Coachella Valley Independent

Indy Digest: April 10, 2023

Before we get to the deluge of terrible news, I want to talk about MAD Magazine.

The humor/satire magazine was a favorite of mine growing up. It was silly, biting and hilarious—all great things to a burgeoning smart-ass such as me.

However, my favorite MAD Magazine feature was always the fold-in—that full-page illustration inside the back cover that took on a whole new meaning if you folded the outer portions over the inner portions by making the two arrows touch—created by the great Al Jaffee.

While MAD no longer publishes regular new issues, and Jaffee retired a few years back, his work lives on.

The New York Times reports:

Al Jaffee, a cartoonist who folded in when the trend in magazine publishing was to fold out, thereby creating one of Mad magazine’s most recognizable and enduring features, died on Monday in Manhattan. He was 102.

His death, at a hospital, was caused was by multi-system organ failure, his granddaughter Fani Thomson said.

It was in 1964 that Mr. Jaffee created the Mad Fold-In, an illustration-with-text feature on the inside of the magazine’s back cover that seemed at first glance to deliver a straightforward message. When the page was folded in thirds, however, both illustration and text were transformed into something entirely different and unexpected, often with a liberal-leaning or authority-defying message.

For instance, the fold-in from the November 2001 issue asked, “What mind-altering experience is leaving more and more people out of touch with reality?” The unfolded illustration showed a crowd of people popping and snorting various substances. But when folded, the image transformed into the Fox News anchor desk.

So long, Al. Thanks for all the laughs.

—Jimmy Boegle

From the Independent

In His Backyard: Palm Springs’ DannyLux, Playing at Coachella, Has Achieved Worldwide Fame Thanks to His Nontraditional Regional Mexican Music

By Matt King

April 10th, 2023

After exploding on TikTok during the COVID lockdown, Palm Springs native DannyLux, aka Daniel Balderrama, has become famous around the world.

Legends and Premieres: The McCallum’s New Season Features Old Favorites, Some Debuts—and a McCallum-Produced Show About Industrial Musicals

By Jimmy Boegle

April 9th, 2023

A chat with McCallum Theatre president and CEO Mitch Gershenfeld about the just-announced 2023-2024 season.

Skipping School for Coachella: The Members of Horsegirl Navigate Between ‘Normal’ Lives and Musical Success

By Matt King

April 8th, 2023

The members of Horsegirl started the band when they were in high school, and has crushed successful headlining tours while dealing with the travails of college—and they’re heading for Coachella.

On Cocktails: Tequila’s Great, but Most Modern Tequila Drinks Aren’t—So Let’s Go Back to the Classics

By Kevin Carlow

April 7th, 2023

Our intrepid imbiber scoured the internet and the recesses of his mind for some “modern classics” that feature tequila.

Trust in the Groove: El Michels Affair Takes ‘Cinematic Soul’ Out of the Studio for Coachella Performances

By Matt King

April 10th, 2023

If tracks of original music by El Michels Affair, like “Villa” and “Ala Vida,” aren’t enough funky, head-bobbing, hip-hop goodness for you, check out the band’s albums with faithful renditions of some of the best beats by the Wu-Tang Clan and its members.

Significant Shoes: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon Tell the Story of Michael Jordan’s Nike Deal in the Breezy ‘Air’

By Bob Grimm

April 10th, 2023

In Air, Ben Affleck reunites with Matt Damon to tell the story of Nike’s pursuit of the great Michael Jordan, and a shoe deal that made history in the 1980s.

Reckless Rage: Netflix’s ‘Beef’ Is One of the Year’s Most Addictive TV Experiences

By Bob Grimm

April 10th, 2023

As the saga of Danny (Yeun) and Amy (Wong) plays out to hilarious and tragic consequences, the tension mounts with each episode of Beef.

More News

Shortly after a Texas jury convicted U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Perry of murder for killing Garrett Foster at a Black Lives Matter protest, Gov. Greg Abbott said he wanted Perry to be pardoned. I guess murder is OK these days? NPR reports: “The governor didn’t go into detail about why he believes Perry should be pardoned, but he cited Perry’s attorney’s explanation that Perry shot Foster in self-defense. ‘Texas has one of the strongest “Stand Your Ground” laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney,’ Abbott said. … Travis County District Attorney José Garza says it is ‘deeply troubling’ that Abbott is intervening in the case, noting that the legal process around the case isn’t yet complete. ‘In this case, a jury of twelve listened to testimony for nearly two weeks, upending their lives to painstakingly evaluate the evidence and arguments presented by both the State and the Defense,’ Garza said in a statement emailed to NPR.”

For more incomprehensible news out of Texas, we turn to The Washington Post: “The status of a key abortion medication was cast into uncertainty Friday night when rulings from two federal judges reached contradictory conclusions, with one jurist blocking U.S. government approval of the drug while the other said the pill should remain available in a swath of states. The dueling opinions—one from Texas and the other from Washington state—concern access to mifepristone, the medication used in more than half of all abortions in the United States, and follow the Supreme Court’s elimination of the constitutional right to the procedure last year…. The highly anticipated and unprecedented ruling from Texas puts on hold the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone, which was cleared for use in the United States in 2000. It was the first time a judge suspended longtime FDA approval of a medication despite opposition from the agency and the drug’s manufacturer. The ruling will not go into effect for seven days to give the government time to appeal. U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk, a nominee of President Donald Trump with long-held antiabortion views, agreed with the conservative groups seeking to reverse the FDA’s approval of mifepristone as safe and effective, including in states where abortion rights are protected.”

