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February 21, 2003 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-02-21

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February 2, 2003




By Ricky Lax
Daily Arts Writer

In 1981, Bruce Sterling, a science fiction
writer who specializes in Futurism, wrote a story
narrated by a suicidal jihad Arab terrorist who
travels to Florida in order
to kill a prominent Amer-
ican political figure with
bio-warfare powder.
That is what's niceK
about Futurism: People
only talk about the pre-
dictions that came true.
Sterling's new book,
"Tomorrow Now," went
to print last year. In it,
Sterling's predictions Sterling
included the fact that,
along with passports, travelers would get "per-

Courtesy of Artisan

Toss me the football.

Madstone showcases
five documentaries

Following are some of Sterling's forecasts:
Advances in genetic experimentation are real
but not as bad as you may think. "Even though
this is a genetically altered world, there are no
weird-looking 'mutants' or 'monsters' in you
house, neighborhood or city. They sound really
cool and scary, but go ahead, make one. Where
is the market?" says Sterling.
The best thing public education will teach
our child is how to learn. The process of learn-
ing is important because success will come to
those who constantly ride the wave of ever-
obsolete knowledge - in other words, there
would be no real graduation. Students learn to
access data on the Internet, their primary infor-
mation source, which has "no curriculum, no
moral values, and no philosophy. It just brings
on the data, railroad cars of it, data by the ton."
Computer-molded objects and consumer
electronics will look more and more like Poke-
mon, "... fleshy, pseudo-alive, and seductive:
rubbery, grippy, flexy, squeezy,
pettable and cuddly."
"Tomorrow Now" doesn't just
predict the future, though. Sterling
RROW goes to great lengths to describe
W, three successful criminal/terrorists
W: of recent times, and then explains
)NING how analyzing their stories will
T FIFTY help future crime fighters and
.RS nations deal with these characters.
But Sterling's readings of cur-
Sterling rent social phenomenon are less
House than original. "Our possessions
often seem best suited for the
harsh demands of a mountain-climbing rescue
squad, even though we use them to go get a
cappuccino," he states.

By Zach Mabee
Daily Arts Writer
Fans of the documentary film
should gird their loins for the
upcoming Full Frame Series at
Madstone Theater. A three-day saga
beginning Feb. 28, the series will
showcase five critically acclaimed
documentaries: "The Two Towns of
Jasper," "Return with Honor," "The
First Year," "Startup.com" and "The
Life and Times of Hank Green-
berg." These previously-released
documentaries candidly explore a
variety of issues, ranging from
depression-era major league base-
ball to the plights of American
POWs in Vietnam.
"The Two Towns of Jasper," co-
directed by Whitney Dow and
Marco Williams, explores the 1998
James Byrd Jr. murder case as a
means to highlight racial tensions in
modern America. Dow, a white
male, and Williams, an African
American male, made "Towns"
from a segregated perspective, as
Dow and a white cameraman filmed
and interviewed the town's white
residents, while Williams and an
African American cameraman
filmed and interviewed the town's
black residents. This emotionally-
and racially-charged issue, viewed
through segregated accounts, pro-
vides a frank story that brings many
perspectives and issues to light.
"The First Year," directed by
Davis Guggenheim, also attempts
to gain insight into complex, mod-
ern social realities; however, it
focuses on public schools and the
fate of young American teachers. It
follows several of the profession's
brightest prospects, and chronicles
their trials and tribulations in hopes
of recruiting more to the field in
hopes of improving this nation's

plagued educationsystem. Like
"Towns," it is a plea for change and
an arousing call to duty.
The promotional highlight of the
series is Freida Lee Mock and Terry
Sanders's "Return with Honor," pre-
sented by Tom Hanks. "Return" is a
realist tribute to the many American
POWs who were imprisoned and
brutally tortured during the Vietnam
War. The film provides a holistic
account of pilots' imprisonments via
firsthand accounts, perspectives
from wives and family members and
previously unreleased 35mm
footage from Vietnamese archives.
The end product is patriotic and tri-
umphant but also mournful, remem-
bering all those prisoners who are
still missing in action.
"Startup.com" affords viewers an
insider's look into the lucrative but
tenuous dot-com industry. Direc-
tors Chris Hegedus and Jehane
Noujaim follow one of Noujaim's
Harvard classmates as he and his
partner attempt to establish them-
selves in the savage world of online
entrepreneurship. "Startup" not
only probes the realm of internet
business, but it also explores the
burden that business partnerships
place on friendships.
Aviva Kempner's "The Life and
Times of Hank Greenberg" fills the
last spot on the series' docket. As
the title suggests, this film chroni-
cles the hall-of-fame career of base-
ball great Hank Greenberg. In doing
so, Kempner emphasizes the anti-
Semitic sociopolitical climate of the
time. She elucidates the many barri-
ers that Greenberg surmounted and
relates his relatively unpublicized
struggle to that of Jackie Robinson.
This piece provides a fitting conclu-
sion to a series that is characterized
by poignant realism and social con-

