Jun 222011

ROCK bests Vette City on last minute jam

By Sunny Montgomery

Editor’s note: NoC goes through ROCK writers like Spinal Tap goes through drummers. Here’s our newest ROCK beat reporter, Sunny Montgomery, of Sisters Provocateur fame.

I sat alone on the far side of the arena. Attendees were beginning to trickle in although it was still a little before six. Rollergirls from both teams were getting ready, stretching their legs and inspecting their wheels.   M.I.A. played over the loudspeaker.  Some of the girls were already skating around the rink – or rather, the track as I learned it was called.

I tried to look natural but I was feeling rather self-conscious. I wiggled around in my seat and worried I was sweating too much after my very hot bike ride to Lexington Convention Center.  I tried to display my Staff pass prominently across my legs as evidence I belonged. Continue reading »

Jun 222011

By Colleen Glenn

Fantasy and nostalgia have long been prominent themes in Woody Allen’s work, but perhaps nowhere are the two entwined so tangibly as in his most recent film, Midnight in Paris.

Released at the Cannes Film Festival in May of 2011, Midnight in Paris is a romantic comedy that thrives upon the gap between reality and illusion through which Allen’s protagonists often wander. Not unlike Alice (1990) or The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Allen’s latest work features a “lost” hero who learns lessons not through facing the hard facts of life, but rather the opposite: through surrendering—at least temporarily—to the fantastic. Continue reading »

Jun 222011

What Kentuckians should expect from our land-grant university

By Andrew Battista

Don Pratt

Do faculty check out from the world when they check in to the university?

Editor’s note: A version of this essay originally appeared at the close of Andrew’s recently completed dissertation, Knowing, Seeing, and Transcending Nature. His committee enjoyed reading it, but they insisted that it should not be published in the final version.

It’s been at least a year since I wrote anything for North of Center. It’s not that I’ve gotten lazy, contracted writers block, or grown disinterested in Lexington. On the contrary, I’ve been furiously pecking away at my dissertation—a study of 400-year-old Renaissance literary texts—so I can resume writing about the community I experience daily, or what I like to call “the real world.” Although I learned a lot about myself and my interactions with culture while writing my dissertation, I often was frustrated when I expended my last bit of emotional energy on a riff about epistemological uncertainty in The Faerie Queene when I could have instead joined the Kentucky Rising protests in Frankfort, spearheaded campus sustainability programs, helped to clean up residue from the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion, or simply reserved more time to grow my own vegetables. I haven’t even been inside the remodeled Lyric Theatre yet. Continue reading »

Jun 222011

By Danny Mayer

“oh those fabled canelands
they come shimmering back
through two centuries”

—Warren Byrom, “Fabled Canelands”

There is a grand tradition within roots music to evoke what Greil Marcus has termed “the old, weird America,” a sort of mythical, strange underworld of the pre-modern American republic, a place where the boundaries separating blues, country, folk and mountain music do not yet seem to have taken hold. Musically, think Harry Smith’s folkways recordings of the 1920s, Woody Guthrie, Mississippi John Hurt, the Carter Family, John Hartford’s Aereoplane years, The Basement Tapes, Nebraska, and just about anything by Gillian Welch, Uncle Tupelo or Dexter Romweber. Continue reading »

Jun 222011

By Beth Connors-Manke

In June 1940, George Orwell (of Animal Farm and 1984 fame) wrote in “War-time Diary”:

“It is impossible even yet to decide what to do in the case of German conquest of England. The one thing I will not do is to clear out, at any rate not further than Ireland, supposing that to be feasible. If the fleet is intact and it appears that the war is to be continued from America and the Dominions, then one must remain alive if possible, if necessary in the concentration camp. If the U.S.A. is going to submit to conquest as well, there is nothing for it but to die fighting, but one must above all die fighting and have the satisfaction of killing somebody first.”

Having served in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma and fought in the Spanish Civil War, Orwell was a thoroughly political writer. During World War II, he was a member of the British Home Guard and wrote for the BBC. His “War-time Diary” shows that he was paying close attention to the war and the information released — or not released — in the daily papers. Like other political thinkers in his circle, he was trying to figure out the war, as it was happening. Continue reading »

Jun 072011

NoC will resume with the June 22 issue

Due to an untimely death in North of Center’s extended family, we will not be producing a June 8 issue.  Our normal bi-weekly production schedule will resume with the June 22 issue. Thanks for your patience and understanding.