Monday, June 28, 2004

Surfing Around

Tipping A Sacred Cow On Parade:

Someone forwarded this wonderfully written article to me this morning about the late Sun-Times gossip columnist Irv Kupcinet. It's a truly sad and eventually apathetic tale of a man who hung on to his position like a Soviet Premier. The person who sent me the URL wrote, "They put up with him till the bitter end, out of some perverse sense of propriety."

The story is an unvarnished account of the lives of Kup, his wife Essee, their glory days of the '40's and '50's when Chicago was a major travel hub in the time before cross country air travel and television, and the tragic tale of their daughter Karyn, a struggling actress whose 1963 death in Hollywood was ruled a murder. The article speculates that the death was an "accidental" suicide; follow-up investigations from law enforcement officials never found a killer, but they never really searched for one. Still, for a Chicago Magazine story, this was simply engrossing. Go check it out.

If The GOP Was This Disorganized Across The Nation, We'd All Be Better Off!!:

Checked out the Howtown page last night. The Humble Wiz weighed in on Jack Ryan's resignation with some concise observation and a deservedly strong rebuking of the media for turning this story into the shitstorm that it became.

The media's been taking some well-earned shots to the chin in recent weeeks. Most reporters knew well in advance what was in the Ryan divorce files, just as they knew eight months before the Democratic Senate primary what was in Blair Hull's divorce records. Ramsin is dead-on in chastising the media for making these issues instead of placing the focus on their long-range plans for getting elected and serving the people of Illinois. Jack Ryan has (allegedly) some sexual curiosity. It isn't like he was handing out drivers licenses to unqualified truckers for campaign contributions. Blair Hull, his fortune aside, seemed to genuinely want to make a change for the people of Illinois.

I think Barack Obama would have defeated both of them straight-up, anyway. I just think the media should have made it a more fair fight instead of resorting to tabloid sensationalism. And for those people who want to point out that the real issue here is that Hull and Ryan lied, get a fucking clue. Most politicians do.

A couple of Slate commentaries explore the intentional scaling back of true investigative reporting in the post-Watergate era. Consequently, politicians and spin control artists have been able to get their message across to the public without much in the way of dissenting opinion.

This is why magazines like Mother Jones and The Atlantic Monthly are important. They haven't forgotten the lesson that Watergate taught. When the checks and balances of our government fail, we need non-partisan investigative reporting to ensure that the people aren't ignored.

But They Never Fucked a Groupie With a Mud Shark:

The lovely and talented Blaise has chosen Motley Crue's The Dirt as a nice piece of summer reading. She truly is a woman after my own heart.

I remember picking it up when the paperback edition first hit the stands, and it is truly an engrossing read. I couldn't put it down, either. It also makes for a nice drinking game. Choosing random passages from the book, readers must drink a shot:

- every time the word "dude" is used during Tommy Lee's passages
- every time Mick Mars refers to his "bellars" cocktail while wanting to commit suicide
- during all passages of Vince Neil having sex, as told by any member
- every time Nikki Sixx blames his drug and alcohol addictions to his rebellious childhood
- every time a Crue member goes to rehab and falls off the wagon

You'll be drunk before you get through the foreword, guarantee.

With Tommy Lee falling off the wagon again (a term loosely used) and Vince Neil rumored to be filming a version of "Extreme Makeover" so he can tour with the Crue next year and go shirtless on stage, The Dirt is a timely read.

I Named Her "Swirly":

Friday I went to the Esquire on Oak Street to see "Fahrenheit 9/11". I should've read the Redhead Papers first. I got home from the movie and was emptying my book bag when I saw a pregnant cockroach casually laying on the damn thing. I gently walked my way to the bathroom, flicked the roach in the toilet, and flushed three times for good measure. Then I bombed my apartment as a preemptive strike.

The next morning I was getting my laundry together. I was inspecting my book bag again and noticed the stickiest residue on the bottom. It was soda syrup from the theater.

And this theater is nestled in the middle of the richest neighborhood in Chicago, next to a dining/nightlife area ruefully referred to as the "viagra triangle." From now on I'm sticking to Burnham Plaza.

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