More often than not, we Americans get our news in increasingly attention-deficit- disorder-friendly ways. Sound bites, Internet-server headlines and bits of information flashed across the bottom of television screens are the means by which most of us learn what is going on in the world today. A Cliff's Notes version of reality seems to prevail. Couple that disturbing thought with the turbulent post-9/11 world and an America charging quickly toward a heated, ugly election, and the results can seem terrifying: a country full of confused citizens, vaguely familiar with terms like "Halliburton," "WMDs," "sleeper cells" and "Al-Jazeera." If only there were someone who could explain everything. If only someone could make sense of it all.
Larry Flynt is willing to give it a try.
Sex, Lies & Politics: The Naked Truth is Flynt's addition to the recent string of Bush-bashing literature. In it, the longtime Hustler publisher and free-speech crusader writes of a vast right-wing conspiracy spanning the past thirty years, from Spiro Agnew's tenure to the war in Iraq, and explains how it paved the way for the likes of John Ashcroft, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. Flynt then sets out to prove that the current administration is not just another example of bad politics as usual, but a dangerous assortment of corrupt hypocrites working to benefit no one but themselves.
While the hypocrisy he details often drives him to fits of rage, Flynt is more inflamed by the apathy and lack of understanding he sees in America today. He hopes to better educate the country about what he believes is an abhorrent perversion of democracy. The goal is to get folks so mad, they won't take it anymore.
For a man who knows a thing or two about exciting the public, that should be a piece of cake.
Flynt will discuss and sign Sex, Lies & Politics at an in-store performance at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street. Free tickets to the signing will be handed out individually beginning at 6:30 p.m. For information, call 303-436-1070. And get there early: There's bound to be a line to see the man who once referred to the members of the Supreme Court as "nothing but eight assholes and a token [Betsy Hoffman term of endearment]." -- Adam Cayton Holland
What a World
Aspen conference addresses state of planet
The generally accepted age for Earth is about 4.55 billion years. A lot has happened in that time: dinosaurs, the human race, the invention of the Hot Pocket. To truly discuss the state of the world today would take years. Fortunately for us, the Sopris Foundation has compiled a group of speakers ready to take on the task over the course of a weekend. The theme of the State of the World Conference 2004, which takes place today through Sunday at Paepcke Auditorium, 1000 North Third Street in Aspen, is "Creative Minds Address a Broken World." The goal of the conference is not only to educate and alert the public by posing questions for experts in the fields of energy, counterterrorism, international relations and the environment, but to challenge professionals to come up with creative solutions for the future, as well.
Marquee speakers at this year's event are Richard Clarke, former counter-terrorism chief and author of the exposé Against All Enemies, who recently testified before the 9/11 Commission, and former ambassador Joe Wilson, author of a New York Times piece last year accusing the Bush administration of exaggerating the case for war in Iraq. A score of other notables will also appear.
A three-day, full-conference pass is $234.25, but a number of different ticket packages are available. Call 1-970-925-2521 or log on to www.soprisfoundation.org for details. -- Adam Cayton-Holland
The Bucking Starts Here
Dust off your spangly boots, because the Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo is busting loose today for its 22nd annual roundup. Traditional cowboy events like bronc busting, barrel racing and bull riding guarantee the Regional will be plumb full of grit, but the rodeo rustles up a few events for novice cowpokes, too. The Wild Drag Race, for instance, is an amateur-friendly activity in which a team of three must secure a drag queen atop an 800-pound steer. Also amazing is a tighty-whitey relay known as Goat Dressing; the contest pits teams of two against the clock as they struggle to fit a pair of men's britches on the back end of a billy goat.
But most competitors won't just be horsing around. The International Gay Rodeo Association circuit allows men and women to compete in all events, with a full purse and a coveted belt buckle as prizes. In addition, the hoedown will lasso money for a handful of local charities, including Colorado Out Spoken and the Northern Colorado AIDS Project.
The Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo stampedes across the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 15200 West Sixth Avenue in Golden, through Sunday; tickets are $12 per day. For more information, call the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association at 303-333-4486 or visit www.cgra.net. -- Kity Ironton
Go With the Slow
An anti-fast-food approach takes root
For the past decade, the Slow Food movement has been sweeping the nation...slowly. Today it finally takes over Colorado, when Westward Slow! comes to Metro State College of Denver for a three-day conference highlighting the food-people and practices of the Rocky Mountain and Southwest regions. Hosted by Slow Food USA and Metro State, Westward Slow! includes appearances by renowned cookbook authors Rick Bayless and Deborah Madison, as well as talks by such politically correct ranchers as Bill Niman, Mel Coleman Jr. and Dale Lasater, of Lasater Grasslands Beef ("Grazing in the Grass," June 5, 2003). "This inaugural event is designed to focus attention on local growers, ranchers and food artisans who are dedicated to ecologically sound and sustainable 'slow' food production practices," says Matt Jones, co-chair of Westward Slow. "Locally farmed fruits and vegetables, artisanal cheeses, wines, beers and meats will be showcased and discussed." And sampled, of course. Included in the food for thought is a free lecture from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 10, on "Turning the Herd"; at a Grand Dinner from 7 to 10 p.m. that night, Denver mayor John Hickenlooper and slow-mo restaurateur Alice Waters will speak while guests sample food "at a snail's pace." The feast is $75 for Slow Food members, $85 for others; seminars run $40 for members, $50 for others. For more information or to register, call 1-877-756-9366.
And remember: Slow down, you chew too fast. You've got to make this good food last... -- Patricia Calhoun