A lot of animals do their things at night; to see them, try the night stalkers’ nature walk at the North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski, tonight at 7. “Possums, raccoons, owls, and skunks are among the wildlife that might”–it’s a night walk, after all–“be seen,” the center says. Your guide is George Fricke. It’s free, but the center requests a phone reservation at 463-4163; for more information call 583-8970.
One of Noam Chomsky’s greatest hits–a lecture entitled Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media–will be shown on tape tonight at the lefty New World Resource Center, 1476 W. Irving Park. The noted linguist and uncompromising social and press critic made the speech in Madison earlier this year; tonight’s 8 o’clock showing is part of the center’s “Friday Night Videos” series. Donations are encouraged but not required; call 348-3370 for more information.
Satisfied? Happy? Reasonably well situated in a relatively accommodating world? Gaye Bykers on Acid and Elvis Hitler, two rock bands whose names do a fair job of reflecting their respective musical outputs, are not. You can hear their reasoning on this and other matters of philosophical interest tonight at Cabaret Metro, 3730 N. Clark. The music starts at 11:30 and should go very late. Tickets are $7; info at 549-0203.
Some of the strongest men in American–some of the strongest drug-free men in America–meet this weekend in Lincolnwood for the 1990 National Powerlifting Championships. Categories for the meet include squat, bench, and dead lift; one of today’s competitors will be Special Olympian Andy Leonard, a Vietnamese refugee who despite speech defects and brain damage is a qualifier in the 114-pound weight class. Events begin at 10 today and tomorrow; the meet is held at the Hyatt Lincolnwood Hotel, 4500 W. Touhy. Admission is $7 per day; call 561-9692 for details.
The relatively unflappable Michael Flores of the Psychotronic Film Society describes the documentary Death Scenes as “astonishing.” The film’s source of inspiration seems to be Kenneth Anger’s book Hollywood Babylon, which laid bare in photographs and stories some of Hollywood’s sleaziest stories and grittiest tragedies. Death Scenes includes official Hollywood police photographs from the death scenes of various film stars and street people. Should be grisly. It shows at 7 at the 950, 950 W. Wrightwood. It’s $3; call 738-0985.
Organizers of the Harold W. Carroll Foundation 50-Fest claim, on the occasion of its tenth anniversary, that it’s the biggest neighborhood fest in the city. With three stages of music and entertainment (including everything from an Elvis impersonator to a tae kwon do demonstration), food from 16 local restaurants, a clown parade, a petting zoo, and fireworks to top everything off–well, you be the judge. It’s all at Warren Park, 6600 N. Western, running today and tomorrow from 11 AM to 10 PM. It’s free; call 743-5015 for more information.
“We’re not political, just patriotic,” say the organizers of the 27th annual Wellington-Oakdale Old Glory Marching Society Labor Day Parade; but these days, when patriotism is often an excuse for intolerance, and some “patriots” like everything about America except the First Amendment, the distinction seems rather fine. You can march in the parade, or just stand on the sidelines and boo on principle, beginning at 11 today at the corner of Pine Grove and Wellington. The parade marches down Sheridan Road to the lawn of Saint Joseph’s Hospital. It’s free. Call 664-5051 for more information.
Of course, you can do more than boo. Today at the Daley Center the Illinois Arts Alliance is holding a Rally in Support of the Arts; featured will be a pretty impressive array of figures reading aloud from banned works of art. Readers include Illinois poet laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, monologuist Spalding Gray, WXRT deejay Terri Hemmert, the current cast of Second City, Studs Terkel, and author Larry Heinemann, among others. Things get under way at noon under the Picasso at Washington and Dearborn, and go to 1:30. It’s free; call 855-3105 for more information.
Miriam Weiner does Jewish genealogy like no one else: she’s one of the authors of the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Jewish Genealogy, a weekly columnist on the subject, and the first specialist in Jewish genealogy certified by the Board for the Certification of Genealogists in Washington, D.C. She’s also the Ira R. Berlin memorial lecturer of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois; she speaks at 7:30 at the Bernard Horwich Center, 3003 W. Touhy. The lecture is free to JGSI members, $4 for others. Call 708- 882-4856 for more information.
How to be a loyal alum: The Chicago Illini Club is holding a preseason tailgate party to watch highlights of the Fighting Illini’s 1989 season. Burgers and potato salad, a “multiple monitor” TV system at Bud’s Place bar and restaurant, and like-minded Illini alumni are additional attractions. $12 and reservations–to Jim at 708-392-8903–will get you in. Bud’s Place is at 500 W. 75th St. in Downers Grove. Everything starts at 6:30 PM.
Today’s power breakfast with Gary LaPaille, the new Illinois Democratic Party chairman and chief of staff to Illinois house speaker Mike Madigan, is being organized by Impact, a gay and lesbian PAC. The meeting comes on the heels of LaPaille’s appointment of the first political liaison between Illinois Dems and the state’s gay population. A continental breakfast starts at 7:30; the program begins at 8. A donation of at least $5 is requested. It’s at the Chicago Bar Association, 321 S. Plymouth; call 880-2308 for more info.
Not up for a power breakfast? How about a brown bag luncheon on the pressing subject of regulating news racks and advertising benches? “Are news racks and ad benches conveniences or eyesores? To what extent can they be regulated? What are owners’ rights?” These are some of the questions the lunch forum’s sponsors, the Friends of Downtown, hope will be addressed. (Another question, freely contributed by this space: why aren’t there more benches on CTA platforms?) It’s free–just bring your own lunch. At the fourth-floor meeting room of the Public Library Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, beginning at noon. Call the forum at 977-0098 for details.
Patrick Frendreis, a telescope operator at the Adler Planetarium and an astronomy teacher at Harper College, will give an astronomy demonstration and lecture tonight at 7:30 at the Skokie Public Library; if the weather’s right, there’ll be some hands-on star searching from the library’s courtyard. It’s free. The library is at 5215 Oakton in Skokie; call 708-673-7774 for more info.