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The [Monday] Papers

"Rock 'n' roll is a spectacle, and what more grandiose show is there than a raw descent into hell?" Oak Park writer Emily Hauser writes on today's Tribune Op-Ed page. "Here's the thing, though: The drugs, as The Verve once sang, don't work."

Master Merv
Merv Griffin not only invented Jeopardy!, he wrote its iconic theme song and musical phrase.

El Story
"People are passionate about the El," says Greg Borzo, the author of a new book about the famed Chicago train system.

Yes, they love the El, but hate the CTA.

What's so maddening is that the CTA has a product that so many people have been so loyal to for so long despite the fact that it doesn't work very well. How many companies would kill for that kind of customer base? And yet, the CTA has managed to screw it up.

Of course, it's not just the CTA's fault. It's the mayor's fault for not safeguarding, nurturing and innovating such a vital city asset, though sometimes I wonder if he wouldn't rather see the El go away (he's currently enthralled with buses), outside of luxury express service to and from O'Hare, Midway, and the North Shore.

That would be a shame, but I have never seen in my measly 15 years in Chicago a time when so many folks, including myself, have just completed bailed on the El.

Bush's America
So it wasn't just Pearl Jam. Let AT&T know how you feel.

Truth Tour
The truth as Beauty Turner sees it vs. the truth as Mary Schmich and Kate Grossman see it. Discuss.


I'll tell you this: the Tribune metro section would be a helluva lot more interesting with Turner in it than Schmich.

"I really believe the Olympic movement sets aside politics. Otherwise, we would never have an Olympic movement. They'd be caught up in politics."
- Richard M. Daley, Tribune, July 26

"For about as long as the modern Games have existed, they have served as a stage for politics as much as sport. Berlin 1936 was Hitler and Jesse Owens. Helsinki 1952 was the beginning of the Cold War. Mexico City 1968 was the Black Power salute. The blood of 11 slain Israeli athletes stained Munich 1972. Moscow 1980 meant boycotts, as did Los Angeles four years later."
- "Beijing '08: Let the Politics Begin," New York Times, August 12

Fifth Column
The Tribune's Patrick Reardon, who once wrote "In a two-party city, debate would happen. Things wouldn't run as efficiently. That might impact garbage collection and snow removal. Not so many flowers might be planted," comes out in favor of the media conspiring with political image-makers to deceive the public.

Market Madness
"If the goal is to make products safe, the best hope lies with companies eager to protect their profits."
- Edward A. Snyder, dean of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business

"Oh, you left out a bunch of stuff. First of all, you have to grease the local politicians for the sudden zoning problems that always come up. Then there's the kickbacks to the carpenters. And if you plan on using any cement in this building I'm sure the Teamsters would like to have a little chat with you, and that'll cost you. Don't forget a little something for the building inspectors. There's the long-term costs, such as waste disposal. I don't know if you're familiar with who runs that business but I assure you it's not the Boy Scouts."
- Thornton Mellon


"The next question for us is where to build our factory."
- Business school wanker

"How about Fantasyland?"
- Mellon

Street Tax
So . . . if we all obeyed the parking and traffic laws to the letter we'd blow a big hole in the city's budget? What an efficient, well-managed city.

* "Mussolini would be proud of Chicago's parking system," declared David Gorodess, whose sedan was towed to the Wacker Driver pound last month from a spot on Lake Street, where he said he has parked every day without problem. "Certainly, cars are towed on time."

* "Heather Thome thought she scored 'rock star' parking when she grabbed a coveted open spot last April on inner Lake Shore Drive at Addison Street. But she was dismayed when she returned to find a police officer had just written a ticket for violating a parking ban from 4 to 6 p.m.

"'I asked him where the sign was,' said Thome, 35, a temp worker. 'He said there use to be a sign on "that" pole, and it hasn't been there for two years. My logical question was, 'How can you write a ticket?' And he told me he doesn't want to, but his boss tells him he has to go out every day and write tickets.'"

Ticket Tax
Memo to the mayor: Cops work for the police department, not your budget office.

No Worries
Mixed Grill now on Wednesdays at Outback.

I've just gotten a kick out of the phrase "mixed grill" ever since I read The Corrections.

World's Envy
"U.S. Life Expectancy Slips to 42nd Globally."

Bush plan to slow immigration working.

Sick Country Syndrome
"Seven years ago, the World Health Organization made the first major effort to rank the health systems of 191 nations. France and Italy took the top two spots; the United States was a dismal 37th," the New York Times editorial page noted on Sunday.

Shoulder Burden
The Sun-Times editorial page on Sunday repeated the paper's reporting from earlier in the week that Aaron Harrison was shot in the shoulder and not the back, supporting the police version of events that the 18-year-old had "turned a weapon on police before he was shot."

How does that support the police version?

I'm not taking sides, I just want it explained to me. Was it the angle of the wound that indicated Harrison was turning when he was shot? Because I don't see the difference between being shot in the shoulder, the back, the butt, or the calf when it comes to the police shooting someone facing the other way.

The Beachwood Tip Line: In the form of a question.


Posted on August 13, 2007

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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