Weekly Rochester Events #328: I Had a Cheese-Steak Sandwich at Blarney South

Thursday, April 21, 2005

With recent talk about 1040's and AGI's, I got into a funk about the influence of income on self-worth. I've been chewing through savings and it's starting to run out — unfortunately in jumps and starts rather than gradually like I'd like to see — and I'm entertaining nightmares of ending up penniless on the street by winter.

I started thinking about opposition to universal healthcare and what that means: that the cost of universal healthcare per person is more than the dollar worth of the health of each person. That led me to consider the disparity between the capitalist ideal and the capitalist reality.

In the capitalist ideal, the best products will be provided in the most efficient means possible. Any idea will evolve into its ideal form through the market forces of supply and demand — both for the product itself and through all its component parts. However, the reality is that the ideal form of a product is, by definition, where the supply and demand meet equilibrium, and this isn't necessarily what anybody would call "best."

This model has been applied to people: "in America, if you work hard, you can grow up to be whatever you want" is the mantra. A person's self-worth is tied to their worth to society, and a person's worth to society is tied to how much money someone else is willing to pay them for their skills. The trouble is that a unit of currency doesn't represent any sense of absolute worth.

I mean, think about someone like Vincent van Gogh or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: both died poor, yet I doubt anyone would say they offered nothing to society. On the other hand think of someone who has acquired a lot of money but isn't valuable to society (but don't say it out loud because they're likely to be the kind of person who sues everyone in sight.)

But even this discussion is flawed: the very concept of tying monetary success to personal value — bums on the street have value as people even if they don't have financial value. The trouble lies in one of the subtleties of capitalism: units of currency represent some tradable quantity of value. By that, I mean you can use currency to exchange things that you could otherwise barter: a gallon of milk or a day's work, for instance. However, it doesn't work for things with intangible value or that are otherwise un-tradable: the appearance of the Grand Canyon in its natural state, your life, or the sound of your grandmother's voice — these are things for which it's absurd to apply a monetary value.

Anyway, Thursday night I went to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Nothing Sacred which is billed as a screwball comedy. Unfortunately, my personal taste has been tainted: the first screwball comedy I ever really noted was Bringing Up Baby which is arguably the best of all of them — thus, I was a bit disappointed with Nothing Sacred. It's not bad: the theme is a woman in Vermont who believes she's dying has her story grabbed by a New York City reporter who decides to play up the story and invite her to New York. As he arrives to meet her, she finds out she's not dying after all, but wants so badly to go to New York that she plays along anyway. The levity of the whole thing is dragged by an undercurrent of somewhat sinister deception and greed.

Ah, greed: one of the core desires that capitalism seems to unearth, transcending the morality of the day. For instance, e-mail is so cheap a medium to broadcast advertising, that if even one person in 10,000 buys your product that you can make a hefty profit — courtesy be damned! (And just what the hell is wiagra or v1gara anyway?)

But the desire that capitalism exposes best is sex. It seems that no matter how much a former-Hitler-Youth pope (willingly or unwillingly) wants to make us feel bad about it, we somehow always come around (no pun intended) to still wanting it. Consumer desire burns so hot and strong it would arouse even the least perceptive businessperson's curiosity.

And I wager it has for all time.

See, on Friday, I went to George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) again to see their Blue Shorts program: a collection of short pornographic or otherwise "blue" movies presented by conservator at The Harvard Film Archive (24 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA), Julie Buck. The crowd was a bit rowdier than normal and threw out some (sometimes) amusing comments between flicks. Anyway, everything was at least interesting. What was particularly odd was that the older films seemed to break more taboos.

For instance, the infamous animation Buried Treasure features a man with an unusually large penis: long enough, in fact, that he uses it as a third leg for locomotion. Things start off with him waking from a nap to find flies flying around the head of his penis, so he does what anyone would do: he pulls out a gun and shoots them. When the smoke clears, his penis is gone and he finds it hiding behind a nearby rock. Among his escapades (which also include a woman with crabs [beach-sized ones] and a mischievous goat) is when he discovers a woman lying under a pile of sand. He hops on and humps away only to have the sand pile fall away to reveal that he's actually having anal sex with the woman's male partner. He runs away but his penis is stuck inside the other guy whom he drags behind ... and so on. It gets worse.

And this was 1924. Similarly perverse — and of the same era — was the live-action silent film Getting His Goat which features (skipping the bulk of the plot) a man having sex through a hole in a fence while three naked women force a goat to endure his amorous advances. It's an image inexorably burned into my psyche. Interestingly, film archaeologists believe these were both made after-hours at major studios, owing to the cost of equipment and materials and to the quality of the resulting films — that latter film even had professional title cards.

