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MetroGlyphs

05.25.16

MetroGlyphsWednesday, May 25, 2016 by SFR
Russ Thornton is a Santa Fe local who has replaced his first passion, cooking, with a new love interest, the weekly SFR comic he's created called MetroGlyphs. Reach him at santafechef@hotmail.com

7 Days

05.25.16

7 DaysWednesday, May 25, 2016 by SFR
1

MEXICO WILL EXTRADITE DRUG LORD EL CHAPO TO US

This isn’t like Breaking Bad at all!

2

CERRILLOs ROAD CONSTRUCTION DETOURS TO BEGIN

And seriously, don’t even try this on a Friday afternoon.

3

SANTA FE CELEBRATES LOWRIDER DAY

I know, huh?

4

EVERYONE FELT THE BERN DURING SANDERS’ COMMUNITY COLLEGE RALLY

Especially the sunbern.

5

… AND TRUMP CAME TO ALBUQUERQUE

Wake us when it’s over.

6

FRACTURED FAITHS EXHIBIT OPENS AT THE NEW MEXICO HISTORY MUSEUM

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

7

CELLPHONE USERS REPORTEDLY USED 10 TRILLION MEGABYTES OF DATA LAST YEAR

All of it on Tindr.


Paz on Earth

Growth in hip-hop and what it means to self-examine

Music FeaturesWednesday, May 25, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Pablo Paz, aka Adrenaline Truth, aka DJ Shatter, wanted to be an animator once upon a time. “But as I went along school-wise,” he says, “I realized I wasn’t really artistically inclined in that way, but I still wanted to make stuff.” Music, specifically hip-hop, had always been a creative respite for the Omaha-born, Santa Fe-raised Paz, however, so when he returned home after receiving a degree in creative media from the University of Hawaii and training under an audio engineer who he would “rather not name,” he re-enlisted with his old crew, Dezert Banditz. “The Zs are just for fun,” he jokes, “and we were—or we are—one of the bigger crews in the state.” Indeed, like a New Mexican version of the much-ballyhooed Wu-Tang Clan formula, Dezert Banditz remains a loosely connected tribe of groups, MCs, DJs, beat-smiths, producers and various hangers-on. If hip-hop is the product, Dezert Banditz is the factory.

For his part, Paz’s MC and DJ efforts are certainly available for any and all performers, but the bulk of his best work seems inextricably linked to SUBLMNL RNSONS, a three-piece with which he performs alongside Cas Uno (Leroy Cardenas) and Mr. UnXnown (Jose Granados). They’re well known to Santa Fe’s hip-hop elite as prolific writers and producers, and rarely will a show within that genre take place without one or all of them onboard.

“It’s been the project that I’m usually the most focused on,” Paz says. “But lately I’ve really wanted to shift that focus more to the craft of production.” He speaks of his DJ alter-ego, Shatter, a party facilitator who exists in stark contrast to Paz’s soft-spoken and almost shy nature. As a person, Paz is clearly very intelligent, but it would appear he climbs into his own head about how he presents himself to the world at large. As a DJ and performer, he comes alive and takes on an almost completely different persona. Still, he’s nothing if not self-aware of his own potential artistic growth.

“SUBLMNL has songs from over the years that people still like, and we’ll still play those songs because people like ’em, and I get it, but I’m not sure how much I still agree with the message in those anymore, [and] anyway, I’m not writing lyrics as much these days,” he points out. “I’m more focused on DJing, not just because I want my co-MCs to get more of the spotlight—and I know I can count on them to show up and fill in those blank spaces—but because when I step up to the mic, I want to have something to say, even … it doesn’t matter if it’s not important to the rest of the world, it still has to be important to me.”

During his informal mini-hiatus, he’s sharpened his DJ skills and broadened his repertoire by performing at various regional hip-hop showcases. “They can be really long and teach you that you have to know all kinds of styles,” he says. “So I DJ with a rapper’s perspective because when I was doing more MC stuff, the DJ was always the wild card, and they should be the conduit through which all the music flows.”

