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Culture Shock by Leanne Potts
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    G.I. Joe Speaks Navajo

    More Sammy Hagar photos

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    Idle Words on Classic Music 'Idols'
        Way back in 1979, Greil Marcus, the dean of the first generation of pioneering rock critics, rounded up his peers and got them to write an essay on which album they would take if they were stuck on a desert island.
    (Sunday, July 11, 2004)

    All's Fair in Love, Politics
        Polarization. That's the word trend watchers and political pundits are using these days to describe the state of the nation.
    (Sunday, July 4, 2004)

    Lollapalooza Lost Its Alternative Edge, Then Its Audience
        Lollapalooza, the best-known alternative rock festival in the country, died this week.
    (Sunday, June 27, 2004)

    Reagan Dislike a Rite of Passage
        Now that the worshipful sendoff for former President Ronald Reagan is over, somebody needs to say it: There's a whole bunch of us for whom Reagan antipathy was the defining emotion of our youth.
    (Sunday, June 20, 2004)

    Can 'Harry' Keep Aging Audiences Spellbound?
        The words were ones no Quidditch-loving, wizardry-admiring fan of Harry Potter wanted to hear.
    (Friday, June 4, 2004)


    Fielding's New Heroine: a Spy to Love
        In the late 1990s Helen Fielding introduced the world to Bridget Jones, a 30-something single woman whose life was defined by her inability to live up to the thin-thighed, Gucci-wearing, date-bait fantasies depicted in women's magazines.
    (Sunday, May 30, 2004)

    Crayola Competition Poses Color Question for N.M.: Green or Red?
        If New Mexico were a color, what color would it be?
    (Sunday, May 23, 2004)

    No Concert Blues for Casinos
        The only business more byzantine than booking pop music concerts is running tribal casinos.
    (Sunday, May 23, 2004)

    Remember, Doll Face, It's Figurative Art
        The organizers of the Santa Fe International Figurative Art show would rather you not call their event a doll show.
    (Friday, May 21, 2004)

    Jesse James— the Other One— Rides Back Into N.M. Hearts
        Jesse James, the tattooed founder of West Coast Choppers, has won fame, money and movie star girlfriends by selling an outlaw biker-with-a-blowtorch image to the cubicle-bound masses.
    (Sunday, May 9, 2004)

    Barbarians are at the Gate and Roaming the Golf Course
        There is a master's thesis worth of symbolism in what happened this week at an Albuquerque golf course.
    (Sunday, May 2, 2004)

    Old Friends Won't Be Forgot as Sitcom Turns Out the Lights
        After a decade, it's over. Joey is moving to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career, and to try to save NBC's hold on the 18 to 49 demographic with his spinoff series. Rachel and Ross will probably end up together, finally, despite a job offer that would take her to Paris.
    (Sunday, April 25, 2004)

    'Sopranos' Devotees Torn Between Two Families
        Midway through the current season of "The Sopranos," fans are split as to whether the first seven episodes of the HBO series have satisfied or disappointed.
    (Sunday, April 25, 2004)

    The Times Are $!%! Changing
        Ever since Boob Gate at the Super Bowl, this country has been in an uproar about decency standards. Clear Channel dumped potty-mouthed Howard Stern last week after the FCC threatened the conglomerate with a $495,000 fine, NASCAR has threatened to fine drivers who curse while being interviewed and CBS bleeped out Janet Jackson's utterance last month of "Jesus" during an appearance on the David Letterman show.
    (Sunday, April 18, 2004)

    'Deadwood' Mirrors Our Past, Present
        CULTURE SHOCK: Thank goodness HBO has renewed "Deadwood" for a second season.
    (Friday, April 9, 2004)

    'Friends' Exits New TV World
        The final episode of "Friends" is still more than a month away, but already coverage of the end of the NBC series' 10-year run is everywhere.
    (Friday, April 2, 2004)

