Tag Archives: politics

CLOSING NIGHT: “Incendium” by Chicago Slam Works


~ by Ty Pi

March 4th, 2016 was the closing night of the world premiere of the Chicago Slam Works production of Incendium.  I had a chance to see their previous show, Handsome Animals, which explored the social construction of body image and gender.  The production was directed by J.W. Basillo and the writing team was led by Teagan Walsh-Davis.  I enjoyed that production quite a bit and eagerly awaited the chance to see their followup production, Incendium.  I attended on their closing night and I was not disappointed.

The structure of the two Chicago Slam Works productions mentioned here are rooted in poetry.  Handsome Animals delivered its content through a series of poems and short scenes.  Basillo once again helms Incendium (written by the performers), which presents itself more like a cabaret set on a black box stage at Stage 773.  The show comes equipped with not just poetry, but also songs, juggling, acrobatics, a burlesque number, and the occasional breaking of the fourth wall, going as far as to have the audience directly involved.  It goes against the norms of theatre and is performed with a great sense of fun.  Within this abstract circus lies one central theme: Death.  The concept of death is explored throughout most of the play, if not all of it.

For this theatre patron, their presentation of that theme is what not only made this ride worthwhile, but also necessary.  The production makes a heavy emphasis on how life is temporary, memories fade, life can be miserable, and death is inevitable.  Although these points are repeated, it works because these are all too true.  These theme are supported by the show’s examinations of time, individual identity, one’s sense of purpose in the world, and even the feeling of boredom.  The more I think about it, Incendium does not just make death a theme, but also more of a statement.  In a person’s lifetime, one will experience hardships, feelings of boredom, contemplate their sense of purpose in the world, memories of their life will fade, and until someone discovers the cure for mortality, death is inevitable.  Life is a temporary experience and we only get to do it once.

I am reminded of a quote from Orson Welles in his documentary, F for Fake.  “Our songs will all be silenced.  But what of it?  Go on singing!  Maybe a man’s name doesn’t matter all that much.”  Although such themes can be seen as too downbeat or morose, the show has a sense of fun about it, and at times becomes self-deprecating.  The play explores that when one of the performers named Noob (Joseph Ramski) tries to bring optimism into the situation, only to be crushed by everyone in a fashion that can be described as humorous cynicism.  My takeaway from that is that it’s easy to be cynical about life and death, but it does not change anything.  Instead of remaining pessimistic about it all, I felt the play encouraged me to become more optimistic and happy that I even get to experience life at all.

I extend my congratulations to the Chicago Slam Works cast and crew for their efforts to bring Incendium to life.  Although the run of the show has ended, their next production will premiere at Stage 773 on May 6th, 2016.  It is called This Great Nation, Much Enduring.  I was informed that this production will be about America.  Already, I am looking forward to seeing it, and I encourage you to head to their website to learn more about the poetry-forward company.

BREAKING: Rich Donor Eviscerates Jeb Bush for SC Loss; Demanded He Quit Race (NSFW)


Courtesy: Ad Week

by Legendary Lew

The Underground Multiplex has uncovered a never-before publicized voicemail recording left by a Jeb Bush donor angry at his poor campaign performance.

Dolly Dentura, CEO of Dentura Enterprises, funded Jeb Bush’s campaign almost single-handedly and in the voicemail recording discovered by Legendary Lew, she berates the former Florida governor for his poor performance.

In a profanity-laced tirade, Dentura exclaims that Bush was a “big, fat mistake” a quote she attributes to Donald Trump, who she disdainfully refers to as “Chief Orange Hair.”

Dentura also had choice words for former First Lady Barbara Bush, who she blames for talking her into giving the famed son the millions of dollars that ended up “in the toilet.”

The voicemail recording reflects the frustration many rich Republican donors have had with a number of Republican presidential candidates, many of whom spent millions of dollars on their failed campaigns.

Click below to listen to the irate voicemail recording left at the Jeb Bush 2016 office:

Bernie Sanders’ Supporters are Revolutionizing Media

“Don’t hate the media, become the media.”
Jello Biafra

by Legendary Lew

Artist Mario Prado creates a poster for a recent Comic con

Artist Mario Prado creates a poster for a recent Comic con

On ABC’s This Week, Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation Magazine slammed the corporate media for its saturated coverage of Donald Trump, calling it “wall-to-wall”, while Bernie Sanders barely gets a mention. She’s right. There’s statistical proof that Donald Trump, as the front-runner of the GOP race, receives substantially greater press than Bernie Sanders, who has drawn the largest crowds of any candidate in this election season so far.

