One of the things the Founding Fathers did not anticipate when they were thinking about how the First Amendment would affect discourse on the Internet is the stunning proliferation of vile, poisonous, hate speech. (As in the helpful comment that might follow this column: “Abe Lincoln didn’t have Twitter, you dumb ass.”)
It’s so common that we now take it for granted as part of contemporary culture. Sad, but what can you do?
This week, former baseball star Curt Schilling did something. When a blog post he wrote congratulating his daughter on her softball scholarship drew horribly graphic and personal attacks on the girl from a handful of Twitter degenerates, Schilling fired back. In the course of a lengthy blog essay on civility, Schilling did some sleuthing and outed his daughter’s attackers by name. One was fired from his job, another was suspended from school.
Is it a game-changer? Probably not. But, speaking as the father of a daughter, any salvo in support of more humanity on the Internet, especially for young women, has my respect and admiration.
Some of your favorite local, female-powered bands will gather at Churchill’s 9 p.m. Friday to play a fundraiser for Miami Girls Rock Camp. As mentioned previously in this space, this program of mentoring and music is hoping to gather this summer for a session that aims to build self-esteem while teaching the campers to play an instrument. The camp will culminate with a concert at a club TBD.
Friday night’s show will include performances by Holly Hunt, Steph Taylor (from the State Of), Raffa, Quarter Horses, Bleeth, Bonnie Riot, Sadie Hawkins and Haochi Waves.
The $10 cover (all proceeds benefit Miami Girls Rock Camp) comes with a ticket for a raffle of stuff you actually want, from folks such as Ms. Cheezious, Panther Coffee, Perez Art Museum Miami, the Fillmore Miami Beach, the Broken Shaker and South Beach Kayak, among others.
More info: Facebook.com/MiamiGirlsRockCamp.
YOU GOT THE BEAT?
Which reminds me, the 2015 Hit Like a Girl Contest for female drummers this week started accepting video entries, with thousands of dollars in gear from top drum and percussion companies on the table. Info: HitLikeAGirlContest.com.
WORD OF MOUTH
Just had a talk with former Plantation singer-songwriter Emily Kopp about her evolving, Nashville-produced sound, which she will debut for South Florida fans at the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton on Thursday (March 5). One of the tangents that did not make the story was her appreciation for a recommended act I was shamefully unfamiliar with, Larkin Poe, who had Kopp open one of their shows: “They’re these two sisters from Atlanta. They tour with Elvis Costello, and they’re incredible. They’re my age (early 20s), but ... they’ve been touring forever. Sometimes you see people perform and it reminds you why you really like to do this, like, you’re not crazy. It kind of lights the passion again.” Hit the link to read the Emily Kopp interview. You can catch Larkin Poe when they open for Costello on March 18 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (concert information here). Info: LarkinPoe.com.
The Gold Coast Derby Grrls, who don’t take any guff from anyone, will return with a season-opening roller-derby bout against the Twin City Derby Girls (of Champaign-Urbana, Ill.) Saturday at the War Memorial Auditorium (800 NE Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale). The Grrls are coming off a solid 21-14 season that earned them a spot in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association national tournament. Tickets: $15 advance, $20 at the door ($5 ages 5-12). Doors open at 5 p.m., wheels begin rolling at 6. Info: Facebook.com/GoldCoastDerbyGrrls.
SHOTGUN BETTY, BAM-A-LAM!
Two local art museums looking to introduce themselves to a hip, young crowd are wisely enlisting the help of Shotgun Betty, the rootsy Americana revivalists from Lake Worth. The band (Alexis Lawson, Fern E., Spencer Bloor and Tom VonHalle) is on the bill for the First Thursday Sound Series hosted by JETS and JMB Records at Stache in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Himmarshee District tonight (March 5). JETS being the club of frisky young art and design enthusiasts aligned with the NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale. Info: Facebook.com/TheMoAFLJets. Shotgun Betty also will provide the soundtrack for Art After Dark at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach on March 19, a get-together that celebrates the opening of the Everglades exhibit “Imaging Eden.” Info: Norton.org. For more on Shotgun Betty, go to Facebook.com/ShotgunBettyBand.
