Coalition of the Hopeful 

Peace Out! shouts back

SAT 10/16

Hey, remember that debate last week? The one where the male, middle-aged, Caucasian, Yale-educated millionaire who's running for president sparred verbally with the male, middle-aged, Caucasian, Yale-educated millionaire who's running for president? That was great. But what about the rest of America? When do the women, the minorities, the young and the old get their say? When do you get to talk?

At 7 p.m., as part of Peace Out! at the Center of Creative Arts (524 Trinity Avenue), that's when.

Peace Out!, a multimedia event rooted in the power of the Word, is, as the name implies, devoted to the idea of peace. Organized by poets Deborah Stoddard and Joan Lipkin, Peace Out! seeks to provide an outlet for creative resistance to war. From the thousands of works available at, Stoddard and Lipkin selected twenty poems that they felt represented a journey toward empathy, then invited dozens of area artists, choreographers, musicians, dancers and actors to interpret these verses on stage. A host of St. Louis' progressive social organizations and arts groups quickly came aboard, but the core organizing group remains entirely female. Lipkin claims that's because "Women just get things done," an assertion that anyone with a mother can understand.

Still, one gender doesn't mean one voice: Lipkin believes that the country as a whole is "suffering a loss of imagination that pre-dated, but was exacerbated by, 9/11," and Peace Out! welcomes everyone who wishes to rectify that loss. In addition to the mainstage performance of the twenty selected poems (aided by projected images graciously provided by dhTV and KDHX [88.1 FM]), a St. Louis Poetry Salon hosted by Word in Motion takes place in COCA's dance studio, allowing local poets to speak their own minds. Taking the idea of inclusion even further, Peace Out! encourages everyone to add their seventeen syllables to the discussion in the Haiku Corner. Think of the entire evening as a debate with many parties, each given the opportunity to say their piece.

Admission is $10, with a $5 option for seniors and students, and free to all veterans. Call 314-995-4600 for more information. -- Paul Friswold

Only Seven?
Carlin on campus

SAT 10/16

George Carlin's legacy may very well end up being the "seven words you can't say on television" bit or (preferably) his scathing indictments of institutional stupidity, but it's more likely going to be those atrociously namby-pamby chain letters of bad jokes that make the rounds online. And you know what's funny about that? Carlin ain't the one writing those! How did a guy brilliant enough to demand that "There ought to be at least one round state" get pegged as the nitwit behind those crappy lists of New Age-y platitudes? It's Reagan's revenge, probably. Don't read the garbage; buy the man's books instead. And go see one of his two shows (at 6 or 9 p.m.) at the Touhill Performing Arts Center (1 University Boulevard; 314-516-4949). Tickets are $23 to $45. -- Paul Friswold

Opposing Viewpoints

The great feature of all abstract painting -- heck, abstract art in general -- is its argument-inducing power. You and your friend can look at the same piece, and you can both like it -- but you can also argue about why you like it and what it's "supposed" to mean. Abstract Painting: Six Points of View, the new show at the Regional Arts Commission (6128 Delmar Boulevard; 314-863-5811), offers six times the quarrel-power. The 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. opening reception on Friday, October 15, should provide plenty of time to pick favorites from the works of Laura Beard Aeling, Michael Byron, Christopher Kahler, Ron Laboray, Barry Leibman and Gary Passanise, and then you can debate the artists' merits on the way home. The show runs through November 24, so you also have time to return to the RAC for a rematch, if you like. -- Paul Friswold

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