June - 2012
THE SINFUL WORLD OF JAVONNE SPITZ
TRAGEDIES & TIMETABLES
Tragedy is a part of life we grow to expect with age. For most of us, our fist taste of it comes when our mother denies us the sweet, warm milk from her tit for the first time. Later in life it’s the painful loss of a pet, then our first failed relationship, that bloody hole in the chest that never seems to heal. Then for too many of us we deal with incarceration of some sort, a broken home, then the death of a family member or close friend. At the end, it’s our own mortality that kills us off, continuing the painful cycle of life – fucking Tragedy. It’s the grand scheme of life, where you pray to God for a decent meal, only to be served a shit-burger topped with maggot cheese on two slices of moldy bread. For the Independent Publisher, Tragedy too often serves a shit-burger with a side order of herpe-fries. I have choked on this combination more than once in the past three years of publishing here in St. Louis. And when you choke alone, in the darkness of a closed-door office, it’s a frightening experience. To survive, you have to understand Tragedy for what she is, a whore of an entity much more cunning than Mother Nature with her foreseeable hurricanes and tornados. She’s the sister of Death, who never needs to be cloaked by the darkness of night to bring pain and misfortune to the masses. Tragedy’s torture varies from person to person. For the indy publisher it can be a business deposit at the bank accidently placed in the wrong account by a nitwit bank teller that turns into a bounced check to the printer. It can be the death of your father days before print. It can be a suicidal family member attempting to blow your house and office to pieces in the middle of the night while you dream of puppy dogs and kitty cats and perfect issues. It can be a loved one suspiciously arrested for first-degree murder a week or so before print. It can be your computer going down hours before print (hence the reason we’re out a week late). However this meatless, poison burger is served, you better have a stomach and liver laced with iron or a severe passion for what you do to survive. Luckily, I have both. My mother may never say it aloud for any man nor woman to hear, but she believes all this tragedy bestowed upon me is a punishment from God himself for publishing such a blasphemous publication. If God, and Mother Nature, and Death, and Tragedy do truly exist, then maybe she holds an argument I can not win. Until she or anyone else can produce one of these entities,
mortals, or God, himself, I’ll entertain the idea that all the pain that comes with independent publishing is nothing more than a cycle of life, maybe one that more of us should stomach. Tragedy is as much of life as is a blissful shot of Wild Turkey at closing. Both come with independent publishing and getting involved with your community, if that’s your poison. It’s the timetables and deadlines of independent publishing that magnify dealing with personal tragedy. There’s seldom, if ever, a paid staff to take the helm of this runaway ship when the storm hits in the middle of the night to keep its bearing headed to the printer before sunrise. That’s a luxury an Independent Publisher seldom swallows, a real budget. For myself this month a family tragedy right before print meant sacrificing The Seattle Sinner for The St. Louis Sinner when we decided to split the two papers again. Of course, there’s always at least two options when served a shit-burger: Throw the rotten meat in the garbage and walk away or swallow the damned thing and puke it up the next few days like a bad case of salmonella. And that’s what I’ve been doing, puking up a bloody Shit-Burger for ten straight days. I still believe it’s better to puke shit every few months than never dare eat a slice of independent life. There’s certainly other situations to independent publishing that may seem worthy of being defined tragic. One is an altercation with a competitor’s staff member over shelf space. Most people pass publications in bars, and coffee shops on racks and stands assuming all is in order, a peace among the many diverse nations of publishing. That’s hardly the case.
STAND SPACE & STAND OFFS Many corporate publications who have a budget to put stands on every corner and business in town seldom do so. They prefer to be cost efficient, take up any free spot on a shelf at any establishment. Then they hire delivery crews who prefer to leave old issues behind and take up two or three spots, usually in laziness but sometimes vanity, too. The holier-than-thou notion, “I work for This Publication! So move over!” Every once in a while an Independent Publisher will run into one of these jackasses while delivering his or her publication. It can be an ugly scene. Even more so when the jackass isn’t even a delivery person but a staff member, who confronts you about a shelf space that isn’t even his publication’s, arguing about what shelf is “yours” and which two or three is his, meaning his employer’s. Man’s natural instinct is to scream, “FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE!” Instead, most of us look for middle ground, a peaceful solution, even while said Jackass is on the phone calling his employer complaining about you finding one spot for your publication while his employer’s delivery guy has greedily taken two free spots. That’s certainly the moment you want to scream, “FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE!” until your voice goes hoarse. The true Independent Publisher not only lacks the funds to hire a staff to sit on standby incase a storm hits in the middle of the night, but also lacks a budget to cover stands to guarantee his or her publication is seen by passersby after print. If your publication is buried at the bottom of a bar’s shelf by numerous past issues from a competing publication, no one sees your paid advertisers’ events or specials. This can be a slice to the throat of your publication, and usually is. And when that happens, you better be prepared for old the Grim Reaper to come for you while choking on that shitburger or have a stomach and liver laced with iron and a passion to survive. Luckily, I have not only both of those, but a set of balls to scream, “FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE!” until my voice goes hoarse. And that, my dear sinner, is just another tale of fear and publishing two cities...
WRITERS, RANTERS, OPINIONISTS & OTHER ALL-OUT FREAKS: Mark Taylor-Canfield Paul Blow Lucifer Saab Lofton Malice Henry Nicolle Kimberly Peters
Emily Eufinger The Surley Gourmand Guitar Doug Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid Kendra Holliday Tina D Russ Rosener
Publisher: Chuck Foster Layout: Terri Daniels Seattle Operations manager: Guitar Doug Cover Art: Javonne Spitz
The Sinner is a group of contributing writers. Their opinions, rants and ideas do not necessarily reflect the views of The Sinner itself. The Sinner encourages contributions from its readers but retains the right to edit material due to content or length of submission.
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ESSAY | Our Future – Obsessed, Domesticated and Mundane by Henry Nicolle
hose of us whose lives are constantly seared on the rotisserie of the politically incorrect open-pit barbeque see things that others see, but our reactions are reversed. We all live our preferred fantasies, openly compromising our made-up existences in an ever-shifting dance with reality (whatever reality may exist in the human senses). Out on the edge, we harp and kick each day in civil restlessness and are satisfied that we have done our share to birth a more reasonable world. We abhor violence, even in self-preservation. Our mirrors amplify our images a thousand times or more by mundane society which prefers the passive modes of complaint, plea, petition and submission. We love violence, but only for entertainment. It appears to me that we are all quite satisfied with the conditions in which our lives are submerged, and even more comfortably embarked upon the obvious path to our inevitable future prospects. Our Declaration acknowledged social and political inertia by these words, “. . . that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed.” It is true. We prefer to suffer, to go along to get along, give a little to get a little, prime the pump, leave revenge to God, let Karma deal with the Good and Evil of Men. We have all become obsessed with violence. If you are a Government Man or Woman, Violence is your Right to Coerce and Enforce your opinion. We are the mirror, obsessed with non-violence. If you are a man or woman not Government, you are denied methods with any effect to oppose the conduct
of Government Men and Women. We have all forgotten our individual Rights, Liberty and Self-Determination. We make these little deals in our heads that say, “It is better to submit, to surrender our self-determination and to accept this new ‘structured liberty’ than to resist domination and risk losing what little rights and liberty are left for us to claim.” We deny the violence demanded for Liberty. It is often said that “Government is a necessary evil”. Perhaps those who hold that opinion do not understand the American concept of “self-government”. Perhaps the concept itself was lost in the debates deciding American governing institutions. Consider the following as a revelation: A free association of free men and women are by definition, self-governing as individuals and as the society they form. They have no immediate need of a third party to rule their affairs. This would be true even if their thirdparty consisted of representatives chosen and approved by their members. The third party is redundant. The social needs of the society are always met within the society, a remedy arising as a need emerges. Vigilante justice will suffice with better effect than any formal process of law. In truth, are the decisions of a mob of any less or more validity than those of a jury? Before you run in haste for the lynching tools in abhorrence of such sacrilegious assertions, consider these facts. In our “Land of the free, governed by law, not men.”, the processes of jury selection and conduct assure the House a winning hand in the majority of spins. Our judiciary’s policies and structure virtually guarantee an absolute win for the House when the Grand
Prize Jackpot wheel is spun. The Rights and Liberty of the individual are null factors in any consideration of government policy. Our Grand Juries have been emasculated, removing the authority of the People to bring criminal proceedings against anyone, the People having surrendered this power to the exclusive exercise of prosecutors. It is not possible for the People’s mandate to hold individual Government actors or agencies to account. Our highest courts, our legislatures and our executives across the country, in our State Houses and Federal Halls, have openly acknowledged abandonment of the principles upon which our institutions are established. The Men and Women of Government are empowered by policy, (not law because our law cannot restrain the Men and Women of Government) to take our possessions and property, to seize and possess our children, to kidnap, torture, imprison and kill us singly or in numbers, secretly, with impunity and if discovered, without recourse or appeal on our behalf. These are some of the Evils of which we willingly suffer. As we observe the abuse and suffering of our fellow Americans, we feel a small relief that the experience is not ours. We do nothing to deny the Evil Doers, because they are US. They are our Mothers and Fathers, Uncles, Aunts, Children, Brothers and Sisters, our cherished friends and church-members, business associates and fellow workers. Our future is surely obsessed with nonviolent, mundane domestication. We fear to be Free.
