Words we haven’t heard lately, from activist James Yellowbank, quoted in U.S. Catholic (February): “To say that all Indians are alike is like saying that all the different nationalities and religions in Europe are alike.”

Give the deer phones. The Will County Forest Preserve District reports that since November its police have arrested more than a dozen hunters seeking to kill deer out of season–even though some of the poachers now use cellular phones to try to evade capture.

One urbanite runs up the white flag. “Let us suppose USX determined that the best and highest use of [its 585-acre South Works on the southeast side] in fact is residential, that people actually could be persuaded to buy homes there and that they would not die of heavy-metal poisoning before the first property-tax bill came due,” writes Ed Zotti in Chicago Enterprise (January/February). “Would we want to build a ‘traditional Chicago neighorhood’ (i.e., densely populated and oriented toward pedestrians, with a high percentage of multifamily dwellings) of the sort advocated by Philip Bess and a long line of other urban enthusiasts, starting with Jane Jacobs? I would like to say yes, because I live in such a neighborhood now and enjoy it. But I am not so sure….[I might] advocate giving people what they seem to want: single-family homes on reasonably large lots, with perhaps a smattering of townhouses for first-time buyers, all largely dependent on the automobile. We might aim for Oak Park, attempt to avoid Levittown and perhaps settle for Naperville.”

Department of redundancy dundancy. Planning and zoning workshops sponsored by Governors State University last month were described as focusing on the “seven ‘Ps’ of planning”: “preliminary prior planning prevents pitiful poor performance.”

Who make the best inner-city schoolteachers? According to veteran teacher educator Martin Haberman in In These Times (January 24), those most likely to succeed, among other things, usually live in the city and plan to stay, are between 30 and 50, have raised children, have personal experience of violence, didn’t decide to teach until after college and other jobs, are not white, and “expect that the school bureaucracy will be irrational and intrusive.”

Maybe in graduate school they explain that archaeology is the one where you dig up bones. From WLS’s bio sheet on midday host Roe Conn: “In college, Roe studied anthropology but decided after graduation from Denison University that digging up bones was not for him.”

“As the world flounders in tribalism, those great multicultural empires the Ottoman and the Hapsburg look better and better,” writes David Rieff in Subjective Reasoning, quoted in Harper’s (January), looking back with surprising fondness on pre-World War I Turkey and Austria-Hungary. “At the beginning of the twentieth century, it was nationalism, even nationalism based on ethnicity or creed, that looked modern….But the question must be posed again, as events in Sarajevo close the century that events in Sarajevo opened. And, in retrospect, it may seem that for all its ferocities it was the Ottoman vision and not the nationalist one that holds up better.”

Lookin’ good? Paul Varnell in Windy City Times (January 13) has a good word for “looks-ism”: “Most people, maybe all of us, recognize that some natural objects and human creations can embody beauty. Most of us enjoy things such as sunsets, scenic vistas (Yosemite Valley), certain paintings, buildings (Taj Mahal), poetry (Keats’ ‘To Autumn’), and music (Mahler’s Ninth Symphony). The enjoyment of such things is for some people one of the chief rewards for living. And yet it seems extremely odd to say that these objects in various ways embody beauty but that human beings do not, can not, or should not.”

Whites are more likely to be murdered in 15 poor, rural southern counties than anywhere else, according to a county-by-county study of homicide victimization conducted by UIC sociologist and professor of African American studies Darnell Hawkins. Hawkins also found that Cook County doesn’t even make the list of the 25 worst counties, for either black or white homicide rates.

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