DO NOT OBEY

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Chicago – October 1, 2018

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Photo by Joan Tortorici Ruppert

The atmosphere flipped a switch and autumn appeared. You can feel it in the air when you wake and decide to cocoon under the covers for a few more minutes. The morning sky has a pearly opaqueness. The first cup of coffee is a religious experience.

The great forests of the Midwest surrender their greenery for a palette of colors straight from the canvas of Van Gogh. I live in the neighborhood of Caldwell Woods, on the far Northwest side of Chicago. There is a long stretch of Devon Avenue that curves through the forest and for a moment, all evidence of the city disappears. You enter a towering arch of brilliant yellow foliage accented with the rusty deep red of Maple trees. Chicago’s motto is “Urbs in Horto” – “City in a Garden.” Indeed it is. Make this journey throughout the coming fall season and watch the genesis of living art.

As October sets in, let us also complain about the dearth of Halloween sales, Thanksgiving marketing, and the all-too-soon Christmas/Hanukkah orgy of “buy this, right now.” Here it comes! I find it wiser to reflect on the innocence of this season in a melancholy way. We were once children and it was a world of joy and good sweets at the table.

Speaking of sweets, get away from me with the “pumpkin spice!” (One of my all-time favorites is the Pumpkin Spice dog food…tell me how the animal knows.) I will, however, concede to massive amounts of pumpkin pie and whipped cream. Try to stop me, I dare you. Pumpkin pie transcends the individual holiday celebrations and uniformly blankets the season with a five-pound weight gain. Ah well.

Get out and walk, my friends. It’s “sweater weather” and a time for deep breaths of crisp air. We can hope for the occasional tendril of smoke from burning leaves.

I am pleased to introduce a new page from the talented Michelle Jackson Jewell. I anticipate this is the first of many.

…and take us with you! Central Standard Time can be viewed on your tablet or smart phone.

Welcome to the October edition. There is much to talk about and we ask you to join us.


Rainee Denham – Do Not Obey

Interrogation Room


Michelle Jewell – Me, Too

Me Too


Brule Eagan – The Man With The Sun In His Face

Beto Brownsville Rally 9-23_edited


John Zielinski – It’s Up To You

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John Zielinski – The Infinite Roads Not Taken

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Steve Buschbacher – Child Brides?

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Joe Tortorici – The Moral Component

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The Central Standard Time Food Directory can be found on the CONTACT page. There will be much more to come as the holidays approach. Stay tuned.

Don’t forget to leave your comments on the individual pages. The crew loves to hear from you.

JT

 

Fall 2018

Central Standard Time returns from summer vacation, and not a moment too soon. The best and brightest bring their prosaic talents to the October edition in one week. We have missed you, and welcome your return.

See you October 1st.

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INJUN SUMMER
John T. McCutcheon
Chicago Tribune
September 30, 1907

Yep, sonny this is sure enough Injun summer. Don’t know what that is, I reckon, do you? Well, that’s when all the homesick Injuns come back to play; You know, a long time ago, long afore yer granddaddy was born even, there used to be heaps of Injuns around here—thousands—millions, I reckon, far as that’s concerned. Reg’lar sure ‘nough Injuns—none o’ yer cigar store Injuns, not much. They wuz all around here—right here where you’re standin’.

Don’t be skeered—hain’t none around here now, leastways no live ones. They been gone this many a year.

They all went away and died, so they ain’t no more left.

But every year, ‘long about now, they all come back, leastways their sperrits do. They’re here now. You can see ’em off across the fields. Look real hard. See that kind o’ hazy misty look out yonder? Well, them’s Injuns—Injun sperrits marchin’ along an’ dancin’ in the sunlight. That’s what makes that kind o’ haze that’s everywhere—it’s jest the sperrits of the Injuns all come back. They’re all around us now.

See off yonder; see them tepees? They kind o’ look like corn shocks from here, but them’s Injun tents, sure as you’re a foot high. See ’em now? Sure, I knowed you could. Smell that smoky sort o’ smell in the air? That’s the campfires a-burnin’ and their pipes a-goin’.

Lots o’ people say it’s just leaves burnin’, but it ain’t. It’s the campfires, an’ th’ Injuns are hoppin’ ’round ’em t’beat the old Harry.

You jest come out here tonight when the moon is hangin’ over the hill off yonder an’ the harvest fields is all swimmin’ in the moonlight, an’ you can see the Injuns and the tepees jest as plain as kin be. You can, eh? I knowed you would after a little while.

