Weekly Rochester Events #332: Dividing America's Largests and Bests

Thursday, May 19, 2005

I started thinking about how "conservative" and "liberal" really do nothing to describe the political landscape in America today. Traditionally, they refer to the kinds of laws desired: conservatives favoring those in the past, and liberals favoring changes to something new. However, both sides defy that definition, and worse, it's become a pair of arbitrary opposites that describe either a proud kinship or identification of the stupid enemy — depending on who's what. From that, I wondered how things are really divided up.

On Thursday I went to Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) to see the show there. By the time I arrived, some argument took place and The Raven SocietyMySpace link left. Around that time, The Mathematicians showed up and immediately felt the bad vibe. I talked with them a little bit and they said that this was a bit of a throw-away show since nobody was there to see them and, being from the Glens Falls area, this was the last stop on the tour prior to a 5-hour drive home. In actuality, there was myself and a couple other people they knew who were there to see them.

I guess they went and discussed it. In the interim I was talking with Shannon (who, by the way, disappeared in a rush after the show ... what did I do this time?) and I saw the three band members walk in — confidently, matching stride with one another, in a very determined, deliberate manner. I smiled a bit at that sight and indeed my thought was right: they had decided to play. And what a show. Their nerdy, high-energy, hip-hop/synth-pop style blew everyone away. Afterward, I heard from at least two people that they liked the band.

But wait wait ... let me get back to the the political landscape thing. I guess the first division concerns the value of an individual in the eyes of the government and in the eyes of society. On the one side is that everyone should be treated equally and on the other is that they should not. There are a number of ways that this equality or inequality can manifest itself, and that's a whole other spectrum: should it include influence on government representatives? and what of food, shelter, clothing, and health care?

I'd like to call the group on the side of equality citizenists (co-opting the term from the civil rights movement somewhat appropriately) where under citizenism, each person who is a citizen of the country gets equal treatment and representation. On the other side is the contributists who base the value of a citizen on their contribution to society.

In my opinion, I'm more of a citizenist because contributism blows with prevailing winds: at present the value of a citizen is their monetary worth — observe, for instance, how much more influence a rich business person has in our representative government versus a non-businessperson who has no money. I guess my citizenist ideal is in line with my belief that we should assess the value of one's ideas instead of the perceived value of the person.

On Friday I went to the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Inside Deep Throat. While it was not not about the making of Deep Throat, it was more about the impact the film had on society and the repercussions from it. Apparently it got banned in a number of theaters under "obscentity" laws. The Commission on Obscenity and Pornography had been conducting scientific and medical experiments to determine the negative effects of pornography. When, in 1970, it concluded that pornography had no harmful effects, Nixon buried it. (It wasn't until a new "study" in 1986 under the Meese Commission did away with the science and medical tests to conclude that was not only harmful, but the cause of all sorts of society's ills.) All told, the story behind the porno is way more interesting than the story of a women whose clit is in her throat.

On the political landscape, this tends to divide people into those who believe the state of society is the accumulation of the behavior of each individual versus those who believe society is a tangible result for which a person's actions are either contribute to it or destroy it. It's a rather subtle difference, but one that has notable consequences. The former group believe that society is simply a metaphoric barometer, so changing society is really the process of changing fundamental beliefs of individuals. To the latter group, society is the goal and changing it involves coercing changes in specific behaviors to elicit the desired shift in society's cumulative behavior.

So, I guess I'll call the former group social accumulists in that the incremental changes of many individuals accumulates into a total that represents all of society. For the latter, I'll dub them social steerists in that their goal is to steer society in a particular direction with direct influence.

Saturday I was back at the Dryden Theatre to see Paths of Glory. In it, a colonel is coerced into initiating a battle which was a gamble (that is, impossible to win) but would bring glory to the general who conceived it. It's a very hard film to watch because the absurdity of war is terrifyingly believable. The value of human lives is diminished in light of a greater cause, and by extension, that value can be further diminished in certain circumstances — so far that the balance of justice itself gets skewed.

And it's all believable.

So finally, I'll conclude with one more division of the political landscape. This one's a bit simpler. On the one side are people who believe the government is the servant of the people, and on the other, the people are the servants of the government. I'm kind of at a loss for this one. After digging through all the -ism's (again) I came up with a few related ones from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (1992, Houghton Mifflin; 1994, INSO Corporation.) Think of it as boosting your word capital: they're 50 cents each. See how many you can use every day!

  • Fascism is a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
  • Despotism is rule by or as if by a despot; a government or political system in which the ruler exercises absolute power.
  • Jingoism is extreme nationalism characterized especially by a belligerent foreign policy; chauvinistic patriotism.
  • Totalitarianism is a form of government in which the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life, the individual is subordinated to the state, and opposing political and cultural expression is suppressed.
  • Absolutism is a form of government in which all power is vested in a single ruler or other authority.
  • Federalism is a system of government in which power is divided between a central authority and constituent political units.
  • Constitutionalism is government in which power is distributed and limited by a system of laws that must be obeyed by the rulers.
  • A republic is a political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them.
  • Egalitarianism is affirming, promoting, or characterized by belief in equal political, economic, social, and civil rights for all people.
  • Liberalism is a political theory founded on the natural goodness of human beings and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.
  • Anarchy is the absence of any form of political authority.