Kelly Clarkson, she of the powerhouse vocals, three Grammys and 10 Top 10 singles, has sometimes had those accomplishments overshadowed by snarky online comments about her weight. The recent birth of a baby daughter has done nothing to quiet that noise. So maybe buying a ticket for her Sept. 17 concert at Coral Sky Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach makes a statement about what’s really important. Or maybe it’s just an opportunity to, you know, hear those 10 Top 10 singles. Tickets for the show, which includes Grammy winners Pentatonix and Eric Hutchinson, go on sale 10 a.m. March 21, at LiveNation.com and at 800-745-3000. Prices are $13-$92.50.
BOY MEETS GIRL
Juliet and her ill-fated romance will be reconsidered as Shakespeare’s iconic (dated?) story gets a thorough updating in “R&J [Romeo and Juliet],” a co-production by Grace Arts Center and Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theater that opens 6 p.m. Friday in the newly renovated Broward Public Library Theater. A modern mashup of hip-hop, tango, street art and DJ sounds, the adaptation also includes a surprise ending that is intended to “encourage dialogue with the audience about the art forms used and pushing boundaries in the arts while mastering the foundations,” says Clare Vickery, director of Grace Arts Center. The production also will be performed March 27 at the Light Project at the Goldman Warehouse in Miami, April 14 at the Deering Estate in Miami (sponsored by O, Miami Poetry Festival) and April 17 at the Crest Theatre in Delray Beach. Tickets cost $15, VIP $25, at RomeoAndJuliet2015.eventbrite.com.
YOUR WEEKEND MOVIE
Here’s what Rolling Stone’s David Fear had to say about “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”: “A multimedia mix of the singer-songwriter's home movies, journal entries, drawings, notebook scrawlings and audio recordings (buffered, naturally, by vintage interview excerpts and concert clips), Brett Morgen's documentary is more than just a must-see for Nirvana fans. It's an eight-years-in-the-making collective labor of love that offers a private peek into the artist's mind, from the first creative stirrings to the spiral downward. And by the time you get to the final shot of Kurt thanking the audience at the band's ‘MTV Unplugged’ show, you don't just feel as if you've gotten to know the man better. You're left completely emotionally spent.” The Miami International Film Festival screening is 9:30 p.m. Friday at O Cinema Miami Beach (500 71st St., O-Cinema.org) and 9:30 p.m. Monday at MDC Tower Theater (1508 SW Eighth St., Miami). Tickets: $13 at MiamiFF-Tickets.com.
YOUR WEEKEND BEER
The Brass Tap in Coral Springs (9651 Westview Drive), home to more than 300 craft beers, celebrates its first anniversary on Saturday by tapping some rare brews with friends from the Funky Buddha Brewery, who will offer their own special-release drafts, beginning at noon. Info: BrassTapBeerBar.com/CoralSprings.
YOUR WEEKEND BACON
As you can probably smell, the inaugural Delray Beach Bacon & Bourbon Fest is on its way to downtown Delray Beach March 28-29, with more than 40 bourbons and whiskeys and a sponsorship from Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats, which made the best bacon I have probably ever had (sorry, Mom). Beginning on Monday (March 9) festival organizers (same folks responsible for the city’s Garlic Fest) will start giving away 1,000 $25 tickets to the event via Facebook. Keep your eyes peeled here: Facebook.com/BaconBourbonFest.
YOUR OTHER WEEKEND BEER
The Sprung! beer festival returns to Peacock Park in Coconut Grove on Saturday from 2:30 to 7 p.m. with more than 200 beers from 62 breweries. Tickets, which get you unlimited samples of every beer they have, are in three tiers: $40 for admission 4-7 p.m.; $70 3-7 p.m.; and $90 VIP starting at 2:30 p.m. My first stop: Michael's Genuine Home Brew, which could only be better if served with a plate of his grilled Brussels sprouts. Info: IGotSprung.com.
How many times have I driven past Dockers (U.S. 1 and Old Griffin Road) and wondered if it’s named for its proximity to the water or its fashion sense? The former, I am told. I’m always up for a little Graham Wood Drout on a deck with a cold one, and the nautical-themed bar (318 N. Federal Highway, Dania Beach) is hosting South Florida's resident swamp god, along with Iko-Iko bandmate Mitch Mestal, 8 p.m.-midnight Friday. The full band is scheduled to perform 3:30 Saturday at the Coral Springs Festival of the Arts & Crafts, along with Nicole Yarling and Rachelle Coba. Info: Iko-Iko.com.