Print and Deliver
Re: "Printing Money: The pros and pitfalls of putting underused newspaper presses into service for the competition," by Michael Miner, July 1
The article was enlightening to say the least. One of the points made was how the Trib is now delivering my Sun-Times paper! This explains alot, since I have been beset with missing papers, or getting that other paper instead of the ST. I have even been getting copies of the Southtown Star . . .
I think Mr. Miner neglected another "danger" with putting all of your eggs in one basket: sabotage by the rival paper. This new delivery service totally sucks. Getting a newpaper delivered to my door has NEVER been this bad, and if the goal of the tribsters is to get the rival rag readers pissed, it's working.
Trib delivery is our source of daily print on the doorstep, too. The mystery to me is why they apparently feel no urgency whatsoever to deliver before about 7:30 AM, usually well after my neighbors have begun slogging to work. I suppose this could explain in part why the paper guy has to toss only about half a dozen copies total in a block densely packed with courtyard condo buildings. Another way to look at it: No matter which morning paper you subscribe to, it's an evening paper.
M.I.A., The Matrix, and Maddening Typography
Re: "Making Pop for Capitalist Pigs: M.I.A.'s tangled relationship with the consumer culture," by Jessica Hopper, July 1
Yes she's a walking contradiction. That's why she's so fun to speculate about. She also seems well aware of it, and doesn't give 2 fucks. The formula for successful art is simply to hold a mirror up to society, and there's no arguing that she's doing that on the new album—lyrically & thematically. I think the new record sounds dope. All of the leaks I've heard so far were ripped from streams so the quality sucks compared to what it should sound like (I don't know what you based your review off of). I'm glad she didn't just make another Kala though. This record is heavier, clubbier, weirder & more bad ass . . .
I think your review is premature and misguided.
Baudrillard once said that The Matrix is the movie that the matrix would make about the matrix. M.I.A. is an antagonism only in the sense that she claims to be an antagonism; she's a sedative and every bit a player in the "problem" she wants you to believe she's exposing.
M.I.A. (or her assembly line) is very much aware of this, of course, and the press that critiques her manufactured ambiguities is just so much more marketing for an anodyne entertainment product. I love that she has to acknowledge that she has money while pumping Marxism . . . it's the fine print disclaimer on the lifestyle marketing.
Can we please stop the nonsense of trying to depict an album's typography EXACTLY as it appears on the sleeve? This is like when people insisted that the title of Brian Wilson's album Smile needed to be written "SMiLE," and I can come up with ten more dumb examples if you'd like. Seeing /\/\ /\ Y /\ italicized is some sort of journalistic nadir that involves trying too hard and simultaneously missing the point.
—Please Knock It Off
Pissed About Parking
Re: "The Long Middle Finger of the Law: Mark Weinberg, who's sued the city on behalf of panhandlers and public urinators, is pissed off about a parking ticket," by Ben Joravsky, July 1
Weinberg is a classic parasite and one of the reasons there is so much contempt for lawyers. If his kid ever walked through a puddle of piss with flip-flops, he'd understand why there was an ordinance against public urination.
Weinberg's case aside, for me the salient point of Joravsky's piece is the lack of accountability for those who write parking tickets. I have successfully contested numerous tickets in my ten years in Chicago, but nothing is more frustrating and mind numbing than getting ticketed for something you know is not a violation, but which you have to spend a great deal of time trying to get out off. I imagine that most people pay the fine (or simply ignore the ticket) just because they are too busy to fight the city by rearranging their work schedule to show up in front of one of the city's incompetent hearing officers. I would propose that those that issue tickets (whether they are from the Department of Revenue or the police department) be required to be held accountable for the fraudulent tickets that they write. For every ticket that is overturned, the officer writing the ticket should be forced to have the amount of that ticket deducted from his/her paycheck. At the very least, it should amount in fewer fraudulent and petty tickets being issued.
This in and of itself ignores the other big issue of why we are using public funds to enforce parking restrictions on privately owned meters. That aside, though, everyone in the city knows how messed up our parking situation is from a logistical/budgetary perspective, but when you add on to that the element of cops and meter maids issuing arbitrary tickets out of either spite or revenge without any element of accountability, you wind up with the completely dysfunctional system we have now.
I have seen parking ticket agents write tickets while a person is at the payment kiosk paying and waiting for a receipt. I told the agent and she looked at me, flagged down a bus which stopped for her and got on essentially running away! The poor guy returned with a receipt and saw the ticket—I told him what I saw and gave him my card, but never heard back.
what's really unconstitutional is the $60 fine . . . that's cruel and unusual. really, $60?