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Eat Arkansas

Eat My Catfish surfaces in Little Rock

Eat My Catfish, which has locations in Benton and Conway, held its grand opening Tuesday in a jazzy new spot at 10301 N. Rodney Parham Road.

Pickled! Preservation Libations fundraiser is Friday

Drinks of the roaring ’20s will be bottoms up as Preserve Arkansas hosts its second annual Preservation Libations Master Mix-Off starting at 6 p.m. Friday, July 22, in the Albert Pike Masonic Temple. Set in the auditorium of the grand 1924 structure, guests will imbibe and vote on competing bartenders’ twists on historic cocktails, all of them delightfully quirky and plenty stiff.

The British are coming to Big Orange: Midtown, and they're bringing rum

Like sailors? Like 'em liquored up? Boy, have we got a holiday for you. And Big Orange: Midtown is the place to be.

Dining Review

Packed at Pasta Grill

July 21, 2016
Packed at Pasta Grill
Conway hot spot's food is tasty, but rich to a fault. /more/

Dining Search

A&E Feature

A Q&A with Suzy Bogguss

July 21, 2016
A Q&A with Suzy Bogguss
The singer/songwriter talks her infatuation with cowboys, Merle Haggard and shape-note singing. /more/

To-Do List

Sean Fresh plays South on Main

July 21, 2016
Sean Fresh plays South on Main
Also, Finger Food comes to The Joint, the Homegrown Music Festival comes to Mulberry Mountain, Upstate Rubdown at King's in Conway, Nikki Hill at White Water and Gawddaughter, Chapter 2 at Sway. /more/

Columnists

Max Brantley

1957 all over again

At historic Central High School, two former presidents and a former British prime minister /more/

Ernest Dumas

Death penalty lives

Barely clinging to its flagging life, the death penalty got a merciful reprieve last month /more/

Gene Lyons

Drinking culture

Here we go again. At the rate these campus sexual abuse sagas are making news, /more/

Movie Reviews

Lots of braying in 'Mike and Dave'

July 14, 2016
Lots of braying in 'Mike and Dave'
It's good for a snort-laugh /more/

Pearls About Swine

Bielema vs. Harbaugh

July 14, 2016
Bielema vs. Harbaugh
What makes Bielema likable while Harbaugh is seen as bristling is this distinction: While Harbaugh is rapidly tweeting jabs at foes and putting his chiseled chin and felonious stares in front of the cameras, Bielema seems content to be a bit more subtle, and maybe even reserved after the Hogs laid two memorable eggs against presumptive underdogs Toledo and Texas Tech last September. /more/

Blog Roll

Arkansas Blog

Hourly news and comment

Rock Candy

The guide to Arkansas entertainment

Eat Arkansas

For food lovers

Eye Candy

On art in Arkansas

Street Jazz

A view from Northwest Arkansas

Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 14:29:00

Joseph Jones named president of Arkansas Baptist College

click to enlarge cover_story_joseph_jones.jpg

Arkansas Baptist College
today announced that Dr. Joseph Jones has been selected as the new president of the college. 

Jones, the college's fourteenth president, succeeds Dr. Fitz Hill, who is taking on a role as executive director of the Arkansas Baptist College Foundation. 

Jones, currently a visiting professor of Political Science in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, was featured as an Arkansas Times Visionary in 2014, spotlighting his work as the founder and executive director of the Social Justice Institute at Philander Smith College. 

Beth Gladden Coulson, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said in a press release: 

The Trustees are delighted that Dr. Joseph L. Jones has accepted our offer to serve as 14th President of Arkansas Baptist College. In addition to his impressive academic credentials is the teaching and administrative experience he has gained at four other HBCU institutions. Dr. Jones has become a serious student of higher education leadership through fellowships with both the American Council on Education and the United Negro College Fund. These opportunities, matched with his vision, energy and passion, will serve the institution well, as the College continues to realize both its historic and current mission under Dr. Jones’ capable leadership.
ABC has faced major financial problems for years (including struggles in 2013 to make payroll and pay vendors).

 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 11:29:00

Grant Country man arrested in infant hit and run death

Thomas A. Fuell, 21, of Prattsville has been charged with manslaughter and leaving the scene of an injury crash, the Arkansas State Police stated in a news release.

Fuell allegedly lost control of his vehicle in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 10, and struck a wagon being pulled by a woman. A two-year-old child was in the wagon and was later pronounced dead at Saline Memorial Hospital. Fuell allegedly fled the scene. 

He was arrested this morning and transported to the Saline County Jail. 

