey players. It was something the country needed then and something Disney obviously thinks we need now. Itâ€™s an inspirational blast from the past, and thatâ€™s something to quack about. (Matt Pais) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy RETURN OF THE KING â˜…â˜…â˜…â˜… ELIJAH WOOD AND IAN MCKELLAN Even if The Return of the King doesnâ€™t win the grand prize on Oscar night, anything short of best director victory for Peter Jackson would be an unforgivable injustice. He has raised the bar for fantasy and redefined themes of friendship, honor and courage on a grippingly grand and poignantly intimate scale. Besides its structural limitations, The Return of the King is more than a rousing ending to a celebrated legend; itâ€™s a battle cry for epic filmmaking. (Matt Pais) Now showing at Beverly and Savoy
OPENING THIS WEEKEND AGAINST THE ROPES MEG RYAN AND OMAR EPPS Meg Ryan is a female boxing managerâ€”not female boxing manager as in she manages female boxers, but as in she is a female who manages male boxers. This obviously does not go over well, and she has to deal with being a woman in a male-dominated field. (Paul Wagner) Opening this weekend CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN LINDSAY LOHAN AND MEGAN FOX Lola is a teenager who fits in at her school in New York. Unfortunately, she just moved into the quite different Jersey â€˜burbs where she is having a hard time fitting in with her new schoolmates. She tries to make the lead in the upcoming school play but runs into a problem with her newfound rival for the part. Somehow, it seems there could be an underlying morality here, but who can say without seeing the movie? (Paul Wagner) Opening this weekend EUROTRIP JACOB PITTS AND MICHELLE TRACHTENBERG A gorgeous overseas online penpal causes a group of friends to travel across the globe to meet her. Brought to you by the makers of Old School and Roadtrip, Eurotrip promises good fun and plenty of male nudity. (Paul Wagner) Opening this weekend WELCOME TO MOOSEPORT GENE HACKMAN AND RAY ROMANO In a small New England town, former President Hackman makes a move for the mayorâ€™s office, and for Romanoâ€™s girlfriend. In order to defend himself, Romanoâ€™s character decides he will run against Hackman for the mayorâ€™s job. Fun and hilarity ensue. (Paul Wagner) Opening this weekend
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