Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Now, I’m no Holocaust denier. I firmly believe the Holocaust occurred and the Nazis committed great atrocities during WWII. What I have a hard time believing is the accusation that Nazis made lampshades from human skin. Genocide is repulsive, but making lampshades out of human skin is more in line with what crazy serial killers […]

Posted inNews & Politics

In Brief

AMAZONIA: FIVE YEARS AT THE EPICENTER OF THE DOT.COM JUGGERNAUT James Marcus New Press James Marcus’s amusing memoir tells how it was to be in the right place (Seattle) at the right time (the 90s). Personally interviewed by Jeff Bezos, Marcus was the 55th hire at then ramshackle Amazon.com. Tired of starving as a freelance […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ford Transit

This innovative 2002 feature by Hany Abu-Assad (Rana’s Wedding), a unique mix of documentary and fiction, follows a minibus driver transporting diverse cargoes of passengers in Ramallah and Jerusalem. Sometimes the film interviews Palestinian and Israeli artist/intellectual passengers about the ongoing conflicts and sometimes it constructs mininarratives about the bus’s progress and adventures between various […]

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Calendar

Friday 6/4 – Thursday 6/10 JUNE 4 FRIDAY Studs Terkel exhorts us not to give up the good fight in Hope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Troubled Times, an oral history of social activism that includes interviews with subjects ranging from pardoned Illinois death row inmate Leroy Orange to Latin American immigrants struggling to […]

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Thomas Frank & Laura Kipnis

The odd couple of cultural criticism, Thomas Frank and Laura Kipnis would seem to have little in common except local ties and an affection for hyperbole. Frank, the founding editor of the Woodlawn-based Baffler, moved to Washington, D.C., last year. His new book, What’s the Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America […]

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Youth, Meet Ambition

Since Rea Frey moved to Chicago four years ago to attend Columbia College, the 22-year-old Nashville native has taken up boxing, undergone brain surgery, gotten married, been named valedictorian of her graduating class, and written her first novel, A Woman’s Ring, which will be published this summer by Dare2Dream Publishing, a small South Carolina press […]

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Les Georges Leningrad

I don’t care what your band sounds like–if you make a mockery out of something sacred in the music biz, I’m going to love you. So yay to Les Georges Leningrad for being such assholes at CMJ last year and literally dancing on banana peels. This Montreal “quartet” claims among its members a married couple […]

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A Guy and His Dolls

Hans Bellmer at Alan Koppel, through June 19 From Cindy Sherman’s troubling images of damaged dolls to the perennial art-student Barbie project, dolls in contemporary art have come to communicate issues of body image and gender identity. But perhaps because our anything-goes culture tends to reduce attempts at outrage to irony or humor, few have […]

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Hella, Make Believe

Hella plays at freakish velocities, uncorking maniacal, proggy riffs that flash by in lockstep with cluttered, spastic drum patterns–it’s as though guitarist Spencer Seim and drummer Zach Hill were marionettes, with a smirking sadist holding the strings. On the Sacramento duo’s second full-length, The Devil Isn’t Red (5 Rue Christine), they sprint sure-footedly from one […]

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Chicago Gospel Music Festival

CHICAGO GOSPEL MUSIC FESTIVAL offers performances on three stages in Grant Park: the Gospel Youth Tent, Columbus & Jackson, the Early/Day Stage, Jackson & Lake Shore Dr., and the Petrillo Music Shell. For information call 312-744-3370. Friday, June 4 GOSPEL YOUTH TENT 4:05 Davante Lenox 4:10 Oak Park/River Forest Gospel Choir 4:45 Homewood/Flossmoor Inspirational Choir […]

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Carandiru

Long, grim, but utterly engrossing, this 2003 Brazilian drama by Hector Babenco (Kiss of the Spider Woman) was shot on location at the Sao Paulo house of detention, a massive penitentiary that once housed more than 7,000 men. Babenco adapted a best-selling novel by Drauzio Varella, a doctor who worked at the facility from 1989 […]