Weekly Rochester Events #433: Schooled at Rugby

Thursday, April 26, 2007

So Ali and I had a nice time on our anniversary last Wednesday — mostly just lounging around with some wine and snacks. We did get out to The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Letyat zhuravli (The Cranes are Flying).

It was probably the best movie I'd ever seen. It's known on one level for the technical accomplishments of its spectacular cinematography — it's seamless and perfect beyond what you even see today. But it was the story that really took my breath away. It was like being slapped over and over: "this ... is ... what ... it ... means ... to ... be ... human." Boris and Veronika are about to be married and when Boris volunteers to go to fight in World War II. Veronika stays home then moves in with his family. After a short time, she marries her fiancées cousin in an emotional torrent, and then, well, everything goes to hell. It's just brutally emotional.

Anyway, on Thursday Ali brought over her cats to stay for a few days while she went out of town. We went to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) that night and checked out The BuddhaHoodMySpace link who put on a solidly good show. I think I liked their more organic percussion work from when I had seen them years ago compared to the somewhat tamer groove-rock they do today. Maybe it's just me — after all, it's still a fun, dynamic show.

On Friday Ali went out of town and I went to The Interfaith Chapel at the University of Rochester (Wilson Blvd.) to see Juan Cole speak in his discussion titled Islamic Politics and the American Impact in the Middle East. There weren't many people there — perhaps because it was, after all, Friday night and I suspect a lot of people weren't looking for anything that made them think.

For this speech, his thesis was that America's actions since 9/11 have served to spread Islamo-fascism around the world. He made a solid case to support this. First, American action in Afghanistan served to severely weaken al-Queda as it stood — members were angry at Osama bin Laden for bringing the full force of the American Armed Forces upon them. Prior to the invasion of Iraq, there were virtually no al-Queda members in Iraq, and (even today) most Middle Eastern, Muslim countries continue to be allied with the United States.

After the invasion, the established Sunni leadership was ousted. They refused to recognize the new constitution because they felt they were the rightful leaders of the country already. One of the things that Cole noted was how often a Islamic fundamentalist regime is voted into power in that region. During the question-and-answer he clarified that this doesn't always happen, but when it does, it's often because the populace was accustomed to a totalitarian regime that had been in place for at least a generation, so they equate "leadership" with "authoritarianism" and vote accordingly.

The Sunnis are regrouping and as they do, some have turned to violence. They have begun to use the al-Queda moniker as have other guerilla groups in Iraq because it allows them to kill with impunity — authorities search for al-Queda instead. It also feeds the American support of the war as it is "proof" of the presence of al-Queda — albeit a flawed ex post facto reason for going to war.

Having proved his thesis, he was asked to give a suggestion on how to get out of Iraq. Basically there are two options. The current policy will work, but at the cost of the genocide of all Sunnis [it was actually another questioner from the audience that brought up "genocide"] and an indeterminate amount of time to complete that task. Alternatively — and his preference — is to bring all Iraq tribes to a neutral table and hash out a plan that is amenable to each of them.

The whole discussion got me thinking about why I consider Cole an authority. I had never heard of him before and had just barely read anything on his website before I went to see him speak. However, his use of plausible and detailed assumptions followed by logic and supporting evidence is what sways me.

My "problem with authority" — as some have called it — comes into play here. First, I believe that authority cannot be attributed to a person, it can only be voluntarily granted by individuals: nobody possesses authority, I grant it to them. Second, for me to grant authority, one must earn that right. That's done by demonstrating that my granting authority is beneficial and deserved based on the ability to reason logically and completely, and to permit and answer any rational question, to provide rationale and proof of premises.

A few weeks ago I discussed cults. This kind of behavior tends to foil them; it's basically just applying some of the aphorisms I mentioned. At no time did Cole defer to his own expertise — "let the experts decide what's best" — which would have broken my rule that you shouldn't let someone else think for you. He also didn't declare that any questions were inappropriate, or that it was unpatriotic to ask, or dodge an answer — which would have broken another rule. Finally, Cole observed, analyzed, and drew conclusions — after which he invited criticism and questions rather than gambling someone else's life on those conclusions.

It kind of makes me wonder if there's a difference between a cult and a jingoistic country ... maybe another time.

