I have taken up a new hobby: photo enhancement. This all started a couple of weeks ago when The Commercial Appeal ran a huge, page-one close-up of George W. Bush that is quite fabulous and still on my coffee table. Not as good as the cover photo in the current edition of the Weekly World News, which shows Martha Stewart with black eyes and a busted, swollen lip all from a "bloody prison fight" that ensued when Martha tried to make nice with the meanest inmate in the prison by offering her jelly she made with crab apples she picked on the prison grounds. Seems the inmate known only as "Big Alice" didn't like it because it reminded her of life on the outside, and she went crazy on poor Martha. This is all the fault of our courts, which, according to Attorney General John Ashcroft, are useless. He recently said, "Courts are not equipped to execute the law." Courts are not equipped to execute the law? Did he actually take a break from leading his staff in prayer and patriotic sing-alongs and say this? Isn't that why we, uh, have that little thing called the judicial system in the first place? Am I missing something terribly important here? The most powerful attorney in the country thinks the courts are not only worthless but are also dangerous, as he called them? I have done a lot of research on this, cross-referencing various court cases and polls and trial outcomes and past histories of various judges through some database comparisons and have come to this conclusion: Only a hemorrhoid could have an opinion like this. It's a good thing he resigned. Maybe he can kickstart a new career at one of the big clubs in Branson, Missouri, doing a one-man Ray Bolger impersonation show. But back to the photograph of the W on the CA's front page. In this candid shot, he is sort of grinning, I think, but it's hard to tell. I've been trying and trying to grin that way in the mirror and at the same time look as evil in the eyes as he does, but I can't make it happen. He has the look of Hannibal Lecter basking in the glow of having just washed down a human being's kidney with a glass of Chianti and some fava beans. Go back. Look at it. It's Ted Bundy with bigger ears and visions of oil rigs dancing in his head. And the headline was fairly intriguing as well: "Mandate or no, Bush dives in." I was kind of hoping for a sub-headline beneath it that mentioned something about a tall bridge over the Potomac River, but alas, it was about the Creature's new list of "initiatives," now that he has a "mandate." I just wonder whom his mandate is with? Maybe W and Dick Cheney are involved in a series of mandates down there in Cheney's secret, hidden bunker. Maybe there are slings and whips and things down there and their mandates are, shall we say, uh, a bit "rough." Could explain all of the heart attacks. And W does love to prance around in that tough-guy, macho-looking cowboy drag that has the potential to really steam up a mandate for some men. Maybe the only way Cheney can get away from W's wanton appetite for the kinky is to check himself into a hospital . I mean, who goes to the hospital with a cold? It all looks pretty fishy to me. But I trust this honest administration and the brilliant American media to bring out the real truth in a very timely manner. In the meantime, here's a brief look at some of what's going on around town this week.
Tonight's Third Thursdays: Art After Dark at The Dixon Gallery and Gardens celebrates the museum's "It's a Wilde Film Series" with a screening of An Ideal Husband, a comedy adapted from a work by Oscar Wilde. And tonight's Theatre Memphis fund-raiser, "Divine Stages," features wine from seven wineries, food by MÇlange chef Scott Lenhart, and music by the Tony Thomas Trio and cabaret performer Sammy Goldstein.
Speaking of theater, there are two different takes on the holidays opening tonight.The Reindeer Monologues at Circuit Playhouse finds Santa's reindeer airing the dirty laundry and carries with it an explicit theater advisory. And the Emerald Theatre Company's production of A Queer Carol retells the Dickens classic with a new twist. W and Cheney might want to see this on one of their mandates. Lots of art openings tonight. They are at: 493 S. Main for work by U of M BFA students; FRONTspace for work by Meikle Gardner; Studio 1688 for work by MCA alumni artists; Jay Etkin Gallery for work by Annabelle Meacham; Second Floor Contemporary Art Gallery for work by Joel Hilgenberg and Marcie Brown; and down at Oxford's Southside Gallery for work by Jimspie Ayres, Andrew Blanchard, and David Halliday. There's also a gallery open house at The White Gardenia with live jazz and work by local artists. And today kicks off the annual Holiday Bazaar at Memphis College of Art and the Memphis Potters Guild Sale at Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Today also kicks off this weekend's Memphis Film Forum Director's Series at Malco Ridgeway Four Theater, with numerous films by David Lynch. The Jet Set DJs are at Automatic Slim's tonight presenting "RIOlistic: A Modern Experience," with lots of Brazilian music. Comedian Shirley Q. Liquor is at Backstreet.The Asylum Street Spankers are at the Hi-Tone. And, as always, The Chris Scott Band is at Poplar Lounge.
If you're a cat lover, get out and run this morning at Overton Park in the first annual House of Mews "Meowathon" 5K benefiting the Cooper-Young cat-adoption agency. Author and documentary filmmaker Willie Bearden signs copies of his book Overton Park today at Barnes & Noble. Tonight's Harvest Jamboree at the Center for Southern Folklore features rockabilly great Eddie Bond and other performers. There's a Carlos Ecos Band CD-Release Party at the Blue Monkey Midtown tonight, when the group will play hot Latin American tunes from their new CD, Hola Day. Afroma is at Young Avenue Deli tonight. And last but certainly not least, tonight's Blues Ball bash at The Pyramid celebrates the 50th anniversary of rock-and-roll.