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The Flog

You'll FLOAT, too … right on down to the movie theater

After lurking in the shadows of our minds for 27 years, Stephen King’s IT reaches the light, as the story is once again brought to life through film.

Though many people think the 1990 TV show is “the” cinematic telling of the story, comparing the new to the old does a bit of a disservice to both versions. Even if collective nostalgic tendencies pull in a certain ’90s direction, it's probably best to look at the two films as separate entities. If a comparison is needed, compare the new film to the true source: the book.

Like many stories that have come from Stephen King, takes place in Derry, Maine—a fictional town that has ties to many of King’s literary works. For most of its history, Derry has been plagued by a series of strange cases of missing children that happen every 27 years. The children are never found and are seemingly forgotten as missing children posters are posted, one on top of the other.

In 1988, Derry is again struck with a string of unexplainable cases and thus begins the present story. Georgie Denbrough (Jackson Robert Scott), little brother to the main character Bill Denbrough (Jaeden Lieberher), vanishes one rainy day and Bill investigates what may have happened.

Time passes, and it's suddenly 1989 and school has been let out for the summer. As more children go missing, Bill and his friends (The Losers Club) begin to suspect that there may be something more sinister going on than first imagined.

An ancient and demonic entity has awakened from a 27-year slumber and has begun, once again, to prey upon the children of Derry. To spare the town from a fate to which so many others have already succumbed, The Losers Club must face the monster—along with their own personal demons.

IT is not only an effective piece of horror fiction, it's a beautiful and, at times, all too familiar, coming-of-age story. The familiar angst and nervousness of growing up is ever present as the characters …   More

THE FLOG

ROBIN LUMB UPSET WITH HOW THE CULTURAL COUNCIL STOOD WITH MOCA

Update: I tweaked the headline, after Councilman Lumb objected that it was misleading: “I think it was pretty clear that I wasn't objecting that the Cultural Council defended MOCA, I objected to how they went about it.” 

Just when you thought #MOCAgate (or were we calling it #boobygate?) was over, here’s this:

Robin Lumb is not a happy camper. This afternoon, he fired off an email to Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville board members, chiding the Cultural Council for not knowing its place. Their crime, it seems, was #standingwithmoca — or specifically, for criticizing Clay Yarborough, our Great Moral Compass, who declared that a picture of a naked pregnant lady reclining on a couch was pornography that would corrupt THE CHILDREN and demanded that the mayor defund the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. (The mayor refused, citing First Amendment issues.)

Yarborough, of course, has been the subject of much derision, both here and nationwide. In The New York Times, the photographer/pornographer(?) in question, Angela Strassheim, quipped that maybe he hadn’t seen enough porn to know what porn really was. At Art Walk last night, a good-sized crowd mocked him with signs like “Ban Boobs from City Hall” (see image above). And in this mag’s pages this week, we wondered what artistic masterpieces would look like if they had to abide by Yarborough’s standards of decency.

We all had a good laugh. 

Councilman Lumb was not laughing. 

When he learned that the Cultural Council had email-blasted a plea for support for MOCA, saying Yarborough’s campaign was “unfortunate and could be viewed as an effort to stifle artistic expression” and linking to a number of anti-Yarborough pieces that had appeared in the local media, ours included, he wrote to “express my profound disappointment with the conduct of the Cultural Council in this matter as evinced by the …   More

THE FLOG

The SPIRIT of the Season

Tis the season for giving! Ordinarily we like to poke fun of, well, everything, but in the spirit of the season, we're taking a break from all that sarcasm to bring you this handy-dandy list of events, charities and more so you can get into the spirit by doing good deeds - that or just work your way off that "naughty" list.

Events

FIRST COAST AIDS WALK. The eighth annual walk is held at 10 a.m. (registration at 9 a.m.) on Nov. 19 at Riverside Avenue Christian Church, 2841 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville, 389-1751, jaxdisciples.com. Proceeds benefit local organizations and primarily support the Hitzing Fund, designed to provide photo identification and documentation necessary for healthcare services for low-income HIV clients.

