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The [Tuesday] Papers

Can it actually be true that we've forgotten the true meaning of Memorial Day when every year the media reminds us that we've forgotten the true meaning of Memorial Day? It's such a staple of the weekend that I think what we've actually forgot is how to fire up the grill and ignore the true meaning of Memorial Day.

I've participated in the exercise. I wrote this for the Tribune 23 years ago and it could still stand today. But is it still true? Was it ever?

I have my doubts.

We are a culture oversaturated in war worship; too many of our fellow citizens use flag-waving, button-wearing, politically righteous patriotism to feel better about themselves. How in the world could we ever forget the true meaning of Memorial Day when it's shoved in our faces 24/7, albeit supremely ironically without the requisite reflection that is actually being asked of us?

See, for example, We Need Memorial Day to Obscure the Unbearable Truth About War.

Is that what Joe Maddon was talking about when he said Memorial Day needs more attention? Somehow I doubt it.

Was there any reflection over the weekend that halted the heightened and amnesiac Obama worship we're experiencing in the Trump era on the war record of the Nobel Peace Prize-wining anti-war president? On the new president's war budget? On the Bush and Obama wars we are still fighting that have all but been forgotten in our public discourse?

If there was, I missed it amidst the pride of American exceptionalism, parades and weekend shooting tallies.

Maybe in a sense, then, the story is true: We've forgotten the true meaning of Memorial Day - or more accurately, we never really knew it in the first place.

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My editor on that story told me it was "exactly" what she wanted. I didn't craft the story to suit her, but let's just say I wrote the story I was asked to write (not explore). In this case, the story seemed right to me, unlike other cases where I wrote what I found despite an editor's preconceived notion. But you can see how narratives get constructed every day in every newsroom in ways that are so normal to journalists they don't think twice about what they are doing.

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I've often said it's like editors have the same checklist they follow every year; "Hey, it's time for the 'We've forgotten the true meaning of Memorial Day' story!"

Every year the same stories get checked off, using the same frames, the same narratives, the same structures. But the world changes, even if it seems human behavior doesn't. Let's change with it and take a fresh look every year instead of being lazy.

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Midnight Rider
The late, great Gregg Allman appeared on this site just twice:

* The Weekend In Chicago Rock, March 23, 2015, No. 8.

* The Week In Chicago Rock, July 22, 2016, in the "Catching up with . . ." section.

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Losing Logan Square
Now with a long comment and reply about gentrification.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Secret Colours, Frances Cone, Saucy Birds, Annie and the Orphans, Handsome Ghost, Katastro, De La Ghetto, Pacific Dub, Marisela, Neil Diamond, Proto Zombie, The Wind and The Wave, Dreamcar, Pharmakon, Wolf Eyes, Chavarria/Billington, Twig Harbor, Scott Stapp, Le Oreja de Van Gogh, Hippo Campus, 55, Flatfoot 56, Fear City, The Crombies, Mexican Werewolf, Go Betty Go, and Mystery Actions.

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The White Sox Report: Please Play Two
The factory worker, cab drivers and the people flipping burgers at McDonald's in many cases have been priced out of the market. Catering to those folks ended long ago.

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Pie & Brand: Hate, Anger, Violence & Carrying On
Appropriating victims for political ends.

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BeachBook
A sampling.

Mad.

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The Walgreens On 95th And King Drive Is Closing.

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Ripple Effect Of Patrick Sharp Trade Still Stings Blackhawks 2 Years Later.

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A Solution To Urban Poverty: Pay Former Gang Members To Go To College.

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What It's Like To Be One Of The 'Regular People' In Those Chevy Commercials.

Everything's a lie.

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24 Health 'Facts' That Are Complete Bullshit.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Yes.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Reviewable.



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Posted on May 30, 2017


MUSIC - PJ Harvey Wins Pitchfork.
TV - 24 Hours With Velocity.
POLITICS - Reminder: U.S. Health Care Sucks.
SPORTS - World Roller Derby Day.

BOOKS - Trump's True Believers.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Land After Frac Sand.


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