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Thursday, August 31, 2017

An interview with director Alex Cox about Walker, one of the most audacious American films of the 1980s

Posted By on 08.31.17 at 01:38 PM

Walker
  • Walker
Alex Cox's Walker (1987) tells the true story of William Walker, an American colonel who led an invasion of Nicaragua in the mid-1850s and ruled the country for two years. Cox and screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer present this historical episode as a nightmarish comedy, advancing a farcical tone that mocks Walker's hubris and, by extension, the manifest destiny that's guided American missions in other countries for the past two centuries. The film is also forthright in its condemnation of the U.S. government's then-current exploits in Nicaragua. At the time Ronald Reagan was backing contras to overthrow the revolutionary government, which had deposed the Somoza dictatorship in the late 1970s. Walker emphasizes the connection between American missions in Nicaragua in the 19th and 20th centuries through a bold use of anachronisms—the characters drink Coca-Cola, ride in helicopters, and read about themselves in Time and Newsweek.

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Stella’s Batting Cages hits it out of the park with Major League Baseball snack foods—and sushi

Posted By on 08.31.17 at 07:00 AM

Clockwise from left: chicken nuggets, corn off the cob, spicy tuna roll, Yankee Stadium Meatball Parm, Choomongous - MIKE SULA
  • Mike Sula
  • Clockwise from left: chicken nuggets, corn off the cob, spicy tuna roll, Yankee Stadium Meatball Parm, Choomongous

Nothing bellows "PLAY BALL!" like a spicy tuna roll. At least that's the case at Stella's Batting Cages in southwest-suburban Lyons, where for most of its 31-year history batters at one of the 12 indoor fast- and slow-pitch machines sustained themselves with industrial-grade fast food: dogs, corned beef, burgers, fries, nachos, pizza puffs, a Reuben if you were fancy.

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Watch chef Stephen Hasson make Manischewitz brisket pizza

Posted By on 08.31.17 at 06:45 AM

Growing up, Stephen Hasson remembers sneaking tastes of Manischewitz Concord Grape Wine in the back of his temple. So when Ashlee Aubin of Wood and Salero restaurants challenged the chef at Ugo's Kitchen & Bar to create a dish with the sweet wine, he immediately thought of his childhood. "We always had a bottle around, just sort of ceremonially, but it ended up going down the drain quite a bit," he says. "I think the children would sneak more of it than the adults."

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Removal of Confederate statues tidies up southern history—but it doesn’t touch the grease stains

Posted By on 08.31.17 at 06:30 AM

Protesters gather on May 16 as a statue of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard is removed from a park in New Orleans. A statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was removed on May 11. - AP PHOTO/SCOTT THRELKELD
  • AP Photo/Scott Threlkeld
  • Protesters gather on May 16 as a statue of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard is removed from a park in New Orleans. A statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was removed on May 11.

I grew up to understand that slavery was horrendous and the Civil War a slaughter house, and one of the most noble moments in American history occurred when Grant said to Lee, "Keep your sword." The bloodletting was done with, the slaves were freed, and the task ahead was to reconcile north and south, which meant the white people who'd hated each other. And so America did. In the decades ahead, the battles pitting Blue forces against Gray would be college all-star football games.

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Grand jury still weighing more indictments in the Laquan McDonald case, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 08.31.17 at 06:00 AM

Special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes in June - RICH HEIN/SUN-TIMES
  • Rich Hein/Sun-Times
  • Special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes in June

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Thursday, August 31, 2017.

  • More police officers may be indicted in the Laquan McDonald case

Indictments against "several individuals" could be coming as a Cook County grand jury continues to investigate the alleged police cover-up of Laquan McDonald's murder, according to special prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes. "There were several individuals whose names came up," Brown Holmes said at a status hearing Tuesday. "The grand jury would like to have time to allow them to at least be interviewed." In June, she announced charges against three Chicago Police officers for the alleged conspiracy. [Sun-Times]

  • Jesse Jackson Jr. is still trying to subpoena Garry McCarthy in heated divorce

Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is still trying to subpoena former Chicago Police Department superintendent Garry McCarthy in his heated divorce from former alderman Sandi Jackson. Jackson Jr.'s legal team filed papers in a Washington, D.C., court asking that McCarthy, his former business partner Richard Simon, and former CPD officer James Love give depositions, according to the Tribune. The three men "have been identified as persons having knowledge of the circumstances that led to the estrangement of the parties, financial issues raised and allegations made in this matter," the court papers say. [Tribune]