EVERYday Must Be May Day! written by Saab Lofton Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence. – Henry David Thoreau “Although publicly I continued to ignore the raging anti-war controversy… I knew, however, that after all the protests and the Moratorium [the nationwide protests of October 1969] American public opinion would be seriously divided by any military escalation of the war.” – Richard Nixon The price of social liberty – as well as fiscal security – is ETERNAL vigilance... Being eternally vigilant is FAR MORE important than playing video games, watching sports or bread-and-circuses such as Maury Povich/Jerry Springer (which are far worse than “Amos & Andy” ever was in terms of how blacks are depicted to the masses) and shopping at The Mall. Unfortunately, all too many are unwilling (NOT unable) to pay that price and everyone else is suffering as a result. To compensate for this; to be a more effective activist, I’ve forsworn romance itself just as Ralph Nader has... “Nader is well known for his modest lifestyle. He lives alone in a Washington apartment and does not own a car. He never married and has
no children. He told The New York Times in 1995 that he didn’t want to be an absentee father or husband.” – CNN (the most trusted name in news) “You cannot serve Humanity by investing your time and emotion in one Human being at the expense of the rest. The concepts are mutually exclusive.” – Jor-El, from Richard Donner’s cut of Superman II ...so what have YOU sacrificed to ensure that the Human race has a Roddenberryian future (as opposed to the dystopia from Mike Judge’s 2006 movie, Idiocracy)? Yeah, that’s what I thought. I’m now at the point where I caN’T stand being asked who I’m voting for this November. As my mentor; my jedi master wisely said... “The ultimate solution is not with the people on top. The ultimate solution is for people in the streets to create an atmosphere for people on top to be accountable.” – Professor Howard Zinn (1922 - 2010), author of A People’s History of the United States “Obama will not fulfill that potential for change unless he is enveloped by a social movement, which is angry enough [THAT’S ME], powerful enough, insistent enough, that he fills his abstract phrases about change with some real content.” – Professor Howard Zinn Most voters fall into that trap of patting
“To begin with, ‘I’ll paint the town red”, by Grant E. Hamilton, The Judge vol. 7, 31 January 1885. “Democracy” is portrayed as the devil holding a bucket labeled “Bourbon Principles” and a paintbrush (in which appears a profile caricature of Grover Cleveland), both dripping red paint with which he plans to “paint the town”.
themselves on the back for having voted and then go into suspended animation (like Buck Rogers or Captain America) until the next election, so again, doN’T ask me to endorse a presidential candidate. With all due respect to my predecessors who fought and died for my right to vote, the FACT is, voting is only one of many forms of activism: Strikes, vigils, marches, boycotts, petitions, fundraisers, litigation, and my favorite, propaganda (art, music, filmmaking and literature). All of which are equally worthy. In addition to receiving dozens of honorary degrees – from Harvard to the University of London – Professor Noam Chomsky was declared the world’s greatest intellectual world in 2005, so take the following seriously... “That’s a tribute to the civilizing effect of the ‘60s, which has just changed the country in every respect: With regard to intervention, with regard to environmental issues, feminist issues, every imaginable issue.” – Professor Noam Chomsky, August 1993 “The 1960s accelerated it. The activism of those years, after a pretty dismal decade, really civilized the country in lots of ways.” – Professor Noam Chomsky, May 2012 If you can breathe the air or drink the water, thank an enviromentalist. If you’re a black man and can kiss a white woman in public withOUT getting lynched, thank the Civil Rights Movement. If your foreclosure was narrowly reversed, thank a commie. Be GRATEFUL and see what can be done to return the favor. I’m going to leave y’all with THE definitive advice for activists ...
“I get many questions from people who say, ‘I want to change things. What can I do?’ I never hear these questions from peasants in southern Colombia or Kurds in southeastern Turkey under miserable repression... They don’t ask what they can do; they tell you what they’re doing. Somehow the fact of enormous privilege and freedom carries with it a sense of impotence, which is a strange, but striking, phenomenon [WHITE SUBURBIA, I’M LOOKING IN YOUR DIRECTION]... There is no difficulty, wherever you are, in finding groups that are working hard on things that concern you. But that’s not the kind of answer that people want. The answer that they want is, what can I do that will be quick and easy and bring about an end to these problems? They remind me of Columbia students whom I used to argue with back in 1968, who literally thought, ‘Look, we’re sitting in the president’s office for a couple of weeks. After that, it’s all going to be peace and love’ ... That’s not the way things work. If you want to make changes in the world, you’re going to have to be there day after day doing the boring, straightforward work of getting a couple of people interested and building a slightly bigger organization and carrying out the next move and suffering frustration and finally getting somewhere. That’s how the world changes.” – Professor Noam Chomsky, May 2004
May Day Mayhem and Media Spin
f you are the average American, you wouldn’t know that a major uprising has been taking place just north of the border in the Canadian province of Quebec. You would expect that protests involving 250,000 people might at least garner a few US mainstream media reports. Unfortunately the news that students have been striking for over 100 days against tuition increases has not even made the top of the hour headlines on most corporate news networks. Over 3,000 people have been arrested in Montreal during the current uprisings and there are no signs that the demonstrations will end anytime soon. Another major reason for the protests is the infamous parliamentary “Bill 78”. Under this proposed piece of legislation, gatherings of more than 50 people would be banned. Is this part of a global strategy by the one percent to stop political dissent? Facing a series of increasingly Draconian “austerity measures”, the world’s population is finally beginning to fight back! In France, Germany and Greece voters have been busy replacing the status quo with alternative parties that support the de-corporatization of daily life. This is only the latest push back from the people which began decades ago when the World Bank, World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund started their campaign to subjugate nations in the global south. The Grover Norquist controlled neo-cons in Congress are absolutely gung-ho about cutting social services and protecting the privileges of the one percent. Democrats have also been complicit in this federal shell game about who controls the national purse strings. While unemployment grows and graduating college students can’t afford to pay off their enormous loans, we are told that tax cuts for the rich are the only way to stimulate the economy. Blatant corporatist political propaganda has been very effective in influencing the right-wing, including the Tea Party, but it doesn’t ring true for the majority of Americans. When will members of the middle class and poor receive their generous government bailouts? When will the wealthy and multi-national
corporations finally be forced to pay their fair share of the taxes? When will our national economic policies be based on the creation of growth instead of on debilitating campaigns to privatize and outsource everything under the sun? Although the current electoral system does not provide for a genuine grassroots democracy, the Occupy Wall Street movement has attempted to take up some of the slack and face these issues head on. Despite police crackdowns and mass arrests, activists have not given up on their campaigns to revolutionize our society. On July 4th occupiers from around the nation will gather for a convention in Philadelphia. Free occupy caravans are leaving from every major city in the country. Activists will converge on the “City of Brotherly Love” on June 30th for an entire week of activities. Will the occupiers sign a new “Declaration of Independence” from corporate influence? Although the activists are peaceful, their aim is clearly to free the poor and middle class from the greedy clutches of the one percent. There are also preliminary plans to form a “People’s Congress” to discuss the issues that our federal legislature refuses to address, including but not limited to the following topics: homelessness and economic inequality; police violence against the community; the obvious fraud that has become our national election system; unemployment, poverty, and lack of access to affordable education and healthcare; violations of the US Constitution by our government; racism, homophobia, sexism, ageism, etc.; and the enormous costs in both lives and resources of our foreign military interventions. These are the real issues that are often completely ignored by the two presidential candidates and by the mainstream news media. Only a few brave souls have been able to break through the corporate news barrier to discuss these important subjects. Most of the time, they are later fired for their courage – Dan Rather, Gregg Palast, etc. With the notable exceptions of Amy Goodman and Thom Hartmann, most talk show hosts and journalists are hamstrung by the latest pop idol
