Monkey Media Report Archive

A North Carolina
news and arts Weblog
September 2006

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9.6.06 - Tonight's Monkeytime TV focuses on downtown Raleigh, with guests including Liz Masnik, owner of The Borough (a great new neighborhood pub/restaurant), and Aly Khalifa, one of the driving forces behind Spark Con, a weekend of workshops, talks and arts events that starts next Thursday, September 14, and has at least one excitable reporter/activist spreading talk about a Raleigh-based South By Southeast next year. Seems a bit premature, but should be an interesting event nonetheless. A few other quick links we'll be discussing:

Liz talks with the N&O about the benefits of owning a "retail condo" instead of renting downtown space for her business

Op-ed piece by Aly about creativity and its difficulties in Raleigh

[more to come] [link]

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9.6.06 - Ape Artists of the 1950s. From a great MeFi thread about Cheeta - yes, that Cheeta - and his fabulous paintings. You can buy me one for just $135, you know. [link]

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9.6.06 - Check this interesting WaPo article about troubles the FBI is having separating out real terrorists from "delusional dreamers" whose worst crime may be that they let themselves be encouraged by undercover FBI informants to keep plotting. Let's nod to the complexities inherent in this kind of law enforcement investigation in general before wondering if the informants didn't cross a line trying to score a win in the Terror Wars:

On June 23, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales held a news conference to announce the destruction of a terrorist cell inside the United States...But court records released since then suggest that what Gonzales described as a "deadly plot" was virtually the pipe dream of a few men with almost no ability to pull it off on their own.

...lawyers for the defendants have raised questions about where a government sting ends and entrapment begins. Not only did government informants provide money and a meeting place for Batiste and his followers, but they also gave them video cameras for conducting surveillance, as well as cellphones, and suggested that their first target be a Miami FBI office, court records show.

Keep reading the details; at every step, it seems, the FBI informants were the folks materially advancing the plot. But it's also true that the suspects followed along willingly, talking a good murder game, swearing themselves into al Qaeda, taking video of target buildings and more. It all ends messily, of course, with political infighting among the suspects as the trigger.

Like I said, the article is an interesting window onto this kind of investigation. I'm thinking this one looks kind of like a waste of resources, though, and am gonna keep being skeptical of official claims of foiling a major plot in press conferences on the day of a terror arrest. [via Cursor] [link]

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9.5.06 - Private Collection - a sarcastic gallery exhibit of not-so-rare objets d'art stolen from famous European galleries. Apparently, it's "a reaction to the commoditization of art and to gallery monopolies that price art, dictate which artworks have value, and set themselves up as the arbiters of artists' qualities," but don't let the overblown opening paragraph stop you from enjoying the gag. [via mlarson.org] [link]

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9.4.06 - Odd, interesting black-and-white photos of books, among other things. [link]

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9.4.06 - Cool article from Charlotte's Creative Loafing about the new Fort Awesome School of Rock in Lansing, NC, sparked last year by two artistic families with a vision of making something interesting happen in an abandoned WPA-era high school in a tiny town near the Virginia border. It's great that town residents appear to be embracing the idea, helped by last month's Ola Belle Reed Homecoming Festival. Here's Reed's detailed Allmusic bio (she's a much-respected early country stalwart and Lansing native), along with a review of one of her later albums by Greensboro's own Eugene Chadbourne. [link]

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9.4.06 - Finally: The Great British Venn Diagram. I have never understood this stuff until now.

Also: Funny money.

[both via the amazing Look At This, which cures Internet boredom in five seconds flat] [link]

You can't stop now.

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