Recent Comments

Re: “Tronc will likely be Sun-Times's new owner. And the Reader?

@Trust Buster

I certainly agree with you about Facebook and Google, but boycotting would be difficult at this stage given the tremendous buy-in and highly personal investment that users have made in each one.

A better idea is nationalization, with users having a direct vote in how each is run.

An even better idea -- and a favorite of mine -- is simply banning all paid advertising on the internet. Why not? The internet exists only because US taxpayer dollars by the billions spent over decades made it possible. No private enterprise could have managed that, not by a long shot. The internet belongs to all of us. Therefore, we have every right to say what happens on it.

Personally, I am goddam sick and tired of digital dweebs "disrupting" every industry they can sink their rotten little fangs into. It's long past time to "disrupt" them and shut off their spigot of ad revenue. Can we get a movement in motion here?

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Pelham on 05/17/2017 at 9:31 AM

Re: “Tronc will likely be Sun-Times's new owner. And the Reader?

I like what Kristi Kutzner has to say, although I'll agree with Angela Tallis that the national coverage has been at least sort of adequate.

Still, this is all within the journalistic community. If there's little discussion of the subject in Chicago, that's notable. So what would get the public to sit up and take notice? My guess is nothing media-related.

I read recently that Facebook and Google now rake in three-quarters of all the online ad revenue nationally. (And online -- including mobile -- is where ad spend is going, eclipsing even television.) So only a quarter of this digital jackpot is left for every journalistic institution in the country to scrabble over.

But beyond that, let's consider how this Google/Facebook media environment is affecting the public. One effect, I think, is to make news seem rather generic, as if it comes from nowhere. Call up Google News, for instance, and everything is right there, and in enough (scanty) detail to satisfy a large segment of readers, while others who click on the links scarcely notice the sources.

So the disappearance, merger or sharp diminution of a formerly cherished journalistic institution may no longer make the impression that it once would have.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Pelham on 05/16/2017 at 4:37 PM

Re: “Tronc will likely be Sun-Times's new owner. And the Reader?

It may be silly to argue that the Reader is somehow more cosmically important than either one of the Chicago dailies. However, I for one would miss the Reader a great deal more than I would miss the Sun-Times or Tribune if they should vanish.

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Pelham on 05/16/2017 at 9:09 AM

Re: “The dividing line between the U.S. and Canada

I hope you'll be filing often in your new, informal role at The Reader.

And I'll say this: I read widely and I keep coming back here, to this particular spot in The Reader, because what I find in your column is at least equal to the best of what I read elsewhere. I regularly encounter a depth of thought and care here that I rarely find in other quarters.

Please use your new status to range even more widely on subject matter. Your work is treasured.

And someone needs to step forward and do a damned good writeup on you -- maybe a biography. Better yet, have you considered writing a book? Memoirs are an obvious choice, but I'd be game for anything you'd care to write about at length.

10 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Pelham on 05/13/2017 at 9:35 AM

Re: “The Navy Pier Flyover is taking longer to complete than the Golden Gate Bridge

@What me worry

Actually, I don't know what deflator was used. I just picked it up from another source. So you could be right, in which case this stupid bike bridge looks a lot stupider.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Pelham on 05/08/2017 at 9:57 AM

Re: “The Navy Pier Flyover is taking longer to complete than the Golden Gate Bridge

@Randy the Riveter

Good point to ponder. From what I understand, there are many things that the country could accomplish decades ago that are beyond our means, imagination or -- more importantly -- our ability now.

When the subject of offshoring and outsourcing comes up in the context of national well-being and "globalization" -- or when I read about how personally dependent we're becoming on digital technologies -- I ask myself: How helpless do we want to be? I wish some of our numbnut national leaders were asking this question.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Pelham on 05/03/2017 at 1:20 PM

Re: “The Navy Pier Flyover is taking longer to complete than the Golden Gate Bridge


Thanks much for doing the math. So the flyover is about 2/3 as costly per square foot as the iconic bridge. Hmm.

Posted by Pelham on 05/03/2017 at 1:12 PM

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