media gossip or they are kept busy reacting to the latest right-wing “shock jock” diatribes against gays, gun control, taxes and contraception. I don’t really know where the American media is headed, but it’s easy to see that it’s been in a very bad place for a long time. True investigative journalism has been replaced by government talking heads and Hollywood fluff pieces. Corporate and public media news staffs have been cut to the bone and newspapers have folded across the country. In most communities, local news isn’t reported at all anymore – a direct result of commercial media consolidation. Let’s face it, Rupert Murdoch and his ilk are now in complete control of our access to vital information about our government and our planet. Without non-commercial alternative media we would have no useful information at all… During the NATO summit in Chicago and the G8 meetings at Camp David, protesters were kept far away from any of the international officials they wanted to influence. As a journalist covering those events in May, I became aware of these overzealous efforts to dissuade folks from expressing their opposition to “war for profit” and the anti-democratic military/industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about more than half a century ago. Riot police with LRAD sonic weapon vehicles confronted demonstrators at every turn in Chicago. A two-hour stand off took place when law enforcement authorities blocked a march on Michigan Avenue that was headed towards the NATO conference located at the McCormick Place Convention Center. Local Fox TV news reporters dismissed the protesters as a mere nuisance that was responsible for disrupting traffic. Occupy live video streamers Tim Pool and Luke Rodkowski were raided at gunpoint by Chicago police. A long caravan of police vehicles pulled them over and demanded that they exit their car. They were immediately handcuffed, detained, interrogated and released with no charges filed against them. Pool and another man were raided and searched again the following day. Visions of totalitarian China on the streets of Chicago? Where is the accountability for these unprecedented actions by law enforcement? Most of the mainstream news refused to report on any of the arrests of journalists during the NATO summit protests. Repeating the techniques they used during the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention, police used riot clubs on demonstrators, leaving some of
written by Mark Taylor-Canfield them bloody and dazed. This cat and mouse game between the cops and anti-war activists continued throughout the duration of the NATO conference. And in cities throughout the United States, local and federal governments continue to pass new laws restricting freedom of speech and assembly. Although a few First Amendment victories have been won by activists who have filed lawsuits in the federal courts, limitations on demonstrations seem to be a part of the on-going pattern of repression that has been used against the Occupy Wall Street movement since its birth last September in New York City. It remains to be seen whether the occupiers and the anti-war activists will succeed in challenging the status quo in the US. But if the recent historic events in Greece, Moscow and France are any indication of current world trends, it might be advisable for Wall Street bankers and their political partners to plan for an early retirement… Other Links: www.occupymontreal.org www.occupycanada.org www.occupynationalgathering.com www.occupycaravan.com www.occupyseattle.org www.occupyphiladelphia.org www.occupystlouis.org www.occupywallstreet.org www.occupytogether.org
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Angry Black Girl HAS ANYBODY OUT THERE EVER LOVED A HOMOSEXUAL? In grade school, my homeboy Randy and I secretly loved musical theater. We became close. Best friends. We talked about the things that would make us happy. For both of us, that meant to get married and have children. When I found out in high school that he was gay, it was too late for me to decide that marriage – or anything else that afforded him the right to pursue happiness – was something that he didn’t deserve. But apparently some of you out there think people like my friend Randy don’t have the right to get married and have babies. Homosexuality is an abomination. The black church-going folk are even turning against their First Black President, mocking his newfound policy as an Obama-nation. Ha Ha cute. But not really. Cuz the preacher in the pulpit is on fire. He’s in an uproar. “God loves the homosexual, but he hates homosexuality,” he tells the churchgoers. And he’s using God’s Word, aka the Bible, to support his cause. “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination,” Leviticus 18:22 tells us. Well whoop there it is. There in those 15 words is proof positive that gay marriage should be outlawed. Our beloved state-separated-from-church government can use a religious doctrine to dictate human rights policy. But if we’re going to follow 15 words of the Bible, let’s follow the other rules too. According to the book of Leviticus, we can own slaves and sell our daughters into slavery but we cannot eat shellfish or touch the skin of the pig. And if we work during the Sabbath, it’s okay to be stoned. And don’t even think about cursing or blaspheming, because then the whole town can get together to stone your ass. And then the coolest dude in the Bible, his name is Jesus, came into the scene. And he never once mentioned homosexuality. Guess it just wasn’t that important. But what he did talk about was love and loving each other. I find comfort in his words: “But above all, love one another.” So hey ya’ll. What do you think about this? Let’s work from a place of love, not judgment. Let’s let the gays get married. Let’s look back 50 years from now and not be embarrassed about how we thought it was okay to deny human rights to our fellow gay citizens. Let’s just throw them a little love. It’s all we need.
StoptheDrugWar.org Rhode Island Legislature Approves Marijuana Decriminalization by Phillip Smith
Both chambers of the Rhode Island General Assembly voted Monday evening to approve marijuana decriminalization bills. Each measure now faces only a procedural vote in the other chamber before the bill goes to Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I). Chafee has so far declined to say whether he will sign it or veto it. The Marijuana Policy Project is urging its Ocean State supporters to contact the governor now to urge him to sign it. If Chafee signs the bill into law, Rhode Island would join its northeastern neighbors Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania is choosing to remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of pot. Nationwide, 14 states have decriminalized, the first wave in the 1970s and the second beginning with Nevada in 2001 and picking up momentum in recent years. The measure passed easily in both houses of the General Assembly. The Senate approved the bill, Senate Bill 2253, by a vote of 28-6 and the House approved its companion bill, House Bill 7092 by a vote of 50-24. The bill would make the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a fine of $150 for most offenses. Under current Rhode Island law, pot possession is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $500 fine. “I am proud of my colleagues for voting to replace a criminal penalty and possible jail time for marijuana possession with a more sensible civil fine,” said Sen. Josh Miller (D-Cranston), one of the bill sponsors. “This unique policy change is something our state can do to immediately help our citizens. It will still punish marijuana use, while avoiding the harsh collateral consequences that come with a criminal conviction that can ruin Rhode Islanders’ job, education, and housing prospects. It will also save our state millions in enforcement costs and help to educate our at-risk youth.” “Now that the legislature has acted, I urge Gov. Chafee to sign this bill without delay,” said Rep. John Edwards (D-Portsmouth), another sponsor. “It is unfair to label non-violent and non-destructive citizens as criminals simply because they possess a small amount of a substance that has been proven safer than alcohol. Additionally, allowing law enforcement to issue a simple citation for marijuana possession — as opposed to having to make an arrest — will give our state law enforcement more time to devote to policing, preventing, and solving crimes of violence and against property, ultimately making our streets safer.” The bills have strong public support. A Public Policy Polling survey in January showed that 65% of likely voters supported decriminalization. Support came from across the political spectrum, with 73% of Democrats, 64% of Republicans, and 60% of independents in favor of the measure. “At a time when Rhode Island municipalities are laying off police officers and experiencing severe budget problems, it makes no sense to waste scarce resources arresting simple marijuana users,” said Robert Capecchi, legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project. “By signing these bills into law, Gov. Chafee can take a significant step toward increased fiscal security, public safety, and sensible justice. Rhode Islanders deserve to be treated as fairly as their neighbors when it comes to marijuana policy.” The not-so-hot-potato is now in the governor’s lap. If those poll numbers are to be trusted and the will of the legislature is to be respected, Chafee has an easy call.
Detroit to Vote on Marijuana Legalization in August by Phillip Smith
The Michigan Supreme Court has cleared the way – finally – for Detroiters to vote on a marijuana legalization initiative. The high court Friday refused to hear an expedited appeal of a February appeals court ruling that Detroit election officials had acted improperly when they blocked the measure from getting on the ballot. That means Detroit residents can expect to see the initiative on the August 7 primary ballot. The initiative, sponsored by the Coalition for a Safer Detroit, would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults 21 and over by amending the city’s controlled substances ordinance to say that it does not apply to smalltime pot possession by adults. Although initiative supporters had cleared all the legal hurtles to making the ballot back in 2010, the measure was opposed by the Detroit City Council, especially Council President Charles Pugh, who also serves as chairman of the Detroit Election Commission. The commission voted 3-0 to block the measure from appearing on the city ballot. But initiative advocates were undeterred and persevered in pursuing the matter through the courts. Now, with the Supreme Court rejecting the city’s motion for immediate consideration of its appeal, they have prevailed. “A long trail of voter abuse by the City of Detroit has come to an end,” said the Coalition’s Tim Beck, in an e-mail to supporters. “We got everything right. Our petitions were flawless,” said Beck. Detroit Mayor Bing had no comment Friday evening, but a Detroit police spokesman told the Detroit Free Press the department could adapt to legalization “if it’s handled in an appropriate way, and this is what the citizens of Detroit choose.” That’s a remarkably open-minded and democratic statement from Detroit police, especially when compared to law enforcement reactions elsewhere to legalization, lowest law enforcement priority, and medical marijuana votes. It will be up to the voters of Detroit to ensure that the department lives up to its word.
