“Happily untainted by the reactionary crowd-control school of urbanism promoted by that pompous con-man, Daniel Burnham, Maxwell Street is virtually the opposite of a ‘mall.'” rejoices the Evanston-based Surrealist Group. “Maxwell Street is more marvelous than the ‘Magnificent Mile’; more educational than the Museum of Science and Industry; more fun than any of the official multi-million-dollar extravaganzas at Grant Park or Soldier Field. The destruction of such a haven, for any reason, would be a tragedy. But to destroy it in order to expand what is probably the ugliest college campus in the country would be a travesty. For our part, we would infinitely prefer to see the entire Circle Campus razed and its grounds used for the expansion of Maxwell Street.”

“With the city of Chicago…I don’t perceive my company as a…partner,” says Bruce Crane of Crane Carton Company in the Greater North-Pulaski Business Times (September). “Perhaps I can best sum up the relationship as that between a patient and a dentist. A necessary evil where one is tempted to reach out, grab the dentist by the throat and gently say, ‘We’re not going to hurt each other, are we?'”

Sell me tickets, but don’t try to give me directions, OK? “What’s one of Africa’s best-kept secrets?” asks Specialty Travel Index (Fall/Winter). “Uganda, once again tantalizing to tourists with the widespread return of political stability. This fertile country straddling the equator just east of Kenya affords one-of-a-kind adventures…” Uganda would indeed be a well-kept secret there, since east of Kenya is a few thousand miles of Indian Ocean.

“Replacing four or five independent stores in a town with one giant one has real risks,” writes James Krohe Jr. in Illinois Times (October 7-13). “Convincing a thousand cantankerous booksellers nationwide to take a book off the shelves is impossible. (Why do you think they call them independents?) Convincing four superstore chain presidents is unfortunately quite easy, as was proved by the cowardly rush to yank Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses off the shelves a few years ago.”

If college were a factory and students were widgets…The Springfield-based Illinois Community College Board proudly reports “increased productivity” because its student-faculty ratio has risen from 19.6 to 1 in 1988 to 20.5 to 1 in 1992.

“Unfortunately, one of the reasons the statistical analysis [in Ravi Batra’s The Myth of Free Trade] is so easy to follow is that it relies entirely on post hoc ergo propter hoc,” writes Marian Henriquez Neudel in the Chicago-based New Patriot (September-October). “Batra tells us that just about every evil afflicting the U.S. economy either began or took a drastic upturn in 1973 (when the U.S. took a radical and thus far unreversed turn toward free trade) or at some subsequent point when tariffs went visibly downward. Of course, the net revenues of the NBA teams and the national consumption of pasta have also taken a drastic upturn since 1973. Does that mean we could solve all the problems of the U.S. economy if we quit watching basketball and eating tortellini?”

Probably not mentioned in the original job interview. Veteran Sun-Times drama and dance critic Glenna Syse, interviewed in Stagebill (September-October) on the greater openness in theater since she began her nearly 40-year career: “I do think I’ve seen more penises than a professional prostitute.”

“The best societal control is control by the family,” argues Columbia College television department chair Edward L. Morris in the Chicago Defender (October 13). “[Senator Paul] Simon thunders that if the [TV] industry does not do something about violence, that Congress will do it for them. Yet, now a decade after a nut tried to knock off an American president, the hallowed Congress of the United States has still not passed any gun control legislation.”

Not who you might expect. Nine of Illinois’ 22 delegates in Congress pay their female staffers more, on average, than their male staffers, according to Illinois Politics (October). In order of who pays women the most, they are Sidney Yates, Dan Rostenkowski, Harris Fawell, Paul Simon, John Porter, Richard Durbin, Dennis Hastert, George Sangmeister, and Jerry Costello. That list includes two Chicagoans, three suburbanites, four downstaters; three Republicans; and no minorities.

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