Category Archives: January-February 2013

Sequential Artists Workshop Upcoming Events

SAWDreams, Visions and Inspirations:  A week-long intensive with John Porcellino

WHEN: Feb. 25-March 1, 10a.m. to 5 p.m. each day

WHERE: The Sequential Artists Workshop (18 S.E. 5th Ave. behind the Civic Media Center)

Last year at SAW we inaugurated our intensive visiting artist program with King-Cat creator John Porcellino. This year we’re bringing John back.

John Porcellino has been creating and self-publishing personal, powerful, poetic comics for more than 20 years. King-Cat is often on best-of lists, and he is a favorite of such artists as Chris Ware and Lynda Barry.

Students came from Australia, Seattle, New Jersey, North Carolina and elsewhere to study with John. They worked with him exploring their own memories and lives to create stories for mini-comics.

We’re proud to bring King-Cat’s John Porcellino back to SAW for this week-long workshop. Students will work with John from morning to evening creating work that they will then collect and publish on Friday. They will learn how John plans and works, looking to his sketches and notes for ideas and to vast stores of culture, nature and art for inspiration.

Learn more at

Ron Rege Cartoon Utopia Workshop

WHEN: Spring Break, March 4-8

WHERE: The Sequential Artists Workshop (18 S.E. 5th Ave. behind the Civic Media Center)

Ron Rege has spent four years on his new book, Cartoon Utopia, which is utterly original and beautiful.

In this week-long workshop, students will work with Ron from morning to evening, expanding their minds and vision and translating their ideas and stories to the finished page. Ron has created autobiography, true stories, comics from dreams and histories and lately, intricate spectacles and essays on magic and the unknown. Students will get to work with Ron for a week, to learn his process and connect to the Cartoon Utopia!

This workshop will be in conjunction with an exhibit at FLA Gallery on Main Street.

Sign up for one or both at

One Year Later, Gainesville Still Loves Mountains

PHOTO Gville loves mtsby jason fults

About a year ago, I wrote an article for the Iguanadiscussing Gainesville Regional Utilities’ (GRU) consumption of coal mined using mountaintop removal, a highly destructive practice seen throughout Appalachia. At the time, approximately 62 percent of GRU’s energy mix came from coal, and 60 percent of that was from mountaintop removal (MTR) sites. Scientific evidence was mounting that MTR was having serious, long-term effects on human and ecosystem health in Appalachia, and yet, day after day, MTR coal was being shipped to Gainesville and burned at the Deerhaven power plant.
When I co-founded Gainesville Loves Mountains in early 2011, I knew that our struggle would be lengthy and difficult. The technocrats who oversaw GRU’s fuel procurement were unaccustomed to the sort of questions we were asking and disinterested in considering the externalities of their business decisions. Yet the dramatic changes that we witnessed in 2012 are both exciting and humbling.

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Fashionable Economics

by David chalmers

In the 1940s, I read a big novel titled “The Fountainhead.” It is the story of lovely Dominique Francon who falls in love with a beautiful bare-chested quarry worker, Howard Roark, who brutally rapes her (“Fifty Shades” of Howard Roark). Roark turns out to be a genius architect who subsequently dynamites his great construction, rather than have it modified by lesser, conventional men. The author of the novel, Ayn Rand, was a refugee from the collective society of Russian Communism. Gary Cooper played the architect Roark in the 1949 movie; Patricia Neal was Dominique.
In Ayn Rand’s 1957 thousand-page sequel “Atlas Shrugged,” the hero John Galt led the most creative members of society in a strike against a corrupt society and a confiscatory government. For half a century, “Atlas Shrugged” has appealed to bright young readers like Governor Romney’s Vice Presidential choice Paul Ryan and Libertarian Texas Congressman Ron Paul. The movie, Part I, opened in 2011, but current book sales are in the hundreds of thousands, almost 7 million since 1957, and Part II of the movie just opened last October.
Among her close inner group was the economist Alan Greenspan, who wrote that he was “intellectually limited” until he met Ayn Rand. He brought her along to the ceremony when Ronald Reagan appointed him to the Federal Reserve Board.

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Surveillance State Hits Home

occupy-the-fbiBy Lars Din

When several activists from Occupy Gainesville went to the Oaks Mall around Halloween 2011 to perform as radical cheerleaders, they had no idea that the FBI had already warned mall security. As ridiculous as this seems, as you’ll agree once you see their performance, the implications are less hilarious.

Documents released just before the winter holidays reveal that the FBI worked with corporations to spy on participants in the Occupy movement, including the local troupe that performed in the food court (mall security reported back that the activists politely declined to give their names).

Released over a year after a FOIA request by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund[1], the heavily-redacted reports show that – even before the occupation began of Zuccotti Park in New York City, and despite acknowledgement that the movement has consistently emphasized and practiced non-violence – the FBI considered Occupy activists a terrorist threat. They show that agency policy, coordinated nationwide with private firms, favors corporate strategies to counteract protest over the people’s right to free speech or assembly.

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Radical Press Coffee Collective


We here at Radical Press Coffee Collective have finally launched our Indiegogo online fundraiser! We worked really hard on it before going live because it’s going to be our main way of raising all the money we need to open shop. We need all the support we can get, so spread the word far and wide!
I guess we could have taken out a loan. But instead of Wells Fargo or some other bank collecting interest on our endeavors, we think it makes more sense for the community to have an invested interest in the project, even if that means donating a dollar. We’re interested in building community, providing a space for people to meet each other, connect, and organize in a cozy environment where folks know that the coffee is GREAT, the workers are treated fairly, and all the ingredients are sourced ethically.