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AN EVEN CHANCE FOR ALL... INCLUDING PIT BULLS
hen the worst of the worst humans commit heinous crimes against humanity, such as rape, molestation, and even murder, society seldom decides to execute every one on them. No. In most cases, it’s gives the worst of the worst a second chance, and that’s humans with the capacity of free thought and choice. But when it comes to certain other creatures of God’s world, like Pit Bulls, it seems society is ready to label them Devils and put them all down or punish owners who chose to love them, if not condemn owners all together. This is where Racheal Kitchen got involved with Even Chance, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization here in St. Louis. Even Chance is an organization who strives to counteract misinformation about pit bulls with factual education, communication, and resources for the public, pit bull owners, and potential adopters. Their mission is to rescue temperamentally sound dogs from local shelters, including dogs with medical needs and dogs rescued from organized fighting rings or other inhumane situations. The nonprofit also provides foster care for rescued dogs until they are placed in safe and loving forever homes. Their greatest challenge is fighting oblivious media bashing and a unforgiving society. As Karen Delise, National Canine Research Council states, “No single neutered or spayed household pet pit bull has ever killed anyone.” I recently sat down with Racheal Kitchen about her fundraiser at Lemmon’s for Even Chance on July 15th to ask her why she’s so passionate about this cause. It was as interesting as it was educational... Tell me about this Pit Bull fundraiser coming up? I’m so excited for this benefit! I have 7 bands playing, plus a special performance by Randy Murray. PBR, Throwing Things Records & of course The St. Louis Sinner are sponsoring the event. I have raffles from: The Silver Ballroom, TRX Tattoo’s, Tin Can, The Pageant, Vintage Vinyl, Blueberry Hill, Guitar Center, Bully Boys BBQ, Lemmon’s & PBR (Including this bad ass PBR Doghouse...thanks Dave Aholt...you rock) We will have special shots benefiting Even Chance. And my favorite part, we will have pits available for adoption to meet & greet. So Racheal, how did you get involved in this fundraiser for Pit Bulls? I’m a HUGE Pit Bull advocate! My friend Randy Murray told me about Even Chance Pit Bull Rescue which has only been in St. Louis since November. I looked into the organization & was very impressed with their work. Even Chance rescues, fosters, takes care of medical needs & educates the community about Pit Bulls. It is a great organization, so I wanted to raise money for them & help spread the word about Even Chance. I plan on making this an annual event. Speaking of Pits, are you an owner or have you owned one? I have owned Pits my entire life! I currently own a female pit named Trinity that I rescued from a kill shelter in November. She is an absolute lover! It makes my heart smile when people who have stigmas against pits meet her & she changes their minds. What would you say is the biggest misconception about Pit Bulls? That they are The root of all evil, Satanic Baby eating devil dogs! Haha...Jk! (I actually did read a blog here someone wrote that) Seriously though, I believe one of the biggest misconceptions about Pit Bulls is that the breed as a whole is aggressive & can turn at any time. Every dog is an individual, the behavior of any dog stems from the two legged person at the other end of the leash. Another myth that many people believe is that the jaw of a pit is different from other breeds of dogs (aka “lock jaw”)...it has been scientifically proven that this is absolutely not true. (www.realpitbull. com/myths.html) What do you hope someone learns about Pits from this event? That Pits won’t steal your soul, they will steal your heart! What have we missed to say about this event? This event will be a blast! Kick ass bands, awesome raffles, lots of booze, good people & dogs! Come drink, celebrate Pits & the wonderful people from Even Chance Pit Bull Rescue. And last, where can readers find more info on the event and supporting Pits in general? Check it out on FaceBook at, www.facebook.com/events/379999282045949, or Even Chance at, www.evenchance. org, or Animal Farm Foundation at, http://animalfarmfoundation.org/pages/home
THE ST LOUIS
THE END OF THE WORLD.... PART II The Last Show You Will Ever See Alive!
On April 27th, it was a heartwarming experience to attend the benefit show for Darrel Blankenship at Jumpin’ Jupiter. Although Jumpin’ Jupiter didn’t seem like the kind of venue to house such a heavylaced musical event, the bands and Jupiter captured the essence of Darrel and the great works his video production company, St. Luniverse Video, has done over the many years with ease. And by “heavy-laced”, I mean some of St. Louis’ hardest hittin’ bands – including a few featured in The Sinner, like Agents of Influence, Bare Knuckle Conflict, and this month’s Unmasked band, Lovely Destruction. Also taking the stage for this great cause was 8Up, Liquid Mistress, Grim, and Desolute. A big thanks to all those who performed and attended – and Jupiter!
LIVE MUSIC ART SHOW BURLESQUE FREAK SHOW
FRIDAY DEC 21ST
2 0 1 2 Follow us on Facebook for updates facebook.com/ saintlouissinner
UP ALL NIGHT.... Collection
St Louis, MO
A band of ragtag musicians, runaway circus performers and bedraggled chimney sweeps
A LOT OF tragedy has been going on in Seattle lately thanks mainly to a rash of needless, senseless gun violence. It seems you can’t go anywhere these days without bullets flying around you: the Central District isn’t safe (not exactly a surprise), coffee shops aren’t safe, even the “peace and love” Folklife Festival isn’t safe anymore: you can get shot anywhere at any time! Surprisingly enough, a lot of people in the community seem to think that guns aren’t the problem here, rather they are the solution! That is, the pro-gun people seem to think that everybody should be packing heat in the big city: every able-bodied man, woman, child, and even small dogs. Now to me, that makes about as much sense as claiming more Big Macs will cure obesity. After all, people can’t control “Go ahead, punk. Make my day!” themselves plus guns give people a false sense of security and tend to bring out the Dirty Harry mentality. Helles Belles, if everyone carried a gun we’d have people shooting each other over parking spaces, arguments on the Metro busses would routinely turn into mass murders, and you can fuggedabout having a traffic jam without at least a few dozen shootings. If you feel vulnerable in the city and feel the need for a weapon for self defense purposes, carry some pepper spray. After all, guns don’t kill people... people with guns kill people! (Yes, I know this little rant of mine will piss off a lot of people who now think I am a bleeding heart, tree-hugging, Constitution-hating, pinko communist hippie who needs a hair cut. So be it!) On a brighter, more positive note, a new posthumous solo CD by Joey Ramone has just been released, titled Ya Know? This CD has been getting a lot of play on my home stereo system and I must say it is a real pleasure to hear Joey’s voice again with some cool new songs. This is the “lost album” containing many previously unheard songs recorded by Joey before his death in 2001. The “hits” of the CD are “Rock ‘N Roll is the Answer,” “Make Me Tremble,” and a slow, jazzy version of “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight).” If you are a Ramones fan you owe it to yourself to New solo CD from Joey Ramone check it out. I give it three thumbs up!
HUGGY BLOW’S ROCK STAR OF THE MONTH: Joan Jett: What makes Joan Jett so hot? She is ultra-cool, has rad black hair, looks great in black leather, plays a mean guitar, sings real nasty, has played in some supercool bands, and is a totally hot, righteous babe. Joan Jett exudes a spiritual sexuality that transcends gender, and her extreme coolness on stage and off has inspired more prepubescent females (of all ages) to don guitars and rock than any man or woman alive. And that, my friends, puts Joan Jett on top of the “female rock stars” heap and makes her my Rock Star of the month! You can see Joan Jett and the Blackhearts live at the Snoqualmie Casino on Tuesday, July 3. Joan Jett: totally righteous!
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On The Scene& Heard With Malice
photos by Rabid Rabbit
oop Woop, Somethin' to write home about!! I had been looking forward to this show for a long, long time. We go see Warner Drive every chance we get, at least 3 times a year. It's a religious experience not to be missed or taken for granted. To make this night even better, Dirty King was opening for WD. The last time Dirty King played was at Firebird, where they went on after WD. I missed seeing their full show, but I knew from the first three notes that THIS was my kinda band and I couldn't wait to catch another show! We arrived just in time to catch Dirty King go on, find our friend and her ten-year-old daughter, and make our way as close to the front as we could without embarrassing the pre-adolescent (Mom calm down, people are looking at us). If you haven't heard these guys before, their sound is raw, gritty and REAL – no nonsense, no frills, just straight up ROCK & ROLL. They are bad to the bone and will rock your socks all night long. They might look a little rough, like they'd be right at home in a Harley bar, but Micke, Todd, & Tom are some of the most easy going, friendly guys I've met in awhile. It was good to see so many familiar faces, too – a lot of Ronnie "Elvis" James' friends from childhood showed up and his daughter was there to see her dad in all his glory. Craig Daddy was seen in the crowd, as well as Moe Holmes – our very own local legends out supporting the scene. While there wasn't exactly a standing room only crowd present, we were a respectable audience. The air was charged, the vibe was virtually humming, and we were ready to play along with whatever Jonny and crew had in mind! Before the show, we persuaded my friend's daughter to pose with Jonny Law holding her WD CD and stickers. She's a most reluctant groupie, we are thrilled to report. Ronnie came by and chatted for awhile, telling that when they were in Seattle, WA he picked up a Seattle Sinner, which is very cool. At last, the moment we'd all been waiting for. Our breaths held in anticipation, the guys from Dirty King and Ron's daughter Front Row Center, everyone from way in the back on their feet, ready to play along. We all know the words and we're all prepared to sing along. We know this band is driven on crowd participation and participate we shall. From the first sound check, Jonny says, "Marco"...so of course, we're gonna respond loudly, "POLO!" This goes on for a bit, everybody cracking up. Later in the night we all sang along to one song – our part was “My Love”, and we were spot on. "Ace Of Spades" had the whole crowd doing the motions, and of course "The Shocker" was a crowd favorite. We all know the gestures for that one, too – although I hope the kid wasn't listening to the lyrics too closely and doesn't get the "pinky in your ass" thing. "The Viper Room" lets you live the dream right along with them. For a brief moment you're transported to Hollywood and screaming for this band, who play there just about every week. My friend's daughter was thrilled to hear her favorite song "The Scarecrow", although she tried to hide it by acting all cool and aloof. A Warner Drive performance is a pure adrenaline rush that stays with you long after the show is over. The whole night was epic! With that being said, I now have to get back to real life and carry on with my real job. For those of you who don't know, I'm a Fit Specialist at Dillard's South County. So, with a smidge of shameless self promotion, ladies, come join us for a Fun Fit Event on Friday June 8 in the Lingerie Dept. Give us 30 minutes and we will change your life! Do you need a strapless bra that actually fits? Do you need to replace that stretched out sports bra? Or maybe you just need to upgrade your bra wardrobe. Come see our team of professional fitters, enjoy some light refreshments, and treat yourself to some new lacy bits. Book your appointment today and mention you read about us in The Sinner to have your name placed in a drawing for a gift basket, and receive a complimentary pamper day at your favorite cosmetics counter. 314 487 1600 ext 5200. Ask for Kimberly.
