Photography on Michigan Avenue


@MayorEmanuel: A Light Has Faded

A hero has passed this evening and the world is a sorrier place for it.

There are few joys stemming from election season: sound bites, a continual barrage of campaign ads, empty promises…

In this season of loathing, there has been a shining-light of hope: Mayor Emanuel. No, not the recently minted mayor-elect, the Tweeter @MayorEmanuel. A true hero who carried on a companion dialogue to Rahm Emanuel’s campaign, 140 characters at a time.

Unfortunately for fans and readers, according to what may be his final tweet, @MayorEmanuel has faded away–to Journey no less.

Even as late as this morning, the Chicago Tribune offered an editorial, imploring @mayoremanuel to continue.

@MayorEmanuel, if you’re listening: Please don’t [stop]. The fun is just beginning, and the mystery is almost as delicious as the tweets themselves.

The recently minted real mayor-elect of Chicago even went so far as to offer $5000 to the choice of @MayorEmanuel’s charity on the Roe and Roeper Show, as was annotated on

“Here’s what I’m gonna do,” Emanuel said on the Roe and Roeper show on WLS Radio. “After the election, I am offering a donation to the charity of that gentleman or woman’s choice, if they would come forward and identify themselves.”

Around 8 P.M. this evening the fun appears to have come to an end. After a day of mooning around the city and lolling at favorite stops, the song Separate Ways by Journey came onto the radio in the Civic.

And in a what appears a final act, @MayorEmanuel danced in the streets.

Perhaps it is fitting to recall General Douglas MacCarthur, who likewise lifted a speech from a ballad in his exit speech.

“Old soldiers don’t die; they just fade away.”

The Messiah of Music Re-Emerges

Radiohead returns with a new album, The King of Limbs, this Saturday. In a similar fashion to In Rainbows, their 2007 release, the new album will be released on their website. A standard CD will be available on March 28 in record stores in collaboration with XL Recordings. A “Newspaper Album” will be available will be available May 9.

Scott Plagenhoef of Pitchfork points out:

Radiohead have set aside the “pay what you want” patronage model that dominated the conversation surrounding the In Rainbows release, yet have retained that album’s more important business aspects … Once again, we all know exactly when we’re first able to hear a new Radiohead record and therefore will largely all experience it together, something almost completely lost in today’s pop music landscape.

Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune reports on the physical albums which will be following in March and May.

Special-edition physical copies of the album – advertised as the “world’s first Newspaper Album” — will be made available through the Web site May 9, for $48 (with MP3 download) or $53 (with WAV download), that include a CD, two 10-inch vinyl records  and extensive artwork.

According to Radiohead’s website, the “Newspaper” version will consist of:

  • Two clear 10″ vinyl records in a purpose-built record sleeve.
  • A compact disc.
  • Many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradeable plastic to hold it all together.
  • A digital download compatible with digital media players.


The Record Spins ‘Round

In movies the good guy doesn’t die, but there’s always one last stumbling block for Good Guy to overcome.

After overcoming insurmountable odds, seemingly stealing victory from the jaws of defeat, Evil Emperor Bad Jones arrives, throwing Good Guy into a fresh new layer of hell.

Things look grim for Good Guy as Evil Emperor Bad Jones lords over him, no doubt explaining all the ways Good Guy failed and is surely about to die.

And yet, in that moment of despair, with darkness ensconcing our hero, something happens–something always happens.

The Good Guy wins!


This isn’t the case with typical life. Dinosaurs are dinosaurs and everything will go the way of the dodo bird.

And yet, while the music industry is down or stagnant, vinyl sales continue to rise. According to Nielsen Soundscan, vinyl records are up 14 percent in 2010, continuing to rise over the past three years.

Vinyl was bolstered by classic albums being re-released, but three of the top five records sold were new releases. Including the Grammy winner for Best Album of the Year, Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs.

The death of the vinyl album was pronounced in 1983, when Sony/Phillips first introduced the compact disc. The CD bragging quality and pure fidelity. For the next five years, as the cost of CD players dropped, Rolling Stone continued publishing articles stating vinyl was dead.

Ten years after the introduction of the CD, collectors found the death of vinyl to be widely exaggerated.

In 1993, two years after Soundscan began keeping track of vinyl sales, Rolling Stone changed their tune.  As Wired pointed out in a 2007 article, vinyl may be the final nail in the CD’s coffin.

