Culture

The Circus Comes to Bucktown

By Lucy Domino

When the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus comes to the United Center, a family of four can get ringside seats for about $300, including parking and the usual gee-gaws and gimcracks at the concession stand. Or that same family can pay $70 for four tickets to the Midnight Circus this weekend at Holstein Park and be twice as close to the action. But I warn you: a hot dog will cost you another two bucks. MORE...

Cancel My Subscription

By Scott Jacobs

I cancelled my subscription to the Chicago Sun-Times this morning. There was no cataclysmic event that triggered this, no outrage, no protest I wanted to lodge, only the slow realization that the newspaper I once worked for and have read religiously for 40 years is crumbling in my hands like the slow burning ash of a spent cigar. MORE...

Last Dance at The Wedding

By Robert H. Wills

I was heading toward the exit when she came running after me. “Bob,” she cried, “you’re not leaving are you? The last dance is coming! You promised!” MORE...

Photo Essay: Chicago’s South Side

By The Editors

We interrupt this week to suggest you look at remarkable photo documentary by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer John H. White in The Atlantic magazine this week. The photos depict scenes from Chicago’s South Side in the ’70s. They are part of The Atlantic’s Documerica Week. White himself was fired last May along with the entire Chicago Sun-Times photo staff in an economy move that now asks reporters to take accompanying photos on their iPhones. The link can be found after clicking “MORE”. MORE...

Bookselling at the Empty Bottle

By Scott Jacobs

I’m a book peddler now, with my books in a sack that I carry on my back, a card table and a chair, an iPad with a Square, but I don’t, as a rule, do poetry. MORE...

The F-150 Is Back!

By Scott Jacobs

Five years ago when the Democrats gathered in Denver to nominate Barack Obama for president, I decided to cover the event in a Ford F-150 pickup truck to remind delegates what I believed was at the root of America’ economic problems. The Ford F Series trucks––the 150, 250 and 350 models––had been America’s best selling pickups for almost 30 years but sales were in the dumper. Now the F-150 is back, and it’s badder than ever. MORE...

Milwaukee Boy, Born and Bred

By Scott Jacobs

The upcoming HBO special Behind the Candelabra [Sunday, May 26, 8 PM CST] opens a Pandora’s box of stories about the eccentric Milwaukee born entertainer who rose to the top of the Las Vegas show world, but none are more inspiring than how he managed to survive his Wisconsin childhood in the first place. MORE...

Close Order Drill

By J.T. Hennigan

We were kids, as they say, and mostly away from home for the first time. They say that too. We were from all over the country, at least east of the Mississippi, and we looked like it. We were city kids and country kids and suburban kids and small town kids. Hothouse grown only children and kids from families of a dozen. Whites, blacks, Hispanics, maybe an Asian or two (no Arabs that I recall) and lots of mutts: like we all are really, if you take it back far enough. The one thing we all had in common was that we were all males and we were all now in the United States Army. Like it or not. MORE...

WARNING: Graphic Language, Explicit Content

By Lee Elia

Thirty years ago, on April 29, 1983, Cubs manager Lee Elia delivered one of the great rants in baseball after his team blew a 3-1 lead over the Dodgers and, with the score tied 3-3 in the 9th, lost on a wild pitch by reliever Lee Smith. Here is his press conference. MORE...

Dr. Garbage

By Bruce Jacobs

Robin Nagle is the poet laureate of garbage – a bard who can sing with equal eloquence about the lowly broom man sitting snug in his sweeper “like being in a tall Volkswagen Beetle… [with its] chugging hum…and lurching stops and starts” or about the cavernous transfer station where the big trucks hydraulically squeeze out their turds of excrement atop mountains of garbage into “nothing less than the juicy, pulsing, stench-soaked center of the universe.”

She is also an academic, a professor of anthropology at NYU who has taken the notion of fieldwork beyond dumpster-diving to become a bona fide member of the Teamsters Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, Local 831. MORE...