Photos by Gina Simon
I can’t believe I’m going to write this, but HELLZAPOPPIN’ is the first freak show act to hit St. Louis that gives Jim Rose a run for his freakin’ money! Fire, sword swallowing, and shoving long needles through flesh is nothing new to the side-show realm, but what this group does is twist and contort the traditional perception of freaks into a world of its own, some acid-like freak revival featuring glass-eaters, fire-spitters, and body-stompers! I wouldn’t miss these guys and gals come July 28th when they invade 2720 once again! Hell’s gonna be poppin’!
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Interview by Chuck Foster
Lovely Destruction self-describes themselves as Power/Thrash Metal Warriors, and I can’t think of an idea that describes this St.. Louis trio more accurately. Front man Joey Saturn shreds the stage as relentlessly as he does his guitar, filling the air with sheer lunacy. Saturn’s backed by Erica Preiss, a ruthless bassist. And with Chris Hite on drums, you’ve got an animal bangin’ fire and brimstone all night! Fucking Metal Warriors! Don’t let the words “Metal Warriors” conjure the typical notions of mindless riffs and endless bass pounding, peppered with incoherent screams. That’s hardly the case with Lovely Destruction. These mercenaries of Metal are talented musicians who continually strive to be more creative on stage and in studio, producing a sound that contorts melodic and aggressive into their own unique style of Metal. And that’s obvious as soon as they hit the stage. As always, it was a pleasure to sit these Metal Maniacs down for a few minutes after their show...
idea of oxymorons, putting together two opposing words to make an abstract idea, like the new song we’ve been writing, grace and fury. I wanted to rename my first band Nitrospace to Lovely Destruction but no one was on board, so I kept the name around. Lovely Destruction, to me describes what we do musically, you can also look at it as the fallacy of mankind, the idea that it is our nature to build only to destroy. EP: Lovely Destruction came from Saturn’s twisted mind, but it really does reflect our music. Listening to us might make you want to tear down walls, but in the same song— a beat later, you can hear something that just makes you stop and think. We try to point out a lot of the bullshit in the world. So it seemed fitting that if we’re going out every night we can trying to get people to realize that they live only to destroy what they have, then Lovely Destruction would be the name.
want it, you can’t half ass it. A metal band in STL has to strive to be heard. But that’s not all bad. Yeah, it might suck that we aren’t being offered shows every night, but it’s tempered us. People are hesitant to put us on stage, so we put our bones to the grindstone to perfect our sound. We work our asses off to put on a show that makes people question why they hadn’t given us time earlier. JS: Yeah, St. Louis in general is rough, if your not into beer and baseball, there’s not much here for you in this city. As far as music goes everyone seems to want cover bands and Nickleback soundalikes. Most people would see this as a negative but our take is a little different. Since the scene is so tough, it makes you strive harder to be a better band, be more creative, try new things as far as stage shows and performance. The bands that cant handle the hard road quit, the bands that can take it become really great bands, cynical bands, but great. And what local bands do you each follow/catch live? EP: We do our best to support anybody that works hard and has the balls to get up and rock.
I know some of you guys have been in other bands or are in other bands. So, give me the rundown on who’s who in the band and who you each have played with or playing with on the side. EP: Lovely Destruction is truly a band of music warriors, everybody’s involved in something. Saturn plays with Leftovers, SVK. John’s in Fellowship of Kindred Spirits as well as performing as a classically trained pianist. Chris spends his spare time in with Loug, SVK and has been a fill in for countless other St.. Louis acts. JS: El Paso (John Nuckols) and I’s first band was called Nitrospace and after that Thy Damage Done where I met Andrew Ortega. I’ve also played bass for Conquest and Helacon. CH: Well, me and my friend Shawn tried to get a band started, but nothing ever took off. One was a Star Wars Death Metal band called Jedicide which we had a lot of songs written for; a two piece band called Superfuck which I would describe as an avant garde pile of musical feces; and a melodic death metal band named Deth Toll. I am also planning on starting a solo band with me on vocals which I’ve written a lot of material for. It has no name yet, so I refer to it in the meantime as either “The Powder Project” or “The Powder Experience.” I like to ask this question each month: What’s the story behind the name? JS: I think it has something to do with el’s Asian porn fetish (laughs). No, seriously, I’ve always been into the
JS: She always says what I mean to say better, I think she needs to be in charge of lyric writing from now on. What about recording? Are you guys planning a CD release? EP: Recording, that’s always on our minds. In 2009, with our former vocalist, we released our demo “No Heroes” and it’s be floating around the STL scene. A year or so ago we recorded a full length album “Cryptic Metaphor”, but the production quality wasn’t what we hoped it to be. Since then we’ve been working on re-recording and writing new songs. What about musical influences, who do you credit with the band’s heavy sound? EP: Lovely Destruction’s song writing is primarily influenced by Megadeth and Iron Maiden. As for specifics of styling of our thrash craft, Saturn and John sculpt the bares bones of the music and Chris and I fill in the rest as the rhythm section. JS: As a guitarist, I’m all over the place as far as influences, mix a lil bit of Joe Perry, with a dash of Chuck Berry, sprinkle some Steve Jones and a few Dave Mustaine’s with some butter and salt , fry it up in a greasy, dirty pan with a side of french fries and that about the gist of my guitar playing influences. What’s your take on the STL Heavy Metal/Hard Rock scene? EP: The STL Metal scene is rough. You’ve gotta really
JS: What she said, (laughs) some of personal favorites would be Black Fast, Thorhammer, Megalith, The Quaaludes, Al Swacker’s never ending list of bands. And I’ve heard some music online from this local metal band Mirrorscape, I haven’t had a chance to check the ‘em out yet but I’m really hoping to soon. CH: This sounds selfish, but I normally don’t go to shows or see any bands live unless I’m actually playing. I don’t really enjoy going out much unless it’s to do
something productive. So any bands I do see are the ones we play along side of. But out of all of them, if I did choose to go out and see anyone, It’d have to be Thorhammer, Blackfast, Megalith, or Tyranny Enthroned. This is just off the top of my head. What can readers expect from you guys in 2012... touring, shows, CDs, arrests for disorderly conduct? EP: To live up to our name. We’re constantly working on ways to better our stage shows, and we got tons of writing, recording, and rehearsing of course. We’re always busy, and we’re always out. Hopefully 2012 will see a proper release of “Cryptic Metaphor”. Any last thoughts to share with our readers, or breaking Lovely Destruction news? JS: Chris Hite is single and on the prowl! EP: And ladies, he gives a mean spongebath! How can readers find out more about Lovely Destruction, or purchase merch? JS: We are online everywhere: Twitter , Youtube, Facebook, etc. send us a message, leave a comment, we love to hear from fans, unfans, extraterrestrial transvestite pirates – come one, come all. EP: As for merchandise, we’ve been working on that alongside our recordings... We love hearing from fans, angry citizens, and yes even extraterrestrial transvestite pirates. We’re completely open for all types social business. www.facebook.com/LovelyDestruction www.youtube.com/user/LovelyDestructionSTL
UP ALL NIGHT.... Collection
St Louis, MO
The Show Me Burlesque Festival >> >> > Night 1 at The Coliseum
Clownvis A 3 day festival dedicated to glitz, glam and fabulous burlesque, boylesque, vaudeville, circus, and variety entertainment from all over the country!
