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The [Monday] Papers

1. A poll from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Be honest: Did you give up on the Falcons after the Bears' final TD?

Yes: 76.22% (2461)
No: 23.78% (768)

And I'm sure that's Falcons fans being generous to their home team.

Or, as our very own Jim Coffman puts it in SportsMonday from the Bears' perspective: "So much ineptitude in so little time."

2. "Today marks the 25th anniversary of the first commercial wireless call," the Sun-Times reports. "It happened Oct. 13, 1983, at Soldier Field, where Ameritech Mobile, now part of Verizon Wireless, made the call from a Motorola DynaTAC 8000X known as the 'brick' phone. The phone cost $3,995, was 13 inches long, and weighed 1.75 pounds."


The DynaTAC's Wikipedia page.

3. If the Tribune keeps doing things like this (from Saturday's paper), I might just fall in love with it for the first time in my life. But it would've been even better without any text - just the graphs.


4. During the Minnesota-Illinois game on Saturday, I learned that a U of M professor teaches the physics of superheroes.

5. The most astounding eBay auctions.

6. Since Durbin-Sauerberg isn't a real race, you might vicariously enjoy this U.S. Senate debate between Al Franken, Norm Coleman, and Dean Barkley. I know I did. You can see Franken straining to keep his humorous retorts to himself.

7. I didn't know that Tribune theater critic was doing reports for Channel 2 until I accidentally came across one, and I'm not really a theater guy, but it was pretty good!

8. Given the tough economic times, a New York Times writer set out to experience his city as a frugal tourist. For him, that meant on $250 a day.

9. University of Chicago economist Allen Sanderson writes in Chicago Life that it looks like Chicago might win the 2016 Olympics "in a cakewalk" - but that the tail is wagging the dog on this one.

"Sensible long-term urban planning, whether it be for the grossly overused feel-good term 'infrastructure' or to begin to address some consequences of rising income inequality with the developments of affordable housing, should not be based on a two-week party seven years from now."

10. "There are those who say Hendry could be pried away by another organization," Phil Rogers writes in the Tribune.

I wonder who those people are.

Especially given that Rogers also reports that only Seattle is looking for a new general manager - and Hendry isn't on their radar.

11. "The White Sox have denied Seattle permission to talk to assistant general manager Rick Hahn about the Mariners' vacant GM position," Rogers also reports.

I hope they at least give Hahn a big raise then; isn't it kind of grotesque to deny someone a shot at a dream job?

12. "The city employs more than 50 [public relations] representatives across various departments in the Daley administration," the Tribune's Dan Mihalopoulos reported on Sunday. "In addition to that in-house army, the city has funneled millions more to private spin doctors.

"'The city absolutely has to communicate its message,' said Marilyn Katz, owner of MK Communications, whose Web site boasts of working for 11 city departments."

Yes. Richard M. Daley needs a megaphone. He can barely be heard.

Meanwhile, we learn that Daley's chief propagandist, former Tribune reporter Jacquelyn Heard, now makes more than $172,000 a year; she received a $12,000 raise this year. I think that's more than Emil Jones wanted!

"It's a 24-hour, no-vacation, no-rest-for-the-weary kind of job," Heard explained.

And I bet it comes without any perks at all! You know, besides the money.

Plus, the rest of us are just slacking.

"Other Daley-controlled units of government employ their own press operations, including the Chicago Public Schools, the Park District and Chicago Transit Authority."

Someone's gotta make us feel good about our failed institutions.

For example, Mihalopoulos reports that the firms of Jesulca/Terman received almost $2.5 million to handle the PR for the blue bag program. You know, the one that was a disaster.

I would've done it for $2.4 million, but I don't think that project was put out to bid.

Meanwhile, don't forget that there is a whole 'nother part of the Daley message machine; namely Dana Herring and David Axelrod, whom I assume are still making a mint off of the mayor [see the item "Message Machine"].

13. "Human evolution may be winding down as the forces that once drove it - older fathers, isolated populations and widespread child mortality - are disappearing, a geneticist at the University of College London argues," Laurie Goering reports in the Tribune.

You mean this is as good as it gets?

14. "There's only two options - more layoffs or more tax increases - unless you take a portion of the city's budget and devote it to buying lottery tickets."
- Ald. Joe Moore (49th)

A) Or selling lottery tickets
B) Or taxing lottery tickets
C) Or fabricating lottery tickets

15. When did Derrek Lee turn into such an idiot? Carol Slezak is right:

"Derrek Lee got it wrong when he said fans couldn't take the Cubs' disastrous post-season experience any harder than the team did.

'''We're the ones out there scratching and clawing,' Lee said. 'I don't think they can take it any harder than we can.'

"Why of course they can - and they have. Players come and go. Fans are forever. Players still get paid no matter how miserably they perform. Fans are the heart of every organization. Fans, not players, hurt most when a team loses. Fans can't become free agents and switch teams at the snap of a finger. Their fandom is in their blood. Just how upsetting did Cubs fans find these playoffs? While Lee and his teammates were out there scratching and clawing, fans felt like clawing their own eyes out. Those three losses to the Dodgers were that painful to watch."

It's the second time this season that Lee - in the midst of a $65 million contract - has dissed Cubs fans.

Combined with Alfonso "The $136 Million Man" Soriano's plea for Cubs fans to be "patient" after 100 years, you can only conclude these guys still don't get it.

16. Illini quarterback Juice Williams rolled up 505 yards of total offense on Saturday - in a losing effort. I estimate about half of that came just because he's named Juice.

17. Continuing our blurbing of Marilyn Ferdinand's coverage of the Chicago International Film Festival. Go to Ferdy on Films for full reviews and details.

"Everlasting Moments: "We are the last dinosaurs of Swedish film," complained Ingmar Bergman to Jan Troell in 1983. Everlasting Moments has an old-fashioned feel to it. The look and feel of the film are like an overstuffed, high-back chair - full, handsomely hued in rich, deep tones that grow soft at the edges. The subject matter - a troubled marriage, family, and emigration - is pure Troell. Perhaps his reaffirmation of his style confirms Bergman's assessment of him as one of Sweden's dinosaurs of film. Yet, Troell really knows how to dig into the heart of characters and families, expressing their longings without revealing all their secrets. He makes ordinary people in dreary circumstances intriguing and compelling. It is love that fills this film and reaffirms Jan Troell as a filmmaker who affirms life without sugar-coating it."


The Beachwood Tip Line: Everlasting.

Posted on October 13, 2008

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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