Posted inNews & Politics

Folk Tales

By Bill Mahin “Folksingers are boring,” Andrew Calhoun declares in a song of the same name. But his send-up reveals a fundamental predicament for performers like himself: Folk music may not have a great beat and you can’t always dance to it. But, Calhoun argues, the stories are often terrific. Most folksingers are excellent storytellers. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas

Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas Flesh Feast. Bio Freaks. Mortal Kombat 4. The titles explain why computer games became part of the discussion this year about media violence, as schoolboys in idyllic rural communities continued mowing down classmates. After the Jonesboro shooting in April, Time magazine theorized that “game boys learn to associate gusts […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Real Life, Real Death

By Bill Mahin There’s no explanation for why this night has been like watching paint dry. According to conventional wisdom, Mount Sinai’s tiny emergency room at 15th and California should be especially busy. As one of just four trauma centers left in Chicago, ambulances regularly bring the “life-threatened” here from throughout the city to this […]