Lola van Ella
Jameson Peligro Overturf showmeburlesque.com â€˘ www.facebook.com/ShowMeBurlesque
Roxy Red Rockets
THE SINFUL WORLD OF JAVONNE SPITZ
interview by Chuck Foster
avonne Spitz is farther than a stone’s throw from her hometown of Mason City, Iowa. And that’s a good thing for St. Louis art folks. She says her talent seems to stem from her mother’s side of the family, that as a child she remembers her mother making pottery of nude women who seemed to frolic in the woods. In light of her own memories, her mother recalls Javonne making sculptures from tin pie plates when she was only two-years-old. “Like Mother, like Daughter”, you could say. Beyond her mother’s passion for nude pottery, Javonne also credits the well-funded art programs of the Iowa schools she attended with her talent. However, the amazing works found here and on the cover have not been created without a newfound passion from Javonne. She admits that it was only about a year-and-a-half ago that she decided to get back to work, after life in general, kids and frequent bouts with depression had put her creativity on hold for too long. Javonne has a BFA in art. She’s not shy about it taking her 10 years to earn it, either, explaining that her pursue of higher education often seemed to be without direction. Looking back at those ten long years, she remembers having some very good teachers. One in particular was John Wheeler, of Luther College, who she says influenced her love of drawing nudes. While Javonne’s talent for drawing nudes appears to be her focus, her works are not limited to that genre. The front cover of this issue demonstrates her true artistic talent. Simply put, she’s an amazing artist. With that said, it is my pleasure to not only bring St. Louis a glimpse into her art, but her life too... Let’s talk about some of your works, such as the Angel used on your Facebook page. What inspired you in that direction and what medium did you use to capture it? The “Resting Angel” is done with conte’ crayons. I like that conte’ is not as soft as charcoal, but still malleable. How does an angel rest? I liked the idea of the energy to take off at any moment is expressed in the pose and strokes of the drawing. My favorite piece, however, is the macabre image of the girl with long tattooed fingers. What inspired you in that direction and what medium did you use to capture it? I am glad you like the long fingers. Being bi-polar influenced my thought process in this. I have friends and family members who are tattooed and my daughter is an apprentice to a tattoo artist. I have a desire to take my traditional portrait skills and draw people who are non-traditional. Again, I used conte’ and white conte’. I often use photo scrap for my work. I haven’t been brave enough yet to join a drawing group. I have a bit of a shy nature and lack confidence, to be honest. So many women seem to love angels. I wanted to make less of an angel, and more of a winged person with sexuality, darkness, and hope. Instead of traditional angel wings, I used photo scrap of black bird wings. Let’s talk about your photography work, any plans to pursue it further? Digital photography is immediate satisfaction. I can take my camera and get lost in the moment of seeing the rhythm of nature. I learned to develop black and white film with Oliver Schuchard at University of Missouri Columbia. He was very encouraging. I miss the old film, especially infrared, but the ability to tweak an image digitally is seductive. I think that understanding of the old process and trying to capture a complete image in film influences how I take digital photographs. I plan to continue photographing nature and the magic I see in it. Your works are very diverse, from scenery images to nudes to the pig and even puppy/owner portraits. How do you explain this diversity? I have many interests and like to follow my whims, thus the diversity of images. I have led a rich and colorful life full of many opportunities and some tragedy. I hope to continue making images that I like and approve of, not necessarily what people want. That can be limiting, especially since I reside in conservative Missouri where it is often stated on shows, “no nudes”. Novak’s was kind to ask me to show my work there. I wanted a place to show my small collection of nudes and Jenn Powers gave me a spot in their continuing line up of local artists. The puppy/owner portrait was a gift to a young lady who is working to recover from a devastating life event. I sent the drawing and a pack of paper to her as encouragement from someone who has walked in those footsteps too. Are you currently working on any new pieces? And if so, can you give us any secrets? My current interest is to become more aware of contemporary artists and their work. I am lucky to live next to St. Louis and have opportunity to see the latest. My feeling is that immersion, time, and trust will bring out new ways of seeing and hopefully better drawing and painting technique. What about future shows, do you have any lined up? No future shows as of now. I need to get back to the studio and create another pile of work to sort through. I have no problem working by and for myself. If readers are interested in watching my process and my new successes and some failures, I have a page on Facebook, “Javonne Spitz,artist”. Last, any final thoughts? My final thought is about something that a friend, Judy LaPointe told me. “Javonne, you were given a talent and I believe that you and the Universe will be missing out on something if you do not use your talents. I don’t know why, but it seems to be that way.” That really struck me.
BEING ANY GENDER CAN BE A DRAG A An Interview with Adrienne Bugla
s a young adolescent I remember many family gatherings at Christmas and Thanksgiving in southeast Georgia where my uncle and aunt would each bring their “room mate” home for the holiday with them from the big city of Atlanta. My uncle and aunt were both divorced, each within a few years of marriage. Divorce was common in the 70’s, but not homosexuality, so the “room mate” story was told to keep dark secrets in the closet where they belong, especially in the homes of conservative methodists in the swamps of southern Georgia. Even though I didn’t have a solid grasp on homosexuality, I understood the grander scheme of it from television, church sermons and elders speaking against the blasphemous act at dinner tables. As the years passed and I realized both my aunt and uncle were gay, I assumed it was a family secret that had been kept quiet for years to protect my innocence. It was not. When I asked my uncle about it years later, he became upset in the very manly manner that he carried himself. He seemed ashamed. Neither my mother or grandmother had once questioned the room mate story. Even in my late teens I couldn’t image what it must have been like for him and my aunt to hide who they were from strangers and family. And I still can’t today. With those thoughts still held close to my heart all these years later, it was a pleasure to speak with Adrienne Bugla recently about her new documentary, Androgynous. So Adrienne, can you give me the overview of your new film? The film is basically a year in the life of Aiden, also know as Gypsy Havoc. The film is an insight into the world of gender ambiguity. The basis of this film is to show the hardships of not only being gay, but being “weird” as well... It’s a documentary and it’s all raw and unfiltered emotion. I felt it was important to show the real issues and struggles of day to day life for the LGBT community instead of a sugar coated view. What inspired you to take on a project of this nature? I myself was known as the Pansexual, weird kid growing up. I never fit in anywhere. This led to merciless bullying for many years of my life. Very recently I lost a friend due to this same issue. She took her own life, and some of her last words still ring in my ears. She said, “ Boys don’t like me, and neither do girls. Why am I here?” She felt ostracized and betrayed by the world around her. I suddenly found myself feeling like that 15 year old angsty teen who didn’t know where she belonged. So I started this project as a way to fight back. We aren’t looking for “tolerance” we want “acceptance”. What do you hope audiences take home with them from this film? I’m hoping that this will broaden peoples perspective. If this helps just one parent understand and accept their child etc., etc., etc... We have done our job. Where can readers find more about this project? Since we’re only a couple months into the project there is no literature available. However we are in the process of setting up a Facebook as well as a website for the film. In the next month or so you will be able to Google the title of the film to find the needed information. Any last words or thoughts on the film? We just want to say to the disenfranchised your not al one and that being any gender can be a drag.
Put Yourself in Time Out 4140 Gravois Ave in St Louis 314.771.3610 review by Emily Eufinger
ome dining establishments drape white linen cloths over mahogany wood tables; some serve meals using crystal water glasses, fine china, and silver flatware; some utilize chandeliers and candle light for ambiance. Some eateries give diners an amuse-bouche with caviar garnish before the salad course of a three-hour long chef’s tasting. This is not one of those places. Time Out is the kind of place where your softball team goes after a game—covered in dirt and sweat and grass stains—to have a beer and celebrate victory. This is where you go on a Sunday afternoon to watch the Cardinal’s game and shoot whiskey and yell at the TV. This is not a place where you drink with your pinky out; this is a place where you spill beer down the front of your shirt because you’re laughing too hard to funnel the liquid down your throat. This is not a place that you leave gut-hurt and broke; at Time Out, you leave with your stomach full and your wallet intact (depending on how many shots of whiskey you’ve had). Sometimes an occasion calls for elegance, etiquette, and portion control. Other occasions call for a colossal slab of meat dripping with its own juices slapped between two pieces of bread. On the occasion when you find yourself at Time Out, said meat will be appropriately available, and very reasonably priced.
