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Weekly Rochester Events #290: Tuberculosis Goes to Pott

Thursday, July 29, 2004

I wrote a note on a message board for Quirkyforums at Quirkyalone.net that was somewhat on the topic of conformity and how it is essentially useless. I'm trying to figure out a use for it. I guess when it comes to survival-level tasks, conforming to meet a common goal is appropriate, but in the relatively easy-to-survive world I live in, it's just a hindrance.

The idea that conformity is good is rooted in that foil-to-wisdom known as "common knowledge" which in turn is rooted in the idea that the majority cannot be wrong. History teaches us that often either the majority is wrong (i.e. the earth is flat) or our perception of the what the majority says is wrong (i.e. how the Holocaust happened.) So given that the majority is fallible, then statements like "a million people can't be wrong" are also fallible, and — taken further — since that's part of "common knowledge," it too is fallible.

Isn't conformity just acting in agreement to what is perceived as the norm? And the norm? — isn't that just the theoretical unspoken agreement between people as to the bounds of their behavior? Which, in turn, means the common behavior between people is correct, and we're back the majority being right. Right?

See, what I'm finding is that people — as individuals — seem to make decisions about their actions pretty similarly. Day-to-day, we're mostly on autopilot, but when confronted with a more complex decision, we consider any benefit or harm that acting (or not acting) will happen to ourself and any parties involved in both the long-term and the short-term and weigh it all out together. Sometimes it gets so bad that we actually make a matrix of the whole thing just to figure it out. Some people consider these outcomes very deeply and others not so much. (There are a few people who only think of themselves, but there called sociopaths and by their nature as anti-communal people, they're considered to be not normal.)

Mostly, though, you can trust in people's good will and instinct to not harm others. Note that you can't trust everyone's good will, just mostly; the tricky part is figuring out who's who. My own technique is to constantly retune my instincts. I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt where I neither trust them nor distrust them then let them move me to one side or another — focusing on leaning one way or another as quickly as I can rather than deciding beforehand.

For others, though, this is where inappropriate prejudices are formed and where conformity comes into play. The assumption is that someone who looks like you and acts like you shares common moral ground and can be trusted: therefore, it would be a much better world if everyone looked alike and acted alike. If you don't have tattoos, people who have tattoos are not to be trusted; if you're not black, black people are not to be trusted; if you ride a Harley Davidson motorcycle, people who don't are not to be trusted.

I mean, what kind of world are we trying to build here? Just what is so great about conformity except to make people who are conformists feel comfortable? I say we stop worrying about what conformists think and just speak our mind. I have a feeling that if we all expressed our true opinions, the adage that "the majority is always right" might one day be used in a context that is not sarcastic.


Now, on to your regularly scheduled review of the past week:

I got to see The Big Lebowski last week. It's one of many movies that I've seen but haven't seen: five minutes here, a half-hour there. This time, I watched it from beginning-to-end at the Dryden. Finally, I get to say that I really did like it. At its core it seems to work as a detective story where the unwitting detective is Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski (not to be confused with Jeffrey Lebowski, or The Big Lebowski.) Unlike other detective stories, The Dude is a pot-smoking, unemployed bowler who casually saunters through life, ususally wearing a bathrobe over boxers-and-a-tee-shirt. He ends up stuck in the middle of a complex plot full of a peculiarly plausible mix of characters.

On a related note, I'm posting an adjustment to comments in a previous essay: The Big Empty is a considerably different movie, and my implication of its similarity to the former was based on my Short Attention Span Theater-style viewpoint.

Also, on Tuesday, I hit The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) to see Billy Nayer ShowGarageBand link who do these peculiarly rock-opera style songs. Of course, the whole show is closely tied to the movie they showed earlier — and, I guess, are completely intertwined in its production and music. The movie was The American Astronaut which is one of the strangest films I've seen. It mixes a low-budget feel, a 1930's-style image of future space travel, generous amounts of homosexual undertones, and an oddly metaphoric story which could be interpreted as a cross between the past being dead and some alternative interpretation of Christian-styled beliefs. The story is about an astronaut who gets a job returning the body of a dead man on the otherwise all-female Venus to his rich family on Earth in exchange for bringing Venus a young man from the all-male planet Jupiter.

Anyway, you can probably guess the some of the influences for the philosophical essay I opened with.


