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From the mouths of directors: “My work as a director has taught me the ultimate skill of juggling a dozen and a half balls at once while trying to balance two dozen and a half hats on my head” (memo from the Children’s Theatre of Western Springs).

Next: the Shakespeare and Plasma Physics Building? Governors State University in south-suburban University Park is seeking bids to build its “Regional Center for Technology and the Performing Arts.”

“There is a class of problems–and cities are one such problem–that are so complex they can only be solved through stupidity,” muses the politically incorrect Ed Zotti in Chicago Enterprise (September/October). Zotti heard Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago criticized (accurately) for ignoring race and poverty. “That said, the hard-hearted realist in us obliges us to ask: so what? I asked the UIC professor [who had made the criticism] whether he believed it would have made any practical difference if the Burnham plan had confronted the problems of race and poverty squarely. He did not have anything very definite to say. Neither do I; I can only say that it doesn’t seem very likely.”

Rescue 911–not. A recent University of Chicago Medical Center study of local out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in 1987 and 1988 shows a “low rate of survival for all groups. More than 97 percent of whites and 99 percent of blacks died following cardiac arrest.”

Richard Epstein’s free lunch. Advance publicity for U. of C. economist Richard Epstein’s new book Bargaining With the State: “[The author] turns to the fair distribution of the gains from desirable government programs and the implicit peril to individual liberty and social welfare when government attaches strings to persons receiving its benefits,” such as artists or Planned Parenthood. “[He concludes that] people bargaining with the state need not always take the bitter with the sweet; they may sometimes keep the government benefit while cutting the government string.”

“We don’t want to just grab and stab,” says Joy Getzenberg of the city Department of Health in the Joyce Foundation publication Work in Progress (August). “We want to set up a model for the whole process of contacting parents, for finding out why some mothers have their children immunized and others don’t, for making sure that every child is covered. Right now we’ve found that a lot of kids are getting overimmunized because the record keeping is poor.”

At least da Godfather would open the schools on time. Samuel K. Gove in Illinois Issues (August/September): “From what college students say about jobs and careers, one might think they would prefer a job in organized crime over one with state government.”

No rhetoric necessary. From the four-year-old Illinois Women’s Funding Federation: “With less than two percent of Chicago-area foundation and corporate money supporting programs for women, and nearly 76 percent of those living below the poverty level consisting of women and girls, the need for alternative funding was critical.”

Everyone should be scared of losing their jobs, but nobody should ever actually lose one. A study published in Hospital and Community Psychiatry (September) found that people who lost their jobs were six times more likely to commit an act of violence than those who were still employed–and that “violence was found to be less prevalent in people who were employed in a tightened job market where job opportunities were scarce.”

“Instead of lessening, the scars of 50 years ago seem to be thickening, seem to cause us to act in ways that are destructive to ourselves and each other,” writes a worried Joseph Aaron in the Jewish United Fund’s JUF News (September). “There is…too much hate between Jews about what we don’t agree on. We’re picking each other apart believing that if you support land for peace and I don’t that you’re a traitor to Israel and that if you practice your Judaism differently than I do that you’re my enemy….It’s time, I think, for us to get out from under the shadow of Auschwitz, heal the scars that have so embittered us, made us so willing to attack, so unwilling to listen….Not everyone hates us. We don’t have to hate others to feel Jewish. We are not victims. We can disagree on issues without disagreeing as Jews. The Jewish way of life is one of simcha, not burdens and fights.”

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.