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Friday, March 30, 2012

Skate Away the Hate 

The men behind the benefit and the music, Toon and the Real Laww.
Photos courtesy of Scenes from my Lunch Hour

Skate Away the Hate
By Ned Phillips

Spring has officially sprung and on March 30th there’s a perfect way to shake those winter doldrums. Up and coming Durham rappers Toon and The Real Laww have put together what they describe as a rap/skate extravaganza, happening at Wheels Fun Park, with the proceeds benefiting victims of domestic violence through the Durham Rescue Mission.

This one-two combo of beats, rhymes and good times have produced music together for years and interestingly enough, it all began with the raiding of a refrigerator. Bound by a heretofore unknown a mutual friend, Laww discovered Toon in his kitchen perusing the perishables in his icebox! What could have immediately become beef changed direction when Toon noticed Laww’s microphones and recording equipment- conversation ensued and musical friendship spawned.

Though both artists had been working on music individually, there was an evident mutual benefit from the collaboration. Laww, a Marine reservist and a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, had been writing and rapping before starting to dabble in the more technical side of production. At this time, Toon was passing out mixtapes of his own during breaks while working at Duke.

Toon describes his early style as fun and comedic. But beneath Toon’s upbeat tracks were painful memories and emotions stemming from his mother’s nasty divorce out of an abusive marriage. After the split, Toon and his mother relocated from Baltimore to Durham, where Toon credits Laww with helping him get in touch with his personal story- a thing he is now comfortable approaching in his music.

Now, the duo makes beats for one another, rap on each other’s tracks, perform, and even live together. Toon’s high pitched animated delivery provides amazing counterpoint to Laww’s deep baritone and their chemistry is so tight that they perform individual sets on a single stage and it flows as one show.

While it seems many rappers today are concerned with stackin’ cash and acting hard, Toon and The Real Laww focus their energy and ability on giving back to communities and causes they support. Having already put on a successful fundraising event for the Wounded Warrior Project, they have now set their sights on raising awareness and support for victims of domestic violence and the Durham Rescue Mission.

Once described as “fashion philanthropists” Toon and The Real Laww are establishing a new model for how rappers can engage with their communities- leave it to Durham- by using their talents to aid local charities dear and personal to them. And though these two have fun, wild personalities that are infectious to be around, they are very serious men and deeply committed to the community and the causes they support.

At Wheels, this Friday night, DJ Shahzad will spin tunes on the decks and three different skate crews, including the Infamous Skate Freaks of NC, will bust moves that make you wish you’d spent more time at the rink in your youth. Rounding out the party with possible guest performances by Toon and The Real Laww, and it’s an evening not to be missed.

Whether you are planning to glide hand in hand with your sweet thang or cruise the circuit to your own groove, it’s going to be a sick time for an important cause. There’s no reason not to go so lace up those quads, roll bounce over to Wheels and "Skate Away the Hate."

When: Friday, March 30, 10pm
Where: Wheels, 715 N. Hoover Rd. Durham, NC, #919-598-1944
Why: Good times, good cause!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bull City Soul Revival 

The Clarion Content is jazzed about the Bull City Soul Revival. We are hoping to have an interview for you with one of the organizers soon. In the meantime, keep your eye out for the collaborative initiative of musicians, scholars, historians and Durham citizens that explores and shares the rich history of the soul and R&B music tradition in Durham. The program showcases Durham’s African-American musicians from the 1960s and 1970s with a series of educational, interactive events and an exhibit of artifacts from the era.

The first event is this Tuesday night, March 27th at 7pm. Dr. Dwandalyn Reece, Curator of Music and Performing Arts at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture, will outline the themes of the Museum’s music exhibition which is scheduled to open in 2015 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Read more here.

And check out this nice write up the Bull City Soul Revival got in the Durham News.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

from... Sola: A Performative Installation 

Sola: A performative installation by Marissa Bergmann (Aimari) and Alex Young opened to rave reviews early this month at the Carrack Modern Art. One of the most restrained art aficionados the Clarion Content knows, called it no less than, amazing. Find out more about the artists at their Tumblr.

Check out an excerpt from opening night below...

