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Friday 4/20 - Thursday 4/26

APRIL

By Cara Jepsen

20 FRIDAY "There are an awful lot of people who actually collect adult erotica," says Gerber/Hart Library board member Sukie de la Croix. "[They] collect it like other people collect Barbie dolls--it's really the same thing." The Gerber/Hart archives themselves hold a large collection of used ("but not abused") gay male erotica dating back to the 1940s, he says. In an effort to get enthusiasts together in one place, tonight the library hosts the first of what it hopes will become the biweekly meetings of the Erotic Preservation and Appreciation Consortium (men only). De la Croix says they might screen some eight-millimeter films from the 1960s and early '70s but beyond that the content of the meetings is still evolving, and they're open to suggestions for guest speakers. In addition, many duplicate pieces from the Gerber/Hart collection, such as vintage physique magazines from the 1950s, will be available for sale. The EPAC plans to meet the first and third Friday of each month at the library at 1127 W. Granville; it's free, but donations will be accepted. Call 773-381-8030 for more information.

21 SATURDAY When they learned that ComEd had signed on as one of the sponsors of this year's Earth Day Festival, the Nuclear Energy Information Service and the Chicago Greens--two organizations that helped revive the ailing annual event in 1987--quit in protest (with the Illinois Environmental Council, Citizen Action/Illinois, and the Illinois PIRG following close behind). "They've done everything they could over the years to deep-six solar power in the state of Illinois," says Green spokesperson Bob Rudner. The Greens and the NEIS will protest en masse this morning at 10 at the festival, which takes place from 9:30 to 4:30 on Cannon Drive between Fullerton and Diversey, east of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park. Both events are free, whichever side of the fence you're on. For more info on the Greens, call 312-939-2539 or E-mail info@chicagogreens.org. For more on Earth Month activities, call 312-635-3113.

22 SUNDAY Allen Ross, one of the founders of Chicago Filmmakers and an instructor at the School of the Art Institute, dropped off the face of the earth about five years ago. His disappearance mystified his family, friends, and colleagues (and was examined in a 1998 Reader cover story). Then last summer a body believed to be his was found in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Many months later, it was positively identified as Ross's. Tonight's memorial tribute to the filmmaker will include screenings of Ross's Grandfather Trilogy as well as his 1981 films Tryst and A Wedding. It's free; the reception starts at 6 and the screening starts at 7:30 at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark (773-293-1447).

23 MONDAY Nina Rosenblum's 1990 documentary Through the Wire focuses on three women sentenced to the high-security unit of a Kentucky federal prison for nonviolent, politically motivated crimes. The harsh conditions of their imprisonment included repeated cavity searches by male officials; after Rosenblum's film was released, human rights groups got the prison shut down. Since then, however, 16 more high-security prisons have been built in the U.S. Rosenblum will discuss her work and screen her new short film, Unintended Consequences (about New York State's draconian drug laws), at a free workshop tonight at 5 in room 425 of the University of Chicago's Cobb Hall, 5811 S. Ellis. At 7, Doc Films will screen Through the Wire in the Max Palevsky Cinema, 1212 E. 59th. Film admission is $3; call 773-209-2322.

24 TUESDAY In Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, authors Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards--both born in 1970--try to bridge the generation gap between the oh-so-serious second-wave feminists of the 1960s and '70s and today's third-wave, Bust-reading, midriff-baring young women, whose motto often seems to be "I'm not a feminist, but..." Richards and Baumgardner met while working at Ms. magazine and say that it's possible today to fuse "girlie" pop culture and political activism. They'll discuss their book tonight at 7:30 at Women & Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark. It's free; call 773-769-9299.

25 WEDNESDAY If they think of him at all, most people consider Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes a brilliant legal mind and a proponent of judicial restraint. But in a new book called Law Without Values: The Life, Work, and Legacy of Justice Holmes, University of Chicago Law School professor Albert Alschuler argues that the author of 1881's The Common Law was decidedly un-PC about such things as race, power, and eugenics--and then shows how Holmes's ideas still resonate today. He'll discuss his book tonight at 7 at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th (773-752-3281). It's free.

First it was a stage show. Then it was a movie. Now Margaret Cho's scathing, autobiographical I'm the One That I Want is a 212-page book. This last goes even deeper than the show or the film, which included unblinking accounts of the 30 pounds she lost in two weeks for her 1994 sitcom, All-American Girl (and her resulting kidney failure), her near-death experience from drinking (which didn't make her stop), and her relationship with her mother. One can only imagine the spicy results if she were to join Oprah and Rosie and launch her own rag. In the meantime she's on the road promoting the book, which she'll read from and discuss tonight at 8:30 at the Swedish American Museum Center, 5211 N. Clark. It's free; call 773-769-9299.

26 THURSDAY One of the first people on the scene after the Chernobyl disaster 15 years ago was top-level Soviet physicist Vladimir Chernousenko, who received a massive dose of radiation (and later died of cancer). After his exposure he made a video detailing what went wrong at Chernobyl, laying the blame for the catastrophe on the worldwide nuclear energy "mafia" and warning that something similar could happen anywhere, at any time--an even scarier thought in the wake of President Bush's call to build more nuclear power plants. His video testimony, We Shall Be Poisoned in Silent Ways, will be screened at tonight's Chernobyl commemoration, where organizers will also show pictures of hastily abandoned villages near the plant taken by a government worker years after the accident. It's from 6 to 8 at the Lincoln Park branch of the Chicago Public Library, 1150 W. Fullerton. It's free; call 312-744-1926.

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