Posted inNews & Politics

Oates’s Opus

To the editors: M. Kiefer’s critique of J.C. Oates’ superb essay On Boxing [April 24] was tedious. I did not find Ms. Oates’ book “academic” — as Kiefer asserts. I got a visceral rush from Oates’s opus. Allen Barra’s Village Voice critique of On Boxing was better and briefer than Kiefer’s piece. Steve Mitchell De […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Stereotype Blues

To the editors: Cecil, please — watch your stereotypes: “semiliterate” blues musicians, indeed [The Straight Dope, May 15]! One of the musicians you quoted, Blind Willie McTell, studied at schools for the blind in Mississippi, New York, and Michigan, and although he sang on the streets for years he was far from a beggar, traveling […]

Posted inMusic

Meat Puppets–Mirage

MIRAGE Meat Puppets SST Records SST 100 “The best rock ‘n’ roll,” Curt Kirkwood told Spin magazine, “reminds me of teenagers on angel dust fucking.” While Kirkwood’s vision is hardly straight out of hippie canon, it does represent an authentically 80s version of the counterculture’s dream of sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll as […]

Posted inArts & Culture

River’s Edge

Something very odd about this: a teen problem drama that seems to be fighting David Lynch battles with its own right-thinking consciousness. Teen-pic auteur Tim Hunter (Tex) isn’t one to shirk his sentimental lessons, though the cautionary outlines of his story, about a gang of high school drifters who try to cover up a murder […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sam Shepherd’s Best Shot

TRUE WEST Americana Theatre at Cassidy’s Pub If Sam Shepard has told you once, he’s told you a hundred times — the old west is dead. Or almost dead. You see, it dies hard. It’s stubborn. Shepard’s human vestiges of the old west must face a high noon against our bleak, dehumanized modern world. This […]

Posted inFilm

Runaway Vehicle

BEVERLY HILLS COP II ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Tony Scott Written by Larry Ferguson and Warren Skaaren With Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, and Brigitte Nielsen. Beverly Hills Cop II opens in a blind panic and never calms down. The film’s style is that of a magician who keeps dazzling you with his […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Granted you’re no Galloping Gourmet, but this question has psychological as well as nutritional implications. (Catholic mothers are quite underrated when it comes to instilling childhood neuroses.) Is it really true that potato skins, apple peels, and carrot outsides are good for you? What value do they have? According to my mom, peeling apples, carrots, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Circe & Bravo

CIRCE & BRAVO Wisdom Bridge Theatre Governments are corrupt. Politics is a dirty business. The people who lust after power the most are usually the ones most likely to abuse it. Pretty mundane stuff, yet the politically paranoid regard it as revealed truth, accessible only to a select few. They see conspiracy where most of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Desperately seeking centenarians: The Illinois Department on Aging (917-2630) is trying to locate the 500-plus Illinoisans over age 100 in time for July 1, National Centenarians Day. And if you were born July 2, 1887, well . . . “Culture”: a working definition. The Ounce of Prevention Fund Magazine (Spring 1987) reports that the Southern […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chameleon in Effigy

CHAMELEON IN EFFIGY Raven Theatre Company Proteus, a minor deity in Greek mythology and the Odyssey, seems a god peculiarly fit for our times. This ancient sea creature could take any shape he/she/it wished but, if held long enough, was forced to resume the real one. Gifted with enormous knowledge and anxious to keep it […]