The shark skewers make a sublime appetizer for two, well seasoned and pleasantly cooked just a hair under well done. They even offer a jalapeno and cheese-stuffed pretzel—that’s right, a pretzel that comes with the cheese already in it—a highly portable ballpark food option. The $5 daily lunch specials can’t be beat, and if you’re a Club Member, you get 25% off your tab Mondays, and 10% off every other day. They hold trivia every Thursday and Sunday, first prize being a Kindle Touch. Sometimes you want ambiance with your meal—classical music, nine-piece place setting, fresh cut flowers in a delicate porcelain vase—but sometimes you need a time out from all that; sometimes, a cheap, juicy sloppy pub burger is all you need. For more information, take some time to visit www.timeoutbars.com
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ome one, come all, fans of gore and all that is macabre... if you dare. That’s right, horror junkies, St. Louis’ first Horror, Sci-Fi & Pop Culture convention returns this month for a weekend packed with toxic celebrities, contagious dealers, viral gamers, brain hemorrhaging music and other coma inducing activities. But that’s not all folks! This year’s Con also includes a Haunted House on site all weekend long, a Friday night pool party, a Vip Dinner, Live Concert, and Live Charity Auction on Saturday, and a Sunday after party. Celebrating its third year in St. Louis, Contamination is a must-attend event put together by Dave Dyer and Scott Ford. And this year these two have went all out, bringing in some pretty big names. Topping the celebrity list is a personal favorite, Jeffrey Combs, who starred in Masters Of Horror, Re-Animator, and Star Trek Deep Space Nine. But attendees will also find Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), John Wesley Shipp (The Flash), Linda Harrison (Nova from Planet Of The Apes), Ken Foree (George Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead, Rob Zombie’s Halloween & Devils Rejects), and even the Munsters’ reunion, which will include the most ghoulastic car on TV, the “Munsters Koach”. I sat down with Scott Ford to shoot the proverbial ghastly shit about this year’s Contamination and gain a little insight into how this juggernaut of an event got started. So Scott, from our prior meetings I know that you are quite the cult movie collector, which is also your business. What can you tell me about that? My passion for cult films started when I would go to the local Drive-In in my pajamas to watch diabolical monsters on the big screen. As a product of the 70’s, cult films were all the rage, and formed my desire to collect B-movie, trash, and exploitation memorabilia. Tell me a bit about Contamination... what exactly is it for readers unfamiliar with the event? Con-Tamination is now in its 3rd year. It’s a pop culture, sci-fi, and horror festival. Celebrated in St. Louis, it is one of the finest conventions held in the Midwest. Bringing the opportunity to meet and greet your favorite stars from your childhood up to today’s celebrities. How did you get involved with the horror festival? As a dealer throughout the Midwest and active in the convention circuit since 1996, I became involved with promoter Dave Dyer, a fellow dealer and convention attendee. What can attendees expect to find this year at Contamination – music, acts, movie stars? Meeting your favorite celebrity in person, a series of film debuts and festivals, live seminars with celebri-
ties, an auction for movie memorabilia for charity, along with an opportunity to have dinner with celebrities. Plus a vast dealer room with many of the top dealers in the Midwest. Speaking of movie stars, how many have you met through your networking and events, and which have been your most memorable? I have met over 275 celebrities over the course of 16 years. Charlton Heston remains one of my most memorable celebrity moments. I also am proud to have met David Carradine, Karl Hardman and Marilyn Eastman, George Romero, John Carpenter, Roger Corman, Bert I. Gordon, Barbara Steele, and the Boondock Saints. along with 11 actors from Rob Zombie films. How difficult is it to put on a festival like Contamination? It is a continuing commitment that takes up to 6 months of planning, organizing, and networking. To finish up, what’s the bottom line on the event: where is it, what’s the admission price, any preparties, post parties, etc? This year it will be at the Renaissance Hotel near the airport on June 15th-17th. The Kickoff Party is Thursday night, June 14th at the Dorsett Inn. The after party will be a celebrity dinner at the Renaissance with many of the celebrities from the show Sunday night. Admission price ranges from $10.00 on Friday and Sunday, $20.00 for Saturday only, or a weekend pass for $35.00. And last, where can readers find more info on Contamination? You can find all the information and schedule of events at www.con-tamination.com.
North St Louis Mandina’s 1319 St Louis Ave Dutch Town Friendly’s 3503 Roger Pl South County Steel & Ink Studio 3561 Ritz Center MOFO The Silver Ballroom 4701 Mofo Rd at Itaska Tin Hat 3157 Mofo Rd South City Shameless Grounds 2650 Sidney The Heavy Anchor 5226 Gravois
Jefferson Ave Bistro 3701 S Jefferson Ave Cherokee District Apop Records 2831 Cherokee St Downtown Crack Fox 1114 Olive St Soulard Shanti Tavern 825 Allen DB’s Sportsbar 1615 S Broadway Laclede Landing Show Me’s 724 N 2nd St Big Daddy’s 118 Morgan St
Affton Bob’s Liquor 9347 Gravois Rd Overland Just Bill’s 2543 Woodson Rd Priscilla’s 10210 Page Ave Central West End 34 Club 34 N Euclid Tom’s Bar & Grill 20 S Euclid The Grove Just John’s 4112 Manchester Ave The Atomic Cowboy 4140 Manchester Ave
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Paranormal photography text and photos by Russ Rosener
hotography and the “Paranormal” have gone hand in hand since the inception of imaging. Curiously, both Photography and Spiritualism initially flourished in the early 1840s. Perhaps it’s because from the beginning photographers have been drawn to decayed and mysterious places. Cemeteries, abandoned buildings, decrepit homes and mansions as well as ancient ruins have drawn photographers like moths to a pale flame. I do NOT present these as “proof”of ghosts, spirits, the Afterlife, Aliens, Bigfoot, Lizard People, the Illuminati or half a dozen other beliefs and leg-
ends people amuse themselves with. HOWEVER, I do feel them to be EERIE enough to leave a Big Fat Question Mark and metaphysical “WTF?” in my mind. It was a sunny day in late May of 2005. I was on top of a high bluff in Southern Illinois with my favorite model, “Theresa”. Not her real name but she works in a Scientific profession now… On top of this Bluff is one of the most mysterious, eerie, tragic and beautiful spots in the entire St. Louis region. It is a small, weathered cemetery with graves as old as the 1790’s. But the most remarkable feature is a Greek Revival Mausoleum built into the face of the bluff. It’s a sort of Mount Rushmore of the Dead. It’s clearly visible from the winding road below, and broods hundreds of feet above miles of cornfields, villages and flood plain. I first saw it as a 13-year-old boy riding a bike with my friend from Prairie Du Rocher to South St. Louis County. (that’s 30 + miles. Yep, the crap kids did before computers turned us into Jell-O) Inside you can see niches for coffins stacked 2 stories high. No remains are left inside. If you want to learn the tragedy and desecration which befell this place, read about it in the book Weird Illinois: Your Travel Guide to Illinois’ Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets by Troy Taylor and Mark Scuerman. That same childhood friend I had discovered this brooding crypt with had died weeks before of
an untimely heart attack. This was my first visit back there since his funeral. I had a roll of 35mm Infrared film loaded in one camera. As my model and I moved around the cemetery and posed near tombstones & gnarled trees, I began to get an anxious feeling. I quickly brushed it aside as the usual nerves acquired striving for good photographs. At one point I stood on top of a tall gravestone to photograph Theresa as she walked by in a wispy gown. You see this in Photo One. Her expression is rather surprised since she came from behind a tree and didn’t know I was standing so
high above her. When the shot ended, she came to me and remarked nervously: “You know, sometimes I get the feeling SOMETHING is following me during this shoot. I hope it doesn’t follow me home!”. She was agitated, and of all my models she is the least likely to react that way. We continued shooting. The sun was bright & warm. It’s difficult to describe the feeling of being spooked in Mid Day sunlight. It’s like having the cold sweats during a bad fever. I posed her in the mausoleum entrance. Often there is “Satanic” graffiti scrawled on the walls of this beautiful structure. Likely it’s the work of malformed Hoosiers who wouldn’t know Asmodeus from Old Scratch if bitten in the ass by either. But I digress. My point is you never know if the degenerate spawn are lurking in the woods nearby… waiting to fulfill some sacrificial pact with an imaginary demon. That real, live threat added to our wary feel-
ings. Close to the mausoleum we both felt even more edgy. Theresa was professional and held her pose for the long shutter speeds, but gave me that subtle look of “When the Hell are we going to be done and out of this forsaken place?” The shutter closed with a whir and my last frame was exposed. We packed up and both walked quickly to the car and felt a palpable lifting of Psychic weight as we drove down the bluff. A few days later I developed the film as I normally do, as I have countless times before. What I saw on the infrared film was bizarre! Along most of the roll, were weird “Lightning Bolts”: Like static electricity. They began OUTSIDE the frame of the picture, which meant the anomaly happened INSIDE the camera. This was INDEPENDENT of the lens! Those “energetic discharges would have occurred even with the lens cap in place. All the more remarkable was the TIMING and Intensity of the marks. At precisely the point when the model and I felt the most “Creeped Out” the marks were the most
pronounced. You see this in Photo 3. I have circled the “marks” for easier viewing. I had shot dozens of rolls of infrared film before. I’ve NEVER seen this anomaly before nor since. IR film is tricky to load and develop properly. On this roll the marks are NOT external, stray light fog. Static electricity is certainly possible. Often discharge is caused by a build up under dry conditions. I submit to ANYONE living in St. Louis during the month of May to find humidity THAT low outdoors. Ambient humidity was running at 60% that day. What these anomalies represent is impossible to determine. My recently deceased friend giving me a last farewell before proceeding to the Afterlife? The desecrated wraiths who once rested in that mausoleum angry at yet more of the living trespassing on their eternal turf? Or a Malevolent Elemental conjured up by some delirious white trash séance one dark night? I don’t know. Theresa doesn’t know either. Her Science brain tends to brush it off. However she hasn’t been back to that Mausoleum for 7 years now….
Think Outside The Cage with Kendra Holliday of The Beautiful Kind
Why is Love Complicated?
