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Friday 20

You can get a jump on holiday demands and put your money where your cultural allegiances are at the Newberry Library's second annual Very Merry Bazaar. The library has recruited the gift shops or creative arms of 40 Chicago cultural organizations; at the bazaar, running today from noon to 8, tomorrow 10 to 6, and Sunday 11 to 4, you can see wares from both big cheeses like the CSO and the Art Institute and relative small fry like the Jane Austen Society, the Old Town School of Folk Music, and the Textile Arts Centre. (The Jane Austen Society? What are they going to sell--prudence?) As you browse you can munch at a bakery, get your presents wrapped, or be entertained by puppets, clowns, and various classical-music groups. It's all at the library, 60 W. Walton; admission is $3, free for kids under 12. (A three-day pass is $5.) Call 943-9090, extension 310, for more.

If you're the type of person who likes both All My Children and pirate television, check out Subversive Network, the ongoing soap opera on Evanston public access. It's the story of a bunch of pirate broadcasters who commandeer a TV network after hours. The elaborate--45 minutes, 55 actors--third episode will be screened tonight at a fund-raiser for Evanston Community Television. Five bucks gets you refreshments, a chance at a variety of door prizes, a look at the new episode, and the knowledge that you've helped to make TV just a little bit weirder. It's at 7 at Northwestern University's Annie May Swift Auditorium, 1905 Sheridan Road in Evanston. Call 708-564-3549 for details.

Over a 50-plus-year career as a photographer Arnold Newman has traveled the world, taking portraits of leaders both political and cultural. Tonight he's the special guest of the local chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers, meeting at the Ross Ehlert Photo Labs, 225 W. Illinois. Newman will talk, show slides of his work, and sign his new book, Arnold Newman's Americans, at the shindig, starting at 7. It's $20, $10 for members. Calll 733-7798.

Saturday 21

The continental-size mess that is the former USSR is the subject of this month's Chautauqua Chicago lecture at the Harold Washington Library. U. of C. poly-sci prof David Laitin will talk on Ethnic Complexities of the Cultures, Languages, and Diverse Peoples of the New Commonwealth of Independent States at 2:30 today in the Multipurpose Room of the library, 400 S. State. It's free; call 747-4740.

In Rock Hudson's Home Movies director Mark Rappaport physically takes apart some of the closeted actor's notable screen scenes and puts them back together for a decontextualized analysis of "innuendo, furtive glances, and brief forbidden touches" that might, if we'd been watching carefully enough at the time, have let us in on Hudson's secret. The film shows six times at the Film Center, Columbus and Jackson, tonight and next Saturday at 4 and 8, tomorrow and next Sunday at 6. If you feel like you need Hudson recontextualized as well, the center also presents showings of John Frankenheimer's Seconds (tonight and next Saturday at 6) and Douglas Sirk's ultramelodrama Written on the Wind (tomorrow and next Sunday at 4). Admission is $5; $3 for members; call 443-3737.

Sunday 22

The Chicago-based progressive biweekly In These Times celebrates both its 16th anniversary and the election of the president with the most like politics while in publication. The party, with music by Kristin Lems and Erwin Helfer, starts at 3 today at HotHouse, 1569 N. Milwaukee. It's $10; call 772-0100 for info.

Petronius was renowned for two things: The first was his friendship with Nero, who appreciated Petronius's way around an orgy. (Tacitus, in his Annals, dubbed him "arbiter elegantiae"--"minister of fun," roughly translated.) The other was his long picaresque prose 'n' verse novel Satyricon, which could have been subtitled "Encolpius, Ascyltus, and Giton's Excellent Adventure." Only fragments of the book remain, but they provide a vivid, sarcastic look at the debauchery of ancient Rome. Fellini's epic CinemaScope film version is accordingly disjointed. It plays at Facets, 1517 W. Fullerton, tonight at 5 and 7:30, tomorrow at 6:30 and 9. It's $5, $3 for members; call 281-4114 for more.

