Hourly news and comment
The guide to Arkansas entertainment
For food lovers
On art in Arkansas
A view from Northwest Arkansas
A new Cajun/Creole restaurant in WLR serves up delightful stews and gumbos. It's a spicy, saucy success.
Little Rock continues to surprise with its wonderful hidden gems, and the fudge shop inside the Crown Shop is no exception. It’s a small shop that’s probably not on most people’s radar for delightful sweet treats, but I’d definitely check them out next time you’ve got a hankering for fudge.
Arkansas Cooks sits down with Liz Sanders of the Bernice Garden to talk farmers markets, local growers, and community.
The 8th annual exhibition kicks off with Argenta ArtWalk preview.
Don Bacigalupi has written a come-hither piece about the minimalist acquisition.
All the stops on tonight's gallery walk/trolley tour.
I've been among the speakers at Arkansas Boys State for 20 years. I talk about my left-leaning ideas. Conservative young men take vigorous exception, particularly on social issues such as abortion and sexual orientation. /more/
When the hunt for scandal produces only flaps, it is hard to recognize it when you're handed the real thing. /more/
One diverting aspect of The Guardian-inspired hullaballoo over NSA surveillance has been watching people bicker about it on Facebook. In the old Soviet Union, people walked in the woods or hid in the bathroom with the faucets running to whisper forbidden thoughts. Here in the USA, people post them online along with cute kitten videos and photos of Reuben sandwiches. /more/
Keonte Walker, who was in the car with the victim, Bobby Moore Jr., and Jeremiah Johnson, just testified. Walker, 17, said that he had known Moore since 3rd grade. Walker said they'd been downtown the night of the shooting looking for a party before deciding to go "checking cars" at the Shadow Lake Apartments between 4 and 5 a.m. Walker he'd acted as the lookout.
Walker said he was the first to see a flashlight, then heard "It's Little Rock Police! Stop the car!" He said before he saw the officer's gun and badge, the Honda Civic Moore was driving and in which he and Walker were passengers was around 20 feet away from Hastings and traveling about 15 mph. He said he, Johnson and Moore started "negotiating" over whether to run. He said Moore began to slow and came to a complete stop 10 feet from Hastings. Walker said he dropped down under the dash, felt the car jerk into reverse, heard Hastings say, "Stop or I'll shoot", then heard the shots.
"I heard Lil' Bobby take a deep breath, and when I rose up, the car was rolling backwards," Walker said. The car then bonuced off a curb and hit an awning and a parked car.
On cross examination, Walker told defense attorney Bill James the three only broke into three cars at Shadow Lake that night, including a car that sounded a car alarm and a car in which they broke a window. Asked by James what they did during the hour they were at the complex ("Were y'all taking naps between cars?" James said), Walker said they were checking for unlocked cars, and had only gotten into three. He said it was the first time they ever broke a window while "checking cars"
James repeatedly called the passengers seat "shotgun" at one point during questioning, before Judge Wendell Griffen asked him to approach to approach the bench. After conferring with Griffen, James referred to Walker's position in the car as "the front seat."
Repeatedly, Walker insisted the car came to a stop and was in reverse at the time of the shooting, saying that the only time Moore sped was when he turned out of a parking spot in the lot.
Koon said further questioning from Walker is expected following a break.
Well, I've been back in Little Rock for one full day. Here's my home-again open line, including:
* SPANKING WIVES FOR JESUS: I ignored the news that the wacky Pat Robertson had endorsed spanking disobedient wives, citing the familiar evangelical view on wifely submission to their husbands. No telling what'll come out of his mouth. Then along came this Daily Beast report about a purported movement in which wives willingly submit to corporal punishment from husbands, many out of religious belief. The anecdotal example on one wife beater:
First, he uses his hands for “warm-up” slaps. Then comes a combination of tools based on the specific infraction. The wooden spoon is the least severe; for the worst rule-breaking—like texting while driving (“It could kill me,” Chelsea admits) or moving money between accounts without his permission—she’ll be hit with something else: a hairbrush, a paddle, or a leather strap.
But this isn’t domestic abuse, Chelsea says. This is for Jesus.
Chelsea and her husband Clint, who asked that I use only their first names, belong to a small subculture of religious couples who practice “Christian Domestic Discipline,” a lifestyle that calls for a wife to be completely submissive to her husband. Referred to as CDD by its followers, the practice often includes spanking and other types corporal punishments administered by husbands—and ostensibly ordained by God. While the private nature of the discipline makes it difficult to estimate the number of adherents, activity in several online forums suggests a figure in the low thousands. Devotees call CDD an alternative lifestyle and enthusiastically sing its praises; for critics, it’s nothing but domestic abuse by another name.