On a completely different note I made it to A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) on Saturday to check out the show titled The Space Between featuring glass sculpture from artists Sarah Gilbert and Katie Maurer. I really enjoyed the show favorite titled "Thought Bubbles" which were glass bubbles hanging on the wall with the flat side mirrored and the rounded side partially painted with a scene; the mirror reflecting the scene painted on the inside which complemented the outside. It's really quite subtle. The maze-like quality of "Exposure" is really interesting, as is the woman-in-repose-styled "Red Lady" consisting of red-tinted glass spheres.

On Tuesday I made it out to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) to see some experimental bands. First was Like Language whom I had a hard time defining. As close as I can explain is that they were a hard-edged rock/punk band. Hilkka was next and played a set of songs each with its own basic melody that was spun into derivatives in a relatively interesting way. Finally was Ten-Ton who did really good experimental, high-energy effects-and-looping.

Earlier that night, I got out again to George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Zabriskie Point. I guess it was a pretty good counterculture movie. I liked that it made the cops and "normals" seem a bit alien in their methods since the balance swings to the other side in day-to-day living: press coverage assumes the police act nobly and that the "alleged perpetrators" are de facto guilty.

In addition, it seems that because society as-it-is-today functions reasonably well, that the idea of change can only be for the worse. Those who want make changes to the way it runs are forced to prove the impossible: that their changes would be a benefit, and that all possible failures are accounted for. The status quo, however, has no such requirement — when a failure happens (ending up penniless on the street, for instance) it's just accepted as the way things are. There's no reciprocal requirement to fix the failures.


JayceLand Pick Tonight in Hoyt Auditorium at The University of Rochester (Elmwood Ave. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map) at 7:30 p.m. is a Mayoral Forum featuring candidates for mayor, Tim Mains, John Parinello, Wade Norwood, and Robert Duffy. [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is The BraveryMySpace link starting around 7:30 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [all ages]

Jim Bowers will be at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Tonight from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. is a Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club Environmental Forum at First Unitarian Church of Rochester (220 Winton Rd. S.) featuring keynote speech Our Threatened Lakes: Getting Involved by SUNY Brockport (350 New Campus Dr., Brockport) professor Joseph Makarewicz. [source: Abundance Co-op calendar]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Portrait of Jennie starting at 8 p.m. Is one man's muse a figment of his imagination? Not only is this a rare nitrate print, but the predominantly black-and-white film also includes the color and tinted segments. Remember that the Dryden Theater is one of the few places in the world you can still view these fragile and highly flammable nitrate prints, so get your butt out there! [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting The Five and Dimers starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Monty's Krown calendar] [21+]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Heather Gardner and Kenneth Tyrone, along with Mutatis Mutandis starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Tonight at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map) is a presentation of William Shakespeare' The Twelfth Night in Ingle Auditorium at 8 p.m. as well as tomorrow and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. [source: RIT Events Calendar site]

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

Earth Day

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 6 p.m. in the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) Alex Nyerges the curator at The Dayton Art Institute (456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton, OH) will be on hand to discuss the new exhibit of Edward Weston's work. [source: German House calendar]

Tonight at 10:30 p.m. and tomorrow at 11:30 p.m. at Nextstage at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) is Geva Comedy Improv. [source: Geva Theatre website]

JayceLand Pick Updated: Tonight at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) is either The Dropouts, Stolen BigwheelsMySpace link, and punchy rock band Blue Spark and FlameMySpace link or it's what the calendar said with great rock-and-roll band The IrthlingsGarageBand linkMySpace link starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Monty's Krown calendar] [21+]

JayceLand Pick Nazareth College (4245 East Ave., campus map) professor Dr. Hilda Chacón will be at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight at 8 p.m. to present An Evening of Bossa Nova in the Mother Tongue — Portuguese. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

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

Today starting around 11 a.m. is Dandelion Day at The University of Rochester (Elmwood Ave. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map.) [source: RocWiki calendar]

This afternoon at Abundance Cooperative Market (62 Marshall St.) is Steven Piper starting around 1 p.m. [source: Abundance Co-op calendar] [all ages]

Downstairs Cabaret (540 East Main St.) will be hosting comedy improv from Nuts and Bolts Improv Troupe (see their site at ImprovAmerica too) starting around 7:30 p.m. and a second show at 9:30 p.m. [source: Nuts and Bolts e-mail]