TOYS FOR TOTS/19TH STREET CHARITIES POKER RUN. The Sons of the Beaches hold this third annual run 8 a.m. Nov. 19, starting at FRA Branch 290, Mayport Road. A raffle, silent auction, barbecue and live music by Highway Jones are featured. $20 per bike, $10 per passenger. Details, 866-1165, 237-5277, sonsofthebeachesinc.com.

FEED THE CITY. The 22nd annual event is held 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 20 at Clara White Mission, 613 W. Ashley St., Downtown; for details, call 354-4162 or go to clarawhitemission.org.

CHRISTMAS ON THE RIVER. The COA’s annual fundraiser is held 5-8 p.m. Nov. 20 at River House, 179 Marine St., St. Augustine. The Festival of Wreaths, featuring one-of-a-kind wreaths hand-crafted and donated to the COA by local garden clubs, florists, 4-H’ers and Master Gardeners and a silent auction and a wine tasting are featured. Proceeds benefit COA’s programs. 209-3687, coasjc.com.

JOHNSON FAMILY PRAYER BREAKFAST. The annual breakfast is held at 9 a.m. Nov. 17 at Johnson Family YMCA, 5700 Cleveland Rd., Jacksonville. Tickets are $15 per person. For more info, call 765-3589 or go to firstcoastymca.org.

BLESSINGS IN A BACKPACK. ServPro holds its second annual Fancy Pants Golf Tournament 11:30 a.m. Nov. 18 at …   More

THE FLOG

HOPE Amid Ruin

“He went from an amazing musician and a trusted friend of hundreds of people, to a liar and a thief and would do anything for his next fix,” said Ryan Heath of his friend Scott Brandle.

Brandle, like thousands of other people in Northeast Florida, died from a heroin overdose. And like so many who grieve, Heath hopes to find meaning in his friend’s death. But not just Brandle’s death—according to Heath, the former musician is only among the most recent in a string of deaths that have touched Heath’s circle of friends. “I’ve easily known 16 that have died since the pain pill clinics started up in the late ’90s,” he said; of that number, seven have died in the past two years.

On Aug. 26, Heath and his very musically connected friend, Order by Chaos bandmember David Rowe, host Kickfest, a music festival organized to raise funds and awareness for the opioid epidemic in Northeast Florida. All of the funds raised, explains Heath, will go to help fund a pilot program for new treatment strategies with St. Vincent’s Riverside, Gateway Community Services and River Region Human Services: Dr. Raymond Pomm’s treatment program for opioid addiction at River Region treatment center. Pomm is medical director at River Region and Gateway Services.

“This isn't a problem just for ‘druggie junkie losers’ anymore,” said Heath. “This is happening to politicians, judges, cops, firemen, lawyers, teachers, mothers, fathers, grandmothers […] I can go on and on and on.”

As a firefighter, Heath has experience with the drug problem in a way that few do (though he said he's dealt mostly with cocaine overdoses). He talked about how paramedic friends of his regularly respond to desperate calls to administer Narcan, and give CPR to near-lifeless forms. His said these stories and his own experiences have shown him that “there’s a false belief that heroin addicts as …   More

Trying EVERYTHING, Trying Nothing

The movie short Susanna begs viewers to immerse themselves through a series of glossy, fashionable vignettes into the titular character's life. Written by Victoria Dieffenbacher, directed by Michel Jaumin and shot on location in Jacksonville, the movie takes stylistic cues from Nocturnal Animals, The September Issue and, to a lesser extent, Fifty Shades of Grey.

Susanna (Susanna Nelson): young, blonde, Caucasian and beautiful, is always clad in the sartorial equivalent of le mot juste; her wardrobe edges toward glamour and signifies very specific things, from the carefree halter-dress of courtship to the modest but exquisite lace dress of establishment loneliness, to a Grecian-style peignoir for swanning about the house. It is heterosexual drag writ anodyne and suburban-a polished platinum dream-version of a have-it-all-ish life complete with a model-ish career in fashion.

