Public Notice

This week, "Public Notice" travels far and wide across gender limits and the Kalahari to bring you're the best in Austin community events.

The Gods Most Certainly Are Crazy

We've had the itch to travel, of late. It's natural isn't it? So many of the world's people began as nomadic. It's in every human's very makeup to wander, to drift, to travel, to seek out new life, and all that other anthropological hoo-ha. Western urban reality skews all that though, making the hunting for and the gathering of that information we seek available at the slightest brush of our fingertips. We don't have to work hard for what we have or what we desire, do we? The jet and television and Internet were all heralded as essential progress-shapers that will make the world so much smaller -- to bring us all that much closer together, to other cultures, to other ways of life. But what they really did was make each of our individual wandering spaces that much smaller. Our imagination zones have become that much more cozy, insular, and well confined. We can ignite a box and tap on some keys and receive just about any scrap of data we want. We can enter a tube and four hours and a few overpriced cocktails later come out a few time zones down the road.

Wow. Are we dorks or what? There's this entire planet out there, and we are content to let the content programmers of Time Warner or whatever new kid on the corporate merger block do our wandering for us. Sure, it's great that we can sit back in our living rooms on our Laz-E-asses and grow our very own receiving lines with such exotic and well-heeled guests as the Iron Chef, Crocodile Hunter, and that cutie pie who emcees Junkyard Wars.

We are a generation of the smartest stupid people ever. "TMI" was never more applicable. Yet, in the human quest for knowledge, there's never too much information -- there are just too many lazy ways to acquire it.

That's our beef about this job. The first month sitting on our asses put on the first 20 pounds. It's a slippery slope after that. Here we sit on our sassy adjectives recommending this charity and that benefit. Are these recos the result of any real press fleshing or investigative reporting? Nah. We're just like the press-release hacks at the Monthly and the daily. We receive word, chew on it for a while, hit the Internet or the occasional book or periodical and get to typing.

We'd love to get out more, but the shackle of the Mac keeps the bottom fleshy. We love our job, but sometimes feel cheap doing it. We know that we're not the only ones suffering this malaise. We talk to pals in other info media, mostly the online realm, and get the same virtual shrug.

Getting out and doing it -- whatever it is -- is the key. Duh. The two events we feature this week are different, at least for us, personally, they are extra-cultural affairs that attempt to straddle the continuum of exploring beyond one's own deigned limits. We heartily recommend that you go and listen to your own wanderlust.

Of Springboks & Drag Kings

Bruce Bennell of Time Out New York says, "The Great Dance is a bonanza of energetic imagery -- a springbok's ecstatic leaps at the first drop of rain, one of !Xo San delicately rolling his face on the surface of a watering hole as he gratefully drinks, an antelope swooning like Lillian Gish, as a spear finds it." God, we wish we had written that. Better yet, we wish we had been on the crew for the documentary it describes. The Great Dance follows a group of the !Xo San in the central Kalahari. The !Xo are the "bushmen" in southern Africa whose people are widely acknowledged to have lived in the region for the past 30,000 years. Amazing considering not only the natural limits of the area (desert, erratic weather, etc.) but the human ones as well. The San have somehow survived against the odds of raging humanity in the forms of colonialism, imperialism, and a silly little movie called The Gods Must Be Crazy.

Interestingly, Coca-Cola™ -- the Coca-Cola™ Corporation -- had a lot to do with seeing The Great Dance come to the great screen -- they paid for the transfer from digital video to 33mm. Remember Coca-Cola's role in The Gods Must Be Crazy? Heh. Yeah. Ironic, eh?

The Austin Film Society and the Kalahari Peoples Fund present The Great Dance, a documentary by Cape Town, South Africa bros. Craig & Damon Foster, the first people to have documented in such great detail, firsthand, the lives of the San. The film screens this Saturday, Jan. 20, 3pm at the Alamo Drafthouse. Anthropologist Dr. Megan Biesele, coordinator for the Kalahari People's Fund, will be in attendance for a Q&A session. Proceeds will benefit the fund. 453-8935 or 867-1839.

  • Totally unrelated, but in a similar cross-cultural spirit and just in time to christen the Bush Reich is 2001: A Monster Pansy Ball!, a benefit for local community hub and generous charity venue Gaby & Mo's, this Saturday, Jan. 20, 6pm at the Off Center, 2211 Hidalgo, behind the Popeye's on East Seventh. The early part of the show features performative film and video and the evening blossoms into a Dragcapades crazy drag king ball and competition. Check our Arts Listings and calendar for more info! Trust us, with participation from folks in the UT RTF and Theatre departments, and performance artist types like Raunchy Reckless Rachel Shannon and the luscious and lascivious Ruby Lamb, this one is a no-misser. Uh ... get it? 457-9027.

  • A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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    This is the last Public Notice ever.

    Kate X Messer, Aug. 31, 2001

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    "Public Notice" talks about friends and the end of this column.

    Kate X Messer, Aug. 24, 2001


    Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Anthropologist Dr. Megan Biesele, Kalahari People's Fund, 2001: A Monster Pansy Ball!, Gaby & Mo's, Dragcapades, drag king, Raunchy Reckless Rachael Shannon, Ruby Lamb, Austin Film Society, Kalahari Peoples Fund, The Great Dance, Crocodile Hu

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