Talented guitarist and singer Kinloch Nelson, and Allen Hopkins will be at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The King and I starting at 8 p.m. Ah yes, the monstrosity of CinemaScope in all its glory ... [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting tight, technical metal three-piece BMLMySpace link, and The Roman Singleton Project starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Monty's Krown calendar] [21+]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. is excellent rockabilly/rock from The Sadies, The Forty-FivesMySpace link, and great rock-and-roll from The Grinders [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Puddle will be at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [all ages]

Tonight is the start of Godspell at Blackfriars Theatre (28 Lawn St.) at 8 p.m. The show runs until May 19. [source: Blackfriars Theatre website]

Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) will be hosting The Muses starting around 9 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Updated: Fun but twisted punk-rock band Eddie Nebula and the PlagueGarageBand link will be at Spy Bar and Grill (139 State St.) tonight starting around 10:30. [source: band e-mail]

Today from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the first of the Community Garage Sales at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) [source: City Hall press release]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing A Great Day in Harlem starting at 5 p.m. Fifty-seven varieties of jazz musicians were photographed in Harlem in 1958 ... this is the story. Also, The Spitball Story about a couple of jazz's greats. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Today is the last day to see the exhibit at The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) featuring fine art prints from Deborah Ronnen Fine Art including works by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Kiki Smith, Terry Winters and others. [source: Rochester Contemporary e-mail]

Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is hosting their weekly Open Mike Poetry tonight at 7 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Remember that this week is Spring Clean-up Week and the city will have extra staff to take away all kinds of garbage curbside. Alternatively, this is your chance to go get some cool free stuff. [source: City Hall press release]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Fountainhead this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. No big surprise, it's the movie adaptation of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) will be hosting drummer/vibrophonist with some interesting avant-garde music Kevin Norton's Bauhaus Quartet starting around 8 p.m. [source: Bop Shop calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Melt Banana, Hot CrossMySpace link, GaylordMySpace link, and one-man synth-pop band Nathan Brown will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

JayceLand Pick Updated: Tonight at 9:15 p.m. at The Little (240 East Ave.) is another in the Emerging Filmmakers Series. Tonight's films include Delivery by Patrick Smith, Alter Egos by Jon Karafin, Parallel Worlds by Dave Puls, Endless Winter by Aaron Weiss and Bryan VanCampen, American Dreams #3 by Moira Tierney, The Sleep Seeker by Jayne Morgan and Staci Swedeen, Kitsch is a Beautiful Lie by Penny Lane, and Eden by Nicholas Gurewitch. [source: Little Theatre e-mail]

Norm Davis' Wide Open Mike will be at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

Apparently there will be Argentine tango dancing at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight with Agustin Ramos from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

Today from 12:12 p.m. to 12:52 p.m. is another of the Books Sandwiched-In in Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) Today, retired Xerox (100 S. Clinton Ave.) engineer, Horace Becker will discuss David Owen's book, Copies in Seconds : How a Lone Inventor and an Unknown Company Created the Biggest Communication Breakthrough Since Gutenberg — Chester Carlson and the Birth of the Xerox Machine [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

Top Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is The Shipping News, 1980's perfect-rock styled band Tiger Cried BeefMySpace link, and great, raw punk-rock band The Grievants 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] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 7 p.m. at The Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.) might be Bushwick Farms Presents... ... it's unclear whether this is actually happening. [source: Visual Studies Workshop 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] [all ages]

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April 21, 2005
What's your -ism?
capitalism 0

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organism 1 (12%)

anachronism 1 (12%)

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alcoholism 2 (25%)

ventriloquism 0

eroticism 1 (12%)

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On this day ... April 21

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

About the title ... The Blarney — South is at 328 South St., Philadelphia, PA. Their menu says their cheese-steak sandwich is "Voted #1" — by whom or when is unknown. More info is at the 2002 trip to Philadelphia page.

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.) 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. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, April 21, 2005 (Thu, Apr 21, 2005, 4/21/2005, or 4/21/05) Friday, April 22, 2005 (Fri, Apr 22, 2005, 4/22/2005, or 4/22/05) Saturday, April 23, 2005 (Sat, Apr 23, 2005, 4/23/2005, or 4/23/05) Sunday, April 24, 2005 (Sun, Apr 24, 2005, 4/24/2005, or 4/24/05) Monday, April 25, 2005 (Mon, Apr 25, 2005, 4/25/2005, or 4/25/05) Tuesday, April 26, 2005 (Tue, Apr 26, 2005, 4/26/2005, or 4/26/05) and Wednesday, April 27, 2005 (Wed, Apr 27, 2005, 4/27/2005, or 4/27/05).

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

Top Pick indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.

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.

MySpace link links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with 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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