His refreshingly communal-minded philosophy from within a field that seems to foster a single-player mentality has obviously served him well, as he appears among this year’s SFR Best of Santa Fe-nominated artists in the DJ category and also helms the decks for a massive show Friday at The Underground, which features NYC artist Ricky Bats, Rill, Nspire, Ben Davis, SBLMNL RNSONS and others.

“I’m all about figuring out what’s feasible, and when you get a little older and think about how maybe you didn’t reach whatever level of success you thought you would … I mean, I have some cred, but I just don’t see myself rapping for another 20 or 30 years,” Paz notes. “This city’s got a vibrant music culture right now, and I could easily continue rapping, but DJing had me right from the get.”



Ricky Bats, SBLMNL RNSONS,
Rill, Nspire, Ben Davis and more
:
9 pm Friday, May 27. $5.
The Underground.
200 W San Francisco St.


Priced Out

Not even the federal government can afford to rent in Santa Fe

Local NewsWednesday, May 25, 2016 by Elizabeth Miller

Continued increases in the cost of housing in Santa Fe and ongoing cuts to funding for federal housing assistance mean authorities here are unable to make full use of a voucher program designed to help the city’s lowest income residents.

Federally funded Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers can be used to cover the difference between 30 percent of a resident’s income and the rent of a market-rate apartment. These vouchers are available for residents who make between 30 percent and 80 percent of the area household median income, set for the city at $49,380 and for the county at $67,800.

“We have 1,200 [vouchers] allocated to us, but we have the actual budget to house somewhere in the neighborhood of 950 units,” says Ed Romero, executive director of the Santa Fe Civic Housing Authority. “It doesn’t do any good to have a big allocation but no budget to match up to it, but we spend 100 percent of our budget, and that’s just kind of where we sit.”

That difference arises as the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) separately sets numbers for vouchers and budgets, and the program has gone underfunded for years. Santa Fe gets a $7 million budget (as of 2015), of which they’re able to spend about 99 percent, losing just a small margin to the time that passes between when someone is issued a voucher and when they lock in a suitable rental.

"The money that comes from Washington isn’t enough to meet the demand."

“I guess what they’re telling you is that the money that comes from Washington isn’t enough to meet the demand,” says Brian Sullivan, supervisory public affairs specialist with HUD. “That is true, and it’s true everywhere across the country.”

The federal government annually sets a fair market rent for housing rented by voucher recipients. The latest numbers for the Santa Fe metro area are $782 for a one-bedroom, $943 for a two-bedroom and $1,252 for a three-bedroom unit. That means based on the data the government has gathered and assessed, 40 percent of the city’s apartments should rent at those rates or lower. But that data often lags behind real time, Sullivan says, as HUD has to wait until the end of the year to collect the numbers, analyze them, and open them to public comment before they’re finally set. Those numbers can be challenged and adjusted, if local staffs commit time and effort to that task.

The trouble on the Santa Fe County Housing Authority’s end cuts the other direction for their roughly 241 housing choice vouchers—they have the funding for all of them, but don’t have all of those vouchers leased up.

“Oftentimes, it’s very difficult for our clients to find housing, and as a result, we have enough money to house all our vouchers,” says Ron Pacheco, executive director of the Public Housing Authority for Santa Fe County Housing Authority. “Now what we’re trying to do is house them all up so we use up all that money, because the way HUD works is, if you don’t use up all that money, they take it.”

Renters have 30 days from the time their voucher is issued to find a rental, and Pacheco says he’s constantly issuing extensions as people struggle to find a place that fits their family size and income level and is also in the right price range.

Both the city and county face multiyear waiting lists for the voucher program. The Civic Housing Authority last opened that wait list in 2014, and those on it expect to wait up to three years for a voucher. The county continues to add names to the list but estimates it can take up to five years for an applicant to secure a voucher.

As many as 11,313 households, or 37 percent, in Santa Fe are cost-burdened by housing that requires them to spending more than 30 percent of household income on rent or a mortgage payment, according to the city’s Affordable Housing Plan released in April. That report also found an ongoing shortage in the number of affordable rentals available, particularly for those who make 30 percent or less of the area’s median income.