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History and the People Who Make It: Bright Winn

transcript edited by pierce butler

This is the twelfth in a continuing series of transcript excerpts from the collection of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida.
Bright Winn was interviewed by Paul Ortiz [O] in 2000.

I was born at Santa Maria, California [in 1944] and raised in San Francisco, in an all white community. There was not rampant racism within the community; there was a negative attitude towards black people or people of color. However, when I brought the word nigger home, from school, my father stopped the conversation and never with anger explained how hurtful and how wrong the word was. He admonished me that I should not use that word. It probably took three or four times for him to give me the same lecture, to get the point home. When social debates, political debates, went on amongst his peers, he always had a liberal and giving attitude about black people.

He grew up in Missiouri in a segregated society, he went to a segregated school. Maybe because he was a good person, he got the idea. I know he had it young, because I went to his hometown as a seventeen-year-old and met an old black woman who told me, “Fred Winn was the nicest white man I’ve ever known in my life.” He just plain didn’t have hate in him and didn’t accept segregation and negative attitude towards black people and I was raised under that. It came to light after my parents divorced, that I had a younger sister and she was bi-racial. And so, at eighteen I had to stop and think about black people realizing now that I had a younger sister who was half black. That would have been about ’61, ’62; things were going on in Civil Rights and I was paying attention and learning from that. It was a burden to have a younger sister who was born out of wedlock and was bi-racial. But, it caused me to think, and I came to the idea that yes, you had to be right with black people.

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Note from the Publisher: Into 2013 and Beyond

joe-WEBby joe courter

Welcome to 2013. Once again, the media fell for and/or promoted apocalyptic crackpottery. There was the “harmonic convergence” in the ‘90s, Y2K fearmongering at the turn of the century, and then the recent Mayan calendar hype on 12/21/12. And through it all, life goes on. Hysteria sells newspapers, and it makes for simplified stories not encumbered by complexity and, well, scientifically based facts.
This is especially true with regard to climate change. The deniers keep getting a place at the table, thanks to their corporate sponsors and a refusal to “take sides” by the media. Sometimes side-taking is needed, because not all belief systems are true, no matter how sincerely felt or how widespread they are held!

With racism, sexism, homophobia – progress is happening worldwide on these topics; of course, not without reactionary holdouts. But these issues are resisted by dogmatic religionists mostly. The belief systems that deal with economics and corporate interests, they are supported by huge, wealthy public relations machines, “think tanks” and media outlets committed to opposing anything that infringes on their “free market” ideology. Thankfully, their mountains of money were rejected by voters, and we don’t have a President Romney as we move into the coming years.

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Letter to the Editor: Time to Hold Obama Accountable

Hi there, Joe and everyone at the Iguana.

As one of the ex-pat Gainesvillians, I want to thank you for the “now what?” editorial, but also to encourage you to double down on criticism of President Obama’s policies. He’s been re-elected, he doesn’t have to pander to the warmongers and the fuddy-duddies any more. Now he needs to be held accountable, not only for the drone war, as you point out, but the NDAA, the Patriot Act which is still in place, Gitmo ditto, the incarceration of Bradley Manning, the expanding invasion of our privacy and individual liberties. Will he finally put an end to the insane drug war, or is it too convenient a cover for police militarization, here in the U.S. and abroad? Is he going to continue cheerleading for “clean coal,” fracking (including here in Florida) and oil drilling even as the Arctic melts, or will he finally stand up for science and seriously confront climate change? And now that he no longer needs to court AIPAC, will he now acknowledge international law (and human decency) and express outrage over what’s happening in Gaza even as I write this?
I was so disgusted with his administration’s failure to prosecute war criminals Bush, Cheney & Co. in the first term, along with all the abuses detailed above, that I couldn’t even bring myself to vote for the man, despite all the pressure from “liberal” friends and my own revulsion for Republican social and economic policies; I went for Jill Stein. But now that the right-wing threat has been pushed back, Obama needs to stand up and lead–in the right direction, which is NOT the direction his first term has been taking us. These wars of aggression we’ve been fighting (all of them–including the war against our rights at home) need to end, now–and talk of dealing with a “fiscal cliff” is ludicrous when military (and “homeland security”) spending is not on the table. If Obama won’t do it, he needs to receive the same treatment LBJ got over Vietnam. I hope the Iguana will be a voice for the opposition!

Best regards,
Ronnie Hawkins

Gainesville City Commission passes Move to Amend resolution

by move to amend – gainesville

“Which side are you on boys, which side are you on?” – Florence Reece, from the song made famous by Woodie Guthrie.
On Jan. 3, the Gainesville City Commission showed which side they were on, by voting in agreement with over 1,400 local citizens for a resolution sponsored by Move to Amend – Gainesville, the local affiliate of a national Move to Amend campaign.
By a 5 to 1 margin, with Commissioner Chase dissenting and Commissioner Bottcher absent, the Commission approved the Resolution, which calls for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution stating that the rights guaranteed by the Constitution are reserved for “We the People,” and not corporations, labor unions or other “legal fictions,” that money is not equal to free speech, and that our elected representatives have the right and the duty to regulate campaign spending.

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January/February 2013 Gainesville Iguana

CoverCan’t get into town for the print Iguana? Or did you make it to the box a little late this month?

Well, don’t worry! We have the whole January/February Iguana 2013 issue here for your perusal.