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The News, Briefly

Small Talk

Last week, the UK’s Guardian newspaper published a report based on internal documents acquired from more than 40 state-level conservative groups across the US, detailing a coordinated effort to undermine governmental support for broad access to education and healthcare, to undo the income tax and workers’ compensation laws, and to roll back protections for the environment.

Getting a Grip

Mandela and Reagan

by Michael I. Niman

In death, love and adoration for Nelson Mandela seems universal. Even the repugnant Bill O’Reilly broadcast a backhanded compliment on the day Mandela died, calling him “a communist,” but in the same breath going on to say, “But he was a great man. What he did for his people was stunning.” O’Reilly, apparently conflicted, repeated himself. “He was a great man, but he was a communist.”

News Analysis

Christmas People

by Bruce Fisher

In this glorious season of new-fallen snow, warm hearths, and extra hugs, one recalls times past though today’s insanities keep us busy. In our house, away from new reports about public handouts to very rich people, we escape into traditions, and replenish them, too.

Guest Essay

Patronage and Corporate Welfare

by Paul Wolf, Esq.

Webster’s Dictionary defines “unanimous” as: “being of one mind, having the agreement and consent of all.” When it comes to corporate welfare and patronage, our local elected officials unanimously agree.

Art Scene

Daemen College 2013 Visual and Performing Arts Faculty Exhibition

by J. Tim Raymond

Edward G. Bisone's Paintings at the New Art Dialogue Gallery

by Jack Foran

Artvoice B.O.O.M!

Round 1, Week 2: The Cairns vs. Folkfaces

Welcome to the eighth installment of Artvoice’s Battle of Original Music—a contest we call BOOM, for short. Briefly, here’s how it works: Each week, we will feature two local, original music acts like the ones you see to your right. Next, hundreds of readers like you will visit to listen to their music and click on the band they like the best. The band that gets the most votes this way wins a spot in our live showdown scheduled for January 17 at Nietzsche’s.

Classical Music Notes

At the Keyboard, Hold the Carols

by Jan Jezioro

Finding a classical music concert in Western New York in the month of December that is not devoted exclusively to Christmas music is a genuine challenge.

Theater Week

The Wizardry of Bocock-Natale

by Anthony Chase

The 1939 MGM film, The Wizard of Oz, looms large in the American consciousness. So much so that many people aren’t even aware that the screen classic was based on a popular book published by L. Frank Baum in 1900, and that elements of the story were altered to facilitate the demands of a Hollywood Technicolor musical.

Film Reviews

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

by George Sax


by M. Faust


On The Boards Theater Listings

Movie Times (Friday, December 13 - Thursday, December 19)

Film Now Playing

Puck Stop

Oh, Those Horrible Leafs Fans

by Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

Twice last month, on Friday nights no less, the Toronto Maple Leafs came to town. We Buffalonians already know the drill; it’s been pretty much the same story since the Sabres moved across the street to then Marine Midland Arena in 1996. Thousands of blue-and-white Toronto fans descend upon downtown Buffalo.

Featured Events

See You There!

Artvoice's weekly round-up of featured events, including our editor's pick for the week: Drake, coming to the First Niagara Center on Sunday, December 15th.

Offbeat News

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

A young woman, accosted by a robber on Washington, DC’s Capitol Hill in October, told the man she was a low-paid intern—but an intern for the National Security Agency, and that within minutes of robbing her, the man would be tracked down by ubiquitous NSA surveillance. She said, later (reported the Washington Examiner), the man just “looked at me and ran away (empty-handed).”


Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): There are pregnant truths I could reveal to you right now that I’ve decided not to disclose. I don’t think you’re prepared to hear them yet. If I told you what they are, you wouldn’t be receptive or able to register their full meaning; you might even misinterpret them.

The Back Page

Ian De Beer and Max Collins Talk About Street Art at the Burchfield Penney Art Center

In the two years since he returned to Buffalo, Max Collins has made his mark across the region with a series of large-scale, wheat-pasted public murals; he has also exhibited his portrait photography in local galleries to great praise. Ian De Beer is a former graffiti writer (“Hert”) making the interesting (and sometimes perplexing) transition into “fine” art, with all its institutions and suppositions.