Weekly Rochester Events #505 Starting Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Idiocracy at the Dryden
by Jason Olshefsky at 7:00 pm (add a comment)

I headed out to the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to catch Idiocracy — the seldom-seen Mike Judge film, which was released … er … buried just a few years ago. It's about an absolutely average guy in the army, Joe Bauers, who takes part in a human hibernation experiment, only to accidentally be left for 500 years. When he awakes, he finds himself in a bizarre world where stupefyingly stupid people are running the place, and impossibly-stupider ones populate it. Automated systems somehow keep things marginally running [something like "Matrix Vista", I guess] — albeit in a totalitarian dystopia to which the population is absolutely complacent with. Joe is arrested and given an intelligence test which places him as the smartest person in the world — by a huge margin.

But the real brilliance of the satire is that it's a believable amplification of what we have today. The Brawndo corporation bought the FDA and FCC, allowing them to pump their energy-drink beverage through the plumbing for drinking — leaving people to refer to plain water as "toilet water". And, like in today's spirit of anti-intellectualism, people of the future referred to rational speech as sounding "pompous and faggy". It's relentless in its celebration of stupidity.

The film proposes that it was because stupid people have lots of kids but smart people don't that the world was getting dumber, but genetics don't work like that: stupid people breed smart kids just as often as smart people breed dumb kids. Remove that presumption, and the film becomes much more melancholic. For it's not that nature is failing us, it's that we arrogantly and tenaciously believe that because we think intelligence is a good thing that it should necessarily be — in Darwinian parlance — "selected for": that the "good" traits in a species should necessarily become more dominant in the population. Yet that has causality backwards and isn't even a valid comparison. Dominant traits in a population are simply most common, and "good" traits are at the whim of the era. Having ten toes is completely unrelated to being an oil baron in the 20th century or a king in the 16th century.

In Jim Healy's introduction, he believed the screening we were about to watch was the first 35mm screening in New York State — and possibly the entire American northeast. According to IMDb, it opened on 6 screens then peaking the next day at 130 screens — by no means large numbers, but it's unlikely this was the first screening. Anyway, Jim sided with the most rational and least controversial theory for the lackluster marketing for an otherwise hilarious and simultaneously biting film: that Twentieth Century-Fox simply could not figure out how to market it. While I don't doubt that's true, I don't think it's the full story since the Fox corporation has been aggressively courting anti-intellectualism as a philosophical mainstay. So I find it hard to believe it was as simple as a film without a market, but that Fox was the wrong group to try. After all, they opened drivel like Glitter on 1,201 screens and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties on 2,946 screens yet intellectual fare like Fast Food Nation began on only 321 screens and Waking Life was seen on only 4.

If only they had smarter people working for them …

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JayceLand Pick This evening at 6 p.m., photographer Thomas N. Tischer will present his Wish You Were Here lecture titled Trains: What We Have and What We Have Lost at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.). [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Bertrand Russell Society meets tonight at 7 p.m. in Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) to discuss Russell's book, Has Man a Future? with Alden Thomas Poehner. [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is The Alex Skolnick Trio starting around 8 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [16+]

Over at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. is Peter PiekMySpace link. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Iyulskiy dozhd (July Rain) starting at 8 p.m. in which a woman breaks up with her fiancé and ponders the late-1960's world she and her generation are living in. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. is Indian JewelryMySpace link, a Crush the JuntaMySpace link/Tumul collaboration called Krush the Tumul!, The Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome BellsMySpace link, and the noise-based loops and haunting voices of City Harvest BlackMySpace link. [source: A|V Space website]

This AM StaticGarageBand linkMySpace link will be at the very new venue The Lovin' CupMySpace link (Jefferson Rd. and John St. at 300 Park Point Dr., Suite 110) starting around 9 p.m. [source: WITR calendar]

Pure Kona Open Mic Poetry will be at The Mez (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) tonight starting around 7:30 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Image City Photography Gallery (722 University Ave.) is the opening reception for SEEscapes by Philip Lange. The exhibition runs through October 5. [source: Image City Photography Gallery e-mail]

Marilyn Anderson's Hecho A Mano: Artists and Artisans of Guatemala opens tonight at 5 p.m. at The Storefront Anti-War Crisis Center (658 Monroe Ave.) [source: City Newspaper]

JayceLand Pick Village Idiots Present (VIP) will be hosting another Gorilla Theatre show at 7:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow at [LOCATION REDACTED]. [source: Village Idiots Present website]

JayceLand Pick Acoustic MayhemMySpace link will be at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

The Gin Game opens tonight at 8 p.m. at Blackfriars Theatre (28 Lawn St.). [source: Blackfriars Theatre website]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind starting at 8 p.m. Filmmaker John Gianvito will be on hand to introduce and discuss his film about the people of progress in the history of America — those who fought for their beliefs and whose stories have been muted by time. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Top Pick Better-than-excellent rock/surf-rock/rockabilly from The Sadies, and a perfection of clean, crisp rock-and-roll Tiger Cried BeefMySpace link will be at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar MySpace page]