MP3s, the supposed usurper of the CD and with a heavy dose of irony, now have software and hardware to transpose digital versions of records to your iPod, as reported by Connected Home.

Records were originally constructed as a means of listening to the dead, as John Durham Peters points out in his book Speaking into the Air. Now it’s the same raspy recordings which audiophiles crave keeping records alive.

Vinyl isn’t dead, it’s only getting worn in.

Filled Lacuna: Thursday

By The Muslim Brotherhood

In a letter to the New York Times, the Muslim Brotherhood spell out their participation and intentions in Egypt

#Authentic, #World, #Egypt

Huffington Post is AOL; AOL is Huffington Post

Arianna Huffington sells the Huffington Post to American Online. LA Times complains it’s journalisms loss.

#Unauthentic, #US, #Journalism

Mubarak Does Not Step Down

Hours after a senior army official meets with members in Tahir Square, Mubarak informs Egypt he will not be stepping down. Al Jazeera offers a live blog of the current events.

#Unauthentic, #World, #Egypt

A Divided Republican House

With a rejected Patriot Act renewal, the Tea Party sends a message to their Republican overlords they will not be rank and file. New York Times offers their opinion.

#Authentic, #World, #Egypt

Filled Lacuna: Wednesday

Egypt and Everything After

The protest continues, but Egypt remains far away from a democratic process. Al Jazeera weighed in with potential candidates.

#Authentic, #World, #Egypt, #Politics

Blocking Burge’s Pension

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sues to stop convicted police Cmdr. Jon Burge from pension.  The Chicago Sun-Times agrees.

#Authentic, #Chicago, #Politics

Potential Pot-Grower Penalized

An enterprising entrepreneur called the cops to find out how much trouble he could get into for selling weed. Nobody was stupid enough to write an opinion on this.

#Unauthentic, #Dumb

Snow Day Chicago

A snow blower grumbles and North Bridge answers. Crystal tears are thrown to the wind, wiping the sidewalk slate clean.

west town-ghost town

The hotel employee is friendly. Everybody is friendly in a ghost town.

Less than twenty-four hours ago the mass exodus happened and everything disappeared. Cars spun wheels in vain irony while traffic stabbed west, escaping the North Loop. The 65 was packed with people, puffy jacket to puffy jacket, cramming its way home. The notion that it was faster to walk than ride was lost upon them.

the storm

They contented themselves to the luxury of wait. Put life on pause; stall with it. Embrace: stoplights, stop signs, vehicles trapped midway through an intersection.

Today, though, everything is beautiful, pristine. Snow stacks itself in frozen waves, cresting against buildings–never breaking, just resting.

Exchanging a nod with a  fellow pedestrian, she takes a picture of the untarnished snow. Perhaps she knows, too, in a matter of hours this will all go away. It, all of this, shall be replaced with the grime of the city, charring everything to dull gray.

Music chimes from headphones as another drift is summitted, another street crossed. Lyrics and song from somewhere far, far away, without intention, flesh out the soundtrack. The moving picture plays before the eyes, filling in the dialogue for the people dancing down Michigan Avenue.

red jacket


A laugh ripples through the strings, arresting attention towards a school girl falling backwards, down, into the powder. Her arms flutter up then return to grace. The chaperon holds hand to heart, before blanching face to smile.

after the storm

At the bridge, still a few blocks north of the loop, a TV crew idles. This is not the struggle, the violence, the war against weather they wished for. Instead the eye of a camera, playing for those not here, witnesses steam curling off a cup of coffee from one of the few shops opened. In the contrast, a man walks against windows, his reflection spinning the only chaos against an otherwise unpainted picture.

A jeep kicks up slush and the dream is over.

Awakened to discover the city is not nearly as hostile as they were lead to believe, the world rises. Setting down books and loved ones, they allow the whipped-cream to melt into hot chocolate, promising themselves to wash it clean after half-a-workday.

Ride Into the Sun

The wind cuts and the soft snow turns razors against the face, sending tiny stings into frozen cheeks.

It’s time to go home.

Tomorrow this will be in order. The next day it will be forgotten. A footnote in the history of life. One to speak of with subdued passion upon short rumination.

“Yeah, I was there. It wasn’t really that big of a deal.”