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Techniques that might be frowned on in a grade-school art class. From the description of Elise Ferguson's new exhibit at Beret International Gallery on North Elston: "Elise will exhibit her series of items encased in synthetic blocks of ice. Some of these items are obtained from her body, such as: hair; saliva; finger nail clippings; and who knows what else?"

Next we'll pay homage to the Michigan Avenue bridge, right? According to a Chicago Surrealist Group flier, the spring Chicago River flood "was perceived by everyone but the ruling class as an image or symbol of their own latent urge to revolt....in the rising of the river we recognize the eruption and triumph of all that is forbidden, outlawed, suppressed by the enforcers of a racist, sexist, exploitative, militaristic and ecocidal Law 'n' Order. Like the Great Snow of '67, the Flood of '92 is a grand moment in the struggle to resolve the contradiction between nature and human nature.

"Big leads in the polls are misleading; for the real story, watch the 'undecided' total." That advice comes from UIC political scientist Gerald Strom. "Historically, almost everyone who tells a pollster they're undecided will wind up voting for the underdog. That's what makes the final results closer than the polls indicate, and why trailing candidates seem to make up huge deficits that didn't actually exist in the first place."

From the Distinguished Professor of Mixed Metaphors. Among the seminars promised for Northwestern University's 28th annual NU-Day: "Whither Goeth Northwestern in a Rough Sea of Potholes?"

"Suppose that an entrepreneur could provide, for a fee, an alternative to not-for-profit [homeless] shelters," write Peter Colwell and Joseph Trefzger in the University of Illinois' ORER Letter (Spring/Summer). "For example, an old warehouse could be partitioned into areas slightly larger than small beds. Each such area could be surrounded by a chain fence reaching from the floor to the ceiling, with a locking gate; this configuration would be less costly to construct than partition walls, would protect a sleeper and his belongings, and would allow for overall observation by the shelter's employees. There would be no sermonizing, as the operator's motive would be the earning of profits rather than the saving of souls. Alcohol could be allowed or denied based on the owner's perception of his customers' demand....If an entrepreneur tried [this], anywhere in the US...officials certainly would close the operation. How, then, can we say that our society is committed to assisting the homeless?"

And the winners are...Department of Marshall Field's State Street store that gained the most square footage in the store's just completed renovation: men's sportwear, up 14,120 square feet. Biggest percentage gainers: men's shoes (up 213 percent) and luggage (up 173 percent).

Good news--our kids must be one-third better educated than they were ten years ago! Expenditures per pupil in U.S. public schools K-12, in constant dollars, in the 1982-83 school year: $4,511. In 1992-93: $6,100 (U.S. Department of Education).

How many aldermen could say as much? "Being in charge of an RMC [Resident Management Corporation] brings much responsibility and few perks," writes Luis M. Corral in Chicago Enterprise (October). He quotes Pat Perry, president of the RMC at 706 E. 39th St. in the CHA's Ida B. Wells development: "When it comes to work orders, you're last on the list. I can't have the plumber knocking on my door coming to fix my leak when my next-door neighbor has had a leak for months. My leak will be fixed last. That's how we establish trust."

"Buy the cheapest, worst building in an area that's taking off," recommends Joe Zekas Landlord Guide (Fall). "Then sit back and do as little as possible to it. Keep it neat, clean and presentable, of course, and maintain it well, but avoid major improvements....Most real money in real estate is made from appreciation."

"When I asked my English students to write about the world they would like to see in thirty years their responses were beautiful," writes Socialist Party cochair and Southern Illinois University English instructor Kari Fisher in the Nonviolent Activist (April-May). "No homeless, racism, or pollution. Everyone had access to health care and education. When I asked how we get from here to there, the response was unanimous, Ideafening, and disheartening: 'We don't!'"

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.

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