The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, April 04, 1990, Page 9, Image 9

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    Arts & Entertainment
Dillon convincing in(Drugstore Cowboy’
By John Payne
Senior Reporter
Based on a true story, the long
awaited “Drugstore Cowboy” takes
a heads-up tour through the varying
highs and lows of doper life, while
solidifying Matt Dillon as one of the
finest actors of his generation.
It is a slick, searing film that is
uncompromising in its honesty.
Set in 1971, Dillon plays Bob
Hughes, a crafty young junkie who
leads a loyal band of fellow addicts
through the counter-culture under
belly of Portland, Ore., in endless
pursuit of more and more dope. And
as Hughes explains, “Where’s the
best place to go for drugs? Where
they make drugs.”
His accomplices, his equally ad
dicted wife Dianne (Kelly Lynch)
and a rookie couple (James Le Gros
and Heather Graham ), assist the char
ismatic Hughes in ripping off the
pharmacies of the Pacific Northwest,
stopping just long enough to fix.
The four look more like children
the morning after Halloween than they
docriminals, dividing up the drugs as
if it were trick-or-treat candy.
Dillon is superb. With an long
grin, the usually harmless actor ex
udes the same sort of evil that Mal
colm McDowell did in ‘‘A Clock
work Orange.” And like that movie,
the humor here — and there is a lot of
it - is pitch black.
When their friend, novice junkie
Nadine (Graham), overdoses on some
the gang’s more expensive stuff, Dil
lon looks down at the pale-blue body
of their comrade to deliver a kind of
doper eulogy: ‘‘She must have taken
a vile out of the truck when we were
n’t around. That conniving little bitch.”
Bob and Dianne’s relationship
deteriorates throughout the film as
well. They are so strung out on mor
phine and pharmaceutical cocaine that
they are unable to find a time when
both are capable of making love. The
parodox of their situation is well
conveyed by Dillon and Lynch - and
sad to watch.
Dillon’s acting is especially good
here, playing the nervous, denying
young man who suddenly cannot
control his situation.
Director Gus Van Sant’s film has
an unforgiving memory of just how
the ’70s -- a decade most would pre
fer to forget - looked. Right down to
Dillon’s plaid bell-bottoms and grey
suede Hush Puppies, it painfully re
captures a time in our country that
was, if nothing else, a fashion night
See COWBOY on 10
Courtesy of Sheldon Film Theater
William Burroughs plays the defrocked drug-addicted priest who almost succeeds in luring
Bob Hughes, played by Matt Dillon, back into the dark world of drugs in “Drugstore Cowboy.
Minority activist hopes to raise awareness
By Julie Naughton
Senior Reporter
Elbert Edward Perry Hill Smith
has a goal that could benefit the Uni
versity of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“I’d like to raise awareness about
the culture and contributions that
minority organizations and people
provide for Lincoln,” he said.
The minority activist hopes to raise
community awareness about the
minority experience in Lincoln, pri
marily through his radio work on
Lincoln’s KZUM (89.3 FM).
Smith is a guest presenter on
KZUM’s “Reggae Only” radio pro
gram, as well as the presenter for
KZUM’s “African-Americans and the
Law” information series. Both are
designed to help raise community
awareness, he said.
“It’s wonderful to be a member ol
the press,’ ’ he said. * ‘The experience
is great.”
Smith got involved with radio work
last fall, when his friend Herbert Fultz,
a KZUM presenter, convinced him
that sharing his minority activist views
could benefit the community.
He said that having the “power of
the pen’ ’ combined with the anonym
ity of radio -- “no pictures” - is a
great platform for his efforts.
Smith, a self-proclaimed “inde
pendent scholar, speaks French,
Spanish, German and Japanese in
addition to English. He often pro
duces segments or entire raps in one
or more of these languages, with reggae
music as the background.
“I create what I call ‘highly intel
lectual raps’... often on community
activist topics,” Smith said.
A typical live broadcast perform
ance for Smith is about eight minutes
long after “eight to sixteen hours of
research and other creativity.” He
recites his scripts to the beatof reggae
He comes up with an idea for a
program — “by reading the Daily
Nebraskan and keeping my eyes open’ ’
-- researches the topic with available
people, writes a script “embedded”
with the information and practices
the script with his background music.
Fultz has the final approval -- ‘ ‘to see
if the segment is appropriate for the
media.” If the segment is approved,
Smith presents the program.