sonally searched down to their shoe
months ago, American airports
began checking the soles of pas-
senger's shoes with a special
device. Shoes themselves have
been the target of inspection ever
since the December 2001 "Shoe
Bomber" incident.
In "Tomorrow Now," Sterling
gives his predictions in the fields
of health, education, war, electron-
ics, pop culture, politics and busi-
ness for the next half-century. His
hypotheses are reasoned, convinc-
ing and full of capitalism.

soles." Only

By Bruce

While "Tomorrow Now's" back cover suggests
that bookstores shelve it under "Technology/Soci-
ology," the book's real home is the business sec-
tion. In his introduction, Sterling claims to view
the future through the lenses of business, govern-
ment, military, and pop culture. His business lens
most certainly triumphs. This is not to say his
predictions are necessarily wrong, for an anthro-
pomorphic capitalism may drive the next 50 years
wherever it wants. Perhaps the future will view
countries as nothing more than "a brand name.
Buy China, hold Finland, sell Indonesia." Perhaps
attracting foreign business will drive American
politics, offering foreign businesses high-tech
breathing space devoid of traditional American
rhetoric, "aspiring to supremehistorical signifi-
cance has a large market downside." Nobody
likes an ugly American, only her dollars.

The book's most compelling passages are
written as if the reader lives in 2050, a time
when Sterling's predictions are lived as reality.

Celebrity nobodys abound on ABC
By Douglas Wernert
Daily Arts Writer de A

ABC is at it again. Hoping to capitalize off the hard-
earned success and popularity of CBS's "Survivor," the
network that brought you "Are You Hot?" now offers the
viewing public "I'm a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here!"
This show, which ought to be titled "Celebrity Survivor,"
provides viewers with celebrities nobody cares about to
create a show nobody will really care about either. All
the immunity challenges in the world won'tbheip this
show from falling to the bottom of the ratings list.
For 15 consecutive nights, 10 celebrities will live in
the Australian rainforest and hWe their fates- delettitted
by tie live viewing audience via phone and Internet
poll. They're given rice and beans, cots and a few other
necessities such as an outdoor.toilet. To earn more food,
the viewers choose one person to compete in a "Fear
Factor"-type challenge called the Bush-Tucker chal-
lenge. For example, one contest involved putting critters
in your pants while another involved div-
ing into a pit of alligators to get food. The
show is a replicate of "Survivor," only with
a nicer camp, more extreme challenges,
and the fact that group dynamics, an ,
attractive quality from "Survivor," doesn't
matter in the slightest. The cast of charac- CELEBRI
ters isn't exactly the top tier of the most ME C
famous people either. When you combine HE
J-Lo's ex-husband (Cris Judd) with an
MTV personality from 10 years ago Night]
(Downtown Julie Brown), then add Joan February1
Rivers' over-dramatic daughter (Melissa A]
Rivers) and the guy from "Lifestyles of the
Rich and Famous" (Robin Leach), you've got trouble.
Former Olympian Bruce Jenner, Stuttering John Melen-

Smile for your paychecks ... I mean camera.

r l

dez from "Howard Stern," a paranoid Alana Stewart,
former Barker Beauty and Playboy Playmate Nikki
Schieler-Ziering and actress Maria Con-
chita Alonso round out the cast of quasi-
I The ability to force Joan Rivers' daugh-
ter to dive into an alligator pit is the only
A redeemable quality viewers at home will
FY: GET get out of this. In addition, it can also be
JT OF kind of fun to watch millionaires squirm
REt when they are taken away from their
masseuses and limousines. Other than
y from that, "I'm a Celebrity" is nothing more
5-March S than a combination of shows viewers have
C grown tired of already. After one of the
challenges, Rivers said, "This show is
about humiliating us." Sorry, but you're wrong there,
Melissa. You're doing a fine job of that yourself.