Monday 23

Chicago has a special place in the history of stumping for votes on the airwaves: the first televised presidential debate, between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, was held at the WBBM studio in Chicago in 1960. The Museum of Broadcast Communications' latest exhibit, Politics on Television: Changing Channels in America, traces TV's influence on elections and campaigns. Today's seminar features representatives from the Bush and Clinton camps and Edwin Diamond, New York University journalism prof and New York magazine media critic, who'll discuss how the media covered the recent race. It's free at 5:30 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Call 629-6000 for more.

For its latest outrage, Theater Oobleck presents Radio Free Oobleck: Live Recording Sessions, a series of live radio plays to be performed at the Garage, 1843 W. North. The company has assembled about a dozen plays of varying lengths, most written by its own members. Tonight expect tidbits like The Adventures of Sgt. Reginald Xiao Deng Ping of the Royal Chinese Canadian Mounted Police, Presidential Lame Duck Fireside Chat, Last Person on Earth Theater, and Frank SanTangles, L.A.P.D. Sound Effects Squad, Episode #13 "King of the Road," this last Oobleck's take on the Rodney King beating. The shows, which the company hopes to broadcast, are done radio-theater style, with actors speaking into microphones and a sound-effect table put to furious use. Admission is $4, with the friendly Oobleck alternative of not having to pay if you're broke. The show plays at 8 tonight, next Sunday, and next Monday. Call 486-7905 for more.

Tuesday 24

It's that time of year again: the feud between lovers of latkes, otherwise known as potato pancakes, and hamentashen, or triangular pastries, has been going on in the abstract for 3,546 years and in the concrete--in the form of a debate at the University of Chicago--for the past 45. A panel of the university's faculty, including professors Edward Kolb, Michael Fishbane, Anna Lisa Crone, and Norman Zide, are set today to face off on the literary, hermeneutical, linguistic, and astrophysical aspects of the issue. It's at 7:30 at the Cloister Club of Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St. The debate is free, but there's a suggested $2 contribution if you need to sample the wares to make your own decision. Call 752-1127 for more.

Wednesday 25

On October 14, 1974, Alexander Calder received the double distinction of Mayor Richard J. Daley's declaration of Calder Day along with a downtown parade in his honor. The occasion was the dedication of two public sculptures, the federal plaza's Flamingo and the Sears Tower's Universe, and the opening of an MCA retrospective. Twenty-eight years later, the MCA has returned with Alexander Calder From the Collection of the Ruth and Leonard J. Horwich Family, a show of 18 Calder works, 15 from the promised gift of the Horwich family for the museum's new building, scheduled to open in the fall of 1995. The current show runs through January at the museum, 237 E. Ontario. Museum hours are 10 to 5 Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday, 10 to 8 Thursday and Friday, noon to 5 Sunday (closed on Thanksgiving). Admission costs $6, $3 for students, seniors, and children; call 280-2660 for more.

Thursday 26

Museums, museums, museums! That might be the thing for Chicagoans with families on their hands and no place else to go on Thanksgiving. First stop is that old reliable, the Museum of Science and Industry. The bloom is somewhat off the rose with the MSI now that it's actually charging admission, but since today is Thursday, the free day, it's just like old times. The museum, at 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive, is open from 9:30 to 5:30 today for viewing of the submarine, the coal mine, the space shuttle, and those deli-sliced cadavers in the stairwell. The current Omnimax feature, Ring of Fire, shows every 50 minutes all day; that, however, has an admission fee of $5.50 for adults, $4.50 for seniors, and $3.50 for kids. Call 684-1414. The Art Institute, Adams and Michigan, is also open today, from noon to 5; current exhibits and works on display include The Ancient Americas: Art From Sacred Landscapes, Rousseau's The Dream, Building in a New Spain: Contemporary Spanish Architecture, and What's New Prague. Suggested donation is $6, $3 for students, seniors, and kids over six. Call 443-3600.

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