    Judgment of Paris Awaits
        When, oh when, will Paris Hilton go away? I ask this after discovering one recent night that three separate TV shows chronicling the unaccomplished life of the celebutante were airing simultaneously. They were glowy bio shows in which a narrator gushingly reviewed Paris' 23 years on Earth: the expensive clothes, the failed makeup and fashion line, the famous boyfriends, the gig rubbing shoulders with the Wal-Mart demographic on "The Simple Life" and of course, her daddy's money, without which dear Paris would be just another untalented anorexic with hair extensions.
    (Sunday, March 14, 2004)

    Won't You Be My Friendster?
        Just when you thought there weren't enough opportunities for rejection in the world, along comes Friendster.com, a popular Web site that allows people to fuel your social anxieties without ever actually speaking to you.
    (Sunday, February 15, 2004)

    Fashion-Oblivious New Mexicans Split on UGGs
        New Mexicans are ignoring another fashion trend. At this very moment, most people in this republic of fashion resisters are not rushing out to buy UGG boots, the caveman-looking sheepskin footwear that's this season's It shoe.
    (Sunday, February 8, 2004)

    Duke City Radio Gets Gay-Friendly
        Jennifer Beals has traded leg warmers for a girlfriend on the new Showtime series "The L Word," the Fab Five guys have become cult figures and gay marriage is a hot political issue.
    (Sunday, February 1, 2004)

    A Film 'Cold' to Color
        Much has been written about the absence of blacks in "Cold Mountain," the blockbuster film about a wounded Confederate soldier who says buh-bye to the Civil War and walks home to his sweetheart in the North Carolina mountains.
    (Sunday, January 11, 2004)

    Sick of Spam? It's Not Cured
        You know the drill. You sign onto your computer in the morning, open up your e-mail, and half the messages in your inbox promise cheap Valium, sexy Asian chicks and potions to make your private parts as big as Montana. "Get Bigger! 100% Proven Results!"
    (Sunday, January 4, 2004)

    Hip-Hop Runs Afoul of Rosa Parks
        Rosa Parks' lawsuit against the rap group OutKast seems like the ultimate irony.
    (Sunday, December 14, 2003)

    Now Even Kids Get the Blues
        Once, the blues was the devil's music. Robert Johnson sold his soul to Satan in exchange for prowess on the blues guitar, the tired old legend goes. Depression-era preachers warned their flocks to stay away from the primal music that wailed about adultery, murder, incarceration, alcoholism and soul-crushing despair.
    (Sunday, December 7, 2003)

    'Soprano'- Free HBO: Worth It?
        It's that time of year again, when you wonder if HBO is worth the fat monthly check you send to your local cable company.
    (Sunday, November 23, 2003)

    Fresh From 'Simpsons,' Tomacco Becomes a Reality
        Once again, reality has imitated "The Simpsons." Last year the Albuquerque Dukes became the Albuquerque Isotopes after a 2001 episode of the show depicted Homer Simpson protecting his beloved triple-A baseball team the Springfield Isotopes from the paws of an unnamed, franchise-thievin' Albuquerque mayor. Homer spoke, and we listened.
    (Sunday, November 16, 2003)

    Clued in
        Ah, the perspective that comes with nearly eight decades of living.
    (Saturday, November 15, 2003)

    Add Trio to Your TiVo To-Do List
        You have to love a cable channel that understands why "Battle of the Network Stars" matters. Trio, a smart and refreshingly hip little arts network that's available in 19 million homes, not only knows why "Battle" is important to some of us but it also aired a weeklong marathon of the show this summer. (A spate of "Battles" will air again in December.)
    (Sunday, November 9, 2003)

    Tune In, Turn On, Get Real
        Reality TV is often pointed to as proof that the end of civilization is near. (That, and Arnold Schwarzenegger's election as governor of California.)
    (Sunday, November 2, 2003)

    Taking Off the Gloves— and Shoes
        If the state treasury got a dollar every time some expert or pundit chastised New Mexicans for being Wrangler-jeans-wearing, pickup-truck-driving, cock-fightin' yahoos, we would no longer be the poorest state in the nation.
    (Sunday, October 19, 2003)