Therein is the rub. The film feels ambiguous: The viewer is never certain if empathy or sympathy is the correct emotional response; or, if like so much glossy but unattainable/sustainable imagery, we are being asked to merely witness the deliberate staging of a life prettily pouted through. There is one scene that offers emotional depth-and so gives more insight into the titular character is as she is "listening" to her friends. Amid the hubbub of what can only be well-intentioned and highly gesticulated advice, one friend-played by actor Suzi West-gazes at Susanna as if she is a younger version of herself while silently seeming to say, "you pay for the material happiness in this life with dissatisfaction and sadness." It the most affective pause in the film, filled with fleeting bitter sweetness.

Susanna has recently been selected for screening at this year's Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York, United Kingdom; it was also selected for the International Fashion Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium; and is being screened here in Jacksonville, 6 p.m. Oct. 5, DeLO …   More

SAFE SPACE

It’s been about three weeks since the United States elected businessman-turned-demagogue Donald J. Trump as our leader. There have been protests, Facebook rants and one article after another asking, “How could this have happened?”

But at the University of North Florida, students have remained largely unaffected. Campus remained clear of campaign signs, except for Election Day when Trump/Pence signs were lined up along the Kernan Blvd. entrance and the day President Obama paid us a visit. After Obama's speech, signs reading “I’m with Her” and “Do the Most Good” littered dorm hallways and students' bedroom windows.

“The mood on campus after the election was not noticeably different,” said civil engineering student Brandon Diaz. “I really don’t believe anything will change for us, at least not for a while.”

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, many Trump supporters “came out of the closet.” Students could finally sport Trump t-shirts, slap a “Trump/Pence 2016” sticker on their Yeti Tumblers and wear those lovely red hats.

“I am willing to give him a chance partially because he’s backtracking on many of the policies he was hardcore about during the campaign,” said history major John McCrone. “His new policy ideas like a ban on lobbying in Washington sound good, but I’m concerned about all of the cabinet and staff picks." 

Students seem displeased about the white nationalist and anti-gay personnel Trump has surrounded himself with, but largely remain either indifferent or optimistic. “I see people just going about their normal lives,” said student Russell Fidler. “People in the [on-campus] game room are still the same, and I am personally indifferent to the outcome of the election.”

On Nov. 14, UNF president and former Jacksonville mayor John Delaney sent an email to students, staff and faculty urging …   More

Islama-phobicshop

The image is crudely rendered and Islamaphobic with an elbow to the ribs and ha, ha, ha. As an attempt at humor, whoever superimposed the head of Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department firefighter paramedic Jeffrey Abboud onto an image of a man dressed in a military jacket, with a full beard encircling his face and his head wrapped in a black scarf, certainly failed. In the image, it appears that Abboud is holding a human skull topped with a Santa Claus hat, with a cartoon thought bubble above it that reads, "Jingle BOMBS Jingle BOMBS!!!"

The reference is to comedian Jeff Dunham and his skeletal ventriloquist dummy, "Achmed the Dead Terrorist."

Jacksonville's Fire & Rescue Department turned over the main computer at its Myrtle Avenue fire station to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, after firefighters discovered someone had replaced the computer's screensaver with the image of Abboud — who is of Hispanic descent — doctored to look like a terrorist.

JFRD spokesperson Tom Francis said JSO IT investigators will determine who posted the image and when it was discovered and reported. He said that the department's compliance division, in charge of upholding department standards, will also open an investigation.

The slur is timely in its fear-mongering, coming after the Paris bombings and the massacre in San Bernardino put Americans on edge, and bombastic presidential candidate and evergreen blowhard Donald Trump played to the worst in us by saying he'll make Muslims in the country carry IDs and then ban any more from entering.

It's ugly. In Philadelphia, a pig's head was thrown at a mosque. A shop owner in Queens was beaten. Someone threw a large rock through the dining room window of the home of a Muslim family who'd recently moved to Plano, Texas.

Here in Jacksonville, Francis said it is a mistake to see anything systemic or endemic to the fire department in the screensaver. "We do not condone this kind of …   More

THE FLOG

Daily's Place: Ready to ROCK and Roll?