California is responding to the mess by gathering up a whole lot of mifepristone. According to the Los Angeles Times: “Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that California will stockpile an emergency supply of 2 million abortion pills known as misoprostol in response to a federal judge in Texas ruling against the authorization of another medication that has been used to terminate pregnancies for decades. ‘In response to this extremist ban on a medication abortion drug, our state has secured a stockpile of an alternative medication abortion drug to ensure that Californians continue to have access to safe reproductive health treatments,’ Newsom said in a statement. ‘We will not cave to extremists who are trying to outlaw these critical abortion services. Medication abortion remains legal in California.’ … Newsom said the judge’s decision ‘ignores facts, science, and the law” in a way that puts ‘the health of millions of women and girls at risk.’”

Another day, another mass shooting. The Louisville Courier Journal reports: “Connor Sturgeon has been identified as the shooter who killed four people inside Old National Bank in downtown Louisville early Monday morning. Officials also identified the four people killed in the shooting, who were all employees at the bank. They are Josh Barrick, Tommy Elliott, Jim Tutt and Juliana Farmer. Sturgeon, 25, was a graduate of Floyd Central High School and the University of Alabama. According to his profile on LinkedIn, he interned for three summers at the bank before starting a full-time position in June 2021. He (used) a rifle and was livestreaming the incident, Louisville Metro Police said at a Monday afternoon press conference. ‘Today is a day that is heartbreaking for our city, for all of us, especially for the people in that office at Old National Bank and their loved ones,’ Mayor Craig Greenberg said at the Monday afternoon press conference.”

One of the lawmakers expelled by the Tennessee Legislature last week—for protesting a lack of action following a mass shooting in Nashville—is back. CNN says: “The Nashville Metropolitan Council on Monday voted to reappoint Justin Jones to the Tennessee House of Representatives, sending the ousted lawmaker back to occupy the House District 52 seat as an interim representative. His return comes days after the GOP-dominated House expelled him after he and two other Democrats called for gun reform on the chamber floor. The 36-0 vote to return Jones to his seat followed a vote to suspend a procedural rule that prevents an individual from being nominated and appointed to the seat in the same meeting. Following the decision late in the afternoon, Jones joined demonstrators in a march to the state Capitol.”

Inflation is to blame for some of the price increases at the grocery store. So is corporate greed. Time Magazine says: “Across the country, the high grocery prices have crunched budgets for essential food items. But at the same time, some of the largest food corporations are raking in profits. Experts say those profits are helping to make your groceries even more expensive. ‘Follow the money, and the story is clear,’ Robert Reich, the former U.S. Labor Secretary, tweeted last week. ‘Food corporations are using inflation as cover to jack up prices.’ (Last) Tuesday, Conagra Brands—one of the largest consumer packaged goods companies in the U.S.—announced that it had posted a nearly 60% year-over-year profit increase between December 2022 and February 2023. The Chicago-based company, which makes a long list of grocery staples including Chef Boyardee, Hunt’s, Slim Jim, Reddi-wip, and Marie Callender’s frozen meals, reported a net income of $342 million, up from $219 million in the same quarter a year prior.”

After a brief tenure that, in a gross understatement, could be called turbulent, College of the Desert president Martha Garcia is leaving for a new gig. The Desert Sun reports: “College of the Desert Superintendent/President Martha Garcia has been appointed as the next president of Mt. San Antonio College. When she takes office July 1, Garcia will serve as the chief executive officer for the largest single-district college in the state. She will replace Bill Scroggins, who is retiring in June after leading Mt. SAC, as it’s familiarly known, for 12 years. She will also be the school’s first female president in 50 years and its first president of color. ‘I am ecstatic at the opportunity to lead Mt. SAC and I am grateful the board has entrusted me to serve as the next president,’ Garcia said in a statement. ‘I am looking forward to working with the college’s teams and especially to serving students. That’s why I do what I do.’”

• And finally … if you’ve ever dreamt of giving live theater a try, or you’re an actor with experience who wants to get back onstage, mark your calendars for May 6. From a news release: “Palm Canyon Theatre is holding an open call for its 2023-2024 season. Auditions on Saturday, May 6, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. are open to people of all experience levels. Actors of various ages are needed for the season’s lineup, which includes Brigadoon, Elf the Musical, Steel Magnolias, Rent, Sweeney Todd, Sordid Lives, Something Rotten, Boys in the Band and The Light in the Piazza. Performers are asked to prepare one up-tempo song and one ballad. It is suggested that singers perform with pieces that are appropriate for the shows they are interested in. A piano accompanist is available, but those auditioning may also bring their own music on CD or smartphone. Actors choosing to perform a monologue are asked to keep it under two minutes.” Learn more at

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Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...