Aug 102011

By Bill Widener

He was carrying a rolled-up flag instead of the shield, the blue of his uniform a shade too disco. But there he was, in the flesh, waiting to cross the street – the Sentinel of Liberty, Captain America.

Like a good citizen, he waited for the “walk” sign, then came into the library. I saluted, and directed him to the public internet area. He turned out to be an ex-serviceman walking across the country, protesting the treatment of veterans by donning the garb of the Red, White and Blue Avenger. He’s not the only one to use a Cap costume to make a political point. From masks to half-Caps to the full regalia, Captain America is a favorite at Tea Party rallies. Strange, that, given Cap is the avatar of everything they despise. Continue reading »

Apr 272011

Kid TV and Lexington’s wonderfully dirty years

By Bill Widener

By the time I settled in Lexington, Happy’s Hour, the subject of the documentary When Happy Met Froggie, had already been cancelled. But I still have warm memories of the once-ubiquitous kind of kids’ show memorialized by the film. My guy was named, aptly enough, Mr. Bill. He was the host of Mr. Bill’s Workshop, broadcast from 7:30-9:00 AM Monday through Saturday on WLOS-13 Asheville, NC–the only channel my family could pick up out on the southernmost fringe of Corbin. Weatherman Bill Norwood would put on a rangerish get-up and teach easy crafts, read happy birthdays and get-wells to lucky kiddies, and show the usual mix of old comedy shorts and cartoons, the latter a grab bag of Bugs, Casper and Deputy Dawg alongside oddities like Snowman in July. Continue reading »

Oct 272010

A reaction to the 10/12 Screening at the Green Lantern

By Bill Widener

A smear, a warble, a robotic “RECORD” in the corner, and there’s a blurry figure in the background, hunching a trash curbie like an arthritic mutt. Some coot with a mug like a mummy takes a sprig of leaves and, almost tenderly, begins to fellate it. A boney old broad in a brassy, ratty wig thrusts her pelvis into another garbage can. It’s too freakish to be real, but look: the tape jumps artlessly from cut to cut and the machine demands “TRACK”. There’s no obvious narrative: things just happen, idiotic and appalling things, and danged if she don’t sound just like Aunt Gossie who had the pill problem.

Lucy Jones

Trash Humpers actor Chris Crofton does stand-up comedy before the Lexington Film League screening of Harmony Korine's latest.

Continue reading »