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

James Cameron: Under the sea 

To boldly go where no man has gone before; two of the important people in the life of our editor-in-chief are watching far too much Star Trek. We can't get with it, but nor can we completely tune it out. So those words have been echoing around the empty cavern between the ears for days on end, only to resonate last night with an actual, this worldly mission.

Director James Cameron was boldly attempting to go where no man has gone before, at least for the last fifty years, the deepest bottom of the ocean floor. Cameron, uber-rich, financed an exhibition and the building of complete new deep sea submersible with Rolex and National Geographic as sponsors.

He then dove solo to 35,756 feet (10,898 meters). No one has been that deep in the ocean since US Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh and Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard in 1960 aboard the Trieste.

This was the last manned craft to descend to more than 6.5 miles to the deepest ocean floor.

Cameron, descending in what he describes as a torpedo-like vehicle, is filming a documentary about his journey. The BBC reports the craft weighs 11 tons and is more than 23 feet long. It is equipped with so many lights and cameras that it is like an underwater television studio.

Read more and see some fascinating video here from the BBC.

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Budget battle 

If you haven't heard about the budget battle looming between the Republicans and their House Leader, Paul Ryan,1 and the Democrats and the President, Barack Obama, get ready to.2

With the Great Recession drifting along, the economy sputtering, stagflation a reality and deflation a specter still looming, the Presidential race will be almost exclusively about the economy. And there is no starker way to delineate the contrasts between the Republicans and the Democrats than the priorities and concerns their respective budgets demonstrate.3

As Derek Thompson, a senior editor at The Atlantic, so eloquently puts it, "Budgets are statements of values. They tell us what our leaders think is important for the country." Thompson argues effectively that Representative Ryan's Republican budget is designed to cut the Federal government back in a manner that would have made Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater proud. Ryan's budget is lowers taxes on the rich and big corporations, while attempting recoup some of that revenue by reducing the complexity of the tax code. Further saving are found in repealing Obamacare and cutting Medicaid, along with shrinking non-defense discretionary spending.4

The Obama budget protects the President's massive health care program, along with Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Unfortunately, certain elements read like pure fantasy, as Thompson puts it, "It pays for new infrastructure projects with 'savings from the Iraq war,' which... is a clever bit of parallel-universe budgeting, like me paying for a new suit with 'savings from not going to Atlantic City tomorrow'."

The President's budget also protects the 99%. Well at least 98% of them anyway, by excluding them from tax hikes specifically targeting the rich. Of course, as veteran observers of Washington and the tax code know, the uber-rich have armies of attorneys to help them minimize and evade their tax obligations.5,6

Like most, the Clarion Content finds it far easier to complain about both these budget proposals, than to offer real tangible solutions. Here's to hoping the politicians can do better than they have been these last fifteen years.

1If the Republicans somehow end up with a brokered convention, this is the man most likely to come off the back benches and grab the nomination.

2Older readers, you will likely be as sick of this budget debate as you once were the phrase "Social Security lockbox" during the Bush II vs. Gore debacle of 2000.

3It is relevant to note this is, in part, because Barack Obamas's foreign policy has essentially been a continuation of the Bush II-Cheney regime's American exceptionalism justifies American overreach.

4Still waiting for the Air Force's first Bomber bake sale.

5Unless you believe the Caymans and the Bahamas are legitimate modern nation-states, not extra-judicial tax havens that would be far easier to invade and conquer than Iraq or Afghanistan.

6Plenty of evidence suggests increased tax code complexity actually makes it easier for the rich to avoid paying their tax obligations.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chan Banh's Wok n’ Roll story 

The Clarion Content is delighted to welcome on board a new regular contributor, Ned Phillips. Ned is recently returned from Europe where among his many endeavours he made fabulous short films and wrote well received travel articles. He is a veteran of the Durham scene, with a returning expatriate's take on our dear city.

Check out his first dispatch below.

photo credit: Ned Phillips............Bahn's, #750 Ninth Street, Durham.

Wok n’ Roll
by Ned Phillips

In Banh’s Cuisine on a warm Saturday afternoon chef/owner Chan Banh sits across from me, talking about the glory days of Ninth Street. These were the early to mid 90’s, right around the time Nirvana was peaking and Snoop Dogg was just starting to matter.

