Chicago - Aug. 11, 2020
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A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (tvguide.com)
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The [Thursday] Papers

"Pilsen's music scene has been booming in recent years, and that growth is getting an exclamation point in the next few months: Radius, a 3,800-capacity concert venue, is scheduled to open early next year," the Tribune reports.

"Tickets go on sale at noon Friday via radius-chicago.com for a series of shows at the new venue including Lil Wayne (March 28), Alkaline Trio (April 18) and Dillon Francis, the first artist scheduled to play the venue, on Feb. 29. The venue aims to book 40 to 50 shows in 2020, and at least 65 shows annually afterward, owner Nick Karounos says."

vs.

"A controversial proposal to open a new music venue along the Logan Square/Hermosa border won't be moving forward," Block Club Chicago reports.

"For many neighbors, though, the music venue was a flashpoint in the neighborhood's debate over gentrification."

Without judging either development, it's a sad state of affairs when music is - or is considered to be, or is exploited as - a symbol/force/warning of gentrification.

It's upside down. It's the commodification of cool. It's the opposite of what it's all about. It's ass-backwards. But it still is. Or appears to be.

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Dental Quest
I was at the dentist - again - all morning. I have a problem with a tooth that started in August and it still hasn't been resolved. Largely that's because I'm on Medicaid, which does cover a fair number of dental procedures but for reasons that seem to relate to Bruce Rauner's devastating destruction of Illinois' social services, does not cover root canals for back teeth, like molars. Of course, those are the teeth most likely to need root canals. Illinois, I'm told, is an outlier in this area. (While Medicaid is ostensibly a federal program, it is run by the states, each in their own peculiar way. You might say that everybody on Medicaid is unhappy, but everybody on Medicaid is unhappy in their own way.)

Finding a dentist (or doctor) who takes Medicaid is hard enough - no offense to anyone, but it seems like it's mostly the dregs who work in what I call tooth mills; strip mall dental chains and such. The vast majority of the medical profession - hell, any profession - seems to seek out the wealthiest clientele possible. Hey, the media does it too.

You'd think the neediest people would get the most talented care, but no. I've never understood it, except to the point that the "caring" professions whose members one might think would be the most compassionate in society are instead seemingly even more calloused than many businessfolk, chasing dollars to be earned from others' pain. (Don't even get me started about mental health care.)

Anyway, at some point I hope to write up a post called "My Dental Diaries" (or "Tooth 18: The Molar of My Life.") For now I'm just trying to muddle through. My next dental appointment is tentatively January 7th, depending on if UIC's 3-D imaging machine is working again by then, and after that there will be a procedure of some sort and possibly a few follow-ups. For one dang tooth with a rather rudimentary problem. Today I saw my fourth dentist because, it turns out, not all dentists can do root canals, not all dentists have 3-D imaging machines, not all dentists know what they are doing. (Actually, I also saw my fifth dentist today if you count the supervisor who took a gander to make a final call at the end of the session. One day I will tell the whole, crappy story. Suffice to say, I've gone through two rounds of antibiotics, painkillers and prescription anti-bacterial mouthwash since August to little effect.)

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By the way, I've asked for laughing gas each step of the way. Apparently they don't do that anymore.

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It's also near-impossible to get an appointment at UIC. And if you do get through to someone, they're operating three months out. I was lucky to have gotten an inside tip on how to get justifiably urgent care instead of having to wait until March just for an initial consultation, with actual procedures in the months to follow. It's madness.

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By the way, if you're thinking, "See, this is why Medicare for All is a bad idea. The private sector is much more efficient," you are dead wrong.

First, Medicare is a different program than Medicaid. Medicare is reputed to be one of the federal government's best-run programs.

Second, the problems many of us have with Medicaid have less to do with the government's involvement in administering it than the private health care vendors they contract out to who get in the way. Plus, of course, the lack of resources to fully fund Medicaid, and the limited number of medical professionals who participate. Medicare for All, or a similar universal health care program, would solve a ton of problems. If I lived in just about any other Western democracy (and maybe even some Eastern dictatorships), my tooth would have been fixed the day it became a problem.

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Tomorrow, by the way, I have to see a new regular doctor because . . . Medicaid. My preferred, longtime doctor doesn't take Medicaid. My Medicaid doctor, who sucked, is no longer in my network. My new Medicaid doctor isn't taking new patients but can still be my primary care physician for some reason. Tomorrow I will see someone in her clinic at UIC in order to get my antidepressant subscription transferred over, because suddenly my health care provider doesn't like the fact that my longtime, preferred doctor is still handling the prescription renewals and has decided to put an end to it.

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Anyway, I thought in light of all this I might make a post aggregating my tweets over the years about Medicaid, but then I thought I'd just put 'em here. I didn't take the time to rearrange these advanced Twitter search results because I have a headache, so these are not in chronological order. I just can't muster that today. Maybe I should have used "latest" results instead of "top" results? Like I said, headache. Sorry for this being so disjointed.

Also, the usual caveat: I realize there are people in way more dire situations, be it serious (life or death) health problems and/or insurance insanity. Make no mistake: People die every day in America because of the greed of others that drives our health care system.

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I now wish I was one of them.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Beachwood Holiday Gift Guide | Vintage Trinkets And Treasures
Stuff these, too!

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The Ex-Cub Factor
When we wished up on a Starlin . . .

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Illinois' Economic Development Transparency Gets A "C-"
"[R]esearchers could not find any statewide grants report, nor reporting on whether economic development subsidies are producing the promised benefits, among other scoring criteria."

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Only The Commercials
From Cover Girl makeup with Salt-n-Pepa to Hamburger Helper, see the commercials that ran during WGN-TV's 1997 airing of Miracle On 34th Street."

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Inuit Throat Singing Is Basically A Beat Box Battle
"Chanting in rhythm, they attempt to outlast one another, each waiting for any crack in the pace of her opponent - whether in the form of loss of breath, fatigue or laughter."

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ChicagoReddit

Does Chicago CPD do Amazon bait packages to catch porch thieves? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Cage the Elephant at the Aragon on Wednesday night.

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BeachBook

Why Clerks Still Works.

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TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.

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My all-time favorite editor told me when I worked for him in Florida that every reporter should follow a case from charge to trial - though trials are actually quite rare, but let's say disposition - even if they weren't writing about it to see how different the facts are at the end than they were at the beginning. That was a great editor imparting wisdom. (He also said the most important thing for any reporter to remember was to keep a fork in their desk.)

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Sports media always out here acting like it's their money . . . and that it's in short supply.

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The Beachwood Trip Line: Please advise.



Permalink

Posted on December 12, 2019


MUSIC - At Home Chicago Blues.
TV - Virtually Funny Family Guy.
POLITICS - The Hamburglar Of Passion.
SPORTS - Olympic Atheletes Dying Under Weight Of Gold.

BOOKS - Machiavelli's Prince Charming.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Joan Mitchell's City Landscape.


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