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The [Friday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

Is there a better read in the city today than the Beachwood?

* You don't have to be a horse racing afficianado to enjoy reading the Thomas Chambers' dispatches from the rail.

"Pace is everything in this race, and just when you think you've got it made, you've got four more furlongs to go! If you've got plenty of horse, don't use him up on the backstretch," Chambers writes in his preview of this weekend's Belmont Stakes.

Tom is also spot-on comparing Carlos Zambrano's childish antics to the dedication of paralyzed Arlington jockey Rene Douglas. Give it a read.

* Beachwood legal correspondent Sam Singer is a Jeffrey Toobin in the making. Sam just finished law school at Emory University in Atlanta and is back in his hometown of Chicago for at least the summer. Today he writes about the Chicago gun ban that was recently upheld by the courts but is still vulnerable.

"Had I not spent the better part of my day thumbing through NRA policy papers, I'd be tempted to tee up a thematic trope like Chicago 'dodged a bullet' here, but I've just about had it with firearm metaphors," Singer writes. "Plus, to conclude the city dodged this challenge would be to ignore the high probability that it will resurface again, this time before the Supreme Court."

* Stephanie B. Goldberg brings us The Five Dumbest Ideas of the Week every Friday, and as usual she hits the mark again today. My favorite is this one:

"How do you escape your lurid past as a former stripper, coke whore, raging nymphomaniac, and police informant who rolled over on a member of the Medellin cartel?

"If you're Danielle Staub, you become a featured member of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, because, on top of being a former stripper, coke whore, raging nymphomaniac and police informant who rolled over on a member of the Medellin cartel, you're just not terribly bright."

* Smarty-pants Katie Buitrago continues her series of Chicago blog reviews today with a look at Parking Ticket Geek, the Tribuneized version of The Expired Meter.

"I am not a fan of the garish orange used in the motif," Buitrago writes. "I mean, I get it: tickets are orange, and blinding, and only add to your fury when you see them. But the goal of the blog's layout should not be to infuriate you, too."

* Matt Harness has been throwin' 'em back and suckin' em down with abandon on his Bloodshot Briefing series. Today he brings us an interview with Justin Townes Earle that delivers the added value we pride ourselves on here at Beachwood: the highs and lows of Justin's time here in Chicago and choices for his fantasy jukebox. Plus, performance video. (Earle will be performing this weekend at the Metronome Festival.)

"I'd hang around the Old Town School of Folk Music," Earle told us. "It was a bunch of really artistic people attempting to live this artistic life. I stayed on the east side of Rogers Park on Touhy and Greenleaf. At the time, it was a perfect neighborhood for me. It was rough, and there was a lot of dope. All the trouble was all right there."


Dear Illinois
Is Patti eating tarantulas any worse than the bullshit we were asked to swallow this week?

Worst. Budget. Ever.
Even more so than we thought.

Landmark Lawlessness
Chicago ruling roils waters.

Cinema Scope
A special shout-out to our very own Marilyn Ferdinand, the proprietor of the wonderfully smart and interesting Ferdy on Films. Ferdy writes:

"There are some things that make cinema vitally important - as Gene Siskel said, a film critic has the American Dream beat - in terms of what it reflects about the way we live, how we see ourselves and others, and what fires our imaginations. Cinephilia, however, is full of a lot of nonsense, in my opinion, like compiling lists, watching box office returns, and overtheorizing what the filmmakers themselves saw as factory work done for dough. Blogging about film is a whole other animal. Bloggers have been taken to task by traditional media for everything from bad writing to destroying the economy. But what do they know? They don't live here - we bloggers do."

Read the whole thing for Ferdy's take on what she's learned as a film blogger. It'll be worth your time.

Inflatable Outdoor Home Theater
"It's like the drive-in experience," says Reading With Scissors. "Except you don't drive in. And you supply your own projector. And you need a pump."

Memo To MSM
"[F]or going on five years now I've sat and listened to one self-satisfied butthead after another tell me that the world used to be good until the Internet kids and all their blogging made it suck, while anyone publishing or broadcasting anything prior to 2003 had Ultimate Authority Points that could beat a Super Nintendo Warlord Dungeonmaster thing," our pal Athanae writes at First Draft.

"There is no golden age of newspaper authority, the phrase 'don't believe everything you read in the papers' was not invented around the same time Facebook came to be, and radio and television have been killing journalism for years and years and years now yet here we all are, tapping away on our keyboards, yelling into the phone that we just found out something amazing and have to tell the whole world."

Defending Disco
This week on Sound Opinions.

Jukebox Hero
Changes may be in store as soon as tonight at the Beachwood evening office. Stop by and see which songs make the cut.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Now in HD.


Posted on June 5, 2009

MUSIC - Spring Awakening Wake-Up Call!
TV - Exclusive! Rahm's New TV Gig.
POLITICS - The Political Odds UPDATED.
SPORTS - Cody Parkey Is Back!

BOOKS - Stan Lee, Flawed Hero.


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