Sunday, April 13, 2008

Anything Chicagoist can do, I can do more stupiderly (and with no pretty fotos) -- Local Interest Grab-Bag Post

By now everyone knows has been on a lameward trajectory for a long time, consisting almost entirely of links to Tribune and Sun-Times stories and snipey arguments in the comments section by a handful of shrill and tiresome characters.

So what’s an under-the-radar Chicago blogger to do while spending the rump end of this ceaseless winter holed up in his subterranean lair (aka, “The Dirt Cave”)? The answer, of course, is to post up a Chicagoist-style set of short local-interest items consisting mostly of smartass remarks about journalism done by somebody else.

1. Reports of his death were greatly erroneous, unless you’re talking about his career. Although he’s surely suffering from lacking access to cute J-school students on which to use his favorite pickup line (“Hey, baby, wanna come back to the office and watch me write my column?”), Bob Greene did not die this week. Well, one of them did. But not the one I was thinking of when I heard the report. And I wasn’t alone, judging from this snip from Bob Greene’s Wikipedia entry, which tells it all:

Erroneous Reports of His Death

It was reported on this Wikipedia page that Bob Greene died on April 10th, 2008 after a long illness. In truth, that death was Robert W. Greene, the pioneering Newsday reporter and editor.

Whew. We almost lost a ... one.

2. "What's This?" It's a Skafish report. Careful readers of this blog (hah!) know I’m an appreciator of early Chicago punk-esque entertainer Jim Skafish. So I was glad to read in Time Out Chicago that Skafish has released a new CD of unreleased old outtakes, titled What’s This? 1976-1979.

OK, I don’t really have any smartass remarks about this item, but I think it’s good news. I might even (gasp) buy a copy. For info and song samples, go here. Worth a look and listen. Over on YouTube, there’s a clip from the movie Urgh! A Music War featuring Skafish’s “Sign of the Cross,” but embedding is disallowed, so you’d have to click over there to see it (which is worth doing). In addition, Skafish is blogging.

3. I say we close 'em all, forever. I don’t think this has made national news, so transplanted former Chicagoans might not have heard that the campus of St. Xavier University, on the southwest side, has been closed “indefinitely” after threats were found written on the wall of a dorm bathroom. Which means, I think, that it’s definitely closed, but for how long, no one’s saying yet.

I guess they didn’t have much choice. It seemed ridiculous when similar threats shut down Northern Ill. U. for a few days late last year (this is all it takes to paralyze a university, some knob with an El Marko? And do mass murderers usually leave cryptic warnings ahead of time? Who are these people, The Riddler?), but then a couple months later some presumably unrelated drool-bone swiss-cheesed up a lecture hall, so I can understand the public relations pressure they’re under when this sort of thing happens now ... as it seems to do every other day, at some campus somewhere.

I dunno, maybe this is just a good start. I’ve long believed that college is a waste of time and money, and is good for nothing other than putting a four-year delay (give or take) on the entry of dimwitted and impudent brats into the workforce. Maybe if college becomes simply impossible, our society will finally have to route around it. Which would be preferable to the current modus of encouraging more and more post-pubescent cementheads to pony up the hardcore loan money for the pyramid-scheme charade of higher book-larnin’. But then, I think all children should be segregated in labor camps until at least the age of 21 (age 30 for any of them that might pose a physical or financial threat to me), so I could be a little outside the mainstream hyah.

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