Wellspring Grocery was thriving across the street, the Ninth Street Bakery delivered quality breads while the Ninth Street Bar and Grill was the only place you could get a beer. McDonald’s Drugstore churned out fresh, handcrafted milkshakes and Dogstar Tattoo was the preferred hangout for musicians, skater kids and underage cigarette smokers. Poindexter Records was one of my favorites, carrying an obscure selection of tapes and CD for any taste. Being ten years old, North American Video was THE most exciting place to me, where on Friday nights I’d browse the aisles of videocassettes admiring at the titles and box covers, deciding which world to enter, Mother permitting.

Aside from the ability to still attract fringe characters, Ninth Street has undergone tremendous transformation in the past two decades. Bars run rampant, the Wellspring complex is all but abandoned and even soul sucking, indie-crushing Subway has moved into the old Ninth Street Active Feet. Home cinema has gone from VHS to DVD to Blu-Ray and online databases.

Through the years, Chan has seen people and businesses come and go. Banh’s Cuisine has been on Ninth Street since the late ‘80s and he tells me of a time when Grant Hill would sit in my very seat, everyday at 3pm, eating spicy chicken wings. That is until his routine was discovered and he could no longer dine in peace. Mentioning the great #33 stirs my inner Dukie and an elevated conversation about the current state of ACC hoops ensues. During the autumn and winter months, NFL football is the topic of discussion.

In my early Banh’s days I was in a loving, committed relationship with Kung Pao chicken---diced chicken, watercress and green peppers, with just enough kick to keep you from shoveling it down too fast, was all I ever wanted. After a few years I strayed, moving in with General Tso---his spicy sweet, brown sauce with a hint of ginger gave unprecedented life to sautéed broccoli and carrots. The zing of ginger planted a seed I could not ignore, and now, when no one is looking, I flirt with ginger chicken and vegetables.

Unless it is Saturday. Saturdays and Wednesdays are typically the busiest days at Banh’s, when in addition to his usual cuisine Chan dishes up more typically Vietnamese fare. Pho soups and traditional vegetarian subs served on French baguettes are among the delicacies. During these specialty days the dining room is a bustling, jovial place and the take-out traffic is fast and furious.

In addition to his wok mastery, Chan serves as a fundamental cog in the Durham music scene. He’s made beats for local hip-hop acts and maintains a Godfather like status among the areas best musicians and producers. I’ve heard him, in the dining area, laptop in hand still wearing his chef apron talking with customers about Abelton audio engineering and the effect of renaissance equalizers. In his pockets are memory sticks filled with the latest Pro Tools plug-ins for those he’s mentoring. His passion and knowledge for music and production has rendered him a go-to guy for much of the area’s top talent.

Upon first acquaintance, Chan’s a seemingly shy guy. Yet time reveals him to be an incredibly warm and fascinating jack-of-all-trades. During a visit, you’re more likely to encounter one of his sisters, who double as cashiers and servers in the dining area. Like the great Grant Hill, Chan enjoys a certain anonymity, preferring the back of the kitchen to the front of the house.

Chan Banh’s eatery on Ninth Street is a veritable link to the past and bygone times when food and service were personal. Tradition and simplicity, in the best of ways, meant something. No frills, bells or whistles. No fancy tableware, just great food cooked fresh by wonderful people. I recently overheard an exchange between Chan and a customer regarding a new piece of recording software that had just been released- when asked if it was hard to learn, Chan Banh smiled, shook his head and said “Nah man, I’ll show you.”

Banh’s is a solid rock in Durham's gastronomic geology, and Chan truly one most fascinating quilt squares in the fabric of the Bull City, a community I am proud to be a part of again.

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You had to know; Einstein 

You had to know last year when European scientists claimed that they had found particles that could travel faster than the speed of light to be suspicious. After all claims of blowing fundamental scientific principles out of the water appear far more often than things that really upend what is considered scientific "law."

Now the Euro (French and Italian) eggheads are backing off their experimental results and admitting that they could have been caused by a loose cable. There is still hope for you time travelers, recall Einstein's theory of special relativity augurs that going faster than the speed of light would be equivalent to going backward in time.

