What was that name again? David Haenke in Conscious Choice (Summer): “The cure [for civilization] requires respectful recognition of ecological (‘wild’) boundaries, acknowledgment that the wild is sacred, and that nature–Earth-GAIA-ecological reality-wildness-God-Goddess-the Great Spirit–is really in control.”

“I am an aerobic dinosaur,” writes Joelle Peterson in Solutions Quarterly (Summer), published on West Fletcher. “I have seen the fitness industry bloom from hole-in-the-wall gyms, where strange hulking giants with big belts would grunt at the ladies quietly stretching in their corners, to Big Business, and health as a way of life.”

Your tax dollars in hiding. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (July/August) reports that the Committee to Bridge the Gap had to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in their effort to obtain the U.S. Department of Energy’s proposed FOIA rules–and their request was turned down.

Chickening out. “Conservatives certainly understood the impact that homoerotic work would have on the public,” reflects Richard Bolton in the Chicago-based New Art Examiner (June/Summer). “By manifesting gay and lesbian desire, they argued, such art ‘promotes’ homosexuality, making it more acceptable. And, in a way, this is true….So why didn’t the art world press on with this issue? Instead the art world, on the whole, tactically decided to behave as if content didn’t matter, concentrating on First Amendment rights rather than the right to sexuality itself. Certainly it was crucial to defend the right of artists to speak….But the art world should have defended the broader social agenda–the legitimation of homosexuality–that it had encouraged and sustained through funding and exhibition. Instead, arguments for free speech merely aimed to protect the status of the art world as a privileged domain.”

Competition comes to the council. Number of aldermen winning their seats with 100 percent of the vote, in 1979: 20. In 1991: 3 (City Council/ County Board Report, Spring).

“Redistricting is a lot like our visits from the cicadas,” reflected would-be congressman Dick Simpson earlier this year. “One, it’s a periodic phenomenon: every 17 years for the cicadas; every 10 years for redistricting. Two, there is a lot of buzzing and noise but you can’t see what’s really happening. Three, it’s usually all over before you can begin to assess the damage.”

Gwendolyn Brooks, Marva Collins, and Oprah Winfrey are the three Chicagoans included in the 75 portraits in the upcoming Chicago Historical Society exhibit, “I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America.”

First it was lawyers, then investment bankers, and now–social workers? “This year applications have skyrocketed” at Loyola University’s School of Social Work master’s program, according to dean Charles O’Reilly. The school has more than three applications for every place; other area universities report increased applications to social-work programs as well. Social work, says O’Reilly, is a “growth industry.”

Amend the constitution and soak the rich is Merrill Goozner’s proposal for the state’s financial woes: “169,670 Illinois taxpayers reported over $100,000 in adjusted gross income in 1989. This well-heeled crowd, just 3.4 percent of the total returns, brought home $52.3 billion, or 30 percent of all income in the state. Doubling the tax rate on income over $100,000–which would leave Illinois’ top rate at 6 percent, still below the national average–would raise over $1 billion in new money for the state.É There may be a level of state taxes that would stifle entrepreneurship and individual initiative and drive rich people out of the state. Six percent for income above $100,000 isn’t it” (Chicago Enterprise, June).

If only weather forecasters were this honest. The Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission opens its 1990 Annual Report with a graph showing how far off the mark its 1974 and 1976 population projections for the six-county area were. Instead of growing by the expected nearly 1.5 million people from 1970 to 1990, northeastern Illinois gained only 286,000.

The last word on the alleged “PC” epidemic, from Texan Molly Ivins, who could have been writing from downstate Illinois, in the Progressive (June): “We live in a culture in which people drive around with bumper stickers on their pickups that say things like, DO A GOOD DEED TODAY–BEAT HELL OUT OF SOMEONE YOU LOVE and IF YOU LOVE SOMETHING, SET IT FREE–IF IT DOESN’T COME BACK, HUNT IT DOWN AND KILL IT. The words ‘nigger’ and ‘spic’ are still in common usage everywhere, including the state legislature. The biggest problem at the University of Texas is drunken fraternity hazing. And these folks are worried about creeping political correctitude?”

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