 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 11:28:00

The authentic growth of Michelle Obama


I had the good fortune to see Michelle Obama fairly early in her public life. On New Year’s Eve 2007, while in Iowa blogging for this publication in the lead-up to the 2008 caucuses, I trekked out to the little college town of Grinnell. Michelle Obama had an event at a retirement center a few blocks from the Grinnell College campus.

Obama had stayed home with their young girls for most of the campaign to that point, but she came to Iowa to help close the deal for her husband. About 150 folks — mostly residents of the center along with random Grinnell citizens and a few of us curious writers (I remember Maureen Dowd being there) — filled the community room. Thanks to C-SPAN, here’s actually a clip of it.

Aside from her height (even in flats she towered above the audience), several things stood out about Obama that day. We saw a speaker who was decidedly more restrained than her husband, more a conversationalist than a barn-burning stump speaker. Probably driven by her understandable nervousness as someone new to the national limelight, she smiled very little.

She did, however, draw more laughs than her husband (who has come to use his snarky humor well, but veered away from it at that stage of his career). Michelle’s humor then exhibited a real edge, with Barack as the regular butt of her jokes. While Barack Obama kept his references to race implicit at the time, Michelle Obama was much more explicit. In the New Years Eve talk, she attempted to sell Obama's racial background as a plus for her husband — that he "crosse[d] lines of race," that he brought with him the communitarian values of the African-American community where he organized, that his success would be emblematic of change, and that his election would send a message to the world that American has changed.

Finally, the theme of her talk was different than her husband’s constant mantra of “hope." Instead, Michelle Obama emphasized the necessity of a rebirth of empathy in America. “Our souls are broken,” Obama said, as a result of a culture in which our leaders had told us simply to worry about ourselves.

Her speech to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday was undoubtedly the best ever delivered in such a setting by a political spouse. Obama simultaneously showed how much has changed in those 8-plus years, and how little has. She is now at total ease on a national stage — decidedly more so than in her first convention speech in 2008 (now known as the “Melania speech”) in which she showed nerves — with a smile that fills a convention hall. But the core of what she talks about and how she discusses it remains constant. While Barack Obama, beginning with the March 2008 speech about Reverend Jeremiah Wright, eventually came to talk more explicitly about race than he did in those early days, Michelle Obama still discusses the topic in a way that feels less analytical and more real than the president's approach. There was an emotion in her talking about her “daughters, two beautiful and intelligent black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn” that would never be heard in the words of her more chill husband.

Obama's emphasis on empathy, and leaders’ responsibility for fostering empathy, was at the core of her endorsement of Hillary Clinton. "I want a President who will teach our children that everyone in this country matters," she said, "a President who truly believes in the vision that our founders put forth all those years ago: That we are all created equal, each a beloved part of the great American story. And when crisis hits, we don’t turn against each other -– no, we listen to each other. We lean on each other. Because we are always stronger together."

At the end of the day, the fact that so little has changed in what she obviously cares most about since she entered the national stage is at the heart of Michelle Obama's authenticity. And that authenticity is what made her such a potent surrogate for Hillary Clinton last evening.

 

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 13:37:00

Trans activist Miss Major Griffin-Gracy to attend Kaleidoscope Film Festival

click to enlarge Miss Major being honored at "inside Out," the Toronto LGBT Film Festival.
  • Miss Major being honored at "inside Out," the Toronto LGBT Film Festival.

Little Rock Film Society’s Kaleidoscope Film Festival scored another notable guest of honor this week: Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a civil rights and trans activist who was at Stonewall the evening of the infamous raid, a survivor of the 1971 riots at Attica Prison, a chief organizer of medical care and funerals for Bay Area victims of the AIDS epidemic and longtime advocate for trans women of color, and for women of color who have been victims of police violence.

click to enlarge feature1-2-c472cceb7b1e99df.jpg

Major is the subject of Annalise Ophelian and StormMiguel Florez's documentary "Major!," all three of whom will be in attendance at the screening. "Major!" screens at 8 p.m. to close the festival, and will be followed by a "Champagne Goodbye" at The Joint. For more details on Kaleidoscope, or to purchase tickets, visit kaleidoscopefilmfestival.com


 

Friday, July 22, 2016 - 16:02:00

Arkansas Times Recommends: The Food Edition

Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.

click to enlarge Brandon McManus, kicker for the Denver Broncos and fan of TAG Restaurant's flash-seared hamachi. - BRONCOS WIRE
  • Broncos Wire
  • Brandon McManus, kicker for the Denver Broncos and fan of TAG Restaurant's flash-seared hamachi.