Congressional funding for HUD has fallen short of what the housing agency estimates it needs and is approaching a 40-year low, according to Douglas Rice, senior policy analyst with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. While rents have continue to rise and wages remained stagnant, Rice reports, federal housing assistance remained below 2010 levels—though the cut wasn’t as deep in 2016 (down from 2010 by 4.6 percent) as it was in 2013 (down by 13.3 percent).

The amount of funding housing agencies receive is based on the number and cost of vouchers they issued in the prior calendar year, adjusted for inflation.

“Agencies deal with cuts like that by reducing the number of families they serve, then that also reduces their funding eligibility in the subsequent year,” Rice says. “So unless Congress makes a subsequent effort to provide additional funding to make up for those losses, in effect, those losses get locked in.”

The Obama administration’s 2017 budget request includes an $11 billion initiative to eliminate family homelessness by 2020, an unprecedented detailed proposal to tackle that issue, Rice says. A core piece of that plan calls for a significant expansion of the voucher program. Yet the lion’s share of federal housing program funding goes to supporting homeowners rather than renters, Rice contends, and often to help families that make $100,000 or more pay off their mortgages or receive tax breaks for capital gains when they sell a home.

“There really is this imbalance in resources in federal housing policy that could be addressed in a way that would free up resources to help more low-income, working families that are really struggling to make ends meet,” Rice says.

HUD has requested $1.2 billion more for housing vouchers for 2017 and is even exploring changes to the model for how fair market rents are established in high-cost areas of the country, which tend to concentrate voucher users in a few neighborhoods. Instead of a regional method, the department has proposed moving to a ZIP code approach for setting those rates, Sullivan says.

How that would affect Santa Fe isn’t yet clear. The city and county haven’t received the designation HUD uses to mark high-cost metro areas. But making those changes could also effectively see these housing agencies able to help even fewer people.

“It’s ultimately about how much money is available to help housing authorities across the country,” Sullivan says, “and that money is never enough to meet demand.”


Letters to the Editor

05.25.16

Letters to the EditorWednesday, May 25, 2016 by SFR

Metroglyphs, May 18: “Metroglyphs”


Cartoons are the Best

Your cartoons are my favorite section. Keep Russ [Thornton] going. He has a twisted mind, keeps me smiling!

Steve Bushey
Santa Fe


Cover, March 9: “Spinning Out”


Push for Renewables

In 2015, the PRC approved PNM’s request for more coal and nuclear. Fortunately, New Energy Economy is keeping their #EyeonPNM because ... PNM is asking to lock in even more coal and nuclear for decades. This is another example of PNM internalizing profit and externalizing risk of these costly and harmful resources.

These unreasonable investments are being made when many cities in the world are working towards 100 percent renewable energy. 100 percent renewables means more reliable and secure energy systems, jobs, health benefits and financial savings.

Renewable energy has grown rapidly in the last five years, but to prevent 1.5C degrees of warming, we need to get to 100 percent renewable energy and phase out all fossil fuels before 2050. Let’s get Santa Fe to be one of the cities on the path to 100 percent renewable energy.

Emmy Koponen
Santa Fe


Morning Word, May 9: “Digital Divide”


MW Less Toxic

I’m loving my Morning Word. Thank you. Please keep it coming. I recently deactivated my Facebook account. It was becoming too toxic.

So the Morning Word keeps me updated on the news without all the advertising, ridiculous memes and political rants and raves.

Camille Anton-Pappe
Santa Fe


Corrections

We misidentified the woman who sat in the car with Khristopher Marshall when it struck Teena Larson (Briefs, “License to Ride,” May 18). It was Natasia Larson, not Tara Larson.

Also, the credit for the photo on the cover of the May 18 issue (“Slow Ride”) was incorrect. The image was actually from Norman Mauskopf. SFR regrets the errors.



SFR will correct factual errors online and in print. Please let us know if we make a mistake, editor@sfreporter.com or 988-7530.

Mail letters to PO Box 2306, Santa Fe, NM 87504, deliver to 132 E Marcy St., or email them to editor@sfreporter.com. Letters (no more than 200 words) should refer to specific articles in the Reporter. Letters will be edited for space and clarity.


