Next month–pulling teeth? Traumarama is coming on Wednesday nights in November to Club Lower Links on West Newport: “In addition to special guests, each night will include the Trauma Slide Series and a ‘show-us-your-scar’ open mike.”

From slick to shining slick. “U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard data [show] 492 Great Lakes spills in 1988, up from 384 in 1987 and 401 in 1986. The U.S. share of these spills has doubled since 1986, while the Canadian share dropped 50%, according to [U.S. Senator Carl] Levin. He noted that 85% of recent spills have been oil. The rest were toxic chemicals” (Sierra Club Great Lakes Washington Report, September 20).

Is Weight Watchers a Republican plot? That seems to be Janet Tanaka’s idea, writing in the Chicago-based Christian feminist journal Daughters of Sarah (September/ October 1989): “As long as our inherent power and gifts are tied up in ourselves we present no threat of change. The sexist/weightist wants us to concentrate our energy on losing pounds instead of winning elections. Keep us counting calories, jumping around in front of exercise videos, agonizing over the scale, and we won’t be campaigning to clean up toxic waste. They must divide us against our large-bodied sisters, because united, women will change the world!” Let’s see, if Lynn Martin looked more like Barbara Bush…

“It would be great to have some of the big [law] firms out there involved so they could see the type of sloppola justice you get in juvenile court,” says Cook County public guardian Patrick Murphy in a Barrister interview with Vicki Quade (Fall 1989). “I’ve practiced in every kind of court from the U.S. Supreme Court on down. The hardest court I ever practiced at is juvenile court. That’s where serious problems really exist…. You get a situation involving four little kids, for instance. What’s going to happen with their lives?… That’s a much more important issue to society than whether Apex gets $500,000 more than the Acorn Corporation does. But most of the resources in our legal system are working on that Apex/Acorn deal. That’s where the good judges are, that’s where the good lawyers are, because that’s where the money is.”

The pleasure of your company. According to CUB News (Fall 1989), “By ordering all of Bell’s new gimmicks, ‘custom calling’ features, and inside wire maintenance, a customer can now receive a monthly bill of more than $65 without making a single call.”

“We in the arts are really to blame” for conservative efforts to control what kinds of art taxpayers support, writes Lynne Warren, associate curator of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, in the New Art Examiner (October 1989). “Did the arts community really believe it could ‘reach a broader audience’ without having to stop and think maybe that broader audience wouldn’t really know how to decipher those often morally bankrupt, cynical, obscure, self-referential, and downright self-indulgent products contemporary artists are spewing forth? Or does the community believe that because the jaded, safe thrill-seeking (cf. ‘safe sex’) New York art world thinks Robert Mapplethorpe’s sadomasochistic imagery is the cat’s meow, the public-at-large should swallow it whole (pun intended)? Or that a conservative Christian will stop himself and say, ‘No, I won’t judge Mr. Serrano’s Piss Christ until I’ve understood it in context.’ The arts community has often been accused of being morally lax and socially arrogant; it seems the chickens are finally coming home to roost.”

Business ethics is to ethics as Monopoly money is to money. Fortune (August 14) asked Boston money manager Kenneth Heebner about his favorite long-term investments. He named Philip Morris: “I’ve been in it more than I’ve been out of it during the past ten to 15 years, and it’s a very big position for me now. Nothing is more profitable than an addictive product.” How about some crack futures while we’re at it, fella?

“Chicago’s Loop could easily be taken over by Iowans, who are the nation’s most literate people,” writes William J. Leahy, explaining Chicago businesses’ interest in school reform (Leahy’s Corner, September 1989). “Chicago’s business leaders, most of whom are suburbanites, had always gone home and told their representatives in Springfield to starve Chicago’s schools. That was the best method to keep profits flowing, but these men out-pigged themselves. Now, when I call the FNBC [First National Bank of Chicago], I get seven answers from seven employees–to a single question. When I go up into the offices amid the open bags of greasy food, I help the employees read what’s on their screens. Many times I have explained the bank’s procedures to its employees, who sometimes thank me!”

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