The [Tuesday] Papers
Is it just me or does it seem like Billy Corgan is crying out for attention these days?
The latest comes our way from Elliott Harris, who notes the following in his Quick Hits column today (it's appeared many other places too, I know, so don't send me hostile e-mail):
"The word is Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins fame had unkind words during a concert last week in town regarding Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam fame and Vedder's Cubs-inspired ''All the Way.' Cubs fan Corgan told the crowd between tunes Vedder's song doomed the team's chance to return to the World Series for the first time since 1945 and win its first one since 1908. ''Last I checked, Eddie ain't living here, OK?'' Corgan is said to have said. ''Eddie ain't living here to write a song about my [expletive] team.' Good to know it wasn't the ballplayers' or manager's fault."
Corgan's kind of on a roll with this sort of, um, crap. (And I hate that Eddie Vedder song.) So much so that when Corgan cancelled last Saturday night's show at the Auditorium - you know, the "White Crosses" half of his "Black Sunshine/White Crosses" two-part conceit - because he wasn't feeling well, Chicagoist said he had fell ill with grumpiness.
Still in question is whether it was grumpiness or artifice behind his recent attack on, as CHARTattack puts it, "Audiences Everywhere."
In "Smashing Show Ends In Bizarre Rant," Tribune rock critic Greg Kot wrote that "it all ended in deflating weirdness, with Corgan ranting on the microphone while the crowd filtered out wondering what happened. After a rousing first half, the momentum ebbed and flowed, and then finally nose-dived.
"'Why are you upset with us?' Corgan said. 'It's 'cause we don't do what you want us to do . . . We don't know what the [expletive] you want from us."
Jim DeRogatis, of the Sun-Times, wrote "if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say it was all part of the show, folks. Nothing spontaneous - or personal - about it. Despite invoking universally negative reactions from fans and reviewers across the country, Corgan has done this on every night of the tour at every one of the 'Black Sunshine' shows."
So this is Corgan's version of The Wall?
The real problem with Corgan is his deep desire to be profound despite having absolutely nothing original to say. But my sense is that DeRogatis is right. That doesn't make Corgan right, though.
"Why, if almost everyone has hated this tortured routine on earlier tour stops, does Corgan persist with it?" DeRogatis asks. "The man has never been anything less than 100-percent committed (and some say that he should BE committed) to his grand conceptual conceits, even when no one understands or likes them."
I'll leave the final assessment to Pitchfork, under the headline: "Smashing Pumpkins' Anniversary Tour Is a Shitshow."
"Poor setlist choices, awful-sounding music, and confounding sartorial decisions mixed with heavy doses of audience mockery: These are the reports we've been getting about the Smashing Pumpkins' '20th Anniversary Tour', and guesses at Billy Corgan's motivations can only confuse and infuriate."
Corgan may see that as Mission Accomplished; if so, though, he's the one who doesn't get it.
Now, the Obama team says, is not the time to raise taxes on anyone because the economy needs stimulus.
Um, if raising taxes on the wealthy dampens the economy, why would you ever be in favor of it?
One thing's for sure, this is already shaping up to be the most ironic administration we've ever had.
I'm not sure you could fit them all on one block though.
Bracken also reminds readers (via Beachwood contributor Hunter Clauss) that of this Tribune story about Ald. Patrick O'Connor, the mayor's floor leader and reportedly a candidate (but then, who isn't?) to replace Rahm Emanuel in the 5th District.
But not in a kingly or bossy way.
"If Obama, Rahm Emanuel, or Sen. Dick Durbin (D) had their say, Chicago and Springfield insiders presume they would push for failed 2006 House candidate Tammy Duckworth (D), a veteran amputee currently serving as Blagojevich's director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs," reports Timothy Carney of the Evans-Novak Political Report. "Getting Duckworth in the Senate would save some face for Emanuel whose biggest political blunder was pouring so many resources into Duckworth's long-shot candidacy. It would also earn Blagojevich glowing press - something he hasn't seen much of."
I'm not so sure about the glowing press part.
"The irony of the Democrats' punishment is that they let [Lieberman] keep his gavel on the committee where his stance most offends liberals - national security - while stripping him of his spot on the EPW committee, where he was a leader in advancing the left's cause of constraining greenhouse gas emissions," Carney also writes.
Best Ballot Ever
I did that reporting 10 years ago, so I went to the trusty Google to see how it was faring. I found a U.S. Department of Justice evaluation from this year. Here are the Evaluation Results.
"There was considerable variation in the degree to which the program was faithfully implemented in the elementary schools, and it was not implemented especially well in the middle schools.The results of the evaluation at the middle school level were inconclusive; but they suggest thatthe program does no harm and may do some good.
"The results of the evaluation at the elementary school level are more persuasive, and they indicate that the program has the intended beneficial effect in reducing bullying behaviors and school violence more generally, and in changing the attitudes of students toward bullying and school violence.
"Where the program was implemented faithfully at the elementary school level, favorable results were quicker to materialize, more pervasive, and more long-lasting than in schools where implementation was weaker; but even where implementation was weaker, there were some positive effects of the program.
"The program appears promising as an intervention to reduce bullying and school violence at the elementary school level. Further research would be needed (and, given the results here, would be appropriate) before it can be concluded that the program demonstrates effectiveness at the middle school level."
The Beachwood Tip Line: No bull.
Posted on November 25, 2008
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