Eavesdropper

05.25.16

EavesdropperWednesday, May 25, 2016 by SFR

“Don’t hit Grandpa now. Wait until he’s asleep..”

—Overheard at ABQ Sunport



Send your Overheard in Santa Fe tidbits to: eavesdropper@sfreporter.com


Center for Contemporary Arts Announces New Executive Director

Stuart Ashman returns to Santa Fe to lead the arts organization

Local NewsTuesday, May 24, 2016 by Alex De Vore
The Center for Contemporary Arts announced Tuesday that Stuart Ashman, a longtime administrator for various museums both local and elsewhere, will take on the role of executive director beginning Aug. 8. 

Originally from Santa Fe, Ashman previously served as the director of the New Mexico Museum of Art as well as the executive director for the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art. He also worked alongside former Gov. Bill Richardson and Rep. J Paul Taylor to draft legislation that was key in designating the state Department of Cultural Affairs as a cabinet-level entity. He will exit his current position as the director for the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California, in July.

"I think this is a great opportunity to return to Santa Fe and a great time for contemporary arts there," Ashman tells SFR. "The fact that CCA has existed for 37 years with mostly free admission is incredible, and Santa Fe continues to be the place for contemporary arts in the region."

CCA board chair Paul Hultin shares Ashman's excitement, saying, "We're very honored to have Stuart's leadership for the next five years; he's got great talent, and we're thrilled that he's going to make CCA his home."

Ashman cites the CCA's Muñoz Waxman Gallery and Cinematheque as innovative and exciting features that have long served Santa Fe's arts scene, adding that he also has his own vision for strengthening CCA's niche within the local arts world, including hearing from Santa Feans.

"There are obviously other great contemporary museums in Santa Fe, like SITE Santa Fe or the Museum of Art, and Axle Contemporary should be mentioned as well," he notes. "I want to hear input from the community ... This is a great moment for contemporary arts in Santa Fe."

Morning Word: State Sues EPA

Morning WordTuesday, May 24, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
State Sues EPA for Millions
New Mexico is suing the federal government and the owners of two mines over environmental and economic damages caused by the release of 3 million gallons of wastewater from a southern Colorado mine.
New Mexico is demanding the defendants "abate the imminent and substantial threats" from the Sunnyside Mine network and remediate residual contamination from mine releases. The state is also seeking compensation for environmental and economic damages. 
Testimony Begins
The first day of the Tai Chan murder trial in Las Cruces was an emotional one. Prosecutors told jurors they’ll prove the former sheriff’s deputy killed his partner, Jeremy Martin, after a heated hotel argument. But Chan’s attorneys suggested that Chan acted in self-defense.

Centurion Lands Corrections Contract
Justin Horwath reports, “The Corrections Department announced late Monday that it has awarded both the medical services and pharmaceutical contracts to Centurion LLC, to provide care for some 7,200 state prison inmates.”

Reviews Taking Too Long
A new police oversight board says 2nd Judicial District Attorney Kari Brandenburg’s office isn’t completing officer-involved shooting investigations quickly enough. KOAT’s Matt Howerton reports 16 cases are still pending.
We asked Brandenburg's office about the issue and were only sent a statement that read, "OIS reports are a top priority and we are working as hard and quickly as we can with the resources available to us."

Some city councilors have just introduced legislation to speed this process up. If the bill were to pass, the CPOA and APD Internal Affairs would be allowed to review cases surrounding officers for policy violations without waiting for Brandenburg's office.
Ashman Returns to Santa Fe
Former New Mexico Secretary of Cultural Affairs Stuart Ashman is returning to Santa Fe to head the Center for Contemporary Arts after working as president and CEO of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California, for five years.

Trump Starts Fundraising in Albuquerque
If you don’t want to wait in line to attend Donald Trump’s big rally in Albuquerque tonight and have an extra $10,000 lying around, you can join the billionaire and about 25 other people for a private fundraising dinner, Matt Reichbach reports. It’s a deal, since Trump’s next private dinner, in Los Angeles, is $25,000. Gov. Susana Martinez, who still hasn’t endorsed her party’s presumptive nominee, told KOB she’s too busy to attend the rally.

