We're bombarded with news from many sources. Sometimes it's hard to know what's real and what isn't. Well, the readers of The Onion don't have that problem. With headlines like Ghost of Christmas Future Taunts Children with Visions of PlayStation 5, they know this isn't their daddy's newspaper. Since 1988, writers at the paper have been making their readers laugh and think with outrageous stories. Onion Sports Editor John Krewson hales from Madison, Wisconsin where The Onion began. He joined the paper just three years after its founding. Readers tell him they rely on the paper for real information.
The latest book from The Onion is Our Front Pages: 21 years of Greatness, Virtue, And Moral Rectitude From America's Finest News Source. Jhn Krewson and two other writers for The Onion will appear at the Alys Stephens Center, January 8th.
Fake news is one way to make fun of current events. Video sharing websites like YouTube are another. Take this tongue-in-cheek endorsement of Birmingham mayoral candidate Patrick Cooper. In addition to touting Cooper's supposed super human feats, it also takes shots at other mayoral candidates. It compares Carole Smitherman to a Star Wars character and chides William Bell for his brief tenure as interim mayor. The video, created by Birmingham comedy troupe Vacant Manifesto, created a stir in an otherwise quiet campaign. Patrick Cooper said he was flattered by it, but was quick to point out his campaign didn't release it. William Bell didn't like what he called the "blue language". Vacant Manifesto's members, Michael Greene, Adam Bollan, and Michael McFarland, tell WBHM's Bradley George they had no idea their video would attract so much attention.
When acting Birmingham Mayor Roderick Royal discovered a multi-million dollar budget shortfall in city finances he immediately went to work finding things to cut. He says he wants to keep core services intact -- public safety, education and the like. But he's singled out one major cultural institution - Red Mountain Theatre Company - for cuts of $80,000. Executive Director Keith Cromwell tells WBHM's Tanya Ott it was a total shock to be singled out.
We contacted Mayor Royal for comment but received no response.
Next year is the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. It's a perfect tourism opportunity for Alabama. But one thing worries state tourism officials: how to commemorate the anniversary without celebrating slavery. Tim Lennox reports from Montgomery, the first capitol of the Confederacy.
Violinist Augustin Hadelich burst on to the international scene in 2006, winning the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. That let to engagements throughout the world, including a performance with the Alabama Symphony the following year. Next weekend, Hadelich return to Birmingham to performs Bartok's Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. He talks with WBHM's Michael Krall about winning the competition and why it's a very different kind of music making....
Every Tuesday, musicians and spoken word artists come together for an open mic night at The Coffee Shoppe in Five Points West, in the Ensley neighborhood. Organized by spoken word artist Kuumba Nia Omari, the event has become a meeting place for African American artists.
Polly King, Mimi Latwon, and Kuumba Nia Omari are part of the open mic night, happening every Tuesday at The Coffee Shoppe in Five Points West. WBHM's Bradley George produced our audio postcard.
It's that time of year again - the time when you promise yourself you'll eat better or get more exercise or re-learn Spanish. A survey of 2,000 Americans finds that while women in general are more likely to make New Year's resolutions, men are more likely to keep them. All in all, 66 percent of people report making some type of promise...while only 17 percent actually follow through. We thought we'd ask some Alabamians what they've resolved NOT to do in 2010.
If your New Years Resolution includes getting in shape, you might want to Dance Across Birmingham. Tanya Ott has details in this month's Three to See...
Tapestry is produced by Bradley George and Michael Krall, with help this month from Tim Lennox and Tanya Ott. If you have comments or suggestions for a story, let us know. I'm Greg Bass and we'll see you next month.
If you've got a story idea for Tapestry, drop us an e-mail.