Bleader | Chicago Reader

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Is Antonin Scalia reprehensible?

Posted By on 06.30.15 at 07:00 AM

Being on the wrong side of history is a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it. - KEVIN TANAKA/SUN-TIMES MEDIA
  • Kevin Tanaka/Sun-Times Media
  • Being on the wrong side of history is a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it.

An essay posted the other day on the New Republic's website placed Antonin Scalia in not one pantheon but two. There's the pantheon of Supreme Court justices such as Holmes and Cardozo, who "craft their words with brio, force, and wit." Scalia's "sneering tone" makes his dissents "hugely entertaining even where they are not rhetorically persuasive." And there's the literary pantheon. For Scalia possesses the "reactionary imagination" of a Yeats, Proust, Eliot, or Waugh. He shares with these "great Tory modernists . . . a terrible sense of longing, a palpable feeling for the world we have lost."

The writer, Jeet Heer, then tacks on a conclusion he's done nothing to prepare us for: "It's precisely those qualities that make Scalia so politically reprehensible that also make him a great legal writer."

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Pride Parade 2015 (in pictures)

Posted By on 06.29.15 at 05:00 PM

  • Logan Javage

The Boystown gay bar Sidetrack always mounts an impressive spectacle in the Pride Parade—you can't really go wrong with a bunch of scantily clad guys and gals thrusting their pelvises at the crowd from atop a moving platform—but this year, the back of the float was the real attraction: a mock scoreboard celebrated a 5-4 victory in the "Supreme Equality Championship."

Last week's Supreme Court ruling making marriage equality the law of the land made the thrill of the parade all the more palpable. The fire-and-brimstone faction made its regularly scheduled appearance, but there was no breaking the crowd's spirit. I don't know if many other people noticed (I actually don't remember how we did), but at around 3 PM on the perfectly cloudless Sunday, a rainbow had created a semicircle around the sun. I'm not superstitious, but that can't be a bad sign.

Here's the day in pictures as captured by Reader photo intern Logan Javage.

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In Blackout, Sarah Hepola shines a light on alcoholism

Posted By on 06.29.15 at 03:00 PM

Near the end of her new memoir, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget, Sarah Hepola, newly sober, tries to imagine what the rest of her life will look like. She realizes that all her most satisfying daydreams depend upon her being someone else. So do her friendships, her romantic life, and even her career—she's a writer and the personal essays editor of Salon, where, even in that catalog of human misery, her contributions stand out for their candor and lack of self-pity. For most of her life, she'd relied on alcohol to turn her into the person she wanted to be.

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A cutesy alien and a fantasy desert nomad hang out at a Harajuku parade

Posted By on 06.29.15 at 02:30 PM

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.


Multimedia artists Ashley Barton and Louis Hayes were dressed up and ready for the Harajuku parade, which took place downtown earlier this month. I love their attention to detail and originality, and how they stay in line with the "more is more" a Harajuku aesthetic. Barton and Hayes explain their style below.

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Your Best of Chicago 2015 . . . on Instagram!

Posted By on 06.29.15 at 02:00 PM

For the past few years that we've put out our Best of Chicago issue, we've asked our readers to submit photos via Instagram that express what's best about Chicago—and every year we receive photos that beautifully capture the spirit of the city. Our critics' picks and the results from our readers' poll may be debatable, but one thing's for sure: the best things about Chicago are the people who call it home.

Here's a collection of some of our favorites.

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The best Maine crab-and-crawfish boil in Chinatown

Posted By on 06.29.15 at 01:00 PM

Crayfish boil

I arrived late at Dolo Restaurant and Bar, located a little southwest of the primary Chinese restaurant area that spans Archer and Cermak in Chinatown, and my friends had already been through the menu and decided on some things to order. One of those things was a big platter of crayfish and crab; we were interested to see what the Chinese interpretation would be. It arrived a few minutes later, and to our surprise it proved to be nothing more nor less than a seafood boil like you might find in some place in Maine called Ye Old Fish Shanty or in Shreveport or anywhere else they catch up stuff like this: red crawfish mixed with crab legs, half ears of corn, boiled potatoes . . . and some sausages which one member of our group identified, based on extensive experience in childhood, as Hebrew National hot dogs.

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This editorial cartoon sums up last week in America

Posted By on 06.29.15 at 12:30 PM

  • Bob Englehart
This is one of the most effective editorial cartoons I've ever seen. It was drawn by Bob Englehart of the Hartford Courant.

Its message isn't open to misinterpretation, or even to interpretation. It's just a statement of how things are. The fiercest liberal will smack his lips and think, exactly! So will the fiercest reactionary.

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Listen to the cinematic sweep of Ola Kvernberg's The Mechanical Fair

Posted By on 06.29.15 at 12:00 PM

Ola Kvernberg
  • André Løyning
  • Ola Kvernberg
Norwegian violinist and composer Ola Kvernberg has strong jazz roots—early in his career he was a feverish exponent of jazz manouche (made famous by guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stéphane Grappelli) before getting involved in more modern, progressive approaches. He's played in Chicago before thanks to his membership in the long-running quintet led by bassist Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten, who lived here for a few years. But Kvernberg's latest album reveals a more composition-oriented mind-set—that's a common thing for creative musicians from Norway, who frequently work in numerous traditions even if they identify primarily with improvised music. Before discovering jazz, Kvernberg was trained in Norwegian folk music, a tradition that still ripples through his playing.

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Did you read about Greece, criminal justice reform, and cement truck art?

Posted By on 06.29.15 at 11:21 AM

Greece prime minister Alexis Tsipras
  • Aris Messinis/Getty Images
  • Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras
Reader staffers share stories that fascinate, alarm, amuse, or inspire us.

Hey, did you read:

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IPRA recommends the firing of a Chicago police officer involved in a shooting

Posted By on 06.29.15 at 11:00 AM

The 1100 block of north Ashland, where a 2011 drive-by shooting was followed by a shooting by an off-duty Chicago police officer.
  • Photo illustration: Chicago Reader; Image: Google Maps
  • The 1100 block of North Ashland, where a 2011 drive-by shooting was followed by a shooting by an off-duty Chicago police officer.
For the first time in its history, the Independent Police Review Authority has recommended that a Chicago police officer involved in a shooting be separated from the force. IPRA found that officer Francisco Perez, who was off-duty and working security for a restaurant when he witnessed a drive-by shooting on North Ashland in 2011, was "inattentive to duty" for shooting 16 times at the wrong car. It also found that he "provided false information regarding his actions."

IPRA closed its investigation in late April. I learned of the finding and recommendation in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Since its inception in 2007, IPRA has investigated at least 231 officer-involved shootings and found only a handful to have been unjustified. Previously, the most severe penalty IPRA had ever recommended for a shooting by an officer was a 20-day suspension.

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