Clinton Campaigns for Hillary
Around the same time that protesters line up to speak out against Trump, former President Bill Clinton will be in Española, campaigning for Hillary Clinton. He'll also be in Albuquerque on Wednesday ahead of the June 7 primary.

Fuego Lose Home Opener
About 300 people showed up for the Santa Fe Fuego’s home opener last night, but the team continued its losing streak, falling 17-7 to Trinidad in a four-hour-long game.

SFR Cruises Downtown for Lowrider Day (Video)

Pop CultureMonday, May 23, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Did you make it down to the Plaza for Lowrider Day on Sunday, May 22? We sure hope you did because it was straight excellent. 

Over 130 cars sporting unbelievable levels of customization and artistry paraded from Fort Marcy, down and around the Plaza and then parked for the perusal of any and all interested parties. While certainly a celebration in its own right, the community event was also arranged in part to promote concurrent exhibits at the New Mexico History Museum and the New Mexico Museum of Art, titled Lowriders, Hoppers and Hot Rods and Con Cariño, respectively. 

SFR was there taking photos for our Facebook and Instagram feeds and broadcasting live from our brand-spanking-new Periscope account. Not only were the cars gorgeous, the tight-knit feeling of community was strong. From the beautiful paint jobs and engraved everything to plush seats and painstakingly planned interiors, one simple fact was pervasive throughout the day: New Mexicans love lowriders. Mayor Javier Gonzales (who was kind enough to take over our Instagram feed during the early hours of the gathering) declared May 22 Lowrider Day in Santa Fe and this summer the “Summer of Lowriders.” Pretty neat, huh? 

Check our newest video from local filmmaker Aaron Anglin for a look into the art, culture and family at play on Sunday and follow all of SFR's social media by clicking the links above. There you'll find more photos, a playback of the parade broadcasts and much more.


You can also find our cover story on lowrider arts and culture, "Slow Ride," by clicking right here.

Game of Thrones for Noobs XV

Season VI Episode V: The Door

Pop CultureMonday, May 23, 2016 by Alex De Vore

The Story Thus Far (Heavy Spoilers)

Last week’s episode sucked worse than the rest of the episodes of this season, and that’s saying something because, if you’ve noticed, even your most ardent GoT-lovin’ friends are giving you a bunch of guff about how this season has been pretty boring. But then they, like, try to make up for it because they feel like they owe it to the show, and they say stuff like, “But they’re leading to something ... so …” Anyway, here’s what happened: Jon Snow and Sansa Stark met up, and that was apparently a big deal according to the internet chatter since the episode. Baelish brought Adrian Brody Jr. a hawk and told everyone to shut up, while Ramsay was downing apples and slashing throats. Oat-Bran Stark continued to see visions from the past, Tyrion gave the slavers seven years to get their shit together, Arya got her eyes back and Dragon Tits’ bodyguards found finally found her, but it didn’t ultimately matter, because she was too busy setting fools on fire in the nude. Why doesn’t her hair burn? Dumb. Oh, and Ramsay sent Snow a letter that was all, “I’m gonna slash every throat you’ve ever loved,” and the weirder part was that his personalized sigil was a pair of eyes being all spooky.


The Gist

Sansa may be busy lending a hand as a seamstress, but she still gets mail from Mole’s Town. Now, I don’t know if that’s some underground village that ... aw, fuck, they already cut to it, and it’s just where Peter “Quantum Break” Baelish is hanging. It’s snowy, and it sucks. Sansa tells Baelish some serious-ass shit about Ramsay while Brienne stands there, brooding. Baelish plays dumb, or is dumb, and she describes what Ramsay did to her. Maybe this is supposed to be some thing where the writers are trying to freak us out, but it’s basically another nail in the feminism coffin that this show built lo those six years ago. The good news is that Sansa is way snippy now, and Baelish sucks for sure. Still, his hair’s good, and he’s totally prepared to die, a sentence that no one can possibly read or write without thinking of Mandy Patinkin. The point, though, is this: Mole’s Town sucks. Baelish tells her to put together an army, but apparently she already has one.

