A Playboy Woman
Re: "What Sort of Woman Reads Playboy," by Katie Buitrago, February 4
Considering you had a great photo of Peggy available, why not use that? Even if you were determined to use cheesecake in print, why not put it at the top of the online article? Why the misleading arrangement?
I think it's pretty clear here—and even more obvious in the print version with the use of fonts—that it's a stylistic homage to Playboy's classic covers. So it's thematically spot-on. (Disclosure: I'm the editor and director of content for Playboy.com.)
Great article, very interesting and well written. I agree with Ms. Williams. As a 43-year-old, Playboy has been an important part of my life, and I was a subscriber. I canceled because of its over-reliance on D-list celebrities and plastic surgery-enhanced models (not to mention the tattoos). The photography has just been so-so the last 5 years. I miss PB from the 60s and 70s. The articles have been too trimmed as well.
Yes, it's an homage to Playboy self-advertising. But it's also misleading. Shame on the Chicago Reader.
As the subject of the story, I want to go on record as saying that I think the cover is fabulous! It shows wonderful attention to detail, from the Playboy title font to the text layout and the homage to Playboy's February 1970 cover—see http://wekinglypigs.com/images/1970-02-cover.jpg—and yes, the What Sort of Man Reads Playboy campaign that started in the 1950s. In Playboy the cover models would often portray a theme without being inside the issue themselves. What a marvelous topical presentation.
Re: "Hack: Vampire Hours," posted by Dmitry Samarov, February 8
A cabbie saved my life one night. Not literally—I wasn't sick or hurt, just lonely beyond belief. That was winter of '06, and I was living with an emotional Craiglist roommate in Ukrainian Village. I wanted to see lights and water and people, and put off coming back to the apartment, where nothing was in the fridge and my bed covers were just sad. But it was near midnight by the time I left the office, plus the middle of February, so nothing normal seemed possible. I told the cabbie I had $30 and no destination in mind, would he mind looping around for a while?
We went down Chicago Ave., big glass and steel turning into little brown taco restaurants and Polish delis, then swung over to Humboldt to see the lights of the lagoon and the fieldhouse. It felt like a mini-marriage, if that makes sense. When the meter reached $20 he asked if I wanted to go anywhere else, but I needed to save some dollars for the tip.
The apt was just as terrible when I got home, and my roommate was singing along to Shawn Colvin turned up loud in the bathtub with her Santeria candles ablaze, as usual, and I was still 24 and unreasonably, unfathomably miserable, so nothing had changed. But I didn't spend that night getting sick on too many carne asada burritos at one of the La Pasaditas, and that meant something. It felt like a wonderful country.
A welcome add to the good collection of Reader blogs!
Re: "Secret History of Chicago Music: Shel Silverstein," by Plastic Crimewave, February 4
The title track for Freakin' at the Freaker's Ball namechecks Chicago's own Cynthia Plaster Caster, and I think the line is "Plaster Casters casting their plaster/Masturbators baiting their master."
White Folks Lost Their Freaking Minds
Re: "Harold and the Hyneses: Dan Hynes's Harold Washington ad is a reminder that we're still paying for the racial politics of the past," by Ben Joravsky, February 4
Great trip down memory lane! I had forgotten the details of the bizarre third party games in 1987. And it's such fun to hear about the roles of then unknown characters like Tomczak and Sanchez in light of their present day notoriety. Just one more of the many, many reasons you are my favorite political reporter.
The point of the spot was that Pat Quinn, in the only job in which he ever had to be accountable, was fired for incompetence and for being overly focused on getting attention for himself. This phony umbrage, claiming the ad was "trying to divide us by race" was one of the biggest political lies in recent years. It is an insult to Mayor Washington's memory that his sober analysis of Pat Quinn's competence is overwhelmed by the shouts of true race-baiters like Bobby Rush.
An important detail that you left out is that Ed Burke (yes, the 14th Ward alderman/committeeman) contributed or loaned the Quinn campaign at least $200, 000, according to Capitolfax. Politics does make strange bedfellows!
No one I know could use the words "wussed," "freaking," "idiocy," and "boob" in an article—let alone the same article—to such great effect and as seamlessly as you.
"Harold and the Hyneses" is the most accurate, cogent and concise piece on the 1983 (and 1987) mayoral race that I have ever read. I know, because I was in the thick of it, working as a firefighter stationed on 34th and Calumet. I love the "white folks here lost their freaking minds" part. You are absolutely correct, "There's really no other way to describe the six weeks of madness." I'm wondering, are you (Mr. Joravsky and any other reader) familiar with the book A Foot in Each World by Leanita McClain? Ms. McClain was a true casualty of the the 1983 mayoral election.