Category Archives: Chris Rall

Getting Hotter Air

Chit Chat Chit Chat

How about those Roller Mortis Films boys, Chris Rall and Tony Brewer? They just posted the first in their new series of interviews with fascinating B-towners on their YouTube channel.

Between them and my own Big Talk series on WFHB radio and The Ryder magazine, we’ll have the interview racket all sewn up here in So Cen Ind. The Herald Times, the WFIU news dept., and Bloom magazine may as well start handing out severance checks to their unlucky future former employees.

And, of course, there’s plenty o’incestuousness going around inasmuch as the subject of the first Rall/Brewer opus is, well, one Tony Brewer. Who just happens to be the second subject of the Big Talk series, the recording of which I am, as we speak, transcribing and editing. My Brewer interview should air on WFHB within a week or two. So you can grab yourselves a little sneak peek into the life of TB by checking out Roller Mortis’s 3-minute documentary on him. Rall & Brewer are calling their first effort a pilot, so expect their project to grow and evolve as time goes by.

Just like Big Talk.

Broadcast News

So, it’s out. The spanking new WFHB newsletter has hit the stree…, er, actually, the screen. Your computer screen, that is, if you sign up for it.

Firehouse News

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The first edition of the community radio station‘s latest stab at transparency now exists in the electron-sphere after a whirlwind gestation and birth. Many of Firehouse Broadcasting’s volunteers, donors, sponsors, and listeners found themselves in a tizzy last fall after the WFHB Board of Directors made a controversial choice to replace former General Manager Chad Carrothers. A fellow named Kevin Culbertson from California and other points west and whose resume included involvement with a passel of Christianist media outlets was tabbed to steer the ship into the foreseeable future. But when folks in these parts got wind of his religious programming past and his non-Bloomington-ness, the resultant roar could be heard as far as the Pacific Coast. Culbertson declined to come aboard and the Board faced the angry glares of its aforementioned constituents.

Since then, the Board and the WFHB staff have sworn to high heaven they’ll dedicate themselves to more open proceedings.

Et voila: Firehouse News.

And, yeah, I’m one of the inked-stained wretches who write the thing.

All Clear

Well, now that WWIII isn’t due to break out just yet, we can all get back to worrying about other important things like Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar night acceptance speech or whether Stand Your Ground laws were written by inmates in mental institutions.

Russia’s Vlad Putin is busy zipping up his fly after exposing his titanic phallus to the rest of the world in the Ukraine this past week. He promised this AM that his boys won’t bomb, maim, rape, pillage, and otherwise recreate in the Crimea unless such pastimes are absolutely necessary, a step back from his Rambo stance of several days ago. Phew, now I don’t have to stock up on canned green beans anymore.

Bomb Shelter

Nothing Says Home Like A Fallout Shelter

Meanwhile, remember that Florida woman who fired warning shots at her potentially abusive hubby? A state court judge had ruled that she can’t hide behind the Stand Your Ground laws because, well, she’s black and the imminent danger she faced was coming from her ever-loving husband. And if a man can’t beat his own wife nowadays, then what did our Christianist Founding Fathers fight and die for, huh?

Alexander

Not White. Not Male. Nobody.

Marissa Alexander faces a retrial that could land her in the joint for up to 60 years now. Those who enjoy sexual relations with their guns are applauding this latest turn of events because, again, Alexander is the wrong color and a wife and what the hell rights do such nobodies have anyway?

As for McConaughey’s speech — I didn’t see it but it’s raised a lot of fuss on the interwebs and, like all ‘net twaddle, will be forgotten by lunch time.

The Pencil Today:

TODAY’S QUOTE

“The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people.” — César Chávez

THE SMILING MAN STOPPED ME IN MY TRACKS

I stomped into Soma this morning like a bull in a coffee shop. Man, I was ready to lay into the Republicans for their union-busting triumph yesterday in the Indiana statehouse.

But my screed will have to wait. Just for a moment, mind you, but wait it will.

I purchased my customary pint of life-giving joe (which is really my ever-ready first priority on any given day) and strode purposefully to the cream and sugar bar to make the drug palatable.

There I saw Soma’s Toastmaster General, Smiling Kevin Sears.

“You look like a man who’s got something to do,” he observed.

“Yer damned right,” I said as I sweetened the pint. “Those goddamned Republicans aren’t gonna know what hit ‘em.”

“Alright,” he said. “but let me ask you this first.”

“Go ahead,” I said, hoping my tone conveyed my urgency.

“What do people value more,” he asked, “their car or their connectivity?”

This? (The General Lee)

Suddenly and for the moment, I forgot all about my rage. I honestly didn’t know the answer.

Or This? (The Phone Car)

Smiling Kevin explained that he’s wondering what to do about his investment portfolio. Should he continue to sink his dough into oil and transportation stocks or should he transfer at least some of his wealth into telecoms?

So, Smiling Kevin’s finances aside, I put it to you, loyal readers. What’s more important to you — your hot rod or your smart-assed phone?

Remember, I’m from Chicago so I encourage you to vote as often as you like!

HOLDING ALL THE ACES, WANTING EVEN MORE

Now, then. The Republicans.

Okay, babies, you’ve got your anti-union legislation.

The GOP Has Discovered A Better Way Than This To Crush Unions

And that’s because you’ve got your Indiana General Assembly.

And you’ve got your Indiana Senate.

And your Indiana governor.

And your two US Senators from the Hoosier State.

Oh, by the way, you’ve got your entire US House of Representatives, too.

And your Reagan/Bush/Bush US Supreme Court.

And, for chrissakes, you’ve got your own 24-hour TV public relations agency.

And, let’s be honest, you’ve got your own race.

