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Astrology Forecast for April 2011

FOR EVERYONE ~ Impasse. Whether its parking space, health care, the public library, education, energy or water, we all share resources – and expenses. We need to cooperate and share expenses at some level to get along. This month it will be clear that the formula we use to decide who pays and who gets […]

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Your Town Now: The Month that was March 2011

Is This Heaven…? In a memo to the Iowa City Council, Police Chief Sam Hargadine and Transportation Planner John Yapp laid out the case for traffic-enforcement cameras in Iowa City. The memo addresses fairly standard stuff–a demonstration that cameras have suppressed accidents in other cities, a list of other Iowa towns that have implemented traffic […]

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Album Review – Dead Larry: …As The Radio

Do you remember that great band from high school? Those guys who played in basements, who knew how to have fun and knew the girls who wanted to party? The Iowa City band, Dead Larry, may be the best such band ever. Their second full-length album, …As the Radio, demonstrates that Dead Larry hasn’t lost […]

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Artists Funding Art

Patrons of the arts are often characterized as cultural or political fat cats who support artists financially to improve their social standing, make more money, or insert other, nebulous, self-serving goals. But recently a new sort of art patron has popped up–artists who have taken it upon themselves to help their own. Rather than relying […]

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Talking Movies: A Caricature with Character

Directed by Miguel Arteta–of Youth in Revolt and The Good GirlCedar Rapids represents yet another stereotypical journey through the comic banality of Middle America. Amusingly, the reviews of the film, good or bad, are more trite than the film itself–I’ll refrain from using such repossessed phrases as “hayseed” and “flyover country” or references to the wood-paneled veneer of Midwest structures. […]

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Book Review: Unbeknownst

“The poet thinks with his poem, in that lies the thought, and that itself is the profundity.” Wiliam Carlos Williams’ famous dictum echoes strongly in Julie Hanson’s new collection, Unbeknownst. Each poem finds her patiently tracing her fingers along the contours of her life, feeling for the smallest crannies. The opening poem, “Use the Book,” […]

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On the Beat: It's Raining Shows

In Langston Hughes’ 1921 poem “April Rain Song,” the thing that everyone hates about April–its big problem–is instead turned into a point of celebration, ending with the lines, “The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night / And I love the rain.” This point was totally lost on Billie Myers, who borrowed the phrase “Kiss the Rain” (taken from the poem’s first line) to create… […]

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Prairie Pop: The Devil Made Them Do It

The 1980s were ground zero for the Satanic Panics, when thousands of children were allegedly kidnapped, defiled and murdered in ritual abuse ceremonies. Even though police statistics made it clear there was no such epidemic, a nation of millions believed the hype. Geraldo Rivera’s 1988 prime-time special on the subject–“Exposing Satan’s Underground”–became the highest rated two-hour documentary in the history of television. […]

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The Tube: Football Fallout

As the NFL lockout lurches on and throws the upcoming season into question, it’s important to draw attention to the real victims of this bitter labor dispute. Through no fault of their own, television executives stand to lose their top prime-time moneymaker. FOX will lose close to $1 billion in ad revenue if the football […]

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