    Godzilla Rules the Pop Psyche
        Bill Tsutsui wants to know what Godzilla means to you. Tsutsui, a professor who teaches Japanese business and history at the University of Kansas, is writing a book on the impact the Tokyo-stomping monster has had on American pop culture. He wants to hear your reflections on Godzilla so he can include them in his book.
    (Sunday, October 5, 2003)

    Saving Cash Always Fashionable
        Five years ago Isaac Mizrahi and Target were not words one would expect to use in the same sentence. Isaac Mizrahi lived in the heady Manhattan world inhabited by supermodels and women rich enough to buy his high-end clothes.
    (Sunday, September 28, 2003)

    Slot Makers Gambling on Old TV Stars' Appeal
        Dick Clark took my money. He didn't do it personally; a slot machine based on his classic TV program "American Bandstand" was the culprit. Clark's eerily youthful face beamed from the machine at Sandia Casino, promising me a fat jackpot if I got a matching row of eight-track tape icons.
    (Sunday, September 21, 2003)

    Blue Suede 'Tudes
        Elvis Presley has been written about ad nauseam. I know.
    (Sunday, September 7, 2003)

    Elvises Packed the Building
        There were young Elvises and old Elvises. There was an Elvis on a walker. There were girl Elvises and boy ones and one Elvis who was just 3 feet tall.
    (Wednesday, August 27, 2003)

    Mr. Magazine Says 'Zines Are a Reflection of Society
        Samir Husni takes magazines seriously. Husni, a University of Mississippi journalism professor and oft-quoted industry analyst, goes by the trademarked nickname "Mr. Magazine."
    (Sunday, August 24, 2003)

    Proudly We Hail Pearly Whites
        The moment Geoffrey Rush opens his mouth in the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean," you know he is playing a rotten, no-account scumbag.
    (Sunday, August 17, 2003)

    'Queer Eye' Makes Over View of Homosexuals
        They're here, they're queer and they star in the most-talked about TV show of the summer. "Do you have bad credit or bad taste?" snaps fashion guru Carson Kressley upon first glimpsing the depressingly bare apartment of John Bargeman, a New York City area man.
    (Tuesday, August 12, 2003)

    Arnold's Just Latest Celebrity To Hitch Star to Politics
        Gov. Schwarzenegger? Since Arnold Schwarzenegger announced on the "Tonight Show" his intent to enter the California gubernatorial race, we've all giggled at the thought of the guy who wore a loincloth in "Conan the Barbarian" leading the nation's most populous state.
    (Sunday, August 10, 2003)

    Critic Stands Test of Time
    If you saw the film "Almost Famous" you may recognize the name Lester Bangs. He was the gonzo rock critic played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who mentored the young critic who was supposed to be Cameron Crowe.
    (Sunday, August 3, 2003)

    That's Father Hubby to You
    Now, the Rev. Scott Mansfield is known as the Catholic priest accused of eulogizing a dead man as a church-skipping sinner headed straight to H-E-double hockey sticks.
    (Sunday, July 20, 2003)

    X Marks the Top Pop Spots
    Every belief system has its shrines, places where the faithful can go to feel the presence of gods, saints and prophets who trod there in earlier times.
    (Sunday, July 13, 2003)

    Card-Toting Muggles Love Harry More Than Hillary
    Assistant library director Kirsten Shields said the library ordered 440 copies of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" as well as 40 audiobook versions.
    (Sunday, June 22, 2003)

    Movie With a Message Turns Filmmaker Into Activist
    In the shadows of "The Hulk," "The Matrix Reloaded" and the rest of the big-budget, escapist pap clogging the multiplexes at the moment is a small film with a big message.
    (Sunday, June 15, 2003)

    Hillary's One Foxy Author
    Hillary Rodham Clinton says in her new book "Living History" that she "wanted to wring Bill's neck" when he finally fessed up about his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky after seven months of telling her he had not had sex with that woman.
    (Sunday, June 8, 2003)