French and Italian scientists confessed on a website run by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, that the result might be due to a loose fibre optic cable linking a Global Positioning System satellite receiver to a computer or perhaps a malfunctioning clock, neutrinos were beamed and timed from the CERN facility in Geneva to a lab near Rome.

Either way, as Edward Blucher, chairman of the Department of Physics at the University of Chicago, told Reuters, "I don't think I met anyone who said I bet it's going to be true. I think the people on the experiment worked as carefully as they could and I think they ran out of ideas of what could be wrong and they decided to present. Maybe they should have waited a few more months."

Read more here and here.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Liberty Arts Grand Opening: huge 

Liberty Arts Grand Opening Friday evening was a huge success.1 Hundreds of people packed the Cordoba Center for the Arts and the parking lot between Cordoba and Goldenbelt. The food trucks were mobbed, the music was intense, and as promised, Durham Mayor Bill Bell pounded some hot metal. There were demonstrations of all sorts, including a wildly popular glass blowing exhibition.

Much money was raised for the non-profit, Liberty Arts, meaning more classes, more art and more fun for Durham's residents.2

One of LiLa's youngest fans grooving to the music at Liberty Arts...

1We are not just saying that because we were promoting it. There were a ton of folks in attendance, having a grand ol' time.

2Although you'd never know it if you read the Durham haters at the Indy Weekly. The Indy chose the occasion of the 1st Anniversary of Marry Durham to once again show their true (Wake Cty) colors giving the cover story to a virulent anti-Durham musician, who's wildly inaccurate and judgmental screed against Durham is never refuted. Thanks Grayson, here's hoping you and Jamie Stewart leave town together!

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New old Census 

When they take the Census, as the United States Federal Government did just two short years ago, the questioners tell you that the data won't be released for seventy-two years. It feels odd to hear that because a little over four months after the questioning is done, they1 release the results of the Census. But those are only the totals. What they mean by the data won't be released for seventy-two years is that the individual personal information won't be released for a little over seven decades.

This bring us to next month's fascinating historical data trove, when the details of the 1940 Census will be released, more than 120,000 enumerators surveyed 132 million people. This will be the first census to have its data released on the internet rather than strictly on paper (massive tomes, tiny print).2

Genealogists and historians are quivering with excitement. Among the important trends they hope to enumerate in more detail, the travails of the brutal economic times and the backgrounds of the more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans warrantlessly imprisoned by our government during World War II.

Read more here in the Albany Times-Union.

1A lot of they's here, the government is the "they" releasing the data. The other "they," the individual Johns and Janes taking the survey, asking the questions, are temporary employees in 21st century.
You know what temps mean! That's right! No benefits.

2Although you won't be able to search the data by name, at least not right away.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Banksy on Advertising 

The famous British street artist, Banksy, offers an insightful take on advertising below, rated R for strong language.

People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They but into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you. You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity. Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head. You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.---Banksy

Saw this on the Tumblr of one of our Pennsylvania readers.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sola: A Performative Installation 

Sola: A performative installation by Marissa Bergmann (Aimari) and Alex Young

Cady Childs, the Clarion Content's intrepid Arts and Culture columnist, swung by the Carrack Modern Art this week and has sneak peak at the weekend's upcoming show.

This Friday the Carrack Modern Art is hosting the opening reception for Aimara and Alex Young’s mixed media installation, as part of Durham’s monthly Art Walk. These two young women, both graduates of Duke University, first installed their unique conjunction of graphics, luxe fabrics, body art, and found objects in an apartment they shared during college.

“We’d moved everything out, and it was this great, huge space for us to play with,” Aimara said while sorting through massive stack of painted white branches.

During our visit, the two were installing a parachute like fabric, that was pulled and puckered with string that would be later be connected to a turn-table to make the cotton roof bob and flow on it’s own.

“Our installations are experienced, not just to look at. We want them to feel an intimate experience when they walk through,” Aimara explained. “There’s also a deep connection to trees in this installation, we’ve always collected branches and twigs, and wanted to include that.”

In this town’s growing art scene, it’s easy to get started slowly, with small-scale shows of a young artist’s work, trying out the water before diving in head-first. Instead of taking the easier route, these women are putting their all into an immersive space where the viewer gets to peek inside of their heads, and follow the creative twists and turns found from unexpected objects. The unknowingly haunting, almost ethereal feel of the video and photography released so far of the project is already enough to show these talented young artists made the right choice.