None of these quite fit. So, I give up. I guess I'll tip my hand and call people who believe the government is the servant of the people Americans. The others will be told what they are.

I guess that makes me a social accumulist, citizenist, constitutionalist, egalitarian, liberalist, anarchist American.


Fly the flag today.Armed Forces Day

This afternoon offers a couple jazz bands at The Lilac Festival The Eastman Savings and Loan Stage (Highland Ave. near South Ave.): at 3:30 p.m. is Hard Logic and at 5 p.m. is Gamalon. [source: Lilac Festival website] [all ages]

Today from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. at The First Universalist Church of Rochester (150 South Clinton Ave.) is Flutissimo! featuring The Eastman Community Music School Flute Choir. [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is a lecture titled The Paradoxes of Collaboration with Russian-born artist Vitaly Komar. [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar] [all ages]

In Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) is a meeting of The Inventor's Society of Western New York from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 8 p.m. is guitar and banjo/mandolin duo with great vocal harmonies, Red Branch. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Omen starting at 8 p.m. I mean, come on: you named the kid Damien — how many more clues do you need that he's the son of satan? [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight is the last night to see Godspell at Blackfriars Theatre (28 Lawn St.) at 8 p.m. The show runs until May 19. [source: Blackfriars Theatre website]

The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Bullet Train To VegasMySpace link, The Red DeathMySpace link, Nakatomi PlazaMySpace link, and I DreamerMySpace link starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

The Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) will be hosting Greg Piccolo starting around 10 p.m. [source: Montage calendar]

JayceLand Pick A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) will be hosting Burning Star Core, and semi-melodic fast-paced noise from Pengo starting around 9 p.m. Then, starting at midnight (technically Friday morning) and continuing through midnight tomorrow (technically Saturday morning) is local noise music aficionado John Schoen performing Vinyl Vortex: a 24 hour celebration of one man's obsession with records. (Also via webcast.) [source: artsound website] [all ages]

Pure Kona Poetry Open Mic Night is at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight starting at 7:30. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Jigureul jikyeora! (Save the Green Planet!) starting at 8 p.m. So if aliens from space were invading Earth, how would you get around the whole tell-people-and-you're-crazy problem? [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Downstairs Cabaret (172 West Main St.) will be hosting comedy improv from Nuts and Bolts Improv Troupe (see their site at ImprovAmerica too) tonight and tomorrow starting at 10 p.m. for their final shows of the season. [source: Nuts and Bolts e-mail]

Steven Piper, and Maggie Herman will be at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Over at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) starting around 10:45 p.m. is good singer and talented guitarist, Kinloch Nelson, Mari Anderson, Stu Shapiro, Steve Roth, and Meredith Brown. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

Over at Spy Bar and Grill (139 State St.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is really good fast rock from The Franks. [source: Whole Lotta Shakin' calendar]

Top Pick Jana HunterMySpace link, minimalist acoustic soloist Kelli Shay Hicks, and somewhat melancholic acoustic soloist CarbonicMySpace link will be at Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: WITR calendar]

Bennigan's (120 E. Main St.) will be hosting power rock band The Earl Cram Revue, and rock/power-pop, borderline-novelty band The BadenovsGarageBand link starting around 10 p.m. [source: WBER calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) is high-energy rock from The RussiansMySpace link, XLTieRack, and complex, hard-hitting, mid-tempo rock/chaos-rock band Kill Myself on Monday starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: band flyer] [21+]

Brü Brewery and Restaurant (300 State St., formerly Empire Brewing) will be hosting really good reggae band Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad starting around 10 p.m. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick O'Bagelo's (165 State Street), noon.

Today is the official start of the WXXI Auction. It runs until June 4. [source: WXXI website]

Today from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) is Pubwest Training for searching patent information presented by Deb Leary. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

Today at Abundance Cooperative Market (62 Marshall St.) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. is their annual Garden Swap where you bring what plants you can (with labels) and take what plants you want. [source: Abundance Co-op calendar] [all ages]

Today from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. is the Corn Hill Yard Sale at Corn Hill Gazebo (in the Frederick Douglas St. roundabout.) [source: RocWiki calendar]

This afternoon from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. is a Mount Hope Cemetery Theme Tour: The Back Forty at Mt. Hope Cemetery (South Gate.) [source: Freetime] [all ages]

Today starting at 1 p.m. at Susan B. Anthony House (17 Madison St.) is a book discussion of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 7 p.m. is the opening of Do Me: The Art of Getting Off at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) with anything goes non-band band GaybotMySpace link performing at 10 p.m. The exhibit features artwork from Simon Goldfeder, Lucas Jones, Kate Laux, Eric Daniel Le Roy, Kirby Pilcher and other anonymous contributors and runs until June 4. [source: artsound website] [18+]

