Street Smart Chicago

Mr. Tea: Congressman Joe Walsh Pities the Fools Who Doubt his Populist Anger

Politics No Comments »

By Eric Lutz

The front line in the war for the American dream, it turns out, is here, at Fox Run Golf Links in Elk Grove Village. Go figure. Joe Walsh, the freshman congressman from Illinois’ eighth district, a Tea Party Republican who rode a wave of anti-incumbent fury to the United States House of Representatives in 2010, is leading the charge for one side. He’s trim, handsome, charismatic and, to the seventy or so people in attendance at tonight’s town hall, the only thing standing between them and Obamacare and anti-business Democrats and job-stealing illegal immigrants and radical Muslims and political correctness and an assortment of other evils aided and abetted by the political left.

“This country is literally going through a revolution… a down-on-our-knees, hand-to-hand fight over the soul of America,” Walsh tells his supporters, who nod their heads in concern. Read the rest of this entry »

Dime Stories: The Sky at Ohio

Dime Stories No Comments »

Tony Fitzpatrick

By Tony Fitzpatrick

Every election cycle, Ohio is a battleground state. For months before the election there are political operatives, state-wide, working the populace into a furious lather about jobs, immigrants, unions, guns and gay marriage. As goes Ohio, goes America—or so the consensus seems to indicate. Our Speaker of the House, John Boehner, is from Ohio—the orange, douchey crybaby a native of Cincinnati. He typifies the Ohio political operative.

It is a state with an immense unemployment rate—like the rest of America right now. What has particularly hobbled Ohio though is the disappearance of its manufacturing base. The last century’s slow-leak of economies have been almost unduly brutal to Ohio. Steel, paper, glass and rubber all found cheaper places to be made than Ohio. In fact the government, in many cases, paid companies to outsource these industries—and jobs—a dirty secret they blame everyone and everything else for. Read the rest of this entry »

Dime Stories: The Atomic Child

Dime Stories No Comments »

By Tony Fitzpatrick

It seems every summer, Hollywood rolls out an Armageddon scenario—an over-dressed apocalypse-driven popcorn vehicle for the masses. And every summer, I watch the fucker. That the Aurora massacre has not hurt the box office of ‘The Dark Knight Rises” tells us much about ourselves. If we are optimistic, it tells us we are resilient; that we’ll not let a mad man keep us from living our lives and seeking our entertainment where we want to. The more cynical will blame the movie and the culture of these kinds of movies themselves. I actually love these kinds of movies.

I loved ‘The Dark Knight” and have probably watched it thirty times. Part of the appeal for me is just how great Chicago looks in it. I never can help liking to watch our city on film. The other part is Heath Ledger as the Joker, which is one of the greatest performances by anyone I’ve ever watched. Another element is all of the action bits, and shit blowing up. Read the rest of this entry »

Dime Stories: Democracy in Chicago

Dime Stories, Politics No Comments »

Tony Fitzpatrick

By Tony Fitzpatrick

On May 16th, 2011, Rahm Emanuel became the fifty-fifth mayor of the city of Chicago. It was a laugher. He ran against a field of mostly nobodies, and wound up trouncing career Democrat and City Clerk Miguel del Valle in the primary. The Republicans mattered not a fuck because this is Chicago and we don’t elect Republicans. We would vote for the dead before pulling the pachyderm lever.

I can’t decide whether it’s the best or worst decision Chicago’s ever made.

It was the perfect lifeboat for Emanuel. Nobody liked him or wanted to deal with him in Washington, not even his own guys. Once King Richard II decided not to run again, after the 2016 Olympics wet-dream shit the bed and there would be no crowning glory or fifth star for the city’s flag, Daley wanted out. That his wife was so desperately ill had to weigh heavily into his decision as well.

The Olympics thing had to be a pisser. Only Chicago politics has a BIGGER gang of scumbags than the Olympic Committee itself had. It had to be like a roomful of pickpockets where nobody brought a wallet. Imagine that summit and how much silverware got stolen at a gathering for that grimy gaggle of assholes. Read the rest of this entry »

13 Ways of Looking at Occupy Chicago: The Aesthetics of the Movement

City Life, Essays & Commentary, Loop, Media, Politics 3 Comments »

Photo: Erica Weitzel

By Monica Westin

1. “Grant Park: three years later” was the initial vision for this article—a snapshot of the stark difference in Chicago’s political and emotional temperature between the downtown celebration of Barack Obama’s election night in 2008 and the Grant Park arrests in mid-October of this year. But this comparison doesn’t begin to get at what’s interesting about Occupy. Because of what I will call its “aesthetics” as well as its size (at last count, more than seventy American cities have an Occupy protest, not counting the strength and scope of related protests abroad), the protest, or movement, depending on how you look at it, is very much that—an amorphous, sprawling political form that looks different from every angle and every subject position, like Wallace Stevens’ blackbird. That American mainstream media is unable to cover Occupy in any kind of coherent, proficient way is well-documented, but even as a single observer it was nearly impossible for me to take any kind of clearly articulated position about Occupy Chicago without immediately realizing I could make a strong case for an opposite view of the phenomenon (and usually I had heard someone do so in an interview). Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the Capricious Contours of Celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange No Comments »

This week’s biggest gainers:

1
Tex Winter
After being nominated (and rejected) seven times for the Basketball Hall of Fame, the former Bulls assistant coach and Triangle Offense guru discovered the eighth time is the charm.

2
Edward Alexander
Punched his way out of a robbery at gunpoint in his front yard in Chatham. If he’d been a few years younger than 85 years old, he’d have really kicked ass. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the Capricious Contours of Celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange No Comments »

 This Week’s Biggest Gainers:

1
Barack Obama
The prez celebrated his fiftieth birthday with a l’il ol’ star-studded bash in his hometown.

2
Carlos Zambrano
Big Z seems to be the front runner on the Cub’s unanticipated midseason sprint, helping the team to their longest win streak in three years with homers and Ks a-plenty. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the Capricious Contours of Celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange No Comments »

This Week’s Biggest Gainers:

1
Barack Obama
Did we mention that the prez who took down Osama bin Laden was a Chicago guy?

2
Tom Thibodeau
Bulls leader won NBA Coach of the Year, if not Coach of the Day as his men lost their second-round opener the day his honor was announced. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the Capricious Contours of Celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange No Comments »

This week’s biggest gainers:

1
Barack Obama
Who knew? He’s running for reelection with a campaign HQ back here where it all started.

2
Dennis Rodman, Tex Winter, Artis Gilmore
What do they have in common? All former Bulls and, now, all Hall of Famers. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Hype Exchange: Charting the capricious contours of celebrity

Chicago Hype Exchange No Comments »

This week’s biggest gainers:

1
Barack Obama
Welcome home, “monster of the Midway.”

2
Che “Rhymefest” Smith
Everyone’s buzzing about the aldermanic candidate like he could make Jesus walk or something. Read the rest of this entry »