The show runs from March 12---March 22, with the opening reception tomorrow from 7pm to 10 pm. To learn more about the Alex & Aimara’s past projects (and also the amazing photographer behind the haunting flyers you’ve seen around town, Yuma) visit their tumblr here and see quotes and photos from the project and other works by the artists. For further info on the event, visit the Carrack Gallery’s site at here.

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Monday, March 12, 2012


The story is only a week old, and the NFL effective buried the lead by announcing the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal the same week star quarterback Peyton Manning became a free agent.

Perhaps, if you are not a sports fan you have not heard about the story. According to the NFL, the Saints had an organized bounty program to reward players for knocking opposing teams' players physically out of the game, cash bonuses for incapacitating them via injury.

The hue and cry about this discovery from the talking heads in the media, especially at ESPN1, has been ludicrous.

Our view, "What a bunchy of smarmy politically correct nonsense!"

The Clarion Content has no love for retired quarterback, and noted publicity hound, Brett Favre, but we think he got it right in this case. Favre said essentially, bounties or no bounties, it is a tough guy's league and people are basically trying to knock you out of the game on every play.

We at the Clarion Content cannot stand all the sanctimonious carping of the media mavens, like Dan Patrick, about how awful, how wrong, how devious these bounties the Saints put out on opposition players were.

Pul-leeze. The same folks who have been moaning about the NFL turning into flag football are suddenly horrified by bounties?? The same folks who were running weekly segments called "Jacked up!" and laughing their butts off at huge de-cleating hits are now disturbed by bounties??

Uh, huh, what?

It comes as a shock to you folks that the defenses were trying to knock quarterbacks and other star players out of the game? Really? That's a surprise?

Or it was the part where they were getting paid extra for it that bothered you morons?

Isn't that what their salary was for to begin with? NFL defensive players are performing a glorified version of the little kids' game, "Kill the Guy," week in and week out. Now somehow, because there are bonuses ponied up by the players involved its amoral?

What a crock!

Forgive the harsh language, but it is the same bullshit we see across a litany of other capitalist contexts. Whatever egregious violation of human rights or environmental degradation is being wrought, so long as it keeps costs down and it is largely behind closed doors or unreported, the mass of morons, will casually bury their heads in the sand and deny it is even happening. What Walmart/Nike/MNC X is paying little kids pennies a day in Asia to make our toys/clothes/crap? Eyes shut tight, head buried in sand, "No they aren't. No they aren't."

Undeniable mass media exposure brings said scandal to light, and the tune changes to "Oh wait, they are. Dang. Somebody needs to do something about that. Now! That's terrible."2

The standard political correct operating procedures see sanctimony rear its ugly head, and those caught out blantantly being abusive are punished, but real systemic change is never considered.3

In this case, sports is once again a microcosm of society. The reality is football is a hyper-violent sport. Kids are paralyzed and permanently injured playing the game every year. High school and college players sustain thousands of concussions annually, for a shot to make it into a pro league where the minimum annual salary is nearly $400 grand a year. Sudden traumatic death and/or disabling injury is an obstacle, but no kid ever thinks it is going to happen to them. Many serious injuries happen on otherwise seemingly innocuous plays.

Fans cheer the big hits. Violence sells.4

Pro football is a multi-billion dollar sport, and they play to win the game. To foolishly single out the New Orleans Saints, to pretend that their deliberate attempts to injure opponents are somehow unique is beyond ludicrous, it is civil hypocrisy of the most society annihilating sort. Don't hate the player, hate the game. Don't blame the player, change the game. Or accept that Americans are getting what we pay for, a brutal violent contest between highly compensated young athletes.

1One of the leading practitioners of yellow journalism today.

2A similar example: Joseph Kony has been running the LRA conscripting child soldiers and committing a litany of heinous crimes for more than twenty-five years, only now when the visual evidence is positively shoved down their proverbial throats are the masses reacting. During the reign of King George the II, more than 5 million people died from civil war in the Congo, there was no hullabaloo. No call for intervention, Americans, en masse, ignored the tragedy.