Interestingly, as some of the pundits on This Week admit that Sanders could  be elected president, a remarkable development began taking off in the Vermont senator’s campaign.

John Ellis, founder of Bernie2016TV, the YouTube channel concentrating on broadcasting Bernie’s speeches, recently made a plea to gain 10,000 subscribers for leverage in using YouTube’s California studios for future broadcasts. He reached the total within days.

BerniePost, an aggregate site compiling all news reporting on the Senator, reached a goal of 2000 likes on Facebook only hours after a plea to increase their numbers. The site recently published posts on the negligence of The New York Times and NPR in covering Sanders’ campaign accurately, if at all.

What’s fascinating about the efforts of Bernie2016TV and BerniePost is that these sites and others are springing up without financing from the official Sanders’ campaign. Coders, bloggers, graphic designers, podcasters and others are giving their time and energy towards spreading Bernie’s message out of passion for his policies and beliefs.

Currently, no other candidate boasts this type of commitment from supporters, although all of them have functioning websites. Fans of other candidates have contributed comments and Facebook posts, but Bernie’s army of supporters have done much more.

With the understandable frustration that corporate media is disinterested in covering a presidential candidate that attacks their power, volunteers have countered with BerniePost, the aforementioned site dedicated to capturing all news Bernie. Daniela Perdomo’s FeelTheBern.org compiles all the policy positions Bernie Sanders has taken stands on and supplies exhaustive hyperlinks to original sources for easy research. There are, of course, the multitude of Facebook pages dedicated to endorsing Bernie. Many different states, counties and towns for Bernie are represented, as well as the unusual entries such as Republicans for Bernie Sanders and even Cats for Bernie Sanders (no word yet on where dogs stand).

What truly launches the Bernie Sanders collective of alternative print and visual media into a full-fledged network, however, is Bernie2016TV. Ellis’ channel plays like an upstart version of Fox News or MSNBC. It provides live streaming coverage of Bernie’s speeches (via Shift from MSNBC and other feeds), regardless of crowd size, and just like the cable networks, Bernie2016TV has its cadre of interview hosts, pundits, guests and viewers weighing in with commentary. The live stream even provides chyrons with viewer tweets and salient quotes from the speeches.

As with any network startup, glitches occur as technical blips, inaudible sound and disconnection buffering sometimes hits the channel. However, what it lacks in million dollar polish, it makes up with priceless passion for the candidate.

What might be easily overlooked with this channel of C-SPAN level broadcasting is that an entire network devoted to a presidential candidate sprung up from volunteers alone in a span of four months. That’s quite astonishing and with consumer-level communication technology getting better by the day, Bernie Sanders’ followers are proving that home-grown media with smart dedicated people broadcasting alternative music, TV, movies and public affairs programming can reach larger audiences and influence millions. You just need the passion.

Disclosure Note: If you’ve not been able to tell already, I’m a major fan of Bernie Sanders and my opinions on him or any other candidate/issue are my own.




Palin Drunken Brawl with Pictures (!) Found by the Strike That Line Crew!

The folks at Strike That Line! were able to find pictures from the scene of the recent Alaskan brawl involving the Palins. For the first time, see exactly what Bristol Palin was referring to in her statement to police. Please note that this video is NSFW:



Get This Banned Danish GOTV PSA on American Media **NOW**! (NSFW)


by Legendary Lew

I would love to shake the hand of the person who had the wild audacity to create this pants-pissing, hilarious cartoon urging young people to vote.  It touches on so many themes: hipster culture, superhero worship, incredible amounts of gratuitous sex and violence and even dolphins. However, it also makes the point that personal involvement matters. The GREATEST political Get-Out-the-Vote Ad ever created–bar NONE.

It was, of course, yanked immediately.

To those whimpering that this is too offensive: really? Been to the movies lately? Voter apathy in this country is way too high. Any means by which we can get more people to vote and continue to be a part of the law-making process can help.


Internet Hater Chris Dodd Wants Technology to Help Boost Sagging Theater Attendance


by Legendary Lew

Variety reports that last year, attendance for the 18-24 year-old age bracket in movie theaters dropped like a stone. It’s serious because, you know, everyone else is dead and will never benefit from films aimed toward them:

The number of frequent moviegoers in the all-important 18-24 age group plunged an unprecedented 21% in 2013, according to MPAA annual statistics released Tuesday at Cinemacon, while attendance in the 12-17 age bracket also saw a precipitous drop off, falling almost 15%.