Jever notice how the leaves turn red ’bout this time o’ year? That’s jest another sign o’ redskins. That’s when an old Injun sperrit gits tired dancin’ an’ goes up an’ squats on a leaf t’rest. Why I kin hear ’em rustlin’ an’ whisper in’ an’ creepin’ ’round among the leaves all the time; an’ ever’ once’n a while a leaf gives way under some fat old Injun ghost and comes floatin’ down to the ground. See—here’s one now. See how red it is? That’s the war paint rubbed off’n an Injun ghost, sure’s you’re born.

Purty soon all the Injuns’ll go marchin’ away agin, back to the happy huntin’ ground, but next year you’ll see ’em troopin’ back—th’ sky jest hazy with ’em and their campfires smolderin’ away jest like they are now.

Chicago – May 1, 2018

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Harold Washington Library Center

Marc Piane and I shared some reading recently, The Stanger by Albert Camus. I read it long ago and he inspired me to re-visit this classic. We then communicated on a thread, joined by a handful of other “nerds” in our Facebook coterie. The core of conversation and reflections from the book were illuminating, as expected. It was a marvel how our virtual seminar of like-minded readers found a time and place to “talk” about what we had read.

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My manner of acquiring the book was also a statement of the modern world. Once the request was submitted to the Chicago Public Library website, within days I was notified by email. The “book” (it seems odd to call it that) was downloaded to my Kindle. At the end of the virtual checkout, it was returned without delay. How effortless the act of using the library has become. How fortunate we in Chicago are to have an amazing resource like our library system.

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This blog remains a strident proponent of the written word. Not just what you see here, but the mindset of expansive consumption of what you read. At various times throughout its existence, there could have been volumes of images, videos, and audio clips… but no. Central Standard Time is in this world for you to read, and be inspired to read more. No end of pride attends this effort.

Every part of our country, every municipality and county, has access to a library. Your inter-connected phone has the ability to borrow or buy books from all over the world. As we celebrated the life of Barbara Bush, be reminded of her signature advocacy, literacy. Literacy is the fuel of progress. So many of the world’s problems will be solved by a literate, informed populace. It’s vital to our survival.

Join us. Interact with the writers on these pages. Ask questions, state opinions, give argument… participate. It costs nothing and the dividends are priceless. Summer is here and I can think of no greater pleasure than being outdoors, relaxing with a good book.

We bring you another edition of contemporary essays for your pleasure.

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Rainee Denham – LEFT Isn’t a Four-letter Word

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John ZielinskiA Creature of Language

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Tom DeMichael Is That All There Is?

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Steve Buschbacher –  What the Hell Happened?

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Brule EaganConfessions Of A No-Talent

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Marc PianeBalance

Chapter 2 of Marc’s philosophical journey.

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Please support Marc’s upcoming fundraiser:

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Glenn EstryFood #7

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Chef Glenn would like to introduce you to a friend:

rvr-farm RIVER VALLEY RANCH

“I can tell you that some of the best tasting vegetables I have ever had come from his farm. My annual spaghetti sauce making uses about 35 pounds of their San Marzano tomatoes. The best you can get this far from Italy.”

Chicago – April 15, 2018

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The Palmolive Building

While the rest of the country is on the threshold of Spring, our dear city is in a dog-fight with the elements. My friend often talks about this time of year as the breeding ground for a condition referred to as “Shacky-Wacky.” We’ve been too long inside our incubators and a sort of madness begins to set in. The easy prediction is we will get to summer eventually. Sure, buddy!


Marc Piane has the next Chapter Two of Outside In ready for our May 1st edition. In preparation, this issue reviews Chapter One, and continuity will serve us. What an eclectic talent my friend is… and a damned fine bass player.

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The final entry of Constitutionally Speaking is ready for you at the Publisher’s Desk. How “big” do we want our government to be? The truth is it will always be as large as necessary. We talk about why. Be informed.

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I interview my great friend and mentor, Gary Lux, for the Studio Rat. Gary is one of the most trusted and valued names in audio production, throughout Hollywood. He passes on his experience and philosophy.

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Please visit the articles from our April 1st edition.


Brule Eagan doesn’t mind a bit of detention. We’ll see you in the back row. – The Breakfast Club.”

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Pennridge 225

Whatcha Gonna Do? While public demonstrations in favor of stronger laws are laudable, the fight requires more. As always, John Zielinski is our guide.

Outrage


Rainee Denham brings a story of strength. A Well Directed Production is a conversation with Chicago-based theatre director/adaptor, Lavina Jadhwani.

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Lavina Jadhwani

On December 2, 1970, Richard Nixon’s administration created the Environmental Protection Agency. We can all join together and sing Sometimes All I Need Is The Air That I Breathe with Steve Buschbacher.

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Erin Denk pens an excellent essay on the movement in “Me Too”:  A Space to Listen. Women stand. Will women vote?

