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The [Thursday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

I'm not sure I would go so far as to say I was a Karl Malden "fan," but, well, sort of.

His death, though, reminded me of a piece of dialogue between Malden and Michael Douglas from The Streets of San Francisco that an old college friend used to frequently repeat in machine-gun delivery:

Cop's son can't be bad?

That's not the point!

Then what is?!


Sky High
The new see-through Skydeck ledge thingy at the Wesley Willis Tower is tres cool. But the media coverage has been a bit much. Just show a photo and be done with it.


Though I was interested to learn from, I'm pretty sure, Good Day Chicago that the ledge thingy is on a conveyor belt thingy that reels it in so the outside glass can be cleaned.


Why not make a see-through ledge that goes all the way around the building?


They should set up a Twitter feed from the ledge too. Maybe someone would pay to sponsor it. Just sayin'.

Know Your Public Enemies
"Capone got all the attention," John Kass writes today. "Ricca, a quiet fellow, never wanted to be a star. He let Capone get the applause and wisecrack with reporters. Ricca made the decisions and built modern organized crime in America. Hollywood has never made a movie about Paul Ricca. That should tell you something.

"The Ricca mention by a stranger in a nice restaurant brings me back to Public Enemies, directed by Michael Mann.

"Mann gets it. He was born in Chicago, and produced one of my favorite films, one that actually speaks truth about this city: Thief, starring James Caan. In that film, real Chicago cops played gangsters, and real gangsters played Chicago detectives. In any other town this might be seen as ironic. Not here."

Movie Money
I haven't had a chance yet to dig into reports about how much revenue the filming of Public Enemies brought to us locals, but I'm skeptical and not a fan of the generous tax incentives the state hands out to Hollywood to bask in its reflected glory.

As I've written before, the trend in film incentives has been going the other way in states around the country that have found it doesn't pay.

Now Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin has (sort of) joined the naysayers, slashing that state's incentives from $1.5 million to $500,000.

Parts of Public Enemies were filmed in Madison, Columbus, and Oshkosh.

"Columbus officials estimate the movie brought an additional $1.5 million to the community during filming alone," reports.

Columbus, Wisconsin, is a town of 4,500. If $1.5 mil was dropped there, it would be pretty visible.

But again, I haven't had time to really take a hard look at that, and more importantly, the claims being made about the film's impact here.


FYI: "The Columbus Police Explorer Post #299 is selling Bucky Books for $35.00 which includes a local supplemental book. You may pay via cash, check or credit card at the Police Department from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Monday thru Friday)."

Paint Feint
"He booked a one-way flight from Chicago to Shanghai, stashing in his carry-on bag a computer thumb drive with 214 documents from the company he had just quit.

"Before he could leave for the airport, the FBI raided his Arlington Heights apartment, seizing a half-dozen computers, a dozen external hard drives, 13 additional thumb drives and a pair of PlayStations capable of storing data.

"If he didn't know it before the raid, David Yen Lee found out the hard way as the handcuffs went on: Paint is serious business."

True story. No spoilers here, either; you'll have to read Greg Burns's column in the Trib today to find out what happened.

Fess Up
"Stella: Wow! I have never written to a journalist before, however, today, you took me with you when you wrote such a wonderful, and music-filled viewpoint using the song titles of the songs we all love. (What an ingenious idea . . . because he had many) and each time I read the title it was in the rhythm of that song. By the time I got done, I felt like I had just listened to His Greatest Hits Album."

Okay, which one of you wrote that?

Not A Coup
According to Chicago dinosaur expert Sue.

Please Stop
Is it funny identifying a writer for any publication not aimed at children as the Cheeseburger Bureau Chief?


Who Ruled June?
Our very own Dan O'Shea has the answers in Fantasy Fix.

It's Not All Good
"Every time I hear 'Let's rock and roll on that pizza' or 'Let's pull the trigger on it,' a little piece of me dies," our very own Patty Hunter writes in her latest installment of At Your Service.

Route Toot Hoot
"Fortunately, beach volleyball totally skipped over this morning's infomercial wreckage straight into Me-TV's Route 66 (UHF 26.2), a show which - along with The Naked City (which follows Route 66 five mornings a week) and The Twilight Zone - was among the best-written and awesomely-filmed series that American TV ever conceived in its black-and-white landscape between 1958 and 1964," our very own Scott Buckner writes in What I Watched Last Night.

"Forget the fact that the scripts for Route 66 and The Naked City seem these days to have been written by a crowd of beatniks set amok to explore the finer points of alcoholism, oppressed sexuality, being ignored or beaten half to death by your father, firearms, mental illness, rampant loneliness, misspent lives, hard luck, or just plain hard living. And forget that hardly any of the towns where Tod Stiles (Martin Adam-12 Milner), Buz Murdock (George Maharis) and Lincoln Case (Glenn Corbett) drifted into during the show's four-year run weren't anywhere near the actual Route 66.

"The fact is, almost 50 years later, TV (or more precisely cable TV, since network TV still remains absolutely clueless) has yet to figure out the same thing Route 66 creator/writer Stirling Silliphant figured out: People really ain't that stupid if you just quit giving them shit to get stupid on."

Chicago's Costly Clout Cadavers
And the contract that's costing you.

Don't Cry For Obama's Millionaires
Hardly a sacrifice for Daleyites in the White House.

Northwestern Grad Tweets Pot
Best Medill alum ever?


The Beachwood Tip Line: Get your kicks.


Posted on July 2, 2009

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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