Category: Current events and social commentary

Leaving the Catholic Church but not leaving it behind

Every member of my family but me is still Catholic. Some liberal friends remain Catholic as well, considering the church their parish and not the institution. I couldn’t do it. I hesitated to write a post on this topic because I didn’t want to offend anyone I care about, but nothing I say can be... Read more »

Fortunate are those who find a purpose

My brother just retired after 35 years as sports editor of the Herald-News in Joliet. The outpouring of thanks, congratulations, and good wishes from a sports-crazy community must be immensely gratifying to him. Of course I am very happy for him. But also a bit envious. He found his purpose and pursued it for 35... Read more »

Ours isn’t the democracy I thought it was

Among the many reasons to bemoan the Trump presidency is that it’s eroded faith in our system of government. Ours isn’t the democracy I thought it was. From high school civics class on through five decades, I held to belief in the separation of powers — that our federal government has three equal branches keeping... Read more »

Discomfited by displays of wealth

A high school graduation party I attended was held in a backyard in an affluent suburb. The yard seemed to me as big as a football field, but having a balcony as my basis of comparison, I no doubt exaggerate. At any rate, the backyard was large enough for several seating areas, which were furnished... Read more »

Raising my voice against loudness

I saw Jesus Christ Superstar at Lyric Opera last week, just days before it closed Sunday. Reading critics’ overwhelmingly glowing reviews after, I was surprised that only a couple of them mentioned what I thought the production’s flaw: it was too loud. The music drowned out the lyrics. On Chicagoland Theater Reviews Dan Zeff mentioned... Read more »

Can Melania’s Be Best initiative be taken seriously?

There’s a part of me that feels sorry for Melania Trump. Just a little. It’s clear that she feels uncomfortable in the role of First Lady. She accepted the role of wife of a fat cat, but no one thought then that the fat cat would run for president. I even feel somewhat sympathetic to... Read more »

When Trump makes us nostalgic for past presidents

I was no fan of either of the Bush presidents. But while watching a bit of Barbara Bush’s funeral, I found myself wishing they were back in the seat of government. That is how far afield Donald Trump has taken a progressive Democrat. I have to remind myself about style versus substance. It’s dignity I’m... Read more »

I never joined Facebook

Unlike the estimated 58 percent of American adults with an account, I never joined Facebook. I can’t claim, however, to have expected that users’ data would be misappropriated. I just didn’t want to bother. Some friends urged me to join so that we could stay up on one another’s lives. One said flat out that... Read more »

Cold weather + no socks = crazy, imho

This is a post I’d intended to write all winter, but it kept getting bumped by other topics. Even though it’s now spring, you wouldn’t know by how it feels. So, I’ll slip this post in before spring really arrives. What’s with going sockless outside in winter? I see people bundled up in down coats,... Read more »

Deciding about offensiveness: sometimes editors get it wrong

You may have heard that the new executive editor of The Reader survived just one issue. Mark Konkol was fired because the cover cartoon on the February 15 issue showed gubernatorial candidate J. B. Pritzker sitting on a black lawn jockey statue as an FBI agent listens in on his phone conversation. The accompanying headline,... Read more »