I want to live--please bring me a triple order of bacon and doughnuts. According to a news release by the American Psychiatric Association, a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry (March) found that "male psychiatric patients with low cholesterol levels were twice as likely to have made a serious suicide attempt than men with higher cholesterol levels."
Not for the birds. "Chicago in the 1990s still has dozens of death trap buildings in which lights are inconsistently dimmed during migration periods," writes Christine Philip in Meadowlark. "Many building managements pay lip service when contacted about bird migration hazards, but don't actually turn off the source of the problem." But reflective-glass buildings surrounded by trees may be just as bad. "Local birder Bob Hughes collected a large number of dead birds for the Field Museum during the fall migration of 1993 at the base of the Hancock," including 20 species of warblers. Hughes tells Philip, "What I see them doing is flying straight for the reflections of trees at the base of the Hancock building. They get disoriented or frightened by people and cars and aim for cover and smack straight into the glass. At times, I found so many dead birds I only had time to just shove them into my backpack to deliver to the Field Museum without even identifying them."
"There is no tale of the Prodigal Daughter to match that of the Prodigal Son," writes Susanna Coffey, curator of Rockford College's nine-artist exhibition "Prodigal Daughter." "Daughters inherit a different set of mythologies--a legacy with many limitations. Images of dutiful daughters, thrifty housekeepers, virtuous beauties and modest maidens abound. Cleaving to the repressive standards set by family or community or both, these archetypes are conjoined with their disreputable counterparts: The vain beauty, the 'fallen' woman, the madwoman, murderess, and witch. There is no model by which women become whole in the world, equally familiar with pleasure and risk."
"Ironically, it is the left-wing independent press that is forced to concentrate on its business strategy," writes Beth Schulman in Extra! (March/April). "Until five years ago, when I became associate publisher and chief fundraiser for In These Times, I assumed that the modest circulation, out-of-the-mainstream publications of both left and right faced similar financial realities: limited advertising revenue, high postal and production costs, rare opportunities for exposure in the mainstream media....But the arduous economies of progressive journals do not apply to their conservative counterparts. For years, the conservative independent press has been systematically subsidized with millions of dollars in foundation grants." Schulman's research reveals that from 1990 to 1993, four leading right-wing magazines (National Interest, Public Interest, New Criterion, American Spectator) received a total of $2.7 million in foundation funds, whereas four leading left-wing publications (Nation, Progressive, In These Times, Mother Jones) got $269,500--less than one-tenth as much. Left-leaning foundations have greater total assets, but have concentrated on movement building and not media or policy shaping.
Women who care for chronically ill spouses are more likely to become depressed if the couple did not have a "good, solid relationship" before the illness, if the caregiver is not religious, and if the caregiver is white, according to a UIC press release that reported findings by social work professor Baila Miller. "African-American caregivers were much less likely to experience depression than were whites."
"Technology is not used merely to transfer information and ideas, it is used to rule," writes Michael Warr in Guild Complex (March/April). "Historically, the dissemination of knowledge has evolved from a situation in which books were produced for the wealthy, and information was scarce, to one in which social control includes manipulation through the provision of selected information to as many people as possible, and the simultaneous denial of other information, simply by not providing it....Owning a printing press in medieval times would be like owning a television station today."
"Overall, for 1990-1994, an approximately equal number of blacks and whites were victims of race-based hate crime," reports the city Commission on Human Relations in a recent news release. Over the past eight years the southwest side and the north lakefront had the highest number of hate crimes.
"I started gigging professionally when I was sixteen," Chicago musician Winston Damon tells Subnation (volume 3, issue 13). "I was the token white boy keyboard player in a number of black top forty bands. They called me Popcorn because I was white and jumped around a lot."
"Of course Victorian values are making a comeback," writes Katha Pollitt in the Nation (April 10); "Victorian social conditions are coming back too. We already have sweatshops, child labor, soup kitchens, beggars, tuberculosis, filthy streets, families doubling up in dangerous slums. Orphanages are on the way, and what is a homeless shelter but a workhouse minus the work?...The only thing that won't come back is what made the Victorian Age, for all its grimness, glorious: the conviction, shared by persons as different as Karl Marx and the Queen herself, that humanity's story was one of progress and hope."
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.