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Archive for October, 2009

M2N14580aHey serg- what do you want me to do with dis guy?

This is W 47th St at Racine where a 17 year old was shot and killed while walking home from Tilden in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. CPD was at it again…deciding what is and isn’t tasteful photojournalism. Obviously, without the help of such thoughtful and educated public servants like this, the white people might actually see what a body covered in bedding looks like. The switch board at police headquarters would crash with heavy call volume of residents demanding better policing of press photographers. “How could your department stand idly by while the media ruthlessly photographs an everyday scene in our city?” Police would scoff at my sarcasm, explaining how it’s the family they are trying to show respect for by not allowing photographic documentation.

Indeed. I suppose the least that could be done for a family who lost one to gun violence, is to hide the event. Out of sight, out of mind. Without the reminder of pictures, it’s almost like it didn’t happen. Only, that’s not the attitude I’ve witnessed on the street. Families are usually eager to have their story told. Perhaps finally, someone is paying attention to what may be an entire life spent in fear of this day. In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear: “Where were the cameras when MY baby was shot?”

Nevertheless, the CPD is doing what ever they can (disguised as ‘respecting the family’) to control a situation that can’t be controlled. They can’t save this kid, or the next, or the 500 shot last year. But, they can control the crime scene perimeter. They can do their best to hide these events from cameras, in the hope that the print story is quickly forgotten. Images are powerful. A fine example of how a story’s significance changes with the addition of images is several posts back- on this blog. Nobody cares about that Chinatown purse-snatching incident without those pictures. Those crimes happen constantly- all day long in Chicago.

500 public school kids were shot last year in Chicago. Maybe 30 were fatal. And maybe, just maybe, some images of dead school kids lying in the streets of our city are exactly what the people need to see in order to spark some outrage.

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bowlinggroupThe one constant through all the years, has been bowling.  America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers.  It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again.  But bowling has marked the time.  This alley…this game…is a part of our past.  It reminds us of all that was once good- and it could be again.

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over here, we have…

…fictional-character slutty costumes.  But over here, we have more reality-based slutty costumes.

Had some fun today roaming the aisles of Fantasy Costumes on Milwaukee (near Irving Park).  This place is wicked-cool and well worth whatever hassle it may be to get there.  They have been in business for 45 years and couldn’t be more helpful.6M1O9853a

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Parking brake?

trainderail1“Dude…our train was sitting right here a minute ago.  Wasn’t it?”

The fire dept will tell you what the Union Pacific Railroad won’t.  The UP probably won’t enjoy admitting that someone flaked on their duty to secure 8 locomotives in the Amtrak yard this morning just south of Union Station.  So, it will be mildly amusing to hear the official explanation of how, or why the train apparently just rolled away…eventually derailing.  It will be a switch problem, a control failure, a signal glitch.  It won’t be: “Our guy forgot to put the train in ‘park’.  Our bad.”

The cat was let out of the bag with a fire dept radio transmission that declared:  “This was a runaway train.”

A career will likely be the only fatality here.

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marshallfight7What ever happened to detention?

Two separate fights broke out at Marshall this morning, requiring cops to issue two 10-1’s (“calling all cars”) during the 10am hour.  Another incident that sheds light on the brutal reality of CPS violence.  A newspaper article in the last week detailed the fear and anxiety felt by a few students simply trying to get to and from school.  Well, what about once you’re there?  What’s going on inside some of these schools?

We know what’s going on outside.  There are 20 squad cars and a police wagon waiting to transport students to the district pen.  No quality education takes place in the pokey.

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1973.

herb5A lot of good things happened back in 1973.  The Pontiac Bonneville wasn’t one of them.

Nevertheless, Herb has a pretty good example of that machine…and I get to see it in the garage everyday.  More interesting than the machine, is the exhaustive care that the maintenance man puts into keeping it straight.  Here, he’s armed with a can of paint and a brush while he hunts under-body rust.

“When you gonna get a new one Herb?”  “What for?” he says.  “This one works fine.”

So there.

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copcrash98thhalsted016aThis is a frame from a “say what?” incident this spring.

A cop is hauling down Halsted St in Washington Heights on the way to a call when he crashes at 98th St. He hit 2 cars and a light pole, critically injuring himself and sending four others to hospitals. While he lay unconscious in his squad, a 22 year-old felon who lives 2 blocks away walks up and moves the officer (who suffered a spinal injury) so to steal his 9mm and his wallet. Really.

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