3This is why most American's are fine with the United States intervening in Libya and equally fine with the United States ignoring the wholesale slaughter in Syria. It is the left to the morally stolid, the John McCain's, Ron Paul's, Dennis Kucinich's, Noam Chomsky's of the world to point out the blatant hypocrisy. Alcohol related hazing is treated the same way. 1) Deny it. 2) Over-punish the individuals involved when tragedy occurs as it inevitably will periodically. 3) Ignore the system until it happens again in such a way that the horror is an unavoidable spectacle.

4Why do you think Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) took off just when they started trying to limit the violence in boxing? Why did NASCAR, for all its attempts to run and hide from its roots, suddenly bring back the "Rubbing is racing" mantra when attendance and ratings figures started to fall off a cliff? In America, violence sells.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Peace Poles 

Have you heard about the The Peace Pole Project started in Japan in 1955 by Masahisa Goi? We hadn't either, here at the Clarion Content. We love the idea.

Peace Poles are handcrafted, individualized monuments constructed and installed all over the world as symbols of Peace. Their singular goal and purpose is to spread the message "May Peace Prevail on Earth." Poles are found all over the globe from the Pyramids in Egypt, to the North Pole in Canada, from Gorky Park in Russia, to Angkor Wat in Cambodia from Cincinnati, Ohio to Janesville, Wisconsin.

Sometimes Peace Poles are dedicated to individuals who have given themselves to the cause of world peace. Jimmy Carter, Mother Teresa and the Dalia Lama, all have dedicated Peace Poles.

Can we get behind the idea of a Durham Peace Pole?

We got word of this project from a friend of friend who helped dedicate and install a new Peace Pole in Rwanda.

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The week in Twitter Wisdom 

Little slices of Twitter wisdom. Real quotes from real tweeters.1

Wearing leggings with #NoAss is like a wallet with no cash--- Autumn

The dictionary is an aggregator, not an arbiter, of words. A words absence from Oxford doesn't make it a "non-word.”---Ta-Nehisi

My guy friend told me that it's unattractive when a girl says "dude". But dude with tits like these who cares?---Miss Kat

#thingsidontunderstand why my mom always complains about money problems but refuses to get a job---Miranda

1For what that's worth; Facebook admitted this week to having as many as five million duplicate and bot accounts.


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Liberty Arts Grand Opening 


The Liberty Arts group reps itself as a ‘non-profit bronze casting facility’. This sentence doesn’t even scratch the surface of a determined group of artists, community players, and founders who have been part of the bourgeoning Durham art scene since 2001, and who took the roof collapse of the Liberty Warehouse last year not as a step backwards, but an opportunity to build something bigger and better. The length of their reach into the community has stretched to its greatest extent yet, giving individuals not only a chance to view their works, but an opportunity to create something themselves.1

While still maintaining their foundry out of Durham Central Park's George Watts Pavillion, the group has been in the process of relocating their studio, workshop, and gallery space to the Cordoba Center for the Arts. The Cordoba Center for the Arts, a massive industrial space in what was previously a factory (and before that, old tobacco…) also houses another core part of Durham’s cultural scene, the Scrap Exchange.

March 16th marks the official grand opening of Liberty Arts at the Cordoba Center for the Arts. After an announcement from Mayor Bill Bell, who will hammer a ceremonial anvil, the doors will be officially opened to the new space. Local Durham favorites, LiLa, will perform a live set, and later in the evening there will be music by The Perculators. There will be food trucks, including the Parlour Ice Cream and Bike Coffee. There will also be staggered demonstrations throughout the night of the different specializations offered in many of Liberty Arts’s public classes and workshops. Demos will include glass blowing, forging and shop bots.

Past students work will be displayed in part of the gallery portion of the event, giving the community a chance to see what a bank manager can achieve in a few hours of practice in the group’s hands-on, come-as-you-are classroom environment.

Of course, the professionals will have some of their work on display too, including the sculptures molded in the live aluminum pour that the Clarion Content and Scenes from my Lunch Hour covered last month.

If you think you aren’t familiar with the work of Liberty Arts, you’re probably wrong. Their sculptures are a key part of the downtown Durham streetscape. They beautify our daily scenery, including the statue of ‘Major’, our beloved plaza bull, and the downtown loop sculptures commemorating 'Black Wall Street.' These are just a two examples of the pieces Liberty Arts’ artists have created in the literal and cultural centers of our beloved city.

