aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, July 16, 2007
Troy Anthony Davis: Hooray a stay!
The latest I’m seeing in the media is that Troy’s gone into “death watch,” but a friend sent an email that offers great hope:
The clemency hearing, which we expected to last one hour, went on for five, and on our way back...we heard that after less than one hour of deliberation, HE GOT A 90 DAY STAY!
Obviously, it’s not our number one choice, but it’s far better than having less than 24 hours left.
Thanks for all of your concern, Joe, and I’ll keep you updated!
No link yet. I’m looking…
Hairspray, the movie, no Little Shop
The movie version of the hit Broadway musical “Hairspray” is perfectly pleasant-I smiled to myself all the way through it-bu it’s not as exhilarating as the show. For subject like this-old dance crazes and po styles-what matters is not so much the actual past but how we feel about it, an onstage David Rockwell’s sets and William Ivey Long’s costumes distilled ou nostalgia for the candied years between Elvis’s early work and the arrival of th Beatles. Set in 1962, “Hairspray,” whose first incarnation was John Waters’ deadpan camp movie from 1988, celebrates a time when teen-agers, as a distinc consumer group with their own culture, were a fairly recent invention. The stag musical crystallized the euphoria of that period as naÃƒÂ¯vely eager commerce an irony-free fantasy; when the chubby young heroine, Tracy Turnblad, awoke i bed and sang “Good Morning, Baltimore,” she was surrounded by a pink sha carpet dotted with hair-spray cans and 45s, and the bouffant-and-beehive nuttines of her world was buoyed by affection. The movie is a lovefest, too, but, this time when Tracy (Nikki Blonsky) awakes, she jumps onto the streets of Baltimore an passes vermin, a drunk, and a creep. Later, she joins a civil-rights march that ha a confrontation with the police. Many people love movies because they mak sensuous contact with the surfaces of the world, but this material hardly cries ou for realism. “Hairspray” doesn’t need to be “opened up”; it needs to be freshly stylized for the screen.
The return of Xanadu to the Broadway stage - also reviewed in this week’s New Yorker, “so ridiculously brilliant, so lavish and sublime a confection that any set of adjectives you might come up with after a single viewing will more than likely be replaced by another set of ineffectual adjectives once you’ve seen the show a second or third time” (I wholeheartedly agree) - has a laugh line declaring 1980 the year that creativity and imagination fled the arts. In fact, the original Newton-John megabomb was so bad as to effectively kill off the movie musical for two decades.
Too bad, too, because 1986 saw the screen adaptation of Little Shop of Horrors. The last show to go from B-movie to stage-musical to movie-musical, Little Shop was a truly wonderful under appreciated gem. And a box office flop. That movie actually had some of what David Denby says he’d like to see in the new film release of Hairspray.
SEE ALSO: Ellen sings the same song on stage.
Criminy! The group marriage bogeyman again
Elizabeth Marquardt, a vice president of the Institute for American Values and author of the forthcoming “My Daddy’s Name Is Donor” (golly, what do you guess her political persuaion is?) raises the alarm on the OpEd page of the NYTimes today:
SOMETIMES when the earth shudders it doesn’t make a sound. That’s what happened in Harrisburg, Pa., recently.
On April 30, a state Superior Court panel ruled that a child can have three legal parents. The case, Jacob v. Shultz-Jacob, involved two lesbians who were the legal co-parents of two children conceived with sperm donated by a friend. The panel held that the sperm donor and both women were all liable for child support. Arthur S. Leonard, a professor at New York Law School, observed, “I’m unaware of any other state appellate court that has found that a child has, simultaneously, three adults who are financially obligated to the child’s support and are also entitled to visitation.” [...]
Astonishingly, few legal experts, politicians or social commentators have considered the enormous risks these rulings and proposals pose for children. Those who have noticed tend to say they are nothing new, because many children already grow up with several parent figures. But this fails to recognize that stepchildren and adopted children still have only two legal parents.
Her list of woes doesn’t send a silent shudder through me.
Obama Girl vs. Giuliani Girl
From Obama Girl.
