Saturday, August 31, 2013

5 things to do: Dragon Con Parade

Posted By on Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 7:00 AM

5 things to do in Atlanta today

1. Dragon Con Parade down Peachtree Street

2. The Atlanta Weekender continues in Old Fourth Ward

3. art | DBF After Dark in downtown Decatur Square

4. Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game (Alabama vs. Virginia Tech) at the Georgia Dome

5. Dragon Con Night at the Aquarium

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Georgia School Superintendent John Barge mounts gubernatorial campaign

Posted By on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 6:12 PM

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  • Georgia Department of Education
After months of swirling rumors, Georgia School Superintendent John Barge today announced that he'll run to become Georgia's next governor.

Barge joins Dalton Mayor David Pennington as a challenger to Gov. Nathan Deal in the 2014 gubernatorial election. He says he'll run a grassroots campaign against an incumbent with more than $1 million in his campaign war chest.

"I believe in something has to change," he told WSB-TV. "I think Georgia needs a leader who will govern and not play politics."

Barge also says his platform will focus on economic development and public education, which he thinks hasn't received enough funding over the past three years. In addition, he claims that Deal has never truly stood behind teachers (both officials, as we noted this week, have backed away entirely from Common Core).

"I don't know that they've seen any support out of that office for several years," he said. "No raises, furlough days, shortened school calendars."

According to Peach Pundit, Barge is expected to make an "official" announcement in Smyrna on Tuesday.

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Mary Norwood to challenge Councilman Aaron Watson in an attempt to reclaim her former citywide seat

Posted By on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Former City Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Mary Norwood has decided to make a last-minute bid to win back her old citywide position.

According to several sources at City Hall, Norwood is filing the paperwork needed to challenge Councilman Aaron Watson, who has held the seat for the past four years. Norwood was first elected to Post 2 At-Large in 2001 and served the city in that role for eight years.

In 2009, Norwood almost became Atlanta's mayor. She received more than 45 percent of the votes in the general election - more than any other candidate. Since no one received a majority of the votes, Norwood and Kasim Reed faced off in a mayoral runoff. Ultimately, she lost to the current mayor by a 700-vote margin.

Watson had already picked up a candidate last month in Buckhead attorney David Andrew Cox. Norwood's potential decision to mount a campaign arguably makes this the most compelling Council race in what's seemed to be a relatively quiet election season.

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VIDEO: U.S. Rep. John Lewis calls for 'livable wages' during fast-food workers strike

Posted By and on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Congressman John Lewis showed his support last night for fast-food workers picketing for the right to unionize and receive a minimum wage of $15 per hour.

The longtime civil rights activist encouraged more than 100 fast-food employees to continue their fight for livable wages outside of the McDonald's located near Marietta and Broad streets. On Wednesday, Lewis helped celebrate the March on Washington's 50th anniversary in the nation's capital. One day later, he was in Atlanta's streets shaking hands, standing alongside protesters, and offering words of encouragement. (Joeff Davis captured the speech in the video posted above).

"You must remember, 50 years ago yesterday, when I was 23 years old, had all my hair, and was a few pounds lighter, we marched for jobs and freedom," Lewis said. "We're still marching for jobs. We need more than a minimum wage, we need a livable wage. I don't understand how people survive when they are being paid starvation wages. In a country like ours, we could do much better."

The protest in Downtown was one of three Atlanta protests that took place yesterday as part of nationwide series of demonstration calling for better wages for industry employees.

"I saw one sign saying 'Wages: stop spending hundreds and thousands and millions and billions of dollars on war,'" Lewis said. "Spend some of our resources to pay people a decent wage. When we marched on Washington 50 years ago, I said that we don't have anything to be proud of for hundreds and thousands of our brothers and sisters cannot be here for they're receiving starvation wages. The same thing is true 50 years later.

Lewis will give the Decatur Book Festival's keynote speech tonight at Emory University's Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.

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Guess Georgia's favorite Pornhub search term, y'all?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 10:10 AM

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  • Pornhub.com

The Internet porn site Pornhub has released the 2013 results of its most popular search terms broken down by state. And according to the results, Georgia has a serious fetish for "ebony" porn.

Georgia is among only four of the 50 states in which ebony porn searches ranked highest on the site, with Alabama, Louisiana, and Maryland rounding out the bunch. So how shall we interpret these findings?

Through a hot and steamy racial lens, of course!

If you head over to Pornhub.com - which I did in the name of journalistic research - and type "ebony" in the search engine, the top three results are interracial videos of the white-on-black variety. Some of the more interesting titles among them included "Rihanna Rimes gets white [word that rhymes with sock]" and "James Deen Pounds a Gorgeous Ebony Girl." Probably not with his fists, though.

The intersection between race and sexual power dynamics in porn is almost an inevitable topic, especially considering the South's segregationist history. Writers have long intellectualized over the enduring popularity of such age-old stereotypes and taboo tropes as strapping black bucks deflowering virginal white maidens and white male conquerors dominating libidinous black vixens. There have even been recent exposés over the very real persistence of racism in the porn industry, itself, like the wage imbalance between blacks and whites and the standard that says white women who engage in black-on-white scenes do irreparable damage to their professional reputations and future earning potential.