Other Grand Opening night events will include a raffle with a grand prize of a free pass into one of Liberty Art’s workshops, as well as other prizes from various fabulous vendors in town, Dame’s Chicken and Waffles, Daisy Cakes, Wine Authorities and Old Havana, too name but a few, and a miniaturized statue of ‘Major.’

The night kicks off at 5:30 on March 16, as part of Durham’s 3rd Friday Art Walk. For more information, visit their website at www.libertyartscasting.org, or contact them directly at (919) 452-4702.

1Four Wednesdays, March 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th, 6pm-9pm, Classes offered in: Sand Casting in Aluminum, Classes cost $250 and are limited to six students at Liberty Arts Foundry facility adjacent to Durham Central Park. For more info contact Michael Waller at #919-452-8642 or wallerfoushee@embarqmail.com.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Duck and Cover 03.06.12 

Our thanks to "Duck & Cover" and creator Storey Clayton.

Check out his other projects, here, at the Blue Pyramid.

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Monday, March 05, 2012

More of the same 


Just in case you were under the mistaken impression Barack Obama represented some kind of change from King George the II, read his Attorney General Eric Holder's defense of the Presidential right to assassinate U.S. citizens here1 in the L.A. Times.

This will escalate. Inevitably.

It will function much as Bill Clinton's assertions about the right of the President to keep certain things secret despite subpoenas (after all it was only a bj2) which led to Bush II's determination that he and the Dick could keep secret the non-evidence they had to justify attacking Iraq.3

1 The reality is: The administration is asserting the authority to kill any American whom the president declares to be an enemy of the state. So sayeth Jameel Jaffer, a national security attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Clarion Content's editor-in-chief agrees with them hippies on this one.

2The man did have a complaint insofar as they started out investigating an Arkansas real estate deal that began before his first term and just kept extending their efforts and the scope of the investigation until they caught him getting head in the Oval Office six and half years later.

3At a cost, so far, to America's citizens and future generations of $3 trillion dollars plus, $4 per gallon gasoline, and a cratering world economy.

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Duck and Cover 03.05.12 

Our thanks to "Duck & Cover" and creator Storey Clayton.

Check out his other projects, here, at the Blue Pyramid.

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The Grant and Franklin Project 

In this brief video, Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessing explains how we, the People, have lost control of our supposedly representative democracy. And what we might do about it...

As Lessing points out, if there is one thing the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street agree about, it is the pervasive and pernicious presence of systemic corruption.

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More Teen Twitter Wisdom 

Little shouts out of teen Twitter wisdom. Real quotes from real teens.

A boy tells you everything is gonna be okay. A man makes everything okay.---Morgan

Why do I feel safe under blankets? Its not like a murderer will come in thinking "I'm gonna kill...ahh shit! She's under a blanket."---Kelsey

love is a trip, but fucking is a sport---Taylor (Yes, a different one)

All quotes, with original spelling and punctuation, are directly from real Twitter accounts and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Clarion Content.

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Friday, March 02, 2012

Duck and Cover 03.02.12 

Our thanks to "Duck & Cover" and creator Storey Clayton.

Check out his other projects, here, at the Blue Pyramid.

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Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore 

As a person who grew up hearing over and over from his Mother, "Books are our friends," I might be more inclined toward this wonderful little film than some. It is true that I believe books are alive with the spirit of those who wrote them. The continuum of knowledge is an on-going dialogue.

While the makers of this film must implicitly feel that way, too, they are able to communicate that and so much more with a nary a spoken word. This lyrical and beautiful short is called "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore."

The metaphor of storytelling is so powerful because it mirrors the human experience. Each of our lives, writ large and in vignettes, unfolds like a story.

This is a good one.1

Special thanks to a Durham writer friend for sending this to the Clarion Content.

1We know in the days of short attention span theater, fifteen minutes is a massive time commitment. Worse yet, this film starts out a little slow. It is worth it when you have a moment.

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Duck and Cover 03.01.12 

Our thanks to "Duck & Cover" and creator Storey Clayton.

Check out his other projects, here, at the Blue Pyramid.

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