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Joel Osteen’s response to Hurricane Harvey was awful and Trumpian

Posted By on 08.31.17 at 05:30 AM

Trump and Osteen—a match made in capitalist heaven - ILLUSTRATION BY RYAN SMITH
  • Illustration by Ryan Smith
  • Trump and Osteen—a match made in capitalist heaven

In the gospel according to Joel Osteen, the flood myth described in the Old Testament was prime opportunity for Noah to test his mettle as an entrepreneurial DIY kind of guy—MacGyver for the antediluvian age.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Mother of teen killed by Chicago police officer Marco Proano ‘glad the verdict was guilty’

Posted By on 08.30.17 at 01:56 PM

Marco Proano leaves the Dirksen Federal Building on Monday, after a jury found him guilty of unreasonable use of force. - KEVIN TANAKA/FOR THE SUN TIMES
  • Kevin Tanaka/For the Sun Times
  • Marco Proano leaves the Dirksen Federal Building on Monday, after a jury found him guilty of unreasonable use of force.

Priscilla Price says she smiled when she heard that a federal jury had found Chicago police officer Marco Proano guilty Monday night on two counts of unreasonable use of force for emptying his gun into a car full of teenagers in December 2013. Two and a half years before that, in July 2011, Proano shot and killed Price's 19-year-old son Niko Husband.

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There’s a pile of sacrificial severed heads on the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 08.30.17 at 11:32 AM

stviii_facebook_poster.jpg

ARTIST: Axel Widén
SHOWS: Scorched Tundra at Empty Bottle on Fri 9/1 through Sun 9/3
MORE INFO: axelwiden.com

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Illinois school funding bill waits on Rauner's desk after house and senate pass it, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 08.30.17 at 06:00 AM

Illinois house speaker Michael Madigan and house minority leader Jim Durkin after the passage of the education funding bill - JUSTIN L. FOWLER/THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP
  • Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP
  • Illinois house speaker Michael Madigan and house minority leader Jim Durkin after the passage of the education funding bill

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Wednesday, August 30, 2017.

  • Senate, house pass and send Illinois education funding bill to Rauner's desk

The Illinois house and senate both passed a "compromise" version of the education funding bill Tuesday, and Governor Bruce Rauner has pledged to sign it into law. It's a rare example of a bipartisan agreement in Springfield. "This is what compromise looks like," Democratic state senator Kimberly Lightford said. "This is it. A bill that none of us like at 100 percent. This is what we needed to do in order to fix a flawed system that we became recognized for across this country." [Sun-Times]

  • Attorney general Madigan sues the city to enforce police reform

Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan is suing the city of Chicago, asking for the appointment of a federal judge to oversee reform of Chicago Police Department through a consent decree. A scathing report issued by the Department of Justice in January recommended this step among other reforms, but Jeff Sessions, attorney general under the Trump administration, has repeatedly expressed skepticism about such measures. The lawsuit says a court-mandated decree is required for meaningful reform: "mandating effective lasting changes is the only way to restore the badly broken trust between Chicago's residents and CPD and increase safety for residents and police officers." [Tribune]

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Emanuel embraces Madigan’s CPD reform lawsuit—while fighting an identical suit from Black Lives Matter

Posted By on 08.29.17 at 04:58 PM

Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan, accompanied by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police superintendent Eddie Johnson - RICH HEIN/SUN TIMES VIA AP
  • Rich Hein/Sun Times via AP
  • Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan, accompanied by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police superintendent Eddie Johnson

Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan filed a federal lawsuit today asking a judge to oversee reform of the Chicago Police Department. If that sounds familiar, it's because a very similar lawsuit was filed in mid-June by a coalition of community organizations led by Black Lives Matter Chicago and a group of individual victims of Chicago police violence. Like Madigan, the community groups are seeking federal oversight of police reforms. The difference, however, is that while the city is currently fighting BLM Chicago's suit in court, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said he's ready to cooperate with Madigan and skip litigating her suit to pass straight to negotiations over a consent decree.

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August 26
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Christina Aguilera, Big Boi Chicago Theatre
October 16

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