Weekly Rochester Events #404: Not Found

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Okay, so I've been kicking around some ideas in my head and for some reason these two things are compelled to be related, but I haven't yet figured out what that relationship is. There's some pattern that my brain is recognizing and claiming is present, but I'll be damned if I can chart a logical course between the two.


Several months ago, my friend Sondra and I were talking and she brought up the notion that the divisiveness in this country leads to a very specific goal of social stability regardless of the actions of the government and the country as a whole. Specifically, by ensuring that the populations of "Red States" and "Blue States" are enemies, debate on any topic can be neutralized by declaring it political. If, for instance, one were to claim that wiretapping without a court order defies the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, ... well, see, warrantless wiretapping is a tool that the President and his administration feel are necessary to stop terrorists, so by being against it, you're really against the President and therefore must be a terrorist sympathizer. There's no need to debate the actual points being brought up because each camp is automatically mortal enemies of one another.

It's an exercise in conspiracy theory to claim there are people who are in actual control — that is, that there is a group of individuals having secret meetings and wringing their hands in glee that the country is divided this way. However, what I've come to conclude is that there is a system in place that is being coerced such that divisiveness gives it strength. On the one hand, I'm not saying that the United States Government has attained a consciousness and has a will to live for which it will sacrifice its own values to ensure its growth; on the other hand, that isn't such a bad description after all.

Just this past Wednesday I was in a meeting of the Mount Hope Improvement Project Task Force. It's about engineering changes to the "Mount Hope corridor", particularly between Elmwood Avenue and Westfall Road. Anyway, we talked about accident rates and vehicles-per-day and options for redesign. However, there wasn't an inkling of thought that maybe this whole way we do things is totally fucked up. I mean, tens of thousands of individuals each get into their own steel contraption weighing a ton-and-a-half and burn a nonrenewable resource to commute — primarily — between their homes and their places of employment. And some of those jobs are such things as figuring out how to ensure that more people can do exactly the same thing. Others are "needed" on site to sit in a meeting and listen while someone else outlines a project which is essentially exactly what we do already but just a little different — and un-debatably a vast improvement over that exact task that was done before.

What I'm getting at is that we have a system which keeps people on edge a bit (but mostly comfortable) so they will think that this is the most perfect alternative possible and any deviation from that leads to a loss of wealth, safety, or comfort. So there's no possible way to debate the status quo because by definition, the status quo is the current state of affairs, and what else could there possibly be?


I had a discussion with my brother Adam a month ago where he noted that people who are the most irate and divisive about any particular topic are the ones who know the least about it. It's not the researchers in labs studying the development and behavior of stem cells who are out picketing and beating one another up, it's the ones who believe it's assembly-line abortions forced upon women to harvest the stem cells in their unborn babies. Curiously, the thing nobody knows anything about really — how everything works and if there is a god and if so, Whom? — is the exact thing that is a great reason to kill one another.

Digging further into that, I find that people aren't really aware when they make a decision based on their own reason or when they make a decision based on the opinion of someone else. [And the unrelated postscript is that I wrote the conclusion of the sentence a different way but I just finished reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation and couldn't remember if it was supposed to be "someone else's opinion" or "someone elses opinion" so I circumvented the problem entirely.] I know I've been in the middle of an argument (thankfully drifting to "the start of an argument") and thought to myself, "why am I even arguing this? — it's not even my opinion." I'll be arguing that Little Miss Sunshine is not a very good movie, but I'll be basing my entire opinion on the Filthy Critic's review of it. See, I've found that his reviews have matched my opinion far more than 90% of the time on movies that I've seen that he's reviewed, so I feel pretty confident I won't like "Sunshine" — however, I really have no basis for any strong opinion on the topic at all.

There's a more pervasive current of like-minded thinking that is almost, well, systemic. Like a decade ago when I was looking for a cordless telephone and wanted (among other things) a hands-free headset jack. I was laughed out of the store — "only one of our phones has that, why would anyone want it?" I settled for a crappy phone and had to replace it a few years later. Upon returning to the same store, the sales clerk pointed out that, "every phone we sell has a headset jack." What happened between? Either (a) my idea was stupid but suddenly became brilliant in two years, or (b) a headset jack was a fine idea all along but popular opinion changed. I'll assume it's (b) and leave the discussion of (a) to a yet-to-be-seen public critic. I find it fascinating ("fascinating" in that way that it's "fascinating" that every person you know will be dead someday) that people will follow some largely unbeknownst-to-me common opinion.

