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The [Friday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

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UPDATE 3:06 P.M.: Geez, take me out of my routine and my whole day falls apart. I'm filling in for Natasha on the Weekend Desk tomorrow so I'll just deliver today's expected column as part of tomorrow's report, it's too late to catch up because, well, I just don't feel like it. I'll make tomorrow's report extra special. See you then.

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I have to go downtown this morning to tape an appearance on NBC5's The Talk, which will air on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. I'll be talking about the mayor's reaction to the Cook County board's new ordinance lessening penalties for small-time pot possession to a ticket and a fine rather than jail time. If you missed it, the mayor went bonkers.

I'll have a column upon my return.

For now, though, a sampling of today's Beachwood:

* "You might argue that the problem in American racing is that there are so many variations from state to state of raceday and non-raceday medication for horses that it's almost impossible for any trainer to keep them straight and abide by the law," Thomas Chambers writes in TrackNotes. "But it's really another smokescreen, and the U.S.A. is great at smokescreens. The problem is that there are no efforts or discussions to achieve a drug-free game. No drugs should be allowed in racing, as is practiced in virtually every other racing country on earth. Yet megatons of energy are being wasted on how to streamline the drug system."

* "We do not have an easy word to describe these transient bursts of attention, in part because we often categorize them differently based on their object," writes Bill Wasik, inventor of the flashmob, in his book And Then There's This, from which we have an authorized excerpt today. "When this sort of fleeting attention attaches to things, we tend to call them 'fads'; but this term, I think, conjures up too much the media-unsavvy consumer of an earlier era, while underestimating the extent to which our enthusiasms today are entirely knowing, postironic, aware. If there is one attribute of today's consumers, whether of products or of media, that differentiates them from their forebears of even twenty years ago, it is this: they are so acutely aware of how media narratives themselves operate, and of how their own behavior fits into these narratives, that their awareness feeds back almost immediately into their consumption itself."

* "Bloodshot alum Neko Case must have made up with the Grand Ole Opry folks after she was banned for life when she took her shirt off during a performance on the Opry plaza seven years ago," Matt Harness writes in Bloodshot Briefing. "She is scheduled to appear on stage at the famed Ryman Auditorium for the first time as a solo artist on Saturday."

* "So why did unappreciative ingrates like me keep tuning in every week?" Scott Buckner writes about the return of Hell's Kitchen in What I Watched Last Night. "For the gasket-blowin', meat-throwin', trash-can-kickin', bitch-slappin' verbal abuse nobody else on TV has tried using as a motivational tool since Gunnery Sgt. Hartman met Pvt. Leonard Lawrence and his fellow worthless maggots in Full Metal Jacket."

* These are Obama's Olympics too; he's been behind Daley every step of the way.

More later.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Postironic.



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Posted on July 24, 2009


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