Don't call us "urbanites," you reactionary. We're "people in cities." The Animals' Agenda reports on the following resolution, among many passed at a 47-group "Summit for the Animals" held in Saint Louis in April: "We agree that the terms 'zoo animals,' 'farm animals,' and 'laboratory animals' will be replaced with the terms 'animals in zoos,' 'animals on farms,' and 'animals in laboratories.'"
Fruits of journalism school. From a recent letter by the marketing director for the Association of Brewers: "Dear Media Representative: Reserve the weekend of October 5, 6 and 7, 1995, to cover the Great American Beer Festival XIV in Denver, Colorado...This year's event promises to be the biggest yet, with an added third night of Festival activities...to accommodate the expected 1,300 beers....Media personnel also have unlimited access to any part of the Festival."
"Equally positioned whites and blacks have highly unequal amounts of wealth," report sociologists Melvin Oliver and Thomas Shapiro in their new book Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality. "Even when whites and blacks were matched on all the identifiably important factors [such as age, education, parents' occupation, labor market experience], we could still not account for about three-quarters of the racial wealth difference. If white and black households shared all the wealth-associated characteristics we examined, blacks would still confront a $43,000 net worth handicap!"
"Change is threatening to those whose livelihoods depend on the [welfare] system," writes Gary MacDougal in Illinois Issues (September), and he's not talking about recipients. "Private organizations receive a large percentage of the $10 billion human services budget to provide everything from drug treatment to care for abused and neglected children."
What God hath wrought. Salt of the Earth (September/October) quotes Emily Demuth Ishida on a visit to an unnamed south side homeless shelter: "Hundreds of people were served by this ministry in Christ's name, an efficient and impressive operation. When the guide took the visiting group through the clothing bank, she proudly announced, 'We save the best clothes for those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.'"
Propaganda in the classroom. Ann McGregor critiques the city department of the environment's solid waste management curriculum in Conscious Choice (September/October): "Under the supervision of the teacher, students are taught how to build their own simulated incinerator using a coffee can and a screen. They then place common trash items: bleached paper, foil, glass, plastic wrap, food waste and newspaper, into the can. All of the items which [the curriculum suggests] burning could easily be recycled (if they are not contaminated) or composted. Students are to watch the burning process, see what is left over after the burn, and then compare the weight of the items prior to burning with the weight of the ash. They are not told that the fumes from the burning garbage could contain lead, mercury, or dioxins which can become airborne, instead, they are taught that the screen will keep the fly ash from escaping, therefore containing the pollution. There is no information given about the high level of toxicity of the remaining ash."
"What we've done can be replicated," Wacker Elementary School principal Dr. JoAnn Roberts is quoted saying in a recent news release by the Community Media Workshop of her school's dramatic improvement in reading and math. "You have to act as if you're in a state of emergency and don't have five years to change the school."
From another planet's file. Press release promoting local condos that offer an extra half foot between floor and ceiling: "Now that mankind has snuggled into outer space, traveling to distant stars and planets with ease, six inches doesn't seem like very much in the lexicon of space."
Metaphors that ruined our day. "Bulletin board systems have become the rage of the 90's for finding, meeting and securing a love interest," writes Al Tantillo in Chicago Computer Currents (August). But "most people who are frequent BBS users learn to take much of what is said by others with a grain of floppy."
Long lines. Residents per public-library computers available in Chicago suburbs, 13,286; in Chicago, 20,469 (Chicago Reporter, July).
Dad, I think it's time we had a little talk. A recent Gallup poll for the American Social Health Association found that "American teenagers know more than adults about some aspects of sexually transmitted diseases."
"We must avoid the temptation to exalt [Mumia Abu-Jamal] as a symbol of progressive politics," warns Northwestern's Adolph Reed Jr. in the Progressive (October). "All that most of us know about his politics, apart from his speaking out against police brutality, is that he has some connection to MOVE--a group with pretty wacky ideas. Certainly he is an activist, but there are a lot of activists, some of whom have bad politics. Being victimized by the state should not in itself confer political stature."
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.