Despite whatever negative connotations the term “exploitation cinema” might bring to mind, it is a concept which, at its heart, is really much more benign than you might think. Basically, an exploitation film is one which focuses on an element simply for the sake of luring in the audience – sex, blood, a specific ethnicity, or even Megan Fox and giant transforming robots. And, in the parlance of Hollywood, exploitation was a way for the major studios to distinguish the “low brow” fare of the little guys from their own “important” movies. More to the point, exploitation cinema was, and remains, a way for people without marketing budgets to compete in a lopsided marketplace. Take, for example, “The Human Centipede” – for which, I’m sure, you’ve never seen a poster or a television commercial but about which you’ve certainly heard and formed an opinion.
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice
Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a cherry, naturally
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Today may be Valentine’s Day, but it is also – more significantly – the Arizona Centennial, marking the 100th anniversary of our 48 contiguous united states and, as a by-product, the end of the Old West. After all, when your last “territory” dons statehood, things stop being as fast and loose as they once were. Fortunately for us, we’re talking Arizona, which – state or not – has always seen things its own way.
“Forty-Eighth Star To Be Placed On Flag Of The American Nation On St. Valentine’s Day” read the February 14, 1912 headline in Arizona Journal-Miner. Across the state, canons, dynamite, bells, and, guns of all sizes would toll 48 times in honor of President Taft’s signing of the statehood proclamation and George W. P. Hunt’s assumption of the Governorship of the state. And, while the term “Arizona Territory” may conjure images of the Old West, by 1912, Arizona the state was a relatively civilized place. Contained in the very same issue of the Journal-Miner mentioned above are advertisements for Model Ts, Sealshipt Oysters, Wine Companies, Electricity, Cigars, and Hart Schaffner & Marx suits – all the comforts of a modern life. Of course, that was in the cities. For those looking for it, the rough and wild west of old was still very much alive in mining towns like Jerome. Read More…
Add sugar cube to mixing glass
Squeeze in lemon juice and add grenadine
Muddle sugar, juice, and grenadine together
Twist the orange peel over the mixing glass and add peel along with the rye
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass
Featured Glassware: New Cottage Amber by Villeroy & Boch
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Sometimes, it ain’t easy being an American. If we think we have it bad now, let’s rewind the clock a bit to 1930, when the twin specters of the Great Depression and Prohibition gripped the country. During World War I, the federal government had begun programs to guarantee Midwestern farmers high prices for crops and livestock. In order to meet the demands, farmers heavily leveraged themselves to buy more land and equipment, but when the government ended its guarantees in 1920, prices and land values plummeted and the farmers were left with large surpluses and even larger debt. As the dominoes began to fall, banks closed (in Iowa, 167 banks closed in 1920, while 505 closed in 1921) and people suddenly found themselves over-mortgaged, penniless, and unable to sell their goods. Read More…
Photograph by Deana Sidney
2 oz Dry Gin
0.50 oz Grenadine
0.50 oz Cream
0.50 Fresh Lemon Juice
White of 1 Egg
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass
Dry shake (no ice) briefly to emulsify
Add ice, shake again, and strain into a cocktail glass
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There’s a scene in the movie Gladiator that fascinates me to this day. It’s not one of the big battle scenes but instead a simple moment in which Derek Jacobi, playing a Roman senator, dines at a restaurant. The concept may sound simple, but when I saw the film for the first time, I was floored by the fact that 2,000 years ago, there might have existed cafés very much like what we have today. Sure, I might have been naïve to have never considered the possibility, but I felt more enlightened by my discovery than embarrassed by my ignorance. Since that time, I’ve kindled a personal passion for things historically culinary.
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass
Shake with ice and strain into a chilled coupe
Garnish with your best Stan Lee or Jim Lee story
(Yes, I know that Jim Lee is at DC now )
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You could see the fear in his eyes, as he lay paralyzed in the hospital bed while the crazed figure sat in the chair beside him, revolver in hand. The barrel of the gun was thrust against his brow, the trigger hurriedly pulled back – KLIK – on an empty chamber. At the best of times, Russian roulette isn’t a sport for the weak, but when you’re trapped – unable to move, unable to speak – while a madman forces turn after turn upon you – well, it makes you wonder who’s the hero and who’s the villain. Should it matter than the man in the bed, Bullseye, had killed Elektra? No, Daredevil was better than this – better than preying upon those who couldn’t raise a muscle to defend themselves. He was a protector of the city. But not tonight – tonight, he was attending to personal business, settling a debt. No, tonight was no night to be a superhero.