Boring and bloody Scion game ad
Toyota’s got an ad campaign game for the Scion xD in which your mission is to use a carload of “Little Deviants” to pummel, slice, and dismember legions of roaming “Sheeple,” a dull, monochromatic race. The target market is 18-to-35-year-old males but this twenty-something reviewer is not sold:
In the first level, you slap the helpless, bleating creatures until they spew blood and pass out. In another, you rough them up in a sewer and watch their body parts fall off. In another, you rough them up in a sewer and watch their body parts fall off. (Your Deviant then “customizes” himself with the scattered pieces.) At the end of the game, the neon-green Sheeple blood that you’ve accumulated is used to fuel a factory that produces the Toyota Scion xD. (You can play the game, Book of Deviants, here.) [...]
The non-Scion-driving Sheeple are boring, dull, and repetitive. The Little Deviants are supposed to be mischievous, creative, and clever-the kind of cynical demons that wouldn’t drive a compact car just because an ad agency told them it was cool. Beyond that, there’s the Deviants’ attitude problem. The creatures are inexplicably nasty and bullying, and they maim without provocation. Even if I don’t identify as a googly-eyed Sheeple, I would also prefer not to associate with a bunch of thugs who commit genocide in the name of nonconformity. I guess I’ll get in line with the grandmas for a Nissan Versa.
It’s a shame the story line doesn’t work, because the game’s artistic design is fantastic. ATTIK’s in-house talent and hired hand Dave Correia have conjured an aesthetic that’s part Edward Gorey, part Insane Clown Posse-images that will look compelling on billboards and in magazine pop-up ads. They’ve also managed to brand the Little Deviants subtly, taking advantage of the emoticon-like shape of “xD” to form their eyes and mouths. The game play, on the other hand, is less spectacular. Anyone who’s played Whac-a-Mole or one of those online putting games will be familiar with the mouse-click-heavy functionality.
Troy Anthony Davis: everyone is losing here (updated)
Among the most upsetting aspects in the case of Troy Anthony Davis, scheduled to be put to death tomorrow night, is that his appeals have failed largely on procedural grounds. Have we learned nothing from all of the innocent people we have sent to death row?
His clemency hearing is set for 9 a.m. this morning.
A Georgia man is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Tuesday for killing a police officer in 1989, even though the case against him has withered in recent years as most of the key witnesses at his trial have recanted and in some cases said they lied under pressure from police.
Prosecutors discount the significance of the recantations and argue that it is too late to present such evidence. But supporters of Troy Davis, 38, and some legal scholars say the case illustrates the dangers wrought by decades of Supreme Court decisions and new laws that have rendered the courts less likely to overturn a death sentence.
Three of four witnesses who testified at trial that Davis shot the officer have signed statements contradicting their identification of the gunman. Two other witnesses—a fellow inmate and a neighborhood acquaintance who told police that Davis had confessed to the shooting—have said they made it up.
Among the most ardent supporters of Troy Davis, his sister Martina Correia. She’s fighting liver cancer and metastatic breast cancer, and for her brother’s life. Today in the AJC:
Correia doesn’t know if or when cancer might take her life, but she knows when life is supposed to end for her brother Troy Anthony Davis. He is scheduled to die by lethal injection Tuesday for the murder of a Savannah police officer 18 years ago.
Today, Correia will be one of several people who will try to persuade the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles that her brother’s sentence should be commuted; that he is, as he proclaims, an innocent man. [...]
“Georgia will be executing an innocent man. People don’t see that everyone is losing here.”
She makes that statement in reference to a 1996 federal law that she says short-changes her brother and all death row inmates who are wrongly convicted. In Troy Davis’ case, the law is pertinent because it aims to streamline death penalty cases and bars new evidence from being produced in court that could have been presented during the appeals process.
UPDATE: 2 p.m., they’ve heard the plea. No word yet.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson at Huffington Post says Davis’s Pending Execution Will Stain America; Democracy Now asks Is Georgia About to Execute an Innocent Man? The Carpetbagger Report’s Steve Benen and The Atlantic Online’s Matt Yglesias take note.
LATER: 6 p.m., The text of Georgia Rep. John Lewis’s Statement at Troy Anthony Davis Clemency Hearing.
LATER: 9 p.m., Hooray a stay!