Elswhere, Arya is still learning the ways of GI J.O.E.’s Jinx, and that snippy little girl who lives in the House of Black and White tells her she sucks at fighting. Arya’s eyes look much better now, but she’s getting her ass beat constantly. The wizard who’s in charge of things stops by to look all sad, like he does, and to make speeches about the history of their whole, uh, thing they do with the no-faces. Setting aside how she just asked a bunch of questions, and it’s silly because people always like things, it’s cool that the wizard tells her to go kill an actress.

The wizard dude sends her to watch this play in the village square, and there is some serious Lannister-and-Stark shit in the dialog. The actor who plays Ned Stark makes the headless and lifeless lord look like an idiot, and Arya doesn’t like that one bit. Ruh-roh, did the wizard send Arya to watch this thing because it’s a lesson in playing it cool? There’s a lot of farting in the play, too, way more than in most plays. The people seem to like it, though, even when some stupid theater version of Sansa takes the stage, and she has to rewatch her dad’s decapitation. But then there’s boobs, so it’s way OK. Arya goes backstage to find out who she’s supposed to kill and learns an important lesson while she’s at it: All actors are terrible people. Good thing she overhears that bit about how the woman she’s going to kill is the only one who drinks rum, so now she knows to poison it. Seriously, that was stupid. The line may as well have been, “Oh man, as the only person who drinks this rum, I, who also like to say my name repeatedly out loud, sure hope that it never gets poisoned!” Jeeze.

Meanwhile, Oat-Bran is having one of those Max von Sydow-curated visions in what looks like that fucking swamp where Artax the horse drowned and thereby ruined the childhoods of an entire generation. Oh dang, but in the vision, he sees these wood nypmhs creating the ice zombies. It makes sense, since wood nymphs would probably hate it when dudes come and build castles and such.


Across the land in that one seaside town, the daughter of the murdered king (it was Professor Phuck-Phace on the bridge with the throwing-off-of-the-bridge) tosses her hat in the king ring, but everyone wishes it was Theon. Maybe they don’t realize he spent the last bunch of years crying in Winterfell. For one second, it looks like he’s gonna fuck her on the whole king thing, but then he makes a speech about how she’s awesome instead. This would’ve been good about a bazillion episodes ago, and one does wonder if this was in response to these very recaps and their powerful pointing out that it sometimes seems the women of this show are written by drunk children. It looks good for a moment, but then that dude who killed the king shows up to make fun of Theon’s lack of dick (which might be real?) and is, like, acting all tough. Thank goodness that the new queen knows he killed her dad, and he isn’t even pretending he didn’t! Damn! He’s not even sorry. Even worse, he keeps reminding everyone that Theon’s dick got cut off. Ice cold. Ice zombie cold. And that is cold. Speeches are made, and it’s, like, sooooo boring. The dude talks a bunch of shit on Daenerys and her dragons, but he probably didn’t hear she’s been out and about, setting fools ablaze. The crowd likes the sound of that, and it pretty much seems like the queen position is not to be for that one girl. But I think we all know Theon is going to have to do something crazy soon, or we’ll just start hating him worse than ever. And so they make him king by basically drowning him.

That’s a stupid ritual. Ohhhhhh. I get it! They kill him because they think that dead people can’t be killed. Someone should tell that to the ice zombies. Or the guy he just killed the other day, who also went through this ritual. He’s ready to kill Theon and his sister, She-on, but they stole a bunch of good boats, I guess.

Over in Horse-Guy-o-Polis, Dragon Tits is wearing some super-nice clothes and finally consorting with those idiot bodyguards of hers. He shows her that he’s suffering from stone-monster-itis, and even though she banished him before (twice, even), she cries and apologizes. Jeeze, she should make up her mind. He professes his love and is like, “My only regret is that I have stone-monster-itis,” before he sets out onto the open plains. She doesn’t want him to, but he can’t touch anyone, and what the hell kind of life is that?

She commands him to heal himself and cries some more, and I’m just, like, wondering what the hell? From below the horse statues they ride, back to Meereen (maybe) and back to where her pet dragons live.