    Success Story Is Unverified
    This is a weird story, so pay attention. It begins in Albuquerque, with an unknown garage band called Unverified. The trio of 30-somethings plays Ramones knockoffs and does what all unknown bands do, working day jobs and hoping for the Big Break.
    (Sunday, June 1, 2003)

    A Fashion Flip(Flop)
    "I blew out my flip-flop/ stepped on a pop-top ... " You know the rest of this song, of course Jimmy Buffett's 1977 chestnut "Margaritaville," which tells of a mood-disordered alcoholic who has lost his way in life and now lazes seaside in plastic shoes probably purchased at a convenience store.
    (Sunday, May 18, 2003)

    Even Hip Authors Get the Blues
    Tom Robbins got a sore hand, leaving fans with unautographed books, well, sore. The best-selling author was in town May 2 kicking off a seven-city book-signing tour in support of his new book, "Villa Incognito."
    (Sunday, May 11, 2003)

    Early TV Laughed on Cue
    Let's hear it for the guy who changed prime-time TV more than Rachel and Farrah's hair and Lucy and Desi's baby combined, a man who worked his magic behind the camera in techie anonymity.
    (Sunday, April 27, 2003)

    Zagat Survey Lets Fans Call the Tune
    You, too, can be a music critic. Zagat (pronounced za-GAT, not zaggit), the company that brings you ratings guides to restaurants and hotels, is publishing its first-ever music guide and it wants you, Mr. Armchair Music Expert, to pick which albums rank as the best of all time.
    (Sunday, April 20, 2003)

    Mullet-Proof Publicity
    Ridiculing the culture of bad haircuts and muscle cars isn't the simple act of elitism one might think.
    (Friday, April 11, 2003)

    Tasha Takes TV Snub in Stride
    CULTURE SHOCK: Albuquerque's Tasha Valentine has been eliminated from "Nashville Star," a country music version of "American Idol" airing on the USA Network.
    (Sunday, April 6, 2003)

    Catch a 'Quiet' Moment
    One of the best movies of the year wasn't nominated for a best picture Oscar. "The Quiet American," based on the 1955 Graham Greene novel of the same name, is pure brilliance.
    (Sunday, March 16, 2003)

    Everything's Just Ducty on the Tape Security Front
    The security alert has been downgraded from orange to yellow. For those of you unfamiliar with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's 2003 terror palette, this means you probably won't need that stash of duct tape to seal yourself in a bedroom while poisonous gas swirls outside.
    (Sunday, March 9, 2003)

    You're Not So Deck With Cool
    The most basic requirement of being cool is knowing the latest term for cool.
    (Sunday, March 2, 2003)

    Reliving the Sounds of the '90s
    Lollapalooza is back from the dead. You remember Lollapalooza: the Gen-X extravaganza that wrapped hip-hop, alt-rock, metal, poetry slams and political-action booths into a traveling lifestyle circus.
    (Sunday, February 23, 2003)

    Outcry Over 'Kingpin' Fails To Materialize
    The fax machines of America's Hispanic media watchdog groups were awhir long before the first episode of "Kingpin," NBC's new series about a homicidal drug-cartel-running Mexican family, aired.
    (Monday, February 17, 2003)

    Art Stunt Less Than Persuasive
    The Maligned Artist vs. The World, Part 34,261. An unemployed British actor sealed himself in a wooden crate the size of a portable toilet last week and mailed himself to London's Tate Museum to make a statement about how society mistreats artists.
    (Sunday, February 16, 2003)

    Cupid's Survival Guide
    Valentine's Day should be so simple, so sweet.
    (Friday, February 14, 2003)

    Carnie Needs To Shed Self-Esteem Bid
    Apparently Playboy magazine has nixed Carnie Wilson's naked appearance in its April issue because she is still too fat.
    (Sunday, February 9, 2003)

    N.M.'s Tastes an Open Book
    When I can't find a better outlet for my curiosity, I spy on what people are buying from Amazon.com.
    (Sunday, February 2, 2003)

