Public money for the Walton Arts Center? Just make sure you get everything in writing from the WAC folks | Street Jazz

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Public money for the Walton Arts Center? Just make sure you get everything in writing from the WAC folks

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 10:16 AM

I’m not terribly against the idea being floated by the current city administration on using public funds to support an expansion of the Walton Arts Center, but some care (a lot, actually) needs to taken that Fayetteville isn’t just throwing money down a hole.

What, exactly, would Fayetteville get out the plan to extend the bonds that its citizens approved for WAC 14 years ago?

No, not technical details as to what would be built, but would WAC Command support the expansion? And what sort of programs might come here?

Or are we going to commit to build something in the hopes that it would be used to capacity?

When WAC was first built, one of the selling points was that the work of local artists would be featured in the new center, that this was going to be an arts center that showcased not only the well-known, but the aspiring to be well-known.

At the end of the day, was there just no room at the inn for locals? Or was it just never meant to be, right from the beginning?

Yes, there are other venues for local artists in town, but they are subject to the forces of the beast known as the free market. If the city wants to sweeten this deal, they need to promote WAC as a venue for all artists in Fayetteville.

And this time, get everything in writing.

******

Quote of the Day

"The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their 'vital interests' are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death: these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the 'sanctity' of human life, or the 'conscience' of the civilized world". — James Baldwin

*****

This is just because I like time travel shows

It's hard to beat a good time travel show. If you begin with the top of the heap ( Doctor Who) and end up near the bottom (Time Tunnel), you find Voyagers, an NBC series that ran from 1982-83 somewhere in the middle.

I'm not sure how I missed this when it first appeared on the air, but once again I have cause to praise the magic circles known as DVDs.

The premise of Voyagers is simple. Phineas Bogg (Jon-Erik Hexum) accidently lands in the bedroom of orphan Jeffrey Jones, who becomes his partner in the time travel business, after Bogg saves from a fall through his apartment window. A Voyager is a sort of time agent who travels through history, nudging things along when they are out of whack.

Of course, as we have seen from so many time travel shows before, history seems to be pretty fragile; it gets out of whack at the drop of a hat.

Bogg has a watch-like device known as an OMNI, which glows red when history is off course, and green when things are on the right track. Most of the time, we are never quite sure exactly how history gets off course in the first place.

Probably one of those other time travelers from some other series, no doubt.

One similarity the series shares with the early years of Doctor Who is the inability of the two travelers to predict when and where the OMNI will take them, once their assignment is complete. One week they may meet Spartacus, and the next end up on the Titanic.

Bogg himself is a sort of odd character - then again, aren't most time travelers? He seems to have skipped most of the history lessons in Voyager school, so luckily Jeffrey loves history. But like most times travelers, he can kick ass at the drop of a hat - and does, every week.

interestingly enough, because Voyagers was in the so-called "Family Hour" violence was a tricky subject. Though there were fights aplenty, you never actually saw a punch thrown; Bogg would hurl his opponents across a room, or even do martial arts style kicks - as if those don't hurt as much as getting punched.

Not to mention the fact that he is dressed like a sort of pirate/lounge lizard, with his shirt unbuttoned down to - well, it ain't buttoned at all. Naturally, he is the Captain Kirk of chrononauts. Woman throughout history literally throw themselves at this guy.

Just imagine the fun they could have had if it wasn't in the Family Hour. So yes, gentle reader, our lounge lizard time traveler often found himself in conventional clothes in many of the episodes. In fairness, Bogg was a pirate before he came a Voyager, though. Still, you'd think they might have sort of dress-code.

The series serves two purposes. Under the guise of entertainment (and it is entertaining) it also introduces young people to history in a way that dry textbooks never can. That the history is never one hundred percent accurate shouldn't bother us; what time travel series is?

Most stories have our stalwarts getting involved in two different time periods, and somehow the stories combine into one. Hence Jeffrey might meet Thomas Edison, while Bogg may get imprisoned with Lawrence of Arabia.

Of course, since there is a glitch in the OMNI, they can not travel in time beyond 1970 - except for one episode when Bogg's superiors put him on trial for violating the code of the Voyagers.

When you watch too many episodes at once, they sort of meld together, though two in particular stand out from the herd.

Bogg takes Jeffrey to see the Apollo 11 launch, only to discover that the Russians have beaten America to the moon, after Werner von Braun was taken captive in the closing days of World War II. What's a time travel show without Nazis?

And then there is the Titanic - a ship no self-respecting time traveler seems to be able to stay away from. Even given the generally light-hearted feel of the show in general, there was no sugar-coating of the human disaster that the Titanic presented.

Though NBC canceled the series after one season, it still ran 20 episodes, all of which are on this DVD set. Sadly, so extras are come with it. Still, it's fun watching.

And you've got to love a series that ended every episode with Meeno Peluce (Jeffrey) saying over the end credits, "If you want to learn more about {their subject/person of the week}, take a voyage down to your public library. It's all in books!"

rsdrake@cox.net

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