Archive for April, 2007

All Rise

I left sunny and 80 degree Los Angeles and sat through endless hours of delays at LAX en route to ORD all in the quest to see Naked Raygun tonight here in Chicago. I gotta say the cold and rain is exactly how I remember Chicago for every single day of the 6 years I love here. OK, not exactly but close enough. I’m in town through Monday and my plans are rock tonight, a stop by deluxe tomorrow, and that’s about it. Is there anything happening in the next 48-72 hours that I really shouldn’t miss?

Roscoe Brunch

Anyone out there from (or do you visit) Roscoe Village? I hadn’t noticed it, but it seems there is a fierce battle for your brunch business between Kitsch’n on Roscoe and Orange on Roscoe.

Is this so? Do you brunch in the neighborhood, and if so have you tried both spots?

Student Arrested for Creative Writing?

Okay, so I can understand that everyone is jumpy because of the Virginia Tech shootings. I’m sure that teachers and school administrators want to do anything they can to ensure it never happens again. I, too, want safer schools and universities.But, I worry that arresting a student for disorderly conduct because of an assignment he wrote for his creative writing class goes a little far.It’s challenging to speculate because the essay hasn’t been made public, but there are a couple of things that bother me about this:1. The charge. Per the Tribune, disorderly conduct is normally prank-related; it’s something that affects the public at large. (Examples include: dialing 911 unnecessarily, as someone could die if the authorities are tied up with nonsense or pulling a fire alarm for the same reason.) How does an essay only written for the eyes of a teacher fit into this?2. I believe in a certain amount of academic freedom, especially in an arts class. I was a high school journalist, so I know that non-college students essentially have no free speech rights in an academic setting. (It’s how schools can expel kids that start underground papers. It’s also why student newspapers are subject to administrative censorship.) There are many reasons why schools have these policies, and for the most part, they make some sense.But, I also went to an arts school for middle and high school. Combine teenage drama with any art form and it can get dark pretty quickly. Part of an artist’s work is to envision himself as someone else, even if that character is vile. Shouldn’t a creative writing course give students the freedom to experiment as artists? Do we want to teach students that they can only create if it’s inside the bounds of good taste?I’m surprised with the teacher’s reaction. Why didn’t this teacher question the writer? Again it’s hard to determine, as the essay and assignment guidelines have not been released, but shouldn’t someone at the school level have considered speaking to the student about the writing rather than just sending in the police to arrest him? Or, does the school hope to make an example out of this student to show how strong it is on student safety?I understand how someone’s writing can be used to make a case against that person. For example, if I’m the main suspect in a homicide case, and after getting a search warrant, the police find a stack of newly-purchased guns and knives in my apartment, leather gloves and other stuff one would use in a murder (pardon the lack of detail here, as I’m not actually a murderer, everything I know is from CSI), books on how to kill people, and my killer’s manifesto, sure that’s the time to question me about my violent writing. But a straight-A student who pens an essay for his creative writing class?It makes me worry about the way we perceive artistic endeavors. Are the actors of the latest slasher film actually murderers? Are the writers? Is the audience for watching it? Is the guerrilla comedy “‘I’m Gonna Kill the President!’ A Federal Offense” really an assault on America? Is Thomas Harris, the author of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS really Hannibal Lector? Where does best-selling author Stephen King fit into this? Would a writer be a terrorist if she wrote a first-person fictional account of 9/11, as told from Osama bin Laden’s point of view?Are the artists actually the perpetrators? Or are we simply trying to understand them?I first heard about this story on Chicago Public Radio.

National TV Turnoff Week

Hey, TV addicts — I’ve got good news. It’s National TV Turnoff Week. So much more time to head to your friendly Chicago Public Library.Wow, this post is nerdy, even for me.Via Make.


Sleeping%20Tulips.jpg….the tulips are sleeeeeeeeping.(Taken via Treo camera phone on the corner of Berwyn and Wayne in Andersonville)

Rogers Park is bloggy, the location-based blog directory, has crunched their first 6 months of data (and some Technorati rankings and such) and come out with a list of the 10 bloggiest neighborhoods in the US. Rogers Park made the list at number 5. Gentrification, it seems, is something that gets people typing:

What’s interesting about the list we compiled is that it turns out placebloggers tend to thrive in gentrifying communities — half of our nabes in the top ten were in the middle of some form of gentrification. makes sense, but it wasn’t something we went into the project expecting to find.

5. Rogers Park/North Howard Chicago

The Neighborhood
Located in one of the last remaining pockets of poverty in Chicago’s North Side, it’s home to a culturally diverse group of residents that have very mixed feelings about the rapid gentrification.

Local Blogger
24/7 North of Howard Watchers

Local Obsessions
Don Gordon and Joe Moore’s heated race for Alderman of the 49th Ward.

(via BoingBoing)

My Name is a Blackbird

Fuzzy and I recently saw Molly Shanahan’s My Name is a Blackbird , a Modern dance solo performance piece at the Building Stage, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A research experiment of the movement and emotion within herself, Shanahan’s Blackbird is not for everyone–while I found it to be captivating, if I were not a fan of the genre, it would be difficult to watch and understand. However, nightly after each performance, there is a moderated panel discussion so that viewers can ask questions about the process, choices, music, costumes, etc– an addition to the evening that I found particularly helpful and interesting. My Name is a Blackbird runs for only one more weekend, so get tickets while you can.

Q101 Block Party

Music seems to be in the air at MetroBlogging with multiple posts about the Decemberists’ free show, and further announcements about the artists that will be performing at Pitchfork Festival and Lollapalooza.

You can now add Q101 to the mix and their summer Block Party which takes place at Charter One Pavilion on June 15 & 16. Saturday’s lineup includes the Bravery, Violent Femmes and Good Charlotte.

You know it’s “everything alternative”, don’t you?

Meet Up and the Decemberists

Our esteemed captain and Greg Kotboth beat me to the punch. The Decemberists are going to be back in Chicago to play at Grant Park Music Festival. I think this is a perfect opportunity for a meet up. Mark the date on your calendars folks and take the day off work. This is going to be fantastic.

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BYOB (Book or Bottle, Both Apply)

Barnes and Noble hardly needs the publicity, but I’m a big fan of wine, so here goes. Jane Iversen, the author of BYOB CHICAGO, will be speaking tomorrow at the Barnes and Noble in Webster Place (1441 W. Webster). She’s scheduled to speak at 3pm.My hunch is that she can tell you where to find some great Chicago restaurants.

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