A Very Selective Defense of “Man of Steel”

Did you see Man of Steel? I did. I liked it well enough for a summer blockbuster, but as usual, the Batman movie was way better. All of them. This is as it should be. Below is not a full review of the movie, but a discussion of a very specific issue that occurs in it. It’s super big spoiler, so if you haven’t seen the movie, you should stop reading. Instead, since you are a good person and have already seen The Dark Knight Rises, you should go check out the podcast I did with Mr. Swungover, Bobby White about that far superior movie.

Spoilers below the video

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Lindy Focusing

Analogies seem to be in fashion these days, and Lindy Focus is a good one for the way our scene has been developing for the past few years.  What started out as a very small regional event, has now blossomed into one of the biggest in the country.  I’ve been to the last three Lindy Focuses (Focii?).  The first was Lindy Focus 7 just when the event was expanding by hiring bigger name instructors and bands.  Now there aren’t just more attendees, but they’re more diverse in terms of experience level.

I wrote a bit about this situation last year, and have been wondering how the community will deal with this dynamic in general and how an event like Lindy Focus can deal with it specifically. Read the rest of this entry »

A Year’s Worth of Wandering & Pondering in One Post

When I started my blog I read all kinds of nifty tips to make it awesome and get lots of people to read it.  Oddly enough, all of them fail to advise you to post something actually interesting.

This may sound a bit conceited, but I think most of the stuff I post here is pretty interesting to read.  Maybe not all of it.  Just 98%, give or take a couple percentage points.  I should know—I read it all the time, and I never get tired of me.

One fun tip talked about summarizing your blog’s content every once in awhile, so for all of you new readers here who keep searching for Skye’s non existent website or information on a certain convicted lindy hopper’s sentence*, here’s a handy dandy guide to all the other stuff you’re missing.  Or if you’ve already read them, here’s your opportunity to go back and relive the pain and/or the glory. Read the rest of this entry »

Echoes of a Revolution

In 1965, long before coming to Capitol Hill, future Congressman John Lewis led 600 people on a march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama to question Governor George C. Wallace’s role in subverting black voting rights in his state.  Wallace is the same man who less than a year before famously declared “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

Having already been beaten several times from participating in the Freedom Rides and numerous other marches throughout the South, Lewis crossed Edmund Pettus Bridge into a wall of state troopers.  So bent on conflict, those officers had already donned their gas masks and had their billy clubs at the ready.  They had every intention of kicking Lewis’s ass.  Not only did he and the marchers keep going forward to meet them, but they did so with no intention of fighting back.

Congressman Lewis still bears scars from that day now remembered as Bloody Sunday.

The role of the song in that video in that powerful moment is one of many stories retold in the documentary Soundtrack of a Revolution whose main focus is the role of music during the Civil Rights movement.  Seems like music would be a minor thing within that epic struggle against institutionalized prejudice and hate, but this film illustrates how it was an important thread that bound people together in a time when they couldn’t afford stand alone. Read the rest of this entry »

DCLX 2010 Awesome Juice. Get Some on You.

The thing I love about DCLX (DC Lindy Exchange) is that it’s the kind of event that attracts dancers that appreciate quality live music.  So much so that musicians that leave it all on the stage get treated like rock gods.

Writing about live music is very hard thing because in the end you have hear it to feel it.  I can talk about the Boilermakers burning up their version of “Avalon” or Jonathan Stout & His Campus Five featuring Hilary Alexander (say that three times real fast) cranking the crowd up to a near riot with “Dark Eyes” or the Blue Vipers of Brooklyn breaking everyone’s heart with “Bringing it on Home to Me,” but that’s why events like DCLX exist; to give people a way to connect to something that they can’t otherwise experience.

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DCLX 2010 Review

DCLX 2010 was AWE-SOME! Read the rest of this entry »

Boston Tea Party Swings 2010

The modern Lindy Hop community used to spend a lot of time at West Coast Swing crossover events.  The American Swing Dance Championships , The Virginia State Open, North Atlantic Dance Championships, Swingin’ New England, Swing Fling, Summer Hummer, Boogie By The Bay, and of course, The US Open.  ASDC ended in 1998.  NADC in 2004.  Lindy participation in other events has been steadily on the decline to the point where some those events are eliminating Lindy from their schedule altogether; Swingtime In The Rockies being the most recent example.

The lone exception has been The Boston Tea Party whose crossover aspect really took off after NADC folded.  I used to love going to crossover events when I first started, but this weekend was my first Tea Party.

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Lone Star Championships 2010

Looks like all the news was coming out of Austin this weekend with the third Annual Lone Star Championships.   Run by Tena Morales and Scott Angelius, this event is meant to be a more relaxed competition weekend with an emphasis on social dance contests such as Jack & Jill’s and Strictly comps.

I didn’t go, but that won’t stop me from saying a few words and gratuitously mention that <plug> I work for Tena on the International Lindy Hop Championships happening this year August 19th-22nd, 2010.  Registration opening soon!</end plug>

Smaller scale competition events like Lone Star Championships are useful places for newer competitors to get a taste of what it’s like to be in the spotlight.  There’s also the added benefit of doing it with the support of all your friends cheering you on.

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Lindy Focused

Well, so much for live updates from Lindy Focus VIII.  It was not from lack of anything to talk about.  Plenty happened; I just decided to take advantage of the first event I’ve been to in over four years where I didn’t have to work in any capacity.  I almost forgot what it’s like just to go to an event just to dance.  It took some time to get used to which is why it was nice to be there for all five nights.

I didn’t partake in the whole event though as I only went to the evening dances, and skipped the classes.  It was nice to sleep in and catch up with people during the day and spend the night dancing until the early mornings.  I think I closed out all of the dances except the last one which lasted past 8 am.  I left around 7 am only because I needed to pack and shower for the long ride home.

This was only my second Lindy Focus, but the event was noticeably larger than last year, which I was told was bigger than years’ past.  The event originally started as a regional event featuring local instructors.  As time passed and the other national level New Year’s events like Danver’s New Year’s Eve Extravaganza and the Rhythmic Arts Festival fell by the wayside or moved on, Lindy Focus stepped to the fore to offer a huge holiday event.

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WCS OCD: Jordan and Tatiana in 2009

I made a few offhanded observations in my US Open post about Tatiana Mollman and Jordan Frisbee’s winning performance in the Classic division this year to Coldplay’s “Viva LaVida.”   They took the unorthodox (for West Coast Swing at least) approach of performing a routine they’ve been doing for most of the year instead of performing a new one.

I thought I’d put those theories to the test by watching every YouTube example of this routine that I could find.  See what I do for you?

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