Party Faithful

So if I hear one more of you sons or daughters of bitches complain about how the liberals or socialists or feminists or Black Panthers or NPR reporters or Sharia Muslims or any other bogeymen that you want to scare the couch potatoes to death with are taking over this holy land, I’m gonna scream.

And I’m gonna do everything I can to get everyone I know to scream.

Book it, babies.

BOYS IN THE FEST

So Steve Llewellyn didn’t spend all his college days staring out the window or eating lunch. Of course, he was a grown man when he took some Communications and Culture classes at our hometown reformatory. He paid attention when he heard about the Iris Film Festival.

A few years later, after working on “The Trouble with Boys” as a cinematographer, he nudged director Chris Rall and screenwriter Tony Brewer and told them to enter their video opus.

And so they did. And it was accepted. And, this coming Saturday, TTWB will be screened along with 17 other works of cinematic genius at the IU Cinema.

(l to r) Rall, Brewer, & Llewellyn

Here (direct from the Iris FB page) is the complete lineup:

  • “Lester Kannon” by Graham Walsh
  • “Project Z-6463″ by Chris Eller & Sophia Parkinson
  • “TTWB”
  • “Petie Stewart, Manny Pacquiao’s Biggest Fan” by Duane Busick
  • “Black & White” by Sahar Pastel-Daneshgar & Emily Erotas
  • “Fertility 2.0″ by David Ross
  • “Dance of Souls” by Caz Tanner
  • “Two Crowded” by Peter Johnson
  • “Lorelei” by M.C. Madrigal & Ryan Miyake
  • “A Song for the Undertaker” by Josh Tuthill
  • “The Single Mother” by Jesse Lacy
  • “The Woods” by Austin Gardener
  • “Gloom” by Jackson Van Meter & Ryan Smythe
  • “The Keeper” by Mark Johnson
  • “Reflection” by Kevin McClatchey
  • “DADT: A Film from America” by Kaleb Basey
  • “Imprints” by Javier Ramirez & Maggie Rossman
  • “Food Fight” by Laura Caldie

SPEAKING OF VIDEO BRILLIANCE

Have you heard the Stephen Colbert interview with Maurice Sendak yet? Click on their photos for the link and enjoy.

Sorry kids, I can’t embed the vid — you know, copyright issues and all. Trust me, though, it’s worth the extra step.

The Pencil Today:

THE BEST AND THE BRIGHTEST?

Bingo from C. Wright Mills: “People with advantages are loath to believe they just happen to be people with advantages.”

C. Wright Mills Photographed By His Wife, Yaroslava

TREE STOLEN. WAIT — WHAT? TREE STOLEN?

The Herald Times reports this morning that vandals stole a tree from Bryan Park.

The tree,  a blue spruce, was donated by a neighbor some 22 years ago. The neighbor was able to look at the tree each morning through his apartment window. He’d nursed the tree through some tough times and considered it his “baby.”

A Typical Blue Spruce

And yesterday he discovered that some punks — apparently — had sawed the whole damned thing down and hauled it away!

If that isn’t bad enough, city tree boss Lee Huss says it’s not terribly unusual. Huss says some twelve trees a year are stolen.

Man. Have I not awakened from my beauty sleep yet and this is just one of those stupid dreams?

COFFEE CHATTER

Did you catch the puff piece on Soma Coffee in the weekend IDS?

If not, here it is.

THE JANUARY SAGA CONTINUES

Chad Carrothers, the big boss at Firehouse Radio, says January Jones resigned as WFHB News Director to, in her words, “spend more time with my family.”

Sheesh. I can’t even make a smart-assed comment about that other than to say any good news hound — and January was a fine news hound — knows that’s what you say when what you really want to say will burn bridges.

Her resignation was, in Chad’s words, “unsolicited and unexpected.”

The news operation at our town’s community radio station undoubtedly will suffer without her even though Assistant News Director Alycin Bektesh is among the sharpest pencils in the drawer and would be a fab choice as January’s permanent replacement.

I’ll redouble my efforts to get January’s take on the split.

THE WATER CYCLE

Go see another comic by Randall Munroe, the brain behind the strip “XKCD.”

WE DO FACEBOOK SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO

◗ The radical attorney Jerry Boyle, who’s been running around downtown Chicago for a couple of months now trying to keep the town’s Occupy people out of hot water, posts a Venn diagram of the US Government-Goldman Sachs unholy union.

I’ll have to repro the diagram here. Dig it, and then tell me our elected officials will do their utmost to rein in those cash cowboys.

Man! It’d be like Jack and Bobby Kennedy putting Sam Giancana in charge of the Justice Department.

◗ Delia Chandler of Brighton, UK, reminds us Sunday was the anniversary of the assassination of charismatic Black Panther leader Fred Hampton — in his bedroom — by Chicago cops, the FBI, and members of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office in 1969.

Don’t be confused by the line in the Democracy Now! teaser calling it the 40th anniversary of the rub out. Amy Goodman‘s piece ran in 2009.

◗ Bloomington video auteur Chris Rall discovers some good clean spiritual fun for the kids.

Bleeding Heartland Roller Girl Shanda Rude takes her life in her hands by blaspheming Oprah. Or at least pointing out — approvingly — that Bill Maher has soiled the name of the most powerful woman on Earth.

Check the vid — if you dare. Maher skewers Oprah’s consumer goods orgy during her farewell week prior to being assumed into heaven.

Me? I didn’t worry about watching it — I’m slated for hell already.

◗ Finally, uber-Cub fan Al Yellon, proprietor of the Bleed Cubbie Blue fansite gushes over the long-awaited election of Ron Santo to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

If you’re wondering about my own feelings on Ronnie’s canonization, you need only read my Salon.com piece on his death, almost exactly a year ago.

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