Frequent filmgoers from 12-24 are likely spending much of their previous moviegoing time watching a variety of other screens.

Well, heavens to Betsy, whatever shall a bloated, non-innovative, money-wasting, inefficient, money-gouging, hypocritical corporate entity do?!

I know! Call in MPAA head Chris Dodd to give the industry a pep talk:

“We need to keep exploring fresh ways of leveraging our new technology to drive traffic to your theaters,” Dodd insisted during his keynote address delivered Tuesday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.

“We can embrace technology, and use it to complement our offerings,” Dodd added.

I practically shat blood laughing so hard when reading these statements. This is the same Chris Dodd that backed the SOPA and PIPA legislations–so much so that he extorted the White House to try and have its support. SOPA and PIPA would have destroyed the internet as we know it with opposition to the legislation coming from internet companies that regularly help Hollywood promote its films. The public response to Dodd and SOPA/PIPA supporters was a whole lot of this.

It’s also the same Chris Dodd that supported the arrest of Kim Dotcom, only to have the case against him implode over embarrassing allegations, not the least of which was Dotcom’s assertion that he was ready to start a legally-created IPO with MegaUpload. (Dotcom’s new company, Mega, has since created an IPO in New Zealand)

Now, Dodd wants to urge the industry to use technology, i.e the internet, to boost theater tix sales.  Never mind that he tried to explode it a couple of years ago and will, no doubt, try again, unless Dodd has some other new type of technology he wants to introduce to the world.  Oh wait, I forgot, Hollywood doesn’t have one.

Next time Chris Dodd gives a speech, I suggest this type of formal attire.



TUGM Proudly Presents the World Premiere Online Release of “Sisters of No Mercy”!

It’s finally here! After nearly three years and two hundred dollars, The Underground Multiplex presents the wild, avant-garde nunsploitation comedy Sisters of No Mercy: The Real 3D Midnight Movie Xperience. Combining exploitation, comedy, classic roadshow reels, politics, music and live performance, SONM is the completion of the first collaboration between Joseph R. Lewis and me.

This came about first as a 4-minute parody trailer for a then fake nunsploitation feature. With the help of some great talented friends, we408 were able to pull off this bit in three weeks, just before I was to give a lecture on nunsploitation at Facets Night School.

The trailer debuted on YouTube in October 2010 and gained an unexpected positive response in February 2011 from the French version of  Slate Magazine, which hyperlinked the short and called it a successful parody (if the Google translation is correct). Emboldened by the responses, I casually mentioned to Joe that perhaps the nuns should go to Madison, WI during the height of protests against Governor Scott Walker and exorcise the Koch-funded “demon” from the state capitol.

The resulting short film was The Wisconsin Exorsisters, which brought back Sisters Amy and Angela, Mother Superior and the evil Father Neal from first trailer. That short went public in March 2011.

409When June rolled around, we had decided to extended Sisters of No Mercy into a feature. To accomplish this, the film needed extra footage, which was provided by recording the third portion of the film live before a midnight movie audience attending each screening of Session 8 of Facets Night School. Each chapter was filmed in 5 minute pieces before that evening’s lecture and screening. The resulting portions were then uploaded weekly online.

On September 30, 2011, TUGM debuted Sisters of No Mercy 3D at Facets Night School in an edited version that included a live interactive experience with the audience. They were treated to live music, a theatrical performance, juggling and dancing for a unique approach in film entertainment. This version has not been duplicated since.

Which brings us finally to today– almost three years since the inception of the nunsploitation parody. The final product we hope you’ll find funny, informative and entertaining. It could not be done without the help of the following wonderful people:

Amy J. Boyd, Angela Yonke, Adrianna Montiel, Kenzie Kl, Bruce Neal, Joe Rubin, Jason Coffman, Jason Loeffler, Jonathan Leaf, Douglas Grew, Brian Kirst, Lielie Kaehn-Jarvis, Brian Jarvis, Chris Brake, Christa Koch, Nathan Boecker, Susan Doll, Phil Morehart, all the presenters of Facets Night School and, of course, the twisted genius of Joe Lewis.

Legendary Lew Ojeda