But back to charting a course:

So it all seems quasi-related. It's only the society's us-versus-them mindset that permits the consensus opinion to be used by a sales clerk to claim superiority. It's only the need for to firmly land on one side or "the" other of a particular issue that compelled me to express a strong opinion of a movie I'd never seen. It's rooted in common opinion that the way we drive long distances by ourselves to work is considered "normal" rather than "really fucking absurd". Because of differences of common opinion, we have "Red State" and "Blue State" ideologies that vie to be the one, true common opinion.

So it's not one another we should be "against," it's the system that pits us against one another, but we're really thoroughly conditioned to agree that it's important that we're divided into opposing pairs — Democrat and Republican, Terrorist and Patriot, hope and fear. And even though the opposites really aren't opposed in anything close to a perfectly contrary way, there's such consensus that they should be opposite that the only logical option is to be mortal enemies. So my little dichotomy never quite connects. Maybe this is like those physicists looking for a unified theory to bring together matter and all forms of energy into one neat equation but finding that although there's terrific parallels, it just doesn't quite work.

[And I'm laying claim to "terrific parallels" as a textually awesome example of itself: when searching Google on October 5, 2006, referring to number of sites with a particular phrase that there's only "about 21 for 'terrific parallels'" — soon to be 22.]

Anyway, there were a couple neat things I got to do. Last Wednesday, I headed to the otherwise terribly annoying Milestones (170 East Ave.) to see The Comedy Block PartyMySpace link which ended up to be quite a pleasant experience. The local crew was mostly quite funny and the headliner imported from New York, Joshua GrosventMySpace link was terrific.

On Friday I headed to see the big photomosaic posted by Big Picture Rochester (formerly ROMA, the Rochester Outdoor Museum of Art) at The State University of New York (SUNY) Brockport MetroCenter (55 St. Paul St., formerly the Rochester Chamber of Commerce) The image was very cool and the fact that it's composed of thousands of 4-inch by 6-inch images is really quite impressive. The recognition and awards ceremony was ceremonial and the reception following at VENU Resto-Lounge and Nightclub (151 St. Paul St.) was pretty good. After that I headed to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Lost in America. It was so solidly funny that I thanked Jim Healy afterward — and he encouraged me to seek out other films by Albert Brooks' other works. The film was about a very yuppie couple who cash-out their career-minded lives for the rogue lifestyle depicted in Easy Rider, only — you know — easy. As you might expect, things go awry and they're forced into a desperate position where all the formerly valuable items enumerated on their resumes amount to nothing at all.

Saturday I headed back to the Dryden Theater Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation which is a shot-for-shot recreation of Raiders of the Lost Ark done by three 12-year-old friends. Even if I went in with pretty high expectations, I would still have been amazed. These kids not only did things shot-for-shot, the nuanced bits of acting were meticulously recreated. Heck, they even pulled off all the special effects shots (except for the fight near- and subsequent explosion of the cargo plane) with startling ingenuity. Filmmakers Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala, and Jayson Lamb were on hand to talk about their experience. They had many fascinating stories to tell, but perhaps the most remarkable was that — after 20 years of thinking such teenage dreams were unrealistic — they actually got invited and went to Amblin Entertainment (100 Universal City Plz., Universal City, CA) and uttered the impossible phrase, "we're here to see Mr. Spielberg." Yes, after all that time a copy made it to Steven Spielberg himself and they were invited to meet him — and as they said, he paid the ultimate compliment by saying (essentially), "I put in the tape and watched your film. Then I rewound it and watched it again." Even Spielberg himself was amazed at their tenacity, innovation, and creativity.

It's funny how sometimes the opinion of one person who actually formed their own opinion really really matters.

  • 49 Up (at The Little) - The seventh installment in a film series wherein 7-year-olds were interviewed 42 years ago (the first film) and subsequently each 7 years — they are now 49.
  • The U.S. vs John Lennon (at The Little) - Listen hippies, hating war is un-American.

