Nov 232011

Occupied Lexington Herald

By Justin Cooper

they gathered together like primal peoples

their village filled the small patch of land

the message was loud, the answer simple

“your house you’ve built was built on sand”


NOW HEAR them as the drum crescendos

voices raised in downright DECREE

refuse to move until you are heard

“better to die on your feet than live on your knees”


bullets & tear gas urge the chaos

deflections from our true cause

fleece of this thing called money

but you will answer to the people’s law


this 1% has hid its power

behind a veil of complexity

our voice is out here in reality

our strength is standing right next to me



you will admit you’ve met defeat

so when the next time you are asked

you will reply… whose streets ?



Nov 232011

Since the release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, we in the NoC music department have had some difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality. Sorry.

Wednesday, November 23


Cosmic Charlie’s; 388 Woodland. 10 P.M.

Those who command magic are to be praised or feared, depending on how they choose to wield their talent, for they are powerful beings and at a whim can aid or hinder the causes of common folk such as you and I. Continue reading »

Nov 232011

BCTC Short Films Screening Program

Interested in learning more about the Bluegrass Community and Technical College Filmmaking Program? Come to Natasha’s Bistro & Bar on Friday, December 2 for the premiere of seven short films by graduating BCTC filmmakers. The screening program begins at 6:30 P.M. Guests are encouraged to arrive by 5:30 if planning to dine. The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are recommended. Continue reading »

Nov 232011

Abolish the death penalty

We are writing to witness our opposition to the Death Penalty and, in particular, our revulsion at the recent execution of Troy Davis by Georgia officials who refused to grant a re-trial when new circumstances came to light that made his guilt extremely doubtful. Quaker Testimonies on peace and justice strongly oppose the death penalty and all other cruel, degrading and irrevocable acts of vengeance by the State.

Criminologists and others who have seriously studied crime and criminal justice systems agree that among the primary purposes of a criminal justice system are: (i) the restoration of victims, (ii) the rehabilitation of wrong-doers, and, (iii) the deterrence of future crimes. It has been conclusively found that the death penalty contributes to none of these purposes. Continue reading »

Nov 232011

The adventures of little Jamie Dimon, current CEO of JP Morgan Chase.

Drawing by Christopher Epling. Visit him at

Nov 232011

Working rivers and locked communities

Lockmaster Chuck Dees turning the valves. Photo courtesy Bobbie Jean Johnson.

In part one, Wes recounted the state and federal policy to place the Kentucky River lock and dam system into permanent “caretaker status,” a process that involved welding the locks shut, downsizing lockmaster employment, and discontinuing upkeep.

By Wesley Houp

Like his father, Chuck Dees’ early years with the Corps were spent on relief duty.  From ’51 to ’55 he traveled the river with a repair party delivering necessary supplies, materials, and manpower to ensure the locks were in good working order.  In the summer of ’56, Dees came to lock 7 at High Bridge and stayed for the next 22 years. Continue reading »

Nov 232011

Corporations lose their grip

By Clay Wainscott

The struggle between corporations and common folk has been ongoing, and it becomes visible when you look at art. There was this famous ‘high-noon’ moment back in the early thirties when corporate mentality gained the upper hand. Seems the Rockefellers wanted to put up the biggest building in the world and call it the “Empire State Building”—a big deal. They hired a famous painter from Mexico named Diego Rivera to paint a mural on the first floor, a work of art to exemplify the era’s highest achievement, like the Parthenon.

They knew each other already. Diego had been raising the self esteem and actually empowering the downtrodden in Mexico’s colonial caste system by recalling pre-Columbian glory, illuminating history and depicting the present day common people with dignity and respect. He was an avowed Communist. The Rockefeller patriarch, old J.D., had established a business reputation for absolute ruthlessness, amassing great wealth and power, and in the public’s mind had become the decrepit poster boy for unbridled wealth. History tells us Rivera committed the unholy faux pas of depicting Lenin as a great champion of worker’s rights, and, of course, the Rockefellers had no choice but to erase it all and start over.