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Fleet Party in the Park will be at High Falls Festival Site (Browns Race and Commercial St.) tonight starting at 5:30 p.m. featuring Big Bad Voodoo Daddy with Atlas. [source: City Hall press release]

Tonight at 5:30 p.m., experts will be on hand at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to appraise up to three of your antique cameras as part of their Speaking of Photography Workshops. [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is the really good early 1970's style rock-and-roll band (but with more elaborate drum work) Thee ShamsGarageBand link, The Coffin Lids, and 1960's-style rock/glam-rock band St. Phillip's Escalator starting around 8:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

JayceLand Pick Ciara Lynn will be at Johnny's Irish Pub (1382 Culver Rd., still smoke-free) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Johnny's Irish Pub calendar]

Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is My Chemical Romance, Senses Fail, Roses Are Red, and Silhouette starting around 8 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar]

Stephen Schreiber will be at The University of Rochester (River Campus Map) for one event in the Hopeman Memorial Carillon Summer Recital Series tonight at 7 p.m. in the Eastman Quadrangle in front of Rush Rhees Library. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick The Rochester Police Department's Eastside Division (30 Hart St.) will be holding an Open House at their new location from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting KEN ModeGarageBand link, very good metal band SulacoIUMA link, and American Heritage starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Monty's Krown calendar]

Pure Kona Poetry Open Mic Night is at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight starting at 7:30. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

Over at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) starting around 9 p.m. is Dave Rivello's 12-Piece Jazz Ensemble [source: Montage e-mail]


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JayceLand Pick From today through August 29 is the 14th Annual Members Exhibition at Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) probably starting tonight around 7. Of course, their calendar was wrong last month when it said they started this at the end of June so it's very likely to be wrong again. [source: Rochester Contemporary calendar]

JayceLand Pick Updated: Starting at 7 p.m. tonight is the The Critical Mass Bike Ride which will begin at 7 p.m. at The Space Formerly Known as The All-Purpose Room (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St.) and go to The Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.) around 8 p.m. There, The Blood and Bone Orchestra and The Neighborhood Konspiracy will play followed by an outdoor showing of Taken For A Ride about how the American automobile industry worked to weaken public transportation. [source: All-Purpose Room calendar]

Kelly Shaw will have a solo exhibition at Genesee Pottery at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) starting tonight at 6 p.m. until August 22. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

Over at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) starting around 8 p.m. is Amos Rosenstein. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Modern Times starting at 8 p.m. Chaplin must figure out how to live in the mechanized "modern" world. They showed a preview-trailer for it a few weeks ago and the digitally restored print looks spectacular. [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick Over at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. is The Thundergods in their Ten Year Anniversary Show. [source: Monty's Krown calendar]

Acoustic duo Kate Silverman, and Bob Stephenson will be at Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Tiki Bob's Cantina (60 Browns Race, in the Centers at High Falls) is the excellent funk-rock band Mountain Mojo Authority (click here to skip their annoying flash intro) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Freetime]


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JayceLand Pick O'Bagelo's, 165 State Street, noon.

Annie Wells Trio will be at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

Abundance Cooperative Market (62 Marshall St.) will be hosting accordian-and-saw duo Dreamland Faces (back from Minnesota temporarily) starting around 12 p.m. [source: Abundance Co-op calendar]

This afternoon at Craft Company No. 6 (785 University Ave.) is part of the ARTWalk Music on the Block Series with Jazz Potato starting around 2 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Updated: Tonight at Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) is an art opening for new photography and paintings from Jesse Harrington, Karrie Laughton, Rachel Lochner, Michael Deluca, and Tom Fox. [source: flyer at Lux]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Le Temps du loup starting at 8 p.m. A family finds their holiday home occupied by strangers, and things get worse from there. [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting The Atomic Bitchwax, Baba Yaga, and instrumental surf-rock from The Isotopes starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

The Upstate Slumlords will be at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Monty's Krown calendar]

Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) will be hosting Michael McNeill starting around 9 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Over at Tiki Bob's Cantina (60 Browns Race, in the Centers at High Falls) starting around 10 p.m. is 1970's to 1990's rock cover band The United Booty Foundation. [source: Freetime]

