One evening in 1972 a group of young people from Catalina High School were talking about dreams. One told of a dream where he was led through a fantasyland by a Wizard who was all dressed in black and performed magic. In the dreams he saw faries and elves dancing in the moonlight. Three others said they'd had the same dream. Another friend said he was pretty sure their dream was an actual place, so they set out to find it. What they found was sadly overgrown with weeds and badly in need of repair, and the aging Wizard (George Phar Legler). [more inside]
In 1965, Peru had its first cumbia hit, with Los Demonios de Mantaro's La Chichera, localizing the Columbian music style (Cumbia previously). Los Compadres del Ande added some electric organ, foreshadowing the sounds of Juaneco y su Combo and others who would bring electric guitars, which opened the door for what would become known as Chicha. Decades later, The Roots of Chicha compilation would inspire first Chicha Dust to cover those original songs, and then Xixa to blend Chicha and the Southwest US sounds of Giant Sand and Calexico, as heard in their new album titled Bloodline (video for title track) and Cumbia del Paletero (live).
"The difficult ... you're supposed to do right away. The impossible ... that'll take you a few days longer." Building your own town out near Tuscon, Arizona probably falls in the category of "the impossible," but Ed Keeylocko did that, a pickup truck of materials at a time. This is the story of Cowtown Keeylocko, built by an African-American with red hair and swamp green eyes, who was abandoned by his mother, a self-proclaimed minority of minorities. He served in Korea and Vietnam, and he returned to the US, where he took up ranching in Arizona. In December of 1974, he founded Cowtown Keeylocko, a western ranch that is "an odd mixture of the real and the fanciful." The ranch/town expanded by 1989 to have a mayor, citizens, its own zip code, fourty-six head of cattle, three ranch hands, 10,800 acres of land, and five buildings (Google books preview). The March/April 1996 issue of American Cowboy has a short article on Ed Keeylocko and his cowtown, and here's a more recent (but still dated) website on the mayor and trail boss of Cowtown Keeylocko, with stories from visitors and photos from a roundup.
Robbie Maddison's Air Craft (slyt) Motorcycle stuntman Robbie Maddison, who worked on the James Bond movie Skyfall, shows off his skills at an Arizona airplane graveyard. Like Danny Macaskill with a motor, or Ken Block with fewer wheels, kinda.
Jose Guerena, 26, was a Marine veteran and father of two. He served two tours in Iraq in 2003 and 2005. On May 5th, he was killed in his home by a SWAT team looking for narcotics [more inside]
Walking Home: stories from the desert to the Great Lakes. Laura Milkins is walking home. Home is Grand Rapids, Michigan. Laura lives in Tucson, Arizona. That's 2,000 miles (3,219 km), or about 4,473,976 steps. Right now she's in the shoulder of the road somewhere around Holbrook, Arizona. She has a pack on her back, a webcam streaming 24 hours strapped to a sun visor on her head, and hopefully, a place to stay tonight. You can follow her every step of the way, by watching live video broadcast from her hat. Or walk with her. [more inside]
Yesterday Paula Aboud, a State Senate Democrat from Tucson, proposed the secession of Pima County from the rest of the state as an amendment to the State Senate Bill 1433. Aboud's move was something of a middle finger to the state legislature, as SB 1433 was the bill that recently gained a good deal of notoriety on its own as the law that would allow Arizona legislature to override any Federal laws. Aboud's amendment was unsuccessful, but it would appear that the discussion is far from over. A group of citizens in Tucson, Arizona have started a movement to promote similar push for secession, believing that Pima County should be the 51st state in the union. The Facebook page for the Start Our State movement is seeing a lot of comments, both positive and negative.
Gun show undercover - how dangerous people get guns.
Birth of a Notion: Implicit Social Cognition and the "Birther" Movement asks why 'white Europeans are more “American”' to many people than nonwhite Americans and includes details like this: "Horne was asked to give two concerts at Camp Robinson in Alabama, one to white servicemen, the second to black GIs. But she refused to do the second one when she saw that black Americans were sent to the back of the theater. Who got the good seats up front? German prisoners of war." Institutional Racism Ignored notes “racial bias in conviction rates and length of sentences of both juvenile and criminal courts,” “direct discriminatory practices in housing…as well as in mortgage lending,” and in the educational system, “racial bias in the type of disciplinary action given to white or minority students.” Tucson schools create race-based system of discipline and Tucson Arizona school discipline policy is not racist; Alan Keyes is right address one anti-racist solution. But anyone interested in racial justice should note The Queer, "Racist" Case of the Spank-Happy Judge.
Border Stories is a series of short documentaries about life on the US-Mexican border, none longer than 6 minutes. The subjects are: drug addicts on the border (warning: graphic images), electronic music group Nortec Collective, hospital costs of fence jumpers, lonesome Minuteman, Mexican emigrant safety patrolman, ranchowners whose land is an immigration throughway, US-raised 18 year-old sent back to Mexico, virtual vigilantes, two old men provide water in the desert, dangers of journalism in Ciudad Juarez, graveyard of US tires in Mexico, drug ballads, hardened border policy hurts cross-border community, another cross-border community fears closing of footbridge, working illegally in Laredo, mayors of the two Laredos, migrants' safe house, hand-pulled ferry, dentistry in Nuevo Progreso, Brownsville high school teacher protests border fence, golf course with the border on three sides & fishermen on the mouth of the Rio Bravo. Border Stories also has a blog about immigration issues.
Free The Tucson Two. Or don't. If you find someone lost and dying in the desert, should you help them? What if they turn out to be attempting to enter the country illegally? Then is it OK to leave them to die? These folks say no, not really. And these folks say yes, probably. Previously discussed immigration fun on MetaFilter: 1 2 3
Mat Bevel Company is a gizmotronic fanfare of spunk, funk and kinetic junk. [lots of small embedded qt movies]
Only in Tucson can the Mayor and his wife get rear-ended by a stagecoach. It all happened during the annual Rodeo parade in downtown Tucson. There is a fantastic made for TV video of it attached this story.
Public Art in Los Angeles, including murals. The Mural Conservancy of LA. Murals in Tucson. Loyalist and republican murals in Northern Ireland. The murals of Diego Rivera (at the Diego Rivera Web Museum). the Diego Rivera Mural Project.