Once the coronavirus pandemic is all over, and the world recovers from the plague of COVID-19, a lot of stock will be taken of all that we have lost. There will be hundreds of thousands of lives lost, and millions more altered for the worse, many of which irreparably so. We don't make the timeline for when this recovery period arrives, the virus does, and because of that, it's all unknown.
What we do know is that there will be a lot of institutions that just can not exist anymore, simply because they're way too dangerous to public health. Two examples are FOX News Channel and the wet markets in Asia. Half a world away from each other, and existing in completely different spheres of influence, both are getting people killed due to their complete recklessness. We'll start with the latter, as that's where this all (and by that our current hellscape within which we're all currently inhabiting got started.
It's the second most popular post in the past year on this website, and it's top five all-time in the three-year history of this blog. As February 14 neared in 2019, we examined how the site of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre is absolutely nothing today (it's just a green space with a couple trees next to a senior center parking lot), and why that's conflicted and complicated.
While it's obvious that the city would not want to celebrate gore and crime, this notoriously dark incident is still a big part of what many tourist cottage industries do in marketing their Al Capone-related wares to tourists. However, when it comes to Capone related buildings, the one that's truly missed is the Lexington Hotel (which used to be located at 2135 S Michigan Ave), and Ward Miller, Executive Director for Preservation Chicago, told me why.
If you believe in the maxim that "time heals all wounds," then this event at Malcom X College on NBA All-Star Weekend, was exhibit A. There were five men on stage: an actor/rapper who is halfway to an EGOT (winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony), a former Secretary of Education, a man who went away for committing murder and the two brothers of the man he killed.
Arne Duncan and Common co-moderated a special screening event of the forthcoming documentary, “Both Sides of the Gun: A Story of Reconciliation." Ben Wilson 's brothers and his killer told their stories of that tragic day, November 20, 1984 in a story of reconciliation, forgiveness and healing. Ben Wilson, 17, rated the number one prep basketball player out of Chicago’s Simeon High School, was gunned down senselessly in midday, the trigger pulled by 16-year-old Billy Moore.
Martin Luther King day was yesterday, but tonight brought a poignant and admirable tribute to the man, what he stood for and the meaning of the holiday. The Northwestern Wildcats hosted the #17 Maryland Terrapins tonight in Evanston, with both teams wearing a warm-up shirt that honored MLK and his ideals.
It was a shirt that the players had a hand in designing too, as the end result was composed of words that came to mind when the players thought of America’s greatest crusader for social justice, and the legacy he left behind. The collaborative effort came together largely because both schools have Under Armor as their sportswear partner, as UA CEO Kevin Plank is a Maryland alum.
It's been almost a half-century since the Vietnam War ended in 1975, with Americans seeing that iconic image of the final helicopter taking off and flying away. Ever since, Vietnam and what transpired there, especially so in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City, has inspired numerous transcendently special works of art.
However, for those really interested in Vietnam, and the fall of Saigon, it's not enough to only consume books, movies and musicals; you have to actually walk where the world once turned upside down. It all starts by making your way to this emerging megacity of approximately 8.4 million (13m for the metropolitan area).
We currently live in, arguably, the most divisive political climate since the Civil War. There aren't many people who are talking about peace, love and togetherness in America right now, but one comedian and nationally syndicated "drive-in movie critic," known for his sardonic takes on B-movies, is.
John Bloom, better known by his alter ego, "Joe Bob Briggs," performed his hit show "Joe Bob Briggs: How Rednecks Saved Hollywood” at the Cinepocalypse Film Festival earlier this month at the Music Box Theatre
. We took in the showing, and had an exclusive interview with
the Little Rock native beforehand. Here were some of the more notable quotables, regarding the current political climate, from our interview with Joe Bob Briggs...
FAYETTEVILLE- Slavery is America's original sin, and ever since 1776, race has consequentially been the most divisive issue in the nation. As one might expect, even the greatest of American heroes have found themselves on the wrong side of history when it comes to issues of race.
The late Senator J. William Fulbright is no exception. His legacy is one just as complicated as those belonging to the slave-owning founding fathers. He was every bit as paradoxical as Thomas Jefferson, an individual who coined the phrase "all men are created equal" while also having a slave as his mistress.
This past weekend, as a Fulbright alumnus, I attended the Fulbright Program's conference "Building Bridges Through Exchange" at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. During the event, I led a world cafe (audio here) on the current state of journalism.
In "Meeting Gorbachev," co-directors Werner Herzog and André Singer created a gripping documentary that articulates how "from such a god-forsaken place in the middle of nowhere would emerge one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century."
Perhaps the major key to what made Mikhail Gorbachev such a generational success in his political life was his being a man of the people. He never forgot his humble beginnings and that ideal drove him to the two pillars of his reign at the top of the Soviet Union: perestroika ("restructuring") or glasnost "openness/transparency in government."
It's pretty clear now that Colin Kaepernick isn't coming back to the National Football League, as Super Bowl 2020
approaches, and we have another NFL season in the books without him, it's time to think about his legacy. His powerful impact that he made will be long-lasting. His decision to take a knee during the national anthem, as a gesture of protest against brutality and systemic racism within law enforcement, may ultimately pave the way for more football players to eventually speak out on the issues of the day while still active in their playing careers.
Former Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett
, in town this past week to do a public reading of his new children's book "Dear Black Boy,"
doesn't believe that day is here yet though.
"No, that fear is still there," Bennett responded when we put this question to him during our exclusive conversation at Open Books, a literacy non-profit in the west loop...
While my Grandma was alive she often told our family her story of passing by the St. Valentine's Day Massacre aftermath on her way to work the morning of February 14, 1929. Bessie Banks, 23 years old at the time, was on the Clark street bus to her job at the Palmer House when the vehicle rode past the scene of the grisly crime at 2122 N. Clark St. just a couple hours after it happened.
Every time she told the story she would mention that the gangster era of Chicago was very overblown, in regards to the level of danger to the average citizen. She would always say that they didn't bother anybody, and only fought amongst themselves.