Top Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Raiders of the Lost Ark starting at 8 p.m. I will absolutely go see this and sit way up front and get a kink in my neck ... it's just been too long since I saw it on the big screen. Oh, and costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis will be on hand to introduce the film and discuss her contribution to it: Indy's trademark hat and jacket. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. is The Atomic SwindlersGarageBand link, very good garage-rock band The Black SpoonsGarageBand linkMySpace link, and DSpellMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Tonight at Johnny's Irish Pub (1382 Culver Rd., still smoke-free) is excellent one-man cover-band guy John Akers starting around 9 p.m. [source: Johnny's Irish Pub calendar]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is the clever Vaudeville Revue show The Sweet Tarts. [source: Water Street calendar]

Tonight at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is Michael McNeill, and Evan Smoker starting around 9 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) will be hosting Songwriters in the Round with witty, accomplished acoustic soloist Brian Coughlin, rich-voiced Marty Roberts, and blues-styled singer Deborah Magone starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is really good punk-rock/fast-rock/surf-rock band Angel, Dust & Hoffman, Baba YagaMySpace link, and rock-and-roll from The Grinders. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar] [21+]

Pretty good, gimmicky heavy-metal band Blüdwülf, FinisherMySpace link, Toxic Holocaust, Crucifist, and Sacrificial BloodGarageBand linkMySpace link will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 2 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Lilac Festival ends today.

JayceLand Pick Mark Helias, and Open Loose will be at The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Bop Shop calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Eastman Savings and Loan Stage (Highland Ave. near South Ave.) at The Lilac Festival starting around 1:45 p.m. is great modern-rock and cover band The Meddling KidsIUMA link. [source: WBER calendar] [all ages]

Today at 5 p.m. is the last chance to see the photography show Two Visions — One Lens featuring works from Mercedes Fages-Agudo and Ray Schmitt at The Community Darkroom at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is hosting their weekly Open Mike Poetry tonight at 7 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Apparently there will be Argentine tango dancing at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight with Agustin Ramos from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

Updated: Today at 1:30 p.m. at The Liberty Pole (Liberty Pole Wy.) is a Rally to Protect Social Security from Privatization in Rochester. You can RSVP online at The Americans for Social Security website event page. The rain location is The First Universalist Church of Rochester (150 South Clinton Ave.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is Nedelle, excellent mellow acoustic with digital loops and some subtle effects from Autumn In Halifax, Nuees ArdentesMySpace link, and The Centerfield Boys starting around 10 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors will be at The Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Montage calendar]

Not ready for mainstream Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is hosting an Acoustic Open Mic from 8 to 10. For this one, there's no microphones and it's pretty open ended. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) is a RoCo Community Meeting at 6:30 p.m. to introduce their current board, announce the charter members of their honorary council, and discuss the organization and its plans. [source: Rochester Contemporary e-mail]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Lady from Shanghai starting at 8 p.m. Film noir à la Orson Welles ... how can you go wrong? [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Acme Bar & Pizza (495 Monroe Ave.) is excellent rock band with blues influence Gionie Clash starting around 10 p.m. [source: band e-mail]

Tonight at The Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) is Billy B. and the Rhythm and Blues All Stars starting around 10 p.m. [source: Montage calendar]

Poor People United meets tonight and every Wednesday at 7 at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality (402 South Ave.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Not ready for mainstream Tonight from 8 to 10 is an Open-Mic Comedy Night at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) While once it was a workshop type of environment, it's now more-or-less a regular open mic ... by default it's still a place to try out new stuff. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is another Open Mic Wenzdaze with Acoustic Café from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and then Rock-n-Roll Circus starting at 9 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar]

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About the title ... French-Canadian explorer Louis Joliet discovered the Mississippi River with Jacques Marquette 332 years ago in 1673.

This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including Monroe County and occasionally the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. The musical styles listed can include punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, May 19, 2005 (Thu, May 19, 2005, 5/19/2005, or 5/19/05) Friday, May 20, 2005 (Fri, May 20, 2005, 5/20/2005, or 5/20/05) Saturday, May 21, 2005 (Sat, May 21, 2005, 5/21/2005, or 5/21/05) Sunday, May 22, 2005 (Sun, May 22, 2005, 5/22/2005, or 5/22/05) Monday, May 23, 2005 (Mon, May 23, 2005, 5/23/2005, or 5/23/05) Tuesday, May 24, 2005 (Tue, May 24, 2005, 5/24/2005, or 5/24/05) and Wednesday, May 25, 2005 (Wed, May 25, 2005, 5/25/2005, or 5/25/05).

JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

Top Pick indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.

IUMA link links to a band's page on IUMA.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

MySpace link links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.

Not ready for mainstream. is an event that is "non-entertainment" for the masses such as practice sessions, open jams, etc.

Fly the flag today. is a day when you should fly the flag according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars calendar.

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