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Chicago – April 1, 2018

– from Joan Ruppert
Shortly before the March 24 “March for Our Lives” demonstrations I contacted David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez via Twitter to ask what art (musical, visual, written word) helped keep them inspired and energized. About a week later David Hogg posted this. I’m sure the timing was only coincidental to my query because he likely wades through hundreds of messages every single day. But still, I had to smile.
David Hogg Playlist

CENTRAL STANDARD TIME – A SPECIAL EDITION

Are we at a threshold? What is the point of activism if neither rage nor outrage appear to be working. The innateness of good and evil hasn’t changed, so, what are we missing? The battle for social justice needs a new strategy.

These stories of activism and acts of personal strength portend a season of change.


Brule Eagan doesn’t mind a bit of detention. We’ll see you in the back row. – The Breakfast Club.”

Pennridge 225
Pennridge 225

Whatcha Gonna Do? While public demonstrations in favor of stronger laws are laudable, the fight requires more. As always, John Zielinski is our guide.

Outrage


Rainee Denham brings a story of strength. A Well Directed Production is a conversation with Chicago-based theatre director/adaptor, Lavina Jadhwani.

claire headshot
Lavina Jadhwani

On December 2, 1970, Richard Nixon’s administration created the Environmental Protection Agency. We can all join together and sing Sometimes All I Need Is The Air That I Breathe with Steve Buschbacher.

environmental_protection_agency-logo


Erin Denk pens an excellent essay on the movement in “Me Too”:  A Space to Listen. Women stand. Will women vote?

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Here we are again…

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Stephon Clark

How is a cell phone mistaken for a weapon? Twenty rounds later, another brown person is dead at the hands of frightened policemen. It’s always the brown people. Really… here we are again. It is impossible to narrate the dozens of similar incidents across the country, so let’s review the video of this one, again and again. Stephon Clark committed no crime, possessed no weapon, and, likely, never knew what hit him. End of story.

Can we clarify the effectiveness of activism, because neither rage nor outrage appear to be working.

A significant time approaches and I wonder if our culture is willing to seize the initiative. A succession of events is merging to form a nexus, begging important questions. It’s time to deal in new concepts; a time to make daring plans and not settle for less than what serves us and our posterity. Everyone is involved, everyone.

Bold decisions require action. An effective start is changing the population of our government with the vote. How will we gauge their competence and awareness in the course of events? What will be the litmus test? Specifically, let’s see major progressive legislation, of the daring and audacious type. Why not raise the level of conversation and impose greater expectations, not “what we can get” laws that serve no one.

So many events, so many questions:

What will it take to stop the murder of young men of color? Why are they expendable? If life weren’t already tough, they settle gang affairs with guns, at the same time fighting a war with police. It’s everywhere and never stops. What quality of life includes a percentage likelihood of gun related death? Ask them to vote, I’ll wait.

The web of immigration intrigue entangles huge swaths of society. Add a systemic promotion of fear and “It’s the brown people” mindset. Resolutions to immigration and the flow of labor across the continent are inevitable, and in everyone’s favor. Global economies flourish, limited economies fail.

Women have every reason to take a stand. Statistics point to a wave of female candidacy across the country. Will women vote?

Advocate for the Assault Weapons Ban, demand it.

A group of smart young people in Florida embraced the big-picture from the beginning. They reached out across the country; Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, north to south, and they see a greater malaise. They are not asking permission to make change. Will they vote?

Where is a strategy for future industries to fuel the economy and support our social structure? If we insist on nostalgia to feel secure, let’s borrow from the Republican genius of Eisenhower; the National Defense Education Act of 1958; The International Geophysical Year; the infrastructure titan interstate highway system; it was civics on a grand scale.

The welfare of each citizen is connected to all. Will we vote for social safety nets, will we vote for science?

Then there are the increased white supremacist advocacies… they vote too.

Trump is the old log we kicked over and all of the creatures come pouring out, crawling, scattering, and burrowing out of sight. The cold underbelly of interest and identity politics is laid bare. Fat maggots, tentacled, multi-legged, fast movers, the backdrop of a million tiny beings, all chaos, moving as one.

The lighter view is we are living a cartoon saga. Matt Schlapp versus Tom Perez in “Celebrity Death Match.” Stephen Miller as Grima Wormtongue, whispering in the despot’s ear. Attorney General Jefferson Sessions, my god. The con and the marks. The president can’t find a good attorney. Russia!

I have answered my own question. Here is the intent of activism. We must remain vigilant and aware of serious issues in a world mugging us with information. The sideshows will end. The ship-of-state will right itself when we participate.

“Fortune favors the prepared mind.” – Louis Pasteur

Education remains the strategic high-ground. A groundswell movement is at the grassroots as teachers across the country are rightfully upset and they are beginning to demonstrate. They march. They speak out. They vote.

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