This afternoon at 5:30 p.m. (with a reception preceding) is a lecture by Morris Pierce titled History as an Agent of Environmental Change in the Gamble Room (#361) of the The Rush Rhees Library at The University of Rochester (Elmwood Ave. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map.) [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar]

This afternoon at 5:30 p.m. at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is a lecture in the Auditorium by Carol Yost about Sunday Morning, a 1907 work by American artist Jerome Myers. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

In Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) tonight at 7:30 p.m. is a Celebrating Writers for "Rochester's original street poet" Bobby Johnson. [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

Tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. is the first in the Hibernatus Interruptus Festival of New Plays at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) featuring Amazons and Their Men by Jordan Harrison. [source: Geva Theatre website]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) is The Tone CollectorMySpace link featuring Tony Malaby, Eivind OpsvikMySpace link, and Jeff Davis starting around 8 p.m. [source: Bop Shop calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) starting around 8 p.m. is the first concert of the season by Ossia New Music. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) is Tomorrow the GallowsMySpace link, LemuriaMySpace link, Rock Biter, and What are Friends ForMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: A|V Space website]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Stranglers of Bombay starting at 8 p.m. According to the Eastman calendar, it's a "gruesome chiller about a fanatical thuggee cult responsible for a series of disappearances in Bombay during the Victorian era. When a British officer investigates, he clashes with his superiors and places his own life in great danger." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Devon Allman's HoneytribeMySpace link will be at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) starting around 8:30 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [all ages]

Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. is super loud guitar-and-drums band JuciferMySpace link, J. G. BlizaroMySpace link, and decent, fun-to-watch metal band BlüdwülfMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

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

Drinking Liberally meets at 8 p.m. tonight at Monty's Korner (355 East Ave.) [source: RocWiki calendar]

Today and tomorrow at The Main Street Armory (900 E. Main St.) is the Armory Ghost Hunt. Contact armoryghosthunts@yahoo.com for more information. [source: Craigslist Rochester events]

From 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. today in Dewey Hall, Room 2110D at The University of Rochester (Elmwood Ave. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map) is a lecture by Laurence R. Horn titled From kodaking to googling; Trade names and "genericide" in language and law. [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar]

This coming week is the The ImageOut Film Festival running through October 15. [source: Arts and Cultural Council e-mail]

Another play in the Hibernatus Interruptus Festival of New Plays at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) is The House in Hydesville by Dan O'Brien showing tonight at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. [source: Geva Theatre website]

James Worden will be at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

Today at 8 p.m. at Blackfriars Theatre (28 Lawn St.) is the opening performance of A Party to Murder by Marcia Kash and Douglas E. Hughes. The play runs through October 28 with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Note that October 8 is the "Pay What You Can" performance. [source: Blackfriars Theatre website]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Who Needs Sleep? starting at 8 p.m. After an assistant camera-operator tragically dies falling asleep at the wheel of his car after a typically long workday, Haskell Wexler created this film-essay on our quality of life. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Over at Java's (16 Gibbs St.) starting around 9 p.m. is NeoCollageMySpace link. [source: Java's calendar] [all ages]

The Minus Four, and Porthos will be at Spy Bar (139 State St.) starting around 10 p.m. [source: WBER calendar] [21+]

Today at 11 a.m. through tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Wallace Library at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map) is the 24 Hour Comics Day featuring comic book artists creating a 24-page comic book in 24 hours. [source: RIT Events Calendar site]

Today at 11 a.m. at the Palestra at the Goergen Athletic Center at The University of Rochester (Elmwood Ave. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map) is a discussion titled The Future of Freedom by Fareed Zakaria. [source: University of Rochester website]

Today from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Gordon Field House at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map) is Erin Brockovich. [source: RIT Events Calendar site]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Sévigné starting at 7:30 p.m. in which an actress agrees to play a role in a new play by a neurotic playwright and how their eventual romance affects everyone around them. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick In what looks like it'll be a terrific show, Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) will be hosting Julz-AMySpace link, The BicycatsMySpace link, and James VidosMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

Spy Bar (139 State St.) will be hosting great, mellow rock-and-roll from HinkleyMySpace link, and SchoonerMySpace link starting around 10 p.m. [source: Carbon Records calendar] [21+]

Tonight at Milestones (170 East Ave.) is twistedly engaging experimental jazz from JerseybandGarageBand linkMySpace link starting around 10 p.m. [source: WBER calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Crush Kill DestroyMySpace link, and technical and elaborate rock with a good, full, powerful sound from Knife CrazyGarageBand linkMySpace link starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [21+]

Over at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is Recidivist, and Salt This EarthMySpace link. [source: Freetime] [21+]

Tonight's another Betty's Sing-a-Long at Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave., a.k.a. "Bullwinkle's") starting around 10.

