Category: Current events and social commentary

Trendy vs. tried and true

Game of Thrones sure is in our faces as its final season begins. Whether it’s the greatest television show of all times, I couldn’t judge. I haven’t seen a single episode. I never was good at keeping up with what TV shows are in. ER was several seasons along before I became a fan. Neither... Read more »

No apologies for learning about Navajos through Hillerman mysteries

Last week the Art Institute announced it was postponing an exhibit on Mimbres pottery of the ancient Southwest because it wanted more input from Native people. As I read about that appropriate action, my thoughts soon turned from art to literature and the late author Tony Hillerman. Far from being accused of cultural appropriation as... Read more »

Sweat, at the Goodman, reconnects me with my roots

Bewilderment with Trump voters is a staple of the conversations my friends and I have. Who are these people? How can they think that Trump cares about them? How can they stay with him? Why can’t they see? I was as likely as anyone to shrug my shoulders when someone asked, “Who are these people?,”... Read more »
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On “helping” students with college application essays

Many Americans had never heard of college admission consultants before William Rick Singer was accused of cheating to get the kids of wealthy clients into elite universities. It’s in recent years that the business of advising college-bound students has mushroomed, with the number of independent consultants quadrupling since 2015, the Chicago Tribune reported. They help... Read more »

South Looper looking for a winter hangout

The biggest lack in my condo building is a community room, and the lack is especially felt when we’ve had it up to here with winter. There’s no where to go inside the building when you’re climbing your own walls. On days without plans, I’ve been putting on winter gear and venturing outside to hunt... Read more »

Michelle Obama, the American Dream, and black millennials

I’d like to hear a conversation between Michelle Obama and Reniqua Allen. Who’s Reniqua Allen?, you ask. She’s the author of the recently published book It Was All a Dream: A New Generation Confronts the Broken Promise to Black America. Coincidentally, on the day I finished reading Obama’s memoir Becoming, I noticed an essay by... Read more »
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How much penance for youthful follies?

As the long-ago misbehavior of public figures like Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has been exposed, maybe you’ve been recalling regrettable incidents from your own past. I have. Among them are a couple of misdeeds for which I wish I could apologize to two gay men. I can’t remember their last names anymore, and even if... Read more »

How a Chicago voter might narrow the mayoral choices

The feds did Chicago voters a favor by charging Ald. Ed Burke with attempted extortion before the February 26 mayoral primary.  It helps us eliminate candidates in a congested race. Now I feel okay about ruling out four top candidates, those with ties to Burke: Toni Preckwinkle, Susana Mendoza, Gery Chico, and Bill Daley. Burke... Read more »

Don't tidy your place for me

For the last few of my building’s monthly game nights, only two of us showed up. Before he moved out of town in mid-December, my game-playing partner invited me to his apartment for a meal and a last game of Scrabble. The invitation for that evening was issued spontaneously during his workday, so he had... Read more »
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For the elderly, giving effortless food is a winner

Christmas shopping for 90+-year-olds whose home is overflowing with stuff is a challenge. For years I gave my parents gifts from Omaha Steaks, but they still had to cook the meat, along with side dishes. As they’ve gotten older, it seems better to reduce their work. This year I decided to check into whether Omaha... Read more »