Posted inNews & Politics

The $105 Car Wash

It’s a beautiful day–the beautiful day, the one that reminds us, when it finally arrives, why we put up with Chicago winters year after miserable year: sunny, breezy, 65 at O’Hare. Cooler near the lake of course, but Accu-Weather says the fog has lifted. It’s a perfect day for a car wash. And mine desperately […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Ghetto and the Campus

To the editors: The Reader’s cover article “Apartheid American-Style” by Harold Henderson (May 7) reviewing the findings of sociologists Douglas Massey and Nancy Denton is without question one of the clearest and most cogent statements concerning a major problem for the United States as a society. Hopefully the North Shore woman has read this Reader […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I have read your column ever since my then 13-year-old daughter pointed out your discussion on the subject of breaking the penis. The years of keeping track of you have been very entertaining and mildly informative. I feel I owe you one. Perhaps the following will satisfy that obligation. You are undoubtedly aware that the […]

Posted inFilm

Beautiful and Barbaric

CLIFFHANGER ** (Worth seeing) Directed by Renny Harlin Written by Michael France and Sylvester Stallone With Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker, Janine Turner, Rex Linn, Caroline Goodall, Leon, Paul Winfield, and Ralph Waite. Kitsch is the daily art of our time, as the vase or the hymn was for earlier generations. For the sensibility […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Free Jazz: Be Brave!

To the editors: Upon the reading of your book review (“Reading: It’s Really Gone, Man,” 7 May) I am quite troubled by your interpretation of the thing you call “Free Jazz.” I do not believe you gave this stage in jazz music a fair shake. Given that the two books discussed (Hobsbawm’s The Jazz Scene […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

Taking the poetry out of parenthood. According to the Illinois Caucus on Teenage Pregnancy in LSC Network (May), a school cannot prevent a pregnant student from being valedictorian or homecoming queen, or taking part in any other activity, because of pregnancy. “Remember: treat pregnancy as a temporary disability such as a broken leg.” Feeeeeelings, wo, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Social Tinkering

To the editors: May 7 article “Apartheid American-Style” reminded me of the story about four men: an engineer, an economist, a lawyer, and a scientist stranded on an island and faced with the task of opening a can of beans–each proposed an unpractical method based on his area of expertise. Mr. Henderson is caught up […]

Posted inArts & Culture

His Majestie’s Clerkes

Hildegard of Bingen is commonly acknowledged as one of the greatest polymaths of the Middle Ages. An encyclopedist, poet, and composer, the 12th-century abbess wrote prolifically and imaginatively, leaving a prodigious output that still astounds historians. Frank Ferko, who holds a PhD in composition from Northwestern University, has long been fascinated by her accomplishments. In […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Changing Lives

To the editors: I was petrified and transfixed with awe as I read Ben Joravsky’s article in Neighborhood News in the May 21 Reader. I am almost ready to say that perhaps my life will be changed just as Jess Levine’s life was changed when he read about William Kellogg in the Chicago Tribune. For […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fabulous Thunderbirds

Few younger-generation blues outfits can fuse reverence for the music with an ass-kicking sense of fun like the T-Birds do. They seem to have mastered every conceivable regional style, from jumping roadhouse romps to hard-grinding Chicago boogie all the way to the crunching, rock and roll-flavored young man’s blues that Albert Collins and his contemporaries […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

I finally saw one of our local coyotes. I was beginning to think I was the only person in Chicago who hadn’t spotted one. These crafty canids have been reported in forest preserves all over the metropolitan area, even around such unlikely locations as the Lawson YMCA and Lincoln Park. My colleague Bill Valentine has […]