Check out this story from The Ringer on Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus, who’s taken up a side job as a food blogger. Here’s an excerpt:

“After some discussions with local outlets and magazines, which he turned down because he wanted to write about food more than once a month, he decided to publish on Denver’s team website. Like everyone else who writes for the site, his job title is listed after his byline: ‘Brandon McManus, kicker.’ He read food blogs not to study the reviews, but to search for inspiration for a good name for his own blog. He ultimately settled on McManus’ Mile High Menu, and readers ate it up: He said that his first post, about Guard and Grace (try the Bangs Island mussels, the best he’s ever had), netted 40,000 page views in short order.”

It’s the kind of oddball story that’s been typical of The Ringer since its launch in June. Here are a few personal favorites from the site: the unimpeachable perfection of Mark Wahlberg, an oral history of Tim Duncan told by his clothes, and the search for a Republican celebrity.

-Tom Coulter

click to enlarge EVAN AMOS
  • Evan Amos

Did you know that William Carlos Williams wrote more than one plum poem? These are not the plums filched from the icebox ("so sweet/ and so cold"). These are lesser known plums (unjustly, it seems to me). I am captive to this delicious moment, which Williams describes without flourish. The precision of Williams' diction and the "munching" movement of the meter make my mouth water. Can you taste the plums? Do you see the poor old woman? We are voyeurs to her joy—a joy amplified, it seems, by her distress: her poverty, her hunger for this sweet solace. 

To a Poor Old Woman

munching a plum on   
the street a paper bag
of them in her hand
They taste good to her
They taste good   
to her. They taste
good to her

You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the one half
sucked out in her hand

Comforted
a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air
They taste good to her

You can hear the poet read it here, if you're into that sort of thing. 

-Ashley Gill

click to enlarge weird_al.jpg

No artist has done more than "Weird" Al Yankovic to make music delicious. And never forget, it was Al who created the Twinkie-Wiener Sandwich. 

So here is the ultimate food playlist, courtesy of the man himself:

I Love Rocky Road
Fat 
Eat It
My Bologna
Addicted to Spuds
Foil
Girls Just Want to Have Lunch
Grapefruit Diet
Lasagna
Livin' in the Fridge
SPAM
Taco Grande
Waffle King
Trapped in the Drive-Thru
The White Stuff

-Michael Roberts

click to enlarge tomatoes-1.jpg

Once, when it was so blisteringly hot that eating anything warmer than room temperature seemed risky at best, a mentor of mine served me a wide, shallow bowl of chilled cantaloupe soup with some mint on top. Having grown up on a chicken farm in the Ozarks where we take our soup hot or we take no soup at all, the coral orb of cold fruit and cucumber in front of me seemed rather exotic. In fact, it might have been the very first chilled soup I ever had. Even if it wasn't, that day marks for me the beginning of a long, slow dissolution of my mental association of soup with winter. 

So, here's to food you can sip when it's so hot that eating seems unthinkable. Here's to not turning on the oven during the month of July. Here's to having grown wiser about chilled soups, at least enough to have landed myself squarely in the "smooth and silky" camp when it comes to opinions on how gazpacho should go. (If you fall elsewhere, I wish you and your spoon salsa all the best.) And here's to.....well, here's my recipe for gazpacho. 

a cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and de-seeded (unless you're bankrollin' with those seedless mini-cukes, you Daddy Warbucks, you)
four or five of the best tomatoes you can muster, cut in half
a red or yellow pepper, also de-seeded
a palmful of almonds
a small onion, chopped (or 1/2 a bigger one) 
a mild pepper, like an Anaheim or a shishito, also de-seeded
a clove of garlic
two tablespoons of white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
two tablespoons of the nicest olive oil you have in your kitchen
salt
cracked pepper

Put everything expect the salt and pepper into a blender and puree until smooth. Add salt and cracked pepper until it tastes right. If more than one adjective precedes the words "olive oil" on your bottle of olive oil, drizzle some on top. 

-Stephanie Smittle


 

Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 14:30:00

Kari Faux's stunning new video for "Fantasy"

An Ibra Ake vision, directed and edited by Carlos Lopez Estrada: backwards saxophone, dirty dishes, Cello Godzilla and ennui. 


Read our interview with Kari Faux from earlier this year here. 

 

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Cover Story

Tackling autism, child by child

July 21, 2016
Tackling autism,  child by child
An Arkansas Children's Hospital doctor is testing a new drug that targets one of a host of ailments the highly individual disorder can cause. /more/

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