Friday 10/29 - Thursday 11/4
By Cara Jepsen
29 FRIDAY "The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism," Nigerian writer and human rights activist Wole Soyinka once said. He put his money where his mouth was: during his country's civil war in the late 1960s he spent 27 months in prison for writing an article urging a cease-fire. There he wrote a diary on scraps of paper and between the lines of smuggled books. It was eventually published as The Man Died: Prison Notes, and in 1986 Soyinka became the first African to win the Nobel Prize for literature. Today he'll give a talk titled "Human Rights and the Myths of Relativism" at 10:30 in room 143 of Building J at Harper College, 1200 W. Algonquin in Palatine. He'll sign copies of his books, which will be available for sale, from 10 to 10:30. Tickets are $4. Call 847-925-6247.
Alfred Hitchcock made his first cameo appearance in his third movie, The Lodger (1926), a silent thriller based on the Jack the Ripper story. It'll be shown tonight with organ accompaniment by Jay Warren, who'll play his original score. Show time is at 8 at the University of Chicago's Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn (773-702-7300). Tickets are $10, $7 for students and seniors.
30 SATURDAY Former J. Crew model Matthew Barney--"the most crucial artist of his generation," according to the New York Times Magazine--named his five-part cycle of independent films after the muscle that suspends the testicles. Cremaster 2, the fourth installment (they've been filmed out of order), is loosely based on the story of executed murderer Gary Gilmore, who claimed to be a descendant of Harry Houdini. Norman Mailer, who profiled Gilmore in The Executioner's Song, plays the magician in the film. It'll be screened at 8 and 10 Friday night and 6, 8, and 10 tonight in the Museum of Contemporary Art theater, 220 E. Chicago (312-397-4010). Tickets are $8, $7 for students and seniors.
Do the poor have a right to public housing? The topic will be addressed by longtime College of Complexes member C. Lee Hubbell, who's been around since the days of Slim Brundage and Bughouse Square. "Contrary to the extreme individualistic views of libertarians...the biological fact is that all human beings are part of one human family," says the former Unitarian Universalist minister. He'll speak tonight at 8 at the Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln. Admission is $3 plus a food or drink purchase. Call 312-326-2120 for more information.
31 SUNDAY Two years ago the Sun-Times broke the story about funds at Roberto Clemente High School allegedly being used to support Puerto Rican radicals. Fingers were pointed at Puerto Rican Cultural Center founder Jose Lopez, and in June the FBI subpoenaed the center's financial records. Lopez's supporters have protested the investigation, and tonight they'll gather for a dinner tribute to him at Michelle's Ballroom, 2800 W. Belmont. It starts at 4; a slide show and a video message from recently released prisoner Alejandrina Torres begin at 5. It's $30 per person or $50 per couple. Call 773-342-8023.
Last year so many people showed up for Redmoon Theater's Halloween spectacle that many couldn't see the giant rice-paper puppets or hear the accompanying music. At this year's All Hallows' Eve Ritual Celebration Redmoon will spread out the action with six performance installations at commemorative shrines made by people from Logan Square. The usual stilt walkers, puppets, and music will also be part of the free event, which runs from 7 to 8:30 along Kedzie between Logan and Fullerton. Call 773-388-9031 for more.
The press release for psychic Sidney Friedman's latest show promises he'll "actually accomplish a levitation of the entire audience." He'll also read audience members' minds, playing the songs they're thinking of on the piano. "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," anyone? He'll perform Saturday at 8 and 10:30 and tonight at 7 at Davenport's Piano Bar & Cabaret, 1383 N. Milwaukee (773-278-1830). Admission is $16.
1 MONDAY "If there aren't more Roykos it will be because editors and publishers need strong stomachs and journalism backgrounds to back a local columnist who writes with his fists," Royko biographer Doug Moe has said. The columnist for Madison's Capital Times worked with Royko's family to write The World of Mike Royko, which he calls "an illustrated biography--more of a tribute, really." He'll read and sign copies tonight at 5 at After-Words bookstore, 23 E. Illinois (312-464-1110), and tomorrow at 7 at Borders Books & Music, 830 N. Michigan (312-573-0564). Both events are free.
Besides reciting depressing statistics and facts--one in ten black men will be in prison by the year 2000, California spends more on prisons than on higher education--a new book by Baffler contributor Christian Parenti, Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis, analyzes the role the criminal justice system plays in maintaining the status quo. He'll read from it tonight at 7 at 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th (773-684-1300). It's free.
2 TUESDAY Last month Seward elementary school teacher Greg Michie told the Reader's Ben Joravsky that he often let his kids choose the materials they studied. In his book about his experiences, Holler if You Hear Me: The Education of a Teacher and His Students, essays by some of his students open each chapter. Michie, who is subbing at Seward while he works on a PhD in education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will read and sign copies of the book tonight at 7:30 at Barbara's Bookstore, 1350 N. Wells (312-642-5044). He'll also read tomorrow at 7 at Barnes & Noble, 1130 N. State (312-280-8155). Both events are free.
3 WEDNESDAY In the third century BC, Archimedes of Syracuse thought up a series of sophisticated treatises that later formed the basis of modern calculus. A thousand years after his death, they were inscribed on goatskin parchment in Constantinople, only to be scraped off and written over 200 years later. Thanks to the wonders of ultraviolet light and digital enhancement, Archimedes' theorems are again visible. The parchment is on view at the Field Museum's new exhibit Eureka! The Archimedes Palimpsest. It opens today at the museum, Roosevelt and Lake Shore Drive, and runs through January 3. It's open from 9 to 5; admission is $7 for adults, $4 for children. Call 312-922-9410 for more.
4 THURSDAY This month's installment of the ACLU's free "Talking Liberties" asks: Do Extra Punishments Deter the "Lone Wolf"? Hate Groups, Hate Crimes, and Free Expression. WVON's Cliff Kelly moderates the discussion. It's from 5:30 to 7 at the ACLU, 180 N. Michigan, suite 2300. Call 312-201-9740, ext. 329.