Posted inArts & Culture


Franz Kafka began his first novel, Amerika, in 1912, a year after he’d become infatuated with Yiddish theater–considered a backward, embarrassing cultural artifact by “respectable” (that is, assimilationist) German-speaking Jews in Prague. A champion of this extravagant, schmaltzy, shabby form, Kafka befriended impresario Itzhak Lowy and even lectured on “the Yiddish tongue.” In Ken Prestininzi’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Up for Grabs

This funny and engrossing video by Michael Wranovics documents the court battle that erupted over the ownership of “number 73,” the baseball Barry Bonds hit in October 2001 to break the major league record for home runs in a single season. Alex Popov, a San Francisco restaurant owner, was recorded on tape catching the ball, […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I’m sure this won’t be the only response you receive regarding your advice to OBGYN, the pro-choice girl whose pro-life boy refused to have intercourse with her unless she agreed to have the baby if she got pregnant. Why? Because your advice was totally fucked-up. I take 95 percent of what could be considered liberal […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Residents’ Journal Reports

Dear editor: I would like to add a clarification to “Fighting Spin With Spin,” an otherwise fine article written by Martha Bayne that appeared in the Our Town section on June 10. The article credits the Chicago Sun-Times with conducting an investigation of the connections between contractors working with the Chicago Housing Authority and its […]

Posted inNews & Politics


[snip] Corporations may rule the world, but not the same ones. Anne Dumas at “19 of today’s 25 largest U.S. companies didn’t exist four decades ago.” [snip] “You can be a convicted corporate criminal and still have a robust future,” reports Russell Mokhiber, editor of the “Corporate Crime Reporter,” pointing out that 9 of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Who’re You Calling Wimpy?

If this article [“Let’s Hear It for the Loving, Wimpy Jesus,” July 1] had been titled “Let’s Hear It for the Loving, Wimpy Allah” you would have national news reporting how outrageous it is to apply one writer’s negative opinion about God in print. You would probably be asked to publish an apology for calling […]

Posted inFilm

Love in the Time of Terror

Yes **** (Masterpiece) Directed and written by Sally Potter With Simon Abkarian, Joan Allen, Shirley Henderson, Sam Neill, Wil Johnson, Gary Lewis, Raymond Waring, and Stephanie Leonidas Yes. A film that irrefutably deserves its title. A film of affirmation. Which is not the same as a story with a happy ending…. If the places in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Tap Theatre

You’ve got to admire Mark Yonally’s chutzpah–it’s not every choreographer who’d combine a passion for tap dance and a childhood obsession with Edgar Allan Poe. The mix doesn’t always work on this program of three pieces, but when it does it’s because the coolness of tap makes us see the writer’s melodrama in a new […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Elin McCoy

Robert Parker, editor and publisher of the Wine Advocate, is hands down the most influential critic in the history of wine. A self-taught oenophile with a healthy ego, he launched his publication as a mimeographed newsletter in 1978 and is now a hugely polarizing figure on the international wine scene, beloved by those who credit […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Treatment

Friday 8 THE SOUTHLAND It’s hard to keep track of all the crimes against taste this LA quintet commits on its debut, Influence of Geography (Ruffworld), between the rampant AORisms (“They’re neon, the signs, they’re burning in your eyes”) and “Radio,” which uses drug addicts and homeless people as a lyrical backdrop for twentysomething drama. […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Trained as a musician, English writer-director Sally Potter (The Tango Lesson) still thinks like one. All the dialogue in her timely masterpiece–a passionate post-9/11 love story about an unhappily married Irish-American scientist (Joan Allen) and a younger Lebanese chef (Simon Abkarian) set in London, Belfast, Beirut, and Havana–is written in rhyming iambic pentameter. Beautifully composed […]