Dear Torn, Sigh. YES. I can give you a few examples, but will focus on the one that is most ridiculously drawn out. When I was 30, I reconnected with a man I had a crush on in high school. When my marriage fell apart, I ran away with him, at least emotionally. He was perfect for me - a professor, a sexual intellectual, curly hair, glasses, atheist, vegetarian, a reader, quirky, funny, sexy, and the opposite of materialistic. He was the person I first explored swinging with. We shared many unforgettable moments. We bonded over orgies. He gifted me with mixed CDs featuring the music I love most – mellow, autumnal, haunting romantic tunes that left me teary eyed when I was alone at night. We got engaged. But, we were star crossed lovers. I lived in St. Louis, and he lived in Maine. We carried on with our long distance lover affair for five tumultuous years. We kept hoping something would change so we could finally be together, but I had my daughter and he had his career. I was so torn, and there was no light at the end of the tunnel. Over time, our relationship transformed. The warm, cozy moments we shared taking long walks and cooking ethnic dishes gave way to silly bickering. He liked arguing; to him, it was a sport. He lacked the passion I longed for - he’d pick me up from the airport after being apart for six weeks and, instead of throwing me up against the door the minute we got home, he’d check his email. His critical eye and disapproval of every little thing I did (one time he chastised me for lighting a candle!) led me to doubt myself. He was very controlling, and my wild ways irked him greatly. He disliked my online presence and wanted no part of it. I finally realized we wanted different things, that we weren’t well matched, and broke it off with him. Like, 10 times. We kept getting back together in fits and spurts, wasted huge amounts of energy, kept trying to force a round hole into a square peg. I tortured many a friend sobbing my head off
at how cruel fate was. (To everyone who knew me then: I’M SORRY.) Eventually, emotionally bruised and heartbroken, we made peace with not being together. We accepted the fact that we were both great people, but not great together. I was still crazy about him, but completely worn down. He ended up meeting a fabulous woman much better suited for him, and they’ve been married for three years. I’m good friends with both of them. For the past four years, I’ve been partnered with a man who celebrates me and has touched me in ways deep down like no one else ever has. So it all worked out for the best. I wish I knew then what I know now. A lot of people cling to a relationship because they think it is the best thing they will ever have, that they won’t be able to find someone else. They remain miserable because they fear the unknown. Believe me, if you are with someone who causes you more pain than pleasure, THERE IS SOMEONE BETTER FOR YOU OUT THERE. Someone who can deal with and even embrace your smoking, non-monogamous desires, kids, cats, high sex drive, exercise obsession, weight, job, or whatever. You can still love someone even if you are not romantically involved. Love takes on many forms, and one of most loving things you can do is set someone free.
Gina Simon Photography
Dear Kendra, Have you ever had to break up with someone you were still in love with? ~Torn
email@example.com www.thebeautifulkind.com Got a sex, relationship, BDSM or fetish related question? Ask your local sexpert, Kendra Holliday, Writer & Editor of The Beautiful Kind, and Co-Founder of Sex Positive St. Louis.
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Solitary Refinement By Single in the City
uddenly single in our somewhat noble city, I have decided after being in LTR after LTR to stay single for now. My adventures, mishaps, triumphs and life’s observations are chronicled here in the forthcoming column. This is a work of fact, fiction and frivolity…purely for entertainment purposes, not guidance. That means… don’t come to me asking for sage dating advice. I will probably pat you on your head and send you on your way, but if I do decide to give you advice, I will not be held accountable for the outcome, if you take it. For sport if nothing else, I actually like being able to go out by myself and peruse the local dating pool, be it ever so meager at times. Knowing that, I went to a street
This, I Shamelessly Tell You by James Stansberry
oday my one eye is infected, again, and I have to think it might be because in doing what I do (that being crossing over those who have ‘passed on’ to their next part of this journey that is life, then death) I held on to tears, so that those I was comforting would have my strength. The bridge must hold, I like to say, and being a ‘bridge, I do hold, but sometimes, it has a price. Thus, my one eye infected today, the first weekend after one of those most horrific tragedies since six raver kids were gunned down in a senseless ‘spree’ back in the early two thousands. A sad reminder of why we need to fund mental health care, and not cutting back on necessary services, instead of taxing those greedy, wealthy one per cent.
festival where I encountered identical twins that I knew from long, long ago in a land far, far away. They really had not changed since the last time I saw them. Not only did they look the same, but they behaved like the same awkward adolescent jerks they were over 20 years ago. I did change in the last 20 years being a late-bloomer and looking hotter in my thirties than I did in my teenage years, no longer the mall-haired 80’s Molly Ringwald wannabe….these goons apparently thought it too because then came the twin’s courtship ritual…vaguely reminiscent of Galapagos Giant Tortoise, they even compared their heights, showing off as it were. Did Tweedle-dork and Tweedle-dumbass think they could impress me with their inept fashion sense (dingy wife beaters, saggy denim shorts and sandals with dirty white socks ), smelling of cheap beer
and cigarettes, feeble attempts at beguiling me with offers of inebriation, dirty jokes and hinting at a threesome because they are brothers who “share”. Which is why I promptly said, “Sure, follow me…” and proceeded to easily and purposefully lose them in the sea of people. Last thought for the night… my genitalia is not like waiting for an elevator no matter how many times, how fast, how hard you manipulate the button, it’s not going to make the elevator come faster, next time please take the stairs or be patient, you’ll get to the top much faster, guaranteed! For commentaries, heckling, gripes or other mindless or witty banter, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tragedy in Seattle, the sad story of exes who won’t give up and other ‘stuff’, In This, Another James Chronicle’
I stood with friends, loved ones, and other folks the three musicians who were killed, and the young woman, (who touched my heart, because I have a daughter who is a quiet soul, much like it seemed that poor young woman was), chatting, and at times, laughing at memories we shared. People stopped by, dropped off flowers, Pabst beer (apparently it was a favorite ‘vice’ of some of the band members), and in the distance, more local television crew trucks loomed, but stayed respectfully back, to let folks just be...folks. No over hyped media presence as I’ve seen in days since the tragedy happened, with every station and outlet seeming to try and milk the story for all it’s worth. Ah well, I’m a newshound too, so I do sort of understand their point. Sort of, since I work for Indie media, and we have a much less corporate bent. I knew two of the musicians through Steamcon, and Rustycon, the conventions my sweetie and I have attended (me, alone for several years, and me and sweetie for at least two years), and thinking I won’t laugh or hang out at the wonderful chaos that is the Biohazard party this year, or in coming years nearly made me break down and cry. Still, when you’re being a ‘bridge’ for folks to say good by to their loved ones on, you must ‘hold’. Truth be told, though, I have never had to cross over folks I knew that well, and it hurt like bloody hell, and still does, a bit. Probably why, as I sit here writing this, my one eye’s infected, again. Some things are just things you don’t want to see or witness. So, along with that awful situation, I’ve also been processing some
old, childhood issues, including the anniversary of the day I call ‘the worst day of my life’ (won’t go into detail, but know that this was the peak of the child abuse I endured for the first eleven years of my young life, and finally feeling the feeling a couple of weeks ago, felt like being ground up like hamburger and re-assembled), and dealing with the effect of Venus and Saturn being retrograde, and how that’s negatively affecting my already scarce resources. Looking forward to the end of June, let me tell you, when both of these battling ‘lovers’ go direct again, and hopefully, prosperity will remember my address. Still, in spite of all of this sturm and drang that life is these days, things between me and sweetie are percolating along and at this year’s Crypticon I bought a new ‘toy’ that I’m looking forward to using on my dear slave, when we finally have time for ‘date night’. Already ‘practiced’ with it a bit, and loved the grimace on sweetie’s face, so I know fun will be had when the little ‘item’ is fully given its night in the spotlight of our bedroom. Oh yes, and a bonus (if one can call it that), of dealing with past issues, is my male and female selves are more on speaking terms, so I’m a much happier ‘james’, than when I first started this journey to bring my male self more out of the Trans ‘closet’ and into the world. Yay for that! Not so happy about figuring out that another old, beat up guy in my building has ‘taken a liking to me’ and seems to keep trying to bring himself to my attention on every chance meeting we have. So wish I could make ‘death rays’ come out of my fingers and just set his hair on fire the next time I see his sorry ass! Ah yes, and a ‘down point’ of being at the vigil for my fallen friends? Running into one of my nuttier, grubbier and less pleasant exes, who seems to have taken that occasion to start what seems a series of weird calls (I pick up, there’s silence, then the cliched hang up...truly lame, definitely!). Him, I wish a giant hole to swallow his disgusting self up, so I never had to deal with his brand of ‘icky’ ever again. Oh yes, and the crows in the little nest outside my window are continuing to be an inspiration, getting ready to ‘graduate’ to flight any day now. Reminds me, life goes on, is more wonderous than we know, no matter what the wickedness in the world is throwing down these days. This, I shamelessly tell you, and r.i.p. my dear friends, this one’s for you!