When a wife breaks her husband’s rules—rolling her eyes, maybe, or just feeling “meh,” as one blogger put it—that can equal punishments which are often corporal but can also be “corner time”; writing lines (think “I will not disobey my master” 1,000 times); losing a privilege like internet access; or being “humbled” by some sort of nude humiliation. Some practice “maintenance spanking,” wherein good girls are slapped on a schedule to remind them who’s boss; some don’t.
In this vein of proper gender roles we have still more nuttiness from Republican U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia, a medical doctor of a sort. In a House speech, according to Talking Points Memo, he suggested that young boys and girls should be enrolled in classes to educate them on gender roles so that they can learn "what's important."
"Maybe part of the problem is we need to go back into the schools at a very early age, maybe at the grade school level, and have a class for the young girls and have a class for the young boys and say, you know, this is what's important," Gingrey said on the House floor, while defending the Defense of Marriage Act.
David Koon reports from the manslaughter trial of former Little Rock Police officer Josh Hastings:
The afternoon was largely dedicated to testimony of Jeremiah Johnson, a 14-year-old who was in backseat of the stolen Honda Civic that the victim, Bobby Moore Jr., was driving the night he was killed. Johnson said he'd known Moore since 5th grade.
Johnson testified that he, Moore and another teen-ager had been out taking turns driving the Honda since 8 p.m. the previous night. He said they went Shadow Lake Apartments to go "checking cars" — checking for unlocked cars and things to steal. They broke the window of one car, set off a car alarm in another, after which they went to a different part of the complex, he said. Under questioning by the prosecution, Johnson said they were "just cruising" while leaving the lot when they spotted a light that turned out to be Hastings' flashlight. He said Moore started driving slower when he saw the light, and heard Hastings ID himself as LRPD.
Johnson said they were 15 feet from Hastings when shots were fired. He said Moore wasn't at a complete stop, but was coming to a stop and looking over his shoulder to put the car in reverse. After the shooting and the car rolled back to crash, Johnson said he ran to nearby woods and hid until daybreak before catching a ride home.
On cross examination by defense attorney Bill James, Johnson said they'd broken into "about 15" cars that night. James repeatedly questioned Johnson on when he first realized the person with the light was a cop, and whether the car was moving forward or completely stopped when Hastings fired, with the judge at one point encouraging both James and Johnson not to talk over one another. Johnson repeatedly said he couldn't be sure the car was at full stop, but said he believed Moore was in process of putting it in reverse when shots fired. On recross, Deputy Prosecutor John Johnson asked Johnson: "Can I be walking forward and stopping at the same time?" To which Johnson said, "yes."
Johnson was excused as a witness just before an afternoon break.
THE NEW 22'
6:30 p.m., MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. Free.
Back in January, when the Arkansas Literary Festival slate of authors was announced, perhaps you scanned it and seized onto "The New 22," featuring hotshot novelists David Abrams ("Fobbit") and Ben Fountain ("Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk") and marked it as a "must-attend."
Then you noticed in the small print that, strangely, the event wasn't scheduled until two months after the literary festival. Well, two months has come and gone. The event's still a must-attend.
I haven't read "Fobbit," but it was one of the best-reviewed books of last year. It's set in a military base in Baghdad ("fobbit" is slang for a soldier stationed at a Forward Operating Base who avoids combat by hanging at the base). Abrams draws on his experience as an active-duty Army journalist.
"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" is one of the best books I've read. Lots of other people agree. It won this year's National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award last year. It's about the surviving members of a group of Iraq War soldiers who've become minor celebrities after video of them in a firefight with insurgents goes viral. They've been sent home for a Victory Tour that culminates with an appearance at a Dallas Cowboys game on Thanksgiving Day. It's a darkly funny satire written with more style and insight than anything in recent memory.
Juanita's has some buzz-y indie rock, with Brooklyn pop outfit Companion and psychedelic Oklahomans The Evangelicals. Locals Ten Sentences open the show, 9 p.m., and hey, it's $3!
It's going to be a "'90s Throwback Concert" at The Joint, with Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers, 8:30 p.m., $10-$15.
Pop singer/songwriter Shining Rae is back in town for an all-ages show. She'll be showcasing new material, Downtown Music Hall, 7 p.m., $11.
Singer/songwriter Daniel Amedee might be from New Orleans, but his sound is "more King Crimson than King Oliver, more Mars Volta than Mardi Gras." Also on the bill: Gold Beneath the Highway and James Rose, Maxine's, 8 p.m., free.
No big deal. What's a little free oil in your drinking water?
Actually, Rutrow, the on-air comment was on CBB's website the other day. Maybe we ought…
The rush to judge others on this blog nauseates me.
Josh Hastings is…
A&E Feature / To-Do List / In Brief / Movie Reviews / Music Reviews / Theater Reviews / A&E News / Art Notes / Graham Gordy / Books / Media / Dining Reviews / Dining Guide / What's Cookin' / Calendar / The Televisionist / Movie Listings / Gallery Listings