Today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lehmann Stringed Instruments (34 Elton St.) is an open house followed by a concert at 1 p.m. with many excellent artists. [source: band e-mail]

JayceLand Pick Today at 11:30 a.m. at The Little (240 East Ave.) is the world premiere showing of Summer Longings by local director/writer Gerry Szymanski.

Today at noon at Bruegger's Bagel Bakery (548 Monroe Ave., at Goodman) is a Rochester Against War (RAW) meeting titled Three Years of War — What For? [source: Rochester Against War website]

Ths afternoon from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Gleason Auditorium in The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) is a performance by The NEO Chamber Orchestra. [source: City Hall press release] [all ages]

Paella will be at The Flat Iron Café (561 State St.) starting around 5 p.m. [source: Flat Iron Cafe webstie]

This evening probably around 7 p.m. at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) is an Art Opening featuring works by Phillip Lightwers-Goff. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is Richard Buckner, well-balanced acoustic-rock from Owen Brimijoin, and good experimental acoustic rocker Gregory PaulGarageBand linkMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Tonight and every Sunday at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) is a Comedy Open Mic with Matt RohrMySpace link at 7:30 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine] [all ages]

Fly the flag today.Columbus Day (observed)

Bored? Why not check out 1980's DJ night at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 11 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

This morning at 7:30 a.m. in the cafeteria overlooking the arboretum in Bausch and Lomb (140 Stone St.) is the Artists Breakfast Group meeting ... anyone interested in art or creativity is invited.

Today from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. at The Downtown United Presbyterian Church (121 N. Fitzhugh St N.) is a concert by Sassanak LassiesMySpace link. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar] [21+]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Therese und Isabell (Therese and Isabelle) starting at 7:30 p.m. According to the Eastman description, "this film offers a provocative rendering of the friendship and sexual awakening of two young women in the charged environment of a Swiss boarding school. Told through a series of flashbacks, the haunting story transcends titillation." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight is the opening performance of Tuesdays with Morrie by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) starting at 8 p.m. [source: Geva Theatre website]

The Sodapop KidsMySpace link, The Fishnet StalkersMySpace link, great punk-rock/hard-rock/rockabilly from The UV RaysGarageBand linkMySpace link, and The Hounds of HellMySpace link will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Tonight at 7 p.m. at The Flat Iron Café (561 State St.) is the Hot as Fire Spoken Word / Open Mic hosted by Moosie. [source: Flat Iron Cafe webstie]

Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is hosting an Acoustic Open Mic featuring JoAnn VaccaroMySpace link from 8 to 10. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 6:30 p.m. at The Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester (277 N. Goodman St.) is an Artist Networking Event titled Effective Networking (for those who hate small talk) with Erin DiVincenzo and Glenn Clark of Clark CSM Marketing Communications (1 Lockwood Dr., Pittsford). [source: Arts and Cultural Council e-mail]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing a program titled The Lives of Performers 2: Sexual Liberation starting at 8 p.m. The program features experimental films of the 1960s that "explore the painterly origins of performance art by contrasting performers from the Viennese Actionist movement with female-centered erotic meditations." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

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

There's an Open Mic for Acoustic Music at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) tonight around 8. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Tonight at Milestones (170 East Ave.) is another The Comedy Block PartyMySpace link starting almost promptly at 8 p.m.

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About the title ... According to the Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) version 1.1, the status code 404 is for requested items that can't be found.

This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including 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. Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events. 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.) It's also not to be confused with Jake's World or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator. While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, October 5, 2006 (Thu, Oct 5, 2006, 10/5/2006, or 10/5/06) Friday, October 6, 2006 (Fri, Oct 6, 2006, 10/6/2006, or 10/6/06) Saturday, October 7, 2006 (Sat, Oct 7, 2006, 10/7/2006, or 10/7/06) Sunday, October 8, 2006 (Sun, Oct 8, 2006, 10/8/2006, or 10/8/06) Monday, October 9, 2006 (Mon, Oct 9, 2006, 10/9/2006, or 10/9/06) Tuesday, October 10, 2006 (Tue, Oct 10, 2006, 10/10/2006, or 10/10/06) and Wednesday, October 11, 2006 (Wed, Oct 11, 2006, 10/11/2006, or 10/11/06).

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.

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.

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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