Smith’s first and second “Afri
can-Americans and the Law” seg
ments covered the UNL College of
Law and the National Black Law
Journal. The third segment dealt with
the Nebraska Unicameral, including
interviews with State Sens. Ernie
Chambers of Omaha, Don Wesely,
Jim McFarland and Dave Landis all
of Lincoln.
He plans to do a series about the
justice system, and is “hoping to inter
view child services people, bailbonds
men and judges. I came up with this
idea after reading about how — ‘in
volved’ — black men are with the
judicial system.”
During the month of February,
Smith listed several dozen legislative
bills “relating to minority citizens.”
“I like to give members of the mi
nority community the chance to pres
enta more positive view of minorities
than you see on the news,” Smith
said. Smith said he hopes to provide a
more positive presentation for all
minorities -- whether they are black,
Hispanic, Jewish or homosexual.
“Any type of a m inority’ he said.
Smith currently is lobbying
KZUM’s programming committee for
his own “Minority Community Af
fairs” program.
“There is a crying need for this
type of a program in Lincoln,” Smith
said. “The management at KZUM
agrees; we’re all very optimistic about
the possibility of the show.”
Smith said that he has “paid his
dues’ ’ for the program by volunteer
ing at KZUM since last November.
He still needs practice in interview
ing, he said, and is working with
KZUM personnel to polish his tech
nique. One way that Smith plans to
gain interviewing experience is by
talking to minority community lead
ers. He will then ask some of the
leaders to appear on his show, he said.
“I find that I only have a few more
hurdles to surmount before — in all
probability - getting KZUM’s pro
gramming committee to okay a mi
nority affairs program,” Smith said.
Smith currently is appealing to
minority community leaders to help
him with this program. He said he
See RASTA on 10
Post-cutting-edge science fiction book
outlines basics of cyberpunk movement
By Bryan Peterson
Staff Reporter
Semiotext(e) SF
Various Authors
"But the cyberpunk content is
outrageous. One imagines them as
crazed computer hackers with green
mohawks and decaying leather jack
ets, stoned on drugs so new the FDA
hasn’t even heard of them yet, word
processing their necropsychedelic
prose to blaring tapes by groups with
names like The Crucifucks, Dead
Kennedys, Butt hole Suffers, Bad Brains
— from the introduction to
Semiotext(e) SF
Semiotext(e) SF is a self-described
“Einstcin-Rosen wormhole into
anarcho-lit history,” a 400-page an
thology of post-cutting-edge science
fiction that can be a wonder to hold.
Established SF writers like Philip
Jose Farmer (“St. Francis Kisses His
Ass Goodbye”), J.G. Ballard (“Jane
Fonda’s Augmentation Mammo
plasty”) and Robert Shcckley
(“Amsterdam Diary ”) are among the
45 writers included.
Anomalous "leaders” of the
Cyberpunk movement (William Gi
bson and Bruce Sterling, among oth
ers)alsoare represented. And, justfor
a little variety, conspiracy aficionado
Robert Anton Wilson and longtime
literary renegade William Burroughs
are added.
Dozens of lesser-known writers fill
out the list of contributors to this
collection, and all offer uniquely
warped visions of things to come.
Four hundred pages later, an idea
of exactly what constitutes cyberpunk
remains elusive, but it seems to thrive
on human-machine interf ace and inter
course in a not-loo-bright, none-too
distant future.
Words like weird and strange tell
nothing of these stories; they come
from beyond the fringe of the al
ready- maligned (and misaligned) SF
realm where the unimaginable be
comes certain.
A markedly dystopian theme runs
through most of these stories - a
concern with out-of-control state
control, a disdain for the mindless
masses and an alarming extension of
current political and cultural trends
into the future.
The stories arc comic and cosmic,
puritanical and pornographic at the
same lime. Most are difficult; all are
unsettling. An eerie realism pervades
even the most fantastic offerings and
adds to the unbridled impact of the
Semiotext(e) SF is a trip into an
other world, or into 45 other worlds,
but any of these worlds could be our
Only one piece — a travel guide
calling on world citizens to “Visit
Port Watson!”- portrays a noticea
bly hopeful future.
Port Watson lies on the island of
Sonsoral, which has been developed
into a libertarian/anarchist haven where
theory is discarded, work nearly abol
ished and life practiced.
But all is not warm and wonderful
in these futuristic wanderings. Fan
tasy and nightmare are sometimes
indistinguishable; often a twisted sense
of humor emerges to unite the two.
“Ralph settled into the rhythm of
the freeway, glanced into the rear
view mirror and said, with a straight
face, "That was Nelda and Jacob.
See PUNK on 10
Courtesy of Autonomsdla