Official body count from the Illinois turkey-hunting season, April 22-May 3 in 22 downstate counties: 1,411 wild turkeys (dead), 5 hunters (injured).
“Stop to examine the wild leek that grows profusely along the trail,” advise Pat Allen and Gerald De Ruiter in Backpacking in Michigan. “When stepped on, it gives off an aroma that might be found in an Italian restaurant.” Probably where the leek got the idea.
“Washington has failed to make tangible inroads with white-ethnic and lakefront voters,” according to John Schrag’s electoral analysis in the Chicago Reporter (May 1987). “In the April 7 general election, Washington received 4.6 percent of the vote in the six white-ethnic wards analyzed by the Reporter [13th, 23rd, 36th, 38th, 41st. and 45th], down slightly from the 5.4 percent mark he reached in the 1983 general election. The mayor’s support also slipped slightly in north lakefront wards [42nd, 43rd, 44th, 46th, 48th, and 49th], from 41.9 percent of the vote in 1983 to 41.3 percent this year.”
“The war was over in Vietnam a long time before it was over in history departments,” says University of Illinois military historian John Lynn. His discipline is just now becoming “intellectually respectable among scholars and popular with students.” And what did you teach about the war, Daddy?
Dese, dem, an’ dose ain’t goin’. “For blue-collar workers, standard English is the language of the oppressor,” writes linguist Robin Herndobler in City (Fall 1986), magazine of the City Colleges of Chicago. It’s the speech of the ‘big shots’ who come into the mill from ‘downtown’ and ‘mess everything up,’ just as in their youth, it was the language of the schools, which came into their lives and spoiled all the fun.” One 16-year-old from Chicago’s east side, “stated that he knew how to talk when he had to, in English class, or to impress his girlfriend’s father. But if he talked ‘right’ on the street, he said, in a baseball game, or among his friends, they would think he was crazy.”
Land reform in the midwest may be a 21st-century issue if public and private lenders continue to sell foreclosed farms on terms that favor big farmers and outside investors, reports David Moberg in In These Times (May 20-26, 1987). “Land is being concentrated and consolidated in a very rapid manner,” says David Ostendorf, director of Prairiefire Rural Action in Iowa. “If this country saw this data in a Central American country controlled by socialists, they’d have the invasion forces ready.”
Latinos are 19 percent of Chicagoans, and they receive about 2.7 percent of the philanthropic contributions disbursed in the city, according to the Latino Institute’s December report, Strangers in the Philanthropic World.
The 60s live on, slightly updated in the advance attendance form for the National Alternative Politics Conference held last month at UIC: “I want to help start a local green party! I’m into: _ Peace _ Environment _ Health & Herbal _ Human Rights _ AntiApartheid _ Gay _ Non-violence _ Feminism _ Anti-CIA _ Indigenous Rights _ Animal Rights _ Farm Issues _Bioregionalism _No Nuke/Safe Energy _ New Age _ Futurism _ Rainbow Tribe _ Political Empowerment _ Appropriate Technology _Recycling _ Workers’ Rights _ Guerrilla Theatre _ Supportive Human Relations _ Co-ops _ Housing _ Other ________ The most effective protest you ever saw: _________. The biggest threat to life on earth: _________. What other question would you like to see here? ________.”
“Not since the 19th century has it been the policy of an American prison to keep most inmates in their prison cells most of the day”–but it is now at Marion, the downstate Alcatraz that has been on lockup since 1983. According to Jacki Lyden and Paula Schiller in Student Lawyer (May 1987), “Prisoners eat alone in their cells, on the bunk or on the floor; there are no tables. They spend 22 to 23 hours a day in cells in which they can take a half-step in one direction and two steps in another. . . . There is no work, no school, and no communal worship. The visiting room is often empty.” Prisoners are strip-searched before and after each visit, even though it takes place under constant surveillance, via telephone in a room divided by a plastic partition. “Marion prisoners are officially described as ‘predators’ in Bureau of Prisons reports and in BOP testimony before Congress. Unofficially and privately, Marion administrators also characterize the prisoners as less than human.” The most common offense of Marion’s federal prisoners is . . . bank robbery.
New horizons in preschool: In World Book’s Early World of Learning ($249), according to a recent press release, “Amy, a rabbit, and Zak, a monkey, lead children through storybook adventures with the other 26 Alphabet Pals.” We’d gladly pay full price just to find out the names of all, uh, 28 letters.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.