Anyway, that night I had decided to walk so I continued on to Solera Wine BarMySpace link (647 South Ave) and chatted with the folks there for a bit before heading to The Black Pearl Cafe (791 Meigs St., formerly Dicky's) to finish off the night. The 45-minute late-night walk home from the South Wedge is kind of annoying. Worse, though, is that Ali's cat Whiskers is insistent about getting his food in the morning. I had pulled the covers over my head to ward him off at 5 a.m. but he got smart and climbed onto my head and just lay there until I got up. I got the last word, though, since my house has doors to ensure he's in one room and me in another, making his attempt much less effective than at Ali's studio apartment.

Saturday night I went to the Dryden again to see How to Survive the 1940s which is a collection of short instructional films curated by the British Film Institute. I found them to be acceptable but not overly funny as was implied by the introduction. It was interesting, however, that unlike American instructional films, the British mindset was to make them more sarcastic, apparently assuming the audiences were sophisticated enough to understand.

I was biking that night and headed toward East and Alexander. I considered getting some food at The Old Toad (277 Alexander St.) but I wasn't up for being there alone. Instead I had a bag of chips and a beer at Monty's Korner (355 East Ave.) before heading to The Dub Land UndergroundMySpace link (315 Alexander St., formerly Whiskey) for the show. The Lobster QuadrilleMySpace link opened up — remember they're the satirical gospel band I keep talking about. About half the set was new songs they have been working on and it all sounded great. I was amused to notice that the venue uses LED lights for the stage, and since Solomon's guitar was red, it would appear red when the red LED's were on but black otherwise — basically blinking on-and-off all night. Finishing up was TaduyaMySpace link who I've been meaning to see. I liked them — very good punk-rock.

Ali returned on Sunday and on Monday we got together to get dinner at The Coal Tower Restaurant (9 Schoen Pl., Pittsford) Our plan was to get dinner then go for a walk, but the torrential rain cancelled half our plans ... see if you can guess which half! ** spoilers ahead ** So the food was excellent. Everything was hot, well-prepared, and with high-quality ingredients. Prices were remarkably cheap, possibly owing to the fact they don't take credit cards.

In case you've been wondering, Ali got me tickets to see Monty Python's Spamalot for our anniversary. We went to The Auditorium Center (875 Main St E.) to see it. I was worried it would be too close to Monty Python and the Holy Grail upon which it's based, but as a high production-value musical, it's very different and quite hilarious. I held my breath at the catapulted bovine and at the Black Knight — both of which were translated impressively to the stage. In all, we both thought it was really quite fabulous.


This afternoon at 5:30 p.m. in the Gamble Room of The Rush Rhees Library in The University of Rochester (Library Rd. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map) is a lecture by Lynne Lancaster titled Technological Innovation in Imperial Rome: What Can Ancient Concrete Tell Us about Roman Society? [source: University of Rochester website]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 7 p.m. in the downstairs meeting room of Brighton Town Hall (2300 Elmwood Ave.) is a screening of 9/11 Press for Truth. Reading the IMDb user comments, it appears this a remarkably intelligent documentary. [source: Rochester Against War website]

In the Auditorium at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) tonight at 7 p.m. is a lecture by Georgina Wilsenach titled Natura Morta: Still Life Painting and the Medici Collections. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) will be hosting The Tarbox Ramblers starting around 8 p.m. [source: Bop Shop calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is Ryuko Mizutani, and Marco Lienhard starting around 8 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Over at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. is modern acoustic/groove/folk rocker Cole BlairMySpace link. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Bachelor Flat starting at 8 p.m. An attractive college professor leases his fiancée's apartment while she's away only to have her teenage daughter drop in to visit ... comedy ensues. Preceded by Porky's Romance and The Stupid Cupid. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) is Black Moth Super RainbowMySpace link, and good shoe-gazer-drone/mellow-rock from The Sleeping Kings of IonaMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: A|V Space website]

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is BishopGarageBand linkMySpace link, and good bar-rock/thrash band The Hounds of HellMySpace link starting around 9:30 p.m. [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]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at Bodhi's Cafe & Lounge (274 Goodman St. N., in Village Gate) is an Open Mic. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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