    'Lord of the Rings' Unleashes Debate on Racism
    There's an ugly war raging among the Tolkien faithful, those lovers of Hobbits and Elves and the magical lands of Middle Earth.
    (Sunday, January 26, 2003)

    Strike a Pose, Baby
    Blessed are the little children, especially the ones who sleep through their parents' ambitions for them.
    (Sunday, January 26, 2003)

    No Rhyme, Reason in Rawls' Rap
    Lou Rawls doesn't like rap.
    (Friday, January 24, 2003)

    Hip-Huggers Make Not-So-Flattering Fashion Statement
    Life sometimes gives lemons, the old saw goes, and the latest citrine tragedy to befall women is ultra low-rise hip-hugger pants. Particularly the ones made to accommodate a 3-inch-wide belt that grazes the top of her hip bones and makes her look how should I say this? big as a barn? Broad across the beam? Like a denim-clad Venus of Willendorf?
    (Sunday, January 19, 2003)

    Fan Celebrates The King's Birthday at Elvis Shrine
    Fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches don't taste as bad as one would expect, which is surprising, seeing as how a tablespoon of butter is smeared on each slice of factory-perfect white bread before being cooked to a greasy gooey golden brown.
    (Thursday, January 9, 2003)

    McD's Fall From Grace Supersized
    Wall Street analysts who try to explain slumping sales at McDonald's by pointing to changing American tastes are missing the point.
    (Sunday, December 22, 2002)

    Retailers, Ads Bare Flesh for the Bottom Line
    So what are we to make of clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch hiring models wearing only underwear to greet shoppers at their major stores the day after Thanksgiving?
    (Friday, December 20, 2002)

    Get a Good Wrap
    Face it. The plastic fish that sang "Take Me To The River" that you gave your cousin last holiday season was on a garage sale table by March.
    (Sunday, December 15, 2002)

    Get a Good Wrap
    Face it. The plastic fish that sang "Take Me To The River" that you gave your cousin last holiday season was on a garage sale table by March.
    (Sunday, December 15, 2002)

    Talent Show's Star Is Born -- Once Again
    All of you who want to become famous but would rather skip the day job, the garret apartment and the years of struggle that generally precede pop star fame will be happy to learn that "American Idol" wasn't your only shot at an express ride to the top.
    (Friday, December 13, 2002)

    Friends, Family Flock Together for Unconventional Thanksgiving Feasts
    CULTURE SHOCK: Thanksgiving never really looked like that Norman Rockwell illustration, the one that shows an apron-draped grandma serving a gigantic turkey to Caucasian kin aglow with beatific light.
    (Thursday, November 28, 2002)

    Will Jesus Christ Be Next Vehicle Trendsetter?
    That Jesus would be an environmentalist makes perfect sense. After all, his dad made the fields we're covering with concrete and the oceans into which we're spilling tankers of oil. And that whole Noah's ark thing was nothing if not an effort to preserve endangered species.
    (Monday, November 25, 2002)

    Hot Guy, Undies -- Made You Look!
    The TV remotes of America must have been smoking Wednesday night as viewers switched back and forth between the finale of "The Bachelor" and "The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show."
    (Thursday, November 21, 2002)

    '8 Mile' Repackages Eminem, Rap for the Mainstream
    Toward the end of "8 Mile," the big-studio film loosely based on the life of its star, Eminem, a character tells the rapper, "You're making history here, man."
    (Friday, November 15, 2002)

    Adventures in Telepathy, Trances
    You, too, can read minds.
    (Wednesday, October 30, 2002)

    Would-Be Governors Styled for Election Day
    Forget pocketbook issues like taxes and job creation. Years of research have shown that a candidate's appearance influences voters as much as his or her stand on actual issues (which tend to be insincere, vague and rare).
    (Sunday, October 27, 2002)

    Entertaining Magazine Improves Your Mental Hygiene
    St. Nicholas of Myra, aka Santa Claus, is also the patron saint of beer brewers.
    (Friday, October 11, 2002)