JayceLand Pick Today at 12 p.m. starting at Mt. Hope Cemetery (791 Mt. Hope Ave., the North Gate) is a tour titled Speaking Stones on some of the cemetery's symbology. [source: Friends of Mt. Hope flyer]

Today from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Century Pittsford Wines (3349 Monroe Ave.) is a Wine Tasting for wines from Swedish Hill (4565 Rt. 414, North Rose). [source: Craigslist Rochester events]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Promotion starting early this afternoon at 5 p.m. then again on Sunday at 5 p.m. and at 7 p.m. It's apparently a humorous film about two men competing for a management position at a supermarket chain's new store. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

This evening from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Orchard Grove Outdoor Shelter at Ellison Park (Blossom Rd. at Landing Rd.) is a Jam for Justice to raise money for the 2008 Obama Presidential Campaign. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

JayceLand Pick The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.) will be hosting Dr. Jean-Claude Brizard on Preparing Youth for Local Action with Global Impact, starting at 6:30 p.m. [source: Baobab website]

JayceLand Pick The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) will be hosting Jimmie Highsmith, Jr., Joseph Wooten — The Hands of SoulMySpace link, great funk band The Filthy FunkMySpace link, and Tyler "The Real T.O." Owens starting around 7 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [16+]

Auld Lang SyneMySpace link will be at The Mez (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Mez website] [all ages]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at The Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.), Dr. Richard Koszarski will present this year's James Card Memorial Lecture, Hollywood on the Hudson about early films made in New York. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Abeline Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is The Buzzo All-Star Band starting around 9 p.m. [source: Abeline website]

Tonight at Equal=GroundsMySpace link (750 South Ave., formerly Hunt's Hardware) is Jim Bowers starting around 9 p.m. [source: Equal=Grounds MySpace page] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is very good metal from SulacoMySpace link, and ConiferMySpace link starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar MySpace page]

Over at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is good bar-rock band The Skull MaracasGarageBand linkMySpace link. [source: Monty's Krown MySpace page] [21+]

Today from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. is a Community Garage Sale and Super Flea Sale at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) [source: City Hall press release]

Today starting around 12 p.m. is the annual street festival at ARTWalk (University Ave. at Atlantic Ave.). Join members of MEETinROCHESTERMySpace link or just stop by. [source: MEETinROCHESTER calendar]

Edith Lunt Small will be joined by Lynda Hotra and Joanne Neu to deliver a What's Up Lecture on her painting titled Midtown Plaza 1962-1987 at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) today at 2 p.m. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

Today at 3 p.m. at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is another Upstairs/Downstairs Tour for members. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting 1960's-flavored power-pop band The DonkeysMySpace link, and Tell the Cold WallGarageBand linkMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar MySpace page]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Rear Window starting this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) will be hosting The Gaslight AnthemMySpace link, American SteelMySpace link, and The Polar Bear ClubMySpace link starting around 6:30 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [16+]

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]

Mexican Independence 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.

JayceLand Pick Today from 12:12 p.m. to 12:52 p.m. is a Books Sandwiched-In lecture with Kent Gardner reviewing Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decision. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Avenging Conscience starting at 8 p.m. This early horror/suspense film will be preceded by The Musketeers of Pig Alley. Both will have piano accompaniment by Philip C. Carli. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is Killed With CashMySpace link, and loud, brash punk/post-ska/punk-ska band Radioactive SnowshuMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: WITR calendar]

Fly the flag today.Citizenship (Constitution) Day

JayceLand Pick Over at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) starting around 8 p.m. is Eastman Chamber Jazz. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

HaydenMySpace link will be at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [16+]

The Monroe Village Farmers' Market runs from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the parking lot of The Church of the Blessed Sacrament (534 Oxford St.) [source: Eat Out Rochester]

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

Every Wednesday starting at Dogtown Hots (691 Monroe Ave.) at 7 p.m. is the Rochester Cruisers Wednesday Night Cruise (for bicyclists). [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 8 p.m. at Abeline Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is an Open Mic with The Grand Canyon Rescue EpisodeMySpace link. [source: Abeline website]

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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, September 11, 2008 (Thu, Sep 11, 2008, 9/11/2008, or 9/11/08) Friday, September 12, 2008 (Fri, Sep 12, 2008, 9/12/2008, or 9/12/08) Saturday, September 13, 2008 (Sat, Sep 13, 2008, 9/13/2008, or 9/13/08) Sunday, September 14, 2008 (Sun, Sep 14, 2008, 9/14/2008, or 9/14/08) Monday, September 15, 2008 (Mon, Sep 15, 2008, 9/15/2008, or 9/15/08) Tuesday, September 16, 2008 (Tue, Sep 16, 2008, 9/16/2008, or 9/16/08) and Wednesday, September 17, 2008 (Wed, Sep 17, 2008, 9/17/2008, or 9/17/08).

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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