That’s how they’d like to close the book, the one they wrote, but let’s look again. Diego Rivera came to the Empire State project as the spear point of the aspiration and rage of the world’s dispossessed yearning for expression, and he wouldn’t betray them, or their collective opinion of him, for any amount of money. The Rockefellers knew this going in. They baited Diego not only with a lot of money; they commissioned the work to be in fresco, a permanent technique that had lasted since the time of the Romans. It was first of all a chance to create a work of art that could possibly last a thousand years, and he had been guaranteed complete creative freedom.

It was all a big mouse trap as it turns out.

Diego hired assistants, put up scaffolding, and worked grueling hours to get the project completed on time. When the work was finished they handed him a check and went to work with jack hammers immediately, even though they had watched his progress day by day. They allowed no photographs of the work in progress or of the completed work before it was destroyed. For those who think they’ve seen this painting reproduced, Diego recreated it later in Mexico, presumably using the Rockefeller money. Still he was defeated, art was defeated, and common humanity lost its eyes and its voice.

Within twenty years a new corporate form of art, Abstract Expressionism, was installed in big banks all over New York, although not, it seems, out at the Rockefeller homeplace. A culturally imperialist foreign policy sprang up financing lavish exhibitions of the New American Art in shell-shocked, nearly starving Europe, and foundations of all sorts began to subsidize and promote the careers of artists who stood no chance of public acceptance. Print media were enlisted as well, and soon the prohibition on representational images of anything was enforced absolutely by cadres of academic and museum authorities who knew and cared more about tax laws than art. When representation finally found its way to art again it had been reduced to soup can labels and celebrity posters, and new generations cutoff and isolated from past traditions failed to notice the severe downgrade.

Corporations still prefer abstraction and keep the market pumped up for artwork which has no meaning, which poses no threat, which carries no messages they can’t control. Common folk generally prefer images that engage their own memories and life experience, even though they’re continually told such artwork is retrograde, displays no imagination, and has no value. As the ripples from this pointed singular occupy outcry slowly pulse through this and every other community, maybe a new spirit of identity and individualism will lead us back toward an art which expresses our own aspirations and not those of non-person persons.

Nov 162011

Ed Franklin’s community dolls

By Paul Brown

The dolls are coming back to North Limestone, and this time, they are much sneakier. Artist and neighborhood resident Ed Franklin has embarked on his third year of making a doll per day for the month of November, and hiding them for others to find.

Franklin began making dolls for the community two years ago. He wanted to draw people into the parts of Lexington he has come to love since moving here in 1995. Continue reading »

Nov 092011

Wednesday, November 9

Buster’s; 899 Manchester. 8:30 P.M.

For 20 years, the jammiest of the jam bands have toured relentlessly, building the grassiest of grass-roots fanbases. I don’t know anyone who owns any of their albums, nor anyone who can even name a particular song, though I’m sure those people exist. Then again, with music like moe.’s, songs and albums are nothing more than arbitrary divisions of the never-ending groove.

Kentucky Theater; 214 E. Main. 8 P.M.

This show costs $27.50. I bring this up because even though we don’t usually print ticket prices herein—the idea is that the cost of art is irrelevant when considering whether to consume it, and that most shows in Lexington are pretty cheap anyway—this particular price caught me off guard.

Now, I am old, but hear me out: I saw Clapton in an arena, 10-row floor seats, for $22. That’s 22 smackers to sit no more than 30 feet from Slowhand himself. This was 1990, on the Journeyman tour. Nathan East did a haunting “Can’t Find My Way Home” on vocals and electric upright bass. Then Eric encored with “Cocaine.” $22. Continue reading »

Nov 092011

Daisy and Richie had already moved out of the house at 953 Delaware Ave. They had lived with this couch for 2 years and decided to replace it with a better one during their move to a new home. We were lucky to catch them while they stopped to see if there was any mail delivered for them in their old mail box.

Image and text by Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova, Discarded project. Continue reading »