Arbor Day

JayceLand Pick This evening at 5 p.m. at The Image City Photography Gallery (722 University Ave.) is the opening reception for the duo-show Re: Generations by Doug McFarland and his son Kevin Dean McFarlandMySpace link. [source: Image City Photography Gallery e-mail]

Apparently The Critical Mass Bike Ride is tonight starting at 5:30 p.m. at the clock tower near The Wilson Commons at The University of Rochester (Library Road, #39 on River Campus Map.) to The Liberty Pole (1 Liberty Pole Way) at 6 p.m. and heading through the city from there. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Over at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) starting around 8 p.m. is Chaz, and beat-boxing acoustic-soloist Shawnee BoyeeeGarageBand linkMySpace link [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

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

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Addison's Wall starting at 8 p.m. about a young kid whose father's suicide caused him to descend into a fantasy world. The film will be introduced by filmmaker David Waingarten. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Growing, usually semi-melodic fast-paced noise from Pengo, and Crush the JuntaMySpace link will be at A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) starting around 9 p.m. [source: A|V Space website]

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

JayceLand Pick Very tight modern rock band VeluxeMySpace link, Vox HumanaGarageBand link, and Brian WheatMySpace link will be at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Freetime] [21+]

This evening from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at The Oxford Gallery (267 Oxford St.) is the opening reception for works by Toni Putnam, and Sharon Gordon. Their show runs through June 2. [source: Oxford Gallery website]

JayceLand Pick This evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. is the opening reception for The Pinhole Photography Invitational at The Community Darkroom at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) The exhibit will be on display through June 30. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

Tonight at The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.) is another Rent Party ($25 per person) starting at 7 p.m. [source: Baobab website]

According Two will be at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) is loud, fat heavy rock from Trees Are DownMySpace link, and J. G. BlizaroMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing La tigre e la neve (The Tiger and the Snow) starting at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday at 7 p.m. My interest for seeing this film stems directly from the Eastman House calendar: "As he did in Life is Beautiful, the Oscar-winning actor/writer/director Roberto Benigni delivers another bittersweet comic love story set against a backdrop of war and devastation." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Top Pick Uncle Scratch's Gospel RevivalMySpace link, excellent satirical gospel band The Lobster QuadrilleMySpace link, and GhostharmMySpace link will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [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.

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 7 p.m. is the opening for artwork by William B. Hand titled Monsters and Oracles. [source: City Newspaper]

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]

JayceLand Pick In theory, there is another Emerging Filmmakers Program tonight at The Little (240 East Ave.) at 9:15 p.m., but I haven't heard anything about it so your guess is as good as mine. As soon as I get the details I'll post the films.

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]

May Day

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 12:12 p.m. to 12:52 is another Books Sandwiched-In program in Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) Mary Halloran will be reviewing The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing High Noon starting at 8 p.m. — definitely not your kids' popcorn-Western. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) will be hosting MicrokingdomMySpace link, Oliver/Reeg, and Stone BabyMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: A|V Space website]

Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. is The Shitty Faggots. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is hosting an Acoustic Open Mic from 8 to 10. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

Updated: Tonight at The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) is Bill Horvitz starting around 8 p.m. [source: Bop Shop calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) is Peter and the WolfMySpace link, The Mixed Tape Massacre, and The Dieter Hennings Trio starting around 9 p.m. [source: A|V Space website]

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 Café Underground Railroad (480 W. Main St.) is a Spoken Word/Poetry night starting around 9 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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About the title ... The Rugby School opened in Birmingham, England opened 433 years ago in 1574 and was where the game of Rugby was created.

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. I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity. 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, April 26, 2007 (Thu, Apr 26, 2007, 4/26/2007, or 4/26/07) Friday, April 27, 2007 (Fri, Apr 27, 2007, 4/27/2007, or 4/27/07) Saturday, April 28, 2007 (Sat, Apr 28, 2007, 4/28/2007, or 4/28/07) Sunday, April 29, 2007 (Sun, Apr 29, 2007, 4/29/2007, or 4/29/07) Monday, April 30, 2007 (Mon, Apr 30, 2007, 4/30/2007, or 4/30/07) Tuesday, May 1, 2007 (Tue, May 1, 2007, 5/1/2007, or 5/1/07) and Wednesday, May 2, 2007 (Wed, May 2, 2007, 5/2/2007, or 5/2/07).

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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