Work’s been squeezing my mindgrapes dry this week, hence the lack of blogging. But here are a few things I noticed this week. They’re mostly local issues, which will probably disappoint all those who’ve arrived here by Googling “nine west high waist jeans.”
Chicago Tonight, regardless of what happened that day
The flood waters were big news yesterday, and all concerned – from the local MSM to the folks who helped each other hold together in relatively trying times – coped with it in a cool-headed manner, but I was most struck with how the folks at Chicago Tonight managed to broadcast their show, live, from their control room after their studio flooded. An odd sort of intimacy resulted, and I kept expecting Elizabeth Brackett and Eddie Arruza to sip from cups of tea.
Chicago Lack of Transit Authority
I’ve been mostly impressed with Ron Huberman’s conduct as CTA President. I do wonder how they agency continues to “find” money to make slow zone repairs and scale back predicted fare and service cuts when we were told for so long that such a thing would be impossible. I’m sure some capital programs are getting cut – just a hunch, mind you – but I haven’t seen any reports that mention anything like this happening.
I’ll be very interested to see how Huberman weathers the lack of CTA funding in the almost-passed state budget. You can only cry wolf so many times, and since there’s now talk that they’ll suck it up until the end of the year when a capital funding plan can be put in place, people are going to have a hard time believing in a “Doomsday” scenario, going forward, though it appears CTA VP Dorval Carter disagrees. Much like the record industry, the CTA ought to stop threatening its customers and find a way to work with them instead.
And finally tonight…
Next up: TV not a cultural wasteland!
I really like the Tribune’s Julia Keller. I think “low” culture tells us as much about a society as its politics, history and sociological framework, and she doesn’t shy away from the lighter aspects of life. Honestly, I’ve had a thing for her since she tackled the old Superman vs. Batman debate.
But man, I wish she had told her editor that the “Comics: Not just for weirdos” angle was the wrong one to take on this story about Douglas Wolk’s Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean. The Beachwood Reporter (with an assist by So-Called Austin Mayor) says it all in the last item here. The Trib – by its very nature – is usually late to the game on cultural trends and tends to be approach these stories as the very reactionary paper it’s often accused of being (“Some even claim to be–gasp–making money. Some crazy folks are even opening new ones.”). To be fair, the Trib’s Mo Ryan, Eric Zorn and Mark Caro know how to put their finger to the zeitgeist.
So maybe they can sit in on more story meetings. For instance, can someone explain to me why the Trib is so geeked on vinyl lately? Monica Kendrick over at the Reader blogged about a recent Trib editorial that extolled the virtue of the black circle, but she didn’t mention that they wrote an article on this very same topic earlier this month that was pegged to the resurgence of independent record shops (which incidentally TOC covered back in March) not to mention last June when they wrote about it.
Anyone who follows music knows this story gets trotted every year or two. And I don’t think vinyl gets “big” – or bigger as the case may be – each time. There isn’t an ebb and flow with a love of vinyl, but there is a steady stream of folks who cultivate this love the way some people cultivate a garden. But just like you can’t grow all plants in the same dirt and light, you only get true richness from vinyl with the proper sound system, which most people don’t have the desire to learn about or cash to purchase. And it’s why vinyl will be as “big” now as it will the next time this chestnut gets trotted out.