Ted Leo sharpened his axe and
honed his songcraft in '90s punk
band Chisel, but 2001's unfortu-
nately-titled The Tyranny of Dis-
tance proved he had far
outgrown his previous band:
quirky, extremely melodic pop
songs mined everyone from
Costello to Mellencamp. On
Hearts of Oak, Leo and his Phar-
macists mine most of the same
A.M. gold that their previous
effort did. And even if the hooks
don't have the same idiot-savant
magic Leo produced on Tyranny,
taut, crafty numbers like "The
High Party" and the title track
still chime with the wit and tal-
ent of a veteran. Too bad he still
can't name an album. ***
-Andrew M. Gaerig
A folk-bluegrass blend of col-
lege level immaturity, Kiss My
Bass contains such ballads as
"Walk of Shame" and "If They
Could Just Cut Off Your Great
Big Fat Ass I Think I Could
Love You Forever." While this
acoustic brand of debauchery
makes for a small burst of good
drinkin' music, don't be sur-
prised if you hear Nelly coming
through your stereo 10 minutes
later. **

Special features complete
well-rounded 'Barb ershop'

By Ryan Lewis
Daily Film Editor

With every cliched, plot-lacking
movie starring Rap superstar
crossovers, ala DMX and Ja Rule (the
list goes on), it seems like the indus-
try is hard-pressed to unearth any real
talent from the Hip-hop genus. Ice
Cube, however, continually manages
to waylay this commonality and show
his staying power as a legitimate force
in Hollywood. Past films like "Fri-
day" and "Three Kings" brought him
to a whole new level of fame, but
2002's "Barbershop" brought him to
an even higher performance level,
especially with its culturally and eth-
nically rich contents.
"Barbershop" takes place in the
ghetto of Chicago. Cube plays Calvin
Palmer Jr., a haphazard dreamer who
inherits a barbershop from his father.
His shop serves as a
breeding ground for M
local culture, "the black
man's country club" as BARB
Cedric the Entertainer D
refers to it. A hearty mix
of engrossing characters Picture/Soup
fill the barber's chairs at Movie: **I
the shop, including old- Features:*
timer Eddie (Cedric),M
Jimmy James (Sean
Thomas, "Cruel Inten-
tions"), Terri (Eve), and Ricky
(Michael Ealy, "Bad Company"). The
main plotline follows Calvin in his
tribulations over keeping the shop or
selling it to chase a better life.

By Jeremy Kressmann
Daily Arts Writer


cultural exploits from last year
alongside the low-budget hit "My
Big Fat Greek Wedding," but it
includes a sense of
complexity in its
attempt to capture that
ERSHOP attitude and environ-
VD ment of which few oth-
ers can match. It
rnd: * certainly doesn't com-
pare to the deeply
*** meaningful cultural
explorations in great
GM films like "Boyz N the
Hood," or even attempt
to, but it does take a light-hearted
peek into the mentality and lifestyle
of its characters.

Tiga, my friend, you are really
pushing my buttons right now. Fact of
the matter is, this whole electro craze
has gone on just about long enough. If
this genre is going to survive, it's time
to put some substance over style.
Maybe Tiga has been spinning
delightful electro tunes since he came
out of the womb. But the truth is, if
By Jeff Dickerson
Daily Arts Writer
Julia Volkova, the
brunette, and Lena
Katina, the blonde, are
Tatu - the hottest
pop duo in the music
industry today. On their
debut album, 200
KM/H in the Wrong
Lane, the girls, one 17
the other 18, profess
their love for one another over a

this wily jack-of-all-trades (producer,
DJ, record store owner, label founder)
has been making
delightful electro mixes
since before electro was
"cool," no one cares or
has noticed up to this
point. The real question
then, is whether or not
Tiga's mix transcends
the current trendiness of
his chosen genre.
To his detriment, this
is probably the bazillionth electro
compilation we've all listened to in
the past six months - it's not exactly
host of kitschy, pounding dance
beats. The highlight of the album is
undoubtedly their single "All the
Things She Said" - an annoyingly
catchy track laden with all the great
lyrics you'd come to expect from an
international teenage lesbian
romance. The steamy video for the
song, seen often in wee
hours on MTV, is
included on the
enhanced CD - a wel-
come bonus for Russ-
ian pop music
aficionados and fans of
schoolgirls trapped in a
torrential downpour.

original. To its credit, the mix is
released by !K7's quality DJ Kicks
mix series, name drops
tracks by 80's heavy hit-
ters like Soft Cell, and
is laden with deep
grooves. In fact, in
quite a few spots, the
tracks are better
described as minimal
house tunes than as
electro. Tiga has passed
the exam - let's give
him a listen.
RATING: * * * '

-Jared Newman


b j

RATING: * * *



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