No doubt. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (April) picks this up from columnist Lars-Erik Nelson in the New York Daily News (February 8): “On Friday, February 5, at 10 o’clock in the morning, I telephoned the Pentagon press office and told the colonel who answered the phone that I needed information on duplication in the armed forces. He replied: ‘You want the other press office.'”
Not exactly what Pat Robertson had in mind. “Like a lot of lesbian and gay Christians, I now connect the concept of resurrection to my own experience of coming out,” writes Marsha D. in The Other Side (JanuaryFebruary). “Many of us were dead to ourselves and to the world around us until we could accept our homosexuality and learn to live as real people. So the term ‘born again’ has real meaning for us.”
“There is no real interest in bringing diversity into the media,” writes Debran Rowland, a former Tribune reporter and now a Loyola law student, in NewsInc. (March). “Blacks, Hispanics, and women are not in the newsrooms in large numbers because the Powers That Be don’t want us there. We unnerve and frighten them in much the same way that a white policeman unnerves and frightens us when he pulls us over on a darkened highway late at night.
“When I was at a big metropolitan newspaper in a big metropolitan area, I was often assigned to what we called the ‘mayhem round-up.’ This meant going to the city police barracks and counting the number of people–usually young black men and women–who were attacked, raped, maimed, or killed over the weekend. It was grim business. But the task was made even more ghastly for me each time I thought of how I would have to fit all that misery and heartache into a nine-inch column.
“I went ballistic the day I was asked to write a 21-inch story on a white teenager from the suburbs who had crashed her new car into a tree. It told me a great deal about my newspaper that 22 black deaths had to be crammed into a tiny space like bodies in a mass grave, while the white teen, whose background was familiar to my editor, got twice the space for her obituary.”
Definition of an optimist, according to the Eardrum (March): “A tuba player with a beeper.”
Two suburbs that care about the CTA. A local chamber of commerce survey of 7.5 percent of Oak Park and River Forest businesses found that “thirteen percent of the workforce, or more than 5,200 employees, use the Lake Street El as their main source of transportation to and from their jobs. If the el closed, 42% of those employees would take other public transportation, 30% would drive, carpool or get a ride, and 28% would quit working in Oak Park / River Forest.”
What Kazimierz Pulaski Day Is good for. Among the Active Voice’s (Spring) recommendations to community groups on getting into print: Release material on slow news days. “Monday is generally slow. The large Thursday paper has a big news hole, so Wednesday is a good day to get coverage. Semi-official holidays, when local governments shut down, offer an ideal opportunity.”
“The essence of Chicago-style theater has more to do with social structure than aesthetics,” argues Anthony Adler in Stagebill (March). “To a remarkable extent, the community has organized itself into ensembles. Which is appropriate. After all, Chicago is a great city for ensembles of all kinds. Eugene Debs directed Chicago’s Pullman Company workers toward ensemble labor activities during the strike of 1894. Saud Alinsky organized Chicagoans into community action ensembles like the Woodlawn Organization in the 1960s. Even Al Capone can be said to have put Chicago crime on an ensemble footing. This town understands the creative power of collectivism.”
Back again? “One Chicagoan recalled giving $7 in a commuter railway station to a man who said he needed money to get home to Kenosha, Wisconsin,” according to Word One (April). “Three days later he saw the same man at the same place, telling the same story. ‘I was annoyed to realize I had been conned, but I was really angry to think I had been conned by a mope not smart enough to realize that in a commuter station the same people go by at about the same time every day.'”
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.