Category: entertainment

News Media Wallows in Wrong-Headed Nostalgia for Ringling Bros.

I wasn’t planning on writing another post about the demise of Ringling Bros., which had its final circus performance over the weekend. Let them go quietly, was my way of thinking. Unfortunately, but predictably, it wasn’t the news media’s way of thinking. In journalism school, one of the first things you’re taught is the importance... Read more »

'A Dog's Purpose' Deserves a Chance Despite Controversy

Two recent pet-related films gave me the inspiration for a post. But since covering them both in one would make it way too long, I’m going to break them up over two.  One is “A Dog’s Purpose” and the next one is “The Secret Life of Pets.” I have not seen A Dog’s Purpose. By... Read more »

Ringling Doomed Itself by Failing To Adapt to Changing Times and Trends

  Ringling Bros. dropped a bombshell this past weekend when it announced it was permanently shutting down its Greatest Show on Earth after 146 years, due to declining circus attendance and revenue. As someone who has been a critic of the organization and even demonstrated outside their circuses, I was surprised at my initial reaction... Read more »

The Tragic Life of Killer Whale Tilikum Is a Lesson

Another celebrity death has made the news, although this one may pass under most people’s radar. Tilikum, the infamous and beleaguered killer whale kept captive for 25 years at SeaWorld Orlando, died yesterday at the age of 36 of what is being reported as a lung infection. The media headlines seemed to be announcing the... Read more »

Shirley Jackson Wrote Chick Lit from Hell, and It Was Unforgettable

This month marks the centennial of the birth of Shirley Jackson, one of the best American writers most people have never heard of. If she is remembered at all it is for “The Lottery,” but she contributed so much more to contemporary literature than that one, profoundly disturbing short story. If you’ve never read “The... Read more »

Taste of Chicago: A Non-Meat Eater’s Guide to Carnivore Nirvana

The Taste is upon us once again. After avoiding it like a bad cold for almost a decade, reports that a bunch of new restaurants were joining the stale old lineup of Robinson’s Ribs, Billy Goat and Eli’s Cheesecake piqued my curiosity. Dare I venture back into the belly of the beast? After reading the... Read more »

The Hamilton Mystique

With its conquest of the Tony Awards last week and Chicago tickets hitting the market today, Hamilton fever is in overdrive. Tickets are more precious than gold, reportedly going for upwards of $8,000 on sites like StubHub, according to the latest reports. People are camping on the sidewalk like it was 1985 at the height... Read more »