In Microtones, our newsletter-first column.
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MICROTONES by Scott Gordon, editor-in-chief and publisher
“If there was any justice in the world, Madison planes would be departing from Judith Faulkner Airport.” —John Roach, “The Airport Epic’s Judith Faulkner Built,” Madison Magazine, March 22, 2019
See that bin I just placed my laptop in? That’s a Harry Potter conference room. This bowl where my keys go? Probably a cool treehouse where you go to sign away your labor rights. The reassuring whump-whump of the body scanner? Just think of it as Judy’s breath on the back of your neck, as she checks that you’re alright to fly. Because the airport is practically a gift from Judith Faulkner, from whom all good things come.
It’s still a regional airport (and an almost inexplicably expensive one, with General Mitchell beckoning from just over the horizon line) but I’m glad that the founder of Epic gave us this airport, because this airport has a bar. While I’m at the airport bar, people are nice to me. I meet people from Epic and we talk about Epic. It’s good to get out of town, then come back to town and feel like I’m in a glassy canyon of high-rises that make me feel like I am in a different town. The road that goes to the airport also took me past the shuttered ham factory, which is fortunate because I need a thematic through-line for this loose assemblage of anecdotes and dodgy causal relationships I’m putting together as tribute for our electronic-health-records deity.
When the plane takes off I’ll look down on all those people who graduated from UW-Madison and stuck around, and think about how sad and creepy they are. Like, getting your master’s degree here and sticking around for decades on end? You’ll never amass obscene wealth and a campus of nutty buildings that way, kids. And as far as ending up in a town that has direct flights to Phoenix? Forget it. If you want those things, you must embrace dynamism, risk, reward. I, for example, wrote this entire column in the time it took me to down two Goose Island IPAs that ended up costing the same as checking a bag.
Send me new people, please. Especially more of these wondrous young people who wear real clothes instead of stinking rags or burlap sacks. Were it not for Judy, they would all be repulsive slobs and none of them would work in the private sector. They’d have things like unions and pensions and not have the chance to eat in restaurants or attend outdoor concerts. They’d be counting entirely on state jobs rather than counting entirely on tech jobs. And they love it! They told me while charging their phones at the sockets near the Touch and Go Massage station.
Judy is a much more glorious master than the ham man. I hope she puts some of the old Ella’s Deli gewgaws out at the airport, and then someone drops some pieces of Chicago on them.
New this week:
Electronic musician Tarek Sabbar goes deeper into the world of modular synthesizers.
The Overture Center cancels a panel about Asian stereotypes in the musical Miss Saigon.
On the Tone Madison Podcast, jazz vocalist Betsy Ezell discusses her 2018 album Voices.
Who will think of Madison’s omnipresent vanishing suppressed outspoken Republicans?
Elsewhere on the Madison internet: Paoli’s Landmark Creamery is asking for helpafter a storage facility threw out 100 pounds of its cheese. David Bordwell puts film noir in context. Saxophonist Tony Barba announces a new solo album. Our Livesreports on changes to Madison’s 2019 Pride celebration.
This week’s Madison calendar: Filmmaker Andrew Bujalski visits UW Cinematheque to screen his films Funny Ha Ha and Computer Chess. Mitski and Jay Som play the Sylvee. The 2019 Line Breaks Festival kicks off at the Memorial Union. And more.