Speaking of Meereen, Tyrion and Varys and their new best friends the former slaves run over dates and numbers and talk policy. Peter Dinklage grows a mean beard to be sure, and it kind of curls when some other red witch shows up. Is she also old? Does she also have problems with her clothes always falling off? Can she bring people back to life? Will she fight the other red witch? Do they have a group or something? The red witch explains to them the stuff they already know, even going so far as to say, “But you’ve heard this before,” and Tyrion puts her on the payroll to help him make Daenerys look cool. She’s psyched to have a job but still sasses Varys about being a eunuch. Man, this episode is all about salting the dick wounds of sad bastards. Varys totally doesn’t like her at all.

While this is going down, Oat-Bran is still tree hangin’ and smack dab in the middle of a snowy vision. Oh damn, I just remembered, he can’t walk in his real life. Anyway, yeah—snow visions! He takes note of this massive army of ice zombies, who all look kind of sad or, at the very least, seem awfully quiet for a bunch that usually is busy stabbin’. Only their leaders get horses, and we’ll be kind enough to not point out their similarities to the Nazgul. Oh damn, though, because even though it was only a vision, the king of the ice zombies could see him in the vision. Somehow this translates to their position being known to all ice zombies which, in turn, translates to Oat-Bran having to become Max von-Tree-Dow.

Over on the Wall, a strategic meeting takes place to discuss their options in fighting Ramsay. Jon Snow is there, but he’s keeping quiet while Sansa explains to Daavos that he sucks at knowing what regional people are like. Basically, they’re gonna use the Stark name to draft themselves an army from all over the place. Brienne is awfully quiet through the meeting but then lectures Sansa on how she needs to play it the fuck cool from time to time. She jokes about Snow’s emo-ness and advises Sansa to not be so crazy. In fact, she’s got some shit-talk for basically everyone around, and that, my friends, is intense, although she is pretty good at killing fools, so she can probably back that trash talk up and then some. Snow’s got himself a new fur coat, and Sansa made him a belt or something. The leader of the Wildlings makes googly eyes at Brienne, because he’s probably attracted to people who know how to kick an ass, and then before you know it, they’re off on their ride to find people who’ll help them fuck up Ramsay’s shit.  It looks cold.


They cut back to Hodor and Oat-Bran and this one girl who is all about eggs, but even though that sounds pretty good, ice zombies have cometh to the cave, and shit’s about to get so real. The wood nymphs, who we just learned built these lousy ice jerks, jump to their aid for some reason, while Hodor Hodors it up furiously. Uh-oh, though, because Bran is still vision-ing. Luckily, the ice guys move pretty slowly, and the nymphs have hand grenades (somehow). It’s also probably lucky that the bad guys’ swords and spears are made out of ice, because you could probably just break ice, y’know? It’s pretty cool that they have those skeletons around to do their bidding, but it’d be a lot better if everyone could just get the hell out of there. 


In this last vision, Bran is learning what it means to be a Stark, but his timing could not be worse. There are even ice nosferatus clinging to the ceiling, and von Sydow just kind of watches quietly. Bran “wargs” into Hodor, which I guess is a real thing that allows him to control the gentle giant, but that wolf of theirs gets it good! Oh damn, finally some action! These ice jerks don’t much care for the vision-causing tree punk, and they cut him down. Good thing that last nymph was there to set off one of her grenades. Yikes. It’s also a good thing that the ice zombie foot soldiers’ one weakness is a closed door. 

It also turns out that "Hodor" is shorthand for “hold the door,” a phrase the young version of Hodor picked up when he somehow saw through time and space and stroked out because of it. Oh, and then he gets his face clawed the eff up in the present. Maybe this was a startling revelation to some, and I’m all for time travel paradoxes and explanations, but for those of us who don't know what the fuck, it was mostly, like, not that big a deal.



The Pros

Finally, an episode that showed us what’s what, with all kinds of people and with a fuck-ton of action! Ice zombies, Hodor explanations, nymph grenades and boobs. Zam!


The Cons

No complaints here this week. This is the Game of Thrones my jerk-ass friends must’ve been talking about when they said I’d like it.


The Grade: A

Sometimes people need to die, and sometimes those ice jerks need to send skeletons after the good guys, and that is something that will always be enjoyable. Well done, GoT. Well done.



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