    Audiences Choke on Anna Nicole Reality
    Perhaps the brightest pop culture news since Britney Spears' self-imposed hiatus from music is that ratings for "The Anna Nicole Show" have fallen faster than Kmart stock.
    (Friday, September 27, 2002)

    Lyle, Bonnie and Dixie Chicks in a Tizzy
    All of us should have ditched the lame "Sex and the City" finale and gone to the Rio Grande Cantina on Sunday night. Apparently Lyle Lovett and Bonnie Raitt were there with their bands large and small, whooping it up with mariachis and margaritas.
    (Friday, September 13, 2002)

    Apocalyptic Message Loses Steam in 2002
    AIDS epidemic, the sex scandal in the Catholic Church.
    (Friday, July 5, 2002)

    Caged Gladiators Fight It Out — But Say They're Really Nice Guys
    Nick Shadwick doesn't seem like the kind of guy who enjoys giving and taking whuppings. Sure, he's got a menacing looking crewcut, Fu Manchu facial hair and muscles on top of his muscles, but his demeanor is downright gentle. He looks shyly at his feet when he talks to a reporter and thinks carefully before answering questions about his involvement with the mixed martial arts fighting event known as King of the Cage.
    (Friday, June 21, 2002)

    Fire Up Music Into Space
    From Moscow comes word the Russian Aerospace Agency (think NASA with less funds and rustier rockets) has given 'N Sync's Lance Bass the OK to fly a Russian rocket to the international space station.
    (Friday, June 21, 2002)

    Hagar Bests Roth in Pavilion Show
    And the winner is ... Sammy Hagar.
    (Wednesday, June 19, 2002)

    Ex-Van Halen Frontmen Mine Rivalry for All it's Worth
    There will come a day, youth will pass away/ then, what will they say about me? David Lee Roth sang in 1985 on "Just A Gigolo," the first single of his solo career.
    (Friday, June 14, 2002)

    'Windtalkers' Premiere Stirs Pride
    KAYENTA, Ariz. Several hundred people are standing, squinting, in the parking lot outside the Black Mesa Twin Theater.
    (Friday, June 14, 2002)

    Self-Obsession Takes Away From Eminem's Credibility
    CULTURE SHOCK: Just over a year ago, Eminem was Exhibit A for those who believed the decline of Western civilization was imminent.
    (Friday, June 7, 2002)

    Eagles Take It a Little Too Easy
    For just a few hours Tuesday night, it was 1977 again.
    (Wednesday, June 5, 2002)

    'Potter' Video Reignites Mania
    The next Harry Potter film won't hit theaters for nearly six more months, and book five in the wildly popular series about the adventures of a boy wizard has been delayed until next year.
    (Monday, May 27, 2002)

    Fan Takes Stab at Concert Etiquette With Boorish Results
    You have to wonder why some people bother to go to concerts, especially people who possess the social skills of a pit bull on Jolt cola. Take, for example, the guy I stood behind recently at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
    (Sunday, May 19, 2002)

    The Force a Way of Life
    At 25, Alfonso Salazar was just a baby when the original "Star Wars" debuted back in 1977. The Albuquerque chemical technician learned of the mysteries of the Force from an older brother, and by the time "The Empire Strikes Back" was released, a then 5-year-old Salazar had all the action figures.
    (Thursday, May 16, 2002)

    No Doubt Show All About Girls
    Oh, to be Gwen Stefani.
    (Monday, May 13, 2002)

    Dave Matthews Takes Frat Party on Tour
    There is no more unlikely rock god than Dave Matthews.
    (May 10, 2002)

    Sammy Hagar

    Sammy Hagar

    Sammy Hagar

    Sammy Hagar

    Dog Days of August Dragging
    T.S. Eliot had it wrong. The cruelest month is not April but August. Yes, August, when you realize the summer is nearly gone and you still haven't gotten into swimsuit shape, read the hot novel or spent a week lazing in some glamorous place where summer is a verb.

    Tattoos Get Bigger, Colorful
    Just when you thought the tattoo tide had ebbed comes word from trendspotters that tats are back, bigger and more multicolored than ever.