The more things change…In preliminary excavations for a new campground at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, archaeologist Mark J. Lynott and colleagues unearthed artifacts showing that “people camped for short periods of time in this area for the last three thousand years” (Singing Sands Almanac, Summer).

One of the few remaining acceptable pejorative adjectives is a number. From a Cafe Voltaire flier: “Urban dinner theatre comes to Chicago–no banquet table, no unknown 708 couples staring at your chicken Kiev.”

“While plenty of people make money from art-related activities and the American public consumes the by-products as ‘Culture,’ artists are doing their historic thing: starving and praying for fame,” writes Montana painter Karen Kitchel in the Chicago-based New Art Examiner (June/Summer). “The art world is a huge aesthetic and economic system, with thousands of players at every level. Consider this partial list: galleries, collectors, curators, museums, art schools, other ‘arts-related’ businesses (including: critical and visual publications; grant-writing guides, workshops and advisors; professional organizations; public relations material and experts; documentation services, equipment, and materials; artist self-help workshops and consultants; art appraisal, insurance, storage, packing, and transport; installation, etc.), oh, yes, the public, and finally, artists. Like all fields, ours is a pyramid– a food chain. It’s not a mistake that artists appear at the bottom of this list. We are the plankton. It seems everyone is making a buck from the culture business, but how much of it have you seen lately?

Transit funding the Chicago way. CTA funding for the 10-mile Ravenswood line: $26 million. For the 21-mile Lake/Dan Ryan line: $9 million (CTA figures quoted by the Neighborhood Capital Budget Group).

“What began as a radical idea–that reform was a woman’s business– became corrupted by dismissive men into the notion that reform was only a woman’s business,” writes James Krohe Jr. in Chicago Enterprise (July/August). “This association is a prejudice of long standing in Chicago, largely due to the conspicuousness of Hull House as a model….Indeed, the sniggering contempt for reformers that oozes from the experts gathered at WBEZ radio’s ‘Inside Politics’ sounds a lot like little boys everywhere who have managed to put one over on the nuns, the teachers, the mothers of the world. They ain’t ready for reform, but they are ready for a good spanking.”

“Which one was news and which one was entertainment?” asks Susan Douglas in In These Times (July 8-21). “Let’s take Bill Clinton’s appearance on the Arsenio Hall Show. Although the Democratic candidate spoke in very general terms, the show’s format and its host gave Clinton the opportunity to tick off a list of education reforms he would propose and to argue that rich people like Arsenio had to pay higher taxes….The [New York] Times, however, paid no attention to what Clinton said and instead sought to dismiss the event by giving front-page coverage to a picture of Clinton playing the saxophone on the show. If you watched Arsenio, at least you got a little meat; if you just read the Times, all you got was meringue laced with a touch of bile.”

My wallet! My wallet! Who took my wallet?! Illinois state debt per person in 1970: $49.22. In 1992: $1,002.42 (Illinois Tax Facts, June).

Stop crime by building more prisons? “Incredible,” snorts ACLU’s Ira Glasser in Civil Liberties (Spring). It’s “like saying the way to cure cancer is to build more hospitals.”

Speaking of family values…”The epidemiologic evidence indicates that if, hypothetically, television technology had never been developed, there would be 10,000 fewer homicides each year in the United States, 70,000 fewer rapes, and 700,000 fewer injurious assaults” (Dr. Brandon S. Centerwall, Journal of the American Medical Association, June 10).

We do guarantee there will be weather of some kind. Mark Fernau and David South of Argonne National Laboratory in ANL’s publication Logos (Spring), on the uncertainties in computer models used to predict global warming: “For the Great Lakes region, for example, the models cannot even agree on whether summer rainfall–of importance to agriculture–will increase or decrease.”

Don’t be late. Date of Marshall Field’s press release announcing the “back-to-school season”: July 6.

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