Today, there were two press conferences about the opening of Daily's Place, the new venue, this weekend. The first, hosted inside City Hall at 1:30 p.m., included remarks from Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, the city's Sports & Entertainment Officer Dave Herrell and Chad Johnson, Senior Vice President of Bold Events, the Jaguars' newest venture.

The mayor began the meeting talking about the upcoming weekend festivities. After drawing a chuckle saying that while he would attend some events, you wouldn't see him dancing, Curry said, "Daily's Place is adding another family weekend of fun and art."

The new amphitheater constructed at the south end of EverBank Field is set to have its first concert on Saturday, May 27. Daily's Place has a lot in store for 2017, including 42 concerts currently scheduled. However, there have been some questions about whether the venue will be finished in time. From outside the construction fencing this afternoon, seating appeared mostly complete; however, the stage remained unfinished.

Even though Jaguars insiders say that the construction crew is essentially working around the clock, with Saturday right around the corner, some are skeptical. Staff and local officials have no doubt it will be ready in time, however. Johnson said, "Daily's will open this Saturday. We have a great crew working the next three days to put this together. It will make Jacksonville proud with the facilities we can provide."

The 2:30 p.m. press conference, in the lavish US Upper Assure Club West of EverBank Field, included remarks from the CEO of Bold Events, Mark Lamping. The meeting consisted of a run-through on how the venue will operate, its amenities and features and some information on how ready the amphitheater is for Saturday.

Asked whether the venue is safe to hold a concert and if all permits had been obtained, Lamping said, "This is very typical in a project this large. All building systems have been signed off." He followed up, …   More

THE FLOG

Cheering for the Community

“At the heart of everything we do is that pride. The pride for the Jaguars and the pride for Jacksonville,” said John Caputo, president of the Bold City Brigade.

More than 100 supporters showed up to attend the Bold City Brigade’s community event to benefit The Boselli Foundation June 1 at Intuition Ale Works. The Bold City Brigade, a local nonprofit dedicated to building the Jacksonville Jaguars fan base, hosted the event to donate money to The Boselli Foundation, founded by former Jacksonville Jaguar Tony Boselli.

Caputo, along with a small group of people, started the Bold City Brigade to promote excitement for the Jacksonville Jaguars and support the community of Jacksonville.

“First and foremost we wanted to do a charity event, period. It was really important for us when we started the group. We always wanted to have a charitable arm of the organization, and with that we chose an organization that was locally rooted and that people knew about,” Caputo said.

The Boselli Foundation is a faith-based nonprofit organization that provides disadvantaged youth with after school learning programs through Angi and Tony Boselli's Youth Life Learning Centers. Established in 2007, The Boselli Foundation now has two youth centers set up in the Northside of Jacksonville.

With this community event, the Bold City Brigade estimates about $7,000 to be donated to The Boselli Foundation.   More

THE FLOG

Bill Cosby’s Call to Action

Billy Cosby, one of America's favorite father-figures, embodied the theme of Jacksonville's two-day education summit, "Increasing Parental Involvement."

The 75-year-old comedian and education activist spoke to a full house at The Florida Theatre Feb. 28 on behalf of Mayor Alvin Brown. Action News co-anchor Mark Spain hosted the event, which began with a drum line competition between four Duval County Public Schools — an idea from Cosby.

“Nothing bothers me more than hearing, ‘We don't have good schools in Jacksonville,’” Spain said before introducing Cosby.

Sporting sweatpants and a "Learn 2 Earn" T-shirt, Cosby began his lecture by teasing the mayor and poking fun at the Jacksonville Jaguars' past season, comparing them both to well-known cities that are "on the Weather Channel."

“Now they know your pro football team,” Cosby said. “Other cities love your pro football team.”

Then Cosby took the audience back to his childhood with stories of growing up poor and the old-fashioned days of parenting, when some parents took a more physical approach. The golden three-word rule he used to survive childhood? “Don't talk back.”

“In the South you don’t get beatings, you get whoopings,” Cosby joked.

Cosby said he strongly believes improving the quality of the nation’s education begins with parents. He ended with one last call-to-action to the people to fix Jacksonville’s education system.

“Nobody is coming,” Cosby said. “Only you.”   More