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Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Best Nine and the Reader's most-liked Instagram photos of 2015

Posted By on 12.31.15 at 02:22 PM

The Reader's #2015BestNine
  • The Reader's #2015BestNine

If you've avoided social media this week, you may have missed that all the cool kids are using a Web-based app called 2015 Best Nine. It creates a collage-style post that features nine of your top "liked" photos from Instagram in a grid that resembles the opening credits of The Brady Bunch or the Tic-tac-toe layout of Hollywood Squares

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The scurrilous cartoons of Dr. Seuss

Posted By on 12.31.15 at 12:30 PM



seuss.jpg


My most interesting Christmas present was the 1999 book Dr. Seuss Goes to War, a collection of editorial cartoons that Theodor Seuss Geisel drew for the New York daily PM in 1941 and ’42. I hadn’t known the creator of Green Eggs and Ham and Yertel the Turtle ever drew editorial cartoons. I also hadn’t known he drew Japanese-Americans as a fifth column serving the cause of Hirohito and Tojo.

The most extreme of these cartoons ran on February 13, 1942. In it, every Japanese-American on the west coast appears to have lined up outside the "Honorable 5th Column" dispensary to receive a box—or is it a brick?—of TNT. Each face sports the same sinister, idiotic grin. One of these grinning devils, perched on the roof of the dispensary, looks west to the homeland through a telescope. The caption: "Waiting for the Signal From Home . . . "

(A few days later, coincidentally or not, the internment camp program was announced and the roundup began.)

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Did you read about Rahm, Tasers, and DJ Timbuck2 Day?

Posted By on 12.31.15 at 11:16 AM

Goodbye, 2015. - JASONESBAIN / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • jasonesbain / Wikimedia Commons
  • Goodbye, 2015.

Reader staffers share stories that fascinate, alarm, amuse, or inspire us.

Hey, did you read:

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Peter Margasak's favorite albums of 2015, numbers 10 through 1

Posted By on 12.31.15 at 10:00 AM

cover11.jpg

Here's the final installment of the year-end countdown of my favorite albums from 2015. Read about numbers 40 through 31, 30 through 21, and 20 through 11.

10) Michael Pisaro, A Mist Is a Collection of Points (New World)
On this recording from Michael Pisaro, the most celebrated American member of the Wandelweiser composers' collective, sparsely charted resonant notes hang in the air like the mist of its title. The three-part work—performed by pianist Phillip Bush, percussionist Greg Stuart, and Pisaro himself adding sine-wave tones—provides a series of perspectives on how sounds spread, disperse, and interact, focusing on the acoustic phenomena that occur after each individual note arrives and on the shaping of music by the space around it. 

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Hey, Mayor Rahm, reopen the mental health clinics!

Posted By on 12.31.15 at 08:00 AM

Mayor Rahm discovers "mental health crises" four years after he closed mental health clinics in low-income, high-crime neighborhoods. - SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES
  • Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • Mayor Rahm discovers "mental health crises" four years after he closed mental health clinics in low-income, high-crime neighborhoods.

As part of his ceaseless effort to find other people to blame for the bad shit that happens on his watch, Mayor Emanuel jetted home from his ten-day vacation in Cuba on Tuesday to announce that police have to do a better job of responding to "mental health crises."

He was alluding to the shootings on December 26, when after responding to calls about a domestic argument at an apartment on the west side, police shot 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier and, accidentally, Bettie Jones, the 55-year-old mother of five.

"It is clear changes are needed to how officers respond to mental health crises," the mayor said.

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Transgender artists control their own narrative at Glass Curtain's 'Bring Your Own Body'

Posted By on 12.31.15 at 07:00 AM

Anonymous photographer, Louise Lawrence With Cigarette - COURTESY OF THE KINSEY INSTITUTE
  • Courtesy of the Kinsey Institute
  • Anonymous photographer, Louise Lawrence With Cigarette

"Bring Your Own Body," a showcase of historical documents and contemporary art at Columbia College's Glass Curtain Gallery, aims to highlight self-identified transgender histories as opposed to narratives by those outside the transgender community. In this show, trans artists decide how their community is documented, and they do it through various mediums.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Making a Murderer documents the inexorable nightmare that is the criminal justice system

Posted By on 12.30.15 at 04:00 PM

Making a Murderer - COURTESY OF NETFLIX
  • Courtesy of Netflix
  • Making a Murderer

A junkyard. Row upon row of car carcasses spread across acres of land. That's Avery's Auto Salvage, the setting of the Netflix documentary miniseries Making a Murderer. But it's more than just a place—it's a visual symbol for the state of a town and its people.

Over ten hours covering 30 years, Making a Murderer repeatedly returns to the salvage yard in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. We see cars covered in snow; sun glinting off smashed windshields; rusting, bent fenders sinking into the earth as seasons pass. This is Steven Avery's world. We meet him just as he's being released from prison after serving 18 years for a rape he didn't commit. He's short, with a buzz cut and a beard worthy of Duck Dynasty, grinning ear to ear when he's back in his family's auto-wreck kingdom.

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The best overlooked Chicago hip-hop releases of 2015

Posted By on 12.30.15 at 03:00 PM

One of the top five
  • One of the top five
"What are your favorite overlooked Chicago hip-hop releases of 2015?" I posted that to Twitter as I listened through my own choices for the year, and the wide range of responses I got reminded me that my question isn't as simple as it seems. Some folks named projects I'd considered well-loved and thoroughly covered, among them Sicko Mobb's first mixtape of the year, Super Saiyan Vol. 2, which earned praise from Pitchfork. In the Reader, Gossip Wolf covered Super Saiyan Vol. 2 when it dropped in April, and I previewed Sicko Mobb's Subterranean performance in May.

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ShowYouSuck drops a live album and helps kick off Reaction NYE

Posted By on 12.30.15 at 12:00 PM

COURTESY OF SHOWYOUSUCK'S FACEBOOK
  • Courtesy of ShowYouSuck's Facebook

I've never been shy about how much I like local rapper ShowYouSuck. I write about him regularly in the Reader, both online and in print. And last month I celebrated my 30th birthday by going to see Show headline Emporium in Wicker Park. I fought fatigue and an oncoming cold to watch him tear up his underattended late-night set (after midnight on a Wednesday isn't exactly prime party time), and like he always does, he delivered each line as though he had a packed house hanging on his every word. 

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Did you read about Bill Cosby, Tamir Rice, and Shakespeare?

Posted By on 12.30.15 at 11:27 AM

Things aren't looking good for Bill Cosby. - THE WORLD AFFAIRS COUNCIL OF PHILADELPHIA
  • The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia
  • Things aren't looking good for Bill Cosby.

Reader staffers share stories that fascinate, alarm, amuse, or inspire us.
 
Hey, did you read:

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