Part One: So long, Studs
Nationally renowned Chicago journalist, oral historian and radio personality, Studs Terkel, passed away Friday, Oct. 31st, at the age of 96
. Studs chronicled the everyday lives of the everyman Chicagoan. He made the ordinary beautiful and he tapped into the raw, real personality of a city that sits at the economic, cultural, political and geographic heart of America. To know Studs Terkel is to know Chicago, and to know Terkel's Chicago is to know all humanity.
He once said of the city, "It's not that Chicago is that great. In fact, it's horrible. But living here is like being married to a woman with a broken nose. There may be lovelier lovelies, but never a lovely so real." Which just about sums it up.
Part Two: Windy City Comicon
Jenny and I represented our little webcomic at the first annual Windy City Comicon this past weekend. It was a fun show, with lots of potential. Up 'til now, our only major convention here in the city of big shoulders was Wizard World, which is up in the suburban wastelands of Rosemont. It's a good convention (and big), don't get me wrong. But there's so much opportunity for a convention to be something greater if only somebody were to take advantage of what the city itself has to offer. I've seen the New York Comic-Con grow over the last several years for this very reason.
The Windy City Con is still in its infant phases. It was a one day affair in the Boys' Town neighborhood, Chicago's gay enclave. But the show's organizers - an intrepid, forward-thinking coalition of podcasters - set out to prove that a comic convention could be successfully hosted within the friendly confines of the city, and that they could actaully do it themselves. And they more than proved that last weekend.
Part Three: Redemption in Grant Park
In the city of Chicago, in the year 1968, working class social conservatives and America's left wing did battle in Grant Park, rending the Democratic Party, and Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, in two. Since those riots during the Democratic National Convention, the party has spent 40 years wandering through the desert in the Age of Reagan. Even the brief high-water mark of the Clinton presidency was assisted into office by Ross Perot scalping a chunk of the conservative vote. And for the majority of Bubba Clinton's 8-year tenure, he was checked by the power of the Newt Gingrich-led congress.
But on election night, 2008, the Democrats have an opportunity to climb back into the driver's seat of American politics for the first time since World War II with the election of Barack Obama. And the election night celebration, poetically enough, will be held in Grant Park - Chicago's front lawn on the lake shore. I plan on being there. Pics and Youtube videos to follow.
Go vote! I'll see you after election day.