Solidly good modern rock cover band Better Days will be at Alexander Street Pub (291 Alexander St.) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick Updated: Jillian's (Corner of Commercial St. and Mill St.) will be having an incredible Battle of the Bands with the excellent funk-rock band Mountain Mojo Authority (click here to skip their annoying flash intro), The Scarlets (featuring Sara Strusz formerly of The Purrs) okay groove-rock band Junction FiveGarageBand link, Following Dawn, excellent punk-rock band The QUiTTERSGarageBand link, and 1960's-influenced bluesy rock-and-roll band The Ferndocks starting around 9 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]


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JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Hangover Square starting at 5 p.m. A composer is brought to the brink of insanity and then a little further than that. [source: Eastman House calendar]

This afternoon from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. is a Corn Hill Stroll sponsored by (and starting at) The Landmark Society of Western New York (133 S. Fitzhugh St.) [source: Landmark Society e-mail]

JayceLand Pick Updated: Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. is MYTVSIUMA link with great power-pop/rock band The Earl Cram Revue and unbridled female sex-energy-driven power-rock/punk-rock from Yer Mom (formerly Your Mom). [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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Tonight at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is Jim Reilley starting around 7 p.m. They're usually not open on Monday's so this might be quite good. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Minders, really good ambient/power-pop band Hinkley, and excellent, tight rock/punk-rock band The Retreads will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

JayceLand Pick Updated: The Space Formerly Known as The All-Purpose Room (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St.) will be hosting Taurpis Tula, Paul Flaherty and Chris Corsano, Joe+n, and fascinating wind-instrument-through-effects band Asthmatic starting around 9 p.m. [source: All-Purpose Room calendar]

Excellent experimental jazz band TatYana will be playing tonight at Alexandria Mediterranean Cuisine (120 East Ave., formerly Aria) starting at 10. [source: the proverbial grapevine]


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Tonight at Eastmoreland Park and Playground (Eastmoreland Dr. at Shelbourne Rd.) is The Upper Mount Hope Neighborhood Association's Annual Night Out with ice cream, soda, and featuring Tim the Juggler starting around 6 p.m. [source: Upper Mount Hope Neighborhood Association flyer]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) is accordian-and-musical-saw duo Dreamland Faces starting around 7:30 p.m. [source: Rochester Contemporary e-mail]

This afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in the Kate Gleason Auditorium of The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) is a demonstration of 19th Century Games from the Genesee Country Village and Museum. Unfortunately, it's for kids, so all us old-timers won't be able to enjoy our 1800's favorites like cup-and-ball, whimmy-diddle, jackstraws, and buzz saw. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar]

Crescent and Frost will be at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) starting around 8:30 p.m. [source: WBER calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Yashagaike (Demon Pond) starting at 8 p.m. Another of the films not-found-on-video, this one is a psychedelic ghost story of a mythical pond. [source: Eastman House calendar]

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is The ApologyGarageBand link starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Not ready for mainstream Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is hosting an Acoustic Open Mic from 8 to 10. For this one, there's no microphones and it's pretty open ended. [source: Daily Perks calendar]


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JayceLand Pick Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) will be hosting a Student Concert presentation titled Lullaby of Broadway at Eastman directed by Cecile Saine starting around 7 p.m. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar]

Over at Ontario Beach Park (Beach Ave.) starting around 6 p.m. is Clowns at the Carousel. It is recommended that you leave before dusk. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick Updated: Over at The Space Formerly Known as The All-Purpose Room (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St.) starting around 9 p.m. is angry, angry metal band The Hair Police, and semi-melodic fast-paced noise from Pengo. [source: All-Purpose Room calendar]

Poor People United meets tonight and every Wednesday at 7 at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality (402 South Ave.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Not ready for mainstream Tonight from 8 to 10 is an Open-Mic Comedy Night at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) While once it was a workshop type of environment, it's now more-or-less a regular open mic ... by default it's still a place to try out new stuff. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

 
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Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database. Map links courtesy MapsOnUs. Some movie synopses courtesy UpcomingMovies.com

About the title ... Pott's disease which damages the vertebral bones and can be caused by a tuberculosis infection gets its name from British surgeon Percival Pott, born 290 years ago in 1714.

This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including Monroe County and occasionally the Western New York region) from Thursday, July 29, 2004 thru Wednesday, August 4, 2004. It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. The musical styles listed can include punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed.


JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

IUMA link links to a band's page on IUMA.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

Not ready for mainstream. is an event that is "non-entertainment" for the masses such as practice sessions, open jams, etc.

Fly the flag today. is a day when you should fly the flag according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars calendar.

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