Lens news

by Lens editor announces


Lens editor Max Sparber, dressed in an ensemble that included short blue pants, a cravat and a Buster Brown haircut of curly blond locks under a blue sailor’s cap, declared a change in The Lens‘s editorial policy this past week. “Nothing but vaudeville for us, boys,” Sparber said, “vaudeville and puppet shows!” He then licked an oversized, brightly colored lollipop and stuck out his tongue, before adding, “Maybe a circus too, if it comes to town. We can write a story about circuses. I like circuses!” This change in editorial agenda comes as no surprise to Lens staff members, who claim it is consistent with an agenda that has dominated the paper for this past year.


Campus film organization complains of Lens coverage


Michael Faludi, representing the Campus Film Association, this week lodged a written complaint against The Lens‘s coverage of the organization’s film series “Hipper Than Thou: Obscure Crap from a Century of Cinema.” The organization called The Lens‘s film critics “uneducated” and “biased,” particularly noting a recent review of the 1938 film The Terror of Tiny Town. The film, an all-midget musical Western, was lambasted by Lens film critic Susan Miura, who called the film “offensive on too many levels to mention” and “the cinematic equivalent of a hate crime.” Faludi, on the other hand, calls the film “A neglected masterpiece of black and white, with themes complex enough for a film by Edgar G. Ulmer.” “Really,” Faludi continued in his letter, “if the function of The Lens is not to simply act as a free press organization for whatever arty or underground film we wish to show, then what good is it? We do not want the opinions of a poorly informed critic, who could not possibly know as much about movies as we do. We want your unconditional support!” Faludi then reminded The Lens that this weekend would include a screening of Night of the Lepis, a 1972 film about oversized killer rabbits that terrorize the American Southwest.


Lens music staff reveals terrible secret: Bands referenced in CD reviews made up


The staff of The Lens music section this weekend, after having one too many grenade-shaped bottles of Mickey’s “big mouth” malt liquor, confessed that they just make up band names in their stories. “Do you remember that story I did about Stickfigure,” one inebriated staff writer said, “I compared it to the hillbilly thrash of Dynamite Mike? There is no such band as Dynamite Mike! I just made it up! I don’t even know what hillbilly thrash means.” Invented band names inserted into stories this past year have included The Los Rios, Pumpkin Changeling and The Swollen. One Lens critic, admitting that he had just made up the band Zuzu’s Petals for a story on Mack 10, was informed, to his surprise, that a band called Zuzu’s Petals actually existed, although they were not known for “preppy pop,” as he had claimed. When asked why they invented band names, The Lens‘s music staff confessed that the only way to look hip when writing a music review was to use an endless number of comparisons with increasingly obscure bands. “I mean, after you have compared a band to Nico’s solo albums for the fifth time, the well starts to run a little dry,” one said. “It’s always much easy just to make up a band name.”


Minnesota Daily sports writer submits unsolicited CD review


Christian Ellefsen, a sports writer for the Minnesota Daily, dropped off an unsolicited review of a Motorhead CD this past week, causally noting “I bought it this weekend, and it kicks ass, so I thought I would work up a review of it. If you can use it, cool. If you can’t, that’s cool too.” The review was passed around among Lens staffers for about three days as an object of ridicule, as editors noted that it was a review of a CD that had been released two and a half years ago, and that the text of the review included comments such as “Motorhead literally sets the studio on fire with this one.” “I don’t think he meant ‘literally’ there,” one Lens editor commented, to giggles from the remainder of the staff. “Unless maybe Motorhead’s recording techniques include arson.” The Lens music editor shrugged when asked about the CD review, saying merely that “my ass has more chance of sprouting a face and singing Gershwin standards” than the review has of being published.


Lens staffer interviewed

on Radio K


Lens music critic Maggie Sayles was interviewed on Radio K as part of a new “goings on around town” calendar feature, during which she listed her favorite local bands and mentioned when they would be playing over the summer. She then sat in with a Radio K deejay for about an hour and a half, selecting songs and chatting about her eroding interest in the emo scene, although she explained that she still likes Omaha-based sob rocker Bright Eyes. Sayles later reported excitedly back to her editor that the broadcast had been a success, and she had been asked to come back whenever she wanted. “It’s a real coup for The Lens,” she said. “We’ve been needing this sort of exposure.” Ironically, the deejays at Radio K felt as though Sayles’ appearance was a coup for them. “We’re starting to really attract attention,” one morning deejay said, readjusting her thick granny glasses and fiddling with her Hello Kitty backpack. “I mean, now we’ve got music critics coming on the air to talk with us! Stuff like this is really encouraging, because sometimes it seems as though nobody is listening.” In fact, more than 30 people in the Twin Cities metro area had tuned into the show, and one listener was heard to comment “The Lens? The hell? Isn’t the Minnesota Daily‘s art section called A&E?”