Friday 17

There has been at least a cease-fire, and possibly an end, to the debilitating civil war that has made life so difficult in El Salvador over the past decade. But your tax dollars are still being channeled into the bloodthirsty Salvadoran military so it can continue to terrorize innocent people. A march to mark the cease-fire in El Salvador and to protest continued U.S. military aid is scheduled by the Committee in Solidarity With the People of El Salvador for 7:30 this morning outside the federal buildings at Dearborn and Jackson. It’s free. Call 227-2720 for info on the rally or to learn about the January 31 forum with a representative from the rebel forces in El Salvador.

The findings of a two-year study on the costs of the Exxon Valdez oil disaster will be the subject of a talk tonight at the Shedd Aquarium by Christopher Dyer, a sociology professor at the University of South Alabama. Dyer has been in Cordova, Alaska, tracing the big spill’s effects on the locals there; the program includes both Dyer’s talk and a one-hour spin through the Shedd’s new Oceanarium (including quality time with four refugee Alaskan otters). Things get under way at 6 at the aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive. It’s $15, $10 for members of the aquarium or Earthwatch. Call 986-2300 to reserve a spot.

If you’ve ever wondered just how much fun the life-style of your typical rock critic really is, tonight you can bid for a night out on the town with Dave Hoekstra, the Sun-Times pop critic, and help out Guild Books in the process. The bookstore–the north side’s leading purveyor of good writing and good politics–says it needs 50 grand by the end of January to stay open, and funds from tonight’s auction at the World Tattoo Gallery, 1255 S. Wabash, will go to the cause. Besides Hoekstra’s company, there’ll be props and Nicole Hollander’s original storyboard from Sylvia’s Real Good Advice, the manuscript copy of Paul Hoover’s first novel, and other valuables from the likes of Heather McAdams, Marc Smith, and Studs Terkel. It starts at 8. Admission is $5; call 278-2210 for details.

Saturday 18

The Newberry Library has drawn on its extensive collections in the areas of cartography, the Renaissance, and Native American history to create America in 1492, a commemoration of the Columbus quincentennial that focuses on the state of North and South American civilization at the time of his voyages (from the hunters and gatherers of the north to the grand civilizations of the Incas and the Aztecs). The exhibit opens today 9 AM to 5 PM at the library, 60 W. Walton, and runs through April 18. On tap as well is a ten-week series of lectures, starting next Saturday, January 25, at 10 AM with a talk by exhibition curator William Swagerty and continuing on successive Saturdays with commentary on the continents’ society, religions, trade, technology, and more. The lectures are free, as is admission to the library. Regular hours are Monday, Friday, and Saturday from 8:15 AM to 5:30 PM, Tuesday through Thursday 8:15 AM to 7:30 PM. Call 943-9090 for more.

David Cronenberg is a world-class filmmaker who just happens to be interested in things like infection, sexual deviance, and the possibility of TV literally taking over our brains. His latest effort is a by-all-accounts harrowing interpretation of William Burroughs’s Naked Lunch, complete with lots of heroin and bugs. Naked Making Lunch is documentarian Chris Rodley’s second effort at explicating Cronenberg (the first was Long Live the New Flesh), in which he talks to Cronenberg, Peter Weller, and Judy Davis about the filming of a book that many had declared unfilmable. (That description could still be said to apply; the Cronenberg film is more about the writing of the book than the book itself.) There’s a one-night-only showing of the new documentary at the Film Center, Columbus and Jackson, tonight at 6. It’s $5. Call 443-3733 for details.

Sunday 19

You can celebrate the Martin Luther King holiday in style tonight in a pan-everything dance concert at the HotHouse, 1565 N. Milwaukee. It’ll be headed up by the Irish rock band the Drovers, with appearances by the African American dance troupe Muntu and the Andean folk-rock group Los Raices de Bolivia. Music and dancing start at 9. It’s $7. Call 235-2334 for details.

Monday 20

“What I cannot bear to think of as lost forever in a war or from environmental disaster” is the heartfelt if somewhat inelegantly phrased theme behind The Ribbon: A Celebration of Life. The words are those of Denver grandmother Justine Merritt, who collects yard-long fabric panels decorated with applique, paint, needlepoint, quilting, or silk screen and stitches them together along the lines of the AIDS quilt. The whole affair is big enough to have been wrapped around the Pentagon on the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima; part of it will be in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Randolph Gallery as part of a display sponsored by the Peace Museum through February 15. It’s free to go look; the center, at 78 E. Washington, is open from 9 to 7 Monday through Thursday, 9 to 6 Friday, and 9 to 5 Saturday. Call 440-1860 for details .

Tuesday 21

You can’t have enough ethics, particularly when it comes to the public sector in Chicago, so we’re happy to announce a meeting of the Chicago Metro Ethics Coalition. The featured speaker is Father Edward Malloy, the president of Notre Dame University; he’ll be talking about “The Ethical Foundations of Democracy” over lunch today in the second-floor Congress Lounge of Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan, starting at 11:45. It’s $15; to reserve a spot, call the coalition at 372-3842.

The latest in the ongoing “Future of the City” panel discussions at Loyola University–meeting in room 30 in the downtown campus’s Marquette Center, 47 E. Pearson, at 6:30 tonight–is called Crime: Gangs in Chicago and features representatives from the Illinois Criminal Justice Authority, something called the Positive Anti-Crime Trust, and Mothers Against Gangs. It’s free. The next installment, which will focus on health care and the legalization of drugs, is February 25. Call 915-6158 for more.

Why Make Books? is tonight’s other panel discussion, this one on artist-made books. It’s happening in conjunction with the Sazama Gallery’s Book as Container exhibit and features Sally Alatalo, curator of the artists’ book collection at the School of the Art Institute; James Hugunin, a book artist and SAIC art history prof; New Art Examiner contributing editor Claire Wolf Krantz; and Artists’ Book Works prez Barbara Lazarus Metz. Things get under way at 7 at the gallery, 300 W. Superior. It’s free, but you have to RSVP at 951-0004.

There’s a free poetry reading tonight from the people who brought you the spoken-word performances Body Smelling of Shit Like Most Men and Fight Jesse Helms Disease. The one tonight is called Sex III: Free Sex, and will be emceed by Mannie Peoples. It starts at 9 at the Borderline Cafe, 1958 W. North. Call 235-0003 for details.

Wednesday 22

The Emergency Clinic Defense Coalition is marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade with a rally at Dearborn and Jackson today at 4:30. It’s free. Call 845-6838.

Thursday 23

Sexual harassment isn’t just an issue for mainstream companies: nonprofits have to worry about the same issues and are frequently even less equipped to deal with the problem. The Illinois Association of Nonprofit Organizations is sponsoring a three-hour workshop on sexual harassment and “survival techniques in the workplace” this morning at the Congress Hotel, 520 S. Michigan, starting at 8:30. A phalanx of attorneys from the Saint Charles firm Wessels & Pautsch will be on hand to explain everything from discrimination laws to drug and alcohol testing. It’s $35, $25 for association members. Call 708-386-9385 for info.

The Coast of Chicago is Stuart Dybek’s collection of short stories; he’ll be reading from it today at 4 as part of the DePaul Writers’ Series in room 254 of the Schmitt Academic Center, 2323 N. Seminary. It’s free. Call 362-5382.