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Regrets Week

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My name is Ben Joravsky and I am a lifelong Democrat

Posted By on 02.16.12 at 08:00 AM

In honor of Regrets Week, I’ve decided to write about the many politicians I regret having voted for.

As you can imagine the list's so long I doubt there’s enough room to fit in all the names unless we return to the good old days of yesteryear, when Reader cover stories ran on and on and on.

So I’ll boil it down to this….

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"A Racist Love Note"

Posted By on 02.15.12 at 02:09 PM

  • Karen Horton
Now that it's over, let's keep talking about what a bad idea it was. Tomorrow Harvey Young, a professor of theater, performance studies, and African-American studies at Northwestern, presents the lecture "A Racist Love Note: Stereotypes and Caricatures on Early 20th Century Valentine's Day Cards," about which the title gives a pretty good idea of the topic. Young, who wrote the book Embodying Black Experience: Stillness, Critical Memory, and the Black Body, discusses greetings cards manufactured for the mainstream—available for purchase, he says, "at the Walgreens and Jewel of their day"—that featured denigrating, racist imagery: "Their caricatures of lazy and dimwitted black people helped to justify segregation." More information is here. Thu 2/16, 7 PM, Evanston Public Library's Community Meeting Room, 1703 Orrington, Evanston, free.

Related: awesome blog Yo, Is This Racist? weighs in.

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Things I don’t regret

Posted By on 02.15.12 at 08:00 AM

I’m not the regretful type. I can be emotional, but regret registers low on my feelings spectrum. I wish I could say that, rather than regret things, I value the very pure, very distilled fallout of my more devastating mistakes—you know, those out-of-body learning experiences that force you to rethink everything you thought you knew about yourself yet totally had wrong. But let’s be real. I don’t let myself get devastated by mistakes to begin with. Wait, do I even make mistakes of the magnitude that devastate? It’s hard for me to tell anymore.

It’s Regrets Week though, so in honor of Valentine’s Day—and in lieu of delving into an actual regret (like having to publish this the day after Michael Miner’s startlingly beautiful Regrets Week post)—I’ll revert to exploring “the dark side of romance,” as Miner did so well.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Posted By on 02.14.12 at 08:00 AM

There are those who'd bet, love comes but once—and yet...
  • There are those who'd bet, love comes but once—and yet...
Regrets? I’ve had a few. But why kick off Regrets Week with an amateur?

If we’re going to explore the dark side of romance, we need to be guided by a professional. Ambrose Bierce was the Izaak Walton of cynicism: he turned the pastime of lesser men into his livelihood. And here’s what he had to say about true love:

Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage.

Marriage. The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Ear wax? Really?

Posted By on 02.13.12 at 08:00 AM

When I was an undergrad at the University of Iowa in the 80s, the Iowa Writers' Workshop was kind of a big deal. So I was flattered to be—set up with? asked out by? can't remember—a guy in the graduate fiction workshop. We'd arranged to see Bernard Tavernier's 'Round Midnight at the Bijou, the campus movie theater, and so found ourselves walking down the long hill to the student union one summer evening. Making small talk, I asked him what he'd been up to, and he told me he'd been to the doctor that day to get his ears cleaned—he had a problem with excessive wax buildup.

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Starting today on the Bleader: Regrets Week

Posted By on 02.13.12 at 07:00 AM

Today begins a new edition of our blog feature "Variations on a Theme," in which we devote digital ink to a topic that fascinates us. This week, it's regrets.

Regrets week coincides with our Valentine's Day feature, partially titled "Why Bother?" To answer that question: So you can hear everyone's regrets—hence, this theme.

And in case you missed it, here's "Soul Week," last week's "Variations on a Theme."

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