Inside the Daily Planet, 12/2/08

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A systems addiction: Sixth Chamber Used Books by Hae Ryun Kang, TC Daily Planet • “Too many people think this place is a satanic bookstore.” 46-year-old owner, James Williams said. He added, laughing, “I would rethink the name if I started over.” Opened in 1995, Sixth Chamber is named for poet William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.”

THEATER | White Sheep of the Family, a sharp farce at Theatre in the Round by Dwight Hobbes, TC Daily Planet • You’re not going to find a stronger theater company in the Twin Cities than the Theatre in the Round Players, and they’ve done it again, mounting yet anotther first-rate production. The White Sheep of the Family, by L. du Garde Peach and Ian Hay, is a splendidly written, sharply directed, beautifully acted farce you’re going to rush home and tell family, friends—pretty much anyone who’ll listen—all about.

BOOKS | Poet Margaret Hasse lasts long like a Popsicle by Connie Wanek, mnartists.org • If poets write (as I believe they very often do) to explore and make sense of their own lives—and, by extension, all of life—then St. Paul poet Margaret Hasse has managed to put her days and nights—and, by extension, ours—into remarkable order and clarity.

Carrying a Torch for kids who dream of college by Matt Hart, TC Daily Planet • In 2001, two third-grade girls from Northfield had a dream.

They would go to college together and be roommates. There was only one problem: Stephanie was a blond-haired, blue-eyed Midwesterner, and Alejandra was Hispanic. Back in 2001, only 18% of Northfield’s Latino population passed the Minnesota Basic Skills Test (BST), a requirement to graduate from high school.

NEW IN BLOGS

ARTS ORBIT | Press release of the day: Does St. Paul owe the Pope $3.4 million? by Jay Gabler • What do Vatican splendors have to do with Minnesota history? For $3.42 million, everything.

BLOG OF THE MODERATE LEFT | Obama and the true believers by Jeff Fecke • While I’m certain that Obama will disappoint me, I’m also not going to expect that’s always a bad thing.

CABBAGES AND KINGS | 16 days: My activism against gender violence by Amina • Kenya Imagine • The violation of women’s rights, is a violation of human rights. She is your mother, your sister… another human.

ARTS ORBIT | The trouble with Twilight by Beth Hammarlund • I wanted to like Twilight. I hadn’t heard much of the books, but once the movie buzz began I decided to give the series a try. Now I’m as into hot marble-bodied vampires as much the next girl, but wow, I hated that book.