Monthly Archives: April 2011

Too good to miss, does not fail: made for TV in heaven

How you do this, I don’t care, but run do not walk now to get a DVD or otherwise viewing medium of “Doc Martin.”

It’s the best thing out of Brit-humor television yet. (and probably of any TV anwhere). Trust me.


Tongue-tied in Rochester

Sun-Times’s Rosalind Rossi and Kim Janssen pack a lot into one sentence:

At once disarming and unhelpful, the Rochester superintendent’s response seemed to reveal little beyond a healthy fear of a politician who once sent a dead fish to one of his enemies.

He’s new Chi schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard, newly hired by mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel by whom he’s been told to keep his mouth shut as accusations swirl about him

Fascism revisited

Wish I’d said it in just this way . . . . :

“I wouldn’t call it fascism exactly,
but a political system nominally controlled
by an irresponsible, dumbed down electorate
who are manipulated by dishonest, cynical, controlled mass media
that dispense the propaganda of a corrupt political establishment
can hardly be described as democracy either.”

. . . . Having said it differently back when Big O. was not quite elected president, noting that Oak Parkers were going all-out for him:

The “man of action” business is particularly foreboding. It’s a staple of fascism, of course. Mussolini, Hitler, and FDR were a mutual admiration society before the stuff hit the fan in the matter of Jewish people being rounded up and beaten up and eventually much worse-the German contribution to fascism. The political appeal was based on admiration for the strong man who brooked no opposition.

Mussolini was crafty about it and inspired admiration in “progressive” circles in this country, as he had admired American pragmatism in Woodrow Wilson, the college professor-become-president with a yen for power that puts even today’s tenured radicals to shame. Then came FDR, the roaring pragmatist, and then Hitler. Progressives, later called liberals, yet later progressives again-the name changes keep them ahead of the awareness curve-love the man of action.

Now they have one. He’s The One, our smooth-talking Democrat presidential candidate with a yen for deciding how much you should earn before being hit with a tax hike-to “spread the wealth around,” as he unfortunately told that plumber in


Forget about the plumber.  It was the thought that counted — then and now. 

The third Emil breaks the traces

Emil Jones gives a talk to a Political Science...

Emil II, who puffed Obama early in the game

This Illinois state senator offers words of wisdom with implications he has not realized, I’d say.

“You can put all the laws on the books, but you can’t ever prevent anyone from committing crimes,”

said Emil Jones III, referring to cemetery regulations imposed in the wake (no pun intended) of the Burr Oak burial fiasco.

But what he says is applicable to gun laws and marijuana prohibition, among many other currently criminalized instances.  He’s an incipient libertarian?

Holy week!

Two thoughts 2/3 through the Sacred Triduum:

1. Foot-washing on Holy Thursday is a liturgical loser.  Liturgy is theatre.  You have to see it or hear it or smell it or touch it or taste it, none of which 99% of pew-sitters can do with foot-washing, which is hidden from their view in any church I have been in.  You can do it yourself, of course . . .  if you’re into that sort of thing.

2. Ditto venerating the cross on Good Friday.  It really calls for more talent as liturgy (theatre) than most parishes can muster, and what do the hoi polloi do while waiting to do this medieval thing, besides listen to “Were you there when they crucified my lord?” or “Amazing Grace,” which are 19th-century sentimentalism run riot?

Let’s hear it for low mass on Sunday and a nice, calm thoughtful sermon.

Priest out at night

This fellow is now at an Arlington Hts (IL) parish but spent his first 17 years as a priest on the Spanish-speaking Southwest Side:

“What I learned at Epiphany and St. Mark’s is, you meet people in the streets. I did my most effective ministry at 11:30 at night talking with gang bangers, or in Mt. Sinai Hospital’s ER — not on Sunday morning. The people who come to Mass on Sunday, to a certain extent, are going to be OK. They’re staying close to the fold. They need to be nourished and challenged, of course.

“‘Mission’ is meeting people where they’re at and presenting Jesus in a way they can understand. Creating an atmosphere where people feel safe enough to be honest with themselves and God. Let’s just get to know the Lord in the best way – in the sacraments.”

He has an older priest as mentor (“ spiritual director”), which would be very important.

Comboni fathers in the ‘hood

Home mission.

Shooting baskets, doing homework, taking classes and playing pool, Ping-Pong and video games are among the activities offered to at-risk youth from the Austin neighborhood at the Peace Corner, 5022 W. Madison.

Now they can do it in a new $1.6 million facility April 9. The 75,000-square-foot building, still smelling of paint and new construction, has a basketball court, offices, a lounge area, a computer lab and a large dividable classroom. The project was funded through private donations.

This guy’s thievery not cool

Get ‘im, coppers!

Not to mention the newsworthiness of catching a white guy in Oak Park.

Taking a hit for the president

When CBS = See B.S.

Oak Park-River Forest High School and its closed campus

OPRF High School people are well-advised to give proposed lunch-time campus lockdown some careful thought.  Major, major changes are involved.

Much of the issue with a closed campus is related to space. The campus has been open since 1971 and the cafeterias and other areas might not be equipped to handle the extra students who typically leave, officials said. Likewise, [Principal Nathaniel] Rouse said there is also the possibility, but not a guarantee, that more students interacting might cause more discipline problems.

“Because you have more individuals inside the building, that means the infractions are going to increase,” Rouse said. “Infractions not just necessarily related to violating lunch privileges, but infractions in general. When you put everyone back in the building, and you have the wonderful demographics that we do, the different cultures, the different ways our students interact, you are going to have more, for lack of a better word, friction.”

In any case, what’s on the table is looking like Prohibition of the ’20s, whose enforcement leads to more problems than it solves.


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