Quick notes Friday

November 14, 2008
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I'm still a little groggy from the midnight showing of "Quantum of Solace" last night, so I'm kicking off a new occassional short-attention-span feature here that I'm calling Quick Notes Friday. Welcome aboard.

--This was actually my second time seeing the new James Bond film. The first was a press screening. It actually worked better the second time (I can be slow keeping track of who's doing what to whom in thrillers and mysteries). I think it's a smarter, more character-driven film than its being given credit for. Still, couldn't the cars in the pre-credit chase at least be different colors? Did you catch it? Let us know what you thought. 

--This week, the Miami Book Fair is off and running. The huge event features a huge range of authors including Cornel West, Will Eisner, Jon Scieszka, Anthony Bourdain, Gore Vidal, Nikki Giovanni, Russell Banks, Dave Barry, Billie Collins and on and on. Does anyone else miss the Indianapolis Wordstruck fest? Can anyone tell me why it disappeared?

--The promised neurosurgeon was a no-show on the panel at last week's Spirit & Place event focusing on creativity and madness. A shame, since that perspective would have made the evening more compelling. And tighter moderation might have kept the audience from squirming (and some leaving) during an audience member's lengthy monologue. Still, insight from DK's David Hochoy, Butler Theatre's John Green and composer Frank Felice kept the evening from being a loss.

--Modern Arts Notes blogger Tyler Green (sorry about the extra e in my e-mail blast) gave this blog a shout out during his "10 Things I Hate About Contemporary Art" talk at the Central Library last night. The Spirit and Place event drew a large crowd, which seemed to have mixed reactions to Green's often offhand commentary and slide show. Yet only one audience member seemed willing to vocally express her disagreement or challenge Green's notions about the art world. Come on Hoosiers. Get confrontational. Green seemed open to it, so why not engage?

--Minnesota passed its Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, raising the state's sales tax by 3/8 of one percent. That may not sound like much, but it's estimated that it will mean $270-$300 million for clean water, natural resources, parks, trails...and arts projects. While I'm a believer in arts funding, I have to wonder if the amendment would have passed if it had been truthfully called the Water, Land, and Arts Amendment. What does it say that culture has to be hidden in order to be funded?

Your thoughts?
  • well, thanks for the tickets to Bond! I'm anxious to hear what the masses think. It was a little too thick on chases and thin on plot for our tastes--but Bond is still Bond. The camera angles made it hard to figure out what was happening on screen--we agree on the colors of the cars, but even better, the actors need to wear numbers so we can tell them apart! (Like Vesper's main man...) And NEXT time, we want closed captioning for the whole movie, not just the foreign language parts.
    We're glad we went--and just as groggy as Lou as 2 AM on a thursday evening is way late for us old folks.
  • Lou, there was definitely a bigger crowd for Tyler than I was expecting. Hoosiers are very polite, but I don't think the format of these meetings lends itself to confrontational discussion. I attended a couple Chicago Humanities Festival programs as well, and theye questions asked there were mostly of the sycophantic variety. So I don't think it's just local culture at play.
  • Bond,
    Rest assured, after Thursday's Twilight midnight show, we'll go back to some traditional evening screenings. Watch for an announcement this week of the next IBJ Night at the Movies.
  • Hey, I like this new Friday feature! Lots of odds'n'ends to percolate on over the weekend.

    Before I forget: thanks, Lou, for reminding me of Roz Chast's quirky work in your print review about the Hansel and Gretel collaboration!

    Hope Baugh

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  2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

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  5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.