But before boiling Georgia's favorite porn search term down to the leftover vestiges of colonialism, it's important to note that the state has one of the highest concentrations of African-American citizens in the nation. Same goes for the South in general. In fact, the six states with the highest ranking African-American populations, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, coincide almost perfectly with Pornhub's "ebony" state search preferences. So, tempting though it may be, the salacious race factor might not paint the total picture, other than revealing the nation's racial divisions and ethnic clusters by geography, as shown in this color-by-numbers demographic dot map provided by the Census.

Other news sure to belie those assbackwards Southern stereotypes?

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ATLwood: Everybody loves Ludacris

Posted By on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Sightings:
- Not at GSU's kick-off game? Get there: viz the AJC, Ludacris is in attendance.
- R. Kelly reportedly goes/went to the Buckhead LA Fitness.
- Shaq definitely went to Antico.

Filming Updates:
- Adam Sandler's The Familymoon wrapped a few weeks ago and Kill the Messenger is on its way out, too, with a recent wrap party at Ormsby's.
- The Red Road has been filming in the metro area since last week, in East Cobb and elsewhere. The series (about a morally-complicated and possibly - compromised cop, natch) comes as part of the Sundance Channel's continued push into scripted, after the success of Top of the Lake and Rectify earlier this year.

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First Slice 8/30/13: Republicans think ruining ObamaCare is hilarious

Posted By on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Greg Best is leaving Holeman & Finch Sept. 7.

Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens has come right out and told everyone what we pretty much knew was happening with ObamaCare already: Republicans are doing "Everything in our power to be an obstructionist," he giddily revealed. He then went on to detail, according to the AJC's Jay Bookman, the thinking behind specific legislation passed to purposefully complicate the insurance process for Georgians. "If ObamaCare is the looming disaster that he and other Republicans claim it will be, wouldn't it be wiser to simply step back and let it fail on its own lack of merits?" asks Bookman. Sure, but then Hudgens wouldn't get to laugh in our faces.

Yesterday, the IRS announced legally married same-sex couples will get equal treatment when it comes to federal taxes, regardless of the state they live in.

The U.S. is still considering a military strike on Syria. Britain, on the other hand, has opted out.

MARTA's taking a gander at Alpharetta.

Holeman & Finch co-founders Greg Best and Regan Smith are leaving Atlanta's acclaimed cocktail bar/restaurant, Atlanta magazine's Bill Addison reports. No specifics yet on what their new project is. Best's last night behind the bar is Sept. 7.

Like Christmas decorations on sale at Halloween, Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte is back early this year, for all you jerks that drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

Maybe there's a few things you want to check out this weekend?

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Weekend Arts Agenda: 'Hidden Away'

Posted By on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 9:00 AM

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  • Photo: Jamie Hopper/Design: Aubrey Longley-Cook. Courtesy Lucky Penny.

So you know how the Decatur Book Festival is going on? Saturday is a particularly keen day for festival-ites, especially if you point your eyes and feet toward the Library stage, which will play host to a variety of panels ("Hauntings and Healings" and "Women On the Verge of a Breakdown/Breakthrough") and performances throughout the day. Most oooh-worthy is Hidden Away: The Library at Night, created by Nicole Livieratos and Phillip DePoy, which is playing Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and is "designed to enchant children and adults alike."

Also! The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center will be out for the DBF in force, bringing together artists for a temporary exhibition called WORD!, featuring "obsessive handwriting in a spiral, phrases on a coffee cup, instructions stitched on a badge, greetings printed on wearable buttons, dates rendered on a paper mache mask, descriptions of photographs not taken" and a lot else in the ACAC's 20x20 booth.

Two more Things To See, after the jump.

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5 things to do: Clusterfest begins

Posted By on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 7:00 AM

5 things to do in Atlanta today

1. Dragon Con kicks off in Downtown

2. John Lewis gives the keynote speech at the Decatur Book Festival

3. Common Ground release party with the Wheeler Boys, Heavy Chevy, and more at the Masquerade

4. Tone Bell at Laughing Skull Lounge

5. A Noisy Delivery screens at Eyedrum

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Banzai! Drive Invasion 2013 celebrates aliens of the 1980s

Posted By on Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 3:29 PM

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The films of the 2013 Drive Invasion hark back to the 1980s, and why should the Starlight Six Drive-In's annual rock and film festival buck a trend? For years now, retro film culture has been celebrating Reagan-era cinema, a vogue that seems partly driven by Generation X-ers with rosy memories movies they saw as kids, particular on VHS. Hence such inexplicably fondness for the likes of The Goonies and Teen Wolf.

The films of Drive Invasion's Sept. 1 line-up all involve aliens, like you might expect from the moviegoing zeitgeist of three decades ago, when Hollywood wanted to cash in on the popularity of Star Wars, Alien and the like. The bill features John Carpenter's Antarctic horror freakout The Thing (1982), the videogamer escapist fantasy The Last Starfighter (1984) and the bizarre pulp satire The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984). From a purely nostalgic perspective, the most interesting may be Buckaroo Banzai, a defiantly strange film that feels more timely today than the year of its release.

In terms of quality, The Thing is handily the best of the threesome. Carpenter's attempt to capitalize on Alien proved a disappointment on release and was knocked for emphasizing disgustingly creative make-up effects over the paranoia in its premise of an alien shape-shifter. In retrospect, The Thing delivers a terrific, haunting mix of mood and body horror, and the practical effects look great compared to present-day CGI work. Plus, it showcases a great cast of character actors, from lead Kurt Russell down to the hapless huskies, whom the podcast We Hate Movies praise for some of best "dog-acting" in cinema.

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