Posted inNews & Politics

Rap, Rage, Revolution

To the editors: As a young black woman who likes to dance and think, I find myself in the position of defending rap as an art form while simultaneously objecting to its often fragmentary, unexamined politics. Politics that espouse, among other things, misogyny, misdirected violence, and uninformed consumerism. Then along came Arrested Development, immediately accessible […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story The German news agency Deutsche Presse Agentur reported in November on Japanese inventor Kenji Kawakami’s “New Idea Academy,” which features Kawakami’s own innovations and counts among its most successful products a portable washing machine that straps onto the user’s leg, a traveling necktie with room for writing utensils and a calculator, padded booties […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Personnel Problems

To the editors: After returning from vacation this week, I had the opportunity to read your December 11 Hot Type regarding Colette Holt. In the article, Park District Associate Superintendent Holt claims that I participated in the Park District’s handling of personnel matters involving her and that this conduct was politically motivated. Nothing could be […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Alice in Wonderland

ALICE IN WONDERLAND Emanon Theater at Halsted Theatre Centre Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is probably one of the most analyzed works of juvenile literature in the Western world. In the 1960s readers focused on the hallucinogenic drugs the shy mathematics professor/author must have taken to achieve his flights of fancy. In the 1970s they turned […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I have been told by someone who claims to know that you can preserve the carbonation in a half-consumed bottle of champagne by hanging a silver spoon upside down in the neck, with the handle suspended in the contents. As a none-too-convincing explanation for this miracle my source mumbled something about electrolysis. Any truth to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Brett vs. Park District–again

For the second time in two years the Park District staff has recommended against giving Brett Knobel the concession that allows her to operate Brett’s Waveland Cafe, once an abandoned hot dog stand near the Waveland Avenue golf course, now a thriving business. This time she may have had enough. “I have been having troubles […]

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The City File

Chicago, Chicago, that pesticide town… A recent state study of composted grass clippings, leaves, and brush from around Illinois found that “the levels of pesticides were, overall, consistently higher in the Chicago metropolitan area samples. It appears that homeowners and other landscape generators in heavily urbanized areas apply more pesticides than their downstate counterparts” (UIC […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Suzanne Petri

Since she arrived here in 1986 as a cast member of Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival’s The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Suzanne Petri has established herself as an actress who can handle classy and brassy with equal ease. Her gritty voice, crisp and witty delivery, and assured stage presence also suit her to musical […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Prince and the Pauper

When a story is so strong it virtually tells itself, the trick is to stay out of its way. That’s the beauty part of Christopher Moore’s lean and faithful musical version of The Prince and the Pauper, Mark Twain’s wry democratic tale of 16th-century look-alikes–Henry VII’s son and a London street urchin–who teach each other […]

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Field & Street

I saw my first pileated woodpecker at a place called Caney Creek in the Ouachita National Forest in western Arkansas. My wife and I were on an overnight backpacking trip that was part of our research for a book on hiking and backpacking in the southern mountains. We defined southern mountains to include the Ozarks […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Prerevolutionary Russian Films

Perhaps the most remarkable film-history revaluation currently in progress (highlighted at the Film Center this month) concerns Russian films made during the teens, fascinating today for their highly modern handling of space and decor, their resourceful mise en scene, their unambiguous feminism, and their embrace of tragic endings, among other things. If you assume, like […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Women Under Scrutiny

LORNA SIMPSON: FOR THE SAKE OF THE VIEWER at the Museum of Contemporary Art Being scrutinized is never a pleasant experience–not for an applicant during a job interview, not for a rape victim being examined and questioned, not for a young black man walking down the street in an all-white neighborhood. Early in her career […]